Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Elk Down Part IV

I filled my late season cow elk tag this morning after 5 days of hunting! I thought it would be easy, but I missed a couple of opportunities earlier in the week bumping elk into thick timber while walking ridgelines and not being ready. The snow has been flying off and on for a couple of weeks bringing record snow to Moab. I've been hunting the western base of the La Sal Mountains between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. The snow has been getting deeper and deeper each day, and as I drove up into a snow storm this morning, I wasn't sure I was going to make it up. I spotted 3 cows at around 8am about a mile away, two canyons over, and in the middle of a roadless series of ridges with cedars, pines, and mixed openings on the south facing slopes. I studied the area through my binoculars and decided that because they were at the top of a draw, they might bed in the timber there. I remembered an old national forest boundary fence running through that area in the forest, and I remembered that the other day I happened upon it and found that someone had driven through the deep snow along the fence making walking much easier if the tracks weren't filled in by now. So, I drove about 3 miles using forest roads and parked what I estimated to be about a half mile from the elk. I found the fenceline and the ruts, and walked through about 4 inches of fresh snow in the ruts down the fenceline. After about a half mile, I turned into the forest thinking I was somewhere in the vicinity of where those elk might have bedded down. After about 5 minutes of walking, I popped out on a little ridge with a few trees on top and looked down into a southwest facing draw that I though the elk were in. Suddenly, a spike elk stepped out about 30 yards below me on the opposite face and looked at me. I took 3 quick steps to get into a clearing and as I did this, the spike began running up the opposite slope which was pretty open even though there were a lot of trees. Suddenly, a herd of about 10-15 cows, several bulls, and the spike busted out of the trees where they were bedded and ran across the slope, stopping to keep looking back. I shot a cow that was clear of the rest of the herd so as not to wound anything else. I shot the elk at about 9:15 am, and as I worked to quarter the elk up, the snow began falling heavier and heavier until visibility was down to just a few hundred meters. I was getting worried and worked quickly. At 10:20, I loaded the backstraps into my day pack, slung on my rifle, and used my rope to drag a hind quarter and front quarter behind me. I had GPS'ed the truck, and it told me I was .38 miles from the truck down the ridge. I took a bearing, and headed up the slope to the top of the ridge and then due north. The snow was deep (probably about 18 inches or more) and my load was heavy, so I could only go about 20 feet at a time, and then had to stop for a brief rest. I arrived at the truck at 11am (only 40 minutes hike). I dropped my gear and load in the truck and grabbed my frame pack. It took me about 15 minutes to hike back down to the elk. I loaded the remaining hind and front quarter on my pack, and headed back to the truck at 11:30. Back to the truck at noon with my last load. The snow was coming down pretty good, and had more than half-filled my tracks coming in. I barely made it out, getting stuck a couple of times. What a great 5 days of hunting! Most of it was getting to know this new area. But each day I saw elk, and was within 30 yards of several big bulls multiple times. Beautiful country.

I took this picture standing next to the elk. I shot from the top of the ridge at the top of the frame. I estimate it was about 70 yards or so. It wasn't far. I took a standing shot and put the elk down with my customary neck shot.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I drove up into the La Sal Mountains this morning, arriving at dawn. I hiked about 2 miles stillhunting up through the scrub oak and aspens. I jumped a bunch of does but wasn't seeing any bucks. I passed through a big alpine meadow and worked my way up the edge of a shallow draw. I saw a flash of something to my left going up the draw parallel with me through the trees. There was a clearing ahead, so I ran up to it and waited about 5 seconds for the deer to step into the 10 foot wide clearing. He stopped to look at me in the clearing. We were about 60 yards from each other. I could see he was a pretty nice buck, so I took him with one shot at about 9:30am. An hour to field dress him and bone out the meat, and then I loaded the entire animal and daypack on my packframe. Took me an hour to hike back to the truck. Conveniently, a 4-wheeler track was only 200 yards away, so I used that to get almost all the way back to my truck.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elk Down Part III

