My Fishlake Archery Hunt


Very Active Member
Well I have to admit I'm a muley addict and that usually means I don't apply for elk in Utah. But over the years I have hung on to 5 points and figured someday I might cash them in. Well after looking at odds and realizing I could draw an achery tag on the Fishlake I decided this would be the year to try. The Fishlake will always be my "home" unit. I knew I might not shoot a giant but the memories past and present meant more to me than inches I guess. I ended up shooting my bull less than 3 miles from where I saw my first elk ever, standing on the front seat of my dads 1975 Jimmy as they crossed the dirt road in front of us. About 7 years later when I was 12 I went on my first elk opener with dad. He shot a bull less than 2 miles from where my bull fell. 8 years later I shot my first spike bull in the same area and 2 years after that my first spike with a bow. So to me the Fishlake has always meant elk hunting.

Tag arrives

Time to start shooting

The usual summer outings on the Fishlake turned into scouting trips this year.

Few trail cams set up just for fun

Shooting all summer...70 yard group with mattered later!

More than ready for the opener

Daylight breaks to 37 bulls in this basin. Nothing huge but it was a great morning with my brother.



After the opener it seemed the rain and hale was the featured actor in our hunt. It was unreal and everyday. Makes for quiet hunting for sure but it got old after awhile.

I have never seen the mushrooms and puffball like I saw this year. They were everywhere including the sagebrush flats.

Labor Day weekend it was more rain and the lava rock I love so much!!! My youngest son was a hiking machine as usual but you can see how much he loves the rain and lava too!



The rain was keeping the bulls in the thick stuff

Well the final week of my hunt arrived and the elk were finally talking. I took the week off and planned to hunt the final 8 days after spending 12 hit and miss days during the first few weeks of the hunt. My wife surprised me by taking the first few days off because she didnt want me hunting alone on my birthday and mostly because she just kicks a## and enjoys the hunt!

We left the cabin on the razr and after 16 miles parked and planned on listening for bugles and mostly spotting for the evening.

As the sun dropped behind the horizon the bulls started to light up the canyon. Most of the bugling was in the distance and I watched as a herd of cows and younger bull drifted out into the sage to feed. I bugled back mostly to hear them go again as they were to far for a stalk that night. Immediatly I had a bull answer just below us. What started as a mellow evening/scouting/hunting trip got serious in a hurry. I dropped along a cow trail through the aspens toward the bugle and cut the distance quickly. After a couple minutes I bugled again and his answer cut me off, he had moved up the draw toward me and was fired up. I started to glass ahead and spotted him destroying a sagebrush in the flat that opened up right in front of us. We moved up to 133 yards and watched him again for a minute he was totally focused on tearing up the brush and bugling at the bulls across the canyon. My wife decided to hang back and watch as I moved foward. I closed to 90 yards and noticed he had bedded in the flat and was occasionally bugling. I was running out of cover and trying to figure out how to cut more distance off when I noticed 2 deer enter the flat above him. Just as I hoped he turned his head toward them looking away from me as they crossed the flat, giving me a chance to quickly cut off another 20 yards. I ranged again and got 70 yards on the button. I still wanted cut down another 20 yards if possible but the second I step out from the tree he turned and bugled catching me in the open. He slowly stood and turned broadside. I felt very confident at 70 yards so I drew picked a spot, checked my bubble, half breath and watched as the arrow buried to fletching tight against his shoulder. He took 3 or 4 huge leaps and I saw him stagger. He paused for a moment as I held my breath and his legs went as he toppled less than 50 yards from the shot. At that point I let out a yell and jumped around like a little kid, within 10 seconds Heather was jumping around with me as she had watched it all unfold.

Sagebrush he was working over and bedded next to.

Flat he was bedded in, look close and you can see my wife standing where he was at the shot.

Trees I shot from.

We waited a little while to approach the bull and ended up field dressing him in the dark. So all the rest of the pics are from the next morning. Didn't crawl into bed until 1:30 that night. It didn't really matter because I didn't sleep a wink.

Wouldn't have traded my hunting partner for anyone. It was an amazing night to share with her. Great memories we will always have together.

