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.

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beaversharnwithminibottles

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.

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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.

doggetstodrinkkilljug-copy-2

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!

butt-kill-jug-copy

September 25, 2016

Bears Butt

 

 

 

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

bowondirtytruck

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.

dustyroads

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.

ourcamp

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.

panoramaofmysitspot

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.

heatinguptrailer

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

19degreecrisco

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.

bugasaltandbullets

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.

panoramaofgunnerspocket

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.

trashedtrailer

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.

doeonridge

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.

grouseinroad

weaselstalkinggrouse

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.

sittingatwaterhole

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.

kippersandritz

 

 

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.

bottomgatewire

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

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

wayhappyweaselwithclosedgate

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
By: Bears Butt

MyBowOnQuakie

This story is going to take me awhile to put together and I haven’t decided if I should break it into several segments, shorten it or just let it unfold however it goes.  I guess I’ll decide later on.  My journey to take a deer with a bow has only been about a year and nine months in the making.  I have always wanted to accomplish the task but needed a little push by the boys and grandkids.  That happened the Christmas before last when they gave me three old arrows and a kids recurve bow.  After shooting it one time, I think I was hooked.  The next big step was joining a local archery club, “The Brigham Bowmen”.  The fees to join allowed Sherry and I unlimited use of the clubs indoor and outdoor ranges and lessons on how to shoot a bow.  Chris Barton and Lynn Hayes were my mentors in this effort.  Chris taught me the basics…how to hold the bow, draw the string, anchor and release.  Lynn took me under his arm and taught me to try different things until I found a style that fit me and my shooting abilities.  He has been a wonderful help and is trying to get me to understand that there is more to shooting a bow than just hitting the target.  And that something that might work for someone else may not work for me.

I have always been one to “make my own stuff” if I could.  It is a lot easier to go out and buy something that is a necessary part of shooting a bow and I did some of that early on, but as time went by, I began to customize my own stuff and add the Bears Butt squigglie where ever I could.

MyBowOnQuakie copy

Arm guard, camo paint job on the front of the bow, my Spam can bow quiver, range quiver etc.  All of them have the squigglie clearly identifiable somewhere.  I’m not ashamed of any of it and everything is functional.

Well, earlier this year, when it was time to apply for our big game tags, I had a decision to make.  Was I ready for a bow hunt?  I would have about 8 more months to prepare for that one shot.  Or should I apply for a muzzleloader tag like I have done the last 43 years?  It was a pretty big decision… to make the commitment to practice as much as possible and hone my archery skills.  I applied for the archery tag and was lucky enough to draw it.  From that point on it was “sweat time”.  Practicing in the field at 20 yards, then 25 yards and finally out to 30 yards.  I felt pretty confident at 20 but move back 5 yards and the arrows just didn’t seem to be consistent to me.  Well, they were consistent in that they went where they wanted most of the time and not where I wanted them to go.  And then I watched a video by Matt Dernzack called “The Push”.  He suggested that hunters using traditional equipment should prepare themselves for a 25 yard shot using a combination method of string walking and gap shooting, he called it “Fixed Crawl”.  I tried it, set up my bow for it and never looked back.   I place my nock against the side of my nose when I anchor, look basically down the arrow and place the point of the tip on the mark I want to hit and then release.  If my target is at 20 yards I put the point a little lower than where I want to hit.  At 30 yards I place it a little higher.

I practiced pretty regularly every other evening, shooting mostly from the 30 yard mark and shooting about 100 arrows a time.  Always being pushed to practice by Weasel.  If the weather was too hot or windy or whatever, I would practice standing out in the street and shooting into a bale in the back of the garage.  25 yards was about as far back as I could go which is still good practice.  I can’t say I didn’t have some arrant arrows that caused a hole or two in the sheetrock and you have probably read about my ruining 3 brand new arrows when I tried to shoot from across the street at closer to 30 yards and smashed into the backside of the bricks.  So, most of my practice sessions were pretty good and when Sherry would ask me about my session, my comment usually was, “a deer or elk is going to be in trouble”…My confidence level continued to rise with each practice session and I owe it all to the Fixed Crawl method of shooting.  It is now my “form” of shooting and all my backup strings are set the same way.

August 20 was the big day…the opening of the Utah archery deer hunt season…it seemed like it would never get here.  On the 19th, Weasel and I were headed for the mountain.  Our camp choice was already made and we camped in the shade of a big stand of pines that towered 70 or more feet above us.

OurCamp4

It was Friday when we were set up and we had a few celebration beers to break in the season.  Not too many so as to spoil the next day and by 10 p.m. we were sound asleep.  The alarm clock on the little No Grimace carved bear was set for 5 a.m.

