By: Bears Butt

I was stationed in Germany, just outside of Weisbaden, a town of relative size, say, about the size of Ogden, Utah. The USAF sent me there after my tour was up in Viet Nam….seems the folks on the other side of the Berlin Wall needed to be looked at. You see I was in Aerial Reconnaissance…Spy stuff. The date was around 1970 when I got there and two years later I split and came home to go to college.

I guess the people I worked with liked me, so they threw a couple of going away parties for me. One was held at the Rod and Gun Club meeting building and was hunting/fishing themed. All the parties we had involved LOTS and LOTS of beer! Of course Germany is noted for their beer and I tried my very best to support the economy in every way I could.

Makes me thirsty just thinking about it…I’ll be back in a minute. Gotta git me a cold one.

I’m back! So at this particular party, they had all chipped in and bought me a special beer stein. They presented it to me full to the brim with ice cold beer! My favorite. The stein was a special one, in that not only did it have a fancy picture of a Red Stag on it with gold trimmed leaves and a tree bark decor about the whole thing, but it also had holes all around the upper portion of the mug itself! Specially made for pouring the contents all down the front of the one enjoying the contents!

The beautiful Stein

Please notice the holes all around the top portion of the mug. Those are real holes and not just pictures of holes!

Well, being full of ice cold beer, I tipped it up and got a frontal barrage of cold beer running down my hairy chest! I continued to drink it up, as it was a custom to finish the drink that you started. By the end of that drink, my crotch was tasting the beer as well, but the stein was empty and that was the whole intent! Right? Let’s fill it back up! BUT WAIT….let’s examine this beautiful piece of art a little closer!

The Secret to drinking from this stein!

So, you can see the artistry that went into this stein is very nice! Gold leaf, a barkey look about the whole thing, as if it were made from a tree trunk with a bent limb for a handle!

On closer examination, you can also see a “limb” looking edge along the top of the stein! It too has holes strategically placed as if limbs had been cut off the bigger limb that makes up the upper rim of the mug and holes drilled into them! Pretty cool!

Well, as it turns out, one of those holes around the upper edge, acts as a straw, down through the handle, allowing you to drink the beer without having to tip up the mug and get drenched! But you have to cover the little hole under the top part of the handle with your finger! This stein was designed for a person who holds the stein in their right hand. No other holes around the top edge are connected to the “straw” except the first one to the left of the handle itself! Sneaky craftsman who build it!

Well, if that wasn’t enough of a cool thing about this stein, there is one more really cool thing about it. Once you have finished drinking the contents, you get to enjoy a view only the consumer can see! Look down inside the mug and hold it up to a lighted background! Now there is a view to behold!

Ah yes! The goddess of goodness! Isn’t that a cleaver idea? I have loved this stein for many reasons and have safe guarded it for all these years. Maybe the next person in possession of it will enjoy it as much as I have, or more!

And to the squad of people who gifted it to me, once again, I THANK YOU WILL ALL MY HEART!!! You guys are wonderful!

Bears Butt

August 1, 2019

Written on August 1st, 2019 , Just more stories, Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

This year’s festival was wonderful!  The morning air was a brisk 9 degrees according to my truck thermometer and there was not a cloud in the sky.  You could see a bunch of elk off and up on the hillside above the ranch feeding area and the guys were moving bales of hay out as I arrived!  It was going to be a great day!  When it was all said and done and at the end of the day, I was told there were over 1,100 people who came to the event!  Us mountain men and women had a great time!  I was not able to get pictures of every group that came through for pictures but here are a few!  Feel free to download them for your own personal use!  Regrettably, some of the images did not turn out to be sharp.  I’m very sorry for that, especially if you were counting on my abilities.  Maybe next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written on December 10th, 2017 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

This week, Sherry and I made a little trip up along the trail that Brigham Young sent a small group of LDS missionaries to look into settling the Salmon River area of what is now called Idaho.  Back then it was called the Oregon Territory.  Brigham Young was actually scouting out another escape route from the US Government, should they decide to come after the Mormons again.  Among the small group, some 25 to 30 young men of LDS faith, was my Great Grandfather, Abraham Zundel.  This trail is followed pretty closely by the current road systems through this same area and so, our trip was especially interesting to me.  The country side has not changed much at all since 1855.   Abraham was designated the mail carrier for the mission and so he made several trips from the mission at Limhi to Salt Lake City and back again.  All alone, on horseback, with only a pistol and a rifle as his company.  The area was home to the Shoshone tribes with the Blackfeet tribes just over the mountains to the East.  The missionaries were met by the Shoshone as they arrived at what is now called “Tendoy”, but they called their mission “Fort Limhi”.  There is a book written that explains all about it, “Fort Limhi”, by David L. Bigler.  You would enjoy reading it, trust me.

