HuntinFool's 2018 Hunt Adventures


Active Member
2018 started off like most years, with a few shed hunting trips. I spent most of my time in Utah, but I went to Nevada a couple times as well. Overall, it was a rough year. I didn't find anything that great and the animals seemed to be spread out due to the lack of snow.





My next hunt of the year was an Aoudad hunt in Texas. This had been a bucket list hunt for me for so long, and when the right deal popped up, I jumped on it. Leading up to this hunt I decided I wanted to do it with my bow. Most people that I talked to, that had experience aoudad hunting, told me that it wasn't an easy hunt with a rifle, let alone a bow, but I was determined to give it a try anyway.

The morning I began my 20+ hour drive, I received a call from the outfitter telling me to go to a different property than originally planned upon. He said that it was 11,000 acres, and was supposed to have aoudad, but he hadn't been on the property in several years so he was unsure. That definitely wasn't what I wanted to hear going into the hunt, but I was already headed South so I continued on. I detoured through Amarillo and spent the night meeting up with some friends, and continued on the next morning.

I arrived around noon, and met with the outfitter. He had "accidentally" double booked so I was going to be hunting by myself. He was going to be on another property hunting axis with a few hunters. I drove to the property, and pulled it up on OnX Maps. I found a waterhole at the back of the property and figured that would be as good of place to start as any. I dove to the waterhole and was greeted by at least 100 domestic sheep. At that point I figured I'd hunt it like anything out west and just get to the highest point and start glassing.

I glassed for several hours, and wasn't seeing anything. I was honestly getting really discouraged and thinking this hunt was going to be a bust, when I spotted a ewe making her way around the face of a cliff. As I watched her more aoudad continued to follow her. There was 7 in total including one decent ram. They ended up in a great position for a stalk. I quickly came up with a plan and took off.

I was going to come around on the same well worn sheep trail they did. The wind was perfect, and I knew I'd be close when they came into view. I made my way around the cliff face, moving quickly as the trail was clear and easy to move quietly on. I slowed down right before I figured I'd be able to see them, knocked an arrow and crept forward.

The first aoudad that came into view was a ewe, and she was already moving away. I had been busted, and I have no clue how. I ran forward until I could see the rest of the herd, and quickly found the ram. I threw my rangefinder up and ranged him at 87. I dialed my sight, drew back, settled my pin and squeezed the shot off. The arrow hit exactly where i was aiming. It went in the crease and stuck on the opposite side. As he ran off with the arrow sticking out of him I was sure he'd be down quick. I sat down, and waited about an hour. I went down to where I'd hit the ram and immediately found good blood. I followed heavy blood for over 300 yards and then it dried up. Now unsure of the hit, I decided to back out, and come back the next morning.

The next morning I arrived back at the property, and went to last blood. At that point, I just began grid searching. After several hours of finding nothing, I was walking the property line back down towards my truck when I found a patch of fur on the fence and a couple drops of blood on the ground below. It appeared that he had made it on to the neighboring property. I looked on google earth and found the house I figured the land owner lived in. I went and met with the landowner, and explained the situation. After a little convincing he decided to let me on the property.

I went back to where I had found the hair on the fence and followed the trail on to their property. 50 yards in, I found him laying there. The arrowed had entered perfectly and just barely poked through on the other side about 4 inches behind the crease. I had hit both lungs, and he still made it over 500 yards. I was extremely fortunate to even get a shot on an aoudad considering the circumstances, and I was on cloud nine to be able to get it done with a bow. He's not a giant, but I don't care. I'm very happy with him.



I headed back to Utah after my aoudad hunt, and had to work a couple days, and then I was able to get out and try to fill my general season turkey tag. The third day of the season I drove to a spot I've had success in the past. I arrived at my spot, and sat in my truck until just before legal shooting light. I headed into the area stopping every so often and listening. As it got a light, I began calling. I wasn't hearing anything and was unsure why because normally this area is loaded with birds. I headed back to my truck and when I got back to it, I noticed 2 turkey carcasses laying about 10 yards from my truck. I had walked right by them, and didn't even notice them. They had both been breasted out and had the tail fans and beards removed. That explained why I wasn't finding any birds.

