Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Welcome


A New Name

I wanted to get away from the title of Bone Collector and start being more individual. When I created this blog I had no idea what would come of it and there are some positive things happening that I didn't want to eventually come back and bite me due to my site name. This has made me very nervous so I hope this goes smoothly.

High Country Bowhunter

The new blog name will be High Country Bowhunter. Change is always hard but I feel like this will be for the better. No worries I will still be blogging about the same stuff, just a new name. So now is where I need your help. If you have linked to my site, I will need your help to update to my new site: High Country Bowhunter. I will have a 401 Redirect but I would appreciate any help that I can get to update the links you may have linking back to me. I appreciate all your help in this and I am looking forward to sharing some great posts!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Guest Post From Jordan L. Allen - Bowfishing

Twitter has been a great source of information for me as well as getting to know some really great people. One person that I met via Twitter was Jordan L. Allen. He's a fantastic person and to top it off he lives in Boise Idaho which is just a four and a half hour drive from me. I asked him to share his experience bowfishing because he and I spoke a bit about our bowfishing trips. I read his story and was pleasantly surprised and I think you will be too. He had never shot a bow before and now he's a carp slaying fool!

Bowfishing...


"Truth be told, I didn't know what the sport of bowfishing really was a year ago…or even that it was a sport. I have been an avid fly fisherman my entire life. As the oldest of four boys (no sisters), I was blessed to be raised in a family where outdoor sports—especially fly fishing—was an important part of my childhood. In fact, my dad, brothers and I have always lived by the motto: “If we’re not planning a fly fishing trip, we’re not happy.” Though I have never been one of those uppity fly fisherman who think their sport is elite and too sacred for anyone else to try, I have always taken pride in my ability to catch (and release) fish using a fly.

That is why I was so shocked to hear that my dad had started ‘bowfishing’ with a close family friend in the summer of 2009. Of course, I had to ask all the typical questions: Is shooting fish really that entertaining…or even ‘sporting?’ What do you do with them after you shoot them? How bad does it smell? Are you really able to hit fish with an arrow? (Between my dad, my brothers and I we owned exactly ZERO bows between the five of us…not exactly an archery-minded family). My dad’s response was simple: “Just wait until you try it...you’re going to be surprised.”

So that is what I did. I waited. In fact, I waited until Memorial Day 2010 to give this sport of bowfishing a try. I remember that day well. It was cold and windy; weather typical of the southern Idaho area we were bowfishing in that time of year. I boarded the boat of a close family friend who had introduced my father to the sport and, along with my dad and a brother, we started trolling the banks searching for carp.

Now you must understand that at that point in my life I could probably count on one hand the number of times I had shot a bow. To call me inexperienced would be a huge understatement. I was using a trigger release for the first time (not sure of the correct vernacular), a bow I was completely unfamiliar with, and, of course, an arrow with a string tied to the end. Not to mention I was on a moving boat shooting at moving objects…into water! To make a long story short, with the tough weather conditions and our inexperience with bows, we successfully boated three carp. But despite the tough conditions and minimal numbers of fish, I was absolutely 100% hooked!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go again until early summer, 2011. This trip was a disaster waiting to happen. My father and I met our family friend at the Milner Dam portion of the Snake River in southern Idaho. That day the wind was howling, rain was on and off, and the temp was in the mid 50’s. Terrible conditions for spotting carp, but we went for it anyway. Over the next 45 minutes we accidentally drug a poor bank fisherman’s rods into the river with our trolling motor, I had an old bow break in my hands causing toothpick sized splinters to shoot through one of my fingers, the wind pushed us into rocks breaking our trolling motor, and our good captain was knocked into the river. Within the hour we had the boat loaded back onto the trailer. Yet, despite all the difficulties of that day, I was still able to release arrows in the general direction of a few fish, confirming my initial feelings that I was still 100% hooked to the sport of bowfishing.

In the spring of 2012 I decided that it was time to ‘buy in’ to the sport of bowfishing. I started a dedicated search in Boise-area pawn shops for a good used bow (I ended up finding a 1970’s Browning compound for $23). Then researched the types of reels that were out there, settling on the AMS Bowfishing Original Retriever Reel (here is an example of one you can buy at Walmart: http://goo.gl/7wWxf ), and the types of arrows that I would use, going with the Muzzy Arrow with Nock and Carp (here is an example of the one I purchased at Sportsman’s Warehouse: http://goo.gl/GYHnp ).

