Mr. Monroe

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,148
6,330
68
Gypsum, Co
Well, after 18 months Mr. Monroe has come home. Thanks to the Governor of Michigan shutting everything down for a few months it put a crimp in the taxidermy business and my cape sat in a box on their delivery dock or somewhere up there for a few months. But he is home now and I'll find a good place to place him but for now this picture of him outside will do.

I scored him at 173 3/8's gross and he came in at 165 even net.





This was a general season muzzle loader hunt in Utah...



This hunt started out like most of the others, trying to decide where I wanted to hunt and with what weapon. I am luckier than most since I have a coveted LL and since my brother in law was going to draw a deer tag here in Colorado in 2019 it was my choice of where I planned to hunt. I was going to use a muzzle loader since my brother in law was going to hunt deer during the second season in Colorado which runs at the same time as Utah’s general deer season so it was muzzle loader for me. I have hunted the Monroe Mountain before and had seen quite a few bucks but never a real nice one, at least during the general season. I had seen a few nicer one during the general elk season so I decided that was where I was going.
I managed to win a CVA Accura muzzle loader with scope during the spring of 2019 and since all my other muzzle loaders are Colorado legal it was a no brainer for me to use the new CVA. I got it sighted in at 150 yards using 250 grain Barnes T-EZ bullets over 110 grains of BH209. This load was giving me great accuracy and while I am not a fan of Buck Horn I decided to use it.
We arrived on Monroe Mountain on the Monday before the hunt. We couldn’t believe the amount of trees that had been cut down and cleared. What was once a solid wall of spruce and aspens was now a open area that you could see through. I started to wonder if I had made the right choice. The tree clearing and the fire that they had up there a few years ago had me scratching my head on just where to start. Monday evening we decided to just take a ride in the truck and look things over. We headed down to the south and were surprised at what the fire had burnt. We got to one location and turned around and were headed back when a bunch of grouse crossed the road. I grabbed my .410 side by side and was after them. It was over fairly quickly I had 3 birds down and there were still a couple more that had flown down the road. I handed my brother in law the shotgun and he went after the others. He never did find them but we had three nice duskeys for the duch oven.
Tuesday morning we decided to take another ride in the truck. We headed down towards the Dry Creek Ranger station and jumped a real nice 5x5 bull elk, the elk crossed the road and headed into the timber. Just past the elk we had a small 2 pt and a doe down in the draw. As we headed up towards the private to the north we spotted a very large group of elk up on the hillside heading to their bedding area. There were 3 or 4 nicer 6pt, some rag horns, and a couple of spikes in a herd of 30 or 40 elk. We watched them until they disappeared into the timber. We continued on our way and then about a mile above Upper Box Creek Reservoir we saw a small herd of deer. There was about 20-30 does and fawns and only two small bucks. A 2pt and a 3pt, as they went back to feeding we went on our way. That afternoon I took a ride on my 4 wheeler down a road to a real nice watering hole for the elk. You could see where they had been tearing up the trees and had been in the water just that morning, you could see the mud that hadn’t dried yet and where a bull had thrown mud up into the trees. But no deer
For some reason on opening morning the good old alarm clock didn’t go off, sometimes Baby Bens do that when they are 60 years old. So I started the coffee and got dressed. My brother in law takes a little bit of time to get dressed so I went outside to grab my pack and rifle to throw it onto my 4 wheeler. When I came back into the camper my brother in law was getting ready to make some breakfast. I told him that there wasn’t any time for that but since the coffee was now done I got a couple of cups of that down and told him where I was going. I stopped outside long enough to put a couple packs of homemade pepper jerky into my pack and I was off. I got to where I wanted to be just as it got light enough to see. I pulled off of the road and headed up the hill. I hit the tree line and decided to just mosey around to see if there were any deer out moving around. I had some does and fawns a short distance behind me but no bucks. I hiked up and around the hill watching the sagebrush below me and had a few more does and fawn’s out feeding but that was it. By 11am the deer had all wandered back into the timber to enjoy the shade of the trees so I circled back around to my 4 wheeler and headed back to camp for some lunch. That evening I took my brother in law out with me on the wheeler. We headed over to a spot where I could use my spotting scope to check out the far hillside and see what was going to come out to feed. We got set up and the first thing that we spotted was a real nice 350+ 6x6 bull, no deer but elk. Glassing the far hillside we came up with a number of other bulls. Evidently the first bull that we spotted was the herd bull, he was the only one with cows. Then as we watched them something spooked the herd and they were headed to the top of the mountain. They ran through the timber for about 300 yards before the slowed to a walk and began feeding again. There is a road down in the bottom of the hill that they were on so I figured that someone was on it but we couldn’t hear anything.
We got into a rhythm of what we were going to do each day. I would go out in the morning with my brother in law and take some hikes while he would wait at the 4 wheeler or take it around a hill to pick me up somewhere else. During these trips all we saw were elk. Big elk, small elk, cows, calf’s you name it all elk and since he had a spike elk tag we did a little bit of scouting for him also. The only trouble we were not seeing very many spikes. In the evening I would go out by myself and find a good spot where I could hike a ways and sit and watch. I saw a few does and fawns but not a single buck, not even a spike. Then the winds came, at times you would have a hard time standing up they would blow so hard. There were times I wondered what kind of bullet drift I would have if I did take a shot. I did notice that in the mornings that there were a couple of side by sides full of hunters heading to one spot. We knew where they parked the vehicles but wondered just which way they were hunting.
Sunday morning came and we headed out. I stopped on a hillside and we watched a bunch of elk that had just watered heading back up the hill. I got to one spot and decided to take a hike and have my brother in law take the 4 wheeler up the hill and meet me about 3 miles away. He took off and I started my hike. I was taking my time when I crested a hill and when I started down the other side I saw some does in the aspens. I sat down and was going to start glassing to see if there was a buck with them when I saw one raise his head. There was no mistaking that he had a set of antlers on his head. None of the deer were worried about what was going on even with me just 75 short yards away. I got the scope onto him and had to wait until he took a couple of steps to clear the others, but he was going to make it hard. A doe would take a step and then he would take one and stay right behind her. This went on for at least a half hour, but in real time around a minute. He finally took a step and cleared the others that was all I needed. At the shot he dropped as the Barnes bullet did its job. I had my Monroe buck on the ground early on Sunday morning.
I realized that this buck is quite likely what those other hunters were after. As the crow flies he was only about a half mile away from where they had been parking their side by sides, but I had him.
In 5 days of hunting I only heard perhaps two shots that may have been hunters shooting at animals. It was very quiet every day. The most shots that I heard came from a hunter who was camped above us as he cleared his rifle each and every night.
It was a fun hunt but hard, we only saw a grand total of 4 bucks in 5 days. Two 2pts, a single 3pt and mine. But I can say that elk herd is quite healthy down there.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,148
6,330
68
Gypsum, Co
Great buck & story too. Except for that part where you said that you had to circle back, so I had to scroll up to make sure that it wasn't Biden's press secretary writing the story.
I actually wrote this way back in November of 2019, so she must of been copying me..
 
  • Like
Reactions: RICMIC