By: Bears Butt

I’m sure this is getting old to you who are actually reading this stuff. Tonight was a night like no other, well, maybe…it depends on how you look at it.

The last couple of days have been unsettled with the weather, raining, windy, cold, cloudy at least. Today was a beautiful Fall day in the mountains of Northern Utah. Highs today around 55, no wind, no chance for storm. A good day to get some last minute Fall cleanup around the house…if that is what you want to do.

As for me…Nope…I got the exciting chance to listen to Hunter and Broken Stick tell me about their Bull Elk hunt down on the San Juan mountains of Southern Utah, near Monticello. They will have to tell you about that, but I was Way Impressed to hear their tales.

I filled them in on my deer tales as are found on this website. You have already read them. So, with them as my captive audience, I filled them in on all the episodes of this seasons Extended Archery hunt so far. They have not heard or read this one…just as you haven’t…yet.

With the sun going down sooner in the evening, Weasel and I decided we needed to get our archery practice in a bit earlier than we have and get down to our sitting spots. I was on the phone to a DWR guy about some trash I think needs to be removed up on the Green Fork road and missed a few minutes of practice.

Also, I have been counseled by alot of my friends and family about why I am missing so many shots. I’ve tried to implement all of the suggestions except one, up to this point. Grandson Chase said, “Grandpa, you need to try hunting those deer without drinking any beer! That way you will be able to concentrate and kill one!”

Well, the last suggestion I was given didn’t work, so maybe this one will. I refused to have my normal beer at my normal time and went to practice. I have to say, my practice session was not my best, but it wasn’t all that bad either. My confidence wasn’t what it usually is however when the session was over. Still, it was time to head to the field for the evening hunt.

In my blind, I was lacking the warm fuzzy feeling of confidence, but still, I was ready for the action should it present itself.

I hadn’t been in my blind more than 10 minutes when suddenly there was the same buck my arrow had passed through last week! The 3X4 and he was on a mission. He walked straight to my spot and started to walk passed me. He was exactly where I had grazed him last week when I drew back to full draw and anchored. I was nearly ready to release the string when he bolted to his left, away from me and out into the meadow. I was surprised I hadn’t released the string, but I hadn’t and I let down. The buck stopped at about 20 yards and I was really tempted to take the shot, but I didn’t and he began to walk away to the West. I watched as he made his way to the other side of the meadow and skirted the edge of the pond and on to the North, then when he reached a gate over that way he started back in my direction.

About half way back to where I was, he turned and went into the swamp, right on the trail next to where Weasel had been sitting earlier this season. Had Weasel been there, he would have had a shot under 20 yards….Oh Well! He was sitting in his spot at the SE side of the meadow, near where the deer come out of the swamp.

Well, I gave up on that deer coming back to me from that direction and started to concentrate my focus on the area where he had come from. It wasn’t 5 more minutes and there came another buck! This time a small 2 point. I’ll take a small 2 point as well as a doe if it comes within range. YES! This one is going home with me!

As I watched him coming my way, my heart began to race…adrenaline? Maybe, but maybe withdrawal symptoms! Then my mind started to clamor over all the advice I had been pounded with…make sure you come to full draw…..anchor….Point of the arrow on where you want it to hit…..Aim Low….Aim to the left of where you want to hit….

As the buck continued to come my way, he stopped about 15 yards out for a bite to eat. I thought to myself, Go ahead little buck, have your last meal before I take you home and make meals out of you! I even thought about shooting between the two trees that are hiding me from his sight, after all I practice at 20 yards and this would be a slam dunk. Well, he turned and started to walk the same path as the bigger buck not 10 minutes before. This time, I’ve got him dialed in, he is going down and I’ll be having liver and onions tomorrow night for supper. I was ready. Feet anchored to the ground, a slight crouch, the push of the bow arm away and the pull of the string toward my anchor. Anchor made, string against my nose…..Arrow on the point I want to hit, NO…Aim lower….NO…Aim to the left of where you want to hit….NO!….Aim where you want to hit!….NO!….NO!!!!…NO!!!! And I collapsed and the arrow went 2 feet to the left of the deers butt! The deer stopped and turned to look at me!

OH MY HECK! He didn’t jump the string! He didn’t duck and turn like all the others, he just stopped and turned his head to look at me! WHAT?

