Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on hunting, fishing and camping products, trends and news.

E-Bikes: the Forest Service’s New Ruling

Recently the United States Forest Service made a decision on e-bike usage on roads and trails. This decision has been long awaited by the public, especially since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had already concluded how they planned to define and regulate e-bike usage on BLM land a couple of years ago. 

In an article on the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) website, “the Forest Service announced its final internal guidance on how e-bikes will be managed on national forests and grasslands. The long-anticipated update reaffirms the existing policy that e-bikes are now, and will continue to be, managed as a motorized use—that is, e-bikes will be allowed on all currently authorized roads and trails open to motorized use and not allowed on roads and trails closed to motorized use, seasonally or otherwise. 

“At the same time, the guidance also outlines a process for the agency to evaluate requests for expanded e-bike access and establishes a new “e-bike only” trail category.”

Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to test and use various e-bikes from companies including Bakcou, QuietKat, and Rambo. I’ve learned their strengths and weaknesses in various situations and various types of hunts.

The e-bike discussion over whether or not they should be allowed is understandable on the surface, yet once you’ve used them and really understand what they can and cannot do, the argument over their usage quickly fades.

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Bow Hunt Elk w/ Eastmans’ Subscriber

Bow hunt elk in grizzly bear country with Eastmans’ Hunting Journals subscribers Paul Clock and Bob Legasa. This is a backcountry, horseback hunting adventure for a public land bull. It’s September, and the elk rut is on!

The post Bow Hunt Elk w/ Eastmans’ Subscriber appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Montana Black Bear Season Update

 

Spring bear season is upon us in Montana and there are a few new things to keep in mind. The big news from last year is that running bears with hounds is now legal so be sure to keep that in mind for the non-houndsman that are out there hunting. Hound hunting season is April 15 – May 25th and hound training season is May 26th – June 15th. Hunting season dates haven’t changed. Hound hunters must have a valid black bear license or a Class D Hound license. Hound hunting for bears is illegal in grizzly country which includes Region 1 and many other areas including the east side of Glacier and districts around Yellowstone. Check the regs for specifics. Hound training permits are limited in each area as well so be sure to check regulations for specifics.

Some other new items this year are you have 48 hours to report your harvest which was whittled down compared to 10 days to report in the past. However, in Region 1 you don’t have to check your bear in person. You must submit a premolar to FWP in person or have it postmarked within 10 days of harvest including the form available online. There is a new black bear season in region 6 with a quota of 4. For more details be sure to check the FWP website. 

 

Be safe out there bear hunters, hunt for a nice boar, and watch out for grizzlies!

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Free Landowner Elk Tags in Montana

Due to legislation in 2021 there have been some changes to free landowner elk tags and after the changes, there has been a jump in interest by landowners. There have been free landowner tags in place for the last ten years but just a few have taken advantage of them because for every free landowner tag, they had to allow four public hunters access to their property to hunt. The tags are good for any season but not for special game damage hunts. There is no acreage requirement in the statute, the property just has to be large enough in the department’s determination to accommodate successful public hunting. FWP selects success tag holders from a list to be contacted to participate in permit areas. Districts for general areas will have a list sign-up period following the draw. 

Now, with 454 being modified last year, it has gained more interest from landowners. For every free landowner tag, they only have to allow three public hunters access with the landowner able to pick one of the three hunters. Last year 13 landowners applied for the tags and some were awarded after the season had started. Free landowner tags are only good on the landowner’s property

There is a cap on these free landowner tags and they will be limited to 10% of the permit or license quota for that hunting district. If a district has 100 permits, 10 new permits will be available for qualifying landowners. If the requests for permits or licenses are more than 10%, FWP would hold a random drawing for the landowners. 

 

The post Free Landowner Elk Tags in Montana appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Jet Boat Turkey Hunt!

Spring turkey hunting by boat! Join Todd Helms and friends on the Yellowstone River for a spring surf and turf adventure. Between turkey hunts, the guys load up on catfish for a fish fry. Todd’s river bottom gobbler boasts some incredible spurs on this episode of Wingmen by Eastmans’ Hunting Journals.

