About Bears Butt

This is all new to me, so bear with me as I attempt to learn this site and what I can do with it.

My Christian name is Louis Wynn Zundel, given to me on August 6, 1949, but then who cares?

My intent of this blog, as it’s called, is to allow all of you to share in some of my experiences and stories over the years. I have great plans to put together a set of stories I wrote a number of years ago and published in the Aerial Photography Field Offices (USDA-APFO), “The Aerial Observer”. This publication was printed sometimes monthly, sometimes less often than that, it all depended on the editor, information available, general interest in it’s printing and of course workload and budget. I did have a chance to be the editor of that publication for several years. Anyway, that’s another story.

Along with those stories, I have written a few others and will create other categories for them and some poems I have written.

My life has been quite interesting, at least to me and my stories should reflect my life. Graduating from Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah, and attending Utah State University and finally graduating with a bachelors degree from Weber State University. I always said, I got my high school education from Weber State. High School was just a big fun time for me and my grades showed it. I think they kicked me out just so they wouldn’t have to see my face around there anymore.

I spent four great years in the U.S. Air Force from 1969-1972. Several months of training to become a lab technician to process and print aerial photography films, both black and white and color. I spent my year in Viet Nam, assigned to the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Ton Son Nhut, trying to locate those sneaky Ho Chee Minners so the Army and Marine guys could take them out. My final two years were spent in Wiesbaden, Germany, 7499th Support Group, spying on the East Germans and others during the cold war….could the Air Force have sent a beer drinking man to a better place in all the world? I think not!

My next adventure was meeting my wife, Sherry. What a love! Our first meeting was an accident. I was going to show my oldest brother, Bob and his family all of my “wonderful” home movies of Germany. I pulled up in front of his home and there across the lawn was this gal, about my same age, all tanned up. Wearing a halter top with nearly everything up top showing. Her extremely short cut off blue jeans, as tight as skin. Her long red hair and a very determined look on her face that she was going to get the lawn mowed even if it killed her. She was trying to cut grass that was at least 3 weeks long, with a push type, reel mower that didn’t even have a motor on it.

I delayed the movie showing until I mowed her lawn. She would have nothing to do with me mowing her lawn and demanded I get out of her way. I moved aside as she pushed that mower right at me. When she got to the end of the lawn and turned around, there she met me in front of the mower again, and I was insisting I finish the mowing….BLAM…down she went with a thud…passed right out! What the heck?! The neighbor lady was right there quick and Sherry woke up. She said she was ok and we helped her into the house and I got her a cold drink of water. She sat on the couch and we talked a few minutes. When I knew she would be OK, I told her I would keep checking on her and would finish mowing the lawn, but that it would cost her a beer. She agreed reluctantly.

I mowed the lawn, but the neighbor lady had brought over a power mower. When done, I went in and drank that cold beer and invited her to the movie showing. She declined. Probably a good thing too, because we all know that what looks good and interesting in those old home movies is probably very boring and quite un-interesting to anyone else. Besides they take forever to show.

The next time I saw her was several months later in a Sambo’s restaurant. I had been to morning classes at Weber State and was waiting for my friend, Clyde Westley to get out of his classes. We always met there for coffee and sometimes we would have breakfast (that always was determined by payday). We were always broke college kids, trying to make things work out on the GI bill money. Anyway, she joined me for coffee, we made a date and have been together ever since. Can you say 37 years!?! Wonderful years I might add. We have had our struggles, but those are soon forgotten when good times come around.

I spent 3 long years as a night time bartender during our early years of marriage and me attending college at the same time. I learned a whole lot about people during that time as a bar tender. Those years opened my eyes a bunch and I’ll just bet some of my stories reflect those learning years as well.

After college I was able to land an entry level position at the Aerial Photography Field Office, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Salt Lake City, Ut. I commuted, first from our home in Brigham City, and later from our new home in Willard, Utah. 27 years of commuting from Northern Utah to Salt Lake city and finally retiring with 31 years of Government Service under my belt. My job there was always with the quality assurance section. Handling aerial photography photos and films and verifying their accuracy in both ground coverage and scale. Those photographs were sent out to the various county offices all over the United State and those folks would use them to control acreages of sign up programs for farmers. You have heard about how the government would pay farmers not to grow crops? Well, they used the photos for that and would mark out the acres that they would pay the farmer not to grow. Then the sneaking little government guys would go out in the actual field every now and again to make sure there wasn’t some sort of cash crop being grown.

