Archive for the 'How To' Category

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Published by Frank Biggs on 06 Jun 2016

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Modern Day Game Calling App

iHUNT by RUGER

iHunt by Ruger Icon_v3

I am always amazed by the advancement of technology and what can be done, so mentioning that fact; I am introducing a new mobile App from iHUNT by RUGER, that I have had the privilege to use and entertain myself (plus the crew at work) with the new App from iHUNT by RUGER.   The App is free to load and some of the features are free.

Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!

Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!

The iHUNT by RUGER App is primarily a game call device that you can use with all IOS and Android mobile devices.

It has a number of other superb features such as Solunar Times for hunting, Weather, Compass, Ruger Handguns-Ruger Long Guns (Opens in your search engine), you can shop for Ruger products (Opens in your search engine) , Activity Log and a Place for User photos (Photos that are upload from all users).

Setup the speaker away from you have the game or varmint come in closer!

iHUNT by RUGER Bluetooth speaker that gets an amazing 50 + yards and 110dB of power. The speaker automatically unlocks the App when you connect it to your phone.

As for Hunting Calls (they need to be purchased) the list is so long, it almost unbelievable.

Alright I will give you the list, not the full content of the calls within the within the call!   Alligators-Crocs, Bears, Birds, Bobcats, Buffalo-Bison, Chickens, Chipmunks, Cows, Coyotes, Crows-Ravens, Deer, Donkeys, Ducks, Elk, Foxes, Geese, Goats, Hawks-Eagles, Jackal, Mice-Rats, Moose, Owls, Pheasants, Prairie Dogs, Quail, Rabbit-Hare, Raccoon, Sheep-Lambs, Snipe Birds, Squirrels, Turkeys, Wild Boar-Pigs, Wildebeest and Zebra.   Quite the list to have!  Not that we are going to use them all, but to know the sounds is amazing.

Just listen to the sampler sounds: Top = Gobble-Tom Middle = Crow Distress Bottom = Fallow Buck
Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.

Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.

Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.

Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.

 

Besides being able to use iHUNT by RUGER in the field, it is astonishing learning tool this App can be for the hunter to learn and understand the sounds that game animals, birds, and non-mammals make.   I would check with your State, Province or Country that you can use an electronic call for game you wish to pursue.  Quick and easy to use, it can also be used by children to randomly go through the long list.   Can you imagine sitting by a creek side with you daughter or son, even a grandchildren and have them tell you that is a Raccoon or the allusive Snipe making the noise you’re all are hearing.

Your pictures can be upload and you can see other's pictures and who they are.

Your pictures can be upload and you can see other’s pictures and who they are.

There are a number of options items that you can also purchase to your game calling experience even better.

Entertain the experience and download the iHUNT by RUGER App to your mobile device and gain proficiency in the art of calling in game or knowing the calls of the wild.

Thoughts from Bwana Bubba!

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Published by Frank Biggs on 28 May 2016

BWANA BUBBA’S THOUGHTS – REACHING ELK MILES AWAY

Chasing down Elk from afar!

         So many ways to get to the public land!


Thoughts go back to my early days of hunting elk with a rifle and bow.   I would rifle hunt in the eastern part of Oregon for Rocky Mountain bulls, while bow hunting was in the western part of Oregon for Roosevelt bulls.  So those early hunts to the east were about going into the timber and waiting for elk to come by within shooting range.   One thing I never did was to build a fire to keep warm, but my uncles all did it.  I remember on one hunt Uncle Floyd was deep into the pines up near Texas Butte.  You could hear him cough, as he was a smoker, plus he had his fire going.  That was something that his sons and I would never do.  Low and behold a nice respectable 5X5 came by his fire and he put him down…   So in the western part of the state, we would go into our favorite spot and walk pockets listening for elk movement and try to get in close enough to get shot.  They never seem to do the calling like Rocky Mtn. elk would do.  This process of hunting worked for us in those days.

This happens to be from the 2015 first season Rocky Mtn. Elk season in Oregon. It is an old haunt an my son and his cousin, knowing the area, but never running a GPS went hunting with the new Garmin 64's and onXmaps Hunt Plat map installed. As you can see he stayed legal. There is some access for the public near the river, that is grandfathered in for about 50 years or more. In this country it is about seeing the elk, deer and pronghorn and chasing after them. Open country with Junipers, sagebrush, rimrock, cheat grass and seed grazing grasses.

This happens to be from the 2015 first season Rocky Mtn. Elk season in Oregon. It is an old haunt that I have introduced my son too. So my son and his cousin, knowing the area had never used a GPS went hunting with the new Garmin 64’s and onXmaps Hunt Plat map installed (I demanded they have them to stay legal). As you can see he stayed legal. There is some access for the public near the river, that is grandfathered in for about 50 years or more. In this country it is about seeing the elk, deer and pronghorn and chasing after them. Open country with Junipers, sagebrush, rimrock, cheat grass and seeded grazing grasses (after range fires).

Getting to the basis of this article about chasing elk down as I would put it came about some years later when we were bowhunting the rimrock, juniper and sagebrush of central Oregon for big mule deer bucks on the B.L.M., National Forest that was bordered and encompassed with private land.  One particular deer scouting trip prior to the opening archery season, glassing at a mile into a basin we could see from our observation point while looking for the famous bucks of the Big Muddy, we spotted elk, not just one elk, but about 12 bulls, all being branch bulls.

This bull was spotted with another bull at about 2000 yards. I shot this bull at 50 yards. Both bulls were taken, one by myself and my partner, after we split up in the draw. We watched the bull at about 200 yards split up.

This bull was spotted with another bull at about 2000 yards. I shot this bull at 50 yards. Both bulls were taken, one by myself and my partner, after we split up in the draw. We watched the bull at about 200 yards split up.

