Wyoming Hunter Bags Massive Once-in-a-Lifetime Mule Deer Buck

by Shelby Scott
 (Photo by Wild Horizons/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Hunting season’s in full swing across many regions in the U.S. But, in Wyoming, one lucky hunter bagged a massive non-typical once-in-a-lifetime mule deer buck. And, after a difficult stalk, the experience promises to give way to some incredible hunting tales. Photos of the massive buck can be seen below.

According to Field & Stream, the mule deer was taken by Bo Gardner. Thomas Baker, who aided Gardner in his hunt for the buck, said the animal was probably about 10 years old. The buck is also unique because his antlers still appear to be in full velvet, boasting two drop tines.

Wyoming Hunters Reflect on Difficult Though Equally Memorable Hunt

Gardner’s mule deer isn’t the only stunning creature taken so far this season. However, the hunt for the buck itself is also once-in-a-lifetime. Recalling discovering the mule deer, which he nicknamed Zuez, Baker said, “When me and my son first found the buck in July, I forgot about everything else and lived with this deer.” Per a later account, Gardner would soon do the same.

Taking to the Wyoming backcountry, Baker and Gardner spent weeks tracking the animal. Of Gardner’s determination to pursue the buck, he added, “Bo took it to another level. I am committed, but Bo went far beyond that. We hunted him for 14 days every day.”

Given the buck’s age, it makes sense the Wyoming hunters had a difficult time nailing the mule deer. Baker further shared, “I told Bo we had to hunt extremely smart and wait for Zuez to make a mistake.”

Nevertheless, Gardner was fully committed to the project. He actually began the hunt, aiming to take down the mule deer with a bow before the opening day of rifle enabled him to pursue the beast with a firearm.

Man Forced to Call for Help Due to Heat Exhaustion After Taking 11-Point Mule Deer

Bo Gardner and Thomas Baker certainly have a unique and fascinating hunting tale to tell their family and friends, however, so does Saskatchewan hunter Paul Martens.

Martens bagged an impressive 11-point mule deer buck during the 2022 season, however, soon after taking the animal’s life, the man was also downed. After two missed opportunities, Martens said he put the [bow’s] pin on the deer’s heart “and fired right in.”

It was a clean shot, however, the buck managed to run a long 100 yards before finally dropping. Given the challenges of the morning’s hunt, Martens had not had a sip of water since 7 a.m. and still had to trek back to where he’d left his pack after scouring the field he’d been hunting for the deer.

“By the time I got to the buck,” Martens recalled, “my mouth was so dry, and I had a bit of heat [exhaustion]…I tried calling some friends for help, but everyone was either at the rodeo or working or away, so my wife saved the day.”

Despite potential heat exhaustion, Martens said the hunt for the mule deer was a memorable one, with him and his wife sharing “quality bonding time.”