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My only problem, and kind of a big one, was that I had never been a hunter. In fact, the year prior when, Trey and I had tried to hunt deer for our first time, it was really more of a full day hike through thickets and brush. We didn't see any deer at all -- we had no idea what we were doing.
I didn't want to have Trey go through that again and again and then eventually just decide hunting wasn't his thing. So when Trey drew out for his general elk tag, I decided I would find someone that could help us learn to hunt. That is when I called Utah Big Game Outfitters.
I hoped that this time was going different...I hoped we would see an animal at least...I would be happy if my son could get a good shot off, and I was thrilled to think he might actually even take an elk - any elk.
After booking with UBGO, Jace called us up and was so kind and helpful, even though I am sure he could tell that he was dealing with complete rookies. He asked what we were hoping for from the hunt and I told him over the phone that we would be thrilled with even a spike elk. I just wanted Trey to get a taste for hunting. Jace answered our questions and prepared us for the upcoming trip.
We headed down to the hunting area we had decided on and Jace met us the night before so he could watch Trey shoot. Within minutes, he had Trey set up and calmly smacking a rock on a hillside 650 yards away. The gun was dialed in and we were ready to go!
The next morning, before any sign of daylight, Jace picked us up in his truck with his RZR in tow. We headed out northeast of Price, jumped into his RZR, and started cruising down backcountry dirt roads into the hunting spot Jace had in mind. We drove through beautiful woods and snow covered hills until we reached our destination. As the sun came up, the beauty of that area was captivating. We witnessed amazing fall colors on many trees and snow covering much of the ground.
Within 20 minutes of starting the hunt, Jace had a few elks bugling down below us -- our blood was pumping and we were amazed at the sounds and senses. Minutes later, Jace called a spike elk in so close to us that we could have easily hit him with a rock -- we watched the young elk until he spooked and bolted away. It was unreal and so amazing to be that close to the animal, but Jace knew we could do better, if we were patient.
After seeing a few distant elk over the next few hours, as we hiked across ridges and into drainages, Jace suggested we check out a different area a few miles over. I was amazed at how well he knew the terrain and how he seemed to simply sense where the elk would be.
Within 45 minutes of our next stop, Jace had spotted a large herd of cows and soon found a good size bull pushing them along. Trey and I had no clue they were even there until Jace helped us find them in his spotting scope. We traversed along, trying to keep pace with Jace, as the elk moved further and further up the canyon.
Finally we found a opening through the trees that the cow elk were entering and Jace knew that the big bull was about to walk through it as well. Jace placed his pack on the ground, got Trey set up just right on the rifle, calmed his nerves, and walked him through finding the animal in his scope. He helped Trey to control his breathing, made sure Trey lined up the shot just right, and then coached him through pulling the trigger smoothly. Trey nailed him!
In the end, Trey did not take a spike as we had hoped -- instead, he took a 340 class bull on a general tag. What an awesome experience and one we will never forget! Jace is an amazing guide and was so patience and kind to us.
Thank you for the opportunity to be guided by an amazing hunter and thanks for helping us take a beautiful animal that exceeded our wildest expectations. We will be back!
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