Archive for February, 2013

Partnership

Friday, February 8th, 2013

All of Outback Outdoors could not be possible without relationships amongst the Team. We are aided by relationships with great sponsors such as Spot Hogg, Hoyt, Hamskea Archery, Gold Tip, Rage Broadheads, GoLight, S4Gear and other makers of quality equipment. Our relationships are not unlike the friendships and relationships you find in your hunting camp. Most all of us at Outback Outdoors met through some type of hunting event. Trevon and Dave met through a coordinated mule deer hunt several years ago. Trevon met Grady through the Full Draw Film Tour, and I met Dave while we were both out watching mule deer on the winter range. Chris and I got together on a hunt when I drew a good deer tag in Nevada, and after knowing each other in the field for only hours he was helping me drag a buck out of hip-deep snow. You get the picture.  We are hunters who reached out in one way or another to help or talk to another hunter. It is this premise that many of our hunts came together. We are bonded by the passion of hunting, similar ideology, and the prospect of adventure.
Here at Outback Outdoors we know that if any one of us at Team Outback Outdoors draws a tag, the Team will be there to make it happen. We all have busy lives which balance against hunting, and I am sure our definition of ‘balance’ may at times be different than that of our wives. I drew a Desert Sheep tag last year and before I could even completely comprehend the good fortune, the team was rallying and planning. It takes a Team in the field to film hunts, especially if the hunt is DIY and in the high country. Dave and Trevon hunting high country mule deer in Nevada is yet another example. (To see that hunt go to – https://vimeo.com/55467749)
If you have a team member, family member, or friend who can throw-in on your adventure without having a tag in his or her pocket, you have something very special going on with that person. Not everyone has the time and flexibility to give such assistance, but if they can I urge you to accept the offer and look to repay them when they draw a tag. The experience is all the more enjoyable and memorable. I’ve done quite a few solo hunts and I really enjoy that experience, however when the Team is along it is just priceless camaraderie and supplemental brain and brawn. Whether it is spending a freezing night on the mountain in a bivy or trying to get the right camera shot, it is the quest and the experience creating the partnerships.
The relationship created in the field also blends into our day to day lives and we can count on each other as family. I remember a particular November day I was sitting in a tree stand in Kansas when my cell phone kept buzzing. It was my wife, and at that moment there were deer coming in on a string. I was concerned because she knew I would be in a tree stand and would only call if something bad were to happen. I cautiously sent her a text message while watching the deer, she said she couldn’t communicate via text message and she need some help. Remember, I am in Kansas and she is Nevada and there would not be much I could do about most situations. I let the deer come in and with group of does was a nice 7 pt. buck I had passed once already. So, I called her whispering. I learned it was snowing at home and she had some tire chain issues and was helpless on the side of the road. Of course I was not there but felt like situation could be described as “wrapped around the axle.” In an instant my brain ran through the Team members, and sure enough on my first placed call I learned one of them could help out. They got her on the road while probably putting their family plans a little off-schedule. Kansas turned out pretty well with a respectable whitetail taking a carbon shaft and a trip to Nevada. The Team concept earned some real credibility at my house that November!
The hunts filmed by Outback Outdoors and broadcast on the Sportsmans Channel are hunts we would plan, make, and film without episodes aired on TV. Hunting and hunt filming is what we live, eat, and breath. Many of our other videos can be seen on the web at outbackoutdoors.net. We wouldn’t be where we are without great friends becoming a Team. Team Outback Outdoors is looking to raise the bar and we are ready for 2013.

Wade McCammond – Team Outback Outdoors

Practice Makes Perfect

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

As the 2012 hunting season started to develop and tags started to arrive in the mail, I knew the upcoming season was going to be one for the books. As most of us can attest to, pressure from work and family obligations seem to add to the amount of time you realize you don’t have for that one thing in life that makes you wake up in the morning. Pre hunting season always seems to drag until the day of arrival. Then its 100 miles an hour for several months only to leave you at the end with your tongue hanging out and a smile on your face with the urge to do it all over again. Given that most western states require you to apply for tags for multiple years, acquiring bonus or preference points it’s pretty difficult to definitively determine which year is the year you’ll draw that once in a lifetime tag. With so many variables and uncontrollable factors involved in the world of hunting, I’ve found that to be successful year after year you need to control or at least have an influence on as much as you possibly can. Dave Beronio wrote about the importance of keeping your gear finely tuned for that split second opportunity that you’ve worked hard to put yourself into position, and I totally agree. You also need to have the utmost confidence in yourself and your gear that it will not fail in the moment of truth. But first you have to get there and back.
With only a limited amount of time available before the hunting season was in full swing, I was able to carve out two days to go on a bonsai back pack hunt in the high country of California for mule deer. I knew that with the limited amount of time that I was going to have to pull out all the stops to make this hunt a success. Throughout the preseason, I try to keep myself in as good of shape as I would my equipment, working out and hiking daily with a heavy pack in terrain simulating the strains of back pack style hunting.  This hunt was going to be the first of the year challenging my efforts. 
After hiking into a remote location several miles from the truck at an elevation over 10,000 feet, I had camp set up and was in prime deer country. The first day was a bust, only locating one legal buck and several does. The following morning, with only one day remaining before work obligations pulled me off the mountain, I decided I needed to go further into the back country to locate that high country muley. On the last day, I located two bucks that had stood to stretch and feed during the late afternoon sun. I waited until the bucks put themselves back to bed then came with a game plan that I felt would put me within bow range. As it most often does, when I was settled and in position a mere 40 yards from the bedded buck the wind swirled causing the bucks to jump from their beds and bolt 20 yards, but as luck would have it they both stopped broadside at 60 yards giving me that split second I needed to make it happen. After months of practice, muscle memory kicked in and the arrow was on its way.

