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INSIDE: Velvet Dreams Lance Trailers Weatherby Element

Winter 2017


AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Contents Table of

WINTEr 2017


08 Tracks in the Snow 12 Lessons Learned in Elk Country 16 Beginner’s Luck 20 Persistence 24 Bad Weather Bulls 28 Velvet Dreams 32 Battle with the Bull 36 A Moment Etched in Time 40 Arizona Fate 44 2 for 1 Wyoming Adventure 48 Hunting Family 52 Epic Alaska 56 A Tall Order To Fill




44 52


62 Discount Rods That

Deliver Performance


64 Sonic Pro HDZ from Redington GEAR

61 Gunskins 66 Weatherby Element™ Waterfowler Max-5® 68 FoxPro Shockwave 70 Lance Trailers DEPARTMENTS

74 80


Spot the Hunters Field Photos



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

PUBLISHER – Desert Hunter LLC EXECUTIVE EDITORS Brandon Walker Casey Stilson Justin Walker CHIEF EDITOR Neil Large – ASSOCIATE EDITORS Amyanne Rigby Nicole Brown Photographers Brentten Stowe Brad Cunningham Laura Sheets VP MARKETING AND SALES Justin Walker – Staff & Contributing Writers Josh Steinke Josh Rowley Kaid Panek Dave Heath MARKETING MANAGERs, SOCIAL MEDIA, PRO-STAFF Chris Staffeldt Collin Dalley Travis Falter Jeremy Anderson Josh Wilson Steven Falkner Garren Shakespeare Kayla Islas Meyer Predator Staff Vince Donohue Fly Fishing Content Garrett Gubler Branson Gubler Mike Zimmerman Jeremy Anderson For information on advertising or other inquiries: CONTACT: (435) 574-9763 or Facebook/Instagram Submit articles and pictures to 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


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 Winter 2017


6 | Utah Edition

AVId Hunting & outdoors September-November 2015




Tracks in the

Snow E

By Paul Servey

very year since I was a young child, my father would take all three boys deer hunting; this is where my passion for mule deer was planted and subsequently grew. In retrospect, these were the greatest hunting memories I have ever made and with these memories a deep passion for hunting mule deer has been instilled into every fiber of my being. Over the years, the public land OTC mule deer hunt in Idaho has become one of my favorite rifle hunts in the west. I love the steep high country basins known to be unique to Idaho. The unit we choose to hunt doesn’t hold a lot of deer, but generally, when you see a buck it’s a shooter. When the Idaho opening day finally arrived I made the one hour trek to my first glassing point alone and settled in, waiting for the sun to rise. After becoming light enough to glass the large basins, I quickly found hunters on what seemed like every single ridge, with no deer in sight. I was becoming discouraged despite my best attempts to keep a positive mind set. I ultimately decided to hike further in search of solitude on the mountain, which I found, but still didn’t turn up any bucks. I had planned on spending three days on the mountain alone, that all changed when my wife called to inform me of a waterline break in our barn. I returned home to fix the leak. With other hunts pending, I had a good Continued on Page 10

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


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feeling that I could still make it back to Idaho for one more try. I cleared my schedule for two days, called my buddy Hunter Bloxam, and teamed up for another chance at a good buck armed with Hunter’s previous knowledge of our unit in Idaho. I was ecstatic when I learned Idaho had been hit with snow the day prior, this would make finding bucks a lot easier, plus I just love hunting high country muleys in the snow! I was meeting Hunter and his brother in law about six o’clock at the trailhead, my alarm went off at 2:00am and I was quickly on my way. I had the feeling it was going to be an epic day, that all changed as my excitement came to a screaming halt. I had come up on a truck that had just rolled over in a canyon and the driver was near his vehicle which had appeared to have rolled over him. He had obvious injuries. I stayed there for over an hour and did my best to keep him calm while waiting for the first responders to reach our location. My hunt immediately became meaningless. Once the EMT’s arrived and I knew he was in good hands, I continued on my way to Idaho. I couldn’t help but think about that man and hope he would be alright for the rest of the trip. I was late to the meeting spot and as we arrived at the bottom


of the canyon we were concerned that we may not be able to make it to the trailhead with all of the new snowfall. We made it thanks to four wheel drive, but there were some tense moments! It was a balmy 12 degrees with the sun coming up just as we reached the trailhead. I was so pumped to get to our ridge and start glassing! About a foot and a half of fresh snow had fallen and we broke trail the whole way. With our lungs burning from the steep hike, we settled in and began glassing. We had thus far only found some does and a small buck when


I glassed up a lone deer high in a basin under some cliffs. I got really excited as we pulled out the Vortex spotter for a better look. Hunter said “He looks like a shooter Paul.” I got on the spotter and completely agreed, he looked like a solid four point with awesome mass! At over 1800 yards away, we needed to hurry to close the

distance for a potential shot. Our plan was that Garrett would hang back and keep eyes on the buck as Hunter and I took off down the ridge in hopes of catching him before he fed out of sight. Hunter asked how close I needed to be for a shot and I replied “Get me within 1,000 yards and I will kill that buck today.” We both chuckled and took off down the mountain. We made it to a spot about 800 yards from the buck and set up for a shot. The old muley fed across a clearing and bedded in a small opening within a group of pines. My heart began to race as I got into position and laid my pack on the ground. I was just getting ready to send it when I was blindsided by buck fever! I stood up and took a deep breath as Hunter reassured me and said “You got this man, just take your time, it’s all you Pauly.” I got back behind the rifle and it felt just right. I took one last breath, and squeezed the trigger. I got back on the buck just as the 230 grain Berger hit home and watched him lay his head in the snow. We celebrated on the mountain and called Garrett who had watched the entire thing through the spotter. We all hiked over to my deer and thanked the Lord for providing such a beautiful experience for us that day. As I have gotten older, I have realized that it isn’t so much the animal you harvest, but the memories you make with others who share your same passions. This trip was filled with memories that can be talked about for many years to come, sparking the passions of the next generation who will eventually fill my shoes down the road. Just as my father had for me.

Take care of your knife and it will take care of you. Own your experience - Carry a sharp knife.


AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Lessons Learned in

ElkCo 12


untry By Jeff Roberts


elected! I couldn’t believe it! Right there next to my 2016 quality elk special draw application sat the single word that would start my adventure. The next couple months would be extremely busy, setting trail cameras, checking activity on them, and finding plan “B” and “C” spots. Always up for a challenge, I wanted to make the most of my tag and set out on this adventure with high hopes and a positive attitude. Upon checking the cameras we had set out, we were drawn to a particular area because, well, there were simply more bulls there. A wallow in the middle of a huge meadow that would set the scene for a classic elk hunt, perfect elk habitat! On a subsequent check, we had

found that our wallow had dried up. Thanks to our buddy “Mountain Goat Pauly” we dug up the dirt to expose more water and refresh the wallow. After a few weeks, I was more than anxious to check the camera on the wallow one more time before the hunt. We first checked several others in the area and came up with very few elk. Our hopes of finding bulls on the wallow camera were never higher. To our dismay, there was not one single pic of a bull elk on this check! Losing hope for our spot, I was quickly brought back to the side of Continued on Page 14