BearClockHolder2

That became the norm for this hunt.  Up at 5, a cup of V8 and a hot cup of coffee.  Then it was out to the truck for a 6:30 a.m. ride out to a vantage point and looking for deer.  When a deer is spotted a plan is put into place and a stock made to try and get close enough for the shot.  Sometimes that works out, but most of the time the deer can sense danger and don’t let us get close enough for a shot.  That’s just the way things go and if everyone who put a sneak on a big old buck actually bagged it, there wouldn’t be any deer left.  We had planned to continue this regiment for the entire hunt, spot and stock in the mornings.

As for the evenings, as hot and dry as it has been all summer and the fact that water is at a premium up in the woods, we decided we would find a water hole or two and sit in an area close to it until dark.  Our hopes were for a big buck or a spike/cow elk to come in while there was still enough light to get a shot.  Spot and stock in the morning, rest back in camp during the heat of the day and then sit on a water hole in the evening.  I think 90 percent of the hunters on the mountain did that same routine and so, we probably shared some of the water holes with others and didn’t even know it.

My worst fear has been to wound an animal and not be able to recover it.  I have had several nightmares throughout the summer and so to help keep that from happening, I know I need a close shot.  Hopefully within 15 yards.  I’m very confident at that range even though my practices were only as close as 20 yards.  One thing for sure, when you are that close to a wild animal, it seems like you are right on top of them.  Shooting at that distance would be awesome and I’m sure my adrenaline would be pumping like crazy.  Probably enough to effect my shot in a negative way.

We spent nearly 10 days in the mountains, every day doing our routine and only changing the direction we went for the morning hunt and covering only a couple of different water holes in the evenings.  Even at that, I never once thought about going home early.  We did take a break after the first seven days, came off the mountain for a much needed shower and to restock on supplies.  We were only off the mountain a total of 24 hours.  The days all run together when you are hunting like we were.  Right now I couldn’t tell you which memory I have happened on what day.  The best part is the experience was awesome.  Weasel and I got to know each other a whole lot better and I told him a lot of stories about my young hunting days that I’m sure he had never heard before.  A very good time for a dad and son.

It was the early afternoon of the first day (I know this for a fact, I think) we met an elderly man (Al) and his Son-in-law (Dwight) who had stopped at a solar panel next to our camp to gas up the generator sitting next to it.

SolarPanel

We walked over and introduced ourselves and they told us what they were up to.  Because of the drought the cattle needed water and in order to have water scattered around the mountain the solar powered pump would pump water during the day and the generator would power it during the night.  They felt it necessary to run the pump 24/7.  We offered to help them out for the time we were to be hunting and we sort of assigned ourselves to be in charge of making sure the generator was filled up with fuel and running all night in order to keep the pump pumping water to the guzzlers which were scattered around the mountain.

FullGuzzlers

They were very happy to have us do that and it would save them having to make a trip from town up to the generator and starting it each evening.  Besides the time, there was the factor of gas for the vehicle to get them up there and the extra gas to run the generator while the solar panel was working.  During the course of our hunt we learned quite a bit about their water system.  A bunch of money, time and labor has been put into it and it works very well.  At least until the generator breaks, which happened on the second Friday we were there.  Fortunately, before the generator quit working all the guzzlers in the system were full of fresh clear clean water.  The solar powered pump should be able to continue to keep them full until they have to move the cattle off the mountain.

Until the pump quit working I think we saved them 15 or more gallons of gas and at least 10 hours of drive time up and down the mountain.  Not much in the whole scheme of things but a little relief for Al who seemed to be the guy in charge.  On Wednesday morning when we got back to camp we found this note:

NoteFromAlWe had told Al our plan to leave the mountain on Thursday for our much needed shower, so he would be up in the evening to start the generator.  Unfortunately it used nearly 5 gallons of gas from Thursday evening until we got up there Friday afternoon.  See related article from the Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/home/4088140-155/we-are-not-all-clivenbundys-rich

Back to hunting:

We were not seeing the bucks we have seen  in the past few years and the does were pretty scarce as well.  A good day of deer sighting was around 10 and only one or two small bucks.  Weasel had set his bar a bit higher this year, as he is counting on shooting a big doe on the Wasatch Extended hunt should he not fill his tag with a nice big buck.  He is not horn hunting, but rather meat hunting.  It is better to harvest 60 pounds of doe meat than 30 pounds of meat from a small two point or spike.  I have to agree with his way of thinking, but this is my first year to hunt with a bow and anything legal that gives me a shot is in trouble!

SundayMorningSpike

SundayMorningSpike copy

My kind of buck on this hunt!  Of course I would try for a bigger one should it come along first, but I’m not being picky at all!

Weasel and I hunted high in the pines and low in the tall sage.  We did see a few deer in all the places we hunted, but just not the numbers we are accustomed to seeing.

