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With no chance for success, you would not hunt. Without the prospect of failure hunting would have no merit. I don't hunt to kill, I kill because I hunt. Remember a moderate hit is lots more effective than a high powered miss. Best of luck.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

CAN YOU KEEP A. . . . . . secret?

Just to prove I am not a bad person I offered to take my dear wife, The Supreme Commander, for a drive.  The Supreme Commander was raised on a ranch in Idaho.  She is a beautiful and tough girl.  She and I went out in the country on Saturday, 2/3/18, and somehow, I don't know why, we ended up in a chizzler field in Iron County, Utah.

Get this -- I just happened to have in the back of my truck all the necessary items to hunt chizzlers. So I figured 'what the heck' and set up shooting stations for us. It was a very calm afternoon and the temperature was around 60° F.  At 3:30 p.m or so there appeared out about 125 yards a few early riser chizzlers. Just up from their winter's nap. They were frisky little buggers running to and fro. I managed to sight in on and end the frolic for about two dozen of the alfalfa stealing demons with my 22LR dispatcher.  My closest shot of the afternoon was at 95 yards.

This is the absolutely earliest day in the year I have ever helped agriculture with their vermin problem.  The targets were far away for my little rifle. I didn't shoot all that well. I left way too many for seed. I did however, reduce some of my pent up frustration about hunting chizzlers. The S.C. and I spotted and shot for about 90 minutes then packed up and motored towards home.

What a day. What a glorious day! 👍 😀   😈
"The early bird" gets the round
{P.S. Bounty Hunter 6 heard about my adventure with the Supreme Commander.   He demanded a photo. He posted about it on his facebook account. Then he made me go back to the same chizzler field and hunt with him on Monday, 2/5/18.  We shot for about 2 hours in 9 MPH winds and then the weather took a turn for the worse.  We had endured winds for our entire time hunting but the actual storm front came in and rain was starting so we packed it up and left.  We reaped about 4 dozen total.  Not fast and furious shooting but still so fun to help agriculture after many cold lonesome months just thinking about it.}

Thursday, February 1, 2018

CRAP-O-RAMA Not Yet


Bounty Hunter 6 and I went to Iron County to look for early rising chizzlers on Tuesday.  We figured some of the early risers would be coming out of their burrows right now.  YES, I know it is still January.  But it has been a mild winter more or less.  Crap-O-Rama -- we had a nice drive up there, we discussed the various topics of the day i.e., Trump, the Super Bowl, and of course chizzlers.  It was a nice sunny day with temperatures in the 40º's.  We had real high hopes.  We had brought our .22LR rifles just in case.

We saw no chizzlers.  We saw no signs of chizzlers.  The only thing that was compensating was the view of several bald eagles sitting in trees surrounding the alfalfa circular fields that looked extra hungry and in a bad mood.  The two dozen or so crows standing around were waiting in the fields for the chizzlers right on the ground  examining closely the mounds of dirt piled up by the chizzlers last fall.  The crows were way anxious and they were on a significant diet of no chizzler meat at all.

All in all we were blanked out.  The eagles were starving and the crows got what they deserved --nothing.  We didn't even in case our rifles.

Check out photos of last year and what we hope for real soon.  I will keep you all updated.
20 minutes work a month into the season
Early season chizzler

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

GETTING READY



I am so excited to go hunt chizzlers.  I asked the Supreme Commander if she wanted to go sight in and practice shooting the chizzler rifles yesterday.  She said "YES".  We went out to practice at 25, 40, and 60 yards.  She did really well.  She has gone with me to help Iron County, Utah agriculture in the past years.  Now, she is retired from teaching elementary school kids in 2nd grade after 25 years of service.  It is time to go back to her farm girl in Idaho roots and help out local agriculture in a new way.

I am trying to teach her to load her own magazines and take care of her own issues while shooting vermin.  I really can't be interrupted when I am in the middle of a death dealing session in the alfalfa field.

BASICALLY, I can hardly wait for the season to begin . . .
It is always better to use targets that approximate the intended game therefore the following are presented from the Supreme Commander's practice session.  25 rounds fired, 25 on target -- kind of.

Monday, January 15, 2018

JUST IN CASE - - -

I can understand some different languages.  Send comments or ideas in English, Español, Portuges, Frances, or Italiano.  I do my best to translate and publish. Thanks, gracias, gracia, merci, and gracia.  {I have been studying via my phone on Duolingo.com   Look at the devious things I get into when I can't hunt vermin.}

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I HAVE A FEVER . . . I WANT TO HUNT CHIZZLERS !

I have a fever, I really want to go hunt chizzlers.

