Author Topic: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck  (Read 5714 times)

Offline erdmann

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2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« on: December 02, 2010, 05:21:21 PM »
I wanted to share Jennifer’s story from 2009 after seeing all the positive quotes from “mission muzzy tag buck down.” I am not sure who started this thread, but it is nice to hear all the positive comments about our DVD and bucks killed. I thought I would start by sharing Jennifer’s story that she wrote last year. She submitted it to a magazine….not sure which one and it did not get posted. I hope you enjoy her story.

Roller Coaster Ride
Hello! My name is Jennifer, mother of 3 great daughters and wife for 12 years.  I love the outdoors and have grown to love the challenge and enjoyment of hunting with my family.  In the past 10 years I have been lucky enough to harvest 6 bucks.  My biggest to date was a nice 25” 4x4 from last season.  The best part is that I got to share it with my husband Derek and my middle child Grace.  My oldest had broken her arm 2 days before the hunt and could not join us for the hunt.  This year started a little different when my husband came home and asked me if I wanted to try a muzzleloader hunt.  I told him, “No way in Heck” was I going to shoot a smoke pole.  He talked me into shooting the Muzzloeder before I made my final decision. After some practice I thought it might be a good challenge.
I had 9 preference points and thought I had a good chance at drawing.  About a month later Derek called me on his way home from work making small talk.  I could tell something was up by the sound of his voice. He finally told me that I had drawn a deer tag (I was ecstatic). All these years of putting in and I had finally drawn a tag.  Then it hit me!  Nine years of points for a muzzleloader tag.  Now, I was thinking I had just made a big mistake.  I had a lot of mixed emotions that day.  One of them was that I wanted to inflect serious pain on my husband for talking me into a muzzleloader hunt.  When I got home that night Derek calmed me down by saying we will practice all summer.  He said, “You will be ready when it is time.” The last famous words of a great husband- Ya Right!
Summer came and went quickly.  We spent about half or our weekends in the woods getting me ready.  I became very comfortable shooting out to 150 yards.  My brother-in-law (Jason) would be coming up from Idaho for the entire hunt.  My hunt would be one of the last hunts coming out on video “Public Land Trophies the Hard Way.”  Not only was I getting nervous for the hunt, but adding a video camera made it even worse.  Every time, someone would mention my hunt I would start to get a stomachache.  
The day before my season opened my anxiety was terrible.  I made Jason and Derek take me out in the evening to shoot.  It was pouring rain and difficult to keep the powder dry, but I had to shoot to make myself feel better.  Three shots later and I was feeling good.  Our plan for the first day was to go after a nice buck Derek had filmed 2 days earlier.  The buck would score about 170”, and was 28”. He looked awesome.  After a sleepless night we were hiking in the dark.  As it got light out we were all very excited.  There is something about hunting with family and friends that makes it even more special.  That morning we didn’t find the buck, but we did see several nice bucks.  One was a tall 2X2 that Derek wouldn't let me shoot.  If I was by myself I think I would have been done on opening morning.
The weather report called for snow up high.  We decided to head to an area that could either be good or bad depending on the migration.  I would say we hit it about right with 8” of fresh snow on the ground.  We found ourselves chasing a nice 4X4 (175+), but could not get a shot.  He gave us the slip after about an hour and a half hike.  There were honestly too many buck tracks to tell exactly where he disappeared to.  I was getting cold so we decided to head back to a vantage point to meet up with the rest of the crew.  Like I said, it was nice to have family and friends with us.  If my count was right I had 8 people helping me that day.  Nine years of waiting for this tag and I wasn’t going to turn down any extra sets of eyes.  The weather was fogy and the snow started coming down hard.  We spent most of the day huddled by a fire on our foggy perch in the middle of nowhere.  Right before dark we spotted the same buck we had attempted a stock on earlier in the day.  We made another quick attempt and lost him in the dark.  
The next day looked like it was going to be pretty much the same way.  We decided to leave the fog and hunt a lower area where we hunted the first day.  This was not the best choice.  We did see a few bucks, but nothing worth going after just yet.  On the fourth day we decided to hunt a new area.  Maybe, with the snow up high they might start moving in.  Once again a lot of small bucks….I was starting to get nervous and wanted to head back to where we chased the 175” buck on the second day.  Once again the fog was terrible, so we decided to split up to cover more territory.  Derek told me of a canyon he was saving as a backup spot.  He had seen a few 150” class bucks there.  He told me that he hadn’t been to the best part of the canyon for fear of spooking any Bucks out of the area.  
A 45 minute hike and we found ourselves at a great vantage point.  We spotted 3 nice bucks below us in the canyon.  These would have been shooters on any general tag, but we decided to sit tight and keep glassing.  After about 30 minutes we reposition ourselves to get a different view.  Not even a minute went by and Derek told me he spotted a shooter.  I could tell by his voice he wasn’t pulling my leg.
Derek quickly got the spotting scope set up so I could get a good look at him.   All I could say was, “I want that buck!”  He wasn’t very wide but he was tall, great forks, and was massive.  His horns were dark chocolate color.  He was bedded down, so we marked his position with a dead tree and made our move.  We only had about one hour before dark.  Let’s just say it was a long hike and a lot of side hilling to make sure he didn’t see us.  When we could see the dead tree reality started to sink in.  This could be it.  Derek crawled up first to make sure the buck was still there.  He backed out to tell me he was bedded 68 yards in front of us.  When I crawled up to get into position the buck looked right at me and just kept chewing on a piece of grass.  I waited for Derek to confirm he was on him with the camera and I pulled the trigger.  After the smoke cleared he was gone.  Derek told me to re-load because I missed.  I asked him again (no way I could have missed that shot) if I missed and he confirmed my fears. Ten minutes later I could see him across the canyon walking away.  We decided to wait until it was dark before we hiked out not to spook him again.  While watching the video that night I could see that I shot about 4” left.
We started hiking in the dark on Day 5.  As it got lighter I was just praying the buck hadn’t left the country.  We spotted for a few hours and couldn’t find him. After changing positions Jason finally said, “I got him!”  The stalk was on, but he bedded out in the middle of a small sage flat.  The closest we could get to him was 260 yards.  We tried four different stalks and could not get close enough.  After a lot of frustration the buck stood up to feed.  He walked to the side of the canyon (Sweet -that is what we needed).  Thirty minutes later we had him broadside at 115 yards.  I waited for Derek to get me calm and Jason to give me the green light.  Boom!  The dreaded words you do not want to hear, “You missed reload.”  This time I almost lost it…. all of that practice seemed to go down the toilet.  I was so mad at myself for missing.  The Shot Felt Good.  What Was My Problem?

