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width=500 I recently headed for the hills looking for some mule deer, and while I wasn’t able to find any trophy-caliber bucks, I was able to enjoy one of the best sunrise scenes I’ve seen in a long time, and I glassed some incredible country from a lofty position. It also happened to be the last day of the general rifle season in my state. By this time of the year a lot of people have either already filled their tags or thrown in the towel, but I’ve seen enough eleventh-hour miracles to know it’s not over until the fat lady sings. It wasn’t until I was hiking down from a ridgeline that I really started seeing some sign—five or six sets of fresh tracks heading straight downhill. I followed them and carefully eased over each crease on the mountainside trying not to spook what I was stalking. At one point I became so focused on the footprints, I neglected to look up, and when I did, five wide-eyed does stared back at me. Before I could even raise my binoculars to see if a buck was hanging nearby, they spun around, dashed up a neighboring hillside, and disappeared. After that little incident, was convinced the fat lady was officially singing. There’s still other seasons left (including my favorite—muzzleloader), so stay tuned.  —Ben

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