This launched our elk hunting in this country for more than  20 years and still to this day when I have time.  Spotting elk from distance does give you an advantage; this has led to least at 85% average of getting elk this way for me, partners and others within the hunting circles.  I will say that in the early days, GPS and mapping (software) was nil.  Most of the guys I hunted with were all past military and few of us still in the military, so venturing into the so call unknown and reading the land was pretty easy going.

I have found glassing ridges, hillsides, shaded areas and even into basins on an afternoon after the average hunter has headed back to camp and settle down for the late afternoon and evening happens to be my favorite time to glass for elk.  The country is vast with B.L.M. and National Forest for miles in all directions.  You have been glassing for about 30 minutes and you spot a group of elk which you feel is about 2 miles away.  You can see with your binoculars there are some pretty good bulls in the herd.  They are just grazing, with a few bedded down.  It is said by most that we have probably harvest more elk in the afternoon after 1PM, than ever in the morning hours.

This bull was taken by my son. We all spotted the elk at a mile away. I decided with my son, Brian Henninger's brother John and a buddy of my son to go after him. I got my son within 50 feet of the bedded bull. In the picture if Brian Henninger PGA. On this hunt all the hunters got a bull within 2 hours of each other.

This bull was taken by my son. We all spotted the elk at a mile away. I decided with my son, Brian Henninger’s brother John and a buddy of my son to go after him. I got my son within 50 feet of the bedded bull. In the picture if Brian Henninger PGA. On this hunt all the hunters got a bull within 2 hours of each other.

It is now to setup a plan to get onto these elk, as it is about 1400 or 2PM in the afternoon with visibility of at least a mile.

Getting this plan underway in the 21st century is so much easier with Garmin GPS’s and onX HUNT mapping software and being able to dial in the lay of the land with precision accuracy, sort of like getting 10X’s on a target during a shooting tournament…

First off, I would have my Garmin GPS, with the Montana being my favorite which is loaded with my onX HUNT PLAT map.   Seeing that there is a peak off in the distance between the elk and myself, I can judge the precise distance to the elk with the mapping and GPS.  The maps are up to date and show the private, federal lands, state lands and other.

This bull was spotted at about 1/2 mile away. On this bull, I thought it was another bull seen earlier. Only had a side profile when I launched a 210 gr. Nosler Partition at 600 yards.

This bull was spotted at about 1/2 mile away. On this bull, I thought it was another bull seen earlier. Only had a side profile when I launched a 210 gr. Nosler Partition at 600 yards.

The second thing I am going to do is install a number of waypoints, such as the peak and the proximity of elk as I see it on the map.

Now I take a look at the topo aspect of the terrain with my GPS and my eyes, working on a quick plan to cover the distance to within a ¼ mile of the elk.   The elk appear to be very comfortable were they are and I feel they will settle down in the area for part of the evening.

Personally I have always felt to cover the ground quickly, whether I am running, sliding down a hill, but always slowly down coming up on a rise.   Many times I personally feel that mistakes are made by taking too much time getting in the zone of the elk.

This bull was called in to within 20 yards after being spotted about 1000 yards away. We covered ground to within 100 yards of the herd. A bit of small bull and cow call called him in. Plus we had cut off some of his cows.

This bull was called in to within 20 yards after being spotted about 1000 yards away. We covered ground to within 100 yards of the herd. A bit of small bull and cow call called him in. Plus we had cut off some of his cows.

During my pursuit I am mentally thinking how I am going ambush the elk.  I also assume that the elk will be close to where I had made sight of them.   If rifle hunting, the thought of the ambush will be different than if I am bowhunting the elk as to how close I close the distance.  I am a loner, but if I have a partner, he is going to be in my shadows normally, but under the same game plan.  I am in combat mode when working this scenario during the hunt.

Along the way I have checked my GPS and even put more waypoints, which gives me a mental picture, plus I have setup estimated time to get to my final observation point, whether a vantage point above or even level eyesight.

This bull was spotted from a mountain top a very long ways away. Michael Jame of Bend, OR took him out at 100 yards. Michael has always been a believer of getting in fast.

This bull was spotted from a mountain top a very long ways away. Michael Jame of Bend, OR took him out at 100 yards. Michael has always been a believer of getting in fast.

Now if I am rifle hunting, I will be on the ready and try to have a vantage point within my comfortable shooting distance.  A great deal of time that doesn’t always happen, but I have set this stalk up the way it works for me.   I know my weapon or rifle of choice that I use on elk and I also know the capabilities of its shooting distance and putting the elk down.

Oregon Elk (7)

This bull was shot from long range, but spotted earlier in the evening along with another bull of the same size. Three bulls were taken within 10 minutes of each other. After my son’s bull was down and heading back, heard a shot in another basin. That shot was from Brian Henninger. Two bulls came out of the basin, one dropped from Brian’s close range shot. The other bull stopped, by that time I was on the hard deck in the prone position with By-Pod flipped down. Raised 4 feet over the back, pulled the trigger on the 340 Weatherby with 225 gr. Barnes X and the bull dropped in his tracks. “Never seen anyone shoot that far” (John Henninger). My comment was the Barnes X must have given it a heart attack. No time to chase this bull down, take the shot or let it go.

When it comes to archery, I am more of a stalker of elk too within shooting range, a great deal depends with the elk, being in the rut or not, but I always have cow call and a bugle if I am going to work the herd and bring a try bull in.

With the technology of GPS (Garmin) and onX HUNT mapping software, the hunter can pinpoint the game.   As said before, my thoughts have always been to move fast and not worry about being careful about foot noise, until I am within a ¼ mile.   In reality this is one of the funniest ways to hunt down an elk in my opinion!  My partners and I have taken many bulls over the years by hunting this way.

#onxhunt #teamhunt #huntsmarter

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 22 Apr 2016

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – – Mobile Devices – – onX HUNT

What you carry, can mean success or failure!


There is an old saying by Sailors’, “is you’re “Ditty Bag” complete?”   A sailor would rely on the “Ditty Bag” to have his most important items in it…   No “Ditty Bag” with the essentials for the hunter, outdoor adventurer, fisherman or hiker is an incomplete tool bag.   Today’s “Ditty Bag” will appear as a duffle bag or backpack of sorts.

