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Do it Yourself European Mount

DIY EURO MOUNTYou can easily spend over $100 for a good European Mount of your trophy. Why not do it yourself for under $15. The process explained in this tutorial involves simmering the head and can be finished from beginning to wall in one afternoon.

Let me preface this article by saying that if I can do this, anyone can. I had always been a little nervous about cleaning up a skull for a European mount, now I wish I hadn’t been because I’ve wasted a few good mounts.

The whole process began from online searches. Trying to cite every source would be very difficult, so I will say that while I did not come up with this process myself, I did a lot of research, combined a bunch of information and gave it a go.

Materials Needed

-The head of the animal (In this case a Texas Whitetail Buck)
-A big metal container that will hold water and can be heated by a stove of some kind.
-1 box of Baking Soda or Sal Soda – Order “Arm & Hammer” Super Washing Soda 55 Oz.
-A sharp knife
-Needle-nose Pliers
-Hot Water
-Air Compressor (Used in this process, but could be traded for another step)
-Small Paint Brush
-Tub to mix Peroxide and Whitener
-Powerful Peroxide Cream – Order Salon Care 40 Volume Creme Developer
-Whitener (1 oz. packet) – Order Clairol Basic White Powder Packets
-Plastic (Seran) Wrap
-Heat source
-Stove to heat water: cache cooker/barbeque/kitchen stove (depending on females in household)
-Latex Gloves
-Dish Soap

It seems like a lengthy list, but many of us have a lot of these things sitting around the house. The things hardest to come by may be the air compressor, the chemicals, and perhaps a woman that will let you use the kitchen stove (not likely). These obstacles can all be overcome, and I’ll talk about that later.

Begin

[singlepic id=202 w=320 h=240 float=right]We can start at the beginning. During an open season, with a valid hunting license, grab your gun/bow and bullets/arrows along with other necessary gear. Go out to a likely area to find the animal you are after. Kill the animal (This step varies in many ways, this article will not attempt to address this step). Go home with your tasty game meat and the head of the animal.

Cape out the head, remove all hide and hair. Then remove the eyes from sockets, all vertebrae, the tongue and lower jaw, and all the meat you can easily cut off with your knife. The brain will also need to be removed, take a old wire coat hanger, or a good stick, and loosen the brain. With a flattened end of a wire or stick remove as much brain as possible. You are now done with the prepping and ready to begin the simmering.

Another small step may be inserted here. A lot of guys like to cut a hole directly below the brain cavity in order to better remove the brain tissue. I did not.

Fill the pot with water, empty about one box of baking soda into the water and place the skull in the water. You will want to have the water level above the top of the skull as it needs to simmer. I was afraid that it would remove the colors of the antlers, but it did not. There is a little bit of grease that may get on them. You may want to wrap the antlers/horns in plastic wrap and electrical tape to keep it secure. This will keep some water and grease from the antlers. (Not a big deal if you don’t though).

[singlepic id=206 w=320 h=240 float=left]Put the pot on heat source of some kind. I used my barbeque grill, which has a burner on the side. I turned it on low. You do not want the water to boil. Just keep it right below a boil and simmer the skull for 30-45 minutes. Take the skull out and remove all the meat you can. Much of it should have already fallen off the skull. Use pliers and your knife to gently remove some of the meat in hard to reach areas. You will most likely have to put the had back in for a few more minutes, I had this skull in the water for a little over an hour and a half total. However, looking back I would have taken it out a little sooner.

*Note: Not all the very small specks of meat will be gone at this point. It seems to hold in a few places in the eye sockets, and nasal passages. At this point some people remove the ear canal bones by prying them out with a screwdriver. It removes a lot of meat, but also some bone. I chose not to as I was planning on leaving the entire skull intact as it will be displayed on a shelf, and can simply sit there.

