Editor’s Note: Brian Mosley from Bloomfield/Farmington, New Mexico, in the northwestern corner of New Mexico, says, “What I like about where I live is I’m 55 miles from Colorado, 1-1/2 to 2 hours from Utah and a 1 hour, 15 minute drive from Arizona. I can drive to any one of these states, hunt elk and drive home after the hunt. Plus, if I take an elk, I can get it back home quickly. Another advantage about where I live in New Mexico is in Colorado that has some of the most elk in the western states, I can buy an over-the-counter elk tag.” Mosley has been hunting elk for 17 years and has taken 15 elk – 98% of those with his bow. Mosley’s an avid elk hunter but also enjoys being a football and track coach, as well as a strength-and-conditioning coach for students at the junior high and Bloomfield Senior High schools. For Mosley, the challenge of the mountains and hunting elk in high terrain is just another day’s workout, and he enjoys wearing Mossy Oak’s Country and Brush patterns www.mossyoak.com.
I also hunt deer, elk, hogs, buffalos and exotic animals in Texas. But I took my best mule deer buck this past season in Colorado. I climbed 2 miles into an area that I wanted to hunt. A lot people were hunting where I generally hunted for mule deer in Colorado. I wanted to get away from all these people. To do that, I knew that I had to hike farther and climb higher. Over the years, I’ve learned that once hunters start hunting a section of land that I want to hunt, they force big mule deer up into the high country. Once I reached this area, I knew that if I’d wash up, change clothes and hunt even higher, my chances of finding a good mule deer drastically would increase.
While I was taking somewhat of a bath, I looked up and saw a gigantic 4×5 mule deer. I estimated the inside spread of his main beams to be about 31 inches. A smaller buck was standing in front of the big deer. This mule deer was also a 4×5, and I guestimated the inside spread of his main beams to be about 24 inches. I dressed in my hunting clothes quickly. Just as I got ready to go after the smaller buck, I ranged him at about 75 yards away from me. So, I sneaked around to the back side of the mountain, and I was able to stalk to within 45 yards of him. I aimed right behind his shoulder, and the arrow hit right where I was aiming. The broadhead went in behind the mule deer’s shoulder and blasted out. That buck dropped right there on the spot. That’s the first time I’d ever shot a mule deer buck with my bow, and the buck fell in the same tracks where he was standing. He was a respectable buck that scored 161, and he was my best mule deer to date. I shot him at 9:00 am, and I skinned and caped him in 1/2-hour. I was back at my truck at 10:30 am.
I hurriedly drove back to New Mexico from Colorado, because my son, Kenyon, had a football game that night. I’d gone into the woods at 6:30 am on Saturday, and I was able to get to my son’s football game just before halftime. I didn’t have time to go home and change. So, I went to the game wearing my bloody Mossy Oak Brush camouflage. Because I’m a coach, I was standing on the sidelines. When Kenyon came out of the dressing room, he spotted me in my bloody camouflage, hugged my neck and went right into the game. He was accustomed to seeing me in bloody camo.
At least 200 spectators were at that game. The ones who knew me saw what I had on, and they all figured what I’d been doing before I came to the game. None of the spectators were surprised. They knew I was a coach, and they knew this was the only day I had left to hunt. What really surprised them was that I was on the sidelines coaching a game. From my appearance, they knew I’d had a successful day of hunting, and yet I still got back in time to help coach the last half of the football game.
I’m known as a weekend warrior, because I usually leave on Friday night after the football game to go hunting and often take Monday off, to have a 3-day hunt. People know where my house is located, and they know that I can make it to any of the other states usually before midnight after a Friday game. They weren’t really surprised when I showed up at halftime dressed in Mossy Oak and fairly bloody. They knew I usually put in for mule deer and elk tags in the surrounding states and when the seasons arrived. As long as my wife doesn’t kill me, I plan to stay on this same schedule and hunt and coach as much as I can for as long as I can.
To learn more about hunting elk by getting John E. Phillips’ Kindle, print and Audible books, go to http://amzn.to/17ENNqK. To get John and Denise Phillips’ free cookbook, “Miz Denise’s Outdoor Cooking: More than 35 Recipes for Elk and Mule Deer,” go to http://johninthewild.com/free-books.