Over the years, I have been lucky enough to mark off my bucket list a good mule deer and several bull elk. What I have learned along the way is that once I had taken my buck and bull, I was eager to see others experience what I had. Several hunts were performed with my family where our expecations were super-sized beyond our wildest hopes.
Couple of the highlights over the years.
2010 AZ LE Archery Bull Elk Michael Laney
2009 UT OTC Archery Bull Elk Gary Wilson
2007 AZ Archery Bull Elk Dion Laney
2007 AZ LE Archery Bull Elk Gary Wilson
2004 UT General OTC Archery Mule Deer Gary Wilson
Over the last few years I have come to find out that I enjoy going on others peoples hunts and watching them experience what I have in the outdoors. Family and friend hunting has been very rewarding and equally as demanding as if I were the hunter. I gained equal satisfaction as the helper or caller for my family when we experience success in the field.
After talking with a new friend who owned an outfitting business, I asked him what it would take to work with him in the industry of outfitting. Long story short, I took the Hunting guide test and I am now planning 3-4 hunts this fall were I will be the guide. To me the bonus is the money of course, but honestly, what a deal... get paid to go on my dream vacation! Hunting, are you kidding me.
I teamed up with George McQuiston of Wild Idaho Outfitters and Flying J Outfitters. His special forest permits in Utah are in the south slope of the Uintas and the Book Cliff Roadless area. In central Idaho, operating from Challis George conducts summer pack trips and fall hunts in over 150 square miles of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
So, I am set on some new adventure of guiding several hunters to elk. That would be my area of expertise. I am not the bear hunter, but would be fun to become a fast learner.
Who wouldn't want to work here?
Book Cliffs Spike Camp Drop Trip Aug 2011
Loading up the mules. They are awesome!
George McQuiston explaining the days game plan, which included me going down to the bottom on foot to gain some intel on the area I would be going to guide and then we would meet up 4 hours later at the bottom. Sounds easy, Big country, demands repect. At first, I was a bit anxious, but settled right in once I got hiking and the land sort of unfolded and I was able to cover some ground. It was hot, and dry.
Beautiful open country. Big Drop off the top down into the bottom.
Didn't take long to spot some good animals.I immediately started looking in the shaded areas, and sure enough, there they were. Bedded down for the summer heat.
Now, where exactly was the meeting spot? Bottom of the canyon was easily in the mid 80's. Felt like 90's because of the weight I was packing. It was burning hot!
I decided I still had an hour to meet up with George, so I found a natural bathtube and jumped in with my birthday suit. Let me tell you, water is the best refresher method I know. My tub was down 10 feet with banking sides all round me. So just in case a watchful eye was around... no one could see me. After 30 minute soak, I was feeling 100% better.
George and the rescue party... arriving to carry me back up the hill.
Lets head home.
Go Utes... after all this was some of their country. Right?
This area isn't for your weekend warrior horse. Very advanced and sound experienced horses and mules made a difficult walk into a pleasant ride. George pointed out the three skeletons of unconditioned horses that die every year coming into this area from inexperienced hunters or horseman pushing the livestocks ability. http://www.monsterhuntclips.com/video/1573/Flying-J-Outfitters-Book-Cliffs-2
Yehaa! Its going to be a fun season. Plenty of horses,pack mules, wall tents and Big Game.
I look forward to sharing my adventure. I will get to hunt perhaps three elk hunts or more.
So the adventure begins. I will keep my personal hunting on Season of the Son as things develop there.