Trip Report: Wyoming Mule Deer Hunt
In this Wyoming mule deer hunt trip report, Justin Whitworth tell us how he put down a dandy mule deer! Check out his trip report he submitted to Top End Adventures! Congrats Justin!
Wyoming Mule Deer Hunt Booking Process
“Marc consulted me on draw hunt opportunities relative to my points and connected me with a proven outfitter that was aligned with my goals and expectations. He knew the unit history and understood what it would take to get drawn. The camp and hunt process was explained and I was able to prepare for the hunt well in advance.”
Logistics and Lodging
“The quality of every guide in camp was the most impressive part. I am a tough critic on western hunts because I typically place a huge value on my time in the field and have had mixed experiences but this one was positive. There was a gap in communication from the guide regarding the lodging and what was needed but the other guides quickly took care of the minor accommodation modifications I needed for a tent camp. The camp was a traditional tent camp setup, the tent was clean, the cots were clean, and there was a wood burning stove in the tent with all the wood needed to stay warm. The outfitter had excellent guides and the food was great start to finish. The kitchen tent was fully stocked with all the drinks and snacks needed for full days in the field.”
Wyoming Mule Deer Hunt Trip Details
“I waited 8 years to build enough preference points to draw the unit and I was very excited about getting drawn. The details of the hunt are fairly typical of non-rut mule deer hunt. We saw deer but the mature deer were elusive and we were in a bright full moon. The first day of the hunt another hunter in camp saw a tall framed mule deer that the guides had scouted previously and he decided to pass on it. The deer was very reclusive having been shot at twice by a prior hunter and it was holding to a drainage about 1000 yards up a steep face. The same morning my group had spotted a pair of mature bucks and we joined up with the other hunter to put together a plan to get the two bucks. The hunter described the buck he passed on and I immediately said that was exactly the type of deer I was after because I didn’t give a damn about how wide it was. I love mass and character. That afternoon the other hunter successfully kills one of the pair we had bedded that morning and from that point forward our purpose was single minded for the tall frame buck.
Fast forward to day 5…
We have not seen the deer even once despite intense day long glassing and extended stalks from the top of the ridge. I tell the guides I don’t want to deviate on the final day so we once again setup at the base with another spotter several thousand yards away glassing a small area we can’t see. About 2 hours into the morning we get a call that the buck is in the crease that we can hardly see so we adjust our position and I immediately start to dig into the hillside. The area in question is about 700 yards away and is about a 20 degree incline which meant I would have to achieve a prone shooting position to even consider taking the shot. The face we are on is angled right dropping to left and from a prone position I physically can’t get the gun high enough without digging out rocks and setting up bags so that is what I did for about 1/2 an hour. Then about the time the sun breaks over the top ridge and blasts us the deer steps out at 695 yards. I jump into the shooting position, adjust my turret, and without any warning the buck turns 180 degrees and walks right back into the aspens. I am sick to my stomach…2 more seconds and I am taking the shot. Our minds are racing as we are desperately trying to guess where he will come back out and the next 15 minutes takes an eternity. Then about 20 yards up the hill in the aspens I see something white. It is hard to see with the suns glare but it’s moving. I call to my guide that I have it and I jump back into shooting position. The deer is now at 715 yards feeding up the hill. He is 10 steps from walking into a mass of cover that will make him disappear and after my last opportunity I am committed. The buck steps to the right giving me a quartered away shot. I adjust the turret another 1/4 moa, settle in and gently depress the trigger and send it. The 7mm rem mag barks. It has a massive break that controls the muzzle jump and I watch in what feels like slow motion a beautiful arc of energy as the shot lands behind the ribs directed into the chest. The deer runs a short labored distance and goes down. Absolute euphoria unfolds between myself and my guide. Our spotter 3,000 yards away literally hears us cheering. We settle down, get on our horses and begin the 45 min ride up the face to put hands on this deer. I don’t know what it will score and I really don’t care. This buck was a righteous adversary and to take him on the final day of a hunt I waited 8 years to draw is nothing less than a dream come true. We ride up and immediately locate the deer and to me he is stunning. He has 19″ g2s and beautiful mass that carries. The deer is my new personal best 183″ and represents one of the greatest hunting memories of my life.”
“I don’t know that I would recommend anything specific but what I would say is that Marc and Top End take the time to understand your goals, your willingness and ability financially and physically to achieve them and they dig deep into their pool of knowledge to direct you to a positive experience. This is the second adventure Marc had directed me on and both were opportunities that I never would have considered without his first hand direction.”
We at Top End Adventures are super stoked Justin filled his tag and had such a positive adventure with the outfitter and our service. A great story and awesome pictures! Our mule deer hunts are with top notch outfitters, some with guaranteed tags.