I have just had a great fall big game hunting season.  I should be looking at photos and eating elk steaks while smiling contently at my great fall harvest season.  I did get a nice 78+ inch antelope buck and a spike elk with my son matching my effort in the Book Cliffs, that is 2 elk!  I have had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.  Christmas was beautiful here in Southern Utah.  Bright sunny days and grandkids playing in the yard.  Lots of dark chocolate.  I should be realizing I am super blessed to live the life I do with the great family and friends I have.  I guess I do realize it, but I WANT TO HUNT CHIZZLERS.

I asked Bounty Hunter 6 to go with me  out in the desert to practice shooting our chizzler rifles the other day.  He quickly agreed.  We even took one of Mr. Bob's out of moth balls and shot it for him.  The rifles were spot on.  We were able to hit paper targets and clay pigeons from 50 to 125 yards without a hitch.  I had thought some target practice would ease my fever but alas I only made me more anxious to get out in the alfalfa fields of Iron County to shoot the famous "Chizzleramos Maximus Humori".  Clay pigeons don't make that splat sound when you hit them with a .22LR or a .17 HMR round.  Nor do clay pigeons do the break-dance of death when they are finalizing their earthly experience thanks to a well placed rimfire round.  I was OK with emptying out some rounds down range.  I just want more.  You know more -- splatting sounds and more break dance of death entertainment.

We have had a mild winter in Southern Utah.  I think the chizzlers will be out very early this spring.  Last year Bounty Hunter 6 and I went to "scout" and ended up hunting in late February.  I hope for the same this spring.  I will keep you informed via the blog of all blogs.










Friday, November 10, 2017

SPIKE ELK IN THE BOOKCLIFFS ! ! !

My son and I went again to our favorite elk hunting grounds, the Book Cliffs area in northeastern Utah.  We didn't have "Any Bull" tags but we did have "SPIKE" tags.  These over the counter SPIKE tags were the best we could come up with.  I actually look forward to getting some elk meat for winter.  Someone in the family or a close friend has to get an elk for me to get some steaks and some burger every fall.  It is just required for my life tradition.  I don't buy expensive beef with growth hormones and antibiotics.  I much prefer hobby/hunting produced natural organic elk meat.

This year the Supreme Commander is retired from 24 years of teaching the 2nd grade angel/monsters and I asked if she wanted to go to elk camp.  I was surprised when she said "Yes."  This throws a whole new slant on the world of elk hunting.  She brought warm clothes, a good supply of treats, and two library books to read.  She was not hunting in the field per-se, she was waiting for the elk to come into our camp and laugh at us.  She was on camp guard duty.  Naps were acceptable also during the afternoon guard shift.
Dax, my son, and his entire family came to elk camp also.  It was fun to be with the kids and of course dear Tristie.  We had a good time visiting with each other, eating good food, playing FISH card games and learning card tricks in the camp.  The kids were along in the afternoon hunts.  A great time together in nature for all of us.
The weather at first was unseasonably warm.  It was just sweatshirt weather in the mornings and evenings and a long sleeved shirt was just right in the mid-day hours.  Times would change in just a few days.

We arrived at camp in the late afternoon on Friday 10-6-2017.  After setting up camp we went in different directions looking for elk and or sign of elk.  I went to the northwest a mile or two and scouted around without any luck.  I found a significant number of elk hunters and elk camps but no sign nor even a glimpse of  an elk.

Back at camp after dark our evening meal was kind of traditional for our hunting adventures:  shrimp with alfredo sauce over fettuccine noodles.  Fresh bakery bread, a variety of cheeses along with tomatoes and fruits were served with the meal.  The food was was really good.  We, all 8 of us, took no prisoners.  We played cards until later in the evening.  The youngest grand daughter took the prize as FISH winner that night.  She is a sweetheart and a good winner.
Shrimp in garlic butter being prepared for a feast

 Saturday the hunt started early.  We were out in the field before sun up.  We went all around northeast and northwest from camp and couldn't seem to find the elk. We know they live in the area but they were hiding or something.  We hunted and scouted for some time and then started to head back to camp for brunch at around 10:30 a.m.  We were still out in the field and looking for animals making our way back slowly when we hit a low lying stump with the tire on the passenger rear side of the car.  The short stump only 7 or 8 inches high had a "mean stick" coming out of it, maybe 2",  in to the road and the mean stick tore a hole in our truck tire.  We stopped in the middle of the road and changed over to the spare tire.  The tire change was a three generation effort.  I did some, Dax did some, and Hunter, age 13, did some. 
Kind of neat now that I look back on it, all three generations working for the same purpose.  This was an unexpected misery.  {Then again when do you expect to have a flat tire?  Never, I guess.}  I wonder if the elk had chewed on the stump when it was still a tree to make it grow a "mean stick" out into the road and flatten the tires of the hunters in the fall?  Maybe, the elk seemed to be out smarting us so far.

