Made the 725-mile drive my southern Arizona to central Utah in two days, arriving finally about 1:00 p.m. I’m a bit tired, but when I met my guide and outfitter, Scott Swensen (Pines Ranch, 801-873, 3206; www.pinesranch.com) it was hard not to get fired up! Scott, 38 years old, grew up in the area and has hunted it all his life. He is absolute death on big mountain lions in winter, and has a great track record for guiding both archers and gun hunters for both big muleys and elk.
First thing I did after unpacking and chit-chatting a bit was get out the BowTech 101st Airborne and a well-worn Morrell Yellowjacket broadhead target and make sure everything was dialed in. After a quick bite Scott and I then made a couple of quick hikes into the steep mountains to check out some potential stand sites. In this country, when the bulls are rutting they hit wallows hard and having a tree stand or ground blind set in position is a great way to get a shot. One thing we both noticed is that, with recent heavy rains, the grass is tall and lush, as good as it has been in years, Scott said. The weather is perfect — upper 60’s during the days, mid-30’s at night.
Right at dark we drove down to some alfalfa fields and glassed the adjacent cedar hillsides, spotting a nice 5×5 and some smaller stuff. Tomorrow will be the first real day of hunting and I cannot wait!