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2012 archery mule

 
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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012, 01:27 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
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2012 archery mule

2012 archery mule-2012-mule-deer-008.jpg
I found this guy right before the opener. I hunted him last year, he is old and had really slowed down from last year. I nick named him The Flash since he hardly moved and when he did it was slow. I noticed while watching that when he rose from his bed he had too work like hell to get his back end off the ground. One day while he was feeding his back legs gave out and he was just sitting in the stubble looking around. This brings me too my first arrow, on my second stalk I was 35 yards from him and needed too get something done cause I had too get to work. If he bedded late he would lay all day till dark. The plan I came up with was too draw and rush him in his bed thinking he couldn't get out of it and I'd shoot him. Thats exactly what happened. When I rounded the bush he was at 15 yards, front end up, backend on the ground with his back too me, stuck. I centered my pin and released only too watch my arrow slide along his backbone going in about 14". The angle was not as steep as I thought. I knew instantly it was a poor hit. I tracked him a mile and a half over five hours. My thought was him being in poor health already that he would lay up get stiff and expire. My dad and I walked many many miles, I flew in a plane for several hours looking, was out every morning for two weeks looking. One morning while glassing I noticed the two young bucks he had been with this summer, they were looking into a creek. I thought, they couldn't be looking back at him. Yes they were, I was all smiles, not only was he still alive but he looked completely healthy. I had plans for two days and returned on monday only too watch him bed in posted land all day. He made his way off of the posted land but it was too dark for a shot. Tuesday morning I found him and luckily he bedded early without his little buddies. I was 24 yards when I finally spotted his main beam in the brush, there was a chokecherry bush between us which was a problem. After staring at this bush for a long time I found a hole that I could slip a arrow thru if he stood and gave me a shot. A hour and some later I saw his head bobbing as he was attempting to stand. I drew, found the hole which was right where I needed it to be and released. The shot was perfect this time.The first arrow wound was almost completely healed. I will add his age when I get the results. I am very proud of this one.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Re: 2012 archery

Very nice dedicated hunt!!!
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I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,458
Re: 2012 archery

Sounds like he outsmarted you and grew to a ripe old age yet still survived the first hunt. It's quite an accomplishment to finally get him. They are smart tough animals. Congratulations. How is the meat on these old ones?
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 187
Re: 2012 archery

I had too leave half of one back strap and one shoulder. The fat and tendons up front had a yellow coloring. The first arrow entered at the right shoulder blade, it looks as though it hit the top of the ribs along the back bone and diverted up into his neck where it was stopped by his neck vertabrea. The wound channel was healed, there was a blood clot at the point where the arrow stopped. The meat seemed fine although it had that rutted sweat smell to it, I think it is O.K. for jerky.
When I get a mule deer it usually gets jerkified anyhow. And yes he has outsmarted me for years. Really wondering what his age comes back as.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 187
Re: 2012 archery mule

2012 archery mule-005.jpg
A buddy realized he had two of his horns in his shop after looking at him and gave them to me. Thanks man!! The one on the left is from 2009, this is the first year I noticed him as a large 3x3. The horn on the right is from 2010, gotta look back at my videos, he may have summered with the one I stuck that year. I will have to ty and find his from last year when he was a little larger than this year. I missed two shots at him last year.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 187
Re: 2012 archery mule

2012 archery mule-007.jpg
His mass is probably the most impressive, a 6.5x.284 to compare. Gross score on him is 173 1/4". I thought he would go a little over 160" when I was watching him but his great mass and eyeguards added up.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 187
Re: 2012 archery mule

Just got the age back from the outfit in Montana. 7 1/2 years old. I feel humbled to have taken such a tough elusive buck with my bow. The area he called home is hunted hard and he lived thru three terrible winters that killed almost 80% of our deer herd. Flash, I salute you.
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