Now, back to why I’m writing this:  Along the path, is a stream named “Birch Creek” and in this desolate area any water found is an oasis and is where all the animals of the area come for food, drink etc.  The mountains to the East are vertical rocks with caves and washes carved out of them from millions of years of wind and rain erosion.  Very few trees and not much to look at except for the carved out caves.

Sorry about the picture being blurry, 

This area of Idaho, is called the Birch Creek Recreational area and there is a whole lot more to it than this small stream.   The red area is the camping areas alongside the stream while the blue areas on the map are other atv trails etc. in this area.  The camping is free, but they like to have people donate to the cause and there is a dropbox as you leave the campground.  We found a nice little spot about a third of the way up from the bottom of the red area on the map and made it our home for the night.  The stream flows pretty good considering the desert like area it flows through.

There are some trout in the stream as well and a lot of people fish it.  We chose not to get fishing licenses and so, I could only watch the fish swim in the water.  The water is very cold which makes swimming and/or wading uncomfortable, at least to old people like me.  But can you imagine riding your horse through a virtual desert and how welcoming this stream would have been?  I figure my Grandfather camped exactly in this spot and even peed against the same tree I peed against.  That’s my story anyway.

So, after a very quiet evening and a great nights sleep, I was up drinking a cup of coffee and decided to take MaPa’s out for his morning ritual and relief exercise.  He is a small dog, but can really put you to the test of holding him back while he is on his leash.   When he gets on the trail of a “critter” it is all you can do to hold him back, this walk was not exception.  We went down stream from our camp and when we were about 400 yards down, He had led us over to the stream edge and through another camp.

Looking down I saw some fresh tracks in the dust around a fire pit and held him back from his pulling long enough to study the prints left in the dirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I’m holding him back, he is trying is darndest to pull me over.  But I was studying these tracks and finally I decided it was a big coyote and so I stood back up and headed towards MaPas.  He was nose to the ground pulling like the dickens along the edge of the shadow in the above picture.  As he started to round the left edge of the bush, I pulled him very hard and said out loud, “Come on fella, let’s get back to camp”, reluctantly he turned to come my direction and as he did, a cougar ran out from the other side of the bush and went straight away from us.  MaPas just sat down on his butt and watched as the cat ran off.  I’m sure my mouth was wide open as I watched it too.  It didn’t take it long to get down stream and run into some bushes at the next camp.  My heart was racing like crazy as we quickly walked back to our camp and I kept looking over my shoulder at where the cat was last seen.  Back at the camp, I couldn’t wait to tell Sherry what we had just experienced and it took at least 15 minutes before my heart pounding subsided.  What would have happened had I let MaPa’s continue around the end of that bush?  Was the cat laying in wait for a little puppy on a string?  Had it already decided to get out of there before I pulled him away from his pursuit?  We will never know, but he is now nicknamed Cougar Bait.  I’m very glad that the cat decided to run away.  Why MaPa’s didn’t try to chase after it, I’ll never know, because he loves to chase cats back at home.  He just sat down on his butt and watched it run away.  Maybe because of it’s size it intimidated him, I don’t know.  This is my second encounter with a cougar this year (remember the one in the early morning darkness on my turkey hunt?).

August 4, 2017

Bears Butt

Written on August 4th, 2017 , Uncategorized, Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

After a couple of weeks drying our mentor told us we could take off the bark from our staves.  Weasel did his the other day and today I was able to take mine off.  We both used draw knives to accomplish this task.  It went quite quickly for me but took Weasel about 4 hours to do his.  I think his looks cleaner than mine, but I have my own reason for not taking the extra time getting the bark and secondary layer of pithy covering off mine.

I purchased this draw knife many years ago to peel the bark off our tipi poles and have had it laying around ever since.  We have also been loaned another draw knife from our friend Magpie to assist us in getting our bows done.  Thanks Magpie!!!

Since, neither Weasel nor I know anything about what we are doing, we are just going along step by step according to what our mentor, Lynn Hayes is telling us.  By the way, he leant us a moisture meter to check the moisture content of our staves.  After peeling the bark off mine, I measured it and it was 18% at the limbs and 35% in the handle area.  Weasel’s measured almost the same.  Our bows are beginning to take on some character shapes and what I consider flaws as well.  We will see what becomes of these flaws and maybe the entire process will yield to a nice fire outside, time will tell.