I see it everywhere, the youth and now even the older generation using mobile devices.  There are so many APPS out there; a mobile device can do just about anything imagined.   APPS have made it easy for everyone to navigate through a daily routine.


“Ditty Bag” A major essential for the complete outdoor person would be an IPad or IPhone or Android Device and last not lest a Garmin GPS (Color Screen – Micro SD Slot).   My mobile device is Apple IPad that seems to go everywhere with me and has the onX HUNT APP.   It is the great research tool that I have in my “Ditty Bag”, it’s like a talking encyclopedia, only it is visual and easy to understand.  As simple as turning on the device, opening the onXmaps HUNT APP and then letting my fingers do the work.

There are three (3) ways to think of the essentials when it comes to mapping in my mind.  The mobile device is for scouting and in the field use.  The laptop (most common computer) is for scouting and the GPS is all about in the field and scouting secondary.

I have 18 layers of information that overlay the 12 available basemaps, also with 5 western states PLATS loaded on my IPad.   The operator gets to decide which overlay or overlays, basemap or basemaps they want to use in their research or the use in the field.   Many outdoor people use their phone such as an Android or one of the many Apple IPhones for everything.   The onXmaps HUNT APP makes it quite easy to use in the course again of daily routine.

onXmaps HUNT - So easy to use!

onXmaps HUNT – So easy to use!

I would like to mention the number of layers that are available and what some of the key ones are, just to mention a few of them at this time.

The List:

COMPLEMENTARY:
USFS Roads
USFS Recreational Sites
USFS Motor Vehicle Roads, Trail (MVUM)
Current Cloud Coverage
Current Nexrad Radar
Current Wind Conditions
App Plat Coverage Learn about private parcel coverage
NATION:
USA Trail
Points of Interest
Forest Visitor Maps
Prairie Dogs (For Real) Where to find in the West
Current Wildfires
STATE:  My Active
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Private Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Government Lands
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT Possible Access
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (WMU’s) Wildlife Management Units
OR-WA-ID-WY-MT (OR) Access and Habitat Program

Then there is the BASEMAPS that you assign and many can be used offline.

The list is long, but each and every layer & basemap is a valuable tool to those that want to gain knowledge!  One has to study the land and learn the habits of the game to be successful.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

This what one of my website hunters might get given to them.

Many times I get emails, especially on Pronghorn for both Oregon and a number of the other known Pronghorn states in the West.   The hunter’s statement and questions normally come in as such:  “I have 15 preference points, what hunt unit can I harvest a recorded class Antelope?”   It has been told to me by and old friend who happens to be an O.D.F.W. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) Biologist, “Every hunt unit in Oregon has at least one Boone & Crockett Pronghorn, and you just don’t want to shoot the first village idiot!”   This statement means that most that wait a longtime for a tag sometimes shoot to fast without studying the animals.   I have suggested too many hunters to go by a sporting goods store and study heads and look at pictures of big bucks.  An example in the Portland Metro area in Oregon, Sportsmen’s Warehouse has two (2) Boone & Crockett Pronghorns on the wall.  One is only 14 ½” in length and the other is 16 5/8” in length with the smaller scoring bigger…   A hunter may not be able to harvest a Booner, but surely can find a good buck.  This will lead into the next paragraph on the B & C (Boone & Crockett) layer.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

When you touch the area on the B & C Layer this is what you will see.

So with the Boone & Crockett layer, W.M.U. layer, PLAT map and the Government layer the hunter can find where all the entries come from to help make the right decision when applying for the long awaited tag.  So if you’re serious about becoming the 10% of the hunters that harvest 90% of the game, then don’t wait any longer to get the tools you need to be successful.  What I have found out from my own experiences early on that, I had a mentor to guide me in my youth to become successful in harvesting good animals and some outstanding animals.  The onXmaps HUNT APP has become a major mentor of technical knowledge.

One last layer (State Plat) I am going to talk about is the Private Lands.   A scenario that comes all the time to hunters that have had a bleak day of hunting, you pull into the local service station or small store you get into a conversation with the attendant or the cashier about your day or they ask you about your day.  I have had a number of hunters tell me that the attendant has given them a name of rancher that wants some game reduction done on his place.  You can hit the magnifier on the screen and type in the name and guess what, the landowner’s place shows up majority of the time.  Now if one is real smart about gathering INTEL, they will have the Whitepages booked mark on the mobile device.  The name normally equals phone number in many cases.  I will check out new Blacktail deer spots in the valley during the evenings, find the game and look up the landowner to get permission to hunt.  The onXmaps Hunt mapping makes that possible.

onXmaps - Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

onX HUNT – Taking paper maps and making it easy, no more laying them on the hood of your truck and trying to figure it out!

Another thought is that we meet a lot of people in the field and most like to talk about their hunts or adventurers; I have found many to give road numbers, landmarks and whatever else embellishes the adventurer.  End result is that I am going to absorb the information and it is loaded to my IPad, GPS and laptop.

As you note in my “Ditty Bag”, I also have my Garmin Montana GPS, this is also a must when in the field.  Sometimes, in a deep dark canyon, you might not have mobile device reception and I rely on my Garmin to be accurate in tight areas…

The savvy hunter or outdoor persons will purchase the whole meal deal, everything for the mobile device and for the Garmin GPS (colored monitor-micro-chip slot) and or download to the computer to up-load to the GPS, then back to the computer.  I back-up my waypoints and adventurers to my laptop.

I have only touched surface of what this great mapping tool can do for you, it is time for you to buy and check it.

