KSL Outdoors: Strawberry Bay Outfitters Hunt

Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and welcome to the Wasatch mountains here in Central Utah. Tonight we are going to follow five archery hunters all with cameras. We are hoping to show you some great rutting activity, we are doing it with our friends from Strawberry Bay Marina and this year I actually get to hunt.

(Paul Phillips, Strawberry Bay Outfitters) I received my guiding permit in 1988. (adam) Why do you do it? (paul) It’s just phenomenal and see these guys come out here and enjoy this beautiful forest and then to chase these large animals like this, see the satisfaction they have when they finally harvest. Killing an elk with archery equipment is a really hard feat. Only 20% of hunters are really successful doing it and if we can increase their odds, we love doing it.

If you’ve ever been to Strawberry Reservoir, you’ve probably run into the Phillips family. For decades they’ve operated the marina’s around Strawberry. This year they are even holding a tagged rainbow trout fishing contest. But what you might not know is that this family knows elk, just as much as they do fish.

(John Phillips, Strawberry Bay Outfitters) My dad started us when I was three years old up here, back in 1974. this has been my backyard and summer home since then.

(John Phillips, Strawberry Bay Outfitters) I about know every tree up there.

This year the phillips brothers have five archery hunters, two of them are friends from California, Ken and Ray. They both drew with just one point.

(Ken Grady, California Bow Hunter) (adam) how did you guys find the Phillips family? (ken) Monstermuleys.com. Yup saw quite a few guys were recommending “berryblaster” as his forum name and so we called and talked to Cameron and it started from there.

(Ken Grady) All the way up to the hunt Cameron was in contact showing us photos and what have you and getting us all pumped for the hunt.

The Phillips family spends a lot of time scouting bulls in the summer. They get some great video, find great elk hideouts, and set up nearly 30 treestands mostly over water and wallows.

(Paul Phillips) Like some of our hunters have told you in the past, they’ve waited up to 20 years to get a tag and we take that very seriously because that’s a long time to wait for that tag to have an opportunity to kill a large bull.

(Adam) ok, here we go, day one. This morning we didn’t see anything, but we know there is a pretty good bull coming into this water.

Paul and I are hunting a tree stand they call 18 bullet. The only game we see

is this squirrel giving us the business for invading his home.

(Ken Grady, California Bow Hunter) it was the first time in a tree stand that I’ve every hunted. It’s always been spot and stalk that I’ve hunted rifle or bow.

On the other side of the unit, Ken is having a whole different experience.

(Ken Grady) We got on quite a few different animals yesterday with my guide Troy, we had moose, black bears. Had a black bear climb the tree I was in, two foot from me, come to check out my backpack. I mean that was incredible.>

(Ken Grady) Deer a few elk, nothing that was in range to shoot yesterday, but this morning 7:30, had a doe come in and this bull followed right behind it.

(Ken Grady) Walked right in, 30 yards and presented itself, nice broadside shot.

(Ken Grady) Once I saw it, I said that’s a shooter bull, that’s one I want to take.

(Ken Grady) took a couple of steps, started drinking again. looking up at that doe, saw me draw and that’s why that bull, because that doe just jumped.

(Ken Grady) so it’s like, it’s now or never on the shot.

(Troy) What did you just do down there? (ken) I just shot a big ole bull. (troy) very nice. Very nice. We are going to give this bull a little time. (ken) Hopefully it’s a kill shot, it looked pretty good, maybe a little back.

Ken’s shot wasn’t too far back, in fact it was perfect as the bull only went a hundred and fifty yards before expiring.

(Ken Grady) If you draw the wasatch I highly recommend, Strawberry Bay, they do their homework, there are a lot of bulls up here, they know where the big bulls are and they’ve got plenty of places to hunt.

(Adam) you said you spent 8-9 hours in the stand. (ken) yup. (adam) and how many elk have you seen? (ken) 5 elk. (adam) and you had a bear crawl in your lap. (ken) yes. (adam) and what’s your guides name? (ken) Troy. (adam) I need to go with Troy. (laughs) Paul you’re out of here. I’m just kidding, more hunting coming up here in just a moment, but first tonights Burt Brothers quiz question. Congrats dude, nice bull.

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