Bends and curves, humps and bumps and toss in a twist or two.  It’s all good!

Cracks might be another issue all together.  We will know the next time Lynn comes around.

But with 35% moisture still in the wood it needs more drying time before we can go to the next step.  Our drying tent consists of a heater with regulated heat and fan.  The fan blows the air down toward the foot of the tent and then it comes back up and out the same end it began blowing from.

The heater is set for something around 80 degrees and for a cold wet day like today, it feels really warm.

On another note, Weasel and I have been noticing our look at trees is taking on a new perspective.  I find myself looking at long straight branches coming out of the bushes and trees growing alongside the roads.  Especially the Osage Orange ones growing wildly in peoples fields.  Someday they will be cutting those trees down and won’t even know what they are cutting as they are just garbage trees with ugly thorns growing in the way of something else they want to do with their property.  All the while some bow making guy wishes he had that tree to work with.  And on an even crazier note, I have noticed I’m starting to pay more attention to the growth rings of even the food I’m preparing to eat.  Take this salmon steak for instance:

Is that crazy enough?????

March 27, 2017

Bears Butt

Written on March 27th, 2017 , Archery stuff, Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

It was a rainy and cold morning heading up to the annual Hardware Ranch Elk Festival on Saturday, but all the brave ones made it safely.  The activities started at 10 a.m. and so that meant we had to be set up and ready for the crowd when it arrived.  The elk festival is held as the kick off to the sleigh rides out among the elk hurd that spends the winter at the ranch…free food….  We were told there were upwards of 500 elk in the meadow with more in the surrounding mountains that would come down after dark to enjoy the free lunch and then work their way back up before daylight to stay hidden from the people.  The ones that decided to spend their time down in the meadow don’t have anything to worry about as there is no hunting allowed and they are there just to be the objects of picture taking.  It’s fun!

The event itself is rather full of activities.  We have our setup with furs and mountain man memorabilia and of course the BS stories that go along with the mountain man era of the U.S.  When the guests arrive and come to our area they are greeted and are shown all the finery that we have available for them to see.  They can touch and feel all the furs we have like, skunks, raccoons, fox, bobcat, badger and more, we even have a sample of a opossum, something not found in Utah.  Folks are pleased to see they are rather fuzzy and not a course animal fur.  We also show them guns, how to load a muzzleloader, flint and steel stuff and a whole lot of things they either are interested in or not (we will bore them with it anyway).

Once they are filled with the knowledge of the mountain man era, they are invited to don capotes (wool blankets made into coats), hats from the era and they all get to hold a rifle, shotgun and/or pistol of their choice for a picture.  This is actually the highlight of some of their day!  And of course we tend to want to make it as fun as we can for them.  We will take pictures using their cameras, phone cameras or whatever they have.  If they don’t have one, then I use my phone camera (which by the way is not the best in the world as you are about to see), post my pictures on here and they can download them and use them however they wish.

Well, this sort of thing can not be pulled off by one or two people.  This year we had Tracker, Wapiti Dung, Weasel, Bones, Hot Spark, Short Cut, Ricochet, Squirrel, Flashpan and myself to get things done.  The kids seemed to be having a great time, especially when we weren’t too busy with guests!

Left to right:  Shortcut, Ricochet, Flashpan and standing is Squirrel!

One of our first guests came up to me and said she was teaching a class and reading them a story about a Santa from the past and the story told how this Santa was wearing a red hat and leather clothing.  In her mind I was that guy in the story and that she had to have a picture of herself and me so she could show her class next week.  I traded her that picture with me, for one of her wearing some mountain man clothing!  Please meet Emily!

In fact please meet Emily twice!

I don’t think that trade was a bad one for either of us!  Thank you Emily for coming up to the Hardware Ranch and enjoying the day!

Well, part of the fun we have is meeting people from all over the place.  We had visitors from the Burley Idaho area as well as the Mountain View area of Wyoming.  I’m sure there were some from further distances but those were the two I spoke to and where they were from.  The weather definitely played a big part in how many people came up to the elk festival, but there were close to 1,000 visitors before the day was done.  And another thing that comes with taking pictures of people are the little cuties that are there as well.  Here are some of them.  I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of all of them, but I’ll share the ones I did get pictures of:

And I promised a few folks that I would post up some of the pictures I took of their families so they can down load them and do whatever they wish with them.  I apologize ahead of time for the poor quality of my camera’s pictures:

During the picture taking we ask them to give us smiles and then at some point we ask them to give us “mean looks”, there are a whole lot of people who just can not make a mean looking face, especially when you tell them that all their furs have been stolen and they don’t have any money to buy whiskey…..

