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Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah #8410371 10/08/21 05:31 AM
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After 25 years of applying, most of you know I got a Pauns muzzleloader tag this year. I'm old and sentimental, and since a lot of the success of this hunt was going to be just getting to set foot there, gun and camera in hand, and hope for the deer of a lifetime - it would be worth it, no matter what. Several scouting trips revealed beautiful country, a road and trail system that is unmatched anywhere in the West, and lots of friendly people. To everyone who called, texted, posted, shared map locations, or just said good luck - Thank You very much. It was an amazing experience.

The first scouting trip revealed a few deer, and included the lower, middle, and upper Tropic areas. Learning roads was made tough by torrential rains. Little did I know they would occur frequently over the next two months. Had a couple flash-flood "learning experiences", and now have a new found respect for those gulley washers!!

The next trip down in mid-Sept showed the tremendous green-up from the rains, but it also revealed the presence of cows everywhere. Little did I know they were to be a major part of my decision to shoot the buck I did. Darn them anyway. smile

After many conversations, checking the weather reports, and a gut feeling I decided to stay up top in the Tropic Reservoir area. I would do this until proven wrong. I still think it was the right decision, given the sheer number of deer, and no apparent need to migrate. Went down 4 days early, and began scouting in earnest. My God, there's a lot of deer there!!!

My very dear friend and hunting partner (PREDATOR here on MM) showed up and we discussed what I was seeing, the shear numbers of deer, and the fact that the weather was beautiful and they had no reason to leave. Several other people were hunting elk in the area and could feed me info, and others were choosing to hunt the lower country below the Pink Cliffs. For all of you who have tried to hunt thick cedars, you know how difficult that can be.

I was hearing horror stories of no big deer because of drought, big ones not down yet, guides all over and tons of traffic. I was actually nice up top, very few people, new friends made and got to see 4 other quality deer taken by hunters. There are so many 3-points, I don't how a management tag hunter could strike out here.

Now for the unbelievable parts of the story. Usually these begin with "You won't believe this", or "This is a no [censored]!" Over twelve days, we averaged between 20-40 bucks a day (the highest was 50), and at least a 100 does and fawns, and almost all were within muzzleloader range. I identified at least 6 definite shooters, and others with potential. As usual in an area so well traveled by ATV, UTV, or truck traffic, a lot of the deer were seen right from the road. They could care less about you, they were feeding their faces on this great grass!!!

When it comes to deer, I really have no luck, unless it's BAD. We were always 15-20 minutes early, or just minutes too late to see the big one standing in the middle of the road!! We saw several nice deer killed, but no big ones to speak of. All of our shooters were seen by others, so we know they didn't leave - we just couldn't find them.

Over the 8 days of the 9 day season, I passed many very nice deer, that would be instant shooters in many areas of the state or other states. Always looking for Brutus, or Mr. Big. Come to Day 8 of the 9 day hunt, and we were still trying as hard as ever. It was also my 71st birthday, and in 54 years of hunting, I have never taken a single game animal on my birthday. Fending off a little snow, some major 22 degree frost, and 2 1/2 days of torrential rain and fog was trying our patience, but we kept on trying. We were seeing new bucks every day, but never the OMG buck.

On this day however, when 2 dozen Alton cowboys pushed 300 cows thru my deer hunting area, it was almost too much. We were already discussing the next days plans then, and when we looked up we saw 3 very nice mature 4 pt deer feed out of a timbered pocket in a valley. By running up the back side of a ridge, we might make it to the top before they were gone. Lo and behold, we got there and they had crossed the valley, but were still feeding up the other side. I got proned out on the CVA Accura, and had a good rest and sight picture. We discussed mass, forks, brow tines, looked for character points and stickers, and I made up my mind. Lisa quickly ranged the three and were at approx. 190 yards. The 290 Barnes TEZ BT drops 8" at that range, so a top of the back hold center-punched him thru the lungs. A quick death run, and a tumble back down the hill and we were happy campers!!

While not the biggest buck we saw, or widest, or tallest - I think he's the prettiest. A perfect end to a perfect tag, and a first for my birthday!!! Thank you God, for letting be a hunter!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410384 10/08/21 08:53 AM
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Congratulations , very good buck . up


Prayer is the "ultimate" wireless connection .
Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410390 10/08/21 10:30 AM
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Alright!

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410401 10/08/21 10:59 AM
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Atta boy on the hunt. That picture with the Teryx should be in an advertisement.

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410456 10/08/21 11:47 AM
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thanks for the read, very good read and i love reading true stories straight from the hunters. Congrats on the hunt. I hope when I'm 71 i am still able to get out and hunt. Very beautiful animal you got there. I would be super proud of that if I were to harvest it. Congrats again..


The Weak Call It Obsession, The STONG Call it DEDICATION!!!

Thanks, FullDraw55
Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410673 10/08/21 01:48 PM
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Great buck, great story. Congrats!

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410694 10/08/21 02:06 PM
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Congrats and sounds like just the experience you wanted. Look forward to the food pics you post of him wink


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410706 10/08/21 02:12 PM
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Sounds like an amazing hunt. Congratulations! Thank you for posting your story!


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Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410723 10/08/21 02:24 PM
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Congrats again Sir, hell of a place. Beautiful pics and thanks for sharing


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410750 10/08/21 02:42 PM
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Just, Wow! Great story and a perfect birthday gift.

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410810 10/08/21 03:32 PM
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A few more pics to enjoy!!!

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Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8410859 10/08/21 04:24 PM
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Congrats on a great buck and a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing.

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8411144 10/08/21 09:36 PM
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Rio Grande Turkeys are eye candy grin

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8411186 10/08/21 10:13 PM
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Congratulations and happy birthday Blank! Great buck up


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8411212 10/08/21 10:52 PM
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How you gonna cook him up?

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8411230 10/08/21 11:16 PM
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clap


"I can't be over gunned because the animal can't be over dead"-Elmer Keith
10/30/2012 I VOTED for The American
Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8411277 10/09/21 12:36 AM
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With all the fears over CWD, we can't even transport our deer and elk anymore without boning them, removing the antlers from the skull, and throwing away all skull and spine parts. It's sitting in the cooler on ice right now, getting ready to become loin and tenderloin steaks and pepperoni/jerky tomorrow!!!

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8412065 10/09/21 11:13 PM
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Very good read, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Congratulations on the great deer and Happy Birthday! Awesome pictures!

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8412196 10/10/21 01:18 AM
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Congrats and awesome story

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8413067 10/10/21 07:07 PM
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Just kept looking for the next year or two older age-class. These were a dime a dozen!!

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Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8413142 10/10/21 08:16 PM
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Congratulations! Great pics and enjoyed the story.

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8413395 10/11/21 12:39 AM
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Congrats cheers

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8413417 10/11/21 01:05 AM
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great pictures , great way to spend your birthday

Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Jgraider] #8413833 10/11/21 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
Great buck, great story. Congrats!

^X2^

Congrats


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Birthday Buck - Paunsaugunt Utah [Re: Blank] #8414122 10/11/21 04:57 PM
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Congratulations! Very nice buck, good forks, nice symmetry and he has brows!

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