2012 Sheep Dreamin'


"Just put in for a damn unit your not going to draw anyways!" I was frustrated my dad was taking his time not sure on which Utah Rocky Mountain Bighorn unit he should put in for I didn't want to be sitting around the computer all night figuring out what unit it would say right by the word "Unsuccessful". With just three points the odds were really slim, "you're just buying another point I told him", as he ended up choosing the Stansbury Unit, mainly because of it's one of the closest units to home at just over two hours away and a very nice California bighorn was harvested just two years prior. I ended up putting in for the same unit with three points.

A few months later checking for cc hits knowing they were about to send them out I noticed two $35 dollar charges for General season deer and that's when I saw it $508 the price of a Utah sheep tag!!! I ran around the house jumping and shouting like a littler kid then I am! I then waited for my dad to get home to show him, we both couldn't believe it, and in the same room exactly opposite my mom was talking about $508 price tag!

Then time would slowly tick by not sure who drew me or my dad, me or my dad I wanted my dad as I was thinking by the time he drew I'd have to pack him up the mountain. As I hoped the wait seemed like a year but on May 30, eleven days after the cc hit I checked my email and saw UnSuccessful on all but my General Deer tag!! My dad drew!!!!


Knowing who drew now, the excitement didn't change but I felt more organized and ready for scouting to begin... I started contacting people right away that knew the unit, knew the sheep, and some were past hunters...

I was able to find a friend and we made our first scouting trip, my dad was unable to make it with me which was a downside but I was hoping to get down there see some sheep and hopefully get some good video to show him when I got home. We got down to the mountains late into the morning and started on the West side of the range first as we got closer to the mountain we caught movement and both instantly thought it was a ewe but after are hearts skipped a beat we realized what it was!

After we glassed the west side for a couple hours we moved over to the east side hoping to be able to turn something up! But nothing, the flies were horrible!! I didn't know so many flies could be in one area at one time! We ended up calling the trip on that and headed for home.

This first scouting trip I was hoping to find sheep but more importantly it was to look at roads, campsites, and just get a feel for the terrain and yeah it is rugged and rough! We weren't able to find any sheep this trip we saw a few deer and the one antelope, and a whole lot of flies but I still feel like the first trip was a success!
West Side


East Side


Talked my dad into going to the Stansbury's on my birthday, but still we got down there late, and it was my dads first time seeing the range up close! No sheep partly because we spent 45 minutes talking to a guy who wouldn't stop talking but he gave us some info on water, and areas he has seen some sheep.. and then we met up with the Koby "who Shot the State record cali ram in 2010", he showed us good look out points, good areas to be, where he's seen the sheep, every question we had he answered!

9/23/12 VIDEO LINK: Scouting Cali Rams
I was on a mission to find some sheep I headed down there super early and was waiting for the sun to come up, can you say mosquitos!! But we also found some sheep! We spotted 15 or so sheep with over half of them rams no shooters but we found a 145 ish ram not a shooter but enough to get the blood pumping!! Bring on November!!!



Back track... Archery Deer time!!

Right now August 13 I'm sitting pretty with a archery tag in my pocket, a nice buck spotted, and everything is going great this year!!
It all started with me getting a tag for a particular unit in Utah with me being age 18 I would be able to hunt all three seasons Rifle, Muzzleloader, and Archery... I scouted a couple days but was really busy with work and didn't see to much.. I made the drive to a different unit that I know, to see what was running around there and saw a buck I have the sheds to from 2010, and this got me excited, excited enough that the next day I told my boss about my situation and we both headed to the DNR office and switched my tag, to just an archery tag for this unit. Cutting my Deer season by two seasons, was a big chance, Stupid yes, but with not much time to pack into the backcountry this option I was willing to take the chance!

Scouting of the area has been going good seeing different bucks everytime out and seeing bigger and bigger bucks! Here's the videos of my scouting season! Enjoy...

"Split" and "Chance"

Split is the main buck I am after and is the best buck I have seen chance will be a good backup buck a week or so into my hunt but well see if I can turn up "Split"!

Watching two different areas on this unit is really starting to pay off!!

The Opener!!!!! Headed out and started where I could see a lot of country, hoping to find the 6 by 5 "Split" in a good position but couldn't turn that buck up! But I did turn up a new buck a decent 5 by 3 that will likely get passed, and the 4 by 3 that I have been seeing..
All the smoke is making for an extended morning

Not much shade! Don't want to push the deer around in the trees, but think I'll take the risk next time!

I wasn't alone in this area there were 2 archers down below me for the morning hunt and they ended up leaving, and around 5 o'clock another different archer came driving up a road below a few bucks when he sees them, and ends up putting a stalk on them and ends up busting 6 bucks out of the trees and ends up walking into each patch of trees...

Plan B!! Was to check a new canyon I hiked into it and was about to go through a small patch of trees but decided to hold up and stay here for the evening feed, it was a great decision and found some new bucks and got some great video!!

Here's the video of the bucks! 5 by 3: 4 by 3: and the two 4 points.