And don’t get me wrong when I say, “Not all people young or old, like to have their picture taken!  Mom, you did really well containing this young one!

Well, there you have what I took pictures of.  There are a whole lot of people to thank for pulling off this Elk Festival and I wish I had everyone’s name…I don’t!  But in general the entire State of Utah and especially the Division of Wildlife Resources and the Parks Department!  Good work folks!

December 11, 2016

Bears Butt

Written on December 11th, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

Back a few months Weasel and I were on our way up hunting and came across this situation:

crashedcar

Dry roads, a dicey little “S” turn and these guys lost control and crashed.  Luckily nobody was in the car when we came past and they had put a sign in the window to please not tow the car.  The fear that must have been in them when they lost control and crashed must have been intense!  I hope nobody got hurt badly.

This morning Weasel and I decided it would be a great morning to go high up above town and hunt down a ways to see if he could fill his Extended Wasatch deer tag.  The road is pretty long and really rough in some spots so we decided to leave town about 5:30….That would give us a full hour and 1/2 to get to the top and start our hunt.

Two days ago it snowed a bit.  Probably 6 inches up on the top of the mountain and yesterday it was pretty warm, which should have melted most of the depth.  Of course there would be some slick spots in the road along the way, but 4 wheel drive should take care of that.  I don’t have chains for my rig and I thought I should invest in some, but that will be for a future rig.  At least that is what my mind is saying.

I picked Weasel up promptly at 5:30 and after we loaded his stuff we headed off.  A quick stop to top off the fuel tank, grab an orange juice and water and off we went.

The drive was a good one and soon we were on the dirt road leading up the backside of the mountain.  Dirt and gravel soon gave way to spotty snow and ice and it was obvious there had been a LOT of traffic on the road yesterday (Thanksgiving Day).  We hadn’t gone too far and soon we were passing a camping area called Doc’s Flat.  I told Weasel, “If I had chains I would be putting them on right here”…which I would have, but still I have 4 wheel drive and good tires, we should be OK.  Around the first bend and the ice was sure slippery, but the front tires kicked in and up the road we continued.  The next bend had other ideas for us.  The road in this stretch is pretty steep and there are lots of tire made moguls in the road.  The Trooper spun out!  DAMN!

Well, we ain’t going any higher, I told Weasel, who knew it all the while.  I popped it into reverse and began going back down and around the bend we had just came around.  Suddenly, the tires locked up and we were sliding backwards uncontrollably.  It was still dark outside and so I could not see where we were going, all I could do was look at the road out the front windshield and try to keep the rig in the space provided.  The hill sloped slightly to the down hill side and even though there was a forest of oak trees alongside the road, there were plenty of spaces for a vehicle to slip through and crash down the 50 or 60 yard embankment.  The embankment, by the way, is about a 60 degree slope.

As we slid around the corner the rig suddenly began picking up speed,….like all of a sudden… because the pitch in the road increased a great deal and gravity was having a very fun time with the weight of the vehicle and the icy slickness of the road.  Hang on was all I could do…Try not to panic….Don’t crap your pants right now, there will be plenty of time for that in a minute….Jesus take the wheel would be appropriately played at this moment in time!

The headlights began sweeping side to side as we back slid quickly down the roadway.  And then suddenly the back right corner of the rig hit the high side embankment which caused the front of the rig to begin turning sideways in the road.  The sloping roadway was pulling the front closer and closer toward the drop off!  Nearly 90 degrees to the roadway we slid.  Oh My Hell!  Was my thought!  We are going over the edge!  The headlights cast out into the tops of the oak trees and I could not see the road any longer out my side window.  The windshield was viewing nothing but blackness and the oak limbs showing in the bright beams of the headlights.

Lots of things were passing through my mind but as of right now I can’t tell you all of them.  Some of my thoughts were how to maneuver the rig down through all those trees without rolling it over, if in fact it didn’t roll when it went off the edge.  I was certain the front tires were well off the edge when it suddenly stopped sliding!  My heart was pounding like crazy and when the reality of us not going over the edge finally came through to my already convinced brain that we had gone over.  I continued to looks straight ahead, hands gripping the wheel firmly and I said to Brandon….You get out slowly there isn’t any sense both of us die in this…..

