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Does anyone else hunt a particular area that might not even be very good just for 'old times sake' or nostalgic reasons? I have hunted northern Idaho whitetails for over 20 years now. The country is really cool and there are lots of deer at times but the chances of taking a 'trophy' deer are almost non-existent. In fact, the genetics in the area produce very few mature bucks that ever grow more than 8 points.(3-point with eye guards) I love this hunt and can't wait to go again every year. Over the years, I've shared this hunt with dozens of friends and family members making so many great memories.

Does anyone else like to hunt an area that is 'poor' by today's trophy-driven standards? I'd love to hear some stories. A few pics would be greatly appreciated as well.

Here is one of this years Idaho whitetails where he fell. I've taken many just like him over the years and I hope that I live long enough to take many more. I look forward to the days when we can take 4 generations of family up north to hunt the little brown deer on the big steep mountains.----SS
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My dad and I have hunted the same area for general deer my entire life. My dad has hunted it for his entire life, and his father hunted it for his entire life. My great-grandfather discovered it when he moved to Utah in the 1920s.

Dad had a lot of good times there growing up. When we arrive at a particular place on the mountain, I get to hear a hunting story from a deer season long ago, involving him or his family members. I've heard some stories many, many times, but a new one still pops up every now and again.

I can tell that all of the memories really enrich the hunting experience for my dad. That must be the main reason he goes back, because the hunting there has been terrible for quite a while. I go there because he goes there. It seems like we luck into a forkhorn every 5 years or so (though never when I have a tag...).

I debate whether I'll keep going there once Dad's hunting career is over. It's a nice place, but I have substantially fewer distinct hunting memories of it than he does. Just lots of days without much to show for it.
 

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The year was 1967 and my father, along with his brother and father, were invited by some extended family members to their deer camp along the Utah/Idaho border. This invitation would lead to nearly 40 years of successful deer hunts in some incredibly gorgeous country!

My favorite memory of hunting this area happened when I was probably five or six... As usual, my Dad would park at the head of the canyon just before first light and sneak down a finger of pines to a small clearing where we've taken dozens of deer from over the years. Not having the capacity to sit still and be quiet, I was to stay in the truck with my Mom. Every single year when my Dad would drop into the canyon and the shooting would start, deer would start sneaking across the sage flats by the truck and head for some other canyons. This particular year, my Mom had a tag and a 3 point buck made the mistake of sneaking by the truck at less than 100 yards. The ol' 243 anchored the buck and I yelled, "Mom, you just killed Bambi." Thinking this was a total compliment on my part, but I soon realized this wasn't taken as a compliment!! That deer was the first and last deer my Mom ever shot. It's a running joke in our family every hunting season that someone is going to kill Bambi.

As I have gotten older, the deer numbers have continued to decline and decline out there. The same story is true with the sage grouse. I no longer hunt deer and sage grouse out there, but I drew an antelope tag about 45 minutes away from the old camp site a few years ago. It was fun to go to the old camp, and relive all the wonderful memories. Here's my little hunting buddy, crushing some pop cans with his BB gun. Seems like yesterday I was crushing some pop cans with my BB gun in the exact same spot.


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One of the earliest memory of deer hunting is that of riding in a pickup truck with my grandpa and my father and uncles. I may have been about 5 or 6 years old at the time. Now some 60+ years later I still hunt the general area of that memory and have for that whole time spent hunting time there. It has had its ups and downs and currently is not a "hot" area by any means but me and the family hunt it as often as possible.
 

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I have a letter that My Dad sent to my Uncle that was living and teaching school in Randolph in the 60's, letting him know he missed a great deer hunt. The letter made mention of the "new .270 caliber" that was creating a lot of attention for hunters.

In the letter Dad said that they had to hook the jeeps up to each other with chains on all 4 to make it to the top of Strawberry Ridge and Streeper. He also said that he had seen the biggest buck he's ever seen at the top of the canyon.

I remember seeing some old black and white photos of that years deer camp with a hanging poll in the trees, along with 4 28-30" bucks hanging.

I've been there many times and have yet to see that buck Dad saw that day.
 

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Our ranch is in the middle of what’s now a limited entry deer unit. But all growing up it was just the normal deer hunt. My mom and her sisters and their husbands and all us cousins would spend the entire deer hunt at the ranch. I remember amazing deer camp suppers and hunting stories. If anyone shot a 24 inch four point opening morning they would of been laughed out of camp. They killed some great deer in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a blast to finally turn 16 and get to carry a rifle and become a hunter. My wife and I have created our own tradition now that our old area is a limited entry draw. We head for our favorite mountain annually on the muzzle loader hunt. It’s the highlight of our year to spend ten days chasing bucks. My hunting heritage runs deep. I’ll try and post a pic from 1949 of my grandmother and her 39 inch typical she shot we call old Moe. She is the lady with black hair behind the guy holding the horns. Grandpa is in the foreground in the cowboy hat. She tracked that buck for two days on the desert and shot him with a 32 Winchester. The picture is a picture of a picture taken on my phone
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Our ranch is in the middle of what’s now a limited entry deer unit. But all growing up it was just the normal deer hunt. My mom and her sisters and their husbands and all us cousins would spend the entire deer hunt at the ranch. I remember amazing deer camp suppers and hunting stories. If anyone shot a 24 inch four point opening morning they would of been laughed out of camp. They killed some great deer in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a blast to finally turn 16 and get to carry a rifle and become a hunter. My wife and I have created our own tradition now that our old area is a limited entry draw. We head for our favorite mountain annually on the muzzle loader hunt. It’s the highlight of our year to spend ten days chasing bucks. My hunting heritage runs deep. I’ll try and post a pic from 1949 of my grandmother and her 39 inch typical she shot we call old Moe. She is the lady with black hair behind the guy holding the horns. Grandpa is in the foreground in the cowboy hat. She tracked that buck for two days on the desert and shot him with a 32 Winchester. The picture is a picture of a picture taken on my phone View attachment 149811
The photo I mentioned almost looks similar. I love the old vehicles they used, and if you were lucky, you would be driving a Willys cj3 to get to camp. Or, there were horses and mules in the camp and a couple wall tents or military tents. One for sleeping quarters and the other for a cook shack.