And then he walked out into the meadow because he wasn’t sure what that bright green leafy looking thing was standing there among the brown and barren trees and dead weeds. He walked out and stopped at about 20 yards as I tried to nock another arrow. I was determined to shoot this buck. But I couldn’t get the second arrow nocked onto the string. Frustration was at a max in my mind! Shaking like a crazy man. I finally managed to get the arrow nocked and then with him standing out there about 50 yards I decided to heck with it, try to chase him over to Weasel. So out of my blind I went and out into the meadow. The buck stood there wondering what and how can that bush walk like that? What is that awful thing coming my way? He then made some moves toward heading toward Weasel’s position.

However, once all the action was over, he made it back to the safety of the swamp by going on the same trail he was on when he first came out.

I went back to my blind and sat there with my head in my hands. A perfect chance at a perfect deer. A deer that had no idea he was in danger and a hunter who was SO VERY RATTLED that he couldn’t make the shot….Never again….I WILL drink a couple of beers before I go hunting…I WILL shoot as if it were a standing target and if it ducks and turns, so be it! No more will I listen to my friends and family saying do this, do that! NO. I’m done with listening to any of that. I will practice as if it were a live animal in front of me and when the chance comes at a real live animal, I WILL do as I have practiced. If God wants the animal to live HE will make sure it ducks and swerves out of the way of the oncoming projectile. If it’s meant for me to take him home and have liver and onions, HE will make sure my arrow is on mark and the animal will be sacrificed.

I think I’ll have another beer and get ready for bed.

November 16, 2020

Bears Butt

Written on November 16th, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

How can this be? When does it end? Is Bears Butt a Nimrod, or a dumb shit?

It’s November 14th, 2020, the day after a great Friday the 13th. We had a very good cold front come through yesterday and last night, one that surprised most of us…about 12 midnight the sky opened up with a spectacular light show and thunder like most have never seen…lots of hail, snow, rain, wind…you name it! The dog never came back to bed, but chose to sleep on the floor just inside the bedroom door next to the hallway. I guess for a quick escape should the lightning hit the house.

Anyway, we awoke to a beautiful but cold morning with just a skiff of snow and very cold wind.

Notwithstanding, the day went as pretty usual for a Saturday. Willard had a carnival of sorts with crafts made from a variety of people from in town and out of town. Lots of other things going on as well with the Radtkes having their baby alpaca days.

Life is good here in good old and little Willard, Utah. Except for Trump about to be de-throned. We are a Republican State by the way.

So, as the day progressed, everything was pointing to a great evening hunt down on the farm. About 3 pm, I prepared myself for some practice archery shooting and at 4 went up to Weasels to participate in our usual daily activity.

We both shot extremely well during our 45 minute practice session and then it was time to head for the farm.

Arriving at the farm about 5 pm, Weasel reminded me that the last shooting minute was 5:40….not a long sit tonight. We hiked into our respective spots and took our stands.

About 5:25, I stood from my seat and took my usual standing position during the last few minutes of hunting time. It took about 30 seconds to see a buck moving across the meadow in my direction. Sure enough, I know this buck…I missed him the other night…the 3X4!!!! My heart began to race.

Digressing: After the last couple of misses, I have been reminded that I’m practicing at 20 yards and my arrow is “point on” at that distance. Shouldn’t I be shooting “lower” when the target is closer than that? I’ve thought long and hard about this. So, tonight as the buck is coming across the meadow toward me, I remind myself that if it gets within the 15 yard or closer mark, to aim a bit lower to make the arrow count.

The buck continues to come in a bee-line, straight to my position. My heart is really starting to pound at this point. As it stops at the edge of the short grass, on my side of the clover, (10 yards), I slowly raise my bow and prepare to draw for the shot. The buck will have to take three more steps and it will be a slam dunk 10 yard shot, broadside! My heart is racing. The buck takes the first step and is completely hidden behind a tree between he and I. I draw and anchor…I’m totally conscientious of what is going on….The buck takes a second step and I place the tip of the arrow right where his right front leg leaves his chest. He takes the third step and I release the arrow!

Thwack, and the lighted nock is sticking out of the dirt! Did I get a complete pass through? The buck runs toward Weasel’s position across the meadow. I can see no evidence that the buck is hurt in any way. The 200 yards he has covered should have been more than enough for him to drop dead. But NO! He parades in front of Weasel and gives him a shot! SWISH! A miss by Weasel!. I continut to watch the buck as it saunters around the meadow like it owns it. And then it wanders off to the South and out of sight!

