GLEDEASY's HAC 2013 Part 3


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Here are the links to the other parts of my HAC
Part 1
Part 2

The month following my elk hunt I found myself going back to the daily grind but with the general season rifle deer hunt approaching it was time to head back up to the cabin. My little brother and wife both had tags. It had been a dozen years since my brother last harvested a deer and this was my wife?s first tag so I was hopeful for both to fill their tag.

My wife was 21 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, our third child. With the time I had spent on the mountain I had not found a buck that was worth keeping an eye on. Because of these two things we decided to hunt an area that wasn?t too high or steep in elevation.

Opening day we saw a handful of bucks a few ridges away, so the three of us tried closing the distance. As we got closer two bucks jumped up ahead of us, the biggest being a 3 point. Both were stopped facing away starring back at my brother. As my wife and I waited for the buck to turn my brother finally decided to take the 3 point.



As we were taking care of the buck my wife wanted to take my spotting scope to go glass for deer. It didn't take long before she came back saying she had found a buck bedded. I asked if it was a buck she wanted to go after, which it was, so I left my brother to go help my wife. When we got to the spot she had seen the buck I ranged him at almost 600 yards away. The country was open but I wanted to limit her shot to 200 yards if possible. We got to 240 when the buck stood up. Since the buck was surrounded by does we waited for a shot. Few minutes went by when some deer spooked towards us from the right. In the bunch was a nice 3x4 and stopped in the middle of the other deer we had been watching. Now the blood was really pumping, but I still wanted to make sure of a good shot. Unfortunately, the moment didn't happen before they headed over the ridge and we were unable to get on them. We finished and packed out the first buck and headed back for the cabin to get the meat hung.
That evening was uneventful in the hunt. There were multiple people in the area and we didn't see anything until it was too late to make a move.

The first day took its toll on my wife. She wasn?t very motivated to hike back up the hill in the rocky terrain, and I didn't blame her. We actually slept in and tried something a little different since the area was still somewhat unfamiliar to me. We didn't see much but eventually found a canyon to look over. I had quickly looked over the hillside and didn't see anything. As we sat and talked my wife expressed to me how much she wanted to get a buck. Right at that moment is when a buck appeared in my binoculars. ?Go get your gun? I told her. She replied, ?Are you serious?? ?Yes, go get it!? I put my spotting scope on the buck so she could look at it and determine if she wanted to shoot it. The buck was bedded and unaware that we were there, so we had ample time to talk over things. Putting all the factors together it was determined that this buck was a go.

I ranged the buck at 360 yards and even though I wanted to limit her to a 200 yard shot I knew we weren't going to be able to get any closer. We were in no rush so we found a spot where we could get a good and steady rest. I looked on my drop chart turned the turret 4 ? MOA and told her where to aim. I honestly wasn?t sure how this was going to turn out, but was excited to see the outcome. With the camera rolling Kelli touched off a round and I watched as the buck went down in his bed!

Kill Shot

Hike up to the buck

Looking back at where we shot the buck, on the rock cliff


Kelli's first buck



I was nice enough to pack it out for her :)

We were both really excited for what had just happened. It was a great experience for just the two of us to share. She made a great shot, and with that shot has harvested an animal further than any I have.

2013 has turned out to be a memorable year for hunting and with one tag left it's still not over!


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Even though we had both deer tags tagged out I went back to Fish Lake the following weekend to winterize our cabin since I didn't have time before.

I've always wanted to know what may have happened to the bulls Curly, 4th Gen., and Mr. Big that I had watched. That being said I went out looking for elk in the morning and what do you know...I think I may have found Mr. Big. It's hard to say whether it is him or not, but one thing is for sure they do look a lot alike. If it was him, he has broken his left 3rd for sure as it didn't stick out as far.

Here are the video's of both Mr. Big and perhaps Mr. Big as well. What do you think?

Mr. Big
Is it Mr. Big

Only a couple of weeks until my cow tag. The elk have moved in up above my cabin. Maybe I'll just walk out the back door in the morning and hike up the mountain to get my cow :)


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With 2 out of the 3 hunts done for the year, it was time to try and finish off the trifecta with my late season cow hunt up on Fish Lake West.

