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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Formerly SW ID, now UT
    Posts
    81

    Default A family man's 2018 season log

    Hey all, I'd like to introduce myself, my family and what is shaping up to be a bit of a crazy 2018 season for me.

    My name is Jeremy, I was born in Montana, raised in central and northern Idaho and lived the last 19 years in Boise.

    In April I moved my wife and 3 boys down to Utah (a door opened up to a new job that we all felt I should pursue).

    This is my first attempt at a semi-live ANYTHING so I hope you all will bare with me here! (normally I just lurk on most forums )

    The first reason I'm starting up this semi-live thread is because I love to share my stories and this year is shaping up to have a few to tell.

    Another reason is that I love my wife and kids dearly and work very hard to not be away for long periods of time (a week away is a big deal to our family!). That seems like an odd reason to start a semi-live thread doesn't it?

    Well, while we all really enjoy reading the stories of folks that spend weeks in the field each fall, I wanted to tell the stories of a family guy who doesn't get out NEARLY as often, but who's stories are (hopefully!) just as memorable.

    For fun, here's my 3 boys (ages 5, 3 & 5 months):



    The 5 yr old is already doing 4-6 miles and 1000+ ft of elevation with me every few weeks :



    After meeting my wife, and especially now having our boys, I put keeping meat in the freeze pretty high on my list of priorities each fall.

    So generally I apply for easy-to-draw cow elk tags, and not be too choosy while hunting OTC deer/elk if nothing is drawn.

    For fun, I also apply for rifle pronghorn in SW Idaho (never drawn yet!) and pronghorn in nothern Montana (family has a great spot we've hunted for years out there when we do draw). I'm still waiting to get the Montana pronghorn results, and this year my party has a pretty decent chance to draw.

    The last couple years I began throwing an application into one of the trophy muley units in SW Idaho, never really expecting to draw.

    At the begining of July I was impatiently checking the IDF&G site for drawing results and on the morning of July 6th they were posted:



    Lets see what we have here:

    • Muzzleloader cow elk tag in Sept: Selected, sweet!
    • Rifle pronghorn: Not Selected... No surprise there!
    • Nov Rifle Muledeer: Selected. Uh WHAT!!????!!! (My co-workers thought something had blown up when I reacted to that one!)


    The very first thing I did when I saw the results was text my wife. We suddenly had an interesting scheduling challenge to work through!

    Since we had moved to Utah, ALL of my trips were going to be extended time away from the family.

    We could handle the cow hunt in September. Its in a unit I know well and doesn't require pre-scouting. I can be gone for around a week and have a good chance to fill that tag.

    We can even handle the Montana pronghorn hunt if I draw. It would be 5-6 days in October over a long weekend (that and my wife knows how much I enjoy that hunt).

    The deer hunt has thrown us a curve-ball though! The hunting time was pretty easy; the whole family will go up for the week of Thanksgiving and I'll hunt as many days as I can get during that time (6-7 days).

    The challenge is that I don't know that deer unit at all and my scouting time will be pretty limited. Now, its a great tag, and I could just go hunt when possible and be happy with any fairly good sized muley buck I found.

    BUT of course its not quite that simple...

    In 2015 I was extremely fortunate (we'll say blessed actually) to take a REALLY nice OTC muley not far from Boise (my first muley actually, I'd hunted whitetails mostly in the past):





    (For those that care: 184 gross)

    So now I'd REALLY like to get a buck of similar caliber this year, even though I know its not very likely (even in great units 180" bucks don't grow on every tree!).

    I can safely commit one weekend this month to scouting. If I get lucky and get a cow early in my Sept hunt I'll head back into the area to scout more.

    There's a chance I could scout again in October if we don't draw MT pronghorn, but given my already VERY busy hunting schedule (for me) that's questionable at this point.

    And honestly even now I'm still working to set my expectations for that mule deer hunt... But that's part of it right! It should be a great hunt, no matter what though!

    Anyway, that's enough for now, I'll be following up with a few posts on any applicable season prep, what our MT pronghorn draw results are (and plan impacts), and add updates as I get out (and back) from the field.

    Thanks for tagging along, I hope the ride is a good one!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Idaho Springs, Colorado
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Very cool!! Good luck!! Great looking boys and I hope you get that mule deer!!
    I'll have a beer flavored beer please!

  3. Default

    Good luck on your season!

  4. #4

    Default

    Welcome aboard , have a great season.
    You can't get lost if you don't care where you are going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    2,365

    Default

    Good luck. It's definitely a balancing act with young kids. I remember when my youngest daughter was 3 or 4, I had been gone for only a couple of days on a trip and she told my wife she had forgotten what I looked like!

    They're 10 and 6 now, so still require a lot of attention, but do understand that I'll be back after a few days

    I look forward to seeing the account of your adventures..

  6. #6

    Default

    Good luck this fall and be sure to keep us updated on here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bixby Oklahoma
    Posts
    291

    Default

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Formerly SW ID, now UT
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Thanks guys!

    This will be a fun season for sure! And part of that is me (trying to) avoid over-committing on these hunts. I value my time at home AND my bride's sanity which our 3 VERY active boys sometimes test that when I'm away...

