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March 2020
Story by Brandon Tyndall
State: Colorado
Species: Deer - Mule

I grew up in Utah and have lived there my entire life. Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with hunting. It doesn’t matter what kind of hunting, I love it all. It’s just something I have to do. Big game hunting has always been my favorite, and it’s the most challenging and the one I look forward to most. I have always considered myself a die-hard mule deer hunter. It is by far my favorite animal to hunt and is something that gets inside your blood. I look forward to this more than anything else. My love of mule deer has brought me to a lot of destinations over the years in chasing these incredible animals.

Each year, I look forward to spending time in the outdoors chasing my favorite animal. I have been lucky to share this love and passion of hunting mule deer with some close friends, and it has opened doors to meet some incredible people and the great outdoors.

I look forward each year to hunting mule deer in Colorado. The 2018 season had been difficult
due to the lack of water. Hunting conditions were great, but the antler growth had been hurt and it was tough finding the caliber of deer that I was looking for. The winter going into the 2019 season was looking awesome. There was storm after storm. We received a lot of water in the mountains and higher elevations, and conditions were favorable for the deer. I couldn’t wait for the scouting season to start and actually see if it was going to be the year we were hoping for. As we reached halfway through the growing period, we could tell it was already much better than the prior season. The more we scouted, the more we felt this could be a very special season and it had some high potential of finding an awesome buck.

Opening day in Colorado is something I always look forward to. Whether I am helping my friends hunt or I am the one with the tag in my pocket, it is a place that can hold giant mule deer. You never know what you are going to find around any corner. For the 2019 season, I had been lucky to get a tag and I had some amazing friends who volunteered to help me fulfill my dream of shooting a giant mule deer. We showed up in plenty of time to do some more scouting before opening day.

On the first day of the 2019 season, I had a lot of anticipation going into this hunt. I already knew there were some caliber bucks in the area from the earlier scouting trips, but finding them wouldn’t be easy. Opening morning came, and we spent a lot of time behind the glass trying to cover as much area as possible. It was a cool morning, but weather forecasts weren’t ideal for hunting mule deer for the first couple days of the hunt. We had warmer conditions than we would like, and we were also dealing with a full moon. A majority of the snow from the past storms had already melted off. The rut was also a little late this year. It was almost the opposite of the last season where the conditions were awesome but the antler growth was horrible.

We saw quite a few deer, but they were all bedding down early. It looked like most of the deer were still up high in the pines and most were feeding at night and bedding down earlier than we would like. Even though the conditions were tough, we persisted. We spent a lot of time behind the glass trying to cover the area where we thought there would be potential to find a shooter. The first couple days were going to be tough with the weather, but we were hoping for a storm that they were predicting might actually hit. During the first couple days, we covered the area high and low, through the cedars and even high into the pines. We found one buck we wanted to go after, but he was on a place where we couldn’t go after him. We knew we needed something to change with the weather.

We continued to watch the weather, and luckily, just like it was predicted, we woke up to a big storm that had hit through the night. It took a few hours for the storm to slow down and for the clouds to clear enough to glass. It had to have been the best glassing day of the entire year. Everything stuck out against this blanket of fresh powder. In many areas, we had over a foot of snow. We got to work and started to glass as much country as we could cover. As we were glassing, one of my good buddies turned to me and said, “You will never guess who I just found.” He had spotted Beamer, which was a really cool deer that we had watched a lot during last season but had passed on since we really wanted to see what he would turn out like one year older.

We spent some time glassing him and realized we needed to get a closer look at him. We quickly gathered everything together and moved to a closer vantage point where we could truly see what Beamer looked like. The moment we laid eyes on him, we knew we were going to try and make a move on him. He had definitely grown, but what was so cool about Beamer was the character and swooping beams he was known for and his eyeguards were almost six inches long. He was such a neat buck and one we couldn’t pass on. He was following a small herd of does and was going in and around the cedars. The rut had kicked in, and the conditions were finally amazing. We quickly set up the gun, and when Beamer presented a shot, I was able to get a good 350-yard shot. We saw him go down not more than 15 yards from where he stood. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I was in awe of this whole experience.

We quickly made our way over to him so that I could finally lay my hands on him. I was so excited to see this buck up close. As I walked up to him, his beams and eyeguards just kept growing. What an amazing buck! I was so lucky to say that he was mine. I could not express the gratitude I had for my close friends for all the help they gave me in getting him. There is just something special about being with close friends and family who share the same passion for chasing giant mule deer. It honestly doesn’t get any better. I cannot wait to see what the 2020 season has in store.