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San Juan archery deer

 
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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Jul-23-17, 
04:47 PM (MST)
"San Juan archery deer"

So after 13 years I drew the tag & am headed down to elk ridge after a big ol buck. I know these days that unit is more known for giant bulls but there's still a few monster bucks down there. I'm headed down this next weekend to do some scouting & the weekend before opener. Anyone that has been there recently, how is the unit looking in general? How is access? Has there been abundant moisture? I'm planning on going in through south cottonwood & focusing on the area around horse mountain, north long point, poison canyon, round mountain, & the head of south cottonwood. In years past I've ran into some nice bucks around those areas during archery season. Am I leaving any areas out?.....are there any other spots that I could turn up a nice buck? Thanks for any insight. I can also be an extra set of eyes for anyone with an elk tag down there.....we could exchange info on any good bucks for info on any big bulls....win win for all!!

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: San Juan a...  iluvrax      Aug-16-17   1 
  RE: San Juan a...  Gator      Aug-25-17   2 
   RE: San Juan a...  bugleb      Aug-26-17   3 
    RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-26-17   4 
     RE: San Juan a...  bugleb      Aug-26-17   5 
      RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-26-17   6 
       RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-26-17   7 
        RE: San Juan a...  PleaseDear      Aug-27-17   8 
         RE: San Juan a...  BIGJOHNT      Aug-27-17   9 
          RE: San Juan a...  treedagain      Aug-27-17   10 
           RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-27-17   11 
            RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-27-17   12 
     RE: San Juan a...  tex270      Sep-28-17   19 
 RE: San Juan a...  rmanwill      Aug-27-17   13 
  RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-27-17   14 
   RE: San Juan a...  rmanwill      Aug-27-17   15 
    RE: San Juan a...  snoodafruff      Aug-27-17   16 
     RE: San Juan a...  BrianID      Aug-27-17   17 
      RE: San Juan a...  BradA      Sep-26-17   18 

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iluvrax
(13 posts)
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Aug-16-17, 
11:15 PM (MST)
1. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Sounds like you've covered all the "sweet" spots!!!
I haven't been there this year...
But I'm years past, I'm particular to the round mountain area!
I know it's a little lower for that time of year, but Dry Mesa is another area to check out (overlooked)...
Not sure about access issues, but would appreciate any info after your hunt!
I drew the late San Juan bull tag, and would be grateful for any info while your there.
Thanks, and good luck!!!

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Gator
(15110 posts)
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Aug-25-17, 
10:29 AM (MST)
2. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Dark Canyon is a spot you should spend some time glassing in.

"I have found if you go the extra mile it's Never crowded".
>Life member of
>the MM green signature club.


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bugleb
(112 posts)
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Aug-26-17, 
11:37 AM (MST)
3. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Good luck. By now, you have been there and done that so I'm a little late.

I have spent over 100 days deer hunting and scouting that unit over the years. 90% of the time has been on the south portion near Bears Ears, but we have spent some time hunting North Long Point, Gooseberry, and Horse Mtn. My friend spent a week there just before the bow hunt and only saw 4 good bucks. One of them near the main road at Deadman Point.

Places where we used to see good numbers of bucks are vacant this year. South Long Point used to be good, I saw 17 bucks under one big oak tree there once, but the last two years he hasn't seen any bucks there. The area we used to call "doe city" because of the dozens of does and fawns there is practically void of deer now. The number of elk continues to increase, but the number of bucks and even does has been way down for the past few years, and some people are talking about shutting down the deer hunt for 5 years again. Since the few deer hunters are such a minor part of the equation, that wouldn't help much.

My friend said that there are about 20 roads that we used to drive on that have been closed down in the past 2 years. Thank Obama for that, if you like closed roads.