The buck wasn’t too spooked, so we made plans for another stalk.  We had pushed him right into a hot doe. Good news as he was pre-occupied.  We were able to get into position after about 30 minute hike, and a 200 yard crawl through the sagebrush.  This time he was 120 yards away as a waited for Derek to tell me he was clear.  Another clean miss!  This time Derek had to re-load my gun as I was so disgusted with myself.   We decided with only about 45 minutes left until dark we needed to make sure the sights were still on. After shooting I had no excuse.
During Day 6 we never saw that buck again.  My legs were tired and I was mentally drained.  We did manage to get 120 yards from a nice 27” buck, but he just didn’t have the mass and tines of the one I missed.  Good thing for us he never presented a shot.  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I could have hit him as my confidence was shot.  
Day 7 was the first morning it was really hard for me to get out of bed.  I was feeling defeated.  Derek brought me a Latte’ in bed and rubbed my feet.  We talked about my misses and how I was aiming.  In the middle of the conversation it hit me; I was covering the deer with my bead.  All year I had practiced to put the bead under my target.  That was all I needed to get me out of bed.  Today definitely felt different for some reason.  We had our good friend Rob and my father-in-law (Larry) to help push if needed.  
The morning started out great.  The buck was in his favorite spot on the mountain.  We ended up stalking into 100 yards and he spotted us.  He took off across the canyon and all we could do was sit and watch because he was in a bad spot for a stalk.  After about one hour we noticed some does spook across the canyon.  We looked through the binoculars and it was Larry.  He looked through his binos at us and moved up the mountain.  He had been watching us and the buck the entire time.  He kept walking slowly toward the buck.  About 10 minutes later Larry had pushed the 27” buck from the other day right into my buck.  And it gets better!  My buck followed the other buck straight towards us.  They ended up bedding 200 yards straight across the canyon from us.  After about 45 minutes the wide buck suddenly stood up. Larry was only 150 yards above them…then my buck stood up and they both started to come in our direction.

