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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well guys, this post is super late but I wanted to post about our LE Muzzy elk hunts this year. I have meant to post sooner but have been lazy and haven't posted it here. It was an amazing year, I didn't get the bull I had originally set out to get and dreamt about since finding out that I drew the Expo tag last February but it turned out great and was able to help my 84 Year Old grandpa get his first bull as well as make the most of my dad last minute Expo tag. It was a year I will never forget and am grateful for how it turned out.

The 1st pic of my grandpa, my dad, my brother and I with grandpa's bull.
The 2nd is my and my grandpa with his bull, it was killed close to a trail so we just drug it whole and loaded it up.
The 3rd and fourth are of my and my bull as well as me and my dad.
The 5th is after getting home with my daughter, she was thrilled.
The 6th and 7th are of us with my dad's bull.

Also, thanks to everyone on here that offered up advice and kind words leading up to the hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have an in-depth write-up I posted on another site that I could post up here too, it is really long though between the three hunts.
 

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Congrats on a trio of elk!

Did I read that right? Both you and your dad drew Expo tags this year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congrats on a trio of elk!

Did I read that right? Both you and your dad drew Expo tags this year?
Yeah, kind of crazy. I drew mine with the normal Expo draw and about a month before the hunt my dad got a call from the DWR saying someone had turned in their expo tag and he was next on the list. So we both got pretty lucky but my dad also killed a good bull down in the Bookcliffs last year. Its been a great couple of years to say the least!
 

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That is way beyond getting kind of lucky...congrats on an awesome season.
 

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I have an in-depth write-up I posted on another site that I could post up here too, it is really long though between the three hunts.
Yeah, yeah, post up.

Boy your dad's bull is a dandy. I'd run the other way if I see that big SOB!

.
 

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Nice!! Gotta love the trifecta. All nice bulls. Your dads bull sure is a dandy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You asked for it...

Here is the write-up for the hunts. The first part is for my hunt, I kind of did a journal entry for each of the days we were down there. Hope you enjoy and can over-look my poor grammar and spelling.

Day 1, we left home just after 1 PM and stopped in Manti topped off the truck and ate at Millers Drive-In, if you are ever in town there you should give it a try. They have a good burger and good donuts. After that we left town and made it to camp, set up, and left camp about 6:30 to start looking for some elk.
We arrived and the overlook and started glassing. The first animals we saw were a bunch of sheep, then some sheep herders, and their camp (which seemed to be on almost every ridge down there). I thought the night was a bust then we heard a bugle and a decent 5 point came out of trees with 9 cows. They were running all over and the bull was really working hard to keep them together. After a while two other cows and calves came out but stayed away from rest of the herd herd. I figured we had a good first night.


Day 2 We got up early went up to a canyon I had scouted prior to the hunt, as soon as we were off of the Ranger we could hear a bull bugle and saw a decent 5*6 with cows. After watching them go into the trees, some other people came down to where we were looking. We ended up talking for a while; one of the guys had a Muzzy tag as well. So we told them what we had been seeing and went on our way. I hope they had a successful hunt. We decided to head back to camp but took an indirect route down another canyon to see if we could spot any deer for my dad and brother. We ended up seeing a lot of deer and even some bucks.
After breakfast and some rest we went on a long ride down past 12 mile to another area we were told to check out. It ended up being a really long ride and while we didn't see much we did see some beautiful country some being good spots to keep in mind if the week drug on. On our way back it was almost dark, but we decided to go to one more place and glass before dark. Glassing across a canyon right before dark I spotted a couple cows. They weren't moving just kind of feeding in a tiny clearing where I had spotted them. Nothing else seemed to be moving and right as I was putting the scope away a few more came out followed by a nice 6 point bull. He came out and was chasing the cows and trying to round them up. He ended up having 20 cows with him by the time they all made it out of the trees and I knew this was a bull I would like to keep an eye on. What a great way to end the day.

