Thursday, January 10, 2013

Getting out

Sometimes it's not just about shooting, catching, or finding the biggest animals to brag about to your hunting buddies. You might think that all bad hunters say this but its true. 

Sure I love catching a monster fish, or searching for the biggest bull elk I can find but that feeling of GETTING OUT and being in the mountains is like no other!

 No matter what I get or don't get I am always just as eager to GET OUT again and again. 

So I realize that I am a couple weeks late for a new years resolution but I challenge you all to GET OUT more this year and enjoy life in the outdoors! Oh and if you end up getting that trophy animals that's good too!

 





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Coyotes

So, many of you may know that recently here in Utah they have raised the bounty on coyotes. This is due to the diminishing deer and elk populations. Bad news for the coyotes, good news for us!

The funny thing for me is that I have never shot a coyote while actually coyote hunting. Although I have shot two in the past two years while elk hunting. The darn things are just always in the wrong spot at the wrong time.  

The last couple weeks, I have been preparing to go out and collect on this bounty and actually call them in. I have tried this in the past and it usually ends up as a long day making funny noises in the desert. For those of you who have never seen you tube videos of this, or have never been coyote hunting, to call for coyotes takes A LOT of practice.

So instead of me running through the desert looking like a fool and fiddling with a mouth call, I decided to buy an electronic coyote call. This little masterpiece made because of thousands of people that can't call very good   (like me) is a work of art. You put batteries in, turn it on, and let it rip.

This last weekend I was able to put it to the test. I went out with a friend, set up the call, and boom after 10 minutes we had two coyotes running in. Lets just say, I need to fine tune my shooting and calling because those coyotes lived to see another day.

Now today was a different story but same idea. I got a couple friends together, we hiked up into some hills that looked promising, and got all set up. Now I was on the camera and the call, Eric was shooter #1 and Hunter was #2. The electronic call starts yapping away and we see some deer half way interested in what we are doing and wondering what the noise is.

13 minutes into the calling and I see about 5 deer on the top of the next ridge just start taking off . I tell Eric to get ready because that is usually a sign that something is coming. Before we know it a coyote is about 150 yards away and running right at us. Right as I tell Eric to wait till it gets close to shoot so I can get it on film. Baaaaaaang!  One less coyote !!!!
                                                
                                               Mad props to Eric and his shooting skills.
                                               Thanks to Hunter for helping carry it out.

                               Looks like we weren't the only ones hunting. (Mountain lion)

                                       This is Hunter waiting for coyotes on our second set.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fam

Part of being a modern day mountain man, hunter, fisherman, and outdoors man is also being a husband and father. Some of my favorite memories are from being in the outdoors with my family. I have gone on many trips where I am alone or with friends but the times I have my wife and daughter with me are the best.

My beautiful wife has yet to come on a hunting trip with me and doesn't completely understand why i would want to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, dress in camo and hike around in the mountains where there might be "bugs" and other things that move! My daughter on the other hand is my little mountain girl. She is a year and a half and loves everything that moves. she eats rocks, runs barefoot and says whasssaaat at every animal we see. She is too loud to take hunting right now but she always gets so excited to hop in the back carrier and head out hiking, trapping or fishing with dad.


I love my little family and hope that i can raise my little girl to love and respect the outdoors as much as i do. My wife will give in one of these days and put in for a elk tag and probably end up getting one bigger than I do.They are my two Most favorite girls in the world!











Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trapping

In the few years that I have been trapping I have found myself in many interesting places. From sewage drains to chimneys and everything in between.

I have trapped hundreds of animals in some very undesirable locations. Lucky for me, animals also live in nature. Normally we leave these animals alone, but if you are rich enough you pay to have them trapped because you own nature.

Recently we have been working on some beautiful properties outside of Park City. These properties are large and host many different species of animals. Many of them also have little streams and rivers so it creates the perfect place to reside.

My job is to manage the species that are overpopulated, which I accomplish by trapping. I have had many calls in this area to trap beavers and muskrats because of there tendencies to destroy the property.

Here are some of my latest catches.







Monday, November 5, 2012

Jerky

There's nothing more manly than making homemade jerky...except maybe for the process to obtain the meat. Endless hiking in freezing weather and treacherous terrain, shooting and gutting an animal, and dragging the 400 pound animal back out the miles you hiked in to get it.

Over the last couple of years I have done many hunts and was not fortunate enough to get a big animal...or any animal for that matter. Maybe this is due to my loud hiking boots or my body odor (which isn't good after hiking miles and miles in the woods) My hunting buddies say it is my aim. Probably a combination.

Last year after many days of endless hiking, scouting, and no luck shooting, I finally got my buck. How did I get a buck with no shooting you ask? Easy. The guy in front of me on the freeway hit it with his truck.

Now you may be thinking that it is illegal to take a buck off the road and in most cases it is. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try.

When I pulled over to help, the buck was still very much alive and in the middle of the freeway. My manly instincts kicked in and I ran out into oncoming traffic to pull it out of the way. Another guy (I won't mention that he was a major redneck with a handlebar mustache who was trying to beat me to it) jumped out of his car to help pull it off the road. I put it down and to make a long story short got permission from DWR to use my tag and shortly after had a freezer full of meat and a dehydrator full of jerky.

This post is not about last year. This year I actually shot my elk. In the forest. Like a real hunter. 




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Skunked

In my limited trapping experience I have had some very interesting calls. The calls I hate more than anything to receive are the ones that go like this,

"Hey I have been smelling a skunk outside my house" or "I have a skunk in my window well. What can you do about it?"

Or just any calls relating to skunks in general.

You should know something about me. I HATE skunks. It doesn't matter what I do, the skunk will spray me. It doesn't matter what I wear, the awful, terrible, nose burning smell will seep into my skin. It doesn't matter how many skunks I will defeat, I will NEVER like them.

Every time I come home from a skunk job, even if I change my clothes and shower, my wife won't come near me. It penetrates into my seats in the car, into my shoes, and into my soul. Get the picture yet?

Lately, my buddy Eric and I (You will probably hear a lot about Eric in this blog) have had a job to get rid of racoons at a business out west. We have easily caught twice as many skunks as racoons. Good for business, bad for me. Each time we enter the premises and see that black and white fur, I groan.

Here are some things I have learned.

1. Skunks will spray no matter what you try.
2. When possible, stand upwind.
3. When possible, shoot from a great distance away (Now before you get all animal activist on me, this IS a trapping blog. In Utah, we are required to put certain animals down. I always do this in the most humane way possible, which in many situations is with a gun)
4. There really are no good tips. The skunk will spray and things will stink.

For all you wimps out there, you may consider wearing a body suit, respirator, and some thick gloves. Me personally, I have just come to terms with the fact that I am going to stink.