Jason said to get ready because things were about to happen.  Larry had just pushed both bucks straight below me.  No one had to ask me which buck I was going to shoot.  I waited for Derek to say clear.  This time the buck jumped straight into the air.  “You hit him!” Derek said.  I started shaking so bad Derek had to reload for me.  My first shot took out his front shoulder.  Derek said you are going to have to shoot him again.  We had to wait a few minutes for him to clear the sagebrush.  This time after the smoke cleared I could see him rolling down the hill.  Derek shouted you got him. He then side tackled me and Jason was screaming like a girl.  I lay there for a moment just shaking in the moment. I wanted that buck more than anything and he was finally down. Now it was my time to scream with joy.  I can honestly say this is definitely one of the highs in my life.  For someone that has never experienced the high and lows of hunting…. it brings out every emotion you have inside of you. If you like Roller Coasters, times it by ten. There is no other feeling like it in the world.  Wow, he was big!
Our friends that have been spotting with us all week showed up as we were taking pictures.  There was a huge celebration on the mountain that day. My buck scored 178” and he is the pending number 9 muzzleloader buck in Washington.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  What a great moment in my life.  

I would like to say thanks to Larry and Rob for all their hard work.  I could not have done it without you that day.  Also, thanks to my favorite brother-in-law for not giving up on me, and helping me stay positive. Thanks for joining me on my Roller Coaster Ride!

If you go to scroll down to the bottom you can see a clip of Jennifer missing. Please don't let her know that it is there. I am sure I will have to pull it when she finds out. Love you Jennifer:)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 07:11:14 PM by erdmann »

Offline elkaholic123

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 06:55:47 PM »
Excellent story and even nicer buck  :tup:

Offline beardung

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 07:02:17 PM »
You guy's love the outdoors and hunt hard for your animals and it shows with the qaulity animals you harvest.  Great buck and can't wait to see the next one.  John

Offline weimaranercrazy

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 08:17:26 PM »
haha.. I think I know who started the thread.. haha your welcome jason! good pics
wack'em and stack'em wenatchee style

Offline Pacificnwhunter

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 08:22:38 PM »
Great write up! Super buck!

Offline Remington300mag

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 08:40:34 PM »
Thanks for sharing the story on here Jason! That buck is a real dandy! Reading the story Jennifer wrote doesn't even compare to hearing her tell it! The excitement and emotion that buck brought to her is really something special! Her and Derek both really deserved the two bucks they have harvested the last couple of years! Couldn't have happened to better people!

Offline Utah

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 08:41:16 PM »
Holy shitt!!  What a stud!!!
"Thou shalt hunt where there are Trophy Muledeer or forever be plagued by mediocrity".

Offline wheezer

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 09:25:45 PM »
Great story and a well deserved beautiful buck!!! :tup:

Offline huntnphool

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 09:41:11 PM »
Adjusted her image a bit, one hell of a buck. :clap:
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 09:52:17 PM by huntnphool »


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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 09:55:51 PM »
How is it that that a woman can climb up and down mountains, kill deer, and still look fresh as a daisy, and all of us guys look like we have run a marathon then got hit by a truck?  Great story and one of my favorite bucks I have seen in the past couple of years.  Congratulations.

Offline Hoyts n Mulies

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 10:21:56 PM »
tlbradford, I think you nailed part of it but if you had a buck like that on the ground you wouldn't think about taking your hat off and fixing your hair up a little to look pretty.

You'd have to pry my dead hands off a buck like that!

Offline M_ray

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 10:43:08 PM »
Thanks for shareing this story this is one very special buck I just love him, he is awesome!!! Tell Jennifer congrats for us on a great trophy and a well written story. It's nice to look at the web site and see the hard work pay off for you guys  :clap: You guys do really good work as well as harvesting some great critters!  :tup:
Life's tough!!! It's even tougher if your stupid!!! ... John Wayne


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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 10:59:46 PM »
Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing the story.

Offline Ironhead

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 05:14:01 AM »
Congrats to your wife on a stud of a buck and thanks for the story.
"Never argue with an idiot......they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

Offline 509er

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Re: 2009 Washington #9 Smoke Pole Buck
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 05:17:01 AM »


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