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Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge

 
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Forums 2013 Hunt Adventure Challenge
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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Jun-25-13, 
10:42 AM (MST)
"Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

After being unsuccessful again for Wyoming elk, I proceeded to apply for the deer tag and am pleased to announce I did in fact draw that tag. I also applied for a limited elk tag in Idaho, and should know in the next week or so if I was successful in that effort. I have been fortunate enough to have a lifetime tag for deer in Utah, and my 12 yr old is excited that he too drew a tag for the Utah general youth deer hunt.

My first expedition into the "G" spot of Wyoming in over 15 years for deer will occur in two weekends... here I come WYO High Country!! Brian, maybe we'll cross paths en route there and if you're in G I'd love to film/assist you in yours. Backpack is out and gear is being readied for the 4+ mile trek in to the first basin of the year.

Good luck all. I'll keep posting.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Jul-07-13   1 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Jul-22-13   2 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Aug-28-13   3 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-06-13   4 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-06-13   5 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-13-13   6 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-13-13   7 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-15-13   8 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-13-13   9 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-19-13   10 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-19-13   11 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-19-13   12 
 RE: Top of Uta...  touarcher      Sep-19-13   13 

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Jul-07-13, 
08:26 AM (MST)
1. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

At 5:00 pm Saturday I picked up my 12 year old and loaded the last of the gear for the overnighter in WYO... made for a long day getting to 8500 foot elevation by dark-0-thirty. We then proceeded to oversleep the alarm, that's a way to start it off!!

I'd only been up the trail we were on one other time about three years ago, and that was in a rainstorm that forced me to stop short of the summit. This time we had plenty of blue skies and time... and OH, MY!! By 8am we'd seen 9 bucks all at or past ear width, two for sure shooters. it's far enough off of the road that you'd have to have hoofs or thick calouses to get in there... but that's obviously why they are there.

I am in the process of learning my new Canon DSLR, so you'll have to bear with me as I figure out how to properly size 18mp down to put on here, but I think you'll like the view... I know my 12 year old is probably hooked on high-country hiking and hunting for life after today!

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touarcher
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Jul-22-13, 
07:13 AM (MST)
2. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

First weekend was a good one, second... not so much for deer finding. Caleb, my 12 year old, and I packed into a spot that I thought would make a great vantage to see a whole basin, but when we got to the trailhead there was a truck in the lot from Utah...

Well, our 3.5 mile trudge up the mountain turned up some angry squirrels, a nighthawk that must have thought we were too close to her nest so she swooped and attacked us, then played like a kill-deer, wounded to try to draw us down the hillside... we saw a huge blue grouse, and as we crested the summit of the point I wanted to sit and glass from, we could hear the baaaa of sheep below us and there sat 3 guys in camo literally right where I was planning to stake out for the morning!

We saw a couple deer, nothing with horns. On our descent down the mountain after finding our spot occupied, we found a bear den, cougar tracks (fresh) and an awesome place to hunt elk. Still no deer. As we came down onto the lake in the canyon, we could see fish rising. Out came the fly rod.

After about two casts a 16" pure Bonneville Cut darted up from the blue water to grab my fly. Minutes later Caleb had one on too... with no luck finding deer we decided to hike out and fish the stream below in the meadows.

After 4 hours of fishing and wading we'd tallied over 25 fish, ranging from 5" to 20" with Caleb having the largest brown at 17" and I had a 20" cut, with the average being about 15". A great day either way.

I missed scouting this past weekend due to family reunion activities, but next weekend I'm off to a new spot above treeline.

I've almost got my backcountry pack ready. I weighed it the other day at 38# with everything for a 5 day trip minus my gun/bow, my tent (if I decide to take one) and my sleeping pad... that should add about 18# to the load. I think I am good to go. Getting antsy!

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touarcher
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Aug-28-13, 
03:57 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Well, it's almost here... I have been way too busy at work to do much here online or in the field for that matter. I have a few good pics and some video from this past weekend's scouting trip. I've found a couple good bucks to chase, so wish me luck. Sorry I haven't put pictures up for you to enjoy yet, all the ones I've taken with my new camera are from too far away to make much out, other than some pretty scenery. I just go the PhoneSkope though, and used it last weekend with great success. I will hopefully have some good footage and stills to share come Tuesday when I get back from the opener.

Alpine Wyo, here we come!

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touarcher
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Sep-06-13, 
11:12 AM (MST)
4. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Opening weekend went much like what Founder stated... at least from a standpoint of hunting deer. I had bulls bugling all around me most of the night Friday and Saturday evening, with one 300 class 6x coming right to within 30 feet of my tent. As for deer hunting, "frustrated" describes my sentiments well, especially after seeing "THE" buck, which I'll refer to as "King" on Saturday evening right before the opener, and then not seeing him all day Sunday or Monday.

My buck, and I say that very loosly, came out from a patch of about 10 small pines on a relatively open hillside at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, fed uphill about 40 yards and went into another patch of pines about double the size of the first. A beautiful 31-32" 180 class 4x then made his way over from a larger strip of pines to the left and climbed into the big boy's prior bed.