I look into the meadow in front of me and see my lighted nock sticking out of the dirty some 15 yards in front of me. I think to myself…There is NO WAY I missed that buck. That arrow has to be covered in blood.

As the evening gets darker, I realize it’s past shooting time and I leave my blind to retrieve my arrow. Without much light I can see tell-tale sign of something that looks like blood and maybe hair and stuff.

I join Weasel and we both head for the truck. At the truck I pull out my flashlight and examine the arrow closer. It has blood the full length of it, but the fletchings (feathers) only have a trace of blood. Where did I hit the buck? Only God knows, unless Weasels trail camera has this shot recorded, afterall, if was right in front of it. My guess, the buck ducked and rolled to his left. The arrow, being aimed lower than I would normally shoot, hit right behind the right front leg, right where it leaves the chest. Passed through this loose skin and into the dirt. The animal is hit but not with a killing shot. He runs off as if nothing has happened.

Had I shot my normal shot, the arrow would have hit him right behind the right front shoulder, penetrated through at least the right lung and probably taken out the top of the heart.

From not on…I’m aiming for where I want the arrow to go.

How many more chances with this Bears Butt get this season? Maybe I’ve had my last one.

I think Weasel needs to trade me places so he can show me how to do this!!!

November 14, 2020

Bears Butt

Written on November 14th, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

With tears in my eyes I write you this story…..:-(….

This morning we awoke to a fresh 2 inches of white snow. The first of the Fall in the valley, at least where I live. It was a very beautiful site and especially beautiful since I knew the temps were going to warm up and melt it off, so I didn’t have to shovel or plow it.

We went about our business as usual and did some grocery shopping. Unloaded and I had time to prepare tonights supper of oven baked chicken. If you would like the recipe, I will certainly give it to you. I don’t believe it’s in my favorite recipe portion of this blog.

Anyway, once done with that it was about 3:30 and time to get ready for this evenings hunt. Since it was so dang cold outside I had to put on extra layers. Which I did gladly. Donning my balaclava and beany, double good on a cold evening. I headed up to Weasels for some practice before we headed to the blind. The practice was good. We finished with 12 in the kill zone and then headed for the field.

When we got there we had about an hour and a few minutes until the season ended for the day. There was a 2 inch layer of snow on the untramped fields and none where animals the animals scurried. The sunny areas were also barren of snow, but everything was wet. Including the stools we have left in our hiding spots.

A very cool breeze was blowing from the West/North/West, which is unusal for this spot of ours. My scent was heading directly into the swamp where we suspect the deer to hide during the day. As I sat in my blind, I thought I heard the blowing of a doe with a scent of my presence. I texted Weasel as such.

As the evening progressed and as is my usual blind practice, I stood from my seated position and readied myself for a standing shot, should something come along. My focus was far to my left and out 100 yards or so. The deer have been coming from that direction more than they have not this season.

The ground and leaves laying thickly on the ground are very wet now and don’t make any noise when you step on them. So not surprising, as I walked into my blind I was quiet as a mouse. I know the deer will be even more quiet. I must rely on my sight rather than my ears. Which by the way are useless under my double layer of beanie and balaclava.

So, scanning the area from my left to my right, slowly, just in case…you know. Suddenly, as I turn my head slowly to my right, there stands a smallish two point buck! Right on the trail that leads into where I’m standing! OH MY HECK! His attention suddenly goes to the ground where my foot prints are in the snow. He sniffs and studies what he is seeing and smelling. With his head down and some weeds growing tall between him and me, I turn my feet slowly and quietly to get a more 90 degree angle to him.

I accomplished this without any concern on his part. As he studied the smells, I readied myself for the raise and draw of the bow in my hand. There is a tree in front of him and if he chooses to go in that direction I will have a chance to raise the bow and draw before he comes out into view from the other side.

I am calm….well as calm as you can be being 12 or so yards from the animal you wish to put in your freezer. He steps forward, I raise the bow and draw to full draw and anchor. I am calm…I settle the point of the arrow on his vitals and let the arrow go!

THWACK! I hear the arrow hit the animal! And the lighted nock is bouncing near the bucks left hip. He bounds away to his right. The arrow falls to the ground! WHAT?

The buck runs toward Weasel’s position in the meadow then turns and trots off as if nothing has happened. He disappears into the swamp to the east.

