Wyoming or Idaho? Inspired by a buddy I decided I wanted to hit the Highcountry for Mule deer with my bow. Over the past couple years, I have seen some great bucks come from Wyoming and the pictures of the highcountry had me dying to explore the area. I’m a sheep hunter at heart, but tags are a little tough to draw so I’d fill that void with Mule deer in Wyoming!
Late July is such an awesome time to be in the highcountry, there is a ton of summer feed for bucks and they spend hours eating during the daytime. My first scouting trip was a success. After driving all night and a little during the day, 12 hours later I was sitting at a trailhead. I hiked that first day into a big basin and located two great bucks that made me extremely excited. I couldn’t believe the country these bucks were living in, and not just living but thriving. One of the big cheater bucks crossed a giant rock slide and bedded inside a small cave, I knew that would be the toughest buck to get close to with a bow. I left that weekend with a better understanding of the country I was going to be hunting and an idea of how to be ready for its challenges.
Opening day found me at the trailhead, I had learned a lesson on the last trip and was sure to take my WA Altitude Advantage before I left the trailhead. It’s crazy how going from 500 feet elevation to 9K puts a hurt on a guy. The hike in was pretty boring I didn’t see anyone so that was encouraging the last half mile I had a 1k climb to the top where I would be glassing from. I got up there and right away started turning up a few bucks! That evening I did end up seeing someone else, so I made the predictable move and headed to the other side of the basin in the morning. The next 4 days were pretty uneventful I was being pretty picky and hadn’t even stalked a buck.
My first trip into the highcountry came and went without me killing a buck, the next couple days flew by and I found myself headed back into the same basin I hunted before, but from a different trail. Turns out that was a mistake I thought it would cut off some of the elevation; however, the trail was terrible the last mile. I did get right into deer and that helped my spirits a little. I found a great area to glass from and set up my bivy sack in a deer bed. I had no problem finding deer and even had a chance at a buck.However, due to my impatience I spooked the buck at only 8 yards away. That was a tough hike back to my glassing spot after blowing out that buck, I decided to move my camp and get water for my last day of the hunt. While doing that I noticed a few bucks bedded in an area I had not seen deer at before, I quickly came up with a plan. It literally was one of the quickest stalks I have done, within a short time I was letting an arrow fly. I hit the buck and was able to get another arrow in him before he expired only a few feet from where I shot him.
The hike back to my truck was not as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to get the meat taken care of and on the road just as it was getting dark. It is so beautiful driving west out of that country. I would love to live in a place like that one day, but until then I’ll just keep coming back to hunt it.