Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Utah 2010 Archery Deer

Going up to Utah for the archery deer hunt in August is always a great time to kick off the Fall hunting season. This year was no exception. Opening morning I was hunting with John Wilhelm and we were able to get a little footage of this 4 point.

Unfortunately this buck gave us the slip as we put the stalk on him. Still a great way to start the hunt. Later in the morning we decided we had better practice our stalking techniques, so John put his to the test on this small buck.

John got within bow range, but obviously passed on the shot. The last couple years had been real good to us and we were going to hold out for mature bucks even though we only had a couple days to hunt.

That evening John decided to go sit near a waterhole and try to intercept a buck on his way to get a drink. Another friend of mine, Mike Delgado, had called and was also in UT hunting deer. Mike hasn't tagged a buck with his bow yet, and I agreed to go out with him that evening and try to glass up a shooter. After only about a hour of glassing we got a picture message from John on the cell phone. He had just shot a nice buck!

We were stoked to hear the news from John. The glassing had been pretty slow to that point, seeing nothing but does and small bucks. Finally just a little before dark we glassed up a group of bucks a long ways off. They weren't too far from a road, so we decided to jump in the truck and get to where we could see them better and still have time for a stalk if there was a shooter in the group. After getting a better look, Mike decided to try a stalk on a tall four point. The bucks were so preoccupied with feeding that we were able to sneak up to a small oak thicket unnoticed. I got a little video of the buck before Mike shot, but as I put the camera down to range they caught my movement and I was unable to film him shooting the buck. Mike made a great 55 yard shot that put the buck down in about 150 yards. Congrats on your first buck Mike!

Two bucks down the same evening made for a long night! The next day we found lots of bucks, but were unable to get within bow range of them. The third morning of the hunt I decided to still hunt the area where we saw the four point on opening morning. Once again we found a few small bucks, but no shooters. We worked our way up to a glassing point and right away found a buck bedded down in the oaks. Rather than risk spooking him, I decided to do the stalk alone, without the camera. I finally got to where I could see the bucks horns above the tall grass. As I ranged him he turned and looked my way. I knew it was now or never, so I drew my bow and put to test all the days of target and 3D shooting I had done over the summer. Eighty three yards later my broadhead found its mark on the bedded buck and he expired less than a hundred yards away. It wasn't until a few days later when we were reviewing footage from the hunt that we realized this was the same buck we had filmed on the first morning.

Once again Utah had proved to be a great kickoff to our 2010 hunting season! I can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scoring on a Speedgoat!

Being short of maximum bonus points and applying for one of the most coveted trophy antelope tags in AZ, the last tag I anticipated drawing this year was antelope.  With limited time to scout and hunt, I knew I would need to rely heavily on information from friends who know the unit I had drawn. The year prior, my good friend Shane Koury guided his hunter to a 92" antelope in the same unit. Shane hooked me up with some good spots to check and day 1 found us glassing and passing 2 great bucks right where he had told us to go. Being still the first morning, we decided to pass and keep looking for the right goat for our "once in a lifetime" tag. The rest of that day we glassed just a few other bucks, but nothing even close to the caliber of the first two bucks. The second day of the hunt we had some tire problems with the truck that kept us out of comission until Sunday afternoon, the third day of the hunt. That evening we decided to go back and look for the tall buck, the bigger of the first two that we had found. We found him right away, and made a stalk. After getting to 500 yards, we were able to shoot a little video of the buck so we could study him better. It wasn't until we were back at the hotel watching the footage on the tv that we realized how big the antelope was. After several failed stalking atempts the following morning we finally had to call it quits. I had to go back home to work.
After getting home I was excited to show Shane the footage of the buck we had found. He and good friend Josh Esparza could not believe I was home and not hunting this goat! They estimated him to be around the 85" mark. After failing all day to convince me to go back and hunt the goat for one more day, they spoke to my wife Aly, and convinced her to tell me to go. We left town at 3:00 in the morning the next day and were glassing the tall buck just after daybreak. After two more failed stalks, I was finally able to sqeeze off a shot and tag this great antelope. Special thanks to my friends Ben, Tim, Shane, Josh and especially my wife Aly. This would not have happened without them.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Summer Elk Scouting

I was fortunate to spent a lot of time scouting velvet elk this summer. Although most of the bulls scouted this time of year end up moving before the hunts start, it gives me a feel for the overall health of the herd and prepares me for the quality of bulls we will be encountering during the hunting season. Although we didn't find any monsters this summer, we did find some lookers. Here is a sample of the bulls we found during the summer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Texas Turkeys with the Burly Bear!

I was fortunate to go to Texas this past Spring with Trent Penrod from The Burly Bear. I have known Trent for a few years now, but this was the first time I had ever been hunting with him. He is a certified hunting MANIAC! A true SNEEK FREAK! We had a ton of fun on our trip as the long drive over and back was filled with laughs. This was also my first time hunting in Texas and let me tell you it is THE place to go if you want to bowhunt turkeys.
Over the course of two days we had several opportunities at birds and in the end we left with two Rio Grande turkeys a piece!

Trent's first archery Rio

Trent and I with my second Rio

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