DoeAndFawn

DoeAndFawns

And like I said, the number of buck deer is WAY DOWN from previous years.  Drought?  I’m not sure.  Perhaps we were glassing in all the wrong places.

One evening while sitting in camp thinking about going to bed, a vehicle pulled into camp.  We had offered to help a family camped down the road should they need it.  They were calling us on our word.  The young gal (14 years old I think) named Charlott had hit a buck right at dark.  They found the broken off arrow covered in blood.

CharlotsBrokenArrow

DJ (the dad) said he thought he heard the animal pile up, but it got dark way to fast and they didn’t have the means to track the blood trail.  They wanted to go right out and see if we could help them find it.  After a thorough examination of the arrow, Weasel  told them that she had hit it good, but it was hit in the liver.  It would be best to wait until morning to find it and to let it have plenty of time to bleed out and die.

The next morning, we sacrificed our normal routine of spot and stock and went to their camp to follow them to the scene of the shot.  It took about an hour to get there because of the rough roads.  Once there we started our blood trailing.  Charlott was a natural at spotting the small droplets of blood at the beginning of the tracking job and she continued to be a regular blood hound until the buck decided to make a U-turn.  The blood trail lead us parallel to its uphill run as it made its way back down the hill to its death!  DJ spotted the dead buck piled up in the sage brush and Charlott was beside herself with joy!  A very nice buck!  Congratulations to everyone.  That tracking job was one of the harder ones I’ve been involved in.  Remember the saying:  Tracking a wounded animal is “the second hunt”!

CharlotsBuck

That’s the way to get it done Charlott!

On this hunt we saw nearly every animal on the mountain.  Ruff Grouse (no picture), Sharp tail grouse SharpTails

Several mooseMooseAndCalf

A couple of coyotes (no pictures),  Elk (pictures are blurry), Antelope (no pictures), Badger (no picture), A doe standing in a mud hole (more on this one at rendezvous), DoeStandingInMud

HawksHawkInTree

Turkey BuzzardsTurkeyBuzzard

CirclingBuzzards Crows and all manner of smaller animals.

Being out in the woods, smelling the fresh air, listening to the sounds of elk and birds and crunching leaves is really what it’s all about.  Good food, good drinks, good company.  Meeting some of the nicest people in the world.  Laughing, cutting up having a great time.  Does it get any better?

One afternoon, Weasel and I had just fixed up a couple of ground blinds for that evenings hunt and had a couple of hours to kill before we cooked and ate our supper.  So what better to do while sitting around than to make ourselves a self bow and go hunting some wild game yellow jackets.  We made the self bow out of pine and the string was a four strand continuous loop.  The arrow was fashioned after a single bevel point and not fitted with fletchings.  We needed to shoot straight out without interference from the bow hand or riser, so we chose to shoot bare shaft.  The brace height was set at 4 inches with a draw length of 10 inches.  The draw weight was not actually calculated, but we figure it was around a pound.  More than adequate for Yellow Jackets.

 

WeaselHuntingBeeGame

With so many yellow jackets to choose from, we set ourselves up a bait station with some cooked chicken and waited for them to land.  Weasel made a perfect hit on one, driving the single bevel straight into the yellow jackets heart, killing it instantly. Weasel'sTrophy

Fortunately for the hive, the deceased was carried off for others to enjoy.

One morning Weasel and I were just about back to our camp from an enjoyable morning of spotting but no stocking, when suddenly we rounded a bend and there stood a big old buck!  Weasel was the first to see it and excitedly told me to get out and grab my bow…it’s a buck!  Following the routine, I eased out of the truck and grabbed my bow.  I stepped off the road and began a slow sneak to where I thought the buck was standing.  I had not seen it yet.  As I came to a spot on a small rise I could see the buck broadside looking to my right.  I slowly lifted my range finder and pressed the button, 28 yards.  My heart was pounding pretty good at this time and my eyes shifted from side to side making sure there were no branches or obstructions between me and the buck.  Nothing stood out as a problem.  With the buck still standing there, I drew to full anchor, found my mark on the bucks shoulder and released the arrow.

(Digressing:  Earlier in the week I had purchased some “lighted nocks” from a store in Logan.  When I bought them the guy behind the counter asked me if I had ever shot lighted nocks before…I told him no, I had not.  He said, OK…be careful when you shoot and see that little light zipping away, that you don’t drop your bow hand.  It’s a common thing, especially with traditional archery equipment.  I acknowledged his comments and went out the door.)

I’ve made this sort of shot on my targets all summer long and it’s not a problem to hit at least very near the circle of intention.  This time, however, I saw that little light come on and sure as I was warned, I dropped my bow hand and the arrow went right behind the front leg and into the dirt!  DANG!  The big old buck bounded out of sight quicker than a quail can fly.  And I thought to myself…Damn it Wynn, that might be your only chance and you just blew it!  Oh well, such is life.  I started toward the arrow laying on the ground then stopped myself and decided I best nock another arrow, which I did.  Continuing up the trail toward the downed arrow, I rounded a pine and there stood the buck.  This time looking toward my left.  Again, I slowly raised the range finder…29 yards….

