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Velvet Bull Elk

Application Reminder: Wyoming Elk

Hunt Application Reminder: Wyoming Elk

One of the first western states to accept applications is Wyoming. The application period for Wyoming Non-resident Elk opened Jan 1 and will close on Jan 31st. Wyoming’s elk tag allocations are high with many elk populations exceeding objective.

Remember the price increase this year on almost every Wyoming license/tag. For a full list of license fees, you can visit this link: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Apply-or-Buy/License-Fee-List

To apply for Wyoming Elk, go to: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy

For more information on how to apply in Wyoming for elk, check out these youtube videos:

Mule Deer buck on Skyline

Utah Approves Additional Deer Season and More

At a recent wildlife board meeting on Nov. 30th, the Utah Wildlife Board approved a few changes to upcoming hunting seasons in Utah. Here are the approved changes:

  • Split Deer season into 2 seasons in nine units. The early season will be 5 days long and coincide with the general elk hunt and will run from October 10 – 14.
  • Utah will now allow elk hunters to hunt all 3 seasons (Archery, Muzzle-loader, Any-Weapon) on Utah’s spike-only and the “Any Bull” general season hunts.
  • They will also add a “cactus buck” management hunt on the Paunsaugunt unit in southern Utah. (Cactus bucks are unable to reproduce, stay in velvet for odd times of the year, and are often not targeted by hunters).

To see more information and more details and comments, visit: https://wildlife.utah.gov/wildlife-news/2136-new-chances-to-hunt-deer-and-elk.html

A little more information:

Split rifle seasons work to spread pressure and cause fewer hunter interactions. The key to making split season effective, is to keep license/tag allocations constant. This typically won’t improve harvest, but will spread the pressure out over time, so hunters in these units should be able to get away from the crowds a little bit better. It will be interesting to see the effect it has in these 9 initial units. The other thing about this hunt is that it will run during the same time period as the general elk hunt, and will allow hunters with both tags, to pursue both animals during their hunt. This could be very attractive to hunters of both species, and will likely alter draw odds for the later hunts on these same units.

Adding management hunts to trophy units is a great way to provide opportunity without impacting trophy quality, which is likely why they implemented this cactus buck hunt on the Paunsaugunt. This will allow bucks who don’t contribute re-productively to the herd to be removed and replaced by more viable deer. Adding hunts like this often provides more opportunity and spreads applications from other units to the management hunts.

Wyoming Fee Changes for 2018

Wyoming to Increase Fees for 2018

Wyoming has announced licence fee changes going into effect Jan 1, 2018. While fees are increasing across the board, the non-resident increases are significantly higher. Non-resident deer tags are increasing from $312 to $374 (regular draw) while residents are seeing a change from $38 to $42.

License fee increases are part of the game and Wyoming hasn’t seen an increase in quite a few years. Wyoming is also one of the most generous states as far as non-resident tag allocation is concerned, and it’s expected that these changes won’t affect drawing odds very much.

For a complete list of fee chances going into affect at the first of the year, view this link:
https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Apply-or-Buy/License-Fee-List/2018-License-Fee-Changes

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear it!

A Clearer View – Bino Adapters

We’re always being told that certain hunting items will make us better hunters; that we’ll kill bigger animals if we use a certain product. This product is one that has literally changed the method and duration of my glassing sessions. Introducing the binocular  tripod adapter. There are several companies making these small devices. My product recommendations will be listed at the end of this article (click here to jump right to them).

The bino adapter simply allows your binoculars to be mounted securely on a tripod. It’s popular among hunters to use oversized binoculars, with magnifications of 15x or 20x with 56mm objectives and larger. In order to effectively use these larger binoculars, you need to set them on a tripod, or a rest of some kind. These high magnification binoculars are awesome. They reduce eye strain, allow you to keep both eyes open, and stay behind the glass for longer periods vs. using a traditional spotting scope. However, you don’t need a pair of high magnification binoculars to reap the benefits of a tripod mount.

