KSL Outdoors: Chasing a 200 inch deer in the Henry Mountains

(Adam) coming up tonight on KSL Outdoors, we are on the famed Henry Mountains and we are chasing two hundred inch deer.

(Adam) here he comes, here he comes, get ready!

(BRAD) you know I just thought I’m either going to die with a bunch of points or I’m going to have my hunt here.

(Adam) my buddy brad after 17 years has finally drawn a tag. It’s all do it yourself, coming up next on KSL Outdoors.

(Intro) Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and welcome to the beautiful, the famed Henry Mountains. After 17 years, my buddy Brad Cutler, it’s a guy you see on the show quite a bit, he takes us out walleye fishing, pike fishing down at Yuba. It was my pleasure to come out here and help him on his 17 year quest to bag a two hundred inch deer here on the Henry’s. Our hunt started in August when we came down to start to scout.

(Brad Cutler, Walleye fanatic/Mule deer hunter) Yeah I came down on four different scouting trips.

(Brad) and saw a ton of bucks. When they were in the velvet it was just bucks everywhere.

Located South of the small town of Hanksville, the Henry Mountains are made up of five peaks that stand high above the desert below. Brad’s summer scouting focused on the northern three peaks, Mount Ellen, Mount Pennell, and Mount Hiller.

(Brad) Mt Ellen had the most deer that I saw. You know we just made one pass through the face over there and we probably saw 50 bucks one evening on a scouting trip, 50 mature bucks. It was just unbelievable the number of deer there.

According to the DWR’s management plan on the Henry’s. The deer population objective is two thousand animals. Biologists believe there are at about nineteen hundred deer on the unit today and it has the highest buck to doe ratio in the state with 52 bucks per hundred does. Biologists also say that after the fires of 2003, the habitat on the unit flourished and the fawn to doe ratio shot up. This year, the DWR issued 47 premium limited entry tags as well as 28 management buck tags. Brad has drawn one of the ten muzzleloader tags.

(Adam) So which one do you shoot? (Brett Jenkins, Drew Henry’s archery tag) the one that I see closest first.

And while scouting in August we ran into a friend of mine, Ash Jenkins, who’s brother Brett has drawn an archery tag.

(Brett Jenkins, Drew Henry’s archery tag) You guys took us over and put us on a couple you had seen. Fortunately, we thought, hey alright maybe we’ve got something going on after all.

Coby Hunt had spotted this huge typical just before dark. The next morning Coby and I took Brett over to where we’d seen the big deer, in hopes of getting him a shot.

(Coby Hunt) Me and Adam will stay here and watch them. You guys run down there get around there and come up through those rocks. We’ll watch them and tell you where they are going.

(Brett) He was a very nice deer. I would have loved to have got him. When we saw him, I would have been ecstatic to get that buck.

(Brett Jenkins) You got us in on him once. Didn’t quite get close enough for a shot and then we didn’t see him that night. Next morning couldn’t find him either. (Ash Jenkins) couldn’t find him early. (brett) Then Ash said hey I found another buck. (laughs) A smoking buck to use his exact words.

This is the buck Ash had found. It is a deer other archery hunters in the area had nick named “lightning.”

(Brett) yeah Justin Bates and Wes Alexander, they found out we were after this deer and they said, hey man we want to come and help you out.

After five blown stalks, Brett’s new friends were able to guide him right to this huge non-typical and Brett made a perfect 25 yard shot.

(Brett) I knew I hit him, but you never know. (ash) he didn’t know he was dead until we started yelling. (brett) I hear this woo, woo.

Brett’s buck scores an impressive 226, with an impressive 34 inch outside spread.

Opening morning has Brad, Coby and I right back where we’d seen the big typical during the archery hunt. We looked high, we looked low, but we just could not find the deer where we’d left them a month earlier.

(Coby Hunt, Helping Brad on his hunt) yeah we went to the horn and looked for him but couldn’t dig him out of there, he’s disappeared somewhere. (adam) We didn’t hardly see a deer. (coby) no there was a bunch earlier in the year they’ve went somewhere else. Well they’ve shed their velvet, so they headed down into that rougher stuff.

brad) by the time the muzzleloader hunt rolled around and they got hard horned, they were definitely harder to find, they now have moved down into the pinion juniper oak brush stuff. They are not up real visible like they were a little while ago.

(Tag toss to Quiz) well despite our best efforts we could not find that typical buck. There was a lot of pressure, lot of people on that north end of Pennell. I think they bugger him up and he had enough and was out of the area. So if offs to plan B on Brad’s hunt. The rest of his story in just a moment, but first tonight’s Burt Brothers Quiz Question.

(Adam) Ok it’s the second morning we are out here, Coby and I have hiked clear up top up here, if you can see that ridge up in there to look for a particular buck that Coby had found. Took us about a half hour to hike in there. While we were in there

(Brad on radio) Hey guys, I found a shooter buck over here.

(Adam) Brad called us and said that he was down lower on his four wheeler, found a good a buck that looks like it has some extras and pretty heavy, so I just ran off the mountain. We are going to run over there on the four wheeler real quick and see if we can help him out.

When you are driving past the Henry’s they really don’t look that big. But I’m amazed at how many drainages unfold when you are cruising around these remote mountains. There’s almost two million acres of public land with outstanding opportunities for camping, hiking, photography and plenty of hunting. Other than deer, bison, Desert big horn sheep, pronghorn, turkeys, cougars and even a small herd of elk reside here. Alright, let’s get back on the hunt as I finally find Brad.

