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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 05 Jul 2016

Barnett Crossbows Review

Today we wanted to review and shed light on Barnett Crossbows, one of the brands of high end bows on the market. This below delivers a 410+ FPS shooting speed with superb accuracy at 70 or more yards. Very lightweight and easy to handle with short axle to axle length with enough power to drop any large game. Normally a scope is included but I normally recommend any Vortex Scopes. They are good high end scopes with middle of the run prices. The ultra-light carbon risers give the bow a good well-balanced feel and touch.

The Barnett line of bows are known for a fast release and packs a good punch.

Releases fast and hits hard exactly where you are directing it to go. For a rugged and lightweight bow I recommend one of the high-end bows from Barnett. If you can afford it, buy it!

 

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 05 Jul 2016

Vortex Scope Review

Being that Vortex Scopes have come into the mainstream I wanted to give a good review on the products. While fairly new to the market they are built very solid with just the right amount of resistance in the turrets with solid “clicks.” They have the absolute best eye relief and the all purpose reticle is very fast yet precise when you need it.

The scope has a very smooth finish to it…almost perfect. It also feels considerably light in comparison to the competition. They are super bright and clear all the way up to 20x. However, when you do adjust the parrallax ignore the sharpness on your target. Adjust the reticle movement and then use the eye piece to focus. It took me about 20 seconds to get this perfect at 100yds.

Overall I think Vortex is doing a superb job and they are here to stay!

 

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 05 Jul 2016

Primos Game Cam Review

I recently purchased the Primos The Truth 46 Game Cam. I was very impressed with the quality of the images of my new game camera after having used Covert Cameras for the last few years. Honestly, the pictures that this game camera produces is better than some digital trail cameras. The Primos Game Cameras produce a 55 Foot night time range and nice crisp 7mp photos. There are several options you can choose from such as the delay of pics, 3, 5 or 7 megapixels and photo/video options plus more.
The cam also features new anti blur technology in which I can attest to. Out of the thousands of pictures this game camera has produced I haven’t had one blurry photo. So, if you are looking for a new game camera this upcoming season I highly recommend Primos The Truth 46 Game Camera.

 

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 05 Jul 2016

Burris Fullfield II Riflescope Review

I recently purchased the Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20×50 Riflescope online from Sportsman Outfitters. I was pretty skeptical before buying which is why I did my homework on different riflescopes such as Meopta Optics, Nikon Sport Optics and Leupold Scopes. Well, after thorough research and questioning I decided that the Burris Fullfield II was the rifle scope for me. So, I found the best price on riflescopes online at Sportsman Outfitters. They were very friendly and made the transaction very easy. I received the riflescope about 2 days later. After mounting the scope to my new rifle I went to the shooting range to test the new Burris Scopes.

Well, I figured being I didn’t pay top dollar for a riflescope that I was getting lower cost quality. I did pay about $399 for the riflescope which is pretty middle of the range. When I first took a peek through the Burris Fullfield II Riflescope I was shocked at the brightness and clearness. I really didn’t expect what I had just saw. After sighting my scope in at about 300 yards I took a break and just throught about the deal I had just made. This Burris scope was very easy to sight in as well I must say. I must say if you are purchasing a Burris Fullfield you will get the most bang for your buck. Only a few stores online have them decently priced. But I didn’t really have to look far when I found them at Sportsman Outfitters. I had purchased a few things from them before so I felt comfortable. All in all I would definitely recommend the Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20x50mm Riflescope to anyone looking for a high end riflescope but looking to make a good deal.

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Published by sportsmanoutfitters on 05 Jul 2016