He eased himself out the passenger (up road side) of the rig and I just knew the weight shift would put the rig the rest of the way over the edge.  The rig stayed put….I set the emergency brake, put the rig in park and eased off the brake pedal.   There was an ever so slight forward movement at that point, but I knew then the rig was not going over the edge.  At least not at that moment.  I too eased the door open and slowly got out.  When my feet hit the icy road I almost fell on my butt, but caught myself on the running board just inside the door.

I must admit, that was the most terrified I have been in a very long time and had I not taken my morning’s morning before leaving home, I most certainly would have done it during that slide.

trooperinchesfromgoingoveredge-copy

This picture was taken several minutes after the rig had stopped and I had time to gather my wits.  It looks like the tree has stopped our forward movement, but that tree was at least 10 feet on the other side of the rig.

theslide-copy

The slide marks can be seen clearly in this picture.  There are no trees near the front of the rig.  The ones in the picture are 5 or more feet on the other side of it.

inches-copy

Inches of snow covered dirt is all that is keeping the rig from going down into this:

50fttobottom-copy

I have a whole lot of belief that divine intervention played a very big part in why this rig stopped on the edge like it did.  THANK YOU LORD!

It wasn’t a huge decision that needed to be made to call for a tow truck to come and save our butts.  I didn’t dare move the rig from blocking the entire road even though I had a come-a-long, high lift jack and chain.  Had there not been the option of a tow vehicle, we would have given it hell and I’m sure gotten out, but I didn’t dare touch the rig for fear it would end up at the bottom of that oak filled chasm.

As we sat there keeping warm and talking about our wonderful fate and how it could have all turned out much uglier, up the road came a guy on a 4 wheeler.  You see there are lots of guys still bow hunting the Wasatch Front and this was one guy who wanted to be “where we wanted to be” at first light.  Upon seeing our dilemma and realizing he could not drive past us, he went back down to warn others who he knew were coming our way.  His warning went unheeded and soon we had 4 more guys on 4 wheelers itching to get around us.  I told one of them that if the rig went over while he was messing around I would hold him totally responsible….he backed off….And then went to digging away the high side embankment to get their rigs past mine.  I ended up taking off the spare tire to help them get past.  After they were around us, one of them had a very tough time going up the road around the corner where we spun out initially.  We even went up and pushed him until it looked like he had it under control….slicker than snot on a door knob….and cold…..

Nothing we could do now but wait.  Well, we decided that maybe we could chop some of the ice out of the road in case the tow guy couldn’t make it up to us.  So we did.

choppingtractionmarks-copy

solidicetocorner-copy

Heck we only have to chop it to the corner down there………

And soon we heard the sound of the tow truck coming up to save us.  He drove up first and then went back down a ways and backed up to come to our rescue.

towtruck-copy

You can see the road looks flat, but when you have had the wits scared out of you, there isn’t any way in hell I was going to try and manipulate that rig of mine out of where it was and try getting the front tires pointed down the road.  You can also see from the reflection that it is icy as can be!

He backed his rig up nearly touching mine and hooked up a cable to my front tire.  He told us, “Heck, most of the time I’m pulling rigs up from down in there”….as he pointed down into the chasm.  I could see old tire tracks from rigs that went down there before.  That is not a place I wanted to have my rig.

getitpointeddowntheroad-copy

Using his “I’ve done this before” knowledge he got the rig pointed down the road and we followed him off the slippery place….Weasel paid him a meager $200 for his services and off he went.

Looking back at the whole deal, we were SO VERY FORTUNATE to not have gone off that cliff.  Had we gone over nobody knows how long we would have been down there before someone noticed us.  We will never know how our injuries would have been, but for sure there would have been some broken stuff.  Maybe we were within seconds of both being killed.  I thank the Lord for saving us from any of the “what ifs”.

Coming down off the mountain I decided we needed to have breakfast at the Rusted Spoon….it was a wonderful breakfast.

November 25, 2016

Bears Butt

 

Written on November 25th, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

bearsbuttontree-copy

It’s funny what and where you find things in the forest!

Last Saturday found Hunter, Mike Brailsford and I back in the mountains and camped at the head of Green Fork.  The weather before had been somewhat rainy and even some snow had fallen during the week, but was nice and dry and a bit brisk for our hunt at this time.   Mike and I had left town around 5:30 and met Hunter on the mountain.  We went up through the Johnson Ranch and Hunter came in across the road from Monte Cristo.  We were all in hopes of bumping into some cow elk and Hunter also had a spike elk tag he was hoping to fill as well.  My goal was to have all three astride my Trooper as we bounced our way down the road back to camp, with blood running down the windows and the sound of the hoofs banging against the vehicle as we rolled along.  Much similar to this from several years back:

buttandelk08-copy

Well, as things went, the weather was perfect and so was the hunting, but the killing could have used some vast improvements….we saw ZERO elk.  Our daily jaunts took us high, low and in the middle of the altitudes around our camp.  We even found ourselves clear across the valley in the Crawford range…..I digress here to share a little light on something that has been happening during all these days of hunting…..

