what a frieking day i have had. it all started this morning at 4 am. we headed up to the lake meredith federal lands to hunt, since today was opening day of mule deer season, and there's a great population of them up there. our plan was to hunt the backcountry, where no motor vehicles are allowed. getting tired of the 4 wheelers on the river doing donuts in front of where i am hunting. public land. we got to our spot, a secluded canyon in between two accessible canyons with roads. the short way is a little over a 2 mile hike. from the canyons with roads, it sounds like world war 3. not 30 minutes after we sit down a heavy 8 point whitetail comes down one of the three main deer trails through the rows of salt cedars. my buddy took a shot and missed, and the deer disappeared into the cedars. i laid down with my rifle across my pack and waited, as there's a bluff right behind the deer, and clear ground in front. 5 minutes later, he came sneaking out perfect broadside, but a long ways off. i took my time and shot, and he did the stiff leg drop thing, then rolled over on his back. i watched him through the scope while his legs relaxed and remained still. after some celebrating i started down the hill. when i hit the bottom i looked up to see how far my buddy was behind and a herd of 15 or so mulies blew out of the cover to my left and ran up the hill. when they slowed down 150 yards away, i picked out a fat spike to shoot. he didn't give me much of a target though. for those that don't know, spooked mulies will often stare away from you when they stop, unlike whitetails. all i saw was his head, so i shot him in the ear. we then proceeded through multiple salt cedar thickets, getting cut hands and whips in the face. i get to where the first buck was and he's gone. no blood, no nothing. i found his tracks and where he was laying, but no deer. i know for a fact there were no other people in the canyon, and there were no other animal tracks. i made bigger and bigger circles for an hour around where he was down, and nothing. the weather was getting warm so we had to go. this has never happened to me before. climbed up to the mulie and field dressed and tagged him. since he was shot in the head, the 'handles' were out of commission, and this dude had several thorns and cactus spines in his legs. mulies are notorious for this. i ended up having to carry him the 2 miles back to the vehicle. so even though his rack wasn't big, the journey out will always be memorable! i am a meat hunter anyway, and no meat damage done here. got 1 3/4 70 qt coolers full of meat right now, to process tomorrow night. do you see those 3 trails down in the valley behind me? they get traveled a lot! i love hunting this canyon. going out again at 4 in the morning to try some more. thanks for reading.