The post Jet Boat Turkey Hunt! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Wyoming Winter Range Report

Photo Credit: Mike Eastman

The general synopsis of the Wyoming winter conditions for 2022 would be, “mild,” very, very mild up until just recently. In fact, up until this week the outlook for snow pack and spring run off was almost scary. However, a large spring storm has sent the Cowboy state a snowy wallop and the outlook is beginning to improve dramatically. 

Before the storm the snowpack level statewide was sitting around the 65-70% range of normal. After the storm Wyoming’s mountain ranges are now averaging out to about 84% of normal snow water equivalent at this point. The Bighorn Mountains and the Laramie Mountains are the standouts with nearly 100% of normal snowpack while the lagging regions seem to be those in the Black Hills of the northeast corner of the state clocking only about 60% of their normal snowpack so far. 

The historically snowpack heavy regions of the Absaroka, Teton, Wind River and Wyoming ranges are all a little bit below average with about 80% of normal snowpack. With some additional moisture and cold temperatures on the near-term horizon I am hopeful the outlook will continue to improve over the next few weeks, during the remainder of the month of April and put the western regions of the state back on track to a snowpack in the 90% range for the final readings of the year. 

As for the wildlife outlook, the winter has been extremely mild for our deer, elk and antelope herds this year. With very little extreme cold and light moisture, I think it suffices to say that our herds are in good shape coming out of the winter months. Barring any real freaky weather events at this point, I think we should see some very solid improvements in our herds post winter, but that might not be saying much either. 

 






Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

EBJ Feature Video

The post EBJ Feature Video appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Fewer Elk and Predators = More Mule Deer

Photo Credit: Mike Eastman

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department is looking at intentionally managing our struggling mule deer herds in the state by considering adding more aggressive elk management and predator management to the mix. 

To date, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department has a separate ongoing project “which focuses on improving habitat, adapting hunting seasons and developing science to attempt to conserve deer herds throughout the state.”  Thankfully controlling elk herds in certain areas and black bear/mountain lion populations in certain areas are tactics being thrown into the mix.

It is common knowledge that mule deer and elk don’t exist in large numbers together in the same range. Where you find large numbers of elk, you generally won’t find large numbers of mule deer and vice versa.

The same can be said of predators and I’m very glad to hear that targeted management of black bears and mountain lions may increase to help our crashing mule deer herds.

Mule deer are the icon of the West and they are quickly fading from the landscape. As a lifelong mule deer junky, it pains me to see the downward spiral they are on, and it pains me to see how long it has taken to arrive at some of these management decisions. However, it appears there is management light at the end of the tunnel and these tactics are a step in the right direction.

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

A SOLID breakthrough in Performance!

As the bull fed toward the timber I was running out of time, racing the rising sun that would send the elk into his daybed like Dracula returning to his coffin. The only shot he offered me was an extreme quartering away angle that would require my bullet to penetrate a couple feet of mature wapiti, including a stomach full of masticated and digesting food. No simple task but impossible for the bullet I was shooting and I resigned myself to a long day’s wait to see if the bull would feed out into the open during the waning hours of the day and offer me a less severe angle. 

 

That scenario was several years back and it changed my mind about bullet performance on large, heavily built animals like mature, trophy, bull elk. I’ve since begun loading and shooting monolithic copper bullets when I’m headed into a high stakes hunt where I need to be able to capitalize on any chance I’m given. 

 

The Hornady CX replaces and upstages the company’s tried and true GMX monolithic copper bullet and does so by taking advantage of the latest advancements in bullet design like Hornady’s heat shield tip and optimum groove geometry making the CX the best performing, most accurate monolithic bullet the company has created. Not to mention it’s “California compliant” meaning you can use it wherever you need a lead free projectile for hunting. 

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal Updated: EBJ 131

CONTENT COMING SOON…

The post Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal Updated: EBJ 131 appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Utah Big Game Tag Reduction

It’s no secret that much of Utah is struggling with drought. The last four years have been tough and conditions have been subpar for fawn recruitment. DWR counted 35,700 mule deer back in December which is down over 9,100 from last year and some 100,000 below the state’s management objective. DWR is seeking to reduce the general deer permits by 950, 300 antlerless deer permits, and 50 limited entry deer permits. This is the fourth year in a row we have seen reductions in tag allocations for general areas. 

