Just got back from my first deer hunt. It was awesome! Got to hunt with my dad and 2 other old guys, went up to Mt Dutton, near Circleville and Antimony in south east Utah. Saturday the 16th was the opener, so we drove up on thursday. On the way up one of my tires seperated and I had to limp my way up to Beaver and get new tires. $600 later, I'm back on the road. The rest of the caravan didn't feel like waiting for me, so my dad and I drove up and got lost for a couple of hours, but we saw a big 'ole 4x4 buck in the headlights, which got us all hot 'n bothered. So we showed up at camp around midnight, set up our tents in the dark, and crashed out. Spent most of friday scouting, and between the four of us we saw NO BUCKS all day! Pretty discouraging. Saturday was the opener, spent 4 hours in the morning watching a heavily used trail system near a water hole, and saw only a few does and a fawn. While the old guys decided to nap and snack during the afternoon, I decided I wasn't going to go home empty-handed and wishing I would have hunted harder, I started hiking and sneaking. 2 hours later I jumped a tall forkie in the sage and spent 2 more hours stalking him untill I got as close as I ever would... about 40 yards. I could see him through the trees, drew back, picked out a path through the twigs and branches, and released. Hit a twig, sent the arrow careening off somewhere, and sent the buck waaaaaay off away never to be seen again.
So I made my way back to camp and answered jealous intrigues about my missing arrow. So I picked up my dad and headed out again. He set up near a clearing, and I pushed my way towards him through a grove of quakies. I get to where we were supposed to meet up, and no dad. But, out in the clearing, low and behold the most beautiful spike buck I ever did see. The stalk was on. Got to 40 yards, drew... and let down as he walked behing some trees and out of range.
Then he turned around and grazed his way back my direction. I snuck my way down to the edge of the trees, ranged (about 55 yds, slightly downhill) drew and placed the 50 yd pin on the top of his shoulder, and realeased. I watched the arrow fly in slow motion, it disapeared as it sunk below the sage him and me, and heard a "THWACK!" as it slammed into his shoulder.
He bucked, rand 15 yards and stumbled, ran farther and stumbled again, ran and stumled a third and last time.
Then I heard my dad on the radio "did you hit him?"... he was watching from a tree stand a short distance away. So we found the arrow, ranged the shot officialy at 58 yards, and easily followed the blood trail a short 37 yards to my first buck. Small but great.
The next evening (sunday) my dad shot a rattle snake in the head with his bow,
and later shot 72 yards at another spike in the same clearing, and was positive he missed. Looked for 30 mins, found no arrow or blood, and gave up, believing he missed high. Rick, one of the old guys got a buck (another spike) so we went and checked that out. Then on Monday morning I was working my way through some thick stuff trying to push deer to the old guys, when I came upon a dead spike-buck. It was the one my dad shot at and hit! It was a miracle I just happened upon it, it was not anywhere we would have looked for it.
3 down, one more old guy to go. So Ross decided to put up a ground blind in the sage 40 yards fronm a water hole. Around 7:00 PM came on Monday evening, and slowly deer congregated until he had a dozen deer mulling about him. Only 2 bucks, so he shot the biggest one (a small forkie) and watched it wander up and over a ridge. We looked until it got dark, came back the next morning and found it.
Here are the 3 spike amigos
And the whole group, 4 for 4
It was a great hunt full of great memories spent with my dad and good friends. We ate steak every night, how could it get better than that?