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reality by my buddy Zack who saw this as a good thing. After all, where were the bulls going to be during the rut? That’s right, with all these cows! Hopefully… We hiked out of there and found a couple sheds along the way. The next time we would step foot in this area would be with a valid tag! On the day before the opener, a couple hunting buddies and I met at the trailhead at about 5:00pm and readied ourselves for the three mile hike in to base camp. As we were almost to our campsite we saw a good looking bull, he was generally not concerned with our presence. That night in our small but comfortable base camp it was hard to sleep with that bull barking and bugling for most of the night! Opening morning found us chasing a bugle right out of camp. We are relatively inexperienced at calling elk, and in retrospect weren’t aggressive enough and never saw him. Our plan was to continue working our way towards the wallow and check the trail cam to see what had been in the area for the last three weeks. on the way, we checked out a ridge we had found on one of our scouting trips. I let out a bugle, and immediately got a response. We repositioned to get the wind in our favor and let out another bugle, yep…he’s still there! I get set-up in a good looking spot with Zack and the cameraman behind me about 60 yards. Zack lets out a single cow call, and the bull came unglued as he started in our direction. I hear twigs snapping just before he emerges from the trees and draw my bow. At 17 yards he is stopped with another cow call and I shot. My elation of arrowing my first ever bull was squashed as we replayed the footage and saw that I had actually hit him too far back. I was devastated. We searched for days, all of us giving our most gallant effort to find the bull. We ran out of blood rather quickly and resorted to searching. We had been stung several times during the search in a severely bee infested deadfall, although swollen and in pain, we


continued the search. I didn’t know when I should continue the hunt, or even if I should. I dug deep that day, searched my soul, and came to the conclusion that I had learned a valuable lesson. Bull fever is no joke and should be respected. I would not let this happen again. So there we were. Dumbfounded, disappointed, and saddened at the loss of this magnificent animal. We also were grateful of our newfound knowledge. Thankful for the experience, and determined as ever to get another chance at a bull, I decided it was time. I shot that bull on September 11th and began to hunt again on the 17th. Before daylight we had three bulls bugling in the drainage below us. As we were working our way downhill, we spooked one of the bulls. Talking over our next move, we hear a twig snap right below us. Its a spike so I quickly put down my bow and grab the camera. Zack is already at full draw. As the small bull enters a shooting lane, Zack releases and makes a perfect shot on his first ever bull at 45 yards! We get his bull back to camp after noon, have a late lunch, and head back out. Racing the impending storm, we drop into a deep drainage to try our luck. Eventually we get a response to our bugles, and he’s close! As we close the gap a bit, I’m in front with Zack and our buddy JR about 50 yards behind me. This bull was so fired up, a couple of cow calls from Zack, and then JR lets out a challenge bugle, before I knew it the bull was in my lap! The bull enters a shooting lane at 19 yards, I still haven’t seen exactly how big he is. As I was nocking an arrow, I had a good glimpse and knew I wanted this bull badly! I wasn’t composed enough to stop him, my mouth was completely dry and I couldn’t make a sound. He continued closer as I was finally able to muster a sound which didn’t resemble any known animal. He looked right at me as I drilled him right behind the shoulder. He runs uphill and stops at 40 yards, and I put another arrow through him. He fell 10 feet from where he had just been shot. The emotional ride I ensued on this elk hunt taught me a lot about the toughness of the elk, as well as my own mental strength. You know what? I wouldn’t change one second of this hunt and know because of my experience that I am a better hunter with a much greater respect for these amazing animals.


AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017




By Chris Staffeldt


ssentially our plan was simple. Hike in to our pre-determined hunt location and spend three days trying to get my wife a buck, after her success we would see about filling my tag. Waking up on opening morning after dismal sleeping conditions in the Arizona desert fending off mosquitoes in 90 degree nighttime heat, we ate breakfast and hiked to our glassing spot. Using the cover of darkness with our headlamps guiding the way, we did our best to avoid cactus and mesquite thorns from piercing our skin. Just as we reached our spot the faint orange glow of a new morning’s arrival was upon us. My wife and I are very new to hunting, in fact neither one of us had previously killed a deer, we knew the odds were stacked against us. We had been watching a large framed 3x3 mule deer for the past three weeks. Tons of mass, tall tines, and very wide for only sporting three points per side. It was no surprise that he was the first deer we glassed up on opening morning. We collaborated with our friends about the best route for a stalk. The joint decision was made to circle behind the hill our buck was bedded down on, come over the top, and my wife should get a 30-40 yard shot at him in his bed. We arrived at the top of the hill with high expectations only to have them quickly deflated, the buck was gone. According to our friends who were watching the scene unfold, the buck was pushed out of the area by a different buck. This “new” buck became our primary target. With the guidance of my buddy on the hill via short phone calls and text messages, we were able to close the distance to within 50 yards of the new buck. With the desert temperature now approaching 100 degrees, we were beat, although very determined to kill this buck. Knowing we were close, I communicated to my wife through very poor hand signals to take a knee so we could assess the situation before proceeding.

At full draw I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. The irritating flies around me and the noise of cicadas totally disappears as my pin settles on his chest and I roll my finger onto the release.

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As I was scanning the surrounding desert to come up with a plan, I see him emerge through the trees. To my surprise he’s a very large coues buck that would most likely break the magical 100” mark! As the buck meandered behind a bush, I signaled to my wife that I could see the buck and we closed the distance to 25 yards. Because of how both the buck and us were positioned, this quickly became my hunt. As we continued forward, even in such close proximity to the buck, we were unable to find him despite our best efforts. I called my buddy on the hill to find out if we had spooked the buck. He replied in a very stern, straightforward tone “He’s right in front of you, lean over to your right!” With my phone plastered to my ear, I leaned to my right and saw two black glossy coues deer eyes staring right back at me! He was bedded in the shade of a tree to get out of the incessant desert sun. I needed to move eight feet to my right to have a clear shot and did so at a snails pace. I waited there for 45 minutes with that coues buck starring at me while I was being drained by the desert heat. The only way he was going to win at this point is if I were to pass out from heat exhaustion, which I’m sure I nearly did! I waited with sweat burning my eyes, and slight dizziness setting in, 45 minutes seems like an eternity in these conditions! As the buck breaks his stare and begins to relax, I draw my bow. At full draw I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. The irritating flies around me and the noise of cicadas totally disappears as my pin settles on his chest and I roll my finger onto the release. At the release, I watched my arrow plunge deep into his chest; he lunges to his feet ambling in the opposite direction. As I watched him tumble into the bushes, it sets in…I had just killed my first buck! 18



By Tanner King


very year I sit and wait in anticipation and honestly, full of anxiety, for 5 P.M. to roll around the Friday before Memorial Day to check the Nevada draw results. I had drawn a Nevada cow elk tag in 2014, and a southern Utah general muzzle loader tag for mule deer in 2015. I didn’t punch a tag on either one of those hunts, in fact it had been almost three years since I tasted success on a hunt. Previously, I had been successful for five years in a row as a youth tag holder. I may have been doubting my ability but religiously, I still put in. When the 2016 results were released and the screen read “King, Tanner - Las Vegas - “Antelope Horns Longer Than Ears” & “Mule Deer Antlered” I couldn’t wait for the chance to prove to myself that I am indeed good at this. Every weekend leading up to the hunt I would scout with my girlfriend and family. I wanted this bad! We found some good bucks and I was more than ready for August 22nd (opening day) to arrive. I had put too much time and effort into scouting to fail and I refused to experience anything less than success. While hunting such expansive valleys and generally “big” country, I soon realized this wasn’t going to be easy. Unfortunately, I began to doubt myself and my abilities… The buck was at 408 yards, a range I’m very comfortable with. He was wide, massive and extremely tall. At the time, I was already calculating the taxidermy bill, this should be a done deal. He was just standing there, I had all the time in the world it seemed, I was feeling the rush. Two shots later, I was sitting there bewildered, while he made a dust trail out of the county. I was physically sick, I didn’t want to believe I had just missed that buck! That evening, I made two unsuccessful stalks on great bucks and called it a night. Even after an opening day like that, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t about to give up or settle for second best. The events of the second day weren’t much different than the opener. I made a couple fruitless stalks but at least I didn’t miss a huge buck twice again! After opening weekend, I went back to work in Las Vegas and found it very hard to concentrate until I left once again to experience more punishment from the antelope of Nevada.

After an excruciating work week, we were finally on our way back to the spot at 4:00 am on Saturday. Because of the hunt pressure, we assumed the antelope would be pushed into the hills a bit so we focused our attention there at first light. We were right! We started glassing up bucks almost immediately and I felt this would be the day it all came together. After passing on a couple really good bucks, we found a third at only 510 yards. A game plan was conceived, and before I knew it I was 175 yards from the buck. My heart raced, nerves momentarily overcame me, and then… Continued on Page 22

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clarity! I was relaxed and knew I would make it happen. I slowly chambered a round, let the crosshairs come to a rest, and let ‘er rip! After dropping to my knees overcome with emotion, I texted “big buck down” to everyone who helped and believed in me along the way. Thousands of miles on my F-150, weeks of scouting, and three hard days of hunting had come to a welcome although abrupt end.


