2010 Season

June 9, 2010:

My name is Dillon Hoyt and I am a 23 year old studying Wildlife Science at Utah State University. I hope to someday be a wildlife biologist for the Utah DWR.

My season started last year when I took the statistics off of the UDWR web page to help me decide which hunts I wanted to apply for in 2010. I created separated spreadsheets for Limited Entry Elk and Once in a Lifetime Mountain Goats. I was sitting on 8 elk bonus points, 6 mountain goat bonus points and a general deer preference point. I compared my current bonus point status to the number of successful applicants the year before with the same bonus point standing. In conclusion I decided to apply for the following hunt:

Fillmore Pahvant Early Rifle Elk: My odds were < 1%
Willard Peak Mountain Goats: My odds were < 3%
Statewide Archery Deer: A preference point sealed the deal

Going to school really puts a damper on hunting so I applied for awesome, nearly impossible to get tags this year.

I only drew my statewide archery deer tag!

My adventure is going to take me to several different parts of Utah in search of Sharpie this season. I hope to scout the Cache area especially the Wellsville range. Living in Logan they are to close to avoid scouting.

I am not at all against holding out until it snows a little on the Wasatch front to go chase a big buck during the extended archery hunt.

Generally I end up in southern Utah hunting the Zion and Panguitch lake areas. Last year I was able to get a 20″ 4×4 my first morning out after passing up several other bucks that same morning.

small6

Lucky for me my dad was able to be with me on the hunt. He has a hard time breathing up that high on the mountain so he had to bring along the oxygen, but at least he was there. He has been my hunting partner since I started at age 14.

Thanks Dad your the best!

2

This is my AM 32 that I will be sporting this fall… and I love everything about this bow!

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I hope that you all enjoy following me as I spend the next several months looking for my next Utah archery buck.

Best of luck!

June 10, 2010:

Growing up on the Paunsaugunt was a blessing in my life and allowed me the opportunity to see quality bucks on a regular basis. However, I would say that there are still monster bucks on the general units in southern Utah and with hard work you can luck into a few of them about every season.

I started hunting when I was 14 and I was fortunate enough to take two doe on the Alton CWMU. That same year I hunted the southern region with a bow and the northern region with a rifle. In northern Utah I was hunting what is now the Mountain Meadow CWMU.

My first buck was taken with a bow the next year. He was small but a true trophy in my eyes. I mowed lawns to pay for my Hoyt Magnatec, and it was worth it.

First buck 2003: Panguitch Lake

After my first buck with a bow I was able to get my drivers license and through valiant preparation I was able to save enough money to hunt all I wanted whenever I wanted the coming fall. Being a dedicated hunter I decided not to take a buck at age 16. At age 17 I took a 2×3 with a 17″ spread with a rifle.

Rifle 2004, Zion Hunting Unit, Utah
Rifle 2004, Zion Hunting Unit, Utah

My luck swiftly changed in 2005. I had been scouting all year long and finally lucked into a herd of bachelor bucks. The largest of the group was well over 30 inches wide. The next biggest was a 25″ 5×6. I was never able to close the distance with a bow on the biggest buck and but on opening day of the muzzleloader hunt I was able to connect on the 5×6.

Taxidermy by Roundy Taxidermy, Glendale Utah

I had him mounted by Travis Roundy owner of Roundy Taxidermy.

2005 - Panguitch Lake Unit - Utah - Muzzleloader
2005 – Panguitch Lake Unit – Utah – Muzzleloader
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake Hunting Unit, Utah
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake Hunting Unit, Utah
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake Hunting Unit, Utah
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake Hunting Unit, Utah
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake Hunting Unit, Utah
Muzzleloader 2005, Panguitch Lake, Utah

In 2006 I drew a muzzleloader tag but later traded it in for a statewide archery tag because I was called to serve a mission in Peru. I was working, playing and getting ready to go to Peru more than I was hunting. One evening, I stalked a good 4×4 and when I drew back to take the shot all my pins were broken in my sight. I spent the night in our trailer on the mountain and the next morning headed home to see what I could dig up for sights. I was driving my Honda accord down a dirt road when I saw a buck about 5 feet away. I stopped got out drew back and without sights took the shot at about 10-15 feet. It was so odd shooting without sights but the arrow found the mark easy enough.

Zion unit, 2006, 3x4

Two years later I returned from Peru exactly one week before the general muzzleloader hunt started. I had hardly any time to scout, but I was unemployed and had a little extra cash. So I hunted three days from sun-up to sun-down. One morning I decided to go to a favorite little stop of mine and I get there and as the sun came up I saw thousands of sheep where the deer usually are. And in the middle of the sheep there was my buck. I had to wait until he left the field to take him for fear of killing a meadow maggot but it was worth the wait. I am sorry that this picture is a little bit bloody, but the Omega turned him inside out from 50 yards away.

