Three Best Big Buck Towns

ICMDEER

Very Active Member
Messages
2,781
Slow time of year. Just curious, what do you think are the three towns that have had the most big bucks killed within 30 miles of them in the last 50 years?

Here are the rules:

One town per state. A town has to be a place with a zip code/post office.
U.S., Canada and Mexico included.
If BOBCAT says Vernal, all bets are off!

Here are my three:

Dulce, NM
Alton, UT
Spirit River, Alberta
 

Bookhead

Active Member
Messages
995
Colorado more then doubled any other state including Saskatchewan in boone and crockett entries from 2010- to current I'd say all three towns would be in Colorado
 

JPickett

Very Active Member
Messages
1,734
every old time buck photo or rack ive seen come out of Preston Idaho has been a monster. not sure if its the case anymore down there. but at one point that town had to be a contender
 

Bluehair

Long Time Member
Messages
5,556
No post office in Jacob Lake

My actual choices would be
Fredonia, AZ
Dulce, NM
St George, UT

If the OP's 30 mile radius within a post office is an honest requirement for the poll, most of the Kaibab & Strip are not eligible.
It has a hotel, cafe, and gas station - none of which I have in my small town. It’s relative I guess.:)
 

wetmule

Very Active Member
Messages
2,465
Yes.... but they do have great pie in the cafe with cute little Mormon girls serving it (at least they used to be cute) ;) Better than having a P.O. imo.

ICMDEER made the rules... which rules out most of the great big buck country in Northern AZ
 

ICMDEER

Very Active Member
Messages
2,781
Don't let my rules throw you off. Nobody pays much attention to me. I was torn about some places because 30 miles seems like too little as well. In Wyoming, I'd be hard pressed to choose between Bedford, Bondurant and maybe Big Piney. So I picked 30 miles to set those apart.

It's just for fun, so no need to get real serious about it. It did make me laugh when I saw 3 towns by one person all in Utah right off the bat.

Pioche also made my short list. I doubt there's a definitive answer since we didn't specify what "big buck" means. I do know it wasn't intended to include Whiteys or Coues deer. I did wonder about blacktails and maybe a town in NW Cali like Garberville or ??

There are a lot of good choices in CO as was stated.

Good fun discussion.
 

wetmule

Very Active Member
Messages
2,465
Don't let my rules throw you off. Nobody pays much attention to me. I was torn about some places because 30 miles seems like too little as well. In Wyoming, I'd be hard pressed to choose between Bedford, Bondurant and maybe Big Piney. So I picked 30 miles to set those apart.

It's just for fun, so no need to get real serious about it. It did make me laugh when I saw 3 towns by one person all in Utah right off the bat.
No worries ICM, just messing around.
It just didn't seem fair that Antelope Island wasn't getting any love
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
Never seen a buck near Bundyville……. I need better skills…….
Think 30 miles, Lumpy. Mt Trumble is only about 10 miles from Bundyville, if I recall. There was even a PO there back in the day.

As an aside, I once interviewed Clay Bundy, who guides on the Strip. He provided lots of historical background, much of which I included in a 'big buck' article. He was one of the Bundy descendants responsible for rebuilding the schoolhouse/townhouse after it burned to the ground in 2000.

How it looks today...

1651254252503.png
 

wetmule

Very Active Member
Messages
2,465
Schoolhouse/Church/Townhall was pretty cool prior to it getting torched in 2000. I think the post office went the way of the dodo in 1950. Been quite a few giant bucks taken just a short distance from Bundyville... some very short.
 

Deercy

Member
Messages
57
My experience is only good for a few towns and Gunnison is the best. I have lived out on Colorados plains for awhile. Some nice bucks out here but never on public when I can hunt.
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
Never seen a buck near Bundyville……. I need better skills…….
So I was doing a google search for Ted Riggs & it told me he had been mentioned on MM. As it turned out, that mention was a message posted by someone in Feb. 2012 that contained this excerpt/sidebar from my article about the Strip that I had cited. The complete article also told the tale about a hunter's big buck.

######################

The Arizona Strip is a relatively narrow chunk of country that is isolated from the rest of the state by the Colorado River. From the river, the Strip goes north to the border of southern Utah, from east to west, it goes from the Lake Powell to the southeast corner of Nevada. Although the North Kaibab sits within this area, a reference to the Strip normally means the other three hunting units. The terrain in these units -- 12B, 13A and 13B -- consists of a mix of high desert, big canyons and the forested slopes of Mt. Trumbull, Mt. Emma and Mt. Logan, all of which rise more than 7,000 feet. They also contain areas as remote and wild as any in Arizona.

Among the world’s trophy hunters, it has a lofty reputation. Over a span of about 20 years, the Strip produced some of the best mule deer hunting in the West, and many of the bucks grew to record-book size. In fact, the trophy record book published by the Arizona Wildlife Federation still lists more than 30 typical and non-typical bucks from the Arizona Strip that were killed from the mid-1950s into the early 1980s.

The history of the Strip prior to the early 1900s is somewhat murky, however. We know the Mormons used timber from Mt. Trumbull to build a temple in St. George, Utah. We also know good populations of pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep inhabited the Strip because local cattle baron Preston Nutter proposed that it be turned into a big-game refuge. Nothing ever came of it, though. And supposedly, Teddy Roosevelt brought a herd of gazelle from Africa and turned them loose somewhere on the Strip. Nobody knows what happened to them either.

Unlike the Kaibab, where the mule deer had been a mainstay back into the 19th century, the Strip herd has a much more recent history.