A short time later, I laid my hands on those velvet antlers with a total and complete sense of accomplishment. When it was all said and done, I arrived back at the trailhead 16 miles later just after midnight and exhausted. This hunt is an example of being prepared at all times with your gear and with your physical and mental conditioning. Without these components working together this hunt would not have ended the same.

To see this exciting hunt go to https://vimeo.com/56378777

Team Outback Outdoors – Chris Callinan

Where Are You Headed This Season ?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

It is early in 2013 and here in the West the hunting application season is underway. I, like many of you, begin the research as I contemplate my options and possibilities for the year. This time of year there is a lot of information available for a hunter to consider. The game departments are finalizing studies, making regulation changes, and establishing quotas. It is an interesting time of year to say the least. Thanks to digital world there is a wide variety of available information and opinions on where to hunt and how to hunt. We hunters continue to be affected by many changes in our environment and our hunting environment has become larger. We use to consider the environment to be physical environment, the land, animals, weather, etc. We as hunters now must contend with other tangential environments, including the politics, social interpretation of hunting and weapons, and the digital super highway.

This article is not meant to be referendum on anyone or anything. It is just that at this time of year and with the current issues facing hunting… these factors must cause all hunters to examine where they are at, and where they are going. We are hunters, we are aggressive in our hunting, and many times we are head strong in our beliefs based on our knowledge and experiences. I know my concerns and issues and you know yours, and while we might disagree a bit, your concerns and ideas are just as valid as mine. We as hunters need to take our well thought out opinions and information to our politicians and game managers and make sure they hear our strong reasonable voice.

We hunters are responsible for our own future, and we must find common ground to work through the natural, political, regulatory, social, and electronic environments. No, we do not have to all agree on the issues, but should begin by establishing what we do agree upon. As an example, we can agree that we the people are responsible for the proper management of wildlife populations, that we are passionate about hunting and the future of hunting. We should agree to honor another person’s legal method of take. If a discussion starts out with these basics I believe we can establish common ground and respect. 

These same set basic conversation pieces should be used in attending state and county commissions and advisory board and in asserting our knowledge and opinions. We should think of this approach while at hunting expos, posting on social media outlets, and in our written communication. The longer conversations may chart a course to a point of disagreement, however at that point we will have established a basic respect as people with similar interests. The disagreement then becomes small in comparison to the common ground. It is easy to an opinion as to what we find objectionable or what one thinks should be done to correct a particular problem or issue, but it lacks the proper foundation and understanding that we all have the same basic interests in hunting and conservation.

This article is not a call for you to be soft on issues which are important to you, but it is a call to point out that as hunters there are thousands of anti-hunters who would find joy in our divide. The next time you begin a hunting discussion on the internet or at a hunting trade show, shake the fellow hunter’s hand and ask; Where are you headed this season?

We at Outback Outdoors hope we are all headed in the right direction, and we support your passion for hunting and your legal method of take. Apply for tags, stay in shape, hone your skills, mentor a young hunter, and we hope you are planning a memorable hunt for 2013.

Team Outback Outdoors, Wade McCammond

A Split Second

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

With only a split second to make a decision, my arrow was in flight.  Windage perfect, Elevation perfect, yardage known, and the resulting heart shot at 75 yards allowed me to punch my 2012 Nevada deer tag. With equipment that is so dialed in and tolerances so tight, it is up to us as hunters to push ourselves in practice so that when that split second comes to make or break the shot, we are finely tuned and ready. For some of you,  this is probably something you already do, but for me it is fairly new.  I used to practice shooting inside 60 yards 4 to 5 times a week.  Figured that this type of practice was sufficient, well it isn’t.  With the equipment that we are using, we can now push it to the next level.  An elite level.

Over the past two years, Trevon Stoltzfus has showed me the importance of practicing at ranges out to 120 yards. At these distances our form needs to be absolutely perfect and we need to be tuned into our equipment as though it is an extension of ourselves.  Not that we would be shooting animals at this distance but the importance of form, concentration, and aiming small is crucial to make the shot. The long distance training has really allowed me to tighten my groups at shorter distances and my comfort level and confidence to extend my range on an animal has increased.  As my love for spot and stalk mule deer in the high country has proved, angles, distances, and split second decisions are all major factors.  This hunting does not allow for an untuned /unfit hunter.

This year I have decided to change one piece of equipment that I thought Id never do.  I am making this move because it will dramatically help me in my training.  I have always been a fixed pin kind of guy.  I felt that an adjustable sight was just asking for problems.  While my practice was getting out to 80 yards, I needed a little more.  Stacking pins is now not an option as the efficiency is lacking. My bow this year will be polished up with a Tommy Hogg sight from Spot Hogg.   I am choosing to still have the 7 pin housing, as that is what I have grown accustomed to but I will have the ability to adjust the sight to extended ranges for practice sessions.  With equipment that is so finely tuned, The factor that will cause the most problems is human error.  Through this longer range training I hope to  tighten my tolerances and become a more efficient shooter.

Team Outback Outdoors – Dave Beronio