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UtahJimmy 2016 HAC
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Forums 2016 Hunt Adventure Challenge
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10:07 AM (MST)
"UtahJimmy 2016 HAC"

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My hunting year started out with a late season Utah cow hunt. It was January 2nd, and as I readied myself to open the truck door, I noticed it was a balmy -14 degrees at the trailhead. I was able to locate a herd at 600 yards working their way up the ridgeline and hoped that I could get level with them as they fed past. I crossed paths with a decent 6 point and waited until he couldn’t see me to continue on the trail.

(sorry for the crappy image, phone was frosted over)

Around the following bend was a spike that I spooked. Luckily he took off up and towards me which did not alert the group that I was hoping would still be on the next drainage over. As I approached the ridge where I thought they should be, I calmed myself and began the belly crawl up to a cedar. I located the closest cow at 144 yards, steadied my rifle on a tree and my pack, and waited… there was really nice 6 point standing directly in the path to her vitals! Hopefully I can find him when the general bull season is open!!!

Once he cleared her, I touched off a 150 grain .308 bullet from my late grandfather-in-laws Winchester model 88 and it connected with her perfectly. She took one step and rolled down the mountain. I had to wait for the rest of the group to keep feeding before I celebrated my harvest but boy was I excited! Being able to use that rifle to harvest an elk meant a lot to me, my wife, and my father-in-law (the gun was handed down to him), and it was just an all-around cool experience! In all the excitement I couldn’t locate the shell casing, I guess it was so hot that it just melted through the snow. I was able to recover the bullet so I have that momento!

Being that I was solo, it made for a long day but luckily the sun was out and the snow kept her nice and cold.

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 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: UtahJimmy ...  UtahJimmy      Aug-05-16   1 
  RE: UtahJimmy ...  UtahJimmy      Oct-27-16   2 
   RE: UtahJimmy ...  UtahJimmy      Nov-09-16   3 

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(99 posts)
Click to EMail UtahJimmy Click to send private message to UtahJimmy Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
11:31 PM (MST)
1. "RE: UtahJimmy 2016 HAC"

My apologies on the delay of these posts, been getting geared up for the seasons and haven't made the time to put something together. Let's pick up after my cow hunt!

I’d been saving for a new rifle that I plan to use this upcoming season. For Christmas my father-in-law gave me a new Vortex rifle scope (4-12x40 BDC MOA) so I now had to purchase said rifle!

I decided to go with the Tikka T3 Lite in 30-06 with the DNZ one-piece low mount and a Slogan Ultraflex sling. Overall weight is about 7 lbs. and I’m very happy with the build. Still trying to find the right load but this gun is very impressive!

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(99 posts)
Click to EMail UtahJimmy Click to send private message to UtahJimmy Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
08:19 AM (MST)
2. "RE: UtahJimmy 2016 HAC"

Well I officially suck at keeping up to date with this HAC. Maybe next year. Between all the scouting and hunting, I just kept putting it off. Here is my update for the past 6 months:

I drew a general season UT archery deer tag with my father-in-law (FIL), a late season UT cow tag, an elk B license for MT, and 2 doe/fawn permits for Wyoming.

I spent a good deal of time scouting for my archery deer and located a few studs.

Unfortunately, when the hunt came around I wasn't the only one who had found the deer. My FIL and I backpacked into an area where I thought we would have good luck. The night before the opener, another individual blew right by our camp and headed straight for the bowl we were going to hunt. Then about an hour before first light the skyline was like a mardi gras parade up the ridge. Very disappointing. Only had one forkie at 60 yards opening morning, but watched a herd across the canyon and made a plan to go after them the next day. Spent the next 3 weekends up in the area going after a heavy 5x6 but couldn't make it happen.

I did get a delicious grouse though!

Up next was my second trip to MT to hunt elk. Last year I was a mule for my FIL, this year I got a cow tag. The bulls were heavy in the rut and my opportunity came when a harem got pushed out into a clearing and I set up in front of a dead tree. The elk came streaming by me and I ranged them at 35 yards. Punched my tag with a bad shot on my part. Had a quartering away, downhill shot and I caught the back end of her shoulder blade. Watched my arrow go in about 4" and hit the center of the scapula. Arrow fell out after 2 steps. I was devastated. I never wish that feeling of working so hard only to come up short when the chips are down.

FIL got a cow and a whitetail for the freezer. Disappointing to come home without a bull for the second year in a row.

I found quite a few sheds while searching for my cow...

Since MT I've been hunting an extended archery area. Located some bucks and I've got close just couldn't finish the stalk. A dandy 3x3:

and a small framed 4x4 with a kicker on each side:

Hoping to run into one of them tomorrow morning.

This past weekend was my first antelope hunt. This was also my wifes first big game hunt. Last fall while I was spending time at the range, she tagged along with a rifle her late grandfather had given her right before he passed. While shooting it she said she had a vision of her taking an animal with it. The cartridge is a 22-250, so I set off to try to find a hunt for us. With some help from a few MM members (THANK YOU JEFF!!!!), we drew tags in WY. I found a legal round that shot well out of that rifle and it was game on.

We blew a couple stalks at first but finally closed to within 150 yards. The does did not cooperate as they fed directly away from us out to 230. She dropped her first doe after connecting with it twice. To be by her side as the wave of emotion struck her was amazing. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Jeff and his willingness to help us out in our quest.

I was able to tag 2 does that evening. The next morning she was back at it and made a single shot kill this time:

Can't wait to process all 4 antelopes!

Hopefully it doesn't take me another month to share!!!

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(99 posts)
Click to EMail UtahJimmy Click to send private message to UtahJimmy Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
03:37 PM (MST)
3. "RE: UtahJimmy 2016 HAC"

Still no luck on the extended archery. 2 weeks ago I slid into position on a bedded doe and her fawn. Got within 11 yards just for practice:

Then a group of does and fawns at 42 yards:

Was up on Saturday and the bucks are beginning to hang out with the does. Made a in-the-dark play early on a buck and as soon as the sun came up another smaller buck with 3 does busted me, sending the larger buck to another zipcode.

Last week I finished up with the antelope. Decided to make some summer sausage (35 lbs) and link sausage (25 lbs).

It's amazing how 4 antelope break down into the size of an elk hind quarter:

Summer sausage ready for the smoker

Setup ready for links:

Delicious sausage:

With the rut heating up, I'm hoping my time in the mountains pays off with a buck on the ground this weekend; but I'm really enjoying my time in the fresh air. I've been renovating a basement in the evenings/weekends, so my time up there is super limited. But it's a joy to escape!

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