When the first settlers arrived and created Bundyville in the early 1900s, the area was nothing but dry sagebrush flats and pinyon-juniper forests, and about the only water available was on Mt. Trumbull. Some written accounts by those living on the Strip back then make it clear that seeing a deer was a rarity. For the most part, much of the land was marginal deer habitat anyway. The lack of water didn’t help. As more ranchers began grazing their charges on the Strip, however, they built dozens of stock tanks to ensnare free-running water for the cattle and sheep.

In 1947, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assigned Ted Riggs to the area as a predator control trapper. Using both traps and poison, Riggs made a serious dent in the coyote and lion populations. Then the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the majority of land on the Strip, moved in during the early 1950s to improve the grazing habitat. With a heavy steel chain stretched between them, bulldozers “chained” down entire stands of juniper and pinyon trees. They used this clearing technique on acres and acres of range.

New forage plants started growing almost immediately, and so did the deer herd. Within a few years, the steady supply of water, increased browse and low predation helped the deer herd grow huge, even to the point where it threatened to overrun the available habitat. The Strip became a productive deer factory.

By the mid-1950s, hunters in Arizona learned about the excellent hunting and trophy-producing ability. Nearly anyone who wanted to venture into the remote area and endure hours of bumpy, dusty roads could tag a buck. If they had the patience and willpower to pass up the smaller ones, they had a very good chance at an outstanding trophy. Because the soil in the area mirrors the same mineral-rich type as that on the North Kaibab, antler growth was sometimes spectacular, with spreads often going well beyond 30 inches. Place names within the Strip such as Poverty Mountain, Mt. Dellenbaugh, Snap Point, Trumbull, Black Rock, Wolfhole and Seegmiller became well known for their big buck production.

At an old-line shack near Grassy Mountain, the graffiti-covered walls tell some of the story. In 1966, a local cowboy, Garn Esplin, scribbled, “Saw 40-50 deer in the past two days.” Farther down the wall, in March 1963 ranch foreman Mel Wipple wrote, “What’s the matter with the deer hunters? There’s 10,000 deer here by the look of things.”

Even Riggs saw what was happening. In 1956, he rode his horse from the Wildcat Ranch to Snap Point. On the way, he counted deer; his one-day tally totaled 346 of them. More than half of them had antlers, and half of the bucks were four points or more.

Not surprisingly, three of the notable entries in the Arizona record book have Riggs listed as the hunter. His typical entry from 1968 scored 189. His two non-typicals scored 249 6/8 and 240 2/8. His last Strip deer, taken in 1988, was an 8x9 with double eyeguards.

Sadly, sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Strip no longer harbored a lot of deer. A lot of finger pointing occurred, but for the most part, the downward population trend happened because of several factors.

Worried about a repeat of the now infamous debacle where thousands of deer starved on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) liberalized the seasons and also issued a large number of doe permits. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon banned the canid poison, Compound 10-80 for use on federal land. This move took away Riggs’ most effective predator control. About the same time the coyote population started to grow again, the AGFD gave the mountain lion the status of a big-game animal, thus creating the need for a special tag and an annual limit of one lion per hunter. Finally, the drought that has plagued the state for the last 12-15 years arrived.

Together, these factors resulted in a dramatic drop in the total deer population. The game department estimated the population of deer on the Strip was less than 5,000 during the 1970s, and by the 1990s, it had fallen to about 2,400 or less.

At one time, the Strip country west of the North Kaibab comprised a single hunt unit. After the deer numbers started to plummet, however, the game department split the unit into 13 A and 13B for management purposes. The split effectively separated the deer populations around the Mt. Trumbull-Mt. Logan area from those in the Virgin Mountain, Black Rocks and Mudd Mountain area........................
 
Last edited:

huntercameron

Active Member
Messages
783
So I was doing a google search for Ted Riggs & it told me he had been mentioned on MM. As it turned out, that mention was a message posted by someone in Feb. 2012 that contained this excerpt/sidebar from my article about the Strip that I had cited. The complete article also told the tale about a hunter's big buck.

######################

The Arizona Strip is a relatively narrow chunk of country that is isolated from the rest of the state by the Colorado River. From the river, the Strip goes north to the border of southern Utah, from east to west, it goes from the Lake Powell to the southeast corner of Nevada. Although the North Kaibab sits within this area, a reference to the Strip normally means the other three hunting units. The terrain in these units -- 12B, 13A and 13B -- consists of a mix of high desert, big canyons and the forested slopes of Mt. Trumbull, Mt. Emma and Mt. Logan, all of which rise more than 7,000 feet. They also contain areas as remote and wild as any in Arizona.

Among the world’s trophy hunters, it has a lofty reputation. Over a span of about 20 years, the Strip produced some of the best mule deer hunting in the West, and many of the bucks grew to record-book size. In fact, the trophy record book published by the Arizona Wildlife Federation still lists more than 30 typical and non-typical bucks from the Arizona Strip that were killed from the mid-1950s into the early 1980s.

The history of the Strip prior to the early 1900s is somewhat murky, however. We know the Mormons used timber from Mt. Trumbull to build a temple in St. George, Utah. We also know good populations of pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep inhabited the Strip because local cattle baron Preston Nutter proposed that it be turned into a big-game refuge. Nothing ever came of it, though. And supposedly, Teddy Roosevelt brought a herd of gazelle from Africa and turned them loose somewhere on the Strip. Nobody knows what happened to them either.

Unlike the Kaibab, where the mule deer had been a mainstay back into the 19th century, the Strip herd has a much more recent history.

