Active Member
I've been looking forward to this year for some time and things have finally lined up together. Like many I have been playing the Utah big game draw odds waiting for my turn to hunt a big stinky. I've witnessed 14 unsuccessful applications and now finally a $285 hit on my credit card. Of course the hit could be for my wife so we'll have to wait and see. Fishlake, early rifle elk hunting here I come!!!

For the past couple of years I have been attending Pharmacy school. As a result I've had to base my hunting applications on a year to year basis. Last year I decided to just put in for a point as my wife would be near full term with our second boy and I didn't think I would be able to come up with the time I wanted to dedicate to the tag. Preparations for my final year of school and the possibility of hunting a big stinky mentally started happening last summer. With all my bonus points I knew I was becoming a lock for the early rifle tag. Still not knowing how much time I could dedicate to the tag I began thinking that perhaps I should start putting in for the premium tag. Being able to hunt all seasons would not only be fun but also give me more opportunity to hunt. With that being said, my last year of school consists of eight, 6 week rotations and one of the blocks would be an off block. Not knowing whether I would have to move out of state to find a job after school I decided that if I could get my off block during the hunting season I would try to cash my points in. Our rotation assignments were posted right before Christmas break and I was pleased to see that my 3.3 block (08/19 ? 09/27) was granted as my off block. Now I just had to pass the rest of my classes for the year, to keep my schedule from being messed up. I'm glad to say that I accomplished just that.

It's hard to count on a LE tag being a sure thing, but with results not posted until the end of May I tried to not waste any time getting back into shape. I've lost close to 10 pounds in the last month and am running 6-8 miles a week. I would really like to drop another 10-15 pounds by the hunt, but that might require me to eat a bit healthier than I'm used to.
April 15th

May 13th

Fishlake isn't an entirely new area to me. My family has owned a cabin up there since I was a baby, but it's been a long time since I've gone into certain areas of the unit. My hope is to spend as much time familiarizing myself on the unit as I can. I have two boys under two years old that I would like to share the memories with as much as I can. I want them to enjoy and learn from being in the outdoors.
Throwing Rocks


Come along and enjoy the ride of the 2013 season!


Active Member
Well it's official, received the successful draw e-mail from the DWR for Fishlake early rifle!

Thank you for your recent applications for the Big Game Drawing. Your results are:
Hunt # Result
6505, , Bison UNSUCCESSFUL
3061,3115, Elk Bull SUCCESSFUL for hunt 3061, Plateau, Fishlake/Thousand Lakes Any Legal Weapon
1549,1533,1519,1534,1537 General Buck UNSUCCESSFUL

My wife drew a general rifle deer tag for Fishlake. She drew the same tag last year but had to turn it back in due to her pregnancy. She has threatened to shoot a bigger buck on the unit than I did last year. I hope she is successful. This is the buck she'll have to beat. Hope she gets the chance, but I haven't seen many bucks this size while hunting up there.

I made mention of my family?s cabin. I've always hunted with my dad since I was a young kid. A couple years ago I was able to spend the hunt for his LE elk up on Fishlake and hoped that he would get the same opportunity with me this year. Unfortunately that won't happen. My dad and mom chose to serve a LDS mission and will be gone during the hunt. I talked long and hard about it with my dad whether I should wait for another year. Knowing that his physical capabilities had become limited after falling off of a roof and breaking his back a few years ago he encouraged me to apply for the tag anyway. Our cabin was built by my dad but has never been fully completed on the inside. Hoping to spend a lot of time up there I decided to try and finish as much as I could as a surprise for when my parents get back. My younger brother and I spent most of Memorial Day weekend getting started on the task. We made some progress but have a ways to go.





We only made it out fishing one morning, but my brother caught his first fish on a paddle. Unfortunately, it was just a baby. He was able to bring in one other baby, I on the other hand only caught a thing of powerbait from the bottom.

Two more weeks then I get a little break from school and will be back up on the mountain.


Active Member
Time for an update. Just a little over 2 months away until my elk hunt! Got home from the mountain to find my tag in the mail. I've been spending a lot of time up there, but to this point it hasn't been to scout for the hunts. I posted earlier about the desire I had to finish most of the inside of my parents cabin. It was a big undertaking but my brother and I finally got most of it done.







It's far from perfect, but it makes things a lot nicer (especially with two little ones running around).
I've continued my quest to get into shape. I'm down a few more pounds.


I have gone out looking for animals a little here and there. Unfortunately I've left my camera each time. There has been nothing impressive as far as growth with deer antler, ran into a cow and bull moose (seems like it's been a while since I've come across any), as far as the elk there are a couple I've seen that I think will be pretty nice come season.

