Trophy Buck on the Run

| April 07, 2005

So Hicks began hauling logs. These days his most valuable skill is loading so he’s just underweight and his axles aren’t over. He uses his eye to assess different-sized lumber on ground that ranges from muddy to rock hard. His 1993 Peterbilt 377 works weekdays when it’s not raining out in timber country.

Hick’s family shares his love of hunting. His daughters, Jessica, 12, Ashley, 10 and Meagan, 9, often go with their parents on hunts and are eager to hunt on their own as soon as they can. His wife, Lori, took up the sport when Hicks bought her a Browning 270. He privately admits to buying it so he could use it, only to find Lori was a natural with it. Two of Lori’s trophies hang in the living room – a seven-point buck and a largemouth bass.

On another wall is the buck Hicks killed that cold, windy winter morning. “He was going so fast, I fired just as he got to the edge of the ridge, about 100 yards away,” he remembers. “He just crashed off out of sight. There’s a bluff there, it’s a straight drop down. I kept the scope on him but I couldn’t tell. But I found him; he was right where he fell.”

Hick’s trophy was an 11-point, typical buck that weighed 200 pounds. It made the Alabama Whitetail Deer Association’s record book with a rack score of 162 5/8th.

Hicks was so elated he let his pickup slide in the mud and snag a ditch. He had to go back to Carrollton for a ride to pick up the trophy. “I was so happy and so proud,” says Hicks. “I had to show that buck to my girls. I just had to. So on the way home I went by their school, backed the pickup up and went and tapped on the windows so they’d come see.”

Montana — top
Wyoming — bottom

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Where Montana meets Wyoming is one of America’s biggest parks, with big game hunting, upland bird and waterfowl hunting, fishing (including world-class trout), boating and canoeing, mountain biking and hiking.

And one other plus: you can drive you rig in and park it, using it as your own little vacation home. Of course you have to be bobtailing, because no working commercial vehicles are allowed in the giant 70,000-acre park.

The 70-mile long Bighorn Lake is host to walleye, trout, sauger, perch and rainbow trout. If you love fly fishing, you can find streams with brook, rainbow and brown trout, and if you love winter, there’s ice fishing on the south end of the lake.

This National Recreation Area provides views that can take your breath away and a variety of wildlife you will see inside few parks. The park was set up after the construction of the Yellowtail Dam that harnessed the waters of the Bighorn River.

Some parts of the park are open year round, some only in the summer. As with any of Truckers News destinations, we suggest you contact the park in advance. The main office number is (406) 666-2412. The park is a great buy, at $5 a day or $30 for a yearly pass.

How to get there: The north entrance to the park is at Fort Smith, MT. I-90 to Hardin, MT, then Hwy 313 40 miles south to entrance. The south entrance is near Lovell, WY. From 14A go north on Hwy 37 nine miles to entrance. Also accessible via U.S. 310 from Billings, MT, or U.S. 14A from Sheridan, WY. The north and south ends of the park are not connected by road.

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