Next you want to have a container or a sink, I used a cooler, full of hot water with a bunch of dish soap. The skull should come right out of the simmering pot, right into this hot water. (As hot as your hands can stand). Get your air compressor with an air attachment, and submerge the skull, and your air nozzle and blow air across, under, above, and through all the surfaces of the skull. You will want to blow water through all of the holes in the skull also. This blows out the grease and meat left in the smaller places. You may still need to pick some of it out with pliers and knife, but this will get most of it. I was a little careful with the nose, because I wanted to be extra careful not to break the fragile bones in the nasal cavity.

[singlepic id=210 w=320 h=240 float=right]If you don’t have an air compressor, there are other steps that can be taken to replace this step. But the grease needs to be removed somehow, either by soaking in a degreasing solution or by some other means. It will take longer by using another method, as soaking is typically involved.

Your skull should now be meat and grease free. Now you should probably repeat again. The bubbles and air push the grease and meat out of the hard to reach areas. Make sure the brain cavity is completely clear, especially the front and hardest to reach part between the eyes. This is the part of the skull where you will see the most yellowing. If all of the grease is removed there should not be any yellowing in the future.

My skull looked like this. The fissures and nasal bones were a little dark, but there was no flesh or grease left.

Dry the skull. Depending on your time frame, you can do this in front of a heater, or let it air dry. It was getting late when I got to this point, so I left mine overnight in the garage. Drying in front of a heater for 20 minutes works great also. Rotate it every few minutes to make sure it dries thoroughly.

Now to the bleaching part. The products used in this process were purchased at Sally Beauty Supply. I was pleasantly surprised when the girl at Sally Beauty Supply knew exactly what I was looking for. I would expect at many of these locations (at least in the west) they will know the products you need.

You can purchase this product on Amazon by CLICKING HERE – the 4 oz it probably enough for a small to medium skull, but the 16 oz is ample and will leave you some for another skull.

[singlepic id=203 w=320 h=240 float=right]You will need Salon care Maximum Lift 40 Developer Crème. This comes in a liquid, you will want the crème. This is really just Hydrogen Peroxide that is more potent than the stuff you may have around the house. The second product may not be necessary, but I used it and was very happy with the results. Salon Care “Quick White” powder lightener. This whitener can be purchased in large tubs, or for a couple dollars you can pick up the small packet that turns out to be more than enough for a deer sized skull. I would anticipate it would be enough for an elk sized skull as well.

You can purchase the whitening powder by CLICKING HERE.

Before application you may want to mask the antlers as this mix will bleach the antlers to a bone white. If you do not want to mess with re-coloring the antler/horn you should mask it off. I used masking tape and wrapped it around to just above the eye guards.

Mix these two products together. The whitener will thicken the peroxide a little to almost the consistency of a homemade milkshake. You will want to wear protection on your hands and eyes for this step. This mixture is pretty potent. The smell can be quite strong also, so you may want a mask of some sort. I simply used a paintbrush to mix the peroxide and whitener together.

Paint the skull. Get the peroxide/whitener mixture on every surface. I dumped some extra in the brain cavity and down the nasal passage. Just coat the entire skull, and be generous. Then wrap the skull in plastic wrap (Saran Wrap or cellophane) and set in front of a heater. I used an electric heater.

[singlepic id=213 w=320 h=240 float=right]Heat is what is going to activate your bleaching process. In my understanding, often times it is thought that light, or time is the most important factor in getting a good bleach. But heat works. While I have never in my life had my hair bleached. I hear that if someone were to get their hair lightened, they are quickly set in front of heaters for a short amount of time. So it makes sense that this is the case with bleaching a skull as well.

You want to get the skull as warm as you can without burning the cellophane. Rotating every few minutes to get the heat activating the bleach on the whole skull. Twenty minutes or so is probably adequate, but the longer the better. I had this skull bleaching for around 35 minutes. Cut the plastic wrap off and put the skull in hot and clean water. (No soap or bleach this time). Get your air out again and bubble it again to get all of the bleach out of the skull. Place it in front of your heater to dry. If it isn’t as white as you want, you can do this again.