As I walked up to him, I couldn’t have been more proud of my accomplishment. Early on, it was easy to doubt myself and my abilities after missing the buck on opening day and continually making unsuccessful stalks. My experiences on this hunt taught me persistence and perseverance, two newfound traits that I will utilize and appreciate throughout my hunting career.

AVId Hunting & outdoors Fall 2016





rawing a Utah early rifle limited entry tag in 2016 with only five points was exciting to say the least! Typically hunters must wait almost two decades to draw a coveted tag such as this and I felt very lucky to have drawn it. As a hard core archery hunter, I was under the illusion that taking to the field with a rifle in such a great unit would be one of the easiest hunts of my life. As it turns out‌I was dead wrong! My luck of drawing the tag left me without much luck when the hunt finally opened up. A full moon and extreme weather on both sides of the spectrum spelled a recipe for disaster, forever persistent, I pressed on and came home with a newfound respect for elk and hunting them in this beautiful country. Continued on Page 26

B a d W e at h e r

By Bryton Mecham

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Continued from Page 25

The first couple days of my hunt were HOT which left the elk silent and unresponsive. As if a switch were turned on, much colder weather rolled in which changed the tone of my hunt dramatically. The morning after the weather change, we finally had a bull answer our calls and he came in very quickly! So quickly in fact that he fed within three feet of us, unaware of our presence and then slowly fed away. Not wanting to fill my tag with such a young bull, we simply immersed ourselves in the situation and enjoyed ourselves. After the encounter with the small bull, we were able to turn up a decent five by six later in the day. After getting into position for a 420 yard shot, I promptly missed sending my morale spilling into an all time low. To make matters worse, the National Weather Service was calling for flash floods and eventually snow above 8,000’. We were camped at 9200’ and fully expected to get hit hard, which we did… For four days! I was starting to accept the fact that I may be eating my tag. By 8:00 AM on the sixth day of my hunt, the fog finally lifted and we set out very anxious to find some elk. My dad, his cousin Matt, and I quickly hiked to one of our glassing spots on the edge of a large canyon. I glassed up a couple smaller bulls very quickly, and Matt decided he wanted one of them. Soon after Matt left on his stalk, I glassed up another bull bedded in a large sage flat three canyons away. Even at that distance


I could tell he was a shooter so I dropped all non-essential items and started my journey. Half way there I realized I had forgotten my rangefinder, and the radios were not working due to the topography and thick vegetation. Only my hopes of the bull remaining in the same spot kept me going. After gaining some elevation near the top of the third canyon, I was finally able to get my dad on the radio. To my relief, he said the bull was still in the same spot. As I neared the last spot I had seen the bull, I quickly ran out of cover. In the complete open, I proceeded slowly with my shooting sticks and rifle at the ready knowing I was getting close. Looking toward the tree line I spotted a group of about 15 cows bedded, I knew I was close. Within moments of seeing the bedded cows, I heard the bull raking a tree; he was only 50 yards away. I ducked behind some sagebrush to find a good shot angle and see his entire vital zone. I set-up my sticks, and slowly took aim as the trigger tripped instinctively. He was fatally hit but I decided to put a couple more rounds in him to stop his progression to the edge of the canyon. As soon as my bull lay motionless, I radioed my dad in excitement for backup. A brutal pack out ensued as the weather changed on a dime in true Utah fashion and the snow began to melt. Special thanks to Jeff and Porter Mecham, Chris Perkins, Tyson Mackay, Brett Bowels, and both Matt and Jim Thomas for your encouragement and assistance.

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Velvet I was elated and couldn’t wait for my chance at one of the big bucks that call unit 55 home.



Dreams By Syd Bartchi


his hunt was 10 years in the making. One of my dad’s friends had asked if I wanted to hunt late season bucks in a unit he was very familiar with, of course I said yes. Over the years I had experienced mixed success at best while hunting there with my bow, and finally had drawn a rifle tag for the same unit. I was elated and couldn’t wait for my chance at one of the big bucks that call unit 55 home. After finding out I had drawn the tag, I spent the next four weeks sleeping under my truck in deer country and basically living behind my Vortex optics. In my chosen area, I had seen quite a few “good” bucks but nothing with the WOW factor so I changed gears and headed for the lowland part of the unit on my final weekend to scout. Changing it up payed off big time! I had finally been seeing the types of bucks worthy of my special tag and was absolutely chomping at the bit in anticipation of opening day! My hunt started on Monday, but my good buddy Dillon and I went up the weekend before the opener to ensure my Continued on Page 31

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HUNTING Continued from Page 29

bucks were still using the area. We only found one of the big bucks I had scouted and decided to focus our efforts in the area he was living and hopefully get a crack at him. We failed miserably! Opening weekend found us filtering through a lot of small bucks so I headed back home for the week to work. The next Friday, I met back up with Dillon and another friend Scott at the ranch to make a plan for Saturday because it was the only day I could hunt. Saturday morning the three of us spread out across a large area on different vantage points glassing for a big buck. Just as I was gathering my gear to check out a different spot, I get a text from Scott saying he had found a buck that deserves a good look. The buck was bedded down opposite of the face I had been glassing. Although Scott couldn’t see the whole rack, he said the buck looked big! I scrambled over to a spot I thought would allow me to see the buck but had a hard time getting in good position. Everything

in the immediate area was visible except for a small ravine. I repositioned again to get a look into the ravine with my Razor spotter. As I was scanning across the brush, I could see antlers sticking up above the vegetation. I moved uphill about 50 yards to get a better look and while I glassed I found six other bucks bedded around the original buck. I ranged the biggest buck in the group at 293 yards and found a way to get comfortable and still see him in the high sage. From a sitting position with my back against a rock, I carefully took aim and made a solid shot. He stumbled downhill and stopped by the only pine tree on the face of the mountain. I hit him with a second shot and dumped him right under the lone pine. Not until I was finished boning him out did I realize that I was alone, and over five miles from my truck! As I was beginning my long trek, I heard Dillon and Scott making their way to me and sighed in relief. We made the hike out of there together with heavy packs, armed with memories of a great hunt.


AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


with the



By Jeff Barlow


pring of 2015 had arrived, and with it came time to apply for hunts. Knowing what the game entailed, and how important it is to have points, we simply weren’t expecting to draw any tags. Our oldest son Joshua, had the best chance of drawing with a meager two points but our hopes were still fairly low of obtaining an LE tag at all. I knew credit cards were being “hit” but because of our chances I had neglected to check on the status. Several days later, my wife and I were opening the mail before bed when she started yelling, well actually she was screaming and doing the “Happy Dance”… Joshua had drawn an LE early rifle bull tag!!! We don’t know how it happened, and really at that point, didn’t care! We were going elk hunting! We spent the next several months preparing for this hunt. We hung a bunch of trail cameras while scouting and had plenty of range time. When all was said and done, Joshua could consistently his a 12” steel plate at 600 yards with his .308. We went out opening weekend with high hopes but ultimately did not experience any success. I was saving all of my time off work for the last week of the hunt to really hit it hard. Fast forward to the last two days of Joshua’s hunt… I could tell he was starting to feel the pressure and didn’t want to end up like his old man by eating tag soup like I did with my Paunsauguant archery deer tag. This elk hunt had been a tough hunt and I understood where he was coming from but I still tried to put his worries at ease. We had a heartfelt talk about expectations and success in relation to hunting. On the next to last morning, we started out listening to several bugles. Knowing where they were most likely coming from, we promptly headed in that direction. While moving in closer through the pre-dawn light, we heard movement just ahead of us; we stopped dead in our tracks. What happened next was frustrating at the time, although we can now look back and laugh. We had walked right into the middle of a large herd of sleeping sheep. Somehow we had also gone unnoticed by their big guardian sheep dogs! Most of the herd was asleep, although a few of them were starting to stir. We had to figure out a way past all these sheep so they didn’t spook the elk! We waited for quite some time for part of the herd to move off a bit before we were able to loop around and past the hundreds of sheep. Continued on Page 34

