Gear & equipment
Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls
I have been a pro staffer with them for the past few years and they are my go to calls. This is an an amazing company that produces the only calls I rely on year after year. They make the best sounding mouth calls on the market. They have calls from elk, turkey, predator, deer and moose. These are the easiest mouth calls I have ever used as well as there is such a variety that you can find the right call for you individually. Currently I run with the Mistress, All-Star, Raging Bull and Mellow Yellow in combination with the Extreme Bully Bull tube. It has hands down changed how effective my calling has been for more encounters. Adding the calls with my decoys makes for a deadly combo.
The best way to figure out where you are at and easiest way to access public land. It was difficult in the past to know exactly where boundaries were at. Now with a chip from Hunting GPS Maps you can access those small pockets of public ground you have always wanted to hunt as well as figure out who the land owner surrounding public ground is and attempt to gain access through permission. Also the app has revolutionized the industry and they even have an elite membership which gives access to every state with multiple layers and links up with the new computer mapping software which allows you to effectively scout from home like never before. A small tool that helps me be more successful and go farther than I was able to in the past. I have been a pro staffer for them as well for the last few years and am very happy to be apart of one of the best teams in the market.
I was recently selected to join the staff or Earned Media and eHUNTr. If you are a DIY hunter this is information you need. Lots of great articles and information to help you be more successful. Looking forward to getting involved and putting together some articles for them.
Another addition for 2017 is Talltine Bowstrings. I was in need of a new bow string for my Hoyt and was informed by a good friend Ed Gramza about these strings. Mine is on it's way and will give my bow a nice clean look! Excited to see how it performs. I will also be a new addition to their pro-staff team and looking forward to helping out where I can.
I cannot give a good enough recommendation for these decoys, as they have helped me out tremendously. I have had varied success with all of the decoys, but they have helped me in so many situations that I always pack them with me in the field. If you have any general questions about the decoys or would like advice on decoying techniques let me know and I will gladly point you in the right direction.
As stated in one of my past blogs I was researching online and located this pack company out of Boise, ID. Not only was I excited, but put a per-order in on the pack and it is now my go to pack. I am initially getting the 3500 cu. in. pack and look forward to also picking up the 5500 cu. in. bag as well as many other accessories. This is hands down the best pack I have ever put on my back. With one season down there isn't a negative thing I can find with this set up. It will be with me on every hunt for years to come. I am now on year 3 with the same pack and I haven't found a thing I would change. The new packs coming out have some great added features, but my current system serves me better than anything in the past!
Sitka Gear - Open Country
Hands down the best hunting clothing ever made. I have been wearing Sitka Gear for the past 6 seasons, and if anyone ever tells you it's overrated they have probably never put this stuff on. I was skeptical myself until my wife was able to order me a system and I first used it in the winter while hunting coyotes. I wear Optifade Open Country, and I love the pattern. Even in 20 degree weather, the lightweight layering system keeps me warm and comfortable. I continually add new pieces each year to bolster my systems effectiveness and the ability to hunt comfortably all year long.
I continue to shoot the Hoyt Faktor 30. I absolutely love the way this bow shoots as well as looks. I went with the Heritage model and showed my patriotic side. I didn't think I would ever get rid of my AlphaMax 32, and I'm sure there will come a time where I wish I still had it. For now I'm very pleased with my choice and am looking forward to knocking some game down with the new rig.
One of the best pair of boots my feet have ever hiked in. If you are looking for a long lasting boot, this is the one. I'm fortunate my feet don't get overheated so I am able to wear the 400's year round, but if your feet get warm they also make an uninsulated boot. The break in period isn't bad at all, and they are made to last in the toughest terrain you can throw at them.
One of the newest additions to my arsenal for 2017 is the Crispi Idaho GTX. I was initially hesitant to switch from my Kenetrek Mountain extremes, but I've been searching for a nice uninsulated boot and in the short time I've worn my Crispi I'm thinking it was a very wise choice.
I am currently running my set up with the Vortex Viper 10x42 Bino and Ranger 1000 for my rangefinder. I will hopefully be upping my game with an addition of the Viper spotter and bipod. The VIP warranty Vortex offers is impossible to beat!
The only quiver I will ever put on a bow again. I read about Tightspot quivers quite a bit and took the plunge and picked one up. One of the best decisions I have made and love. I went with the black crimson and it add some spunk to my bow. I went with the 5 arrow model as well.
Montana Black Gold 5 pin Rush
I decided to go with a 5 pin fixed rush sight. I ordered through their custom shop on S&S archery and got a great mid grade sight. The sight is well worth the money invested and will last a lifetime. I also went with the 4" dovetail and it gives me enough adjustment for my needs. The best sights on the market in my opinion.
I'm making another change for 2017 and will be shooting Element Arrows. I'm going with a micro diameter arrow in the Storm series offered. After reading about them and talking with the owner I'm beyond excited and certain they will perform flawlessly.
Slick Trick Magnum
I recently made a switch and am going to be shooting Slick Trick Magnums. I was having issues getting my broadheads to tune with my new setup. My brother turned me onto Slick Trick. I now know the true meaning of shoot like a field point. Very pleased with my decision and am excited to see what they can do on an animal. My confidence level is at a new high.
Great releases from a great company. Just a personal choice of mine, but I absolutely love the way the release feels. I have been shooting the itty-bitty goose for several years and see no change anytime soon.
FHF Bino HarNess
I ran the Sitka Bino Bivy for awhile and ended up getting my hands on an FHF. I can't get over all of the features it has and the ease of use and making sure I have essential items available quickly. It fits my Viper 10x42 binos perfectly.
Caribou Game Bags
I recently added these game bags to my equipment list. Very happy with them so far. They are washable and re-useable and come in many sets for the game you are pursuing. I currently run the Muley pack.
Podcasts and Forums
If you're looking for some places to gain more knowledge about hunting in general I would look into podcasts and forums. I enjoy spending some of my free time listening to podcasts and reading on a couple of forums. The knowledge that can be gained is invaluable and they are all very much likeminded when it comes to hunting. HuntTalk has a great forum and Randy Newberg has a lot of great content over several platforms to include his podcast, Fresh Tracks show, and YouTube channel. If you are into everything elk look into elk101 and you will find the most comprehensive information around and covers everything elk. I also spend time listening to The MeatEater podcast, Rich Outdoors, The Hunt Backcountry podcast, and Gritty Bowmen podcast. Check them all out and see what you've been missing. There is always more to learn.