Re: Family Montana Muley Hunt
We hunted the breaks. Taking my family for the first time was even better than i thought it would be. My favorite part of the trip was seeing my wife shoot her first buck on the last evening of the hunt. We hunted really hard and when she finally got to shoot it she was screaming and jumping up and down..."I GOT IT, I GOT IT!" She says that she 'gets it', now that she has gone hunting with me, and wants to go again (she even told me i 'need' better binoculars!). I couldn't be happier. My son did really well too. Very little fuss for a 3 year old. He even fell asleep in my backpack!
The rifle is a Benchmark 8.5 twist 6.5 WSM. Bat VRPIC action. Manners Carbon MCS stock. Seekins DBM. USO T-Pal 3.2-17
I first spotted the buck at 600yds with a group of does and a 2 point. He was on the move over the hill and out of sight. I was in the bottom of the valley. I tried cutting him off by going to the right but he went left. By the time i got up there i thought he had gone. I hiked down the ridge a little farther when i spotted the does he was with about 300yds from me. I was busted and they headed quickly away. I thought if that buck was with them he would be smarter and hang back until i left so i set up the bipod and laid down to wait him out (i could see the whole valley floor so i felt confident he wouldn't get away). Laying there i took a few ranges of where i thought he might pop up 225...285....350. I dialed up 2.25 moa and continued to wait. Then i heard some branches breaking about 50yds right below me in the timber. He was up and bouncing away after his does. He was headed for a small knob and he went up and over it. I quickly ranged the other side where he would come out, 225yds, and settled in for the shot. Sure enough he came out right where i wanted him to and stopped to look back. I held right on his front left shoulder and squeezed one off. I could see through the scope when i shot that he arched his back and took off. A few seconds later i was on my feet looking for him to pop out again. Then i heard him thrashing around in the timber and i knew i had him. So i hiked back to my family and we all walked down there to see him for the first time together.
Even though this buck wasn't as big as last year's having my family with me for the first time made this hunt priceless. I can't wait to do it again!