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HUNTING | FISHING | GEAR | OUTDOORS | PREPAREDNESS

INSIDE: Score the Buck Big Sky Bruins

SUMMER 2017 HUNTAVID.com


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“The Ultimate African Safari Adventure” SOUTH AFRICA | ZIMBABWE | MOZAMBIQUE

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Contents Table of

SUMMER 2017

HUNTING

08 Boss of the Farm 12 Weekend Double 16 Living A Dream 20 A Coues For Christmas 24 Big Sky Bruins 28 The Knob 34 Destination Backcountry GUIDES & OUTFITTERS

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Split Tine Outfitters

FISHING

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8 20

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44 Targeting Monster Trout GEAR

46 Leica Geovid HD-B 42 Edition 2017 48 Four Pounds Of Gear That Can Save Your Life

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Sneek Boots Pro Tikka T3X CTR - Sub MOA Sitka Subalpine Ascent Series Honda Pioneer 1000-5

DEPARTMENTS

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Score the Buck Spot the Hunters

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The publisher is not responsible for the accuracy of the articles in AVID Hunting & Outdoors Magazine. The information contained within has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance of this material. Appropriate professional advice should be sought before making decisions. Outside of our staff authors, articles written by providers or professionals are invited authors and represent the opinions of that particular individual, business, group or organization. If an article is a paid “advertisement,” or “advertorial,” it will be identified as such. ©Copyright 2017. AVID Hunting & Outdoors

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PUBLISHER – Desert Hunter LLC CHIEF EDITOR Neil Large – nlarge@huntavid.com EXECUTIVE EDITORS Brandon Walker Casey Stilson Justin Walker PHOTOGRAPHERS Brentten Stowe Brad Cunningham Laura Sheets Cody & Sheryl Saxton VP MARKETING AND SALES Justin Walker – jwalker@huntavid.com CONTENT MANAGERS Josh Wilson Dave Heath FIELD STAFF Chris Staffeldt Josh Steinke Josh Rowley Steven Falkner Kayla Islas Meyer Kevin McNair Lance Poole PREDATOR STAFF Vince Donohue For information on advertising or other inquiries: CONTACT: (435) 574-9763 www.huntavid.com or info@huntavid.com Facebook/Instagram Submit articles and pictures to info@huntavid.com The publisher is not responsible for the accuracy of the articles in AVID Hunting & Outdoors magazine. The information contained within has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance of this material. Appropriate professional advice should be sought before making decisions. Outside of our staff authors, articles written by providers or professionals are invited authors and represent the opinions of that particular individual, business, group or organization. If an article is a paid “advertisement,” or “advertorial” we will identify it as such. ©Copyright 2017, AVID Hunting & Outdoors magazine.

Letter from the

Editors

Hunting, Fishing, and enjoying the Outdoors should be time spent allowing oneself to simply take it all in. To revel in the camaraderie of family and friends, to appreciate the world around you, and to harvest clean organic meat. Competition and greed have turned our mutual obsession into a race for notoriety and status among our peers. Here at AVID, we would like to bring the “meat and potatoes” back into outdoor activities. We want to revive the passion and share the entire outdoor experience with you!! AVID is dedicated to providing the very best local and regional stories from across the west while providing unbiased gear reviews and outdoor news to keep our readers informed and entertained. Our passion for wildlife conservation and the preservation of our outdoor heritage is tightly knit into our lifestyle and shared within the pages of our magazine. We’re just like you! We work hard for a living, spend time with our family, and dream of glassing for bucks and calling in bulls if we’re not out in the field actually doing it! We live and breathe the outdoors while sharing our passion with our families. We’re AVID about all aspects of our lives, we just decided to make a magazine about one very important slice of the pie. AVID HUNTING & OUTDOORS Summer 2017

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www.huntavid.com | Utah Edition


s s o B e h t of

m r Fa By Wes Speake

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itting on top of the kitchen counter, drinking coffee, I just knew this was the morning it would all come together. But, then again, I think that before any sit in the deer woods of Linn County, Kansas. It was our third day in Kansas, I had seen some deer, but not what I drove eight hours to arrow. My friends, who made the drive from East Texas with me, had already enjoyed encounters with shooter bucks. No shot opportunities, but encounters, nonetheless. This particular morning, I was climbing into a new set, with five known shooters on the farm: three ten points, ranging from 155”-175”, and two “really big eight points” that I never saw pictures of. The temperatures were in the low 40s, overcast, and the northwest wind would be about 10 mph right in my face. How could this NOT be the day? My guide, JP, walked me into the set that morning. As he walked away, he whispered, “Text me when I need to bring the mule,” the same words he says every time he drops me off in the woods. He has hunted the area since he was young and he, too, knew its potential for producing the buck of a lifetime. Between JP, his brother, Pat, and their dad, they have arrowed 25 bucks 200”+ in Linn County. Knowing this is one of the most exciting things about hunting Kansas; literally any moment you may encounter one of these monarchs.

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There was a smaller, eight or so acres soybean field behind my stand, which was in the tallest tree on the hedgerow. To my left were very thick bedding areas, and a “two ruts in the grass” road that ran in front of my stand tree. This was the corridor the deer were using to travel to the large soybean field to my right, which was probably 40-50 acres. In front of me, was an area that was mostly mowed, other than a few scattered locust trees. As I settled into my tree, going through the rituals of putting an arrow on the string, etc., I glanced ahead and saw two deer browsing their way through the grey morning light into the bean field to my right. About the time they hit the field, three more does came off the road and followed suit of the one that came through before them. Keeping an eye on the road, I saw the nose of a deer rounding the bend toward me. Then, I saw heavy, white beams, coming all the way to the tip of his nose. Following that, a massive, testosterone filled neck. At that point, I had seen all I needed to see, and reached for my bow. With my bow in my left hand and binoculars in my right, I watched the buck coming toward me on the almost non-existent road. Trying to steady my hand from my sudden increase in heart rate, I could see his left eye was swollen shut, right main beam was Continued on Page 10


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busted, and his face was covered in scars. He was “the ringer”, “the man,” the one that decided which bucks got to stay on the property and which ones needed to find a new home ground. And here he was, slowly browsing his way toward me. My concern now was that it was still grey light. I could hardly see my pins. I even had an opportunity, broadside, with his swollen-shut eye to me, at 21 yards, but in fear I wouldn’t be able to see through my peep sight, or see my pins well, I rolled the dice, in hopes for another opportunity in a few minutes. He was happily browsing, the wind was hitting me in the face at 10 mph, and he had no clue I was there. No sense of rushing anything at this time. Plus, a little time to control my heart rate and Buck Fever didn’t hurt, neither. After a few minutes passed, a smaller buck tried to slip past him and get to the soybean field. The bully that he was, he wouldn’t just let that slide. He had to push the deer into the field, letting him know that he’s not allowed anywhere close to where he is browsing at the time. Little did the old buck realize, this show of dominance and aggression had just put him at 10

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fifteen yards from my stand, in the open, and even slightly quartered away. His good eye was toward me now, so I needed to be careful. All I needed was for him to look out into that bean field, and check out the other deer. Just one look away, and I’d have closed the chapter on this Kansas hunt… I don’t know about you guys, but I have a bit of a blackout moment at the moment of truth. It all happens so fast, emotions are soaring, heart racing. All the hours of practice, preparations, scouting. The primal, inborn instincts to hunt, all crammed into a 3-5 second period. It’s hard to describe, but I really don’t remember small details until several minutes after the shot. After getting my anchor point, settling my pin on its spot, and touching the arrow off, I heard the oh so familiar cracking of ribs, and the slam of the arrow back into the earth on the pass through. He gave a small kick, dropped


