Archive for April, 2011

Desert Bighorn in Nevada – the Highs and Lows

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

It was like the hand of God was holding back the next wave of a major December storm. Within a couple hours the high desert of Nevada sheep country would be tucked into a frigid white blanket that would last into the new year.  This event would take place three days before the end of the 2010 Desert Bighorn season.

Mid June here in Nevada leads hunters into a very special time of year.  This month brings on the results of the big game draw results, making or breaking a hunters dream for the upcoming season. These results would shine nicely on a good friend and neighbor, Mike Porter, here in Gardnerville Nevada.

Mike knew this was going to be a great year when the Hunt Nevada email came out.
Reading down the list of applied hunts: Mule Deer – Unsuccessful, Bull elk – unsuccessful, Mountain Goat – Unsuccessful, Desert Bighorn – SUCCESSFUL.  Finally, at age 65, and after 13 years of applying, he would be packing a coveted Desert Bighorn Sheep tag. The month long season would drag Mike through the highs and lows associated with chasing a chocolate coat ram, and with all his effort, not a shot was fired.

Fast forwarding to the middle of December.  Mike called me up and asked if I’d assist him on the remainder of the hunt. While discussing a plan I asked Mike if I could bring along a couple guys I enjoy tackling the mountains with.  Within seconds of his “heck yeah” answer, we were on the phone with Chris Callinan and Wade McCammond, two hardcore hunters anyone would be blessed to have in the field with them.  With eagle eyes, legs of stone, and hearts of gold, these guys would do whatever it takes to help Mike bag his ram.

December 18th, around 7 am, we had the sheep pegged at the top of the mountain.  These rams had been hanging tight to the same drainage for three days. All four were walking shoulder to shoulder with each other, like a flock of shore birds mimicking the same patterns back and fourth.  We sat and watched as the band of rams broke away from the twenty or so ewes.  They fed up over the rocky ridge and out of sight.  We knew there was a beautiful bowl at the top of the next drainage and chances were good that they were going in that secluded spot to bed.  This bowl lined with rim rock gave them protection from the winds that were bringing in the storm which lingered about 10 miles away and holding stationary.

The four of us discussed a strategy, grabbed our packs and a couple sets of waders, and we were on our way.  Dropping down from our spotting knob we weaved through the thick willows, forged the icy waters of the river, and then it was all ascent from there. After forty minutes we were cresting the first of many small contours on the ridge.  Each change in the terrain had us stopping for several minutes to pick apart the opposing hillside through our bino’s.  Because we lost sight of the Rams first thing in the morning when they went over the ridge, we had to spot them before they spotted us.

Having no clue where they bedded, the task of still hunting was all too important. Inching our way on our hands and knees to the final rock pile on the ridge we were set at ease to find the first set of curled horns tucked in the low sage.  The bedded rams were joined once more by the 20 ewes, increasing the sets of eyes for detecting danger.

From this rim rock we had a straight shot across the canyon to the rams.  The Nikon ranged them a bit over 500 yards.  Earlier, Mike said he was comfortable shooting at anywhere 500 yards and close, but the strong quartering wind would make the decision for him.  Our only option would be to drop off the mountain, cross multiple small drainages, and make the hour trek to get on the other side of the rams closing the distance significantly.  Adding to this challenge was the moist clay beneath our boots making a 6 foot man 4 inches taller within a few steps.

The hour passed and found us on top of a plateau and working our way to the one rock we decided to be our final shooting position.  Creeping like stealthy predators we found small gaps in the sage lined rocks to peer down on the sheep.  By this time they were all up feeding 160 yards away.

Like a well trained team we fell into motion. Mike had a solid rest against the cold granite. Chris was whispering the yardage while Wade captured the events on film, all of us giving note to the rams’ position as they fed, jockeying one in front of the other.  Now with all our caps slightly sky lined, a couple ewes looked up at us with curious eyes only to be disrupted by the report of the rifle and the unmistakable wallop of the round finding its mark.  One more follow up shot dropped the ram into the low sage.

Mike Porter completed a month long hunt just hours before a major December storm pummeled the Nevada desert.  I think Mike enjoyed reminiscing the events of the day, as we strapped the meat, hide, and head to our packs and maneuvered our way off the mountain.  He were thanked us over and over for our efforts of the day but true thanks comes from us, Chris, Wade, and myself, for he allowed us the opportunity to join him on his quest to fill his Nevada Desert Sheep tag.

Dave Beronio – Team Outback Outdoors

Outback Outdoors and Full Draw Film Tour – 2011

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Outback Outdoors is excited to announce our participation in this summer’s bowhunting adrenaline packed FULL DRAW FILM TOUR. Along with 7 other independent outdoor film production companies, OO will be bringing you a taste of what we have labeled “The Journey” and here is OO’s teaser.

We are excited to be involved with the Full Draw Film Tour as it is a non-profit company with all the proceeds going to the awesome Hunt of a Lifetime charity. As always let us know your thoughts and we hope to see you at the Full Draw Film Tour this summer!

