Archive for March, 2011

On the Comeback Trail

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Any hardcore Bowhunter knows that there is really no “off season” but after having had my shoulder surgery, I was forced to be placed on “injury reserve.” The down time of not being able to shoot my bow and workout as I normally have in the past has done damage to not only my cardio, overall strength, and stamina; but also to my mental state (which any athlete knows is a huge part of any sport).

I am delighted to share that my spirits are up and I am seeing daily progress…. A  ton of this has to do with those that have supported me through this ordeal over the past 8 months. The first, which almost is a given, is of course my family and close friends in the tight nit bowhunting community, but second is the companies that have stepped up and supported and encouraged me (and still are) through my recovery.

The first I want to thank and mention is Wilderness Athlete ( Chris Denham and Jerod Fink have been there to spur me on and supply me with the needed fuel and supplements to increase my stamina and strength as I work to regain my “fighting form!”

Second is the Bow Trainer. The guys at Bow Trainer ( are avid archers and have designed the perfect shoulder rehab (actually it is the perfect anytime archery exercise tool) product. My doctor is blown away at how quickly I am recovering and my strength is returning.

Third and certainly not last is Train to ( Dan Staton and Kenton Clairmont are a continually motivating factor in my recovery. Although I am not able to all the exercises in their program, just getting on their website and reading their blogs are encouraging and helping maintain my intensity.   Thanks all of you!!

I am starting to run, bike, and swim and continuing to build my range of motion and strength and have even entered a Triathlon in Tuscon over the 4th of July, seeking to give me a short term goal to focus on. I can’t wait to here the thwap of a well placed arrow downrange but until I can do that I can assure you I am feeling better and “ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL!”


Outback Outdoors

Bowhunting Turkeys in Nebraska – 2011

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

At Outback Outdoors we are always ready for the opener of turkey season, probably because of the cabin fever caused by winter, but this year we had a special tripped planned.

In 2011 we headed to Swanson Lake Ranch in SW NE to meet up with Adam Wells and have are first annual “Cameramen Appreciation Turkey Hunt!” The plan was to have Adam and I run camera for two of our loyal and hardworking cameramen Craig Stinehour and Jeff McNair. These two guys have spent numerous hours behind the camera capturing the adrenaline packed action of the OO team and it was finally time to reverse roles.

Jeff and Craig were excited to get a chance to hunt and we met up with Adam at his property south of Stratton, NE for a few days of exciting turkey bowhunting action. Another exciting facet of this hunt was Jeff McNair was bringing his 7 year old boy Lochlan on his first turkey hunt. Unfortunately Mother Nature was not aware of our plan and turned cold, windy, and snowy.

Even with the frigid weather the boys had some opportunities but  unfortunately we couldn’t close the deal. Bowhunting is tough but hunting grumpy thunder-chickens early in the season  with nasty cold weather (and trying to capture it on video) makes it even tougher!

On Saturday Adam and I had the privilege of heading 30 miles east to McCook, NE to speak at the McCook Bowhunting Club’s Big game feast and awards banquet (thanks to the invite from good friend Chad Graham). The banquet was a blast and we had a packed house and got to meet a ton of new friends and fanatical bowhunters. We hope they will have us back next year! Read the McCook Gazette article on the dinner.

As all good things must come to an end we all sadly loaded up and headed home on Sunday night, disappointed that we didn’t have some wild turkey breasts for the freezer but the memories of our first OO team hunt of the 2011 season will last a long time!


Team Outback Outdoors

Outback Outdoors On Bear Baiting

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

If you want to start a bit of controversy in the hunting world just mention the word “baiting”. I want to share what I have learned over the years about numerous ways to hunt bears.

I have hunted bears in several states and a few different provinces and have done both the spot and stalk method as well as the baited hunts. After seeing close to 200 bears on baits and a fair number on stalks I have come to some interesting conclusions. They both are an effective way to harvest a bear but baiting has the upper hand in making sure you take the “Right” bear.

