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2017 HAC

 
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Forums 2017 Hunt Adventure Challenge
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arnold_jeremiah
(108 posts)
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Jun-23-17, 
04:41 PM (MST)
"2017 HAC"

Hello all. It's been quite a few years since I've done the HAC. Tons of things have changed in my life since I last updated you all. I think in my last HAC my wife and I had just gotten engaged. We've been married almost 4 years now. We had our 1st child 2 years ago and just recently had our second 3 months ago. Both are happy fun little kids. My son is a hyper little guy but it seems like he's really into fishing this year, so hopefully that'll continue and he will like hunting as much.

I just submitted my vacation requests at work after knowing what happened in the Wyoming draws. It's looking like I'm in for an awesome year. Here's what the season looks like for me.
-Mid September Colorado , Dad muzzleloader buck and cow, Brother muzzleloader cow, I didn't draw so will buy otc archery elk. I have 5 days to hunt.
-End of September Colorado, I drew 2nd choice muzzleloader buck antelope. 4 hunt days.
-1st of October Wyoming, My buddy from North Dakota his daughter and myself all drew deer and antelope tags. 8 days to hunt.
-Mid November Colorado, 4th season buck deer I'll be hunting all 5 days of the season.

Overall I'm pretty excited. I've never hunted bucks 4th season before so that'll be new. My buddy from North Dakota hasn't hunted pronghorns in quite a few years so he is excited for that. His daughter hasn't hunted mule deer or pronghorns so I'm hoping she can tag out. My buddy hunted elk and mule deer for the first time last year. He got lucky and drew a reservation tag for mule deer in North Dakota and killed a cool old buck, then went on to Montana a week later and killed a little bull and a giant 200 inch muley. Him and his daughter also just got back from Canada where the both shot their first black bears. I'm hoping his luck will rub off on me.

My son fishing with papa on Father's Day

She isn't into fishing yet

Fishing derby a few weeks ago

Helping uncle set his game camera for whitetails

This is the buck I took last year on a leftover tag. My unit this year borders this unit, but more public land and more antelope. I only saw 3 bucks last year. Missed the biggest, never got in range of the second, then shot this one last light on the last piece of public available.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: 2017 HAC  arnold_jere...      Oct-12-17   1 
  RE: 2017 HAC  arnold_jere...      Nov-13-17   2 
   Archery Elk  arnold_jere...      Dec-07-17   3 
   Colorado Antel...  arnold_jere...      Dec-08-17   4 
   Wyoming Antelo...  arnold_jere...      Dec-08-17   5 
   Wyoming Antelo...  arnold_jere...      Dec-08-17   6 
   4th season mul...  arnold_jere...      Dec-08-17   7 

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arnold_jeremiah
(108 posts)
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Oct-12-17, 
01:27 PM (MST)
1. "RE: 2017 HAC"

Well I've been out on a bunch of hunts so far. We've had some ups and downs and I'll post more on each later but for now a quick recap.
- Archery/Muzzleloader elk was a bust. Too hot not a good spot for archery.
- Muzzleloader pronghorn was also a bust.
- Rifle pronghorn/deer Wyoming was awesome. My buddy and I killed our antelope opening day. His daughter got a doe mule deer. She got her antelope the 2nd day. He got a small deer. I never got a shot at a buck I wanted. Whitetail season opens in November so I'll try to get back up there for that.
My brother has a good buck on his trail camera and I'm hopeing I can go help him soon. I still have 4th season deer left and he's decided to buy a leftover bull tag and come help me.

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arnold_jeremiah
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Nov-13-17, 
04:34 PM (MST)
2. "RE: 2017 HAC"


Here's the buck my brother is after.


My Wyoming antelope all cleaned up.


Took my kids out fishing for awhile the other day and my son hooked up with this one. Pretty funny watching a 2 year old try and get in this size of fish.

I still haven't got my pictures uploaded from my camera. I'll try to finish updating my year after my 4th season tag. Im hoping to get a buck quick then head back to Wyoming and get a whitetail.

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arnold_jeremiah
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Dec-07-17, 
03:21 PM (MST)
3. "Archery Elk"

Ok finally have some time to type up some stories. I'll post a few pics I have on my phone. I'll try to add the rest when I have a minute at home on the computer. I've had a really busy fall. I went on more hunts than I've ever done and work hasn't slowed down like it normally does at the end of the year. My wife also has a business which keeps her busy on weekends so I never get time without 2 babies to get on the computer.

My Dad and brother both had muzzleloader tags and I bought an otc archery tag. This was the first tag my dad has bought in probably over 10 years so that made this hunt pretty fun. My dad is only in his 50's but he has a bunch of knee and back problems from playing college football and he can't hike and hunt they way he likes to anymore. Opening day we decided to focus up high in the aspens because it was so hot. My brother and I hiked and called all over and never heard or saw an elk. We jumped a really nice 3 point muley but my dad wasn't with us and he had the only deer tag. As we were driving back to camp right at the end of legal shooting light we spotted a herd of elk with one big bull some smaller bulls and a few cows.

Day 2 my brother and I waited most of the day above a cliff that the elk from the previous day had walked by. My dad stayed lower in the oak brush. We finally got bored and decided to go try and stalk the elk where we figured they were bedded. We looped all around the mountain and started to get in the aspens on top where we thought they were bedded. Boom explosions of elk running as the wind switches and hits us in the back. The elk were only about 20 yards from us but we could never see them since we were low in thick oak brush. We meet my dad back at the atvs at dark and he never saw them even though we spooked them in his direction.

Day 3 we finally got my dad to hike with us even though his knee was turning black. We tried a spot he's killed a bunch of elk during rifle season but found that there were a bunch of new gas wells being drilled in that spot. We hiked all day and couldn't turn anything up.

Day 4 was the day we had to leave so we got all packed up and headed home. Overall it was a fun trip and good time. I wasn't anticipating much luck so the few elk we spotted was enough to satisfy me. I'm really thinking about going back to this spot rifle season next year because I'm sure I could kill a cow and if I get lucky there are some huge muleys hanging around.

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arnold_jeremiah
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Dec-08-17, 
03:21 PM (MST)
4. "Colorado Antelope"

This hunt was very frustrating. I was anticipating it being like my antelope hunt last year. Few antelope but the season starts in the middle of the week so I was figuring on few people. I got a 1950s camper from my buddy this past summer. I've been working on it and thought this would be a good hunt to test it on. On the drive down the front window decided to break and act as a giant parachute. I kept having to pull over and add more duct tape to keep it somewhat together. I also got really bad has mileage because of it and ended up taking way to much time to get to my hunting area.

Day 1 started out really slow I wasn't finding any bucks or many antelope for that matter. I finally stalked a small buck but it was so windy I wanted to be less than 50 yards to shoot, finally he had enough and ran off. I found a good herd with a really good buck just at dark I got within 90 yards of the smaller buck in the group a few times but it was dark enough that i wasn't sure of the range each time and by the time I could range him he would be moving again. I never did catch up to the main herd before dark.

Day 2 I got setup early where I figured the herd would be. Pretty soon people are driving every road in the area chasing antelope back and forth all over the sections. One guy shot at the big buck and finally spooked him out of the country. I finally found another herd but never even got close to them before they saw me. I was gonna stay 2 more days but the news was calling for big wind and snowstorms. I really didn't want to try and pull that trailer with my little truck given how bad it was on the way down in normal conditions. I was also disgusted in how other people were effecting every herd I tried to stalk. Overall this was one of the worst hunting experiences I've ever had. I'll just let everyone know this was in South East Colorado on the Comanche national grasslands. If you are thinking of hunting there and don't live close to the area it is probably a waste of money. I really don't like to talk crap about the forest service as I think they normally manage lands pretty well. This land is the exception. The land itself should be producing lots of antelope and mule deer and also looks like some areas could grow nice elk and sheep. I think overall it is managed to keep private beef producers happy with widlife at the bottom of the list. They need to rip down many sections of fence, stop over grazing the area and cut back on licenses, then they could have a real gem.

I had some crazies come by my camp a few times which also made me want to leave the area. One homeless woman said she was just about to get in my trailer to sleep before I pulled up to leave. On my way home I blew a tire on my truck and the wheel seized to the axle. I got to spend half the night waiting for a tow truck to come beat my wheel off for me since I didn't have any pry bars or hammers. Overall a miserable trip I don't want to repeat.