My “Ditty Bag” has the following items in it, Garmin Montana GPS/onXmaps Hunt software, IPad/onXmaps Hunt APP, Benchmade Knives (2), 12×50 Bausch & Lomb Binoculars, Nikon SLR Camera, Oregon Hunt/Fish License/Tags, rubber gloves, matches, Leatherman, toilet paper and money! Everything else, I pack in my hands or on my body…

My lasting thought to all that read this is, with this technology, inertly trespassing is a thing of the past.  In many states, it is the requirement of the trespasser to know where they are and law enforcement and landowner does not have to prove you were trespassing…

#huntsmarter #teamhunt #onxhunt @onxhunt#bwanabubbaadventurers

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 06 Nov 2015

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Methods & Rates of Success

So what type of hunter are you?

The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?

The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?

We all have a purpose to our hunt and our style of hunting, which is not always the same as others. It’s a cliché: 10% of the hunters may get 90% of the game but in my opinion that is really based on the how we hunt. This article includes some examples too make you think about your mistakes and successes. It may give you an idea as to how you stand vis-a-vis others in terms of methods of hunting and rate of success.

Yelling Out! Many years ago after coming home from overseas, I took my father hunting with me.  We were hunting in western forest lands of Oregon with vine maple, underbrush, ferns and alders.   The distance between us was no more than 100 feet.  During this early morning hunt, I was jumping a number of Blacktail deer bucks at close range and would yell out “there’s one,” and Dad’s comment would be “where”?  On that hunt, I could have very easily killed a buck, yet we did not get one.  I wanted to see my Dad get a buck.   As you might suspect the deer were on alert and took evasive moves.

A buddy known as MJ once yelled at my son because he did not tell him he was shooting at a deer, as he did not get a chance to kill one of the deer.  I told MJ that I have taught my son to react to the situation.  My son had jumped the small group of bucks in the draw.   He took the shot and got his buck!  Believe it or not deer do have great hearing.  If my son had yelled, “there’s a buck”, they surely would have not gotten any of them.  On this same hunt, I spotted a dandy 4X4 and said to MJ “there’s a big buck”, he said “where”?  He did not get the buck, yet he had time if he had been paying attention.

Over the years, while hunting with groups of hunters situations I believe we create situations in which there are too many distractions.

Sharp Eyes and Sensitive Ears. Some years ago while on a Pronghorn scouting trip in eastern Oregon with a buddy that seemed to always fall asleep even on the roughest roads,  I would catch sight of coyotes in the middle of an abandoned road or dry lake.   I would say “there’s a dog”, he too would say “where” as he was trying to gain eyesight after dozing off.  Coyotes can hear the voices within the truck.  From then on, I just kept my mouth shut.  When I saw dog (coyote), I would just push on the emergency brake (holding the release lever so it would not make noise), bail out and take the shot.  My partner, still dozing, had no clue and would wake up and say “what the heck you shooting at?” I took 5 dogs on the trip, with him dozing off all the time. We still talk about that maneuver of mine.

Stopping to Count Points. Some years ago, an old hunting buddy had been successful getting a nice Rocky Mountain Elk bull off of the B.L.M. near the John Day River hunting by himself.   MJ was pretty good about getting it done, with a partner or solo, but usually never hunting together, but taking routes in different canyons.   On this particular hunt, he had run into my Commanding Officer in the Navy.  MJ knew of Rod and had met him several times.  Rod was hunting with an old friend of his.  MJ said he would show them bulls in a basin he had spotted bulls earlier in the hunt.   MJ lived up to his offer and put both of them on eight bulls at about 150 yards out.   Well, Rod and his buddy saw the bulls and counted all the bulls’ points and finally decided (after the bulls took off running) to shoot!   Moral of the story, be in combat mode and react to what the eyes see instantly and not over think! Game moves a lot faster than you can get setup.

Combat Mode. So let’s start off with the type a hunter, the person who seems to be always successful.  He or she will have the hunt lined out the year before.  Most of the time, the hunt is totally about them and getting it done.  I like to call it the Combat mode of hunting.  The mind is focused on the end result of getting the game down.  In many cases they are solo hunting in the sense of immediate contact with other hunters.   There might be a partner or partners, but rest assured they are in the field away from others.   All of their senses are tuned into the surroundings within their space.   The person that most likely can make the 300 yard running shot, or have his arrow clear a 12” opening in a tree and hit the 50 yard distance target… you can be sure he or she is totally focused!

Knowing Your Area. There are the party hunters (hunters only) that love to hunt together and try to do it every year at a specific hunting area.   It is about the gathering, though each and every one of them wants to be successful on the hunt.  They know the area like they know their own yard.   I find that they are fairly successful in getting game, as they know the routes of the game over the years.   They all have their favorite stand they will be at on opening morning.  In this case it reminds me of the Hurley’s that once hunted the Pilot Rock area in Oregon.  They setup their camp near Foggy Knob or Four Corners up on East Birch Creek.   They always had deer or elk hanging in their camp.   I know they spent more than 25 years hunting the same spot.

Generations Matter. Now the following camp is an example of some of my first hunting experiences with family and friends.   Again we were “party hunting,” but with the spouses that either hunted or not (mostly not), but adding the young grandkids to the mix as well.  We would have three generations hunting.  I remember talking with my cousin about the good old days that his dad hunted; little did I know at the time, we just lacked the experience the old boys had.  We would see one of the old guys coming back with game, having sat around an isolated campfire during elk season to keep ourselves warm.  We could not understand how they got it done, as most old boys would smoke.  On these hunts it was all about the family and good times.  You always wanted to be the one to have the bragging rights that year on getting a deer or elk of any size.

It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?

It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?

Giving Others the Shot. One of the best hunts is the father or mother that shows their children how to hunt and give them the chance to harvest an animal.   This could also go for a mentor that shares all their knowledge with youth or another hunter.   In this case, it would be the time we had spotted a monster bull on the B.L.M., I asked my buddy who was also glassing and spotted the bull, if he wanted to go after him.  Knowing how to get to the area that was about a mile off, with my son and his non-hunting buddy following along we got into the spot that was close to the last appearances of the bull.   I had checked up wind and the area was clear, coming back to the boys, I said he has to be close.  I let my son quietly lead into the juniper and sagebrush.  JR, jumped the bedded bull at 50 feet and made the shot.  The bull was bedded under a Juniper tree.  What was great he reacted without hesitation and took his first bull with a gross score of 340.  If there had been any hesitation that bull would have made it out of there.   JR got to have the bragging rights of the biggest bull taken on a very successful hunt for all.

