OK so you were searching for tips and found this title, your on the wrong site. He didn’t actually attempt to kill me. Now that I have your attention I can explain.

My neighbor called me up the other day and wanted to go up and hunt Elk on Today. He is the owner of TSI Outfitters a local archery/hunting store. He has been hunting non stop since August 16th the opener. Here in Utah the have a extended archery hunt that begins the day after the regular season and goes through the end of November. The key is you have to hunt the Wasatch Front. The reason they do this is to keep the wild life in the wild and not in the city. We are pretty fortunate the Wasatch Front here has been ranked number 1 for mule deer for some time now, and the Elk herds are not doing so bad either.

So its Thursday morning 4:30 AM the alarm goes off and I go through with the normal ritual of showering with the special scent away soaps. I had packed all my gear the night before so I carried acrossthe street and loaded it in the truck. I made sure that my 2 liter bladder in my pack was full. I have hunted with Scott before and know that he is part billy goat. We headed up to the top of the ridge we were hunting its always nice when you can start at the top. When we arrived there were 3 other guys getting ready to hit the trail. We talked to them for a minute and they told us they had spotted a bull three days in a row crossing the top so they were going in early to set up on him. We had planned to hunt a few drainage’s over from the spot they described so no worries. We got our packs on and headed out. Its a 2.4 mile hike to the drainage we were focused on but like I said we started up on top so nothing major. About 1.5 miles in Scott realized that he left his release in the truck. Luckily I had my back up in my pack so we stopped and got it out. I had never used this release just had it in case I needed it. It needed some adjusting so I carried Scott’s bow while he made the adjustments. He got it adjusted and we were good to go. It had a Velcro wrist strap so Scott wanted to pull his bow back a few times to work out the stretching noise. As he did this we heard a load crashing noise right below us. We spilt up and started cow calls, this bull wanted nothing to do with it and we could hear his antlers hitting branches as he took off. We were stumped to how the bull had busted us. It was still fairly dark and the wind was in our favor. As we came around the bend on the trail we discovered the other hunters he had taken a shot and missed over its back. (Side Note: if Scott would have remembered his release we would have walked right on top of this bull) I had to add that for Scott’s benefit. We decided that we better hurry down the other drainage because that bull would most likely circle around and try to get over the ridge.

Drainage #1

So we headed down the ridge it wasn’t too bad it was a mixture of pines and open areas. As we got to the bottom we found an area that had a rub and tracks. We let out a bugle with a few cow calls. A bull answered one more drainage over. So we headed that way. Then the crazy hunters up top, knowing exactly where we went apparently didn’t know we had bugles because they sat up on top and bugled non stop for 1.5 hours. Someone should tell him that bulls do not chuckle like a child that can’t stop laughing. We didn’t care about him it was the bull in the bottom. We knew that there wasn’t too many hunters crazy enough to go all the way to the bottom so we worked our way up the ridge to the top and back down the other drainage.

Drainage #2

So we made it to the bottom of drainage #2 and it looked good. The bull had bugled a couple more times but had been silent for some time now. We came across a trail that worked down the drainage it was beat up with tracks that were fresh. The leaves are now falling and some of the tracks didn’t have leaves in them. As we worked down this trail we came across a water hole. It looked as if this was a good water source for them. There was a spring that was coming down the hill side to this little water hole. We are curious individuals and wonder where the water came from. So we headed up the spring which disappeared into the mountain. Since we were already half way up the other side we kept on going. We came to an area that was hammered with tracks. We stopped and bugled and cow called for awhile, nothing not a sound. So up we went. About 3/4 of the way up we decided to take lunch. After lunch we had two choices Circle around and back to the water and sit on it. Or we see whats on the other side of this ridge. (refer to the curious comment). So up we went, as we got towards the top we started seeing rubs on every other tree and tracks that make you think cattle had been in there. This area is now called the Holiday Inn. We found a trail heading out of the Holiday Inn and followed it to the top.?The tracks were pretty constant over this ridge and down the other side. Again we had a choice hike the ridge line the .5 miles to the main trail on top or visit drainage number 3. You guessed it……

Drainage #3

As we headed down Drainage #3 we head down the the bottom and find more tracks and another area that looks and feels like a bed room. We headed down the drainage to look for more sign. It was the afternoon now so we were mostly scouting and hoping we could jump something out of its bed. We had gone down this drainage for some time and came up a little disappointed as there wasn’t any water in it and there was more deer track?then Elk. At this point we were a long way from the truck we were more or less at the bottom of the mountain and would have to hike back to the top and then back over to the truck. We have hunted this area before and knew that at the bottom there was a lake and the main road. We decided that it would be best to head for the main road.

Never ending drainage

So as we headed down the drainage the terrain turned into thick oak brush. It was impossible to navigate. We finaly get to an area where it clears up and we believe we are within a half hour from the road. So we take a break and make a few calls to see if anyone would pick us up at the bottom and drive us back up to the truck. So Travis accepted the call and headed to come get us. We headed up the ridge line and as we got higher we realized we were substantially further away from the road then we had guessed. We hurried up to get to the road within the next half hour. We were pushing up the hill in this thick oak brush. As we get to the top of the ridge we could finally see the road but it was still far far away. Travis was already there and we still had a long way to go. The hill we had to go down was running at a 75 degree angle. I know Scott is laughing right now because I may be exaggerating a little. Needless to say I fell down on my butt 7 times, I was out of water, my legs were cramping up and we still had a bit of a distance to go. After another half hour we manage to get to Travis.

In the end we probably ended up walking 10 miles up and over 4 ridges through countless acres of oak brush and saw nothing but a lot of sign.

There is that saying curiosity kills the cat. Well it about got me today. I of course will blame this on Scott for several days now. Its 10:30 PM now and the only thing that does work on my body is my fingers. I’m gonna sleep like a baby tonight.

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4 Comments

  1. Wow. Now that is some serious scouting work right there. Hopefully you guys managed to get some rest.

  2. Sounds like a strenuous day. I can see why you’re tired.

  3. Elk hunting always ends up like that, doesn’t it? It’s never easy! Since I got back from our week long elk hunt, my wife claims I’ve been sleeping like a log at night…I guess she thinks because I’ve been snoring so hard it means I’m sleeping well. I’m slowly getting back into feeling whole again.

  4. I couldn’t believe how exhausted Jason looked when I picked them up. I thought he was going to pass out. It may have had something to do with the fact that he had to hike very fast so I could take them to the top during my lunch break. I could not believe how far they had hiked, it looked like they had fun though.

    The leaves are starting to change colors, and I was pretty jealous I didn’t get to spend the day out in the woods with them.

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