Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Granny’s buck

SOME YEARS AGO, on the opening day of the general-season deer hunt, I accompanied Conservation Officer Brett Johnson on patrol in the La Sal Mountains near Moab. At around 9 a.m., we were driving along Pine Ridge, when we saw a deer hanging on the side of a trailer.

We pulled to a stop and exited the truck to check the tag. It had been properly notched and hung from the ear of the deer, which had been cleanly field-dressed. To see if the tag matched the other side of the permit, we knocked on the trailer door to speak with the permit holder.

A polite young man in his 20s opened the door. We asked to speak with the person who had taken the deer. He answered that we sure could. “Grandma,” he called out, “some game wardens want to see your permit.” Moments later, we heard the sound of slow shuffling coming down the narrow hallway. There was grandma, dressed in a bathrobe and slippers, with her permit in hand. She handed it over. Everything was in order.

“Did you shoot that buck?” inquired Johnson. “Sure enough,” she answered.

Johnson turned to the young man, “Did anyone else take a deer this morning?” “Nope, granny was the lucky one,” came the reply.

“We’ll go out later this morning and take a look around. Your grandma is quite a shot,” remarked Johnson. “Sure is,” her grandson confirmed.

With that said, Officer Johnson thanked them and we returned to the truck. We both laughed at the thought of an old lady running around in the woods at the break of day, shouldering a high-powered rifle and dressed in a bathrobe and slippers. That was my most memorable contact of the hunt. Years later, it still makes me smile whenever I think about it.