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We had three great days of hunting. The wide open West gives you a great opportunity to view and study deer behavior. My son and I watched a group of whitetails through the spotting scope Friday, November 16th. The bucks were really pursuing the does, but the girls weren't yet receptive to their advances. I noticed this big 8 hanging tight with one particular doe and running off any buck that got within 75 yards of her. He would go back and try to get some loving, but she would trot away and lie down; he would lie down within 10 yards and guard his girl.

Saturday morning was beautiful. I was in position 30 minutes before daylight and watched a mountain lion in the spotting scope at daylight and continued to watch rut activity all morning. The big 8 was still hot on the trail of the hot doe...watched him chase and trail her from nearly a mile away. She followed a fence line down a ridge late in the morning and watered at a small reservoir. The big 8 hung close and rubbed several trees by the reservoir while she drank.

I set up before daylight on Sunday morning as well to try to locate the pair coming off of the mountain. I located them about half a mile up on a ridge and watched the big boy make advances on her unsuccessfully. Many other suitors arrived but were quickly sent packing by the big 8. Well after about 3.5 hours, she made it down the hill and bedded down in the sunlight where she could survey the entire area to the East. I slipped from behind the rock formation that I was hiding in and eased down a bottom back to the camp to see my wife and son.

I set the spotting scope up in the window of the camp we were in (picture attached) and showed my wife and son the big bedded buck. There was a patch of bushes situated between the camp and the two bedded deer. Specifically, the bushes were 600 yards or so below the camp and about 150 yards below the deer. I told my wife that I was going to put a stalk on and make it up to the bushes and wait for the doe to walk toward the reservoir. I slipped in place while my wife watched in the spotting scope off and on; she also put the 250 mm zoom on her camera and took a picture of me and the deer shortly before I took the shot. Look for the orange vest on the right end of the bushes; the buck is standing and the doe is bedded. There are four mule deer on the hill above them. After 45 minutes lying prone, I was glad to see the doe stand and start down the hill with the buck grunting behind the whole way. I dropped him in his tracks. This was one enjoyable spot and stalk hunt.
 

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Super Moderator
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Very good story and a big ole CONGRATS fer a fine buck!!!
 

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eating tasty
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Very cool! That's real hunting to me! No corn, no feeders, just spot and stalk and wait for your move and make the kill in a natural environment. Congrats.
 
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