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his tail, and made a break for the soybeans. After about 40 yards, he decided he was not going to make it to the field and cut up the road. Then, slowing stopping, and shortly after tipping over to his death. All the emotions REALLY come to full effect at this moment, at least for me, especially knowing that not only did I just take the oldest buck on the farm, but, I gave him the honor of a fast, clean death. My Kansas giant is down, and I can’t wait to get my hands on him. After a few minutes of self-celebration and appreciation, I was finally able

to text my friends, family and of course, finally getting to text JP, “Bring the mule, he’s down in the road”. That was possibly the most satisfying text of my hunting career. Getting out of the stand and walking past the most perfect, blood red, arrow I’ve seen, I got to finally get my hands on my Kansas brawler. Coming from East Texas, a mature buck weighs around 160ish pounds. Walking up on this buck, who’s weight was trimmed down by the rut, but was still pushing the 270 pound range, was quite an experience. The mass in the neck, shoulders, and hind quarters was so impressive. What can you say about sitting behind a six-and-a-half year old animal? The satisfaction of a hunt that finally came together perfectly and a well-placed arrow on a high caliber animal is the reason I drive eight hours every year to hunt with Wicked Outfitters. After about an hour of celebrating with JP, Clint, and Whitney, and taking 178 photos (yes, 178, thats not a made-up number), we loaded him and got back to the lodge. His headgear only carried 140” of antler due to breaking the beam, and had some symmetry issues, but I couldn’t be happier with my buck. Its not often you get an opportunity at the oldest buck on the farm, and even more rare to have him at fifteen yards and to be able to get him with archery tackle. It’s truly what dreams are made of, and the memories and stories will last a lifetime.

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Weekend By Christian & Nicole Snedeger

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fter months of waiting in anticipation of deer season to arrive, it was finally opening morning. With the dawn of a new deer season, Christian and Nicole Snedeger ventured into the field with high expectations. The couple had decided to try different areas that day and went their separate ways in search of a good buck. Christian headed deeper into their chosen canyon about 600 yards from his wife. He did so after positioning her in an area in which they had previously seen a big buck. As the morning progressed, he had only amassed a small number of deer sightings but had consequently found quite a few elk. After having his fill of this particular spot, Christian went to inquire about Nicole’s morning. She had seen some deer, including a few bucks. She went on to tell Christian about an encounter she had with a good four point they had frequently seen in the area but was unable to get a shot at him. After hearing about his wife’s exciting morning, Christian decided to check some nearby trail cameras for recent activity. As luck would have it, a nice four point had visited the area that very morning. Undaunted, Christian took the four wheeler up the hill in hopes of finding something out feeding in the waning afternoon light. He had been glassing for less than ten minutes when he found a great 4x5 that he had been watching for several years. He watched the massive buck for quite some time until the buck bedded in some tall grass near an oak tree. In no time at all, Christian was 30 yards from the oak tree but had not yet laid eyes on the buck. An hour later, the buck stood up and started to feed. Patiently, Christian waited for the buck to enter a shooting lane at 50 yards, drew back, and released just as the buck lunged a bit causing the arrow to hit a little low. He left the buck alone for the night. Continued on Page 15

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This husband and wife team had one heck of an opening weekend doing something they love together and couldn’t be more happy with the results of their efforts.

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After a long and sleepless night, the husband and wife duo went to trail Christian’s buck. They found very little blood but continued for over three hours in search of small drops. As Nicole was circling around to check a clearing, she saw the massive buck dead in a small patch of trees. Elated and relieved, the couple celebrated and packed the buck off of the mountain. That evening they would focus all of their attention on Nicole and hopefully be successful in the harvest of her first archery deer. With only two hours of daylight remaining, Christian and Nicole decided to go back to the spot in which Nicole hunted on opening day. As they were working their way up the canyon, they had seen and passed on a handful of smaller bucks. As they continued their search for a good four point, they were stopped dead in their tracks as a 26” 3x3 was only 40 yards away. They stood motionless for

several minutes to see if any other bucks were with him. Behind the 3x3, a good mature four point can now be seen feeding in their direction, Christian ranged him at 60 yards. Nicole drew her bow and waited for a clear shot. Three minutes later, Nicole was still at full draw when the buck offered her an unobstructed view of his vitals. As Nicole released, they both knew the shot was perfect! Hearing the buck crash a short distance away, they quickly went up to where he was standing at the shot and were met by large swaths of blood everywhere! Minutes later they were standing over Nicole’s first archery buck! This husband and wife team had one heck of an opening weekend doing something they love together and couldn’t be more happy with the results of their efforts.

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By Storie Ratcliff s hunters, we spend all year waiting for the opener to roll around to take pursuit of our passion. Many times we spend the course of the season looking over animals, passing them up, and sometimes we take a good one! I am about to share with you the absolutely best hunt of my life that resulted in not one, but three solid animals in a matter of days. The physical and mental fortitude I had to retain on this hunt was almost overwhelming, but in the end I have memories of EPIC proportions stored in my mind forever. I begin scouting the high country every summer about mid July with hopes of locating mature mule deer. This past season my hunting partner Miguel and I located well over 100 bucks before the season and eventually narrowed it down to a handful of shooters. With multiple tags in hand, we hit the hills with high aspirations of completing our outdoor goals. Arriving the day before the opener, we chose to focus on finding a bear for Miguel as we scouted for deer. I glassed up a good one just out of camp and Miguel made a great shot on his first bruin. This trip was starting out pretty good‌ Deer season opened up and with it, fog had rolled in. Although there were only small glassing windows, we still managed to find some bucks. After bailing off into a large basin Miguel found a buck he wanted to take home and took care of business. As we were packing him out, the day ended just as it began under a cloak of thick wet fog. The next day held unknown excitement, although I hoped to find one of the bucks on my hit list.

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Dream LIVING A

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About mid-day, I located the big typical that was number one on my list so I dumped into the same basin that Miguel killed his buck. When I arrived, I feverishly tried to re-locate my buck. In the process I glassed up the carcass of Miguel’s buck, within feet of the carcass was a beautiful color phase bear fast asleep. I stalked my way into 220 yards and took the first available shot and he collapsed on top of the deer carcass. My buddy Tyler arrived to help me work on the bear when Miguel radioed to inform me that he had glassed up a big buck we knew right by camp! Half an hour later I was 467 yards from the buck as he fed into the evening sun in a small pocket of trees. I got set behind my rifle which was steadily placed on my backpack and proceeded to miss that beautiful muley! He disappeared into the fading light, I hiked back to camp knowing that the next day would be very busy. I had to check for blood to make sure I didn’t hit the buck and still pack out my bear! We reached the last place I saw the buck fairly early the next morning and proceeded to look for blood. Although we found none, I found the buck again, very much alive

and not hit. Miguel set up his spotter, thats HIM! We rushed down the ridge and he came out of the same pocket of trees as the night before. He bucked at the shot and we worked our way over there to find him but were very surprised at what we found! In the excitement, I had shot a different buck! I’m still very happy with him, and had known him as “Split Ear” while scouting. We had him caped, boned out and back at camp within a couple hours and then hiked back to my bear. Once we reached the bear, I was in awe at his size! Tyler and I made quick work of the “after kill” duties and had my bear back to the truck by 11:00 pm. We were absolutely beat up from hiking and packing meat! Arriving in town about 6:30 am, I finally was able to catch some shut eye before taking my deer and bear to the butcher shop. After dropping them off, I was doing laundry and was right in the middle of stuffing my face when my buddy Braxton Hamilton called, he desperately tried to convince me to bow hunt elk with him the next day. I ascertained my physical ailments from the previous day’s brutal

