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Critter's picture
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This is Why they call it HUNTING

I have to humble myself again and put the Utah deer tag that I have into the crock pot and let it cook for a while.  I spent 9 days chasing a 200+ point 5x5 around the hills only to not even fire a shot this year.  We first found this buck during the archery hunt in September and then again a couple of weeks later.  I saw him again the day before the hunt started on the 22nd and figured that he was already hanging on the wall.  Opening morning found me on the hill above his hang out waiting for him to show himself but he never did.  Sunday I was back into the same spot and saw a few nicer 4x4's and one 5x4 but not THE buck that I wanted.  Monday while I was glassing the hillside wondering what to do I heard some rocks rolling.  I looked down the hill and spotted a young hunter and his dad making their way up to the area that I was sitting in.  A couple of minutes later I heard some more rocks and didn't pay it any attention to them (stupid me), I then heard a shot and then another.  That 12 year old kid was throwing lead as fast as he could work the bolt action on his rifle.  I then saw what he was shooting at.  MY BUCK.  The buck was on a dead run over the next saddle and was soon out of sight.  I made my way down to where the boy and his dad was at and asked them if they thought if they hit him.  The dad had no idea but the boy said that he thought that he had a good first shot but didn't know about the rest.  I volunteered to go over to the spot where the buck was standing (just under where I was sitting) and check out the area for any sign of a hit.  When the boy and I got there we looked around for about 30 minutes and didn't find a thing.  I headed over on the trail that the buck had taken out of there and followed his tracks until I hit the thick cedars but didn't find a thing.  Boy was that kid disappointed, but not as much as I was since I didn't pay any attention to the rocks rolling the second time.

Over the next few days I found the buck again and again but he was leery now of any change of the area that he was living.  He was staying in the thickest stuff that he could find.  Cedars and pinion pines were his preferred areas and it was flat to just rolling hills.  The one chance that I had at him was at about 50 yard and I wished that I had one of my pistols instead of the rifle that I was packing.  But then I guess that is why the call it hunting. 

So far this year I have made soup out of my Colorado deer and elk archery tags, Colorado antelope, Utah spike bull, and my Utah deer tags.  However we did go 2 for 3 tags on the spike elk and I have found a great area that elk hang out in for next year.  So now I get to concentrate on my Colorado cow elk tag, which I am not going to take for granted this year.  But then there is always fishing.

A few of the pluses that I found this year are a great elk area if I can draw a any bull tag but it looks great for spikes.  My buck looks like he made it through this year so I'll be back next year.  I also made a friend of a new hunter and showed him a lot about tracking and trailing a buck deer.  I think that he will do OK in the future.  He was disappointed but understood that buck fever can hit any of us and he can't wait until next year since I invited him over to my house if he doesn't draw a tag in Utah.  There is always room for a kid like him.      

 

elkkill06's picture
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Well done !!

Critter,

Sounds like you are having quite the year ! Way to go on helping the young man out even though they ran off that great buck.

You are correct on why it is called hunting especially when it comes to a cagey old muley. Huh?

Good luck on your next hunt !

Quinton

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Man oh man. Thats a bummer

Man oh man. Thats a bummer about your buck. I think you did the right by helping that young man out. It's funny how those old time bucks will tease you over and over almost like they know whats going on. Sounds like you had a good time and you've had a decent year so far. Do you have anymore hunts going on this year?

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Good story, Critter. Too bad

Good story, Critter. Too bad you didn't get him - - but just think how big he's gonna be next year!

 On the "one chance at 50 yards", I was curious - did he have you spotted so you couldn't raise your rifle, or what?

 Most of the guys I hunted with this year carried pistols in addition to their rifles just in case they got a close shot, but all animals were killed with the rifles.

Thanks for the report - -better luck next year. Thumbs up

 

Critter's picture
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jaybe:The area that I found

jaybe:

The area that I found him in and had a chance at him at 50 yards was the thickest piece of cedar trees that I have ever found.  If you have ever hunted out west and got into the thick cedars you would know what I mean.  They grow so thick that there is no ground cover except for their shed needles.  When I did finaly find him he was in a small clearing and was feeding but I had no shot since it was so thick.  But as soon as he sensed that I was there he was off like a shot and gave me one chance but a rifle is too slow.  I could of got a pistol into action a lot quicker.  I should of know better than to take a rifle into them but as they say hindsight is 20/20. 

As for packing a pistol full time, I really don't see a need to do it where I hunt along with it usually being a problem if it is hanging on your hip.  When I decide to take a animal with a pistol I will leave the rifle at home and put the pistol into a shoulder holster. 

As for a future hunt, I have a cow elk hunt coming up that should be a nice easy one. Whistling   Well, at least the last two years it was easy and this year it might make me pay for it. 

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  Great hunt adventure

 

Great hunt adventure Critter... even without the harvest of your focus.  Also great that you helped that kid on some tracking of his shot.  And also for your peace of mind so you knew that that great buck was still yours for the taking next year.

I wish you success on your for sure cow hunt... as I expect mine to be as well here in the next three weeks.

SGM
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Even thou you did not get

Even thou you did not get that buck you still had a great hunt and there is always next year. Helping that young hunter out will go a long ways and I am sure will not be forgoten. Good luck on your cow hunt and hope you can make some elk steak and not more tag soup. As you said that is why it is called hunting. Just like fishing, not catching.

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Well, even though you didn't

Well, even though you didn't get your buck, it still made for an interesting story. Plus, it wouldn't have been all that bad seeing a 12 year old kid get a deer like that. and, it sounds like you got to do some teaching, and hopefully that will lead to him having a long and successful hunting career.

I guess the big buck is that old for a reason, none of you were able to get him.

By the way, I have been eating tag soup for many years, so if you need some recipes just let me know.... lol   But, at least you have some elk.  I will be headed out tomorrow and see if I can fill my doe tag. Probably going to need a recipe for that one too though.

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Great story Critter.  Hope

Great story Critter.  Hope that 200 inch buck is 215 next year.  One thing about hunting public land you never know when you will have company or even make a new buddy.  Let me know when you get that crock pot ate down some.  I have a couple elk tags and a bear tag I can add too it.  Good luck with the fishing and the cow hunt. 

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Thanks for posting a great

Thanks for posting a great story Critter.  I have to admire your ability to make friends, especially with the younger hunters.  Your example for them is fantastic.  We all want to make our shot and harvest an animal.  But that isn't always the most important aspect of the hunt.  

Have a great hunt for your cow elk and put some meat in the freezer.

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