May 17, 2016:
Currently, I am living in eastern Wyoming and I absolutely love my new job that I started in early March. The park where I work is beautiful, the people I work with are motivated and fun to be around, and I get to live in a house overlooking a lake where the deer frequent my yard on nearly a daily basis. We even put up a trail camera in our backyard.
I am in a predicament. I am not a resident for hunting in Nevada, Utah, or Wyoming although I have managed to live in all three in the past year. So, I applied for bonus points in Utah for mountain goats and elk. I now have 13 points for mountain goats and 15 for elk.
Although I am not going to be hunting with my own tags this year I have been having a lot of fun with my wife and three children. We bought a Honda Pilot at the beginning of the year that is much better for four-wheeling than our Toyota Camry and it is able to haul our new canoe. Funny story, we ordered one canoe from Home Depot and they lost it. So, we ordered a second canoe. Both canoes were delivered to our house in Wyoming. We contacted Home Depot and they donated the second canoe to the park where I work. I will get a trolling motor for my canoe next year (that is why I got a canoe with a square stern). The lake where I work supposedly has excellent walleye fishing from late May through July.
The park where I work has 45 miles of mountain bike trails. So, I bought a cheap mountain bike. Okay, that is not true. There is no such thing as a cheap mountain bike. I have only been out a few times because it keeps raining. These trails are new, but they are quickly becoming very popular.
I won a pair of Vortex Vulture 15×56 binoculars in the Monster Muleys photo contest with my Nevada antelope that I harvested with my daughter last fall. That was a great way to start off the new year.
I have been doing a little more wildlife photography and I hope to do a lot more. These are some of my recent takes. The park where we live has a lot of wildlife.
Overall, 2016 is going to be a good year for me to explore Wyoming, spend time with family, and get my ducks in a row so I can hunt in Utah, Wyoming, and possibly Colorado if my wife is willing to let me spend that much money in 2017. I’m glad she is around to keep me honest when I start to over dream. I love that next year I can at least get general deer, elk, and turkey tags in Wyoming and possibly antelope if I get lucky and draw a tag. Wyoming is definitely a great state to live in if you like to hunt and/or just enjoy the great outdoors.
Best of luck on your own outdoor adventures.
June 6, 2016:
We have been rather adventurous this summer. We have been canoeing several times and we went fishing as a family once on free fishing day here in Wyoming. Work has been really busy, but I have been making an effort to play with my kids more outdoors when I have time away from work.
Now that most of the draw results are posted it looks like the best hunt I may be going on this fall is going to be a cow bison hunt on the Henry Mountains with my sister-in-law. My brother-in-law from Wyoming might get something good in the Wyoming draw if he gets lucky.
I have been spending a little time researching hunts in Wyoming and as I have been traveling around the state I have been keeping notes on what I see and/or don’t see on each unit. Assuming I don’t move in the next year I know what hunts I will be putting in for in Wyoming next year in addition to my Utah tags.
June 26, 2016:
Wyoming draw results came out this past week and my brother-in-law from Rock Springs drew a Unit 58 antelope tag. Basically, he drew the hardest tag to draw in the Wyoming for antelope.
The top half of the unit is not very accessible because it is checkerboarded with lands owned by the railroads. There is a grazing association that leases land from the railroad and the public can hunt there with permission.
This will only be my brother-in-laws second hunt, he has a phenomenal tag, and he is going to have the hunt of a lifetime this fall. Hopefully, I can help him make the most of this hunt. We were on this unit last fall together and we saw two bucks that would have made the record books. Like most of Wyoming, there are thousands of antelope to look over.
(Maps and draw odds were obtained from toprut.com)
July 29, 2016:
These are a few of the bucks I have taken pictures of lately.
August 2, 2016:
This doe and her three fawns have been hanging out around our house and the shop at work (yes I live where I work). They are so cute!