2008 - Panguitch Lake Unit - Utah - Muzzleloader
2008 – Panguitch Lake Unit – Utah – Muzzleloader

I hope you enjoyed my photographs from my past hunts and I hope to be able to add a buck bigger than my 5×6 to the “wall of shame” this coming fall.

June 14, 2010:

Do you ever get frustrated when it rains for three weeks straight? I do! I was only able to shoot my bow about once a week for the past month…which is depressing!

Today the weather was awesome and my wife and I went up Logan Canyon to shoot our bows together. On the way we saw this moose on the side of the highway. I had never seen a moose before, but this one was tiny.

Logan Canyon, Bull Moose, Tiny Tim
Logan Canyon, Bull Moose, Tiny Tim

This is my beautiful wife shooting her Bear Lights Out bow. It is left handed with a 28″ draw and set at about 42 lbs. She took up archery right after we got married and she is improving each and every time we go out to shoot together.

Heather shooting her bowAnd this is me with my Hoyt Alphamax 32.

Dillon shooting AM32

This was a typical grouping for me today.

Grouping arrows

Earlier this week I found this mangy critter while working on my undergraduate research project on wood ducks here in Cache Valley.

Red Fox

June 17, 2010:

I generally do not start scouting for archery deer until at least the first week of July. However, today I made an exception. Last night I got all my stuff together and this morning I was up at 5. I went to an area I have never been within 10 miles of in my life, and I set out walking. I walked about 5 miles altogether according to my gps.

The first thing I found scared me to death. It was a pine hen with about six little chicks. The hen went crazy and the chicks ran circles around me. I had to fight her off with a stick so the pictures I did take were not focused very well.

Then I finally go into some deer. Today I saw 3 bucks and 5 doe.

I only got pictures of two of the bucks but the one that got away was the smallest of the group.

Wellsville Mule Deer Buck

Wellsville Mountains near Logan Utah
Wellsville Mountains near Logan Utah
Wellsville Mountains near Logan Utah
Wellsville Mountains near Logan Utah

Wellsville Mule Deer Buck

Wellsville Mule Deer BuckI hope you enjoy them. I am going backpacking Friday night through Saturday morning and I hope to have some more picture to share when I get back.

June 23, 2010:

Some of you may be wondering why the post is titled Hoyt vs. Sharpie if so let me help you understand. First off my last name is Hoyt. With just under two months until Utah’s statewide archery deer hunt I have been marking off the days with a Sharpie on my calendar. I am always looking for the buck that will make me put a smiley face on my calendar instead of just a normal X.

So far I have not found a buck I want to take this season, so my calendar is covered up in x’s.

I have been out scouting three times. I have already posted pictures from my first scouting trip where I saw a few small bucks.

The second trip was with my wife. We went on a short backpacking trip for our first anniversary. When we go backpacking we take hammocks that weight (1 pound each) and very small sleeping bags (3 lbs each). It was a little colder than I normally like but it was fun. We saw two small bucks, but we were unable to get pictures of either of them.

Then my third trip took place today. I went 12.5 km according my GPS which I believe is around 7.5 miles. I only saw three doe and three moose. The moose also saw me from a mile away and came over to run me off. I was looking for a calf around one cow moose when I saw another moose out of the corner of my eye running straight to where I was sitting. I had a feeling that getting up in a tree might be a good idea. So I climbed the only tree on the ridge which happened to be only 50 yards from where I was glassing. About 30 seconds after I got into the tree the moose came out of the draw and ran straight to where I had been sitting. Then it started to search me out. I tried to get some pictures but everything happened so fast that I did not get the pictures I wish I could have. I waited in the tree for about 20 minutes and then used cover to get off hill mountain without being spotted my the moose again. The third moose was a small bull. It was a long hike but I had a great time.

I only got these two picture that turned out but the moose was only about 30 yards from me when I took them. I am just happy that I only had to stay in the tree for 30 minutes.

Wellsville Moose

Wellsville Moose

June 26, 2010:

I am still searching for a great buck and shooting my bow whenever I can. This morning my wife and I did a 5K and then we went up Logan Canyon to shoot our bows. She has been shooting a bow since August of last year and she really enjoys each time we go shooting together. I have been shooting a bow on a regular basis since I was 14.

These are some picture for our target practice today.

This is my wife with her Bear Lights-out.

Heather by target

And this is me with my bow. I am almost zeroed in at 30 and 40
yards.

Dillon by target

This is an old recurve my dad had stashed away in the attic. It is really fun to shoot. How did the old timers and Indians ever kill anything with a bow?

