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2010 & 2011 SD hunt

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:02 AM
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2010 & 2011 SD hunt

So here are the stories on my 2010 and 2011 mule deer and whitetail hunts along with some pictures. Enjoy

Upon the first day of scouting we came across a 160-170 class 5x5 whitetail. I immediatly decided the next day (opening day) that was my deer. I had a special buck tag so I could use it on a mulie or whitetail. Coming from the east cost I was dead set on a moster whitetail over a mulie. However, if a mulie I couldn't pass up came along I was pulling the trigger. Sure enough I saw an awsome mulie running across the skyline right infront of the sun as the it came up on the horizon. I was with my father and we watched him skyline from 700 yards to 400 yards right infront of us. Never having shot over 100 yards we watched and I decided not to shoot... It was far and I wanted that whitetail. He came and went and I really began wondering if I should of shot him. It was a big deer though, I am hardly great at sizing up a mulie just yet so I didn't realize what I had passed up. It's still not real bright out yet and the whitetail I was hunting shot up a draw and passed right back into some pines. He came out just long enough for me to see him and he was gone. I watched but he never came back out and obviously slipped down a draw. Then all of sudden the mulie came back over the ridge rutting a doe hard right at me. He came within 300 yards and I took another look and told my dad, I'm taking him. He starts trotting down a ridge and I pull the trigger....nothing. The bolt handle had gotten knocked up... I slam the bolt closed and shoot. He gets clipped and immediatly starts heading up over a hill. Running I drop him at 300 yards. A year later I can't believe I ever let this deer walk out of sight the first time...Needless to say. I am hooked on mule deer now.


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07
By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

After that hunt I literally counted the days till next year. I found this site and have completely become obsessed with long range shooting. Bought a savage .308 topped with zeiss and began reloading in preparation for this year. Developed a load that shoots .38 MOA at 100 yards (168gr. 2725 fps) and a load that shoots .75 MOA for my fathers 300 that shoots a 150 gr. at 3150 fps. both ballistic tips.

The first day I see some good whitetails surprisingly up the flats, but no shooters. One was a shooter but had broken all his tines off on one side. Very disappointing considering I had a 40 yard shot on him. I moved down some draws and stumbled on a very nice 8 point but decided to pass on him since it was the first day and I had 4 full days of hunting ahead of me. The cattle ranch we lease has some monster deer so I held off. Fast forward and day and half and its been some hard hunting. Temperatures dropped to 0 degrees and foot of snow fell on us. Driving around glassing we find a 6x6 whitetail most likely a 180 190 class deer. I glassed him for about 2 seconds at 700 yards before I said holy **** lets go. Unfortunately we were unable to get a shot on him. Driving back across a canyon we spotted a shooter mulie and I jumped out and threw out the bipod as he went running up a canyon. I got a rough range of 400 and let one rip...Miss. Sent another one... miss. I am extremely hard on my self and this point the deer is gone and I am ready to explode. Especially since I had a crowd of observers....We jump back in the truck and try and loop around the deer to cut him off. We all post up and 5 minutes later I hear my dad shoot. Says he has a 5x5 but wasn't the deer I missed. To small... We then spot him right back down where I shot.... So 2 of us race back down the canyon and hes gone again. It was exciting but disappointing. All was not last, my dad shot a very respectable mulie.


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

Day three hits and at this point I am not passing on anything I would shoot the last day (tomorrow). Me and my dad decide to hunt the morning together since he is tagged out on a mulie. We decide to work a series of draws and just as the sun hits, we come to the first draw. A single doe is at the bottom and she keeps looking back. We know theres a buck. We hit the ground and coyote gets kicked out and sure enough pushes the buck right out he runs out down a draw and I didn't get a good look but I knew he was a possible shooter. My dad gets riled up cause he thinks we just got screwed but I said stay put and we waited. 3 minutes later that buck comes right back up looking for the doe and comes behind a tree. I am trying to get a shot on him but my bipod was to short for the snow and grass so I switch guns real fast with my dad and the buck walks out. Bang....flop. I didn't get a good look but I knew with a quick glance I wasn't passing him up. He wasn't the buck I was hoping for but it was a great hunt with my dad and I wont forget it. You can't complain about a 6x5 to much... haha. When I say there are big deer running around our spot. I'm serious.


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

After we quarter him up and get him out its only 8:30 and we are only a 15 minute walk from where I passed up that nice 8 point. We decide to take a walk and see if he is bedded in the same canyon. We walk over and post up over the canyon. 5 minutes later my dad stands up and a doe kicks out after seeing him. I immediatly throw my bipod down and before I can even get ready to shoot that same buck bolts out across the canyon at a little over 300 yards. We each gave a quick whistle and he stopped right at the top of a ridge and looks back at us. I didn't waste anytime and shot. He didn't take a step.


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

I was on the very far ridge in the backround.


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

By twiedenh at 2011-12-07


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

Setup here and shot a coyote at 300 yards


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07


By twiedenh at 2011-12-07

It was COLD!





Thomas
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:55 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

Great story and nice bucks!!!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:04 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

Great pics!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:16 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

The terrain looks like a long range hunter's dream.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:49 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

Unfortunately I don't get a lot of practice so I kept it under 600 with perfect conditions this year but only ended up poking out to 311 and 225. Some of you guys would have a field day out there that are great shots at 1000 and over. Usually you find the deer and have to close the distance except when you are working the draws. I had a monster mulie (way bigger than the one I shot) walking around at 900 yards on the flats for 45 min the night after I tagged out just hunting coyotes. I would have had to get closer but a better shot would of had a perfect setup.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:54 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

Thomas

SD has over the counter tags in many of the River West areas but not much public land as I remember. Is that accurate statement?

I really like the idea of hunting deer there, though. One more option each year.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:28 PM
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Re: 2010 & 2011 SD hunt

2 years ago we hunted the ranch and a public walk-in for whitetail, no mulies in the area. I shot a 5x5 whitetail. Saw a behemoth but it just didn't work out, couldn't get a shot off before he was gone. For public land it was a great deer. West river if you do hunt SD is where you will be forced to hunt. I believe east river is next to impossible to get tags for if you are not a resident. As far as the extent of walk-in areas in the west river area ill have to check with my buddy on the extent and quality of them. I thought the parcel we hunted was pretty good. Had it to our selves for the first day. The second we just ran across two bow hunters but saw 5-6 bucks. 3 shooters. I'll get back to you about the public areas in west river, my dads buddy is a walking & breathing map of deer hunting in SD.
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