By: Bears Butt


A little addition to the Elk hunt coming up.  Last night while talking to my neighbor about the luck of getting this tag, he said he has a brother in law who hunts this area A LOT!  He gave me his name and where he works and I’ll be calling him today.

Hopefully he can steer me in some direction that just might kick out a nice bull elk.  More to come after the discussion with him.

Bears Butt

July 31, 2013

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


Today was a travel day until about 3 p.m. and since then it’s been back on this black box looking up more information about this big old hunting unit called the San Juan!

I decided to go back to the DWR website and look up the CWMU’s for this area and sure enough I found another one…only this time it is on the West side of Monticello.  If all the boundaries are correct from the DWR office this CWMU covers even the property where Dennis kills his buck every year on the muzz hunt…not a good thing.  So, is the boundary incorrect as posted by the DWR or has Dennis been getting away with something?

Further investigation shows that the CWMU does not go as far West as Dennis thought it did.  This is a good thing providing the DWR boundary is correct.  At any rate, further to the West along a road that is open all year round, is a off shoot road that pretty much follows the forest service boundary.  This boundary is absolutely an area we can hunt and travel on.

So, feeling somewhat relaxed about that, I went in search of the local averages for temperature, rainfall and/or snow depth and this is what I found.

During the month of November and at the elevation of 9100 feet, they average a high of 37, low of 12 and precipitation in the form of snow 11.5 inches (2 inches of moisture)…it looks like our travel plans for 9,000 feet and above will be stopped unless things are below average this year.  Down on the valley floor (Blanding) at 6,000 feet above sea level, the average temps are 47 and 23 respectively, with 1.23 inches of moisture and 6.4 inches of snow.

If we do some interpolating, we should be able to hunt from 7,500 ft and lower, and expect an average snow depth of 9 inches.  Providing it doesn’t drift, we should be ok as long as we chain up and go slow.

My hopes are for a dryer than normal year, at least until this hunt is over and the weather allows us to look this country over really good.  Again, the pictures I’m seeing on the internet really show off this place really well!

Bears Butt

July 30, 2013

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


About 6:30 or so last night I got a call from one of my cousins who is very familiar with the San Juan country side.  He came over and we looked extensively at Google Earth on Sherry’s laptop.  He explained where “his rock” is (George Rock, and some time ago mentioned that he is in the process of carving it out to make a motel out of it), then on up the highway to a turn off that lead to a small water hole.  This would be a pretty good “out of the way” base camp if we wanted to use it.  From there we would have access to the North side of the Blue Mountains.

Then we followed another “main road”, across to the Monticello side of things and looked at the images there.  Talk about beautiful country!  People have posted pictures of the countryside that they have taken and placed them on Google Earth…magnificent country.

He pointed out another fine camping place next to a sizable lake pretty high up on the mountain, but warned about the possibility of heavy snow.  Something to definitely be concerned about.  Back down the road much closer to Monticello, he talked about an uncle of his that owns quite a bit of property and the likelihood of him letting us camp and hunt were very good.  He will get in contact with him and let me know pretty soon.

Looking at the pictures others have taken and posted on Google Earth really makes you realize this is perfect elk country.  A mix of cedar/pine/quakies and oak brush.  Some places very thick and others rather scattered.  I can hardly wait to get into there and see it for myself.

Earlier in the day Tracker called and said he would like to join me and Weasel on this hunt, even though it isn’t a muzzleloader only type hunt, he still wants to go and take pictures of that area of the state.  So with the three of us committed for sure we will have one camp trailer and at least 2 four wheelers to go down for the hunt.  Cousin Dennis said he would join us at our camp and go out with us as sort of the guide!  Keep in mind, more is better sometimes!

Bears Butt

July 29, 2013

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


I’m classifying these posts under “dream hunts” as I consider this San Juan Late Elk hunt just that…a “Dream Hunt”.  Hopefully not a night marish one either.