Dillon with recurve

June 28, 2010:

I am currently doing an undergraduate research project on wood ducks in Cache Valley. We have over 130 nest boxes located on private property throughout the valley. It is a fun project that has allowed me to be outdoors a lot this summer monitoring nest. I have some pretty cool pictures from it that I want to include in this thread because it is where I spend a large amount of my time each week. They should stop laying new eggs really soon so I can spend more time scouting for deer. I hope you enjoy these pictures. Also I have seen almost 30 deer while monitoring boxes along the Bear River but not one of them has been a buck.

Wood Duck, Wild Over Wood Ducks, Logan UT

Wood Duck, Wild Over Wood Ducks, Logan UT

Wood Duck, Wild Over Wood Ducks, Logan UT

June 29, 2010:

In my original post I said that my season started when I took the statistics off of the UDWR web site to help me decide what hunts I wanted to apply for in 2010. I need to thank the state of Utah for putting these numbers on there web site for the public to use. These where based off of the 2009 draw odd statistics.

I went into the 2010 application with 6 bonus points. I realize that at the time these numbers were correct in 2009 I only had 5 points for Mt. Goat not 6 so my odds were less than shown in these spreadsheets. Also I had 7 bonus points for elk in the 2009 draw and going into 2010 I had 8. However, these spreadsheets give me a realistic idea of how many people and with how many points drew tags in the state. They are not perfect but I sure enjoyed putting them together.

This one is for Mountain Goats. Like I said I had 6 points, so I was almost certain that I would not draw a tag this season.

This one is for archery elk. I do look into archery elk more than any other weapon because I love archery. However, with school I needed a tag that I could get a big bull quick if I was super lucky and happened to draw a tag in 2010. As you can see with 8 points I would be able to secure a permit on most units in the state for archery.

Utah Stats Utah Stats Utah Stats Utah Stats

You may have noticed that the Premium tags are not listed. That is because my wife would kill me if I drew one of those tags because I would be hunting for over 40 days possibly. Plus they are much more expensive. I salute anyone who gets a premium tag but they are not going to fit into my agenda for the next several years.

This year I did not draw my Elk tag or Mt. Goat which is honestly a good thing for me with my very difficult fall semester of classes.

I hope you enjoy these spread sheets!

July 1, 2010:

Let me explain my system of how I mark my calendar. I only put smiley faces on days that I see a buck I would be tempted to shoot during the hunt. For example on the 29th I saw one buck that looked good but I was not able to see exactly how big he was, that is why there is a line and a smiley face. The 30th I saw two bucks I would shoot during season so there is a big smiley face. Dots just mean bucks. I count how many bucks I have seen in a day. I do not care if it is a buck I have seen before. So some dots may be the same buck but on different days. With only a few weeks left to scout I have to say that I am very impressed with the deer I am seeing in northern Utah. Last year I saw one buck up here and this year I have seen…about 14 or so of them in the past two weeks and three of those are over 20 inches wide already. I hope to get some pictures of some of the bucks I am watching really soon, but sometimes they just don’t cooperate.

Archery practice is coming along and I should be ready to go full throttle during the hunt come August. My dad is going to start scouting for me in southern Utah so it isn’t like I am putting all my eggs in one basket. Plus, there is always the extended hunt which I have always wanted to try.

July 5, 2010: 

Sorry I disappeared for several days. I have seen probably 30 or so deer in the last few days but only one was a buck. He was a 2×2 about 14 inches wide maybe. I had a family reunion up at Heber Valley Camp and it was really fun. I saw a lot of deer up there but obviously they are all on private property. Also I work for the state parks here in Utah and on holiday weekends we have no life of our own. I have worked nearly everyday for the past 10 weeks and on my days off I had the family reunion and worked my wood ducks.

On other news my brother found two bucks in southern Utah that are about 4″ past their ears. They are on private property but it is possible to get permission to hunt because I grew up with the owners as family friends. The bucks that stay as low as these are move around a lot so they may never show up again.

I have Wednesday and Thursday off so I will be out scouting around and hopefully be able to turn up a great buck or two. I have some doe pictures I can upload later.

For now I want to thank all the folk who came into the park this weekend for being so nice and making my weekend just a little easier. It was a great 4th of July weekend and I am so looking forward to the fire works, which my niece calls boom-booms.

July 7, 2010:

It is always amazing how you can locate a dozen bucks one week and then the next week all you find are doe. I went out on the Wellsville Range today and I saw about 20 doe and two bucks. The first buck was a very small 2×2. I found him in my spotting scope but he was in a hurry to go somewhere else even though he had no clue I was watching. In fact all the deer I saw today were high strung and never held still, even the ones 1/2 mile away on the peaks. The other buck is mentioned below.

I have seen tons of these…

Bear River Bottoms Mule Deer

And this is a cool buck I saw right in the middle of Mendon.

Wellsville Utah, Notice the odd antlers
Wellsville Utah, Notice the odd antlers
Wellsville Utah, Notice the odd antlers
Wellsville Utah, Notice the odd antlers

I wonder if he got hit by a car or something like that?

