Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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How To: Clean Down Sleeping Bags

Backcountry hiker and hunter Dan Pickar shares his favorite method to wash a dirty down sleeping bag. Sleeping bags filled with down require extra care to make sure they last a lifetime. Using the right laundry detergent and washing machine can make all the difference. Protect your investment and get the most out of down filled sleeping bag.

The post How To: Clean Down Sleeping Bags appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Lightweight, Breathable Boots – Lowa Boot Review

Backcountry hiker and hunter Dan Pickar shares his experience with Lowa’s new Z-8S GTX Boot. This hiking boot can tackle any task. It’s breathable, supportive and designed to keep you going for miles. Pickar reviews his first five miles hiking in a brand new pair. No blisters and dry feet at the end of the day on his first day out with the Lowa Z-85 GTX boots.

The post Lightweight, Breathable Boots – Lowa Boot Review appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Dan Pickar
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Eastmans’ Gear Lab: Water Purification

Dehydration is a state of existence that many in the hunting world find themselves in by accident. In the name of being conservative many backpack hunters forego getting enough water and act like nothing’s wrong for a few days while the mild headaches set in. Don’t do it, there is never an excuse to put yourself in an unsafe position due to a lack of water. Finding water, even in the higher elevations, is possible in just about every hunting season within 1000 feet of elevation and to top it off there is no shortage of ways to purify it into drinking water. So let’s dig into this Gear Lab and take a look at a variety of water purification methods that can be used in a variety of settings.

Aquamira – Ike Eastman

When you are counting ounces it’s hard to beat what Aquamira has to offer. Simply mix part A with part B in the lid, wait 5 minutes and then pour into your water container. It’s really hard to beat in terms of weight-to-purification power. When hunting from the trailhead or even on extended trips to the backcountry where I know that there are steady streams of water this method of purification is really hard to beat.

The downside is that you have to wait a few minutes and when you are thirsty that can make time move incredibly slow. The other thing to consider when using Aquamira drops is that they won’t remove the floaties from the water. Plan on using a scarf or even a reusable coffee filter to get the bugs, mud and other floaters out of the water. Having to chew water is never a pleasant experience and something that can be avoided. You can find Aquamira at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or at https://www.aquamira.com/ for $14.99

Katadyn Vario Filter – Scott Reekers






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Hunting Wyoming Mule Deer: Ike Eastman’s Buck

Ike Eastman hunts the aspen and sagebrush country of western Wyoming for a trophy mule deer. Hunting deer in deep sagebrush is extra challenging. Eastman must be patient to find the right buck in the right scenario for an ethical shot.

The post Hunting Wyoming Mule Deer: Ike Eastman’s Buck appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Keystone Backwoods Reclaimed barnwood glass picture frames with "Beautiful Photos" https://keystonebackwoodsallnaturalproducts.co

New item coming this Fall. Reclaimed barnwood glass picture frame with hanger. Have specific picts your interested in send me your info & what picts your interested in. All picts will be taken by trail cams & Go Pro. I will also use high resolution photos "uncopyrighted" All photos will then be sent in to be professionally done. Or if you already have a awesome photo just contact me & i will collect the photo & have it sent in to  photo professionals. 

 

What makes these stand out from others

1. Reclaimed barnwood.

2. Rustic/old fashion picture frames.

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Keystone Backwoods "All Natural hunting products" FREE SHIPPING!

"Customer satisfaction is my # 1 priority & I guarantee customer satisfaction on all my products"

https://keystonebackwoodsallnaturalproducts.co

Thanks

Keystone Backwoods "God Bless"

Product # 1

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Optics Review: Sig’s Ballistic Data Xchange

Hunter and shooter Todd Helms shares his experience with Sig Sauer’s latest release, the BDX or Ballistic Data Xchange system. This innovative new product combines Sig’s rangefinder and rifle scope optics with the new BDX smart phone app for precise shooting out to 800 yards. Once the system is connected, a shooter ranges a target and the scope’s reticle suggests the ideal placement point using an LED light system.