Glassingwithbinos
A few years ago, I started mounting my Vortex Viper 10x50s on a tripod and have been very impressed with the results. I didn’t realize how shaky I was. Even if I was leaning up against a tree, or sitting with my elbows propped up on my knees, I still shake and move. Setting these binos on the tripod quiets everything down. Movement is much more easily detected, and I was able to trophy judge animals much more effectively because I removed all of my movement from the equation. I also was a much more thorough glasser. If I got tired of looking through the glass, my binos stayed in that spot while I pulled my face away from the lens and took a little break. When I was ready to glass again, I was able to start from where I left off, and not miss an inch of the country I wanted to cover with the glass.

Do yourself a favor this season and pick up a bino adapter. You’ll be able to stay behind the glass longer, and in turn, turn up some more critters.

Recommended Adapters:

Uni-Dapter from Vortex Optics: This unit is reasonably priced at $30. There are two drawbacks to this design — the first being that the post stays on your binoculars, adding some weight. The second is that the post simply sits down in two grooves on the base so it could get bumped off, causing your expensive glass to fall to the ground. I didn’t have too much issue with it though and recommend this product from Vortex Optics. Retails for $34.00 on Amazon.com.

Field Optics Research Rapid Release Tripod Adapter: This unit does weight slightly more than the Vortex Uni-Dapter, however the reciever nut that stays attached to the binoculars is much smaller. This unit also snaps on, so your binoculars will not fall off of your tripod. Retail price: $24.95 on Amazon.com.

Outdoorsmans Binocular Adapter: This unit also uses a quick release that locks the unit in place.  The Outdoorsman’s adapter is available in 2 heights. I haven’t had a chance to weigh this unit. Retail price: $59.99 from Outdoorsmans.com.

binocular adapters

Where to Hunt Muleys for cheap!

If you’re dreams are filled with 200″ mule deer, you want to hunt in big buck country as often as possible. After all, the more time you can spend in the bedroom of a big deer, the better your odds of seeing or killing him.

As DIY hunter’s we’re often left with two options — purchase a landowner tag, or acquire a tag through the public draw/OTC purchase.  In this article we’ll look at the cost and potential of each state in regards to finding big muley bucks in easy to draw areas in the Rocky Mountains states.

#1: Colorado
Colorado has the country, management, and potential to produce whopper bucks in a lot of units — many of which can be drawn with 0-3 preference points. If you do your homework and work hard you can hunt Colorado every year as a non-resident in units where big bucks are killed every year. The availability of landowner tags makes Colorado a possibility if you struck out in the draws as well. Although it’s likely going to cost you $1600 plus to get a decent unit. For these reasons, Colorado hits the top of our list.
Cost: Habitat Stamp – $10, Deer License – $361
HenryFerguson_2013Archery
#2: Wyoming:
Wyoming comes second on our list. Although it can be hard to pull a great tag every year in Wyoming, you can find good hunts on leftover units, or in units that can be hunted every other year. Western Wyoming is getting harder to draw, but there are good Mule Deer all over the state. Decent tags (even region wide tags) can be had with 0-3 preference points.
Cost: Conservation Stamp -$12.50, Deer License – $312, Deer Special Price – $552

#3: Utah
Utah’s famous Henry Mountains are a pipe dream for most of us, so we’re looking at other units in the beehive state. Most limited entry units in Utah will take 5+ years to draw, so I’m counting them out. That being said, most of the state is split into “general units” that can be drawn with very few points. The hunts can be crowded, but don’t underestimate Utah as being a state with some great Mule Deer. They pump out some incredible bucks on their general hunts every year.
Cost: Hunting License – $65 Deer License – $268 (general) $469 Limited Entry, Premium LE $568
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#4: Idaho
Sometimes Idaho gets kept to Idahoans. Which is great for them. Idaho has incredible country and a good opportunity to take a great mule deer buck. Rumor has it that herds are down and management has been a bit liberal in tag printing — that being said, there are still a lot of great deer in Idaho.
Cost: Deer Tag: 301.75 License – $154.75

#5: Nevada
Nevada has some great muley hunting and opportunities — but if you’re looking to hunt every 2-3 years, you’ll need to choose a short range weapon like archery or muzzleloader hunts. (Same goes for nearly every other state as well).
Cost: License: $142.00 Deer Tag: $300

#5: Arizona
When you think of Arizona, you think of the Strip — the narrow strip of AZ real estate north of the Grand Canyon. The best units are very difficult to draw. However, Arizona has some very good opportunities that can be purchased over the counter to hunt desert bucks. It’s not an easy hunt by any means, but the tags are easy to get, and the big ones are out there!
Cost: Deer tag: $315 Combo license: $160

#6 Montana: Montana is sort of a sleeper state as far as Muleys go. They do have some good ones, and some pretty good opportunity, especially since they’ve raised prices to the point of pushing a decent number of non-residents out. Montana can be a great hunt, especially for an elk/deer combo, but expect to pay a little more for the chance.
Cost: Deer license: $580

These prices don’t include application fees, and if you’re already applying for elk, sheep, or another species in a state, you don’t have to purchase an additional hunting license, only the deer tag/license.

Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of Mule Deer states. There are mule deer hunts in California, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Alaska, The Dakotas, and Kansas (I’m sure I missed a state in there too). Each of these states has good, huntable populations of Mule Deer, and a chance at harvesting a wall hanger.

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ALWAYS hunt your home state! If you’re fortunate to live in a mule deer state and you don’t have a better hunt somewhere else during the same time period, then hunt your state. You can typically hunt your resident state 6-10 times before you reach the cost of a non-resident hunt. That doesn’t include gas, which is nearly always a bigger expense than the tag price for an out of state hunt.

And, by the way…every state that has muleys, has big bucks. Pinch your pennies and hunt them as often as you can. The more you can live in big buck country, the higher your chance of coming across one. Good luck this year!

This article was originally published in EARNED – The DIY Journal. Written by Brad Carter – founder of HuntAddicts.com

Review: Salomon Speedcross 3 CS

The Salomon Speedcross 3 CS is an incredible shoe. I can honestly see why these shoes are getting very popular among hunters. They are very light, but maintain a rigid and strong sole which sets them apart from many of the lightweight “running” type shoes I’ve tried in the past. The speedcross also provides good traction, strong construction, and breathability. The CS (ClimaShield) boasts a “waterproof insulation” that is specific to the Speedcross CS line and was surprisingly quite waterproof.

Salomon Speedcross 3 CS Unboxing

My Experience: My family tradition hunting mid to late season hunts in Wyoming’s high country was to wear a pair of Danner Elk Hunters on every hunt. Don’t get me wrong, these were great boots that provided great stability and protection from the elements and moisture. As I started hunting more early season hunts, I found boots to be overkill and started wearing mid and low height hiking shoes to hunt, but could barely get a season out of them. Typically the toe or sidewall of the show on the outside front edge would come apart from the stress of hiking steep slopes.

I purchased these shoes over a year ago, having seen a couple of positive reviews on social media. I’d been looking or a lightweight shoe that could hold up for more than a single hunting season. I’ve wore the Speedcross 3 CS almost exclusively throughout last summer, my early fall hunts (even in shallow snow conditions), for spring shed hunting, and summer scouting this season. They might not look like your traditional hunting shoe — that’s because they aren’t. This shoe has held together better than any shoe I’ve ever worn. The soles show minimal amounts of wear, the seams are holding tight, and the still seem quite waterproof. Even through stream crossings and a pushing through knee deep snow drifts while shed hunting this spring, I’ve found that they dry extremely well and perform well when wet. The quick lace system stays snug all day through any terrain I’ve hiked. I like these shoes so much I wear them when I should probably be wearing a boot, but find the lightweight less fatiguing on very long hikes. I would recommend the Speedcross 3 CS to anyone looking for an early season, lightweight shoe. Now if it only came in camo…
Salomon-Speedcross-3-CS-Mens-sole

