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!
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.
Last year he should have been a three-point, but remained a two-point with tall antlers.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some photos from my third bowhunt of 2014:
When you can’t shoot a buck, you can still shoot photos! Here are some photos from my second bowhunt of 2014:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Undisturbed, the bucks tend to bed down around 9:30 a.m. On cooler days, they begin feeding early, around 4:30 p.m.
- Deer are concentrated and feeding only the East and Southeast facing slopes.
- 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.
Here are some photos from my first bowhunt of 2014: