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tjhunter

WY High Country Hunt w/pics

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tjhunter

I flew into Jackson on evening of Friday September 22nd. There is nothing like landing next to the Tetons to get a guy fired up for a high country mule deer hunt!!! While waiting for my ride, I hit the bar for one last cocktail before heading into the back country for a week. I could get used to a view like this. I told my wife if they had Snake River Lager on top of the mountain, I would never come home.

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Saturday morning, a buddy and I hit one of his honey holes. We saw a lot of does and fawns. Not one buck. A small bull moose hung out for us for a couple of pics.

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Yours truly. God, it's good to be in the mountains!!!

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Deadman Mountain. They don't call it that because of it's gentle grade.

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We took Saturday afternoon pretty easy. Sunday morning we tried another spot. No deer, but my buddy called in a small bull elk. I may have to buy a tag next year. He made it look far too easy. This bull was clear across the canyon. A couple of hits on his cow call, a few bugles and this bull was right below us. It's amazing what a guy will do for a gal - no matter what type of animal it is….Young and dumb. It reminds me of when I was 18.

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Sunday afternoon I met my horse guy - Wan Wolfley - and picked up my horse up by Waterdog Lake. I was packed and on my way up Grayback Ridge by 230pm. Because of a scheduling conflict, I was heading up solo. I was a little nervous to go on my own, but I had a tag in my pocket and I wasn't going to let it go to waste. I was at my campsite by 6pm - 6 miles and 3,000 feet in elevation. I was spent.

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I tied my horse off(this is some foreshadowing), threw my tent up and headed to the nearest basin to do some glassing. I glassed up some does and fawns and a bunch of elk. The sun started to set so I headed back to camp. Something was missing -my horse. Houdini, as I named him, somehow got the knot untied and walked off. I was able to call Wan Wolfley, the person that rented me the horse, and he said that the horse probably just walked back down the trail to the outfitter camp at the base of the mountain. Wan told me to keep on hunting and that the outfitter would probably bring up the horse - if in fact they had him. If not, Wan said that he would get me a horse to get all of my gear off of the mountain. Wan put my mind at ease and I could focus on the task at hand - killing a big buck.

The next few days I spent sitting, walking and glassing. I glassed up a few bucks, but nothing worth pulling the trigger on. I'm just glad I wasn't in very steep country…

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Even though the country is very rough, it wasn't taking a toll on me physically. But, mentally the lonliness was getting to me. I spent a lot of time just scanning the two way radio and listening to peoples stories. That was fairly entertaining.

I ran into the outfitter on Tuesday morning after watching a very nice bull elk rangle up his cows. The outfitter told me that they had my horse down at their camp and they would bring him up the next time they came up the mountain. I was very relieved!!! The outfitter then proceeded down the mountain and had his clients kill the big bull.

I decided to saddle up the horse and take him to an area where I had jumped a nice buck two days in a row. I had dropped off of a knob and jumped the buck - coming down from directly above him. I decided that I would try and come in from the side today. I rode my horse up to the area and tied him off. This time, I used a knot that Superman couldn't get undone. I angled up the mountain off of the horse trail and did some still hunting. I jumped two small bucks and they bolted. I needed to slow down. So, I would move a few feet and glass. Sidehill then glass - sidehill then glass. I popped out from behind a tree and threw up my glasses. All that I could see were antlers and ears about 80 yards away!!! I eased back behind the tree, slid my pack off and eased back from behind the tree. He never woke up. He was dead before the noise of the shot reached him. I sprinted up to him and as I did I jumped a smallish 4 point out his bed.

As I ran up on him.

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He's not the monster I was hoping for, but I had never snuck up on a buck in his bed before. Plus, I did it all on my own!!! The pictures don't do him justice - not that he's much bigger than what he looks like.

Houdini and my buck. I'm glad I had the horse now.

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As I packed the deer back to my camp - about 3 miles - I jumped a very nice 4 point less than a half mile from my camp - on the horse trail!!! I couldn't believe it.

Here's what a camp should look like.

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I was able to get ahold of Wan and he was able to meet me that evening. I busted my tail to get off the mountain. Over 6 miles in 1 hour and 50 minutes with a 40 pound pack on. I was on a flight to Minneapolis the next morning and was able to see my family 2 days early. It was a great hunt, but stressful at times. The physical aspect wasn't bad, but I struggled at times with the mental aspect. Sometimes my mind would just wander - wondering what the hell I was doing. Then, shortly later that feeling would go away and I would feel unbeleivable.

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harvey lee

Looks like you had the hunt you were looking for.Great scenery and a nice deer to boot.

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ozzie

Awesome story and pics!!! Congrats on the mule deer... Way more rewarding when you know you did it alone!! cool.gif

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MNDeerhunter

That was a great story and some beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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lawdog

AWESOME. JUST PLAIN AWESOME!

Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great hunt.

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BigWadeS

Diddo Lawdog...absolutely awesome story and great pics...I love the mountains for that reason, you just never know what will go on while you are out in the vast wilderness...

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Sutty

Anybody else thinking about adding another trip next year grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif Very Cool

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Mark Christianson

Excellent post!!!

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Black_Bay

You gotta love Wyoming. If there was a good walleye lake out there within reasonable distance of Dubois or Jackson I'd seriously think of moving. Great photos, story and buck. grin.gif Congrats!