Day 3 we went back out to the spot from the previous morning but we got out a little late, only saw one lone bull, I think we was just a 2-point. At least it was an elk though. That afternoon went and found a trail to get to the big bull and had a nice little hike. The rest of our party arrived late afternoon. We ate dinner then headed back to see if we could spot the big bull from the night before. We were able to find him again a couple hundred yards from where we spotted him the previous night again, right before dark. It was a very calm night and we couldn't hear any elk talking anywhere. Which we found quite surprising. I was excited though that the bull was in the same area and I think we had a good game plan for getting out to him the next morning.
Opening Day! We all headed out bright and early, after a night of little to no sleep, to try to get where we saw the big bull. The Rangers we off before light led by the dirt road and stars. We were there pretty early so we talked and waited. The whole time the anxiety and anticipation was about all I could handle. We finally headed out along the top of the ridge. We were all amazed at how quiet it was. When we made it out towards the end we let out a couple calls answered only by silence. We continued down towards where we had seen the bull the previous two nights. We would occasionally call without response other than some coyotes. About this time we hear howling and barking coming from the canyon below. After listening for a while we can hear that it is a pack of hounds that must have been hot on the trail of a bear or something. Man can those animals make some noise. We didn't see much that morning, we heard one bugle and my brother-in-law got a glimpse of a couple cows but not exactly what we expected. After we continued to search and call to no avail, we made our way back to the ranger. My dad, brother, and grandpa were close to where we had hiked off from the Rangers so we sat with them they had seen elk but nothing close or that was anywhere my grandpa could hike to. We made it back to camp after additional glassing.
On the way down a local old timer stopped us to see if we were hunting elk. We told him we were and hadn't seen much that morning. We told us to find the wallows cause with the heat that is where the elk would be. At camp we had lunch and a quick rest. I was somewhat discouraged by the lack of action that morning and the silence of the elk. We headed out a little later that afternoon to go checkout some wallows my brother-in-law and his dad knew about. As we were leaving I was feeling better about our chances. I look at our group as we leave and say that I have a good feeling about tonight! We got to the road that leads to where we wanted to look. So we parked the Rangers and started walking down the seldom used 4-wheeler trail. After a short walk Shawn, my brother-in-law, let out a bugle and I cow called and we got a quick response from a bull with a mean sounding bugle. We keep calling and he keeps answering but doesn't seem to want to move. Suddenly we look up and there is a bull standing there just off of the road. After a couple of well-placed shots, one right through the lungs, my 84-Year-Old grandpa had his first bull elk. He is a nice little rag horn 4x5. We were all pretty excited and started taking pictures and admiring grandpa's bull.
As we are getting him taken care of the big bull from earlier is still responding to our calls. So I set up in front of Shawn and wait to see if we can get him to come in. As we are calling we look up and another elk is coming in. I see it is a bull as he is coming through the trees but can't tell how big. He ends up coming within 30 yards but is just a small rag a bit smaller than the first one and broken off about half way up his right beam. I let him walk and deiced to hold off on the big one and we spent the rest of the night getting grandpas bull taken care of. This was a great way to finish opening day.

Day 5: Today was a tough day mentally for me. The morning found us where we had parked the Rangers the afternoon before. As soon as we parked we could hear the bulls going crazy. We waited until shooting light and went up to where it sounded like the most action was. We got to as much of a clearing as we could find, but it was more just where the quakies weren't quite as thick. Shawn set up and called from about 20 yards away. The Bulls were responding to cow calls and bugles but again, nothing would come in. Finally a mud covered 5 point came through but not in a spot where I had a shooting lane that I felt good about. After a while all the Bulls seemed to move off a little. We ended up chasing bugles all morning we got close a couple times but we either had just cows come in or smaller bulls that never presented a good shot. It was a fun morning but I think I enjoy mornings like more when I'm just helping and it is not my tag. That is one of the things I forgot on this hunt was just to enjoy every minute spent in the woods and try to not let the stress of the tag and tagging a bull get to you. Easier said than done!
After lunch I decided to go sit a little stream instead of take a nap at camp, dad joined me. Didn't see or hear an elk the whole time. But I figured it was better than being in camp. We met the rest of camp back at the RZR and went to check out the canyon where we had seen the 5x6 a couple days prior, it was pretty quiet as well. Right before dark we got on top of a big knoll above the wallows where we were at that morning. We did hear some bugles but nothing too close. Finally we watched the west facing slopes of one of the ridges coming off skyline and see some cows and then the big boy came out. He was a huge bull and was almost white in color. I had never seen an elk that was that light in color. It was really cool to see. So we figured that knoll was the place to be first thing in the morning. It seemed like a good place with lower open points on either side that the elk could use from their feeding areas to the bedding and wallows below.