A recap of what happened rewinds and replays in my mind. At the release of the string, the buck ducks and turns to his right! The arrow is on a direct path toward the bucks vitals! Well it was before he ducked. The point of the arrow smacks something hard on the buck and sticks for a time as it bounds off and away from me and then falls from the buck and lays on the ground.

My mind races and my first words to myself are: WTF! I think you know what that means! I can’t believe this is just another time I messed up!

So, after examining the arrow and the evidence of hitting it, I have concluded my aim was right on the money, but with the buck ducking and turning to its right, my arrow, which was heading right for the kill zone, suddenly was on a perfect trajectory to hit the animal at the base of the antler on the left side of its head. The bouncing lighted nock at the left hip of the animal the evidence that the arrow was not deep into any part of the animal as it ran off. The evidence on the broadhead of a little bit of fat, some hair and watery looking moisture, the loud noise I heard when it hit the animal. It sounds like a “near” field goal.

Where is Tim with his 500 fps bow and feather light arrow when you need it? Why can’t my 45 pound recurve send my 600 gr. arrow to the deer at 12 yards quicker than he can duck it going 150 fps?

Will I give up? NO! Will I give up on my heavy arrows and high FOC? NO! Will I give up on a 45 lb. bow that is the most poundage I can draw and hold for 5 seconds at full draw? NO! Will I fill my tag this year? That will remain to be seen. I will not give up until the last second of the last day of the season.

November 11, 2020

Happy Veterans Day everyone!

Bears Butt

Written on November 11th, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

How many chances does a guy get? Last night as I sat on my stool in the blind, it felt rather strange, at least stranger than it has all week. The usual slight evening breeze was missing and the air was dead quiet. The sounds from the freeway seemed to be less as well and I picked up a faint doe or fawn bleet up in the swamp. At that sound I messaged Weasel that I thought I heard it.

Then, I turned and looked toward the North from my seat, something I rarely do. There stood a nice buck, looking into the swamp almost on top of where Weasel was sitting before he changed blinds. Had I not looked when I did, I would not have seen the buck as it turned and walked out into the meadow, obscured from my view by the trees.

I stood and readied myself for a shot. I positioned myself in such a way, that when the buck came within view, I’d have about a 10 yard shot. Suddenly I saw the buck through the last remaining leaves still holding on to the stems of the sucker trees growing up from the bases of the mother trees. It stopped.

I thought to myself, now, take your time on this shot. Come to full draw and anchor, pick the spot on the deer where you want to hit. This is your chance for the liver and onions you have been promising Sherry. I was calm and even though my heart was racing, my mind was clear. I knew what I needed to do. But the buck just stood there.

He needed to take two or three more steps to give me a broadside shot. I caught myself pulling on the bow string a bit too hard and was about at 1/3 full draw. I let down and took a deep breath. Why is the buck not continuing on his journey? I could see just a portion of the bucks antlers through the leaves and could tell when he turned his head. It seemed like he was about to turn around and go back to where he had come from, when suddenly he did step forward. I could see his full head and neck and he turned to look away from where I was standing. I had no shot at this point even though he was only about 10 yards away.

He stepped toward where he was looking and started to walk in that direction. It was a perfect situation for me. The buck was quartering away, totally unaware that danger and death were mere feet from him. I drew back, came to full draw and settled into my anchor. This was going to be a chip shot. I settled the white strip of tape I have adhered to the shaft of my arrow just behind the broadhead, placing it right behind his last rib and let go of the string. The buck jumped to his right and I just knew I had hit him.

I sat back down on my seat to wait. I had some doubt about whether I hit him or not. I texted Weasel, I’m not sure If I hit him or not! I could not see the buck as it ran to the north, keeping the trees between me and him. Then just as quickly, I see the buck walking up alongside the toolies of the pond to the west of me across the meadow. Some 60 yards away. I missed him! I texted Weasel with this info, but then kept thinking, Everything was perfect! How could I have missed. Were there 2 bucks? I texted Weasel, were there two bucks? His response, I only saw one.

Doubt filled my soul and I watched the big buck walk away into the sunset.

I texted Weasel, I need to go find my arrow, to confirm whether I had hit the deer or not. He texted back that our hunting time was over and to go ahead out into the meadow and find my arrow.

I walked right to the arrow and examining it found no hint of a hit! DANG! The biggest buck we have seen to date on the extended, a very nice 3X4!

