New Layers from Prois!

The world of women’s apparel continues to grow as does the number of women actively participating in the world of hands-on conservation, which we all know as hunting. It is encouraging to see gear being made to the specifications of women who love the outdoors.

Here is a taste of some of the new layers from Prois (Gunnison, CO) in their new Veil® Cumbre camo pattern.


Callaid Vest

Well, ladies, if lightweight warmth and protection from the wind are what you’ve been seeking, check out the Callaid collection from Prois. This 800 fill-power down is made to be durable with its rip-stop fabric, and both the down and shell are treated with DWR to increase moisture resistance.


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Locating Spring Black Bears

To hunt spot and stalk spring black bears, first a hunter needs to locate a bear! Bowhunter Dan Pickar shares his strategy for locating black bears during the spring bear hunting season. #eastmans

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The post Locating Spring Black Bears appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Spot And Stalk DIY Public Land Spring Bear Hunt

Bowhunter Dan Pickar scours the green hillsides of Montana’s public land for a spring black bear in this web edition of Eastmans’ Hunting TV. Hunting spring bears takes patience and persistence. This strategy pays for Pickar after days of wet weather.

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The post Spot And Stalk DIY Public Land Spring Bear Hunt appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Eastmans’ Classic: 1999 Deer Hunt Winnter

Come along down memory lane with the 1999 mule deer hunt winner! A classic hunt featuring a big buck and memories made in the high country! #eastmans


The post Eastmans’ Classic: 1999 Deer Hunt Winnter appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Colorado Mountain Lion Insanity

Cougars on the Attack!!!

Lucky, very lucky. On February 4th a trail runner in Northern Colorado was attacked by a cougar. While the attack in and of itself is somewhat surprising given the rarity of the occurrence, the fact that the guy was able to choke out the cat with his bare hands is certainly the most incredible wrinkle in the story.

A bear attack is one thing, a cat is an entirely different story. A bear attacks with brute force, overwhelming weight and smothering aggression. A cat on the other hand is one predator I certainly hope to never go toe to toe with. A cat attacks to kill not to intimidate like a bear most often does. A cougar attacks from behind with lightning speed and precision; claws so sharp and curved they act like Velcro on your clothing and skin, all the while the cat muscles you around into the perfect position for a death bite to your skull or spinal cord. Anyone who has hunted cats with dogs has seen the incredible agility and force these animals are capable of first hand, and it is beyond impressive. I won’t go into the fine details of such here, but let’s just say for a cat to outright crush a dog’s skull with one bite is well within the realm of reality, and a single swipe of a paw can all but remove the entirety of a dog’s face and knock his eyes out of their sockets. These deadly animals are certainly not child’s play and when they drop into kill gear, they phase into a trance that is unlike anything else in the animal kingdom. The eyes of an attacking cougar roll back inside his head for protection and it is, kill or be killed-no turning back. Lucky for this guy it was, be killed.

Having skinned out my fair share of cats, I can say with nearly 100% surety this guy was lucky. Lucky this cat was an adolescent, possibly even a female. A full-grown man can and obviously did stand a chance with his bare hands against a sub-adult cat probably weighing between fifty and eighty pounds in live weight. Had that cat been a full-grown male, this story would more than likely have been much different. As if killing a cougar with your bare hands was not spectacular enough, killing a full-grown, 160-pound tom with your bare hands would be an entirely different endeavor altogether. Not really a “hold my beer and watch this” type of YouTube event.

The killing efficiency of a cat that big is beyond most human comprehension and comprises a mauling grab from behind that pins your arms at your sides, claws sink deep into your chest and calves all while 160 pounds of live weight smothers you to the cold, hard ground with a groaning exhale as the warm breath of a hungry beast perks the hair up on the back of your neck just before the lights go out for good as four, two-inch canines puncture the spinal column at the base of your skull. Very few if any humans would be strong, or quick enough to fend off this kind of advance. Lucky for us, these big, mature cats are usually too effective in the wild to bother with human prey. A big male cat is beyond human consumption, he’s too big, too quick, too lethal and too smart to put a human being on his menu. Killing a deer, elk or sheep has become almost too easy for him. This leaves humans to the most desperate of cats, the outcasts. Younger adolescent cats of both sexes that have been recently kicked out from their mother’s oversite, forced to hunt and fend for themselves for the first time in life. These and the very sick are usually the cats that create such a stir in the human world, and thank goodness for that. This is what gives those who don’t know any better a mere chance at survival. A survival that usually depends on remedial weapons such as rocks, sticks and bicycles, even if it means choking a cat out of being with a bare set of human hands. A chance to walk away, to tell the tale, and what a tale it will be.