Day 6: Well we got it done today. Going into the day I was feeling a lot of pressure. It was the last day that Shawn and Kurt could be there and I know me, Kole, and my dad could have got it done. However, I felt best if I could do it with them there. I was also thinking of my dad's hunt and making sure we had the time needed to get him a bull as well. Anyways, morning found us hiking up to "the knoll" above the wallows. We made it up to the top just as it was getting light. We hear a few bugles but nothing like the morning before. I wasn't sure what to do but I decide to go look off the other end that we couldn't see to check it out. Nothing was moving so I go back over to Kole and Shawn. After quietly talking about what to do for a minute or two, Kole says there's some elk. I look below and sure enough there were a few cows. We figured if there we cows there would be a bull too; so I sneak down to the next ledge to get a better look. After crouching and crawling to get to the edge, I look down to see the cows and I see I lighter colored elk so I figured this must be the bull. So I pull my binos up see he is a bull and thought he looked good enough, he was just staring at me so I knew I had to be quick. I pull my gun up and the scope covers are on. I get those off and he is still looking my way, quartering towards me so I take aim pull the hammer back and squeeze the trigger. Through the smoke I see elk running and disappear. Kole and Shawn couldn't see the bull so they were surprised when the shot rang out. They run down and wonder what just happened. As I tell them I'm trying to reload just in case it is needed. We look down and I tell them where the elk was standing. We see something tan right where I thought the bull was but it was just a rock so we decide to wait a few minutes before going to check it out. We finally make our way down there and we can't find any trace of blood or anything. I do a few circles to make sure and still nothing. In the process of this I thought I heard the groaning but didn't think much of it. So we continue looking and I think back in the shot. As I was getting into position Kole had said 150 so I had just put my cross-hairs right on him. After I ranged the spot it was actually 106 so I thought maybe I shot over him. Just as I was getting more and more upset about missing I hear wrestling in the brush, so I look and don't see anything so I figure it was s deer or something that I couldn't see. So we continue looking for any sign of blood or a hit. After a few minutes of that I hear the wrestling in the brush again and I look and can see a tan spot. Then I see it move and see the antlers. I tell the others that he is down and radio my dad and Kurt and tell them to get up here. The bull was still kicking and would try to put his head up. I wanted to put another in him to make sure he wouldn't suffer but could only see antler and rear quarter. So we gave him a couple more minutes and he finally expired. I made my way to him. As we approach my elk I can tell he isn't the caliber of bull I originally had set out to get but he was down and my bull!
Even though he wasn't my "dream" bull, it was still an awesome experience walking up and finally putting my hands on my first bull elk. I have put many miles on the ground and had some great experience helping family and friends get and haul out their elk so it was an experience I will never forget having it finally be for me. I wish I would have enjoyed it more and not worried so much about the size of the rack.
We waited for my dad and Kurt to make it up to the bull before we started the work; after taking pictures and rehearsing the story the work started. We made pretty good time getting the elk quartered and even boned out the hind quarters. It was crazy how much bigger the body was on this bull compared to my grandpa's, especially considering the racks were somewhat sized. My brother had gone back to camp and brought my grandpa in to the kill spot because he wanted to be there. So that made the experience even sweeter.
We were able to make it back to the Rangers in one trip, so that was a plus. Once we made it back to camp we cook a late breakfast and helped Shawn, Kurt, and grandpa get packed up so they could be home before too late. I can't express my gratitude to them enough for the time they spent helping on this hunt. Shawn and Kurt spent almost as much time and as many mornings in the hills looking for elk as I did and they gave up a lot of time and to help me and are true friends and I can't wait to repay them when they finally get their tags as well. I was really glad I was able to tag out with them there with me, especially Shawn watching it. I am lucky to have two sisters that married great guys that I like to spend time with.
We stayed that night and the next morning to try and find my dad and brother a deer but unfortunately weren't able to make it happen after a couple of close calls. So we packed up to head home, clean up, and head out to my dad's hunt.

