Archive for May, 2011

DIY, Know Your Equipment, Hoyt CRX32 Setup

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

My new Hoyt CRX 32 hit the front porch a few days ago and another

New Winners Choice strings

 package containing my Winners Choice strings.  Now what?  Do I drive an hour  to Reno and go to one of the archery shops that I have no relationship with or tuck into the garage, with my Bowmaster press that I picked up from Sage Creek Outfitters years ago, and put my Winners Choice strings on myself? 

One of the most important tools an archery hunter can possess is knowledge of how your equipment works.  There are some awesome archery shops out there with a knowledgeable staff that can setup and tune your bow for you.  But what happens when you are in the back country and slice your string with a razor sharp broadhead?  Chances are, there will not be an archery shop anywhere close, leaving you hours if not days absent from the field.

I choose to take on the task myself.  I am not a bow shop nor do I claim to know everything about how a bow works, but if something happens in the field, I will be better off than 90% of the guys out there.  There is no professional bench mounted press in my garage either, I use exactly what I take on my hunts, (usually left in the truck) a cable Bowmaster press.

The Hoyt CRX32 was extremely easy to work on and tune.  I start a string change session by first marking the limb position on the cams.  Then I take pictures of the cams from both sides and one picture of the cable guard.  This comes in very handy when reattaching the string, control cable, and buss cable.  I learned this when changing one of the first strings on my own and running a buss cable the wrong way.  Yep, I couldn’t draw the bow.  A few frustrating and humbling minutes later all was fixed and a lesson learned.

Bowmaster press

The Winners Choice strings I put on this jet black CRX are a speckled blue and white.  Although red and black strings would look sharp matching the red highlights on the bow and on the RipCord rest, I feel that Red, White, and Blue are better and you cant go wrong with those colors.

The factory strings that I removed go in a plastic bag and marked.  This will stay with the bow press as a backup should anything go wrong.

With the Winners Choice string in place I could now draw the bow and check timing.  The CRX was easy to tune and tuning procedures explained simply in the owners manual.  I added a few twists of the Buss Cable and now the Control cable stop and the Buss cable stop hit contact points simultaneously.  I was also pleased to see the marks I made on the cams were in the same place as when I received the bow from the factory

Ripcord rest setup

With the timing of the bow set, I installed a Ripcord rest and attached the release rope to the Yoked Buss cable.  Perfect position, and the rest fell with the letdown of the draw.  No bow is complete without a Spothog Sight.  I  picked this one up many years ago from Sagecreek Outfitters.  This is the fourth bow it’s been on and I believe that is a testament to its dependability and durability.

TightSpot Quiver

The final touch was a Tight Spot quiver to house Gold Tip arrows.  The design of this quiver makes it adjustable to anyone’s preference.  The Tight Spot can be moved up or down with a couple set screws but the seller for me is its adjustment in tight or out away from the bow and or be removed completely with the use of a dovetail clamp. 

Full Setup

Time to paper tune and sight in this killing machine.  In a few weeks I’ll follow up with a performance report on the CRX32 and the other equipment on the bow.

In the end, I performed the string replacement and tuning with a portable Bowmaster press.  It is a comforting feeling knowing that if anything happens in the field that needs fixing, I wont have to rely on finding a shop.  Know your equipment and your confidence in the field will increase.

Nevada Draw Results

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Nevada draw results were posted today and I was only able to come away with one tag. Although I had a good chance to draw multiple tags in my home state I came away with one, an archery cow elk tag.

After killing a great bull in 2006 I now have a waiting period of ten years before I am able to apply again. The waiting period is kind of a bummer but it doesn’t stop us from getting out in the mountains with the elk.

Many of the western states have great elk hunting and may provide residents the opportunity to hunt bulls every year. Not here in Nevada. We look forward to any chance to chase elk, cows or bulls, it doesn’t matter.

Anyone who spends time chasing elk through the tall sage or quaking aspens will appreciate my luck in the Nevada draw. 

Nate Johnston and Dave Beronio, with Nates NV archery cow elk

So while waiting for my ten year holding pattern to end on bulls I’ll be enjoying getting in on cows primal style and putting meat on the table for my family and friends.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed as I am still waiting for results from a few other states. Hoping you as well are blessed with the opportunity to hit the mountains with tag in hand.