My Dad connected on his elk yesterday - the last day of the hunt! He and my bro Dave were out together, spotted the herd bedding down around 9 am, and then spent several hours working Dad into position. He actually shot from the top of the ridge Dave's elk was on last Saturday. Dad sat on top of the ridge glassing down into the aspens for over an hour before getting a clear shot at around 2:30 pm. It was about 400 yards across a draw. The herd of cows took off and came up to within 10 yards of Dave who had been working his way up the ridge the elk were on. They were finally done field dressing around 7pm, and had a 4 hour hike out in the dark - kind of getting lost in the dark but working through crazy timber back to the road. Me, bro Daniel, and Dad hiked back in on an easy horse trail we discovered today to get the last bag of meat. Dave and Dad hiked out with about 80-90 lb. packs last night - crazy! Three tags filled this year!Dad pointing at the ridge he shot from. We're standing next to the elk.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Elk Down Part II

My brother Dave got his first elk this morning. Dave, brother Eric, and I hiked out at 5:45 this morning about two miles. We spotted some elk early, and after getting Dave into position, he shot him at 9:00 am from 373 yards across a deep canyon. It was a great shot considering I was nervously shouting directions at him the whole time like an idiot. He ignored me and connected. He shot him in the nastiest possible location - across a deep ravine on a steep slope covered in oak brush. It was a chore for us to take care of the animal, and we finally finished our work at 1pm. Eric had to leave us from our hilltop right after the shot and go back a mile to pick up all three daypacks that we had left behind. Eric loaded all the daypacks and the rifle on his back, and Dave and I loaded the entire elk on our frame packs. We were all loaded down pretty good. It took us 4 hours to hike the 4 or so miles out. We topped out at 5pm. It was a great day!
Joe, Dave, and Eric.
A picture from the kill site. Dave shot from the top of the hill to the left - 373 yards.
Hiking down through the bottom of the ravine between the shot and the elk.
Dave and Joe loaded up with elk - I had a hindquarter and the backstraps and tenderloin, and Dave had a hindquarter and the two front quarters. We bone out the meat to reduce weight.
Taking a rest on the hike up and out - we had to climb about 1500-2000 feet.
Eric at the end of the hike. A little dehydrated.
Dave resting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Elk Down

I drove up to hunt with Dad and Dave. We went to a new place today (new for me) up Mayfield Canyon. It was a crazy hunt because Dad had to work this morning, and we didn't get up into the mountains until about 10:30am. We poked around a little, and then headed for an area someone recommended to Dad. We drove back about 4 miles on some rough 4-wheeler/Jeep road way back up in the the high mountains (over 9,000 feet) in an area of high peaks, open meadows, and stands of pine and aspen. We parked at about 12 noon about 200 feet below the top of a ridge. I walked north on the ridge and picked up fresh tracks and sign. I worked to the north end of the ridge and it dropped off into a heavy stand of timber. At the edge of the timber, I could smell elk on the breeze coming up through the trees. So I began working down into the timber on game trails, carefully walking along very slowly looking for elk. I had just exited the timber about halfway down the ridgeline and reentered about halfway down on a game trail. About 15 feet in, I spotted the hind end of an elk and looked through my binoculars. I saw that it was a spike, and then he spooked down the ridgeline to the creek bottom below me. When he popped out below, I saw there were two spikes (we have spike elk tags). I knelt down, and propped my elbow on my knee and waited for them to stop. They crossed the creek 100 yards below me down a steep slope. They came to a stop in a thin stand of aspens and as luck would have it, they stopped in a perfect opening. I put the crosshairs right below the front elk's head and shot him in the neck. He dropped in his tracks. I finally got Dad and Dave on the radio and we got the animal quartered up. The cool thing was, we discovered a 4-wheeler trail that took us down off the ridge, around a small lake near the elk and right to a meadow. We pulled into the meadow and drove within 50 feet of the elk and parked. Easy loading! Great hunt, beautiful country, and good to be with fam!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Turkey Bowl

So, Brandi and I are going up to Mom and Pops for Thanksgiving. Dave and I were saying we need to play football. We haven't played for two years (December 2007). I suggest...

Friday 11:00 am.

Who's in?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ogden Marathon 2010

Registration opens October 1st. They're selling out earlier and earlier every year. This is a challenge for some of my wimp bros to sign up!

I emailed those of you whose email I have, a training sheet in Excel that began yesterday.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Lying on the trampoline with Matt this evening, we were watching all the bats that come out in the evening. I kept saying, "See the bats." And he would say, "No." Finally, he got up and walked the edge of the tramp, pointed to a wiffle ball bat on the ground and said, "That's a bat. Dose are birds."