Just recently on a bow hunt, being in a tree stand I could see the bucks coming into the draw, JR was in a ground blind in the draw.  I sat there in a daze watching all un-folding, I had the shot, but something told me it was JR’s hunt and not mine.  He could have taken the big buck at 15 yards, but in his mind he knew I was after this buck.  He made movement in the blind and the all the deer, but one scattered in the opposite direction.  The one buck that caused the others to react, just stood his ground.  JR took the 8 yard shot on that buck.   Each person on this hunt was thinking about the other person and did not react to the situation.  I told him he should have arrowed the big buck!  “Dad, he was yours to take”

Pay to Play. So many times we see these days with the social media great pictures of truly great animals taken by hunters.   When digging a bit, they are hunting on private enclosed hunting lands.  In many cases large sums of money have changed hands to make the success of the hunt happen.   This is about how much money one has to be successful.  There is little more to be said on this style of hunter.  Some years back I got a picture sent to me of a 430” Rocky Mountain bull taken in Idaho.  What a great bull that was taken at 100 yards while in his bed.   It took a while to get to the bottom of the story, but the bull was harvested on an enclosed 8-foot fenced ranch that sells the bulls by the inch.

Guides Help. There are many that want to only hunt on private lands (non-enclosure) with guides.   In conclusion many times the hunter makes great shots on the game and I would say their success rate is around 50% to 100%.   Again money is involved in the hunt and the success of the hunter.  Most hunters would love to be able to have one or more of these hunts.   To have a chance to hunt on a ranch that has big game and is managed for hunting would be quite exciting, I believe sometimes.  On these ranches the only fences are the 5 strand barbwire cattle fencing…

Just Ask! Lastly, though the good old boys (ranchers) are slowing riding into the sunset, there still are some ranches and farms a hunter can just ask to hunt and be surprised that they might just get a Yes!   They are normally working ranches or farms, with livestock, crops, orchards, vineyards or all of the above.  Over the years I have just done the asking and got permission to hunt.  In time I found that I wanted to return the favor and would give gestures of my thanks for getting to hunt these places.  There is never the guarantee of harvesting game.

This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.

This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.

A funny and very true ending to the last paragraph was about 10 years ago.  I knew a rancher in the Steen’s Mountains of Oregon that would allow hunters to hunt Pronghorns.  So I helped out one of my vendors and lined up the permission.  I knew that the rancher drank soda pop and I told my vendor to get a couple of cases of pop and a new folding knife for the rancher.  “Ryan asked me, “why the knife” and I told him you’ll know when the timing is correct.   So Ryan gets to the ranch, met and talk with the rancher, the rancher was very busy and told him to go down the road a couple of miles and look for a cattle guard.  Ryan was a bit lost, and then he remembered what I said.  Quickly producing the knife to the rancher, he was then escorted to the place to hunt with ideas of how to hunt the area.  Ryan was successful in getting a trophy Pronghorn.   Ranchers and Farmers are not managing wildlife, yet they have a great influence on the survival of wildlife.

Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 23 Apr 2015

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting of Dinosaurs

Through time in the field, knowledge comes to all!

None us come out knowing everything.  So over the years I have absorbed a great deal of knowledge about hunting Pronghorn – Antelope that roam the high plains and arid lands of the United States.  One of the most magnificent mammals that has survived since the Ice Age.  It is one of the few living links to the Ice Age.  They are an ancient species dating back about 20 million years and are the lone survivors of a family of hoofed mammals found only in North America (Antilocapridae)  A little history class for hunters!

A nice heavy buck, maybe next year!

A nice heavy buck, maybe next year!

Oregon truly is a sleeper state for hunting Pronghorn – Antelope – Lope or Dinosaurs!  Problem is getting a tag for resident or even non-resident.   Many non-resident hunters put in for many states, with the hope of drawing.  As for those of use that live in Oregon, getting a tag runs from 8 to 25 years for a rifle tag and 1 to 3 years for archery.   Sometimes you might be lucky and draw a tag based on the hold back tags put in random draw.  As a biologist friend of mine once told me Oregon’s Pronghorn units all hold Boone & Crockett warrantable bucks. Biggest problem is holding out for the big buck, judging bucks, know the whereabouts and what unit has the best possible chance for a trophy buck.

This archery buck scored 78" 13 1/2" with 6 1/2" Prongs.

This archery buck scored 78″ 13 1/2″ with 6 1/2″ Prongs.

When I first started out with my first tag for an Oregon Pronghorn, I had help from a Naval Officer that I knew while on active duty in the Navy, he had great deal of knowledge, plus his friend a young BLM summer help student that knew the area.  His name was Rod Briece, who later became my Commanding Officer and was a long time hunting friend.

We did not go blindly into the hunt unit, as there was a game plan to check out many different areas of the unit in a short period of time.  We did get into the unit prior to the hunt by one full day to scout.   We had about 4 game plans with the A, B, C, and D plan changing with the sighting of bucks.  The final plan of the day became a A plan for the opening morning.   I was successful on my first Pronghorn hunt to get a buck that scored 85″.   He and his does had come into the same waterhole that we had seen them at, the evening before.  At about 0715 the buck came to the waterhole.  Over the following years in this particular unit it put out many trophy Pronghorns.  This does not include the ones that a few missed during the hunts and the hunter came up empty handed…

One of the greatest lessons that I learned with hunting Pronghorns is the use of the binoculars and patience.  Finding vantage points and glassing over massive areas.   Pronghorns have always been the animal, you don’t see me now, but wait long enough I will be standing there.  Amazing creature that has intrigued me for many decades.  Even on that first hunt, we glassed from afar and it paid off.  I always look for mass from a side profile of the head.  If warranted, I have a spotting scope to do a better judgement of the buck.   Many times the heat waves in the high desert are so bad that there seems to be an illusion of what you see.  So seeing the side profile is most important. Length is not always as important as mass and the high of the prongs (cutters) on the horn.

