After following many of the previous 2 years HAC threads I have decided to start my own this year. At the very least it is a way for me to keep a journal of my upcoming year in the outdoors.
First off, a little about me. I just turned 31 years old and being in the mountains is my main passion besides my family. I am married with 3 little boys (my future huntin' buddies!) ages 6, 3, and 5 months. Our youngest, Jeremiah (after Jeremiah Johnson of course) was born RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the Utah general archery season which altered my hunting plans tremendously last year. He has been well worth it.
I own a small sales and marketing company here in Utah with a good friend of mine. We started it about 16 months ago and we have been steadily growing but so have costs. At this point we have a pretty good little business but lets just say I am nowhere close to being able to afford to pay for expensive guided hunts. I do however have a fairly flexible schedule and I am HOPING AND PRAYING that it will stay that way throughout this year. That will enable me to spend more time in the mountains.
My upcoming year will be based around the following hunts/draws/plans:
Applied for Utah LE Archery Book Cliffs Deer with 4 points, about a 5% chance
Applied for New Mexico 2nd season bull elk archery in 3 top shelf units, about a 10% chance
Applied for a Utah spring black bear hunt, about 7% chance
Applied for a Colorado 3rd season deer rifle hunt, about 60% chance
Based on draw odds, the most likely scenario for me this year will be to hunt archery deer and elk in general season units in Utah followed up with a 3rd season rifle deer hunt in Colorado.
ADDITIONALLY, this will be the summer that we start building our cabin BY HAND with logs off of land that we own. First a brief history...
My grandpa bought 30 acres out near Scofield back in the 1970s. He and my uncles build a small cabin by hand one summer in the late 1970s. It still stands. It has no power, no water, no kitchen. It is perfect. I spent my summers running around the pine forest and aspen stands there and the time spent there has affected my life forever. I fell in love with the mountains there. Some of my most vivid memories are riding around on the dirt roads out there with 10 of my cousins and I in the bed of a pickup truck looking for deer.
Fast forward to 2006. Myself and 3 of my best friends, who are also my cousins, decide that we want to buy our own land. We cant afford much as we are all in our mid to late 20's with wives, kids, and mortgages. But we decide that we are going to partner up and MAKE IT HAPPEN somehow, someway. It takes us a few years to find the perfect place. In 2009 we STUMBLE upon 40 acres for sale only 1 mile from my grandpas land. Land does NOT come up for sale in this area. There are basically 3 BIG land owners (1000s of acres/CWMU type landowners) and then my grandpa and a few others.
We happened to buy this property from the LDS church. It used to be a Girls Scout camp and they no longer used it.
We have now owned it for about 3 years. We have killed a few elk on our own property. That is an AMAZING feeling. Keep in mind this is in the Central Mountains Manti LE unit, so it is a spike only hunt for us.
Anyway, we had the property logged over the last 2 years and this summer we are planning on starting the build. It is an intimidating proposition to be sure. But we want to build a cabin that our kids can enjoy growing up the way that we did on our grandpas land. We are not planning on building a "typical" Utah cabin with AC, granite counters, and triple paned windows. We are building a "Mountain Man" cabin. It will be built by our own hands and for as inexpensive as possible. But many steaks will be grilled on the deck overlooking the view during the next 50 years.....
The only reason I bring up the cabin, is that I am planning on spending a LOT of time in this unit this summer so I should be able to scout a lot.
Here is a link to a video I got of some big bulls on my trail camera on our land:
Here is my biggest buck to date, 2005 Utah general area rifle hunt :
My first archery buck 2006 (yes, I know its tiny, but my heart was racing like CRAZY):
My biggest archery buck, 2010 utah general archery:
My first archery spike elk 2009:
My first hunt EVER with my 2 oldest boys a few months ago, October 2011, ages 5 and 3 at the time, utah general rifle:
Good luck this season to everyone