After I washed the bleach off of this skull, it still seemed a little dark in a few places along the cracks in the nasal area, so I was planning on bleaching again. But as it dried, it turned pure white. So don’t rush another bleaching if it isn’t needed.

Remove your tape from the antlers, and let the skull dry. Within an hour you should have a beautiful Euro Mount.

I tallied up the cost of the materials, (to justify my stinking up the garage to my wife). I had to go out and buy a pot, because I didn’t have one big enough to boil the skull in. That was my largest purchase at $20. I walked out of Sally Beauty Supply spending slightly over $6, and another $6.50 for a couple of paintbrushes, masking tape, and a small paint tray. So for essentially $32.50 I did my first Euro Mount and have without the need to purchase a pot again, I can do a mount in the future for under 15 bucks. (Although I do still have enough bleach to do at least one more deer sized skull. So if you have a couple to do at once, you can essentially cut that price tag in half). I can’t help but feel a definite sense of pride on doing it yourself. After all, isn’t that what makes it all worthwhile anyways? And for a professional looking finished piece and a price tag that is cheaper than a box of .270 ammo makes it hard to beat. Give it a try, Good luck, and Happy Hunting. May your next season supply you with the need to use this information!

Be sure to check out our Skull Hooker European Mount Hangers to show off your trophy!

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Hunting with Spotting Scopes

This article by John Barsness originally appeared on the website www.opticstalk.com, where he writes a monthly column on some aspect of optics. John and his wife Eileen Clarke also publish their own on-line magazine, RIFLE LOONY NEWS, available through their website www.riflesandrecipes.com.

A spotting scope’s use in hunting often begins before the season actually opens. A spotting scope allows the hunter to “scout” big game animals without disturbing them. This works not just in the wide-open West but anywhere some distance can be found, whether across a Midwestern farm field or from ridge to ridge in the Appalachians.

Americans hunt deer more than any other big game, and a spotting scope is particularly useful when scouting for either mule deer or whitetails in late summer before they shed the velvet on their new antlers. At this time of year the antlers are soft and tender, and even big whitetail bucks will spend more time in the open. Also, the coats of summer deer are reddish, so they stand out at long distances.

Bucks also tend to hang out together before their antlers harden. They’re not producing as much testosterone as they will later in the fall, so are a lot more mellow around their potential rivals. During the last days of August I’ve seen as many as 14 branch-antlered whitetail bucks in one small field, and as many as six mule deer bucks bedded on a mountainside. In the West you’ll often see several bull elk together, and in the Rockies and the North several moose. Such sightings encourage hope and persistence during the upcoming season!
These bachelor herds break up during the rut, but their members will still be somewhere around. Whitetails, especially, tend to stay in the same general area. Mule deer and moose may wander further, but will generally be within a mile or two of their late-summer hangouts. Elk will wander the farthest.

One thing quickly discovered during such scouting is that really high-powered spotting scopes aren’t quite as useful as many hunters would imagine. Two things interfere with a clear view when a scope is cranked much above 40x: a small exit pupil and heat waves.
The first is most important during dawn and dusk, when game animals are most active. A 2mm exit pupil is marginal but OK in dim light; anything less results in a view with almost no contrast and detail. A spotting scope with a 60mm objective has a 1.5mm exit pupil at 40x. Crank the same scope up to 60x and the exit pupil shrinks to 1mm. This just doesn’t get it done in anything except bright sunlight, the reason that serious hunters often invest in yet another spotting scope with a 75-80mm objective lens. These can be turned up to 40x and still have an exit pupil of 2mm.

The other problem occurs as the sun rises higher, when heat waves begin to rise as well. The image may be bright at 60x, but you won’t be able to see much detail because heat waves interfere. On the high plains in early autumn I’ve seen heat waves interfere so much with the view that by 9:00 in the morning that it’s impossible to see horns on any pronghorn much more than half a mile away. You can tell that their head is black, both because of the black horns and the dark throat patch, but you can’t actually see the horns.

