OTC Either-Sex Archery Elk License – Signed, sealed, delivered…
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Just received my ticket to the high country.

Western hunting tags are definitely not cheap, but after a hunt, I’ve never once thought that a tag or license wasn’t a complete bargain. I can’t imagine that my perception will be any different this time.

Colorado Archery Elk 2014 – Gear List
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I suppose this is becoming one of the obligatory pre-hunt blog posts, but a lot has changed with this one. Maybe I should say, a lot has disappeared off this one. Pete and I are planning a massive loop that will take us deep into some remote wilderness basins. To make that possible, we need 2 things. 1) Time – 6-8 days probably. 2) Mobility – and by this I mean minimal gear lists and ultra-lightweight backpacks. We’ll be camping off our backs again which means no base camp and no spike camps, only carrying our entire wardrobe, shelter system, food, and weapons with us all day every day. A lot of guys will report pack weights, but fail to include what they’ll actually be wearing, the necessary allotment of water/food, or forget they’ll be carrying a 6 pound bow.

This is my bottom line – 38.9 pounds. That’s me naked plus everything. 7 days food, water, bow, boots, belt, camera, socks, and Bic lighter. Quite similar to past hunts, but leaving most of the backup clothes and sock/underwear changes at the truck. Also, no technological frills this time. No SPOT, no video camera, no tripod, no binos, just us and the mountains and the elk. Here’s the full rundown.

The only change I’m really considering is unscrewing the stabilizer off my Hoyt and putting a pair of Vortex binoculars around my neck. The country out there is wide open and we’re currently debating the potential usefulness of good optics for an archery hunt…decisions, decisions.

If you thought the gear reviews were good back in 2012, get ready for this round of comments. It’ll be real easy to get frustrated with gear items when no alternate options are readily available for recall and replacement. We’re feeling confident though with our setups. They’re proven, they’re lightweight, they’re rugged, and they’re efficient. Best of all – the whole package suits our preferred style of hunting! Aggressive, mobile, and (hopefully) lethal!

Better Late than Never – Archery Practice
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With restricted quarters with which to shoot my bow in the backyard, it’s harder to get motivated to fling arrow after arrow at 24.5 yards. That being said, I finally got in full swing last week and have been shooting every night since. Since longer range practice hasn’t been feasible, I’ve been focusing more on form and I’ve seen great results.

One of the biggest tips I’ve picked up was from Pete who got it second hand from one of his acquaintances. I had always shot with a torqueless grip that put all the pressure on the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. The theory being that gravity will take over and rotate your bow’s axles to a perfect vertical state. Not saying this is the wrong way to go because it “worked” for me for over a decade.

BUT…

On the second-third-recommendation from a person I don’t know, I shifted my grip to use the entire face of my palm and I’ve found that my pin hold is a lot steadier and I haven’t picked up any torque in the process. My groups have noticeably tightened.

I still don’t wrap my fingers around as shown in the above picture (I think this is where any introduced torque tends to come from if the grip tightens), but this has resulted in my shooting consistently nickle-quarter sized groups at my maximum range of 24.5 yards.

2 night’s ago, Raelyn set an acorn up on the fletchings and I decided it made for a great photo opportunity. I’m planning to get in at least one long-range practice session weekly leading up to our elk hunt, but it’s all about repetition and muscle memory…I’m liking my chances!

‘Tis the Season for Big Bucks
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My mind was 110% preoccupied with thoughts of towering mountain peaks, golden aspens, and bugling elk until my buddy sent me some trail camera from his chunk of Kansas riverbottom. I’d say my mind is now only about 99% in Colorado. I must say though – the other 1% really wishes I had a Kansas tag for this fall.

Behold TWO mainframe 10 points – each pushing the gross Boone mark.

Note the eyeguard kickers are on different sides, respectively.

Alright, if there is one thing I like better than a huge 10 point, it has to be a magnum 8 point. Behold TWO that each have to be pushing 160″.

Okay, so I have to admit that after looking at those pictures, at least 2% of my mind is now distracted SE Kansas. Wow!

“Video of the Day” Resurrected
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Click on the tab at the top of the page to check out a new hunt video that I’ll post each day from various sundry sources Internet-wide.

Infolinks 2013