About half way through my career they made me the supervisor of the crew and I had about 14 people working for me at the peak. The last 5 years were the most interesting, as we employed digital imagery as one of our ways to obtain photography and along with that came geographical information system (GIS) software and training. I loved that stuff! If I was to try and do anything with it today I would not be able to as the technology has changed so very much and so very fast. If you are at all interested in obtaining imagery from the Aerial Photography Field Office. They have imagery dating back to 1955 and up to the present. You can get paper photographs and/or digital imagery on cd/dvd or sent to you via internet and the prices are very cheap considering. Check them out at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/apfoapp?area=apfohome&subject=landing&topic=landing

For those that may or may not know, I have been involved with blackpowder shooting and mountain man stuff for over 34 years. I’m currently on my second pair of deer skin leathers from animals I have shot with my muzzleloader rifles and stitched together myself. They are getting sort of ragged now, but I doubt I’ll put together another set. Mountain man stuff really got into my blood and you will see in the stories that most of them involve mountain man events or themes. Some of which are hard to read, but I’ll assure you, if you “sound out the letters” you will understand the word. For instance “educator” in the mountain man world is actually spelled “Edjukateer”. Everyone knows that.

I love the outdoors. Fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, trapping, viewing the animals and just plain driving down the plentiful mountain roads of Northern Utah. I have not seen a bear in the wild, nor a wolf, but some day I will see them both. Most all the other critters found in Utah have been within my eye site at one time or another.

The last few Springs (Jan-March) have found me trapping muskrats with my oldest brother Bob. Last year we caught and put up (put up means skinning, fleshing and stretching) 991 rats and we sold them for an average of $6.84 each! Not bad for two old codgers with worn out legs and shrinking bodies.

Speaking of shrinking bodies, I have gone from a baby about 17 inches long to a staggering 5 ft. 5 inches tall (my military time) to a present day height of 5 ft. 3 inches! Amazing huh? I have also had a beard since I got married and at first it was jet black! Now it’s mostly white. If I shaved, no body would know me. So, I’ll keep it.

Well, enough for the introduction. I hope to get some of my stories up pretty soon and keep you interested in revisiting this site. I still can’t believe Bears Butt has a dot com! Who would have ever believed it. I have to give all the credit to my two sons, Brandon and Mitch! Thanks guys! I’ll be needing help soon.

PA (Bears Butt)


by with 22 comments.

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    Wapiti commented

    Nice job so far, keep er going.

    May 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    TRACKER commented

    Bears Butt,

    Sounds pretty formal, eh? “Bears Butt!” I have to give you a 10 on prose, however I also have to give you a 10 on cons. A TEN on this rating scale is like Bo Derek, 1 of course is something less. It must have been the Air Force who came up with the rating scale in Viet Nam, “You number one GI” which was actually better than being #10. I’ve tipped the scales at both ends, anyway “Great Introduction, it was you, to be sure”.

    Great story about Sherry, too bad she missed the movies that night, she could have seen you in different lighting. The lighting Crew can work wonders, butt she “fell for ya” anyways.

    Like you, I got my High School Edjucation at Weber State College, butt some Alumni (our age) probably don’t recognize it as a “State College” any more, since it ain’t. I do appreciate the recognition of being your friend (can U say) for how many years? It was clear back when you could still say “SAMBO’S” in public.

    Well now for the Con’s, which you will be, along with your “oldest brother, Bob” when “The sneaking little government guys” find out how much you made trapping! Not to mention blowing their cover to the subsidary farmers. One should be careful what One says when they are on the big WWW. Wait a minute, I don’t see no WWW. in your address? Irregardles, I am probably in trouble with the farmers now, least ways those who don’t consider themselves subsidary?

    Well, me pointing out some revealing facts to Big Brother, I trust that the ‘BLOG-MASTER’ will not approve this entry. And “That’s a Good Thing”, because like too many other web sites and internet “applications” (or should I have said, “APPS”?) There ain’t no spell checker, I hate that, it let’s my edjukation shine through.

    Well as Wop commented, or more formally I should address him as, “Wapiti Dung, Mountain Man Extraordinair”. One the same, he siad, “…keep er going”.

    ( )
    ” “

    May 21, 2011 at 12:11 am
    Rude Dog commented


    I’m lovin’ it. Your stories are always great. Like Wop and Tracker said–“keep er going!”

    May 21, 2011 at 11:41 am
    Lalie commented

    Love it Wynn!!! keep up the good work, Lalie

    May 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm
    Dances With Deer commented

    I AM LOVIN’ IT!!!!!!!
    Every time I read a “tale” I can picture “Sir Butt” charging around the campfire and I can see all of the “Willow Creek Trappers Mountain Men (and women)” in the tales.

