By: Bears Butt


Winemaker and I are venturing out on this fine Saturday morning to do something we have never done before….hitting the yard sales!  We don’t need anything and it’s just a curiosity thing for us…to see how others do theirs.  We have had several yard sales in the past and even last year we convinced the neighborhood into having a block sale.  It was fun and most of the families got rid of some unwanted stuff.  It’s funny what we save and I’m probably the worst….It’s Good Junk and if I throw it away, I’ll be going out and buying another soon…..Ever hear that?

If nothing else it puts the two of us together doing something we both like and that is meeting people and B.S.’n…..we don’t have any definite plans nor specific sights to hit, it will be a drive down the highway looking for the telltale signs of a yard/garage sale.  Stop and Gawk!  Who knows maybe we will run into that “once in a lifetime” box of highly valuable stuff…this totally reminds me of “Gattlin”!  “Got anything in the line of sporting goods”?  That’s his main line and it puts him onto some super deals on guns and gear!  Sometimes he makes such a good deal on a fancy rifle that I have a tough time knowing how he even sleeps at night.

So, wish us luck!  We’re Outa Here!

Bears Butt

May 31, 2014


That was fun!  We hit about 10 yard sales and it was interesting to us to see so many clothes at them…everyone of them.  We couldn’t do without a coffee table for Winemakers area down stairs and how could I pass up 5 drill bits for 50Cents!  I never got around to asking about “sporting goods”, but we did see some fishing tackle and a lot of power tools.  Tons of glassware and dishes also.  A wonderful day with a great thing to do.  I’m not sure we will ever do it again, as she works on most Saturdays, but today’s adventure was a fun one.


Bears Butt

Written on May 31st, 2014 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

Into precision shooting? Check this out!

Written on May 30th, 2014 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


May 30…..Time sure passes quickly.  Tomorrow is the official end of the Utah turkey hunt for 2014, but unofficially today is my last day I can go and try to fill my tag.  Weather for today is calling for a high of 84 degrees!  Wow that is warm.  Who would have thought?  We started this season sitting on the hill with snow blowing in our faces and now it’s going to be 84!  We have gone from Spring to Summer and just in the time it took for the turkey season to begin and end.  It’s all good.  We have also gone from hunting one particular hill and brush blinds, to a completely different valley and hunting out of a purchased blind, again it’s all good.  If the birds don’t care, why should we?

We have learned some valuable lessons this season and probably the most important one is calling technique.  A purring hen can only be heard by the human ear if you are within 15 yards and I have heard it with my near deaf ears.  I’ve also heard the raucous noise of two fighting gobblers from 10 feet away.  I almost think the bird Weasel took a couple of days ago was the one that got beat up that day.  They have no mercy on each other.

This morning will find Weasel and I sitting on what we hope is the X once again.  But just like all our mornings, the birds have to be there and cooperating or else it will be just another day where we get to witness the coming of the morning sun and the awakening of the woods.  Nothing is wrong with the latter, but it would be nice to get a chance at a bird.  We have said all along, you don’t get to fill your tag by sitting (laying) on the couch.  It’s 3:09 a.m. right now and time for a morning cup of Joe.

Thinking back about this turkey season, we have seen coyotes, foxes, chipmunks, mice, hundreds of turkeys, geese, ducks, grouse, pheasants, sand hill cranes, squirrels, deer, cows and probably millions of other birds.  We had two or three little bluish/grey ones fighting within a couple feet of us one morning.  Nature is fun, but like I said, you don’t see it by not being out in it.  There really isn’t anything better than watching and listening to the world wake up at first light, from the first start of a diesel engine far off in the distance to the waking call of a Robin followed by another far off Sandhill Crane.  The cool, sometimes very cold, morning breeze and when things are right, the first gobble of a big old bird up in the tree.  There is a lot to be said about turkey hunting and for sure, this old boy is hooked on it.  I have to thank the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for putting these birds out and getting the flocks to survive like they have.  They say it’s one of the best and most successful programs they have done and I believe it.  Their map of established flocks shows turkeys available for anyone in the state to take advantage of them.,36.5649,-105.311,42.0349

They have a lot of people NOT HAPPY about these birds as well and perhaps that is why they are talking about a season for them this Fall.  Turkeys can be a pain in the butt if they get together in a residential area.  They are a big bird, with lots of bad habits….well, not bad habits really, they are just doing what turkeys do best….scratch and eat.  Scratching can lead to the paint on your vehicle from looking its best and eating can devastate your veggie garden and lets not talk about the stuff you track into your house after being outside.