When the first settlers arrived and created Bundyville in the early 1900s, the area was nothing but dry sagebrush flats and pinyon-juniper forests, and about the only water available was on Mt. Trumbull. Some written accounts by those living on the Strip back then make it clear that seeing a deer was a rarity. For the most part, much of the land was marginal deer habitat anyway. The lack of water didn’t help. As more ranchers began grazing their charges on the Strip, however, they built dozens of stock tanks to ensnare free-running water for the cattle and sheep.

In 1947, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assigned Ted Riggs to the area as a predator control trapper. Using both traps and poison, Riggs made a serious dent in the coyote and lion populations. Then the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the majority of land on the Strip, moved in during the early 1950s to improve the grazing habitat. With a heavy steel chain stretched between them, bulldozers “chained” down entire stands of juniper and pinyon trees. They used this clearing technique on acres and acres of range.

New forage plants started growing almost immediately, and so did the deer herd. Within a few years, the steady supply of water, increased browse and low predation helped the deer herd grow huge, even to the point where it threatened to overrun the available habitat. The Strip became a productive deer factory.

By the mid-1950s, hunters in Arizona learned about the excellent hunting and trophy-producing ability. Nearly anyone who wanted to venture into the remote area and endure hours of bumpy, dusty roads could tag a buck. If they had the patience and willpower to pass up the smaller ones, they had a very good chance at an outstanding trophy. Because the soil in the area mirrors the same mineral-rich type as that on the North Kaibab, antler growth was sometimes spectacular, with spreads often going well beyond 30 inches. Place names within the Strip such as Poverty Mountain, Mt. Dellenbaugh, Snap Point, Trumbull, Black Rock, Wolfhole and Seegmiller became well known for their big buck production.

At an old-line shack near Grassy Mountain, the graffiti-covered walls tell some of the story. In 1966, a local cowboy, Garn Esplin, scribbled, “Saw 40-50 deer in the past two days.” Farther down the wall, in March 1963 ranch foreman Mel Wipple wrote, “What’s the matter with the deer hunters? There’s 10,000 deer here by the look of things.”

Even Riggs saw what was happening. In 1956, he rode his horse from the Wildcat Ranch to Snap Point. On the way, he counted deer; his one-day tally totaled 346 of them. More than half of them had antlers, and half of the bucks were four points or more.

Not surprisingly, three of the notable entries in the Arizona record book have Riggs listed as the hunter. His typical entry from 1968 scored 189. His two non-typicals scored 249 6/8 and 240 2/8. His last Strip deer, taken in 1988, was an 8x9 with double eyeguards.

Sadly, sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Strip no longer harbored a lot of deer. A lot of finger pointing occurred, but for the most part, the downward population trend happened because of several factors.

Worried about a repeat of the now infamous debacle where thousands of deer starved on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) liberalized the seasons and also issued a large number of doe permits. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon banned the canid poison, Compound 10-80 for use on federal land. This move took away Riggs’ most effective predator control. About the same time the coyote population started to grow again, the AGFD gave the mountain lion the status of a big-game animal, thus creating the need for a special tag and an annual limit of one lion per hunter. Finally, the drought that has plagued the state for the last 12-15 years arrived.

Together, these factors resulted in a dramatic drop in the total deer population. The game department estimated the population of deer on the Strip was less than 5,000 during the 1970s, and by the 1990s, it had fallen to about 2,400 or less.

At one time, the Strip country west of the North Kaibab comprised a single hunt unit. After the deer numbers started to plummet, however, the game department split the unit into 13 A and 13B for management purposes. The split effectively separated the deer populations around the Mt. Trumbull-Mt. Logan area from those in the Virgin Mountain, Black Rocks and Mudd Mountain area........................
thanks interesting
 

wetmule

Very Active Member
Messages
2,465
So I was doing a google search for Ted Riggs & it told me he had been mentioned on MM. As it turned out, that mention was a message poste in Feb. 2012 that contained this excerpt/sidebar from my article about the Strip I had cited. The complete article also told the tale about hunter's big buck.

######################

The Arizona Strip is a relatively narrow chunk of country that is isolated from the rest of the state by the Colorado River. From the river, the Strip goes north to the border of southern Utah, from east to west, it goes from the Lake Powell to the southeast corner of Nevada. Although the North Kaibab sits within this area, a reference to the Strip normally means the other three hunting units. The terrain in these units -- 12B, 13A and 13B -- consists of a mix of high desert, big canyons and the forested slopes of Mt. Trumbull, Mt. Emma and Mt. Logan, all of which rise more than 7,000 feet. They also contain areas as remote and wild as any in Arizona.

Among the world’s trophy hunters, it has a lofty reputation. Over a span of about 20 years, the Strip produced some of the best mule deer hunting in the West, and many of the bucks grew to record-book size. In fact, the trophy record book published by the Arizona Wildlife Federation still lists more than 30 typical and non-typical bucks from the Arizona Strip that were killed from the mid-1950s into the early 1980s.

The history of the Strip prior to the early 1900s is somewhat murky, however. We know the Mormons used timber from Mt. Trumbull to build a temple in St. George, Utah. We also know good populations of pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep inhabited the Strip because local cattle baron Preston Nutter proposed that it be turned into a big-game refuge. Nothing ever came of it, though. And supposedly, Teddy Roosevelt brought a herd of gazelle from Africa and turned them loose somewhere on the Strip. Nobody knows what happened to them either.

Unlike the Kaibab, where the mule deer had been a mainstay back into the 19th century, the Strip herd has a much more recent history.