Over population of apex predators in North America is a very dangerous reality in today’s world. Many states have overly limited or even outlawed predator hunting altogether. This goes beyond the normal bounds of wildlife conservation and often pits predator against human, but in the end, we both lose.

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Guy’s 2019 TOP Wyoming Elk Areas

Wyoming’s elk herds continue to do very well, considering. With some predator problems and coming off of a few tough winters this year looks to be yet again a very solid year for Wyoming’s very plentiful elk herd. With plenty of hunt areas and hunt options to choose from, Wyoming continues to offer up the best hunt opportunity vs. hunt quality in the country in my opinion. The fact is, if you are not applying for elk in Wyoming, you are missing out.

With only a few days to decide on an elk application strategy here are a few areas you might want to keep in mind if you have yet to make the decision. The following are my top five choices with a few additional ideas mixed in.  

#5 – AREA 22 (Ferris, Max+) – The 5th best elk area in Wyoming in my opinion is Area 22.  With only 40 tags on quota, fairly easy terrain comprised of more than 80% public land this elk hunt is a very solid choice for the hunter that wants to take his time and not be bothered by the crowds. A bowhunt here during the entire month of September would probably be considered off the hook by most standards. Even if you don’t bow hunt, a lengthy three-week rifle season that begins on the 8th of October will offer up a very good opportunity at a nice 6-point bull. The Ferris elk unit is over population objective by nearly three times, while the bull to cow ratio is sky high with more than 60 bulls per 100 cows. The elk rut in this area is sure to be beyond dynamic. Over 70% of the hunters here will kill branch antlered bulls each year. If you are an older bowhunter looking for a great bowhunt in relatively easy country this hunt may be just the ticket. Maximum preference points will be required to have a chance at this hunt again for 2019. There are no tags available in the random draw for this elk hunt.

#4 – AREA 30 (Aspen Mountain, Max+) – With a seat at the top five table again this year, the Aspen Mountain elk area in southwestern Wyoming continues its track record as a very good elk hunt. Much like Area 22, the Aspen hunt is very limited (50 tags) with relatively easy country and plenty of public land (65%). The big bull potential here is a bit better than Area 22 which puts this area a slight notch above the Ferris hunt. Incredibly, nearly 90% of the hunters in this area will kill bulls each fall. The elk herd in this area is very stable with a population that is right at objective levels and a steady bull to cow ratio that is at a very healthy 38/100 level. In my humble opinion, the bowhunt in this area is as good as anything in the country right now. Given the very mild winter we are experiencing this year the elk in this area should begin to expand in both quantity and quality over the next few years. The herd bulls in this area will range from 320 -370. No random draw tags are available in the draw for this unit and max points is a requirement to draw here.

#3 – AREA 54 (Bald Ridge, 8-13 pts.) – The Bald Ridge elk area is a very familiar resident on this list. The Bald Ridge unit probably has some of the biggest bulls in the entire state of Wyoming roaming the deep and steep nooks and crannies of this elk area. The Type 1 hunt is the better of the two on the southern portion of the unit. There is a Type 9 bowhunt in this area that takes about 10 points to draw if you are a hardcore bowhunter. This area is full of deep country and lots of grizzly bears, but the big bull potential is very, very good here. The elk herd is right at objective and the bull to cow ratio is beyond juicy. This area has over 80 bulls per 100 cows which is almost unheard of. About 60% of the hunters here will kill bulls but this is mostly due to the rough and rugged country. The biggest bulls are very deep in this unit and a hunter that is very experienced and hardy will be the most successful on the biggest bulls here. With a two-month season, this hunt is not for the faint of heart, but the upside reward here can be tremendous. If I had one Wyoming elk area to choose from to kill a 350+ bull, this would be it.

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I Want To Hunt Utah, ##$$#!


Every nonresident hunter has Utah on the list for places to hunt. If you got into the points game late, most coveted tags are unreachable and this actually goes for residents too. Every year at the sport shows Utah guys complain how they never can get drawn for a trophy area let alone just hunt their own state. Is this actually the case? Well, let’s take a look.

There is a lot of competition out there and the average hunter needs to be savvy and to separate yourself from the pack when it comes to being successful. This goes for any state really, but Utah specifically. First, if you want to hunt Utah every year, there are many ways to do this. There are almost 100 general season buck deer hunts in Utah, which includes muzzleloader, archery and rifle hunts. So that gives you an idea of how many opportunity hunts are out there. And that’s just deer. Now these hunts are in a drawing too but most are not difficult to draw and take place in many good areas across the state, they just have difficult hunt dates. Find a unit that you can hunt every year, and spend the time and do your homework. Work on gaining access to private if you have to and combine that with being persistent and hunting hard, there’s no reason you can’t be wildly successful year after year.

