Mule Deer Hunting in Silver Lake Oregon

Before the Hunt
My brother and I loaded up his GMC Yukon and were leaving Springfield as it began to get dark. This was one of the most memorable parts of our trip for me. The ride seemed to go pretty fast as we talked about everything from hunting and fishing to politics and religion.

Setting up Deer Camp
We were glad to reach Ana Reservoir RV Park, but we were a little bummed out to find out that there was no fire ring there. Camping without a fire is not quite camping if you ask me, especially when the temperature is like 28 degrees, not to mention the cold wind. But, we managed.

One thing that was kind of funny, looking back on it, was when we were just crawling into our warm sleeping bags, all of the sudden there was a loud growl and menacing BARK, right next to our tent!

My brother practically jumped on top of me, seeing how it was right next to his side of the tent. We thought it was a coyote or something because we didn't hear anybody calling their dog back to their RV or anything like that. And, to be honest with you it sounded more like a coyote than a dog. It kind of freaked us out for a while, but we got over it.

Opening Morning Hunt
The next morning as we drove into the snowy hills, we saw a couple of deer next to the road at fist light but couldn't tell what they were because of the snow and fog.

We took two good hikes on opening day. The first one was in snowy conditions up a steep hill. There was a nice view from the back side of the hill looking over the Summer Lake Valley.

Our second hike was later in the day, around 10:30 AM. We hiked up and around another pretty steep hill. It ended up taking us a bit longer than we thought it would. We made it to the top of the hill and had a great view of Silver Lake (it's dry so that's why you can't see any water in the background).

Fishing at Thompson Reservoir Oregon

After our second uneventful hike we decided to go over and try our luck fishing at Thompson Reservoir. Well, we fished for a while in a delightful little snow storm without a single bite. We did see some deer tracks right on the bank, though. So, our thoughts quickly turned back to hunting- we headed back in the general direction of camp and that's when it happened...

Mule Deer Bucks
As we looked for another place to hunt for the evening, all of the sudden my brother said there was a deer up ahead. Sure enough, it was a buck, so my brother dropped him.

Then we realized there was another buck with him, so I blasted him too, and we were done! Yeah, right!  We all know this is when the real work begins.  It did make it a little easier being close to the road.  It all took place so fast, we couldn't believe it.

Heading Home with Two Mule Deer Bucks
After we loaded our deer on top of the Yukon, we decided to just head home. So, we headed back to camp and hurriedly packed up our gear and headed home.

We had to stop and get some gas, and at about 10:45 PM we finally located a gas station that was open in LaPine.  Heading out of the gas station we were quite dismayed to see blue lights flashing in our rear view mirrors!

So, my brother pulled over to greet an Oregon State Trooper in a big Chevy truck. Not more than a minute or two later, another truck showed up- it was another State Trooper. I'm sure we looked pretty suspicious at about 11:00 PM with two deer strapped to the top of our rig, but we answered their questions and showed them our tags.  We then talked about how "good eatin' those bucks would be, 'cause they weren't really wall hangers."

Skinning Mule Deer Bucks
We made it back to my brother's house at about two in the morning. We were thankful that WalMart was open, because we needed to go and get us a couple of good strong ropes and some game bags. And so we did, and we strung them boys up and skinned them out and cleaned them up as well as we could, and called it a night... or a morning, rather.

Post Deer Hunting Rest at Last
Now let me tell you, that couch in my brother's house felt like heaven after I took a shower and laid down on it at about 4:00 AM. I was so blissfully tired after the day's activities, I couldn't even go to sleep for about 15 minutes. When sleep came, I knew nothing.

Preparing Mule Deer Meat
Sunday afternoon, I took my trophy home and hung him up in my garage. Monday, about mid day I butchered him up and wrapped the steak and took the burger meat down to the Pepper Tree here in Albany to get it ground up.

Got about 40-50 lbs of meat in my freezer now. Looking forward to Saturday. Got to fill my antlerless deer tag!

Happy Hunting! -nimrod243

Mule Deer Hunting Books for Sale


  1. WE enjoyed your tale. Also the nice pictures. These will be more wonderful memories for you both. Wish I had some of that backstrap now. Well I'll have to wait a couple of more weeks. I saw two bucks last night coming home from work and many elk. They haven't killed them all yet.
    Take care!

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