When the first settlers arrived and created Bundyville in the early 1900s, the area was nothing but dry sagebrush flats and pinyon-juniper forests, and about the only water available was on Mt. Trumbull. Some written accounts by those living on the Strip back then make it clear that seeing a deer was a rarity. For the most part, much of the land was marginal deer habitat anyway. The lack of water didn’t help. As more ranchers began grazing their charges on the Strip, however, they built dozens of stock tanks to ensnare free-running water for the cattle and sheep.

In 1947, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assigned Ted Riggs to the area as a predator control trapper. Using both traps and poison, Riggs made a serious dent in the coyote and lion populations. Then the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the majority of land on the Strip, moved in during the early 1950s to improve the grazing habitat. With a heavy steel chain stretched between them, bulldozers “chained” down entire stands of juniper and pinyon trees. They used this clearing technique on acres and acres of range.

New forage plants started growing almost immediately, and so did the deer herd. Within a few years, the steady supply of water, increased browse and low predation helped the deer herd grow huge, even to the point where it threatened to overrun the available habitat. The Strip became a productive deer factory.

By the mid-1950s, hunters in Arizona learned about the excellent hunting and trophy-producing ability. Nearly anyone who wanted to venture into the remote area and endure hours of bumpy, dusty roads could tag a buck. If they had the patience and willpower to pass up the smaller ones, they had a very good chance at an outstanding trophy. Because the soil in the area mirrors the same mineral-rich type as that on the North Kaibab, antler growth was sometimes spectacular, with spreads often going well beyond 30 inches. Place names within the Strip such as Poverty Mountain, Mt. Dellenbaugh, Snap Point, Trumbull, Black Rock, Wolfhole and Seegmiller became well known for their big buck production.

At an old-line shack near Grassy Mountain, the graffiti-covered walls tell some of the story. In 1966, a local cowboy, Garn Esplin, scribbled, “Saw 40-50 deer in the past two days.” Farther down the wall, in March 1963 ranch foreman Mel Wipple wrote, “What’s the matter with the deer hunters? There’s 10,000 deer here by the look of things.”

Even Riggs saw what was happening. In 1956, he rode his horse from the Wildcat Ranch to Snap Point. On the way, he counted deer; his one-day tally totaled 346 of them. More than half of them had antlers, and half of the bucks were four points or more.

Not surprisingly, three of the notable entries in the Arizona record book have Riggs listed as the hunter. His typical entry from 1968 scored 189. His two non-typicals scored 249 6/8 and 240 2/8. His last Strip deer, taken in 1988, was an 8x9 with double eyeguards.

Sadly, sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Strip no longer harbored a lot of deer. A lot of finger pointing occurred, but for the most part, the downward population trend happened because of several factors.

Worried about a repeat of the now infamous debacle where thousands of deer starved on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) liberalized the seasons and also issued a large number of doe permits. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon banned the canid poison, Compound 10-80 for use on federal land. This move took away Riggs’ most effective predator control. About the same time the coyote population started to grow again, the AGFD gave the mountain lion the status of a big-game animal, thus creating the need for a special tag and an annual limit of one lion per hunter. Finally, the drought that has plagued the state for the last 12-15 years arrived.

Together, these factors resulted in a dramatic drop in the total deer population. The game department estimated the population of deer on the Strip was less than 5,000 during the 1970s, and by the 1990s, it had fallen to about 2,400 or less.

At one time, the Strip country west of the North Kaibab comprised a single hunt unit. After the deer numbers started to plummet, however, the game department split the unit into 13 A and 13B for management purposes. The split effectively separated the deer populations around the Mt. Trumbull-Mt. Logan area from those in the Virgin Mountain, Black Rocks and Mudd Mountain area........................
Very cool! This your article?
I remember there use to be a bunch of permits up there. The strip was closed to deer hunting for a year or two in the late 80's. If I remember right it was closed in '88, maybe '87 as well? They opened it up in '89 with 10 permits, then 20 permits in '90. 13-A had no game warden in the late 80's early 90's. I spent a whole bunch of time up there from '90 thru probably '08 & occasionally since. The corporate trail camera outfitters/guides/with multiple spotters have destroyed the Strip experience. It used to be sensational and a magical experience. Gone.

I know several guys that have drawn the hunt and killed fabulous bucks (200, 210, 220+) in the last 12 years or so that have come home from their hunt and said it was literally the worst hunt/experience they've ever been on. Outfitters/guides/spotters running around everywhere from giant, "burning man" style camps. It would have to be pretty sukfull to kill a giant buck and still say it was the worst hunt you've ever been on.

Good riddance trail cam outfitter/guides! I know and like several of them, just not their methods. Sorry not sorry. Hopefully we'll see a return to some sanity in future years on the Strip.
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
Very cool! This your article?
I remember there use to be a bunch of permits up there. The strip was closed to deer hunting for a year or two in the late 80's. If I remember right it was closed in '88, maybe '87 as well? They opened it up in '89 with 10 permits, then 20 permits in '90. 13-A had no game warden in the late 80's early 90's. I spent a whole bunch of time up there from '90 thru probably '08 & occasionally since. The corporate trail camera outfitters/guides/with multiple spotters have destroyed the Strip experience. It used to be sensational and a magical experience. Gone.

I know several guys that have drawn the hunt and killed fabulous bucks (200, 210, 220+) in the last 12 years or so that have come home from their hunt and said it was literally the worst hunt/experience they've ever been on. Outfitters/guides/spotters running around everywhere from giant, "burning man" style camps. It would have to be pretty sukfull to kill a giant buck and still say it was the worst hunt you've ever been on.

