Following an 18 mile pack by horse, then four miles by foot into the Wyoming wilderness, this is the ultimate do-it-yourself elk hunting adventure. Last season two buddies and I came away with three P&Y bulls; on opening day of the 2004 season, this 335 P&Y bull came to the call. In heavy winds estrous cow talk with the Primos Hot Lips brought this bugling bull out of heavy timber. At 38 yards a broadside shot presented itself and my BowTech Patriot did the rest. A double-lung hit with an Ironhead 100 secured the bull, as he ran only nine yards and collapsed. In four days we covered 52 miles, 18 on horse, 34 on foot. The hunt was captured on film, and will appear on The Outdoor Channel’s American Archer.
In all the hunting I’ve been blessed to experience around the country, and the world, never before had I had the opportunity to pursue antelope. In 2004 I applied for Montana’s unlimited archery tag and drew. I’d see several big bucks, passing up a half-dozen in the mid-60 to 75 P&Y range. There were a few bucks in the 80 class range and better, and that’s what I wanted. Then, I chose to take this buck as my time was running out. Again, the BowTech Patriot came through, driving the Gold Tip Ultralight Pro 400 arrow tipped with a 100 grain Ironhead completely through the buck at 15 yards. He ran 30 yards and it was over. Two minutes after he fell, a 16-inch buck came within 40 yards…I’ll be back next year! This hunt will air on The Outdoor Channel’s American Archer. The buck was taken over a water hole from a Double Bull blind while hunting with guide Shane Weiler of North Star Outfitters in Forsyth, Montana (406-749-3921).
With my Montana buck antelope tag filled, I purchased a doe tag for $50, not a bad deal for a nonresident, and given the high density of does in eastern Montana, a good way to use hunting as a tool of conservation, not to mention the fine eating meat I took home. This doe came to a water hole, and at 30 yards my Patriot did the job. We were rolling tape, and this hunt is scheduled to appear on The Outdoor Channel’s American Archer show. I was hunting with guide Shane Weiler of North Star Outfitters in Forsyth, Montana (406-749-3921).
Hunting with good friend and guide, Jody Smith of Jody Smith’s Guide Service (541-643-6258) out of Elkton, Oregon, we spent a week pursuing Roosevelt elk in the Coast Range. Some record book bulls would respond to the call, but a shot opportunity never presented itself. On the final evening of the hunt this satellite bull came in and the Patriot drove the arrow home. The shot came at 15 yards, the bull ran 35 and collapsed, and all was captured on film for Wolf Creek Production’s Outdoor America which airs on The Outdoor Channel.
I’ve been fortunate to take the North American bear slam (polar, grizzly and black bear) but never have I had an opportunity to shoot a color phase black bear like this. Hunting with hounds in the Mount Lassen National Forest, east of Red Bluff, California, this bear treed after a long chase through some rugged terrain. At 20 yards, I laced an arrow through tangled limbs, driving the Gold Tip Ultralight Pro 400 and Rocky Mountain Ironhead 100 clean through the bruin. This hunt will appear on the Men’s Channel’s Classic Bowhunting Tales show. I hunted with Clint and Wes Arrowsmith of Arrowhead Outfitters (530-527-6419).
Having hunted pigs during all four seasons near Red Bluff, California, these hogs were taken in October. Focusing on food and water sources as well as bedding areas makes spot-and-stalk, slow hunting and using hounds all effective methods, no matter what time of year. Thanks to the BowTech Patriot, the smoothest, fastest most accurate bow I’ve ever shot, I now have pork in the freezer. I hunted with Clint and Wes Arrowsmith of Arrowhead Outfitters (530-527-6419).
I’ve taken a half-dozen turkeys with a bow, and rank scoring on a mature fall tom with stick and string among the most challenging hunts in the West. Given the magnificent eyesight of these birds, the fact they are in large flocks, rarely hold still and are hesitant when it comes to responding to a call, getting on a big tom is tough. I used spot-and-stalk strategies to score on this eastern Montana tom, and at 45 yards, my BowTech Patriot proved lethal. I hunted with Shane Weiler of North Star Outfitters (406-749-3921), who has some of the most impressive turkey hunting I’ve ever seen.
The spring of 2004 proved to be a great turkey season. I hunted in four Western states, taking a Merriam’s in Idaho and Montana, Rio’s in Oregon and California. I also got on to a good 300 pound boar in California. In all, I shot seven toms, including my best ever that sported an 11-inch bear in Oregon, on the last day of the season. My wife, Tiffany, also got two nice toms.
Both of our biggest birds were taken with a Thompson/Center Encore 12 gauge muzzleloader shotgun. To learn more about guided opportunities in some of the best areas of these Western states, drop me an e-mail.
Winter and summer steelhead as well as spring and fall chinook fishing were all good this year, but my best trip came at the end of September, when I visited The Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge (888-826-7376) on Alaska’s famed Kvichak River. Here, rainbows up to 18 pounds were hooked, with some spotted in the 20 pound class. We’d fish four rivers in as many days, and land several 10-12 pound rainbows. This 12 pounder was taken on the Kvichak, but my best day ever of fishing was when we flew to the Brooks River. Here we wade-fished the 1.5 mile long river, saw no people and over 50 brown bears, many of which were up-close; the trout fishing was excellent, as well. If I had one day in my life to spend fishing, going to the Brook in late, fishing with the bears is it.
Eastern Montana is noted for an abundance of mule deer, and I wasn’t disappointed with the number of bucks I saw while hunting with friend and outfitter Shane Weiler of North Star Outfitters. We saw over 30 bucks the first day, and seeing as how we were there in the middle of November, it was the height of the rut. We watched this buck for over two hours before it got in a position we could put a move on it. We ran over a mile in the waning hours of daylight and made a 339 yard shot with a .300 Remington Ultra Mag. The buck dropped in his tracks, and the best part, it was all caught on film for Wolf Creek Productions.
After six straight days of hunting, I was able to rattle this Oregon blacktail to within shooting range. Over the course of the six days, I’d seen seven bucks, including one heavy-antlered 3×3 with 4″ eye guards, and a 4 point. I passed both of those in hopes of getting something bigger, then with time running out on my end, elected to take this buck. He came in to the BowTech rattle bag and the shot came at 46 yards. Once again, the BowTech Patriot came through, as did the Gold Tip Ultralight 400 arrows tipped with a Rocky Mountain Supreme XP 100 broadhead. This is my third P&Y blacktail in as many years.