My first opportunity to use my new bowfishing setup was June 23, 2012. I met my father, brother, and the same family friend that got us into this crazy sport at CJ Strike Reservoir in south western Idaho. Carp spawn the end of June so the timing was perfect. Unlike my previous bowfishing experiences, the weather on this day was absolutely beautiful. Wind was nearly non-existent and the skies were blue. As a result, in the nearly four hours we were on the water we shot upwards of 70+ carp. It is hard to express how much fun I had that day. Granted, a lot the fun I was having had to do with the company I was with. But on that day I gained a new appreciation for an absolutely must-try, completely addicting sport: Bowfishing. Here is a simple homemade video I threw together from that day: 



Bowfishing on CJ Strike Reservoir Boise Idaho
My brother Chad (left) and I in front of our first off-load of the day
(
picture taken at CJ Strike Reservoir, June 23, 2012)


I am still an avid fly fisherman. As far as outdoor activities are concerned, fly fishing will always be my first love. But if you want to find me during the months of June-August…well, you’ll be better off looking for me in some muddy carp water with a bow in my hand than on a crystal clear river casting a fly rod."

- Jordan L. Allen
Twitter: @jordanlallen
Facebook: Steelhead Camp

Again a big thanks goes out to Jordan for sending me this story. I'm hoping to make plans to meet up with Jordan to either do some bowfishing or fly fishing! Make sure you give this guy a follow on twitter: @jordanlallen and go like his Facebook Page at Steelhead Camp.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prepare For Your Hunt - Mentally

The time is closely approaching for hunting season to begin. Wether you're hunting deer, elk, antelope, or any other type of game one of the most important steps you need to take is to prepare for the hunt. There are many ways to prepare yourself for your hunt; you can prepare physically by exercising and trying to mimic the type of hunting you will be doing so your body becomes accustom to the movements. You can also prepare by making sure your gear is all in working order by practicing with it to make sure it is fully functional. But one step that I feel is just as important as any is to prepare yourself mentally.

Visualization


First thing I do is picture myself in different situations and running through my mind what I would do. A fellow blogger and good friend Mark Huelsing over at SoleAdventure recently wrote a post about Shot Sequence which I think fits perfectly here. Imagining yourself with the animal in range, going through your shot sequence, and executing flawlessly. By doing this, you are preparing yourself for that situation once it arises. Running through different scenarios is a great way to prepare mentally for those moments once they present themselves.


Set Personal Goals


It may sound ridiculous but all things considered, having goals set in place will help hold yourself accountable as well as pushes you to strive to achieve these goals. I'm not saying set some lofty goals like "shoot the next Pope & Young record bull elk", rather set goals for number of days to be in the field, number of miles to walk, how long you will stay out glassing, and other reasonable and attainable goals. You may not achieve them all but you will at least have a list to prepare for while you are out hunting.

Know Your Game


Knowing and understanding the habits of the game you are after will give you an edge. You may think to yourself that you completely understand the game you hunt. What if you decide to hunt a new area or lets say you are going to try a hunt in a different state for a different species. By getting to know the game you are chasing you will better know their habits and be able to pattern them. Do your research by either reading hunting articles or some of the best information that I receive is from fellow hunters who hunt the species. They have experience and if they are in the same area, chances are they will have the same habits or patterns.

Idaho Whitetail Deer
Hopefully he's still around

Prepare for Failure


You may feel 100% ready and prepared for a hunt. Inevitably there is something that happens out of the norm that throws you off guard. Failure can be discouraging and many people fail at hunting a certain species then give up. Preparing yourself for failure helps calm you down once it happens. Having a backup plan for different situations will help you overcome the difficulties of failing. A failed stalk which you have crawled in the dirt and sagebrush can discourage anyone. Hunting spot and stalk antelope I had countless failed attempts but from each one I learned what to do differently. It hasn't made me a flawless spot and stalk antelope hunter but I understand better how to do so in different situations.  

Idaho Archery Antelope
After Countless Failed Stalking Attempts 
Many hunters have these thoughts running through their minds in the background. These are just a few of the steps I take to mentally prepare myself for a hunt, but I want to hear from you. How do YOU mentally prepare for a hunt?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Great News Part 1

So although it has been announced in one form, I figured I had better get around to announcing it here as well. The great people over at MINOX have added me to the MINOX Adventure Team. I never thought opportunities like these would come to an Idaho boy writing on a blog, but this is a great opportunity that I have been granted with. I am excited to be part of a great team and work with such a great company.

WHO IS MINOX?


"MINOX stands for proven lens quality, robust mechanics and easy operation.... All products from MINOX are made in this tradition." - About Us


MINOX was invented by Walter Zapp and started out as miniature camera company but have since branched out and produce quality optics such as rifle scopesbinocularsspotting scopesnight visiontrail cameras, just to name a few. MINOX headquarters is located in Germany but also has offices in the USA as well. Their high quality hunting optics are backed a Lifetime Total Coverage Warranty. This warranty protects against manufactures defects, functional failures, or any accidental damages to the covered product. That includes breakage, water damage, or any accident. That's an outstanding warranty.

Here is a  review of the BL 10x44 Binocular by Gannett Ridge Hunting Equipment



Be sure to go check these guys out. This definitely is a company that produces high quality optics at an affordable price. Plus they include an exceptional lifetime warranty. Follow them on Twitter at @MinoxUSAHunting and on Facebook at Minox North America Hunting. A great company to get behind with some quality optics!