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arnold_jeremiah
(108 posts)
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Dec-08-17, 
03:21 PM (MST)
5. "Wyoming Antelope and Deer"

We've been planning this hunt since last year and it turned out just as good as I'd hoped for. This was an area I've never hunted but it was about half way in between where I live in colorado and where my buddy lives in North Dakota so it seemed like a good middle ground. Evey thing I could find about the area told me not to be picky on animal sizes so we went in knowing it would be a fun meat hunt. We scouted for half a day before the season opened and found a really nice muley buck just on the private side of a boundry and 1 good antelope a mile down the road on public. We decided my buddy and his daughter would go after the antelope and I'd go hope for the muley on opening day.

Day 1 we woke up to a huge rain storm and i was soaked before the sun came up. I was in a good spot just below the private but when the deer came to bed only a few does jumped the fence. I snuck out after a few hours knowing the buck wasn't gonna move back to public anytime soon. I met up with my buddy and found out that he had killed the antelope we wanted.

The buck ended up being right at 14 inches with decent prongs and mass. We got some clarification on a wierd rule from the game warden when he checked this buck and found my buddies daughter could kill any deer with a youth tag even though it says only antlered mule deer. So we decide we'd been seeing so many does she can shoot one of she wants. After looking around for awhile longer we found a herd of does close to the road so she stalked out to them and took her first mule deer.

After we took care of the doe I decided to go eat some lunch back at camp while they went to look for more antelope. I was on my way to meet them when I found a decent buck antelope and got distracted stalking him for a few hours. I never got a shot so we meet up and found a big buck we had been watching had finally moved into a state section where a stalk might actually work. As soon as the herd disappeared from sight my buddy and his daughter went over the hill we were expecting the antelope to go to. I ran down the gully they had just went into hoping they would either spook to her or if she spooked them they would come back to me. Well it worked better than planned. The antelope saw her and blew and trotted away not offering her a shot. Luckily I was well hidden in the sage and they ran right to me. At less than 100 yards I shot the old warrior and he went right down. I neve had a good look at the buck, just knew he had big prongs and mass. As I picked him up I found out one prong was completely snapped off and he wasn't very tall. We got him taken care of just before dark. A perfect end to day one. 3 Of 6 tags filled opening day.

I don't know how tall my buck actually is I haven't mesured him. I thought he was really short until I skinned out his head. I'm guessing he is actually pretty close to 14 also. He is a very deceptive buck because his hair on his bases was really thick. He also has a head which is almost as big as the mule deer skulls I have. I should have kept the cape to sell but didn't realize it was that big until I'd already ruined it. This old guy was a warrior. Busted prong battle scars and 2 or 3 loose teeth. I'm very proud of him. He's one of my best trophies. His meat is actually really good and tender also even though he was rutting hard.

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arnold_jeremiah
(108 posts)
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Dec-08-17, 
03:21 PM (MST)
6. "Wyoming Antelope and Deer part 2"

So the rest of this hunt is kind of a blurring together for me and I'm not remembering what all happened when. I should write a journal every day to help me remember.

Day 2 was another awesome day. We were seeing tons of deer probably over 100 a day but they were all does with a forky every now and then. Antelope were a lot harder. I'm glad we killed 2 the first day or it could have been tough. My buddies daughter ended up killing a small buck when I was eating lunch that day. That afternoon we found deer all over again but nothing I would shoot. Right at dark my buddy shot a buck. We thought it was bigger than it ended up being. Just a little forky. It must have been the low light that made us misjudge that bad. We knew it was small but this was really small. Oh well we were just here for meat anyways and this one was made of meat. 5 of 6 tags filled in 2 days.

The rest of the week was a blur as I said we kept seeing hundreds of deer but no shooters. My buddy unfortunately got called back to work early and the night before he left we finally found some bucks I would shoot. The first was a really nice 8 point whitetail but unfortunately he spotted me waiting for him to cross into public and bolted deeper onto private. Next was what I think was a 3x4 muley. Not huge but an average 3 year old type buck. We found him with 5 minutes left in legal shooting hours. He was right on a public private boundary with no fence so by the time I decided he was on public and I would shoot him he had gotten mixed in with the does and it was to dark in my scope to pick him out.

The last day I decided to hunt was good also. I found the 3x4 again but unfortunately they were now on private and didn't look like they were gonna move to public. I went back to the spot I had found the big buck scouting before the season and got right in on the herd. I waited until dark and the bucks never showed up. I was bummed. The does had all been under 100 yards for several hours. I decided to head home That night. My antelope was needing to get frozen since temps had risen up to the 50s I didn't want to loose any meat. On my way home That night I saw one of the widest and tallest bucks I've ever seen. He had a crazy big frame but really thin and small points.

