Recent comments

The trending social media hunting blitz - posted 3 years ago

We will never avoid mean people and their opinions. The ONLINE world has changed many things for the worse... Even within our own ranks. The "quick hit" online frenzy of easy gratification has creeped into many hunters too. Get it fast and brag about it instantly with your smartphone!
The issue that many of my friends and acquaintances see in Arizona is: an extremely limited resource (180"+ class bucks) that are being prostituted heavily (by guides) fueled-on by the new online phenomenon. Guides do it for the money and ego, but its often said they do it because they love helping others. A test case would be to remove the big money and see if the hunting guides would fade away. They would.
Here in Arizona, we see the impact of guides greater than most states. Arizona's famous big mule deer bucks are located in a small percentage of the state north of the grand canyon. In comparison to other states, AZ's area is much flatter and easy to hunt and very small when compared to other states. In Colorado you can find monster bucks from the very north edge of the state to the south of the state. Far east to far west. Not so in AZ. Guides have saturated our 'much smaller area' with hundreds of paid helpers and trail cams.
The pressure on the monster muleys has become excessive in recent times. Making it harder and harder for the DIY guys (majority of hunters) to locate a 190+ buck. Simi-local guides with very local helpers live on-top of the deer year round. They are like the paparazzi taking thousands of pics and giving them names. The bigger bucks can't stand this pressure forever and our hunt QUALITY is worse now than ever. Every tank/trick/pond has 15 cams and two ground blinds. This wasn't the case a few years ago. Its TRUE. The catalyst has been the 'online world' that can stoke a flame. There's a hire-a-guide frenzy that we see now with internet/social media. If you draw a coveted tag in AZ, people will say that 'you better hire a guide' as if your hunt and LIFE depended on it. Its an eye roller to see this phenomena.
We applaud the tag holders who made a decision to earn their buck no matter the outcome. Not thinking 100% success on a 190" buck was something to be purchased, but rather 'earned'.
Res & non-res hunters who woke up on their own without some guide slapping the tent door. Who made their own breakfast. Who jumped into the driver seat of the truck, not the backseat... and who set out to do something significant each day...and left the outcome to GOD. We in AZ applaud you and respect you for your effort. Its 'YOUR' hunting storied we want to hear.
This message is mostly meant for those who pay someone else to do their hunting for them (not counting anyone with physical needs). For the rest of us there is an assumed 'EFFORT' required of earning the title of "hunter". What un-hunters don't think about is an unspoken truth of how friends and associates will examine your 'effort' to gauge the respect you may deserve. Its a respect thing that dad, granddad and great granddad understood. If you can't do what it takes to earn that 190" buck on your own... then wait til you can. I know a lot of Guides and they won't openly admit it but to them you are just the guy who pulled the trigger at best (they put in all the effort) and that's how others (deep down) will think of you too.
Go DIY next time. The inner you will thank you... and we will applaud you. AND who cares what the anti-hunters post on this new online world.

How to cape the head of a big game animal for the taxidermist - posted 3 years ago

Seems to me David, there's no urgency for dialogue.
He didn't show you the starting point of where to make your initial cuts back behind the shoulders, up over the shoulders and up the neck. To your question; Cape up the neck to the base of the head 'in the field', then cut off the head at that upper point. Bring the cape and head back to camp where you have more time and comfort to finish caping the head and face. BUT if you are way back in the boonies with a long hike out, then be prepared to cape all the way off the head and face in the field (to reduce some weight). If you hang the elk's head by the rack (nose down)then be very careful not to pull real hard when you get near the eyes and lips. The eyelids are to delicate to be pulling down hard on. Slow down and make sure u don't slice the eyelids.

Who poached the buck on the Arizona Strip? - posted 3 years ago

Keep an eye on the guides in Kanab and Northern AZ who post pics of skulls with giant racks they (coincidently) seem to walk up on every year. They call them "lion kills" and the racks end up on their trophy wall with a different cape. This one above may be one of the poached bucks with GPS coordinates for a "surprise" find in a few months.

How to gut a big game animal - posted 3 years ago

The individuals who give you thousands in cash for the elk you are prostituting in front of them aren't concerned about gutting or hunting for that matter. They are paying you to do it all. but good article. You look good

Budget 101: How to hunt elk every year - posted 3 years ago

Randy We love your do-it-yourself commitment. Your TV show tops most others. You're not always successful but we respect your effort!!! Our dads, granddads and great granddads would be proud of you bringing our DIY roots back to this insane world of guiding and non-hunting tag holders.