We made it back to camp around 11:30 a.m. and had brunch.  Again, great food and lots of laughs with family.  The Supreme Commander had just gotten out of bed and was enjoying this type of elk hunting a lot.  Dax makes sure we plan for our meals and can power up with good foods to go out and hunt hard.  I am not so thoughtful and usually eating MRE's and hollow calorie foods and eventually run out of fuel while hunting after just two or three days.  After brunch we had naps, and played games out doors.  I was enthralled by the tic-tac-toe game developed on a tree stump near camp and the kids playing with rocks and pine comes for markers.

After naps we went out on the hunt again.  We traveled to the southeast this time from camp.  We had two vehicles engaged and were traveling glassing and traveling and glassing for a few hours.  As the sun started to lower in the sky we started back to camp.  Dax's truck was leading the convoy and we were cutting through a valley bottom complete with small stream and lots of tall vegetation.  A coyote ran out from the brush in the stream bottom across the two track road we were on and stopped on the hill side just a 100 yards or so in front of Dax's truck.  Dax jumped out of the truck and grabbed his .338 Win Mag rifle, cambered a round, raised it, and shot the coyote.  Kind of an unexpected adventure for us all.  I took a GPS shot to mark the spot for Dax.  He brought down the coyote for all to examine.  I can certify from my examination a .338 Win mag rifle with 225 gr. Barnes copper bullets is "enough" gun to take a coyote at 100 yards.  Extra dead, DRT, no suffering for the calf/fawn killer.  Dax removed the lower jaw and the ears for the $50 bounty to be paid by the big game hunters alliance with the DWR in critical areas of nurture for young calves and fawns.  The $50 will help with the cost of a new tire.
It was dark when we got back to camp.  We made another delicious meal and played FISH until late.  We had decided to not hunt, and sleep in on Sunday. We would watch some LDS General Conference talks recorded on a lap top computer from the week before on the Sabbath Day after a late breakfast.  The whole gang had to go back to civilization Sunday afternoon for school and other commitments so just Dax, the Supreme Commander, and I were left in camp to look for spike elk.

Monday, 10-9-2017, Mother Nature brought us a surprise in the night, it had snowed about 9 inches!

We went out and hunted all over the area.  It was kind of dicey driving on the new snow but we put my truck in 4X4 drive and slowly motored around OK.  I have lived 30 years + in the desert so snow is considered a 4-letter word for me.  I did just fine driving my good old Chevy, even though I was kind of out of practice.  We traveled into the lower elevation areas thinking the elk had moved down due to the snow.  NO luck seeing any elk.  We did see a few deer but not actually that many.  I dropped Dax off at the start of a famous side canyon and he was going to hunt up the canyon and then crest out into a more major drainage.  I was to drive the truck over there and watch and wait for him.  I went about 2 miles southeast and up the drainage.  I watched/glassed diligently in all directions for a couple of hours.  Dax hiked and hiked and scouted for elk without results.  He didn't even see any tracks we could follow in the new snow.  We finally met up and headed back to camp on the mud and snow covered roads.  We were kind of disappointed in not seeing even some tracks in the snow.  While driving back we discussed leaving the area and the camp for a few days, 4 or 5, and then coming back later hoping for better opportunities.  We couldn't figure any area in this end of the State that would be better. 

Arriving back at camp I think we woke up the Supreme Commander at 11:30 a.m.  We had a fine lunch of Mexican food and sodas.  We took short naps then went out again.  This time I suggested we go to the area where we had killed bears a few years earlier.  It was right on the Colorado boarder.  There were no elk in the elk area so I thought why not look in the non-elk areas? We drove to the proposed drainage and when we got to the turn off to "bear county" we saw the road had absolutely no tire tracks on it.  We would be the first ones down in this area in the last day or so.  We started down the drainage and the scenery was beautiful.  The snow was so white and the trees were so green.  It was beautiful.  I was really enjoying being with my son and hunting, these are special moments in life. This is something we have done together for many years.  I always enjoy being with my boys in nature.  Both of my sons are great men and enjoy nature and the wild.