Day 2
Was much better no hunters around and I spotted the 4 by 3 and first light, a little worried about the deer being busted out of the country when a bachelor herd of 14 bucks came marching back up from the low country, with "Split" and the nice four point being the biggest bucks of the bunch! I tried to ease down into a position where I could ambush them if given the chance and the amount of does and other small bucks around I was busted!!


"Why are you here? Shouldn't you be hunting, Just come in late or if you get one call in?" Out of all people my boss said this to me on Monday ((Got to love having a boss with the same interests!)) so what can I say Wednesday morning before work I was on the mountain, I got to a spot where I could close the distance before the bucks headed to bed when I look to my left and 155 Yards away, there was another hunter but not of the same species!!!

VIDEO LINK "Mountain Lion"
That morning i ended up seeing the nice 4 by 3 and some smaller bucks and then headed to work... I got told the same thing just "come in late tommorrow if you need to." I was all for it!!

I'd call this a TEASER I think?



August 23rd
I was sitting in between the bedding area and the water in hopes the 6 by 5 would be coming back from water well I spotted the usual few does and fawns before the bucks normally came up through, I looked down and saw antlers not the 6 by 5 but the nice four point just 100 yards below me, they caught wind of me and let the small two points and does continue up the hill as the does and small bucks got within 20 yards they snorted and blew out of there, the bigger bucks slowly worked there way over the hill not sure what I was..

I looped up above and dropped into the next canyon in hopes that the bucks would head up into the trees where I first saw this buck, I saw some does and fawns and busted out a small buck. I looked behind me to see antler tips a decent 3 point with nice eyeguards was feeding somewhat toward me..

Then following that buck the four point! They slowly worked there way sidehill above me at 79 yards they dropped down into the canyon towards me cautiously I thought I'd be busted hiding behind a fairly skinny sagebrush.. I found a gap in the sagebrush and ranged the buck 51 yards I slowly started to draw back and crouched up and let it fly! It hit a little far back and I was worried, so I marked where I shot, where he was standing, and went and got my pack and then an hour later found my arrow and looked for the first sign of blood..

Not much was found a drop here a couple drops there every 4 to 5 yards I was getting worried when I looked to my right and there he was!! Most rewarding hunt I've been on!!
My first archery buck!!

VIDEO LINK!! Of my scouting and all the other video I took...





A few years ago I found my first elk shed I've been told he would of been about a 290 Bull I've seen a few nice bulls but my family has never hunted elk. So over the years I've been reading and getting tips about this public area in Central Utah and lets just say I did some homework.

So this year I told my dad we're hunting elk this year, and he said alright! So I ended up going and buying mine and his tag! Opening weekend of the Utah Any bull hunt was a bust didn't find any elk but had a good time with my dad. I talked to my boss and figured out days I could get off work and he said " take all the time you need', this is with all my other hunts and time off in to play! So I took full advantage and headed out Tuesday that week. And Wednseday morning in the headlights, headed into a corn field I saw a nice bull! I guesstimated with my minutes of elk hunting experience atleast a 300inch bull, he was a few miles into some private land so I could only hope he'd move onto public... I hiked and glassed into some canyons and all I saw was some old elk sign so I headed back to the truck. I bounced around in the truck for the rest of the afternoon hoping to cover a lot of ground. When I decided I better head back to camp, so I had a hunch to go back up the canyon I went up that morning. I got stuck behind a truck driving slow! And he wouldn't let me pass! I followed him for atleast 20 minutes before he pulled over, I kept driving about another mile when I noticed fresh elk tracks over my tire tracks from that morning!! I started thinking what if it's a bull what if it's up ahead! I started my tracking still driving up the dirt road keeping an eye on the tracks! The road split and the elk went left! That's when I saw him, 125 Yards I could see his neck and his head no questions I jumped out ran up the hill a few yards to get a better angle as he turned I squeezed the trigger and just saw his head drop hard! I headed up there to see my first Bull elk down!!

99% Luck 1% Skill on this hunt! Long story short I followed the tracks and followed the tracks and boom I shot my elk!

I'll let the pictures tell the story I wouldn't read that either!



Best Part!




Great way to end my dream of hunting elk!

Thanks for reading!


Back to Sheep!! With 4 total scouting trips, 3 of which we did not locate any sheep it was finally time!!

October 31
Headed down!! Opening day is tomorrow! Dad's excited I'm excited still a lot of unknowns, some older rams haven't been see in a year!!
I ended up hiking up to a small knoll and glass for sheep that evening, I ended up turning up two small rams and a few ewes, my dad went to a different area and didn't see a single sheep!!

November 1
Opening day is here but very few rams are being spotted starting to get worried until I spot a ram and couple ewes on the mountain little did we know we we're gonna see a show! They started working there way down the ridge towards us they were still a mile away but we're closing the distance!! Slowly but surely they finally came close to under 200 yards got some great video! And talk about the debate it's opening day pretty good ram in front of us while we're sitting in the truck! He decides to pass.


Gives perspective to how close they were to the truck.


