Always a great thing to see your credit card get hits by the UDNR…That means I have a deer tag to hunt in Utah. This year my son is coming back and my nephew will be a part of the trip/hunt. Not much to get ready since I have been there almost 12 years. This trip is big in my eyes as I get to see my friend and hope that the mountains take it easy on this body of mine.
This year has seen its ups and downs for all of us. My friend’s wife took a big spill on her bicycle and ended up in the hospital. She had a serve brain injury and they were not sure how she would fair. My friend spent a lot of time at the hospital in supporting her recovery. I can say she has come a long way since then, but still has a bit to go. He spent a lot of time worrying about her while we were on the mountain. He had people come and stay with her while we hunted. Unfortunately the last few days he missed out hunting with us, but was able to be there for his family.
First day of the hunt was a bit chaotic. One of the group thought he had left all his bullets back at home base. So my friend and his son-in-law (whose bullets that came up missing) headed back to town to get them. Come to find out the bullets where in the camp trailer covered up by a hat. So my son, nephew and myself headed out to our place we call the knob.
Once out there we decided to head on the other side just to see what other hunters where kicking out. We found a few does but nothing to plan a stalk on. We finally decided to make our way to our spotting spot on the knob. We glassed the mountain and re glassed the mountain…finally my nephew picked two bucks about 550yrds away. One of the deer we guessed a smaller 3 point and one being a nice forked horn. Since neither my son nor nephew has ever shot that far and we didn’t want to risk a wounded deer, my son said dad you should give it a go. Well now that I have two sets of eyes watching me and expecting the best out of, I set out to make a clean shot. 280AI has been chambered and the scope is settling in on the target. First shot rang out and my son said dad you missed about two inches high. Settled the crosshairs again and the 280 barked again…Hit, little low but it was a kill shot. The deer stood there head hung low. I thought I would but another round in him to anchor him. Second shot dropped him. We now have to cross the canyon and go get him. About finding him, not where he was suppose to be, we all relived the journey and shared in pictures.
Well, I have to admit here that I sent these two young men on a trip of a lifetime. They being full of piss and vinegar they were going to drag this deer out. I gave them wrong info, thinking the road was just over the mountain top they went to town dragging him to the top. Mean while I was hiking back to the Tahoe and going to drive and pick them up. What turned out to be a four hour drag for them instead of boning the deer out and making it easy, we went with the harder of the two. Thank god my buddy found us and he went to help them out. First lesson learned on this trip.
My son got a couple of chances at deer but could not connect. I believe in the fact that knowing your rifle and shooting has a lot to do with how well you shoot. He didn’t wound any deer which was awesome, but he learned another valuable lesson.
We spent one day back in town to make sure my buddy’s wife was okay. We added some hand rails into the shower so she could support herself. We got our hunting clothes washed, bought more food and water. Gassed up the Tahoe and headed back into the mountains.
My son has gone back to college and my buddy is home with his wife. Just I and the nephew are heading back to camp. The son-in-law of my buddy will head up later to meet up with us. In the morning we will be headed back to the knob, in hopes to put a buck down with my nephew.
Friday morning and sitting on top on the knob, the glassing begins. It’s a tad colder these last days and we are getting effects of wanting to stay bundled up and not glassing. Stay strong, we will find a deer. Boom, small buck spotting and the game is on. Small three point unaware of the hunters working a plan to harvest him. Nephew sets up with my 280AI and the son-in-law working the spotter and ranging. I talk my nephew thru the BDC on the scope. Deer stops, 280 barks and the deer is hit…nice shot for shooting at 460yrds. As we are getting ready to hike of to retrieve him, a dark horn buck appears above us….son-in-law is all over that buck. But as hunting goes the deer went over the top and disappeared.
Well after getting to the spot of the buck, we spot him up and moving. This sent my nephew into a frenzy. He had another lesson to learn here. After two more shots into him, he was on the ground but not dead. With what came next, we mourned the passing of the buck in which what we had to do it. It was tough on all three of us. But as the son-in-law petted the deer, he kept saying ‘you did good’ to the buck. We boned him out and got back to the truck and were on our way back to camp.
Saturday morning we were on our way back to the spot where the dark horned 3 point was spotted. Morning broke and we spotted him right off. He quickly disappeared over the ridge and about the time he did within seconds four hunters popped out where he when in. At this point, we had known that he was blown out and we wouldn’t be able to see him again. We did circle around to see if we could find his tracks, but nothing. So we figure that we would head back to camp and pack up to head out.
Another awesome trip to the mountains of Utah I got to spend, not only with family and friends but the new adventure that we all shared in. My son and nephew got to learn a few lessons and one got to take his first buck. With the end of the season, the nephew and I started the long trip back to Washington. We talked about the things we learned and things that could be changed up for the next season. But more important we talk about the team work between all of us. So with that the only thing left to say is ‘Is Utah deer season here yet?’