As we made our way down the drainage Dax saw elk tracks in the snow on the road.  He said "Be ready".  I went a bit slower and watched the hill side as much as I could and still drive on the teflon covered frozen water.  Dax said "Stop, there they are."  I backed up the road about 50 yards and we stopped the truck and got out.  The elk had moved up the hillside from the road/trail and they were moving away from us up hill to the east.  There were about 30 head in the small herd.  Dax spotted a spike elk on the left side and I saw one on the right side of the group.  We charged our rifles with Dax at the front of the truck on the drivers side and I near the rear of the truck on the same side leveled our rifles and started our harvest.  I shot at a spike elk and hit it and Dax shot the same one by coincidence.  I had my scope on 6.5X power when I fired my first shot.  I heard the smack of the bullets impact -- both mine and Dax's.  I turned up my scope to 12X then moved on to the escaping spike elk on the right side.  I fired again and heard the impact of the bullet again.  Dax and I fired almost simultaneously on this elk, also. He was shooting the "Designated Hitter"* a .338 Win Mag with had loaded Barnes 225 grain Triple shock bullets hand loaded to 2,800 feet per second muzzle velocity.  I was shooting a .300 Rem. Ultra Mag. with 180 grain Barnes Triple shock bullets hand loaded to about 3,330 feet per second muzzle velocity.   We both hit both elk.  Needless to say it happened fast and the elk were dead.  We both shoot big rifles and the elk were only 216 yards from the truck.  I lazered the range after they were down. No time to be exact when they were on the escape route.  THE WORK STARTS NOW. . .

Dax and I point the elk down hill and start to drag them towards the road.  Gravity and the coefficient of friction on snow take effect and they kind of slide, with some help, to a semi-level spot 50 yards uphill from the road.  We field dress the animals and then drag them the last 50 yards in the snow to the edge of the road cut.  I back the truck up to the road cut and we slide the elk WHOLE into the back of the truck. The snow started out as a hindrance but ended up helping us out a lot.
This is way too fun!  Lots of time with my son in nature, family and games at camp, and a 50 yard drag to the truck.  Am I a spoiled elk hunter?  Hell, yes!  We head back to camp and the Supreme Commander is happy to see us  back before dark and elated about the elk we have in the back of the truck.  She wants her photo with the animals.  We oblige:

The next morning we pack up camp and head to town to get the meat processed.  It is a fun trip to go into Vernal, Utah and have a great meal at Cafe Rio and pat each other on the back for a successful hunt.  It is Tuesday and there are certain lunch specials for us at the Cafe.

Kind of cool all in all.  I look forward to getting the meat for my freezer.  I am truly blessed in so many ways.  I am thankful.  Humbly thankful for all I am given in this life and for life it self.

 {*Named Designated Hitter because it has taken a wide variety of game from rabbits and coyotes to zebra and kudu and everything in between like deer, pronghorn, and elk.  This rifle is very accurate and has yet to let the hunter down on performance.} 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

2017 Muzzle Loader Deer Hunt Report

Guess what?  We didn't get a deer during the muzzle loader deer season hunting in the Abajo Mountain area in extreme southeast Utah.  We did have a great time together hunting and seeing the beauties of nature.  The colorful leaves were at their peak for color!  I am a crusty old man but even I was impressed with the beauties God has given us here on earth.

We hunted for several days and just couldn't get a shot at a deer with antlers on its head.  There were a multitude of deer in the area but none of them met the requirements of our tags, e.g. antlers.  Let me post some photos of the country and the absolutely unafraid deer we saw almost hourly while hunting.  It is called "hunting" for a reason.  It is not always just harvesting.
Beautiful colored leaves

panorama S.S.E.
panorama S.S.W.

I have never hunted in the Monticello, Utah area.  It is beautiful.  The folks in town are friendly and I think it is wonderful over there.  Only thing is -- crap-o-rama -- it is a long way from anywhere.  The travel time is taxing to say the least.  I have been through the area before while a college student and also on motorcycle trips to the Four Corners Monument but just passing through in a hurry and didn't take time to see the extremely beautiful surroundings.  Hunting is kind of special that way, it allows you to take time to see every thing and enjoy the beauty of nature {while waiting to kill some some animal for food}.
unafraid deer taunting me N37º50.426 W109º27.673 Elev = 11,313

Sanctuary deer living near the local temple in town
Our camp was in the pines and we had it really pretty good.  It rained once but the weather was as good as can be expected in the fall in the mountains.  We were able to hunt everyday and saw a multitude of does and fawns.  Many of the does had two fawns.  The twin fawns will mean good hunting in years to come. Our camp was simple but fun. My grandson HUNTER came and actually got a shot at a 3x3 buck or so at just over 200 yards.  A bit too far for a muzzle loader.  Maybe next year. ? ? !
Hunter all snuggled in until morning

Camp was comfortable N37º49.115 W109º27.261 Elev = 8,465

I saw a bear track and a younger live bear looking for something to eat.  I spooked the little bear and he ran like the IRS was after him into the brush and disappeared.  Maybe a deer next year for both me and the bears.  My last years' deer hunt was so superb I can't rationally expect an equal follow up.
Monticello, Utah beautiful
{NOTE: Virgin Mobile lies about service in this area, or zip code.  they indicated full service and they beguiled me.  I took my phone and was not able to contact anyone through talk or text until I got near to Cedar City, Utah. Just so you know.}