I’ve told you before that my practices have been mostly at 30 yards and I’m just not really all that comfortable taking that distance of a shot at a living animal.  A million things ran through my head…the dropped bow at the last shot….my practices at 30 yards tending to group low and right about 8 inches.  I knew the big buck wasn’t going to stick around long.  I drew to my anchor and made sure I could feel the nock against the side of my nose.  The fixed crawl method of shooting has me looking nearly down the shaft of the arrow at full draw and I put the point of the arrow on the spot where the deers neck meets the top of the shoulder.  I reminded myself not to drop the bow and then released.

The lighted nock flew like an “arrow” and burned its way through the bucks shoulder.  It kicked and bounded away, across the hill side.  Once out of sight behind a pine about 10 yards away, I heard it crash to the ground.  I could hardly believe what had just happened and I turned toward Weasel and gave a clenched fist “YES”!  He saw the buck run off and heard the crash, but wasn’t in a position to see the arrow actually hit the animal.

UsingMyArcheryDeerTag

Elated?  Oh man!  Adrenaline rush delux!  I just accomplished a task I have been years wishing I could do.  I silently thanked God for the success I was enjoying.  I thanked God for the perfect shot placement and taking all the bad dreams out of my mind.  I owe this hunt and the success to those mentioned before…Chris, Lynn, Weasel, Sherry and all my family, all of you members of the Brigham Bowmen, Matt Dernzack, Randy Benson and Darin Gardner.  Whether you know it or not, you have influenced my decisions on choices of bow equipment.  You have been a large part of many conversations on arrow weight, FOC, broad head selection….the list goes on.

BadgerBroadheadAndMyBuck

Am I hooked on archery hunting?  You better dang sure bet on it!  I’ll stick with my Samick recurve, 500 spine arrows and Badger broadheads.

I THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THIS A SUCCESSFUL HUNT.

I will write a story about the Badger Broadhead and how it did its job.  If you are interested at all in the effectiveness of a single bevel broad head, please read the next story.

August 30, 2016

Bears Butt

Authors note:

The author used a Samick Journey take down bow measuring 64 inches from tip to tip, with 55 pound limbs, Lynn Hayes custom turkey feather rest, a 3 Rivers custom made Flemish twist bow string, yarn found in my wife’s hobby drawer, Gold Tip Kinetic arrows, cut to 29 1/2 inches and weighing 7.4 gpi, 4 inch parabolic cut right wing fletching feathers mounted using a Bitzenburger jig at right helical and Bohning fletching tape.  The broad heads are made by Badger Broad heads and were at 125 grains and single right bevel, nocks by Burt Coyote “Lumenock” in red color.  Chevy trucks, Prowler trailers, Goodyear tires, Rogers eggs, Kroger (Smiths) orange juice, Olympia beer, Keystone lite beer, V-8 Juice, Folgers (that’s what is says on the can) Coffee, Aero Aluminum Coffee pot, Badlands packs, Motorola two way radios,  Great Value Spam, Echo chain saws, Maverik Gas, Diamond “strike on the box” matches, Kroger 2 ply toilet paper, Willard City Utah water, Luci brand solar light system, Fox Valley Tannery (out of business now), Kings pattern camo, Under Armour, Altra running shoes, Bushnell binoculars, Nikon range finders, Colman sleeping bags, Hone Propane, Big Buy bacon, Kroger Texas Garlic Toast, Camp Chef (the way to cook outdoors), Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Crystal ice, Igloo and Colman outdoor products, Ace Hardware motor oil, The Randolph Woodruff area cattle ranchers, USFS, BLM, Utah State University, Utah DWR, Smith and Edwards, Richard Green’s donation of moose steak, High Country Twisted Trail 3 pepper jerky mix, Necco dehydrators, Zip Lock bags, Gerber, Samsung, Energizer batteries, Nikon, T-Mobil and finally Maytag Freezers.

Bears Butt 😉

 

 

Written on August 30th, 2016 , Archery stuff, Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

BowOnLog

Well, I figured I best post up a story about my progress after my post of target panic.

My mind has been on fire lately, I wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. thinking about the hunt coming up….what do I need to make sure I have….what do I want to leave home…what will happen if…..and it goes on and on from there.  I finally get up and take a needed potty break and then back to bed.  But it doesn’t end there.  I can’t fall to sleep and so I hash over the area I’m going to be hunting in.  The hike into the spot where I know beyond all doubt a cow elk will walk through at daylight or just before it is too dark to shoot.  My mind can not help but race with a million unanswered questions about this hunt….my first bow hunt since I was in my teens, some 50 years ago.  A lot has changed since then.