Good riddance trail cam outfitter/guides! I know and like several of them, just not their methods. Sorry not sorry. Hopefully we'll see a return to some sanity in future years on the Strip.
Yes, my article, or at least part of my article for Rocky Mt. Game & Fish magazine. I wrote it sometime in the early 2000s. Clay Bundy guided the hunter. The full article is on my busted computer. Here's a sidebar from it that was posted on CWT a few years ago.
************************
The somewhat vague history of the Arizona Strip tells us the first white men to visit the area were Dominguez and Escalante when they traveled along the base of the Hurricane Cliffs on their return trip from central Utah in 1776. Nearly a century later, other Anglos attempted to take advantage of the area’s vast land resources, but conflicts with native tribes occurred as the newcomers quickly laid claim to the best water sources and vegetation. Disputes between settlers and the Navajo, Paiute and Ute tribes culminated in the Black Hawk Navajo Wars of 1866-1869. By 1870, Mormon paramilitary action had mostly quelled the native resistance, eventually leading to the "Treaty of Mount Trumbull" and the establishment of several Paiute reservations.

Although the settlers included a colorful array of ranchers, sheepmen, cowboys and outlaws, the majority of the newcomers were Mormons, dispatched by the Church of Latter Day Saints to lay claim to the choicest land and resources before non-Mormons settled them. A number of large ranches were established, as well as a sawmill and a large dairy, and the rights to limited water sources of the region were swiftly claimed, though often without "valid government title." Range wars -- often settled with guns -- were quite common in this lawless frontier, and cattle rustling was a crime with hanging as its punishment.

Immigration to the Strip was encouraged by two events in 1916: the Stock Raising Homestead Act and the opening of a half million acres of Utah’s Dixie National Forest to homestead entry. In addition, a climatic shift early in the 20th century brought increased rains and snows, which filled water holes and allowed the grasslands to grow lush.

About the time of the immigration surge to the Strip country, Abraham Bundy and his family had been living in the Mormon colony of Moroles, in the state of Sonora, Mexico. But Poncho Villa and the Mexican Revolution of 1912 forced them to seek out a gentler environment. So Abraham brought his wife, eldest son Roy and several daughters to Arizona in 1916, where they settled in an area near the Hurricane Cliffs, not too far from 8,000-ft. Mt. Trumbull.

Bundyville, also known as Mt. Trumbull, became the Strip's largest community. Eventually, nearly 300 people lived in the town, which included a schoolhouse that was built in 1922. Roy Bundy just happens to be Clay Bundy’s grandfather, and Clay went to classes until the third grade in Bundyville’s tiny schoolhouse.

Today, little remains of Bundyville. The school had been abandoned in the early 1960s, then later restored. It recently burned, but it’s demise as part of the Strip’s history won’t last long. Clay Bundy is a contractor and has already made plans to restore it once again. He also still owns a cabin on a ranch near Bundyville. It sits on land that belonged to Roy Bundy until Clay’s father, Orvel, bought it.
 
Last edited:

Bigfoot 1

Very Active Member
Messages
1,171
Think 30 miles, Lumpy. Mt Trumble is only about 10 miles from Bundyville, if I recall. There was even a PO there back in the day.

As an aside, I once interviewed Clay Bundy, who guides on the Strip. He provided lots of historical background, much of which I included in a 'big buck' article. He was one of the Bundy descendants responsible for rebuilding the schoolhouse/townhouse after it burned to the ground in 2000.

How it looks today...

Is he related to Al Bundy? You know those Bundy’s with the family motto “ Hooters Hooters yum yum yum, Hooters Hooters on a girl that’s dumb!”
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
4,969
Think 30 miles, Lumpy. Mt Trumble is only about 10 miles from Bundyville, if I recall. There was even a PO there back in the day.

As an aside, I once interviewed Clay Bundy, who guides on the Strip. He provided lots of historical background, much of which I included in a 'big buck' article. He was one of the Bundy descendants responsible for rebuilding the schoolhouse/townhouse after it burned to the ground in 2000.

How it looks today...

I came to Bundyville late. The old school was already burned and the current building, showing here, was already well worn.

I have a life long friend, that is a over-passionate atv traveler. If you can winch your way into country he hasn’t explored, he’ll be there. I’m not atv rider enthusiast but he’s guided me into some very interesting places. There is country that you’re talking about, east, south, and west of Bundyville that he has guided me into that is very intriguing to me. I’ve covered Mt. Trumbull, shaded up under its giant ponderosas and walked through the deep grassy meadows…… really only a hop, skip and a jump from a large population base and yet still surrounded by some of the most rugged/remote locations in the west.

Been to the Taraweep over-look a couple times and the 45 mile trip (from Bunkerville) to Mollies Nipple over-look, by way of Andrus Canyon, visited the copper mines on Copper Mountain and ate my lunch on the tables of two old cowboy bunk houses so remote and could not begin to tell you where they are….. but the old coffee cups and the salt and pepper shakers are still in the cabinet, along with a pile of 1950, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines. Still rat proof, if you can imagine that. Seems like there was a REALLY large iron stock water tank out there somewhere, that had a handful of big gold fish swimming around in it. I was amazed the hawks or eagles hadn’t eaten them…….

The spring desert wild flowers are spectacular, The geography is typical Grand Canyon amazing. But the mule deer have come and gone but for a few like the Bundy boys who spend enough time out there to still gather a couple up every year.

