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The Mystery Ranch Sawtooth 45 Pack Review





Backpack hunter Scott Reekers puts the Sawtooth 45 by Mystery Ranch to the test on a spring bear hunt. This 2-3 day hunting pack is built with organization in mind. With a 270 zipper and mesh pockets, you can find exactly what you want in a hurry.

The post The Mystery Ranch Sawtooth 45 Pack Review appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Guy’s Top Mule Deer Hunts: 2019 Edition

Wyoming’s mule deer continue to have a very rough and tough go. Winter after tough winter have put the deer on the western side of the state in peril. Of the 140 total mule deer hunt areas, less than 20 of them are over objective when it comes to population counts. The logical side of my brain wants to make all five of my top picks, “points only”, but I know some guys are going to want to hunt anyway so this is what I have come up with as my top five picks making the best of a bad situation in some regard.

Keep in mind, while the numbers of deer are down drastically state wide, there will still be some big bucks killed in Wyoming this fall, there always is. Good bucks will just be harder to find than ever this year.

5) Region-G (Grey’s River): Anything big deer related in Wyoming usually boils down to this single region of the state. Even with the deer on a very steep decline, it is always hard to count out this very prolific big deer producing region. The seasons have been drastically shortened in this part of the state in an effort to increase big buck escapement but keep in mind, the resident hunters can buy this tag over the counter every year. That said, the hunting pressure in this area is very, very high and you will need to find a place as far away from the crowds as possible. Some big bucks will certainly be had this year as the moisture in this region has been very, very high with a very late spring. A true 200-inch deer is certainly possible here. Antler growth should be very solid here this year. Points needed to draw: (7)-regular draw, (6)-special draw. Area hunt score: 80/100.

4) Area-90, Type-1 (Muskrat): With only 75 tags on quota and a four-week season during the entire month of October, this hunt is a very welcome sight when it comes to lack of hunting pressure. With nearly 90% public land and 60,000 acres of Walk-In area to hunt this area has plenty of room to roam for the less than 100 hunters with a tag here. The buck to doe ratio is a paltry 28/100 and the deer herd is less than half of the target objective. Although there are way fewer deer in here than there should be there are some good bucks to be had as nearly half of the bucks checked in here last fall were over 25” wide. This hunt is a very good place to put a tag on a 160 to 180-inch buck. Points need to draw: (11)-regular draw, (13)-special draw. Area hunt score: 85/100.

3) Area-102, Type-1 (Aspen Mountain): This hunt has certainly had its issues over the past decade. With way, too many elk and more than enough wild horses, deer habitat in this area has struggled to expand and improve. This area has seen plenty of moisture over the past three winters and this should help. Although the deer numbers are down here, I believe the antler growth will be very solid this year. The buck to doe ratio is here is expanding with more than 38 bucks per 100 does and growing fast, which indicates an improving deer herd. I think a good hunter here should be able to take a buck in the 170 and above class this year. Points needed to draw: (12)-regular draw, (12)-special draw. Area hunt score: 87.5/100.

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Guy’s Top Wyoming Antelope Hunts: 2019 Edition

All in all, antelope in Wyoming are doing fairly well. The antelope in the central region and the Northern half of the state have fared the best this past winter. There is some concern for the antelope in the southwest corner of the state and those areas around Pinedale. The winter was more severe than usual in those regions. Although the winter was rougher than normal around the I-80 corridor on the southern end of the state, I do think there will be some very good bucks in the region this fall. The spring has been late and very cold statewide. This could affect mid-season horn growth giving many of the bucks a bit less than average prongs and top ends. With that said, the top five areas this year mostly come from the Carbon County region which continues to boast more records book entries than any other region on the continent.

5) Area-53, Type-1 (Baggs): This area is on the Southern border of the state near Baggs. With a recently increased quota of 200 tags, and more than 70% public land this area is a very solid choice for a DIY pronghorn hunter. Points needed to draw: (10)-regular draw, and (9)-special draw. Area hunt score: 92.5/100.

4) Area-62, Type-1 (South Ferris): The Ferris area is notorious for big buck antelope in the heart of Carbon County. This area is a go-to for consistent big public land bucks with a very lengthy season and only 75 tags on quota. There is a type-2 hunt on the Eastern end of the area with an additional 100 tags, but all in all with only 175 tags and 60% public land there should be plenty of country to hunt here and plenty of antelope bucks to look over. Points needed to draw: (11)-regular draw, and (9)-special draw. Area hunt score: 95/100.