High End Coolers Reviews and Ranks

We at Sportsman Gear Reviews did a comprehensive test on the top high end premium coolers in the market that we have personally used and owned for years. We are here to show consumers the good, bad and ugly truth.
SPECS –  Lifetime warranty, made in the U.S.A.
PROS – It rated the best in our ice-retention test, and it has the best warranty in the business. So if yours ever breaks, they’ll send you a new one.
CONS – We feel that the Pelican Coolers rated low on weight and heaviness but which is why it rates higher in ice retention.
BOTTOM LINE – If you are looking for a cooler that will hold ice the longest and it is staying in your boat or at the camp for any extended period of time. This is your cooler. If you plan on moving the cooler around a lot you might want to look elsewhere because this is the most rugged and heaviest cooler out there.
SPECS –  5 Year Warranty and made in the U.S.A.
PROS – It rated second best in our ice retention tests. This cooler that is made in the US has a lot of bells and whistles. It features both rope and solid handles, good drain plugs, rubber bottom so the cooler won’t slip in the boat and a ruler to measure your catch. The price runs middle of the market which means you can get a good US made solid cooler for a decent price.
CONS – The handles are different than any of the other premium coolers so it could be difficult to learn to use. The good part is that the latches are very easy to open and doesn’t take a lot of strength like a lot of the competition.
BOTTOM LINE – If you are looking for a cooler that will hold ice for a good amount of time and is light enough to move around and is American made this is your cooler.
SPECS – Lifetime warranty and made in the U.S.A
PROS – Good ergonomic design that is very unique. It features good latches and handles. The warranty is lifetime which can’t be beat. Features ruler on the top of the cooler for measuring fish.
CONS – Ice retention for the Grizzly Coolers has always been on the lower end. It is priced on the higher end as well. However, you can find online retailers that give good discounts which make it more affordable.
BOTTOM LINE – These coolers have cool sleek and ergonomic designs with some bells and whistles. Ice retention could be the deciding factor here but with its lightweight design and lifetime warranty it could very well be worth it.
SPECS – 4 Year Warranty & Made Overseas
PROS –  The Arizona based company had a good strategy when they came to market. They put out a cooler with an excellent price point and is very lightweight and easy to maneuver. For sportsman constantly on the go this could be a huge plus.
CONS – Thin walls and ice retention rates on the low end for these coolers. All lso, the handles and latches aren’t very rugged. The good news is that Canyon will replace these under their lifetime warranty. You will need this because  these can easily break.
BOTTOM LINE – If you are in the market for your first premium cooler this could be your low cost entry level cooler. While it serves it’s purpose there are some minor shortcuts to this cooler.
SPECS – 5-year warranty and made overseas
Unlike its sister cooler, the Frostbite R, the Icey-Tek Long Box has a way to go before it’s competitive in this crowd.
PROS – Priced low in the market while having relatively solid ice retention. You could find a good deal with online retailers which will drop the price even more.
CONS – Bottom of the pack in ice retention and ruggedness of the roto mold. The plastic is on the lower end and shows cracks when dropped.
BOTTOM LINE – If you are looking for an entry level premium cooler that won’t hurt your pocket book this could be the cooler for you. If you will just use it a 6-7 times throughout the year this could be the investment for you.
SPECS – 5 Year Warranty & Made in the USA
PROS – Good ergonomic design and thick walled cooler. Nice rugged latches and hinges. Owner has a lot of experience manufacturing and designing coolers.
CONS – Taiga is very new in the market so it remains to be seen if they could gain traction in the market. Long term wear on these coolers are unknown since they are new.
BOTTOM LINE – If you are looking for a solid color with ergonomic design this could be your cooler especially if you are in to trying new items in the market. We don’t think this would be a high risk or bad buy for you.
To conclude we hope that you found our reviews helpful. We did not review Yeti for a reason. As a consumer please do not fall into this marketing trap. There are far better coolers out there especially for the price. Thank you!
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Published by Frank Biggs on 06 Jun 2016

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Modern Day Game Calling App

iHUNT by RUGER

iHunt by Ruger Icon_v3

I am always amazed by the advancement of technology and what can be done, so mentioning that fact; I am introducing a new mobile App from iHUNT by RUGER, that I have had the privilege to use and entertain myself (plus the crew at work) with the new App from iHUNT by RUGER.   The App is free to load and some of the features are free.

Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!

Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!

The iHUNT by RUGER App is primarily a game call device that you can use with all IOS and Android mobile devices.

It has a number of other superb features such as Solunar Times for hunting, Weather, Compass, Ruger Handguns-Ruger Long Guns (Opens in your search engine), you can shop for Ruger products (Opens in your search engine) , Activity Log and a Place for User photos (Photos that are upload from all users).

Setup the speaker away from you have the game or varmint come in closer!

iHUNT by RUGER Bluetooth speaker that gets an amazing 50 + yards and 110dB of power. The speaker automatically unlocks the App when you connect it to your phone.

As for Hunting Calls (they need to be purchased) the list is so long, it almost unbelievable.

Alright I will give you the list, not the full content of the calls within the within the call!   Alligators-Crocs, Bears, Birds, Bobcats, Buffalo-Bison, Chickens, Chipmunks, Cows, Coyotes, Crows-Ravens, Deer, Donkeys, Ducks, Elk, Foxes, Geese, Goats, Hawks-Eagles, Jackal, Mice-Rats, Moose, Owls, Pheasants, Prairie Dogs, Quail, Rabbit-Hare, Raccoon, Sheep-Lambs, Snipe Birds, Squirrels, Turkeys, Wild Boar-Pigs, Wildebeest and Zebra.   Quite the list to have!  Not that we are going to use them all, but to know the sounds is amazing.

Just listen to the sampler sounds: Top = Gobble-Tom Middle = Crow Distress Bottom = Fallow Buck
Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.

Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.

Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.

Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.

 

Besides being able to use iHUNT by RUGER in the field, it is astonishing learning tool this App can be for the hunter to learn and understand the sounds that game animals, birds, and non-mammals make.   I would check with your State, Province or Country that you can use an electronic call for game you wish to pursue.  Quick and easy to use, it can also be used by children to randomly go through the long list.   Can you imagine sitting by a creek side with you daughter or son, even a grandchildren and have them tell you that is a Raccoon or the allusive Snipe making the noise you’re all are hearing.

Your pictures can be upload and you can see other's pictures and who they are.

Your pictures can be upload and you can see other’s pictures and who they are.

There are a number of options items that you can also purchase to your game calling experience even better.

Entertain the experience and download the iHUNT by RUGER App to your mobile device and gain proficiency in the art of calling in game or knowing the calls of the wild.

Thoughts from Bwana Bubba!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 28 May 2016

BWANA BUBBA’S THOUGHTS – REACHING ELK MILES AWAY

Chasing down Elk from afar!


Thoughts go back to my early days of hunting elk with a rifle and bow.   I would rifle hunt in the eastern part of Oregon for Rocky Mountain bulls, while bow hunting was in the western part of Oregon for Roosevelt bulls.  So those early hunts to the east were about going into the timber and waiting for elk to come by within shooting range.   One thing I never did was to build a fire to keep warm, but my uncles all did it.  I remember on one hunt Uncle Floyd was deep into the pines up near Texas Butte.  You could hear him cough, as he was a smoker, plus he had his fire going.  That was something that his sons and I would never do.  Low and behold a nice respectable 5X5 came by his fire and he put him down…   So in the western part of the state, we would go into our favorite spot and walk pockets listening for elk movement and try to get in close enough to get shot.  They never seem to do the calling like Rocky Mtn. elk would do.  This process of hunting worked for us in those days.