This is why most of my hunting scopes have eyepieces that don’t go above 40x or 45x. There’s just too little practical use for higher magnifications. However, if you like to use a spotting scope for, say, star gazing, then higher magnifications can be useful. At night there’s no problem with heat waves, both because of cooler temperatures and because the scope is pointed upward, away from heat rising from the ground. It’s pretty cool to be able to see the moons of Jupiter or the rings of Saturn.

Some spotting scope purists insist on fixed-magnification eyepieces, since these usually provide a slightly sharper view than variable eyepieces. This may be true in an absolute sense, but hunting involves a wide range of light and terrain. You’ll actually be able to see much better with a slightly less-sharp variable eyepiece, because the magnification can be “tuned” to the light and atmospheric conditions.

Something in the 12-40x or 15-45x range is just about perfect, partly because the lowest magnification provides a wide field of view. When hunting, spotting scopes are often used along with a binocular. The game is often spotted with the binocular, and then the scope is used to zoom in for a better view, allowing us to evaluate the animal itself and, sometimes, details in the terrain in preparation for a stalk.

It also saves us time and effort. Both are often at a premium. A spotting scope allows us to get a good look at the horns or antlers of animal before making a long cross-canyon hike. This isn’t only a matter of trophy evaluation, but often of making sure the animal is legal. Many areas require a certain number of tines for antlered game to be legal, and in at least parts of British Columbia a mountain ram must have a certain number of “growth rings” on his horns. This really requires good glass. Even bears require evaluation. Bigger, mature bears have certain characteristics, such as wide-set ears, that set them apart from younger bears. Often these are only visible through a good spotting scope.

Spotting scopes can be purchased with both straight and angled eyepieces. Both styles have their adherents. An angled eyepiece allows glassing both above and below us more comfortably, especially when we’re lying down (a frequent position in open-country hunting). An angled eyepiece can also be used on the level, by turning the scope so that the eyepiece is level with the body, but some people find it really hard to locate anything in the scope with this set-up, much preferring a straight eyepiece.

I am of two minds here. I find an angled eyepiece much more comfortable when looking both above and below me, but often get frustrated when trying to find something I just saw through binoculars—especially if there are only a few minutes of light left, or the animal is moving. I also find that when sitting up to glass a straight eyepiece is more comfortable, and sitting is also a frequent glassing position in some hunting country. I also prefer a straight eyepiece when glassing from a vehicle, with the scope on a window mount—though that can vary with the angle too.

What a hunter really needs is an eyepiece that can be tilted anywhere from straight to a 45-degree angle. This feature is rarely found, however—and to my knowledge never found in a really top-notch scope. So my advice would be to borrow spotting scopes with both straight and angled eyepieces and really give them a workout before making your final decision. I own both types, an indication of how ambivalent I am on the subject.

To be truly useful a spotting scope much be mounted on something to keep it steady. I have seen people place them on the crown on a cowboy hat that’s sitting on a rock or log, and some hunters who mostly glass from vehicles keep a spotter on a shoulder stock. These will work, but aren’t nearly as good as a window mount or a good tripod.

Part of the reason for using a window-mount or tripod is scanning. We do this not only to find an animal we’ve already glassed through binoculars, but when actually looking for game. Yes, a spotting scope can be used to find animals, and at really long distances is more useful than conventional binoculars of 8-10x. The trick is to examine each piece of the country in an organized way, and turning the head of a tripod is perfect for this purpose.
(Another trick when using a spotting scope for actually finding game is to place a piece of tape over the “off” lens of your shooting glasses—or, if you’re like me, your everyday glasses. We feel eyestrain when looking for long periods through a spotting scope either because of muscle fatigue in our off eyelids, due to keeping the off eye closed, or the off eye trying to focus along with your primary eye. Placing a piece of tape across one lens of your glasses allows glassing with both eyes open, and is a LOT more comfortable during long periods of looking, believe me. I normally keep a couple strips of tape on the scope itself, just for this purpose. Electrical tape works fine.)