The post Optics Review: Sig’s Ballistic Data Xchange appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Beyond The Grid: Mountain Monarch

Take to Wyoming’s public land with bowhunter Dan Pickar on a DIY backcountry mule deer hunt on this episode of Beyond the Grid. Pickar is bowhunting a new area in hopes of turning up a high country velvet buck. After two hard winters, Pickar is pleasantly surprised by the velvet deer, a mountain monarch, that he glasses up. Hunting the high country has it’s challenges, physical and otherwise, but Pickar overcomes and finishes with an heart-pounding archery mule deer harvest.

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

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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The Off Grid Food Co. Giveaway

Fill out the form below for your chance to win one of three packages of food valued at $100.00 a piece! Off Grid Food Co. has launched new entree meals as well as some new breakfast offerings to make the backcountry more comfortable! Sign up and visit Off Grid Food Co.’s website to see all of the new flavors!

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The post The Off Grid Food Co. Giveaway appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Man Vs. Horse

Does one have it easier than the other?

 Anyone who has spent much time backpack hunting has probably had it happen to them. Hours of hiking with a heavy pack, clothes drenched once you hit the top, only to hear hooves coming down the ridge and look up and see another hunter with a string of horses, smiling from ear to ear. It’s part of the game of public land hunting. That being said, there are definite drawbacks to being the guy on the horse just as much as the one with camp on their back. Having spent 10 years running pack strings and guiding wilderness horseback hunts, I am a strong believer in the joy of using horses and mules to access the backcountry for hunting. But, nowadays, I spend far more time solo with a heavy pack on my back than I do in the saddle and I truly enjoy the simplicity.

Let’s be honest, having horses enables you to comfortably access deep country, with ample gear and food. It enables you to be well rested for a big stalk every day, and enjoy the finer points of a bigger camp at night. Am I making you want horses yet? WOAH! They also have many drawbacks.

If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with horses in the mountains, a fun hunt can quickly turn into a disaster. Horses will leave you. Give them the chance, and you might be walking home without them. They require water and feed, far more than you. They need to be your first thought in the morning, and at night before you think of taking care of yourself. Without proper feed and water a horse can develop colic which is basically a death sentence in the backcountry. Horses find ways to hurt themselves that can only make you wonder how and why. I usually carried a vet kit that weighed close to 20 pounds, and had to use it often. There are numerous things that can go wrong with horses in the mountains, so thinking that renting them and heading in deep and that all will go smooth is not something I would suggest if you have little to no familiarity with them.

Now let’s try and forget about the hunter on the horse with T-bones for dinner and a lot more whiskey than you brought, and get back to enjoying your own two feet. With a pack on your back, you can go anywhere! No water? Bring it with you. Steep and nasty? Dig out a spot and sleep. It is far easier without 1,000lb animals at your side to enjoy the actual hunting aspect of a hunt. All you need to worry about is yourself, your next move, and what you might find over the next ridge. I spend basically every weekend, from mid July on, with a pack on my back searching for big bucks and bulls in the high country of western Wyoming. I could care less for horses for what I do. Yes, it would be nice to get a ride to the top, but once there I would hate to be dealing with them. Dealing with horses up there for multiple days, is not possible in most of the areas I hunt.


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The Wyoming Grizzly Hunt Is On!

Finally! – After 44 years, Wyoming just conducted the draw for 22 grizzly licenses. According to Wyoming Game and Fish, about 7,000 applications were received for the random draw, making odds about 1 in 159, although nonresidents are limited to 25% of the licenses in Areas 1-6.

Ten licenses are for Areas 1-6 that comprise the “demographic monitoring zone” (DMA) around Yellowstone National Park. The other 12 are for Area 7, an area the Department doesn’t feel is suitable for grizzlies and the bruins are causing conflict.

