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The “Dead End Buck”

By Jim Cimaglia
10/23/13 -- From our base here at the Rim Rock Ranch Resort in Old Station, Chuck Gularte and I take turns guiding each other during the local area deer season to keep on top of our scouting and to keep our guiding skills sharp. This year it was Chuck’s turn to guide me as I put him on a nice four point last time. Both Chuck and I were disappointed that we hadn’t drawn an X zone this year but we decided we were going to make the best of our C zone hunt no matter what, so we started some serious scouting a few weeks prior to the opener. Most of our scouting efforts proved to be fruitless; hence, our jesting referral to the C zone, as the “C”ee-No-Deer zone.

The week prior to the opener we finally spotted a decent three point and just a glimpse of a fast moving buck through the trees that at the time we thought was similar to the three-pointer. We had seen one good buck come from an area near there the previous year so we decided this is where we would concentrate our efforts. For three days we hunted hard but the “C”ee-No-Deer zone was living up to its name.

The “Dead End Buck”, my outdoor buddy.com, outdoor recreation, outdoor woman, Jim Cimaglia Mule Deer,
Jim Cimaglia, shown, and Chuck Gularte of the Rim Rock Ranch Resort in Old Station take turns guiding each other to keep their skills up and to add a bit of excitement to the hunt. This year it was Gularte’s turn to guide Cimaglia. “I think he did a great job,” Cimaglia wrote in an email that accompanied this photo of his outstanding C-Zone Mule Deer Buck. Photo by Chuck Gularte.

The weather had changed a bit on the 4th day and was much cooler and threatening to snow so we decided to give the area one more try. We covered some of the same country as opening day and then decided to drive toward the clear cuts where we had seen the three-pointer and the mystery buck but by a different route so as to see some new country on the way. We almost never got to the cuts but 20 minutes or so before the end of shooting time we approached the clear cut, and the mystery buck was there with the three-point we had seen when scouting.

We called this buck the “Dead End Buck” because we were trying to get to an area where we knew Sierra Pacific had been doing some clear cuts last year and every time we took an east/west road to get us back in the general area of the cuts we hit a dead end due to recently blown down trees. This forced us to turn around and go back each time. This happened at least four times until we finally found a road that went through. By the time we got to our area and started checking a couple of cuts it was getting late so we hustled to the last cut where we had seen the three-point buck before the season. Chuck spotted the same buck we had seen before and then he noticed the ‘’Dead End Buck” about a hundred and thirty-five yards out on the edge of the cut! Needless to say he mentioned I might want to take that one…so I did.

This buck was a true trophy to me and needless to say it went to the taxidermist so fast I barely had time to appreciate this magnificent deer. I have shot a wider and taller buck but never anything so massive. To take a giant mule deer in C zone was unique, but to have a friend like Chuck guide me to a monster like this and honor “my turn” made this a special trophy. Chuck did mention later that it was now “his turn” and I only hope I can return the favor.

And oh! For the first time ever, I sure am glad I didn’t draw an X-zone tag.

Jim Cimaglia is the owner, partner and guide at the Rim Rock Ranch Resort in Old Station. In addition to guiding, Cimaglia provides regular trout fishing reports for Hat Creek, Cassel Forebay, Baum Lake, Manzanita Lake and North Battle Creek Reservoir. He can be reached at 530-335-7114. For more information about the resort, be sure to visit rimrockcabins.com.

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