I posted on the Utah Wildlife Network forum my dilemma and received both pro and con advise about the hunt.  Now that that is behind me, I’ve pretty much made my mind up to accept the hunt as it is, buy the tag and get on with some serious computer leg work.

One of the responders “Nambaster” called me and we talked for a bit about the hunt, the weather in the area and assorted other things.  What I got from the conversation was that there is no need to go down there and try to pattern the elk, as they will be pretty much on their winter range by the dates for my hunt.  The next most important item was safety and getting around in that part of the country.  He mentioned snowmobiles….I’ve never driven one, but my mind quickly raced to our Crawfords Dream Hunt and seeing all the guys with snowmobiles coming back with drag wagons full of huge bucks!  Only they could get to where the bucks were without killing themselves (like we did).  With that still in my head, the gamble is still a pretty good one as we may just not get the deep snows and drifts that come with them during these hunt dates.  I question: How much does God love me?

I have also decided I need to begin getting into shape for this hunt.  If you are planning to come and help me, I suggest you do the same.  I’ll need a lot of help getting the meat out of the deepest, rockiest and steepest canyon down there.   I watched some Youtube videos and mostly paid attention to the terrain rather than the animals and the hunters bagging them.  It’s a beautiful place with just about every imaginable terrain possible.  The country holds every imaginable wild animal as well and I’d love to see a bear in the wild while down there.  That is one of the reasons I’ve been putting in for this tag.

With the help from Nambaster and others forthcoming, I think this hunt will be a memorable one even if the tag goes unfilled.  I have a lot of work ahead of me and my mind is made up!

Bears Butt

July 28, 2013

(39 years with my sweetheart!  I love you Sherry!!!)

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


Today has been a rather hectic one for me mentally.  I’ve looked over the map of the San Juan bull elk so much I think I have it about memorized.  I’ve been on several websites looking at different things about this hunting area and have tried to find as much information as I can about the elk herd.  But, I’m still lacking information that I think I need to make an informed decision as to purchasing the tag or not.  Remember, I only have until noon on Monday to decide.

What little bit I have found out is that the herd migrates from this area, so am I buying a tag in a huge area that has no elk on it?  Which way to the elk migrate?  Do they all go about the same place for the winter?

There are a couple of CWMU’s in the area and both of them are on the NE end and side of the place.  Do these CWMU’s  house all the elk when they migrate off the main mountain?

I asked on the Utah Wildlife Network forum for information about this area and one guy responded with something like “My cousins live in Blanding and they don’t even apply for the late elk hunt, that should tell you something”.  And the very next posting was from a guy who said “I would spend all my bonus points to get that tag”!

I have an email off to one of my cousins down that way who says he knows a land owner and will be getting back to me soon.

You know this just might be my last chance at bagging a nice bull elk and I would love to have a chance at something about 300 points in size.  But do I gamble the $300 for the tag?  I still have some thinking to do.

Bears Butt

July 27, 2013

Written on July 27th, 2013 , DREAM HUNTS
By: Bears Butt


Weasel and I went to the Logan gun range today for sighting in Fat Ducks and My 7mm Rem Mag rifles for the upcoming cow elk hunt.  We had just gotten there when our good friend Dancing Ramrod called.  He was sitting in front of my house and had a really nice gift of some Chorizo’s for me!  As we talked I told him that Winemaker was in the house and to ring the door bell.  He said he had already done that and no answer, yet the garage door was wide open and only one car was inside.

He told me he had the Chorizos and wanted to leave them here, so I told him to put them in the freezer, which he did.  We talked a short time and then he said good by.

No sooner had he hung up when my phone rang and it was Sherry calling.  I told her that Dancing Ramrod was outside and she said she saw him pulling away.  She did not hear the door bell as she was downstairs on her computer.  I’ll have to fix the down stairs door bell ringer, it probably has worn out batteries.