Will there be any more chances? Well, if not I’ve had a very memorable hunt. I wish Weasel would get a chance.

November 6, 2020

Bears Butt

Written on November 6th, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

Last night found the breeze more out of the north than it has since the beginning of the extended archery hunt this year. As most of the deer we have seen have come from the south and east of our ground blinds, Weasel decided he should move from his place on the north end of the grove of trees we have been hiding among. His new position is farther south and east of my blind and a place close to where the deer come out of the swamp and into the meadow.

We arrived about 15 minutes earlier than we had been arriving so as to give him the extra time to work his way over to where he would make up a new blind and let the woods settle down from the extra noise.

As the evening sun dipped behind the Promontory mountains to the west, the sky lit up with a stark orange/red hugh, not as much as in past evenings but still a stunning display of God’s work. The temperature also dropped a noticeable amount and I was reminded I need to start wearing wool gloves into the field. I texted Sherry about this as a reminder I needed to purchase some gloves.

As the light of the evening darkened, I moved from my seated position to one closer to the edge of the grove and edge of the meadow and stood with the lower tip of my bow resting on the top of my left foot. My tab readied under the nock of the arrow. I was calm and looking mostly toward where Weasel’s position was, although I could not see him hiding in the thick brush and overgrown vines.

My view was a narrow strip of the meadow from where most of the deer have been coming and all I needed was a glance of one approaching in order to raise my bow and get ready to draw back.

I was thinking it was almost to late for any deer to come out, when suddenly as I slowly turned my head from looking more westerly, back toward the narrow strip to my left, there stood a deer right in the middle of that space! A doe I thought, as I could not see any antlers, even though the light was very dim and it was over 100 yards away. I saw her stepping out into the meadow farther and farther with every step. Behind her was a young fawn, probably one from this years birthing. The fawn held back some 50 yards behind her and she continued to step out into the meadow.

The meadow has a ring of low growing wild meadow hay grass that grows from the edge and for about 20 yards in it is all you can see, from the 20 yard mark out into the middle is a taller stand of red clover and the deer love that stuff. The doe and fawn were not concerned of my presence and were munching down on the clover as if they were starving. The doe was at least 30 yards out, maybe 40, I didn’t have my range finder, nor would I have used it had I had it, I just know she was out of range. She would have to be at the edge of the clover stand and in the ring of wild grass in order to be within my range.

She continued to graze to my right and soon the slight breeze we had going shifted and took my scent straight to her. She snorted to warn the fawn and the fawn ran back toward Weasel and where they had come out of the swamp. Then the doe started to search for where the smell was coming from. Her curiosity took her farther to my right, then she turned and went back toward the south. When she had gone far enough to lose my scent, she turned back to the north and slowly worked her way until she picked up the scent again. At that, she stared into the brush trying to locate me. I was standing, but not moving and my leafy suit was hiding my human shape perfectly.

Suddenly, without warning she dashed toward the south part of the meadow, then stopped and started walking toward my position. A very surprising move in my mind. I tensed up and watched as she slowly walked toward me. My muscles were tight in my arms as I rehearsed in my mind the moves I would have to make in order to get a shot should she give me one. She kept coming, and soon she was standing in the short meadow grass, her back feet in the clover. She was well within range and my guess is she was 15 yards from me. Staring straight at me. I only had a frontal shot of her should I decide to take it.

The light of the evening was darkening quickly and I knew I only had maybe two more minutes of legal shooting light, when she turned her head away from me and looked toward where Weasel was hiding. My mind raced and I began to raise the bow to the height I usually draw from. I figured Weasel had left his hiding spot in order to draw her attention from me. I needed her to move her whole body to her right to give me the shot I would take. A straight on frontal is not a shot I want to attempt. If it was a paper target or a 3D target, I’d shoot that shot all day and into the night, but this is a real live animal and I want a “best odds” shot to ethically take the animal. She maintained her frontal position and slowly turned her head back in my direction. I saw a slight glimmer of something in Weasels direction, perhaps his bow quiver, arrow tip or something that shined in the nearly dark conditions.

At that I moment I knew my shooting day was over and I stood motionless but not so tensed up, I knew I would not be taking any shots the rest of the evening and I just had to wait until she left the area to walk out and back to the truck. She suddenly looked back toward Weasel who had made it to the road by this time and she bolted straight west and out of sight into the darkness.