The rule of thumb with tripods is that the bigger the scope, and the higher off the ground it will be, the bigger and heavier the tripod. The heavier and higher the scope, the harder it is to keep steady, and if the scope isn’t steady we won’t see distant detail—the reason for a spotting scope in the first place.

Unfortunately this conflicts with a lot of hunting. Ideally we’d pick a scope with an objective in the 80mm class, in order to see better in dim light. We’d like to pair this with a tall, heavy tripod. But just try to carry both a big, heavy tripod and a big, heavy 80mm spotting scope in the field.

This is why many serious hunters have both an 80mm scope, used almost entirely from or near a vehicle (whether on window mount or a full-size tripod) and a smaller 60mm scope, used with a small tripod, for carrying in the field. If you choose carefully, a 60mm scope and short tripod (used for no more than sitting height) can fit into a daypack for carrying into the field. This is impossible with a really big scope and full-size tripod.

One trick that can be used to steady any tripod-mounted scope, especially in the wind, is to drape something relatively heavy over the scope itself. I’ve placed a hunting jacket, for instance, over a scope to tame wind vibrations.

Some hunters also find a truly compact spotting scope useful. If glassing isn’t going to be for extended periods, a small spotter can even be substituted for both binoculars and a spotting scope. On a caribou hunt in the Northwest Territories a few years ago I decided to test a then-new 10-20x compact spotting scope, a nifty little thing about 10” long and weighing less than an average 8×40 binocular.

After one day of carrying both a full-size binocular and the little spotter, I left the binocular back in camp. When set on 10x the little scope worked fine for the minimal amount of glassing needed to find caribou on the tundra (if there, caribou are pretty obvious!), and when cranked up to 20x and placed on my shooting sticks the scope worked fine for evaluating antlers up to a mile away.

As with other optics, I have too darn many spotting scopes, though I use them all at one time or another. But for the average hunter I’d suggest starting with a good 60mm-objective scope, with a variable eyepiece topping out at around 40x to 45x, combined with a compact tripod that can be used either while sitting or lying down, and a window mount. Such an outfit will take care of 90% of the glassing any hunter requires from a spotting scope.

Wyoming’s Second Chance Antelope

By Chance Thompson

It’s early in the morning, you get tucked in behind your keyboard and log onto the Wyoming Game and Fish website. Today is the day you find out your draw results. You’ve waited a long time for this. You just know that you drew that premium Pronghorn Antelope tag you applied for way back in March. You type your information in and read that magical word. UNSUCCESSFUL! How can it be? You had it all planned out; your first western big game hunt on the wind swept prairies of Wyoming. Now what? Wait another year and try again or give up on the idea all together? Absolutely not. There are still literally thousands of opportunities available this year for both residents and nonresidents to hunt antelope in Wyoming.

Every year after the preliminary draw has taken place thousands of tags are still available in units that are considered sub-par or that have private land issues. The fact is that a majority of these units offer excellent opportunities and have ample public land on which to hunt. It takes a lot of research and planning but it is entirely possible to hunt antelope on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. By purchasing these tags after the draw, your preference points are still yours to keep which allows you to build valuable points for a future hunt in one of the premium trophy units in Wyoming that may require several years’ worth of points to draw. Another great aspect is hunting these units is you are allowed the opportunity to study antelope behavior under real field/hunting conditions. This knowledge will become invaluable when you finally obtain the trophy quality tag.

There are several steps to get your research process headed in the right direction. The very first step would be to look at the leftover list and narrow it down to a minimum of 3 units that interest you. The units may share a border or they may be several hundred miles apart from each other. You need to see how many tags are leftover in each unit. Sometimes units may have only a handful, others may have hundreds. There is a narrow window from the time the leftover list is printed to the time when the tags actually become available for purchase. So it is important to get your research done and make a decision on which unit you would like to hunt. Some of these tags will be sold within minutes of being available. Others are available right up until the season starts.