Hopefully next post will be more exciting with animal pictures to enjoy.


Active Member
July 12-14th we had our family ruin up at Fish Lake. It was nice to get back into the mountains again. We spent most of our time fishing hoping to catch a big mac. Our efforts were in vain and all I brought up was this 22? baby. We did go out for a drive one night in hopes to see some bulls. We saw a ton of cows and calves and this bachelor herd of bucks but no bulls.
bachelor herd
The weekend went by fast and it was soon time to go back home.

Aside from trying to lose weight and get in shape for the upcoming hunting season I was also doing it as part of a biggest loser competition with some family and friends. This started on April 15, at that time I weighed 209.6 lbs, and went until July 22 where I finished at 193.0 lbs. The 16.6 lbs. (7.92%) of weight loss was only good enough to put me in 4th place but at least I was becoming physically ready for hunting season.

August 16 marked the finish of a 6 week block spent at UVRMC. The rotation went well, but it also took up a lot of my free time working on projects. Upon completion I felt like I could finally take in a deep breath and actually start thinking about My LE elk hunt. The hunt is now just a little over 3 weeks away and I need to kick things into gear. I think this year will be a good one for most units in UT. A friend of mine sent me a beautiful 6x6 bull he captured on his trail cam. The more I look at it the more I think it could possible flirt with the 360 mark. A bull that I would certainly be pleased with taking.

August 21
Having neglected my exercise regimen the past 6 weeks I wanted to adventure on a long hike to see how physically capable my body was at this point. We left the truck at home so I found a route where my wife could drop me off with ease. I was also interested in what some of the country had to offer, hoping to maybe come across something in the process. I figured the hike to be around 10-11 miles. At 8:30 in the morning I was dropped off with a heavy pack, ~40 lbs, for my adventure.

Here are some pics along the way





Fresh track

Only needed to find one more and I would have had enough to shoe a horse


Getting close to the top


Time to start descent

GPS stats


Nine hours and twenty minutes later, covering 14.4 miles I finally made it back to our cabin. I had climbed from a starting point of 8,639 feet above sea level to a max of 11,424 feet, with a total ascent of 3,292 feet along the way. I was hoping to see more than I did (only saw a cow and calf before I even started). A lot of the country was thick and I didn't have much time to mill around.

Next trip I'll spend a few more days and more access available with my truck and wheeler. I also found out that I drew an antlerless elk tag for the same unit since last posting.


Active Member
Can't believe the hunt is now a week away! You would think at this point I would be more excited than ever, but what I am is super nervous. So far I have ran into Dr_Hunter, Foxskinner and Antlerrick up on the mountain. All are certainly top notch people.

Spending the last couple of weeks scouting has given me a new found respect for archery hunters. They've got to be the most patient and persistent people to come home with an animal.

I've got a lot of photos, video, stories, and maybe if I get lucky a bull to show for it once my hunt is finished.

Stay tuned!!!


Active Member
Aug 27th
Rain, rain, rain!!! I came up to our cabin the night before and our road was almost washed out. Because of the amount of rain the day before and looking much of the same today I decided to switch from my original plans. I was going to hike into a new area 4-5 miles that I was confident would have some elk in. Instead I went on a 4-wheeler ride, that way if threat of heavy rain approached I could get back to my truck faster.

It didn't take long before I came across a handful of elk. As I glassed from the lookout heavy fogged rolled in and so left my opportunity to look at the elk any further. I continued on my ride when a bachelor group of bucks jumped out in front of me. The biggest being a small 4-point just stood broad side and watched me at 55 yards until I decided to go on my way. During the application process I had been really tempted to try and pick up an archery tag for the area and after this encounter I wished that I would have.


As I went further on I found myself at another look-out point and finding more elk. This time I was able to sit and watch before more fog and rain rolled in. I was only able to see 3 elk; a spike, a five point, and a small six point. I was able to get a couple of pictures and some video at 1,200 yards of the two bigger bulls. These bulls, although fun to watch and see, were not quite as big as I had hoped to see; but you've got to start somewhere.

Through the rest of the day I did a little bit of hiking and driving around seeing a handful of cows and calves. In all my eyes counted 35 elk for the day.