Wilderness Athlete and Outback Outdoors

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Wilderness Athlete has been staple in Outback Outdoor’s backpacks even before we launched the Outback Outdoors webisodes and last year OO and WA formed a partnership officially. Team OO and WA are pleased to announce the addition of Trevon Stoltzfus to their team of Elite Wilderness Athletes. (

If you aren’t familiar with Wilderness Athlete … let me introduce you to them…

It all started when Mark Paulsen, founder of Wilderness Athlete and University Director of Athletic Performance for more than twenty-five years started the company based on one simple question… “Why hasn’t the science of mainstream sports nutrition been applied to the specific needs of the outdoor athlete? After all, there are no locker rooms or timeouts in the backcountry.” Mark’s relationships with top performance nutritionists enabled him to answer his own question by launching WILDERNESS ATHLETE™, the nutritional authority for enhancing the outdoor experience.

Wilderness Athlete, Inc. addresses the outdoorsman’s need of quality nutrition for the hunting, fishing, and outdoor industry with several unique products. Wilderness Athlete stands alone in offering the industry’s only full line of nutrition bars, gels, hydration drinks, energy drinks, and multi-vitamins.

For more info check them out at and join their page on Facebook under Wilderness Athlete.

California Bear Tag in Hand

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

A pleasant surprise in the mail today, my California hunting license and bear tag.

With internet access we have updates and tag results at the push of a button. But one thing that never gets old is picking up the mail at the gang box, sifting through the stack of bills and seeing an unmistakable letter from a Department of Fish and Game.

As the shadows of evening cast into the canyon the bear was spotted feeding up a long side a thin red willow patch. Chomping the lush grass that lined the willows, this bruin never heard Outback Outdoors camera man, Chris Callinan stalking into position at the head of the willows. The wind was perfect, cover minimal, the bear never knew he was there. Chris kept tabs on the animals location by watching patches of hair through the thin willows. With the bears head pinned to the ground and moving uphill, chris could get positioned and drawn without detection. The moment of truth came when the bear cleared the brush 8 paces from the tip of Chris’s broadhead. With perfect shot placement all hell broke loose in the bottom of the canyon. The bear spinning and biting at whatever penetrated behind his shoulder while Chris sat motionless in the grass only yards away.

The most terrified person was Chris’s wife Celest who was sitting on the adjacent hill a couple hundred yards away watching the events unfold through the spotting scope. To her it looked like the bear was on top of her husband. As the bear fell a sigh of relief came over her as Chris stood out of the deep grass bow raised thankful for a great hunt.

This is what I have to look forward to archery hunting CA bear. California does not allow baiting so there will be no waiting for bears to come to us. There will be plenty of excitement as we spot and stalk them in the high alpine country of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With Chris filming over my shoulder we will bring you the excitement from the ground.

Hoyt CRX 35 Gets Dialed In

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Spring is a great time of year because that usually means setting up my new bow for the year. This year I decided to shoot the new Hoyt CRX 35. I am old school and prefer a longer axle to axle bow and I am NOT concerned about having the fastest bow in the timber. I rather shoot a longer more forgiving bow than a short rocket ship. That is just my opinion.

I have heard a lot about this new bow and look forward to carrying it on all my hunts this season.

First thing I did after tearing open the box like an 8 year old on Christmas morning was to order a set of Winners Choice strings. While patiently awaiting for them to arrive I put on my Rip Cord rest and Spott Hogg sight. A few days later the strings were on it as well. Like I said I am from the old days and I like to have a kisser button on my string also. I want to have 3 points or reference when I shoot. A kisser, string on the tip of my nose and a peep. These 3 make sure I am consistent every time I draw back and get locked in.

I headed to my local archery shop in town and put the bow in their home made version of the Hooter Shooter. The cam timing was set and the center shot found. I took a few shots through the paper machine and was pleasantly surprised with the smooth draw. I set my bow at 68 pounds and that along with my Gold Tip 75/95 shafts make for a lethal tool in the woods. I shot close to 75 arrows out of it and went back to the machine to re check timing. As usual the strings did not creep or stretch at all and the peep stayed in perfect alignment.

