Join Steven & Jess Laughter of Way Up West Outdoors on a general season early archery mule deer hunt. The search for velvet bucks takes place in a high-pressured unit nestled in the Utah peaks. Preparing for a backpack hunt intended for twelve days doesn’t just happen overnight, experience the journey of mental and physical preparation from the gym to daily arrow reps. Committed to going all in, two buck tags to fill, high hopes, 12 days of food, and minimal gear we hit the trail at 5am. Previous knowledge of this area led us into the same basin for a starting point, but we had a backup plan tucked away if necessary. Battling more than ample elevation gain and heavy packs on the way to camp, the effects of a low precipitation season were evident with every dry creek crossing. Staggering high temperatures paired with dry and crunchy vegetation seemed to drive bucks deep into the timber for daily beds. This abnormal velvet buck behavior led to being extremely frustrated after failing multiple low probability stalks. Twelve days seemed like we had all the time in the world until we found ourselves the morning of day seven with nothing productive done. With the dice in our hands, we rolled them and packed up camp to only go further from the pickup. With a full year of backcountry preparation, we were committed to stick it out for the long haul. Persistence and grit are the keys to success in our eyes.
Way Up West Outdoors is a husband & wife hunting duo whose passion and love for the outdoors runs deep into our roots. Follow along as we venture through the on and off seasons of hunting DIY and public land style here in Idaho and across the West. Preparation for all seasons take place year-round at our house. Fitness and hard work build the foundation and ethos of our hunting style. When we aren't at our day jobs you can bet, we're in the woods - together. As you could guess, hunting with your spouse takes ample patience from each end. Learning to navigate the hard earned ups and the many inevitable downs of hunting has bound us tighter than our wedding vows. With a newfound love of filming and editing our hunts we want to bring the adventures back to life on screen for viewers to experience the ups and downs right along with us. Hunting is mostly comprised of a series of attempts accompanied by failure with little success in between. The few highlighted moments of success is what keeps us coming back for more. With both of us being lifelong hunters we know that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, it’s mostly how long can you bend until you break.