Mapping is very important for hunters, whether it is Pronghorn hunting or any other movement in the outdoors.  I find it is almost as important as the optics and the weapon of choice.

Until recently, lets say 1998, most of use would have B.L.M. maps or other maps to find places to hunt.  The GPS came along and it was ok, to know where you were, but not much good to know where to go.  A few software companies tried back then, but were crude and not very accurate.  Along comes onX HUNT a few years ago and what a success story for the company and the people that use their products. It is a lot of fun to have knowledge of places to hunt (landmarks), take them and mark them in the mapping software on the computer and then move them to the GPS.   A great way to share information that is accurate.   Like having a snapshot of a hillside that you have seen, but now you get to remember where it is.  Better yet, at times when using the software and Google Earth via the laptop to Garmin GPS, it like watching TV…  Remember by using this software, you might even be able to find a rancher or farmer that dislike Dinosaurs and will give you permission.  For DIY you’ll find that you just might not need a guide for out of state hunts.  Many got it figured out how to hunt public land for Pronghorns!
        onX HUNT

BLM and the Private Food Plot via Google Earth and onXmaps HUNT

BLM and the Private Food Plot via Google Earth and onX  HUNT

You figure it out how you want to hunt. Find legal land and game! From onXmaps HUNT Viewer

You figure it out how you want to hunt. Find legal land and game! From onX HUNT Viewer

onXmaps HUNT mapping from the computer.

onX HUNT mapping from the computer.

 

For those that Rifle hunt, the following are my thoughts:  

We all have options on what caliber to hunt with for Pronghorns and my thoughts are no different.  Having many calibers to choose from, I am a firm believer to go big on this medium size mammal.   It is about the changes that can happen with the weather and other conditions.   Maybe a shot at 50 yards, or just maybe a 300 plus yard shot with the wind blowing at 30 knots.

This archery buck score 86" 14 1/2" with 8" Prongs. Very heavy mass.

This archery buck score 86″ 14 1/2″ with 8″ Prongs. Very heavy mass.

This brings up another subject:   Making sure you have great shot placement and anchor the Pronghorn down.  Tracking for trying to find a Pronghorn in the sagebrush after a hit from afar, might just lead to not finding it.  Years ago one of my hunters that I gave waypoints to shot a monster lope in a large sagebrush flat.  It was late and darkness was fast approaching.  He decide to wait for morning!  A great mistake as one loses focus of what he or she might have seen with the shot.  With a Pronghorn left overnight, the coyotes have already taken are of it. You might be lucky to find the horns, but in many cases the horns have been taken care of also.  Anchor the animal as with any animal in it’s tracks or close proximity.

Bowhunting for Pronghorns can be the best hunt of a Liftime.

In my time I have done a great deal of scouting and researching of Pronghorn or Antelope as most call this great animal from the past in Oregon and the rest of the Western States, where they roam in hunt-able numbers.  For archery hunters in many of the Western States you have a chance to hunt every year for Antelope.  Where as with a rifle you might have to wait some 8-25 years to draw a tag, at least in the Oregon.  I have hunters in Oregon that are now hunting almost every year with the bow.   A  great challenge to hunt with the bow, but what a rush and accomplishment to harvest up close and personal.  You’ll find hunting with the bow for Antelope a great sport that you won’t be able to stop doing.   I have been told by my hunters that they have had the best experience hunting Antelope over anything else they have hunted in North America.  It could be that they see a lot of Antelope while hunting them.   Since competition for tags is so great, some of use will wait the whatever years to get the rifle tag, get it done and the following years put in for a bow tag.   Not many years ago in Oregon and I am sure in other states, you put in for a rifle tag and make your second choice a bow tag.   I do believe that I did this at least 10 times over the years.   Very fortunate to have harvest a number of great bucks with the arrow.   Now I find that many are taking great bucks with the arrow in many hunt units in many states.  With less competition to hunt with the bow and arrow, plus the greater chance to get a tag, my suggestion is to take up bow hunting if you haven’t and get it done!  It easier than you think to harvest with the bow.  Pronghorns can be stalked pretty easy with cover, or you lay ambush in a ground blind.

This is a great buck, worthy of any wall! Didn’t have a tag, but hunting season was upon us. 100 foot photo op!

I one thing I have learned after all these years and not even being in some of my old haunts for many years, is that Pronghorn are animals of habit from generation to generation.   They cover the same ground and do the same things from one generation to another.  Most of the land in which they live never changes.   There was one buck that my friends & hunters chased for about three years and never got.  I really wanted him for myself is what all thought.  He would be located in the same spot within a 1/4 mile and escape basically the same way.  His escape route was not one you could cover and he knew it.  Now if we ambushed him in his normal spot he could have been taken.  He was one of the biggest Antelope I ever hunted.  I did get one hunter on him at very close range with a standing broadside, but he missed.  The only thing that had changed is the B.L.M. put a solar power water pump on a water hole in one of my favorite spots.   Even the old ranchers sign was still there and he had been gone for a long time.  The sign had stated in so many words that you were crossing into his lands.  This happen to be B.L.M. that he leased, but did not own. Now you know one of the reasons to have a mapping and gps system that lets you know your legal.  Many times my hunters tell me, “WOW”, you were right on the money for Lopes being there…

This is a great buck taken in Oregon also in a 2 season unit.

This is a great buck taken in Oregon also in a 2 season unit.

I have seen mature bucks standing in the middle of a back country road in B.L.M., marking the road.  No, not by scratching but by urinating in the middle of road.   Once someone knows some of the peculiar habits of Antelope, you can use it to your advantage.   Such is the case a couple of years ago when I spot a group of Antelope in a 5 tag unit.  I wanted the picture of the buck and just knew he would go around the mountain and want to get back into the hole.  He did just that and my son asked how did you know?