However, the plan would add about 2,200 general tags in northern Utah and 150 in southeastern Utah where populations are doing a little better. The reduction of permits is coming from the southern region (2,750), the central region (450), and the northeastern region (100). There will be just over 73,000 deer permits available which fulfills about half of the applicants if numbers are similar to last year. 

Elk have fared a bit better during the drought so tag allocations will stay the same this year. The only increases come from limited-entry bull elk areas where there will be an increase in 66 permits from last year. Total Bison permits will increase by 9 this year, buck pronghorn will increase by 76 and doe pronghorn will decrease by 125 permits this year. Bull moose permits will be reduced by 2 this year and mountain goat permits will decrease by 18 this year. There will be 10 fewer desert sheep tags, nine fewer Rocky Mountain bighorn ram tags, and five fewer Rocky Mountain bighorn ewe tags, from 10 to five. 

 

https://www.ksl.com/article/50373933/utah-biologists-seek-to-reduce-deer-hunting-permits-again-as-populations-struggle

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Eastmans’ Hunting Journals and Kryptek Join Forces

In today’s confusing times it’s important to surround yourself with people and communities that share your values, interests, and beliefs. Eastmans’ Hunting Journals has always been staunchly pro 2A, defended our Constitution, supported veterans and aligned ourselves with hunting patriots that love America and the freedoms it affords its citizens. Therefore it is with great pride that we announce our partnership with Kryptek Outdoor Group! 

Kryptek is a Combat Veteran-Owned company that is made up of pro-Second Amendment, Constitutional patriots who fully understand and embrace fair-chase trophy hunting and the vital role these values play in protecting, preserving and pushing forward the American hunting heritage. 

“Kryptek and Eastmans’ align so well in our passions for western big game hunting and the protection of our Constitutional rights,” said Ike Eastman, President of Eastmans’ Publishing, Inc. “The Eastman family has known the Kryptek founders, Butch Whiting and Josh Cleghorn, for years and we couldn’t be more excited to forge this partnership, further building both brands and working together to protect our hunting heritage and 2A rights as Americans. We are excited to be wearing their top notch line of gear and help in new product development!”

Kryptek’s ethos can be found in the company’s DNA, derived from the battlefield and built for the backcountry. Based on the highly effective netting used to camouflage tanks or hide-sites, Kryptek Camo is the only camouflage pattern rigorously tested by the United States’ Military during the US Camo Improvement Project, selectively used by U.S. and Coalition Special Operations, and available in the Civilian Hunting Market. Today, Kryptek camouflage remains one of the most effective on the market. Its popularity resonates with end-users across a wide spectrum of fields – from hardcore backcountry hunters and tactical SWAT teams to mainstream Hollywood films. Kryptek prides itself on producing the highest quality gear to match the epic nature of its camouflage patterns, offering apparel and gear for any outdoor adventure.

“Kryptek is extremely excited to be partnered with Eastmans Hunting Journals!” said Kryptek CEO, Butch Whiting. “Their family legacy has been extremely critical in establishing the foundation of the American hunting culture as we know it today, and their mentality, philosophies, and authenticity will ensure these cherished traditions are honored for generations to come. The Kryptek brand nests extremely well with Eastmans’.”

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Feds Approve Bison Grazing

A Bozeman based group formerly known as the American Prairie Reserve, now known as the less eyebrow raising American Prairie, has recently secured grazing rights and fencing removal permission for more than 800 bison to roam a mix of public and private lands in Montana. The group’s long range plan is to secure 5,000 square miles, a swath including the C.M Russell National Wildlife Refuge that would act as a nature preserve for bison. 

Local ranchers are concerned that this plan will displace them, put their cattle at risk of disease and ultimately end their agriculture based lifestyles. I for one am concerned about the loss of hunting, recreational opportunities and true conservation work that loom from not only American Prairie’s master plan to parse together such a massive tract of land but the federal government’s approval of it. 

