2019 was one to remember

JakeH

Very Active Member
Messages
2,807
2019 has definitely been a year to remember I harvested my biggest elk and deer this year as well as taking a really nice bear.

It all started with my Bear hunt.

I got my bear this week, I got to say this hunt was a lot funner than I had anticipated it being. I got a lot of help from some of the guys here on MM on bait recipes and they came in handy. So thanks to everyone that helped out.

I got to say I was fooled by my trail cam pics I thought I had a good sized boar but turns out it was a big Female, Either way I am happy.

She has ear tags in both ears, which alot of times is indication that it was a problem bear, but the Biologist got back to me yesterday and said she was tagged when she was a year old cub with her mom back in 2010 who happened to have a radio collar on and was being tracked. She was born in 2009 and is a 10 year old bear. I killed her about 5 miles from the general area she was born in. I think having the back story is kinda cool and makes the hunt even more interesting.

Any way thanks everyone for the help and here are some pictures.

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>Here is a couple pictures of
>my blind.
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>Looking out to the bait.
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Next was Archery elk in Arizona.

Figured I would share my buddy and I's Arizona elk hunt from this year.

The area I hunt is super thick and relatively flat, so glassing is not an option, I missed the first couple days of the hunt and my buddy wasn't going to make it out until several days later.

The first day I was in there after setting up camp I decided to go check the water holes I knew about figuring with all the moisture we had received this year that they would be full. I was mistaken because every pond I knew about was bone dry.

There had been some recent storms hit the area so I decided to drive around the to see if I could find any tracks, not far into my drive I cut a large bull track with a lone cow. I geared up and started tracking. After 5 miles I never did catch up to the bull and cow, but did get a good idea of where the elk were hanging out.

The next morning was uneventful, no bugling, I had went to a different area where I've seen elk in the past and was not cutting any fresh track after a 7 mile morning hike.
I decided to head back to the area I was cutting sign in the day before for the evening hunt.
My plan was to make another large loop through the area and see if I could narrow down where the elk was hanging out, the plan was to also check a small slot canyon that I had found years ago that would collect water in the rocks and see if it had water.
Before I made it to the water catch I actually walked onto a small bull. He made me about the same time I seen him and no shot was presented. I did find that there was water in the little slot canyon and the elk seemed to be drinking from it. I was also cutting a lot of track in the area but no bugling was herd.

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The next morning again was slow, no bugling and no elk spotted, I decided to build a small blind over looking the water I had found the night before and would sit it for the evening hunt. Nothing was seen or herd for the day but i was still cutting lots of track.

For the next morning i decided to check a large sage flat that the elk seemed to like. I got in there well before daylight and after calling i thought i herd a bull bugle back. I worked in a little closer and tried again, after a couple minutes I herd a bull chuckle. And a little while latter a bugle. This was good, now i just had to work my way into position before it got light and try and call him in.

I got into position to where i was a couple hundred yards away and started calling, the bull immediately answered and headed my way. He came in to where i was looking straight into the horizon and rising sun, I only caught a few brief glances at his antlers coming through the trees and could really only make out that he had a good 4, 5, 6. He was definitely a shooter for me.

I had wanted him to come in and work his way to my right side, this would give me the best shooting lanes as I had huddled next to a tree and would also make the bright rising sun not an issue But as usually happens he worked to my left and came in hot, before i knew it he was within 20 yards right on the other side of the tree with no shot. He immediately kinda busted as there was no cow in the area, I called as he did and thought he had left the area but as i worked around the tree i could see his antler tips sticking above the trees about 50 yards away. I drew back my bow and side stepped out to where i had a clear shot. It took a second to figure out how he was standing as i was staring straight into the bright horizon line. But i finally made him out and sent one on its way. I knew i had hit him but was unsure of how well as i could not see my arrow impact and was unsure of the yardage.

I went and checked for blood and found my arrow and what was probably the best blood trail I have ever seen. Here are a few pictures to illustrate this.
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>I trailed the blood for about 400 yards until he had gotten out of the flat and into the thick trees. Even with the amazing blood trail the fact he had made it so far made me nervous so i decided to back out for a few hours and make sure he had plenty of time to die.

Once the bull made it into the trees I found a bloody bed only 80 yards in. The bull was still bleeding really well, after another short distance i found another bed, and then another, but they was starting too look more tore up, I think he was tearing the ground up with his foot and getting the dirt loosened up and then putting the wound right into it to try and stop the bleeding, I found 3 or 4 beds like this in a very short distance.

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>I nocked an arrow and continued on slowly watching ahead in case the bull was still alive even though I didn't see how he could be with as much blood as he had lost.

I finally spotted the bull dead up ahead.

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Turned out my shot was low and the arrow had got an artery in his leg about where his leg and chest come together. That is why he had lost so much blood, I found my broadhead lodged in one of the joints in his leg where the shoulder connects to the leg, I was quite lucky and am very grateful I recovered this bull.

I had finally killed a good bull, this was my first 6x6 and my largest bull to date. He was a fighter and had some broken points i hadn't seen in all the excitement of calling him in, but i didn't care. I set him up for pictures and proceeded to getting him quartered out and packed out. Which is quite the job when you are by yourself lol.
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>This ended up being one of the shortest hunts I've ever had, I'm usually sticking it out to the final days. My wife was sure happy about that lol.

I did stick around for a few more days. My buddy Jt showed up two days after i killed my bull and the plan was the same as when i hunted. Try and get one talking in the morning and sit the water at night. It was a pretty uneventful couple of days the elk were not talking at all. But on the 3rd evening he had a bull come into the water right at dark and he was able to put an arrow in him. He thought he might of hit him low and back a little so he backed out and we decided to go look for him first thing in the morning as the last thing you want to do is bump a wounded bull.