I dream about being with my friend Dry Dog…long before he got that name…on a bow hunt where he and Weasel were the hunters and I was a meer cook (who didn’t do too well at that I might add).  I was in the blind with Mr. Dog early, early, early in the morning…well before light and as things got light enough to see, the deer seemed to be everywhere!  Big bucks, little bucks, does and fawns.

There were close ones and far ones and all of them were unmistakably unaware of us being anywhere near their presence.  We were tucked away under the bows of a big old pine tree having a great time observing nature at its finest…and of course on a hunt in which the goal was to harvest one of these animals…buck OR doe…it did not matter at that time.  Both were legal game.  My guide and expert marksman, Mr. Dry Dog (then known as Steve), was at the helm of the hideout and insisted I watch the “backside” and inform him through touching that an animal was approaching.  I was a good student and observed quite well how Steve could handle most any situation in the blind.

We had good sized “windows” from which he could shoot and take the game as it walked by.  And he nearly used them all before the morning hunt was over.  When he had exhausted all his six or 10 arrows, we had to leave the blind and go out and try and find all those arrows sticking here and there in various parts of the surrounding shrubbery.  It was fun and we found most of them.  Now don’t get me wrong, I was very pleased that Steve allowed me to join him on this morning hunt.  I learned A LOT!  One…don’t talk while in the blind.  Two, don’t piss off Steve.

You know what Steve said to me?  Well, first off I had been laughing at his ability (in-) at hitting a deer at 10 feet…he said….”Here!  You take the bow and see how good YOU are at it!!!”  I kindly declined and said back to him….”Sure!  You want me to get a ticket for poaching because I don’t have a tag!”  At this point in time he wasn’t really happy with me being in HIS blind with him.  But things settled down pretty good and we are still friends today.

My goal for this years hunt is “Not do what Steve did way back then”….If I can accomplish this, life will be good.

I practiced tonight in the garage at 20 and then 25 yards.  I killed a LOT of elk and deer tonight.  Every neighbor should have a freezer full of imaginary elk and deer steaks and assorted other meat.  No need to thank me now…life is still very good….Target panic?  Not now, I got this.

The memory of the hunt with Weasel and Steve (Dry Dog) is one I have cherished ever since I was invited to go.  I was an “old fart” back then and am an “older fart” now…some say “Jurassic Fart”….I can handle that, Old is, What Old does….whatever that means.   I hope to show Weasel how to quarter a cow elk and pack it back to camp…I’ll even give him pointers on how to do it to HIS own elk and how to load his pack with all the meat (but he has quartered a moose by himself…I haven’t done that).  I will even share my hydration pack water with him.

When it all boils down to hunting, bagging (or not) the game we pursue, studying maps or google earth for water holes, making lists of what to take, packing our stuff, talking to people about the hunt area, making all the plans that seem to always end up being the same from year to year…when it all boils down….it ends up being the friendships, camaraderie, memories stirred and all around good times enjoyed while we are out in and among nature that keeps us doing this year after year.  Ya, I’m 67 now, but I hope I can continue for another 67…not possible, but there is that hope.  For you youngsters…give ‘er hell!

August 17, 2016

Bears Butt

Written on August 17th, 2016 , Archery stuff, Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

3Turkeys

It’s nearing the end of turkey season here in Utah and I have only a couple of days available to try and fill my tag, this being one of them.  Several months ago, while looking closely at Google Earth, I spotted a small pond of water up and away from any roads and I told myself that someday I would take the hike up to that pond to check it out.  Today is going to be that day and even though it has rained heavily the past few days, I still think a turkey just might be hanging around that pond.  At any rate, that is where I’m headed today.

We have a full moon out which should have all the animals excited.  My plan is to be at the trail head just at first light (which means I have to be going very soon) and then slowly walk the trail up to the pond.  Of course I’ll do my usual calling and setting up along the way and on the way out as well.

Turkey hunting is the excuse to go see this pond as there could be other possibilities in the hunting world later in the year.

I have to be in Logan to help Wapiti and Tracker entertain some 4th graders with a mountain man demonstration, and what is a mountain man demonstration without a flint and steel fire?  That is one of my parts in this effort.  So, my turkey hunting will be a rather quick one this morning.

Wish me luck, both with the turkeys and with the fire!

More to come later on.

May 23, 2016

Bears Butt

After 2 p.m.