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punishment, and came to the conclusion I would fight through the discomfort and hunt some elk! Before I knew it I had my bear checked in with the Game and Fish and we were off on another adventure the next morning! We reached the trailhead and were four miles deep by evening, we had hiked right into the middle of rut central! There were six different bulls bugling all around us within a couple hundred yards, we were absolutely floored by their warm welcome! Suddenly a bull lights up right on top of us! We “flipped for it� to see who would nock an arrow first, in victory, I snapped the nock to my string! Braxton, the elk whisperer, worked his magic and soon a good 6x6 materialized through the pines at a mere 18 yards! I slowly drew, settled my pin, and drilled him perfectly! He spun at the shot and left exactly the way he came in. After following the short blood trail, the reality of what I have done settled in as I reached for my last remaining tag! I am very thankful to be surrounded by such great people and will never take their friendship or help for granted. Without all of their help, there is no way I would have been able to accomplish what I did in such a short time. I look forward to repaying each and every one of them with a loaded down pack, hopefully in the near future!

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Coues

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For


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Christmas

By Adam Meyer The 2016 hunting season was epic to say the least! My wife, my three daughters, and I, all drew good tags, eight total! The icing on the cake was, I finally drew a December coues whitetail tag, which consequently takes place during the rut. After an extremely busy season of helping friends and family on their hunts, it was finally my turn. I put in tons of time scouting and had a very good idea of where I wanted to start on the opener. This hunt encompasses the entire last half of December and the rut typically heats up closer to the end of the month. Opening weekend I only hunted one day and passed on a couple of 90 inch bucks. The following weekend I hiked in to my spot with two of my cousins and my best friend; we had a great time and passed on multiple good bucks, but still no shooters. Because the the rut was not in full swing yet I decided to wait and take off work to hunt the last week of the season. Christmas day was especially hard not going out! Of course family comes first, especially ON CHRISTMAS, but with 10 inches of fresh snow on the ground, I knew the bucks would be gettin’ after it!! The next day would prove to be like Christmas all over again! My father-in-law, and my cousin Jojo and I got out there extra early. Once the sun had risen enough to see, we started glassing up bucks. It was shaping up to be an epic day. We were watching 180 inch mule deer bucks rutting does, in fact everywhere we looked there was rut activity. Coues deer activity during the rut seems to pick up later in the morning. We left Jojo behind to glass the face of the mountain as my father-in-law and I proceeded to our honey hole. On our way there we glassed every cut, in one of the cuts just shy of our honey hole we found multiple bucks rutting does. It was an awesome sight to see mule deer bucks and coues deer bucks rutting does of their own species in the same canyon. Continued on Page 23

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Now my heart starts to race, it is finally my turn to pull the trigger.

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My father-in-law called out “I have a really good buck!” I say “That’s the buck I passed last week, he’s small on the left side.” He replied with “Clearly we are not talking about the same buck.” After a bit of direction, I see the buck he is talking about, without a doubt he was a shooter! Now my heart starts to race, it is finally my turn to pull the trigger. I ranged him probably a dozen times at 640 yards. With absolutely no other option of getting closer, I started calculating for the shot. 640 yards at 32 degrees of incline, I mean he was way uphill! I had to cut 1.6 M.O.A. off the shot. It was a zero wind situation, time to do what I do! The 3 ounce Jewel trigger on my custom 300 RUM broke clean, and the buck fell dead where he once stood. The shot was long enough that I was able to regroup and watch him drop in his tracks. A big high five and a hug with my father-in-law was the beginning of the celebration, not to mention the beginning of the hard work! I called Jojo to let him know that I had dropped a good buck and needed help; and to give him directions from his glassing point to where we currently were. After meeting up, it took two hours to hike up the canyon just to get to the buck. My father-in-law stayed behind where I took the shot to walk us in on the buck if necessary although Jojo and I had his location pegged pretty good so we went in after him. The terrain was extremely rugged and steep, and also covered in snow, we were slippin’ and slidin’ the entire way up. Finally we had gained enough elevation and reached the point where I felt the buck was and before long, we had located my buck! Words can not describe the way I felt when I finally laid hands on the deer I had waited so many years to harvest. To some people, he is not a giant but at 100 2/8 inches I could not be more satisfied.I couldn’t have planned this day out any better myself. Not to mention, the country we were in is among the most beautiful God has made, especially covered in snow. It was an absolute epic day to say the least, the very best part was all of the accolades I received from my wife, daughters, and son once I got home with the buck because above all other things, family comes first!

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By Paul Servey

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ur father has been our hero our whole lives. He served his country for 23 years in the United States Army as a Green Beret and taught my two brothers and I many valuable life lessons. We would not be the outdoorsmen or hunters we are today if it weren’t for his example. As I have gotten older, watching family and friends become successful on their hunts has become more rewarding than harvesting an animal myself. As my brother James and I prepared for our annual Montana spring bear hunt, we talked about how cool it would be to take our father and younger brother Daniel with us to experience their first bear hunt. We made the phone call and they jumped at the opportunity! This was going to be an awesome father and sons trip to one of the most beautiful states in the West. The day came to travel to Montana and we left super early in hopes of getting an evening hunt in. It worked out perfect. As we arrived the clouds parted and it stopped raining so we hurried and unloaded our gear, threw on our hunting clothes, grabbed our rifles and we were off. Daniel and my dad were excited to see what bear hunting was all about, that first night we even saw two bears! A beautiful blonde and a jet black bear but we were unable to capitalize on either opportunity.

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By day three things started heating up. We decided to hit one of our honey holes where there is always green grass and water for the bears. After splitting up, James and my dad walked one logging road, while Daniel and I walked the other. With the heavy snow pack this last year the spring grass was just starting to grow. We were about 30 minutes into our hike when Daniel stopped and said “Paul, there’s a bear!” I looked up and sure enough, there was a bear walking down the logging road straight towards us. It looked like a nice black bear that had just left the water. Daniel didn’t waste any time while he hurried to steady his rifle on his shooting sticks. The bear just turned broadside as it was about to head back into the trees when Daniel let the 300 Remington Ultra Mag bark. I heard the loud “thud” of the bullet hit it’s mark and exclaimed “You just hammered your first bear!” The bear bolted off down into the trees and expired within 20 yards of the road. What an amazing moment it was to watch my brother harvest his first bear. The emotions and respect he showed towards that beautiful bear will leave a lasting impression upon both of us. With one bear down, our focus now shifted to getting our dad his first bear. As we awoke the next morning we were still on cloud nine from the previous days’ events. The weather had changed from