This happens to be from the 2015 first season Rocky Mtn. Elk season in Oregon. It is an old haunt an my son and his cousin, knowing the area, but never running a GPS went hunting with the new Garmin 64's and onXmaps Hunt Plat map installed. As you can see he stayed legal. There is some access for the public near the river, that is grandfathered in for about 50 years or more. In this country it is about seeing the elk, deer and pronghorn and chasing after them. Open country with Junipers, sagebrush, rimrock, cheat grass and seed grazing grasses.

This happens to be from the 2015 first season Rocky Mtn. Elk season in Oregon. It is an old haunt that I have introduced my son too. So my son and his cousin, knowing the area had never used a GPS went hunting with the new Garmin 64’s and onXmaps Hunt Plat map installed (I demanded they have them to stay legal). As you can see he stayed legal. There is some access for the public near the river, that is grandfathered in for about 50 years or more. In this country it is about seeing the elk, deer and pronghorn and chasing after them. Open country with Junipers, sagebrush, rimrock, cheat grass and seeded grazing grasses (after range fires).

Getting to the basis of this article about chasing elk down as I would put it came about some years later when we were bowhunting the rimrock, juniper and sagebrush of central Oregon for big mule deer bucks on the B.L.M., National Forest that was bordered and encompassed with private land.  One particular deer scouting trip prior to the opening archery season, glassing at a mile into a basin we could see from our observation point while looking for the famous bucks of the Big Muddy, we spotted elk, not just one elk, but about 12 bulls, all being branch bulls.

This bull was spotted with another bull at about 2000 yards. I shot this bull at 50 yards. Both bulls were taken, one by myself and my partner, after we split up in the draw. We watched the bull at about 200 yards split up.

This bull was spotted with another bull at about 2000 yards. I shot this bull at 50 yards. Both bulls were taken, one by myself and my partner, after we split up in the draw. We watched the bull at about 200 yards split up.

This launched our elk hunting in this country for more than  20 years and still to this day when I have time.  Spotting elk from distance does give you an advantage; this has led to least at 85% average of getting elk this way for me, partners and others within the hunting circles.  I will say that in the early days, GPS and mapping (software) was nil.  Most of the guys I hunted with were all past military and few of us still in the military, so venturing into the so call unknown and reading the land was pretty easy going.

I have found glassing ridges, hillsides, shaded areas and even into basins on an afternoon after the average hunter has headed back to camp and settle down for the late afternoon and evening happens to be my favorite time to glass for elk.  The country is vast with B.L.M. and National Forest for miles in all directions.  You have been glassing for about 30 minutes and you spot a group of elk which you feel is about 2 miles away.  You can see with your binoculars there are some pretty good bulls in the herd.  They are just grazing, with a few bedded down.  It is said by most that we have probably harvest more elk in the afternoon after 1PM, than ever in the morning hours.

This bull was taken by my son. We all spotted the elk at a mile away. I decided with my son, Brian Henninger's brother John and a buddy of my son to go after him. I got my son within 50 feet of the bedded bull. In the picture if Brian Henninger PGA. On this hunt all the hunters got a bull within 2 hours of each other.

This bull was taken by my son. We all spotted the elk at a mile away. I decided with my son, Brian Henninger’s brother John and a buddy of my son to go after him. I got my son within 50 feet of the bedded bull. In the picture if Brian Henninger PGA. On this hunt all the hunters got a bull within 2 hours of each other.

It is now to setup a plan to get onto these elk, as it is about 1400 or 2PM in the afternoon with visibility of at least a mile.

Getting this plan underway in the 21st century is so much easier with Garmin GPS’s and onXmaps HUNT mapping software and being able to dial in the lay of the land with precision accuracy, sort of like getting 10X’s on a target during a shooting tournament…

First off, I would have my Garmin GPS, with the Montana being my favorite which is loaded with my onXmaps HUNT PLAT map.   Seeing that there is a peak off in the distance between the elk and myself, I can judge the precise distance to the elk with the mapping and GPS.  The maps are up to date and show the private, federal lands, state lands and other.

This bull was spotted at about 1/2 mile away. On this bull, I thought it was another bull seen earlier. Only had a side profile when I launched a 210 gr. Nosler Partition at 600 yards.

This bull was spotted at about 1/2 mile away. On this bull, I thought it was another bull seen earlier. Only had a side profile when I launched a 210 gr. Nosler Partition at 600 yards.

The second thing I am going to do is install a number of waypoints, such as the peak and the proximity of elk as I see it on the map.

Now I take a look at the topo aspect of the terrain with my GPS and my eyes, working on a quick plan to cover the distance to within a ¼ mile of the elk.   The elk appear to be very comfortable were they are and I feel they will settle down in the area for part of the evening.

Personally I have always felt to cover the ground quickly, whether I am running, sliding down a hill, but always slowly down coming up on a rise.   Many times I personally feel that mistakes are made by taking too much time getting in the zone of the elk.

This bull was called in to within 20 yards after being spotted about 1000 yards away. We covered ground to within 100 yards of the herd. A bit of small bull and cow call called him in. Plus we had cut off some of his cows.

This bull was called in to within 20 yards after being spotted about 1000 yards away. We covered ground to within 100 yards of the herd. A bit of small bull and cow call called him in. Plus we had cut off some of his cows.