Opening day was in the books that was the only borderline shooter we saw, not a lot of sheep but it's gonna get better!!


My dad decided he wants me right next to him when he pulls the trigger so these next couple days we we're pretty limited on the sheep we could go get a closer look at!

Puking in the mountains is always fun! I was sicker than a dog when I woke up and for the rest of the day we saw a few sheep a lot of the same rams running around but not much rutting activity!! We were watching a band of sheep up in the pine basin, and we could see "lefty" the ram from opening day was up there with a couple more mature rams, but being sick we were unable to get up on there level!

I spotted a ram with a lot of length but not a lot of mass, and my dad says "I don't want him!" So I mentioned we should tell the other tag holder about him... We drive over and mention it and he liked the length this ram had and wanted a closer look! The ram and his ewes fed up into some cedars and bedded down as they made there way closer! Well within gun range the ram feeds out into the open and he decides to pass on it. So the sheep hunt stalled for a bit we decided to start looking for more rams!
Still sick and not getting much better we decided to only make this day a half of day! During the hunt I would hike up into canyons and look for more sheep but being unable to get some looks into some awesome canyons!
Lance from (Top of Utah Archery) was also down and spotted some rams that me and my dad couldn't see yet, they ended up feeding into the open to where I could see them and Yep the ram we saw video of from 2010 was up there! He had orange ear tags and a collar, and was a stud but being unable to get up there and with plenty of time to still hunt we passed on this oppurtunity.
Here's the VIDEO link of the ram with the orange tags and black squares/and a collar


We headed home shortly after taking that video and were hoping I would be better by the next week! Plenty of time and it's gonna get a whole lot better!!


Snow! Finally!!! Woke up to a few inches on the ground this will make the sheep easier to spot!!
The cliffs and rocks are the same color as the sheep and the sheep blend in extremely well! Making the last trip tough to pick them out before they move out of sight.
It stormed all day but would lighten up every once in a while letting us spot 9 sheep for the day, but the next couple days were looking extremely well!
Trying to turn up the orange tagged ram, to no avail..


Trying to get on there level!! In a snow storm!

These sheep ran into me rutting around this young ram and ewes were really curious to what I was before heading off.

Video from the day!


We noticed the other tag holder making a stalk on a ram, in the morning so we decided to head to a different area this area was extremely hard to glass!! We spotted a couple ewes and a small ram but no shooters, we had a past tag holder come show us a new area and that's when we found the band! There was about 6 mature rams in the group and they worked there way all over the face chasing eachother across the mountain and another nice ram was keeping the hot ewe above them, during the chase we heard 10-15 head butts and saw a couple through the spotters, to late to get my dad up there we just sat down and watched!
The face the sheep went over

The guys helping us spot ended up leaving for other plans, and me and my dad watched those sheep went up over the ridge and onto the other side in no time! All we could do was hope the rams would be in the same general area in the morning!


Video Link


Highlights and kill shot of the ram!!

Me and my dad wake up with extreme anticipation of what can happen, will those rams be in the same spot, or will we be in for another day of locating another stud! We head over to where we last saw all those rams rutting around with Koby, Rick, and Spencer... Again we saw quite a few ewes, and then I spotted a nice ram, and not soon after another nice ram this ram was a shooter!!! After getting some video of the ram, we were headed in after the stalk was on!! I wanted to go up higher and sneak through a small dip, in the hill but it wasn't enough cover, so we backed down around some cliffs and made our way closer 300 yards not close enough so we slowly moved from cedar tree to cedar tree to get within 200 yards!! It was all up to my dad! We quickly checked to make sure this was the ram and one bark from the .270 the ram hunched and started hobbling down before stopping where he expired!! What an awesome experience the first big game animal I've ever watched my dad kill! He was like a little kid and said immediatly "Get your #####, lets get up there!!" I laughed and said hold on and we waited for 20 minutes gathering our gear before heading up to him!
His ram before the stalk


The bottom of the picture on the rocks is where the backpack was set up and the tripod and camera was to the left of that...

As he layed






Unbelievable experience!! Awesome ending!!

It's not over yet!! Some Rams taunted us after the shot!


After taking pictures of my dads ram, from over the ridge, the band of Rams that my dad's Ram was running with decided they'd give us a show! I snuck and was able to have the rams run by at 5 yards! I also was able to get some awesome footage of a blonde ram rutting a ewe, I was close enough I could hear him "Ba" as he tried to convince the ewe, he's the stud.. There was some nice rams in the group and it was a great ending, to end my 2012 big game hunting season...



Thanks again for all the help, this season!!
Koby,Rick,Spencer,Jeff,and Lance

Koby and Rick/Spencer were in close contact this year and were able to help spot a few days, they have a lot of knowledge and are very humble!
Thanks Lance for helping me get my bow set up at Top of Utah Archery, and he also came to help spot which was big help with these sheep blending into the rocks the way they do.

Hope you enjoyed my HAC this was a season that I thought only existed in my Dreams!
Thanks For Reading!
-Kade Purser

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom