240 inch Wyoming Giant - 3

For the next four days, we would rise early and turn in late. Our days were filled with beautiful country, good food, good horses, good friends, and a lot of riding and glassing as we fought the full moon phase. It was slow, but we were still glassing up numerous bucks throughout the area, we just hadn't found that special buck yet. As we got out of bed on the last day, Robb told us that a couple of the other guides would be coming along to provide some extra eyes and give it everything they had on the last day. We were pleasantly surprised and took to the trail.

Riding on the horse in the dark with headlamps and dodging limbs had become second nature. The last morning was much cooler and a majority of mountains were fogged in, but we kept pushing ahead ridge after ridge bowl after bowl. We got to the top of one ridge in particular and my dad and I split up with the guides to cover more country. It wasn't but an hour and James and I heard shots that were close to us. I knew that my dad had got a shot at a buck. After getting back with the others, we soon found out that they had been unsuccessful but did have a chance at a nice buck.


Now it was my turn. Ron spotted what looked like a big deer off in the distance, and James and I decided we had to make a quick move. We got on the horses and covered ground, as fast as we could. We got to the top of the ridge just across from the deer, but he was still way out of range. Then we had to run about a half-mile down the other side in hopes the buck was still on the hillside when we got there. He was, and James told me he was a shooter.

I took off my backpack and got settled in on a good rest in the rocks. I then ranged the buck and dialed my scope. It was then that I got the first real look at the buck. I knew he was big; there was no question if I was going to shoot him. After calming my nerves, I squeezed the trigger. "Shoot him again," James said. I was already on him, and as he stopped briefly at the crest of the ridge, as I squeezed off another shot. Silence. I felt completely confident about the shot, but the other member of the crew were able to watch the whole thing unfold from a ridge-top and thought that I had missed. James went back and got the horses and we went for the longest ride of my life.


We got to the spot where the buck had been and there was nothing: not a drop of blood. Then, as we began walking to the top of the ridge where we last saw him, there he was. For the first time in my hunting career, I did not experience any type of ground shrinkage. James and I began to scream and yell, which the others quickly understood to mean that the buck was dead and to bring the packhorse. At this point, I sat down by the buck and was overcome with emotions. I began to thinking back to the days in the hospital, wondering if I would ever have the chance to do this again. Words cannot describe what I was feeling. The buck was absolutely breathtaking. The others finally got over to the deer and we took a long while admiring him, replaying the scenario over and over, laughing in disbelief.

Later, after a long walk down the mountain, we took a short horse ride back to camp. Everyone in camp was in shock when they saw the buck. There were many handshakes, stories and lot of laughter. The buck ended up scoring 240 5/8. Talking with Robb after the hunt about the area where we shot the buck, he thought that another hunter had shot at this buck a couple of years earlier. The "007" buck has a perfect bullet hole though his left ear, leading one to believe he is right!


I would like to thank my dad for always being by my side and my wife for putting up with my many days gone hunting every year. I would also like to thank my family for their never-ending support throughout my life, and my friends for being there for me through my accident and to this day. Lastly, Robb and Brenda Wiley for running Non-Typical Outfitters, a top notch operation, and Troy, James, and Ron for helping me achieve my dream and make the most of my second chance.

Adam Johnson