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.