This is a controversial hunt, and because of that, this will be the most heavily regulated hunt in the U.S.

How it Works

Areas 1-6 – The Wyoming Game & Fish Dept. will contact the first 10 names in order of their random draw results and will keep calling until 10 people have responded that they want the license. They will have 10 days to get their money in – $600 for residents, $6000 for nonresidents. They will also have to give proof of a hunter safety card if they are under age 60. If the 10 days go by, it’s on to the next names.



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Hunting In Bear Country: After The Kill

Bowhunter Dan Pickar shares his experience after harvesting a bull elk in grizzly bear country. Taking certain steps after a kill in bear country can help limit the chance of a bear encounter and the potential loss of your big game animal. A U.S. Forest Service ranger and the Bear Wise Coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department add their expertise to the conversation. To read more about precautions to take when hunting in bear country pick the June/July issue of EASTMANS’ HUNTING JOURNAL.

Check out this playlist for more about hunting and recreating in bear country: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…

The post Hunting In Bear Country: After The Kill appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Guy’s Trashy Nontypical Colorado Bull!

Guy Eastman hunts a nontypical Colorado bull elk. Antler growth is very strong after a wet spring in the region making for great fall hunting opportunity. Fall rain showers add to the advantage creating the perfect conditions for stalking and hunting elk. Follow along as Guy harvests one of his best bulls to date on a once in a lifetime hunt.

Want to win a hunt like this one? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

 

The post Guy’s Trashy Nontypical Colorado Bull! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Pistol Review: Kimber Super Jagare

Hunter and shooter Ike Eastman reviews his experience shooting the 10 mm, 1911 model pistol SUPER JÄGARE by Kimber. Combined with a red-dot scope by Leupold this pistol is intended for quick action when it counts most. Like on a backcountry hunt with a predator that won’t leave your camp alone or in the situation where you have to defend your family. To learn more about this pistol and others offered by Kimber visit www.kimberamerica.com or find them at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse!

The post Pistol Review: Kimber Super Jagare appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Ike Eastman
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Step 3- Gear UP!

Step 3 – Gear Up

If the clothes make the man does the gear make the hunter? Mmm… partly. While it is true that our forebearers hunted with equipment that most of us wouldn’t dream of using today and were still successful and that no amount of equipment is a substitute for woodcraft and field knowledge, there can be little debate that the right gear and equipment can not only make your hunts more successful but more enjoyable as well.

Backcountry and adventure style hunts like those done in the American West and North tax your equipment like no other. Here at Eastmans’ Hunting Journals we have been putting equipment to the test for three generations and we know what works!

In every issue of Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal you’ll find Gear Labs and Hardcore Field Tests written by our expert staff who put that gear through the ringer on hunts across the West. We weed out what works from what doesn’t so you have the inside scoop on the latest and greatest equipment out there.

Don’t trust your hunt of a lifetime to unproven equipment. You’ve saved the money and done the research, now it’s time to pick the best gear to help you on your big game adventure. Subscribe now to Eastmans’ Hunting Journals and you’ll be in the know on gear so you can eliminate any weak links in your system.

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Wolf! Up-Close Encounter

Hunter Zach Evans is surprised by a Wyoming wolf while bowhunting for elk. The wolf comes within a few yards of Evans! Luckily Evans is ready with bear spray in hand. Read the entire story in Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal!

The post Wolf! Up-Close Encounter appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Scott Reekers
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Finding More Game- Part 2

Recently we covered Part 1 Digital Scouting, in part 2 we are taking it from screen-to-field for validation and pursuit! Hopefully you have several areas lined out on your mapping program and maybe you have tested your skills on some deer or elk in your local areas (if possible) or on a scouting trip in your unit. And now it’s go time!

