I connected on this great mule on opening day of the ND bow season. I had watched him through the summer but couldn't find him for three weeks prior to the opener. Opening morning I made my rounds looking for several mule deer including him that I had decided I'd like to try for, him being the largest. I had spent several hours glassing many different areas, I was headed back to town but decided that the first spot needed another look. As I put the truck in park I noticed movement, just as I got the spotter on a three point this buck raised his head out of the three foot tall sweet clover. As you can see from the side view I instantly new who I was looking at. First thought"holy s#$@ there he is". After three weeks with out a sighting he turns up opening morning on property I can hunt in a spot where I've snuck on mules before with a perfect wind. He was only in view for about five seconds then he went behind a large buffalo berry thicket. It was around 10:30 and the season opens at 12:00. I watched his three point buddy for about a hour until he bedded, now that I had his location I started in their direction. By the time I was getting close to where I needed to be it was about ten minutes to twelve, the last thirty yards over the ridge took around half an hour. With every step I'd glass the armpit tall clover in the small basin below me hoping to locate his horns( I was assuming he'd be bedded in the clover). Once I could see the majority of the basin I realized that I needed a plan B, he wasn't in the clover so he must be in the large thicket to my right eighteen yards away. I had thought about that so I had kept just out of sight of the thicket as I made my aproach. Three years before I was in this exact spot with only a eighteen yard back of the head shot on a 170" four point. I opted to wait him out only to have a forky walk up to me and spook taking all nine bucks with him(its a large thicket). As I stood silently with a perfect ten mph wind in my face I ranged every feature and tried to memorize them, assuming the need for a quick shot. An hour had past and no movement, tossing a rock went through my mind but I opted to wait him out. The waiting was about to be over, as I felt the breeze against my left cheek I hooked my release and got ready. Ten minutes later a stiff change of the wind gave me away. This is where luck is better than skill. I drew as I heard the first branch break, I drew to hard and as he exited the thicket at ten yards at a slow trot my arrow was on my arm instead of in his vitals. I lowered my bow as he and a buck that I had not seen past by me at twelve yards. I came to full draw this time with the arrow in my rest just as they both stopped and turned to look back, better to be lucky than good any day. I took a split second to make sure I was shooting the right one(the other one was about the same frame not as many points) I centered my fortyfive yard pin and released. The shot was perfect, luckily I had spent the time with my range finder before things got heated so I new he was between 40 and 50. I picked up my swarovski range finder to watch him get wobbly legs as he went over the ridge eighty yards away.
I don't remember running up the ridge but I know it was the fastest I'd ever run.
He wasn't in view when I got to the top but his 170ish buddy was, looking back wondering what was going on. He was also on the short list for that season and he wasn't at the local contest, cross my fingers. I actually could not find my buck because of the very tall clover that covered the prairie in my area. I went back to the blood trail and followed it to this awesome buck, WOW he was even better than I thought. Gross score of around 190" green, 8x7. Yes the date is wrong, sorry.