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Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures

 
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Founder
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May-16-17, 
09:36 AM (MST)
"Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

As with year's in the past, I'll have a Utah deer tag and hopefully deer tags in Colorado and Wyoming. I expect to spend most of my scouting time this year in the Wyoming high country, with a few days in both Utah and Colorado. Primary focus will again be in Wyoming if I can draw a tag.

So far this year, I've only gotten out to look for shed antlers for 4 days. I bit off a kitchen remodel during the winter and have been continuing my education, so I haven't had a lot of extra time. Below are some pics from my shed hunt outings.

As for preparation for backpacking this summer, I've been hiking with a weight vest on the mountain above my house. Trying to get at least 1-2 1500+ vertical foot climbs in each week to build the leg strength.

Haven't shot my gun or bow yet this year. I really need to get on that!

Brian Latturner
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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Founder's ...  Founder      May-25-17   1 
  RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Jun-18-17   2 
   RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Jul-08-17   3 
    RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Jul-16-17   4 
     RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Jul-21-17   5 
      RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Jul-27-17   6 
       RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Aug-04-17   7 
        RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Aug-11-17   8 
         RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Aug-17-17   9 
          RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Aug-26-17   10 
           RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Sep-05-17   11 
            RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Sep-22-17   12 
             RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Sep-29-17   13 
              RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Oct-23-17   14 
               RE: Founder's ...  Founder      Nov-13-17   15 

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Founder
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May-25-17, 
08:02 AM (MST)
1. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

I got lucky and drew a Lone Peak/Box Elder Peak/Timpanogos goat tag! I'm awfully excited. The hunt runs September 11th to November 30th, so it's a long hunt. I'd like to put in some time archery hunting, so I definitely need to break out the bow now.
It's a real physically demanding hunt. The hunt areas have no roads to the very highest country where the goat will likely be. Lots of vertical feet of climbing. I have some rough, tough backpacking ahead of me.
I'm hunting Mountain Goats!!!!

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Jun-18-17, 
09:18 AM (MST)
2. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

I got into the high country looking for mountain goats on Friday. 4600 vertical foot climb, 10+ miles......it was a long hike. I felt great going up, it was the decent that hurt. It was fun to get up there though. Saw 9 goats, but all were nannies and kids.
Saw a group of bucks too......

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Jul-08-17, 
01:50 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

I hit the highcountry for a few days of muley scouting this past week in Wyoming. While up there, it felt like I was seeing less bucks than normal, but after getting back home I checked and in the same area, for the same amount of time last year, I saw more bucks this year. Crazy.
On this scouting trip I found one buck that should end up in the mid-170's and 28+ wide. I didn't find any real slugs.
The bugs were bad and the heat was tough. It was a good trip though.
Watch the video........

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Jul-16-17, 
07:55 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Finally a little video to share from my last scouting trip. Found a couple good ones. One of the bucks has some extra stuff going on that's really cool.
Overall, I looked at about 40 bucks on the scouting trip.

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Jul-21-17, 
09:43 AM (MST)
5. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Another few days in the high country dealing with bugs, bugs and more bugs. Plus heat. Found 55 bucks though. Three were better than all the others.

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Founder
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Jul-27-17, 
10:37 AM (MST)
6. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

3 more days in the high country. Ended up looking at 101 bucks. Same trip last year resulted in 110 bucks. My total number looked at now is at 246.
On this trip I found 2 bucks that I think will end up about 180, and then a tall, wide, cool 3x3.
I'm still confident that I'll begin finding bigger bucks, maybe some with a extras and 180 frames.

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Aug-04-17, 
10:45 AM (MST)
7. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Just finished a 4 day scouting trip. That's a long time to be on the mountain in the heat packing around. Overall I looked at 110 bucks, including a wide one, a buck with a a couple extras and then some nice 4x4's. Still nothing really special that gets me excited to go hunting. Still none that I could say for sure will break that 185-inch mark.