Day 1, be sure you are positioned to glass at first light! Cover as much ground as possible with your glass, using the master vantage points you highlighted during your digital scouting sessions. Think of this day as an expanded search and your primary goal is to look for animals from a distance and make note of your findings so you can have a solid hunt for that evening or the next day. Finding critters isn’t a given at this point, but you should find zones with good habitat or sign that need a closer look. Take your knowledge back to the maps and narrow down by applying your first hand/boots on the ground information so you can create a plan for that evening or the next day. Day 2 is almost always deep in the mountains on vantage points near the prime areas or animals you found earlier. Plan on going 3-5 miles or more and possibly an overnighter on the mountain if you are up for it. If you don’t turn up animals within the first hour of light move to another basin and repeat this until you find animals. Many times, especially for deer, they will be bedded within a short window of the sunlight hitting their backs. Therefore, glassing the shadows and west facing pockets until late morning can be very helpful. If you only find does or small bucks, hunker down and watch for the next couple hours and pick the hillsides apart. I can’t tell you how many times I have studied a feature for what seems like an eternity to suddenly see a buck get up, stretch his legs and lay back down or re-bed into his afternoon spot. Elk tend to stay on their feet longer and allow spotting later into the day, however, that is not always the case and long hours in the glass are the answer in the event you can’t find animals on the move. Unless you are lucky enough to find a shooter buck or bull right away you want to keep moving and find more prime features or animals during the mid-day slot. Don’t let-up until you find one or more huntable situations. Once you find animals you should be able to position yourself closer for an evening hunt near where you last saw them and wait until prime time. For deer, chances are you haven’t zeroed in on something you want to pursue at this point, so you will need to choose your most likely master vantage based on the days findings and sit there watching and waiting for movement until dark, once again-walking with your eyes is key, finding vantage points that open massive tracks of land is very helpful. Locate as many deer as possible, does, small bucks etc. and keep an eye on them. As evening approaches or morning comes, you will often start turning up the bigger bucks.

Tips:

1). Buy the best optics you can afford, this will increase your ability to find game drastically. If you are set on deer hunting make sure a decent spotting scope is in your pack as well.

2). When you scout or hunt your areas, make note of the time of year and habitats you find game in. It will help you find game in the future and identify the terrain more accurately from satellite imagery as well.

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Finding More Game- Part 1

Many of us find ourselves with limited time in our fall adventures, for some it’s multiple hunts back to back with little or no time to restructure and others a busy work and life schedule that we finally get to break away from for short hunts. Regardless of your situation, finding game fast is the most critical step in creating a successful hunt. Over the years this skill has transformed my hunting from searching for game the bulk of my days afield to pursuing game nearly every day I am afield. Although there is no magic recipe for this skill, there are many applicable ingredients for you to add to your bag of tricks and hopefully better your experience next season.

Checklist:

OnXmaps app with topo and landownership is preferred on either a smart-phone or handheld GPS device.  Satellite imagery such as Google Maps or Google EarthRoad/Trail use map, ie. Hiking, horseback, motorcycle, atv, jeep, etc.

Let’s start off by digging into your hunting area, if you don’t have one, the Members Research Section in every subscriber copy of EASTMANS’ HUNTING JOURNALS or online is a great place to start. Since we are past the draws you probably want to look at general season opportunities. Once you have your hunt area selected, OnXmaps combined with Google Maps/earth make this part very streamlined. If you have never hunted the area the first objective is to find the biggest tracts of land without roads or with closed roads, from there you want to zoom in and search out key habitat features; north facing slopes with timber for bedding that is close in proximity to south facing slopes featuring open parks and good feed-these areas are my bread and butter. You want water sources on both features or within a mile of either, keep in mind that water can be tricky on maps, without being there in person you will find maps can often be unreliable. If you can’t scout pre-season you may be able to glean information from a wildlife biologist or game officer, otherwise, use your best judgement and make sure you have good backup plans in the event you can’t find water right away. You also want to consider weapon choice vs. hunting style, if you are archery hunting is there good stalk-able terrain? Is the area so heavily timbered or lacking vantage points that it may make spotting tough? Etc. After finding several areas with the features you want, zoom out to find vantage points. You want to spot from nearby roads, trail systems or ridgelines and be able to “walk with your eyes” and spot as many of these features as possible without hiking for days on end. This is a good point to check trail use maps for open trails to motorized vehicles of any kind, it’s not a total wash, but highly active trails with motor vehicle activity can change things drastically. If you’re hunting areas that allow these methods of travel you want to focus on basins, ridge systems and micro features that at a minimum are over the ridge or around the corner from these trails. Effectively spotting can carve dozens of miles off your hunt. Thus, finding these master vantage points and key habitat zones ahead of time is critical, although it takes trial and error to establish and verify them, over time you will find it’s a doable task.

