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2006-Hunt for the Mountian Monarch

20722 Views 107 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  RB
Decided to try a new type of post in this forum, a thread to follow the hunt for that specific 2006 buck I am after. If you are like me you are already are thinking about that one buck, and have been thinking about him since the end of last season. I think it would be cool to follow the real time thoughts, scouting trips, planning and encounters that will hopefully result in some great pics and story of success at the end of the 2006 season. If nothing else I will have a written record of my year and how it turned out to reflect on, regardless of if the tag is ripped off or not.

Perhaps this thread will also help some in their understanding of why many hunters in the Northwoods can get frustrated nowadays with low deer sightings, but even more I hope it gives some of my fellow diehard northwoods hunters a new way to look at the game we play every year after Thanksgiving and ease some of that frustration. Times are not easy there for the deer hunter anymore, but the challenge has never been greater, the woods have never been more yours (vacant of hunters) and the deer that remain have never been older and wiser than they are now. It will make for quite the reward in the end. I will never quit deer hunting there; it is what makes me tick.

To set my stage, this buck lives in Potter County in the infamous WMU 2G, he spends most of his time on the ridgetop and benches at the end of the mountain about 4 miles from the front door of camp. An area that has always seemed to house the King of the Hill. The only true King to ever fall out there from our camp, fell to my father's 25-06 in 1980 (my first year of hunting). Dad stayed all week and would of easily tagged out on the opening day had his bumbling 12 year old son not of been by his side, screwing up four chances at four bucks that day and never firing a shot. I left mid week with most of the others, Dad and Pap stayed the whole week, on the last day of Dad’s Potter hunt (first Saturday of rifle) he tagged the monster 8 point that he had seen in bear season , and made an awesome shot while sneaking and peeking near the Point at midday. I remind him all the time how responsible I was for that buck, because I am sure he would have not had a tag at that point in the season had he dropped that 6 point on the first day that I couldn’t get. Anyway, after 26 years it is time for another King to fall. We have taken several nice bucks out there by sneaking and peeking and even on some small drives, but none were the Mountain Monarch and none have meant as much as the one in 1980 when Dad called home to tell his boys "I got HIM"..

My buck uses the Point as a quick way to swing around the mountain and get to the side you are not. One side is choked in mountain laurel and allows him a quick haven from the crosshairs of the quickly mounted rifle. The other side of the point is a steep mountainside of mature woods typical of the area. He uses the small depressions in the terrain to remain almost invisible from the ridgetop and the seldom traveled two-track dirt road far below. He knows few will climb the hill to get to him, but on this side is where he remains most vulnerable, at least to those that can pull off a long downhill shot on what can be a small target and who have the patience to examine every piece of scenery for a piece of rack, flickering ear, or deer rump before stepping again. One step to far over the edge ends the game in a hurry and has happened to me alot, but just the right amount of noise up top will make him stand and pause to investigate…his Achilles heel. He travels with alot less does than he use to, but they seems to serve and help protect him just as well as always as they get older and wiser along with him.

Stage is set; time to start the 2006 quest, which begins the day before rifle season in 2005. Getting to camp later in the weekend then normal, I rushed to get Potter ground under my feet and its air in my lungs; headed out the mountain the instant my duffle bag hit the camp floor. Took the tram trail out to the mountain’s end and saw no feeding until out at the crossover. The acorns were everywhere and the deer were enjoying the bounty. Against better judgment of not distrubing what will be tomorrow's quarry, I decided to head to the point and look around…and that is where I saw this rub, no doubt his.

The trees out here are all scared with rubs of his past generations of kings…a gene pool that has produced many beautiful symmetrical racks and grey old muzzles. I envy these deer, spending everyday of their life on top of the world in this beautiful place while I run thru the raths of daily life. I sometimes feel bad I even intrude on this haven at all just trying to fit into their world for a couple days.

I head back out to the trail to complete my hike and while rounding a bend jump a decent rack buck from his bed 20 yards off the trail, He heads down over the hill and thru the maze of windfalls that line the floor of the open woods. His hurried escape brings another deer to his feet way down over the hillside…and thru a quick view in the binocs I see the rack of the one I now chase. He leaves his bed and uses the hill for cover, actually running uphill towards me then cutting back into another little depression and up across the very trail I am on, and is up over the ridgetop in no time. That whole sequence offers me only two more glimpses of him and his rack, he amazes me at how well he knows the contours of the hill, his only real cover here....I never would of been able to fire a shot that would of hit him in the vitals, never.