    But with that said, her and I are tackling this season together, so she knows what she's signing up for, and she also knows that I'll adjust to keep from taxing her too much as well.

    I even have pulled her into working on this thread too (proofing and offering feedback). Doing this thread will be another time commitment for me and I like to have her involved in it as much as she's willing to be.

  9. Default

    Can't wait to follow your story. I also have 3 kids so this really resonates. Good luck!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,662

    Default

    Trend on here the last couple of years, have been season long tale of the different hunts. I truly enjoy those that have done them and I expect to enjoy yours as well.

    Sounds like a lot of work and I appreciate it!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Apple Valley, MN
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Love reading threads like this. I've been thinking about doing one myself but not sure people would be interested in the midwest public land whitetail kind of thread. Your everyman approach really gets me thinking I just might. Good luck!

  12. #12

    Default

    Awesome congrats on the tags can't wait to follow along this fall. Beautiful family you have there.

  13. #13

    Default

    Great post can't wait to follow along. My little girl will be 2 in October so I know (at least a little) what you're talking about. Balancing our family life and our passion for hunting is something we've all had to do to one degree or another but is seldom talked about.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    119

    Default

    I'm definitely excited to read this thread. I won't be making it out west from Florida this year, but I'm still hoping to get some quality hunting time in the books. I have three little ones, 8, 5, and almost 2 so I definitely know what you're going through with young kids. Thanks for posting this up, it should be a fun story!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    North Central Montana
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Just wait till those kids are "of age"...opens a whole new perspective on hunting! Most fun I have ever had! Looking forward to more from you!
    Made in Montana.

  16. Default

    Welcome to our family.I'll be along for the ride.dirtclod Az.Just got word little brother arriving from out of state Jan.1st..Opener of archery Javelina and archery mule deer.Haven't seen his family in 3yrs,guess i can miss the opener.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    1000 islands area
    Posts
    339

    Default

    That's one beautiful family and look forward to following along as your hunts and experiences unfold for us to watch!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Formerly SW ID, now UT
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Hey guys, thanks again for the kind words, this will be a lot of fun!

    Montana pronghorn drawing results are out and:



    Not Successful... Bummer but I can't really complain with drawing the Nov deer tag in Idaho!

    My wife and I are pondering our October plans now, and even considering adjusting our November plans as well. There's a chance I'll either get two trips to hunt in Nov, or another scouting trip in Oct, so we'll see!

    Anyway, I wanted to share a little about some of my muzzleloader prep to date because I learned some new things.

    Muzzleloader prep:

    This is the first time since 2012 that I've had a muzzleloader tag (September cow tag again, and didn't fill it). That year I bought my muzzleloader (a Knight Bighorn). I procrastinated on getting the tag, bought the rifle late in the summer and didn't spend a lot of time dialing it in. I was only really confident at 50 yards (I know...) and could do 75 yards on a really good rest/setup.

    I knew I could improve my range and accuracy, both with practice, but with some more work on the rifle too. So after drawing my cow tag this summer I dove into some research.

    Oh, and for those that don't know, in Idaho muzzleloaders must have open ignition, use flint/musket/percussion caps for ignition, have open sights and shoot solid lead projectiles (either full bore conicals or patched round balls).

    On my Bighorn I have a Williams peep and was using the stock fiber optic sight that came with the gun. I shoot No Excuses 460gr conicals and previously had settled on a load of 80grs of Tripple 7 FFg. Any higher shot charge opened up my groups pretty dramatically.

    First part of the project was load work-up. I picked up some .50 cal MPP sub-bases which allowed me to up my powder charge to 90grs of FFg and tighten my groups up. I was comfortably shooting 2-3" groups at 75 yards now (btw the red arrow points to the sub-base):



    With the stock fiber optic sight up front it was hard to aim very precisely at 100 yards and so I wasn't very happy with my groups past 75 yards. More research!

    I found that folks were mounting a Lyman 17a globe front sight paired with some Lee Shaver inserts on their muzzleloaders which allowed a much finer aiming point. (Check out this article for details: https://www.gohunt.com/read/skills/i...der#gs.F5AgvVk)

    I ordered the parts, swapped out the front sight and off to the races I went!







    After some practice and swapping from 90grs of T7 FFg to 90 grs of FFFg I ended up here:



    I'm pretty happy with that!

    I'd love to really tweak and tune my setup for 150+ yards. But I only have one, MAYBE two more shooting outings before my Sept hunt. So what I'll be doing in that time is to shoot a bunch away from the bench (shooting off my pack, shooting sticks, etc) and get better at reloading quickly and such.

    Next up is my first scouting trip for deer (lets hope I do a good job of grabbing some pictures for you guys), so more to come!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newhartford Iowa
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    Great thread.

  20. #20

    Default

    Great post! I've three grown and doing their thing. Four grand kids, love sharing adventure with them!