Some of the better general deer hunts are Monroe, Dutton, and Pine Valley where success is over 50% for any weapon and muzzleloader and as high as 38% for archery. Those are very high success rates! And these hunts only take two points to draw as a resident. Many of the hunts take no points to draw. So when it comes to deer, there is plenty out there! Be sure to check out the MRS in the upcoming issue of EHJ for more details on some of the best general hunting but limited entry draw odds and stats as well.

Ok, so general elk is an option every year in Utah as well. General season bull elk hunt tags go on sale July 16th and are on a first come first serve basis for muzzle loader and any weapon and do run out when the quota is met. Archery licenses in the general areas are unlimited. There are 19 general season areas, many which border fantastic limited draw areas. So next time you start feeling sorry for yourself because you didn’t draw elk in Utah, take a look at a general season elk hunt, it could make the difference in your hunting season. Once again, put in some leg work to gain access to private if need be and don’t be afraid to volunteer to work for the landowner for a few weekends in the summer to gain access to private. Little things like that can set you apart from the rest of the hunters and may be the upper hand you need to punch your tag on a solid buck or bull.

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Our Youth Hunters Deserve More

There has been some serious conversation as of late regarding the long-term viability of preference points systems. Many hunters have begun to see the writing on the wall, after years of point creep that there are some serious flaws in these systems mathematically and we may have just slit our own throats as a result of our greed for high-quality big game tags. The final straws to break the camel’s back so to speak were the massive error in judgement in Colorado that more than tripled the amount of hunt applicants to a point where no one entering the system after last April will ever have a hope of drawing a decent tag in their entire lifetime and when some in the Wyoming legislature have yet again began to float the idea of rolling out a point system for resident hunters, well let’s just say the reception for such an idea was less than cool. And here’s one huge reason why.

Nationwide young hunter recruitment is down nearly 20%. This is an extremely alarming trend for those of us who know what that means for the future of hunting. One reason for this catastrophic drop in the West I believe, is the implementation of preference points systems over the past 30 years. For young hunters and newbies to the system the western preference points game has become the barrier to hunting that the lack of public land has become in the East, Midwest and South. The long-term result of a true preference point system like Colorado has is to shut out younger and newer hunters in the system in order to benefit the older and more loyal applicants in the system. The net result, unless you were not on the ground floor of many of these systems, you are screwed! The typical youth hunter in states like Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Oregon will likely never see a sheep tag in their entire lifetime. And the thought of a really high quality fourth season deer tag, or a trophy elk tag during the rut, are probably pipe dreams as well.

Statistics have shown that young hunters adopt hunting early, prior to the age of 15, the reason why many states have begun to lower the minimum legal age to hunt. We need to get these kids and get them early or other activities will capture their interest permanently. Preference point systems tend to push them out past the age of easy adoption which makes hunting compete with video games, sports, and other such activities, which was the case when I was a youngster growing up in Wyoming where the legal age to hunt was 14. Almost none of my high school pals hunted, thank God for my dad and grandfather’s stubbornness.

If this is in fact found to be a major factor to young hunter recruitment, then where on earth do we go from here? That question is as tough as it is difficult to answer as many of us have literally vested decades and tens of thousands of dollars into a system that we thought would someday guarantee us the tag of our dreams, only to find out after 25 years or more of dedication, that mathematically we will probably die before we ever see a coveted tag in our mailbox. There are rough seas ahead for many states as applicants begin to get fed up and give up on these systems both before or after they draw the tag they have been waiting so long for. This along with the lack of hunter recruitment will eventually have a disastrous financial effect on state game and fish agencies throughout the West in the next decade or so.

After publishing an article on the 11 dangerous pitfalls of points systems on our blog at my inbox soon filled up with feedback from frustrated applicants nation-wide that are rethinking their future contributions to these systems. I don’t have an answer for this problem, certainly not an easy one. But if we don’t figure out a way to get more young and new hunters into the system we will all perish under the weight of our own insatiable lust for the best big game tags in the West.

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The Myth Of Preference Points!

WY Resident Preference Points – A Very Bad Idea for a Number of Reasons:

And here we go again. Another legislative session in Cheyenne and for some reason the same bad ideas seem to keep coming up, over and over again. Most of us here in Wyoming think of ourselves as much different from those in Washington, D.C. and for the most part we are. However, when it comes to the subject of resident preference points the bad idea just won’t seem to go away much like those bad ideas that seem to surface over and over again in Washington.

A preference point system for Wyoming’s residents is a bad, poorly thought-out idea and here are 12 reasons why from my point of view with over 40 years of Wyoming residency and nearly two decades of writing and compiling extensive analysis on Wyoming’s draw and application system from a perspective outside the agency.

1) HUNTER RECRUITMENT – Every single state that has implemented a point system has seen resident hunter recruitment drop drastically. Try telling your pre-teen son or daughter that he or she has to wait 33-years to draw a high-quality Wyoming elk tag and see what happens. The X-Box starts to look a whole lot more attractive in a hurry. Colorado has been one of the absolute worst cases for this.

2) POINT CREEP CRASHES THE SYSTEM EVENTUALLY – All true preference point systems eventually drift toward a random draw process in the end. Once the system becomes completely overloaded with applicants the mathematics no longer work and the system becomes a random draw system for those who got in on the ground floor and shuts out the low point people almost completely in the process. Point systems don’t solve anything in the end. Case and point, the point system got so bad in Arizona that the State had to carve out a portion of the high demand tags for a random draw to keep hunter/applicant interest up which in turn really ticked off the high point holders as the State changed the game midstream on them.

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Mountain Goat Eradication?

In September, 2018, Eastman’s Official Blog reported on what amounts to the largest mountain goat relocation project in American history in Washington’s Olympic National Park (“ONP”).   That project, scheduled to continue through 2020, quite possibly could result in several hundred mountain goats being eradicated if they cannot all be relocated to Washington State’s Cascade Mountains. On the heels of that announcement, officials are now considering the same fate for a growing population of mountain goats in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons based at least in part on the argument that the mountain goats may “possibly” have negative impacts on the native Teton Range bighorn sheep herd.

Public comments on all the proposals are being accepted through January 6, 2019.  At this time, the website ( for reviewing the proposals and submitting comments is not operable.  The National Park Service proposes three alternatives: 1) no action; 2) lethal and non-lethal removal of the mountain goats; and 3) lethal removal of all the mountain goats.  

This issue is not new to the Grand Tetons.  In 2013-2014 officials began looking at the implications of mountain goats moving into the Grand Tetons and how their presence may impact bighorn populations.  In 2014 officials believed that the Grand Tetons could support 250-400 mountain goats if left to their own devices. Rough estimates of the population now indicate about 100 mountain goats call the Grand Tetons home.

The formal position taken by officials is that the herd of mountain goats in the Grand Tetons possibly poses a threat to the native bighorn herds, but those same officials reluctantly admit that while the bighorn population in the area is declining they cannot identify the exact cause of why that is happening.

The Grand Tetons and Olympic National Park mountain goat issues beg some interesting questions.  Are we seeing a trend with park and wildlife officials and biologists being too quick to literally pull the trigger on one game species for the benefit of another?  If that is the case, we need to slow them down and make sure the science supports such drastic measures. Right now, there appears to be only a “possibility” that the Grand Teton herd of mountain goats is one potential cause of the declining bighorn herd.  Of more significance are the domestic animals and human encroachment on the wildlife as a whole. The Grand Teton herd is isolated because of human encroachment, which is causing the competition for resources in the first place.

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Your Health In The Backcountry


Alaska Wilderness Hunt and Health Study

    In the fall of 2017 I headed to the wilderness of Alaska to fulfill a 20-year dream of hunting caribou and moose in the largest and most remote state in the Union. A DIY float hunt was the plan and the adventure that awaited wouldn’t disappoint.

    On this type of trip, one doesn’t know what to expect. What will the river character be? Will we see any animals we can harvest? If we do see the wildlife species we were after, would they be mature trophy species we dreamed of? What weather conditions would we be dealing with and how would they affect survival mode for a total of 12 days in the backcountry? However, one more question popped up as the hunt was drawing near and it didn’t have anything to do with the hunt specifically.

My friend and Alaska contact, Larry Bartlett, asked if we would participate in a health study that has never been done before. A study that would focus on the energy and caloric demands of wilderness hunters – the group that probably most closely resemble the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles of certain ancient peoples.

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The Northern Herds: Beyond The Grid TV

Travel north to the vast public lands of Alaska with Brian Barney and Brandon Mason to chase caribou! This episode of Beyond The Grid TV shows the hard work and determination needed to get it done in the North Country!

The post The Northern Herds: Beyond The Grid TV appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers

Montana Public Land Mule Deer And Elk Hunt- Beyond The Grid TV

Rifle hunting on the public lands of Montana, the bread and butter of Eastmans’ Beyond the Grid TV. Hunters John Pickar and Todd Fedor head out to Eastern Montana to hunt mule deer and elk on your public lands. Anyone that has hunted with their dad will find this episode right up your alley. Leave us a comment if you have great memories hunting with your dad!

