Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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Public Comment On MT Grizzly Plan

The anti-hunters are more organized and vocal than we are! 

It’s time to voice your opinion on Montana’s Grizzly Bear Management Plan and a limited quota grizzly bear hunt.  

Leave your comments HERE.

Groups like the Greater Yellowstone Coalition have put together pages with this same link but with the purpose of adding and amending the language of the draft plan that would increase the bear’s range, move recovery goal posts and make a profitable and controlled hunt for this recovered and thriving species all but impossible. 

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Colorado: Lions Kill 15 Dogs

“[It] was like a dragon took him out of the sky and then leapt 20 ft off the deck. I know we’ve all heard it before but this is obviously NOT normal coexistence behavior and I’m now scared for our children (and the grownups after seeing the size & strength of the lion.)”

I’ve reported on mountain lions in suburban areas before but this is getting downright ridiculous. The area around Nederland, CO, not far from Boulder, has recently been devastated with mountain lion predation on resident’s pets, namely dogs, and folks are fed up, scared and feeling powerless to stop it. 

As I read through the article in the link below I couldn’t believe what I was reading… people not able to see the simple reason for the ridiculous increase in lion predation and the simple solution to the problem, and it ain’t keeping your pet on a leash! Disclaimer, if opinion bothers you then stop reading now! 

Colorado severely limits the hunting of mountain lions and in the area where these attacks are happening, GMU 29, hasn’t seen a filled lion tag since 2005! That’s right, not a single mountain lion has been successfully hunted in the area in 18 years, even with the “generous” quota of 2 lion tags. No wonder the local lion population is out of control with what amounts to zero fear of humans. 

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Activists After Coyote Hunting

There was a time when the Endangered Species Act was regarded as a solid, non-partisan tool applauded by all. Well thought out considerations and care were put into the application of a species with clear intentions and goals. There was real tangibility, reason, and consensus as we maneuvered endangered species through the process of recovery. It worked, and all differing value-sets would rally to see it through.

Gone are the days, I suppose. The misuse of a powerful tool is always dangerous, and in the case of the ESA, the danger is amplified. Especially in a sense that species with real struggles will no longer have the bipartisan support or unconditional love the ESA once garnered. This is due to the hijacking of this tool by activist groups who use it to achieve politically motivated outcomes or worse, as a revenue generating avenue for their organization. This diminishes the credibility and effectiveness of the once mighty ESA. 

In the latest ploy, a group of environmental activists has petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list coyotes in regions where the Mexican Wolf is currently recovering. Their reasoning is that coyotes and Mexican gray wolves look similar, and wolves are being mistaken for coyotes by hunters. These regions, located in Arizona and New Mexico, have no limit or licensing requirements for coyote hunting. Said groups are using an old clause in the ESA called “similarity of appearances” to stop coyote hunting, citing this will reduce mistaken identity as the group claims an epidemic of hunter mortality on the lobo. 

Cold, hard facts:

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2023 Eastmans’ Elevated Giveaway

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The post 2023 Eastmans’ Elevated Giveaway appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Covid Altering Bear Behavior?

Before you roll your eyes and keep scrolling, let me explain. . . I don’t mean that Covid 19 has directly affected bear behavior via infection, I’m talking about the effects Covid had on outdoor recreation and the ripple effect all those extra people in the woods and mountains had on animal behavior. 

In 2021 there were 5 bear-caused fatalities in North America. 2022 recorded 7 attacks before June and that doesn’t count the famous mauling of the Wyoming college wrestlers in the fall. Those numbers are alarming and higher than the historic norm. So what’s changed? 

There is little debate that over the past two years more people than possibly ever sought solace in the great outdoors. The aftermath of Covid 19 restrictions was a flood of folks who wanted nothing more than to get out and recreate. An awful lot of this recreation took place in areas frequented by bears and the result has been bolder bruins who aren’t as afraid of people as they should be, even seeing them as a food source, either directly or indirectly. 

I pitched my elk camp this past September in a mountain range that sees its fair share of human traffic. There are black bears there but they are seldom seen. . . on a normal year that is! Being privy to a lot of hunting information thanks to my job as Managing Editor for Eastmans’ Hunting Journals I got to read two separate  hunting submissions from the same mountain range my camp was in and both featured not only bear sightings but bears that were openly curious and even aggressive to the hunters in the stories. Odd, but whatever, bears are unpredictable. 

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Conservation: How To Save Hunting


Sitting in a deer blind isn’t my thing. I remember as a kid reading hunting articles about hunters in the Midwest who would sit in a ground blind or a tree stand from sunup to sundown and wondering what kind of super humans they must be. The thought of sitting in one place that long makes me squirm, even in simple ponderance. 

Growing up, we drove, hiked, glassed, and hiked some more in the familiar pursuit of high-country mule deer. My cotton, blaze orange hoodie dragging on the ground as I tried to keep up with the grown-ups was what dreams were made of. The crisp Fall air and smell of sage bring back great memories of misery and joy that are difficult to articulate, just as seeing a wide muley buck does. Mountain mule deer hunting was and is home. Always moving, always searching, conditions ever changing. Sitting in a blind looking at a soybean field all day wasn’t. 