July 11, 2010:

Sorry I have not been adding new post. Our old computer died on us. So we had to buy a new one. We knew this was coming but we were hoping to get a little more usage out of the old laptop with a dead screen that we had hooked up to a monitor like it was a desktop PC. I got a Gateway. It has 1TB of hard disk space and 6GB of memory for faster processing. I have some pretty cool pictures to add tomorrow.

I took of August 23-26 to go to southern Utah to bowhunt in my old stomping grounds. I am just not finding the big guys up here in the north.

July 12, 2010:

I have not seen very many bucks lately. I think that they are staying in the trees longer because of the heat. However, I have taken some really cool other pictures while trying to find a big buck.

I saw this today on my way to work. The birds were trying to get whatever he was eating.

Coyote, Sherwood Hills, Logan UT

Also the other day this bird tried to run me off. Little did I know I was standing under its nest. I got hundreds of great pictures but these are just a few of my favorites.

Raptor

Raptor

Raptor

And I hate snakes!

Rattlesnake, Logan UT Snake

July 15, 2010:

I can hardly believe how fast this summer is passing. I have been able to scout for deer at least once a week and generally shoot my bow 2-3 times a week as well. My wife and I went to a new area to take a look around the other day and we only saw one doe. Honestly it is hard to stay motivated in the northern region for deer after having grown up on the best general region in the state. However, I still manage to get out about once a week in hope that I might find a monster buck closer to where I am living.

This is a picture of me with my Barska spotting scope that I picked up for around $25 when I worked at Cabela’s a few years ago. It is a 20×60 but I rarely go past 20×45 with it because everything gets blurry at 50. But for $25 it was a steal. Notice the small tripod. It is very compact and light weight.

Dillon with spotting scope

Wild Sunflowers, Cache UT

July 19, 2010 (part 1):

I am still trying to zero in my sight on my bow. It is odd that I shoot better at 50 yards than 30. I am hoping to get out to 70 yards today. Then I will start shooting broadheads so I can fine tune my sights. I think that is the biggest error made by archers. We expect our broadheads to fly the same as our field points, but for the most part they are never going to fly exactly the same. Then the night before the hunt we screw on the blades and go off to slay a monster.

I have elected to shoot Muzzy 100 grain 3 blades again this year. Last year my arrow when through both front shoulders and out the other side of my buck. One blade got a little bent. I have replacement blades so I didn’t mind.

I have been watching some bucks around Cache Valley but they are coming out late because of the high temperatures and I have been unable to get any pictures. I thought that they would put on some more growth by now. However, they have not changed very much at all over the past 3 weeks since I last saw this group of bucks.

Best of luck scouting!

July 19, 2010 (part 2):

I went out shooting today and got my 60 and 70 yard pins fairly close to where I want them to be. However, at 70 I somehow broke this arrow all the way back by the fletchings. The arrow flew weird when I shot it so I wonder if it was broken before the shot and I simply did not notice. I never found the fletchings part of the broken arrow.

Broken arrow

This is my Hoyt Alphamax 32. I love it! I have a Spot-Hogg 5 pin sight with a wrap for extra lighting. I have a two piece duralite quiver by Hoyt, and a SIMS stabilizer. I have tried a lot of arrow rest and I still like the whisker biscuit the most. I love the kisser button and would recommend that everyone get one to help them be more accurate. I used to anchor different all the time and I had a hard time being accurate, but the kisser button fixed that. I am very happy with the bow I have. Lately I have been able to hit the range about 3 times a week. I am almost ready to shoot broadheads only until season.

Hoyt Alphamax 32

Hoyt Alphamax 32

Hoyt Alphamax 32

July 23, 2010:

My wife and I decided to go fishing, camping, hiking, and scouting for deer last night and into this morning. We only saw 3 deer. This one is the only buck we saw. He is on private but at least we saw him for a few seconds. The fish were jumping all over the place all night on the lake 20 yards from where we were sleeping in our hammocks. No matter what I tried to feed them they would not bite. I had fish literally jumping 3 feet away from my bait. I accept that I am not a great fisherman, but I never realized that I was that bad. This morning we did about a 3 mile hike. We saw one doe and about 7 people on horses. All in all I am super excited to go bowhunting this fall. Here is a picture of the one buck we saw.

Mule deer buck, Paradise UT

And this is the kind of stuff my wife loves to do…

Flower

We tend to see deer when she has her small lens on the camera instead of the 300mm. Thus is life!

July 28, 2010:

I just saw my August schedule. I have to work opening day of the bow hunt, which is fine by me. Then I get off at 4 on Sunday the 22. I will drive to my parents house in Kane County. I have four solid days to hunt the Zion and Panguitch Lake units with my bow. I have to be back at work Friday at 2. I have not been able to hunt this much in a season since 2006. I am super excited. My dad saw an awesome buck not 20 yards from where I arrowed my buck last hunt. The plan it for my dad to pull the trailer up on Cedar Mountain and from there I will be able to branch out to all the honey holes I have discovered over the years.