This morning I’m going out and try to make sure one more turkey can’t get up on someones brand new Silverado!  Wish me luck!

Bears Butt

May 30, 2014


Weasel and I arrived in perfect time to set up his blind at our favorite little meadow.  Most if not all of the birds were still sound asleep.  Once in the blind however, we started hearing the sounds of the robins and then the crows.  A wonderful morning to be out in the woods.  Little or no wind, no chance of rain, a bit on the warm side.  And best of all, there were gobblers in the area.

The first birds to sound off were quite a distance below us, almost out of hearing range, but they were there, at least two distinctly different sounding birds.  The rest of the gobblers were sounding off up hill from us, farther West than where we usually find them perched.  When it was light enough for them to come down, they dropped silently and then quit gobbling all together.  Our hopes of having them fly down to our location was dashed.  Our only hope at that point was that they would feed into our meadow, so we kept a close eye out for any movement in the grass.

Weasel spotted three gobblers walking a trail up on the side of an open hill some 400 or more yards from us.  They gobbled a time or two before disappearing around the curving landscape.  15 minutes later they were an additional 300 yards up the hill from where we last saw them.  For sure not coming our way…bummer.  All was quiet as far as gobblers and their noises were concerned and so Weasel decided to give his hen yelp call a try…why not?  Nothing else is happening and it just might get something going.  About the time he got the call out, 4 birds came into view on the hill opposite from where we saw the 3 gobblers earlier and they were coming down in our direction.  Weasel gave out a hen yelp and we could hear them yelping back.  A quick look with the binocs showed all 4 birds were gobblers.  With the call back in his hands one of the birds lifted off and came sailing down in our direction.  I readied the shotgun for the action I knew was about to unfold before us.  But instead of the bird coming down and landing in front of the blind, it landed right behind us, maybe 10 yards.  When it hit the ground it went into super defense mode and began putting like a crazy bird and walking away from us down the hill behind us.

What caused him to putt is beyond us, he could not have possibly seen us inside the blind.  And for the life of us we have to question why it didn’t land right on the X in front of us to check out the decoys.  As it putted away, the other 3 on the hill looked down and I just knew they would fly down as well.  I was ready!  But instead of flying down they began to walk down the hill parallel to the tree line and disappeared into the trees lower down on the hill.  The terrain in that part of the hunting area contains a deep gully and we didn’t think they would cross it up high where we knew they were going to go.  Down near us the gully flattens out and would make them about 40 yards from us when they showed their beady eyes and red heads.  We waited patiently for the view of them coming through the grass….after a long time, we decided they weren’t going to come down that way.

Weasel got out his call and gave a single hen yelp string and was immediately answered by a gobbler in the trees West of us and probably 100 yards up hill.  My hopes were reignited and I was ready for action.  After what seemed like an eternity and no sight of a gobbler coming into our meadow, my legs, knees and feet began to ache very badly from kneeling there without blood for such a long time.  I had to move or begin to cry.  Inside the blind we could get away with moving some and when the blood started to flow, I almost began to cry from the rush of it going down into my feet.

We stayed on our spot for another 15 or so minutes and then I decided my season had run its course…..It’s time to go!

Well, another fine morning and we did see 8 different birds, all of which were gobblers and one of them was less than 10 yards from us!  When we were in the truck and heading up the road to go home, I did spot another turkey down in the trees, but at soon as the truck stopped it took off running the other direction.  I didn’t get a good enough view to know if it was a tom or a hen, but my bet is on a tom.  Heck yes I would have shot at him had he given me the time to get my shells out and loaded (about 2 minutes by my estimation)…so a total of 9 birds today.  When you think about how big (small) the area is that we are hunting in, that is quite a few birds and to all be toms….Next year we are going to have a ton of turkeys to play with!

A great year and I’m very glad Weasel got to tag one of them!

In our case…Turkeys 12, Hunters 1…..

