Realtree Outdoors 2008 Episode 2
The bulls were hot, but the weather had turned cold and wet in the mountains of northeastern Utah that mid September of 2007. Bill Jordan and OEI Properties Land Manager and Realtree Pro Staffer Brad Harris had just completed a week of guiding NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick and Kerry Earnhardt for Realtree's "Driven to Hunt" TV show during which time they enjoyed warm and dry weather and good hunting conditions. With their guides' help, both of the drivers had taken elk, so Harris and Jordan were ready for their own opportunities at some nice bulls and to capture their hunts on film for the Realtree Outdoors TV show.
"Seems like the minute their hunt ended and ours began the weather went from being dry and warm to cold and wet," Harris days. "But changing weather is the norm in the mountains of Utah."
Much like the weather, the countryside where the two hunted was unpredictable and rough. Their base camp, the Sand Creek Lodge, owned by OEI properties, is nestled between the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges a rugged, yet beautiful and pristine landscape where parts of the movie Dances with Wolves was filmed.
"Hunting elk it that steep terrain can get pretty tough, especially for two old fat guys like Bill and me," Harris says. "But the sheer number of bulls that we were seeing and hearing each day kept us motivated and pushing onward."
Despite the weather, Harris and Jordan started the week off optimistically hunting with their bows. The bulls were in full rut and although they hunted approximately seven miles apart, both guys got smack in the middle of a lot of action each day.
"Bill heard 10 to 12 bugling bulls, and I heard six or seven every day," Harris says. "We both had plenty of close encounters, but the areas where we hunted were so thick that we just couldn't get off a clear shot with our bows. Bill finally broke the ice after several days and took a nice 300-inch, 6x6 bull at 20 yards. I was happy for him, but his kill put the pressure on me."
Even though Harris had a tremendous amount of opportunities, he just couldn't get a clean shot off with his bow. So on the last day of the hunt, he decided to take his Thompson Center Encore to increase his odds for success. He ended up killing a great-looking 325-inch bull early that morning.
"I had originally not wanted to use a gun, but even more than that, I didn't want to go home empty handed, and I didn't," Harris says. "Even though the bulls were in full rut, the rugged and thick terrain played a role in making the hunt difficult, not to mention that there were a ton of cows in the area. Despite the challenges, we both had an excellent hunt and a great time. The land in that part of Utah is just gorgeous and the number of elk is phenomenal."
For more info about OEI Properties, check out www.oeiproperties.com.