Tag Archives: photos

2015 Winter Bow Hunt 3 of 3

In some high places you can see the city. On this day it was freezing and cloudy, but in the city it was warm and sunny.
In some high places you can see the city. On this day it was freezing and cloudy, but in the city it was warm and sunny.
Morning hunt up high. Halfway through the November most of the snow melted, then blew back in the following week.
Morning hunt up high. Halfway through the November most of the snow melted, then blew back in the following week.
On my way back to camp one night I found these fresh cougar tracks in my entrance boot tracks. Kinda spooky.
On my way back to camp one night I found these fresh cougar tracks in my entrance boot tracks. Kinda spooky.
Another cold day scanning for deer.
Another cold day scanning for deer.
I finally spotted this big stud-buck 1000 feet above me. By the time I got close, it had crossed the summit and left. This is the hardest hunt I've ever had!
I finally spotted this big stud-buck 1000 feet above me. By the time I got close, it had crossed the summit and left. This is the hardest hunt I’ve ever had!
November 30, last day of the season. Another sad photo of my hunt coming to an end. Better to eat an unused tag than kill a small buck. Already looking forward to next year!
November 30, last day of the season. Another sad photo of my hunt coming to an end. Better to eat an unused tag than kill a small buck. Already looking forward to next year!

2015 Winter Bow Hunt 2 of 3

The Utah extended hunt is by far the most difficult venture of the year. The daily views, however, can be spectacular, here alone in the quiet hills.
The Utah extended hunt is by far the most difficult venture of the year. The daily views, however, can be spectacular, here alone in the quiet hills.
This is a typical view from the office.
This a typical view from the office.
Snow and lichen juxtaposition.
Snow and lichen juxtaposition.
In the snow, winter camo is a must,  but it needs not be camo at all. I wear an inverted aviator's hat, inside-out camo shirt, and Dockers. When it's really cold I tie some long underwear around my neck.
In the snow, winter camo is a must, but it needs not be camo at all. I wear an inverted aviator’s hat, inside-out camo shirt, and Dockers. When it’s really cold I tie some long underwear around my neck.
Video still from a herd of more than 100 elk. Nice to see some animals finally, but really just looking for deer.
Video still from a herd of more than 100 elk. Nice to see some animals finally, but really just looking for deer.

2015 Winter Bow Hunt 1 of 3

The following photos are from my Utah extended archery hunt in October and November. The hunt ended on November 30 and I did not shoot a deer.

As a trophy hunter, I was holding out for real record-class buck. Also, my wife already shot a huge bull elk, so meat wasn’t a big factor, but rather I was looking for a challenge. All told, I could have shot close to 30 bucks, the most buck encounters I’ve ever had. Of those bucks, half were young two- and three-point bucks, and the rest were either too small or too smart! It WAS a challenge INDEED!

Saddest day of the year: watching the general hunt come to a deerless end.
Saddest day of the year: watching the general hunt come to a deerless end.
I spent some time in October exploring the steep local mountains. Extreme terrain, very few bucks.
I spent some time in October exploring the steep local mountains. Extreme terrain, very few bucks.
Spent some time scouting new locations on a mountain bike. Note: Going uphill, bikes aren't much easier than walking, but saves tons of time going downhill.
Spent some time scouting new locations on a mountain bike. Note: Going uphill, bikes aren’t much easier than walking, but saves tons of time going downhill.
In early December I entered the freezing mountains, spending many days alone between 7500 - 9000 feet.
In early December I entered the freezing mountains, spending many days alone between 7500 – 9000 feet.
Another freezing day at 8500 feet.
Another freezing day at 8500 feet.

Backyard Buck

Last night, just before dark, I got a visit from my favorite backyard mule deer buck. If you don’t remember him from last year, his name is Henry the Bigger than Average Two-point, and he ate most of our ripe tomatoes.

IMG_4574

Last year he should have been a three-point, but remained a two-point with tall antlers.

IMG_4580

This year he was supposed to be a small four-point, but instead he’s a two-by-three. That’s poor genetics for you, but he’s still a beautiful little buck.

IMG_4590

Henry has a tall rack with good mass and multiple little kicker points around his eyeguards. Definitely good potential if he ever sprouts a normal rack.

IMG_4597b

Last year it was easy to get close to Henry, but now he’s getting a lot more cautious, like all big bucks. I learn a lot from observing my backyard deer.

IMG_4603

Bye-bye Henry!