However, a few weeks ago you’d never believe where I was… sitting in a deer blind overlooking a clearing in north Idaho. While it wasn’t a soybean field in Tennessee, I found myself surprised by the joy I had as I waited patiently for a mountain whitetail to make a mistake. Whitetail hunting is a new passion of mine, dating maybe five years back or so. Although I’ve taken a couple good bucks, and I really enjoy it, it will never replace mule deer hunting. This is where I was when I received an email requesting I write an article on a “conservation topic of my choice.”

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Giant Bulls on Public Land! Backcountry Elk Hunt with Guy Eastman

Hunt backcountry elk with Guy Eastman and Eastman’s subscriber Brad Shurtliff. Late season hunting presents a different set of challenges. Learn tips and tricks to hunting November bulls on this episode of Beyond the Grid by Eastmans’.

The post Giant Bulls on Public Land! Backcountry Elk Hunt with Guy Eastman appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Arizona: Download New Arizona E-Tag Mobile App Before 2023 Pronghorn, Elk Draw

Dale Hajek, Public Information Officer
623-236-7215, [email protected]

Download new Arizona E-Tag mobile app before 2023 pronghorn, elk draw

Allows hunters to electronically tag their harvest in the field

PHOENIX — In preparation for next month’s opening of the 2023 pronghorn and elk draw, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is encouraging hunters to take advantage of an innovative mobile application to modernize the tagging process.

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Arizona: Jump Into the ‘Pool’ for Population Management Hunts

Dale Hajek, Public Information Officer

623-236-7215, [email protected]

AZGFD aims to meet elk objectives beginning in January

PINETOP, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking to bolster its pool of hunters who apply to be randomly selected throughout the year for specific population management hunts.

Population management hunts enhance the department’s ability to meet population and habitat management objectives when traditional harvest strategies are not meeting these objectives. At this time, a number of population management hunts for antlerless elk, and any elk, are planned for January and February in portions of Game Management Units 3A and 4B North, near Snowflake, Ariz. The proposed hunts will run for 10 days each between Jan. 6 and Feb. 19.

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Is Corner Crossing Okay Now?

Talk about a sticky situation. . . corner crossing namely. The latest happening in the now famous case of 4 Missouri men who moved from one section of public land to another by corner crossing comes in the form of an Amicus brief filed by BHA. The brief references cases from as far back as the 1880s and claims precedent that what the four hunters did was not a crime. 

On the other end of the spectrum the plaintiff’s in the civil case filed their own amicus brief making the case that precedent has not been set, but rather individual states set property law. Agriculture is a tough business and from the perspective of the ranchers adding more people recreating very close to their borders is challenging to say the least. 

Wyofile has done an excellent job laying out the details of the case in their ongoing series so I won’t rehash what they have done well. This case has now been in the public eye for months and as such the upcoming civil trial, that we have talked about at length, as well as the referenced journalism from Wyofile, has done a good job talking about the many details and developments in this case. 

With every development the sides involved will continue to dig their heels in. It is human nature to fight for preservation, whether it be a way of life or otherwise. With that in mind it is tough to see this settling outside of court, but rather going all the way through a trial by jury with the promise of a precedent setting verdict on the line. 

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Leupold’s BX-5 Santiam HD Binoculars (Review)

This review features the Leupold Optics BX-5 Santiam HD binocular in 10x42mm and 15x56mm. Todd Helms breaks down all the features on these rugged, bright binos. The Leupold BX-5 Santiam HDs are built to be lightweight and ergonomic. Leupold’s proprietary lens coatings give you high definition clarity plus scratch and smudge resistance. When you pair the 10x42s with the 15x56s you can cover all the country you need on your next hunt.

The post Leupold’s BX-5 Santiam HD Binoculars (Review) appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Wyoming Poachers Get Hammered!

“Three men were charged with more than 100 wildlife violations in one of the largest poaching cases in Wyoming history.”

“In a prolonged killing spree dating back to the mid-2000s, the trio illegally took moose, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, antelope, pheasants, turkeys and a bobcat, according to Game and Fish.”

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Montana Seeking Input on Grizzly Bear Management Plan

“For decades, FWP staff have worked with federal, tribal, and local partners, along with communities and landowners, to recover and then manage grizzly bear populations across much of Montana,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech. “This plan will put that experience into action and provide a framework for comprehensive management of grizzly bears in the state and ensure the populations remain sustainable and healthy into the future.”

The new plan would replace two prior plans, those for western Montana and southwest Montana, to one, statewide plan in which FWP will maintain long-term viability and prioritize human safety. Montana has petitioned the USFWS to delist grizzly bears much like Wyoming did a handful of years ago because both states have far surpassed recovery goals. The draft would also address how bears will be managed outside the federal recovery zone. The state is looking for public input online and will be holding an FWP webinar on Dec. 15 via Zoom. The plan will be open for public comment until January 5th here. 