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80 degrees to rain and snow all day. Our plan for the day was to drive a few known areas, get in some glassing and hope the weather would break in our favor. It was getting close to lunchtime and we were discussing where we wanted to eat and dad was in the back of the truck taking an afternoon siesta. We came driving around a corner and all three brothers simultaneously yelled “BEAR!” Dad quickly sprung up and said “Where?” We all saw the shiny black bear feeding off the side of the road. Dad slowly stepped out of the truck into the falling snow. This was to be the highlight of our trip. We all watched our father from inside the truck as the original goat stealthily transitioned into hunt mode. We were all coaching him from inside, but it soon became apparent that he didn’t need any of our tips, and he couldn’t hear them anyways. He quickly snuck down the road within about 100 yards of the bear who was still feeding along the roadway. He got into position and delivered a perfect shot from his 30-06. The bear dropped in it’s tracks! We all let out a victorious yell in the truck. “Oh yeah! Dad’s still got it!” We jumped out of the truck, ran down the road and celebrated with hugs and congratulations. This was an epic moment to watch our father harvest his first bear. With the two rookies tagged out, James and I could focus on our bears. Our plan was to go back to where we had seen the two bears on the first night of our hunt. James really wanted to find that

beautiful blonde bear, as it turned out, it couldn’t have worked out any better. We got to our glassing area and had just set up when my brother Daniel spotted something going through the trees, he said it was the color of an elk. After about five minutes, James spotted something glistening in the sun feeding out from behind a pine tree. At first we thought it was a grizzly bear because it was so blonde. James got set up for the shot and we were able to take a closer look. It didn’t have a humped back or the head of a griz, but it was clearly the blonde black bear we were looking for! You couldn’t miss this bear walking across the hillside, it looked like a piece of gold glistening in the sun. Daniel called out the range at 586 yards, and James was down prone into his 300 ultra mag and he dialed up for the shot. The bear stepped up onto a log presenting him a perfect broadside shot. James touched off and we could hear the distinct sound of the 230 grain Berger’s impact, then the bear whirled down the hill and expired. As we walked up to the bear we were amazed by this bears beauty. James had just harvested his dream bear! We were admiring the bear and how the head was a dark rust and the coat was a golden cinnamon blonde with such a unique pattern. We also noticed it’s teeth were completely worn down to the gums. When we checked this bear in with the Montana Fish and Game they thought the bear was between 20-30 years old! Continued on Page 26

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What a monarch! Three bears down, only two days left, and I was up! This hunt would come down to the final seconds of light on the last day. We hunted hard the following two days and were unable to turn any bears up. As the hunt was winding down my brother James said “You have only got about 20 minutes bro.” I said “Yep, but it’s been a great hunt. Three for four isn’t bad, and we’ve had a great time.” As hunters we all know how quickly things can change. I pulled up my binoculars to glass an area we had been watching and I said out loud “Holy crap! There’s a bear! And it’s a big one!” I have seen quite a few bears before, and I knew the bear I was looking at was bigger than most. He was feeding in a clearing on some freshly sprouted grass. With light fading fast, I knew I needed to position myself for a quick shot. As I was getting set up for my shot my brother James reassured me by saying “Stay calm, we have time, he’s just feeding.” As I was getting into the rifle he told me “I can’t get an accurate range, it keeps coming up between 500600 yards. It looks like the rangefinder is hitting those downed quakies in front of the bear.” We looked at each other and the calm left his face. He said “You had better start running.” I grabbed my rifle and took off running up the logging road towards the bear. I was able to conceal myself in the pines along the side of the road. The wind was perfect and blowing in my face as I was running my guts out while maneuvering through the trees. I was trying to keep the bear in sight while praying it would stay light enough to

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get a clean shot. I had closed the distance to within 150 yards of where I had last seen the bear. My heart was pounding and my eyes were looking for any black movement in the fading light. All of the sudden I caught something moving in the shadows of the pines. It was him and he was scratching his head on a downed pine tree. I hurried and got into prone with my rifle for a shot hoping he would not walk further into the pines and out of sight. My wish came true. He stopped scratching himself and walked out directly in front of me at 110 yards. He was slightly quartering away and


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apart and within seconds of entering the thick trees Daniel yelled “Paul, I got him!” I replied “Are you serious?” He had only ran 20 yards before expiring. I was overwhelmed with happiness and felt so blessed to share the amazing experience with my family. It was going to be a late night, it was almost 11:00 pm, but these are the moments and memories we as hunters live for. This was simply the hunt of a lifetime! I was able to spend a week with my father and brothers making memories, talking about our childhood, cracking jokes and teasing each other every day was so much fun. The icing on the cake was our success in harvesting four bears in seven days. A feat that I am sure will be tough to duplicate. Authors Note: I placed my crosshairs just behind his shoulder and touched one off just as light was fading. The big ol’ bruin bolted into the trees, although I knew I hadn’t missed that bear. I said a quick prayer asking for a quick death and successful recovery. I decided to wait for my dad and brothers to get to me before searching for him. It was pitch black when they reached me. My brother Daniel said “You got him, the shot sounded solid!” I was excited to hear that and we all celebrated and hugged in a surreal moment of gratitude. We were all so amazed that it came together in the final seconds of light on our last day. It was time to go into the forest and find the bear. It’s a little heavy on the nerves tracking a big bear in the dark utilizing only your headlamps. We spread out about 20 yards

Paul Servey is known as Mountain Goat Pauly. He’s a blue collar worker who loves to hunt public land over the counter tags in the Rocky Mountains. He started hunting with his family as a child and has continued to pass on his knowledge and passion to his daughter and wife who also enjoy the sport. Paul believes in the spirit of the wild and gives every animal the respect they deserve taught to him by his native father. Paul enjoys the sport of long range rifle hunting, archery hunting and muzzleloader hunting. Paul believes in giving back to those who have served and promotes a patriotic lifestyle. He is also well known for being a do-it-yourself hunter who shares his own content and pictures of all his outdoor adventures. Paul spends over 200+ days in the field while still working a full time job. His heart is truly in the outdoors and that is why he spends so much time sharing his passion for the sport. Affiliated with: Kryptek Camo, EXO Mountain Gear, Vortex Optics, Warrior Fuel Hunt, PhoneSkope AVID HUNTING & OUTDOORS Summer 2017

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The

Knob By Christopher McLaughlin

I

couldn’t help but feel pessimistic and unenthused about doing this hunt alone. As I packed for the hunt, and drove to the camp where my friends, family, and I have hunted for over a decade I reminisced of past hunts and hoped for my dad to heal quickly from his recent shoulder surgery and pacemaker implant. My friends were al busy, either caught up in the rigors of life or looking forward to rifle season, so I set out alone. After having been consumed by this solo adventure for a day and a half with only one buck sighting to show for my efforts, I felt the need to change it up a bit. I did manage to stalk that buck, but as it usually goes, I chose not to shoot at the broadside buck just outside of my “comfort” range. That evening I found myself sitting in a very familiar spot, “The Knob”. For the past several years I have seen bucks from the Knob. Stalk after stalk have all played out like the scenario mentioned earlier. After arrival to my Knob, I waited for nearly three hours before spotting a small four point through the trees only 100 yards away. He’s on the far side of a field and too far to shoot, so as his head is behind a pine tree, I begin my short stalk. As I’m quietly sneaking around the edge of the field, I remove an arrow from my quiver and nock it; ready for whatever happens next. As I draw closer to the buck, I notice two others with him. A spike, and another partially obscured buck that appears larger than the one I had set out to kill. Turkeys!!! Bad timing for an alarm putt to sound off!! I freeze, and wait for the bucks to make the next move. Luckily the deer aren’t too spooked although I’m totally rattled by this point! At 54 yards, the biggest of the three bucks offers a shot. I hear the telltale “thud” of a hit but am unable to determine exactly where I hit him before he bolts off into the thick. Now, the grueling wait…

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After about 30 minutes I carefully follow blood to find him bedded down only 100 yards from where he was initially shot. It looks like the shot was a bit far back, with only five minutes of shooting light I quickly decide to continue the stalk and finish him. You know what they say about “plans”…He decides to get up again on his own accord and simply walks away. Feeling defeated, I return to camp full of uncertainty. I didn’t sleep much. Did coyotes or a bear get him? Did he wander off too far to track? I wished at this point more than ever that my dad or friends were with me, but remained alone with my dreadful thoughts. I was in the field before the break of dawn to pick up where I left off.

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I make it to where he was bedded and find only a small pool of blood, about the size of a dollar bill…But that’s it! With only a direction of travel to go off of without the aid of blood, I wander. I knew I had some luck on my side… About 300 yards from the last spot of blood, I find more! I’m totally elated and I can feel the positivity rushing back into my mind. It was obvious he had bedded in this particular area several times. As I continue forward…There he is! Bedded at 10 yards just looking at me…I make it quick and relief blankets my emotions as the pieces have finally come together. As punishment for a poorly placed first shot, I find myself exhausted after making three trips to the truck. Sore, drained, and humbled, I sit at camp alone, a coke in my hand and a smile on my face from a hunt to remember.


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: n o i t a n i t Des

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HUNTING

e By Mik

T

sen

Morten

he summer of 2016 started out by pounding the trails of Wyoming in search of quality mule deer. This country was difficult and very physically demanding which took me by surprise; totally different in fact than the areas in Utah I normally hunt. This year I planned to pack in to spend a week hunting in the high country. Physical preparation started by putting boots on the ground every weekend beginning in June and continuing every weekend thereafter in several states until the hunt in September. By late July my friend and long-time hunting partner Braxton Jacobson and I found our bucks and then created our plan for a successful hunt in the high country of Wyoming. Neither of us had hunted this area in, but we were very excited to help each other out in accomplishing our goals of harvesting great Wyoming mule deer bucks. September came quickly and our trek to the high country started among favorable weather conditions. A storm was forecasted to be upon us by Tuesday so we laced up and hit the trail hoping for a quick hunt. Our hike to basecamp was tough, with little water and heavy packs we persevered. Water was our main concern before starting this hunt because we only knew of one spring a few miles from base camp, but we rationed our water and made it work. Packing in was heavy, but we hoped to hike out with even heavier packs. After setting up base camp we immediately began to hunt. Bucks started to stand up from their bedding areas, we anxiously waited for the bucks we saw this summer to show themselves. We grew tired from the long, steep, heavy hike in, but I somehow knew we could connect with a big buck that first evening. I told Braxton Shortly after discussing our options with Braxton, I glassed my wide buck

in the cliffs, feeding with another smaller buck. We hustled to get into position for a good shot. Right after I got into settled into prone position for the shot, my buck walked back into the trees; I thought he was gone for good and disappointment quickly set in. Braxton told me to be patient and we waited, hoping the buck would step back out before dark to give me one more chance. Thirty minutes later we saw his head sticking out of the pines, but he was bedded down. I couldn’t make an ethical shot then, but eventually the buck stood up to feed and gave me my chance. I shot him right behind the ribs, the buck jumped and walked slowly back into the pines he came from and bedded down. Over the sound of my celebrating, I heard Braxton yell “Mike you hit him! He is down!” We were ecstatic and started up to find him, but the clouds quickly engulfed us and it was simply too dark to see. We then decided it would be safer to find him the following morning. That night, after returning to basecamp, I could barely sleep; kept wide awake by a rush of mixed emotions. I was excited Continued on Page 36

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and proud, but worried that I hadn’t laid him down for good. We had video of the shot and knew we hit him well, but I still wasn’t a 100% sure he was dead. After a fitful night’s sleep I started up into the cliffs with Braxton guiding me in via radio. After climbing cliffs and hiking through the steep Wyoming backcountry, I finally found his blood pooling where he had bedded down after I shot him. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t dead right there. My stomach sank and I started to look for more blood. I followed the blood for 30 yards and lost it. I spent the next several hours searching relentlessly. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t do this alone and needed Braxton’s help or I was going to wear myself out. When he arrived, we started back on the blood trail and found more blood, but still we couldn’t find the buck. We were tired and frustrated, we couldn’t believe the buck may be lost for good. We sat down and started to talk about how we could find him, regrouping and brainstorming a plan. As we prepared to start again, Braxton looked over his shoulder and spotted one

side of the thirty inch spread sticking out of the bushes! He screamed “big buck down” and we celebrated as I pulled my beautiful Wyoming muley out of the thick brush. That moment, celebrating with my best friend over an amazing buck, will forever be remembered and commemorated every time I look at him mounted upon my wall. The brotherhood we share through hunting is what I love and this hunt was a great reminder of why I hunt. After taking my buck back to camp, Braxton glassed up another great cheater buck and put him down later that day. We completed our goal of harvesting two amazing mule deer in the backcountry. We packed our gear and bucks down to the truck for the next two days. We’ve never been so tired, totally drained both mentally and physically! According to our GPS, we put in 41 miles in 4 days of hunting! My gear held up well and my Kings Camo couldn’t have worked better. I’ve used King’s Camo for years and it has never let me down. Hats off to friends and family that helped me on the trail to my thirty inch Wyoming mule deer!

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GUIDES & OUTFITTERS

By Neil Large

H

ave you ever had one of those hunts where everything just seemed to come together? Day after day you and your buddies were killing good bucks, and having a great time doing it? Well, neither had I until January of 2017. Sure, I’ve been on some great hunts and have killed solid bucks and bulls over the years. Bucks in fact, bigger than the one I chose to arrow in January 2017… But you know what? I wouldn’t have had this hunt any other way! You see, sometimes you need to just get away with good friends and seize the opportunity to make new ones. In my opinion, theres no better place to do so than during the deer rut in AZ, glassing, laughing, and killing sweet bucks with good people. This January, the AVID Hunting and Outdoors crew teamed up with Split Tine Outfitters for a central Arizona OTC archery deer hunt. Daniel Drown, the owner and operator of this successful guide service had camp set up when we arrived and welcomed us with a loud “Hello boys, you ready to kill some deer?” Well, of course we were! After getting situated we quickly headed down the muddy, washed out road to a glassing spot Daniel knew well, not far from camp. That first evening everyone became quickly acquainted as we glassed, but only turned up a few coues deer in the distance amidst the conversation. Off to camp to crash out… Little did we know the next few days would be extremely busy! When we woke, Daniel had some delicious muffins and other assorted pastries laid out for the group. Myself, and AVID coowners Brandon and Casey would hunt about half an hour away from camp in the low desert where the mule deer and coues whitetail habitats overlap. Our guide was Hunter Rackley, a willowy, very polite young man that was hell on wheels behind his Kowa “Big Eyes.” This kid can glass! We all glassed up deer, but Hunter was far and away the best eyes behind glass, better than anyone I have ever met. Still wet behind the ears at 19 years old, this kid is going to be someone! We spent the morning looking over several bucks, both coues and muleys. As an AZ resident, I have killed coues bucks in the past, so when I glassed up a respectable 65” buck cruising for does, Brandon was more than happy to make a stalk. True to their nature, this coues buck had other plans as he quickly continued his search and sauntered into the desert canyon too quickly for Brandon to get onto position. We decided to move out and try a spot just north of where we were hunting and turned up a 2x3 muley acting like the big boss of his group of does. We all elected to pass on the young buck so early in the hunt Continued on Page 40