And one more experience I hope to never, never have again……… driving that clay/gravel road from Bunkerville back to I-15 after a two day down pour. Worst I’ve ever encountered, took 2/3 of St.George’s annual culinary water supply and two full days to wash that crap off.
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
I came to Bundyville late. The old school was already burned and the current building, showing here, was already well worn.

I have a life long friend, that is a over-passionate atv traveler. If you can winch your way into country he hasn’t explored, he’ll be there. I’m not atv rider enthusiast but he’s guided me into some very interesting places. There is country that you’re talking about, east, south, and west of Bundyville that he has guided me into that is very intriguing to me. I’ve covered Mt. Trumbull, shaded up under its giant ponderosas and walked through the deep grassy meadows…… really only a hop, skip and a jump from a large population base and yet still surrounded by some of the most rugged/remote locations in the west.

Been to the Taraweep over-look a couple times and the 45 mile trip (from Bunkerville) to Mollies Nipple over-look, by way of Andrus Canyon, visited the copper mines on Copper Mountain and ate my lunch on the tables of two old cowboy bunk houses so remote and could not begin to tell you where they are….. but the old coffee cups and the salt and pepper shakers are still in the cabinet, along with a pile of 1950, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines. Still rat proof, if you can imagine that. Seems like there was a REALLY large iron stock water tank out there somewhere, that had a handful of big gold fish swimming around in it. I was amazed the hawks or eagles hadn’t eaten them…….

The spring desert wild flowers are spectacular, The geography is typical Grand Canyon amazing. But the mule deer have come and gone but for a few like the Bundy boys who spend enough time out there to still gather a couple up every year.

And one more experience I hope to never, never have again……… driving that clay/gravel road from Bunkerville back to I-15 after a two day down pour. Worst I’ve ever encountered, took 2/3 of St.George’s annual culinary water supply and two full days to wash that crap off.
Cool. I've only hunted the Strip twice -- both times in the late 60s, early 70s. I can relate to the rides on those bump-ass roads. Heck, just getting to the turnoff from PHX was a royal PIA.

On one of those hunts, I spent all of four days chasing one big buck I had spotted the first morning on the lower edges of Trumble. He outwitted me, sending me home with an unused tag. On the other hunt I tagged a little 4x4 not too far from the same area.
 

S-3 Ranch

Active Member
Messages
116
So I was doing a google search for Ted Riggs & it told me he had been mentioned on MM. As it turned out, that mention was a message posted by someone in Feb. 2012 that contained this excerpt/sidebar from my article about the Strip that I had cited. The complete article also told the tale about a hunter's big buck.

######################

The Arizona Strip is a relatively narrow chunk of country that is isolated from the rest of the state by the Colorado River. From the river, the Strip goes north to the border of southern Utah, from east to west, it goes from the Lake Powell to the southeast corner of Nevada. Although the North Kaibab sits within this area, a reference to the Strip normally means the other three hunting units. The terrain in these units -- 12B, 13A and 13B -- consists of a mix of high desert, big canyons and the forested slopes of Mt. Trumbull, Mt. Emma and Mt. Logan, all of which rise more than 7,000 feet. They also contain areas as remote and wild as any in Arizona.

Among the world’s trophy hunters, it has a lofty reputation. Over a span of about 20 years, the Strip produced some of the best mule deer hunting in the West, and many of the bucks grew to record-book size. In fact, the trophy record book published by the Arizona Wildlife Federation still lists more than 30 typical and non-typical bucks from the Arizona Strip that were killed from the mid-1950s into the early 1980s.

The history of the Strip prior to the early 1900s is somewhat murky, however. We know the Mormons used timber from Mt. Trumbull to build a temple in St. George, Utah. We also know good populations of pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep inhabited the Strip because local cattle baron Preston Nutter proposed that it be turned into a big-game refuge. Nothing ever came of it, though. And supposedly, Teddy Roosevelt brought a herd of gazelle from Africa and turned them loose somewhere on the Strip. Nobody knows what happened to them either.

Unlike the Kaibab, where the mule deer had been a mainstay back into the 19th century, the Strip herd has a much more recent history.

When the first settlers arrived and created Bundyville in the early 1900s, the area was nothing but dry sagebrush flats and pinyon-juniper forests, and about the only water available was on Mt. Trumbull. Some written accounts by those living on the Strip back then make it clear that seeing a deer was a rarity. For the most part, much of the land was marginal deer habitat anyway. The lack of water didn’t help. As more ranchers began grazing their charges on the Strip, however, they built dozens of stock tanks to ensnare free-running water for the cattle and sheep.

In 1947, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assigned Ted Riggs to the area as a predator control trapper. Using both traps and poison, Riggs made a serious dent in the coyote and lion populations. Then the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the majority of land on the Strip, moved in during the early 1950s to improve the grazing habitat. With a heavy steel chain stretched between them, bulldozers “chained” down entire stands of juniper and pinyon trees. They used this clearing technique on acres and acres of range.

New forage plants started growing almost immediately, and so did the deer herd. Within a few years, the steady supply of water, increased browse and low predation helped the deer herd grow huge, even to the point where it threatened to overrun the available habitat. The Strip became a productive deer factory.

By the mid-1950s, hunters in Arizona learned about the excellent hunting and trophy-producing ability. Nearly anyone who wanted to venture into the remote area and endure hours of bumpy, dusty roads could tag a buck. If they had the patience and willpower to pass up the smaller ones, they had a very good chance at an outstanding trophy. Because the soil in the area mirrors the same mineral-rich type as that on the North Kaibab, antler growth was sometimes spectacular, with spreads often going well beyond 30 inches. Place names within the Strip such as Poverty Mountain, Mt. Dellenbaugh, Snap Point, Trumbull, Black Rock, Wolfhole and Seegmiller became well known for their big buck production.