Season Goal= 24 inch 4×4

But if a decent buck over 20 inches wide is in my sight I may take the shot on the last two days down south.

I am super excited for the hunt.

It was tough to find my broadheads. Now I realize that I am not the only guy who shoot the 3 blade 100 grain Muzzy. There were dozens of packages of the 4 blade 100 grain Muzzy at the stores, but I had to search hard to find some 3 blades.

July 31, 2010:

I just got news that my brother has found me some great bucks. However, they are on private property so I asked him to see if he could get me permission to bow hunt there. He called me up and said that they gave me the Thumbs-up to hunt the place and want to help me find the deer. I know of 5 bucks on the place, and 3 are thought to be pushing or over 30 inches wide. One is a spike and the other is still young. It is a tough place to bow hunt, but it should be awesome. If it will stop raining then they will have to come into the ponds to water, and that is in all honestly my highest hope. Also my dad has seen a big buck (not a 30 incher) not 20 yards from where I killed my deer last fall with a bow. The deer are in weird places this summer. It is similar to the hunt of 2002-2003, the deer are in the same places they were then.

I am now just shooting my broadheads. I have Muzzy practice blades and they are flying great. Best of luck to everyone.

August 4, 2010:

I was a little worried about finding a big buck this fall. However, my three brothers and my father are all scouting deer for me. I love my little brother to death but I wish he would not call me after I go to bed to report that days findings. They have a few great prospects found which is really good because I only have four days to hunt down there. And this summer has been less than exciting around Logan. The biggest buck up here lives in the city. On a better note my bow is preforming top notch. I am shooting awesome at 30, 40 and 50 yards. My 60 yard pin is a little ugly and my 70 needs some serious attention before too long. I have shot my target to the point that I need to get a new one. No matter the distance (30-70 yards) my arrows go through it about half the time with the practice blades.

Also I have invited a friend to go hunting with me. He is still trying to get the days off that I am going to southern Utah. He has an archery elk tag this year. I don’t believe he has every hunted so it would be great to introduce a new hunter to the sport.

I seem to have lost two bachelor groups of bucks and none of them grew up to be big enough to locate again. The one I thought was going to be a 4×4 never forked on his backs before they disappeared.

August 11, 2010:

It is time to invest in a new target. I have been shooting broadheads for a while now and the target that I keep in my car is now on the verge of falling apart. I am locked on solid at 50 yards and getting better at 60 each time I shoot. As for the scouting report. My father and brothers have been seeing a few deer in the southern region but not like normal years. My dad said on the phone that the number of little bucks is definitely down from past years as is the overall herd population, most likely due to the snowy winter that they had down south. They have seen a hand full of 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old bucks but they are really jumpy. All in all I feel that I will have to put in a hard 4 days this year if I even want a baby 4×4. I am very confident with my equipment and I know that should a shot present it self on a big buck I should be able to do my part. With the hunt only 10 days away I wish all the hunters the best of luck and may the photos start rolling in.

August 18, 2010:

The Utah DWR posted their tables on who drew what tag with how many points on their webpage yesterday. I personally look forward to this table every year. I have taken the 2009 table for tags drawn in 2009 and they are in black. I compared them to the recent 2010 applications which are in brown. The bolded number in each hunt mean that there was a 1 in 1 ratio to draw the tag with that many points. I also compared the two years to see if that 1:1 ratio was up or down from last year. It is not perfect but it gives you an idea of what tags were harder to get than expected and which ones were steals this year.

As for archery I am still shooting my bow and will start to pack my stuff today. I am starting my hunt the 23rd at sunrise…

August 22, 2010:

I finally arrived home to my old stomping grounds. I start my bow hunt tomorrow when the sun comes up. I am super excited. I drove to Kane Country from Logan. I also had to work today so between the work and driving it is bed time. I will post lots of pictures soon.

August 23, 2010:

I hunted from sun-up to sun-down and saw the a lot of deer and elk.
We saw 55 does, 28 fawn and 4 bucks (all spikes). I also saw a herd of elk with 20-30 in the herd. I only saw one bull and he was a big spike. I contemplated getting an archery elk tag to hunt spikes but I decided against it. So 88 deer later I still have not shot a buck. Maybe tomorrow.

August 24, 2010:

This morning I went a little lower on the mountain. I saw six doe, one fawn and 6 bucks. Two bucks were baby 2×2’s. On 2×2 was about 18″. Then there was a 3×3 about 20″ wide and he rubbed off his velvet. The other two were much much bigger. I was about 3 miles from the nearest public access road when I found them, or should I say they found me. I must have walked right by them because when I turned around they were about 100 yards away leaving the country. I didn’t even chase them because they went over a fence onto some private property. I am tired! I have hiked about 6 miles today, maybe a little more. I will update tonight after we get back from the evening hunt.