I do remember Dad had a Tote Goat in the 70's he would give me a ride on and I saw him come out of the woods with a buck strapped to it and he was sitting on top of the buck ridding it up the hill to the old willys pickup he had. The "goat" was the ATV to have in the 60's and 70's.
 

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I've hunted so much of the state of Utah it would be hard to come up with a good nostalgic hunting area.

My dad hunted on the North Tinic north of Eureka. I think that I have figured out just where it is but need to get out there to see what I can remember about it from 64 years ago when I was 5 years old, which was the last year that my dad was able to hunt.

We hunted a lot down around Blanding, but now all that land is posted. Back in the 60's the landowners welcomed us with open arms and told us to shoot as many deer as we wanted. Then there was the area up the left hand fork of the White River out of Shoulder Summit. I killed my first ruffle grouse up there using my old 06, took it's head off with one shot. The statue of limitations have ran out on that one. Then there was the area between Shoulder Creek and Strawberry before they took the dam out. All that area is now posted private. Those sagebrush flats and small draws held a lot of bucks.

Then there was Garners Canyon in Spanish Fork Canyon. There is a home sitting right where we used to access the area. We would hike up the canyon and then either cross over to West Canyon out of Tie Fork for just settle in for the day munching on wild watercrest that we would pick out of the creek before we headed up the hill.

I loved the hunts down on the Henry Mountains. While I never brought home that 36" buck I saw a number of them taken off of it. I'll never forget the day that I was sitting in a grove of aspens when I heard what had to be a whole herd of deer coming my way, only to see a dozen bison walking up the hill. They came within 50 yards of where I was sitting.

Did I mention that I did a lot of hunting all over the state?
 

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Nice post SS. My daughter saw the whitetails and said they sure look neat! You guys do make some great memories.

Our family, like many, had a deer camp until the State stopped the OTC sales. We would have many families of relatives and friends- lots of tags in camp and lots of fun. We hunted the Southern portion of the Nebo and did ok. The memories came from the camp and some from the hunt. Sad when it ended. My kids have never been to a deer camp. I've never taken them back to the old haunts. Failed there, but we have tried to make new places contain some memories. I hunted the old grounds a couple times alone after our family camp ended and took my Dad with me the last time I hunted it. It kind of made me sad to feel that chapter close and I haven't been back since.

My Dad had his last deer tag in the early 2000s- I don't remember the year. I talked him into hunting the area he had hunted with his Dad since he was old enough to go (around 8yo), where he hunted with his brothers, with his friends and family, and with his sons. We drove the truck up the mtn and it was rougher than we had remembered. It had been about 10 years since the last time we hunted there. We walked out The Trail and he said he'd wait in the aspens (next to a tree I had carved my initials in when I was single digit age and in the same spot my brother shot a buck that seemed to be trying to breed a doe) while I worked over to the Trough and the Valleys- hoping a buck would try to sneak around me and come towards him. I slowly hunted these areas and knew right where I wanted to be, even with the gap of time between hunts there. We had radios, but didn't use them.

I was heading toward a sage opening where we once saw 3 huge bucks from across the canyon. My Dad was so excited at the time and me being 12, I couldn't believe how big they were. My brother and Dad's friend were there too, asking "Where are they?" And my dad said "In the sage, by the aspens!" which described the whole canyon. Those bucks never did get shot. The second year I was married, my wife shot just under a 28"ish solid buck in that very sage.

I was slowly working toward the edge of some aspens when a wide, mature 4 point came busting out from less than 15' away. He had been laying, tucked under a deadfall, with his head on the ground. I got him in the scope, but didn't have enough time to pull the trigger before he was gone. The buck was headed toward where Dad was standing, yet must have stayed just inside the tree line. We hiked back out and all these years later I still haven't been back.

I have other stories from there that I won't bore people with, but I'm glad SS made this post. Makes me feel like I need to take my kids there to hunt one day soon......
 

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That was the camo pattern of the day. I still have my jacket I wore duck hunting with that same camo from 1982. My son later wore it when he was my age back then... its still in the closet, I'll give it to the grandkids some day.

-DallanC
 
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