During my pursuit I am mentally thinking how I am going ambush the elk.  I also assume that the elk will be close to where I had made sight of them.   If rifle hunting, the thought of the ambush will be different than if I am bowhunting the elk as to how close I close the distance.  I am a loner, but if I have a partner, he is going to be in my shadows normally, but under the same game plan.  I am in combat mode when working this scenario during the hunt.

Along the way I have checked my GPS and even put more waypoints, which gives me a mental picture, plus I have setup estimated time to get to my final observation point, whether a vantage point above or even level eyesight.

This bull was spotted from a mountain top a very long ways away. Michael Jame of Bend, OR took him out at 100 yards. Michael has always been a believer of getting in fast.

This bull was spotted from a mountain top a very long ways away. Michael Jame of Bend, OR took him out at 100 yards. Michael has always been a believer of getting in fast.

Now if I am rifle hunting, I will be on the ready and try to have a vantage point within my comfortable shooting distance.  A great deal of time that doesn’t always happen, but I have set this stalk up the way it works for me.   I know my weapon or rifle of choice that I use on elk and I also know the capabilities of its shooting distance and putting the elk down.

Oregon Elk (7)

This bull was shot from long range, but spotted earlier in the evening along with another bull of the same size. Three bulls were taken within 10 minutes of each other. After my son’s bull was down and heading back, heard a shot in another basin. That shot was from Brian Henninger. Two bulls came out of the basin, one dropped from Brian’s close range shot. The other bull stopped, by that time I was on the hard deck in the prone position with By-Pod flipped down. Raised 4 feet over the back, pulled the trigger on the 340 Weatherby with 225 gr. Barnes X and the bull dropped in his tracks. “Never seen anyone shoot that far” (John Henninger). My comment was the Barnes X must have given it a heart attack. No time to chase this bull down, take the shot or let it go.

When it comes to archery, I am more of a stalker of elk too within shooting range, a great deal depends with the elk, being in the rut or not, but I always have cow call and a bugle if I am going to work the herd and bring a try bull in.

With the technology of GPS (Garmin) and onXmaps HUNT mapping software, the hunter can pinpoint the game.   As said before, my thoughts have always been to move fast and not worry about being careful about foot noise, until I am within a ¼ mile.   In reality this is one of the funniest ways to hunt down an elk in my opinion!  My partners and I have taken many bulls over the years by hunting this way.

#onxmaps #teamhunt #huntsmarter

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 22 Apr 2016

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – – Mobile Devices – – onXmaps HUNT


There is an old saying by Sailors’, “is you’re “Ditty Bag” complete?”   A sailor would rely on the “Ditty Bag” to have his most important items in it…   No “Ditty Bag” with the essentials for the hunter, outdoor adventurer, fisherman or hiker is an incomplete tool bag.   Today’s “Ditty Bag” will appear as a duffle bag or backpack of sorts.

I see it everywhere, the youth and now even the older generation using mobile devices.  There are so many APPS out there; a mobile device can do just about anything imagined.   APPS have made it easy for everyone to navigate through a daily routine.


“Ditty Bag” A major essential for the complete outdoor person would be an IPad or IPhone or Android Device and last not lest a Garmin GPS (Color Screen – Micro SD Slot).   My mobile device is Apple IPad that seems to go everywhere with me and has the onXmaps APP.   It is the great research tool that I have in my “Ditty Bag”, it’s like a talking encyclopedia, only it is visual and easy to understand.  As simple as turning on the device, opening the onXmaps HUNT APP and then letting my fingers do the work.

There are three (3) ways to think of the essentials when it comes to mapping in my mind.  The mobile device is for scouting and in the field use.  The laptop (most common computer) is for scouting and the GPS is all about in the field and scouting secondary.

I have 18 layers of information that overlay the 12 available basemaps, also with 5 western states PLATS loaded on my IPad.   The operator gets to decide which overlay or overlays, basemap or basemaps they want to use in their research or the use in the field.   Many outdoor people use their phone such as an Android or one of the many Apple IPhones for everything.   The onXmaps HUNT APP makes it quite easy to use in the course again of daily routine.

onXmaps HUNT  - So easy to use!

onXmaps HUNT – So easy to use!

I would like to mention the number of layers that are available and what some of the key ones are, just to mention a few of them at this time.

The List:

COMPLEMENTARY:
USFS Roads
USFS Recreational Sites
USFS Motor Vehicle Roads, Trail (MVUM)
Current Cloud Coverage
Current Nexrad Radar
Current Wind Conditions
App Plat Coverage Learn about private parcel coverage
NATION:
USA Trail
Points of Interest
Forest Visitor Maps
Prairie Dogs (For Real) Where to find in the West
Current Wildfires
STATE:  My Active
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Private Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Government Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Possible Access
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (WMU’s) Wildlife Management Units
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (OR) Access and Habitat Program

Then there is the BASEMAPS that you assign and many can be used offline.