Tonight I went up on the mountain with my dad. He complained a lot about not seeing bucks, but we did see bucks…6 of them…but the biggest one was about eight inches wide and was a two point. We also saw 43 does and 28 fawn. This morning I forgot to mention that I saw a lone bull elk.

I have yet to be within range of a buck with 3 on one side. I have seen four deer I would have taken had the opportunity presented itself. I have pictures of several baby bucks because they are not very wild.

This morning I tested the Kings Desert Shadow Camo and it worked great. I was on a shale hillside that was sandy white. A little buck smelled me and blew a warning to the does down the valley. Then he proceeded to make his escape. He knew I was there but had no idea where. He walked less than 15 feet from me and never saw me. I was the only thing on the hillside for 30 yards and he thought I was just a bush.

So far I have been within easy harvesting range of 10 small bucks, but I want at least a 3×3 around 20 wide.

I still have two days to hunt here in southern Utah.

August 25, 2010:

Today I hunted the morning hunt all alone. I was driving into an area to do a hike when I saw a very nice buck about 50 yards away on the drivers side of the road. He was about 25 inches wide and not super tall. He watched me range him, knock an arrow and draw back. Right when I got all the way drawn he bolted, less than a second before my arrow would have left my bow. I guess he won today, I am going back tomorrow to the same area to see if we can turn him up again and come out on top. I did three hikes today. On one of them I found a water hole and I decided to sit there and watch it because it had a lot of deer tracks around the edges that looked fresh. Two hours passed and I got tired. So I layed my pack down like a pillow and dozed off. Then a fawn discovered me and started making really loud warning calls to the others. There were not very many of them but it was fun. The nap was awesome.

Tonight I hunted with my brother. We went over around Panguitch Lake…what a waste. We saw one spike buck and several doe and fawn.

Today I saw three bucks, the big one described vaguely above, a 2×1 and a spike. I also saw 55 does, and 26 fawn.

I hope tomorrow morning works out well for me. If not I will start focusing on the extended archery hunt. I have pictures of several little bucks that we let grow up. I will post them this weekend once I adjust the lighting in them a little.

August 26, 2010:

This morning I went to where I saw my 25 incher yesterday. He was not there. So I went where I saw my other two shooters and they never showed up either. The roads are so muddy after last nights rain. I saw three little bucks, 15 does and 9 fawns this morning. Today is my last day of my escape to southern Utah. Overall I have had a very fun hunt even though I have yet to take a buck.

I was going to come home to Logan tomorrow but I decided to come home a little early and surprise my wife who missed me like crazy while I was gone. The six hour drive was long, but I had a very enjoyable time down south. I now wish to show off some of the MONSTER MULEYS I passed up on my hunt. I hope you enjoy…

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Utah Zion Unit, Buck Deer 2011
Utah Zion Unit, Buck Deer 2011

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

Panguitch Lake Unit, Mule Deer Bucks

And a monster spike elk…

Elk, Panguitch Lake, Sydney Valley

And a few of these…

Panguitch Lake Unit, Pronghorn Antelope

And the hunt continues…

September 2, 2010:

Finally, after a full week of not being able to hunt due to school, tonight I went out with my wife. It was only her second time hunting and it was a very enjoyable experience.

Heather in camo
Dillon in camo with AM32

Dillon in camo with AM32

This is the first season in several years that I have not purchased a general archery elk tag. This is the third group of elk I’ve seen on this hunt. We walked straight at them and got within thirty yards before they decided to walk off the ridge line.

Cow elk, Wellsville Mountains

Cow elk, Wellsville Mountains

September 14, 2010:

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources jut called up my dad and offered him a Management Tag on the Paunsaugunt. He took it and burned his 4 points. He doesn’t care, he just wants to hunt. I hope I can get down there to be with him on his hunt.

GO DAD

Maybe he will get a monster like this…

or a little bigger.

Mom's Paunsaugunt Mule Deer Buck

That was my mom’s buck from last year.

September 20, 2010: 

Saturday the 18th I was fortunate enough to take a trip up to Inspiration Point with my wife to get a better idea of where I can legally hunt on the Ogden Extended Archery Deer hunt this year. My little Honda Civic had no problem getting up the mountain to the point and even looks pretty good covered in dust. I bet we saw 100 ATV’s up there. I can hunt this area until November 30, 2010 with my bow. It is very small, and extremely steep. I don’t expect that a lot of deer live there even during the winter. I am looking for a buck with 3 on one side so I hope I can get that done at least with my bow. I really want it to snow now and deep so the deer have to attack the Perry orchards to survive the winter, that way I can have a sweet hunt on the west face of the mountain. I still need to go discover the Wasatch Extended area.

