We returned empty handed (tag soup anyone?) but we did have a lot of fun while we were there! And the scenery was gorgeous.
Before we left on our trip to Utah, Mike had informed me that we were going to be sleeping in tents...I'd never slept in a tent before. Guess what??? It wasn't even that bad. We had camp cots and sleeping bags so it was almost like sleeping in my own bed...except that Mike was in his own cot, far away, four feet from mine. So when I got cold I had no one to cuddle up to or steal all of the blankets from.
I had never hunted Mule deer before either, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. The first few days Mike and I were set up in a ground blind, me filming and him with his Ross. (Mike's dad was with us as well, but he hunted out of another blind.)
We didn't have much luck the first few days, no deer came to the water hole we were sitting over. Then, we discovered cougar tracks and moved to another spot since (obviously) mule deer aren't going to want to hang around where cougars have been.
Day three and still no luck we decided to do some spot and stalk and had much better luck. We saw lots of deer, but either 1. they were does, fawns, or small bucks, or 2. they were too far away, or 3. they were in a park where we weren't allowed to shoot them.
We did have the good fortune to drive up near a herd of pronghorn bedded down under some trees (the first pronghorn I have ever seen in the wild) and also got to see some elk bugling, which was pretty amazing!!!
The next few days (we were there a week) we alternated between water holes and the mountains, but our luck stayed the same and the bucks we wanted to shoot continued to stay smart and out of range of Mike's Ross bow. It was also brutally hot, unusually hot for Utah, which meant that the deer weren't watering like they usually were.
There was another first for me on our trip: for the first time ever, I didn't shower in three days. Since we were staying in a tent, there was obviously no showers or any other facilities. And I have to say, not showering was probably the hardest part of the whole trip. Not the oven-like heat of the ground blind, or walking up/down mountains, or getting soaked by rain so my pants got stretched out and for the rest of the trip I had to hold them up with my hand so they wouldn't end up around my ankles; sleeping alone on my cot in the tent was fine, and the food we had was amazing. None of that was worth complaining about, it was just part of the hunt. Nope, not showering was the only thing I didn't enjoy on the whole trip.
My hair felt dirty and I could practically feel the layer of dirt and sweat on my skin. I know that sounds really girly, but hey I'm a girl!!! And as much as I love/adore/obsess about hunting...I really do love to shower ever day.
Luckily there was a truck stop not far from our camp so every few days we would drive down and take a beautiful wonderful shower and I would feel (mostly) clean again.
Despite not getting any deer or elk, it was an awesome trip. You win some, you lose some. That's why it's called hunting!!!
And I got to wear facepaint :) and have a valid excuse for looking ridiculous
Got pictures of this hawk while on one of our drives through the mountains
We stopped at a scenic overlook to get some great pictures of the canyons
There were always tons of mourning doves at the watering holes
This chipmunk was posing for me at the overlook
Evening on the mountain
Sunset near Vegas