Bears Butt

May 30, 2014

Written on May 30th, 2014 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

Here is some good news for us fishermen!

Wildlife News

Utah’s fishing license changes

Changes include elimination of two-pole fishing permit

Young anglers and hunters are among those who will benefit from upcoming license changes in Utah.

Young anglers and hunters are among those who will benefit from upcoming license changes..

Young anglers and hunters are among those who will benefit from upcoming license changes.

Photo by Scott Root

And, if you like to fish with two fishing poles, you’ll also benefit — no matter how old you are.

Kenny Johnson, Administrative Services Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the license changes will do two things: Provide anglers and hunters with new options and provide the DWR with the funding it needs to continue providing good fishing and hunting opportunities in Utah.

The changes are the first license fee changes in Utah since 2008.

“We took a fresh look at our licenses and found some new options for our sportsmen,” Johnson says. “We also found ways to save the families of young anglers and hunters some money.”

The changes go into effect July 1.

All of the changes are available in a downloadable PDF. The following are some highlights:

  • Currently, when anglers and hunters between 14 and 17 years of age buy a license, they have to pay the same amount of money an adult pays. Starting July 1, those between 14 and 17 years of age can buy a license for a reduced price.
  • In addition to your license, if you want to fish with two fishing poles, you’re currently required to buy a separate two-pole permit.
  • Starting July 1, anyone with a fishing license can fish with two fishing poles. A separate two-pole permit will not be required.
  • Starting July 1, you can buy a multi-year license that’s valid for two, three, four or five years. In addition to the convenience of not having to buy a license every year, buying a multi-year license will also save you some money.

If you have questions, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

Written on May 29th, 2014 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


Well turkey season ends this Saturday in Utah.  It’s been a long one, but a fun one none the less.  Weasel and I have put many miles on the old boots and perhaps today will be my last for this season…time will tell.  But we are headed back out to try it one more time.  Weasel has had his try alone the last three trips out and the birds have out foxed him all three times.  So, today, who knows what will happen.  It’s been almost a full week since his last attempt and maybe, just maybe the other hunters using this same piece of property have given up.  If they have, then the birds have been pretty much left alone and they might be caught off guard this morning.

I’m not giving up hope, but I also know that turkeys don’t generally do what you think they will do.  You can watch them travel up the same trail day after day and when you place yourself on that trail, knowing they will do it again, they go a different direction, or else they aren’t even in the same county.  Weasel set himself up in the same meadow where I had them less than 5 feet away from me fighting, for three days in a row, and all three times they went a different direction.  So the big question for today, Do we set up in the blind together, or do we split up?  My gut feeling is to split up, however, if we were together we could cover two directions at the same time.  This might be my last trip for the season and it sure would be a nice one to bring home a big old gobbler.  I’d like to see Weasel at least get a shot at one.  He did get to aim once this season but it isn’t the same as pulling the trigger.

It’s very late in the season and all the hens are nesting, broods are beginning to hatch and the old toms are all lonely and bunched up in bachelor groups.  We would probably be better off going up to the snow line in search of the birds, but we have a little known haunt down low where we know they like to hide out.  A flock of some 8 to 10 birds and we only need two to fill out tags.  Two dumb ones is what we need.  Is there such a thing as two DUMB turkeys?  Even the two jakes that have been stomping around our home town of Willard are not dummies.  They hang right with the rest of us dummies, yesterday even sporting themselves in a newly cut alfalfa field….close to a shooting spot, but not quite there.  The next place we are likely to see them is on the city council.

So with 4 days left of the season is this our last day afield?  More to come later.

Bears Butt

May 28, 2014


Weasel and I got to our hunting spot right on time.  A perfect morning was in store with it being very warm and a slight breeze blowing down the draw.  If the birds were in their usual roost, they should fly down right where they did the time I had them fighting behind me.  On our drive out there we decided to split up.  Weasel would take the upper meadow and I would take the open hill down below.  We also decided to split up the decoys.  He would take Gretchen and I would take Tommy.  Gretchen made all the sense in the world for Weasel to take, as if the birds flew down the toms would probably cater to her more than they would a big old tom, while the tom made sense for me as it would be more visible should the birds fly in my direction.  They might be intending to fly over top of me, but they would see the decoy in plenty of time to shorten their flight and land in front of me.  At least that is what us novice turkey hunters thought.