3) Area-61, Type-1 (Chain Lakes): The pronghorn in area 61 should be as good as ever this year. As the area sits in the northern reaches of Carbon County and out of most of the heavy winter zone. This area is always a top choice for many. With 75% public land, only 100 tags on quota and a very liberal eight week season this hunt is a very solid, if you have the points. Points needed to draw: (12)-regular draw, and (10)-special draw. Area hunt score: 97.5/100.

2) Area-60, Type-1 (Table Rock): The antelope hunt in Area-60 is always a top-notch choice. This area sits in the heart of Sweetwater County the third best county in the state. With only 75 tags on quota and 75% public land this area is a big buck hunters dream come true. The area is vast with plenty of antelope to choose from. This hunt, with its six-week season, is a very high-quality hunt with very limited pressure. Points needed to draw: (13)-special draw, (12)-regular draw. Area hunt score: 97.5/100.

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Faneema Cutlery

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Wyoming Wildlife Crossing Funding Uncertain

When we think of wildlife crossings over or under highways most folks think in terms of saving animals from running a gauntlet of passenger cars, SUV’s, pickups and semi-trucks. However, there is more to the picture. Vehicular collisions with wildlife results in costly property damage, obvious death or severe maiming of wildlife but can cause severe injury or even fatalities to the humans involved as well.

It is with all this in mind that Wyoming and other states have constructed safe passageways for wildlife in key migration and travel corridors throughout the West. In Wyoming alone collisions between animals and vehicles in areas where these crossings now exist have been greatly reduced, by as much as 90% in some locations. While that is a huge win for both Wyoming’s wildlife it’s also a victory for Wyoming motorists. However, funding for construction and maintenance of these crossings is a challenge.

Federal grants that provide funding for these projects often come with the stipulation that states provide some percentage of the project funding. Most often, at least for Wyoming, this percentage must be drawn from the WYDOT general fund and so lawmakers are looking to create alternate means of funding the Federally mandated percentages. There are some interesting proposals on the table from voluntary conservation stamps through fishing and hunting license sales to storage of spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors, as the Federal government pays billions to store these away from large population centers.

As it stands a separate fund has not been realized and with more crossings needed and current crossings in need of maintenance, Wyoming is doing its level best to be creative and find a solution to the current funding woes. Here’s to hoping we can drum up the money because the future of our wildlife is greatly enhanced by these strategic crossings.

The post Wyoming Wildlife Crossing Funding Uncertain appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Picking Your Conservation Organization

I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to wildlife conservation.  Each January I sacrifice time with my family, sleep and my liver to attend the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Sheep Show.  There are more Life Member plaques in my trophy room than I can count and enough conservation organization publications in baskets throughout my house to keep me reading for the rest of my life.  Ducks. Trout. Elk. Sheep. Deer. You name an animal and I have supported a conservation organization related to it at some point in my life.

If trial and error make one an expert, I am an expert in a lot of things.  Along the way my time and money have been donated to many conservation organizations, some more deserving than others.  People have asked how to pick a conservation organization to support, hoping to not make my same mistakes. An acronym is always fun to try, so below is my attempt at putting together a list of the criteria to consider when selecting where to donate your time and money:

R—Rooted

This is the idea that there are chances to act locally.  Many organizations start small and get big. If you want to just write a check to an organization and not be able to see firsthand how your dollars are working, it gets really easy to stop supporting the organization.  There are plenty of national organizations that have local chapters with influence on how time and money is spent.

E-Education

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107 Hits

Montana FWP Online Licensing System Debacle

Early on Monday May 6, nonresident elk combo tags that were turned back went on sale on a first come, first serve basis. As the rush of buyers hit early in the morning, hunters attempting to make a license purchase couldn’t complete their transaction between 5 and 5:30 a.m.

 

In response to this, customers were relogging into the system attempting to make the purchase again and again without the transaction being completed. Reports are that some hunters were charged multiple times, maxing out and shutting down their credit cards while others weren’t able to complete the purchase at all.

 

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129 Hits

The New 300 PRC From Hornady – Ammunition Review!





The 300 PRC is a BRAND NEW cartridge from Hornady. Hunter Todd Helms tests and reviews this new load at the range shooting a Horizon rifle. This ammo is meant for hunting and competition shooting alike. Helms isn’t disappointed when he slams steel at 1000 yards on the first try. Get custom reload accuracy off-the-shelf with Hornady’s new 300 PRC available in Precision Hunter and Match.

 

The post The New 300 PRC From Hornady – Ammunition Review! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Idaho’s Top Deer Units – 2019 Edition!

Top LE Mule deer hunts

Idaho is a strong mule deer state that offers hunts with high quality and high harvest success. As with most LE hunts, draw odds for Idaho mule deer tend to be tough, but in this case, worth the wait. Southeast Idaho is seeing a notable downtrend due to several severe winters. Keep in mind that southwest Idaho is also trending lower than usual. However, many of the central hunts are still holding strong and worthy of a closer look. For more detailed information on these hunts and many more be sure to subscribe to our Eastmans’ Hunting and Bowhunting Journals. Information like this and much more is all at your fingertips with Hardcopy or digital additions. Visit Eastmans.com or call us at 1-800-842-6887 for more information.

Archery


Unit 44 – Holding steady on the charts, this is one of the best nonresident opportunities, tag allocations are high, harvest success is top notch and four point or better is up there as well. Hunter pressure is the major drawback here. The unit is not huge and there are hunters crawling all over it. Trophy quality will reflect this pressure and therefore hunters are not as likely to find a cranker buck.

Unit 45 – Offering a decent nonresident opportunity and much lower hunter pressure, this area is a solid contender for sure. Public land access is decent and trophy quality is solid, bucks in the 160 plus range can be found. Both of these units are also chart toppers for the any-weapon hunts as well.

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106 Hits

Idaho’s Top Elk Units – 2019 Edition!

Top LE Elk hunts

Elk hunting is a pursuit that many hunters hold sacred in their annual lineup of fall adventures, and limited entry elk hunting is a whole level up from OTC. Many apply and few are chosen, yet year after year, with odds mounting against us we apply anyway and when the scales tip in our favor all other hunts fade into the background and our priority has been set. Elk and Idaho go hand in hand. We see amazing populations in many units, marginal trophy quality when compared to B&C standards but overall reasonable drawing odds for a truly unique hunt choice. If you are after a solid bull on a hunt with lots of elk to look over, then look no further, Idaho has a bunch of those, and a few with solid trophy quality as well. Below is a list of a few top hunt choices. For more detailed information on these hunts and more be sure to subscribe to our Eastmans’ Hunting and Bowhunting Journals! Information like this and much more is all at your fingertips with hardcopy or digital additions! Eastmans.com or call us at 1-800-842-6887 for more information.

Top Any-weapon Units

Unit 30-1 – This unit is solid across the board, nothing to get excited about for trophy potential, but harvest odds and the reality of harvesting a mature bull if you draw are very good. Access is excellent, terrain is moderate to rough depending on where your travels take you. For a fun hunt with the possibility of a 300-class bull or slightly better, this is a great hunt choice.

Unit 31 – lacking slightly on the access panel, this hunt choice is a bit rough but still far from extreme. Trophy potential is standard for Idaho and harvest odds are great. Definitely a noteworthy choice.

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93 Hits

Idaho’s Top Antelope Units – 2019 Edition!

Top LE Pronghorn Units

Trophy pronghorn and Idaho are two things that most hunters don’t throw into the same category. However, for opportunity at a solid buck, and with very high harvest odds to boot, Idaho can stand behind that. Not to mention the unlimited hunts for archery tackle. If you haven’t chased a prairie speedster with a stick and string, this is a great hunt choice to consider. You will be hard pressed to find a more difficult foe for spot and stalk method. Any way you look at it the Gem State offers up some solid hunts, the following write-up captures a few of the more sought-after choices, good luck in the draws!

Top Archery Units

Unit 40-1 is a strong contender for the bowhunter. Harvest odds are solid and the average buck for the early season is over 13” and the average buck during the unlimited season is over 14”! That is actually an incredible stat. As to be expected archery hunting these animals is no joke. If you choose the spot and stalk option like I do you will likely find yourself on a rollercoaster of emotion. There are few hunts that sharpen your stalking skills better, and for that reason plus the fact these critters are wonderful on the dinner plate, I choose to start my year out chasing these guys across the desert flats.

Unit 54 and 51-1 are broken down more in the any-weapon section, but these hunts are excellent choices. 55-1 has unbelievable harvest stats for a bow hunt, and the trophy quality is solid as well.

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Wingmen Tyto Knives Giveaway!

We are giving away two brand new replaceable blade knives from Tyto Knives to help Wingmen enjoy spring turkey season! Fill out the form below and receive one of the lightest knives on the market!