The hunt turned out to be more of a hike.  I don’t know how far it is, or what the elevation change is, but my feet are killing me!  As a Wild Ass Guess (WAG), I’d say 3 miles one way and only saw one hen turkey…about 300 yards from the truck on my way out.  But the scenery was spectacular!  If you are healthy enough to make this hike do it, and do it soon!  The mountain flowers are at their peak, the air is crisp and the country side is in its prime!  I’ve decided to put the hike under a different heading than hunting.  Probably “uncatagorized” and the title will be something like “Hike to Petes Cabin”….  Go check it out!

Oh and as for the fire….well, I got a lot of smoke and had 90 some kids yelling “GO BEARS BUTT, GO BEARS BUTT”!!!!  It was awesome!  When my hand started burning I put the nest down!  The kids still gave me a big applause!

Bears Butt

Written on May 23rd, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

GhillieHat

Well, once again I find myself sitting here at 3:30 a.m. waiting for the magic time when I head off to try again to outwit a turkey.  This morning’s plan is similar to what I’ve been doing in the past few trips out, but this time a slight twist to it.  I won’t be walking much.  Well, that is what I’m saying right now.

Game plan:  Take Gretchen and set up for the flydown.  Last time out, I took a few minutes and made myself a smallish blind to overlook the ambush meadow.  If a gobbler comes to the decoy, it will be about a 15 yard shot.  I only have one window and so if it goes anywhere else there won’t be a shot.  So….here is hoping.

Once the flydown has happened, I will move my location to a spot about 200 yards away and set up without Gretchen.  There have been too many days afield in this area when the toms have wandered through a certain spot, sometimes gobbling and sometimes not.  I’m just going to set my butt down and wait.  I’ll give it until around noon and if nothing has come through, I’ll call my way out.  The way out is only about 4oo yards more.

Another fine detail to my plan is my calling.  I don’t know how to call very well and my slate call isn’t of the highest quality, even though I have had several gobblers fooled by it.  But the thing is, a couple of years back, I found a striker that someone had lost…(by the way, if you can tell me what it looks like and pay the shipping, I’ll return it to you, otherwise, I’m keeping it and using it)…This particular striker has a wooden part to it that makes for a deeper toned sound than the one that came with my call.  I’ll be mixing up my calling using both of these strikers to make it sound like two or 4 different birds.  My original striker sounds to me like a young hen, while the found one sounds like the old boss hen.  We will see how all of that goes.

Time is flying by this morning, so I have to stop for now and will post up a “post hunt” addition later on!  Wish me luck!

May 16, 2016

Bears Butt

NOONISH

An off day on the mountain.  I had the whole mountain to myself this morning.  The air was crisp but not too cold, lots of dew and rain still on the leaves which made for soft and quiet walking.  All the while walking in I had a strange feeling that something was following me….I hate that feeling, but I never saw anything.

My fly down setup was perfect except for the lack of birds.  No gobbles, no hen clucks, nothing.

From there I went and set up on a nice flat place where lots of turkey crap is scattered around.  Sat there and called softly for over an hour.  Nothing.  Moved to another spot, set up and stayed about half an hour…nothing there either.

So, I packed it all up and went on a stroll through the woods.  Calling every 100-150 yards.  Always soft, followed by a medium call.  Nothing.  I walked a trail all the way around the bottom of the steepest part of the mountain until the mountain itself forced me down hill to the main trail.  I heard two gobbles during this escapade and both were very far off in the northern direction, barely audible.

Aside from the lack of turkeys, there were lots of other critters to keep me entertained.  I had a doe and young fawn trying to figure out what I was for a very long time.  Finally the wind must have shifted because momma let out a snort and off they both went.  I saw 6 deer total, no bucks.

So, there you have the turkey hunt for this day.  Not sure when I might get another chance to go out, and I hope this isn’t the last time for the season.  I still have one spot I want to go check out and that hike will take some doing…steep and deep!

Bears Butt

Written on May 16th, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

3Turkeys

It’s every turkey hunters dream to come upon a scene like this one, or maybe have the scene come upon him.   At any rate you can’t see something like this if you have your bed on your back.  I have gotten up late, have two dogs wishing they could go outside, but I’ve got to run!

Today will put me near to where I was the last time I had the chance to go out turkey hunting only this time I’m taking my little hen decoy I call “Gretchen”.  I’m hoping she will be seen by the gobbler sitting on his roost and cause him to fly down to within shotgun range.  The little meadow is my goal before first light!

CoolLittleBasin

More to come!

May 9, 2016

Bears Butt

Noonish……

I was almost late getting to my first stop this morning.  I pushed hard to get there, set Gretchen out in an opening in the sage, hurried back to my hiding hole and sat down.  Within one minute I heard the beating of heavy wings as a turkey landed about 50 yards to my right, just the other side of a small rise.  The gun was up, safety off and the bead held steady on Gretchen….I waited.  No sounds were coming from the direction the bird landed and I knew it was going to be that big tom I saw last time I was there.  My heart was pounding really hard, my breathing was too.  Then in my peripheral vision I saw its head peering over the sage, looking right into Gretchen’s eye.  The bird was no farther than 5 feet from the decoy and about 15 yards from me….a Hen!