What I mean by the right bear, I mean a good mature boar, or male bear.  When walking down a logging road in the spring and you locate a bear at 300 yards you stop and glass it. You have to make a decision if the bear is big enough and if it is a male or not. That is a lot of pressure for the average hunter to make in a split moment and take the shot.

When you are set up on a bait site you have numerous advantages. The most significant of these are the fact that you are usually no more than 20 yards away with archery equipment or 100 yards with a rifle. You have the up close and personal look to determine the sex of the bear, the age and if the bear is with cubs or not. Most sows with cubs come into the site early in the evening. You do not want to shoot a sow if at all possible. A few quick ways to identify if the bear is a sow are as follows.

A sow will usually have a smaller head with a tapered snout on it. The front paws will be pointy at the front and the rear end of the bear will generally be higher than the front end. Of course if the bear comes in with cubs than you know it is a female.

A boar will have the a much larger head, the ears will generally be farther apart and on the side of the head. The snout will be more squared off as well. The feet will be wide across the front of the pad and the body size will be the same height straight across. Usually a boar will walk in with a mission and a sway or waddle to their stride.

All of these factors can be determined at a bait site but not done very well from 200 yards across a canyon. You generally have a lot of time to determine if a bear is a shooter when sitting on a bait. They usually come in and out over the course of a sit and many times you will have numerous bears there at one time. This allows you to size up bears and practice telling the sex of the bears and their ages.

A larger boar will have small ears more towards the side of their head, a crease down the center of his skull might be present also. The body will be larger than that of a sow usually and he usually will run off any other bears on the site. He walks in like he owns the place and does not have a care in the world.

Smaller immature bears will be skiddish and run in and out from the bait. Another tell tale sign with a mature bear is the hide. Most small bears rub early in the spring while the larger ones keep their hide longer and will shed versus rubbing it off.

One last point about the benefits of hunting bears over a bait site. Generally your shot will be very close and you can make a quick ethical kill on on of these awesome animals. A bear that is hit right behind the shoulders on a broad side angle will expire very quickly. This was evident in the two bears hunts we just aired on the show.

Next time you think of  hunting bears consider my key points I brought up and give it a try. It is amazing watching these creatures up close and on their terms. They are a unique animal and I look forward to hunting them every spring.

Train to Hunt – A MUST for the Backcountry Hunter!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I wanted to share some info and perhaps open our Outback Outdoors audience to a website that can not only change the way you hunt but also change the way you live!!

Train To Hunt was born out of necessity. All hunters alike want to hunt harder, longer, and farther. Fitness is the only piece of equipment that you can make better or worse. The team at Train To Hunt wants to extend wellness and longevity as well as improve performance for hunters. The workouts and online journal are a launch pad for serious outdoor enthusiast who want to learn the best way to be fit for their sport. Athletes hunt, and we have the formula to make you a better mountain athlete. Whether you’re a flatlander, hunt out West, or past your prime, we want to make you a better hunter through fitness. Our online video journal is designed to be your coach, trainer, and guide as you shape up for your passion.

About the Founders

Dan Staton is the co-founder of Train To Hunt. He holds a Master’s degree in exercise physiology and an undergraduate degree in exercise science. He co-owns two CrossFit gyms in Spokane, WA and is an avid bowhunter. Dan is an outdoor writer, videographer, editor, and performance coach. He enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

• MS Human Performance Cal. U of PA
• BS Exercise Science EWU
• CrossFit Level II Coach
• National Academy of Sports Medicine (PES)
• Columnist Bowhunter Magazine
• Former Graduate Intern at Athletes Performance
• Former Parisi Speed School Director

Kenton Clairmont is the co-founder of Train To Hunt. He hold’s a Master’s degree in sports psychology and an undergraduate degree in physical education. He co-owns two CrossFit gyms in Spokane, WA and is an avid bowhunter. Kenton is a videographer, editor, and performance coach. He enjoys spending time with his wife and son in the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

• MS Sports Psychology University of Idaho
• BS Physical Education LC State
• CrossFit Level I Coach
• National Academy of Sports Medicine (PES)

Check Train to Hunt out at and sign up… take your hunting to the next level!!


Team Outback Outdoors