The opening two days of 2005 season come and go without a deer sighting. Opening day is complete fog and visibility is less than 50 yards as the snow melts away on the mountainsides. This fog provides what I envision a hundred times over that day as a perfect backdrop for collecting my prize. In my mind I see him drifting in with the next patch of fog, like a ghost, the mountain air very heavy as the .270 wakes the hills. It never happens. Tuesday is worse with constant rain and powerful wind, a dangerous day to be in the mature and dying woods, and another long day of no sightings. Time constraints send me home that night and I vow to get back up there the second week to resume the hunt…As I drive down the mountain away from camp and hit the hard road it eats at my stomach that my schedule may not allow me back in 2005 as much as I want it to and I will be forced to hunt near home…this proves true and that is where this 2006 story begins....the ending to this story will be told in December 2006 one way or another.
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Not shooting as much as I daylight left. You guys may have to guide me to a good purchase next year on a recurve. But not now...I don't have the money to do it right yet.
I'll hook you up with my buddy when you're ready. We'll have him build one for you.
The Monarch of either place is gaining the advantage over you with your indecision. Make your decision today and FOCAS. We will be together for the "Potter Monarch" with Dad. What a better way to celebrate our past hunts than for us three to share the Monarch hunt together. Hunt with your wife the first couple of days in your new found dream and then join us in Potter.....It will only be more anticipated. The Monarch will still be on our mountain, that you know! But by all means...make you decsion now.

Then again FOCUS
That is why we make a good hunting team Bro...Thanks Joe.

For all following along, "missedagain" is my brother Joe and another one of the guys that will be on the hunt for the Monarch. We will get him..../ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif

I don't really have to focus much on the hunt here other then placing the stands in good spots on our place, it will be luck of the draw if that big buck makes it off the surrounding property and runs in front of Janet. He and some other bucks now bed and find safety in there though, so I think all the bucks have to do is get past the opening morning crowd up top and we may be in business, plus we need to be sure to get on stand early and stay on stand during hunter traffic times. Not like the hunting in Potter where there are alot less players in the game and we need to make it all happen ourselves. You are right Joe focus on each, or be successful at none.

2006 will be a YEAR TO REMEMBER!!!! One way or another...I told you guys this is going to be a ride.. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
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It's been a long time since I was looking so foward to hunting in Potter. The closer it gets the slower the time is going.

My buddy George took a 9 point on his property on Saturday and he saw "the biggest buck he has ever saw alive" just after his killing shot.A 10 point that came in 8 yards from his tree stand as he stood in disbelief. Since he filled his tag I may have to go over there for the first day or two instead of Indiana. He's has seen many more shooters. Anyway no matter what Potter still will be there even if we all get lucky before the first Saturday. We can reminisce while tilting back a few. But, as my name suggest may tag probably won't be filled.
Indiana seemed to have less big buck sign then in the past in the areas I hunted thru although i did see one nice one, Dad said there are a few around though...might just want to hunt local and save the legs for Potter.

I can't wait either...I'll e-mail you some thoughts on the plans as we get closer, just to help build the anticipation. I expect Dad will be making his first post here in the next couple days. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
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I can see by your name you learned to shoot from your brother. I surely do hope you're at least better looking than him. Then again, that's not too hard to accomplish. My lower, rear extremity can even pull it off. Hope to meet you soon. It would be nice to meet someone from that family who doesn't idolize me....yet! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
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Great my brother posts here some to talk about this buck we are after and he meets you right off the bat... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif, I might have to fill him in on a few of you guys, and explain how some things aren't that funny until you know a poster a little bit, or in your case what they actually look like. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jestera.gif

Can we get back to talking about deer now??
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I don't know about better looking, but definitely thinner. Hope to meet you someday too. It may take some time for me to idolize you though, my standards are high. As far as shooting , well I'm just plain impatient and don't wait for the best shot. Johnny has me beat in that family trait. Good Hunting.