The next couple weeks I made it out a couple times without a whole lot of luck. I passed on 2 jakes, saw some hens, and one small tom right on the edge of private. I was beginning to think I wasn't going to fill my tag when a buddy suggested an area in Northern Utah. It was just a small chunk of public, but it was worth a shot. I left my house and made the 2 hour drive to the area. I arrived about an hour before light and started walking into the spot that looked the best to me based on what I saw on google earth.

I stopped walking once I made it to where I wanted to be, sat down and waited for it to get light enough to see. Just as it was getting daylight, I heard a hen yelp, quickly followed by a gobble. After that multiple hens began yelping, and the tom was gobbling every 20 seconds or so. They sounded like they were about 100 yards away, on the other side of a creek. I made my way closer, and began calling. The tom gobbled at my call every time, but he wouldn't move any closer. I slowly made my way through the thick brush and across the creek.

After I made it through the brush and across the creek I was at the base of an open face. I could hear the birds faintly, but I couldn't pin point where they were at and they sounded like they were moving off. I finally spotted them feeding up the face about 400 yards away. I began calling, and flashing a tail fan I'd brought along from one of my previous birds. As soon as the tom saw that he rushed down the hill to about 100 yards, and then ran back up to his hens. He repeated this about 5 times, never coming into range, until he lost interest and fed up and over the hill with his hens.

As soon as the last hen was out of sight I sprinted up the hill. As I crested the hill I could hear him gobbling again to my right. I crept through the sparse brush until I spotted the birds in a small saddle. I softly called once, and flashed the fan. He immediately began running in my direction. I propped the fan up in a bush and moved about 15 yards to the right. He crested up over the hill and was still on a dead run towards the fan. I stopped him with a few yelps, and let him have it at about 10 yards. His beard was just under 11" and he ended up being my biggest bird, and it was by far one of my funnest turkey hunts!




Towards the end of May my cousin and I headed to Northwest Montana for our annual spot and stalk bear hunt. This would be our third year doing this hunt, and to be honest I have a love/hate relationship with it. Extremely thick cover limits glassing in the area, and most of the time it seems as if we're always one step behind the bears based upon the sign we find. We've had some success, with me taking a bear the first year, and my cousin taking one last year, but it's the only hunt I go on anymore that I don't feel like I have somewhat figured out.
My bear from 2016. bear_zpstlntbwmd.jpeg
My cousin's bear from 2017. rug_zpscsnvtvyy.jpeg
My cousin's rug we picked up while we were up there.

The first five days of the hunt we covered a lot of ground in the truck, walking some but not as much as we should've been. We were seeing very little sign, and the only bears we saw were a sow and 3 cubs the first day, about about a mile away in the only clear cut in the area. We got into one area that had fresher sign, and focused our attentions there, but we never could turn up the bear. My cousin ended up having to go back to work early so I drove him back to Utah, and was planning on calling it quits myself when a buddy called me and told me about a bear he'd been seeing. I made the decision to turn right back around and head back to finish the last 5 days of the season solo. road_zpsmoplzmnf.jpeg

When I made it back to Montana, I went and checked the area where the bear my buddy had told me about had been. 100 yards down the logging road I found a gut pile and my heart sank. I was now back to square 1 and decided that I was just going to cover as much ground as I possibly could to finish out the hunt. I ended up hiking 14-17 miles of old closed off logging roads a day, the last 5 days of the season. I saw 2 sows and 5 cubs those last 5 days, bringing the season total to 3 sows and 8 cubs, but not 1 boar. I found new areas, and learned more this year than I have the last 2 years combined and feel confident for next year. I may try to make it back up there this fall if I can find time between all my other hunts, but it's not likely. distance_zps8ndednar.jpeg track_zpswr5dfaj7.jpeg
You have insufficient privileges to reply here.

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