41 Weeks – by Jake Kobetsky

Jake's Idaho Mule Deer 3

I awoke the morning of Oct 28th to do my usual routine and head on out to work. Little did I know how much things would change by the time the sun set…

My beautiful wife, was almost 41 weeks pregnant with our 1st born son, and was having some labor signs, so we had decided to head to the doctor. Turns out they were just pre-labor symptoms so the doctor had sent us home. My wife asked me on the way home as I was staring out the window at the mountains,” What are you thinking about?” I said, “Deer hunting.” She knew the answer before she asked. She said,”I can tell. You should go; we’re not having this baby today!” I pondered it but really wasn’t to motivated to go. Besides already having a very eventful day, I wasn’t feeling any pressure to get one since our freezer was already full of elk meat from the cow I had tagged with my bow the previous month.

We got home early enough for me to get my hunting gear together and get to my favorite spot. I told my wife,”I think I’m gonna go, just to see what’s around.” A cold front had moved in and we had just received a little snow a day earlier, so I thought the chances were looking up that the bucks were going to be moving.  I arrived at my spot, and set up my spotting scope. On a quick scan, I quickly spotted a group of deer feeding on the edge of some thick timber. As I started looking a little closer, I noticed that there were a couple of smaller bucks sparring. I couldn’t really make out the size of them, but I knew they were bucks, over a mile away. So in hopes of a bigger buck being with them, I decided to try and get a little closer.

I walked slowly through the crunchy timber foliage with the wind at my side, feeling confident they would not be aware of my presence. As I closed the gap, I noticed a lot more deer than I had first seen through my spotting scope. They were all very active, playing around, sparring and just having a good ole’ time showing good signs of the pre-rut. This got me pretty excited! My heart started thumping and adrenaline started flowing. I decided to ditch my pack and really try to put the sneak on this group. I made my way through the timber’s edge on my belly, hands and knees with my Savage .300 Win Mag in hand.  As I popped my head outta the foliage every 20 yards or so, the group of deer appeared undisturbed and still had no idea of my presence. As I inched my way closer and closer, I considered every little move I made, knowing any little sound would blow my cover.

As I stalked closer, the wind completely changed direction and was now at my back. I thought to myself, “It’s over, they’re going to scent me and it’s over!” At this point I was within 100 yards of them but still didn’t have a good shot at any of the bucks. They were now moving through the thick timber but were heading in my direction. “Well…. Maybe it’s not over,” I thought. I had a nice open clearing in front of me, so I slowly made my way there. I got set up behind a downed ponderosa pine and slowly chambered a shell. I watched patiently, as the group, one-by-one come through that clearing.  It was a perfect spot.

First the does came through, then the bucks started coming. A couple fork horns, a three point and a pretty decent four point, which I thought about taking but really wasn’t the one I was looking for.  With the tag I had, and elk meat already in the freezer, I knew I had to wait for a good one; I was looking for one to put on the wall. Just when I thought the whole group had gone through the clearing, I noticed another stepped into my peripheral view. I swung my rifle back to see what he was and WOW! There he stood!  I knew he was a good one so I steadied my aim and slowly pulled the trigger. After the shot, I could hear the rest of the group scatter as they were crashing through the timber.  I looked up from my scope and couldn’t see any deer. I thought to myself, “Did I hit him!?” Worried I had missed my opportunity.

I waited as long as I could before I made my way to where he stood, hoping to get on a blood trail. As I got closer, all I could see were horns sticking up high off of the forest floor. He never took another step from where he stood when I took that shot.  When I walked up on him I couldn’t believe what lay before me! I knew he was a beautiful mule deer when I took the shot but this was much more than I expected! I thanked the Big Man above for the success, the fortunate kill, and the way he had blessed me and my growing family this year. I can’t wait to tell the story to my son, any day now!!

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