October 12, 2010:

I have a whole day to do nothing but hunt the Front on Friday because of some holiday. I don’t care where I go or what I see I will just be happy to be out in the sticks with my bow.

School has kept me more than occupied. But I am now starting to see the light at the end of the education tunnel.

On the opening morning of the general bull elk hunt in Utah I went up to Tony Grove Lake with a few classmates to do a “field-trip” for our wildlife fauna class. We saw these deer and a whole bunch of people dressed up like pumpkins.

This is a picture from a “fall leaf” tour with my wife. We also saw a good bull moose but he refused to smile for the camera.

Temple Fork above Logan Utah
Temple Fork above Logan Utah

Mule deer, Cache Forest

East of Willard Peak
October 15, 2010:

I saw 17 doe and fawn on the Wasatch Front…no bucks. They are super jumpy animals up there.

And the hunt continues.

October 30, 2010:

I had some time this morning so I left Logan early and when to hunt the Ogden extended archery area. I hiked way up to the top of the ridge, and yes a 4-wheeler can get to where I went for the most part, but I don’t have one of those. When I was about to call it quit I saw two other hunters, big fellers, loud walkers in the oaks on the other side of the canyon. So I sat down and watched 3 does give them the sneek. Then I headed back toward my car in a loop. I saw 3 more doe/fawn almost immediately. I could have shot all of them, but they lacked antlers. Then I went to look off is a huge canyon and walked right into four more doe/fawn. They stopped about 40 yards from me…no antler…dang. So I headed off the mountain. I did one monster loop in about four hours, and now I am sore.

I really like bowhunting when it is cold, but it is so much harder to see the deer now than in August.

November 4, 2010: 

A while back I mentioned that my dad received a Paunsaugunt Management deer tag. The hunt opened yesterday. I am not going to be able to get down there for the hunt due to other commitments but my brothers are keeping me updated on a regular basis. Yesterday they saw several bucks, 7 or so were management bucks. The biggest one was about a 25″ 3×4 with 10-12 inch tines. They may should have shot him, but my dad wanted to keep hunting. He is 60 now and his knees have given out on him, so he can’t walk super well. I imagine this will probably not be his last hunt, but it will be on the Paunsaugunt. He grew up in Alton so it is like hunting near home for him.

I will keep you updated on the hunt as it continues, I guess it is my way of being there and experiencing the hunt to some degree.

This morning they saw about 9 management bucks, the biggest was over 24 wide and a 3×4. They also saw a cactus buck, but they figured it was hiding more than 3 points under its velvet. Dad is seeing good bucks, but he must be enjoying the opportunity to be out hunting with his family, who wouldn’t.

November 5, 2010:

I don’t have pictures yet and nobody has actually measured it to know exactly how big he is, but my dad shot a 3×4 last night. I will post some pictures when someone from home emails them to me. They say he is about 24 wide and about 20 high or so. It was great hunt for my dad because he had one son, 3 grandkids and my mom with him when he shot it. My other two brothers hunted with him earlier in the hunt. I will post the pictures when I get them…

And I am going out hunting this Saturday on the Wasatch Front, who knows maybe I will actually take a shot with my bow this season. So far they have all been to far to shoot on the Wasatch and all doe which are not legal on the Ogden Extended Area.

November 7, 2010:

Dad's Paunsaugunt Mule Deer Buck

There you have it. A Paunsaugunt Management Buck. My dad is 60 and he had a marvelous hunt with his family.

November 10, 2010:

I have been able to go out and hunt the extended hunt twice in the past week. First on Saturday and then again Wednesday. On Saturday I went up into the Big Cottonwood Canyon area, it was awful…no deer…super steep…thick.

These are some pictures from that 5 mile hike, it was a calorie burner…

Utah Extended Archery Utah Extended Archery

Utah Extended Archery

Today I hunted a little closer to Logan for time constraints and I actually saw a lot of deer. When I got to what looked like a good spot I parked the Honda Civic and grabbed my gear. I was still getting my bow out of the passengers seat when I saw the first deer, and it was a buck. I don’t think its antlers would be considered legal, and I saw no purpose in stalking it. I hiked up the ridge less than a mile and I saw deer in every direction. So I sat down and keep my eyes on three different groups of doe hoping a buck would come out of the trees which he never did. It was so cold. I should have layered up better. Then I got back to my car and headed home. Before I got back to the highway I stopped three times to look at deer. They were also all doe and fawn. It was fun, cold and I still have not shot an arrow this season at a deer.

I don’t think they are rutting yet in case anyone was wondering if they are.

November 15, 2010: 

I went out this morning to hunt the extended archery in the rain. I saw 10 deer and one of them was a buck. He was chasing a doe that had seen me so I didn’t get the shot I was hoping for. So I figured why not fill the freezer, but I missed. I shot in front of him. Oh well this way I can still have an excuse to keep hunting.