James came out later and after lying there awhile said, "Dad, get your gun and shoot those bats. I want to eat one."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The fam

Daniel took the photo of the fam this summer since all the bros were in town. Dad picked the cow pasture. There were cows, but no gun play. John left the Glock at home. If you click on the photo and enlarge, you notice that both John and Dad have the same smile. I also didn't realize that Billy Idol is so short (far left). He sang to us during the photo shoot.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Big Country

We stopped off in San Antone while in Tejas this summer and took a family photo. Matthew shot the photographer shortly after the photo and gutted him from crotch to eyeball. Then stole his watch.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

King's Peak - High Uintahs Wilderness

Just got back from 4 days in the Henry's Fork basin on the North Slope of the High Uintahs Wilderness in Utah. Took 3 of the venture scouts from our ward. We hiked 7 miles up to Bear Lake and fished and relaxed. I went with one of the scouts on a 21 mile dayhike the third day, leaving at 4:45 AM, and climbing 3,000 feet to King's Peak at 13,528 feet. At the trailhead the first day, I went to put on my boots and realized my inserts were back home drying out from the last hike I went on. My feet are now hamburger. Here's the biggest blister and me atop King's Peak. Awesome 4 days. Rained on us all the way out. And no, that blister is not my unborn twin. Although, it did have teeth.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Old and the New

We finished remodeling the kitchen. We're now done with the entire house, except for some little things here and there. Here's some sample shots of before and after rooms.

The OLD kitchen. Notice the little doorway and stackable laundry room to the right which we tore out completely.
The GUTTED kitchen. With a new big open doorway to the living room.
The NEW kitchen!

The OLD bathroom. We tore out the window and gutted the whole thing.

The NEW bathroom.

The OLD living room before we move in.

The NEW living room with bamboo floors and blue paint and new carpet.

The OLD front of the house (with our green grass that died when we went to Texas this summer).

The NEW front of the house.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kitchen Progress

See the first pics of the remodel below. Here is our progress 6 days into the job. Cabinets by IKEA. Fine craftsmanship by Joe.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Emmy Baptism

Saturday, August 8 around noon here. All fam is invited. Feel free to stay the weekend, and we plan to have lunch/dinner for everyone. Probably a BBQ here at our house.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kitchen Remodel

Instead of the Heywood Family Reunion in So Cal we stayed home this weekend so Brandi could take two final exams and we could put in a new kitchen. I'll post pics as we go. The first pic is just after I ripped out the old 1950s era kitchen: cupboards, counters, sinks, all electrical switches and outlets, lights, a wall, base board, furnace doors, and the ceramic tile floor. The second pic is Brandi slapping on the first coat of paint. I spent all day today patching drywall and texturing. She's painting now while I post this. We have IKEA cabinets to install after the paint and bamboo flooring as well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Deer Creek

Well, we had a cool family vacation to Texas (I'll post pics from that laters), and then we joined all the bros at ma and pas for some fun this past weekend. We went 16 days between sleeping in our own bed. I'm tired. Here's some pics from a trip to the lake thanks to Dave and Erin. I'm going to post stuff more often and get back into the blog swing again.
James freaking out on the tube with me. We crashed pretty hard the first time and I landed on top of him over the front of the tube. Surprisingly, he got back in for a second run.

Some wakeboardage.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Marathon Down

Well, I completed my third consecutive Ogden Marathon. Mom and Dad took the kids, so Brandi and I had Friday to chill. We ate a dinner/lunch at Macaroni Grill (the Seafood Linguini is to die for!). Then we picked up my race packet at the Union Station in downtown Ogden. The guy speaking was Dane Rauschenberg - a guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 days and wrote a book about it. The only thing I heard him say as I was picking up my packet was, "Don't take longer strides on the downhills or it will trash your legs. Take normal strides or even shorter, quicker strides." I took his advice.

We hung out with John and Sunni for a bit, and then Brandi took me to see Star Trek. Coolest movie I've seen in ten years. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. I finally fell asleep around 11pm, and then I got up at 3:45. Showered, shaved, clothed, grabbed all of our stuff, and headed for downtown Ogden. I boarded the bus at 4:45 on Washington Ave. The energy on the street is pretty cool with loudspeakers and thousands of runners boarding buses.

