By: Bears Butt


Tomorrow is the last day of May…It is also the last day of the 2013 turkey season here in Utah….Not a time I wanted to see come without me having filled my tag…none the less…Weasel and I are heading out for our last day of hunting.  What game changes are we going to employ?  None!  We are going to do exactly what we have been doing for the last several trips out.  Why change now?

Those birds have done the same thing for the past several years and we have been trying to figure them out…so 3 trips ago we were on top of them and then outsmarted our selves and they went where they usually do.  The last two trips we placed ourselves right where we needed to be and the birds didn’t come in…one day of rain…one day of no rain…what is with them?  We don’t know, but we figure what the heck, do again what hasn’t worked yet.  Maybe, just maybe they will come through and we will get a shot.

At any rate, it’s the last day of the season and by golly, we are going to be there!

There are three types of hunters that hunt turkeys…the early birds who end up shooting their birds the first few days and then they go to bragging and saying how easy it is to bag turkeys….The middle hunters who say they have given it enough tries to make them feel like they have given all they could and didn’t fill their tags…and then there are us two…Die hard hunters, who say it ain’t over yet!  It ain’t over until the sun sets and the guide book forces us to quit for the year!

So, at 3 a.m. I’ll be prying myself out of my warm and cozy bed and heading for the top of that one hill, about 200 yards above the roosting birds!  And there I’ll sit until the Weasel says it’s time to go, or darkness overcomes us once again!

Dang it!  It’s bird time!  Give us a shot!

Bears Butt

May 30, 2013…for May 31, 2013, but more will come to this post tomorrow after we get back!  Wish us luck!


As before, the morning alarm didn’t ring as I was awake 15 minutes before it was set to go off…I’m up and excited to get to the blind.  There is something in the air this morning…The coffee is tasting exceptionally good to me and with the second cup, I’m down at the Weasels waiting patiently 10 minutes before I told him I’d be there.

We were both excited to be heading out for the last day of the turkey season and we had very high hopes at the outcome.  Our conversation turned from “wonder if anyone else has hunted in there since last week” to “do you think the birds have gotten back into their routine”?  And everything else in between.

I actually can only think of a couple of places that my minds eye tells me I was driving and suddenly there we were at the hunting site.  Scrambling to get down to the blinds.  The morning light was ahead of where it should be…our mistake for forgetting the clock does not tell the sun what to do.

At the blinds Weasel says he wants to be in a spot where he can see the fly down if it happens below us and so he is set up about 20 yards to my extreme right and down the hill a bit.  I am comfy in my blind, with lots and lots of cover.  My only issue was my hydration pack had leaked down my back and my whole backside, butt included, was soaking wet…it did not make for a very warm morning wait…but I soon got used to it.

The wind blew quite a bit this morning and I was beginning to think the birds just might be out in the open more than usual.  However, not being a very adept turkey hunter, I was only guessing.  I thought about how tall the grass was now and what do turkeys do with tall grass?  Does it bother them at all?  I was sitting there “not moving” and listening to the morning erupt…we have a new batch of cows in the area living among the turkeys this morning.  Their beds were all about my watch area, but they themselves were down in the valley below.  The valley that Weasel was watching for the fly down.

The sun was fully up when I heard my first morning gobble.  It was fairly close and to my extreme left and down hill.  After the second gobble, I decided I should let out a single hen yelp to let him know a seductive little critter was perched above him on the hill.  He responded to the call perfectly and I felt great satisfaction in knowing that I had finally done something “turkey right”.  I set the call down and forgot about it.  My mind telling me, “he knows exactly where you are and will come as soon as he gets out of the tree”.

An hour passes and soon the Weasel is knocking my blind down to tell me he has seen a gobbler fly down on an opposite hill and that he is going in pursuit!  I wish him luck and tell him I’m staying right here until he comes back to get me and I’m not leaving a minute sooner.

I keep looking over toward the hillside where Weasel said he saw the bird land and all of a sudden, I see it…pecking the ground and otherwise doing turkey stuff.  I decided I would see if my hen call would get his attention.  He is over 400 yards away and up wind from me.  I let out a slow and seductive series of yelps…UP came his head and he was looking right at me!  I was surprised and I thought maybe if I can keep his attention, Weasel may be able to sneak in for a shot.  I kept yelping about every three minutes and soon he forgot about me and went back to eating and walking off.  Well I had his attention for a minute.  I also watched the Weasel slowly sneaking along, about 100 yards above and behind the gobbler…suddenly the gobbler took off on a dead run away and was gone in a flash…followed closely by a hen doing the same thing!  BUSTED!!!!!  But Weasel didn’t know it.

My attention then came back to my immediate surroundings.  I had to re-familiarize myself with my area.  There are my 30 yard flowers, blowing softly in the breeze…There is the 50 yard patch of brush…Hey, there are 5 deer feeding down there about 100 yards to my left and below me.  It’s way cool to see deer this time of year.  Sometimes they look really rough as they are shedding their winter coats and other times they look really slick and getting fat…all five of these deer looked slick and fat.

Suddenly the two deer in the back of the group pop up their heads and look my way…but not right at me…more off to my left and behind me.  I think, I wonder if another deer is coming up behind me and I slowly turn my head to my left as far as I can and then continue to move my eyes over to the far left of my eye sockets….BAM…a red head!  It’s a turkey and not just a turkey…It’s a gobbler…maybe a 7 inch beard…it takes a step from my left towards my right (making it much better to see than with my eyes smashed against the side of my sockets)…It stops and is looking down at the deer…I am frozen and time stands still.  The bird pecks the ground one time and then pops up its head and looks right into my eyes…I don’t blink…I don’t move…I don’t…..