Folks, the RUSH IS REAL! When you are that close to the game animal you are after and the time slows to a crawl as the scenario plays out. I’m not sure how many more of these “rushes” this old man can take, but I’ll be back to do it again…..One of these days, the deer will make a mistake and we will be enjoying liver and onions!

October 23, 2020

Bears Butt

Written on October 23rd, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

As in all sports, archery has its rules and names, just like baseball has bases, innings, outs etc., in archery, when you shoot an arrow at a target it is called an “end”, and ends can be one arrow or a thousand or more. There is no limit to the total number of arrows you shoot before you go down range and collect them, but there is a minimum….one.

A one arrow end is not a bad way to practice shooting. Some say it’s the only way to practice to become proficient, because you must concentrate on that ONE arrow to make it hit where you wish it to hit. After the shot, you have to walk down range to retrieve your arrow, which give you time to think about the shot you just made and how to adjust to improve it, or to congratulate yourself on how well you shot.

Well, Weasel and I shoot 6 arrow ends in our practice sessions and we practice nearly every day, shooting anywhere from 10 to 20 ends. The arrows we shoot are heavy in today’s standards, his are upwards of 700 grains, while mine are nearly 600 grains. Both of us have most of the weight in the front of the arrow, which is coined “Front of Center”, or FOC for short. Both of our arrow setups are over 30% FOC. The reasoning is that the heavy weight up front pulls the arrow through the air as is flys toward the target, it also helps in penetration once it hits the target, an added benefit is it makes the bow quieter when it is shot.

Weasel shoots a long bow he made, I shoot a recurve bow. Neither of our bows have sights in which to aim the arrow, but we both have developed our way of getting the arrow to the desired target without much problem. We just have to be fairly close to the target to get it done. We practice at 20 yards. Do we always hit the target or where we desire to hit? Hardly. But we keep trying and that is what is most important.

The goal here is to be able to put the arrow where we want when we are hunting big game. A properly placed arrow will humanely kill a big game animal in less than 30 seconds. To some this doesn’t seem like a humane thing at all, but trust me, the animal does not know it’s dying until it’s dead.

Practice, practice and more practice, leads the shooter’s muscles to consistently follow a given pattern in the process of drawing, aiming (if you will), releasing and follow through. The more consistent the shooter is in this process, the more the arrows go where they are intended. Sometimes, a follow up arrow will hit exactly where the preceding arrow hit and will bury itself inside the preceding arrow, when this happens it’s called a “Robin Hood”. We both have a few of those behind us over the years. To avoid this from happening, I have converted to what is called “Pin nocks”, which tend to deflect the second arrow from punching into the preceding one.

Thousands of arrows have been shot by the two of us over the course of several years, maybe even approaching a million. An onlooker, would most likely expect us to hit what we intended every time, but they would be sadly mistaken. We do take our sport seriously, but we keep it fun at the same time, often betting beers on a shot’s outcome. Archery IS fun, unless you are a pro trying to eak out a living, then it’s a job.

When we are after a big game animal, like we are at this time of the year, we practice about an hour just before we head to our blinds on the Wasatch Extended Archery season boundary. The practice gives our muscles a bit of a warm up workout and tells our brains, “You’ve got this”. Last night was no different and we ended our last end with all 12 arrows in the “kill zone”.

Sitting in the blind just before dark, the sun just having gone out of sight behind the Promontory mountain to the West, I caught motion to my far left side. An antler tip! I raised slightly to verify what I saw and sure enough a two point buck was standing on the edge of the field. It stood there long enough for me to text Weasel, “deer”….My heart began to pound harder and harder in my chest as the buck began to walk in my direction. I had some decisions to make. I was sitting and would have to stand in order to shoot. My timing had to be perfect or the deer would see me and bolt. As the buck came on the other side of a cottonwood tree, I stood and turned slightly to give me a ninety degree shot toward the deer when the time came. My bow was raised slightly, but not in shooting position, that move would have to be one at the same time as I drew back the string.

Movement and smell will give a hunter away quicker than anything and this buck was on high alert as it walked slowly in my direction. The light breeze that was blowing was more from him toward me which gave me a lot of confidence, as long as I didn’t move he should continue his course and offer me a good broadside shot. My standing silhouette was up and down like the tree trunks that surrounded me and my leafy suit camouflage would keep me from being detected. The sun had gone down and I was not concerned with any glare that might otherwise occur off the limbs of my bow or the sharpened broadhead at the tip of the arrow. The stage was set perfectly for liver and onions at supper tomorrow night.

