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Archery Deer Hunt 2015

Back in August I went on an archery deer hunt. I headed out on the 15 and camped for 5 days. Dad bought a new camp trailer that he let me use for the hunt. The first day I ran across a big two point deer with some smaller bucks but they busted me quickly and ran off. Then a storm blew in and rained pretty heavy for the rest of the night. The next day I came across two large four point bucks but there were already some other hunters stalking them but they got busted and I never did come across those two again. While riding back to camp I started to round the corner and in the apex of the turn there was an old arrowhead. Dad went home so the rest of the week I was alone. During the rest of the week I kept driving by a small two point buck but passed on him in hopes of getting a look at the other large bucks. But finally on the day I was going to head home I saw the smaller deer and shot him. It was a 40 yd shoot that double lunged him with a clean pass through. I was happy.

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Archery, ATV, Camping, Hunting, Mountains, Outdoors

 

Mt. Ellen

Since I had a long weekend I decided to head up to the Henry Mountains and hike to the highest point and do a little exploring. This time I went up Sawmill Basin Road straight out of Hanksville. I first stopped at the old Wolverton Mill in Hanksville. It was an interesting stop and I think worth checking out. Afterwards I was driving straight for the mountain. It didn’t take long before the road started climbing towards the top.

Wolverton Mill

Sawmill Basin Road

View from quarter way up

I passed by the Lonesome Beaver campground and decided to skip it due to a few people already camped there and continued looking for another place to set up camp. As soon as we crested up to Wickiup Pass my transmission temp light came on so we pulled off and had lunch while the trans cooled down. Just after lunch it started to rain and we began climbing up to Bull Creek Pass. There were quite a few deer out and some were really nice bucks.

Bull Creek Pass

We soon found camp on Nasty Flat, same place last time I was there. I really liked this spot, there was a nice view to the West overlooking Capitol Reef and a view of the mountainside to the East to watch for deer. With camp set up, we drove down towards McMillan Springs looking for deer. The campground here had a couple trailers as well as loud generators running, glad we didn’t come here to camp. Then it was back up to relax at camp and get ready for bed.

Next morning, we had a good breakfast and then headed out out hike Mt. Ellen. The clouds were threatening rain so we were a little concerned about lightning. Pulling up to Bull Creek Pass there were two guys watching a herd of deer there. We talked a minute then set out on our hike.The trailhead is at 10,485′, and the high point the Henry Mountains is at 11,522′. We climbed up to the first little saddle and the wind had picked up and it began to rain. So we hunkered under a pine tree until it stopped raining and continued our hike.

Start of our hike

View to the East

View towards Boulder Mountain

We finally reached the top after about three hours. The climb up to the high point wasn’t too bad and after a short lunch, I had enough energy to go ahead and climb Mt. Ellen Peak just under a mile away from the high point.

Bull Mountain

Mt. Ellen Peak looming in the back

High point at 11,522′

Victory shot

Mt. Ellen Peak

Hiking down the saddle over to Mt. Ellen Peak is a drop of about 400′ and then another 400′ to the top of the peak at 11,506′. This part of the trail was the steepest section and definitely tired me out. The views up top were worth it though. While on Mt. Ellen Peak, I spotted two other hikers at the high point. They only made it to there and turned around.

Looking back to the high point

Bull Mountain from Mt. Ellen Peak

Two other hikers on their way back

The hike back up to the high point was an uphill battle but after that it wasn’t too bad heading down. A marmot came out and said hi and the wind had calmed down. We completed the hike in under seven hours.

Almost back at the trailhead

We stayed another night and the next morning headed out a different way. We drove out along South Creek Ridge Road and then down along Crescent Creek. We made a side trip to Barton Peak and then over to Copper Ridge Point. This road was in better shape than the Sawmill Basin Road. On the way out we passed several people on ATV’s. The road out to Barton Peak became more difficult after the mine turnoff so I ended up walking the last bit. Then while on Copper Ridge Point the dog decided to eat a bug sitting in a cactus and came out with a mouthful of needles. We got them all out but he was sore for the rest of the day.