Not a big buck in a 5 tag unit, but it was nice to be able to read his mind! He cut my path at about 75 yards, trying to double back to the basin!

I have taken a great deal of Antelope with the bow and all but a rifle kill has been from stalking.   A great deal of the bow hunters I know do wait on water, but you have to have patience.  One of my GPS Hunters – Bowhunters sat for two (2) days for more than 12 hours.  He as been successful two (2) years in a row on the same waterhole.   I do love to stalk them and arrow them before they know I am there.  Antelope do lay in the sagebrush flats and with a lot of glassing from a vantage point you can find them and stalk within bow range easily.

Which one is the shooter in this crowd?

Note:  Then there is the issue with sunglasses, I will always wear sunglasses (favorite are Ray-Ban Wayfarer-easy to lift with bino’s with no bind) during the day and “Photo Grays” for the evening hunts.  I felt if the game, especially Antelope can’t see my eyes or movement then I could close the gap on them even easier once spotted.  I always wore a hat and a backpack with the spotting scope & tripod sticking out of the top.  It is what it is with habits and wearing the same pants on every hunt!

Most experience hunters have there ways to hunt game, whether it is from stalking, waiting, ambush or just being lucky and walking into a shoot-able animal.  It is whatever works for you, that makes the hunt!

You also have to be patient and let the smaller bucks (“VILLAGE IDIOTS”) go by, so you can harvest the trophy buck.

Just a short little video of a nice buck ( we had him set for the following year) in the Grizzly Hunt Unit in Oregon:  Pronghorn in the Big Muddy!

Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 23 Feb 2015

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Timber Companies Charging Access

This article is a two part article that has to do with

Public Land Access and Private Timber Land Access

Changing times are upon us!

The following article are my thoughts and opinions on the subject public and private timber land use!
The new 21st Century Sign

The new 21st Century Sign

Like the wind, the environment of hunting changes without notice.  Over the many years of hunting and being able to hunt openly on State, Federal, B.L.M. and Timber company’s properties, plus horse trading to hunt private, it was pretty easy to find a place to hunt without hassle in Oregon.

Not too many years ago I or We were able to hunt a great parcel of BLM in central Oregon near Madras, Oregon.  Since the land was rugged we would use quads to get from point A to B, glass and then hunt the game down.   Prior to quads from the days of hunting the great Snake River for Rocky Mountain Elk, horses were the key to non-motorized entry for our team.

A number of years ago the neighboring landowners were able to get the rules changed with BLM; no quads or other motorized allowed.  Strange that there are many old ranch roads and BLM roads on the land, now closed to the public, yet the adjacent land owner can use quads…  Just as strange motorized is allow on another parcel BLM land very close by.  The BLM is connected actually by a county line to the south.   I will tell you it was not a rancher or farmer that lobbied to get it closed!

Wanting to find new lands on the west side of the Cascades Mountains in Oregon, using my Garmin Montana GPS and the fabulous onX HUNT software a new world open when scouting, finding such lands as Weyerhaeuser, Port Blakely, Longview Fiber (NOW OWNED BY WEYERHAEUSER), BLM, State Lands, plus small parcels of National Forest.  Mainly interested in Blacktail Deer though Roosevelt Elk can be found on the same land, scouting during May, June and July before the Oregon Archery season, it was great to find many great Blacktail bucks.

With regular maps you would never know the private timber conglomerates, yet alone small parcels of state owned or National Forest lands without using the onX HUNT software.  In many western states there are mining claim that the public can pass through, but there are many small land parcels (50 – 200 acres) of mines on BLM and National Forest that you’ll never see on a paper map. Miners don’t take to kindly to trespassing and they might not call the law to Enforce a trespassing law…

Port Blakely allows some free hunting, but one better know the phone number and check prior to the dates wanting to access the land.  I am going to give a Hoorah to PLUM CREEK, as they allow the public to use their land with NO CHARGES.
This is where it stops; recently I made a call to an old hunting buddy about his elk hunt during the archery season in Oregon.  I was informed he received a $350.00 fine for trespassing on Weyerhaeuser property during the season.  What!  An area he has hunted for more than 30+ years for elk and deer.
For years the Weyerhaeuser properties have been open to public access. Well things change and now you have to have a permit to hunt.  A number of ways to do it, open permits or bid on the total access to parcels.
Stop and think about it for a second, most likely these giant timber companies get tax breaks and I can tell you some it about public access.  In the N.W. Weyerhaeuser owns 6,000.000+ acres, the size of Rhode Island in the United States and controlling 12,000,000 acres in Canada on long term leases.
There is now great controversy about Weyerhaeuser charging for access to their lands.
If you go back far enough you’ll find some of the tainted realities of land grab, via the railroads, government and the buying and giving of our timberlands.”  I remember the term cut and pay as you go.”  Think about making revenue without paying first, well in the timber business it has been done.

For years I have vented my thoughts and anger about BLM and other public land trades, in which there might be blocks of separated lands. What I have seen and many others that fight for our public lands are normally bad changes, with the public getting short end of the stick.

There should be an easy fix on this one.

There should be an easy fix on this one.

There is one large section of BLM in Oregon in which some our most liberal politicians want to swap great elk and deer hunting land with a group.  In the rules of engagement of this particular land swap the two private land owners want to control the road, closing it off during the winter months. They want the county road to be vacated. The swap itself isn’t too bad, but the old wagon road from the 1800’s needs to be the dividing line with open access to the public. No one private individual should have the rights to stop the public from going into public land on a trade such as this.

We find that the National Forest wants to close thousands of miles of roads in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest; the battle goes on with this subject!