I filmed and then observed for as long as light would permit, and then went to camp to prep for the morning hunt. I got up at zero-dark-30 Sunday and got back to my viewing spot anxiously anticipating my chance to stalk King. I waited as patiently as one can for light to tell me where the buck was going to make his day-bed... and I waited, and waited, and waited, untill darkness once again swallowed the mountain. Neither the "King" nor the 30+ 4x came out, at all - ALL DAY LONG.

I had spotted two other bucks on the mountain during the morning, one about a 26 inch heavy 4x that fed down and into the meadow at the base of the mountain 250 yards below my buck and bedded in a very stalkable position, and a 25" 3x4 that fed up to the left about 300 yards from the one I was searching for. The wind was somewhat unrelenting, gusting up and down hill in erratic fashion, and there was a great deal of smoke in the hot summer-like air. It didn't feel like Sept 1 at 9000+ foot elevation. No wonder they weren't moving.

That evening was relatively uneventful. The 26" buck got up about 7 and began feeding in the lower clearing, so I made my way to position for a shot should King decide to join him. I got to within 60 yards and at one time drew on him to loosen my muscles and get a sense of how my heartrate would be... "thwack" was the thought that went through my mind. Any other hunt in Utah or Idaho I'd probably be letting fly, but not here. Not with King and that 30+ 4x on the hillside.

Evening turned to darkness, and neither of the larger bucks had come out. Back to my roost for another sleepless night with elk bugling all round me within a stone's throw of my tent. Sleep finally overtook me at about 2 a.m. and what seemed only moments later I was brought back awake by the pitter-patter of rain on my tent at about 4:15 a.m. I couldn't bring myself out of the warm bag, nor could I sleep so I made breakfast in bed and studied the map. At 5:45 I got out and went to my hide.

I got back to my position well before twilight with binos and scope at the ready, my trusty Bowtech by my side. The light rain continued until about 8:30, and as it stopped, the wind settled into a steady breeze in my favor. A small 4x that I hadn't seen in over a week appeared feeding in the lower meadow, and made his way up to a patch of pines 40 yards to the right of where King had bedded two days earlier. The young buck kept looking directly into the King's patch as if to say, "Hi", I hoped it was to King.

By 10:45 Monday I was getting a bit antsy to actually make this trip into a hunt, so I planned a route and took off to make a wide path around the face of the hill out of sight, and out of smell, so that I could approach the buck's lair from above. After a 45 minute trek up the canyon and around the top of the ridge I bumped 3 small bucks in the upper basin. They boogeyed out of there pretty quick in the opposite direction, I assume due to my not having bathed in more than 4 days.

At the hour-15 minute mark I made my down to the perch above where King had bedded, and eased over the top in my stockings with bow at the ready. The shot was less than 40 yards... but he was gone.

I carefully picked apart all of the visible patches with my 8.5x binos to ensure a clear opportunity to go into the bed to see what I'd missed... sure enough, there were fresh, dry tracks in the moist soil leading out. I'd missed him by less than 1/2 hour.

I backed out carefully and made my way back to a vantage point, where I watched till about 2pm when the canyon filled with clouds and lightning began snapping all around me. I packed my stuff and hit the trail out to the truck. I can hope I didn't buggar him out of the canyon and that I'll see him there again when I have the chance next week two days before the rifle hunt opens. I plan to pack both weapons the 4.5 miles in, and if an opportunity comes with a bow I'll take it. If not, I can only hope to get a look at him with my rifle after that season opens Sunday the 15th.

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-06-13, 
11:12 AM (MST)
5. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"


My son at the top.


A slight detour after finding 3 SLC guys sitting in our glassing spot 4 miles back in the woods...


First good buck in the canyon the King lives in...


Second good buck in the King's lair

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touarcher
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Sep-13-13, 
08:14 AM (MST)
6. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Famous last words... I now know never to say "I hope to..." again when hunting a monster.

I went back in to the canyon last weekend to keep tabs on the buck I've come to know as "King". I took a friend with and we left town at 3pm Saturday and hit the trail at 6:15p.m. It was overcast, and as we got to the area where we were planning to set camp, it began to rain and darkness swallowed the canyon.

We ate and got into the tent out of the weather. I couldn't sleep...knowing what was on the mountain across from us - in fact, I hadn't slept much in over two weeks since finding King, a 10x11 giant that'll prove to be one of, if not THE largest deer taken in the USA this year.

here he is...

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-13-13, 
08:14 AM (MST)
7. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

King in his dining room...

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-15-13, 
11:14 PM (MST)
8. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Big ol' belly, block head... oh, and did I mention he has a huge rack?!

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touarcher
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Sep-13-13, 
11:16 PM (MST)
9. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Then on Monday we found King again, this time in my e-mail inbox

Now what do I do? I didn't prepare a backup plan...

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-19-13, 
09:17 AM (MST)
10. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Here he was...

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touarcher
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Sep-19-13, 
09:17 AM (MST)
11. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

Sorry for delays... for some reason some of my pictures aren't loading, but the messages attached are. Here is one or two smaller pics cut from my video footage to oogle...

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-19-13, 
09:17 AM (MST)
12. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"

and a topside view.

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touarcher
(15 posts)
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Sep-19-13, 
09:17 AM (MST)
13. "RE: Top of Utah Archer's 2013 Hunt Challenge"


Rear view...

Frontside...

and from the top down...

and the finale

Many of you who know me will instantly recognize that isn't me in the background

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