Randolph is a nice little community that shares a common thing with another community just 10 miles to the South, Woodruff.  These two towns have some very respectable citizens living there and they are very hard working, caring people.  Most own substantial spreads of land and almost all of them own a herd of cattle.  They work hard for what they have and they endure the coldest weather that Northern Utah has to offer.  The sign in Woodruff says something like….The coldest temps and the warmest hearts….I’ve heard the weatherman tell us that Randolph had the low temp for the state at minus 30….That is getting very close to Minot North Dakota cold.  Well, you no doubt read about a young man who told Weasel and I about some elk hunting area out near Big Creek.  We ventured that direction and found nothing much that held our attention and then while driving back toward town ran into another guy who said we should have turned off a ways further down the canyon and that it would take us into some very good elk habitat etc., etc., etc.  To my way of thinking I think those two guys were in “cahoots” to keep us from finding the elk we were after with our bows…just saying.  So, on this trip, we found ourselves enjoying some of Randolph’s finest chicken strips and tator logs, when a lady pulled up along side our vehicle and she and her son got out to go into the local convenience store (just like we had).  The young man asked me  how the hunting was going and then asked if we were hunting elk…I told him yes but we were not seeing any.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had shot an elk over in the Crawford Mountains the day before and that there was at least one cow and a calf still over there.  I questioned him about where he had been when he shot his…he said the towers.  And then for some reason his mother told him to get back into the car and off they went…that was strange.  Well, we talked among the three of us and decided we would go over there and see if we could find those other two elk.  We had to finish our chicken fingers first, however.  About the time the last bite was being taken, here came mom and the young man back….Without looking at us they proceeded to head into the store….I stopped the young man and asked him a couple more questions about his elk hunt the day  before…he answered my questions but acted funny to me.  Talking in the vehicle later, I decided there was a secret “Cartel” in the town of Randolph.  One in which the locals pay these people to tell hunters like us big old stories to get us to go off and away from the best hunting areas and into areas that hold few or no animals that we are after.  I believe this last young man was about to be paid off with a Doctor Pepper for his efforts to get us to go over into the Crawfords in search of elk.  Back to the hunt…..

mikeatopcrawfords-copy

We took a hike down into Green Fork and we went quite a ways into there.  Scoured a clear cut and around a hill, down and up and over and out and then back to camp….nothing!   We hit an area that Crock said had lots of sign and not too far from the road….we hiked in, saw a couple of deer, no sign of elk….we hiked up, over and out then back to the vehicle…nothing!   We took a drive miles away to a little hidey hole.  There was a LOT of sign from about a day or so after the last rain/snow but little or no sign that was fresh…we hiked out, down, up, over and back…nothing!

mikeandhunterhiking-copy

Mike even took a detour to push down through some very likely looking brush in hopes of kicking an elk to Hunter and I as we waited in ambush spots along the hillside…nothing!

We drove a long way out on a ridge, parked the vehicle and then hiked down into a spot where elk should have been running helter skelter all around us and when we got down into the deepest darkest spot, we began our slow ascent back toward the vehicle and in the bottom of all of this we found this:

deadbuckfrombowhunt-copy

A very nice 4 point buck that had been shot during the archery hunt but not recovered.  The shot was a bit low but fatal none the less.  We are sure the hunter just lost track of the blood trail as there should have been a good one and this deer died while still running.  Velvet was still on the antler that was partially buried in the dirt.

We tried early morning ambush spots in areas we had seen elk sky lined before (years before).  We hunting late into the evening in some of those same places and arrived back at camp at nearly time for bed.  We bounced and jolted our way up and down some very rocky and rutted travel routes we had never been on before.  We had to cut our way through some very tight spots in order to get the vehicle into what looked like the perfect elk hiding spots and when we got there, we found no sign at all….nothing!

It was a very discouraging hunt as far as elk were concerned.  However we did have a good time laughing and cutting up as usual and we did see a lot of deer, mostly does and fawns but I saw more buck deer on this outing than I did during the muzz hunt the week before.  Of course, I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get them on film (digital).  This one little spike stuck around with his sisters for this picture.

spike-copy

A whole lot fuzzy of a picture…sorry about that!

doe-copy

7does-copy

And just like the previous hunts, we saw more does with twins fawns than we did does with only one fawn.  This will be great if the winter isn’t harsh and next years deer hunt should be a good one.