Mt. Pennell

Barton Peak Road

Barton Peak

Mt. Hillers

View from Copper Ridge Point

View back at the mountain from Copper Ridge Point

We drove out along Crescent Creek and stopped at the two cabins along the road. Then it was out to Hanksville for an ice cold soda for the ride home.

I was glad the weather held out and only rained enough to keep the dust down. I hope to get back and do some more exploring around Mt. Pennell.

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GPS Tracklog (Google Earth .KMZ Format)

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in 4X4, Camping, Hiking, Mountains, Outdoors

 

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Thousand Lake Mountain (Solomon Basin)

This year I drew a deer tag for the Thousand Lake Mountain unit. So I went out over the weekend to some fishing and scout out some of the trails. I had planned on camping on the North side and then ride around and make my way South. The weather didn’t cooperate like it should have. So I just spent all my time on the North side of the Mountain.

After setting up camp next to Morrell Pond, I headed to some lakes I hadn’t been to. First was Farrell Pond. I fished for a little while but I couldn’t see any fish swimming or jumping so it was on to the next lake.

It was a short hike into Floating Island Lake. The fish were jumping like crazy here. All that was biting were small Cutthroat trout. I did manage to catch one Tiger trout. I stayed here until the rain ran me off.

After it stopped raining, I fished Morrell Pond and caught a few decent Rainbow trout. It was fun catching these fish, they would fight hard. But soon it started raining again and didn’t let up until dark.

Well morning came and I was ready to do some riding but after a little fishing. I managed to pull in one Splake before heading off. I rode down to Baker Ranch but on the gate it said Johnson Ranch. Either way it was a neat spot for a ranch. There was even an old cemetery on the property. There were no names or dates on the headstones.

I headed back up the mountain exploring a lot of the side trails. My favorite trail was up on Windy Ridge. It followed the ridge giving great views into Cathedral Valley and out on the Swell. This trail lead to Round Lake which I tried fishing but didn’t catch anything.

After leaving Round Lake, I drove the rode down to Cathedral Valley. After reaching the entrance I turned around and headed back. I drove back to camp had some lunch and then went over and fished Meeks Lake. I was able to catch two Rainbows before it started to rain hard.

Back at camp, I decided to cut my trip short and head home. I am looking forward to my deer hunt coming up at the end August. I didn’t see a lot of deer this trip but it will be fun to explore the rest of the trails and fish some of the other lakes on the South side.

GPS Tracklog for Google Earth

GPS Tracklog for Google Maps

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in ATV, Camping, Fishing, Mountains, Outdoors

 

Tag Soup

This year the Fish and Game decided to change the deer hunting units. Before there were 5 large units and now there are 28 smaller units, which I think is a good idea. Anyway I applied my home unit as my first choice and 4 others. I didn’t draw my first choice but I did draw my fourth choise, which was the Nebo unit. After my first scouting trip, I knew it was going to be tough hunting. The first week, I saw several does and one spike buck. I let him walk figuring I wanted to shot a fork horn or better. After checking out Mt. Nebo, I decided to head South to the San Pitch Mountains. Awesome country, looked great for deer. Spotted 1 two point but he bolted into the thick brush and I couldn’t get anywhere close to him. Saw very few deer over here and talked with some locals that said the same. It was cool exploring the new area, had lots of fun. Camped 11 nights and while on the San Pitch Mountains there were coyotes howling all around camp every night. Drove the four wheeler on a lot of the roads, hiked several canyons but no luck shooting a deer. There is still a chance for me to take a deer on the extended units in December. Check out my photos on Picasa.

   

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Archery, ATV, Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Mountains, Outdoors

 

Thousand Lake Mountain

After loading up, we were off to Thousand Lake Mountain for an overnight trip.

The first stop was Round Lake to do some fishing. We didn’t catch anything out of there. I tried everything; worms, powerbait, lures, and flies.

We left without catching anything and stopped to find a geocache. We started looking for a camp spot, the Elkhorn campground had a bunch of people already there so we kept on looking. Finally found a spot hidden in the trees and set up camp. After camp was set we headed to Deep Creek Lake. Along the way, we spotted a rainbow and I tried to take a picture of it.

