Monday, February 10, 2014

Henry Mountain Muleys, 2013

I promised this one a while back folks, and I apologize for the wait!  We had so many hunting stories come in towards the end of the year that we wanted to get those up for those that submitted!

We took our annual trip to Southern Utah's amazing Henry Mountains in mid-November this year, during a period of fairly warm temperatures and little snow.  So odd were the conditions this year that we ran into several bison hunters that stopped to ask us if we had seen any bison.  One particular group asked us the question and we answered that yes, we had seen one about an hour before.  Puzzled, the driver asked how long we had been out there.  I answered about 3 hours.  He asked again, "no, I mean how many days, not just today".  He was shocked when we told him that this day was it, just 3 hours.  These guys had spent nearly a week looking for any bison and had not found a single one!  So we felt very privileged to do so, and it also happened to be the first wild bison my grandpa had ever seen as well!

Anyway, with those conditions we didn't scope out nearly as many bucks as we had hoped.  In fact, most bucks we discovered fell into the "management buck" category (bucks that lucky tag holders get to hunt during the rut, which can have no more than 3 points on one side).  We did luck onto a couple of heavy boys that pushed near if not over the 30" wide mark.

Be it what it may, it was still a great trip!  If you have never been to the Henry Mountains you owe it to yourself, it's a real treat!  This mule deer island oasis of timber and sage in the middle of a desert sea is a one of a kind place to prowl around.  Rich with mining history dating back to colonial Spanish times, as well as prospecting throughout the 1900s, the area is not just rich in beauty but in history and adventure as well.  Today there is little debate that it is one of (if not the number one) mule deer management areas in the country.  These coveted tags go to those who have waited for years to draw, or have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to pick them up at conservation auctions.  In fact, if you were over 20 years old and started to apply now, the odds are great that you may never draw at max bonus points for this unit, unless you were extremely lucky and drew one of the small percentage that doesn't go out to max points holders.  So for a guy like me in my early 30s, applying just isn't for me as I seek tags that are more realistic for me, but that doesn't mean I'll stop taking the journey to drool over bucks I may never see during a hunt elsewhere in my life!

If you make the long journey to this oasis in the desert, be sure to go well prepared!  Roads in the area are fairly well maintained, but travel can be uncertain due to flash flooding and even very heavy snowstorms in the late season.  As well, you will not find cell phone coverage (that is reliable anyway) in the area, and only a couple of ranches lie at the foot of the mountain on each side.  To the south you will find Ticaboo and Bullfrog on the shores of Lake Powell, to the northeast the small town of Hanksville, and to the west Torrey is your last stop for conveniences.  You will find fuel and a few supplies around Bullfrog and in Hanksville as well, but keep in mind the high peaks of the Henry's are still a fair drive away.  Go prepared for the worst, and with plenty of gas.  There are a couple of BLM campgrounds in the area as well, on the north end (Lonesome Beaver) and the west side (McMillan Springs).

If you make the journey send us your shots!

Now let's get to it.  Please enjoy this 12 minute video, and pardon the shakiness!  Looks like I need to get the camera on a tripod, or cut back on the caffeine!   


Here's the link as well if you prefer a different viewing format: