Saturday, October 10, 2015

First Coyote Bowkill

Although I wasn't able to connect with an elk this year, I did accomplish one goal on my trip to Wyoming, and that was taking my first archery coyote. Well, two of them actually.  

I was set up watching a wallow one afternoon when 6 coyotes came right through the clearing. Being an equal opportunity kind of guy, I flung a few arrows and was able to put down two of these fawn killers before the pack got nervous and moved on. They never saw or smelled me. 

This was also the first blood for the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro that I'll be posting a review of soon. 

I also took an afternoon off to do a little trout fishing. Although I didn't catch much, it was good to shift focus a little bit and recharge for the rest of the hunt. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It Gets in Your Blood

As I rode back to my parents' house with my dad after another unsuccessful elk hunt a few weeks ago, we began to wax philosophical about the wapiti and the pursuit thereof. 

"It gets in your blood," he said about hearing your first bugle. I don't think there's any phrase that so perfectly and succinctly describes what happens the first time you hear that throaty, growling, then ascending squeal echoing from a distant ridge or meadow at daybreak. The only other moment that can come close is the first time you hear a turkey gobble on a cool morning before he flies down off the roost. 

When I first heard an elk bugle, I wasn't serious about hunting. I hunted, but it was more about spending time with my dad than the actual hunting part. "If I had my 'druthers'" as he would say, I would have chosen fishing over hunting. In fact, the last couple of years I lived in Wyoming, I barely hunted because my bass boat kept calling me to the great smallmouth bass fishing action that fall could bring. Truth be told, I think many times I enjoyed the time spent in the truck with the heater cranked up in between morning and evening hunts listening to Wyoming Cowboys football than the hunting itself. Still, that bugle worked its way into my veins somehow and would resurface later as one of my greatest passions. 

I think what piqued my interest in chasing elk was discovering the sport of archery after moving to Georgia. When I hunted elk before, it was usually in October rifle season when the weather was usually cold. I had yet to learn the benefits of layering and usually bundled up so well that by the time we got out of the truck and walked into where we were hunting, I was pretty sweaty. Of course then I would get chilled and could be in for a long morning waiting for the sun to rise. It was also post rut, and there wasn't much bugling or other activity to really excite a young hunter. Archery hunting meant getting in the mountains a little earlier. Rifle shots hadn't made the game spooky and the activity involved with the rut that happens in mid-to-late September made elk hunting a whole new ball game. 

This year's elk season served me another tag sandwich, but ya know what? I'll be back at it next year. My non-hunting friends remark that I spent a lot of money to go out west and chase elk and come back with nothing but a water-resistant piece of paper issued from the state of Wyoming to show for it. But those friends might spend the same amount of money on a condo at the beach in Destin and come home with nothing more than sand all over the floorboards of their car. If nothing else, I got to spend a week in beautiful country with my dad. 

You can't put a price tag on that kind of memory. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wyoming Elk Scouting

As I write this, I'm preparing to head to elk camp in the Bridger National Forest in Wyoming with my dad. I was here about 2 weeks ago doing some scouting as this would be the first time I've hunted this area. My hopes are high because Wyoming elk have kicked my butt the last few years and I'm ready to turn the tables on them!

While scouting I did find some sign, but my main goal was to break down some general areas that I could really work over  once I was back here to hunt. This is the first weekend of the season so I'm expecting some company on the trails, but hopefully the somewhat difficult access and lack of roads will keep the crowds away, or at least concentrate them on the roads.

I'm not what I would consider a lucky hunter, so I've become accustomed to covering ground and working hard. Usually to no avail, but not for lack of effort. Hopefully I'll be posting a success story in a week or less and have something to show for all the tag soup I've eaten the past few years!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Product Spotlight: Xecute Scent Control

Xecute Scent Control is a relatively new product from Muddy Outdoors. I'll be trying it out throughout the season and I'll post a detailed review once I've had a chance to give their products a try. But for now, here's some info on the product. 

Xecute doesn't use any of the harsh metals or chemicals found in most other odor control solutions. Their products, which include laundry detergent, body wash and field spray, not only eliminate odor and human scent, but do so naturally. Xecute says there is nothing in their products that isn’t found in a deer’s environment.

Xecute helps hunters to remain odor free without skin irritation in two proprietary ways: an all-natural and potent antimicrobial destroys odor-causing bacteria while improving skin condition, and active ingredients extract, encapsulate, and absorb dirt and odor on the molecular level.

Xecute is NOT a Bicarbonate-based product and will not leave a white film on your gear or your clothing. It is extremely stable in all environments, which means you can always depend on Xecute to do its job. Unlike other products, Xecute does NOT use reflective or UV brightening materials such as Titanium Oxide and other metals. Hunters using those products can look like a white picket fence to the deer. Xecute is a hypoallergenic formula that is natural, safe, and because it leaves no residue you won’t itch and your skin feels smooth, fresh, and clean. 

Stay tuned for a full review of these products later in the season!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Product Spotlight:

If you're planning a hunting, hiking or fishing trip in Wyoming, Colorado (and soon Montana) I can't recommend enough that you check in with the folks at I ordered a few different topo maps of the area in Wyoming I'll be hunting this year, and the one from is far and away the most detailed I've seen.

The topography detail is incredible, and it shows all the trails, lakes and streams in the area, making it perfect for hunters, as well as fishermen. It's also printed on waterproof paper so taking it into the field shouldn't be a problem. 

In addition to paper maps, the site also offers digital maps for your GPS device, and is chock full of info about each states hunting regulations, draw process, and tips to help you be successful in your area. It breaks down deer, elk and antelope areas, as well as area specific statistics on each species. Needless to say, you could spend a lot of time on this site! 

Check these guys out. I can promise you won't be disappointed.