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Wasatch Muzzy Hunt 2015 ( Follow up to Machados 8x7 post)

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11:41 PM (MST)
"Wasatch Muzzy Hunt 2015 ( Follow up to Machados 8x7 post)"

This has been a long time coming and I finally got it together I hope you enjoy it. It goes right along with the post my brother made. If you haven't read it, it's a great read!

2 Brothers, 1 Hunt, 2 Bulls’ of a Lifetime

For as long as I can remember hiking around the hills with family and friends has been a passion. I can't recall every hunt but many are rooted in my memory. From my first pheasant, to my first mule deer. Hunting is as they say "in my nature." Each year the suspense of waiting for the draw results grows greater. When my brother approached me with the prospect of putting in for the Wasatch Mountains Unit I was not very interested. I was unsure having never hunted on the Wasatch. Eventually he persuaded me with pictures of big bulls and the large chance of me drawing. He with 7 points and I with 10 put in separately for the Muzzle-loader hunt. I eagerly awaited the results time sluggishly passed by. Discouragement began to set in; I kept thinking that this just was not my year.

However much to my surprise on my birthday I received a hit on my credit card! I hastily called my brother, and then my father to tell them the news, I was stoked! I had never drawn out for anything limited entry in my life. Adding to the excitement my brother found out that he had drawn as well! The summer felt like an eternity as I waited for the end of fire season to come a close so that I could head up to the unit and put in some time scouting. Our scouting yielded some big bulls, which caused my excitement to rise.

Opening day could not come soon enough, I was already sick of sitting in class as my mind kept drifting to the bulls waiting to be chased. Little did I know the unforgettable adventures lay ahead of us! Finally, the day came to head up to the mountains and set up our Elk camp. We had a few days before the hunt to scout out where we would be on opening day. Luck was definitely on our side as the rut had come into full swing. The next few days yielded even more big bulls. The night before opening day, we made plans to head to separate places to cover as much ground as possible. I was going after a beautiful 6x7. My brother was headed to after a 5x5 bull that was an absolute monster.
Excitement coursed through my veins as plans were finalized and a lifelong dream was about to become a reality.

We awoke to a bitter cold morning, frost lay like a frigid blanket across the four-wheelers and the horses. My Dad Uncle and I headed up the trail to the box canyon where the 6x7 had been the previous night. The plan was to have my dad and uncle sit up on the ridge as spotters while mark and I made our descended into the canyon. As daylight came upon us the whole canyon was silent, I figured it was only a matter of time. As the sun rose we saw some movement from across the canyon, my heart began to beat rapidly. Swiftly we put the spotting scope up and glassed, not only one but also two large black bears feeding. The bears had blown out any elk that were in the canyon.

Knowing there weren’t any elk we had to make a new plan. My brother had talked to the resident sheepherder next to our camp about where the elk were. Mark and I decided to head up a ridge where the sheepherder had seen some big bulls. Mark let go of a few cow calls as we hit the top of the ridge, six or seven different bulls began to sound off. Silently we worked our way toward five or six different bugles. Mark let out a few soft cow calls and immediately it seemed as though the forest erupted with multiple bugles. Quickly we moved towards what sounded like the most mature bugle. Working down a worn game trail, we approached a small clearing, set up the tripod, and got ready for the elk to come through.

Seconds later, as the entire herd burst into the clearing, I pulled the hammer back and waited for the herd bull to cross. As he began to cross the opening, I looked if he was a shooter bull or not. My heart and mind began to race deciding whether to take a shot but as I thought about sending one into his wheelhouse, the bull mixed in with the cows and was gone into the trees. Mark and I regrouped and went after another bugle. We set up another small clearing with Mark back in the trees behind me and I was hidden by a large Aspen tree. Mark managed to coax a bull to within 25 yards; I slowly dropped the hammer back. Waiting patiently for him, I could smell the scent of a bull heavy in the rut. Patiently I waited for him to clear from a group of trees. Suddenly I noticed something moving even closer to us. It was then that a cow and calf busted us.
The next few days of hunting were filled with ups and downs. We were close so many times almost sealing the deal. The biggest down came when my dad received a call that his father was not going to make it much longer. We then headed back to the trucks and loaded up to head down to my grandpa’s house. We said our goodbyes to a great man, who I will be forever grateful for instilling a love for the outdoors in my father. My dad stayed back with his siblings and told us to head back up to camp. The next morning, we saddled up the horses and headed back into a spot we hadn't hunted since the opening day.

As we met up with my brother who had been hiking in he said he had received a call from my dad that our grandpa had passed away. We discussed whether we should head back down the mountain and call it a day and regroup after everything was figured out. However, we all felt that our grandfather would want us to hunt and make memories as a family. Almost instantly, after we decided to continue the bulls began to scream. Jordan and I decided to drop off the trail towards a bugle. After about 500 yards, we separated and he stayed behind with the cow call. As I descended deeper into the canyon, I worked my way around a group of trees to see a bull come up into the clearing. He had his head kicked back sniffing the cool mountain air for the scent of a hot cow. My heart began to race and it felt as if time had slowed down completely. I pulled the hammer back and had to free hand the shot. Gently I squeezed the trigger and as the smoke cleared, I saw the bull run away.