    I will be forever gratful to DUCK for inviting me to that first Roooondevooo and letting me become involved with your group. I can honestly say that, except for the time I have been here with my Grandson, the times and experienes I had with Willow Creekers has been the GREATEST times in my life. Thanks to you all!!!!!!

    Keep up the “BS”


    May 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    CYNDI STANDER commented

    Keep at it Bears Butt!

    June 6, 2011 at 9:20 am
    Geoff Gabbott commented

    You crack me up! What a great site, or blog, or whatever it is. Thanks for sharing your memorable stories and mountainman fables. Geoff

    June 6, 2011 at 9:40 am
    Helen Zundel Willms commented

    This is so fun Wynn, I love it. Keep it going. XOCuzH

    June 16, 2011 at 11:47 am
    lmpybnyns commented

    I always love to hear your stories, Thank you

    your niece, Lisa Parish

    November 1, 2011 at 9:44 am
    Curt Wight AKA "Visitor" commented

    Great site!

    It pains me deeply that I have missed out on so many years at the rendezvous. I have been without a smokepole for many years. But that is just an excuse. That doesn’t justify missing the gatherin’s I know! I Need a new stock. This past summer I found a very nice T/C .54 for $200.00. About 30 years old but looks like it has never been fired.

    There is a lot of catchin up on stories and events that I have missed out on. The stores that you tell on this web site brings back so many good memories back in the day.

    Keep an eye out for the Visitor…he will be there at the Gatherin’ of 2012!

    Best regards…


    January 25, 2012 at 8:40 am
    mike ayala commented

    Wynn, I really enjoyed reading about your life. Thanks for serving in the military hero. My favorite part was of you telling about your lovely wife and a bit about courting her. Always your friend, can’t wait to read more.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    Marv Bunderson commented

    I just had a very good call with Rick last night. Tried to call you and get more info on the 4th shoot. Haven’t played for many years but have grandsons that want to. Can’t fit my leathers anymore but the gun appears like it might still shoot.(not to much rust). Kathy’s is in the same condition. The Grandson that wants to shoot has to drive a team and wagon in Lewiston that day and may not make it, but we have to start somewhere. Latter Marv
    PS were are on a mission and only available to talk in the late evenings. Need help give me a call or Email.

    June 24, 2013 at 7:49 am
    Brenda Lister commented

    Hi “BB” – I have a lot of vintage spring traps that belonged to my dad (deceased) that my mom has asked me to sell for her (we were surprised to open a barrel and find them nicely stored!). Do you know anyone who would be interested? My dad was a trapper in Oklahoma – he trapped bobcats and raccoons. (and any other animal that crossed the traps!). Would you please send me an email if you know of a source that may be interested in these traps? I appreciate it – thank you. (I also have gold prospecting equipment – much of it new – mom wants to sell as well) Thanks again. Sincerely, Brenda

    October 15, 2013 at 9:12 am
    Goober commented

    Love the trapping stories Wynne!!

    February 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm
    peter rosenfield commented

    Hi, I came across your blog while searching for trapline photos to help a kid in my class create a cover for a report. I read your trapline stuff and bio…You are a very interesting guy! I’m from NYC but have been out to Utah twice in the last few years and can’t think of a more beautiful part of this county. Anyways, thanks for sharing some of your most interesting life and may you enjoy many more years of trapping. Peter

    June 9, 2014 at 7:44 am
    Sandal commented

    I love your blog! We came home empty handed but still had a great time!

    August 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    scamphouse17@gmail. com commented

    Love the blog!

    August 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm
    Dj commented

    Hey bearsbutt dj here shot a fat doe on the extended hunt this weekend about 45 pounds of meat. That’s 2 down and two to go. Thanks for all the stories during the regular season.

    September 30, 2016 at 11:42 pm
    Shonie commented

    I very much enjoyed reading up on your dream elk hunt in the monticello, ut area. I as well as my brother in law both have elk tags (spiked elk) for the very area you hunted in. I was researching on the Internet for more info about the area and came across your blog. You are very detailed in describing your elk hunt and I loved every bit of your story. I am looking forward to my hunt which actually starts this Saturday Oct 8. I live in a small town in northern arizona called kayenta. Monticello is about a 2 hour or so drive away from kayenta. Our plan is to leave kayenta early Friday morning, grab some supplies in Monticello and basically follow your same hunting route, setup camp and get some glassing and scouting in for the rest of that day (friday). Like I said, I really enjoyed reading about your hunt and it has given me a really good idea of what I should expect and a lot more confident of filling my tag. Thank you for putting your experience out there for people like me to read and learn from.

    October 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm