The high peaks of Mount Ellen, Mount Pennell, and Mount Hiller, as well as the rugged peaks of the "Little Rockies" to the south stand out high above the desert mesas and plains below, creating a site that can be seen for hundreds of miles in any direction. Over looking Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon, our view even on a hazy day allowed us to see the red spires of Monument Valley in northern Arizona, the La Sal and Abajo mountains of eastern Utah, San Rafael Swell to the north, and the pink cliffs of Powell Point and the Aquarius Plateau to the west. The Henry Mountains are also rich with history. Legends abound of Spanish soldiers and gold miners that were among the first Europeans to visit the country. Frequented by Native Americans, today you will find remnants of their lost culture, the signs of the old Spanish mines, and tales of prospectors, cowboys, and outlaws. It is truly wild, untamed country, and quite honestly I found myself almost more wrapped up in the history and adventure of the remote peaks than focused on the mission of finding bucks to film. Almost anyway. Still, I don't know how many times I mentioned returning with a gold pan to give prospecting a shot, and who knows, maybe even stumbling on to the Lost Josephine Mine, a legendary Spanish gold mine lost ages ago.
|Henry Mountains at sunrise|
My day's travel started out at 4:30 AM, rolling out of bed and heading down to pick up my grandpa, Marvin Porter who would be spending the day with me. Daylight brought us to the Sandy Ranch at the foot of the west side of the mountain, where light touched the desert we had no trouble finding dozens of deer, and several good bucks. Anxious to get to the mountain itself to check out the trophies we see and hear about s much, we pointed the truck east, across another 30 minutes or more of desert, before we started the rocky climb up the foot of the mountain.
|An old jeep near the ruins of an old mining mill|
All total, we covered between 240 and 250 miles for the day. It sounds like a lot, but we by no means took the most direct paths! I wouldn't trade it for anything. There's nothing better than spending time with family in the outdoors, and I had a great time with my grandpa exploring new country, telling stories, and having some good laughs!
Now, the depressing part. Unless you are extremely lucky, or rich, I wouldn't get antsy to hunt the Henry Mountain unit. Being one of the most sought after mule deer tags in the nation, it is taking individuals around 20 years or more to draw a tag! In fact, some believe that if you were to start applying today with no bonus points, you will never draw before you die. However, there's always chance, and it would be no doubt, the hunt of a lifetime!
|Looking down the Burr Trail (Capitol Reef N.P.) and our route to the Henry Mtns.|
I hope you enjoy the video and pictures, and I encourage you to get out while the getting is good over the next couple of weeks to see big muleys while they are still in the rut. Just FYI, this will be my last post for a week, as the wife and I are heading out on a cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. So, for those that entered the "Bucks, Bulls, and Fins" contest over on our Facebook page, be patient, although the contest closes on the 30th judging will not begin until we get home on the 7th. I know, I know, everyone is anxious, it's just making for a great Christmas surprise!
Monday is deep sea fishing in Cozumel! I can't wait to bring some stories back! I hope you all can get out and enjoy the outdoors as well with this amazing weather!