Take a Breath, See the Sights and Enjoy the Scenery

With all the controversial crossfires going on, here, lately, and the angst that goes along with it, we need to be reminded that most of us want the same outcomes and benefits for our forests and public lands.

Let us take a small break here, and smell the ….. errr…. deer poop.


My last trip to Yosemite, before the Rim Fire started, was to Tuolumne Meadows, a high elevation “Mecca” for enlightened Yosemite lovers. I’ve seen big bucks here before but I didn’t think there was such a big herd of these “muleys”, who migrate over the top of the Sierra Crest from the Mono Lake area. I had seen and “shot” about 20 nice bucks before I ran into this group. For the whole day, I saw almost 40 bucks, and some of them were rather tame. In all my years of working in the woods, in many different National Forests, in many different states, I’ve never seen such a rack on a buck. I’m not a hunter so, is a buck like this very common? I’m sure that “trophy hunters” wouldn’t hesitate to shoot this guy but, I prefer to “shoot” him, this way.

3 thoughts on “Take a Breath, See the Sights and Enjoy the Scenery”

  1. NOT common! I hunted for many years when I was younger, worked in the woods for a couple of decades, and have taken photographs most of that time and have only seen one rack of that size ever. I was about 16, they had just opened the Klamath Reservation to hunting and it was one of two times I got buck fever. I heard the buck jump from his bed along a ridgeline about 30 yeards away and almost choked on the licorice I was eating when I saw how big he — and his rack — were. Couldn’t get off a shot until he was running sideways and had made about 150 more yards, when I finally shot I knocked him down, but couldn’t lever in another shot I was so rattled. He got up immediately and charged downhill. I couldn’t follow his track, so went back to camp and got my dad. We trailed him about a mile (HUGE tracks where it was wet), but he never laid down and finally stopped bleeding. Mostly he was leaving blood on log he jumped over, so we figured I had grazed his brisket and did no serious damage. The only trophy-sized animal I ever tried to kill and it would probably still be on my wall if I had been successful. Hard to believe that was 50 years ago!

    My friend Charles Kay, a wildlife biologist at Utah State, is a dedicated trophy hunter in both North America and Africa:


    I’m sending Charles a link to this photo, and maybe he will chime in with a lot more expertise on the the topic. He is a regular contributor to Muley Crazy, the magazine for dedicated mule deer hunters, such as himself.

  2. Dat right dere is a mutant dear.
    I saw a nontypical mulie, nowhere near like that, in NW Colorado north of Craig one rifle season. He had six points a side, which is already unheard of, nicely symmetrical. He was with another super-nice buck, first rifle was before rut, usually.
    But it was SUCH a gorgeous morning, I had been stewing in the early sunshine, I was so sleepy and happy — I scoped him 40 yards away broadside, then yelled BANG. Zooom!!
    A perfect day, even now.


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