After about 24 hours at home we were loaded back up and driving to my dad's area for his last minute expo tag.

We made the drive to my dad's area Friday afternoon. We haven't spent much time in this area but thanks to a friend we were able to find a decent place to park even though there were quite a few people up there for the deer hunt as well. It was kind of crazy though we went up Blacksmith Fork Canyon and in the time that past between us going up the canyon and getting parked a fire had started in the canyon and was filling the air with smoke. I guess a power line had fell and started the fire, we were glad we made it up before because it would have made for a much longer night.

We got camp set up and it was too late to really do any hunting, so we kind of just hung out for a little while. My friend that had offered to help ended up going out of town, but he set us up with his friend who also had extensive knowledge of the area to give us a hand. I had never met our new friend but had talked over text so we went down to try and get service so we could call and meet up to make a plan, unfortunately the canyon got shut down so we couldn't get down to get service and come to find out Mike, our new friend and guide, had to take the long way around to get in because of the fire as well. On our way down to get service we ended up seeing a herd of elk but they were on protected land that we could hunt but it was still cool to see them on the skyline as the sun was going down. I wish I had been able to get a picture. We ended up driving the other way that night and were finally able to get service to talk to Mike to set up our meeting time for the next morning.
Morning came fast and we were up and anxiously waiting for Mike to show us around and see what we could find. He showed up right on time and we all introduced ourselves and he told us what the plan was for the morning and we got on the four-wheelers and Rangers to head out. Keep in mind none of us had ever met Mike before but within minutes of talk to him, it was like we were hunting with an old friend and his knowledge of the area and elk hunting in general would prove invaluable to us on the hunt.
After a nice early morning ride we were in the spot Mike had told us about and were ready to hike. It was a quick hike to where we wanted to be the wind was howling but we could still hear a few bugles but they were on private ground and didn't seem interested in coming into any of our calls.

Coming into this weekend we knew Mike only had Saturday and Sunday to help us so we figured it would be best to put as many miles on as possible so that we could pick his brain as much as possible to try and learn as much as we could about the area in the two short days we had with him. So after we made it back to the machines we rode to an area that had a good lookout to glass and from there he could show us a lot of area to try and put things together. After glassing for a while and talking about different possibilities my friend Andrew who came up for the first day spotted an elk a long ways away. It was really an amazing spot considering how far away the elk was. After looking more closely through the scope we could see it was a bull and was worth trying to get closer to. After getting closer we could see the elk was still in the same general area. So we made a plan to close the distance. We decided that my dad, Mike, and my bother Kole would work in close to the elk and try to call him down and Andrew and I would spot from the next ridge to see if we could find the bull and see if he decided to play.

After they got into position and started calling, we finally found the bull and we was making his way down to the calls. He got within 150 yards or so but was in the trees and they couldn't see him. He appeared to be going right in, but never made it closer than that before we see him and about 8 cows bust out that we hadn't seen before they were running up over the ridge. We met back up and found out that right about the time the bull was getting close the wind had shifted and went right up into them. We were a little bummed but excited about the close call and being into elk that fast.

We decided to head back to camp and get ready to meet back up that afternoon to see more area and try to find more elk. We ended up having a good night, the howling winds didn't let up but we saw that bull again and made a play but unfortunately were not successful in trying to get him to come in. It was another great night though and my brother and Andrew who were on a different ridge hear some bugles as the sun went down so we decided to head back there in the morning to see what we could find.

