This year has been a hectic one. I have only donned the camo twice and both times were for evening jaunts with a good friend looking for a poor little buck in Northern Utah. No bucks were seen on either of these occasions. Typically by this time of year I have put in 8-10 days of hard hunting with my bow chasing bucks or bulls, or whatever.
But I am looking forward to next week – Utah’s General Muzzleloader season. The only hunt I have planned for this fall is the Utah general deer hunt. I plan on spending the better part of next week chasing bucks in the Southeast region. This will be my third year hunting this particular area as part of the dedicated hunter program and have harvested one deer…and missed one. The first deer was taken 2 years ago. I hadn’t taken a mule deer buck in several years, and was getting a little bit frustrated finding anything worth shooting in the Cache Valley area. While on a scouting trip for a friend’s elk hunt, I managed to run into about 6 bucks in a high mountain meadow. While none of these bucks were monsters, one was a pretty 27 inch four point, who stood facing me at 60 yards while a few of his comrades busted me from fewer than ten. That winter I changed my region and spent the next year bow hunting every weekend, and finally filled my tag on the third day of the muzzleloader season with a pretty little basket racked buck. Having not taken a buck in several years, I had been holding out for a 4 point, and when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. The next morning I lent my gun to my brother and he managed to take a big three point, his biggest buck to date.
Last year was much like the previous. The bow hunt was full of close calls and near misses. I never launched an arrow, but came very close nearly every day. The muzzleloader hunt rolled around, and I did not find a buck that I wanted to fill my tag with. A good friend of mine was hunting with me and we tried our best to get him his first buck. After a few exciting stalks, we were outsmarted and the deer got away, as did we, with not much more than a few stories to show for it. Ben (brother) had better luck. He jumped a 24 inch 4 point from its bed and somehow stuck an arrow through his lungs before he got away. The buck died within 100 yards of his big three point from the year before. Now they hang together on his wall, perhaps they “hung” together the previous year while still alive.
The rifle hunt got a little bit interesting. I missed a good buck opening morning. I’m not sure how, it happened really fast, and I think I must have shot over him as the shot angle was steeper than I thought. Another good friend, who had never killed a buck either, was along with me and we did manage to harvest a young 3×4. He was all grins as he missed the buck once, but we found him bedded a few minutes later, where he made up for past mistakes and put a good shot as the buck stood to run. A first buck is always a good buck!
I came home after that hunt, a little bit disappointed that I had missed a good buck, but in a way excited for the upcoming years, as I could still harvest bucks the next 2 years.
So it brings us to this year. My wife and I were blessed to welcome our first little hunting buddy into the world in early August. He has kept us both very busy and I have not had the time to get away to hunt yet. So I’m looking foward to next week, hoping I can make good on two years worth of anticipation and take a good buck. I’m not expecting to harvest a monster, although I’ve heard rumors of a few good bucks running around. I would be tickled to take a nice deer, somewhere in the 150-160 class. I think it’s very doable and will report back in a little over a week.
Until then, happy hunting to all you Hunt Addicts. I hope you have a safe and successful season.
BTW, here is a picture that Steve sent me from Wyoming. He’s had a successful season. I’ll post up the story when I get back. In the meantime…keep those pictures coming guys!