The next morning we got on the trail and immediately found blood, with signs of a gut shot. We proceed very slowly and after about 300 yards spotted the bull bedded about 20 yards sway watching us. JT quickly put another arrow into the bull and he ran off, this shot was perfect and we herd the bull start to death moan about 100 yards away through the trees. We waited about 20 minutes and went and found the bull.
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>Jt also killed his first 6x6
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All in all it was a really fun hunt, my bull would have been about 315 unbroken, and Jt's bull was just over 300.
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The one thing I learned is make sure you give them plenty of time to die or at least get sick enough they don't want to move, we both got very luck the we recovered our bulls and the outcome could have ended differently had we pushed them to soon.
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I also had a Utah 3 season general elk tag, after a few close calls on the archery hunt which included a up close and personal visit from a lion that snuck into 10 feet of me while sitting on a water hole. Lucky he decided I wasn't dinner.
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It came down to the rifle hunt, with only a few days to hunt I decide I wasn't going to be picky and I would shoot the first bull I found. I snuck up on this guy in the thick timber and put him down.

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Was able to bring my 2 year old in for to help pack him out.
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Lastly I was able to pick up a Colorado 2nd season tag the day before the hunt started. Here is that story.

Well I was able to pick up a deer tag the Friday before the season opened for a unit fairly close to home. With the short notice I was not able to secure time off for the whole hunt, but would have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning but would have to work night shift monday through Thursday night, and would have the last 3 days to hunt as well.

I decided to hold out for a big buck the first weekend and then hunt hard the last 3 days and lower my standards depending on what I was seeing.

The first day I had my cousin with me and we seen a lot of bucks around 40 including a couple 170 class deer, as well we jumped a big buck midday in the sage and had about a 10 second window to evaluate and shoot him before he got out of sight. He was a super super heavy really tall narrow 4x4. I got a good look and noticed one of his fronts was noticeably shorter than the other side. I elected to pass as he ran over the hill 150 yards away. I was holding out for a 190+ and figured at the time he was mid 180s plus it was only day one. After discussing with my cousin and really thinking it over we feel I severely under judged him and he was probably every bit of 190 and then some. I never could turn him back up and I would have really liked to get a better look at that buck lol.

Day two didn't start off well, woke up to a flat tire with a really slow leak, changed the tire and got out, half way through the morning got second flat, had to change that one out with the slow leak tire that I was able to get off the mountain with. That pretty much killed day two. I did see one 170 class buck though.

Day 3 I was able to run up briefly in the morning after filling my tire with fix a flat but didn't dare get to western without a spare. Seen some nice bucks but nothing to shoot. I went home got some new tires put on the truck and then was off to work for 4 stress filled nights, but luckily I was able to talk a co-worker into coming in a night early giving me one extra day.

So now day 6 (Thursday) of the hunt, I didn't get home till around daylight and still had an hour long drive to the unit, hunted all day and passed on 2 170 class deer seen around 20 bucks, spent most of the day in the area I seen the giant from day one.

Day 7 hunted hard, seen some good deer but still nothing out of that 170 range.

Day 8, My cousin decided to join me again we got out and right off the bat at first light we found 2 bigger bucks, a 3x4 about 170 and a 3x3 that was dang close to 170. We decided to pass them up even though I was getting a little anxious and both looked like great bucks. We decided to move to a new area but just before we got there another truck took the road we was gonna head into. We decided to go somewhere else rather than follow behind other hunters. On our way out we took one more road that loops back around to the main road just to see if there was any deer in the area. As we are driving my cousin spots a buck about 200 yards away. We both look him over and see tall with good mass and I thought I seen a extra on his right front, I decided to put the spotter on him. About this time the cousin says "you might want to shoot that buck" I put the spotter on him and confirmed the mass and good back forks as well as what I thought was a crabbed out front fork with an extra tripod looking thing on it, and I also thought I seen another tripod on the other side. Being second to last day to me he looked like a cool 170 class buck I decided to take him. I got set up off of my spotter tripod got a range of 250 yards just as he went into some thick oak brush. The buck wasn't scared but was pretty rutted up and on the move looking for does. He came out of the oaks at 290 yards and I was able to put one in the boiler room. He ran 20 yards and piled up. We walk up there and we are both surprised at what we found. He was a 5x6 and had some extras we hadn't noticed. Needless to say the buck definitely had some ground growth which is always nice. He went from a 170 class deer to what I felt was a low 180 class deer and I was extremely happy. Well after a picture session and getting him taken care of and to the truck I put a tape on him. I really didn't believe the outcome and had to measure him again just to be sure. He went from a low 180 class stud buck to a 197.5 giant and is officially my largest buck yet lol. For some reason I was just having a hard time seeing him for what he was.

So my buck is a 22" wide 5x6 that scores 197. I am a very happy camper and I just got to say it's always nice when they grow on you when you walk up to them. All 3 of my biggest bucks have done this for me lol.
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So all and all it has been an amazing year, which included helping out a lot of friends if I get time later I may add some more to this thread.

But it is definitely safe to say that 2019 has been an epic year for me.


Jake H.
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JakeH

Very Active Member
Messages
2,807
Well the season is officially over filled my final tag the other day, it was a short hunt my only day I had to get out and look for a Cow and right at first light I found a small herd and was able to take this big cow out of the group.

Freezers are full and I am happy.

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Jake H.
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