Monday, October 17, 2011

More Scouting Videos


videoThis old boy is from the 08 season but deserves to be published.  This is prior to the 09 burn.

Some videos from the season.

Since the scouting outlook at the wallows were pretty paltry, I abandoned the idea of sitting there all day. The opening day and part of the next weekend seemed to be proof of that. More on that later. Here are some videos that prove that I should trust in the power of the wallow more than I have.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

2011 Scouting

Well I wasn't able to begin to scout much till July 24th. I took Taylor with me to set out the cameras on what was probably her hardest horseback ride ever. She did pretty well going down to my honey hole from the 2008 hunt. We saw a mature bull across French Creek as we got near the "special place" though. We set a camera on the same tree as before and rode back to the truck through some Quakies that had some of the thickest, tallest undergrowth I've ever seen. I couldn't see the fallen logs and the horses had a heckuva time traipsing around in it. It turned into a burned out timber stand before we got out to the ridge. Hard to tell how many elk were around there when you can't see the ground. That was a great start to the scouting process.
I think the horses were really disappointed when we rode past the truck to the other canyon. We plunged over the side and went straight down to the bottom to a well used wallow that I saw last time. That spring was running pretty hard and will surely be a good wallow again. I set this camera where it could watch that spot as the rut gets closer come September. We rode up the middle of the little draw that we came down and finally made back to the truck. Bo and Fritz were happy enough to get in the trailer to come home.
After 7 1/2 miles of up, down and in and out, we had two of the cameras set and ready to spy.

The next week, dad and a couple of friends went with me to check the cameras and set up a ground blind that I borrowed from a friend. Thanks Shane. I thought we were going to have to build it from scratch. That would have been a long day. Coming up from camera #2, we ran into a decent 6 point bull. He was already a shooter on the last day of July. I would like to see him again now that the hunt has started.

After a couple of promising visits to the camera sites and seeing a bunch of cows and calves that came in and out for the first two weeks, things took a nasty dive. Sheep, the bane of hunters everywhere, with their accompanying dogs and herders, came through both places and mowed down the feed and stunk up the place in general. Then some batteries died prematurely. Add to that some videos of bears at the honey hole and big tracks by the #2 cam and we have a recipe for failure.

Since I hadn't seen bulls anywhere else nor had time to look elsewhere, I still decided that since elk were pretty habitual animals from year to year and the sheep had moved on for at least two weeks, I was going to sit in the blind anyway. There is no way for a person to sneak around quietly with all the drying out foliage that grew this year. I figured that sitting on water was a good idea. So I sat...from 6 am until 7 pm on opening day. Oh my knees and back! Given the state that those parts are in, that was a killer. I wasn't alone though. I had four small birds fly into the blind window and freak out. The chipmunks that were harvesting seeds all day attempted several times to jump into the "branches" that were in the camo pattern on the tent wall. I wish I could have watched them bounce off. That was pretty funny. I wonder how often they do that since the blind has been there for about three weeks. I did have a doe come in to drink and walked in front of my shooting window. I kept the boredom at bay with my phone apps and a book. That was fine and dandy till my battery died.
Evening came and went with no elk. I had a lot to think about on the hike out. What to do next week. It looks like it will get even hotter. There's actually water everywhere (so much for past habits). I hope that an idea comes my way, cuz I don't know where the bulls are hanging out. I thought it could be, hoped it would be, very similar to the last time. Not even close...

I will post some of the more interesting scouting vids soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Videos from the '08 Hunt

Here are some more of what I scouted prior to the last go 'round. I have more for another time too.

video video

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Trail Cams

I tested out my trail cams to check for any issues. The first one I got in '08, a Bushnell Trail Sentry, worked well for 2 1/2 months of solid field time and gave my the info I needed to decide that this particular location was THE spot to begin my hunt. But when I tried it for the next years deer hunt, it gave me a handful of pix (one was a worthy 4-pt.) and then quit working properly. I tried the checks that Buhnell gave me and now I need to send it in for repair.

The Wildview camera still works well though. The quality isn't up to my "photographer" standards but it is a good tattletale and tells me what I need to know.

The new StealthCam Unit however is a real treat. It is smaller, has higher resolution, a zoom feature and did some very good work in the chicken run test. (I put the cams up at dad's chicken coop since there is plenty of activity there.) There were no pix of predators though.

Now I need to come up with some security for the cams now. I think I got really lucky that they didn't get molested being in the field for so long last time. There was only one day that a human came into view on one cam. He wiggled it but let it be. I can't say the same for the elk though. I will post some vids later that show what elk are like when no one is watching.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Redemption

After the sore ending to the last Limited Entry Manti bull elk hunt in 2008, I was too disappointed, even a little disoriented, to blog about it. I wanted so badly to do it again or help someone else with the knowledge I gained in the process. With a 5 year waiting period and years of collecting points at 1 per year, I figured I'd be in my 60's before I drew an LE elk tag again, especially if I wanted to put in enough to get a deer tag somewhere in the mean time.

Then along comes the Hunting Expo. It's a separate drawing that doesn't use the points that are accrued, nor do the waiting periods apply. Good old buddy Ryan won an elk tag from the Expo the year after he drew an LE elk tag so I thought it was a good idea to enter this year with the same goal in mind. I have a tendency to win things from time to time. Of all the hunts I entered, lo and behold, I find out via a congratulatory text from Ryan's brother Mark that I won a do-over of the Manti Archery LE bull hunt this year! How cool is that? Can you imagine how stoked I am?

Now I get to put together a master plan of scouting and hunting. Maybe this time it will go better.