The Colorado Banana Point Whitetail Deer with PSE’s John May
I was hunting with my guide and now good friend Darin Dickey, in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, and Hugh, my brother. While traveling there, all I could see were wheat fields and wheat field stubble no trees and no deer. Colorado always had been known for its mule deer, however, in recent years, quite a few whitetails moved in out there. When we first met the Dickeys, they had some rather large mounted white tailed deer on their walls. So, I assumed there must be some deer out there somewhere. We started driving around country roads and glassing fields, looking for horns sticking up out of the grass. We started seeing some deer, and Darin showed us some pretty good bucks. We knew bad weather was coming in, but we decided to hunt anyway. A hailstorm hit us. The skies were getting darker and darker on the first morning of the hunt. So, we went back to town and had lunch. Then Darin said, “Let’s go see if we can take a deer.” But, as bad as the weather was looking, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to hunt that afternoon. Then, I decided if Darin wanted to go, I’d mentally get myself ready to go. The afternoon started off with rain that turned into hail and then became sleet. When that hail and sleet hit my hands and ears, they were really pounding my body. The wind was howling. As we went up to some CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land that had some native grasses growing on it, we went around a little corner. Darin, who was in front of me, dropped to the ground. He’d seen a big set of horns above the grass and pointed them out to me. I said “Holy cow, that looks like a pretty good whitetail.” I told my brother, “Okay, you go stalk him.” My brother, who lived in Colorado, said, “No, you’ve driven all the way out here. You go stalk him.” I said, “Okay, I’ll go stalk that deer.”
So, Darin and I made the stalk. Well, stalk isn’t the proper word – actually we belly crawled. We occasionally would look at the antlers while crawling and could tell the deer was a 9 point. Each of the antlers looked like a banana. They were easy to spot, due to the deer staying out in the open fields all day where the sun bleaches them out since there were few trees. I crawled as close as I could. I felt the wind would hide my movements and cover the sounds I made, while I was crawling. Finally the buck saw that there was something coming toward him and stood up. I’d gotten to my knees, just before the buck stood up. Since there was so much wind and noise, I was able to draw on the buck, and he never recognized what I was. I had crawled about 150 yards on my stomach in the rain, sleet and hail. I was muddy and wet, and all those factors may have been why the buck didn’t recognize me as a human. When I drew the bow, I was 60 yards away from the buck that was facing to my left. With the crosswind, I aimed my PSE Nitro just in front of the deer’s shoulder, figuring the wind should push the arrow at that distance right into the buck’s heart. I aimed about 1 1/2 feet in front of where I wanted the arrow to hit. I could tell when the arrow hit him I’d made a good hit. The buck went over a rise. When he was out of sight, we collected our thoughts and decided we should go ahead and go after him, because in the wind and rain, the blood trail would disappear quickly. We hustled up to the little rise where I had shot the deer. Then as we peeped over the rise, we could see the buck had gone down. I’d thought he was a pretty good buck, but, I didn’t know how good he was, until we walked up to him, and I looked at his antlers. Darin wasn’t really all that impressed when we first saw the buck, because the largest number of hunters that he guided took mule deer. But Darin looked at me and said, “That looks like a pretty good buck.” I looked back at Darin and announced, “Buddy, that is a really good one.”
When we got the whitetail back to town and put him on the scales, he weighed 222 pounds field dressed. As we began to skin and quarter him, we got to thinking this buck was a really nice deer. Then we caped him out, cut the horns out of the skull, set them down and looked at them. They appeared to be even bigger. Finally we put the tape on his antlers. He had one brow tine that was 9 inches long. The rest of this rack had big, fat, banana looking points. He grossed over 174 inches as a 9 pointer. After we got him taped and measured, I couldn’t believe how big this buck was.
Tomorrow: PSE’s John May’s Yukon Moose Hunt