2011 season was excellent on elk and antelope, but still was tough in the mule deer department. Antelope on our New Mexico leases produced once again about 40% of the bucks harvested being all-time Boone and Crockett animals. Guide Ralph Stayner and hunter Grant Medlin connected on the largest buck in 2011 being a 89″ B&C giant. Our antelope leases after each passing year always seem to impress us, even after 28 years. Dispite record breaking drought across the south west we still produce record book antelope. We can always trace our success back to strict management and landowner cooperation.
Our elk year was one of the best years in along time, maybe the best ever! Producing two bulls over 400″ B&C, one of those being officially measured at 392 3/8″ net 404″ gross all-time B&C and the other bull a gross 412″ giant. Not offically measured yet the 412″ bull would net both in the typical and non-typical categories all-time. Congratulations go out to Micah Mauney, connecting on a 393″ 5 by 6. Micah has been hunting with Bucks & Bulls for several years and has some great bulls to show for it. One of our leases came in with a 368″ average on 12 bulls harvested. Thats pretty spectacular for elk anywhere in the west. We ran about 95% harvest and 100% opportunity on all of our leases combined. Once again its no seceret to our success, Management is the key. We are crossing our fingers as far as wolves getting to be a problem in our part of the country. As of now we have no reports for sure of wolves being on our ranches.
Mule deer on the other hand was tough through out the west and we were no different. The winter of 2007 still has its effect on our over all age class. The yearlings that were on the ground coming into the winter of 2007 had around 75% mortality rate. As of the 2011 season those yearlings would have been 4 years old. That is a very critical age with trophy mule deer. That puts most bucks one or two years away from having their potential. Since then our deer herd has been slowly coming back with the help of more mild winters and tightening up management as much as possible. We still harvested some great bucks in 2011 from 175″- 198″ but the 200′s eluded us.We are confident mule deer are on the up-swing with the mild winters and plentiful feed conditions here in northern Utah minus no drought to speak of. This all spells great things for the Mule Deer.
Thanks to our clients for another fun successful year in 2011. We cant stress enough how much you mean to us. Thanks!!!