As the morning light got brighter and brighter the other birds began their usual morning wake up calls.  Soon we could hear a flock of geese passing high over head and with their honking the gobblers began to call out in earnest!  The whole hillside where they usually roost was alive with gobbling!  We even had a hen calling behind my position and up high on the hill.  Surrounded by turkeys!  Two distinct gobblers were below us, while the rest were right where they needed to be for us to possibly get a shot.  They sounded off with every sound a turkey makes, including what I would call putting, but not like an alarm putt.  I’m sure there is a word for that type of call.  The noises they were making went on for over 5 minutes before the first bird came flying down out of the trees.  Just before she lifted off, she made a “fly down” call, which is a series of rapid short clucks.  Her path took her right into Weasels lap!  I thought to myself, YES!  Now if the gobblers will just do the same, he might just get a shot.

Looking up the hill to the roosting area, I saw two more come out of the trees on the wing, these two were coming right at me!  They made a slight adjustment in their flight path and landed just up the hill behind me.  I could hear them making funny turkey sounds as they touched the ground.  I was on my shotgun and holding steady with it pointing toward Tommy.  I just knew they were going to come running right down and knock him over.

In the meantime, I did take a second and looked back up toward the roosting hill, suddenly again, the trees came alive with flying birds and down they came and landed right where Weasel was set up!  I thought YES again and then got back on my shotgun and waited for my birds to come into view.

BLAM!  I heard a shot from Weasels direction and then silence.  Suddenly a flock of six or seven birds sailed over my head and down the hill towards safety.  And then Weasel let out a very loud YEEEEHHHAAAAAA!  I knew he was standing there with his bird in hand!  I thanked God!  And then kept waiting for my birds to come into view.  I could hear them behind me, but they decided to go North instead of East.  The last I heard of them was a distant gobble over the hill to my left.  I continued to wait another half hour before abandoning my position and headed over to where Weasel was set up.  He had closed shop before I got up and was above me on the hill waiting for me to come up.

Sure enough!  Weasel bagged his first ever gobbler!


It was barely 6:30 a.m. and here we were with a bird in the hand!  Congratulations Weasel!  Fine bird!

Back at the truck, I had two cold beers waiting in the cooler.  They have been waiting for this moment for weeks!  Yes, I know it isn’t even 7 a.m. yet, but who cares when it’s time to celebrate!


Great job Weasel!  Next time it’s Conners time!

Bears Butt

May 28, 2014

Written on May 28th, 2014 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt


This sign has been replaced with one that actually means what they intended this sign to mean, but not before I snapped this picture.  I have always thought it was a funny sign and for many years I just “knew” I had taken a picture of it, but I could not find it.  Yesterday, between doing things outside, I had been asked by Winemaker to go through a box of pictures and try and organize them into “commonality” and if I could, to identify them by date.  I posted on Facebook some dates of unknown pictures and have asked some of YOU to help me figure them out….special times like when Weasel killed his big 3 point buck.  That was a special day for him and me.

There was a large group of us on the muzzleloader hunt and we decided to push a fairly large expanse of trees and brush.  A bunch went to the top to make the push, while some of us were to be on “point” and place ourselves where we thought a buck might come running out.  Weasel picked the perfect spot and sure enough this big old 3 point buck came running out and right close to his position.  His shot nailed the buck perfectly, but the buck was a big one and full of  an “I don’t want to die” attitude.  It took more than one shot to put it down for good and the ending was quite an exciting one as the buck decided it would take out Weasel and  another hunter as they went in pursuit of  it over a small hill and onto a flat sagebrush delta.  The buck lost his head down charging battle as two perfectly placed hunting rounds found their marks at the same time in the bucks body.  What year was that?  I can’t remember and so that is why I have asked for help.

Anyway, during my gazing and reminiscing as I went through the box of pictures, I came across this one.

The sign was placed on Temple Flat at the beginning of a mountain road we call “Moose Road”.  Moose Road is actually quite a ways from where this sign is, but it eventually goes to that road.  For simplicity sake we named it that just so people in our group would know where it eventually comes out and meets up with a main road.  The road usually has a lot of deer along side of it and it sure leads through some beautiful mountain scenes, valleys, canyons and hills.

