Nebraska 2011 - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Nebraska 2011

For our third year in a row we were able to head to NW Nebraska again and had a blast. Nothing huge like i always hope for while i have alot of time to think on the 24 hour drive but had a blast with my dad and good friends.

Wednesday morning (Nov. 9th) instead of hanging in a tree like you feel you should be.....found us meeting 3 of our friends at 6 a.m. and beginning our drive west to meet our buddy who moved to Grand Island Nebraska a few years ago to finish his career at the New Holland plant.

After spending the night in western Iowa thursday night we finished the first part of our travels at our buddys house in Grand Island around 10 a.m. then began the long 6 hours NW to our hunting location. Upon arrival around 530 we were greeted with a road closed sign about 5 3/4 miles back the 6 mile road to where we usually camp at the trail head. So we set up camp in a field and hoped for the best since we didnt really know any other options and it was pretty much dark.

Friday morning it was up early for a day of scouting. Glassing our way back the south fork of the trail, we werent seeing much like we hoped and had in past years. But as soon as we get to the spot where i had sat the 2 previous opening days we jumped a shooter out of the crick bottom in the same spot for the 3rd year in a row. The first year was a big 10 point which is why i had chose that spot at the top of a cliff overlooking the bottom and then a giant 10 point last year. And this year a 120-130 inch 9 point. So my decision was made again to sit at this spot the next day.

The view from my opening day spot.

Saturday morning had us waking up at 245 to grab a quick breakfast and begin our 1 1/2 hour walk back in to our spots. Reaching my spot at the cliff about an hour before daylight i put some heavier clothes on and got ready as my dad continued out the trail another 45 minutes to his spot.

As there began to be a little light in the sky i could see a few deer across the bottom at about 200 yards making their way out of the bottom up into the hills to bed. Threw up the leupolds and it was just a doe and fawn. Then the sun crested the hills and was almost blinding as i could see a buck chasing a doe around in the bottom directly east of me so of course i had a tough time determining what it was due to the sun. He ended up leaving her and walking up the bottom at 150 yards and ended up being a little year and a half 3 point.

About 15 minutes later the mayhem began with deer running in the bottom and out of the hills from other hunters coming in. A few does and small bucks went by and i just caught a flash right below me. When the deer stopped behind some scrub brush he turned his head and i saw a decent 8 point side and decided he was a shooter since i had 2 tags and wasnt going to be extremely picky to fill my first tag. He then continued below me at 75 yards and it all happened so fast my scope was still on 14 power and i couldnt get on him. So i ran over 10 yards to my left waiting for him to bust out in the open field and when i look down where we cut up over to come up the side of the cliff he's standing there looking at me. Still on 14 power i shouldered my 15 lb (with bipods and scope) 300 ultra mag and had a tough time getting on him. So i tryed to calm down and take a deep breath and put it on his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. After getting my wits about me i look and see 1 kick from his leg as he's laying on his side and my first tag was filled at 745 on opening day with a respectable 8 point.

I radioed my dad and told him what happened and he came back with telling me he just had a giant muley following some doe on the other side of the bottom at 650 yards and they just went into a big ravine so he was going to try to make a stalk.

I decided to go down and take a few pics with my cell and gut and start dragging since it would be a LONG drag because they no longer allow the use of deer carts in this area. About an hour went by til i packed up and started dragging and my dad comes on the radio and says he just stalked into about 200 yards of a gut pile. Long story short when he was packing up to make the stalk he heard a shot but it was so windy he didnt know where it came from but when he got to the ravine he last seen them he kept peeking up over the side til he got to the bottom and there was the gut pile from the giant.

He then decided to end his morning and come help me drag so we could get out to get the deer checked in before dark. We also got a call on the radio from our buddies ont the other side that the 16 year old in our group had just takin his first muley (a 4x3) about the same time i shot my deer so we'd have 2 deer to take in that night.

Didnt get any pics of my whitetail in the first so here's one from both my kills and a pic of the 4x3 getting hauled out via horse back from some other friendly hunters lol

Sunday took me to the same spot and a again some small bucks and does and a lot of wind for an all day sit and not much going on for the rest of our group either.