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We got back on the still talking bulls and peeked over a small bench to see a decent bull chasing cows. He was pretty cool, a little small, but he had a sweet kicker on his left side. Josh looked him over and ultimately decided to pass! I was really surprised but was also glad that my calm down talk had worked! After passing that bull, we worked closer to where we heard the other bulls sounding off. We had lost track of them for a while as they fell silent, and finally another let out a bugle as he was on his way to water. As he reached the bottom of the draw and into our view, Josh immediately knew this was the bull that he wanted. As Josh got set up for the shot, his little brother was over his shoulder with the video camera, while I sat beside him ranging the bull. As ready as we would ever be, Josh fired and missed just in front of the bull. The bull turned to make an abrupt exit when Josh fired again and hit him hard. Josh hit him two more times as the bull ultimately fell and drug himself into a creek to expire. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not an easy feat to lift a waterlogged bull up a four foot embankment with two young men. After an almost eternity, we thankfully managed to get him to a spot that would allow us to get to work. Eventually we had the bull quartered and loaded up for the brutal three mile uphill hike to the trailhead. Then we did it again to retrieve the second load of meat and the head. We were gassed! Josh shot his bull at 8:30 am and we staggered into camp by 7:30 pm that night. 11 hours of torturing ourselves, but as I told Josh… Hunting is a “hate-love” relationship. We hate the fact that we love it so much. 34


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AVId Hunting & outdoors Fall 2016


t n e m o M A

e m i T in By Brandon Armstrong


he chill in the air put a smile on my face as it set my mind at ease, I was right where I was supposed to be. No, I hadn’t drawn a limited entry tag, I was with my family in deer country and both my boys had muzzleloader deer tags in their pockets. My youngest, Dylan, was finally 12 and was embarking on his first hunt. His older brother Skylar had killed his first buck the previous year, a moment etched in time forever. After becoming proficient with their muzzleloaders through plenty of range time, the boys were both very comfortable behind the trigger and itching for a chance at a buck. Opening day came very quickly and before we knew it we were slowly making our way down a trail glassing the opposite hillside. It was agreed that Dylan would have the first shot opportunity as we made our way deeper into Utah’s backcountry. We were seeing quite a few smaller bucks in which both boys declined to shoot. We continued on, and located high in a bowl, we found a couple bucks that got the boys pretty Continued on Page 38



AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


I asked if he realized what he had just done. He just looked back at me with a big grin on his face. Talk about a proud papa moment!

began to roll down the hillside. I couldn’t believe what had just happened!! Dylan dropped a trophy buck at 170 yards with his first shot of his first hunt! As I looked down at him after the initial celebrations had subsided, I asked if he realized what he had just done. He just looked back at me with a big grin on his face. Talk about a proud papa moment! Another memory Continued from Page 36

excited. They took turns looking them over through the spotting scope, and ultimately decided they would like to go after the two bucks. Because of the wind direction, we decided to circle around above the bucks to give us a better chance of reaching their location undetected. Along the way we reached a small draw that held several deer we had not seen. The bucks were still feeding higher in the bowl, instead of chancing it and spooking the closer deer, we backed out and took a different route. We picked a rock outcropping near the bucks as our destination thinking it would put us in a good position for a shot. It took us almost an hour to get to the outcropping and by the time we got there, the bucks had fed up to the top of the bowl and were 38

now at 230 yards. Knowing the bucks were out of range, and without a way of getting closer while remaining undetected, we waited. The deer eventually fed over the top of the bowl and out of sight. We decided to hike into the next draw to see if it held any bucks. Just after we started hiking, Skylar yells “There’s one…and he’s HUGE!” The boys both dropped and placed their rifles on the shooting sticks in preparation of a shot. The buck was bounding up the opposite hillside directly away from us. As he turned, I let out a whistle and as if on cue, he stopped to take a look. “There’s your shot Dylan, top of the shoulders”, I quietly exclaimed. BOOM! The buck jumped at the shot and we could see his off side leg dangling, he dropped very quickly soon after and

etched in time that none of us will ever forget. What an amazingly awesome experience shared with my boys! By helping them achieve success while teaching them to hunt with determination and responsibility I hold solace in the fact that I am helping continue the hunting heritage within my family.


AVId Hunting & outdoors Fall 2016





ona Fate By Mark Steinmann

My brother in law Matt and I had drawn a late season Arizona bull elk tag only one year after I had killed a cow in the same unit. The anticipation was mounting by the day and we were finally on a dirt road heading north out of town after gathering with family for a Thanksgiving meal. We knew the area fairly well and had been keeping tabs on a solid 6x7 bull that I encountered last year while hunting cow elk in the same area. As soon as we found out we had drawn the late bull tag, I began to daydream of the possibility of crossing paths with him again.

As opening day began, we were situated in our glassing spot as the sun broke through the night’s darkness. It was a very crisp 28 degrees, as we sat there glassing we patiently waited for the sun to get high enough to hit our backs and cut the chill. We glassed for hours, and eventually still hunted the thick stuff and found exactly zero elk. We headed back to camp, ate some elk chili, and decided as a group to give the ridge one more chance on the morning. On day two, we parked a little further from our ridge hoping to catch a glimpse of elk in the lowland before hiking up. My dad and our friend Nathan would glass while Matt and I hit the thickets to still hunt. After about a mile, we jumped a cow out of her bed at 20 yards! The rest of the morning was fairly uneventful, only a few old tracks and fewer elk sightings. We gathered the troops, had lunch, and decided to give plan “B” a try. We drove as far as we could along the beat up old two track, parked, and hiked in two Continued on Page 43

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HUNTING Continued from Page 41

miles to a remote canyon. Assuming the bulls would either be bedded against the canyon walls, or in the thick stuff to stay out of the ferocious wind, we split up to find out for ourselves. Once again my dad and Nathan would glass as Matt and I beat the brush. Shortly after leaving the group, we watched a herd of about 20 javelina weave through the junipers. After taking in the experience, we shifted our focus back to finding elk. About 30 minutes into the walk, we found elk tracks and droppings that weren’t even an hour old. Matt and I decided to get about 40 yards between us to gain a better perspective of the area. The tracks led to the opposite edge of the ridge we were on, and just as it was opening up a bit I saw an elk at only 35 yards totally locked on my position. I froze. I couldn’t see through the brush well enough to see if it was a bull or cow and briefly looked to my right to see a beautiful 6x6 bull! I shifted a few yards to the right to get a shot at the bull. As I was readying myself for the shot, I couldn’t believe my eyes as an even larger bull came into view. The 6x6 walked through the small shooting lane as I waited for the larger bull to follow suit. As he stepped into the lane, I let out a quick cow call to stop him and missed him completely at 40 yards…with a rifle! I quickly re-composed for a second shot and luckily this time the 180 grain pill hit home, the bull staggered off.

I could hear him struggling to breathe, got in position to see him again, and dropped him where he was standing. After giving him a few minutes to completely expire, Matt and I went up to check him out as the others were on their way for the impending pack out. Either luck or fate was present that day! My bull, although unknown at the time of the shot, was the same 6x7 I had been keeping tabs on! Luck or fate? I don’t care, I’m so happy to have harvested such a great animal on my first bull elk hunt!

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017






As we were setting up our camp under the stars, there must have been 20 bulls bugling all around us, they continued to serenade us all night long!

