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2006-Hunt for the Mountian Monarch

20723 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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WOW, thanks guys for the comments...does me good to hear them. I do plan on writing for the Leader-Enterprise every year they will accept articles from me. Cool to see the stuff in newsprint, much different look to it then an internet post. Would love to write for a living, really makes you appreciate the sport more. it ain't just about the kill that is for sure. It's a long interesting roller coaster ride to that point.

This summer if you stop by the camp I will give you a tour from the original shot to the tagging spot....that is all etched in my mind as clear as day. Would like to show my kids this as well.
Re: Story & pics-2006Hunt for the Mountian Monarch

Great story! It was almost like being there.

Congrats again on a great buck! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif
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Re: Story & pics-2006Hunt for the Mountian Monarch


Excellent story about two great guys past and present.
Re: Story & pics-2006Hunt for the Mountian Monarch

Good read and well written. Nice deer too. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif
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Congrats John first of all in reporting such a memorable time spent at your Hunting Camp with Family!/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifHeck, you even got yourself a buck to boot!! A great tracking job & a buck to be proud of for sure!

Enjoyed the read & view of fine pics.

My Mountain Monarch was a muzzleloader bagged antleress taken first day but im already dreaming about Late Flintlock Season.
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Another intriguing story. Thanks bud. Congradulations on the buck. Whats the dates on the articles in the paper? I want to get some copies of them. You should definately become an outdoors writer. You got my heart pumpin. As a matter of fact I'm getting the rifle out and going on a lillte hunt right now. Thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif
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I believe they were the Nov. 22 issue of the Potter Enterprise..The Sportsmen Special issue. I got 5 copies now, with the help of camp members who were up opneing day buying a few for me. Going to frame clippings from one issue...if you can't find one let me know. I 'll send you one, or copy it anyways.

Thanks for the writer comments...always been a dream of mine, that day gets closer every day I guess. Your guys comments mean more than you probably realize.

"Only takes a second" Browntrout, keep that in your mind as you enter the woods....Good luck out there bud!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif
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I could probably post the aritcles in here if I can find the disk I saved them on if you can't find them.
"Only takes a second"

[/ QUOTE ]

A friend we hunt with said that to me opening day in the afternoon after I was pretty frustrated after not seeing anything all day. Not too long after that i killed my buck. It's so true.
Great story too!
Thanks I'll PM you my address. I'm staying with my in-laws until we close on our house. Our closing date got pushed back two more weeks. Anyhow, I didn't hunt at all the first week. Due to the same stupid reason I didn't hunt last year. I'm not posting why I didn't hunt. You probably remeber why. After looking into it some more I feel like such an ***. Anyhow I took my father-in-law with me today. He's my partner in crime. The deer around home get nervous when He and I are in the woods together. We went to a spot outside of Somerset this morning -- seen a few doe. I didn't get a doe license this year... so no luck there. While I was driving deer to my father-in-law, I managed to fall through the ice and into three feet of water. So I had to come home and change. We then went to one of our honey spots. I was supposed to be pushing again, when ten minutes into the drive a nine point made the mistake of his lifetime. He never took a step. The 7mm mag. stopped him in his tracks. My easiest drag also, about 200 hundred yards from the road. I got him at 12:25. Big deer little rack.
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Even on days where things don't seem to be going right...It only takes a second...BAM...your season is changed.

Congrats Bud!!! Love to hear happy endings /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif

Looking forward to fishing with you in 2007, either on the Yough, on the KTW, or over in Potter....Big Bucks and Big Browns, life gets no better.
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You got it RB...Again congrats on a nice buck....
RB, I too enjoyed your writing. Congrats on the buck but what impressed me more than harvesting that trophy is the bond you have with your dad and brother. There is NO better quality time in life, than at camp with family members. As many mentioned, those memories will last a life time.
Congrats again, RB! Finally got on here to read the story; it's a great one!! Best of luck in 2007!
Thanks bud!!

Hey up at camp I told my Dad and bro about that story you wrote from the old buck's still have that around to repost by chance??? If not I'll try to do a search, I'd like them to read it.
See if this works . . .

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif Thanks! Man I love that story.
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Rooster, I'm not sure you realize how much of an affect your writing has on us. You pay attention to the finer points of hunting that I and others sometimes forget. Please continue to share with us your positive and emotionally uplifting stories in the future.
Awesome story and synopsis brother.......has been a great read for sure...
Hey thanks guys....I love writing about my days out, enjoy my hunting 10 fold since i started doing it. I will continue for sure, not sure eveyone shares your views on it but hey this ain't the only thread on this board.

No doubt times are tougher out there in 2G, but I will not be one to defeat myself before I even enter the woods. Attitude is everything from day 1 to day 12...hunt like there is still a deer watching you at all times thru the day, and sooner or later there will be. Just don't miss...LOL, might be the one and only chance (which I have done way too many times, hard to take for sure)

I am fortunate to be able to hunt alot in gun season as I save at least 5 -6 days every year for it + Saturdays, and it takes the pressure off my days a little and just let's me hunt and enjoy those details I write about, I let the deer part unfold as it wants, staying confiident that even if today may not be the day, tommorrow likely is. If I was out for just the first couple days and Saturdays I probably would struggle a bit with days of no sightings....but now they are just part of the the long roller coaster ride of the two week season.

I feel bad for alot of folks I know that love hunting up there but are loosing faith in the big woods...I was close to being one but decided I was focusing on the wrong thing, deer can be taken in any part of the state, but there is only one place that makes we feel like up there and I won't let a changing deer herd ,ruin it. I do feel bad for those that just can't take the time to be up there for a few good days throughout the season....if it helps anyone out there I would suggest breaking it up a bit, a couple days up, then head back home/work for a couple days, refresh your desire to be in the woods, then back to it for a couple or three more days. More travel back and forth, but it is worth it, you will hunt with more drive , get different/better weather possibly , get a new moon phase, get a new hunt. Opening day actually ranks low as my best day in the woods during the recent years,I quit focusing on that so much for myself and this year turned the attention to my wife's hunt (whose days out are limited) and soon my kids, just another day on the calendar for me but a big day for them, once it is over is when my hunts seem to begin anyway...12 days out there to choose from to hunt, spread them out and stay focused...hunting 6 days straight the first week will burn out the most diehard hunter, and your gaurd will go down around Thursday or so when it should be gearing up.

Sorry for rambling on, just hope a postive spin on the 2G situation helps a few guys that love it as much as I do stick it out if they are in doubt, at least til the day the biggest buck of their life (so far /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif) decides to cross a gas line in the middle of nowhere when they least expect it. It happens /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbs.gif and it only takes a second...and truly gets no better when it does and will cement you for life to the place you really want to be at to hunt.

Ask the guys in camp, used to be not long ago I was as down and out as you can get when the opening day ended and I didn't get a buck on the pole, now it is almost the exact opposite...not sure If I would like a one morning hunt any more???
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