By: Bears Butt

Our hunting camp is not any different than most hunting camps, we have our traditions just like others have theirs.  One thing for sure that we share with all the rest and that is our desire to have a safe and fun time out hunting and camping.

Inspired by a lady who was questioning Half Cocked on a Facebook posting he and Dry Dog had put up as they were putting together some kill jugs for this years hunt.

dogandhalfcockedminis                                                                                                                                            (photo courtesy of Dry Dog and Half Cocked)

This is a story about “THE KILL JUG”.

Way back in the beginning of time, well, the beginning of our time hunting with muzzleloaders at least.  We started a tradition of having a shot of whiskey, or whatever makes you “grimace” (shake uncontrollably) when you drink it, after killing our buck.  Around the camp fire the evening of the kill, the shooter would tell his story and then toast to that success by drinking what was made available.  It began as a fifth of whiskey that was set aside for the occasion and expanded over the years to a mini-bottle of whiskey or some other form of alcoholic drink, adorned with the year of the hunt and each hunter received one that was in camp.  Whether the contents were drank in celebration of a kill or not, the bottle was tied to their beaver sharn and became another token and story of its own.



Empty bottles are highly prized, but often as not, the hunter just wasn’t able to put his tag on an animal that year.  All good things come in time.

As our camp grew in size and numbers of hunters, the purchasing of mini-bottles became an expensive ordeal for anyone to purchase and make up for the camp.  And so, we went back to a single bottle of “nasty juice” for the lucky hunters to partake of (back washes are un-heard of in our camp).  The bottle was in camp and near the bag of “betting money” collected for those who thought they could bag the biggest buck during the hunt (another story), and at the end of the day, it was brought out and a celebration had toasting the big bucks of the day.


Everyone who had filled their tags would tell their story and then take a big horn off the bottle and hand it to the next guy.  A fun time for sure.

As more time went on, the camp remained a large body, over 20 people in camp each year but not all were hunters.  There is just something about going camping with a large group of fun people that just has to happen every year.  And even if you don’t choose to hunt you are still welcome to come and enjoy the camaraderie and the festivities of the camp.


The past couple of years has found Dry Dog and Half Cocked delivering individual mini-bottles again.  I think as they ride their motor cycles during the summer they find good deals on mini-bottles and with their big hearts and desire to make sure everyone has an individual momento of the hunt, they make them up and give them to the camp folks.  Each year the momento changes indicating the new year and often times has another token of the hunt adorned on the bottle as well.  Last year (2015) I think they were not only giving a mini-bottle kill jug, but also one symbolizing “finding a cure for cancer”.  Cancer has affected nearly all of us in one form or another.

After a few years one beaver sharn can have enough adornments on it that the owner could carry on a week long story telling about each of the items found on that sharn.  Each mini-bottle symbolizes a full year of ownership and participation in the muzzleload hunts the Willow Creek Free Trappers have been on.  Of course some years have multiple momentos such as is the case when one or more of the group draws a special limited entry hunt tag.  Not only does someone produce a kill jug, but there is usually something else that is special and pertaining to that particular hunt.  Beaver Sharns carry all those momentos.

Well, if you need more information about the Kill Jugs, I guess you will just have to corner one of us and over a drink or two find out first hand just how it all works.  In the meantime PROST!


September 25, 2016

Bears Butt




Written on September 25th, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt


It was back in my college days (1971-1976 or so), when I first took a liking to Olympia beer.  Not necessarily for the flavor, which I have become extremely fond of, but for the message.  You see, Tracker and I found ourselves in an upper level college business class, and it was the first day of the class.  The professor was looking over the faces in the class and said to us all:  I see some unfamiliar faces in this class.  If you have not taken class number such and such, you need to take that class as a pre-requisite to this class.  You may be excused at this time if you have not taken that class.

Well, Tracker and I got up and left the class and wandered down to the Student Union building to look over the class selection book to choose another class.  As Tracker was looking through the book, I was looking at the latest student newspaper.  In it was a joke that had several sections each containing pictures of two guys in a classroom and the professor said “I assume you all have a working knowledge of calculus”……and the last section showed the two guys slunking down behind their desks, obviously without a working knowledge of calculus….and then it said “You owe yourself an Oly”!!!!

I showed that to Tracker and we laughed.  Later in the afternoon we found ourselves in a local bar and I was ordering an Oly beer.  I have been drinking Oly ever since.  And I’m probably one of the very few to be drinking it to this day.

Oly has been my mainstay beer for over 40 (yes forty) years.  Should anyone ever need a blood transfusion using my blood, the doctors had better test for more than just blood type…mine is A-negative, which is rather rare and I’m certain there is a substantial amount of CH3CH2HO mixed into it as well.  I’m not bragging, it’s just a fact.