An invaluable tool to help narrow down your search is a good map. BLM maps are very good tools to determine exactly how much public land is available in the units you are interested in. These maps can be purchased from the BLM field office in the area that you are interested in hunting. These maps are cheap (typically under ten dollars) and really help you get a feel for the land ownership status in the area. When looking at the maps you want to find blocks that are brown, green, or blue in color. Brown indicates BLM land, green indicates national forest land, and blue indicates state land. These three types of land are public and can be hunted by anyone. The white sections of the map indicate land that is privately owned and permission must be obtained from the land owner in writing before you can legally hunt these lands.

The next step would be to get on the phone and contact the Local Chambers of Commerce and the Game and Fish Department offices and request a list of private land owners in the area who allow hunting on their land for free, or a very small trespass fee. We at HuntAddicts.com are also available via email to discuss your plans and get you pointed in the right direction for your next hunting adventure in the high deserts of Wyoming. Stay tuned to the huntaddicts.com featured articles section for more in depth articles to help you make the most of your western hunting opportunities.

Chance's Antelope
Chance’s buck taken on a leftover license in Wyoming’s unit 25

Application Time 2012

Post season hunting blues can be cured — by preparing for next season. Here is a tentative application deadline schedule for the Western States. If your state isn’t included email me or comment on this post and I will add it. What are you applying for?

Coming up: Wyoming Non-resident elk applications need to be in by the end of JANUARY!  February has a few application deadlines: Arizona Elk and Antelope (pronghorn), New Mexico Oryx, and Wyoming Moose, Sheep, and Mtn. Goat.

Good Luck in the Draws!

State Website Application Deadline
Arizona www.azdfg.com Elk, Pronghorn – FEBRUARY
Deer, Sheep – JUNE
Buffalo – OCTOBER
California dfg.ca.gov/hunting/ JUNE
Colorado wildlife.state.co.us APRIL
Idaho Fishgame.idaho.gov Sheep, Moose, Goat – APRIL
Elk, Deer, Pronghorn — JUNE
Montana Fwp.mt.gov Deer, Elk – MARCH
Sheep, Moose, Goat – MAY
Special Deer, Elk, Pronghorn — JUNE
Nevada Ndow.org APRIL
New Mexico Wildlife.state.nm.us Oryx – FEBRUARY
Other Species – April
Oregon Drw.state.or.us MAY
Utah Wildlife.utah.gov MARCH
Washington Wdfw.wa.gov MAY
Wyoming Gf.state.wy.us Elk – JANUARY
Moose, Sheep, Goat – FEBRUARY
Deer, Pronghorn – MARCH

New Contest Prizes and Info!

I’m excited to spread the word on our latest sponsor – Golden Valley Natural Meat Snacks. These guys have been in the jerky business for a long time and we’re excited to team up with them and provide their products to our contest winners. Check them out at: www.GoldenValleyNatural.com

You’ve probably heard about our contest that is going on this year – I’ve posted the final rules under the contests section of the site. We’re ending the contest on January 15th – so those of you who are taking photos at the end of the year still have time to get them in. The winners will be picked by Feb. 1, 2012. Thanks to NPTaxidermy.com the grand prize winner will receive taxidery services for a free shoulder mount. These guys do a good job on their mounts and I have used them personally. 3 others will be chosen as honorable mentions and recieve a bag of Golden Valley Natural beef jerky and a huntaddicts.com window decal. So get your photos sent in – the only rule is they need to be taken in the 2011 calendar year!

Speaking of winners – this photo comes in as our weekly fix winner. Seth took this unique buck on the Vernon unit in Utah with his smokepole!