August 16, 2016:
We took our family up to Friend’s Park Campground on the west side of Laramie Peak and hiked 1.75 miles up the 5-mile trail before we turned around because our little ones started to get tired. It was beautiful up there. I don’t know if I want to own a cabin as Esterbrook, but I would like to have a friend who owns one up there. I would love to hunt elk on Unit 7 with my bow.
August 21, 2016:
These are a few bucks I have seen on my “nature rides.”
September 7, 2016:
My wife and I went on a date about 10 days ago to set up a trail camera and she got to take pictures of flowers (also known as weeds). Today, we went to check the camera with our boys and we had a lot of pictures on it. Mostly, they were pictures of does and fawns. We had a few small muley bucks show up on the camera and one nice whitetail buck. We will have to wait and see if the whitetail buck comes back so we can get a better picture.
We saw a few antelope, deer, turkeys, and turkey vultures while we were out and about.
I think the boys had a good time hiking in the woods. BB was afraid that the alligators and crocodiles were going to get him in the woods. I don’t think we have any of those in Wyoming. Kids are the best.
It was a great morning.
September 17, 2016:
I decided to journey into some new territory this morning with my two oldest kids. We saw a lot of deer and antelope, two bull elk, and a bison.
I need to get a better lens for my camera.
October 8, 2016:
I took a day off work and went hunting with my brother-in-law Matt in Wyoming. Matt was able to harvest a nice two point. He only had one day to hunt so we were not very picky. Total we saw about 200 does and 6 or 7 small bucks. Most of all, there is meat in the freezer and we had fun.
On my way to meet up with my brother-in-law I came across these bucks about two hours into my four-hour drive.
I also found a few antelope that were photogenic.
I am not really into taking landscape pictures, but here are a few I did take along the way.
This was the coolest spring I have ever stumbled across.
October 29, 2016:
My brother’s family did really well hunting deer this fall. My sister-in-law, nephew, and niece all got nice bucks during the general season hunts in Utah (shown in order). My brother is still out trying to fill his own tag in the final minutes of his season.
November 5, 2016:
These are the bucks I was able to get close enough to with my camera on November 5th. The bucks are definitely starting to chase does, but the rut in not in full swing yet where we live in eastern Wyoming. The first buck was really interested in the does, but the does were not interested in him. This biggest buck I saw was right by my house, but he is was not photogenic.
I have been gone to a training meeting all week, but I was finally able to get out and take some pictures this morning. I am posting about 50 photographs in this post in the same order they were shot in this morning.
November 18, 2016:
The bucks and does are still at it, but I am not seeing the bigger and older bucks that I saw earlier in the month.
November 19, 2016:
I helped a co-worker with a last-minute “any elk” hunt. He had never been hunting for elk before so we felt very fortunate when we hiked into a canyon and found a herd of smaller bulls bedded on a ridge across the canyon from us by around 9am. We were able to close the distance to 260 yards by 10:15am and he took a single shot at a bedded down 5×6 bull, but he missed; then, he took a second shot before the herd could get over the ridge and harvested a cow elk. We were 3.5 miles back into the canyon so it took all three of us several hours to get the elk to the truck. It was great that my co-worker got his first elk, but it was a lot harder to get the meat back to the truck than we anticipated. I wish we could have connected on a bull, but since they weigh more than cows I am kind of glad we ended up with a cow instead.
November 21, 2016:
The rut is coming to an end here in eastern Wyoming. The bigger bucks are not coming out to play as much. I’m sure I will get a few more pictures in the future, but probably not as many.
November 24, 2016:
When I started this series of “Mule Deer Rut” post I didn’t expect to get to #5. This morning, Thanksgiving morning, my wife kicked the boys and I loose to go look for bucks. It was just starting to snow when we left, and it was almost a whiteout when we got home an hour later. I had a hard time getting enough light to take great pictures early on in the morning, but I still got some great pictures in the end.
These are the pictures from my last few nature rides and from my trail camera from the later half of November. I didn’t get any pictures on my trail camera during the first two weeks of November due to an operator error on my part. I have been trying to get a trail camera pic of this big whitetail buck all fall. Enjoy!