The thirty point buck at the beginning of Roadless Hunter's 2017 hunt adventure challenge is from San Juan Elk Ridge two years ago. It was in an area that used to have lots of bucks, but they are scarce there now.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-26-17, 
05:51 PM (MST)
4. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Hey guys I wanted to give an update on my San Juan hunt. It was AWESOME!! In my scouting trips down there I found the north end of the unit held more quality bucks (just my experience) so that's where I focused my time. I hunted from north long point to big notch....& everywhere in between. On Wednesday I was able to catch up to an absolutely gorgeous buck and take him. After my number 1 hit list buck had been taken by another hunter opening morning who just beat me to him (huge congrats to him on an absolute giant....hopefully he posts him up on here) I was happy for the guy who got him, but feeling down on myself for missing out on the opportunity to get a crack at him. Then after 2 close calls on my number 2 hit list buck, he was hit and ultimately lost by another hunter. Luckily I had a handful of shooter bucks to go after because my hitlist was dwindling fast. Honestly I was beginning to feel a little down & that I was always a step behind....that the stars just weren't aligning for me. Luckily on Monday I found some new faces to go after. I must have just lucked into the buck I ended up getting because I had never seen him on my scouting trips.

Anyway the stars eventually did align for me on Wednesday evening and I was lucky enough to catch up to a fantastic , clean 4 point. After trailing him as he fed straight away from me offering no clean shot, I began to angle to the side of him trying to keep up with his pace. When he would walk I would walk. When he would stop I would freeze. This continued for half an hour but by now I was positioning myself for a quartering shot. I was no longer looking at his white butt walking away.👍🏼.....game on!! I determined a good, clear shooting lane he was heading towards so I stopped and got the range....42 yards. Luckily he stayed on his path, vitals now exposed. He entered the lane & I drew. When he stopped I turned the arrow loose. My hunt all culminated in that split second as that arrow traveled 42 yards, hitting its mark, blowing right through the unsuspecting buck. I instantly saw my arrow exit as he reacted to the impact. He jumped and ran away. Just as he was going out of sight I saw him turn.....or so I thought. Turns out that's when/where he tipped over dead. The death run was quick....70-80 yards. I quickly went to the "scene of the crime" to find my arrow. Upon finding my arrow I was relieved to see that it was soaked from tip to nock in dark red, bubbly blood. The shot was a hard quartering and as I replayed how it all went down in my mind, remembering the arrow impact I was concerned of a high & back impact. Inspection of my arrow and my minds replay led me to believe it was a lethal liver & lung shot.

Anxious to begin tracking it was hard to patiently wait there. I had always been taught to wait at least 30 minutes. Light was starting to fade & after what I felt was an eternity, I began to follow. The trauma was almost instant. The blood trail was pretty defined so I followed suit. Slowly I crept along trying not to disturb the ground he had passed over. Slowly I went, taking my time, thoroughly examining the blood red spotted ground. Only after 30-40 yards of tracking I just so happened to look up and saw his left antler towering above the bushes a mere 40 yards ahead.

At that moment, I knew my stars had finally aligned and that he was mine. I felt/feel so blessed and fortunate for that fateful evening of August 23rd, 2017....for that will forever be one my most cherished hunting memories of my life. I pay tribute to my most worthy opponent.....I honor him in his life and all his wonder, glory, majesty, & splendor. I hope every time I look at him (post taxidermy of course) I hope I can relive that evening. SUCH AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE!! As all of you, I live for this.👍🏼 Thanks for taking the time to read over this long-winded post....and I wish you all a safe and successful hunting season!! Make memories out there......out


shortly after following the blood trail I looked up 40 yards ahead & saw this


As hey lay when I walked up to him

That g-4 is just under 14 inches


19 inch g-2



Taped him out at 196 1/8" gross, 193 5/8" net.....buck of a lifetime👍🏼


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bugleb
(112 posts)
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Aug-26-17, 
08:19 PM (MST)
5. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Nice buck. Tall and pretty narrow. A lot of that gene in San Juan. From the pictures, it looks like you got him just off the main road by Deadman Point.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-26-17, 
10:39 PM (MST)
6. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

25" outside spread, 21" tall.....proof that it doesn't have to be 30" wide to score well.