I suspect two different people came up with the verbiage used on this sign and had they separated the two very different meanings with a line, that sign would probably still be there today….but they didn’t.  And so, to say a road has a very low overhead clearance in some places is not a misnomer as it does have some areas where the top of your rig is most likely going to get a dusting off from the low branches of pines and or brush as you travel along.  If your rig is taller than a usual one, say lifted, you are going to get it scratched up with some scratches that might make you unhappy…say, scratched down to the metal.  Normal rigs will get what we commonly call “mountain pin striping”.  My rig had them all over it and that was Ok with me, as I used it for its intended purpose and didn’t care to have it look like it did when it came off the show room floor and especially after the horses decided they wanted to see what color the metal was under the paint on the hood before I had even made my first payment….another story.

So, Yes “Low Clearance Ahead” is a proper way of putting the condition of the road ahead.

“High Profile Vehicles Only”…..HMMMMMM….if you have low clearance ahead and you have a high profile vehicle aren’t you asking for trouble and taking that chance to scratch your rig down to the metal?  I think I would choose another road.  So, let’s decide what the person was thinking that came up with that statement.  Mountain roads around these parts usually are made up of “clay”…the type of clay that sticks to your tires so badly that you end up sliding off the road if it is at all tipped in one direction.  Like these pictures show you:



And even chains don’t help!

The roads are always filled with large rocks and ruts deep enough to tip over an ATV or even sometimes a jeep.  So, there is definitely a need to have a vehicle with an undercarriage high enough to clear these obstacles or go around them.  Four wheel drive is a necessity as well not only because of the roughness of the terrain but also the steepness of some of the hills.  Of course it always helps if the vehicle is carrying the necessary tools to get you out of trouble if you end up in one of the deep ruts and get high centered.  It happens to the best of drivers, and so in order to carry the tools, one is usually looking at a vehicle like a pickup, suburban, jeep or some such rig.  Handy man jack, shovel, come along, chains, tow chain even a winch on the front of the rig is nice to have, just in case.

This is why I think two people were involved with the making of this sign.  One knew about the low overhead branches and the other the roughness of the terrain.

Anyway, I thought you might get a kick out of the sign.

And not related to this story, I have another picture of another sign of mine that is a fun one:

StopMeansYou copy

Bears Butt

May 25, 2014

Written on May 25th, 2014 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt


Yesterday I had the great opportunity to take Kenzie up to join her folks at the Cache Valley Rendezvous (CVR).  This is the second one of this rendezvous I have missed in as many years and my speculation about the events for this years rendezvous were pretty much spot on.  I consider myself a “shooter”….when I go to a rendezvous or any mountain man activity outside, I like to shoot, especially my rifle and pistol, shotgun too, but not nearly as much as the other two, mostly because I’m not good with it.  Anyway, most of the gang that hang with the Willow Creek Free Trappers are shooters as well.  More is better!

So, let’s first talk about CVR’s shooting from the past years.  When we first got involved with anything doing with mountain man events, this CVR event was one that we looked forward to the most.  First off it was close to where we live, second it had some very fun people running the show, and third they shot a lot and it was fun.  Targets were such that anyone could win any event and the crowd that gathered just to watch could see some incredible shooting from some of the people on the line.  They might also get a chance to shoot and try a blackpowder rifle out as they were right there behind the line intermingling with the shooters and it wasn’t uncommon for a shooter to offer a tourist the chance to try their hand at it.  Something that really drew a big crowd.  I remember once looking around behind the line and seeing a couple of families sitting on a large blanket and eating their lunch while they watched the shooting going on.  They stayed there most of the afternoon enjoying themselves and the antics of the mountain men and women.  A totally good time.

As the years have gone on, the CVR shooting activities have gone down hill.  First it started with crappy prizes, like tubes of bears grease and “made in china” knives.  With some complaining that soon changed and the prizes became more what we were accustomed to, but then slowly over the years the prizes went down hill again and even with much complaining the quality did not come back, but rather it waned even more so.  The last prize I won for a first place was a very nice one, but I found out after the man passed away, that he had gotten that prize out of his own, personal stash of items he treasured, rather than give me the prize that someone from the “club” had decided would be the prize for that shoot.