Anyway, she said she had just gotten off the phone with the Utah Division of Wildlife Management, a lady named Karen had called and said that I was chosen as an alternate in the big game drawing for the Late San Juan, any weapon bull elk hunt and that they had a tag turned back in and it was my choice to accept it or not!  ACCEPT IT OR NOT!!!!!

Sherry gave me the ladies phone number and I called right away!  I am not in a dream land, this is for real!  I told her I would have to wait until Monday to give her my credit card info, but I WANT THAT TAG!  She was cute about the whole conversation!  How about that?  With only 3 points going into the drawing I get chosen as an alternate and someone turns in their tag!  I’m going to the San Juan’s!!!!  It’s a late hunt that starts the first part of November and runs until around mid month.  Dates will be posted later!  I need someone to pinch me!

Bears Butt, THE Chosen One once again!

July 26, 2013


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


Back in March we were traveling toward Wendover Nevada when someone in the car noticed a blimp off in the far distance.  Questions arose as to what it was all about and most of us decided it must be some sort of weather devise.  We were happy with that assumption.  BUT, I just found out what it really was all about.  This story was posted on KSL’s site:

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND — The ability to fly fast and stealthily are anchors of the military’s quest for air superiority.


So how does a blimp the size of a football field that is tethered to the ground fit in to that equation?


The Army and defense contractor Raytheon are hoping the radar system mounted in the anything-but-stealth blimp — often seen by motorists driving on I-80 — can be a defense against incoming cruise missiles and other threats that are too close to the earth to be seen by ground-based radar systems.


“It goes up to 10,000 feet. It can track airplanes, cruise missiles, boats, up to 100 miles and around mountains,” said Mark Rose, program manager for Raytheon’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS.


Airplane-mounted radar systems do the same thing, but at a much higher cost. The airplane crews also have a limited amount of time in the air before they have to land.


The “crew” of the blimp, on the other hand, is on the ground and communicates with the radar equipment aloft through cabling in the tether that keeps the pilotless, engineless blimp from floating away.


It can track airplanes, cruise missiles, boats, up to 100 miles and around mountains.

–Mark Rose

In the air, the blimp can be on duty 24/7 for as long as a month, “unlike an airplane that has to come down often,” Rose said.

JLENS is an early warning system. In a battle setting, it works in pairs, with defensive radar in one balloon and a second radar system in the other that helps warplanes and ground forces find targets.


The blimp’s own defenses against attack are twofold: “Because of its range, its ability to look out hundreds of miles, it is far back from the battle area,” Raytheon spokesman Mike Nason said.


Up close, the helium that lifts the blimp is contained in small cells that can take direct hits without downing the craft.

“It’s not like a toy balloon that goes ‘pop’,” Rose said. “Even if it does get holes in it, it doesn’t come down for weeks.”


Raytheon has been testing the new system on the Utah Test and Training Range for the Army at Dugway for the past year and has recently been testing the system at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.


The test blimp in Utah’s western desert is in the air most of the time, since endurance is part of the testing, Nason said. It is likely to remain visible to motorists for some time with testing scheduled to continue for another year.

So, there you have it!

Bears Butt

July 26, 2013

Written on July 26th, 2013 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


Things happen fast!  I’m glad we have our rendezvous plans almost finalized…Bones is a slave driver let me tell you!

Anyway, some of you know that Weasel, Dry Dog and I all drew out for cow elk tags on the Deseret Land and Livestock properties for this year.  Well, while I was gone they sent us each a letter explaining the process while on their ranch.

I guess they have to do that in order to have order and control on the land.  No sense having 200 hunters scattered all over the place taking shots in all directions.  So, the letter explains the rules.  Stinking rules…always stinking rules.

One of the rules is we have to follow or hire a guide.  Totally understandable.  We also have to provide ourselves with a 4 wheel drive vehicle and have chains for all 4 tires…again understandable.

We have to be physically fit in order to hike the mountains and haul out our animal…understandable again.  And the biggie is we have to qualify with the rifle we plan on hunting with during the hunt….understandable to the max!

