Utah Girl Kills Trophy Mule Deer Buck

McKaylie Richins has been a passionate hunter for so long as she will keep in mind—and it paid off for the 24-year outdated this fall when she tagged a main-frame 5X5 muley that grossed 226 inches at her household’s ranch in Utah. “Opening day of the Utah common deer hunt has all the time been an enormous day for the Richins household,” she tells F&S. “Usually, the boys go looking and the ladies buy groceries, however for me and my sister, looking has all the time been extra interesting. This 12 months, I used to be the one one in our household who drew a common deer tag, so my dad Jeff, my brother Quaide, my sister Bailie and her husband Brayden, in addition to their two children Birklie and Breckelle, all tagged alongside to assist me discover a buck. It was form of ironic as a result of simply the 12 months earlier than, I had been the one one who didn’t draw a tag.”

Opening day got here on October 23, 2021. It was a heat, wet morning because the Richins crew searched exhausting for a buck. “Firstly of the hunt, we have been recognizing a variety of elk, however my dad, brother, and I have been decided and stored strolling all morning,” Richins says. “At midday, simply when it appeared like we weren’t going to discover a first rate buck that day, we noticed this buck feeding within the rain. As quickly as he lifted his head, we knew he was large. When the buck trotted up the hill into some oak brush, my brother and I ran as much as the place I may get a transparent shot. It felt prefer it was meant to be. The buck walked out of the oak brush and stood at about 100 yards. My dad and brother talked me via the shot as I steadied my Savage 7mm-08 and dropped the buck with one shot.”

big mule deer buck on ground
Richins was the one member of her household who drew a common deer tag this 12 months. McKaylie Richins

When the muley went down, Richins put the rifle on protected, strapped the sling over her shoulder, and began shifting rapidly in direction of her kill. “Abruptly, I slipped and fell and knew I had undoubtedly torn one thing in my knee,” she recalled. “My dad came visiting and instructed me to not transfer, then instructed my brother to go over and ensure the buck was useless. Abruptly, my brother was whooping and hollering in pleasure.”

Richins finally made her option to the downed buck and was quickly joined by the remainder of the household. “We have been all shocked at how large he was,” she says. “After we received some pictures, my dad, brother, and brother-in-law labored on [field dressing] the deer, whereas my sister helped me get off the hill.”

The Neighboring Landowner Had a Historical past with the Huge Buck

female hunter poses with dead deer
Richins made a clear 100-yard shot on the buck. McKaylie Richins

As soon as phrase about Richins’ buck unfold, the neighboring landowner, Terry Diston, paid a go to to the Richins ranch. “Because it turned out, he knew the buck nicely. It might journey forwards and backwards between our ranches,” Richins says. “Terry additionally had three years value of sheds from him and had nicknamed him ‘The New 12 months’s Buck’ as a result of he would discover the buck’s antlers mendacity on the snow not lengthy after New 12 months’s Day annually. It was actually cool to see how the buck had modified through the years. He had undoubtedly reached his prime, as his entrance tooth have been lacking and his different tooth have been worn down. So he was an outdated buck, and I’m glad to have harvested him after I did.”

Richins had the buck scored at Summit Taxidermy Coalville, Utah. “The proprietor Stephen Woolstenhulme gave him a tough gross rating of 226 inches,” Richins says. “The buck had a 32-inch unfold, nice tine size, deep forks, and several other factors coming off the bases, in addition to a drop tine off the principle beam. He was only a big-bodied, typical buck with numerous trash. I assume I knew it was a monster buck, however by no means in one million years did I feel it might get the eye it did. A number of individuals stated it was most likely one of many greatest bucks taken in Utah this 12 months, and it’s particularly one of many greatest taken by a woman.”

Learn Subsequent: Late-Season Bowhunter Arrows 26-Point, 218-Inch Missouri Monster

And the knee harm that Richins incurred whereas dashing to see her trophy? It virtually prevented Richins, who’s a rodeo participant and was Miss Rodeo Utah 2019, from using at an enormous occasion. “I used to be scheduled to hold sponsor flags on the Nationwide Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, so I used to be in form of a time crunch,” she says. “After an MRI, I discovered I had an entire tear of my ACL and an MCL sprain. It might require surgical procedure. Nicely, I simply wore a brace whereas using the horse for the rodeo and had the surgical procedure afterward. It was undoubtedly value getting harm for a buck of a lifetime like that, and I can’t thank my household sufficient for his or her assist and sort phrases.”

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