The list is long, but each and every layer & basemap is a valuable tool to those that want to gain knowledge!  One has to study the land and learn the habits of the game to be successful.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

Many times I get emails, especially on Pronghorn for both Oregon and a number of the other known Pronghorn states in the West.   The hunter’s statement and questions normally come in as such:  “I have 15 preference points, what hunt unit can I harvest a recorded class Antelope?”   It has been told to me by and old friend who happens to be an O.D.F.W. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) Biologist, “Every hunt unit in Oregon has at least one Boone & Crockett Pronghorn, and you just don’t want to shoot the first village idiot!”   This statement means that most that wait a longtime for a tag sometimes shoot to fast without studying the animals.   I have suggested too many hunters to go by a sporting goods store and study heads and look at pictures of big bucks.  An example in the Portland Metro area in Oregon, Sportsmen’s Warehouse has two (2) Boone & Crockett Pronghorns on the wall.  One is only 14 ½” in length and the other is 16 5/8” in length with the smaller scoring bigger…   A hunter may not be able to harvest a Booner, but surely can find a good buck.  This will lead into the next paragraph on the B & C (Boone & Crockett) layer.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

So with the Boone & Crockett layer, W.M.U. layer, PLAT map and the Government layer the hunter can find where all the entries come from to help make the right decision when applying for the long awaited tag.  So if you’re serious about becoming the 10% of the hunters that harvest 90% of the game, then don’t wait any longer to get the tools you need to be successful.  What I have found out from my own experiences early on that, I had a mentor to guide me in my youth to become successful in harvesting good animals and some outstanding animals.  The onXmaps HUNT APP has become a major mentor of technical knowledge.

One last layer (State Plat) I am going to talk about is the Private Lands.   A scenario that comes all the time to hunters that have had a bleak day of hunting, you pull into the local service station or small store you get into a conversation with the attendant or the cashier about your day or they ask you about your day.  I have had a number of hunters tell me that the attendant has given them a name of rancher that wants some game reduction done on his place.  You can hit the magnifier on the screen and type in the name and guess what, the landowner’s place shows up majority of the time.  Now if one is real smart about gathering INTEL, they will have the Whitepages booked mark on the mobile device.  The name normally equals phone number in many cases.  I will check out new Blacktail deer spots in the valley during the evenings, find the game and look up the landowner to get permission to hunt.  The onXmaps Hunt mapping makes that possible.

onXmaps - Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

onXmaps – Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

Another thought is that we meet a lot of people in the field and most like to talk about their hunts or adventurers; I have found many to give road numbers, landmarks and whatever else embellishes the adventurer.  End result is that I am going to absorb the information and it is loaded to my IPad, GPS and laptop.

As you note in my “Ditty Bag”, I also have my Garmin Montana GPS, this is also a must when in the field.  Sometimes, in a deep dark canyon, you might not have mobile device reception and I rely on my Garmin to be accurate in tight areas…

The savvy hunter or outdoor persons will purchase the whole meal deal, everything for the mobile device and for the Garmin GPS (colored monitor-micro-chip slot) and or download to the computer to up-load to the GPS, then back to the computer.  I back-up my waypoints and adventurers to my laptop.

I have only touched surface of what this great mapping tool can do for you, it is time for you to buy and check it.

My “Ditty Bag” has the following items in it, Garmin Montana GPS/onXmaps Hunt software, IPad/onXmaps Hunt APP, Benchmade Knives (2), 12×50 Bausch & Lomb Binoculars, Nikon SLR Camera, Oregon Hunt/Fish License/Tags, rubber gloves, matches, Leatherman, toilet paper and money! Everything else, I pack in my hands or on my body…

My lasting thought to all that read this is, with this technology, inertly trespassing is a thing of the past.  In many states, it is the requirement of the trespasser to know where they are and law enforcement and landowner does not have to prove you were trespassing…

#huntsmarter #teamhunt #onxmaps #bwanabubbaadventurers

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 13 Dec 2015

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Native American Hunting Rights Are Thinning The Herds

 

Native American Tribal members have the treaty rights to hunt on all public land anytime!
This is what a couple of poached bucks could look like in the back of a pickup!

This is what a couple of poached bucks could look like in the back of a pickup!

The hunter may be unaware of illegal activity, unless it happens in the area he or she is occupying.  Those of us who have spent a great deal of time in the field hunting, fishing, hiking and camping have chronic knowledge about big game poaching.   I never paid attention too, was the fact that the Native American has been subject to poaching for a long time on off-reservation public-private lands.   I thought poaching was done by outlaw hunters capitalizing on the opportunity of out of season, night hunting, closed lands, horn hunters or other illegal means to get it done.  There is an old saying in life “if the janitor talks about it”, usually is true, in this case law enforcement officers have talked about it, besides eye witness to the incidents.

My son during the 2015 Rocky Mountain Elk big game hunt in Oregon, in a hunt unit made up of B.L.M. land (limited road entry) and private land, he and his hunting partners, it came apparent that there is a problem with poaching of big game with Native American Tribal Members, hunting off-reservation involvement.   Opening day in this limited entry by road area along the John Day River, the group were stopped by Oregon State Police Game Officers.   They had just finished a hunt from hunting from the top fence line down to the river, when the OSP Game Officers confronted them.  They were asked numerus times about the poaching of a large bull elk and the wasting game meat, plus severing the rack off.   After three times of the direct accusations and rebuttal comments back, the OSP Officers backed off.   The hunters now had open dialogue with the OPS Game Officers’ of what they had encountered.

Knowing my son and how I have mentored him to hunt and visualize the out of place objects or situation’s, noticed that things had not been right all day in the hunting area.   His group was the only elk hunters that had made a camp in the area, but there were a couple of other vehicles that were in area, traveling all over the open roads and the hillsides (off-road).   JR took pictures of one particular pickup that had no good written all over it.   The OSP Game Officers thought it was strange that he had done this Intel, but later the tire tracks matched the tire tracks at the kill zone.  Since JR., has friends that live in Madras, Oregon he is well aware of the Tribal members and their appearance.

