Neither Old Man, Nor Deep Snow, Nor Steep Terrain…

…Will Deter Us From Our Appointed Task

My son Shea and I hunted with Non-Typical Outfitters for the 2017 season. We both took nice mule deer, but they weren’t B&C records by any means. I am a nearly 70-year old man and have hunted all my life in some awesome locations. I’ve hunted with Robb before on a spring bear hunt and wasn’t successful with that hunt. This did not deter me from hunting with him again.

Scouting Pics for the Old Man Scouting Pics for the Old Man Scouting Pics for the Old Man

The area in which he guides is a great place to have a chance at a 200 class mule deer. The winter snow fall before the 2017 season did take its toll on the heard, but Robb sent my son and I scouting pictures and we knew there were still good bucks in the area. We made plans to try our luck for one of the better bucks from his pictures.

The Old Man’s Hunt Begins

We arrived at camp, met our guides and sighted our rifles. Son Shea and his old man felt confident with our 500 yard shots and felt ready and excited for the early morning to get our hunt started. Morning came and it was a brisk and beautiful, clear day. After some breakfast we loaded the truck and with horses in the trailer, we were off to our hunting location.

Old Man & The Mountain

We hunted all day and returned after dark without much success seeing any shooter bucks. We also did the same routine on the second day with the same sad success. The third morning came with a lot of snow and the temperature dropped like a rock. Still, we started the day the same way and continued to hunt hard; this old man wasn’t giving up. Other hunters in the camp started to fade and the cold and snow made them very discouraged. This did not deter us from what we came to do.

By this time in the hunt, my guide, Sam, and I had become good friends and were both focused on my deer. We did pass on a few bucks that were respectful but not what we were looking for. Sam continued to assure me that we would keep trying until the sun set on our last day. And this we did. By the fourth day other hunters were starting to leave camp and go home, but Sam and I continued to hunt and more determined than ever. Sam kept telling me that the biggest bucks were on the very tops of these extremely steep mountains and so to the tops we continued to hunt.

The Third Day Is Not The Charm, The Fourth Day Is

On the afternoon of the fourth day, we were joined by another guide named Nick. His hunter said he had enough of the cold and wet and decided to go home. This gave me, “the old man,” access to great guides that were well experienced and determined to have me achieve success. The morning of the fifth day we set out once again the same way, in the truck for a short ride where we would unload the horses and make the long, cold and wet ride back to the top to the hunting location.

Today was different, we had fog. We stopped about halfway up the mountain, tied the horses up and waited for the fog to lift or move so we could see the top. We built a fire to dry our clothes and get some warmth back into our bodies again. After a couple hours the fog lifted and we started to glass from our location. It didn’t take long before we located a good shooter buck that was a good distance from us. Nick and Sam decided to leave the horses there and try and walk to a better location to try and setup for a shot at this buck.

The Wait Is Over

We walked about a mile straight up and found a location that we thought might work. It was still 500 yards away from the last known location we had seen the buck before he bedded for the day. Now the wait was on to see if he would present us a good shot before it got too late to shoot. We waited all afternoon and just before sundown he stood and started feeding. We set up my rifle and waited for him to feed to the clearing so I could make my only try at getting this beautiful deer.

The time came, I had my scope dialed to the range and I squeezed the trigger. The 300-shot mag and night force scope did the trick. My buck was hit, and went straight down hill to a large patch of pines and never came out. The rest of the deer herd he was with all ran through the same trees and left the area. It took me along time to finally get to him because of the steepness of the mountain, my age and deep snow way above our knees. By now we needed our headlamps on because it was pitch black mountain dark. But we finally located him and our celebration was on.

John Bess' Buck John Bess' Buck

Worth It All

The Buck was about 31-inches wide and a beautiful, typical four point. He didn’t score real high because he had crab claw points on his G3s on one side, but after the hunt and realizing how difficult it was and to finally get a chance on a good buck, I couldn’t have been happier. My thanks go to Sam and Nick for wanting the old guy to get his deer and never giving up.

Robb’s guide service is exceptional and I would recommend him to anyone who is willing to work hard and keep trying until you reach your goal. A big thanks to Robb, his family, camp staff and the guides that work for him – mine were AWESOME!

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