I use Oly as a cooking beer as well and it makes the flavor of Rabbit Chicken (see recipes in the category block to the right) exceptional.  No other beer will make it taste like Oly does.  Wapiti can attest to that fact and anyone who has ever tasted rabbit chicken made with Oly will also attest to the great flavor.  For those of you who think the alcohol content of the beer will cause your Bishop to cringe and think bad thoughts about you, I can re-assure you the alcohol evaporates out and none of it will remain in the pot with the chicken.  Go ahead and use it.

Now that I have you convinced to use Oly beer in your cooking recipes, I have to inject a negative note.  Soon we won’t have any Oly in Utah…bummer huh?  It’s getting harder and harder to find it on store shelves as of late.  I went through a period several weeks ago where I had to rely on my backup beer, Keystone lite, which is cheaper than Oly by a few cents but not as flavorful.  I just flat out could not find any Oly on the shelves.

After several attempts to locate my favorite beer in local stores, I was obliged to write the producer (Pabst brewing company) and ask this question:

I’m finding it very difficult to find Olympia beer in northern Utah. My regular source, Smiths Food and Drug, only had 6 12 packs this week and my other sources haven’t had any in the last two weeks.  Are you guys discontinuing producing it?

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

There response was this:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Pabst Brewing Company and Olympia products.

At this time this product is only available in the following states: Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona

If you travel thru one of these states or reside in one, we would need a zip code and city to provide retailer locations.

Unfortunately, due to the rules and regulations given by the State Alcoholic and Beverage Committee, beer products cannot be ordered directly through Pabst Brewing Company and beer products cannot be shipped. In order to obtain beer product not located in your state you would need to travel to one of the states that carry it.

This brand is what we call a “regional beer” and is only going to be available in certain states, and at this time we do not plan on expanding this brand any further.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and thank you again for contacting Pabst Brewing Company.


Indulge Responsibly – Drink Exceptionally

Consumer Relations Representative

Pabst Brewing Company


That is one of the saddest emails I have ever received.

Weasel and I discussed this email and have decided it is a corporate decision to cut costs on products that cost more than the regular production run products.  You see, Utah is a state that requires beer manufacturing companies to only deliver 3.2% alcohol content and the majority of states allow 6% alcohol.  For them to “cut” the alcohol and yet maintain the flavor they have to do something out of the ordinary from the usual run to cut that alcohol down.  Perhaps an evaporative step or something and they are finding the demand in Utah just doesn’t justify that expense.  As a business decision that is a good one, but for me…the consumer…I’m saddened.  I don’t particularly like 6% alcohol beers.  The flavor is usually too strong and the alcohol is certainly more than this guy can handle (not that I can handle the 3.2%).

Since this letter was written and responded to, the stores have been stocking up more Oly than I have ever seen.  Perhaps the distributors are giving the stores a discount price in order to clear out the warehouses…I don’t know, but I’m buying it up like usual, and more so.  They should just bring it to my place and store it here avoiding the middleman.  But they won’t.  I’m betting that by Christmas time I won’t be able to find an Oly that isn’t 6% anywhere in Utah.

In the meantime, I will take the Consumer Relations Representatives words to heart….Indulge Responsibly-Drink Exceptionally!  CHEERS!

September 15, 2016

Bears Butt

UPDATE:  Oct. 6…..Could only pick up 3 12 packs the other day…..:-(

UPDATE: Nov. 2…..Shelf marking Olympia beer has been taken off the shelf in local Walmart and replaced with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer…..:-(

Written on September 15th, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


The third leg of our 2016 Archery hunt found us camping in a very nice spot from September 7th through the 11th.  While we were away at rendezvous we were hoping it would rain and settle the dust.  We talked to one guy we named “Joe Serious” who informed us it had indeed rained hard a couple of times.  If that happened you couldn’t tell it from the dust in the roads.


These mountains are made of red clay and when it gets dry and has a lot of travel on it, the dust is like talcum powder…very fine and it gets into everything.  Before the hunt was over my white beard was a reddish tint.  Of course not washing for 5 days will emphasize that.  But the main issue is the fact that the dust in the roads is about 4 inches deep.  Even in the cattle and game trails it kicks up when you or the animals walk down the trail.  It gets in your nose, eyes, mouth and even in the cooler water with the beers.  We need rain in a very bad way!

Our tucked away camp was just below the highest peak around, one called Monument Peak.  I don’t know the elevation and it isn’t that important anyway.  We placed our camp there so as to be able to take advantage of a somewhat hidden water hole.


We decided to just pull into the spot and when the trailer was level, unhook and call it good.  We didn’t put stabilizers under it or anything else, just chocked the wheels and unhooked.  That worked fine for setting up and getting ready to go home.  Our positioning of the trailer in relation to the terrain was such to have our cooking area out of the wind, which seemed to blow down the draw through those trees every day.  Some days were worse than others, but always an afternoon wind.