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The post Wingmen Tyto Knives Giveaway! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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173 Hits

Classic Mule Deer HUnt With Mike Eastman

Hunt Wyoming mule deer with Mike Eastman in this video straight from the Eastmans’ vault. Mike is hunting aspens pockets and deep sagebrush for a trophy buck. He passes on a young deer with extras before taking a nice typical with more mass.

The post Classic Mule Deer HUnt With Mike Eastman appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Wolves Moving To Colorado???

Photo taken by Mike Eastman

In early April, the Colorado Secretary of State received a ballot proposal – Initiative 79, that would require the State to reintroduce wolves to western Colorado by the end of 2023. The initiative needs 200,000 signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. That should not be difficult.

According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), “extreme environmentalist groups behind I-79 foresee a [wolf] population of at least 1,000 and are firmly against hunting and trapping.”

As usual, the push is coming from outside the state. The Sierra Club, Ted Turner Foundation and others are supportive of this, and Montana senator Mike Phillips, a director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund is advising the two Colorado partner groups behind the initiative, The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project and the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund. The latter group is funded by the San Francisco-based Tides Center.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) came out with a statement in 2016 opposing any intentional introduction of gray wolves to Colorado based on “potential conflict with the State’s livestock industry and current big game management efforts” and citing the conclusions of the Colorado Wolf Management Working Group’s study published in December 2004 in which the group said that natural migration into Colorado was likely to occur.

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Bow Review: 2019 Mathews Vertix

Bow hunter Dan Pickar reviews the 2019 Vertix by Mathews. This compound hunting bow has an all new built in QAD rest and integrated quiver. Pickar chronographs the Vertix to analyze it’s speed and performance.

Compare the Vertix to the 2018 Triax: https://youtu.be/1DUz8PQIg98

The post Bow Review: 2019 Mathews Vertix appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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How To Shoot A Big Game Animal: Part Two

Bow hunter Dan Pickar breaks down how to shoot big game animals. In part 2, Pickar examines black bear, elk and deer bow hunts. Learn about black bear anatomy and how that affects shot placement and success.

WATCH PART ONE

The post How To Shoot A Big Game Animal: Part Two appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Grizzly Attack: That Didn’t Take Long…

That Didn’t Take Long

Spring is here and everyone is chomping at the bit to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather. Shed hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, are all on everyone’s minds.

Fresh on the heels of a deadly fall hunting season in regard to grizzly bear attacks in 2018 out West, and on the heels of a liberal judge’s decision to shut down our first grizzly hunt in a very long time last fall, the first major reported story of a bear attack didn’t take long to hit the press already in the spring of 2019.

A 17-year-old out shed hunting south of Ennis, MT on April 7 was attacked by a grizzly bear and was able to deploy bear spray after being pinned to the ground by the bruin. This deterred the bear, allowing the teen to get to safety for his minor wounds to be treated.

This isn’t a good sign for the start of the 2019 field season for those of us that enjoy our country’s public lands in the Rocky Mountain West. Grizzly bear numbers are over the carrying capacity for the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) according to the plans laid out by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

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97 Hits

How To Shoot A Big Game Animal – Part One

Bow hunter Dan Pickar breaks down how to shoot a big game animals. Get a breakdown of archery shots on elk, deer and moose. Pickar closely examines his previous archery kills, what went right and what went wrong. Learn about elk anatomy and how that affects shot placement and success. These hunting tips to better understand archery shot placement could make all the difference on your next bow hunting trip. Watch for the full article in the next issue of Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal!

Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite shot angle is!

The post How To Shoot A Big Game Animal – Part One appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Hunting Colorado Antelope With Guy Eastman

Come pronghorn antelope hunting with Guy Eastman on the prairie of southern Colorado. He’s hunting an area known for producing Boone & Crockett bucks. Guy turns up a unique antelope buck with forward leaning horns and the hunt heats up on this web edition of Eastmans’ Hunting TV.

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

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69 Hits

Eastmans’ Classic: Elk Rut Hunting With Mike Eastman

Join Mike Eastman on an elk hunt during the peak of the rut in southern Colorado. From muddy bulls to deep growlers, Mike encounters a wide variety of 300+ inch bulls while hunting for a 350s class trophy. Enjoy this classic Eastmans’ hunt straight from our vault.

The post Eastmans’ Classic: Elk Rut Hunting With Mike Eastman appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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82 Hits