The hunt started the week before by packing in a tent and gear and getting camp ready. It was the Sunday before the opener. We had no snow and 70 degree weather. Well, as many know, in central Utah it started snowing and raining on the Monday before the hunt and didn't quit until Friday afternoon.
As the week went by, all I could think about was if the $500.00 Alaska Guide tent I had set up, would still be up when we arrived. As I looked at all the snow on the mountains, when I could see the mountains, I knew things weren't looking good.
We headed up to where the trail began on Friday, the day before the opener. We just barely made it up on the trail on our four wheelers. The snow was deep and things were not looking good for the five mile hike in. Finding the trail proved to be difficult and as we found our way closer to camp, we began asking ourselves, "Is this a good idea at all?" The snow was knee to hip deep!
As we approached our campsite, we saw some deer off the trail, and there he was! I said, "He's mine in the morning!" We knew of bigger deer up there, but getting to them was another story. As we topped the hill to camp, after a killer hike with heavy packs, there was no tent and it was getting dark fast.
The tent was under four feet of snow with most of our gear already in it. We quickly started a fire with the flares we had and found the wet wood we pilled up beneath the snow. We dug the tent out as best possible and turned the tent into a crawl in tent, instead of a stand up tent, and slept the night after warming ourselves around the fire.
Sleep was difficult that night. When morning came, I set out hoping to locate my buck.
My buddy headed to watch the ridge by camp. I sat where the buck was the night before. As I began glassing, I spotted deer in the bottom of the canyon and I knew he was there. Not much later, I spotted him coming up the canyon 800 yards down from where he was the night before---and he was in a hurry!
As I waited, I got my range finder ready. He got within 400 yards and it was on. After a few shots and adjusting for the wind, I finally hit him at 380 yards in the front shoulder with my .270. I shot the buck in the exact spot he was the night before, first thing in the morning. That doesn't happen often!
It was a hunt to remember and it paid off with a pretty good buck that will go on the wall, to remind me of the hunt. We figured we did 30 miles in 24 hours with a total of 200lbs each that day after going out and back in again and getting our camp out. We were the first ones on the mountain and last ones off that day.
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