He's not a giant but my personal goal was 300 P&Y, he ended up gross scoring 310 6/8. Not a huge bull but I wouldn't have traded how it all went down for 40 inches of antler any day.


My dad and Kay showed up to help with the packout. Dad always took me hunting and Kay use to check me out of high school to go archery elk hunting while dad worked. It was pretty special to have them both there.

This hunt created unbelievable memories I will have forever, along with reminding me of many I have already had on the Fishlake. Fishlake will always be my "home" unit and I wouldn't ever want it any other way.


Sorry for the long post and I know it got a little sappy at times but I hope some of you enjoy it.


That is what it is all about. Congrats on the awesome bull and great memories!


Long Time Member
LAST EDITED ON Sep-30-13 AT 05:44PM (MST)[p]Where was your camp ? Doctors creek ? I recognize where some of your pictures where taken . Thats some great country. I love it up as well. Great hunting story !


Long Time Member
Nice Job Muley73!

You make the Ole Man DC Pack the Biggest Piece?:D

Best Watch Out!
My Arm is starting to Hurt!
I'm about to Itch it!


Long Time Member
One of the very best post this year. Great story and pictures and nice bull. Nice job!!


Very Active Member
We actually have a little family cabin right across the highway from where the road to Hightop or Hancock takes off.

He's more of a packing "coach" these days! He does a helluva job!!!

Thanks for all the compliments guys it was a fun experience glad to share my excitement .


Long Time Member
LAST EDITED ON Oct-01-13 AT 00:12AM (MST)[p]

muley73's first elk hunt, 1985, twelves years old. We slept a third of the way down the face of the Boobie Hole (sliding to the bottom of our bed rolls every time we relaxed, due to the steepness of the terrain) with these bulls, a 100 cows and calves chirping, mewing, and screaming over us for 11 hours, under a full moon. That's the night muley73 learned what it's like to have your chest diaphragm vibrate from a bull bugling 10 feet from your face. It was a night and day neither of us will ever forget.

A Dad always hopes his children will grow up to better, at what he loves, than he was and my hopes have been fulfilled, more than I'd ever dreamed.

Thank you for your kind words Cody, I'm proud of you and Heather and your commitment to the outdoor way of life. I hope you will ways believe it's worth the effort to protect and preserve it.

Congratulation on a right good bull elk.



Long Time Member
73, Awesome guy! The body on that bull looks freaking huge. I'll bet 2lumpy was a proud Papa! Again, very nice all the way around, Congrats!!


"It's all about knowing what your firearms practical limitations are and combining that with your own personal limitations!"


Long Time Member
Good looking trucks.
That is a great story, Glad your wife was there to enjoy the hunt and the nice bull you took.

"I have found if you go the extra mile it's Never crowded".
>[Font][Font color = "green"]Life member of
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Active Member

Seriously, excellent post, amazing story with great pics and a beautiful bull.

I think you have it figured out my friend. No better way to put it than they way you did.

Great memories shared with your amazing wife and a true trophy to remember them by.

Thanks for sharing!

"The problem with quotes on Internet Forums is that it is often difficult to verify their authenticity." - Abraham Lincoln


Very Active Member
That one of my favorite hunting pics. It was a an unbelievable time. I still am not sure how I got stuck with the beanie looking like Jock Cousteau while you got to look like Hank JR meets CW McCall!!!

I was shooting the UlmerEdge this year. Very happy with them. I have not been a big expandable fan in the past but I have no problem recommending these heads, flew perfect and performance was devastating.


Long Time Member
Just about perfect in every way!
Congrats on a fine trophy and a great hunt!


Long Time Member
Congrats Christensen clan! Great read and pictures. Especially cool that the whole family got into the action.

It's always an adventure!!!


Very Active Member
Good Job and great archery bull.
Glad to see you made it count, and to have your wife there watching it all unfold had to be special for both of you.
The "Fishlake" is home, and the memories are what it is all about..


Active Member
Cool story. We drove up from New Mexico a few years ago and hunted the otc archery deer on Fishlake with friends from Loa.
Cool unit ,cant wait to go back.


Awesome post man.... Congrats on a great bull!!!

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