So, to qualify a hunter has to be able to hit a 8X11 piece of paper at 100 yards, 3 out of 4 shots.  That should be easy.

BUT…you have to do it with one of  “their guys” as a witness.  They set up August 10th as the day to do that…not good for Weasel and I as that is the day we are planning on coming home from a short vacation to Yellowstone N.P.  So now what?

I contacted the guy who sent us the letter and he directed me to another guy in Salt Lake City.  I called him…We will have to go to SLC to do our qualification shooting and he wants us to consider this Sunday…July 28…HMMMM…that is Sherry and my anniversary…I think that day will not work.

Another day will have to be set up.

So these guys have things pretty much in order and are on top of things.  We must expect to pay the “guide” a token amount of money, perhaps $100 for his services on the day of our hunt.  I guess we will decide as a tip is NOT required.

So, more to come on when we will go to qualify…the biggest problem is that I only have one elk gun…a 7mm Rem Mag and Weasel and I won’t be able to just use that on our hunt, we need two guns.  I have feelers out for someone who might have one they will lend!

Bears Butt

July 25, 2013

UPDATE:  Fat Duck has a dusty 7mm he will lend us!  I’ll go pick it up today and Weasel and I have plans to hit the Logan range this afternoon to shoot both rifles to make sure they are “close enough” to get us our elk.

Thanks Duck!


Written on July 25th, 2013 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


Bears Butt

July 25, 2013

Written on July 25th, 2013 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


It’s been so long since I had a chance to sit down and write something I have completely forgotten where I left off…I do remember making comments about the “egging”, so I guess I’ll start there!

Our trip took us to a family party on Sunday afternoon and our “ship” was moved to the party palace that day.  Cathy and Darell have a mansion that sits on about 3 acres of ground in Petaluma, California.  In order to own property of that magnitude you have to spend a ton of money.  Darell races cars on rally tracks…the kind that go up and down mountains, through valley cuts and end up somewhere near where they started.  His cars are all souped up with Corvette engines and the cars are all Ford Mustangs.  He likes the looks and feel of the Mustang, but the power of the Chev motors.  A look into the cars makes you scratch your head and wonder just how on earth they got all that engine crammed into that frame.  He says they will go over 200 mph!  As for me, I say, Not with me in it it won’t!  He loves his speed!  And he told me several of his stories about how guys have “bumped” him to try and get him out of the way.  The rims on his favorite race car has all the marks of a “bump” alright…worn down to almost where the bead of the tire makes contact with the rim.

So, race cars require a garage where they can be pulled apart and put back together.  He has that!  A huge garage where he has 6 race cars and a really cool old 30’s something pickup truck.  The kind of pickup truck you see in the “Rat Fink” books of the remember…the guy with the big head and all the freckles.

There is also a place to park the cars they drive…A Mustang GT and a Mazarati…Oh and then there is the lowly Beamer that sits outside (poor thing).

So, here they have this giant place and the house is as big as the yard with the court room as you walk into it and that extends into the kitchen, dining and sitting areas…total square footage of the entrance and all you can see before you, I’d guess to be in the neighborhood of 50,000…then two doors lead you out into the swimming and patio area.  A short swim takes you to a wall you can dive under and on the other side are two cabana type bars…his and hers if you will.

I’ve made it sound like Cathy and Darell are swimming in cash.  I don’t hardly think they are, however they do have some expensive tastes.  Darell said he got the place as a bank owned deal and it was run down as crazy.  The yard was full of tall dry weeds, the sprinkling system all broken from two winters of freezing.  The roof tiles (clay) were broken and allowed water to get into the walls and the ground had no drainage so water came down off the eves and ended up in the basement.  They poured a ton of money into it to get it into the shape we saw it.  He thinks in 5 or 6 years he will sell it and they will move into something more modest.  Someone also said, the home was built by the first woman to win the California lottery…I don’t know if that is real or not.