Adventure R

By Danny Crosby

egardless of whether or not I am successful in the Wyoming draws, I can always count on a backcountry hunt with my brother Jake, a Wyoming resident. The unique opportunity to hunt both mule deer and elk concurrently is an amazing hunt to be a part of. On opening morning, Jake, my nephew Tyler and myself were sitting just above 10,000 ft. glassing one of our favorite basins. The ensuing story recalls our adventure. We had glassed up some decent bucks from our spot and decided to get a better look at them. In the process of changing locations, we had bumped a couple good bucks out of a draw. One of them was approaching 200” which made it hard to “settle” on anything else we saw knowing we had a week left of the hunt. We ended up passing up several really good bucks as we constantly recalled our brief encounter with that giant. We packed out of our basin that evening and drove home to take care of family and work responsibilities. Continued on Page 46

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Continued from Page 45

Our dad would join us for the next part of the adventure. At 65, he still has enough gas left in the tank to make the four mile trek into our base camp. As we were setting up our camp under the stars, there must have been 20 bulls bugling all around us, they continued to serenade us all night long! At first light we had made it up to our perch on the edge of the basin‌ Immediately we glassed up a nice 6x6 herd bull and watched him feed up a ridge and bed down with his harem. Having previously decided to focus our effort on mule deer first, we glassed for another hour, finding a few bucks, before repositioning to get a better angle of the basin. Just like the week before, we jumped some good bucks out of a drainage and lost them. Disappointment was starting to set in as we continues around to our next spot when Jake suddenly stopped and hit the dirt falling instinctively behind his rifle. My dad and I made it to his side and looked over the bedded buck Jake’s attention was so intently focused on. We decided as a group that this buck, although not a giant, was too good to pass up. Jake took aim and made the 200 yard chip shot count. As we were taking photos and breaking down this majestic animal, we recounted the events of the day. We felt very thankful spending time together in such a beautiful setting doing what we love to do, our success was just icing on the proverbial cake! We packed the buck down to base camp and decided to take a nap. Three hours later we were awakened by the symphony of bugling bulls all around us. Trading out his rifle for his bow, Jake decided 46


to go for it. We quickly relocated the bull we had seen first thing that morning and made a game plan. He was about 200 yards above us. I continually cow called giving Jake time to circle around with the attention of the herd focused in my direction. 20 minutes later both Jake and the bull were out of sight, although the bull continued to be very vocal. Time continued to turn and an hour had now lapsed since Jake left my side. I no longer heard the bull bugling incessantly and darkness had quickly fallen upon our basin. I could barely see Jake crest the top of a ridge, as he worked his way to my location he told me he had gotten two arrows into the bull! He didn’t check the blood trail yet because he wanted to give the bull time to expire, so I convinced him enough time had passed and that we needed to get back up there to give it a look. After a very short trail, Jake exclaimed “He’s down right there!” Thoughts of the impending pack outs were setting in so after admiring his massive bull, we headed back to base camp, broke it down, hiked out of there with our camp and his mule deer, and ended up crashing at Jake’s house till morning. Our dad and Jake’s wife Jessica made the four mile trek with us and helped pack out the boned out bull. It’s going to be tough to top this year’s Wyoming adventure, but that wont stop us from trying!

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Hunting keeps us very close, teaches life lessons that are not taught in school, and has given me a sense of pride and ownership of my actions.


FAMILY By Taylor Meyer




eing raised a hunter, and seeing first hand the benefits of living in a family that hunts, I would certainly not trade this experience for the world. Hunting keeps us very close, teaches life lessons that are not taught in school, and has given me a sense of pride and ownership of my actions. As a little girl I would dream about the day I could actually hunt. Years of seeing the

success of my family and hearing the stories of their hunts grew the passion at a very quick rate! My younger brothers and sisters surely feel the same way as they grow and now make stories of their own. When young, I never gave much thought to what it actually takes to be a successful hunter. Seeing the success of my family over the years has certainly jaded me a bit in respect to the amount of effort it takes to

be successful. I consider myself very lucky to have many great teachers and am able to see through their efforts how much time, hard work, preparation, and patience it actually takes to consistently enjoy success. My dad has been the most influential teacher and the driver behind my passion for hunting. He always makes sure I have the best equipment, has taught me to reload ammo, and pushes me to be as confident Continued on Page 50

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with my rifle or bow before any hunt. Above all, he is always supportive of my decisions while in the field. If I want to hike multiple miles further just to harvest a specific animal, he is right there by my side, every time, to ensure my success. My stepmom is also very influential and has taught me a great deal about the sport. She is a role model that I am lucky to have, I respect and look up to her as a woman hunter. I am also blessed to have had such amazing people as my Papa and uncles to help and guide me along the way. I look up to all of them and hope to one day, be a role model for someone else in the fashion in which they have been for me. Being part of a hunting family means participating in all necessary aspects of the hunt together, not just the hunt itself. We spend weeks scouting out animals, reload bullets, and practice shooting at long distances to ensure were ready for whatever the hunt throws our way. We then process and wrap the meat as a family upon our success. Hunting consumes our lives and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We primarily hunt to provide meat for our large family although we typically try to harvest the largest animal we can. We are very grateful that we have the opportunity to hunt without having to rely on a grocery store to provide meat for us. Hunting is one of many things we all have in common and love to do together, as a family. The phenomenal memories we have made over the years while hunting and bonding as a family will never be replaced and will surely last a lifetime.

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(575) 654-5774 50

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Epic Alaska



By Josh Wilson


ost hunters know that the hunt starts a long damn time before opening day. For me, this hunt started about a year ago. I was living in Wasilla, Alaska and started talking to a good friend of mine about coming to visit to hunt with me. We went back and forth for a few months and eventually decided in January that we would definitely do it. The months leading up to the hunt were absolutely insane, our plans changed about 50 times and we invited a couple of other guys to join us; our photographer friend Tim and Joe’s dad Fred. We were all totally pumped for this journey. Tim and I met a few days before everyone else and went out fishing for Salmon with a friend of mine Jim Beatty. We picked up Joe and Fred at the airport the next night and went back to my uncle’s cabin to relax. The next day we ran around Wasilla and anchorage buying various things we needed for our trip. The next day (and the day we were supposed to start hunting) I ended up in the hospital. I have Crohn’s Disease and had a bad flare up that sent me straight to the emergency room. Luckily I have understanding and supportive friends that weren’t upset to put the hunt off for another day. We finally loaded the truck and set out for the river two days later, armed with enough prescription drugs to last 2 weeks. The river trip was an absolute roller coaster. We were navigating a very small river in 18 foot self-bailing NRS rafts. Those things must be made out of Kevlar because there were several times we hit sharp tree branches and I didn’t have to patch one hole. On the first night, the northern lights were out and the brightest I had ever seen them. It was incredible watching the various colors dancing across the sky. The next day was incredibly difficult. We all saw what looked like a black bear and got to the shore quickly. After briefly discussing the plan, I started to climb up the 30 foot bank to get in a good position. After I was at the top of the bank I moved quietly to the position we saw the bear. From around a tree I saw clumps of dirt falling into the river. My heart was racing. This all seemed too good to be true. Getting a bear on day one of the hunt! I lowered my rifle and started to ease around the tree. I’ve never felt like a bigger idiot. What we saw was a tree stump with a bit of water running through the roots causing erosion and soil to fall into the meager stream. I hung my head and walked back to the boats. We floated on and set up camp where our small stream met up with a large river. That night when we were sitting around the camp fire, a moose and her calf ran through our camp and into the river. We couldn’t shoot them, but it was an awesome experience to see the animals. I had no idea that those were the only large animals we would see for the next 12 days. After a few days we saw that a pretty nasty rainstorm was coming in. We knew that the next part of our trip was to row 10 miles up a glacial lake and that just wasn’t going to happen with any wind or rain. So we packed up and made for the lake. We rowed across the lake and were stuck in our tents for the next two days. We drank whiskey and played poker, using trail mix as our chips; the M&M’s were worth a lot of money that day! The rain let up on the third day and the hunt was on. Tim and I rowed up the lake to a creek that still has a salmon run. I thought if I was going to find a grizzly that would be the spot. Joe and his dad hiked the steepest mountain in the area. Tim and I moved quietly up to the creek and started hiking up the bank. We waited there until after dark and didn’t see anything. We repeated this for several days and after no luck, we moved to the other end of the lake. We found a nice cove to camp in that was out of the weather. Again our efforts were wasted. We saw nothing but a few grouse and ducks. We decided to eat grouse that night and spent the next day navigating the final Continued on Page 54