I walked closer to the decoy and then decided it was a danger and began putting….two puts and then it flew off and down onto private property.  That was a close one!  Had it been that big tom I would have easily filled the tag!  And that is how easy it could be.  I sat there for about an hour and I kept hearing the gobbling of three different toms down on the private property.  I figured that was all I was going to see in that spot and so I picked up and started my sneak around the hill, just like I did the other day.

The weekends rains had everything soaking wet and I was glad I had chosen to put on my gaiters for this trip.  They saved my legs from the knees down from getting soaked.

As I rounded the hill I could hear the faint gobbles of some birds ahead and so I hurried myself a bit.  With all the wet, I didn’t even make a sound when I broke twigs.  Pretty soon I was straight up the hill from three gobblers sounding off.  They were very vocal.  I figured they were about 100 yards down the hill from me, so I set up on a point, tucked myself back up above the decoy about 30 yards and began calling.  They responded to every call and at one point I thought they were going to bust up over the hill and right into my lap.  They moved to my right, then back to my left.  I don’t think they could see the decoy and I didn’t want to call any more so I just waited.  Their gobbling began to get farther away and to my left.  I hurried up, grabbed Gretchen and boogied around the point of the hill toward their gobbles.

Suddenly I saw a turkey coming up through the trees below me.  It was on a direct line to where I was,  I plopped down on a rock, pushed the safety off and aimed at the trail ahead.  The trail actually went down over a slight rise as it went.  Within 5 minutes I could hear the turkey making sounds that at first sounded like a kid smacking two rocks together.  That was the first time I had ever heard that noise.  I was ready when its head came popping up from the trail.  It was coming straight at me at about 15 yards again.  Another hen!  When it saw my blob sitting in its path it stopped and stared.  Did a little walk around keeping an eye on me the whole time, and then went off the trail and up the hill through the brush and trees.  It didn’t make any sounds once it saw me sitting in the way, it just went off the trail and out of sight, not in a hurry either.

Well, the gobbles began to go down hill after that and I figured another hen had their attention.  There were for sure 3 distinct birds and they gobbled down and across the meadow and up the other side of the draw.  Gobbling like crazy and continued to do so until I couldn’t hear them anymore.

I figured there had to be others still on my side of the canyon and so I continued up the trail past the point where I almost got a shot last week.  There is some beautiful turkey looking country up there and I sure was hoping for a shot but all I saw were deer.  Maybe next time.

Bears Butt

Written on May 9th, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

It’s May 2nd, 2016 and the opening day for the general turkey season here in Utah.  Since it’s a Monday, most everyone I know that hunts is either working or too wrapped up in yesterdays wind damage to go out and enjoy a day of hunting turkeys….So….Off I go by myself.  There are advantages and disadvantages to going alone, but one thing for sure, I’ll be out there.

I have a plan to hit an area I have never been before.  Sort of a scouting, hunting adventure.  I know there are birds there because we heard them Saturday and I have studied Google Earth enough to know the lay of the land.  Now it’s time to put the boots to the ground and go check it out first hand.

I’m hoping to take a few selfies to show you how it looks as well and maybe even with a bearded bad boy.  Wish me luck!

More to come once I’m back.

May 2, 2016

Bears Butt

DecoyHead

I had considered using my hen decoy today but chose not to….This is the look she gave me.

I got back home right at 1 p.m.  And what a beautiful day it was to be out in the hills.  Cool this morning and quite warm by noon.  Let me tell you about being out of shape….I’m out of shape!  My trek took me to places I have only visited on Google Earth and it was everything I imagined.  A trail that follows a steep hill and there was turkey goo everywhere!  I was very excited when I got there and set up.  My timing was perfect, as I placed my butt on my cushion seat I heard the first gobble of the morning.  He was behind me slightly and up pretty high.  His home was near this little basin.

CoolLittleBasin

And probably very close to those tallest trees you can see.  I positioned myself behind where the camera was to take this picture and I was just around the bend from a nice little corner in the hill.  A perfect ambush spot should a turkey come along that trail.  As my luck would have it, the bird flew down to the left of this picture and he went beyond the public land and onto private.  I saw him at one point and at 100 yards I could clearly see a long beard!  He’ll make a mistake one of these days.

I sat there from just before light until the sun had me almost to go to sleep from the warmth and then I got up to go explorer around.  I sat with my newly made ghillie hat on to help hide me from the turkeys.

GhillieHat

As I wandered around I found this really nice little trail that screamed turkeys!