Some extra tips to chew on while you pour over your maps; 1). What areas are other people passing by? People often stay on trails or feel the need to cover major/primary land features, but smaller pockets and micro features off the beaten path often hold better game. Remember, animals will always seek low pressure hideouts. 2). If you’re in open country, start with the same fundamentals as mentioned previously, roadless country away from heavy human activity. From there whether you are at 14k in Colorado or 1,900’ in Eastern Montana you need to find water, bedding areas and vantage points. In open terrain with a lack of timber or brush I want to look for steep features that deer or elk can bed against. This might be a river or stream bank, plateau rims, coulee cuts, etc. Then find any water troughs or springs and timber patches if they exist, if you find these ingredients you will find animals. 3) Test out your skills locally, even if you don’t have a tag, scout an area digitally then verify your plan in the field and find game. Experience is our greatest teacher, if you can afford the time it will undoubtedly hone your skillset for future hunts.

The post Finding More Game- Part 1 appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

Original linkOriginal author: Jordan Breshears
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Idaho Regs That You Need To Know!

Idaho Toughens Penalties for Trespassing

Effective July 1, 2018, a new Idaho law puts in place stiff penalties for trespassing. A first conviction of trespass on private property now carries a mandatory one-year revocation of hunting/fishing/trapping licenses in addition to a misdemeanor fine and seizure of animals taken on private property. It is up to you to realize it is private land because the property is fenced, cultivated or reasonably associated with a residence or place of business.

If there was any doubt about the wisdom of using a GPS or phone app like onXmaps, this should remove it, especially since the law also loosens the posting requirements for landowners. Even on unfenced land, the requirement to post every so many feet has been changed to having enough conspicuous no trespassing signs or bright orange paint so that a reasonable person knows it is private.

The law was written to require carrying written permission to trespass, but at the last minute, it was changed to allow for “other” permission, whatever that is. Still, carrying both a land ownership app or chip as well as written permission to trespass is just good sense to avoid aggravating and time-consuming arguments with people who might dispute your right.

Idaho Game Checkpoints

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Eastmans’ Gearlab: Backcountry Lighting

Headlamps, one of the most vital pieces of equipment any hunter can have. Whether you pack into the backcountry six miles or dayhunt, the best time to find animals is always during the grey light hours. Which means you have to be hiking to and from the glassing points in the dark.  Forgetting your headlamp can easily ruin a backcountry hunt and even forgetting extra batteries could make life a little more than uncomfortable. Read on to see a few of our favorites that we have put through the paces!

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp- $39.95

-Dan Pickar

Three things I look for in a headlamp are price, battery type and battery life. The Spot Headlamp by Black Diamond (5 oz)  is one of my favorite lamps to use no matter where I am in the world. At $39 this lamp is “mid range” in price and uses three AAA batteries. AAA’s are cheap and sold just about everywhere. I usually change my batteries once or maybe twice a season which leaves me less likely to pull out a dead headlamp out of my pack when I need it most. Lastly, at 130 lumens you won’t be breaking any brightness records but that’s not a concern to me if I’m going to be hiking a few hours in the dark. The new Spot by Black Diamond is 300 lumens which is a little power house but expect much less operating time. Visit www.blackdiamondequipment.com for the entire selection.

 





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