Cutting to the chase on the “elk hunt from hell” as my son would put it; there were 6 mule bucks and 1 bull elk that had been killed on private along the boundary fence.   A great deal of meat wasted, all the racks had been sawed off.  The MO was the same for all the game animals that were within 100 yards of each other.  The deer carcasses were stacked up on each other.   Plus the fact the animals were shot prior to opening morning.  A great way to have a hunt ruin with a special opening day for a selective group that the Federal Government has given special privileges too prior to the regulated Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife opening day.

There was a great discomfort with the poaching; the private lands around the B.L.M. were now being patrolled heavily, plus legal hunters being watched around the clock by the land owners that scanned the hills with spotting scopes and binoculars.  With all the activity, there was not going to be any elk harvested by legal hunters.  The elk had moved into non-road areas, deep into rim rock of the interior on the private land.

So have any of you ever read the Treaty of June 25, 1855 for Tribes and Bands of Middle Oregon. Treaty, you find that the Warm Springs Indians are subject to only their laws and rules when it comes to hunting?  The Game Commission is the tribal council and not the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Tribal members can get their tags from Human Resources free.  Then there are the ceremonial tags that they can get when a tribal member dies of 3 deer and 1 elk.   My understanding, though not in writing that I can find, the numbers might be greater.  In the treaty tribal members can hunt on any federal lands, basically anytime…   In thought, I suppose they have to kill 3 deer to make one, since they are only taking the choice meat, (blackstrap & hindquarters) sort of like the tendency of the Wolf when it comes to consuming.  You have to make note that Indian Reservations are a sovereign nation within the boundaries of the United States of America. Oregon State Police have not justifications on reservation lands.

“Cultural hunting” shall mean the exercise of traditional, ceremonial and subsistence tribal hunting rights.

I would like to make a comment, if it is about cultural hunting, then why not hunt in the cultural method of the past with bow-arrow or spear, this way at least the game has a chance.   Plus in their traditional ways of the past it would have been by canoe, horse or walking, not by a red Toyota Tacoma or white T100 Tundra pickup.  When you can hunt basically year-round, when the deer, elk and other big game are in the wintering grounds with little chance for escape, I truly have a major problem with a treaty that dates back to the 1900’s.  Times change and market hunting has long since left this country.  This is the 21st Century, no longer the 19th Century with misguided or outdated privileges.  Game populations cannot withstand over hunting and with little regard to the state’s big game laws.   Hunting tags are normally regulated by the ODFW in this state from census on game during the winter months and harvest counts.

Oregon State Police Game Division find it extremely difficult to control and prosecute the tribal members guilty in game & fish violations on non-reservation lands.  Public law enforcement cannot enter Tribal lands to catch the guilty.  I found a great comment that the federal government (enforcement) has little to do what goes on with the 326 land reservations in the United States of America.  In the State of Oregon there are 9 Federally-Recognized Tribes with 100 different sub-tribes within the 9 tribes.

For the most part the crimes within the Reservations are handled by Tribal Police.  My turn on this is in relationship to non-reservation lands:   “is a crazy quilt of jurisdiction that allows the government to ignore things.” “How did things get this way in a country that’s not only on but within our borders, and what is being done to fix them?” The answer is two words that come up as often as “with impunity.” Those words are, “It’s complicated.”

I have no problem with subsistence hunting at all, but why is it in the instance that all bucks were taken?   How does in the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife set the quota’s for hunting or even fishing the following years?   Oregon State Police Game Division have their hands tied and spend a great deal of wasted time, trying to find the culprits of the violations that are Tribal members.  This is about hunting off reservation at their leisure, a luxury that non-Tribal citizens do not have.

I have talked with un-disclosed Oregon State Police Game Officers Retired and this has been going on in their lifetimes.   Within the game unit non-reservation lands, those that border Tribal lands, it extremely tough, as tribal members can enter from their roads into these hunt units and exit.  From what I understand there are only few Tribal police on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, north of Madras, Oregon.

Over the years, I guess I was just blind to what I saw in the field at times or on the river banks, such as fishing net with 100 plus rotting salmon, 100 yards downstream from a hatchery… An eyewitness sees and hears that 30 undersize sturgeons are taken on the Columbia River by a Tribal Member, remembering other American citizens cannot fish for sturgeon on the Columbia River.  When asked by the OSP Officer why, the comment back was “they taste better when smaller.”  Another recent incident that was given to me by reliable sources, 2015 2nd season Rocky Mtn. Elk hunt in the Heppner Unit, Tribal members sell three branch bull elk to white hunters for 100 bucks each, using a pickup truck with hoist to load into the hunters trucks.  2015 1st season Rocky Mtn. Elk in the Heppner unit, hunter sees a pickup with a hoist in the back and wonders, what the heck is that for… If you want to read about game violations on the Oregon State Police Game Division section on their webpage, you’ll see that there seems to be no arrests on Tribal Members.  OSP Game Officer’s seem to have there hands tied in this great astoristy of Oregon’ big game animals being dwindle by blatant poaching by a few.

There are many incidents of poaching by Tribal members that the public is un-aware of, such as the 9 Roosevelt cow elk remains, with the heads left at the sight along the upper Siletz River on the Oregon coast off-reservation National Forest lands during the late archery season. They had been taken with a rifle.