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and moved south to glass a different area. Arriving at our destination, we got set-up to glass and were quickly finding desert mule deer almost everywhere we looked. Daniel and Justin (the third AVID owner) met up with us after a slow morning high on the mountain looking for a gigantic coues buck Daniel had been seeing recently. We talked about our day, passed over numerous bucks and watched three groups of javelina tearing up the desert foothills. It was a great day, but it was about to get even better! Daniel glassed up a wide 3x3 desert 40

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muley with a small group of does. Brandon decided he would like to take a crack at him, and quickly he was off on a stalk. As Brandon worked his way down a finger ridge, he stopped to check on the location of the deer. When he did, the unthinkable happened! That buck took a right, and started walking directly at Brandon! None of us could believe it was working out so perfectly, but it did! So perfectly in fact that the buck stopped at 25 yards, turned broadside, and offered Brandon a shot. Well, lets just say the buck didn’t go very far after the Grim Reaper broad head ripped through his lungs. Although we didn’t need to follow

a blood trail, we couldn’t help but notice that every bush, rock, and cactus in his path to demise was painted crimson. We all met up at Brandon’s buck and celebrated, took some pictures, and hiked him uphill to the truck. Day one was a success!! Filled with excitement for the day’s impending events, we all rolled out of our bags optimistic for a repeat of our opener. We would be hunting a spot much closer to camp that consisted of giant juniper and prickly pear studded hills that flowed like waves from an enormous mountain range in the distance. I guess you could say that there were deer EVERYWHERE!! It was


GUIDES & OUTFITTERS

certainly an experience to watch both mule deer and coues bucks rutting in all directions. Still holding out on stalking a buck like a good host (the rest of the AVID guys are from Utah), Justin and Casey devised a plan to stalk a decent 3 point muley in a basin between the giant hills. This buck had at least 15 does, two of which seemed to be in estrous, so we knew this may be an exercise in futility for the guys on the stalk. Still they persisted as the buck chased his ladies closer to the giant mountain range, gaining altitude along the while draining Justin’s energy because it seemed he was entirely too sick to be

hunting. Although under the weather, Justin made it back to our glassing spot after losing the deer in a desert canyon completely eager to find another! After looking over a number of smaller bucks, and one beast coues buck that was incessantly on the trail of a hot doe, we changed locations to get a better angle on the hills to our east. AVID Field Staffer Steven had joined us at this point and would play a major role in the activities later in the day. Upon reaching our new glassing spot, Hunter, like so many times before, says “I got deer!” as he peered effortlessly through the Kowa Big Eyes. There were in fact several coues bucks a

couple miles away chasing a number of hot does across the monster hills. We packed up, hiked to the trucks, and drove closer so Justin could hike up there in an effort to complete his dream of arrowing a coues whitetail. Justin made it to the top of the closest hill much quicker than expected considering his physical condition. We directed Justin to stop just above where one of the bucks had bedded, presumably exhausted from chasing love all morning. As he waited for the buck to stand, lady luck once again shined upon our group! I noticed a different buck through my Swarovski 15X56’s walking directly at Justin. We radioed Justin to inform him of the newfound twist of fate. He didn’t answer…A bit concerned about radio connectivity, we called again and he whispered back “I see him!” At a mere 18 yards, Justin let an arrow fly. If any of you have hunted coues deer with archery equipment you know these two valuable pieces of information I am about to divulge…First off, having stalked many of these little desert devils myself over the years, I have learned that it’s nearly impossible to end up at only 18 yards!! Secondly, coues deer have the reflexes of a well…A coues deer!! They have been known to duck arrows from a very quick set-up, even at close range. After releasing his arrow, Justin radioed to us that he may have hit the buck a little back. Even at 18 yards, that buck spun to get out of there, and almost made it!! We told Justin to stay put as the rest of us hiked up to his location to assess the situation. Upon regrouping. and letting time lapse for about an hour, we proceeded with caution. Daniel, Justin, and Brandon followed the blood, which seemed “good” at first but the tell tale signs of hitting a buck too far back were revealed about 20 yards into the blood trail. Steven, very in tune with moments similar to the current situation, followed closely behind. He told everyone to stop. At only 10 yards ahead of Justin, the wounded coues buck was completely wrapped around the base of a juniper watching us in hopes we would just walk on by. Justin then tried to get into position for a shot and the buck bolted off of the mountain. The next couple hours were certainly a roller coaster ride of emotion for the group, Continued on Page 43

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disappointment could be seen in Justin’s face. He was exhausted and eventually stalked that buck two more times in the steep, unforgiving country before placing an arrow through the bucks’ lungs. After we were able to pull it back together as a group, the stress of the day quickly dissipated. We had killed two bucks in two days on an OTC tag in the Arizona desert! If the trip were to have ended there, it would have been truly a success but Daniel and the Split Tine Outfitters crew had one more trick up there sleeve… We changed locations to a spot that Daniel expected to be overrun with rutting activity. This spot in particular did not have coues deer, but there were plenty of muleys…We were higher in elevation, the canyon country was adorned with open stands of oak and ponderosa pines, and it was much colder! Daniel had been taking Casey and I to likely spots throughout the area, and we had seen some pretty solid bucks! The rest of the guys were in a different part of the unit helping Hunter make some well deserved stalks of his own. Upon reaching yet another one of Daniel’s spots, Casey glassed up a small three point feeding on a scrub oak. Upon further inspection, there was a doe bedded and a larger buck feeding just out of complete view. Casey passed on the opportunity, coming to Arizona in search of a monster buck. I on the other hand, wanting to keep the streak alive, decided to stalk across the canyon and try my luck with the larger of the two bucks. It had rained the night before and the ground was still partially saturated which created optimal stalking conditions. These deer were only about 450-500 yards away, but I had to navigate the canyon country in between, cross a small creek, and stalk up a small hill that they were near. During the stalk, Casey radioed to me that the larger buck had bedded down and only the smaller one remained feeding. I continued as it began to snow ever so slightly upon my approach. I eventually reached the off side of the hill which was my destination and was confirmed by radio that the deer were all still in the area. As I crept up the hill slowly, I noticed the smaller buck standing there, then I saw the

bedded doe, but I couldn’t figure out exactly where the larger buck was bedded. I ranged the smaller buck at 66 yards and waited. Minutes crept by, I knew the other buck was there, somewhere, and continued to frantically search. Just as Casey radioed “Okay man, he’s standing up!” I saw him. Not wanting to risk the situation by ranging him, I estimated the buck was about ten yards closer than where the other buck was when I ranged him, which would put him at 56 yards. I drew back, settled the pin, and released; the shot felt good. Upon impact I heard the solid “WHACK” and a burst of air leave the buck in a guttural tone as he bucked and took off with the other deer. I could hear Daniel and Casey celebrating from across the canyon. I sat down immediately to let the situation soak in and to wait for the guys to make it over to my location. My Gold Tip Kinetic Kaos arrow, led by the G5 T3 broadhead, blasted right through him and was sticking in the ground covered end to end with bubbly blood. The trail was a bit longer than expected but we found him piled up around the edge of the canyon. He conveniently died near a trail which we would utilize to pack him out to a road! We called the other guys, they met up at my buck, and we all recounted just how lucky we were to have killed three AZ bucks, spot and stalk, in three days! Truly an unforgettable experience. Daniel and his Split Tine Outfitters crew run a quality operation, are great guys, and truly have a knack and absolute passion for hunting Arizona. We have seen how they conduct a hunt first hand and they have earned our approval as a quality outfitter that we would be comfortable recommending to anyone that desires to hunt in Arizona. Thanks again for a great trip guys!! By the way… We have booked for a return hunt next January (2018) and can’t wait to get back in the field with a great group of guys!