Before the prize I just mentioned, and several years before, I won another first place prize and guess what it was?   You guessed it…none other than Sir Butt’s “Cash” sword, named after the Cache Rendezvous.  A nice Renascence sword valued at many dollars I’m sure, but I’d have been much happier winning a pound of powder or a box of round balls.  My thoughts on that have always been, if I go to a renascence and participate in an event where I could win a prize, I would expect a renascence type prize to be awarded.  However, this event is a mountain man event with a time line somewhere between 1800 and 1850 and prizes should be something useful in that period of American History or at least a worldly prize within that time frame.

So, last year I was not happy when I heard, through the grapevine that the prizes would be less than desirable for shooting well.  But, it was tempting to go and play with the trail walk and the other events as the prizes those clubs give out are usually hand made or at least very nice prizes.  But I elected to stay home instead.  What I heard after it was over, by those who did go was not a good thing to happen to the CVR club.  Their reputation had caught up with themselves and now they have dug a huge hole out of which it will take them many dollars and years to recover from.  Here is how the shooting went “Last Year”:

Whoever called the shots (rules) really didn’t seem to have much of a clue as to how “fair” something like shooting for prizes should be done.  Every shooter was given a packet of targets and the targets were marked as to what the objective was for that shoot and how the scoring was going to be done.  It was up to the individual shooters to be honest in following the rules of the shoot and to make sure they had their name on the targets when they turned them in for scoring.  Some of the targets had minus points involved, up to minus 100 in some cases.  But, now get this, if you didn’t shoot too well on a target, you could just throw it in the trash and you would get a zero for that target….zero is much better than minus 100!  So, after the two days allowed for you to shoot the targets in your packet, you went to the big council fire on Sunday night to see how you placed in the shooting.  As it turned out, the winner of the whole shooting weekend ended up only shooting on Saturday and he turned in 3 or 4 of his best targets.  Others who shot fairly well and followed the Normal rules of being fair, turned in all their targets and received a couple of minus 100’s….they came in last place, or at least out of the running for any prizes being awarded.

Now for what I found out about “This years CVR” rendezvous in relation to the shooting events:

The schedule of events calls for shooting a block of time on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. and again on Sunday, starting at 1 p.m.  However, when Edjuakateer talked to the range master at the sign in table (sign in for the entire rendezvous) the range master told him that shooting would only be held on Saturday and the “aggregate” score winners for first and second places would be given prizes.  Edjukateer told him about the printed schedule and the range master left the area to go talk to the Booshway about the  printed “mistake”.

Also, there was no posting of a “Situation shoot”, usually pulled off by another club,  but there was going to be a “trail walk” where each participant will walk it by themselves and keep their own score and turn in their score sheets once they were finished.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m an honest man and I would walk that trail and make sure I followed all the rules of the shoot and probably come out with a perfect score, but that’s just me.  I think the person in charge of scoring and coming up with a broken tie for prizes will have one heck of a time doing that.  Good luck, whoever you are!

Again, I’m glad I saved my money and my time attending this years CVR rendezvous and I hope everyone who did go have a GREAT TIME!  Make the kids have a great time as well!

SO, why am I posting this ever so negative report about a group of rendezvous people I like?  Opportunity is the word I choose at this time.  For years the people who are members of this CVR club have been given notice by myself and by many others (in and outside the club) that if they don’t cater to the shooters their rendezvous will go into the tank.  Last night as I drove in and out of the rendezvous area I saw the usual traders and their camps across the creek, but I didn’t see the usual numbers of “tin tipis” outside the primitive camping area.  The traders are there to catch money from the tourists and the tourists are there to see and witness the “doings and goings on” of the mountain men and women and these expectations include shooting and cutting up.  It’s bigger than just a camp out.

