Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deer Hunting in the Hills Above Lanark

I'm hoping this picture will stir a few hunting memories.  Feel free to add by editing this post, if you don't, you might not get the whole story, or some of the stories my not be exactly what you remember or want to boast about.  Ellis and Reed especially have some stories to tell.  I was probably the least of a hunter in the family, but still remember some of the stories told by Dad, Ellis, Reed and Mark about the hunt.  Please add to this blog so I wont have to relay the stories from my memory alone.  I'm sure your stories will be a lot more authentic than mine, though I will give it may best effort relying on my faulty memory for the words, which I may have a tendancy to embelish them a little bit.  The picture below is of Dad and Ellis off on an overnight deer hunting adventure.  Please tell all the stories that are important to you and I will try to sort out the reality from the bragidocio.

Good, I coaxed at least a couple of deer hunting stories out of Ellis.  Thanks.

I'm going to add a couple  more of ny memories that were told to me by Dad.  In one case the Great Depression seemed to be dragging on in Bear Lake  a little longer than in some places, I suppose, or maybe it was just living on a small farm in the cold and often dry Bear Lake country, but I remember Dad telling of one October when our little family was especially hard up for winter meat.  Dad had on old single shot 30-30 and only one bullet to his name.  He went hunting in hopes he could connect with a deer in one shot and bring home some meat for the winter.  During the day hunting he passed up several shots that were not quite certain and waited until he had a better shot.  He made that one bullet count and when he came home that night he had a large buck, meat for the table for the winter and a change from milk gravy and potatoes.  Back then Mom could make a little meat go a long way and we enjoyed it for  most of the winter. 

Dad was a good shot, though he never, ever practiced shooting.  Bullets were to expensive to waste in practice.  I remember one time he brought home a deer he had shot and noone could find the bullet hole where the bullet had entered the deer's body.  Dad said that the deer was running directly away from him as he was shooting and was about to go out of sight over the Long Ridge when he let go with the final shot.  When he got up to the spot where he had las seen the deer, it was lying there in the sagebrush, still warm and yet dead, not a sign of blood anywhere.  Upon closer examination it was discovered that the deer must have had his tail up ( they usually do when they are alarmed and running away) and Dad's bullet had found its way into the deer's body for the fatal shot and had not even made a new hole.  That's right, dead center in the deer's rectum.  Think about it, a deer running full tilt directly away from you, probably two hundred yards away, a single shot 30-30 and split second to squeeze off the only round possible. A deadly enema, well not exactly but, you all get the picture.

I personally didn't do much deer hunting until I got home from my mission.  I didn't have access to a rifle and besides that I probably couldn't have hit a bull in the butt with a bucket of wheat.  I did enjoy hunting later in life, especially when all my six boys were growing up.  We had some good times and the boys can all (well nearly all of them) boast of getting their first buck when they were twelve or thirteen. We've got the pictures to prove it.   I kind of miss those days.

Reed was a great shot and I'm sure he has lots of stories to tell from his youth and also when he was married and lived in Laketown and had boys of his own.  He even shot an elk with his bow and arrow. Come on, Reed, tell us a story.

And I also know Mark had some pretty good days out it the hills with his rifle.  We'd all love to hear the stories .

These were times of fun and bonding with Dad and our brothers, and times of good exercise and excitement in the fresh fall days, when the air was crisp and clear and it seemed nearly every able bodied man in the valley was out in the hills doing the same thing.  School was always let out on the first day of the deer hunt.  It was like a holiday, Thanksgiving or Christmas or someting like unto it. Nearly  everyone had their stories of success and "near succcess" when we got back to school after the hunt.  It seemed like it was always the biggest buck on the mountain that someone just barely missed,  kind of like the fish that got away.  You have to take deer hunting stories with a grain of salt, unless you actually see the evidence.

by Bart


  1. It's interesting what memories come to the surface after 60 years. That trailer was made and owned by uncle Weldon. Dad borrowed it so we could go hunting. Deer season was my absolute favorite time of the year. The memory most vivid was on this trip. We were headed to the parks which is easily accessable now days, but was a very rough rocky road when this picture was taken. A tractor worked but a car or truck couldn't make the trip. We went up in the evening after chores were done. On the road that connected Nibor springs with the Parks, we came upon a big buck deer that was standing broadside to us about 50 yards away. This would be an easy shot. It was almost dark. Dad stopped and looked at the buck. He had his gun. No one was around. Dad looked at me then looked at the buck. After a few minutes the buck walked off and we proceeded up the road to the camping spot. I learned that day that I had an honest man for a father. I wonder what my feelings and what our relationship would have been if he had shot the deer the night before the season actually opened. We both got our deer the next morning.

  2. Ellis,
    I thought sure you'd at least tell about your hunting exploits at Kulicke's Grove.

  3. I come home on leave from the Air Force during the deer hunt. Dad and I went hunting along the Long Ridge. We knew the grove of trees at the top of Kulicke's farm was a good place for deer. As we approached this grove of trees Dad told me where to go stand down at the bottom because he knew from past experience where they would come out. When I got into possession he started hollering and rolling rocks down into the trees. Sure enough out they came and I started shooting. I had a case of "buck fever" and my lever action 30-30 was really throwing lead. I wasn't sure I was hitting anything but when I went up to where the deer were running out there were three deer on the ground. My most successful deer hunt. We had three tags so we were legal. Dad was a better shot than I was but he set me up with a great chance to be successful. I enjoyed going hunting with Dad. It seemed that most of my interaction with Dad was in a working environment, milking cows, putting up hay etc. so hunting was a pleasant change.