With this kind of country all around us, one would think there would be elk a-plenty to be seeing, even if they were two miles away.  But none were there to be seen.

lotsofprettymountains-copy

We spent plenty of time glassing and with each passing hour, each passing day…our frustration continued to grow.  On the last morning of this journey, we made it up to a place I had doubts the vehicle would make it.  We were on top of everything hoping that elk would cross over from one drainage into another and we would be there waiting when the morning light allowed us to take a shot.  Glassing out into the early morning light all we could see were deer and moose.  We stayed with the hope until all hope was washed away and then made our way back to camp and then home.

It was a fun four and a half days in the mountains even though frustrating as far as the elk killing was concerned.  We did see some country that I have only seen on Google Earth up until then.  There is some potential for future hunting especially for deer.  I learned that my Trooper can and will take you into places that perhaps you shouldn’t be in and that a good sharp saw is a necessary evil in order to get you out of tight spots.  I found roads that can shorten an otherwise long drive to and from potential “good hunting” areas.  I drove down a road that had my pucker factor pretty much maxed out and if it wasn’t for “one more beer”, I probably would have turned around, but my cheering squad said, “it will be just fine”…..We made it without incident….I’ll have another beer…was the key statement once we were down off that hill, even Hunter had a beer, which is something I have never seen before.

Well, there are still a few days left to find that elk and I’ll take at least two more of them and head back to find my elk.  You can bet I WON’T be going back into the area we just hunted in AND I am not going to listen to the Cartel guys anymore.

October 13, 2016

Bears Butt

 

 

Written on October 13th, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

olympiabeer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device


There response was this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Indulge Responsibly – Drink Exceptionally

Consumer Relations Representative

Pabst Brewing Company

————————— 

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

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

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

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

September 15, 2016

Bears Butt

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

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

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

ShootingStarSaloon

I’m as guilty as the next person to not visit some of the local spots around my home.  I hear this from people all over the nation so I’m not the only one.  How ironic it is that we live so close to some of the biggest attractions in the world and never get around to going and seeing what they are all about.  Well, Sherry and I had heard about the “Oldest Continually operated saloon West of the Mississippi River”, located in Huntsville, Utah and how good their hamburgers are.  We decided yesterday to go for a short drive and have lunch.

The outside of the place is very quaint…rustic logs adorn the outside and hold up the overhead roof.  The doors into the place look like they could be right out of the old west, but they have put handles on them so they don’t swing both ways, but they could be modified easily.  I don’t think the owners want to do that however as they don’t stay open all night.  Sitting on the front bench I felt like I could be watching a gunfight out in the street in front of the place, but what I saw was two LDS missionaries walking our way.

SherryAndIOutside

The owner was outside with us at the time and stopped the men as they were going by, went inside and brought them out a cold root beer!  They were very much appreciative!

ACoupleOfEldersVisiting

Nothing says missionaries than a couple of them standing outside a saloon drinking beer (root beer).  A couple of really nice guys.

Inside the place it was rather dark after coming in from a full sunlight world and it took a minute to adjust.  Once that had been accomplished, I could hardly believe what I was seeing!  My eye caught a very dear to me sight…..

OlySigns

Above the bar is a huge collection of animal plaques from the olden days of Olympia Beer company.  When the owner came over to take our order, I said to her, “Now the answer to the question I’m about to ask is ‘YES’….and then I asked her if they had Oly Beer for sale………unfortunately she said no….But then piped up with a cheery…”We do have Rainier….You know…Raineeeerrrrrrrr  Beeeeerrrrrrr!!!!  (To say that you have to sound like a motor cycle revving up, speeding off and shifting gears) I repeated it with her and then ordered one!

The place is amazing!  Look at these pictures of the inside:

Wall

Wall2

Wall3

Wall4

Wall5

Wall6

Wall7

Wall8

And that is just the walls!  I didn’t take what was probably the most famous of all of the mounts on the wall, and that just gives me a reason to go back.  They had a mascot dog (I’m not into breeds of dogs, but I think it was one of those you see with a beer keg under its neck) and when it passed away, they had a shoulder mount made of it and it was hanging above our table.  Another very interesting thing is the ceiling!

DollarBillCeiling

HeatherILoveYou

In this second picture are several dollar bills that read (one word per dollar bill)….Heather, I love you, will you marry me?…..I don’t know if Heather has ever seen this but I suspect when she woke up from the night before party, she could read it clearly.  If they in fact did get married I hope they have been happy ever since!