The post Montana Public Land Mule Deer And Elk Hunt- Beyond The Grid TV appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers

Mike Eastman Hunts B&C Pronghorn

Mike Eastman takes to the public land of Wyoming for a DIY antelope hunt in this web edition of Eastmans’ Hunting TV. With decades of pronghorn hunting under his belt, Eastman sets a high bar and won’t settle for just any trophy antelope. It’s a Boone & Crockett buck or bust!

The post Mike Eastman Hunts B&C Pronghorn appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers

Don’t Ruin Your Gear: How To Wash Outdoor Gear

Don’t ruin your expensive hunting gear by using the wrong types of soap! Wash your outdoor gear with detergents that don’t break down your clothing preventing it from lasting as long as it should! Watch this video to see what we use to protect our gear!

The post Don’t Ruin Your Gear: How To Wash Outdoor Gear appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers

Our Favorite Rifles

Every one of us has a rifle that we look at in the safe and can’t help but reach for when it comes time to go hunting. Here are some of our favorites that you can find at Sportsman’s Warehouse or on their website. You can now order a rifle online and then pick it up at the store, this might just be the best way to beat the holiday season crowds!

Savage 110 Lightweight Storm Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor- Ike Eastman

Rifles make memories, memories make a favorite rifle. The fall of 2018 is full of memories with my Savage Lightweight 110 Storm rifle and as such it will be a rifle that I look forward to making many more memories with. The 5.6 lb before scope light weight rifle served us well in Wyoming’s high country on a pack in early mule deer hunt where Scott Reekers harvested his buck. Then it quickly transitioned to Colorado’s high desert and knocked down an antelope buck. After a short break I put it to use again on my mule deer hunt in southwest Wyoming where the easy trigger squeeze of the AccuTrigger and the fit of the sporter style AccuStock made for a comfortable shot. This hunt tested the finish of the rifle with nasty snow storms and wet conditions, the finish is no worse for wear and still catches the eye. After my Wyoming mule deer I had the pleasure of taking my girls on a Wyoming antelope hunt. We made family memories that will be passed along with this rifle. Finally I closed out this season with a whitetail buck from Nebraska on a lifelong friend’s newest property where the hunting is going to be good for many years. I plan to make just as many memories next fall and the Savage Lightweight 110 Storm will be there with me.

Savage 110 Storm Chambered in .270 WSM- Guy Eastman

Over the years, I have used about every high-powered rifle caliber on the planet for big game hunting. I’ve fallen in love with a few over the years, and the one I seem to keep coming back to is the .270 WSM. Big enough to effectively take an elk-sized animal, like the Marco Polo I shot in 2017, yet small enough to cleanly take smaller big game animals and also not beat you up too bad on the range, this round in Savage’s new Storm 110 is a tough combo to beat!

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Inside a Hunting Backpack! Essential Gear for Any Hunter

DIY public land hunter and Eastmans’ staffer Scott Reekers shares the gear he used during his big game hunting season. He talks through his backpack, sleep system, clothing and a basic overview of other products he carries on a hunt. Leave a comment and let us know which gear you would like to see us review more in depth in the future.

Enter The Giveaway: Leave A Commment On This Video

Look at the hoodie:

For more on the backpack used in this video:

For more on the sleeping pad featured in this video :

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Montana Deer Hunting Public Land Giant

A dealer’s choice public land deer hunt shared between lifelong hunting partners. Does DIY Montana deer hunting get any better? It can and it does when a B&C whitetail buck appears after days of scouring country. Two trophy bucks hit the ground in this latest release from Eastmans’ Beyond the Grid TV.


The post Montana Deer Hunting Public Land Giant appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Dan Pickar

Hunting South Dakota Bucks!

Hunter and Eastmans’ member Ross English tracks down a nice mule deer buck in South Dakota during his 2017 hunting season. Watch English close the deal on this trophy buck.—Join Eastmans’ Social Media Facebook:… Instagram: @eastmanshuntingjournals Eastmans’ Blog: Eastmans’ Forum: Shop:

The post Hunting South Dakota Bucks! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers

Hunting Mule Deer In Colorado With Ike Eastman

Join Ike Eastman in the foot hills of the Colorado rockies as he goes hunting for a typical mule deer buck. After passing on buck with extras the first morning, Eastman works to relocate the deer later in the hunt. Watch a 190 Boone and Crockett buck eat dirt in this web edition of Eastmans’ Hunting TV.


The post Hunting Mule Deer In Colorado With Ike Eastman appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Ike Eastman