In the past American Prairie has expressed a willingness to allow public access for hunting. However, it comes with a massive BUT… They have also publicly stated that hunting would not be granted in perpetuity and while they fully retain that right on the massive amount of acreage they have gobbled up, they do not have that right on the “leased” public lands they plan to pasture their bison on. That is, unless I’m missing something. That is a problem and should raise questions as to exactly what the endgame for American Prairie is. 

Hunters should be very suspicious of the motives of American Prairie. Taking the word preserve out of the name hints at deception. A look at their list of Collaborations reveals an alarming lack of hunting-related partnerships with true conservation groups such as RMEF, Ducks Unlimited, TRCP and others.

While I applaud the overall vision of American Prairie I question the alienation of hunters in the group’s plan. Afterall, Trophy Hunting IS conservation and hunters remain the greatest stewards of wildlands and wildlife, why not get us involved? 

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

How To Survive a Bear Attack!

Learn how to survive a bear attack and defend yourself from a black bear or grizzly bear. Know your self-defense options and how to prepare for bear country whether you are hiking, camping, backpacking, or hunting. Dan Pickar (IG @danpickar) tests bear spray and shows how to use it properly. He also simulates a bear charge and tries to shoot a moving target with different types of firearms.

 

 

The post How To Survive a Bear Attack! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

California Mule Deer Hunt Video

Go mule deer hunting during the rut in California’s desert country. Eastmans’ family friend Fred Trueblood hunts for a mature trophy mule deer buck. Fred also travels to Wyoming to hunt with Guy Eastman in a highly coveted pronghorn antelope area in Wyoming. It’s a two-for-one hunt on this Eastmans’ Hunting TV web episode.

The post California Mule Deer Hunt Video appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Copyright

© Eastmans

Arizona Wards Off Anti-Hunters

“We applaud the efforts of the sporting community to support the department in resisting attacks from activists trying to ban hunting.”

https://sportsmensalliance.org/news/arizona-reveals-proposed-2023-28-hunting-guidelines/?fbclid=IwAR1EUoYfUTu3Rpnph7j-Tutt8oTiWFEdaq3kQ3iLh8_gtCAkiC8eXvbJbV0

 

It appears that states like Washington could take some lessons from Arizona on dealing with rabid, anti-hunting radicals! Kudos to Arizona sportsmen/women and Arizona Game and Fish Department for not bowing to pressures demanding hunting bans on bears, mountain lions and bobcats. The good folks of Arizona stood firm and refused to give an inch. What a refreshing bit of news this is. 

All too often the opposite is true these days… When the anti-hunting radicals begin their assault on scientifically based, sound game management plans, such as the controlled hunting and harvest of predators, too many states kowtow to these irrational people who are ruled by emotion instead of logic. Just last week we regretfully had to inform you about the postponement of the Spring bear season in Washington state thanks to an anti-hunting takeover of the Game and Fish commission there. It seems that everywhere we turn our hunting privilege and heritage is being trampled. 

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

What You Need To Know – Montana Elk and Deer

2022 Montana Limited Draw Mule Deer

Much like elk, the mule deer regulations and districts are being restructured in all 7 regions. I would say, not quite as extreme as elk but there is definitely going to be more opportunities for either sex and either species. There are going to be a lot of boundary and hunting district changes which means there are a lot of combining two or three units into one and allocation of tags accordingly based roughly on what was already in place.

Unit Changes: HD 291, 293 and 298 Boundary Change | Combined HD 291, 298, and the south portion of HD 293. New HD will be named 291.

The bulk of the changes are happening in Regions 1-4, Regions 6 and 7 are mostly left alone. Additional changes we are seeing are in Region 2 and consist of eliminating the Antlered Buck Mule Deer Permits and making them general but cutting the season to the first three weeks of the general season. Numbers are down and these permit areas were changed to general so the shortened season was to help prevent over-harvest. Harvest will also be allowed on the general tag during the archery season. We are seeing this change through most of the unlimited mule deer permit areas throughout Regions 1-4. The full master list of changes and updated maps will be available on Eastmans’ TagHub as soon as they are made and we can upload them. If you’re not an Eastmans’ TagHub member now would be a good time to get signed up!


Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

WY Corner-Crossing: Next Stop D.C.?

If you have been following the now-famous corner crossing case through our blog or other news outlets reporting on the case, it will be no surprise that the defense has filed a petition to move this to federal court. The petition filed makes the case that because the incident happened in Wyoming, involves federal land access, has nonresident defendants and the landowner involved is from the east coast, the case and its moving parts belong in federal court. 

As part of this petition, the defendants have asked for a trial by jury. The trial would likely revolve around the Unlawful Inclosures Act of 1885 which was designed to allow the public to have access to federal land. 

So what does this mean for all of us wondering if there will be a clear answer on whether or not corner crossing is legal? Well the outcome of this case has the potential to give access to 1.6 million acres of public land that has been previously tough at best to recreate on and impossible at worst. Most of this land is part of the checkerboard landscape that passed from the federal government to the different railroad companies during westward expansion. Mobile mapping tools have accelerated the public’s interest in using these lands due to their high visibility of them on maps and then the ease of which people can find the corners to cross from one section to another.

On the other end of the spectrum, a ruling could come in where access remains murky and not much is resolved. Personally, I am hoping for a clear cut answer to this question as I have seen it argued about regularly on hunting forums for years.

So the question then is, what do you think? Will this case make it to trial? 

Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans

Locating Spring Black Bears

Hunting spot and stalk spring black bears, first a hunter needs to locate a bear! In this hunting tip bowhunter, Dan Pickar shares his strategy for locating black bears during the spring bear hunting season. Be sure to subscribe to our channel for more hunting videos and hunting tips. Tap the bell to turn on notifications so you don’t miss a thing!

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

Copyright

© Eastmans

Know When To Hire An Outfitter

By: Michael Deming

You are sitting on a dozen points or more all over the West and according to the Eastmans’ MRS and Eastmans’ TagHub, you are starting to be considered a real player in the upcoming draws.  What does that mean for you as a hunter? What have you done to prepare for the time when you draw this coveted tag? Are you going to be able to make the most of all those years of applying? There are so many questions to be asked and most don’t know what they are until after they have been on the hunt.  It’s too late to be asking the questions then. Now is the time to get serious about your future hunting plans and deciding to hire an outfitter or not should be at the top of the list. There are a mountain of questions you need to answer when making that decision. 

Just because it takes a gob of points to draw a unit, doesn’t mean that it is really managed for trophy quality.  The other question that needs to be considered is, what is your trophy quality standard?  All these points required to draw this coveted unit don’t mean that there is going to be a trophy buck or bull standing behind each and every tree. In most cases, it’s usually the contrary.  These units are often the hardest hunted by both trophy hunters and outfitters every year.  When you wait this long to draw a tag, most people want to get the most out of the tag and are planning on passing animals they would normally be happy to harvest in other units. Friends and family come out in droves to help locals who have drawn these tags and it often seems like there are hunters everywhere.  This pressure is usually very disappointing to most people who have waited so long for this experience.  

You can digitally scout with TagHub, Google Earth, onX, or various other software programs and I highly recommend getting as familiar as possible with your unit. However, there is so much more to know about a unit than what can be learned from E-scouting. What happens to the unit if you see an early snow?  What happens to the animals when stock ponds and springs dry up that haven’t been dry in over a decade? What happens when there is a fire in your unit?  Do the animals totally leave your unit in any of these situations or do they just relocate to a better location within the unit?  If there is a better location, do you know where that would be?  If the state starts offering an excessive amount of cow elk tags to help with depredation, how does this excessive pressure affect your trophy hunt?  Is offering over the counter deer tags for the first-time bringing pressure that hasn’t been seen in the unit before and affecting success?  

These are just a few of the examples of things I’ve seen over the past 30 years of building points in the West.  It has helped me to create a vast number of questions as well as gain a 30,000’ look at those units and what I need to know before I burn my valuable points.  




Continue reading

Copyright

© Eastmans