Brandi didn't want to get up early and drop me off, so she slept in, and then walked the 2 miles to downtown Ogden to meet Mom and Dad and the kids at the finish line. She said the walk wasn't bad, but I had left my memory foam pillow behind, so she had to carry it the two miles and stand around with it at the finish. I told her I would have just left it at the hotel. So sweet.

I sat next to a high school kid on the way up, and he seemed a little nervous. It was really cold up at the starting area 26.1 miles up in the mountains. They dropped us off in the cow pasture with a million port-a-potties and a bunch of 50 gallon barrels full of firewood and warmth. All 2,500 or so runners huddle together and listen to the music and chat. Some guy had a remote controlled helicopter with a video camera attached, and he would fly it around taking video. I dressed really warm this time and was quite comfortable the whole time. Around 6:50, I ditched all the warm clothes into my race bag with my number on it, threw it in the back of the truck I'm typing this, I just realized I forgot to pick the bag up at the finish line. Crap.

Stretched some, then took my place right around the 8:30-9:00 minute markers. The cannon went off promptly at 7am, and we were off. I took it easy this time, trying to average 9 minute miles the entire race. I felt strong, and I took my first brief walk break at Mile 9 while I sipped Powerade at an aid station. I cruised through the Halfway point with the live band and crowd in the small town of Eden at 1:54. At Mile 18, I began feeling nauseated and had to stop for a minute to keep from vomiting. At Mile 19, I was still on 9 minute per mile pace, and I thought I would finish in 3:54 or so, breaking my personal best by about ten minutes.

However, right around Mile 19, I was nauseated again, and I almost stopped running. I would run until I was about to puke (I puked into my mouth at one point), and then I would stop and walk until the feeling went away. I couldn't eat anything and had a hard time drinking the last 7 miles. I was really looking forward to the cold watermelon at Mile 25, but after eating one piece and almost vomiting, I had to throw away the other two pieces I grabbed. The ultimate disappointment - running 25 miles for some watermelon and then not getting to eat it!

It took me almost 45 minutes to go the last 3 miles. I was really frustrated. I entered the final quater mile and spotted Brandi and the girls (didn't hear my parents on the other side yelling). Annie and Emmy came out and ran the home stretch with me. They hung the medal on me, I walked through the misting station, and then into the runners' area for some Jamba Juice and oranges. The fam met up with me, and we made our way to the cars. My parents took the kids to meet us at John and Sunni's, and Brandi made me drive. I had to stop about 2 blocks away and I finally vomited. As soon as I got to John and Sunni's and was showering, I vomited more. Looking back, I'm convinced it was physical fatigue. It happened once in high school after wrestling practice. I went so hard, I puked as soon as practice was over.

We wolfed down pizza at John and Sunni's once I stopped puking. It was a relaxing afternoon before our drive home to Moab.

All in all, it was a cool race. I only trained up to 15 miles and I was able to run my fastest 19 miles in the three marathons by far. This year, I'm going to train properly and do it for a full year. I'm positive I can sustain my pace and finish under 4 hours.

I wore sun glasses for the first time and it made a world of difference. I wasn't squinting the whole time and it made the 75 degree weather seem ten degrees cooler. I'm always going to do long runs with sun glasses.
Good times.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And more...

More weirdness from that school catalog....tetherballs, soccerballs, basketball hoops...and, what the?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check it

My secretary and I found this in a school catalog today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Grand Canyon Trip

So, we're taking the 4 tikes on a 5 day, 4 night, 25 mile backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon starting Saturday. Should be epic. Pics to come!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Morning Exchange

The following exchange took place today...

Emmy: James, you have school today.
James: Yep. (He goes to head start Tues/Thurs)
Emmy: Well, you better change your clothes; you don't want to look stupid.
James: I willn't.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just finished...

...reading Edmund Morris' 780 page biography, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. This is actually the second time I've read it. It's Volume 1 of a planned trilogy. I'm just beginning Volume 2, which I started and never finished years ago.

If any of you like biography, and especially biographies of great historical figures, you must read this book. Theodore Roosevelt is the most interesting man I have ever read about, hands down. Other than, possibly, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith.