Overall I had a blast on this hunt and I can't believe we actually filled 5 of 6 tags. Wyoming is definatly the most game rich state I've hunted but I have still not killed a deer there in 3 years of trying. I guess I'm being to picky for the areas I've hunted, or I'm just not looking in the right spots. Im pretty sure everyone else hunting the area killed bucks. Most I saw were small but a few nice bucks as well.

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arnold_jeremiah
(108 posts)
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Dec-08-17, 
03:21 PM (MST)
7. "4th season mule deer"

So back to Colorado with my last hunt of the year. I knew going into this hunt that it should be hard rutting action since it was 4th season.

Day 1 I got up really early but there was already a truck parked where I wanted to go. I headed to my second choice spot. As I was getting ready to start hiking another truck pulls up and they jump out and take off down the trail. Oh well I guess this is part of public land. I go straight up the opposite direction and get almost run over by some does and a forky. I watched them for awhile and keep glassing but never found any big bucks. I found 1 4 point about 5 miles away but he looked young and small. 1 big 2 point rutting a bunch of does in a nasty rock pile and many other small bucks and doe groups. I decided I had seen that area pretty good so I just went to the truck and started glassing every pull off I could. I found probably over 50 deer that day but nothing big. I also saw plenty of sheep which are a blast to watch. They were just starting to rut also.

They next few days I tried some different spots but all I was finding were does and smallish bucks. I saw a few rams one day fighting over a single ewe. Its crazy how loud they are when fighting. Finally after looking over probably 20 plus bucks Friday night I found a big 4 point I wanted. He was to far away to go after that night but I knew if I had a whole day I could make the climb to get him. That night I called my dad to see if he would like to come watch me get the deer. (I forgot to mention that my brother ended up having to work so I was solo up to this point.) My dad didn't have plans so he said he would come along and just hike at his pace behind me and hope he could see me shoot from down lower. Saturday morning we got to the spot I'd seen the buck from. I wanted to wait until light so I could make sure the buck was still there because I knew that it would take 3-4 hours to climb up to the buck. As I was glassing up high I noticed some does just a quater mile from us just up the mountain. I put the glass on them and got excited when I saw a buck come rutting hard out of a draw. I thought it was the buck from the night before but I saw this was only a 3 point. He was in a perfect spot for a stalk though and was probably the second biggest buck I'd seen. I decided I'd go after him. My dad hadnt seen me kill a deer since my fisrt doe which happened to be just a few miles from here over 15 years ago. I had to cross a river which had risen from a snow storm Friday night. I only had muck boots and it went right over them. I switched back to hiking boots and my mucks instantly froze. I climbed a small waterfall which was coming from the valley the deer had gone into. I got to a rock pile but could only see does. I then backed out climbed higher to another rock pile and got into shooting position without any deer spotting me. Finally the buck came out and mounted a few does. I was trying to get set but couldn't get the right position for my gun. Finally he quit running does and I was able to get the right shot. I got him low in the chest and he took a small run to the does where I hit him again right in the neck to drop him. I watched him for a few minutes to make sure he was done. The does hung around for awhile and a small buck decided he was now king of the mountain and finally pushed them off. I stood up to see my dad watching from the spotting scope. I climbed back down and waded the freezing river, my dad said he could see everything from the scope it was awesome that he could be with me and see it all unfold. We got all our gear together and crossed the freezing river again. We made our way up to the buck and I was able to say my thanks and check him out while my dad climbed up to me. He turned out to be a 2x3 but mature. I'm guessing 3 or 4 years old. He was the fattest deer I've ever got to process it was wierd given how hard he was rutting and how many does he had. He had fat inside his body cavity and surrounding all his organs. We had a nice enjoyable morning taking pictures and getting him processed. As we were finishing pictures a nice ram walked 40 yards from us and checked us out for a few minutes. It was truly a special day with my dad. He got me hooked on hunting in these very mountains. Some of my earliest memories are following him around here looking for bucks. This area got hit really hard with cwd right about the time I killed my first doe and hunting has been poor since then. I'm glad to see the numbers back to where they were when I was just a small kid. Its a very special place to me even though you don't see many big antlered bucks here. I'm hoping in a few years maybe my boy will get hooked on hunting these same hills I did and my dad grew up hunting with his dad.

I never did make it back to Wyoming,but I doesn't really matter. I ended up having a very special year. I have meat in the freezer and plenty of memories with family and friends.


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