Aug 28th
On my way to go hike into an area where we hunted the last couple of days on my dad?s LE elk hunt I passed a road that I hadn't been on before. I decided to take it and found myself in awesome elk country in a hurry. After about ? mile on the road I realized it was going to take me close to an area I had been interested in after looking at it on Google Earth. Getting off of my 4-wheeler I quickly spotted a herd of elk on one side of the saddle. Then, as I was getting my spotting scope ready I could hear crashing mixed with some cow calls and groaning. With the wind blowing their direction I had spooked a big herd on the opposite side of the saddle. With the amount of talking they were doing and seeing some raghorns in the bunch I was hoping to get some video but knew I wasn?t going to have enough time. All I could do was sit and watch as they trotted for the trees. The interesting thing to me was that even with all that was going on with this herd, the herd on the other side just continued to enjoy their day. These two herds were only ~300 yards from each other, a testament to me of how important watching the wind is.

After a while of sitting and watching I decided to continue on my way. A ways further down the road I reached the spot of my original intent. It didn't take long before I was into another herd of elk. I sat and watched as they fed closer and closer to me. I had intentions of hiking to the top but decided to back out instead of risking pushing them any. Later that night I ran into Reed, aka Foxskinner here on MM. We chatted for a while and exchanged some stories then went on our way. Even though I hadn't seen any big bulls I had come across over 150 elk for the day.




Active Member
Aug 30th
My friend John, aka Dr_Hunter, had asked a while back about placing his trail cam in an area he was interested in bow hunting. The area was one that my dad and I had hunted quite a bit when he had his LE elk tag. From reading previous posts, this was also a place WapitiBob had hunted a few years back. I had contacted him a few days prior and he ran through some of his observations of the area. I certainly appreciated his insight.

We already knew that there were some good bulls there from previous trail cam pics, now we needed to get a better idea where they were hanging out. John and I arrived at his camera just about as it was getting light. A few more pics of the bull were taken, but we weren't able to obtain any with his velvet rubbed off before the cattle had taken over the salt lick.






While climbing the hill we heard a faint bugle every so often. Later, as we stopped to rest, we realized that the bugle was now below us rather than ahead of us. We took off through the fallen timber hoping to get into some action. Once we got into a spot where it looked like elk had been in I let out a bugle. Instantly the bull responded, and he was close. John then caught a glimpse of him within 100 yards through the trees. It appeared as if he was going to try and circle us. Not a moment later I noticed the back end of another elk through the trees. As we inched closer he finally spotted out movement and trotted off. Sitting in the area for a while two more bulls came through. We had been hiking less than 2 hours and had already got onto 3-4 different bulls. And better yet I now knew a little better where they were hiding out during the day. Family and a heavy rainstorm prevented any further exploring for the day.

Sept 2nd
It had been a couple of days and I was itching to get back out. Because of rain and crowds I had decided to lay back over Labor Day weekend. I started the day hiking into an area that I had not been into in a long time. I figured there would be elk in there since there always was when I was a kid. The hike into the area had me a little discouraged. I hadn't heard or seen anything. After stopping to glass and eat lunch I decided to head back. On my way out I was beginning to see a little more sign in the trees. Then I caught a whiff of that great elk scent. A few more steps and the scent was getting stronger and stronger. I looked to my left and couldn't believe it, there was an elk. I pulled up my binos and saw that there wasn?t one, but two bulls bedded 30 yards from where I stood. The trees were thick enough that it was hard to get a descent look at them. From what I could see it was a small 6 point and a raghorn 5 point. I thought I would try and see how close I could get to them. As I inched my way I was only able to close the distance 5 more yards before the rubbing of brush was too much to hide. I grabbed my cow call and did a few chirps. I couldn't believe it, cows began chirping all around me. Somehow I had walked right into the middle of a herd. Unfortunately, none of the video turned out.

After the morning adventure I was off to explore some new area. It didn't take long before Mother Nature had plans of her own. I can't think of one day where rain hasn't affected me to some degree. I decided to call it an early day and head back to the cabin. If I were lucky I would see the bull I saw the night before, except this time I would have my spotting scope handy. A couple miles before the spot I saw the bull the night before I looked up the hill and thought I saw something. Upon further examination it was indeed an elk. As he came out of the trees I could see antlers so I jumped out with my spotting scope. At 747 yards away I was able to get some great video of this bull. Better yet, this was the same bull that John had gotten with his trail cam. He may not be the biggest on the mountain but he certainly has what I am looking for. After John?s pics I had already set my sites on this bull, and now with the video my hopes were only higher. The bad news was that not only had this bull began to move around, he had also made himself public to other viewing eyes. Hopefully he will make it through bow season and I can get a crack at him on my hunt.

*I've been told my videos will only work on a PC (not sure why, but a phone and IPAD I guess won't upload them) Anyway it's worth the watch so find a PC :)
4th Gen

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