A few facts about Theodore...
  • He was a fast and voracious reader with a keen memory: he read well over 20,000 books by the age of 42 and possibly doubled that over the next 18 years.
  • He founded the Boone & Crockett club - the oldest (and now one of the largest) hunting and conservation clubs in America.
  • He authored over 15 books.
  • Even though he was born into wealth and privilege in New York City, he entered politics young (becoming a New York state assemblyman at age 23), and against the will of his distinguished family, spent the next 30 years fighting for the rights of the working class citizens and making America a world power.
  • He was one of the first Americans to climb the Matterhorn (and did it on a whim while on his honeymoon).
  • Without any military training, he volunteered for the Spanish-American war in Cuba, became a Colonel in 3 months' time, and led the decisive charge up San Juan Hill with men dying all around him. He came home a hero and within 3 years was President of the United States.
  • He owned a cattle ranch in North Dakota and lost more than half of his inherited fortune in a devastating winter that killed thousands of head of cattle.
  • He spoke German, French, and some Spanish and Italian.
  • At age 42, he was the youngest U.S. President up to that time in history.
  • He once jumped off his horse into a pack of hounds, pushed them aside, and knifed a cougar to death.
  • He shot a charging grizzly bear just feet away.
  • He spent a week on the river tracking 3 bandits who had stolen his wooden boat from his Dakota ranchhouse. When he caught them. He walked them over 40 miles overland to the nearest town over two days time without sleep.
The stories go on and on. He was a larger than life figure whose life is well-documented; he almost seems unreal.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Interesting BYU comments

President Eyring says religion, learning don't have to conflict

Published: February 27, 2009

PROVO — President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has told his wife that when he is gone, she should get a cottage near the Brigham Young University campus "so she can see what God's up to."

"He had a soft hand on this university," President Eyring told the audience gathered Friday at the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Institute for an Inquiry Conference on Scholarship, Learning and Teaching.

President Eyring said this life on earth is like a university experience. "He gives you a lot of freedom until we take the freedom from others," he said. "He is involved and he cares."

President Eyring said the university will get better and better and will still be here when the savior comes. He acknowledged the secular element that exists in the academic world but said there doesn't have to be conflict between religion and learning.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Running Old

So, I did a 5 mile run this morning and as I ran past the high school on the Parkway Trail, an old lady was coming up the steps of the high school and she said as I approached her and ran by, "Now that's ridiculous." Assuming she was joking about me out running in the cold morning air, I said, "I agree." She then said as I passed her, "I mean if you were young, that would be fine, but someone as old as I am out running?!"

She had to have been at least 70.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Coming to Draper, American Fork, and other local locations.,5143,705286427,00.html

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chronic Compartment Syndrome

So, I went to see the doc for a second time up in Provo this morning, and he stuck huge needles in my lower leg, made me run for a mile on a treadmill, and then stuck more huge needles in my lower leg. He said I tested for chronic compartment syndrome. The kicker, though, is it's in my lower left leg between the shin and the ankle (just above). The docs in the clinic have never seen it there before, so they're consulting a specialist to see if I need surgery. It requires going in and cutting the fascia to release the pressure, then stitching it all back up. I Googled pictures of this procedure and fainted.

In the meantime, he said if I'm up to the pain, I can keep running for my marathon. So, the training goes on. In fact, I think even if he does tell me to do the surgery, I'll run the Marathon in May and then go under the knife. Who needs summer vacation anyway.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Corona Arch

We drove up Kane Creek Canyon on the north side of the Colorado River and hiked the Corona Arch Trail today. It's about 15 minutes from our house. The trail is 2.4 miles roundtrip. It's our new favorite hike (so far). The weather was an awesome 60 degrees - first hike of the year we were sweating.

The trail ends in the bowl with Bowtie Arch on the left and Corona Arch on the right in this picture. The trail wraps around the bowl just below Bowtie and ends at Corona.

Bowtie Arch.

Corona Arch. You can see Brandi standing underneath it to give you perspective.

Standing right under the arch looking up. This is my favorite picture of the day.

Matthew showing you what we had for an end-of-trail snack: apples, pretzels, and Powerbar. James got to the arch and announced to all present (including another couple there) that he had to poop, and he wanted to do it right under the arch. The people promptly packed up and left.

Corona Arch under the sun.

This is Moab from north of the river. We live just across the river at the north end of town. The snow covered La Sal Mountains stand over Moab on the east.