Monday i decided id go with my dad and sit for a little in the morning and start some spot and stalking after an hour or too.

After a 2 1/2 hour walk back in it was begining to get daylight when we were close to where we wanted to sit for the morning so we started glassing right away and i picked out a decent muley following a doe across the bottom. He was at 500 yards but the wind was a little gusty to try a shot so we got over on their side to try and look down in the cuts we saw them running around in.

After losing track of them we started working out the top of the ridge peeking down into the ravines on both sides. I finally picked out another buck following a doe down into a bottom that i knew he couldnt get out of without us seeing him so we decided to make a stalk not knowing at all how big he was other than he had horns but my dads not picky at all and just likes to enjoy our time together and fill a tag.

After making the stalk we had one more place to peek into so we started up over the last knob and got to the top to take a break and catch our breath and here came the buck. My dad was out of breath and still had his gun on his shoulder. The buck never saw us until it was too late and my dad had got his gun up. After a deep breath to get steady after our long walk he settled on him and dropped him at 80 yards. We celebrated and went nuts after such a fun stalk and went up to check him out. It ended up just being a small 2x2 but you couldnt beat the feeling of doing that together. So again another long drag out through some rough terrain and we were back to the check station by 4 p.m. and getting rested up for the next day.

Dads buck

Tuesday morning it was getting harder to get up at 245 but we forced ourselves out of bed and getting ready to head back to the same spot we started monday but today we were in the single digits with wind chill.

We arrived a little before daylight and tried to stay warm as the sun came up. We were hunting together again and it was my turn to shoot and i was looking for a big whitetail or a mule deer of about any size really.

As it started to lighten up a big we saw a figure come out of the bottom heading right too us. After glassing it we saw it was a mule deer buck so i got ready as it was coming right at us behind a big lone pine tree. It came to about 100 yards and it ended up being a nice little 4x4 but i elected to pass because i knew it was just a year and a half old deer. 20 minutes later after he left we saw 2 mule deer doe heading up the crick bottom which is kind of unusual since its usually the whitetails in the bottoms and the mule deer up in the hills.

The made their way up the other side to where the other deer were chasing yesterday and i caught movement coming down the hill toward them. Threw the binos up and saw it was a buck coming hard down to them but at 600 yards i could tell exactly what he was yet getting in behind some pines on that side. The doe then got up past him and he turned to go back up and i saw he had some long tines and a bigger body so i decided no matter what he was....he was a shooter.

So i went up the hill behind me 10 yards to lay down on a little flatter surface and ready for a long shot. My dad came up and sat behind me a few yards to start getting me ranges.

The buck kept pushing the doe then the fawn and was going everywhere on the other side. Finally he came to a stop and my dad gave me the range of 555 and i settled my 500 yards crosshair on my leupold vx-3 a little high on his back. Not thinking in the heat of the momment that i shouldnt be holding quite that high i squeezed off the shot. My dad said the dirt flew just over his back.

Luckily the deer didnt realize what was going on and ran toward us a little and to our right over onto a real steep cliff/hillside. My dad gave me the range of 526 and this time i calmed down and knew to hold my 500 yard cross hair right on. I settled on the shoulder....deep breath...and squeezed the trigger. Dad again said the dirt flew behind him but not sure where so i was confused because i was very confident in the shot.

When i squeezed the deer scattered in the pines on the steep side and we kind of lost track of him. I saw a deer come down to the thick crick bottom but wasnt sure what deer was what as it spooked a whitetail doe out of the bottom as well.

So we waited it out to see what happened since no deer could get out of the pines without us seeing them. After a half hour the 4 doe he ended up with by the time i made the first shot started to make there way out of the pines and met up on the hillside but still no buck.