Seth's Big Mule Deer Buck

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Product Review: Lumenok

In anticipation of an Archery Elk hunt this year, I had a chance to test out the “Burt Coyote Lumenok.” I was not planning on hunting with them because I didn’t want to adjust my bow with only a few days to go until the hunt started. I was already dialed in and didn’t want to take any chances. However, those plans went out the window one evening as I was practicing as the sun was going down. I was shooting 30 yards and under and decided to put a Lumenok on to see how it worked. Needles to say I had them in my quiver while I chased bugling bulls a few days later. Here’s what I found: (Ratings are based out of 10 possible points)


Lumenok

Overall Rating: 9/10

Function: 9. The Lumenoks were easy to use. I was shooting Gold Tip Hunter XT 5575 arrows. Installation was as simple as removing my other knock and pushing the Lumenok into place until the knock lit. Then gently pulling the knock back to where the light turned off. I shot the Lumenoks several dozen times in the limited amount of practice time I had using them and never had a failure. They were especially fun to shoot as the evening light was fading. The arrow path could easily be seen, and it was easy to see where I hit from upwards of 60 yards away.

Design: 10. Lumenoks come in red, green, and a new man favorite; hot pink. They are made in different models ranging from 24 – 30.6 grains in weight. They do not require any special tools, or even any glue to install. They will fit most arrows without any modification. These knocks are designed to also help with arrow and game retrieval depending whether the arrow passes through, or stays with an animal.

Their innovative design uses the conductive qualities of the arrow to close a circuit, causing the light to turn on. Store your arrows with the knocks pulled pack, just far enough that the small wires don’t make contact with the arrow itself. When you are ready to shoot, put the arrow on your string, pull back, and release. Upon release the knock is forced forward – closing the circuit and turning the light on as the arrow flies towards your target. This design is very cool, and they are more fun to shoot than I thought they would be.

Quality: 10. As far as knocks are concerned these seemed great. Battery life is boasted at 40 hours. And they should be re-usable as long as they don’t break on impact. In dozens of test fires, I had zero failures – and the knock stayed lit in the target until I removed the arrow and turned off the light by sliding the knock back until the small wires were not touching the arrow. I did not shoot any errant arrows that struck hard objects and would be interested to see the results.

Price: 7. I wish they were a bit less expensive. While these are an innovative item: they do run close to $10 per knock. That is more than my arrows and broadheads. However, they do have electronic parts and batteries included which do increase manufacturing costs. There are other lighted knocks on the market, but their prices are very similar. Luckily these knocks shoot groups with my other knocks and I will have a couple in the quiver for shots in low light.

For more information visit: www.lumenok.net, or follow them on facebook.

Gear List 2011 – Garmin Oregon 450

We’re all addicted to touch screens – so why not have a GPS with a touch screen as well. In walks the Garmin Oregon 450.

This is the base model of the Oregon line. You can get preloaded maps and a few extras for a few hundred extra bucks as well. So the touch screen is cool, but there are a few other features in this unit that I like even better. First is a 3 axis electronic compass. So no matter how you are holding the unit, it will still tell you which way you need to go. Secondly, and maybe the coolest part of this unit is that it is waterproof. We’ll see how it stands up to the abuse and the elements as it is tested this fall in the woods by thousands of hunters, from my experience with Garmin products, I bet it will do great.

So if you’re shopping for a new GPS – take a look at this new high tech gadget. The 450 is available in the Cabelas Bargain cave for $349.99.

Win one of these!

You can’t actually win this one because it is mine–but I think you know what I mean. This may be getting repetitive if you follow us on facebook or are visit the site much.  I’ve been letting a few folks know about our new contest and thought I would post up a photo of my personal buck that Dale and Tom put together for me. You can read the story if you scroll down a few posts, but I harvested this buck on the Utah General Muzzle-loader hunt. I didn’t get this buck to Dale until February and by the end of May it was on my wall. Great turn around time, and even more importantly a good looking mount.

We’re really excited to offer up this contest prize this year. I’m still gathering a few more prizes but the final details of the contest will be out soon.

So send in your photos – we like turkeys, bears, coyotes, anything that you harvest in 2011 – is eligible for this contest.  And I can’t think of much in the hunting world that beats out a free quality shoulder mount of your trophy! Email me! brad@huntaddicts.com