Hunt Summary: Utah General Archery Any Bull- Aug 18-Aug 24th.
Alright, so as mentioned before, this is a general OTC any bull unit on national forest land here in Utah.
It is not easy access to get into, so you don't run into hunters and there is a lot of bulls in the area. I spend all summer scouting and checking cameras trying to get in shape going into the area. it's somewhere between 6-8 miles depending on what area you're in.
There is a fair amount of water, you just have to figure which hole is getting the most use and be patient in the early season.
During the trip, it was 80's and 90's during the day. The bugs were absolutely terrible. The elk did not bugle the first couple days, then i started hearing them first thing in the morning and then at night before I went to bed.
Every day I saw bulls, but 95% were seen after 4pm, most around 7 o'clock. That's when they'd be coming in for a drink after a long hot day.
This bull was about 40-45 yards on water quartered away.
I had camp off the backside of the valley I was hunting. I was camped by a spring with a pond, grass and water for the horses.
Hiked up to the top of a ridge each morning and/or evening from camp then dropped down into the draws I was hunting. Roughly 3/4-1 mile from camp.
I'll just do a little run down of gear used and how the hunt went. I wouldn't have made it without the horses, that's for sure.
Tent-Kifaru Sawtooth. Rained one night and day, kept things completely dry.
Sleep System-Slick Bag 20* with Exped DownMat UL7. It was overkill some nights, too hot. a 40* or woobie would have been better this early in there, but all i have is the 20* and 0* Slick. pillow was a kuiu spindrift stuffed up, which i wore around camp a couple times..
Stove-Jetboil SOL. I used this .to boil water in the morning for oatmeal and evening for a mountain house meal. Worked Great.
Food- I had 2 packets of oatmeal each morning with a carnivor protein shot.
Snacks i'd have almonds, dried mangoes and dried apples, clif bars, clif fruit ropes *(favorite thing on the trip), granola and jerky.
if i went back to camp for lunch i'd have a bagel and some peanut butter and maybe a granola bar.
Dinner was about at 930 each night when i got back to camp. Mountain House with another protein shot.
I'm 6'4" 200-205, when i got home I was about 195. I did get hungry throughout the day, but at home I eat a lot of food (fast metabolism) so i'm sure I was short on calories.
Each day I drank a minimum of 100 oz. of water. No water pump/filter, filled up at the spring everytime. The hike out i'm sure is what killed me. it was mid day, 90's and took a good 3.5-4 hours.
Bow and accessories- I used the Athens Recluse. it's 70 lbs 30 inch draw at 305 fps. black gold ascent 5 pin with QADpro drop away. I have a 12 inch Bstinger on the end. I was shooting Easton Axis' that weighed in around 410 grains with steve speck's new Solid Broadheads. Bad news was I never found my arrow. where I shot the elk, the arrow after passing through went downhill and I never could find it.
The bow has been a pretty good setup overall, i wish the draw was 1/2inch longer.
Boots-Meindl Softline GTX. they had the Syngery footbeds in them. Worked good for the week. On the hike out my heels did get sore and when i got home my feet were plenty sore, but i'm sure thats pretty normal.
Clothing- wore jeans and a t-shirt in on the horses so my clothes didn't stink to hunt in. Kuiu Attack pants, could have took a lighterweight, thinner pant and stayed more comfortable, but they did great (as usual). First Lite Llano top, in the mornings or evenings if it was cooler i'd throw on my Chama hoody over it and that was plenty. core 4 boxers for a couple days then switched out to first lite red deserts for the last couple days. i like core 4's better for some reason. I used Lorpen light merino wool socks. spindrift- worn around camp a couple times. Used the OR FlexTex gaiters which worked well.
Optics- I took my Zeiss Conquest 10x42's in with me. Honestly I only used them a handful of times on the hunt. Either something was going to water or it wasn't going to come in. I carried them in my FHF gear Bino pouch which i like a lot. Leupold RX1000 tbr rangefinder, worked great carried in a FHF gear pouch paul made for it.
Knife and Saw- I used the Havalon Piranta Tracer. Went through 3 blades on the bull, broke one. And I used a SOG camp saw which came in very handy on the hunt.
I used a Princeton Tec Remix headlamp which worked great around camp and in the dark.
Pack-Timberline T1. I used this to throw my gear in on the horses for the pack in and as my pack each day hunting. strapped my bow on it for the hike out.
I took in my BD trekking poles, but only used them on the hike out, which helped out my knees a lot.
Some things I wish I would've taken: some sort of wrestling or volleyball knee pads, sunscreen for my neck, camp shoes (forgot at home), a little more food, some sort of repellent to keep the flies and bees off me, a better idea for a pillow-my neck was all messed up by the end of the week, and one more horse so I wouldnt have to hike out!!