Archive for August, 2007

How to find a good place to hunt

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

How do you know if
the area that you are hunting is a good area? That is a good question and one
that I hear quite a bit around this time of year. People are starting to wonder
if the area they hunted last year is an area that produces animals. Should they
change areas? Should they hunt a different ridgeline than the one they hunted
last year? Those are also good questions that people hear people asking. Right
now I am asking myself the same questions and I am going to be hunting in two
days! I guess what you have to ask yourself is what happened last year? Where
you successful? Did you see any animals? Did you hear any shooting? If you were
not successful, did you see animals hanging in other camps? If you are hunting
an area for the first time, did I do all that I could do to prepare for the
upcoming season? Did I scout out the area? Did I call the wildlife management
officer for that area and try and tap some of his knowledge? Those are
questions that you should know the answer to before you begin your hunt this

First and probably the most
important, know your area! I know people that go to a new area every year and
for the most part they are fairly unsuccessful. Once in a while they get lucky,
but for the most part they go home empty handed. I have been very fortunate to
have hunted the same area for elk for the past 24 years. There’s a few years we
didn’t do great but for the majority we are well above the 65% average on
killing elk throughout those years. One of the reasons for this is because I
and the people that I hunt with are very familiar with our area. We know where
the animals go when they are pressured, when it snows, when it is unseasonable
hot, and when they haven’t been bothered at all.

Second of all, you need to hunt
where the animals are
! If you hunt an area that continually is not producing for
you, you should probably start looking elsewhere or if it is a really good
looking area, try and figure out why the animals are not there. Is the season
that you are hunting to early or to late in the year for the area that you are
hunting? Would this area be better to hunt with a bow or muzzle loader earlier
in the season?

Colorado has several different big game seasons that are spaced throughout the fall.
Where I hunt elk, we hunt the earliest rifle season we can because if we get
snow (which at our elevation is usually a lot) it pushes most of the elk out of
the area. Whereas, I have friends that beg for the snow, so that it will push
animals into there area.

Now we didn’t just come by this
information, it took several years of trial and error to figure this all out.
So be patient. Give a new area a chance before you condemn it. It may take you
a few years to make it work for you. For my deer hunt that I have coming up, it
is in an area that I have never hunted before. I am still combing over all of
the topo maps, satellite photos, and any other piece of information that I can
get my hands on to try and put myself in the best spot to be successful.
Everyday I second guess my decision as to where to be opening morning. Without
my mid-summer scouting trip, I would probably end up just about anywhere but
with the prior planning and work, I have a good place to start and a strategy
worked out if I don’t get lucky opening morning. If you are looking for a new
area or hunting an area for the second or third time. Be sure and use every bit
of information that you can get your hands on and any available time that you
have to make some scouting trips, it might just make your hunting season a
little easier.

The last days before hunting season starts!

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Well, I have less than a week left before my early season
mule deer hunt begins here in


Yesterday I spent the day scrambling around trying to gather up all of the gear
that I am going to be taking with me on my trip. Once I rounded everything up,
I packed it neatly and put it into my rucksack. This was quite the adventure
because you have to be sure not to pack the things that you need in a hurry at
the bottom of your pack. Nothing is worse than having a fast moving
thunderstorm move up on you and you have to pretty much un-pack your backpack
to get at your hidden raingear! Therefore, after several hit and misses I think
I was able to get my gear packed into my ruck in somewhat of a useful order? I
guess, but the proof is in the pudding, so we will just have to see. I have a
few last minute things left to take care of this week such as loading some
extra shells and some grocery shopping, but for the most part, I think that I
am as ready as I will ever get. So wish me luck!

On another note. The other day I was able to pick myself up
a couple of leftover doe antelope tags in


. Now, for those of you who would
like to see some new country at a reduce price and a chance to stock your
freezer, this is the way to go. The tags only cost $29 and last time I checked
there were still plenty left. Therefore, I would encourage you to go get you a
couple if you are looking for a good excuse to get out of the house a little
earlier this fall. Good luck! 

Hunting Texas

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Yesterday my friend Raymond informed me that he would be on
an upcoming hunting show called Mossy Oaks:  Hunting the Country. I don’t know about the
rest of you but most of the hunting shows on today’s TV usually takes place in
far away locations or on Ranches that require you to pony up your first born
and soul for a chance to hunt on. This particular hunt that Raymond was on took
place last fall at a ranch run by Heart of Texas Bowhunting. From the footage
that I watched of him and his son JT while they harvested there 2 deer, it
looked like a fantastic place to hunt. For
most of us, the thought of hunting on private property brings to mind the exhorbinate
cost associated with such an experience. Myself, I do not have a ton of what
Raymond mentions as “A lot of passive income.” I am a working hunter. Granted I
hunt quite a bit and I am fortunate to live in a state that is centrally
located in the west that has plenty of access to public land and also, that gives
me the opportunity with a short drive, to hunt some of the West’s best states.
I hunt almost entirely on public land with no guides or services. So to even
think about getting the chance to hunt private land in


for deer, in the past was a little bit
out of my reach. However, Kevin Burleson who runs Heart of Texas Bowhunting has
made it a little easier for all of us working class stiffs to get a chance to
experience some of that great Texas deer hunting that we have been hearing so
much about in the past at an affordable price. I will not go into pricing here (check
out there website at,
but I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Kevin is a very knowledgeable
hunter and from the looks of things he is doing what he can to insure that his
hunters have a quality hunting experience. As you can tell from the name of the outfit, this is a bowhunting hunt
only. Now all I have to do is start getting serious about doing some archery
hunting and maybe next year I will get a chance at some


monster. Also, congratulations to
Raymond and JT on a great accomplishment. Maybe I will just see you there? 

An evening with friends and Crawdads!

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Well I know this has absolutely nothing to do with hunting, but what the heck. It is my blog and I will write about what ever I want to. This pass weekend we threw our famous almost (I will explain this) annual Mud Bug Boil!
Now to me this is one of the most favorite parties of the year. We usually have it at the end of summer and try to invite just about everyone that we know. This year was no exception and we had a terrific turn out. Plenty of food was eaten and it was a good chance to catch up with people that we don’t get a chance to see very often. Now living in Colorado, most people would ask “Where do you get the crawfish?” Well for the previous two parties I have gotten them from Kyle Leblanc Crawfish Farms and we have never been disappointed. This year was no exception and the crawfish that met there fate this last weekend were as large and lively as ever! One thing to note when you are going to have a party like this. Keep the crawfish off limits from your kids and the rest of the neighborhood children until the day of the party!
If you don’t, you will probably have only a small portion left for the actual boil. As I mentioned this was our almost annual boil. Last year around the time that we were supposed to have our Annual boil, we welcomed our newest member to our family.
Even though my trooper of a significant other
said that it would be OK to go ahead and throw the party, she stressed that it would completely on my own. Now, I have never been one to back down from a challenge, but from the immortal words of Clint Eastwood “A man’s got to know his limitations!” I decided that I knew mine and that it would have to wait for another year.
For those that are interested in doing a boil such as this, I would suggest that you have several friends that have Turkey cookers that you can borrow. This year we used five of them.
Even though that was enough, we could have probably used a couple more. By the time you figure everything that goes into a pot, the corn, potatoes, shrimp, sausage and the crawfish of course! It makes for a very full pot. All in all a great time was had by all that attended and I am looking forward to next year’s boil as well. Hope to see you there.

Photo by Bill and Anita.