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. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wyoming Elk Prep

For the past few years I've been hunting the same area in Wyoming with an Area 67-68-69 Type 9 archery elk tag, usually purchased in the leftover sales. Although I've gotten closer each year, I haven't been able to seal the deal on a bull. But because of the remoteness and amount of wilderness in the area, there are always leftover tags and I felt sure I would be able to keep coming back to this area until I got it done.

This past season, a world record elk was killed nearby with a crossbow on a General tag. Although that's great news for hunters and speaks to the genetics of elk in the area, suddenly this area is so popular that there were no tags leftover this year. Suspecting this might be the case, I applied for the tag through the draw system back in January but was unsuccessful. Not wanting to sit the elk season out, I jumped on an area 97 tag that was available. 

So this year instead of hunting an area I'm very familiar with, I'll be starting from scratch learning new ground. And although that's a little bit intimidating, the mistakes I've made and lessons I've learned from them over the past few seasons have made me a better hunter. I'm armed with more experience than ever before and I'm ready to take on the challenge! I've begun my topo map study and research on the area, and I'll be going out to Wyoming next month to scout. I'll be spending a week scouting, camping and fishing with my family and I'm looking forward to it. 

Stay tuned for updates on my research and scouting!

Monday, July 20, 2015

2015 World Deer Expo

This past weekend I attended the World Deer Expo in Birmingham, AL. This was my second time at the event and it's a one-of-a-kind show with vendors, celebrities, displays and merchandise to rival almost any outdoor show. This year for me turned out to be a very special show. 

I attended the show with my friends Roger and Connie Flynn, and up until a few days before, I wasn't for sure I was going to go. I was originally going to be working while the show was going on but I started a new schedule and was going to be off Saturday, but working late Friday night and I knew that waking up early to make the trip could be tough. But I decided it would be a good day no matter how tired I was and I was going to make the most of it. Mine and Roger's plan was to find the best deal we could on supplies for food plots. 

Shows like this are filled with all things new. There are new products that longstanding companies come out with each year, new companies making their debut and new people trying to break into the industry. Some of the new products (and people) come off as gimmicky, but it's also cool to see new things happening and where the outdoor industry is headed. 

I got to meet a few people I previously only know through social media, and catch up with a few old friends. Joshua Carney has one of the most unique talents and is able to make almost any game call you can think of with his mouth. It's pretty awesome hearing him mimic all sorts of wildlife, and he has a big personality to match the crowds he draws every time he lets loose with an elk bugle or coyote howl. Check out his videos on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube if you want to be inspired. 

Kendall Jones attracted a lot of media attention when she completed the African Big 5. When photos of her trophy class animals appeared on social media she began receiving death threats and was called all sorts of horrible things, but she's turned all the attention around and has become one of the greatest ambassadors of our sport. Check out her show "Kendall Jones: Game On!" on YouTube. 

Speaking of Africa, let's go back to what made the show special for me. On the back of your ticket to get into the show, you filled out your information to be entered in door prize drawings. We had been at the show about two hours when I heard over the loudspeaker "Adam Brister from Canton, Georgia, you have just won an African Safari from Wild Wildebeest Safaris!" You probably could have knocked me over with a feather at that moment. A few minutes later I got a call from the show office asking me to come claim my prize. 

I have up to three years to go on the hunt so I have a lot of saving, research, planning, preparation and gear testing to do in the meantime. That should give me plenty to write about. 

I have to give a big "thank you" to my buddy Roger for making sure I was there. He went with me to this show to the first time two years ago and this year we brought Connie along. I was in their wedding a few months ago, and I'm glad they were there to be a part of it. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.