Thanks

Trev – Team Outback Outdoors

NE Turkey Hunt 2nd Trip

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Team Outback Outdoors headed back out for our 2nd Nebraska turkey hunt. Up to bat this time was Team OO’s Adam Wells and Trevon Stoltzfus and along for the hunt we invited our good friend Shawn Greathouse of Hamskea Archery. The weather was great and the birds were definitely in a better mood than when we came out the first time for our OO cameraman’s hunt with Jeff McNair and Craig Stinehour.

With Trev’s shoulder still hampering his bowhunting he picked up the scatter gun and we took the fight to some thunderchickens. The first morning we got up close and personal as we called in some birds in their loafing area on Swanson Lake Ranch, just south of Stratton, NE.

Trev pounded a bird with the shotgun in the morning and then Shawn Greathouse arrowed a lonely lovesick turkey that afternoon.

Sunday morning Adam had the full support of both Shawn and Trev and if it hadn’t been for a minor equipment failure would have whacked a big Tom right after they pitched down from the roost.

The OO crew had a ton of fun, a lot of laughs, and some great action as they hunted turkeys on Swanson Lake Ranch. Although Adam has some clients coming in soon, hopefully he will be able to get back out there and go 3 for 3 later this week.

Team Outback Outdoors

Cole Graham’s 1st Turkey!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

There is nothing better than a kids first hunting success story…. Here is a taste of such a story out of McCook, NE…Chad Graham, his lovely wife Katie, and Cole their five year old (part of our extended Outback Outdoors family)  just finished a memorable turkey hunt with a number of firsts…. Here is how the email read!

“Youth shotgun season opened Saturday. Cole, Katie and I went out. Papa Chet and Grandma Cheryl stayed home with Brody (their youngest).  It was Coles first time being able to shoot and Katies first time turkey hunting (she was shooting her new bow). Cole got his first turkey with his new 410 shotgun. Katie had a long shot with her bow but barely missed. It was a great morning. Katie got so nervous she thought she was going to puke. I was pretty proud of them both. Cole is a natural and Katie looks DANG GOOD in her camo. Here are some pictures.

Chad, Katie, and Cole Graham”

Congrats You all, way to start the season off right!!

Trev and Adam – Team Outback Outdoors

Bowhunting Gear Giveaway – 2011 NEW Hoyt Bow – Enter Now to Win

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Bowhunting Gear Giveaway 2011 – The 1st Quarter Outback Outdoors Bowhunting Gear Giveaway is coming to a close. The drawing will be next week 4/15 and the winner announced on 4/18! Make sure you enter to win a chance at a new Hoyt Bow.

To enter just follow these simple directions and while you are on the OO website, make sure to check out some of the new webisodes we’ve posted!

Just send an email to info@outbackoutdoors.net with your:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • a brief paragraph on what you like about Outback Outdoors.

Good luck and God Bless!

Trev

Team Outback Outdoors

Tough Turkeys In Nebraska

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

The hunting season kicked off again this spring with my trip to Nebraska for turkeys with the bow. This has been a hard winter all over the West and Nebraska proved to be no different. The birds were still in very large winter flocks and had just begun to break up.

We arrived and went out the first afternoon and did not find the birds where we had hunted them the year prior. We spent the better part of the day scouting and coming up with a plan. The public land we were on as well as some of the ranches still had snow left over and the weather was not kind the first few days.

Birds were located but in flocks of 100-200 plus birds. It is very hard to try and call or decoy birds away from these large groups. We had to set up in the strut zones or travel corridors to try and get into archery range of this many birds.

Some flocks had 20 to 30 Toms in them as well as 50 Jake’s and several hundred hens. Although this makes for great excitement it is very hard to hunt. We ended up scouting a lot to see where these birds would strut and loaf during the day and see how they travelled to and from their roost areas and set up our blinds and decoys. Once we got this pattern figured out we just hunted hard every day and waited for the birds to arrive. Random calling off and on worked to keep the birds interested but the best plan was to just catch them milling around in the woods.

You have to be versatile in your early season techniques to be able to tag a mature bird. Our group ended up killing 4 Tom’s with the bow on video and the two kids were ages 10 and 15. I was able to hunt the last day we were there and sat in the transition area in the evening to try and catch these birds headed back to the roost. By 6:30 we could here them in the next valley and realized that they were not headed our way. I got out of the blind and took Warren my camera kid and we walked around the steep cliffs. My plan was to try and catch these birds in their staging area before they flew up to roost. I was still wearing my black top due to sitting in the blind. We climbed up on the bluffs and worked our way around to where the entire flock was headed.

As I got close I could see birds strutting everywhere and knocked an arrow and walked around the sand hill. I saw 2 tail fans coming up the bluff right to me. I drew my bow and watched as the bird walked right at me at 5 yards. One well placed arrow and the bird was down in less than ten steps. What started out as a routine hunt setting in blinds ended up with my first spot and stalk long beard. Just a few tips for archery hunting turkeys. They are very hard to kill due to their small size and constant movements they make. I like to have  a broad side shot and I aim right up the legs to a point where they meet the wings. If you shoot here you will break down their legs and if they can’t run they can’t fly. If the bird is facing you head on I like to aim right under their beard. If the bird is in full strut and walking away I take aim right where the tail fan ends at the rear end. These birds have a very tough will to live but can be so much fun with the bow.