One last incident of poaching by the Tribal members hunting off-reservation with the killing of 9 mule deer does out of a ranchers hay field.  This information is first hand from a rancher in the West Biggs Hunt unit when I called him last week about Tribal member poaching.  The Oregon State Police Game Officers were called in.   There was not much OSP could do to the Tribal members, other than criminal trespass on private land.  The rancher did not want to press those charges…

Most think that the Warm Springs Indian Reservation only encompasses the parcel off of Hwy 216 and Hwy 26 in Oregon.  Well this is a very large chunk of land on the east side of the John Day River that borders BLM and goes un-checked with access from tribal members.  The Warm Springs Indian Reservation has more than 1 Million Sq. Miles of land, making it the largest in the State of Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is very lenient with tags that go to the Tribal Game Commission.  In the Siletz & Grand Ronde reservation area, 25% of the allotted tags for a hunt unit within or near the reservation go to the Tribal Game Commission.

Basically all the Tribes in Oregon have the same basic Treaty from the 19th Century.  The Klamath and Modoc Tribes and Yahooskin Band of Snake Indians even have a treaty.  From my readings they can hunt any land that might have encompassed the original lands, which is approximately 2.2 million acres that they roam for more than 14000 years.   All the years I spent hunting the B.L.M., National Forest and Sycan Marsh area for Pronghorn, I rarely saw deer in a deer rich environment.  I understand that within the 21st Century these tribes just might get their heritage lands back after the Federal Government force them to be vacated with a payoff.  In this case the descendants will be the winners.

I will give a defense for the Native American, it is said that the On-Reservation resident Tribal members are poor and have little.  Food for thought comes from a recent set of photos of a Deschutes River Bighorn Sheep that was harvested by a Tribal member.   What I saw in the pictures was a bit disturbing.  I saw no meat on packs in the pictures and I did see a full-curl broomed off ram, that the head was severed at the neck joint.   In point no meat (I am sure they boned out every bit of useable meat into tiny packs), but better yet, if so poor why would you have wasted a large full shoulder cape most likely worth at least a $1200.00 and a life size cape around $3000.00 to a taxidermist.  So for about 45 minutes to 2 hours of capping, one could make some fast cash.

In my opinion non Native American Tribal citizens of Oregon, plus the non-resident big game hunters, need to stay attuned to what happens in the field. I don’t believe, unless Tribal member poaching on off-reservation public land is stopped while in the field there is little that can be changed.

Bwana Bubba

I welcome comments back @ Bwana Bubba!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 06 Nov 2015

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Methods & Rates of Success

So what type of hunter are you?

The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?

The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?

We all have a purpose to our hunt and our style of hunting, which is not always the same as others. It’s a cliché: 10% of the hunters may get 90% of the game but in my opinion that is really based on the how we hunt. This article includes some examples too make you think about your mistakes and successes. It may give you an idea as to how you stand vis-a-vis others in terms of methods of hunting and rate of success.

Yelling Out! Many years ago after coming home from overseas, I took my father hunting with me.  We were hunting in western forest lands of Oregon with vine maple, underbrush, ferns and alders.   The distance between us was no more than 100 feet.  During this early morning hunt, I was jumping a number of Blacktail deer bucks at close range and would yell out “there’s one,” and Dad’s comment would be “where”?  On that hunt, I could have very easily killed a buck, yet we did not get one.  I wanted to see my Dad get a buck.   As you might suspect the deer were on alert and took evasive moves.

A buddy known as MJ once yelled at my son because he did not tell him he was shooting at a deer, as he did not get a chance to kill one of the deer.  I told MJ that I have taught my son to react to the situation.  My son had jumped the small group of bucks in the draw.   He took the shot and got his buck!  Believe it or not deer do have great hearing.  If my son had yelled, “there’s a buck”, they surely would have not gotten any of them.  On this same hunt, I spotted a dandy 4X4 and said to MJ “there’s a big buck”, he said “where”?  He did not get the buck, yet he had time if he had been paying attention.

Over the years, while hunting with groups of hunters situations I believe we create situations in which there are too many distractions.

Sharp Eyes and Sensitive Ears. Some years ago while on a Pronghorn scouting trip in eastern Oregon with a buddy that seemed to always fall asleep even on the roughest roads,  I would catch sight of coyotes in the middle of an abandoned road or dry lake.   I would say “there’s a dog”, he too would say “where” as he was trying to gain eyesight after dozing off.  Coyotes can hear the voices within the truck.  From then on, I just kept my mouth shut.  When I saw dog (coyote), I would just push on the emergency brake (holding the release lever so it would not make noise), bail out and take the shot.  My partner, still dozing, had no clue and would wake up and say “what the heck you shooting at?” I took 5 dogs on the trip, with him dozing off all the time. We still talk about that maneuver of mine.

Stopping to Count Points. Some years ago, an old hunting buddy had been successful getting a nice Rocky Mountain Elk bull off of the B.L.M. near the John Day River hunting by himself.   MJ was pretty good about getting it done, with a partner or solo, but usually never hunting together, but taking routes in different canyons.   On this particular hunt, he had run into my Commanding Officer in the Navy.  MJ knew of Rod and had met him several times.  Rod was hunting with an old friend of his.  MJ said he would show them bulls in a basin he had spotted bulls earlier in the hunt.   MJ lived up to his offer and put both of them on eight bulls at about 150 yards out.   Well, Rod and his buddy saw the bulls and counted all the bulls’ points and finally decided (after the bulls took off running) to shoot!   Moral of the story, be in combat mode and react to what the eyes see instantly and not over think! Game moves a lot faster than you can get setup.

