Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When is it my turn?

It may sound like a pity post but in all honesty I am excited thus far for those around me having success. I posted not to long ago about my dad having a successful elk hunt, well there are others in the family as well as friends that have had success this year so I thought I would post their pictures as well to show them off.

First off my brother and his wife were sitting the tree stands at the same time and both ended up filling their tags. You can read about this hunt on my brother's blog Idaho Pursuit.

Archery Whitetails in Idaho
My Brother Kevin and his wife Sarah

I tweeted about it earlier in the season but my youngest brother ended up filling his tag and not only that it was his first with archery equipment. He was pretty stoked to say the least.

Idaho Archery Whitetail Doe
Brother Travis and his first Archery Deer

Then of course my dad once again fills another tag my taking this young buck during the rifle season. He has had a great year thus far with an elk and now a deer.

Idaho whitetail buck with rifle
Dad and his Whitetail Buck

My brother-in-law Rick had a great season as well and was fortunate enough to take a nice mule deer with his rifle this year. This is on my bucket list as I have yet to harvest a mule deer.

Idaho Mule Deer with Rifle
Brother-In-Law Rick with his Mule Deer
I am excited and happy for everyone that has had luck this season..... I am just hoping that my turn will be rolling around now that the late season archery hunt opens up on the first of November. With any luck this guy will be running around near my stand.....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Geigerrig Hydration Bladder Review

One of the most important pieces of gear that I use and always pack is water. The challenge I have always had is packing enough water without taking up so much space. So I started doing some research and came across the Geigerrig Hydration System. This wasn't like any other hydration bladder. The main difference I saw was the fact that it was pressurized. Yep. It would actually spray water and you didn't have to suck on the bite valve. Here is a quick video of the Geigerrig System.

While I was communicating with Bob Geiger he gave me a little information on how he came up with the idea for the Geigerrig System. While Bob was with the US Marine Corps he noticed some reasons as to why the Marines didn't like the traditional hydration packs. Here is what Bob had to say:

"Yet another reason is that Marines often need water for purposes other than drinking. They need to clean off their feet before changing socks while on a long hike. They need to spray sand out of the magazine that holds their ammo (sand in the magazine often resulted in mis-feeds, jams and malfunctions of the weapon). They need to spray the sweat off of their face and head. They need to spray and clean their body as a matter of field hygiene (foot rot and crotch rot are real game changers for Marines operating in the field). They need to add water to their MREs. They need to clean out a wound. They need to treat a casualty. They need to share their water with a fellow Marine. Etc. Etc. Etc."

"In building the GEIGERRIG product, we did a lot of work to analyze the various views and attitudes that the general consumer had about hydration packs.  My experience in the Marine Corps was always in the back of my mind, but I didn’t know how those experiences would translate when it came to civilian, recreation use of a hydration pack.  What we found though, was that the general consumer of a hydration pack shared many of the very same feelings and attitudes about their hands free hydration system as Marines did."

The Geigerrig bladder peaked my interest in the fact that I don't have to try and suck the water through the tube. I don't know how many times I have climbed up the top of a ridge and was out of breath trying to suck through the tube to get some water. I felt like it was too much work to get enough water to drink. So obviously not sucking for water was very appealing. 

Some of the features that stand out the most for me:
  • Pressurized so I don't have to suck.
  • Slide Top and wide mouth to easily fill and clean. 
  • Quick Release valves for the pressure tube and water tube.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Inline filter capability.
Now the biggest challenge for any water bladder is trying to fit it into your hunting pack. Most hunting packs have places for a hydration bladder, but getting one to fit is sometimes a challenge. I received the 3 Liter bladder to try and fit into my Eberlestock X2 Pack and I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I know my pack said it could hold a 3 Liter bladder but it looked like it was going to be a tight fit. Secondly I was nervous how to feed the valve and the bulb through the hydration pocket in my pack.

I quickly found that the bladder fit in the pack very easily. I thought it would have been a tighter fit but it was perfect. Even with the inline water filter it fit perfectly inside the pocket and had plenty of room to spare. I thought that it fit perfectly was curious how it would work once I pressurized the bladder.

You can see the black inline filter in the picture and the bladder is pressurized. There was still some room in the pocket if I needed to put something in. I fed both the water and air tube out the same opening and this worked out very well for me and was very simple. I liked this set up because I was able to have the pressure bulb and the water valve available on the same side.

The inline water filter and the hoses are easily removable with the quick release valves. This allows you to quickly remove the hoses from their position on the bladder which was very helpful when I needed to refill or even clean the bladder. All I had to do was remove the hoses from the bladder, then take the bladder out of the pocket in order to fill it, and then I attached the hoses back up to start using it.

I absolutely enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to suck on the valve to get water. This made it more than just a water bladder for drinking. I used it to fill my pot for boiling water to cook my Mountain House meal for lunch on one of my hunts. You can see the pressure that the bladder has by the stream of water coming through the valve which made it easy to use.