(Brad Cutler) I was just coming up to where Coby told me to get and I saw one running out of the corner of my eyes. They were about 500 yards away and I just stopped and looked at it and saw one pretty good buck in there. One I was willing to shoot.

(Brad) Then we just came over here and started hiking up the hill.

(Brad) Luckily we had some wind to kind of help us get around without the deer hearing us. It’s a rocky noisy place up here.

(Adam) Ok, we’ve found one of the does and of the small bucks, but we can’t find the big one yet. They are about 300 yards below us.

For 30 minutes we slowly worked our way towards the two deer we’ve spotted. Stopping periodically to glass the hillside, in hopes of picking up something in the brush that would lead us to the big buck. And finally out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a deer get up out of his bed and lay back down.

(Adam) We found these bucks. There’s actually a four point and then Brad likes the one with the in-lines. They are bedded about 155 yards away. We are going to try and get just a tid bit closer and get Brad a shot, it’s a pretty nice buck.

(Adam) the problem we have is the four point is bedded looking right at us. So we are just going to have to do our best to try and get a shot without him seeing us.

(Adam) may not be the biggest buck on the mountain but he’s pretty good looking deer, pretty unique looking. With a muzzleloader he’ll be a pretty nice buck.

Brad and I figure this is as close as we can get. The range is 150 yards, right at Brad’s limit.

(Adam) Are they still there? (brad) yes. (adam) ok, take a deep breathe, find him and squeeze one off.

The bucks are still unaware we are here, but just as Brad gets set for a shot, the bucks rise out of their beds. It’s now or never.

(Adam) take your time.

(Shot) re-load. I don’t know what he’s doing, he’s just standing there.

As Brad reloads, I’m able to look around him and see the deer still have no idea where we are and just as Brad is about to get another shot, the big buck disappears into the oak. Deer one…hunters zero.

(Tag) “Well Brad he got a crack at that buck. He definitely didn’t hit it so, we are going to keep on this deer we might actually get another shot at him. The rest of his hunt coming up, but first back to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights fishing report.

(Brad Cutler) yeah they didn’t know where we were and the wind was howling so bad. I’m going to blame that shot on the wind. (laughs) I forgot about that.

Welcome back to KSL Outdoors on Brad’s Henry Mountains muzzleloader hunt. When we left you, Brad has just missed a giant non-typical, one we think will score two hundred inches. We scan the hillside once again, some of the bucks are bedded back down and tucked tight in some oak brush, near where we last saw the buck, is a big bucks nose, it looks like we’ve found him.

(Adam) we don’t think he’s hit. He went just a little bit further away and now he’s bedded back down. He’s 150 yards right now.

(Adam) the buck is just sitting there chewing his cud. It’s like he doesn’t even know what happened

(Adam) as soon as he stands up, Brad is going to get another shot.

(Adam) Think you can make this shot? (brad) I think I can. (laughs) It doesn’t mean I can. (adam) It’s starting to get cold up here, they’d better hurry and stand up.

Brad decides to crawl a bit closer and this time, he’s going to use my pack to get a better rest. If you look close you can see two small bucks bedded. The big non-typical is behind the dead cedar, bedded in the oak. Time seems to be standing still, when finally a big four point stands up, and rouses the big non-typical from his bed.

(Adam) here he comes, here he comes, get ready! That’s him in the front.

With the wind howling and the deer moving off. Brad has got to make this shot count.

(Adam) good job Brad you got him. He’s going down.

(Adam) Game, set and match. (brad) yes, that’s fantastic. (adam) awesome stalk, dude you did awesome. (brad) he’s not the biggest buck on the mountain but I’m happy with him. (adam) I am too, he’s a pretty buck, he’s got a neat inline. Look at this hike we did and we got to do it as friends. No guides, do it by ourselves. That’s fun. What do you think, the Henry Mountains. (brad) it’s fun, saw some really nice deer here, fantastic. (adam) Yeah, neat place. (brad) really neat place. (adam shaking Brad) enough TV stuff, that was awesome dude, I had a good time. (brad) I appreciate you and Coby. (adam) I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Let’s go check him out.

Coby was watching the whole hunt unfold from down below. Brad and I decided to wait for him before we approached the buck.

(Adam) look at that character? (brad) wow, that’s a beautiful deer. (coby) Yeah, that’s awesome.

Brad’s buck is exactly what he was looking for. Old, with some trash and is a very non-typical eight by eight, with an outside spread of 27 inches, the buck stretches the tape to exactly 207.

(Brad) I would have never found this buck if it hadn’t been for Coby. I would have never even been in this area. He knows this mountain really well.

I know I will most likely never hunt the Henry’s myself. But, to share it with good friends is just as good. Congrats buddy, he’s a beast of a buck.

(Tag) (adam) he’s an ugly bugger but he knows how to hunt. (laughs) check out the character on that deer. How cool is that Brad? Look at those eyeguards. (brad) yup, i’m really happy. (adam) Yeah he’s a neat deer, neat buck. I’ll tell you what, the Henry’s the 17 year wait, was he worth it? (brad) absolutely, like I said I was either going to die with a bunch of points or die with a tag. (adam) Judy, he’s coming home. Hey while we are getting ready to tie into this deer lets check out this weeks edition of our Utah Field Guide.

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