At an old-line shack near Grassy Mountain, the graffiti-covered walls tell some of the story. In 1966, a local cowboy, Garn Esplin, scribbled, “Saw 40-50 deer in the past two days.” Farther down the wall, in March 1963 ranch foreman Mel Wipple wrote, “What’s the matter with the deer hunters? There’s 10,000 deer here by the look of things.”

Even Riggs saw what was happening. In 1956, he rode his horse from the Wildcat Ranch to Snap Point. On the way, he counted deer; his one-day tally totaled 346 of them. More than half of them had antlers, and half of the bucks were four points or more.

Not surprisingly, three of the notable entries in the Arizona record book have Riggs listed as the hunter. His typical entry from 1968 scored 189. His two non-typicals scored 249 6/8 and 240 2/8. His last Strip deer, taken in 1988, was an 8x9 with double eyeguards.

Sadly, sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Strip no longer harbored a lot of deer. A lot of finger pointing occurred, but for the most part, the downward population trend happened because of several factors.

Worried about a repeat of the now infamous debacle where thousands of deer starved on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) liberalized the seasons and also issued a large number of doe permits. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon banned the canid poison, Compound 10-80 for use on federal land. This move took away Riggs’ most effective predator control. About the same time the coyote population started to grow again, the AGFD gave the mountain lion the status of a big-game animal, thus creating the need for a special tag and an annual limit of one lion per hunter. Finally, the drought that has plagued the state for the last 12-15 years arrived.

Together, these factors resulted in a dramatic drop in the total deer population. The game department estimated the population of deer on the Strip was less than 5,000 during the 1970s, and by the 1990s, it had fallen to about 2,400 or less.

At one time, the Strip country west of the North Kaibab comprised a single hunt unit. After the deer numbers started to plummet, however, the game department split the unit into 13 A and 13B for management purposes. The split effectively separated the deer populations around the Mt. Trumbull-Mt. Logan area from those in the Virgin Mountain, Black Rocks and Mudd Mountain area........................
In for the win !! The Kaibab area , in the 50’s , 60’s , a 200+ inch would be small talk @ the barber shop
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
4,969
I’ve never had anything scored, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Everything I kill is a trophy to me. I’m closer to death than I am to birth so every hunt from here on out is a cherished hunt. Those are some nice bucks.
Great great attitude Bigfoot. Spent 9 days in a ground blind in Kansas last fall, never had a single buck make a day light appearance…….. three sons joined me for all nine days. Loved every minute off it. It was a trophy hunt, the trophy is still running wild, but…. the memories came home with me.
 

Bookhead

Active Member
Messages
995
Great great attitude Bigfoot. Spent 9 days in a ground blind in Kansas last fall, never had a single buck make a day light appearance…….. three sons joined me for all nine days. Loved every minute off it. It was a trophy hunt, the trophy is still running wild, but…. the memories came home with me.
If you hunted nine days and never saw a buck I don't think you were on a trophy hunt lol
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
I’ve never had anything scored, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Everything I kill is a trophy to me. I’m closer to death than I am to birth so every hunt from here on out is a cherished hunt. Those are some nice bucks.
Much the same here. I might have thrown a tape on some to measure spread or length but never any more than that.

Only thing I ever had scored was an SCI blacktail because the place where I killed it wanted it listed. They also paid the fee. The AGFD guy roughly scored my tiny sheep as part of the reporting process. I think the only critter I have that MIGHT come close to a BC score is my AK caribou.
 

Buckmiser

Member
Messages
29
Don't let my rules throw you off. Nobody pays much attention to me. I was torn about some places because 30 miles seems like too little as well. In Wyoming, I'd be hard pressed to choose between Bedford, Bondurant and maybe Big Piney. So I picked 30 miles to set those apart.

It's just for fun, so no need to get real serious about it. It did make me laugh when I saw 3 towns by one person all in Utah right off the bat.

Pioche also made my short list. I doubt there's a definitive answer since we didn't specify what "big buck" means. I do know it wasn't intended to include Whiteys or Coues deer. I did wonder about blacktails and maybe a town in NW Cali like Garberville or ??

There are a lot of good choices in CO as was stated.

Good fun discussion.
If we were talking blacktails I’d add Covelo and Laytonville CA
 

Usedtobe

New Member
Messages
1
So I was doing a google search for Ted Riggs & it told me he had been mentioned on MM. As it turned out, that mention was a message posted by someone in Feb. 2012 that contained this excerpt/sidebar from my article about the Strip that I had cited. The complete article also told the tale about a hunter's big buck.

######################

The Arizona Strip is a relatively narrow chunk of country that is isolated from the rest of the state by the Colorado River. From the river, the Strip goes north to the border of southern Utah, from east to west, it goes from the Lake Powell to the southeast corner of Nevada. Although the North Kaibab sits within this area, a reference to the Strip normally means the other three hunting units. The terrain in these units -- 12B, 13A and 13B -- consists of a mix of high desert, big canyons and the forested slopes of Mt. Trumbull, Mt. Emma and Mt. Logan, all of which rise more than 7,000 feet. They also contain areas as remote and wild as any in Arizona.

Among the world’s trophy hunters, it has a lofty reputation. Over a span of about 20 years, the Strip produced some of the best mule deer hunting in the West, and many of the bucks grew to record-book size. In fact, the trophy record book published by the Arizona Wildlife Federation still lists more than 30 typical and non-typical bucks from the Arizona Strip that were killed from the mid-1950s into the early 1980s.