When we left before, Weasel had placed his trail camera down at the hidden water hole and we took the hike to see what animals had visited while we were gone.  Our discovery was not a pleasant one.  Only a few hundred pictures of mostly cows and the fact that the water had been cut off from going to this location and it had dried up.  Bummer for us.  We had to go into “new game plan” mode to decide what our evening hunt was going to look like.  We made a plan and stuck to it only to spend another evening sitting where no animals like to play.  We learned a whole lot on this trip about animal movements etc.

We were pretty serious about getting Weasel a shot at a cow elk and tried our very best to make it happen.  This time we didn’t even hear an elk and only saw one, which was in the back of someone else’s truck.  After a Friday evening sitting in what Weasel calls “The Cross Roads”, his chance for an elk ended with his season date and the setting sun.  My hiding spot was pretty cool but my window to shoot was only about as wide as a pickup.  Nothing came through.


Speaking of cool….it got down right COLD most of the nights with the coldest temp hitting 19 degrees.  Inside the trailer we sat watching our breath while the coffee heated up and all three burners on the stove going full blast.


Meanwhile, outside the Crisco was beyond shivering as it was frozen solid!  (Hey Crisco….How cold is it? {say it with a Mexican accent})


The cold temps helped with some of the Yellow Jacket population but not enough yet.  One afternoon we set out to help cut down the population some.  Placing about an inch of water in the bottom of our liver bucket and sitting back with our “Bug-A-Salt” shotguns we knocked a few from the edge of the bucket into the water below.  Not only fun, but very entertaining as well.beebucketasaltingbeesbeebucketbeforebeebucketafterweaselbugasaltingbeesIf you are not familiar with a Bug-S-Salt salt shooting shotgun, you need to get yourself informed and better yet you need to purchase one from the Bug-A-Salt web site.  These are a hoot to shoot especially during the hot part of the day while hunting and waiting for an evening hunt.


They shoot plain old salt and a fully loaded salt magazine will give you about 50 shots taking bees off the rim of the bucket from 2 feet away and nocking them into the water below.  Fun times for sure.  And you can count on me having a couple of these bad boys in camp during all my hunts from here on out.

Well, on this hunt we covered a lot of ground we hadn’t covered previously.  We were mostly looking for elk and/or sign of elk and found ourselves over by what I call Gunners pocket.  A pretty little pocket of mixed quakies, pine and chaparral.  Gunner shot a nice 3 point at the head of it some years back.


That trip also took us past an old abandoned mobil home someone decided they would like to have on public ground to live or camp in.  Right now it is a whole heap of ugly trash that really should be removed from the mountain.


Every year finds it in another state of ugly.  I wouldn’t even dare walk inside it now as the roof is about to cave in.  Most likely this winter the snow load will take it down.

Our driving around let us find more available water sources and a few animals that were frequenting them.  No bucks however for Weasel to shoot.


Mostly does and fawns.  We were counting upwards of 30 each day.  A couple of small bucks but nothing Weasel wanted to put his tag on.  He is holding out for 60 or more pounds of meat.  Those smaller bucks only have about 30 on them.  Now speaking of meat, Weasel made sure to bring his Flu-Flu arrows in case we saw some grouse.  There were a few around but when word got out that Weasel had those arrows, they got smart real quick.



Fastest and smartest grouse I have ever seen.  Another day perhaps Weasel!

Hiding at water holes was something we did every evening of the hunt except the last Saturday.


On that evening we drove around the back roads until dark.  Weasel had a chance at a very nice 3 point but it dashed like big bucks do before he could close the distance.  I think we counted close to 40 deer that day, most of which were seen at evening time.  We were talking off and on with others hunting in that area and they were telling us about the deer they were seeing and not getting shots at and the whole time we were sitting at a water hole somewhere hoping for an elk.  I suppose that would have been the only way for us to kill elk and we would probably do the same thing again.  But the thought of shooting a big buck is always a good thought and even though the chance to do that at a water hole is very good, it just isn’t the same as being with others driving around B.S.’n trolling for bucks.

Our hunt took place in an area of Northern Utah that gets hammered every year with hunters during all the big game seasons Utah has.  I won’t tell you exactly, but for those of you familiar with the area should be able to tell where it is by the pictures.  One of the things we try to do every hunting season and every scouting trip in and out, is to pick up trash we see along the roadways.  This trip was no exception and in the back of the truck is a dedicated trash bag for such stuff.  One morning found us at the top of Monte Cristo (looking for Dry Dogs cow elk) and taking a break for a snack of Kippers and Ritz.




kippersattopofoldcanyonKippers is a welcome snack to me.  We found where a 4 wheeler had rolled recently and alongside the road was a broken cooler and a lot of paper trash and empty cans.  We cleaned it up as best as we could and surveyed the situation.  Why a wheeler would roll where it did wasn’t exactly clear but with an empty cooler there it is pretty obvious he was not in the best of condition to be driving.  Some of the papers we found had a name on it but we tossed it in the garbage can because it was not papers that were of any value and we figure that the rest of his party probably wanted to get him and his rig to a doctor quickly.  If by chance “you” are the party that rolled your rig and you are reading this, be sure, we threw your stuff in a garbage can that has probably been moved to the land fill by now, your name is safe with us…besides I can’t remember what it was anyway.