It takes another step forward and keeps me pinned down and then it turns to look at the deer again.  I already have my right thumb on the safety and my left hand under the fore stock of the shotgun, but the gun is resting on my blind and not up to my shoulder…had I expected a turkey to come from that direction I would have been more prepared, but I thought they would come in front and from the right, not from behind and left.  I slid the safety off and it made an ever so soft “click”, the bird spun its head in my direction and then opened its mouth as if to say…”Wholy Chit Man!!!”…It took a quick step forward just as I quickly raised the shotgun to my shoulder, it launched into flight and flapped one time as the gun blast tore through the air!  A huge pile of flying feathers filled the air and the bird did a cartwheel to my left and down….I was up in a flash, jumped the blind and jacked another shell into the chamber and approached what I knew I would find…a big pile of turkey…nothing…nothing…nothing anywhere…this can’t be…I blew it up!  It was only 10 yards away at the farthest when I shot…It has to be dead…maybe it’s down there…nope…maybe it’s closer than I thought…nope…under that rock ledge, that big bush….ripping through all the brush I could see around there and nothing…not even a single feather could be found!  I saw the bird go down, and in a heap too…where in the heck….

I continued to look under and in everything imaginable on that open hillside and then soon here came the Weasel and the two of us combed the hill side in every direction for over an hour.  I readdressed my position and where the bird was, what the bird did, my last sight of it going side over side toward the ground…nothing!  We started close to the blind and moved away in small circles and ended up over 300 yards from the blind and still not a feather.  My heart sank when I finally had to give in that the bird probably hit the ground, ducked low in the tall grass and ran like the dickens to get out of there and I didn’t see it running away.  My hunt is over.

Last year I bought a special box of shells just for turkey hunting and the box only contained 5 shells, each shell costing $5.  A special blend that makes turkey turn into mush when you hit them.  I was using one of those shells this morning.  When I bought those shells I named each one of them.


This morning I was using “Boss Buster”, the top one in the box…I think I misnamed it:


And so, there is the end of the 2013 turkey hunt for Weasel and Bears Butt…we had a really good time…saw lots and lots of game animals…one strange little green snake and most of all, we got some great lessons from those gobblers!  Look out next year!  We are going to bust some heads!

Bears Butt

May 31, 2013

Adding more at a later date:

I have mulled over my shot at this turkey now for four days and I have come to a conclusion…I missed the bird!

My thoughts on having hit the bird, causing its death and not being able to recover it, is a haunting thought.  And so, I have been thinking very hard about the entire event.  I have gone over and over and over the play by play actions of myself and the bird and have come to this conclusion.

What my minds eye said I saw could not have happened.  What I saw was the bird “explode” into a pillow sized scattering of feathers and roll right over left as it plummeted toward the ground not 10 yards from my blind.

What I believe to be the truth is this:

The bird was only about 5 yards away and walking on my extreme left side and yes he was gaining some “out in front of me” distance, but was still very much on my extreme left side.  When he finally decided I was something he didn’t want to be that close to, he launched himself up and away.  His path was away from me going left and down the hill.  My last visual on him was a large mass of feathers as I fired the shotgun.

I have to say, I have felt my shoulder and I have a non-visual bruise on my right bicep…what does that mean?  I did not have the gun into my shoulder, it was on my arm when I fired.  I could not have had the gun sights anywhere near my right eye…I shot instinctively, and did not aim at all.

My shotgun patterns high.  This I know because we patterned it before Conners hunt last year and it shoots quite high at 30 yards.  Any shot taken with this shotgun must be low with the rear of the two barrel pins being the only one visible to the shooter.

As the bird lifted off the ground, I only recall seeing two wing beats before I pulled the trigger.  The bird could not have been more than 10 yards out at that moment and probably closer than that.  Had I hit the bird, the shot cup would have been planted firmly in a part of the birds anatomy that would have rendered it impossible to even fart.  The bird would have been laying there very much dead.  The shot could not have had a chance to have spread at all, as it would have still been firmly planted inside the shot cup.

The bird lifted up off the ground, but the ground itself was sloping down and away at a pretty good angle, perhaps 10 percent.  The bird disappeared from my visual right after the recoil was felt, and I do recall feeling it.  That in and of itself should have told me that I did not have the gun to my shoulder when I fired, as the shooter usually does not feel a shot when it’s taken at a game animal.  What I thought was feathers flying everywhere was most likely his tail as it turned to fly around the hill in the direction it had walked and it’s right wing as it lifted and rolled in that direction.

What I thought was it rolling right over left was just that, a flight maneuver to “get out of Dodge” quickly.  Tail guidance and wing control, both in unison to guide it hard left and down the mountain.  When I jumped from the blind, had I looked down the mountain to the last visual edge I probably would have seen it gliding down and out of sight.  But my focus was on the spot it should have been laying dead.

We found no feathers on the ground and no evidence that a bird had fallen and puffed up the dirt or bloodied up the grass.  That is because I missed the bird and it flew down and away to safety.

I missed!  It’s as plain and simple as that.  A very close call on what should have been a dead turkey and a smarter bird for sure still lives on.

So, I can sleep better now that I know exactly what I did wrong.

Bears Butt

June 3, 2013


Written on May 30th, 2013 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories

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    Wapiti commented

    Holy crap – but, at least you got one shot, better than Weasel did, but still no bird. Next year is just around the corner. You’ll be better prepare next year and a lot smarter.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    Wapiti commented

    Holy crap #2 – what a lot of words to say you missed. This will be fully planted in your mind next year when you – missssss – again. Just me thinking and typing.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:38 am
      Bears Butt commented

      I don’t like to think of missing. But after all my re-thinking of the whole thing, it’s the only end result that makes sense.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:57 am | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.