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marine_man

Great Post!

marine_man

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tealitup

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Well done; great deer - great pictures.

You did well very well

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BLACKJACK

Great pictures and post!!! Fabulous scenery!! Nice deer!

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slimngrizzly

Looks like the perfect trip! What a great experience!

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wmn luv me walleye fearme

nice pics, looks like a great trip

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick
      Spring turkey hunters hoping to bag a tom during the first two weeks of the season have until Friday, Jan. 26, to apply for a lottery permit. The season runs from April 18 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods, A through F (see table below). Hunt A and B licenses for firearms hunters age 18 and older are limited in availability and assigned via lottery drawing. Turkey lottery applications cost $5 and can be purchased online at mndnr.gov/licenses, by phone at 888-665-4236, or in person from a license agent. Successful applicants will receive a postcard in the mail by mid-February and can purchase their hunting license starting March 1. Firearms licenses for hunts C, D, E and F are not lottery-limited and will be available for purchase over-the-counter beginning March 1. All licensed turkey hunters can participate in Hunt F if they have an unused tag from one of the earlier hunt periods. Archery and youth hunters (under 18) are exempt from the lottery and may purchase a spring turkey license valid during all hunt periods, including hunts A and B. Surplus lottery licenses from hunts A and B, if available, will be sold over-the-counter starting in mid-March. Visit mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey for more information about turkey hunting in Minnesota. 2018 Spring Turkey Hunt Periods
      Hunt A: April 18 – 24
      Hunt B: April 25 – May 1
      Hunt C: May 2 – 8
      Hunt D: May 9 – 15
      Hunt E: May 16-22
      Hunt F: May 23-31 Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Youth and adults can learn to hunt turkeys this April with experienced volunteers who will cover safe hunting techniques, how to call-in turkeys, hunting tactics and field dressing a bird. “We teach the skills and techniques that allow new turkey hunters to become lifelong hunters,” said Mike Kurre, learn-to-hunt program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This has been a successful program and as a bonus, we love hearing how former participants go full circle to teach others how to hunt.” Participants can apply through Monday, Feb. 12. The hunts are Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, and provide opportunities to access locations that may otherwise be closed to hunting. “We get volunteers from the National Wild Turkey Federation and this is the 16th year we’ve cooperated for these hunts,” Kurre said. “Over the years we’ve introduced more than 5,000 people to these hunting experiences. We also work with the Minnesota National Guard to get military adults and their families into turkey hunting.” Details about how to apply and costs to participate are available at mndnr.gov/turkeyhunt. A pre-hunt orientation is required and all participants will need to have a valid firearms safety certificate or its equivalent. Youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Overall participation in the hunts is restricted by the number of volunteers and private lands that are available. Anyone interested in providing turkey hunting land for the mentored youth hunts should contact the Keith Carlson, Save the Habitat Save the Hunt coordinator for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Minnesota at kcanoka@comcast.net.   Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed Jan. 20-28 as Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota. This an opportunity for the Department of Natural Resources, volunteer safety instructors, the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MNUSA) and its 250 member snowmobile clubs to join together to recognize the importance of safe, responsible snowmobiling. “It’s a fun and exciting activity, but snowmobilers should always remember to make safety a top priority,” said Conservation Officer Bruce Lawrence, DNR recreational vehicle coordinator. “They should also always use common sense and keep a clear head when riding.” Here are some other key safety points: Snowmobiling and alcohol don’t mix – don’t drink and ride. Smart riders are safe riders – take a snowmobile safety training course. Always wear a helmet and adequate clothing. When night riding slow down – expect the unexpected. Know before the ride  – always check local trail and ice conditions. Cross with care. Know risks and be prepared – make every trip a round trip. One is the loneliest number – never ride alone. Ride safe, stay on the trail – respect private property. To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976 need a valid snowmobile safety certificate. Options for both classroom and online classes can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/vehicle/snowmobile/index.html People can find Minnesota snowmobiling events and activities on the MNUSA webpage: https://mnsnowmobiler.org/get-involved/mnusa/events. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • eyeguy 54
      sounds like a hoot. hope to get there. 
    • Roscoe010
      Hi Wanderer, I am going up this weekend too.  Glad the weather will be warm! I will try a different pit this time, but had good luck last year.  I hope the fish will be active and hungry.
    • IceHawk
      Thanks Rick! Jeff hope to make it always a good time and laughs when you get a group of great people together. I usally do more jaw jacking  then fishing at these things but for me its just as much fun 
    • Rick
      I will donate a few goodies. I will send it to @Tom Sawyer if he messages me his address.
    • IceHawk
      Lol! Smurfy  Its not as easy to identify areas like the old days the ice towns in Mertens bay and in front of Steils old house on cedar island aren't there like years of past but she's still the same chain that you grew up on. And IMO better than when we wee younger. 
    • Wanderer
      @Roscoe010 I wanted to head that way yesterday but my fishing partner didn’t have that kind of time.  If I get there this weekend, I’ll let you know. Or hopefully someone else knows and will reply.
    • smurfy
      i'm considering going out sat to chase walleyes, cats or crappies................OK whatever will bite. whats frustrating is i live 5 mile from the chain, grew up in richmond and all these maps have me confused??????????
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