So, picking up trash is something we do and sometimes we have to wonder just why we are worried about it anyway, it doesn’t seem like too many others care.  We stopped to pick up a piece of barbed wire that no doubt had fallen from a ranchers truck.  It snagged on stuff all the while and caused all sorts of discontent one day when it snagged my camo pants…I cussed a bit over that one.  Anyway, while we were sitting in camp one afternoon I thought about a gate that leads from private land onto public land that we have to open every time we enter or leave the public land area.  The rancher who put the gate there must be 6 foot 10 inches and strong as an ox, because the gate is heavy and very hard to get open and closed.  In fact I can’t do it by myself, I have to have Weasel’s help.  With that in mind, I decided I would take a piece of slick wire I had picked up and make a wooden gate closer.  Then on our way out we would fix it to the gate and make things easier for everyone who enters and leaves this gate.  And that is exactly what we did on our way home Sunday.

The bottom wire, where the gate post is placed was so close to the post you had to really heave-ho to get the post into the wire it needed to be place in….so….out came the barbed wire we had been kicking around and we extended the bottom loop.


Then wrapped the slick wire to the upper portion and fixed it so even a young kid could leverage the gate closed!


Weasel was so happy when all of this worked out for the better!


And there you have it folks!  Our 2016 archery hunt has come to a close, just like this gate.  We spent a total of 15 days in the mountains and had the time of our lives.  We saw deer, elk, coyotes, moose, antelope, porcupines, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, birds of all sorts, cows, horses, sheep, badgers….the list goes on….with the aid of some hearing enhancers I even heard elk talking back and forth…that is something I would not have heard without them.  I watched as a Weasel was bullied by a squirrel and all the while I expected the squirrel to become weasel lunch.  I saw many things while sitting at those water holes that were amazing to watch.  I came to realize that every critter in existence has it’s own unique personality and that even though it is a wild being it still has an entertainment factor beyond belief.  I had a squirrel drop pine cones on me and then come over and take the cones to its hiding spot to eat at a later date.  Some of the things I saw would not have been seen had I not spent 13 nights sitting at a given spot for two or three hours just before dark.  I guess what it all boils down to is this:  Just sit down and observe your surroundings for a couple of hours, while you try not to move, or if you do, move slowly and try to be quiet.  Especially in the woods.  You sill be very surprised at what you see.  Once the critters around you have decided you are not a threat, they come out of every nook and cranny there is.   As a final note, a few years back, I sat at a water hole with one of my nieces.  We were sitting in the vehicle with the front doors open so we could get out quickly if a deer or elk came by.  We sat there for about 3 hours as darkness came on.  After just a few minutes of us being quiet, out came several deer to munch on the grass around the water hole.  Soon we could hear the sound of a vehicle approaching.  The deer became alert and then slowly (slowly) walked back into the brush and stood still while the vehicle made its way through the area and was gone and out of site.  Out came the deer again and continued to enjoy their evening.  So, the next time you are “spotting and stalking” think about that for awhile.

September 12, 2016

Bears Butt

P.S.  nightbirdinroad

This is a very poor picture of a bird in the road just after dark.  They fly around and land in front of the car, spread out their little wings and sit there waiting for you to run them over (not really).  They fly just before you are about to do just that.  According to my famous source, Tonya Kiefer, with the Utah DWR…they are among the family of birds called “Nightjar” and they like to eat insects that fly around open areas like mountain roads.   Click on this little blue line to read all about them:   

Written on September 12th, 2016 , Archery stuff, Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

MyBowOnQuakie copy

Today, Weasel and I will embark on what I’m calling our Third Leg of the archery hunt 2016.  We plan on staying until Sunday afternoon to come home.  It’s the last three days of Weasel’s Elk hunt and that will be our concentration.  Filling his tag.  And then Saturday and Sunday we will try and fill his buck tag.  However, if a buck happens to come within his range and is big enough (body size, as horns don’t matter), he will take it.  I can still fill my cow elk should I get a chance at one of those.

It’s still very hot in the mountains with no rain in sight.  Highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the 40’s is what is expected.  Everything is SO dry and dusty.

We have a plan and hope all the circles cross especially on his elk.

I haven’t shot my bow in a week and need some practice this afternoon!  More to come when we get back!

September 7, 2016

Bears Butt

Written on September 7th, 2016 , Archery stuff, 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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