By: Bears Butt

AntlersAgainsRedRocksMonticello Weather:

Sunny, high 48, low 27 light breezes NW changing to NNE by this evening.

It looks like the long range forecast for Monticello is going to be just about like this.  The hunt will be held in perfect conditions!

Continuing to study elk habits, more videos, and reading about the 10 best ways to get close enough to a bull elk for a shot, has taken me all over the map.  Well, the map of my area of hunting that is.  I have tried to locate a detailed enough map on-line that we could use it to know where we are during the hunt, but so far no real success.  I’ll probably have to rely on my GPS to let us know where we are and how to get to where we might want to be and then back again.  We will get it all figured out.

I have often wondered about the daily habits of deer to mostly show up just before dark or be out in the open at first light.  The morning time sightings are while they are working their way back to a sleeping hideout somewhere, while the evening ones are when they are coming out to eat and party all night.

This same activity applies to elk.  Oh, and bears…we will be hunting in bear country you know.

So, some smarty gave this type of behavior a name…”Crepuscular”….From Wikipedia:

The word crepuscular is derived from the Latin crepusculum, meaning “twilight”.[1] Its sense accordingly differs from diurnal and nocturnal behavior, which respectively peak during hours of daylight and dark. The distinction is not absolute however, because crepuscular animals may also be active on a bright moonlit night or on a dull day. The use of the terms often is vague; for example, some animals that are casually described as nocturnal are in fact crepuscular.[2]


I suppose single people over the age of 21 could be classified as crepuscular, heck maybe even some not single people could be classified as that too.  And when the spouse finds out about it, they begin to name call!  “You Creep!”  “You Scumbag”!!  “You Liar”!!!!  Can you see the connection here?  Crep…uscu…lar!  Correlations are everywhere if you look for them!

6 days!

Bears Butt

NOV! 1, 2013


Written on November 1st, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Monticello Weather:

A beautiful sunshiny day ahead!  High 44, low 27 with light winds beginning WNW (you know what that means) at 10 to 15 mph, shifting to NNW by this evening!

Now that sounds like a great day!

Yesterday, among all the other things that went on, I spent some time on “field judging bull elk” web sites and downloaded some very interesting stuff.  One of the websites is called “”, they have an interactive deal, where they show a picture of a bull elk and you guess what the Boone and Crockett score is of the antlers.  It was a fun thing to get into, although I think they messed up on a couple of them.  One is clearly a 6X6 bull, and they called it a 5X6…oh well.  Then I downloaded some pictures where they tell you the “average” sizes of various parts of the elks body are.  For instance the length of the bulls chest from the hump on the back to its belly measures 36 to 40 inches and the length of its face from nose to bottom of the antlers is 15 to 16 inches.  You can use these to guesstimate tine length etc.

It also tells you the “rules” of the book and how to get into it.  The antlers have to have at least 5 points on each side plus a bunch of other criteria to get into the book.

Not that any of that will mean anything to me once I’m on the hunt, but who knows.  I’m sure that when I see a big bull standing or walking around, I’ll know if its a shooter or not.  The 4th point on a side is called “the sword” and if that is a big old long thing….BANG!!!!!

There was another web site that said to start with 200 points, which is pretty much an average young 6X6 bull’s antler measurements.  Then start adding up points such as length of each of the tines, width beyond 30 inches between the antlers and guessing the circumference of the antlers between the “G” points up to G-4.  You would have to have a lot of time to study an animal to do this, but I suppose a bull could stick around long enough for you to do that.  Probably it would be better if you were glassing it from a long distance away.

As for now….7 days and counting!

Bears Butt

Oct. 31, 2013


Happy Halloween!

Written on October 31st, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt

FrontSideWithCapoteBRRRR!  Cold this morning!

Weather for Monticello:

Rain and snow this morning, becoming mostly cloudy this afternoon.  High around 40, Low 26, winds NNW around 10 mph, chance of rain 60%.

Looking at the long range forecast it is calling for a warming trend and the next chance of rain/snow will be Monday of next week.  We can live with that!

Do you know what NNW means?  Let me give you a little lesson.

On a compass there is a “N” that stands for “North”, and that is where the little arrow inside the compass points.  That tells you which direction North is.  There is also an “E” for East, “S” for South and a “W” for West.  So, if the winds are going to come from the South, the weather forecast will say “S Winds”, if they are coming from the West the forecast will say “W”.  But what about winds that aren’t coming from a straight on direction like South or West, or East or North?  Well then they must be coming from some direction between those points.  Like North West…NW, or South East…SE.  And if the winds are coming at you from closer to North it would be marked as North North West, “NNW” (North of North West) or if it’s coming from closer to the West than North, West North West, “WNW” (West of NorthWest).

