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Melissa’s Sandhills Mule Deer Buck

My hunt in the Sandhills of Nebraska with Deer Meadows Outfitters has been a hunt I look forward to every year. It’ a game rich environment with great company, and this year it was extra special.

I was able to bring my mom along for her first mule deer ever. We did it all spot and stalk, and I was by her side the entire time. One great aspect was the fact that we had two tags and she was going to be by my side for my hunt as well. As we spent time glassing the hillsides, we were enjoying much warmer weather than usual and just taking it all in.

Melissa’s Sandhills Mule Deer Buck

After quite some time glassing we finally spotted a big beautiful buck that I had a little history with. This was an extremely wide buck that I stalked for hours during archery season, but never was able to close the deal. Well this time we had him spotted with a couple does and watched them bed into a deep draw that looked like we could sneak up on and stalk.


After getting the wind in our favor and making a plan down below we made the big push to get within range. The tough part was as we got close to the draw of we couldn’t see down it. However, we knew they were in there. Now the real decision was to see if we could peek over the edge without busting them, or try and wait them out. Neither seemed like very good options as the deer could always leave the draw down below and we would never be able to cover both areas. So, we decided to go with a plan C that involved Scott’s mule deer call.


This call almost sounds like a soft distress call. Mule deer are extremely curious and it just happens to be soft enough that doesn’t really scare them, but peaks their interest. We got setup with Scott, myself and my mom hidden behind a yucca as well my cameraman about 15-yards behind us in another yucca. As Scott softly blew the call a doe popped her head out of the draw, but offered no shot. I figured, that it was over. She dropped back down below and the next thing I knew both does and the buck popped out of the draw on the opposite side. It was right around 100-yards and the does were right in the way of my shot. After waiting a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity, the does cleared and that big wide buck gave me a second chance. He was slightly quartering to me and I put my crosshairs right on the point of his shoulder and squeezed the trigger.


This big wide buck went right down. We immediately had a big group hug and smiles were shared all around. This was truly a team effort. We all got inside range, worked together and made a plan that resulted in another incredible Nebraska buck. But the memories are what really stand out. Having my mom right next to me was very awesome. I loved that she was watching me in action. Most importantly, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to both mom and dad for teaching me right from wrong, and instilling respect for the resource inside of me…I too love sharing this passion and respect with kids and families I am lucky enough to visit with at sport shows throughout the year.


Melissa Bachman
Melissa Bachman
With a degree in broadcast journalism, Melissa set sights on a career in the outdoors. Traveling over 300 days a year to shoot for Winchester Deadly Passion, Bachman considers this her “dream job.” With a love for children, industry trade shows and the great outdoors, she films around the world for her adrenaline-pumped series.