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Targeting T Monster Trout By Maranda Ratcliff

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rout fishing is an activity that people of all backgrounds and experience levels can enjoy. With the proper equipment, and of course finding the right stream, river, or lake, the odds are high that you will actually catch some fish. Trout popularity is worldwide, in fact trout are one of a few freshwater species that can be found in numerous countries across the globe. The popularity generated from their widespread existence makes trout fishing accessible for almost anyone with an interest in catching them. If you have ever fished for trout, you have probably realized that it isn’t entirely difficult to land fish between 6 and 18 inches. These small to medium fish don’t seem to require the stealth and near perfect presentation those of a larger variety require to catch. After some experience with smaller trout, most anglers transition into targeting larger fish. Nothing matches the thrill and excitement level of landing a 24”-30” trout after an intense fight! So what should you do to increase your chance of hooking into a monster trout? Read on to learn my recipe for success of targeting big trout.


FISHING

Go Where They Live Let’s be honest… Some places are just going to produce bigger fish. Seeking out areas that have a history of kicking out beast trout is the first step to actually landing them. These waters may have more nutritious food available, have restrictions that mandate catch and release, include fewer predatory species, and/or have water that supports life year-round. The genealogy of the population, especially that of which includes the ability to grow into massive proportion, may be the most important factor of all. A perfect example of a river with a great food source is the Kenai River in Alaska. During salmon spawning reason, rainbow trout and dolly varden feed on salmon eggs and rotten flesh floating down the river. These trout are known to get very “girthy” and especially large because they eat meat their entire lives, relying on insects and other small fish as only a secondary source of food. Areas that mandate catch and release are great places to target big trout as well. For example, certain areas of the Missouri River that runs through Montana require releasing all brown trout. Because of this, the browns in that area are known for their beastly size. Simply google “Missouri River Brown Trout” to take a look at the monsters produced by this river system. Predatory fish such as bass, walleye, pike, and musky feed on trout. So if you know that the walleye and bass fishing is really good in a certain location, chances are the trout fishing will not be that great. Finding lakes and rivers that do not fully freeze over is another good way learn where large trout may live as well. In addition, Small streams will produce big fish now and then if all conditions for promoting growth are present, but your chances are better where the water is a little deeper. 1. Fish Dawn and Dusk Right at daybreak and right before dusk are typically very good times to target big trout. Fish are actively feeding at these times and simply more active. Early in the morning, the water lights up as the sun rises and the fish are able to see their food source. During the middle of the day, trout often find shade or cover and become less active. Right before dusk, trout once again become active and hungry. Study the water you’re fishing and try to determine when the fish are rising, this is a good indication of when the fishing will likely be the best.

interest and the trout will come searching for the clandestine meal. Flies work great in clear water where fish have definite visibility of their food. Dry flies and small insects will often catch a lot of trout, but not usually the large ones you’re targeting. Dry drifting streamers or larger sinking flies that have action will help entice the larger fish to take your offering. For instance, in the Kenai River, where trout feed on salmon flesh, drifting a fly that looks like flesh is a great choice also. Use some field research to help determine which fly will work best for the big trout in your area. 3. What Do They Want? Try multiple lures/flies of different colors and sizes until you start catching fish. Experiment with weight and leader size, different angles to point your rod, speeds of reeling in or stripping line etc. Don’t be afraid to test out water you do not think will produce either! Big trout have been found in unlikely pockets!. Where there is small trout, there will be big trout. By learning what the little guys are eating, simply offer a larger version to target the big dudes! 4. It’s a Numbers Game Some anglers consistently get lucky, but catching big trout really is a numbers game. The more time you spend fishing, you will be able to find the good spots, find what the fish are biting, and perfect your technique. The more times you cast, the better your odds are of catching a monster. Catching big trout is simply statistics. Take these five steps to big trout mastery and incorporate them into your methodologies, you will land a big one in time. Don’t get discouraged by a lack of success with big fish… It’s called fishing and not catching! Good luck out there and I hope to see your MONSTER TROUT photos soon! You can find Maranda on social media: Instagram: @marandamontana_ outdoors or her website/blog at www.maranda-montana.com.

2. Deciding on Flies, Lures, or Bait I am completely aware that some people are very passionate about fly fishing and some people are very into their lure or bait fishing. I enjoy all techniques for a variety of reasons. Both spin and fly fishing require technique and skill, I highly encourage trying these methods and becoming effective at both to help kick the odds of landing big trout in your favor. Different waters require different techniques. Depending on the location, some waters simply require you to utilize certain tactics. Learn, through trial and error, which works best in your area to help unlock the key to massive trout in those waters. Bait (worms, minnows etc…) and noisy lures (such as rapalas, spinners, and spoons) work great in muddy water where visibility is low. If trout cannot see or smell their food, they are most likely not going to eat it. Fishing with loud or smelly equipment will draw AVID HUNTING & OUTDOORS Summer 2017

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GEAR

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Leica Geovid HD-B 42 Edition 2017

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t’s a simple fact…Leica has one of the best reputations in the industry for continually turning out quality products. If you’ve done any research into range finding binoculars, there’s no doubt you have come across the Geovid. Technological advancements of the Geovid have been evolving for 25 years. The development of this product has neared perfection with their most current models and deserves a serious look for those of you in the market for a range finding binocular. The patented Perger Porro prism design results in fewer internal reflections than roof prism designs which results in less light degradation in the process. What does this mean to you? A bright, clear field of view! The sharp, high contrast images that result from this system have earned the Geovids elite status within the optics world. By combining the supreme clarity with a high performing laser and multi-function ballistic computing capabilities, the results are nothing short of revolutionary! The Geovid HD-B provides some of the most complete ballistic functions available on any rangefinder. Most models only allow the user to choose from a few preset curves, but this is not an ideal method for those shooting long-range targets. Geovids come with 12 pre-programmed ballistics charts in which to enter one of three zero ranges to customize the ballistics curve. The Geovid HD-B also features sensors for temperature, atmospheric pressure, and incline that contribute to the ballistics engine. The model can automatically adjust itself in response to atmospheric conditions as well. These factors are often overlooked in many other models, or they have to be manually programmed. This “smart” technology sets this model far and away from the competition! Custom ballistic capabilities allow the Geovid HD-B to offer more functionality and options than other range finding binoculars. While other rangefinders limit you to a handful of pre-programmed ballistics curves, the Leica Geovid HD-B is almost completely custom and supports G1 BC ballistics coefficients. Using the Geovid HD-B Ballistics Calculator on the Leica website, you can upload the load specifications for your specific firearm, with finite precision including bullet, grain, weight, and ballistic coefficient. This allows the program to calculate a very precise holdover distance that is required for each specific load. For archers, the Geovid will automatically compute an angle compensated distance when ranging between 10 and 100 yards. A positive industry reputation is not easy to achieve unless consistent quality is part of the agenda. Thankfully for Leica (and those who own their products) this reputation has allowed the company to revolutionize yet another product offering. The Geovid HD-B 42 is simply innovation at its best that can be directly applied to your future hunting success. AVID HUNTING & OUTDOORS Summer 2017

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Four Pounds Of Gear That Can

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e took everything you liked about our original Sneek Boots, and we made them even better. We took anything that you didn’t like about them, and we got rid of it. Now 40% lighter, and every bit as tough as the original, the Sneek Boots Pro model is ready to answer any challenge you throw at it.

