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My 2022 scouting season began over Memorial Day weekend when I set up a few trail cameras. The next time I was able to get out was July 2nd.

I had a mishap on that trip. I was about 120 miles from home when I noticed my ATV seat and side engine panel were missing. Luck would have it that the panel flew under the ATV and lodged under the rear tire. With some ½” screws I was able to re-secure it where the clips had snapped off. Unfortunately, the seat was long gone. I had to create a makeshift seat which wasn’t very comfortable! I did see a couple of nice bucks on this trip that had me hopeful for the fall hunts.

Deer Natural landscape Plant Fawn Grass

Plant Deer Natural landscape Grass Fawn

I ended up getting Covid the last week of July and it took until late August for me to feel well again. On Labor Day weekend I worked on a couple of blinds for the upcoming rifle elk hunt.

Day 1—September 28th: The opening of the Utah muzzy deer hunt was finally here and I had both a dedicated deer tag and a multi-season elk tag I’d be using this year. I was going to treat this hunting trip more as a scouting trip and see where the bucks were and how they were reacting to the hunting pressure. I was in a new area that I’d not hunted before. Unfortunately, I had some delays first thing in the morning and was beat to my pre-scouted spot by three other guys, so I had to back off and give them space66. I ended up seeing just a couple of small bucks and a lot of does. I was happy to see that almost every doe had a fawn with her and often had twins.

Day 2—The same guys beat me to the glassing spot again about an hour before light, so I changed plans and glassed a different area. Again, I only say a couple of small bucks and lots of does. In the afternoon I decided to check out an area that I had hunted years ago. It used to hold some nice bucks but then the bears and lions took over the place and the deer disappeared. I glassed the rugged canyon for about two hours without spotting a single deer. Just before dark I could hear something moving in the timber below me, but it never came out into the open, so I’m not exactly sure what it was. I can only dream it may have been that monster buck I was looking for.

Day 3:

I decided to check out another area several miles south. A lot of does and fawns were spotted. About mid-morning I came upon a couple of guys walking back to their ATVs. I recognized the vehicles as the same guys that had previously beaten me to the other spot. What were the odds of coming across them again several miles away? I asked them if they had seen any mature bucks and they told me that they had found a 32” wide buck but couldn’t locate it the first couple of days. They told me that most of the bigger bucks they were seeing were down in the bottom of some very deep, steep canyons. I wanted to take it easy in the afternoon, so I planned on checking out yet another area I hunted years ago which was about an hour’s drive away. Unfortunately, I got rained out by a heavy thunderstorm and the road down in to the area was deemed impassible when wet. I didn’t want to press my luck so I took the evening hunt off and rested up.

Day 4:

My plan on this morning was to hunt lower elevation in the timber, hoping that’s where the bucks had moved to. I had been hunting an old burn area up on top but it was obvious that the bucks were not out in the open. They were either down in the deep canyons or in the thick timber, so I got the wind in my favor and hunted down a ridge, glassing each small draw I came upon. I again saw a lot of fawns and does but finally, after still hunting almost two miles, I came across a group of six bucks. The two biggest were small 130” class 4 points about 18-20” wide. Since I still had two more rifle hunts I could go on, I decided to pass on this group. I tried one more area in the evening after breaking camp, only to see a few more small two points and does. That sums up my Utah muzzy deer hunt. Here’s a look at my camp and some of the country I was hunting…..
Plant Sky Natural landscape Larch Evergreen
Cloud Sky Plant Motor vehicle Car
Sky Cloud Natural landscape Mountain Slope
Plant community Ecoregion Plant Natural landscape Slope
Sky Plant Mountain Plant community Natural landscape
Plant Plant community Tarpaulin Tree Shade

Time to get ready for the rifle elk and early rifle deer hunts. I’m taking a whole week off work and ready to go.

Just to throw a little salt in my wounds, I came across this group of bucks just a few hundred yards on private. The biggest buck on the right sure had a tank for a body…..
Plant Organism Deer Elk Fawn
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