At this point I have looked at 356 bucks and it appears that a top 1-2% caliber buck is 180. In my opinion, I'd say that while I don't think buck numbers are too far off from last year as a result of the winter, I will say that I think the winter has affected antler growth. A few of the best bucks I have seen this year probably would have been 10-12 inches better on a normal year. Just a couple inches of tine length, a little width and/or an extra point or two I'd say is the difference. Just a little. But who knows?

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Aug-11-17, 
11:18 AM (MST)
8. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Turned up 70 more bucks on a recent back country adventure. A few were pretty good, maybe even getting close to 185ish. Heck, maybe a hair better. That brings my total up to 426 bucks looked at. 19 days.
Take a look at the video to see what I saw.

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Aug-17-17, 
02:43 PM (MST)
9. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Got back out for a few more days in the hills. Found 61 more bucks, but nothing really great. Saw one buck at a long way off that appeared to be a bit better. Big back forks, good width, but my video just wasn't that good. Didn't see him the next morning.
Total bucks seen now is 487. I know there's a big one up there somewhere. Very frustrating that I haven't laid eyes on him. Hopefully it's a "yet", but time is running out.

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Founder
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Aug-26-17, 
10:58 AM (MST)
10. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Got back into the high country for another couple of days. Looked at about 20 bucks, up to 510 or so for the year. 26 days. On this trip I looked at one buck that was pretty exciting. He had good width, good tines and looked to be a taker. I'm guessing right about mid-180's. Saw a couple others that were also pretty nice with good tine length. Watch the video......

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Sep-05-17, 
04:26 PM (MST)
11. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

I'm done scouting. Went out for the first two days of the Wyoming archery hunt and saw a few new bucks for the year. One pretty good one way off in the distance. He might have had a cheater..??
The area I hunted was getting hunted by many, many others. I think most were looking for elk, as it's a popular elk area.
So I'm done scouting for something giant. Time now to decide on a buck to pursue and give it a go. Will probably head up for a few more days of bowhunting and then back for the rifle hunt for 5-6 days.

After that, I may end up shifting my efforts towards finding some goats to try and get with my bow.

28 days in the field scouting for bucks. Looked at 514 bucks. A few in that 180 range, but none I think will for sure break 185. I had high hopes, but I guess that's hunting. You can't always find what you think you can find.

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Sep-22-17, 
11:44 AM (MST)
12. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Wyoming Big Buck Success for Me! Pretty cool. Always nice to find a big buck scouting and go get him. Even when one knows right where a big one lives, they're hard to get, so when success comes, it feels good.
After all my scouting I decided on one nice looking typical 4x4 to pursue. He wasn't the widest buck I found scouting, but I think he did have the best tine length of them all.
My buddy, Hank, and I packed in two days before the opener. On opening morning, I saw this big buck at 100 yards, but the fog was thick and my scope had some condensation and I just couldn't get a good shot.
On day 3 at 10am, as I made my way back to camp, I located the buck bedded along a rock slide at about 100 yards. When he stood, I shot.
It was a good hunt, despite having to deal with some rain, cold and lots of snow on the final day.
Thanks to Yellowstone Horse Rentals for setting us up with a couple fine horses that were really appreciated on the pack in and pack out.
My buck here ended up gross scoring 182-6/8 with the broken tips on two of his tines. I believe about 2-1/2 inches were broke off.

My buck in August.


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Founder
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Sep-29-17, 
09:21 AM (MST)
13. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

So I've moved on to hunting a Mountain Goat. Put in a couple of days, but didn't see a single goat on either outing. My plan is to try and put in 10-12 days of hunting total. I'll probably hunt with my bow for the first 6 days of so and then go from there. I may have to break out the muzzleloader and maybe even the rifle.
The snow in the high country has made it a little tougher.

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Oct-23-17, 
06:49 PM (MST)
14. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Day #4 Mountain Goat Hunting.............