  21. #21

    Default

    Good luck and welcome to the forum!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Formerly SW ID, now UT
    Posts
    81

    Default

    First deer scouting trip is in the books. It was a great trip, and I'll put up a proper summary later this week, but for now, here's a teaser (keep in mind this was a DEER scouting trip!):


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    great state of Idaho....
    Posts
    2,273

    Default

    I am guessing you have one of the Owyhee unit tags. I will also suggest PM'ing me on which one. I know all 3 of them extensively. Good thread, I will be starting a similar type here shortly. My wife and daughter drew a late Nov. tag down that way and my wife and I drew the early antelope bow tag for down there. I think there are a couple of threads of my wifes, dad's, and 1 of my deer from down there. Mine of coarse is smaller of the 3 we have taken down there. Good luck!
    Matt
    2018 BAA World Champion ARCHERY CENTRAL
    Death Harp Bowstrings -- Onestringer arrow wraps
    Facebook Team Slayer<------- Click here
    IDAHO BOWFISHING ASSOCIATION - President

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Formerly SW ID, now UT
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Deer scouting trip #1 report:

    My first trip up into my deer unit was going to be pretty simple: put some miles on the truck, establish some access points, burn some boot leather to identify any glassing points or hikeable country, and if lucky maybe see some deer.

    To be honest, I didn't have high expectations of seeing many bucks because I wasn't planning to hit the highest elevations hard on this trip. My reasoning was simple: weather, human pressure, and the rut would likely have moved the bucks around come season anyway.

    I headed up to Boise Friday morning and picked up a buddy of mine on the way out to the unit. It was a warm one even for Boise!



    It took us a couple hours to get into the first part of the unit I wanted to scope out. We kicked out a bachelor herd of bulls (some decent sized too) when we parked (sorry, no pictures though).

    We were running short on time to hit a glassing spot I had picked out and in our hurry I neglected to swap to my regular boots, and forgot my headlamp... I figured the boots weren't a big deal (ankle deep moon dust dirt said otherwise!) but the headlamp was a bit of a bummer. Luckily my buddy had his so it wasn't that big of a deal.

    On the way up the ridge we picked up a herd of 30-40 cow elk a ridge over from us that were nicely oblivious to our presence.

    After making the first ridge we decided to alter plans slightly and hit a closer glassing point to save some time. At around 9:00 PM we got settled in to our spot

    My buddy, who is a machine when it comes to picking out animals, immediately spots a bull elk on a ridge ~ 1/2 mile away. With some luck I managed to spot the easy to see doe that was feeding right below him:



    Eventually the bull spooked the doe out, but we got a little better look at him:



    I grabbed a shot of the sun setting behind a little cloud cover and the smoke that is currently ever-present in the west right now:



    My buddy grabbed my attention and just down the ridge 200 yards from us that herd of cows we had seen earlier were cresting the same ridge we were on



    At this point I should mention that elk tags in this unit are draw only too so we were really just nature watching the elk at this point

    Eventually most of the cows spooked off (the wind was blowing RIGHT to them, not sure how they didn't bust out earlier).

    But at the back of the group a little 5x6 bull was trailing the group. I had a couple reeds with me (although I hadn't used them in a while!) and called to him a couple times.

    That little bull must have been seriously lonely because here he came, right across that wide open ridge!







    I eventually grabbed a little video of him closing the last bit of distance to ~ 40 yards:



    After he spooked out, we finished a last little survey of the area and headed down the hill. Made it back to the truck around 10:30 PM and decided to put some more miles on the truck to get closer to the next spot I wanted to hike into.

    At around 11:45 PM we located a little side road on BLM ground and found a semi flat spot to crash. My buddy threw up his tent in the faint chance of a storm rolling through and I set up under the stars. I have to say I was glad I had two sleeping pads because we didn't take any time to smooth out the ground for a sleeping spot and the desert isn't exactly a smooth place to sleep on...

    Sleep was fitful, but it was enough. At around 5:30 AM we packed it all up and hit the road. We timed it fairly well so we could see the country as we drove to the next spot. We saw a handful of deer on the way, all does and fawns, and some seriously cool country. We hit the spot I wanted to hike in from at around 7:30 AM, parked and headed in. I grabbed a cool sunrise shot:



    We covered some decent ground that morning, 9.5 miles to be exact. Along the way we spotted a small band of antelope and stumbled into a few elk sheds:







    Not a bad little haul for a deer scouting trip!

    After getting back to the truck we started just covering ground on the roads. We eliminated a few spots just because of gated access on private ground. That was is perfectly fine with me too since it makes big country a tiny bit smaller.

    There wasn't much more in the way of animals we saw, and all said and done, we put on ~270 miles in our little adventure.

    One of the cool results of this trip has been that I now look at google earth WAY differently. Its a lot easier to pin down good looking country now that I've seen parts of it with my own eyes.

    That'll be about it for updates for a while as I'll be a bit scarce for a few weeks before my Sept cow hunt. I'm having a little out-patient procedure to prevent baby #4, and will be making sure I heal up well before I head out on in mid September (wish me luck!).
    Last edited by helsyeah; 08-14-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    1000 islands area
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Very nice haul of bone over the shoulder! You must be in a good spot or someone else would have picked those up!

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