The history of the Strip prior to the early 1900s is somewhat murky, however. We know the Mormons used timber from Mt. Trumbull to build a temple in St. George, Utah. We also know good populations of pronghorn antelope and desert bighorn sheep inhabited the Strip because local cattle baron Preston Nutter proposed that it be turned into a big-game refuge. Nothing ever came of it, though. And supposedly, Teddy Roosevelt brought a herd of gazelle from Africa and turned them loose somewhere on the Strip. Nobody knows what happened to them either.

Unlike the Kaibab, where the mule deer had been a mainstay back into the 19th century, the Strip herd has a much more recent history.

When the first settlers arrived and created Bundyville in the early 1900s, the area was nothing but dry sagebrush flats and pinyon-juniper forests, and about the only water available was on Mt. Trumbull. Some written accounts by those living on the Strip back then make it clear that seeing a deer was a rarity. For the most part, much of the land was marginal deer habitat anyway. The lack of water didn’t help. As more ranchers began grazing their charges on the Strip, however, they built dozens of stock tanks to ensnare free-running water for the cattle and sheep.

In 1947, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assigned Ted Riggs to the area as a predator control trapper. Using both traps and poison, Riggs made a serious dent in the coyote and lion populations. Then the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the majority of land on the Strip, moved in during the early 1950s to improve the grazing habitat. With a heavy steel chain stretched between them, bulldozers “chained” down entire stands of juniper and pinyon trees. They used this clearing technique on acres and acres of range.

New forage plants started growing almost immediately, and so did the deer herd. Within a few years, the steady supply of water, increased browse and low predation helped the deer herd grow huge, even to the point where it threatened to overrun the available habitat. The Strip became a productive deer factory.

By the mid-1950s, hunters in Arizona learned about the excellent hunting and trophy-producing ability. Nearly anyone who wanted to venture into the remote area and endure hours of bumpy, dusty roads could tag a buck. If they had the patience and willpower to pass up the smaller ones, they had a very good chance at an outstanding trophy. Because the soil in the area mirrors the same mineral-rich type as that on the North Kaibab, antler growth was sometimes spectacular, with spreads often going well beyond 30 inches. Place names within the Strip such as Poverty Mountain, Mt. Dellenbaugh, Snap Point, Trumbull, Black Rock, Wolfhole and Seegmiller became well known for their big buck production.

At an old-line shack near Grassy Mountain, the graffiti-covered walls tell some of the story. In 1966, a local cowboy, Garn Esplin, scribbled, “Saw 40-50 deer in the past two days.” Farther down the wall, in March 1963 ranch foreman Mel Wipple wrote, “What’s the matter with the deer hunters? There’s 10,000 deer here by the look of things.”

Even Riggs saw what was happening. In 1956, he rode his horse from the Wildcat Ranch to Snap Point. On the way, he counted deer; his one-day tally totaled 346 of them. More than half of them had antlers, and half of the bucks were four points or more.

Not surprisingly, three of the notable entries in the Arizona record book have Riggs listed as the hunter. His typical entry from 1968 scored 189. His two non-typicals scored 249 6/8 and 240 2/8. His last Strip deer, taken in 1988, was an 8x9 with double eyeguards.

Sadly, sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Strip no longer harbored a lot of deer. A lot of finger pointing occurred, but for the most part, the downward population trend happened because of several factors.

Worried about a repeat of the now infamous debacle where thousands of deer starved on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) liberalized the seasons and also issued a large number of doe permits. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon banned the canid poison, Compound 10-80 for use on federal land. This move took away Riggs’ most effective predator control. About the same time the coyote population started to grow again, the AGFD gave the mountain lion the status of a big-game animal, thus creating the need for a special tag and an annual limit of one lion per hunter. Finally, the drought that has plagued the state for the last 12-15 years arrived.

Together, these factors resulted in a dramatic drop in the total deer population. The game department estimated the population of deer on the Strip was less than 5,000 during the 1970s, and by the 1990s, it had fallen to about 2,400 or less.

At one time, the Strip country west of the North Kaibab comprised a single hunt unit. After the deer numbers started to plummet, however, the game department split the unit into 13 A and 13B for management purposes. The split effectively separated the deer populations around the Mt. Trumbull-Mt. Logan area from those in the Virgin Mountain, Black Rocks and Mudd Mountain area........................
Wow. Thank you! Thats an amazing condensed bunch of history and info about an amazing place. Seriously, thank you!
 

silverstatehunter

Active Member
Messages
319
Jarbidge NV
Bend OR
Kanab UT

Santa Rosa Island CA probably had the most giants taken in a 30 mile stretch but I don't think they have any services any more. Also all the deer and elk were shot by helicopters to protect a fox.
 

MulePacker

Active Member
Messages
507
50 yrs ago is the key.
Geneva Idaho a 30 mile radius would include the best part of the Wyoming Range, Bear River Range, Gannett Hills and In between.

Kanab Utah
Gunnison Colorado
 

Tdubs

New Member
Messages
1
Austin MN has gotta be mentioned.

Also.. any Texas town mentioned deserves an * because high fence hunting is stupid. Texas commercialized a sport that's meant to be enjoyed by all not just the wealthy.
 

Bigfoot 1

Very Active Member
Messages
1,171
Austin MN has gotta be mentioned.

Also.. any Texas town mentioned deserves an * because high fence hunting is stupid. Texas commercialized a sport that's meant to be enjoyed by all not just the wealthy.
Not all of Texas is high fence. I do understand your point though.
 

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