I will continue to shoot the set up the way it is and work on getting my pins dialed in. I like a 5 pin sight with yardages from 20 to 60 yards on my hunting set up. This will prove to be an efficient hunting set up for any animal that I will chase this year.

Turkey Wrap Up For The Spring

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

This spring the turkey hunting proved to be a challenge all across the West. Everywhere we chased these regal birds whether it was in Nebraska, or Idaho, or even here in Montana we were met with bad weather. The last 6 weeks had some ups and downs but overall I learned a lot about how weather affects turkey hunting.

I started out in Nebraska at the end of March. It is the earliest state to open out West and their turkey numbers are usually very high. The winter was extra tough on all wildlife due to a large amount of snow and very cold temperatures and the spring started out cold and wet as well. Upon arrival in the corn husker state we were told that the turkeys suffered some die offs and that the areas where once many turkeys resided were down by 30%.

Once we got settled into our hotel we went out scouting. The forecast was correct because we did not see near the birds on the ranches that we did the year before. Due to the cold weather the birds were still grouped together in their winter flocks. This makes hunting tough due to the birds not responding to calls or decoys yet. We set up in the highest traffic areas which we found by scouting. We were up early and listened for the birds on the roost than watched their travel. In the afternoons we again set up where we could see as well as hear the birds to see where the roost areas were located. After a day and a half we had a pretty good idea on where to be for an archery shot.

By the end of the week we took 4 long beards, all with archery equipment and none of the birds were shot using traditional tactics. What I mean by this is using decoys or calling to lure the birds into range.

The Montana opener was April 8th this year and again it was still like winter. I spent 2 weeks looking and listening for birds on the National Forest where I hunt. Due to the deep snow it was very hard getting around to locate groups of birds. I had to wait until opening day and hope the birds used their habits from the years past. Much to my delight Dominic, my friend and myself were met with gobbles at first light. I went and set up on the group of birds and began calling off and on and trying to coax a Tom over to my decoy spread.

The birds were very sluggish due to the near 30 degree temperatures and as the morning dragged on and the mercury began to rise the birds became more vocal. By 10 o’clock the woods erupted in the sounds of hens and toms bickering back and forth. I kept working the soft hen sounds and pretty soon the entire flock was headed our way. Within the next hour we had our first double of the spring with Dominic shooting his first bird with the bow and I had another good long beard to my collection.I had to guide a few clients this year after I tagged out and that was also very tough. Central Montana had some of the highest amounts of moisture ever recorded and the bird numbers were way down. I had a client come in for his first ever turkey hunt and the pressure was on. Luckily at mid day I spotted a mature tom walking alone along a pasture fence out looking for girl friends. We were able to get ahead of the bird and set up the decoys. Due to the high wind I had to use a box call because the sound carries much further. I could never hear an answer and did not know if the bird heard me. We were just about to pack up our set up and re locate when I heard the gobble. Within 30 seconds this bird stood at the decoys and his day was ended by a 15 yard shot from the gun.

The last hunt was supposed to be in the prime time of the turkey breeding season. Again cold wet weather had the birds shut down and not very vocal. We had to cover a lot of ground and hike into some new areas trying to locate the birds. After 3 days of cold damp weather the sun finally broke out. The birds flipped the switch and started acting like they should. We located a jake with a hen on a ridge who answered my every call. After setting up 100 yards away through the timber and setting up just a hen decoy I began calling. With every step the jake gobbled as he came into our set. Another 20 yard shot with the gun ended his reign and the season came to a close. and Outback Outdoors Partner up

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Outback Outdoors and are pleased to announce their partnership as Trevon Stoltzfus joins the ranks of elite gear reviewers for the biggest bowhunting website in the world! Trev will be doing honest overviews and reviews of new hunting equipment and giving honest feedback as to how it will or will not fit into the arsenal of a western backcountry hunter.

Outback Outdoors 1st Quarter Bowhunting Gear Giveaway – Results Announced

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The 1st quarter gear giveaway of 2011 is in the books. The winner will be receiving a new Hoyt Rampage XT bow. Watch the video below and see if you are the lucky winner. Remember to enter for Outback Outdoors’ 2nd quarter gear giveaway as we continue to draw for great gear and provide exciting web only hunting entertainment.


Trevon – Team Outback Outdoors