So we sat until the doe cleared the area and decided to go check where i saw the deer come down over. My dad circled one side and i went the other and decided to meet up when we got down there. As we both started getting closer to each other i saw my dad pull up his gun and aim towards the foot of the cliff. He put his gun down and raised his arm and said he's down. I ran over to him and a big hug was in order for my first 500+ shot. All the reloading and working with different loads and shooting had finally paid off.

We walked over and those tall tines i saw was about all he had but i couldnt have been happier either way to make that shot on a more mature deer and have my dad there with me.

They said at the check station his teeth were worn like a 3 year old. Wouldnt guess it from the antlers but 2 or 3 it didnt matter to me i was very pleased to have tagged out in Nebraska

My muley 2x2 with 12 inch tines

What a 208 grain hornady vmax will do to a heart at 526 yards

Wednesday took my dad and i back to the same spot but we got to where we sit and were getting hammered with wind and cold so knew it wouldnt be a long sit til we started spotting and stalking again.

The first hour went by with no deer and we decided it was time to start looking around. We packed up and shedded a layer of clothes and worked our way back in to some rougher and steeper cuts behind our spot. The first spot we snuck up to and kept peeking down over the opposite sides and didnt see anything. So we walked up right to the edge and my dad grabbed me and said he caught movement way down at the bottom of the steep bank where a couple fingers met at the bottom. 2 mule deer doe popped up and just stood there looking back behind them so my dad dropped to his stomach to get ready. i grabbed the range finders and waited. A few seconds later i see horns coming up behind them and there stood a 20 inch muley. I gave him the range of 250 the only problem was when he dropped down there was a fallin tree laying there so he couldnt get down the whole way to his bipods so he layed his gun on the tree and couldnt get steady. They ran up a little farther and i gave him another reading of 300 but still couldnt get steady then went up to the very top and stopped for a second and then down the other side.

Disgusted with himself with all the shoulda coulda woulda to have been able to kill that deer it was just one of those times in the heat of the momment we didnt do the right thing. tried to get on them again but no luck. Pretty slow the rest of the day i decided to head back to the truck because it was freezing out and my dad kept hunting.

I got back after a couple hours and met up with the older guy in our group and we just relaxed for the rest of the day in his conversion van til 2 of the other guys came out and said our buddy from nebraska killed one at another spot and we had to go help drag. So we drove to where he was and met him as the sun went down but luckily he was at a place we could use a deer cart and we had the deer out in about 3 hours.

3x3 shot at 340 yards with a 300 ultra and a 210 grain berger

Thursday came and the old men were hurting with blisters and worn from the week so my dad and i headed back in late to just glass our way back in. A few doe and that was it for our last day.

The other guys went on a drive through a different public land and got one of our last guys on a muley.

2x3 muley shot at 789 yards with a 300 ultra mag topped with a huskemaw scope and a 210 berger.

I forget exactly what day it was because they all run together after a long week but the 16 year old in our group also filled his second tag with a nice 8 point as well

I know it's a long post but hope you enjoyed or atleast enjoyed the pictures. It was a long week and some tough hunting. Didnt see many big ones and didnt kill any monsters but definitely made some memories with some good friends and my dad. It's nice to kill the big ones but ill take the work of the DIY hunt and some respectable deer any day with the fun we had.

The whole crew and the 7 buck killed by 5 out of the 6 guys

Philippians 4:13
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 12:19 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

congrats on a great hunt!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 12:22 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Great story and pics, congrats on a great hunt.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 01:13 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Great pics and story. Beautiful country.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 05:36 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Looks like a whole lotta fun!! Congrats on what looks like a great trip!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 07:47 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Pine Ridge area?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:23 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Congrats !


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:37 PM
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Good job. I hunted Nebraska 2 years ago in the NW part of the state in Sheridan Co. We stayed in a little town called Rushville.Our group went 4 for 4 on nice whitetails. Sure would like to go back someday.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Nebraska 2011

Thanks guys. yeah it was a blast.

Tidewater....yup, pine ridge area. You hunted it before? Surprisingly we actually saw quite a few vehicles around from PA

Philippians 4:13
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 11:22 AM
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Re: Nebraska 2011


Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday - John Wayne
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