Live Hunt! Follow Colby Mayer’s First Deer Hunt

Many of you may know Patrick Mayer, the man in charge of Public and Media Relations here at KUIU. He’s a pretty popular guy. This week Patrick has the pleasure of taking his 12-year old son Colby on his first deer hunt, an experience they have both been looking forward to for years. Not only is this Colby’s first deer hunt, but it’s also his first out-of-state hunting trip.

Please follow along as we update this post with the latest text and photo reports from Colby’s Mule Deer hunt in Utah!

Meet Colby Mayer:

Colby has done well as a Youth hunter in California, finding success on many waterfowl and turkey hunts. He also took his first two wild hogs this summer just after turning 12. Outside of hunting, Colby plays baseball and is an outstanding 7th grade student in the classroom.

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Colby (left) and hunting partner Zach Ayers on a Northern California waterfowl hunt in 2015.

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LIVE HUNT Day 1: October 21

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Colby, packed and ready to leave Davis, CA.

Patrick and Colby began their drive last night, had a short stay in Austin, Nevada, and completed their trip to the unit early this morning. Tonight they will be staying with well-known sheep guide and friend of KUIU, Randy Johnson. Randy will accompany Pat and Colby for an afternoon hunt today, and possibly a morning hunt tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, Pat and Colby will be staying on the mountain (where they have cell reception to send updates).

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Text from Patrick: “Arrived-9:20 am.  First sight of the unit. Saw corner.  On our way to Randy’s.  Be there in 15 minutes.”

Evening 1 Update:

Colby and Pat met up with Randy, and spent some time admiring his trophy room and listening to stories before hitting the mountain by ATV to get a feel for the area and set camp. After dark, it was time for dinner… Colby’s favorite hunting food is chili dogs.

Text from Patrick on the evening glassing: Saw about 25-30 does and 6 small bucks.  One buck was a 2×4 18-20 wide but real spindly and short. Some rain, but not bad.

A full day of hunting tomorrow!

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Colby and Randy Johnson. Look at that wall of bucks!

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Day 2: October 22

Text from Patrick before daylight: Real cold this morning. Inside of the tent is frozen.

Evening update, as told by Patrick: Morning hunt.  Saw about 30 does and 5 or 6 bucks.  One good buck we tried to kill.  We bumped him, a small fork and 5 does out of a patch of quakies. He was a very respectable 4×4, pushing ear width, and ok height, light colored horns and kind of spindly.  No doubt a shooter!  We saw him 1st at @ 175 yards, but he never stopped.  Walked & trotted and wanted nothing to do with us.  The group went in to a patch of trees about 350 yards away, and we lost them.  Found them again, got in close to the small fork and 3 does, but no big buck.  He gave us the slip.

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Evening: Too much of this! Saw 44 does tonight.

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Camp prep. Colby chopping wood.

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Dinner night 2.  Elk burgers, Mack & cheese, corn, crown & coke.

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Day 3: October 23

Morning Report: Cold this morning. Temp in the truck read 24.  Walked this ridge looking down into this small canyon.  Great looking area, but no deer.  Hunted lower this morning, more in the cedars.  Saw only 7 doe and no bucks. We are going to walk a high ridge tonight to see what happens.  We did see one forked horn buck on the way back to camp.

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Saw some deer working up this draw up to an open flat.  Couldn’t tell what they all were.  Got set up and waited. 5 does!

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We had a camp visit today from Jake and Tina Lundell on the left and Ben and Brittany Lundell on the right.  Tina and Brittany both have deer tags as well.  Hopefully someone is celebrating tonight!

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Evening Hunt: No buck yet, but we’re getting a good feel for the area now. Nice fire tonight. Dinner is deer Back Straps (unfortunately not from a buck killed by Colby), mashed potatoes, corn & crown and coke.

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Day 4: October 24

Update from Pat: Sorry-We’re back.  Lost or should I say misplaced phone then a dead battery meant no communication for the day.  Anyway, it all ended good!

This young buck almost took a bullet at 75 yards first thing this morning.  I talked Colby out of shooting.  He was getting kind of anxious!

Take a step back. 26 degrees this morning. Yesterday we went remote, walked and glassed a lot and saw very few animals.  The plan for today was to hunt an area were we had been seeing a good number of deer when passing in the truck or ATV. We would walk the ridge in hopes of seeing something.  We got out early before shoot time, so we waited until we could see before heading out.  Within a few minutes we saw a heard of elk, probably 50 strong with one beautiful large bull.  If I had to guess, I’d say 350, but maybe 370.  He was nice!

Anyway, proceeded and the first bunch of deer (this picture) had a couple of small bucks.  Colby was getting kind of nervous thinking we may not see any more and wanted to shoot.  It was easy talking him out of it.

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We continued and probably 20 minutes later spotted a single doe on a ridge. Decided to move around and see if we could see behind her.  Spotted a group of 4 bucks. 3 decent 2×2’s and a better 3×2.  They were probably 450+ yards.  We saw an easy way to cut the distance and began after them. Once we got close, we bumped the doe and several other deer on the ridge.  Not sure if the 4 bucks were with them, we tried to get a look, but couldn’t see.

We decided to work our way closer to where we saw the 4 bucks.  We picked them up at around 175 yards and I don’t think they knew we were there. I took a quick look and the 3×2 was in the lead walking really slowly with the 3 others not far behind.  Well, getting a 12 year old set up on sticks for a shot isn’t ever quick and certainly not quiet!  The bucks heard us and picked up the pace.  With Colby set up, I took a look and got a range (@250) and told him to shoot the first buck.

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I’m watching through the my binos as the shot goes off.  The buck jumps a little (not really a kick, but more if a jump) and keeps going.  When he shot, it was a hard quartering away shot.  I told Colby I thought he missed and he quickly put in another round and shot again as the buck ran over the hill into a timber/quakies patch.   We made note of where the shots were and took off to go and see.

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Colby, obviously dejected thinking he missed was not a lot of help when looking for sign.  The ground was frozen, so you couldn’t see tracks, and we could find no blood.  Finally, I decided to go look over the ridge.  As I walked over, I heard deer busting out about 75 yards below.  I clearly saw 4 deer going out into an open area of sage.  I quickly got Colby’s attention we ran down the hill to look.  3 of the bucks were slowly moving across the open sage towards a patch of cover.

Colby wanted to shoot, but I could not find the buck he shot at and what I assumed was the 4th buck I had seen.  I told him he couldn’t shoot.  The 3 bucks moved into the cover.  Colby and I moved to see if we could see more ground around some trees.  Nothing!  Knowing there were 4 bucks, I started glassine the area.  Finally, I spotted him bedded.  One more shot and he was done!

Colby’s 1st Buck!

1st shot went in the right ham and lodged in the 3 rib on the left.  We can’t believe he was alive after the 1st shot.  2nd shot was at just under 300 and it broke the bucks back.

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Colby had his choice of backstraps or his favorite camping meal!  What do you think he chose?

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Day 5: October 25

A worn out buck hunter headed home.

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14 thoughts on “Live Hunt! Follow Colby Mayer’s First Deer Hunt

  1. I have had really good success in using cow calls to stop bucks, especially later in the season. Worth a shot to get them broadside for a few seconds when they are moving out.

  2. Fantastic detailed report and memories that will never be forgotten. Great job Colby! I bet you have one proud papa. I can’t wait to get my little ones out of diapers and into the field!

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