With school being back to its busy mode and the holiday season approaching I knew I wasn't going to have much time for the hunt. I thought about giving the tag back, but I needed an excuse to enjoy the outdoors one more time.

The first weekend my brother and I drove to the unit and spent Friday night locating elk. We found a herd of ~30 in a hole which we were familiar with. I had told myself I was only going to take an elk if the pack out would be easy, if there is such a thing. The elk were just within 700 yards in the open. I thought to myself if I really wanted to shoot one in there or not, but with winds almost blowing me over I certainly wasn't going to take a shot.

I figured those elk would be in there the next morning. That morning on our way back to that spot, I spotted a group of elk on a small hillside. We were once again 700 yards away but there was a road just about 100 yards from where they were. This would be a much easier pack out, so it was decided to go after these ones. We headed out on foot to try from spooking them. They were already gone when we got to where they were so we followed their tracks in the snow. We jumped them several times in the thick trees but was never able to get a shot off.

We pulled out of the area and decided to go after the elk from the night previous. Even though the pack out might not be as fun, they were in a more harvestable spot. A little to my surprise they were not to be found when we got there.

Later that day as we were on our way out my brother spotted some elk in the same area from that morning. I hopped out of the truck and ranged them at 350 yards. They were in the edge of the trees looking back at us. I waited for a shot, trying to stabilize my rest, but their butts faced us the whole time and I was never presented with a good shot. I attempted to circle around them when my body started shaking and I began to feel drained. We hadn't packed very much food in our rush to leave the house and I think my body was trying to communicate that. My brother had stayed at the truck so I decided to go back and we headed for home.

With a lot of turkey dinner and black Friday approaching I headed off for one more day to try and make it happen. I brought a 4-wheeler this time and was looking to explore some of the roads in the process. Midmorning as I was walking around I jumped some elk in the trees. I hustled to get to a spot where I would hopefully be able to see them on the next ridge. I could hear antlers hitting tree branches; as they walked out that's all that was there, 4 bulls. I spent the rest of the day once again exploring seeing if I could turn anything up.

I wasn't as diligent in taking pictures and video during this hunt. It was fun watching the deer rutting. I saw lots of ok bucks, but never anything big. Here is a video of a buck that I thought was worthy enough to get my camera out.

Nice Buck

As the evening was winding down I came around a turn to find a couple of elk running for the trees. They stopped as they hit the tree line and the cow presented me with a shot. The scenario happened so fast that I had to guess the distance. I figured it to be ~300 yards and I let a bullet fly. I watched as the bullet hit some snow above her shoulders and they took off. I thought maybe the shot wasn't as far as I thought, so I ranged it and the reading came back at 307 yards. I think I simply overcorrected in the excitement of the moment. I walked over to where she was and followed her tracks to confirm a miss for several hundred yards. Light was fading and it was time to call it a day.

As I traveled home I knew this tag would be left unfilled as I wasn't going to be able to come down again before season ended.


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This could very well be my last post on this HAC now that the 2013 year is winding down. I hope you have enjoyed reading/watching my season as much as I enjoyed experiencing/sharing it with you.

During the summer my wife and I were talking about the 3 tags we had. She worried about where we would put all of the meat if we filled each tag. One morning, as I was getting ready to head for the mountains, I went in the garage to grab something. It smelled awful in there. As I investigated I found puddles under both of the freezers. The circuit breaker had gone out. Who knows how long it had been out, but everything was wasted. I guess that solved that problem.

Filling 2 of the 3 tags filled one of the freezers pretty quick. We have enjoyed all sorts of meals using the meat from our harvests. My elk alone attributed to 250 pounds of meat.


This year will be one that I will always remember. I harvested my first bull and my wife harvested her first buck.

The 60 day drying period has now passed for my bull. I really could care less about what it scores as I'm more than happy with it. But I think I may have it officially scored, more so out of curiosity with how close our measurements were.

Here are a few more pictures of the rack.





Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and best of luck in 2014!!!

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