Colorado Mule Deer

Lucky for Ross, this was no prank. The buck he had shot was the real deal: a genuine world-class Colorado mule deer of magnificent proportions. And after plenty of cell phone pics and a few “very masculine, best-friend man hugs, ” Ross and Levi headed back down the mountain with the buck on their ATV.

Upon their arrival back at camp Ross’ fiancé, friends, and family were all in awe of the giant mule deer. But it’s the reaction that Ross got from his dad that seemed to stick with him the most.

“I had only seen that expression on his face twice before. When I graduated boot camp, and the day I came home from Iraq. I was just so excited to show the man who taught me everything about hunting my bloody hands and what I’d just killed.”

Despite not having past experience with “trophy class deer, ” Ross did eventually get his Colorado buck scored by an official Boone & Crockett measurer, and the net score came in at just over 292 inches. An incredible number, to be sure, but Ross’ favorite thing about this deer seems not to be the antlers, but rather the experience of the hunt and those with whom he shared it.

“The deer is majestic in his own sense, having not been seen before and no one finding his sheds. His history of how he made it so far in life without being noticed is amazing on its own. But having my best friend and fiancé on the hunt with me, and having Dad back at camp… It’s for those reasons that I’ll never have another hunt mean so much to me.”

As for the future, despite having a world-class deer to his name, Ross doesn’t plan on changing his way of hunting.

“The first legal thing I see, it’s going to be extremely hard to pass up, ” Ross explained, “I’m still going to be a meat hunter.”

The largest non-typical Colorado mule deer on the B&C record books measured 306 7/8 inches, and was taken in Montezuma County in 1972.

Deer of the Year

Ross' Colorado muley is eligible for OL’s Deer of the Year program. You can find his entry here. Upload a photo of your own 2014/2015 buck for a chance to win great gear from Gerber and land your deer on the cover of Outdoor Life magazine.

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