Overall I was very satisfied with the water bladder and the ease of use. The simplicity of cleaning with the slide top, being able to turn it inside out and just throwing it on the top rack of your dishwasher was very beneficial. The inline water filter did slow the stream down slightly but it as you can see in the picture it still had a lot of pressure.

I looked at my pack specs and found that my pack would hold up to a 3 liter bladder and sure enough it fit just fine with no issues. The price for a 3 liter Geigerrig Hydration bladder is $49.00 which isn't too bad. You must buy the filter separately but the filter is rated to filter 50 gallons and removes 99.9% of Cryptospordium and Giardia. This is definitely worth looking into if you are in the market for a hydration bladder.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone who is wanting a hydration pack. I was skeptical of the durability of the bladder until I watched some of the tests that were performed by Geigerrig. Here is one of the videos that shows the durability of the bladder.

I figure if it can withstand a bomb, it would be pretty reliable in my hunting pack. Definitely go and check these hydration bladders. Here is a link to their YouTube channel with all sorts of different tests like dropping the pack out of a vehicle at 100 mph and a dry ice bomb inside the bladder itself!

Watch for the review of the Geigerrig Rig 500 Ballistic Pack shortly!

As with all reviews on High Country Bowhunter, the following review is my honest opinion, I received the Geigerrig Hydration System  and agreed to provide a review in exchange. I am not sponsored by or associated with Geigerrig and accepting no other compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How I Started My Archery Season

Searching for Elk

Every year there is that time of year that every hunter looks forward too. That time of year is magical. The temperature begins to cool down, leaves change color, and the day dreaming begins. I look forward to hunting season and fall in general. It is my favorite time of year. There is just something about all the colors changing and the leaves falling that gets me going. This year though was a little different.

Me and my son Dawson
I was excited for this hunting season just like any other, but there was something that had me even more excited. My wife and I were expecting our second son just before the opening weekend of archery season. There is nothing I enjoy more than being a good father to my kids as well as being a good husband to my wife. That is where the challenge came into play. How was I going to manage my time with my family with a newborn a few days before the archery season? ........

Continue reading this post here:

PSE Archery Blog

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Archery Elk Season Recap

Idaho Elk Hunting Archery
Trying to find the mighty Wapiti

Elk hunting is a challenge in and of itself. Hunting isn't one of those things that you say, "I think I'll wake up today and go shoot an elk, or a deer, or bear, etc." It takes preparation, scouting, and time spent in the area that you are hunting in order to get your opportunities at shooting an animal. This year I started doing some scouting like I do best, using Google Earth. I found an area that looked very promising. While looking even closer I stumbled upon several ponds and became very excited. I hurried and emailed my dad the location of the ponds and he was just as excited as I was.

My brother Kevin and I made a trip up that way to try and find the ponds that I had found on the computer. We started scouting the area starting around the end of July. We went and set up several trail cameras in hopes of finding and patterning the elk. We only had a few hours available to head up and set trail cameras but once they were set we were like kids waiting for Christmas morning.

About two weeks later my dad and I ventured back in to pick up the trail cameras. We had set them up on several different trails and one was more in their bedding area. We were a little let down on the cameras we set up on the trail. We didn't get very many pictures and those pictures we got were just parts of animals. The bedding area proved to be a success though. We had several pictures of elk with a couple young bulls making an appearance.

Trail Camera Bull Elk
This Bull is the one in the videos below
We were very pleased and excited to see this guy as well as several other smaller bulls and spikes showing up. There weren't any state records but seeing elk and knowing that we had set up in a good spot was exactly what we were looking for. We had some good herds come in with cows, spikes, and bulls. There is nothing better than picking up your camera and finding pictures of animals.

Idaho Elk
Wide 5x5
Eventually my dad and I made it over to one of the ponds that I had found. We had placed our cameras on one of the ponds because some one had already set up a trail camera on the other pond. We loved the activity that we were seeing at the pond and were excited to set up our cameras.

Water Hole

So with them set up we began another long wait to head back up and check trail cameras. Again we were getting some good pictures and decent elk activity. There still weren't any jaw dropping monsters coming in but there was plenty of great elk activity. I found out also that my trail camera was actually taking video along with snapping some pictures. Pretty cool seeing these animals coming in on video. Here's a few that I really liked.

This was promising and a pleasant surprise to find that my trail camera was taking video. I had no idea. We had several hunting trips up in that area and there were several close encounters. But in one of my recent posts I highlighted our Successful Elk Hunt that was accomplished by my dad. Needless to say we had a great archery season for elk. Close encounters, beautiful country, and great company makes hunting elk worth it. 

My Dad's Elk
Be sure to read the story about our Successful Elk Hunt to see how my dad got this bull.