The party was a total success and I got to meet cousins that were only names before…now we are all Facebook friends and will be able to keep in touch!  For those of you affiliated with this family, I must say we have a great bunch in our tree.

Well the party ended and the next morning Sherry and I headed over to Mike and Ilenes to spend the last night of our stay in beautiful California.  On a down note, Sunday night, our lovely Aunt LeOra ened up in the hospital with pneumonia, water around the heart and a bunch of other things that made her have a tough time breathing and feeling human.  We had planned to visit extensively with her and talk about family and the farm, but that didn’t happen and we are very sorry about that.  She is getting some very necessary care at this point and will be in better hands once she gets out of the hospital.  They are changing her primary care provider as what put her into the hospital should have been prevented had her doctor been on top of things.  Yes, she is 99 years old, but she still thinks, breathes and is full of life, why take that away from her by not giving her the care she deserves?  I’m very glad they caught up with her problems and are giving her the care she deserves!  We love her very much.

We did get to visit with her on Friday evening and she was full of her normal spirit!  That is why we decided to stay over Monday night, to continue our conversations and laughter.  Oh well!

So now, it was off toward home.  In the past we would have stayed in an RV campground at Fernley Nevada, a nice little “half way” place with nice campgrounds.  Driving the coach is fun for me, but after several hours of driving it begins to cause a stress in the neck muscles.  We reached Fernley and the time was only a bit after 3 p.m.  I decided to make the additional drive to Winnemucka, Nevada.  Construction plagued us about half the way there which added time to the otherwise 2 hour drive…oh well, we made it and put up in a nice little campground…little campground?  It holds over 150 units and was packed!  The people must have been as tired as we were because the night was as quiet as could be and the sleeping wonderful, with a cool breeze and light rain!

We awoke to birds chirping and the sounds of people pulling out of their spots.  When I finally took MaPa’s for a walk, the place was half empty and it was only 7:30 in the morning!  The folks must have had some long hauls to make that day and had to get early starts.  Or else they just like to get to their next spot in time to do some swimming in the parks pool…who knows.  We pulled out about 10 ish after a great breakfast of bacon, eggs and hashbrowns!

Our minds were made up to head for home…I had about 7 hours of drive time ahead of me which is about 2 more than I like, but the thought of sleeping in my own bed at home was appealing enough that I didn’t notice the strain on the neck.  We arrived home about 6 p.m. and MaPa’s was so happy to see his “turf” when I opened up the door to the coach and he jumped out onto his own lawn!

OK, so now I’ll tell you about the gas station guys.  Remember when we first started this trip and the guy came past with the golf cart and pointed out my bad front tires…well that was a “for real” problem that we fixed just down the road from where the guy was on the golf cart.  So, here we are in Battle Mountain and I pull into a Shell station…Three grizzley looking guys sitting on a bench outside the “we can fix anything” bays and as I’m pulling up to the pump (it takes me a bit to pull up to a pump, because first off it has to be on the right side of the coach, and secondly I have to pull up so the back end of the coach is even with the pump handle.  In order to do that I have to stretch out and look carefully through the rear view mirror on that side) one of the grizzley guys is walking alongside the coach looking at the rear tires.  He is obviously in my line of site.  When I stop and get out to see if I’m close enough to pump gas, he is all over me with “This tire is about to lose it’s cap!  You need to replace it!  You need these guys to put your spare tire on!  See here, the cap if about to come off!”  And he points to the weather checking near the rim.  I look at him and say “I’ll be just fine”!  He shrugged and went back to his seat.

I started to pump the gas and then realized the cost of their fuel was $4.56!!!!  I stopped the pump and ended up only putting in 10 gallons of gas.  That was the highest priced fuel of our entire trip!  The next highest was $4.01.

So, when you are out on your vacation, watch out for those “helpful” guys at the freeway off ramp gas stations.  They aren’t all watching out for your well being!

Bears Butt, glad to be home

July 25, 2013

Written on July 25th, 2013 , Vacation Time | 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.