While we searched for any sign of blood, Daren came over the radio “get your butts up here there two BIG BULLS working some cows.” I felt like I should search for just a little longer, so my brother took off back up the canyon to the trail. After a few more minutes of searching, I decided it had been a clean miss and began my way back up the steep oak filled canyon side. As I hit the trail, I knew that if I was going to have chance at either of those two bulls, I would have to boogie to catch up.

Quickly I made my way to my brother in law Josh and my cousin Daren. I could see the two monster bulls going across a ridge. Then I spotted my brother and took off once more so that I could catch up with him. As I came around the ridge where I had last seen my brother, I heard a “boom” resonate from the barrel of his muzzle-loader. Cresting the ridge, I ran into my brother who was whooping and hollering! He told me what had happened and so we waited to make sure the bull had passed. Working our way through the oak, we came up on the bull down! What a moment it was something I will never forget. So much hard work and effort had gone into this hunt. As my brother and I took photos and videos to record the moment, I could not help but be filled with gratitude knowing that in some way my grandfather was there with us. Phone calls were made and then the work began getting him off the hill. Unfortunately, I had to return to school. Thursday was my grandfather’s funeral, after which we headed to camp and went out in search of a bull. That night was quiet and yielded no bulls and very few bugles.

Friday was the last day of the hunt, the 9th inning with two outs (needless to say I didn’t sleep much that night). The rain came down in what felt like a torrential downpour. Which also delayed Darin, Brandon, and Big B from coming up the road with the horses. Luckily the rain subsided and we were able to get the horses saddled and on the trail. As we made it to the pass, the icy air was filled with bugles. All I wanted that day was to have once chance to take a bull. As we made it around to our lookout point, we spotted a herd of 10 or 15 small bulls. We were all excited at the prospect of chasing bugles all day. Fog rolled in so densely that you couldn’t see 25 yards in any direction.

Finally, the fog dissipated and Jordan and I made our way down the ridge towards the bugle we thought was the other monster with his bull the week previous. As we came across the edge of the ridge 200 yards, away cows began to funnel across an opening. I thought, “here is my chance.” The bull was wise and stayed in the aspen and oak all the way to the bottom and out of the canyon. We decided to work towards some other bugles and called in a few small bulls. The rain set back in and came down in sheets, soaked to the bone we found a tree to hunker underneath. As we sat underneath the tree, we made plans for when the rain cleared. We discussed life, the events of the hunt, and our Grandpa Mecham.
After waiting for an hour and a half in the freezing rain my dad called on the radio, “hey I can bring down the horses and pick you guys up,” as we both thought about it we knew that we were going to give it everything we possibly could have.

Not long after the rain cleared and we made our way to the bottom of the canyon and up the other side. We worked our way around the ridge and down into a long canyon. Almost immediately, as we entered the canyon seven different bulls began to let loose. We followed the bugles as they moved down canyon, as we made our way through a horseshoe-like meadow I saw a bull bedded down. We put the binoculars on him and instantly knew he was a shooter bull with tons of mass! Slowly we army crawled across the meadow through the wet grass to a tall patch of oak.

As we reached the patch of oak we ranged the bull once more, he was 205 yards away. My heart began to race and my mind was focused completely on his every move. Slowly we made our way into 180 yards. He bugled once more as I got a dead rest on my pack, time seemed to drag on and the stubborn old bull wasn’t going to budge. Seconds seemed like hours as I waited, ready for an opportunity to harvest a big bull. Finally the bull began to stand I put the cross-hairs right behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger of my CVA Accura V2. The smoked cleared and the bull staggered but did not go down. I quickly reloaded and let another round loose to his wheelhouse. After the smoke cleared from my second shot, the bull went down. Or so I thought...

After being down for 15 minutes he stood up and took off into the trees. My heart sank and I felt sick until I heard a loud crash in the trees and I knew he was down. I worked my way over to where he first stood I couldn’t find any blood. All I could smell was the unmistakable scent of a bull elk in the rut. I followed the pungent scent until I found him piled up in the aspen trees! I started to whoop and holler! My brother ran over and we took come pictures and celebrated. The rest is history as they say. It was the greatest hunt that I have ever had an opportunity to be a part of. Many thanks go out to my Dad, Darin, Jordan, Josh, Mark, and Nate. See you on the other side Grandpa Fred!

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Wasatch Mu...  Wapitiwilly      Sep-24-16   1 
 RE: Wasatch Mu...  DidIDraw      Sep-26-16   2 
  RE: Wasatch Mu...  Camper_A1      Sep-26-16   3 

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(630 posts)
Click to EMail Wapitiwilly Click to send private message to Wapitiwilly Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
07:43 AM (MST)
1. "RE: Wasatch Muzzy Hunt 2015 ( Follow up to Machados 8x7 post)"

Great story and a couple of smoker Bulls.
That should get a few people fired up for next weeks opener! Can't wait to get to Wyo next week myself.

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(391 posts)
Click to EMail DidIDraw Click to send private message to DidIDraw Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
09:22 AM (MST)
2. "RE: Wasatch Muzzy Hunt 2015 ( Follow up to Machados 8x7 post)"

Great looking bull. Love the mass. Congratulations.

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(654 posts)
Click to EMail Camper_A1 Click to send private message to Camper_A1 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
10:20 AM (MST)
3. "RE: Wasatch Muzzy Hunt 2015 ( Follow up to Machados 8x7 post)"

Great story I really enjoyed it. It's great to make those memories and I'm sure your grandpa was helping with the hunt. Congratulations on some great Bulls!

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