What about the meals?  Well, the menu is rather simple and I couldn’t help but think that the franchise “In N Out Burger”, got their idea from these folks….Several styles of hamburgers and one hot dog.

TheMenu

Their is also a sign on the wall that says, they serve beer, hamburgers with chips, beer and don’t have anything like yogurt or any other specialty items (another sign I wish I would have taken a picture of).

Sherry and I ordered the “Mini-Star Burger”, on the suggestion of the owner Leslie and I’m glad we did because it was actually more than we should have eaten.  The Star Burger, as I understand it, is a double cheese burger with a polish knockwurst covered with sautéed unions and all the other fixins.  The mini that we ordered had all that but was only one burger.

MyBurgerAndChips

If you go, be prepared to use a lot of napkins as Carl’s Junior has nothing on these guys!  Our meal was to die for!  The combination of a perfectly cooked burger and polish sausage, smothered in sweet onions, tomato and pickles!  No ketchup needed Mr. Dry Dog!  Some chips and a very cold beer and there you have it!  A meal fit for a king…or in my case, a Bears Butt!

AmyAndLeslie

These ladies treated us really nice….Amy Barker on the left, our chef, and the owner Leslie Sutter on the right!

Head on up there the next time you get a chance!  They have a sign outside welcoming bikers.  I don’t know why you have to welcome a group of bikers, but they do.  They welcome everyone, even skiers….just kiddin….You might even find a card that reads “Bears Butt dot Com”!

Thanks ladies!  We had a wonderful time and a SUPER meal!

June 22, 2016

Bears Butt

 

Written on June 22nd, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

BigTimeFiltration

Last weekend Weasel, Kenzie and I joined up with Ken and Sam Snyder at the 3D shoot for the upper course portion of the shoot.  The shoot was very fun and those two made it even funner.  They are relatively new to archery, as I am, and it was fun to know not everyone on the course wanted to hit 12’s….hitting foam was what it was all about for us.  Anyway, during the course Sam commented on the fact that he was thirsty.  Weasel and I both had on our backpacks with hydration bladders and we both offered up a drink from the straw.  We were declined, but the fact remained, Sam was thirsty.  During the course, we crossed a stream of clear, cold water a couple of times and Sam looked like he might just lay down next to the water and take a big old drink!  I’m glad he didn’t.

Well, we talked about some of the small, packable filtration units that are on the market and how you can suck water right out of a dirty pond or stream and it will filter out any bad stuff that might be in there.  That got me thinking.  Why would an outdoors person be without something like that?  We were on a hike near Tony’s Grove a few years back and we ran out of water but continued to hike to the next lake instead of turning back.  That was not a very bright thing for us to do.  Had we had one of the filtration units on us, we would have been fine.

Well, yesterday, I had to stop in at Smith and Edwards to pick up some stuff Sherry had purchased and she showed me a small devise called  a “Sawyer Mini”.  It is a compact little water filtration unit that will filter up to 100,000 gallons of water before you have to discard it.

MiniFiltration

This little thing fits in the palm of your hand!  Comes with a small, 2 cup size bladder, a straw and a plunger to clean out any moss or junk that might tend to plug it up.  You can screw the bladder onto the “input” end of the filter, or you can screw on a common plastic water bottle.  BUT, you don’t need the bladder or a water bottle to make it work.  Just lay down next to a stream or lake, put the end into the water and suck through the straw.  They claim it will filter 99.999999999% of any E-coli, giardia, salmonella, cholera and an assortment of other bad for you stuff that might be in the water source.  AND it will filter up to 100,000 gallons of water.  Think about it!  100,000 gallons of water!  If you drank one gallon of water a day and used this filter to drink it, you could use it for 274 years!  100,000/365 = 274!  Or in other words, you and 273 friends could all use it every day for one year before you needed another one.

I put mine in my backpack!

Smith and Edwards (The Ikea for Rednecks store)

SmithAndEdwardsStore

sells these little units for about $20!  Twenty bucks!  But after talking to the guy in charge of making sure the store has a supply of them they will sell out fast once the word gets out about them!

I suggest you hurry your little butt right down there and pick one up….Tell them Bears Butt sent you!  It won’t get you any discount, but it will make them smile!  And then you can enjoy 100,000 gallons of worry free stream and/or lake mountain water drinking!

May 25, 2016

Bears Butt

Written on May 25th, 2016 , Uncategorized

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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.