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

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    Wapiti commented

    Nice story Mr. Butt. To bad more meat isn’t in your freezer. I looks like you guys had a great hunt with lots of things to talk about later.

    September 12, 2016 at 11:07 am
      Bears Butt commented

      The hunts aren’t exactly over. Weasel still has the Extended Wasatch he can hunt until Nov. 30 for both deer and elk. I have the any weapon elk hunt that runs Oct. 8 through 20. It was a wonderful hunt and lots of stories!

      September 12, 2016 at 11:25 am | 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.