240 inch Wyoming Giant - 2
Many back surgeries, an amputation of my thumb, and some fancy plastic surgery later, I was back on my feet, fighting to gain some sort of normalcy in my life. I remember reading stacks and stacks of hunting magazines for hours, wondering to myself if I would ever have the chance to do some of the hunts I dreamt about. I am a stubborn person and I don't give up easily, so I pushed myself as hard as possible to get out of the hospital and get back to life.
After getting released from the hospital, I began to put my life back together. First thing on the list was to go hunting and get out into the mountains. Some of my good friends and family slowly started getting me out doing things, although I did over-do it on a regular basis and paid for it later. As my strength began to increase, I began to think about what was next. My dad and I had always talked about doing a high country horseback mule deer hunt, and had so much fun on a similar elk hunt, that we decided to make it happen.
I began researching hunts in Wyoming and came across Non-Typical Outfitters. Several calls to Robb Wiley and I knew it was the place for my dad and me. There was nothing open for us that year, but we reserved a spot for the next year. The next year and a half was absolute torture, as I read stories of others who had killed the bucks of their dreams and I constantly looked on Robb's website. Robb also supplied me with amazing scouting photos of bucks he had been finding. Eventually, the time had finally arrived and it was our turn!
My dad and I drove up and spent the first night in Pinedale. Over dinner and some beers we discussed the hunt and our expectations. We had both decided that we were going for broke and wouldn't shoot anything that we wouldn't be absolutely proud of. More importantly, I had been experiencing a shift of priorities and outlook on hunting, cherishing opportunities to spend time with the ones we love. It had finally become more about the whole experience of the hunt than it was to kill a giant buck (although nobody will complain about that either).
A LRH Group (including me and Andy) is hunting these big deer with
Non-Typical Outfitters in 2015 and 2016. Read about it HERE.
Len Backus, Publisher of LRH
We talked at length on the drive into camp the next day about our plan to have fun and enjoy our hunt together, no matter what the outcome. As we were driving in between Pinedale and Jackson, taking in the beauty of the landscape, we recalled numerous memories of hunts from the past in this area and had some good laughs. As we pulled into camp, it was like many other camps we have seen throughout the years, with wall tents, corrals, horses and a nice fire pit.
We arrived early, so we spent some time meeting the others that were still around and were able to catch a last day hunter coming in with a stud-of-a-buck from the first hunt. I remember saying to my dad, if I see one even close to that, it's a done deal and he agreed. Later that evening we met our guide, Troy, the other guides in camp and also Robb and Brenda Wiley. They really seemed to enjoy what they do and could see the passion in their eyes and in Robb's words. We shot our rifles, had a meeting about how the hunt would move forward, ate a great meal and then turned in for the night. Needless to say, I did not sleep much that night, as I thought about the days to come.