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2009 ND mule stag

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Unread 02-12-2011, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 190
2009 ND mule stag


This buck is my favorite bow kill, I hunted him on and off for over a month when the wind was right to get to his area. I had another buck in mind but just couldn't locate him. We call him a stag some call them cactus bucks as you can see he's still in velvet in mid October, in previous years he would shed it in later in the year after it froze. He didn't rut and acted like a old doe, usually bedding in the thickest cover with does all around him. I tried a few stalks after he bedded but there were always to many eyes & noses. I realized quickly that he was going to be hard to kill. He had lived in a small area for at least five years, my buddy first noticed him and his wierd head gear four years before. This meant he was a mature sorta buck with no rutting weakness. My new plan was to wait until he started his evening walk to where they would feed for the evening and get in front of them and wait. On several occasions I was within 40 yards of all af his buddies but he would just hang out in the draw until dark, he was always the last to move. The night I got him I was spotting from hill a mile away and the sun had just set, the other bucks were already moving up the draw when he finally rose from his bed. Once he dedicated himself to a draw I ran back to truck and hauled the mail to a trail that would cut the distance in half. I grabbed my bow and started running, I quickly cut the 900 yards to about 200 and slowed way down. There wasn't so much as a breeze, luckily the ridge I was side hilling was a little damp and was mostly clay. I came around the butte in front of them and crawled the last 40 yards to a nicely placed buffalo berry bush. The whole time there were huge snow flakes just floating around in the calm air, mixed with the vision of the eight or so bucks making their way directly towards me it is burned into my memory. Several does across the ridge had seen movement by the bush and had me pinned but the setting sun was in their eyes so they didn't know what to think and didn't spook. With in seconds the stag was in view but he was chooseing a route that would make for a long shot and I was pinned. He stopped on the ridge to feed on buffalo berries. I knew I could make this shot with no wind a deer with head burried in a thicket so I drew. I settled my pin on his chest and released, in the dwindleing light I couldn't see the impact but heard it. Deer were running every where. I got my binos up and watched as he came out of small draw at full speed and did a head plant after about 60 yards. I couldn't believe it, with his wierd head gear and age I had become obsessed with him. Now he was down.
He has 16 scoreable points, gross 136". One of the reasones I wanted him so bad was that I had killed a Stag whitetail the December before with the muzzle loader.
Two years two stags both scored 136" gross. Awesome.

Last edited by 188MULE; 02-13-2011 at 12:17 AM.
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