The buck continued to close the distance toward me and was nearly perfectly broadside at 10 yards when it turned it head and focus away from me and out into the field to its left. In one movement, I lifted the bow and drew the string back to “full draw”, the arrow tip settled on the shoulder of the buck and the string left the tab of my drawing fingers like always at practice.

Anytime I have shot an animal, target or whatever, when shooting a bow or a rifle, I always remember my sight picture. With a rifle or pistol, it’s rear sight, front sight, placement on the target, squeeze, boom, dead! With the bow, it’s full draw, draw hand against my lower jaw, string against the end of my nose, arrow tip placement, smooth release, boom, dead.

Last night, as the arrow left the bow, the nock was lighted a pretty green as it hurled its way toward the buck, and landed underneath its belly safely in the grass of the field. My mind raced as I watched the buck turn and run off away through the field and then stopped and started to come back toward the glowing green of the arrow nock laying there. It had a curious sense about it and for a moment I thought I might get a second chance at this buck. I pulled another arrow from my quiver and readied myself to round two. That didn’t happen however and the buck ran off never to be seen again.

Back to what I remembered of my shot, Yes I drew the string back, but I did not anchor with my drawing hand under my jaw, I did not bring the string to the tip of my nose. I accomplished what is commonly called, “a short draw”. And as the sunset was at its peak of beauty, I had tears in my eyes as I sat back down on my seat and recounted the beautiful buck and what had just transpired. The buck is the 4th I have seen since hunting this years extended archery season, he is a unique two point with a club like antler protruding from the base of his right side antler. Maybe I’ll get to show you a picture of him later in the season with me and my bow holding him up.

Until then, more practice is needed, including some mental practice. Trust me when I say, “The rush is real, and in the moment of truth, the shooter must have all his faculties together”.

October 15, 2020

Bears Butt

EDIT: Weasel has a trail camera set up right where the action took place the night of this event: He reviewed the video of the event and this is how things played out: Background: His video recorder takes a recording at 30 frames per second. In the video you see the buck come into view and look away from me. At that moment is when I drew my bow back, then the buck looks at me again, by this moment I have released the string. The lighted nock comes into the view heading for the buck. The buck drops nearly to the ground and spins to his left and runs off, my lighted nock is laying on the ground as it bounds away.

Now, slowing the video down and playing it one frame at a time. From the moment the buck turns to look back at me, he is on high alert. He begins to drop down, from frame one to frame 13 the buck turns 90 degrees and is about to take its first bound away. You see the lighted nock and arrow as it bounces off the right side shoulder of the buck and falls to the ground.

13 / 30’s of one second for the buck to turn 90 degrees to get out of Dodge! That’s less than 1/2 second. Amazing animals, but you see, my confidence level is much greater knowing that I did all I could do to tag him and because of his lightning fast reaction, he saved his own skin!

Bears Butt

Written on October 15th, 2020 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

In Utah there is what is called, “The Extended Wasatch Archery Hunt”, which in essence is a very large area encompassing mostly cities along the Wasatch Front, basically from the summit of the front, down to Interstate 15 and roughly from Springville on the South to Brigham City on the North. You can see the map by viewing the DWR site at: if you are interested.

Anyway, we have a small acreage of farm that is included in this area that we can hunt. It’s all private and like a private reserve just for us. There aren’t a lot of deer that inhabit or use the farm, but it only takes one, right?

Weasel has placed two trail cameras on the place and captured three buck deer using it. So, we have spent the last three nights haunting that area, hoping for a shot. The deer live in a wetland area that contains a very thick, dense stand of cattails, willows, wild plums and cottonwood trees.

He likes to set up his blind on one end of a grove of cottonwoods, while I chose the other end. His on the North, mine the South.

We each sit on three legged stools during our sits and we hunt toward the end of the day, expecting just a brief timeframe when the bucks (deer) might appear, and that is oftentimes just before the end of legal shooting light (1/2 hour after sunset).

Our first two nights sitting there were pretty much uneventful, hardly any bird sounds and with the sound of the traffic on the Interstate, it’s hard to hear much of anything else. With my hearing aids I get a mix of garblygoop and wind noises. So I’m pretty much useless in the sound business and am almost strictly stuck to visual or nothing. While Weasel can often hear subtle cracks, snorts and assorted other deer noises going on around us.