The next morning it was just the four of us, as Andrew had to be home, headed to the same area as the night before. On the drive in that morning right off the side of the road was a beautiful six point bull elk the slowly walked in front of us and up the hill on the other side. He gave a bugle as we drove away wishing he had been on public land as opposed to the private area he was on.

As we arrived to the spot from the night before our hopes were high that we would be able to close the deal before Mike had to go later that day. There wasn't much action in that spot so we went a little further up the trail and were able to get a couple bulls to respond to our calls and we set up to see if they would come in. We ended up having at least 3 or 4 bulls respond but unfortunately we couldn't get any to come out of the trees and after while of calling and waiting we decide to try one more place that morning before just riding around to see a couple places to try in the coming days.

After parking the machines we decided to just hike down this little canyon a little ways to see if anything would respond. The canyon had a nice water hole just off the top and was kind of a little basin that made a natural funnel down to the canyon below. After a quick cow call we instantly had a response and knew this could be our chance. When we left our Ranger we basically took what we were wearing and my dad's gun so I ran back up to get our packs and my dad's shooting sticks. After making it down to my dad and Mike we worked our way down a little bit further and as Mike would call we could tell the bull was getting closer and closer each time he would bugle. We made it to an area that had a good enough clearing and decided to hold up there and let the bull come to us.

At this point after being gone from home for about 10 days and my dad having lived his hunting dream in killing a beautiful bull the year before I think he would have shot about any bull that would have shown itself, I told him it had to be at least bigger than mine, but he wasn't going to be too picky. My brother's wife was about nine months pregnant and ready for us to be home as were my wife and two-year-old daughter. I think they were hoping and praying pretty hard that we would be home soon.

Anyways, this bull was coming in hot and had an aggressive bugle and as he got closer we could hear him glucking and making his way in. I was standing a bit higher than my dad so I saw the bull first and told my dad, "There he is" he took a couple more steps and then my dad and Mike saw him as well. He was facing us so I told my dad to wait until he turned before taking his shot. Finally he took a couple steps to his right and gave my dad a broadside shot. I told my dad as soon as he has a good shot to let him have it. Right then the hammer drops and smoke blocks our view but we watch the bull slowly walk away. Mike lets a few calls to try and stop the bull but he disappears out of view. We get reloaded and wait for Kole to come down, the whole time congratulating my dad and telling his it was a good bull. I knew it was a 6-point but because of the angle and the cover that was around the bull I couldn't tell how big. The whole time my dad was very nervous and since the bull didn't go right down we questioned the shot. We could hear crashing though so we tried to reassure him that he was going down and to not worry.
It was kind of funny, after my dad shot his bull the year before I had to reload because he was shaking so bad after the shot, this time however it was me and Mike that were shaking. I was in shock that it had worked out that well again and excited to get up and get a better look at the bull.

When Kole made it down to us with the pack frame we made our way down to where we last saw the bull. We knew the direction he headed and sure enough after following the trail a short ways, there laid the bull. The closer we got the bigger the bull got. I think all of us were in shock as we got to the bull and help it up. He was a 6X7 main frame but has a kicker off of his side with 6, so I guess technically he is a 7x7. We are all elated and blown away; never did we think this hunt would turn out like this. I told my dad how fortunate he is, not many people have killed bulls of this caliber in consecutive year without paying big bucks. He already knew this and is still in awe for the opportunities he has had the past two years.

The trigger was pulled just after nine a.m. and we had the bulled caped, quartered and back to the Ranger by around noon or so. That was a big elk; my Manti elk had what we thought was a big body but after taking care of my dad's we realized how big of a difference there is in an older mature bull.

After getting the bull loaded up in the Ranger we headed back to camp. On the way we stopped to show Mike's family the bull and say thanks to them. He had a very nice family and we are still in debt to them for their generosity and willingness to treat a couple strangers like old friends and show us around. Mike had knowledge of that area that is nothing short of amazing, he seemed to know every canyon, rock, water hole, and knoll. He did say as we got to that canyon that he had never seen an elk in there and also said it only takes one and he would rather be lucky than good. His words rang true and everything seemed to work out better than if we had scripted it ourselves.
 
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