We pulled up to the trailhead and headed out on what we thought was the trail but ended up being a bushwack to the lake. The fishing was slow at the start but finally heated up. We caught several brook trout but the weather was starting to rain so we high tailed it back to the truck on the trail.

It rained the rest of the night and there were some good lightning strikes in the sky. In the morning, I hiked over to a nearby hill and took a few pictures of valley below before the sun went behind the clouds.

After some eggs and bacon it was off to hike to the highest peak, Flat Top. There are two trailheads, we chose to hike up from Snow Lake. The trail climbs up the mountain side at a rather steep incline. If that wasn’t hard enough the ground was still wet and slippery. We finally made it to where the trail levels off and had a nice view into Cathedral Valley.

The rest of the hike was easy with a gradual incline. The peak is just a rock outcropping with a mailbox on top in a large meadow.

This isn’t the highest peak in the county, it falls short by 11 feet. On the hike out, we ran into a strange deer skull. It had two points on one side and a short antler that curled down on the other.

Soon we was back at the trail heading down the mountain. It was still just as steep and slippery.

Luckily we got down unscathed. It was a relatively short hike, about 3 miles with 800 feet gained in the first mile. After the hike we drove down the road a little further to an overlook and had some lunch.

With lunch gone, we headed off the mountain and took the Gooseberry road home and followed the old highway along I-70 all the way to the Emery turnoff. This is cool road, it is mostly gravel with a few old pavement spots and two tunnels to drive through.

 

Nebo Mountain and the Grotto Trail

After finding out I drew my fourth choice deer tag for the Nebo unit, I decided to check out the area last weekend. I chose to drive the Nebo Loop road from Fountain Green to Payson. The area looks like it might be fun to hunt. Along the way I found many geocaches and left more to be found. Almost all the overlooks had caches, so I stopped and checked out the overlooks. The Devil’s Kitchen is an interesting place. The red rocks in the mountains was neat to see.

After some time of checking things out, it was time to look for a camp site. All were taken and I was a little worried but I found one along a dirt road heading to Winward Reservoir. After setting up camp, I hiked around and spotted a few deer. The lake wasn’t too far from camp, so fishing pole in hand I checked it out. I don’t think there were any fish in this lake, no jumping, no hits, and no fish garbage. I went farther down the road to Dry Lake and am sure no fish were in this lake either.

After a lonely night without a fire, it was time to go and check out more of the mountain. My first stop was to hike up the Grotto Trail to a nice waterfall. The hike was easy and short. The falls at the end was awesome, I need to get a nicer camera to take some better pictures, but I gave it my best try.

After the falls, I checked out some of the fishing ponds. All of which you have to pay $7 to fish for the day. I couldn’t help but feel a little ripped off.

After a little fishing I made my way home. Along the way I got a good look at the Wood Hollow fire. I even passed one rubber necker in the ditch.

I am a little dissapointed about drawing this unit but looking forward to explore some new country.

 

The Grand Gorge of Muddy Creek

On Saturday, we left to camp at Hidden Splendor and hike the Grand Gorge in the morning. We left around noon so we could find us a campsite. After getting closer there were a lot a people down in that area. As we approached the airstrip there were four other campers. Just as we got to the end of the airstrip a group left a camp spot so we were able to camp at the trailhead.

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View from camp.
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We was up early, ate breakfast, put up camp, and on our way. Soon we was at the cabin and entering gorge. The water crossings were cold in the early morning but soon warmed up as the day went on.

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We made it to the gooseneck in good time and stopped to check out the cool alcove. The water flowed under the rock wall and came out a shallow alcove. While sitting there I spotted a few fish. I didn’t think there would be any in this creek.

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After spending a while in the alcove, we continued on. Checking out a couple side canyons and walking to the end. We ran into a few cows near the end and Rocky had to chase it off.

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On the hike out, Rocky was finally able to catch a lizard and he was proud of himself. He paraded it around for a while before dropping for another lizard running away. Also on the way out, I spotted some indian writtings up high. This was the only panel I saw but there could be more. The hike past the cabin was a sandy slog back to the truck.

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This was a great hike. The guide says about 4 hours to hike, we took about 6, taking our time and enjoying the nice weather.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Camping, Desert, Hiking, San Rafael Swell