Now for your test.  The weather forecast is calling for temperature of 20 degrees with winds ESE at 10 mph, and you are facing directly North with nothing on but a wet sheet, what part of your body will get coldest first?

Today’s schedule will be involved with making sure everything is in the camp trailer…stuff like coffee, sugar, toilet paper and the like.

I packed the game bags yesterday in a duffle bag and those will be tossed in the truck when we leave camp to head out looking for an elk.  You never know where the elk will finally hit the dirt and if we have to pack it out, those bags will come in real handy.

I also got my “warm stuff” bag sorted out and took out the kinds of things I will never need.  Loaded up the hand warmers and made an emergency kit of sorts.  One for fire starting, with fresh “strike anywhere” matches, a small candle and a charcoal stick hand warmer.  The rest of the bag contains gloves, face masks and a pull over rain jacket.

In my “take it with me” fanny pack I cleaned out the 3 year old Tootsie rolls, made sure the Kipper Snacks were in there, as well as three hunting knives, my pelvis cutting tomahawk, a liver and heart bag, small piece of rope and knife sharpener.

This “getting ready” is kind of fun and with only a few days left before we head out I know I’m over killing everything.  But when we get up on the mountain there should be plenty for everyone.

My workout this morning was a grueling one with lots of sweat.  My legs have gotten used to the 10% inclines and so the calves are not paining me like they were a week ago, or throbbing like two weeks ago.  This working out is sort of a good thing.  You should try it!  Just Saying!

8 days!

Bears Butt

Oct. 30, 2013

Written on October 30th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Monticello weather:

Still under that winter storm warning.  Snow accumulations 5 to 10 inches, beginning at 9,000 ft and above and then dropping to 6500 feet later in the day.  Winds 20 to 35 mph, reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile and drifting the snow.  Snow and ice packed roads can be expected at higher elevations.

Other than that a pretty good day can be expected.  High near 46, low of 31, with 30% chance of showers!

That actually sounds like a good day to make some ground soup and some home made biscuits.

Now I’ll get off subject of the dream elk hunt, but I just have to tell you this.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to cut up a friends deer she killed out near Elwood.  She said it came out of a patch of corn and she dropped it in its tracks.  During processing it was plain to see the entry and exit holes and she really had made a great shot!  Only lost about 1/4 of one of the front quarters to shock.

Anyway, I have cut up a lot of deer in my time and this one has them all beat as far as fat goes.  It had at least 1/2 inch on its butt, which isn’t such a big deal, but what was a big deal was the fat that was layered between the muscles.  I’ve never seen this before.  It made for some extra work to get it all cut out but I’ll just bet this deer will be wonderful table fare!

Congratulations Shelly on one nice little buck!

9 days!


Bears Butt

Oct. 29, 2013

Written on October 29th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


I missed out posting up yesterday because of the “Un-turkey Shoot” held at the Logan DWR Shooting range.  Our friend Muskrat held his 16th annual shoot yesterday to raise some funds to help Homeless Veterans.  He uses the money raised to purchase  clothing and other essentials that homeless vets can use.  It was a very fun event, as usual, lots of good folks, a great shoot and some excellent Octopork sandwiches and Buffalo Chili!  I doesn’t get any better than that!

OK, back to why I’m writing!

Monticello Weather for today:

Partly cloudy and windy!  High 58, low 40.  Winds out of the South at 25 to 35 mph….With gusts as high as 50 or more!  WOW!  Then tonight showers will develop after midnight and an increasing chance of precipitation to 30%.

Now folks that isn’t all there is to it!  They have been issued a “WINTER STORM WARNING”!

A warning means it’s gonna happen and you best get ready for it!

This warning is in effect from midnight tonight through 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Snow and blowing snow.  Snow will start falling early Tuesday morning with the heaviest snow expected before midday Tuesday.  Snow accumulations…5 to 10 inches!  Snow level from 9,000 and higher will drop to 6500 feet!  Winds out of the South at 15 to 20 mph with gusts over 35 mph expected!

Blowing snow and drifts with near white out conditions, snow and ice packed roads making for hazardous driving!

That really sound like it could be winter!

Will it be enough to drive the big boy elk down from the higher elevations?  I doubt it, but it should make them begin to think about heading for their winter ranges.  A dusting of snow would make finding them a bit easier, what with tracks and just plain visibility against the white background.  This time in two weeks we will have been hunting for three days!