I did see a few mountain goats, actually this is only my second time in my life.

Utah Extended Archery, Mountain Goats, Willard Peak

Utah Extended Archery, Mountain Goats, Willard Peak

November 20, 2010:

I went out this morning on the extended hunt to try my luck. I saw one buck. He may have been a legal spike, but I have my doubts. The other 10 were doe and fawn. The wind was really nasty all morning. But I had to call it off at 11 when it started to swirl.

Have you ever been in such strong wind you had a really hard time breathing? I did today. It was an interesting feeling. I would say it was about 45-50 mph where I was on top of the ridges. It was more than difficult to walk in to.

I have a few days to go early in the week this coming week. Wish me luck…lots of luck actually.

November 24, 2010:

I went hunting this wonderful morning. There was a foot of fresh snow on the bench. It was like zero degrees, so yes it was cold. I laced on the snowshoes and head out. I went about 3.5-4 miles all together. I saw deer from the get go and tallied about 80 in the end. I saw 5 bucks, none of them were really big. I did try to shoot one. I missed…twice while he walked through some trees. I can blame the first shot on my bow having ice in the whisker biscuit and strings. I had heard this was a problem with that rest. The second one was my fault, I rushed the shot. Well it was a wonderful season. I can still shoot a doe until December 15 between Draper and Ogden, but I don’t know if I want to do so.

I am trying to defrost currently. I am now headed south to see the family and see if we can’t fill a few doe tags and see some big rutting bucks.

November 26, 2010:

We went out yesterday after Thanksgiving dinner to get my dad a doe. It was my dad, two older brothers and myself. We drove about 5 miles and shot a doe. She was just off the highway on the hillside. It was a super hard hunt. We only have 50 deer we couldn’t shoot because they were on private in the 10 mile round trip. The boys barely got soda’s opened when we got her. We came home so quick the rest of the family though we forgot something. In less than 45 minutes we left, came back and had her skinned down. My little brother still has his hunt that we may go do today. Life is great.

December 9, 2010: 

I would like to wrap up my season, even though it may not be over because I still may be able to hunt whitetails in Florida if I get lucky over the Christmas break.

I started scouting early in the summer. I focused mainly on the mountain ranges around Logan. I was able to grab my pack and take anywhere from 3-8 mile hikes looking for big bucks. Sadly, I never found any “big” bucks in my pre-season scouting. With a $35 statewide archery tag in my pocket I was able to escape to southern Utah for 4 days to my old stomping grounds. I saw three really nice bucks down there, but I was unable to get a shot off on any of them. This is the first year I have not had an archery elk tag to accompany my archery deer tags, and you guessed it I ran into elk around every other corner. I will have an archery elk tag next year (unless I draw a LE muzzle loader tag). I was able to hunt the last day of the two week season on the Wellsville Mountains, and I ran into elk not deer. Then I was able to occasionally hunt the extended archery deer hunt along the Wasatch Front. I hunted around Emigration Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and around Willard. I mostly hunted by Willard because of the distance I was traveling from Logan. The funniest day of archery hunting for me this year was the last time I went out. 18 inches of snow coated mountain and the deer were trapped at the bottom close to the city. I laced on my snowshoes and headed up the mountain to the plateau where the deer were all bedded. It was 4 degrees when I started hiking. I saw 60 plus deer, and 5 where bucks.

This season I did take three shots on the extended hunt. I don’t need to make up excuses, but I did miss all three shots. Hunting in the snow is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. I could still go shoot a doe for the next week, but with school and finals I have decided to call it a year here in Utah. After countless days in the field scouting and hunting, and 150 plus miles of hiking I have had a season that I will never forget. Although I did not take a deer this year I had a blast. I was even able to help my dad get a doe over thanksgiving.

Zion doe mule deer

I am looking forward to next year. So far this is my plan.

1- Utah: A)LE Muzzleloader Elk (9 points), B) General Archery Buck Deer, C) OIL Mountain Goat, D) $30 in Hunt Expo tickets.

2- Colorado: Buy a Buck Deer preference point.

3- Wyoming: Hunt Does

And to top it off we will have a new addition to the family in May. I sure hope my new baby looks good in camo.

Thanks for following my year!

December 30, 2010:

I just got back from an amazing vacation in Florida. My sister lives down there on her husband’s families ranch. I was able to go hog hunting twice. I saw three whitetail bucks, but I was not allowed to hunt where they were because it is leased out to deer hunters, but we can hunt hogs on there.

The following is a baby hog we caught, last night they caught a much bigger one.

Little pig in Florida

I am the one on the right, the dog is Tucker and the other guy is a relative.

Hog hunting in Florida

This is my nephew who lives to hunt hogs with his dogs.

Nephew with his hog dog

That wraps it up for me for this year. I am about to buy Hunt Expo tickets, and apply for the draws this spring.

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