So, here is the opportunity for a group of clubs to get together and dedicate this Memorial Day weekend to a “shooting rendezvous”.  Should traders come along for the ride, so be it, but make it a weekend of shooting fun for those who like to do just that.  Rifles, pistols, shotguns…toss in tomahawk throwing and a trail walk/situation shoot or two and have a blast doing it!  One big old scene with one big camp fire at night and loads of fun and story telling….just like it was in the beginning of the CVR way back when.  Try and find a place where it doesn’t cost to camp and make the fees to shoot fair to everyone spending money on supplies for the shooting events.  We need to face the fact that prices of everything is through the roof right now and won’t be dropping “ever”.  Pounds of powder are over $15 in most places, percussion caps over $8 a tin and round balls are also over the $10 range.  I suppose that is the price you have to pay to play.  So, maybe have every shooter bring a prize for every shoot and conduct a “put up or shut up type shooting event”, or do like the Willow Creek Free Trappers do, bring a single prize worth X amount of money and register it, shoot for the two days and then the shooter with the highest score gets first pick of all the prizes offered up and continue down to the worst shooters score who picks up what is left on the blanket as their prize….everyone that plays gets a prize in the end.  As for trail walks and/or situation shoots, charge a fee that “at least” covers the costs of materials and maybe even puts some money into the pockets of the club and alternate clubs who pull off those events so that at least they get to have a “relaxing” weekend for a couple of years in a row, at least….we all know how much work goes into a situation shoot or a team trail walk and for the club in charge of those their weekend is nothing but a 3 day job with little to no relaxation time.

Well, that’s what I have to say about all of that.  Wish I was at the rendezvous having a great time shooting and playing mountain man, but instead I’m here typing my disgruntled feelings and looking forward to some yard work!

Bears Butt

May 24, 2014

Written on May 24th, 2014 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


While Weasel is out chasing the birds it seems the birds are looking for him!  These two jakes walked right up the street from his house to mine this morning!  Imagine that!?!


Bears Butt

May 21, 2014


Written on May 21st, 2014 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


Well folks the auction is over for our Muskrats and Raccoons.  What a trip!

I can’t tell you everything about it, but I can tell you this!  More than 24% of our rats went for over $10!  That was a nice surprise and the top price paid to us was $14!  We’ll take it!

We learned quite a bit about the auction process and are going to do it again next year.  We have made some quick assessments of this years auction and one of them is that we need to be a little less “expecting” when it comes to the bottom line.  Listening to the live broadcast today the auctioneer pounded out the numbers and the gavel.  There were strings of rats that got broken up because of buyers not wanting all the lots within the string.  I didn’t think that could happen, it was my understanding that the bid on the whole string….but what do I know?  Nothing.  It was very interesting to listen to and the dialogue between the buyers, the auctioneer and the main man calling the shots as to a sale or no sale was fun to hear.  We even had some of our rats not sell.  Raccoons too.

We also concluded that because they had nearly 4 1/2 million mink that sold at this auction and only 250,000 or so muskrats that the mismatch or inequity of the balances caused the prices paid for rats to be down from what we figured they would be.  We also didn’t know until just recently that the weather in both China and Russia was warmer than usual.  You wouldn’t think that would drive the market price for furs, but it apparently does.  It was the same with this auction and with every line of furs so far sold.  What will Lynx Cat sell for tomorrow?  They have been getting good prices in the $500 plus range for years, will it hit that at this auction?  I highly doubt it.

So, we have learned something and are very glad we aren’t the buyers of the skins we sold.  We made quite a bit of money and we don’t have to hit the bar and cry in our beers because we bought rats for too high a price and then just got ripped at the auction.  The price you pay for getting greedy.

Bears Butt

May 19, 2014

Written on May 19th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


There was plenty of time for a morning turkey hunt before the muskrat auction today, so Weasel and I hit it once again.  Just like clock work, we were in our blinds well before daylight.  The robins nesting in the tree under which I was sitting were quite surprised to find me there when they awoke.  A more perfect morning for turkey hunting could not have been made.  Warm, a very slight breeze at times, overcast….beautiful!

As it began to get light and one could make out the outlines of the tops of the trees, I realized I was not in the spot I had in mind to be sitting, but it was way to late to be making any moves.  I had parked myself too close to the roosting trees and out on the edge of a clearing.  The clearing was where I wanted to be, but I was too far down the hill.  I wanted to be up at the far end of it which would have made me some 100 yards away from the roost.  But, here I sat and unable to move.