10 days until we head South!

Bears Butt

Oct. 28, 2013

Written on October 28th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


A much better workout this morning.  Sweating profusely at minute 14 and then later I realized I was getting a good deal when the program switched from a speed of 5.5 mph at incline 5%, to a speed of 4 mph and increased to incline 10%…It took 10 seconds for it to climb that 5%….I win!  Only had to do 4 mph at incline 10% for 50 seconds instead of 60!

Monticello weather for today:

Lots of sunshine today.  High 58, low 35, light breezes 5 to 10…almost sounds like it has for the past week.  BUT…….

Continuing special weather statement:  Strong winds Monday…followed by a potential winter storm for portions of the area.  A developing area of low pressure will dive south along the west coast of the U.S. Sunday night and Monday.   Then the system will turn East across the area bringing windy conditions.  As the storm moves closer the winds will give way to an increasing chance for rain and snow by Tuesday afternoon.  Sow levels are expected to remain above mountain pass levels early on, but will quickly drop to the valley floors by Wednesday morning as much colder air filters through the region….Temps on Wednesday may be running 10 to 20 degrees below normal in many areas…..

So what did you do yesterday?

Tracker, Wapiti, Bones, Ericka and I took some time to fix up Trackers dining fly to include a really nice area to put the cooking stuff for the hunt.  Tracker had a really old, but nice World War II Army tarp and he wanted to incorporate it with his dining fly and he had an idea as to how to do it.

We started at 9 a.m. and didn’t get it finished until about 3 p.m., a long day, but the time really flew by fast.

Of course a tarp as old as this one had a few tear issues here and there and we had to make do with the largest part we had to work with.  As it turned out, we didn’t have to cut it at all and still ended up with the largest part over top of where we think we will be putting our cooking stoves and tables and there are no holes over head!  Something I didn’t think we would have when we started this project.  I just knew we would be sewing some patches somewhere.

In the past, we would set up the dining fly and then put up two EZ-up canopies to one side.  This worked very well, but the amount of space we had to work under was quickly consumed by the stoves and tables and left a lot to be desired in the ambiance field.  We actually would have been better off if the EZ-ups were set out by themselves and away from the main dining fly.  But we did what we did and it worked just fine.

By utilizing Trackers idea, we will now have an area about 10 ft. X 14 ft. of nothing but dedicated cooking area and all of the area under the dining fly canopy will be available for sitting and talking around the fire!  A wonderful addition!


This picture shows it all, but the newly added tarp is in the shadow somewhat.  It’s on the right side and you can see the green tarp coming out from under the white tarp.  Tracker is going to pick up four 7 1/2 foot lodge poles and so when we get to camp the cinder blocks you see in this picture will not be there.  We used them to get the height we needed.


We took it all down in about 10 minutes and put things away very organized so that to put it up when we get to the Abajo mountains we should only need an hour or less.


It’s funny how something as simple as a dining fly in the middle of camp seems to just “make” the camp!  For sure we will probably be the only camp on the mountain with one.

Speaking of camp and hunting, there will be 13 other hunters on the mountain and I hope we get to meet them all and I hope again that each one of them bags the trophy of a lifetime!

12 Days!

Bears Butt

Oct. 26, 2013


Written on October 26th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt

CompletedBearsButtDotComI’m new to this working out stuff and have only been doing it for about two months.  When I started I used a pre-programmed exercise setting on the tread mill, the first real workout setting.  As I recall coming upstairs after that grueling workout I told Winemaker, “Who needs a gym?  You have that monster machine down stairs to kick your butt”!!!  I was sweating like crazy and my legs were pounding with pain!  I sure was “in the element”!  30 minutes of agony, but I worked through it with all my thoughts on climbing up and down the red rocks of the San Juan, in search of the big trophy elk that is in my dreams.

This morning I decided to re-visit that first exercise program….30 minutes…max incline of 6 %….max speed of 4 mph….At 15 minutes into the program and having been walking at 4 mph for almost 5 straight minutes, I could feel my head starting to heat up, but not sweating yet.  At 20 minutes into it, the speed had been reduced to 3.5 mph and the incline was on a firm 6%, my first drop of sweat leaped from my forehead, followed by several more through the rest of the workout.  But, by the time the program was over, I felt like I had cheated myself out of a good time!  Not once had the excursion caused me to breath through my mouth…not once!  It ended way too soon and then it was on to stretches, push ups and sit ups.  I came upstairs and told Winemaker, it was not much of a workout.