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snoodafruff
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Aug-26-17, 
10:42 PM (MST)
7. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Good guess on the location...except that is where we were camped. The daytime photos were taken at camp the next morning.😉 That's not where he was killed.

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PleaseDear
(8046 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
05:01 AM (MST)
8. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

very nice!

congrats

Robb

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BIGJOHNT
(3350 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
08:17 AM (MST)
9. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Great buck congrats !

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treedagain
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Aug-27-17, 
08:35 AM (MST)
10. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

LAST EDITED ON Aug-27-17 AT 08:37 AM (MST)

Nice buck....but if the day time pics are the next day they dont look like he has been moved or gutted.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
09:25 AM (MST)
11. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

He had been moved...I just tried to position him the same for pictures. He was gutted the night he was killed right after we took pictures.

This was at camp right after we took some daytime pictures. He had already been gutted. Then we skinned/caped him, & put him into game bags. The timing was great because it got nice and cool that night & we were up plenty early for pictures. He was resting nicely in the game bags before the sun was even up and the flies were out.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
09:43 AM (MST)
12. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

LAST EDITED ON Aug-27-17 AT 09:47 AM (MST)

Funny and also cool side note.....the last 4-5 deer I have harvested were quartered on the mountain right after the kill. This was the first deer I've gutted in a LONG time. Because I wanted some daytime pictures and yet he needed to be taken care of immediately after the kill, my very rusty gutting ability came to light. Luckily no pictures were taken of that hack job!!....but eventually and still with 10 fingers & thumbs I managed to get him taken care of.

Now for the cool part. In the picture of me notching the tag, I was using my Grandfathers knife who has been gone for 11 years. He was my hero. He taught me, by example, how to be a man...how to work hard...how to treat the women in my life...how to be a devoted father...how to be a good person, neighbor, & contributing member of a community....and how to put faith in god at the forefront. He was an amazing man. To this day I still miss him dearly. I would like to think he was with me and my father that night (3 generations together) sharing, in spirit, my success. I love you grandpa


That knife has been through countless animals. He was quite the hunter of his time.

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tex270
(303 posts)
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Sep-28-17, 
11:29 AM (MST)
19. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

GREAT STORY!! I really enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures. I also enjoy your sentiments on gear handed down, from our elders and role models, who shaped us into what are now. congrats my friend, well done!

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rmanwill
(4103 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
09:57 AM (MST)
13. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Awesome buck. Love San Juan. Hunted it for deer three times and elk once. I will be there again in three weeks with my wife for her rifle elk hunt😀.Always a great time and a lot of animals to see. Deer, elk, bear, cougar and Turkey.

Thanks for sharing the story and photos.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
11:12 AM (MST)
14. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

rmanwill,

Best of luck to your wife!! I'll be looking forward to hearing about her hunt. you guys will be walking among giants down there.

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rmanwill
(4103 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
02:25 PM (MST)
15. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Thanks snoodatruff. I will let all know how it goes. This year should be a good one with moisture and great feed. Looking at hour buck the deer did well.

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snoodafruff
(47 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
04:29 PM (MST)
16. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Oh yeah it's an all you can eat salad bar down there. Abundant moisture and the mountain is in great shape. The big ol' stinky's have been holed up down in the deep, dark canyons for the first part of the bow hunt, but they're starting to come up & spend more time on the plateau on top. Those canyons are some DEEP, DARK, NASTY places!!....2000-3000 vertical feet down from the top.

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BrianID
(973 posts)
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Aug-27-17, 
06:19 PM (MST)
17. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Amazing buck. Even with a good tag, ones like that are very hard to find. Thank you for sharing the pictures and story.

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BradA
(487 posts)
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Sep-26-17, 
03:39 PM (MST)
18. "RE: San Juan archery deer"

Holy cow awesome job on a great buck

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