-By Brandon Wikman
As I sit in this motel room feeling miserable attempting to find the answer to my streak of misfortune and bad luck, I can only continue to vent my unsuccessful adventures...
I recently wrapped up a five-day archery mule deer hunt in the eastern plains of Colorado. Eastern Colorado is a place where monster mule deer typically call home. The landscape is covered in sagebrush, contoured with gentle rolling hills with a mixture of corn, milo, and wheat fields covering the vast terrain. Not only do mule deer roam these parts of the country, but also countless antelope and whitetail deer call this place home.
From the very start, my hunt began on a sour note. My flight arrived in Denver, Colorado at eleven o’clock at night. I was picked up by one of the guides from Adventures Wild, LLC and we drove three hours east to Brush County, Colorado, where we’d be hunting. I had to purchase my archery deer hunting license at a local Wal-Mart at three in the morning. Needless to say, the place was barren. I finally found a manager on duty to help me with purchasing a license.
As the manager plugged my name and information into the registration system, he asked me if I had my hunter’s education card. I looked at him puzzled and said no. My card was on my desktop back in Wisconsin. Little did I realize, the state of Colorado requires every hunter to visually show a valid hunter’s education card. Even though I purchased a tag last year, they still requested the need for my card. Long story short, I didn’t receive my tag that morning.
The first morning of the hunt was cashed at the nearby Colorado Division of Wildlife building. I had to talk to the officers about my situation. They were able to contact the Wisconsin DNR and have them forward all of my needed information to them. Thankfully, it only took about an hour and I was able to sneak in an afternoon hunt!
The first few days of the hunt were extremely slow. The warm weather put an end to any rutting activity. The mule deer seemingly vanished, which is hard to believe considering trees are few and far between around this area. The majority of mule deer hide themselves in overgrown grass fields and unpicked agriculture fields. Using a spotting scope and a good set of binoculars is a must.
I didn’t get to put a stalk on any big buck until the evening of the very last day. It’s all so very typical for some crazy reason to have deer activity pick-up pace when hunters leave! Nonetheless, I did my best to cut distance and sneak within archery range to a giant mule deer. The conditions were ideal for a stalk. The wind was blowing hard and the buck faced the opposite direction. All I had to do was belly crawl my way through the cactus and prairie grass. As I approached eighty yards, I stopped to double check the wind direction and eye-up antlers.
Suddenly the buck stood up, stretched his legs and walked away. I looked back at the video camera speechless and in disarray. What were the odds of this happening? Stupid luck was my best answer. He never winded or spotted me.
This week I am in Southwestern Nebraska hunting whitetails until December 7th. I believe I’m due for another chance at a good buck soon; hopefully it comes within the next few days.