Once the comment period is up, FWP staff will review and make appropriate changes necessary and then the department will present the plan to the Fish and Wildlife Commission for their review and endorsement. 

If you’ve got skin in this game be sure to give FWP your dos pesos. 

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Utah Revamps Elk Management Plan

The last Utah elk management plan implemented in the state of Utah was from 2015 with an update in 2020. Just a few days ago the Utah Wildlife Board approved a new 10 year statewide elk management plan which includes a huge amount of changes to elk hunting. 

“The demand for elk hunting in Utah has continued to grow over the years,” DWR Big Game Coordinator Dax Mangus said. “In 2014, the over-the-counter any bull elk permits sold out in 77 days, and the spike-only elk permits sold out in 84 days. In 2022, the any bull elk permits sold out in five hours and the spike elk permits sold out in only nine hours. We want to implement several strategies to respond to these dramatic increases in demand for general-season elk hunting opportunities, as well as find ways to address continued ‘point creep’ in the limited-entry system.”

As you can see, the demand for tags in the state of Utah has exploded like every other state out West so this is the tactic Utah has chosen to keep up with demand and public input. The state will manage limited entry hunts for younger age class animals compared to the past which means more tags. There will be new hunts and the department’s goal is to increase opportunity while maintaining quality, through increased challenge and creativity; think December archery hunts on limited-entry units. For more on the detailed changes on the elk management plan in the state of Utah please check back to TagHub in the coming weeks for everything you need to know.

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Montana Officials Urge Judge to Lift Wolf Harvest Ban

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about the judge in Helena named Chris Abbott that restricted wolf harvest and trapping because too many could be killed this winter after receiving pressure from environmentalist groups. Abbott granted a temporary restraining order which limits wolf hunting to just two animals outside Yellowstone because there were 23 harvested last year outside Yellowstone. Governor Gianforte continues to argue that if wolves leave Yellowstone and enter Montana, they can be hunted under state law under the quota system. Abbott also limited the number that can be harvested near Glacier Park and temporarily banned the use of snares state wide during trapping season. 

Gianforte criticized Just Abbott saying he overstepped his bounds to align with extreme activists when he granted this restraining order. The groups that filed the lawsuit are Wildearth Guardians and Project Coyote who argue that the states wolf hunting quota system was based on a flawed population estimate and the state hunting laws amended the states 2002 wolf plan. Montana FWP argues that the wolf plan is not an administrative rule and the population estimate process is a more accurate version than the previous process that the organizations never challenged.


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We Shot a Pintail! Hunting A Huge Feed

Go duck and goose hunting on the ‘X’ with Wingmen on a New Year’s Eve smash! Todd Helms has located a feed and is taking full advantage. With the help of Western Waterfowlers, a dozen shotguns and a heated blind, the crew hammers honkers and mallards to celebrate the coming New Year!

The post We Shot a Pintail! ? Hunting A Huge Feed appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Do you Share your Wild Game?

Recently the Wild Harvest Initiative released results of a Wyoming Wild Meat Sharing survey. Yep you heard that right, a survey on how many people share their fall bounty with family and friends. Some may find a survey like this pointless but I do find it quite interesting! 

Out of 4,641 respondents, the data showed that 74% were successful in harvesting  wild meat through hunting. 54% harvested a single species, 27% harvested 2 species. Of the successful hunters 93% harvested big game and 24% have harvested small game. 47% of these hunters harvested their animals only on public land while 17% only harvested on private land. 

Results show that 93% of successful hunters in Wyoming share a significant portion of their meat with others and more than half of the beneficiaries are outside the hunter’s household. This illustrates the societal benefits and importance of recreational hunting because hunting in Wyoming and much of the West is much bigger than just a recreational opportunity but feeding families and giving the state food security from a healthy and renewable resource.

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Arizona OTC Final Deadline – TONIGHT

Non-residents wishing to hunt OTC archery deer in Arizona can purchase their 2023 tag online at 12:00 AM December 1st MST. This is the first year that Arizona has implemented a cap on the number of tags available to Non-residents (2,890). Because this is the first year the cap has been utilized it is unknown how quickly the quota will be reached. Tags purchased now are good for the January, August and December seasons. To purchase your tag or check the quota status use the link below:

The post Arizona OTC Final Deadline – TONIGHT appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Hunting Big Bucks – Deer Hunt with Ike and Guy Eastman

Hunt mule deer with Ike and Guy Eastman during an October snowstorm. The guys are hunting in prime big buck habitat; open sagebrush country and aspen pockets. The weather should get deer up and moving out of the deep cover on this web episode of Eastmans’ Hunting TV.

The post Hunting Big Bucks – Deer Hunt with Ike and Guy Eastman appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Big Bulls in the Late Season – Elk Hunting

Hunt bull elk with Pro Membership Sweepstakes winner Toney. This is a late season hunt in Utah. Toney’s first elk hunt doesn’t disappoint! Learn more about the Pro Membership Sweepstakes here:

The post Big Bulls in the Late Season – Elk Hunting appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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