Last night the sun had dipped behind the Promontory mountains and the air was cooling down quickly.

I had not heard or seen anything when suddenly out of the corner of my left eye I spotted movement. I turned my head slowly in the direction and there stood a nice 3X3 buck, his head was down and he was feeding in my direction. There was a smaller 2 point buck standing a bit farther out into the meadow as well, I slowly reached with my left hand for my recurve bow, which was propped against a tree ahead and slightly to my left. Feeling the grip in the riser, I lightly took hold of it and then reached with my right hand and placed my tabbed fingers on the string, just under the nocked arrow. I pulled the whole bow toward me as I sat there watching the unbelievable happening before my eyes. The buck was feeding toward me at quite a quick rate. I first spotted him about 15 yards away, by the time I had the bow in my hand he was less than 10 yards away and closing fast. I had picked my position in the trees as I thought any deer coming out would go out into the meadow but not down the tree line toward me. I was helpless where I was to take any kind of a shot. He kept coming, feeding and walking, feeding and walking. With my head turned to my left as far as I could turn it and my eyes cranked as far left as possible, the deer stopped. He was directly behind me about 5 feet away.

He must not have caught my scent, as he bolted away and out into the meadow (where he should have been in the first place), but it wasn’t a bolt as if he was scared, more like “I don’t like being here and that bush wasn’t there yesterday, I best move out a bit”. He stopped briefly about 30 yards out and then began to follow the tree line in front of my position and heading towards where Weasel was hid up. He didn’t go to far before the wind, which was at my back, brought my scent to him and he stopped his forward progression and he turned and ran back to the south and out into the meadow.

The smaller buck followed him a short distance, not knowing what the bigger buck knew. Suddenly, I saw both of these bucks turn their full attention toward the main entry gate to the farm. I looked over to see what it might be that had their attention (last year it was two trespassers who were climbing over the gate). I saw a third buck standing in the road by the gates! WOW! 3 bucks! While they were watching buck number 3, I had time to range the distances to the two bucks standing in the meadow. The biggest I call “Basket head”, because the 3 points on each side come nearly together above his head forming almost a complete circle of antlers, the smaller one is little guy and the third is a nice sized 2 point. So Basket head is ranged at 40 yards, twice the distance I’ve been practicing at all year while Little guy is 26 yards….just 6 yards outside my practice distance. Believe me those 6 yards don’t look that much farther than the 20 yards I had been practicing at and it was a struggle to keep myself under control and not to take the shot.

I wish now, I had tried it. Tonight at practice I will try a 26 yard shot just to see whether I can hit the target or not. During my dreams last night I killed that buck 50 or more times.

Well, the story doesn’t end there. It didn’t take long before the two bucks in the meadow decided they had had enough and took off on a dead run for the neighbors fence and down toward the railroad tracks.

My focus turned to the one by the main gate. He moved over to next to the tree line and began coming toward me, following the trees. My mind raced again….will I get a chance at him before it’s past shooting hours? Time was running out. I could still see very well, and I didn’t have time to look at my watch to see what time it was. I just knew I had to get into a position for a shot, should he suddenly appear where I first saw Basket head. I moved out away from the trees that hid my position, and standing in my usual fashion and at the ready to draw, aim and fire. I waited and waited. It was beginning to get dark quickly and still no sign of the buck. Maybe he ducked into the swamp, maybe he is still coming but is slow about it. I looked West and out in the meadow stood Weasel, waiting for me to leave my blind and walk with him to the truck. Again, I struggled with leaving where I was, knowing that the buck could show up at any second and Weasel didn’t have a clue as to what had been going on the last half hour. Reluctantly, I gave into the fact that even if the buck came around the corner it would see Weasel standing there and would bolt out into the meadow and I’d not get a shot anyway. So I picked up my stuff and walked out to join him. Weasel pointed at the buck as I walked up to him, it had seen him and ran out into the meadow. We watched as it ran here and there not knowing where it should go and then it ran in the same direction as the other two bucks.

That’s hunting! And that’s why we do it. It’s not necessarily the kill, it’s all the events leading up to the “chance for a shot”. All the practice, all the planning, all the trials and errors along the way. The comradery, preparation, stories etc. etc. etc. I love it!

Bears Butt

Sept. 17, 2020

Written on September 17th, 2020 , Hunting Stories, Uncategorized
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 | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | 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.