The only downside to the SpeedCross 3 CS is there is no ankle support, which is not expected from a trail running shoe. I’ve been so impressed with this shoe that I’d recommend looking hard at other offerings from Salomon if you’re wanting a lightweight shoe in the mid to high heights that will be lightweight and not need much break-in.

Where to buy the Salomon Speedcross 3 CS (check pricing as it changes often):

Salomon Men’s Speedcross 3 CS Trail Running Shoe @ Amazon.com

Other models I’d recommend looking into for more ankle support:

I’ve long been looking for a

Build a DIY Bow Rack

DIY PVC Bow Rack for Target Shooting
Lightweight – Inexpensive – Easy to Build

When you’re out on the archery range or in your backyard targeting shooting, getting ready for the upcoming hunting season, how many times do you find yourself trying to find a place to set your bow down while you retrieve your arrows? I know it can be inconvenient to find such a place where you don’t get your bow dirty. Well, not anymore! This simple and inexpensive bow rack is just what you need to keep your bow off the ground and a place to put your arrows while target shooting. This simple DIY tutorial will line out everything you need to build your own Bow Rack right at home.


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BowRack_Final_2
Material & Tools Needed:
• 1 – 10’ stick of 1” PVC
• 4 – 1” PVC T’s
• 2 – 1” PVC 90 degree elbows
• 4 – 1” PVC end caps
• PVC cement
• PVC cement primer or sand paper
• Foam insulation for 1” copper pipe
• Hack saw or sawsall
• Tape measure
• Spray paint (optional)

Measurements
These measurements can be adjusted based on the overall length of your bow, since not all bows are created equally.
Measure out and cut the following lengths form the 10’ stick of PVC:
• 1 @ 30”
• 2 @ 12”
• 6 @ 10”
• 2 @ 3”

BowRack_1

Base Configuration:
• 2 – 12” sticks (middle)
• 4 – 10” sticks (outer legs)
• 2 – 3” sticks (arrow holders)
• 3 – T’s
• 2 – 90 degree elbows (arrow holders)
• 2 – end caps

Use one ‘T’ fitting in the middle with the ‘T’ point up for the top portion to fit into. Use the 12” pieces to extend out of the middle ‘T’ and into the two outside ‘T’s for the legs. Insert the 10” pieces into the outside ‘T’s on both sides. Choose a side to be the front of the rack where your arrows will be placed. Connect the 90 degree elbows to the other end of the 10” pieces and point them up. Insert the 3” pieces into the other end of the 90 degree elbow. Finally, use the end caps on the other 10” pieces to complete the base.

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Top or Rack Configuration:
• 1 – 30” stick (may be longer depending on bow length)
• 2 – 10” sticks
• 1 – T
• 2 – end caps

Now, connect the 30” piece to the bottom end of the ‘T’ fiiting and the two 10” pieces to the remaining open ends of the ‘T’ fitting. Place the end caps on the other end of the 10” pieces to complete the top portion of the rack.


BowRack_2BowRack_3

Overall Configuration:
Fit everything together before cementing or gluing anything to make sure everything looks right. Once you are satisfied with the setup you can now cement the base and top portion separately. I recommend not gluing the top portion to the base for easy storage, but that is up to you. I also recommend not gluing the top portion end caps on in order to make it easy for the foam replacement.

BowRack_7

Speaking of the foam, which is optional but nice to have, measure the distance between the top portion ‘T’ and the end caps on each side for the foam. Cut the foam according to the measurements and slide them on each side and replace the end caps.
Once you have painted it the way you want it and glued everything together you are ready to go! It’s that simple!


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