Can the MOD please delete this entire thread....LOL /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jestera.gif, I don't care that it has been going since early in 2006 anymore..... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jestera.gif, oh wait I am the MOD.

Shoot early, Shoot often....but now if i could just get that horseshoe of yours, I'd be all set.
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I think I need horseshow replacement surgery!

Horseshoe...I need spellcheck...Bucket, spelling is another trait that I did not pick up! Horseshow surgery would be very painful VS. horseshoe surgery!!!

Hey if they graded on spelling and grammar here bro, we would all be in trouble. Grade on content and then on a curve!

Hope that old Monarch up there is finding enough does around to spend his days with now...guess they always have, haven't they. We should be good for years to come.

While I was up turkey hunting out of my Sullivan County Camp last week I saw a rub similar to your Big Boy's (maybe just a tad smaller /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif). It was about 40 yards from where I have a ladderstand out since early ML Season. I've taken several decent bucks from this stand but this rub is one of the best ive ever seen. Wish I woulda had my digital along. I will be in there bear huntin so maybe I'll take a pic then. Man, seein those great rubs really gets me all out of whack!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Sounds like you have some great options there ahead of ya. Nice your Bro missedagain ( I like that name! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif) is also in the quest for the Mountain Monarch! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif:
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Rooster, gosh I'm sorry I have to be the one to do this, but.... he's DEAD. Yep, the Monarch is DEAD. I was up there in Potter snooping around the woods, and came upon that exact rub that's in your profile. I knew it was the same rub because you left that glove on the ground for reference (send me yer address, I'll mail the glove back). Anyhow, not 100 yards from that rub, in a blowdown, lay the Monarch. I gathered it was him by the "MM" that was faintly visible as the Mountain Monarch brand on his left hindquarter. Autopsy revealed that this guy will be documented as PA's first Mountain Lion kill. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
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Loggy, that buck is bringing back together a great deer hunting team in an area that means alot to all of us, mission is already accomplished.

Fleroo, nice... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jestera.gif
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You want to borrow my horse shoe ? All the luck may be used up now
11/21/2006 ...One last update prior to the season kicking off.

Eventhough I am no longer heading over to camp for the opening days to hunt the Monarch, I still very much anticipate the planned hunt for this buck in week 2 of 2006. Being up at camp with my Dad and brother again for the first time in several years will be be reward enough and I know we will still give it all we got on our week 2 days just like we would of in week 1, probably more effort if we all got buck tags hanging on our backs. Regardless, we are all committed to our week 2 plans (first Saturday thru second Tuesday), no matter if all or none of us fill our buck tag in our various week 1 spots, we are meeting on the hill for those days.

My second post of this thread is proving to be much more important to me during the course of year than the first post about the buck itself. The fact that once again I will share spots whose names strike deep in our hunter’s souls and that all of our time staggered childhoods share. My Dad, my brother, and me in a place that caught Pap’s eye way back in the 30’s and a place whose mention still stops us in our tracks and floods are minds with memories.

I wish the Monarch the best in his avoidance of the few week one hunters he will encounter so he can be part of our long awaited reunion on the hill. I have no doubt he has watched a bear driver pass in the last couple days. Hopefully he has held true to from, and not ran across the open flat or drew attention to himself that may bring a few more hunters after him. But I also know he is not the only one around there should he fall to an opening day rifle. I do hope if he gets taken it is to a life long hunter of the hill, but even if he should fall to a hunter that has never stepped foot on that mountain before or knows of all its lore or of this buck, I wish him an honorable end, quick and painless, and hope he gets the proper respect as he is dragged from the woods and taken around for display. I know he did his job this past Fall in keeping generations of mountain monarchs around and I got ALOT of comfort in that.

This buck has paid me back ten fold over some of the frustrations he has caused me the past couple years from the mistakes I have made hunting him. He has brought the 3 of us back to that Northcentral PA mountain that means as much to us as our family name. Somedays I hope I never tag this buck, today is one of those days. Monday, December 4th I will likely feel different on that as my legs weaken and breath quickens from my climb into his laurel choked homeland.

Wish us luck.
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Rooster... any way you can get me a copy of your articles they are running ? Can you send them electronically (email), or possibly post them here ?
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