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river to the place where we pulled out for a much needed break. We made the six hour drive back to my uncle’s house and spent the next 2 days recovering. Oh my God sleeping in a bed was amazing. I didn’t want to get up. We ate good food, laughed with some of my friends and family in the area and slept a lot. We had three days left before we all had to make the journey back. We decided that we would make one last ditch effort and run up to the Denali Highway where I had a caribou tag. We left the next morning at 3:00am. Right at daylight we saw a 50+ inch bull moose on the highway walking into the trees. By the time we could stop the truck and I could get my rifle out, he was long gone. Driving up the Denali Highway we took our time to get a limit of grouse and ptarmigan. If you’ve never eaten ptarmigan you’re missing out. In my opinion, it’s the best tasting bird on the planet. My uncle spotted a heard of caribou a few miles up a steep nasty hill. He said that if I ran, I had a 50/50 chance of intercepting them and getting a shot. 50/50 is good enough for me. I booked it up the mountain. I’ve never pushed myself physically more than that climb. I was panting and drooling and running up the mountain. When I was at the top they were nowhere to be seen. I was pretty upset. Walking back down the mountain I kept getting tangled in alders and stuck in tundra. I started cussing at the trees. I mean I was really cussing at a plant. Mean stuff too. I’m sure that if the tree had ears it would have been pretty upset about the things coming out of my mouth. We went about 11 miles down the road to a place where my uncle new how to get through the nasty tundra on foot. Most of it was too deep to walk in but he knew a small path that would get us across the valley to the base of the mountain where we saw 15 caribou hanging out. It was pretty complicated. There were probably 10 other trucks parked watching that group but nobody knew how to get to them. Luckily my uncle Kerry knows this area well. After he explained the route, Joe and I moved as quickly as we could through the rocky, swampy hills, until we got close to the Caribou. I looked up over a hill and saw them about 500 yards away. We ducked back down behind the ridge and started walking to a spot I thought we would get a great shot. When I finally saw where they were, they had spotted me. Again at 500 yards in the other direction. 54

I took a shot, missed, and they all ran away. When I got back to the truck Kerry told me that at one point we were only 150 yards from the animals. If we had just looked over the hill, we would have shot a monster bull. I was beat. I felt defeated and I was ready for bed. We drove to the camp his son Kory had set up and we pitched our tents. It was 7pm when we had everything set up. We had a couple hours of light left and we had to drive back to Wasilla the next day. I asked my uncle if he wanted to jump on the six wheeler and go give it one more shot. He asked if I was serious. I don’t think it’s strange. I just think there are a couple kinds of people in the world. After getting your ass kicked for 3 weeks, some people will just accept the loss and try again next year. Other people refuse to give up. I’m not a special person and I’ve given up on plenty of things in my life. College, a marriage, and countless other things I should have fought for. I was pretty fed up with loosing at this point. I had 2 hours left to hunt and I was going to use all of them. We got on the six wheeler and left camp. Driving down a hill 5 minutes outside of camp I looked across a meadow and saw something huge move on the hillside. Before Kerry could stop, I realized it was a giant mountain grizzly with a blonde collar running around his entire body. I dove off the four wheeler and pulled my rifle to my shoulder. The bear started running. I dropped to a knee and put him in the crosshairs. I’ve explained this to non-hunters but I don’t think they could ever understand. That moment is incredible. It’s the reason I hunt. When I finally have something in my sights, it seems like time stops. I’m aware of everything around me but completely focused on the animal. I’ve never made a shot like this before and I don’t think I ever can again. The bear was running away at 80 yards through trees. I found him and fired. When I looked up he was falling backwards down the hill. He turned and looked at us. Then he ran down the hill towards us into the meadow. The meadow had lots of tall bushes and I wasn’t about to go hiking through chest high bushes after a wounded bear. We drove around the flat area and I climbed up on the hill and walked across looking down into the bushes. I saw him sitting by a tree licking his wounds. I put the rifle up and put another round into his chest. Then he fell back and I heard the death groan. If you’ve never heard a bear’s death groan, get on YouTube right now and check it out. It’s creepy. Now I’m not a brave person. I knew that I was walking up on a bear. I shot him again because I wasn’t willing to play games. He didn’t move after the other bullet went into his chest. It was done… I had taken a bear. I will never be able to explain the rush of emotion that just about brought me to my knees. I was somewhere between crying and screaming in joy. I had been beaten, bruised, tired and cold for three weeks. But it wasn’t worthless. It wasn’t for nothing. I had taken a beautiful animal. We needed a beer and didn’t mind the $10 each price tag! When we pulled up to the bar 15 people came outside to see the bear in the bed of the six wheeler. Getting him in there was another story itself. I gloated for about an hour and then we went back to camp. I skinned the bear drank some whiskey and went to bed. The next day we dropped the hide at a taxidermist and went back home. The next morning we dropped Joe and Fred off at the airport and started the drive home. On the way out of anchorage, there was a large bull moose walking in the middle of the highway.


Photography by Tim Hanna, HannaPhoto.Company.

It was like Alaska was letting me know that no matter what I do, she is in charge. If I had to do it all again, I would change a few things. I would probably just follow Kerry around. He’s a wildlife magnet. But I look back and am nothing but proud of that journey. I learned a lot about myself and would do it again in a heartbeat if the opportunity presents itself. I learned that sometimes I have to push myself just a little bit further when I’m ready to quit. And even when I’m not

successful, there is always next time. A huge thanks to all the great people that helped on this trip. My Uncle Kerry for putting me on a bear and Aunt Angie who made our stay in Alaska comfortable and fun. @paleomealstogo who supplied us with some delicious and healthy food options. Rex Truelock from High Country Sporting Goods in Salmon, Idaho for getting all the gear I needed. And Idaho Adventures (IdahoAdventures.Com) for renting our boats and boxes.

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AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017





Order To Fill


By Justin Wanlass


’ve always been an outdoorsman. Growing up in southeast Idaho, I had ample opportunities to hunt, fish, camp, ride horses and basically just enjoyed being outside. As a kid I shot a couple small bucks but after my first taste of elk I swore off deer and said I would never go back. Those youthful years flew by and soon enough I was married and raising a family. I put several of my outdoor hobbies on hold to be with my young, growing family knowing that in the future there would be plenty of time to enjoy them together. In 2012 we moved to southern Utah, at the time my kids ranged from one to eight. The youngest of my two sons, Ammon, would constantly watch the deer on and around our property and at four years old he asked “When can we go shoot a deer daddy?” I explained the legalities of hunting and realized that I needed to start building some points to draw, so I put in. I put in for four years in a row and with each year my two sons would be disappointed when I didn’t draw; I finally drew when my boys were 10 and seven. Both boys were very excited about this hunt and quickly exclaimed that they wanted a four point or bigger because they wanted to get it mounted. Well, they had certainly placed an order, I just needed to fill it! On opening morning we saw a couple small bucks, but nothing we wanted to pursue. After hiking to the top of a hill for the evening hunt, just before dark we spotted a two point within 100 yards. I asked Ammon if he wanted this deer and he quickly spouted “No daddy!!” We turned around and there was a good three point even closer…Ammon said “Shoot that one!” I took aim and realized that my safety was still on, by the time I got it off, the buck was gone. We came home empty handed opening day but my friend shot a nice little buck with my older son Chandler and some family. We took this day as a success! Monday after work we found some bucks pretty far and by the time we reached their location,

the light had given way to darkness. Tuesday morning we tried a different spot and saw several small bucks. The boys, after a couple hours of deliberation, decided that we should go after one of the two points.When we got close, we found a nice three point in which my sons encouraged me to take. After missing three times morning and checking for blood, we were beat and headed out again in the evening only to be beat once again by the fading light. Determined to kill a buck, we decided to take a full day that Thursday to get it done! My friend had also taken the day off work and we felt inspired to try a new location in our search for a buck to fill the order. We arrived at our glassing spot before light and as the morning rolled on we had only found one small buck. We went back to the truck for some snacks and to weigh our options and decided to hunt a different part of the canyon a little closer to the truck. We hadn’t ventured 100 yards from the truck when my friend directs our attention to a bedded four point buck! He was 450 yards out and I wanted to get at least 150 yards closer to a pile of rocks for a comfortable 300 yard shot. With my boys by my side I laid the rifle over my jacket which covered a rock and tried to calm my racing heart. This was the first buck I have ever seen in my scope that I didn’t have to struggle to see the antlers! This was a nice buck! Ammon had his Continued on Page 58

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binoculars right on the deer and Chandler was bracing for the shot to come. Every heartbeat moved the crosshairs across his whole body. “Calm down” I told myself. Realizing the buck was looking right at us, I felt I needed to shoot quickly. I eased the trigger and made a solid hit! We hugged each other and couldn’t contain shouting for joy! When we reached the buck we were all in awe. He was a nice 24 1/2” four point, we couldn’t believe it! There were so many other opportunities at smaller deer it seemed like a miracle I was able to fill their order for a big four point! What an amazing faith filled experience with my boys! We promptly gave thanks for the blessing of the hunt and will be forever grateful for this amazing experience with my boys and a friend with great eyes! I owned up to my promise of getting our buck mounted and look forward to treasuring him for years to come. As a side note… I’ll take this deer meat any day of the week! Such great eating and much better than what I had as a kid. Now we’re elk and deer hunters!


AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


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irearm glare is something that can make an otherwise successful hunt turn unsuccessful very quickly. As hunters, we should take precautions against it to help outsmart the game in which we pursue. Within the hunting industry, there are no shortage of products that have tried to find a simple, inexpensive, and effective answer to the issue of firearm glare, one company surely stands out above the rest. GUNSKINS were created after a failed hunting experience to completely eliminate firearm glare as a reason for having an unsuccessful hunting trip. GUNSKINS offers an innovative precut template made from a high quality vinyl that is applied to the exterior of your firearm, installation is relatively quick and easy. Because of their advanced design, GUNSKINS are able to fit most firearms as well as other select gear with ease. When we received our first template to install, we were overwhelmed at first although when we actually started the installation process, we realized that no previous experience was necessary to get a clean, professional finished product. We relied on YouTube tutorials posted by a GUNSKINS employee to help us through the process. These step by step videos demonstrated in detail how to correctly install the GUNSKINS in great detail! The application process is very straightforward. Simply clean the surface in which you would like to apply the product, peel and press, add heat to conform, then trim away any excess material. We were amazed at how quickly we became proficient at the installation process! There are additional benefits to wrapping your firearm than just the non-reflective matte finish. These wraps help protect the firearm exterior from the normal wear and tear of hunting, while keeping the surface clean in the process. The weatherproofing barrier GUNSKINS provide will allow your firearm to last longer by protecting it from the elements that may cause damage. As of yet, we have not experienced any peeling or color fading of these products even though we have taken GUNSKINS coated firearms into the field repeatedly in harsh conditions! If their customers experience any defects in the material, your GUNSKINS is backed with a five year warranty. There are 31 different vinyl skin patterns to choose from. These include various camouflage patterns from well known companies such as King’s Camo and Kryptek. There are also some pretty amazing patriotic designs and the ever popular reaper zombie and skull patterns available. If at any time you decide to change the pattern of your GUNSKINS, the vinyl is completely removable and does not leave any residue. To see all of the available patterns visit the GUNSKINS website at In the name of innovation and functionality, we will surely be using GUNSKINS on more of our firearms with this effective, affordable option! AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Discount Rods That Deliver Performance By Branson and Garrett Gubler


nglers who have paid attention to industry trends and the capabilities of different materials used to build custom rods, know you don’t have to spend a week’s pay to get a good rod! We’re going to compare apples to oranges by taking a critical look at two very different rods, both made of different material! Both graphite and fiberglass have their place within the industry, and those who have used either, usually stick to what works for them. The pros and cons of each type of rod will have to be ascertained by each individual fisherman, we’re here to give you a synopsis of our thoughts to help you make a decision. Walton Rods out of Indiana sells their roads directly to the customer essentially cutting out the “middleman” retail establishments. These graphite rods are backed by a lifetime warranty and typically cost the end user under $300. Upon first impression the simplicity of overall appearance of the Series One was very apparent. A simple matte black with the company logo just above the handle. A nice attribute was that the guides were noticeably larger than those of competing rods and allowed us to cast a bit further. As I fondled the grip for the first time, the the precision detail of the composite was like shaking hands with an old friend, I couldn’t wait to get this beauty on the water and catch a few fish!



Very quickly after hitting the water, I hooked into a fat 20” cutthroat that tried to sneak a bite of my elk hair caddis, and just as quickly I began to fall in love with the refined action of the rod! I’ve used rods that cost enough to make most guys gasp for air and this Walton was hanging with the best of ‘em! As I continued to catch a variety of species on a very active day on the water, I was continually overjoyed with the ease in which the rod loaded and casted in varying rates of wind speed! This relatively new company is on a path to becoming a viable competitor in the market, we can’t wait to try out their shorter, lightweight “Native” series when it becomes available to consumers in March! With the fiberglass movement in full force, we decided to focus our attention on another company that proudly produces their products in the USA. Willow and Cane of Ohio sent me one of their Ultraglass rods to review. The day the rod was delivered, I tore into the cardboard packaging like a kid at Christmas but then slowly and methodically unzipped the tube as the rod gently fell into my hands. The first thing I noticed was how well the pear wood reel seat matched up with the stainless steel reel seat lock rings. Classy! I then diverted my gaze toward the sure grip cork handle and felt as if I was looking back in time. The rod blank screamed refinement as the CHR steel snake guides sat in perfect harmony amidst the English racing green. Classic old school, and retails for under $300…I loved it! I had to wait two days, two whole days, before finding time to fish a favorite stretch of water in hopes of hooking into one of the fatty browns that live there. It only took a few casts…Wham!! The sensitivity of the Ultraglass rod amazed me as I felt all of her sudden movements clear back to the reel seat! The rod handled the fight with ease and delivered a sense of contentment as I continued to land several other beautiful Utah browns that day. This medium smooth action rod was on point with every cast and sensitive enough for serious nymphing. I’ve been back to the creek a few times and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Willow and Cane’s Ultraglass rod. It is put together so well, fishes like a dream, and that “classic” look gets me every time I see it hanging on the wall begging for another outing. Believe me, It will be soon! If you’re in the market for a rod under $300 that delivers the performance of a $1000 rod, we have certainly narrowed down your choices. Check out both of the rods mentioned in this article, surely one of them will be the right fit for you!

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


Sonic Pro HDZ from Redington


he winter months call for extreme layering under waders for anglers lucky enough to have the time and ice free water in which to fish. It’s frustrating to experience the layers of winter clothing “bunching up”

under waders, and until recently there was not a viable option so most of us just dealt with being uncomfortable and went fishing anyway! That all changed when we received our Sonic-Pro HDZ waders from Redington. These heavy duty waders now allow us to fish in comfort while layered for chilly winter fishing conditions! Out of the box these waders felt great and we noticed the seams were held together with a high quality “weld”. The completely waterproof zipper allowed us to tuck in our layers and zip the waders up over them, finally... no bunching! The four layer breathable DWR coated HD fabric allows for an almost full range of motion, and also dries very quickly. The booties of the Sonic-Pro HDZ are very tough and will stand up to the extreme punishment we typically inflict on our gear in creek fishing situations. They are also very comfortable as they form fit to feet of various shapes and sizes. Teamed up with the Prowler rubber sole boot, we navigate the creeks with confidence and ease. The Sonic-Pro HDZ waders are your answer for comfort while fishing in frigid conditions. Because Redington has taken care of your comfort, the only thing left to think about is which pattern to throw and where.



AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


FEATURES INCLUDE: 1. Drop and cast adjustments 2. Vented top rib 3. Fiber optic front bead 4. Chrome lined bore 5. Dual purpose bolt release 6. Inertia operated action 7. Swivel studs included STOCK: 1. Griptonite stock features pistol grip and fore end inserts 2. Realtree Max-5 camo pattern adhered to all stock components BARREL AND METALWORK: 1. Realtree Max-5 camo pattern adhered to all metalwork 2. 26 or 28 inch barrel CHOKES: 1. Full 2. Modified 3. Improved Cylinder 4. Long Range Steel




Weatherby Element™ Waterfowler Max-5®


eatherby continues to revolutionize industry standards by producing firearms that are both durable and user friendly while preforming at a level of excellence. The Weatherby Element is an inertia operated semiauto shotgun with an MSRP of $849.00 although you can usually pick one up for under $700.00! Compared to gas operating systems, inertia shotguns are typically lighter, thinner, and can be shot for high volume if needed before the necessity of a “deep clean”. In fact, shotguns which utilize an inertia system can routinely discharge over 500,000 rounds without having any issues! Having owned a variety of shotguns in the past, the Element was a much different animal than the Benelli and Browning gas operated and pump systems I was used to. The extraordinarily smooth loading and cycling of the Element, coupled with the extreme lightness, made me believe I could shoot this thing all day! Even though inertia guns typically deliver more recoil, I didn’t notice any more impact than other shotguns I have used in the past. Out of the box performance was nothing short of amazing. Upon more extensive testing, I was able to get my Element into the duck blind with me for some waterfowl action. The entire system was put through the ringer on this hunt. In subzero temps, after several boxes of shells, and having been fully submerged at one point, the last shot was just as good as the first. This shotgun never jammed and made me feel proud of my wingshooting ability by consistently hitting birds! Weatherby has totally “nailed it” once again with their Element Shotgun. The fit and feel of this moderately priced shotgun was on par with that of much more expensive models and it is an absolute pleasure to shoot. If you are looking for a shotgun that will totally outwork the competition, pick up an Element in Max-5 for your go to waterfowling shotgun. AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017




FoxPro Shockwave


took a trip out to Nevada to call in some coyotes with an old buddy who had gotten me into the sport and taught me how to use hand calls. I couldn’t wait to show him the new set-up I’ve been reviewing all year, the FoxPro Shockwave with the FoxJack 4 Decoy! It’s always fun to show guys who typically use a hand call the capabilities of today’s latest electronic calling technology, and I was hoping these Nevada dogs would cooperate. The weather had finally began to cool off and we were anticipating a great day doing what we love to do! We approached our first stand of the day from a power line access road in an area my buddy had been hearing a pack of coyotes recently. This location would allow a great view of the surrounding countryside. My friend set up about 100 yards away overlooking a sagebrush bottom, while his son and I covered the sage covered draws. With the Shockwave and ourselves in position, we began the sequence. In just 45 seconds a lone dog charged in and I quickly put him down. My Shockwave, which fits perfectly inside my day pack, was deployed and placed about 35 feet in front of my location. I typically like the call to be between 35 and 45 feet from me which is outside the range of many callers on the market although no problem for the FoxPro remote! The TX-1000 remote pairs with the Shockwave very nicely and comes complete with a full color graphic LCD screen as well as barometer and moon phase indicators. Theres nothing more frustrating than setting up, walking back to your stand and realizing you have forgotten to turn on the decoy! The auxiliary remote switch that controls the decoy is a very functional, user friendly tool that consequently will simplify any hunters experience. In transit to our next stand location, my buddy and his son were amazed by how close the coyote had come to the call; in fact I told them of times when coyotes have actually come right up to the Shockwave and FoxJack in the past! They were also amazed


at how crisp, clear and realistic the sounds were and that compared to other brands, the speakers were of high quality. I have yet to experience “speaker noise” or call volume break-up while using the Shockwave, even in below freezing temps with the volume at max using the highest pitch call available! The FoxMotion feature is truly revolutionary and has quickly become one of my favorite attributes of the Shockwave. Essentially, the distress sounds will mimic movement by alternating which speaker is emitting sound. This touch of realism in a calling sequence is sometimes all it takes to draw the coyotes in for a closer, lethal look!

My hand call aficionado friend was nearly convinced at the power of the Shockwave, but still seemed a little skeptical…until our next stand! I had a great feeling about this spot from the onset. A slight wind in our face, sun at our back, and everything just felt right about it. I set the call out at about 25 feet, I then positioned the adjustable speakers to call in two directions. One speaker was directed at a cedar tree ridge, the other down into a sage flat. I eased back to the stand, turned on the FoxJack 4 decoy, and contemplated which of the over 100 preset calls to play. My gut instinct always tells me to play “Lightning

Jack” from abundant experience with that sound but I eventually settled on “Adult Cottontail” for this sequence. Three minutes after hitting play, a group of coyotes began barking on the cedar ridge. I had an idea, one that has worked very well in situations like this…The Shockwave has a feature called FoxFusion, which allows you to play two different calls at the same time. I turned down the “Adult Cottontail” a bit and turned up “Little Pup Distress”. Right away I saw a coyote hard charging from about 400 yards, I mean he’s on a dead run jumping and busting through sagebrush! I got the other guys attention as the lone dog is about 100

yards out, and I thought one of them was going to shoot, but the determined coyote just kept coming! He was then at 50, 25, and before I knew it he was literally attacking the Shockwave and FoxJack!! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, this full out assault on my prize possession had to be stopped! After about 10 seconds of trying to destroy the call, he bailed off towards me and I dumped him at 8 yards! At the shot, the FoxBang feature set in. This allows worry free call usage after the shot so you don’t have to search for your call in all the excitement. I had it preset to Ki-Yi, it played for a minute but nothing else happened.

After that stand, we were all still in shock – maybe that’s why it’s called the Shockwave! I’ve heard similar stories about this type of behavior induced from a call, but was always skeptical of the occurrences until I witnessed it myself! From that moment on, my skeptical friend and his son were absolutely sold on the Shockwave. I have used a lot of electronic callers, from a bunch of different companies. They are great for certain situations, but the FoxPro Shockwave is great for every situation.

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017





Lance Trailers


ongevity in the business world speaks volumes for not only the customer service a company provides, but of the product in which they furnish for their customers. Lance has been in business since 1965 spearheading the industry standard in camper design quality and functionality. Their company motto is simply “Quality comes first!� With your first step in to one of their trailers you will assuredly agree! Lance has walked away with the Dealer Satisfaction Index award for 10 years in a row and recently Consumers Digest awarded them their highest rating! Knowing that industry professionals consistently rate these trailers in the top of their class, consumers cant afford not to give them a look when they are in the market for a quality trailer. This past hunting season, I have been exclusively using the Lance 2185 trailer. My hunts began in late October and concluded in the early part of December. During these hunts, the outside temp was below freezing quite often and this four season certified trailer kept me absolutely comfortable every step of the way. Not only is the cabin insulated to perfection, all the tanks are as well! Combined

By AVID Crew Member

with a completely ducted heating system, the total insulation package allows your heating system to run less frequently because of the heat retaining capabilities. Continued on Page 72

AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017


GEAR Continued from Page 71

With a powder coated frame that is pop riveted, there is no need to worry about rust or welds breaking because Lance has paid close attention to detail during production. One of the most important features for those of us that like to get off the beaten path a bit are the independent torsion axles. When you’re flying down a washboard road, each bump is absorbed independently for a much smoother ride than conventional axels. There is no need to worry about dishes breaking or other items being completely disheveled during your commute to deer or elk camp! My 2185 has also been fitted with a factory lift kit to ensure pipes remain unbroken from unseen obstacles. In another touch of “unseen” quality, the cabinets are screwed directly into the aluminum frame of the trailer body which adds to their structural integrity. Probably my favorite feature of the Lance trailers is the wind sensing awning. When I leave camp in the morning I don’t have to worry about the wind breaking the awning, it easily senses if the wind is too strong, and rolls itself up! How’s that for innovation? Comfort is paramount in the trailer world. It’s frustrating when you purchase a new trailer and need to upgrade components right away. Lance incorporates quality components such as a Serta Pillowtop queen size mattress in all of their trailers. This isn’t a “trailer queen”, it’s a full size, extremely comfortable Serta mattress! I’m fully convinced after this hunting season that one just can’t go wrong when purchasing a Lance trailer. In my opinion, Lance is the “Swarovski” of the trailer world and they have the accolades of professionals in their field to back me up!


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Hunters Find the two hunters.

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AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017



BE A HIDER. AND A SEEKER. The perfect shot starts with the perfect pattern. XKG Windstorm Rain Jacket - L5 of Performance Layering System

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AVId Hunting & outdoors Winter 2017



AVID Hunting & Outdoors – Winter 2017  
AVID Hunting & Outdoors – Winter 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...