I just got back from my one hunt of the year. Due to a variety of circumstances going on this year I just was not able to get out to do any other hunting. I didn’t even get around to working on load development on my 280AI until into October.
On the load development front I ended up going with the following: Rem brass; Fed 215GM primer, 60 grains of RL22, 140 Accubond seated 0.02 off the lands. I would like to send a big thanks to JD338 for his advice and guidance in developing this load (it’s basically his load to begin with). Thanks JD, your help saved lots of time (which as you know was something I was quite short on this year).
I had drawn a tag for mulie buck in a zone in the southern part of the province bordering up against Montana. In these zones we are only able to hunt Thurs – Sat each week of the November season.
Our main plan for hunting this area was to hunt the coulee tops glassing down into the coulees looking for bucks. We saw a number of bucks each day but did not see the big one I was hoping for.
Around lunchtime on Saturday we glassed into a coulee and did not see any deer. We checked out the next coulee only to see a young buck. We then stopped to adjust some gear around in our packs only to get spotted by a decent looking buck coming up into the coulee we just checked out. He took off out of the coulee down into the river bottom along with a doe that was with him. We glassed the area from up top for a bit then agreed that the buck and doe had likely bedded down in the willows.
We came up with a plan whereby my buddy would head down one coulee into the river bottom past the buck and doe. I would head down the next coulee and get up onto a little knoll. At an agreed upon time my buddy would push through the area in hopes of moving the deer out my direction. There were four directions the deer could go and I had three of them covered from my position.
Once they were moved out of their beds they stayed out in the willows but then turned my direction and moved out onto the sagebrush flats. The doe came out first followed by the buck. One shot at 170 yards and it was all done.
Not too often that a plan comes together as originally planned, but this time it did. Only downside was that the buck was down as low in the bottom as could be and we had to pack him out up to the top.
We used the gutless method and boned out all the meat. This was the first time I’d seen this method used and I was real impressed. Very little mess as compared to traditional methods and very little smell what so ever.
Here are some pictures. Hope you enjoy them. It’s nice to finally be able to contribute a hunt to this board after reading for so long about everyone else’s successes!
Where we needed to get to – up to the top:
Made it to the top: