Well fellow Monster Muleyians it has been a long while since I have been on here but I wanted to report in on my success so far this year. 2011 has been good to me and I have been able to share many hunts with my son. I hope the success continues on the few hunts I have still to go.
2011 started off with my 8 year old son finishing his Hunter Safety so that he could go turkey hunting with me here in Utah. He loves to bow hunt and at age eight already has 4 whitetails with a bow out in Kansas. (2 bucks and 2 does) After many hours in a a hot blind he got a 15 yard shot and smoked this nice tom. Hunting turkeys with a bow is a tough task and I was very greatful to get him a shot.
Next we were off to Idaho for a DIY spring bear hunt. My son and I made 3 trips to Idaho to set out bear baits and to sit over them. On our second trip we discovered that all 3 of our bear baits were being hit by bears including a nice cinamon/chocolate in the picture below.
On the 3rd trip we found that this pretty cinamon bear was still frequenting the bait so we set up a double ladder stand and my son and I sat side by side and waited. This smart old bear circled our treestand for 2 hours but finally came to the bait and I took him with one well placed arrow. It was a very cool experience for me and my boy to watch this bear for so long.
My next hunt was in late August. I traveled to California to hunt blacktail deer. This hunt opened on the same day as the Utah archery hunt so it was tough for me to leave. A few years ago I decided to start trying for the Super Slam with a bow so each year I am trying to get a few new animals. This year I wanted a blacktail and a roosevelt elk. I have a good friend Jeff Watts out in Chico California and he offered to take me blacktail hunting and I couldn't pass it up. As a bonus I was also able to shoot a few wild pigs which was lots of fun.
This next hunt was one of the funnest I have ever been on. I got to hunt Deer, Elk, and antelope in the same area in Wyoming. I had 6 days monday to saturday to get it done. The only catch was that the deer and elk hunt did not start until thursday. I decided to use Mon-wed to scout and to hunt antelope. Turned out sitting water holes was unproductive for antelope this year and so I came to thursday morning without an antelope. My eight year old was with me again and the pressure was on to start putting some animals on the ground. I decided to lower my standards on antelope on thursday and I was able to take this nice goat at around noon.
After boning out our antelope meat and getting it on ice we went out for an evening deer hunt. I spotted a 185" class buck with 2 cheaters but after a failed stalk it was starting to get dark. I really wanted to get a deer on Thursday so I could hunt elk on friday and saturday. Just before dark we spotted a buck we had seen the previous evening. He was a nice buck and I decided to give him a try. I got a 42 yard shot and he went about 75 yards and crashed down in the sagebrush. Step 2 of 3 was complete.
On friday-sat morning I passed on a few smaller bulls (280-300")but no chances on anything I was interested in. Saturday evening was one of those magical elk moments that many of have experieced. I had bulls screaming everywhere. I noticed that many elk were funnelling through a meadow and past some wallows so my boy and I hustled down there and set up on the edge of the meadow. Over the next 45 minutes we past 8 bulls at 15-20 yards. My boy videoed as they bugled and raked the ground. The wind was perfect and not one elk ever knew we were there. Just at dark I saw a big bull coming down the pipe right towards us. When he got to 30 yards I took the shot. We heard the thaWackkk but with the darkness coming on it was tough to see where I hit. The bull went about 50 yards and layed down. Soon my friend came down to meet us not knowing we had shot this bull. His approach caused the bull to get up and walk off which really made me nervous. We decided to give him over night and returned in the morning. After a quick track job we found that I had double lunged the bull but took out the high part of the lungs which allowed him to live for a few minutes before expiring. He is my best bull to date scoring 351" with 50.5" main beams and unbelievable mass and palmation on the top end. Talk about a fun week for an 8 year old. I can't tell you how many times my boy said "This is Awesome!"
Last but not least was my Roosevelt elk hunt in Washington. Good Friends GW and Paul offered to help me. Paul lives in WA and GW lives in the Portland area. I flew up late on Monday night and GW picked me up and we drove into the hunt area. I had until Friday to hunt but in the first 10 minutes of light on Tuesday I was able to get 45 yards from this beautiful 3 by 3 bull. By no means is this the biggest roosevelt but I know how hard it is to kill a legal bull on a general over the counter public land hunt I did not hesitate to let an arrow go. Last year after 5 days of hunting I came home without a Roosevelt and I gained a true appreciation for the challenge these animals can be to a bow hunter especially in a general hunt area so I was very happy to get my first Roosevelt elk.
So far it has been a great season. I still have a few tags coming up and of course I am getting a late start on the Wasatch extended hunt but expect to be on the front shortly. I feel very blessed to be able to hunt different states and have such a supportive wife and family. I am also very greatful to have shared many of these hunts with my oldest boy Dallin. I hope all is well for all the Monster Muley Crew. It has been a while since I have been on here but expect to visit much more often in the months to come.
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