TurkeyParadise

As I went along I would set up at pinch points and corners and would call.  Every once in awhile I thought I could hear faint gobbles in the distance.  I knew they were not answering my calling, but as I snuck along I kept thinking those bad boys would walk right into me.  I was ready.  The trail got extremely narrow and tight against the uphill side, downhill was brushy delux and I couldn’t see down into it very well.  Suddenly I heard the yelping of a hen!  It was very deep sounding and at first I thought it was another hunter, but as it walked along it continued to sound off.  I followed the sounds and then saw two hens working their way below me.  They hadn’t seen me and I was glad for that.  With them moving off, I found a nice sitting spot and waited for a tom to come walking along behind them.  A half hour later I moved on.

Changing the subject a little; about a month ago I bought myself some “hearing aids”.  These are made for hunters and they enhance the sounds of the woods for most people, but for me, they allow me to hear what the heck is going on.  I had both of them in my ears today.  I was walking in some crunchy oak leaves along the trail and it was nearly impossible to remain quiet, but even with the hearing devises I was going slow enough to be pretty quiet.  About 100 yards past where the two hens were I entered into somewhat of a grassy clearing in the oak trees.  It screamed turkeys to me and so I stood on the edge of it and peered into the openings looking for movement and listening with all the listening attention I could get.  10 minutes of looking and listening and I would move forward a few feet and stop and look and listen some more.

I had gone about 30 yards into this semi-clearing when up ahead a few yards, maybe 20, a hen sounded off with some very loud putts!  She putted and putted but stayed in one spot as she did it which is not like any putting I’ve heard before.  Usually they are moving away or up hill or somewhere getting away from danger (me).  But this one was different!  Then I heard wings beating the air and suddenly the gobbling of three distinct toms just off to my left and up hill a bit.  The putting continued ahead of me.  With all the commotion I wasn’t sure what I should be doing, so I went carefully up the hill toward where the gobbling took place.  Then I heard a hen clucking below me and I froze!  Two hens were moving up the hill from below me and would cross somewhere near the hen that was putting.  I froze as I was in a place where I could be easily seen by the two birds below.  She continued to putt and then I saw a coyote run across the opening and down toward the valley below!  The coyote had been gone a good minute before the putting stopped.

The two birds moved up and joined with the putting bird but I could not see them.  I moved up the hill carefully and as quietly as I could.  The gobblers had to be very close but I didn’t know where exactly.  I positioned myself with a small clearing about 10 yards in front of me and let out a “Darin Gardner” series of very quiet putts and yelps…..The woods came alive with Gobblers sounding off and they were very close, I just didn’t know where!  And then I saw some movement ahead about 20 yards…it was the back of a gobbler and he was strutting his stuff.  I sat still and raised the gun ready to fire when he came over a slight rise between me and him.  My arms soon became very sore and I could hardly hold the gun up.  The gobbler would strut and turn but did not come any closer. I held the gun up for about 20 minutes and then I couldn’t take it any longer.  I slowly lowered it and kept my eye on the bird ahead.

I was not in a very good spot for an ambush and if he came over the rise and happened to look down the trail he would see me for sure.  I had to make a move to the side of the trail.  At one point I thought I could just stand up and blast him, but I didn’t know if he was alone or with a hen or the other gobblers.  The sounds told me there were for sure 3 different gobblers and they were all pretty close to one another.  It just wasn’t worth shooting and hitting more than one bird.  I’ll wait for a better chance.  I moved slightly up hill off the trail but the brush blocked me from seeing the bird.  Again, very carefully, I pulled out the call and striker and sounded off a very soft yelp.  All three gobblers burst into cadence!  My heart was racing and my mouth began to dry up noticeably.  Then the worst thing that could happen began to swell up in my throat….a cough….NO!  I thought to myself and I fought it off.

I kept thinking about some of the things I’ve been told about turkeys….you make a turkey sound and if they gobble back, they know exactly where you are and they will come, just have patience.  I waited and waited and waited.  Two hours I waited expecting them to pop up within 10 yards at any moment, but nothing came.  I tried my soft call again, this time nothing.  I let out a series of yelps just a wee bit louder….nothing.  It became obvious by this time that the hen they were parading around had lead them off and up the trail somewhere.

It was getting late in the morning and was very warm so I decided not to try and cut them off and just leave them alone for another day.  I carefully stood up, stretched my legs and made my way quietly down the mountain and back to the truck.

A fine day indeed!  4 gobblers, 5 hens, several deer and lots of other wildlife viewed.

Bears Butt

 

Written on May 2nd, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

This doesn’t need an introduction!

https://www.facebook.com/tonya.otinger/videos/10153396246649412/?pnref=story

Tonya is a taxidermist out of Alabama:

Tonya O'Tinger wood duck

Bears Butt

November 29, 2015

Written on November 29th, 2015 , Hunting Stories

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BearsButt.com | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.