Combat Mode. So let’s start off with the type a hunter, the person who seems to be always successful.  He or she will have the hunt lined out the year before.  Most of the time, the hunt is totally about them and getting it done.  I like to call it the Combat mode of hunting.  The mind is focused on the end result of getting the game down.  In many cases they are solo hunting in the sense of immediate contact with other hunters.   There might be a partner or partners, but rest assured they are in the field away from others.   All of their senses are tuned into the surroundings within their space.   The person that most likely can make the 300 yard running shot, or have his arrow clear a 12” opening in a tree and hit the 50 yard distance target… you can be sure he or she is totally focused!

Knowing Your Area. There are the party hunters (hunters only) that love to hunt together and try to do it every year at a specific hunting area.   It is about the gathering, though each and every one of them wants to be successful on the hunt.  They know the area like they know their own yard.   I find that they are fairly successful in getting game, as they know the routes of the game over the years.   They all have their favorite stand they will be at on opening morning.  In this case it reminds me of the Hurley’s that once hunted the Pilot Rock area in Oregon.  They setup their camp near Foggy Knob or Four Corners up on East Birch Creek.   They always had deer or elk hanging in their camp.   I know they spent more than 25 years hunting the same spot.

Generations Matter. Now the following camp is an example of some of my first hunting experiences with family and friends.   Again we were “party hunting,” but with the spouses that either hunted or not (mostly not), but adding the young grandkids to the mix as well.  We would have three generations hunting.  I remember talking with my cousin about the good old days that his dad hunted; little did I know at the time, we just lacked the experience the old boys had.  We would see one of the old guys coming back with game, having sat around an isolated campfire during elk season to keep ourselves warm.  We could not understand how they got it done, as most old boys would smoke.  On these hunts it was all about the family and good times.  You always wanted to be the one to have the bragging rights that year on getting a deer or elk of any size.

It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?

It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?

Giving Others the Shot. One of the best hunts is the father or mother that shows their children how to hunt and give them the chance to harvest an animal.   This could also go for a mentor that shares all their knowledge with youth or another hunter.   In this case, it would be the time we had spotted a monster bull on the B.L.M., I asked my buddy who was also glassing and spotted the bull, if he wanted to go after him.  Knowing how to get to the area that was about a mile off, with my son and his non-hunting buddy following along we got into the spot that was close to the last appearances of the bull.   I had checked up wind and the area was clear, coming back to the boys, I said he has to be close.  I let my son quietly lead into the juniper and sagebrush.  JR, jumped the bedded bull at 50 feet and made the shot.  The bull was bedded under a Juniper tree.  What was great he reacted without hesitation and took his first bull with a gross score of 340.  If there had been any hesitation that bull would have made it out of there.   JR got to have the bragging rights of the biggest bull taken on a very successful hunt for all.

Just recently on a bow hunt, being in a tree stand I could see the bucks coming into the draw, JR was in a ground blind in the draw.  I sat there in a daze watching all un-folding, I had the shot, but something told me it was JR’s hunt and not mine.  He could have taken the big buck at 15 yards, but in his mind he knew I was after this buck.  He made movement in the blind and the all the deer, but one scattered in the opposite direction.  The one buck that caused the others to react, just stood his ground.  JR took the 8 yard shot on that buck.   Each person on this hunt was thinking about the other person and did not react to the situation.  I told him he should have arrowed the big buck!  “Dad, he was yours to take”

Pay to Play. So many times we see these days with the social media great pictures of truly great animals taken by hunters.   When digging a bit, they are hunting on private enclosed hunting lands.  In many cases large sums of money have changed hands to make the success of the hunt happen.   This is about how much money one has to be successful.  There is little more to be said on this style of hunter.  Some years back I got a picture sent to me of a 430” Rocky Mountain bull taken in Idaho.  What a great bull that was taken at 100 yards while in his bed.   It took a while to get to the bottom of the story, but the bull was harvested on an enclosed 8-foot fenced ranch that sells the bulls by the inch.

Guides Help. There are many that want to only hunt on private lands (non-enclosure) with guides.   In conclusion many times the hunter makes great shots on the game and I would say their success rate is around 50% to 100%.   Again money is involved in the hunt and the success of the hunter.  Most hunters would love to be able to have one or more of these hunts.   To have a chance to hunt on a ranch that has big game and is managed for hunting would be quite exciting, I believe sometimes.  On these ranches the only fences are the 5 strand barbwire cattle fencing…

Just Ask! Lastly, though the good old boys (ranchers) are slowing riding into the sunset, there still are some ranches and farms a hunter can just ask to hunt and be surprised that they might just get a Yes!   They are normally working ranches or farms, with livestock, crops, orchards, vineyards or all of the above.  Over the years I have just done the asking and got permission to hunt.  In time I found that I wanted to return the favor and would give gestures of my thanks for getting to hunt these places.  There is never the guarantee of harvesting game.

This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.

This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.

A funny and very true ending to the last paragraph was about 10 years ago.  I knew a rancher in the Steen’s Mountains of Oregon that would allow hunters to hunt Pronghorns.  So I helped out one of my vendors and lined up the permission.  I knew that the rancher drank soda pop and I told my vendor to get a couple of cases of pop and a new folding knife for the rancher.  “Ryan asked me, “why the knife” and I told him you’ll know when the timing is correct.   So Ryan gets to the ranch, met and talk with the rancher, the rancher was very busy and told him to go down the road a couple of miles and look for a cattle guard.  Ryan was a bit lost, and then he remembered what I said.  Quickly producing the knife to the rancher, he was then escorted to the place to hunt with ideas of how to hunt the area.  Ryan was successful in getting a trophy Pronghorn.   Ranchers and Farmers are not managing wildlife, yet they have a great influence on the survival of wildlife.

Bwana Bubba

 

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