Does that mean this workout stuff actually gets you into condition and that you get used to doing these things and they become easier and easier as you progress through them?  You can answer that, but tomorrow I’m going up to the max setting and hammer myself into shape!

Monticello weather:

OH OH!  Special weather statement!

Winter storm possible for portions of Eastern Utah and Western Colorado!  This storm will see snow levels running at or above 10,000 ft…with moderate snow accumulations confined to elevations above 12,000 ft…..blah, blah, blah, blah!

Other than that, a high expected of 56 degrees, low of 36.  Early afternoon showers with winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.  Chance of rain 30%!

So, it looks like there could be some inclement weather high up that just might make the elk think winter is coming and push them down toward their wintering ranges.  If I was an elk that is what I would think, and I’d make sure I was near a good road in case it really dumped and then I could walk down the road to a more comfortable place….just sayin!

Today Tracker, Wapiti and I are going to be working on a modification to Trackers dining fly.  The beginning of the camp!  I’m loving it!

In two weeks time we will be waking up in the San Juan, Blue Mountains…the Abajo Mountains to be exact!

13 days out!

Bears Butt

Oct. 25, 2013

Written on October 25th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Monticello Weather:

Partly cloudy, high expected around 60, lows around 40.  A change is coming to the area with a 30% chance of rain beginning tonight.  Light winds.

This weather sounds about right for this time of year.  Looking ahead a few days they have some snow in the forecast also.  More on that as we get closer to those days.


Had a bummer deal hit us yesterday.  Weasel took his truck in for a fix on a mystery problem and that got remedied after nearly $1,000 of fixes.  So, he was test driving it toward home trying to get it to do what it was doing before he took it in and everything seemed to be just fine…he looked down at this dash panel and saw the check engine light was on and the temp gauge was almost red lined!  He pulled over immediately and the engine died.

He called the repair shop and a mechanic showed up very quickly.  He checked the radiator and there was no fluid to be seen.  So he dumped in a gallon of fluid and it disappeared into the radiator.  They both looked under the truck to see where it was going and then it dawned on them that the fluid was probably going into the crank case area.  Weasel pulled out the dip stick and sure enough, it was full of oily water and foam.  DAMN!

So, back to the shop it went and the prognosis came back as a bad head gasket and assorted ugly stuff that comes when radiator fluid gets into the crank case area.  The shop owner recommended a new engine, $4500 installed, with a new radiator!  Weasel paid $3200 for the truck three years ago, is it worth this much more to be put into it?

Well Weasel made a command decision to forgo any more work on the truck and to call for salvage measures.  I went with him yesterday to retrieve it and I was able to drive it home…stopping periodically to make sure it didn’t over heat to the point of seizing up.

So, that was going to be the truck of choice to use on the elk hunt and the one to drive us around in the mountains.  Things are going to change now and I’m not totally sure what direction they will go.

Tracker and Bones have offered their truck as the replacement and it seems like the logical choice.  Not knowing the roads down that way I sure would not want to get that truck all scratched up…it’s nearly new.  Weasels was a tried and true “who cares about the paint job truck”, with numerous Rocky Mountain pin stripes down the sides.

We will see what comes of this as we get closer to the day of departure, 14 days from now!

Bears Butt

Oct. 24, 2013

Written on October 24th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Monticello weather for today:  High 61, low 35, light breezes.

I’m liking this!  I think I could be a weatherman…”Weather Butt”…has a ring to it!

Today will be mostly sunny, with some clouds and a possible shower later in the day.  Expect highs nearly what they were yesterday with a possible cooling trend that may change to a warmer than yesterday temperature.  Winds will be light out of the South West early, changing and coming out of the North East by mid day.  You might even want to get your kite out for later this afternoon as the winds will have a tendency to increase as a decreasing wind change is expected.  We are expecting a big change in the weather come the weekend so get your coats out of the closet and bundle up those kids walking to the bus stop, but wait until school is on again because they don’t go to school on the weekend.

And there you have it folks, your weather for today.  It really doesn’t matter if you are reading this from Alaska, or Hawaii, it applies to everyone, everywhere at the same time!

Bears Butt

Oct. 23, 2013

Written on October 23rd, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Monticello Weather for today!

Abundant sunshine, light breezes, high in the mid 50’s and lows around freezing.

Boy does this sound like a broken record, but it is what it is and as far as I’m concerned it can stay just like this all through the hunt!

Bears Butt

Oct. 22, 2013

Written on October 22nd, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS | 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.