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Tikka T3X CTR - Sub MOA

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ith interest in long range and “tactical” style shooting at an all time high, it shouldn’t be surprising that most firearm manufacturers are turning out their versions of rifles suited for the task. Many of these renditions also offer a “MOA” guarantee out of the box while enticing potential customers to take a more critical look at their product. Tikka has obliged the masses with their answer to a long range rig with the T3X CTR. The MOA guarantee simply means that the rifle has been deemed capable of 1” groups at 100 yards, 2” groups at 200 yards and so on… Right out of the box you will notice the refined style of the CTX and fall in love with the subtle design features. It just looks like a custom rifle and gives the impression that it will shoot well just by looking at it! The asymmetrical grip is a new feature for Tikka and feels like you’re shaking hands with an old friend as soon as you tighten your grasp. The CTX is offered in two barrel lengths, each complete with a 5/8-24 threaded muzzle to attach your break or suppressor. Of course there’s the option of leaving the threaded cap installed, but whats the fun in that? Our 6.5 Creedmoor currently sits with the cap installed awaiting the final decision of our future expenditure down the road. The 1 in 8 twist barrel comes with a heavy contour which is an “in between” size of shorter and bull barrel options. The added weight allows steady shots from the bag and gives more surface area than a shorter barrel to increase the cooling rate of this tactical beauty. After bore sighting and then zeroing the scope at 100 yards, we commenced with a six round volley to get to know our new friend. At this point we decided to get into our MOA test to see if we could shoot as well as the rifle. The first three rounds during the test resulted in a 2” group, this could be the result of childlike excitement…We cleaned the barrel, let it cool a bit, and put another three rounds down range. We were absolutely astonished with the MOA result! After a “flier” on the fourth shot the next six rounds were right on the money! We came to the determination that this rifle will outshoot anyone that is not “on their game” behind the trigger!! We pushed the target out to 200 yards and experienced the same results. Then out to 300 and shot MOA groups until it was too dark to see. We could have shot this Creedmoor all day if we had gotten to the range earlier. Such a pleasure to shoot and everything you could ask for in a factory rifle! Everything about the Tikka T3X CTR was much better than we had anticipated! 52

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Specifications: Specifications: Caliber: Caliber: 6.5 6.5 Creedmoor Creedmoor

Weight: Weight: 7.5 7.5 lbs lbs Rifle Overall Rifle Overall Length: Length: 40.1” 40.1” Action: Action: Bolt Bolt Trigger: Trigger: Standard Standard Trigger Trigger

Rifle Rifle Barrel Barrel Length: Length: 20” 20” Rifle Rifle Stock: Stock: Modular Modular Synthetic Synthetic Stock Stock Handedness: Handedness: Right Right Hand Hand Item Item Condition: Condition: New New

UPC082442867793 UPC082442867793 •• MPNJRTXC382 MPNJRTXC382


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Sitka Subalpine Ascent Series Must Have Gear For Early Season Hunting

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imply put, the temperatures we encounter on early season hunts border on self inflicted brutality. Often we stalk velvet clad bucks in temps at or near the 100 degree mark…Our sanity may be in question but the passion of the pursuit, while outfitted with the right gear, helps keep us grinding! Over the years we have tried lightweight options from many companies that claim to offer the “best” clothes for early season hunting scenarios. Eventually we were introduced to the Sitka Subalpine Ascent Series clothing line, and instantly realized this stuff was a game changer! Three objectives need to meet the criteria of what we consider “lightweight” hunting gear. The clothing must of course be light, thats a given, but it must also be breathable to let air flow work against sweat, and quick drying for those of us that just seem to let it flow! We all know how important scent control is, and if your clothing doesn’t dry quickly or offer any combatant against sweat build up, you may miss out on the opportunity of your lifetime! The

Sitka Subalpine Shirt gets our approval by meeting all three of the aforementioned objectives, in fact it’s so light, it feels like its not even there! Sitka completely redesigned their Subalpine Pants for 2017 by incorporating technology that reduced the weight by over six ounces without sacrificing the integrity of their design. In comparison to the old Ascent pants in Open Country, the lighter, more breathable Subalpine series is specifically tailored for early season hunters! The newer, lighter design is the most breathable pair of pants we have ever worn in the field and includes a low profile waist band to help minimize chafing. The early season functionality of the Subalpine shirt/pant combo will help you realize what you’ve been missing. Extreme comfort is one hundred percent necessary while battling incessant heat and these Sitka products flat out deliver! Check out the Sitka website or a Sportsman’s Warehouse near you for more details. AVID HUNTING & OUTDOORS Summer 2017

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Honda Pioneer 1000-5

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pectacular views, new adventures, and the nostalgia of past outdoor memories continually draws us within reach of the grasp of nature. We all have specific needs, wants, and requirements that equal the right vehicle for our personal outdoor exploration endeavors. To reach destinations in hold of great mystery, cloaked in the beauty of desolation, we must step outside the box in search of alternatives to get there. The Honda Pioneer is made to take you there and designed by engineers who understand your love of the outdoors. When considering our options while in search of the perfect family UTV we first needed to define the primary use of this vehicle. Thats much easier said than done! We came to the conclusion that a dual purpose machine would suit our needs best. First and foremost, the machine needed serve the recreational requirements of our family. This alone narrowed the search considerably! With a family of five, we needed a UTV that would fit us all comfortably, and more importantly safely! I also needed a functional hunting vehicle that would take me to destinations unfit for truck travel. We ultimately decided to purchase the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 because it simply fit our requirements better than any of the alternatives on the market. The seating arrangement of the Honda 1000-5 over delivered in the name of dual purpose functionality. There is plenty of room to have hunting gear in the back while crawling down the backroads in route to a remote glassing spot. The payload section also has dump bed usability to aid in unloading. With the Quick Flip® option, I can simply flip up seats stowed within the dump bed to accommodate three more passengers. This ingenious idea has truly revolutionized the dual purpose functionality of a hunting UTV. With a 999cc engine, the Honda 1000-5 has plenty of power to get my family and I wherever we want to go without going overboard. This powerful little engine has enough guts to have some fun but you won’t be winning races against UTV’s designed for speed. The Pioneer is designed to get you where you need to go as safely as possible, it doesn’t really matter how fast you get there. The fully automatic, six speed, dual clutch transmission which compliments the 999cc motor very nicely and yields 2000 lb. towing capabilities! The overall dimensions of this particular model also ensure the perfect fit within our family’s toy hauler. Honda’s long lived industry reputation and the total dual purpose functionality of the Pioneer 1000-5 are what drove us to the brink of purchase. Does this mean that this particular UTV is the perfect vehicle for you? Maybe…If you do your homework by researching and test driving the many available options you will find the perfect fit. Take the Honda 1000-5 for a spin and see for yourself.

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Spot The

HUNTERS Find the three hunters.

(Locations shown on page 60)

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SPOT THE HUNTERS

XKG Series was born from an idea to use the most realistic camo patterns and combine them with lightweight, technical fabrics to build comfortable, high-performing hunting gear at an affordable price.

PATTERN • PERFORMANCE • PRICE COMPARE THE DIFFERENCE KINGSCAMO.COM/XKG 877-705-2266 60

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Merino Foundation 1/4 Zip


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AVID Hunting & Outdoors – Summer 2017  

AVID Hunting and Outdoors magazine was started by people who are passionate about hunting in Southern Utah. You can pick up any hunting maga...

AVID Hunting & Outdoors – Summer 2017  

AVID Hunting and Outdoors magazine was started by people who are passionate about hunting in Southern Utah. You can pick up any hunting maga...