I had built a bit of a blind out of some deadfall I found without using my flashlight and it was just a little bit of cover.  I was hoping it would be enough to break up my outline should the birds come down my way.  I positioned my shotgun out in front of me facing the line of trees where the roost was.  Again, you never know if the birds are roosting where they normally do or not, but you have to plan that they are.  My mind said they would fly straight down out of the roost trees and walk out into the meadow I was sitting next to.  With my shotgun pointed in that direction I could move it to my left or right to make adjustments as they came walking out.  This was going to be my day!

In the meantime, Weasel had his new tent blind  and was down the hill from me.  I thought we would be about 200 yards apart and if the birds were roosting down his way, he would get the shot and the birds would run up my way, if they were roosting in the band of trees up my way, I would get the shot and they would run down his direction.

It got lighter and lighter and I was surprised there wasn’t any gobbling going on.  I began to think the birds were not there.  And then I heard the first hen make a soft sound…..crick, crick, crick….And then a little louder….Crick, Crick, Crick….And then I heard her wings flapping as she dropped out of the tree.  I shouldered my shotgun and sighted down the barrel…within a few seconds I could see two birds coming my way out of the trees.  Perfect!  I tried like crazy to see a beard on either one, but they were both hens and they came out perfectly, just like the plan said.  Crossing from my left to my right and out into the meadow about 20 yards from where I was sitting.  They were contently feeding and clucking away when I heard another bird launch itself out of the trees.  This one flew up and out and came down my way like a bomber and landed between me and the two hens.  I was quite certain it was a gobbler.  Much bigger than the hens and darker, but I could not be sure.  Besides, it was to my right and nearly behind me when it landed.  And then the trees erupted with the sounds of wing beats and flying birds.  Down they came, flapping and making strange turkey sounds and they landed with the other 3 birds out in the meadow.  NINE turkeys less than 30 yards away.  Three toms and six hens!   My heart was pounding and I was holding the shotgun in the wrong direction and couldn’t move.  I had my cheek laying on the stock of the gun and peering over to my right watching the birds.  What a magnificent sight!  Nine huge birds right there in my lap and I can’t do a thing but try and hold still and watch them.  The whole time there were always at least two of them with their heads up and of course looking right at me.  I was as stone still as I could be, but after about 5 minutes I could feel my arms beginning to go numb.  The birds fed around behind me and were last seen coming my way.  This is crazy!  I thought to myself.  And then immediately behind the tree I was leaning against, the biggest tom started a fight with a smaller one.  They were only about 10 feet away and I could hear the wings beating against each other and they were cussing in turkey language.  The battle didn’t last too long, but the smaller one finally ran out where I could see it again, obviously roughed up a bit as his feathers weren’t all nice and straight.

Pretty soon all the birds were going in the same direction as the roughed up one and that direction was again to my right and away.  As they neared the far end of the meadow they disappeared from my view, but I held still not knowing if one had an eye on me and I just couldn’t see it.  Then the biggest tom came back into view and stood out about 40 yards and gobbled!  He gobbled 6 or 7 times.  Then I heard Weasel give a call out and the toms head went up and he took about 3 steps down toward where Weasel was.  I thought to myself, “keep it up Weasel and this big boy will cross right in front of me”….but the bird held.  Soon the whole flock came back and joined him and then they all fed across the meadow and out of sight behind me.  I relaxed my arms and let them hang at my sides and the blood finally got back into them.  As I’m typing this, I can still feel the soreness in my biceps.  10 minutes is a long time to hold a shotgun in shooting position without moving.

With them out of sight, I figured I could sneak up a slight depression in the terrain and get above them and I was doing really good at hunkering down and moving quickly when all of a sudden I heard the dreaded PUTT, PUTT, PUTT….busted again!  I backed out as quickly as I had gotten in there.  I never saw them again and I’m sure when that Putting started they high tailed it out of dodge.

So, there you go….Turkeys 7, Hunters 0…..But we were close!  Very close!  Had I been were I wanted to be I’d have gotten a shot and maybe even a bird.  When I got down to where Weasel was, we heard a gobble from up the direction the birds would have ran from me.  We both hid in his blind and tried calling but they wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

Bears Butt

May 19, 2014

I just thought of this:  When those 9 turkeys went behind me and the two toms started to fight, the last turkey I saw was so close I could see its “nose hole” as it sucked air in and blew it out.

WildTurkeyHow close is that?


Written on May 19th, 2014 , Hunting Stories | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.