2014 Hunt Photos: 3 of 3

Here are some photos from my third bowhunt of 2014:

My hunt area, mid-September, watching fall roll in.
My hunt area, mid-September, watching fall roll in.
Wild currant berries grow everywhere in this unit. If the fruit wasn't so hairy I would eat some.
Wild currant berries grow everywhere in this unit. If the fruit wasn’t so hairy I would eat some.
September 10, 2014, 7:17 a.m.
September 10, 2014, 7:17 a.m.
Above 10,000 and almost straight down. This is some of the steepest country I've hunted.
Above 10,000 and almost straight down. This is some of the steepest country I’ve hunted.
Looks like a cougar got to this deer before I could.
Looks like a cougar got to this deer before I could.
The scattered buck skeleton I found was picked clean by predators. The antlers measured 26+".
The scattered buck skeleton I found was picked clean by predators. The antlers measured 26+”.
More high country.
More high country.
 I could have shot a small buck every single day, but I'm holding out for a big one that's lived past his prime. My lonely bow got no action on this hunt, just lots of scratches.
I could have shot a small buck every single day, but I’m holding out for a big one that’s lived past his prime. My lonely bow got no action on this hunt, just lots of scratches.
Lichen on the rocks. Might as well enjoy the small stuff.
Lichen on the rocks. Might as well enjoy the small stuff.
Parting shot: I was walking through a meadow at dark without my flashlight when I noticed a dark form in front of me. Suddenly half split off and ran down the mountain. Stupefied, I dug out my flashlight and found 1 of 2 porcupines nervously turned away from me and showing me its bristly backside. Neat little animals!
Parting shot: I was walking through a meadow at dark without my flashlight when I noticed a dark form in front of me. Suddenly half split off and ran down the mountain. Stupefied, I dug out my flashlight and found 1 of 2 porcupines nervously turned away from me and showing me its bristly backside. Neat little animals!

2014 Hunt Photos: 2 of 3

When you can’t shoot a buck, you can still shoot photos! Here are some photos from my second bowhunt of 2014:

September 04, 2014, 6:15 a.m.
September 04, 2014, 6:15 a.m.
My main watering spring...ahhhh...fresh mountain water with no man-made toxins.
My main watering spring…ahhhh…fresh mountain water with no man-made toxins.
Moon, conifers, and fall oak-brush.
Moon, conifers, and fall oak-brush.
Moss on the rocks. I love the texture.
Moss on the rocks. I love the texture.
Old-life; new-life.
Old-life; new-life.
Diverse habitat in my hunt area.
Diverse habitat in my hunt area.
3.5" buck track. This is the biggest track I found this year...but where's the deer?
3.5″ buck track. This is the biggest track I found this year…but where’s the deer?
I watched fall colors appear this week.
I watched fall colors appear this week.

2014 Bowhunt Part 1 of 3

On Friday I got back from my first four-day bowhunt in Southern Utah. I hiked in Monday morning and began hunting that evening through Thursday. Since the area is still new to me, I considered this to be a scouting mission for the last two weeks of the season. So far, here are the lessons I’ve learned:

  1. There are about 10 bucks living in the immediate area by camp. All but two are smaller, 2, 3, and 4 points–not mature bucks. The other two, which I did NOT get good visuals on, are average-sized, mature four-points in the 160-inch class range. As far as I’m concerned, these are “settlement bucks,” or bucks I will only shoot if I cannot find any bigger before the season ends.
  2. The surrounding area, which extend for miles in all directions, contains only sparse amounts of deer, mostly does. I also couldn’t find any heavy deer traffic areas, and only a few random large-buck tracks.
  3. All bucks are still in velvet and the younger bucks still have their summer red-coats. The older bucks are beginning to grow out their gray winter coats. Because the bucks are still in velvet, they are living mostly in and around open feeding areas.
  4. Undisturbed, the bucks tend to bed down around 9:30 a.m. On cooler days, they begin feeding early, around 4:30 p.m.
  5. Deer are concentrated and feeding only the East and Southeast facing slopes.
  6. Scent control is impossible. Although I try to diminish my human scent with scent-eliminating laundry and body soap, by the second day of hunting the deer can smell me immediately and bust out of the area. At the same time, I had 5 does and fawns bed down within 10 yards of me on the fourth day when the wind was in my favor.

That’s all I have right now. I’ll be hunting most of next week so stay tuned for part 2.

2014 Hunt Photos: 1 of 3

Here are some photos from my first bowhunt of 2014:

Here’s why deer in my area aren’t centered around water. Many rocks have pits that collect rain water.
Here’s why deer in my area aren’t centered around water. Many rocks have pits that collect rain water.
I found this broken arrowhead near camp.
I found this broken arrowhead near camp.
A small stream running through an open meadow.
A small stream running through an open meadow.
Water springing out of the rocks.
Water springing out of the rocks.
One of three horned toads I ran into. They are very unafraid of people and gentle to handle. Probably good eating in a pinch...
One of three horned toads I ran into. They are very unafraid of people and gentle to handle. Probably good eating in a pinch…
Inside my tent, and a boring photo from a camera test.
Inside my tent, and a boring photo from a camera test.
Elderberries grow in great abundance in my area. I eat hundreds a day to stay hydrated. Also a good source of fiber.
Elderberries grow in great abundance in my area. I eat hundreds a day to stay hydrated. Also a good source of fiber.
When I came home this buck was wandering through my yard. Notice the archery target behind its head!
When I came home this buck was wandering through my yard. Notice the archery target behind its head!