So I hit the high country on Friday in search of a Billy goat. About an hour after daylight, 5 miles and 2700 vertical feet in, I spotted a Billy bedded above the trail that leads to Timpanogos Peak. He was bedded about 100 yards above the trail and I watched as some hikers walked by him and he didn't move. So, I continued along the trail until I was just below him at 90 yards. Because he didn't get up and leave when I came by, it felt strange, so I decided to press on and see what I could find up higher.

I moved another mile up the mountain and spotted 7 more goats in some extremely rough country where there was no chance to get close enough for an archery shot. Untouchable. I glassed back where the lone Billy was and he had moved a couple hundred yards across the steep, ledged side hill and bedded again. I looked him over again and he looked like a good one and he was actually in a huntable spot, and I felt that might be something that could be hard to come by......a Billy in a spot where I actually could have a chance to get close. They love the steep, rugged stuff.

So I decided I'd make a play on the Billy. Yes, I had just walked by him at 90 yards and did nothing because it felt strange. He had just laid there. But now I was thinking, "maybe he let me get within 90 yards, but getting within bow range might be a much greater challenge".

I moved to within a couple hundred yards and then began moving slowly and carefully. He was bedded in the open, but I was able to get a few pine trees between he and I that allowed me to stalk in close. At 50 yards I was in a little ravine, so I took off my pack, got my bow off, and snuck closer.

At 35 yards I could see him through the pine tree and he knew something was up. I was busted I thought and he was going to run at any moment. I held still for a long time, playing the waiting game, but I just knew he was going to run at any moment, like a big buck would. Or any deer.

After 10 minutes or so, he began to put his head down off and on, so I thought maybe he wasn't on to me. I was one step from being able to clear a shot around the pine tree, so when he lowered his head, I stepped forward and got ready for him to hopefully turn broadside for a shot. He didn't though, instead he spotted me while facing directly toward me. Not an ethical shot, so I didn't want to chance it. So I waited, froze solid waiting for him to turn. At that point, I was sure I was busted and he'd soon turn and run. But he didn't, he just starred at me for a long time.

Another 10 minutes passed as I was ready to draw and shoot as he stood at 35 yards watching me. At that point, I still thought I must have been well concealed and that he still wasn't sure what I was.

Then he turned quickly AND LAID BACK DOWN! He knew I was there and laid back down! What?!?! That's not what he was supposed to do.
I said out loud for him to hear me, "ARE YOU --ITTING ME!!" At that moment, I couldn't shoot this animal. I couldn't believe it. What the heck?!?! There he was laying there at 35 yards, kill zone well exposed, but I couldn't shoot him. I did take a couple steps closer to 30 yards, drew my bow and put my 30 yard pin on him, but no way could I shoot. I went from thinking I was a stealthy stalker that snuck to within 35 yards of this Billy to thinking I was a dope for sneaking in on a Billy that was hoping I was coming over to hand feed him some grass. ha ha ha

The next 30 minutes found me moving closer, taking pictures and scratching my head and wondering what am I supposed to do? How can I consider this goat hunt a challenge when this goat lets me stand 30, 20 and then even 10 yards away and isn't scared enough to run? And one moment, he walked up to within 9.8 yards of me. I might have been able to pet him, but I didn't really want to get trampled.

So here I sit now thinking that I may be eating a goat tag. I don't know. Turned off right now. Might they be more wild in another area of the unit....??? Or is this just goat hunting??? I didn't expect them to be as hard to get as a deer, but this goat I'm telling you about would've been easier to shoot than one of the deer mounts I have hanging on my walls!!!

Brian Latturner
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Founder
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Nov-13-17, 
12:40 PM (MST)
15. "RE: Founder's 2017 Hunt Adventures"

Headed east last week to hunt 3rd season bucks in Colorado. My expectations were high, as I expected snow to come in and help to congregate the deer on the winter range. No such luck, but I was still able to look at some great bucks. Watch the video below to see the bucks I saw.
The buck I ended up taking is a wide dude. Big buck for sure. I originally passed on him on day 2, but returned on day 8 to turn him or a big 4x4 I had seen earlier, up. Lucky me baby!!!! Widest buck I've ever taken. 35 inches wide.

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