So where is all of this leading, well it is leading into a fight for survival of hunting and public access to public land.  In the meantime it is very important for land users, whether fishing, hiking, hunting or evening just driving around to know the lay of the un-marked lands.  No matter who you are you need a Garmin GPS (colored-microchip capabilities-modern) and the onX HUNT software loaded on the GPS and my personal recommendation on your laptop and your mobile device.  I have said since mapping GPS’s came out it is better to know where you are going then to know where you have been.  I love to search via onX HUNT (APP) Google Earth and see new spots, thus adding them to my GPS for the next outing to investigate.

In Conclusion:  There are some private timber companies in the west and mountain states that allow the public to use their property for recreation.  It is important for everyone to know where they are and not take for granted they have access.  Use equipment that will keep you legal, safe and open new avenues in your outdoor ventures. Make your voice go forward about what is right!  Please remember that it is illegal to try and jump from corner to corner on public land that is encompassed with private…

I personally do not leave home without my Garmin Montana and my onX HUNT updated for travels in Oregon!

Bwana Bubba

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 08 Dec 2014

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Oregon needs a change!

2015 Oregon remains in the Dark Ages!

When does common sense come into making decisions that affect the masses or majority?  In this case the ODFW for Oregon, Idaho Fish and Wildlife and lastly WDFW for Washington make their decisions not for the majority in my opinion.  We all know there are lobbyists that believe that a Long Bow is the only bow and we should all be shooting them.  Let’s give thought to how most or the majority over the years has moved along with technology. We also know that many of those of age still might have an old bow from the past or even a Springfield carbine Model 1873, but likely don’t use them for hunting any longer. When does their arrogant policy decision dictate the policy for the majority becomes a hindrance?  I would likely bet a great deal of many that most of the decision makers in the case have a smartphone and computer of some type…

I have written about this before, this time though it will not be in reference in the loss of a game animal personally or by friend. I truly thought that Oregon would allow in the 2015 at least a lighted nock for the purpose of finding game or knowing that you hit your game with an arrow projected from your bow.  Just receiving the new 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations, the lighted nock, expandable Broadhead and any electronic device mounted to a bow or any part of the bow to be illegal still.

Tell me if this would not help?

Tell me if this would not help?

There are at least 45 states that allow the use of lighted nocks and 47 allowing the use mechanical Broadhead.  There are a few restrictions, but of course Oregon, Washington and Idaho do not allow at all for big game. Crazy as this seems in Oregon though you are able to hunt the Silver Gray Squirrel and game birds with a mechanical Broadhead.

Silver Gray Squirrel - Such big game for the hunter.

Silver Gray Squirrel – Such big game for the hunter.

Now that we have an abundance of wild Turkeys in Oregon, we can tackle them with a mechanical Broadhead.  Hmm! Such a big bird, maybe the size of an elk or deer, that we can use the mechanical Broadhead.  So the reason that the Turkey is harder to hit or the fact they have so many feathers, making it hard to find the vitals?  Now give me a good reason on the Silver Gray Squirrel getting the privilege of getting taken down with a mechanical Broadhead.  Yet most of us have shot them in the past with a 22 caliber or with an arrow with a blunt or target tip, creating a small hole, yet death came.  Most bowhunters know they make a bird point for small game and birds.  Just think about hitting a Turkey in the chest with shot from a mechanical Broadhead, guess the tail fan or beard was more important!   The state allowing the use of mechanical Broadhead on turkeys just opens the door for someone to carry a mechanical Broadhead in his quiver during a combination turkey deer hunt.  We have bow hunts that run the same time as General Fall Turkey season in Oregon for Blacktail deer…  We all know that the number of turkeys in the Willamette, Santiam, McKenzie, Northern Indigo, Alsea and a couple others.  Recently while traveling through the Willamette and Santiam corridor, I count more than 400 plus turkeys in various pockets.

This works for me

This works for me

s7_461930_imageset_04 The use of lighted nocks would help greatly in the recovery of big game animals after a shot.  The hunter can tell if they actually hit the animal, easy recovery of the arrow in the brush, when recovered be able to tell what type of hit it might be if hit.  In relationship to the above, I suppose those that make the rules figure that with lighted nocks there would be more shots taken after hours.  Well since in the State of Oregon we can’t have anything with electronics on our bows or arrows; it would not help in taking an after shooting time shot.   Someone wrote that on 50% of game is recovered when shot, not sure if that is accurate, but I will tell you that most of the time the game that is hit with an arrow do die.  The main idea in hunting once you hit game is for fast recovery of the animal.   Most bow hunters seldom get an animal to drop in their tracks with an arrow.  Hell!  Let’s all get real; even with the use of a rifle, many don’t anchor their game to the deck.  So if you don’t find the animal, do you still hunt?  Yes!  Now in the State of Alaska, “Alaska limits licensed hunters to the bagging of one bear per hunting season. Under the law, the wounding of a bear counts toward the season’s bag limit.” The use of a mechanical Broadhead is allowing for a faster bleed-out on the animal, with more cutting area.  This means a faster recovery in most cases of the animal, plus the fact of a much better blood trail to follow in most cases.

I know where the vitals are and where to place the shot on this turkey!

I know where the vitals are and where to place the shot on this turkey!

As for the use of electronic devices on a bow, I am all in favor of being able to attach a camera on my bow.  Sometimes in a spot and stalk it would be great to get the action shot from the bows prospective.  Oh! I know I can attach it to my hat, but all bowhunters know we turn their hats around in the pursuit of the animal.  Then again, I can hire a cameraman to follow me around and screw my hunt up with extra feet.  So with all of this I have my Go Pro and other small camera attached to my backwards cover (hat). In conclusion if you feel there should be a change, go forward and let your lawmakers know. Bwana Bubba

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Published by Frank Biggs on 01 Aug 2014

Bwana Bubba Thoughts! Baiting Ethical or Logical?

Baiting Big Game – Ethical or Logical

First Question of the Day!

Having a scent felt, doused in Doe in Heat hanging in a tree to bring a buck is it a form of Baiting?

We have been into the 21st Century for some time now and the issue of baiting hunt-able animals or game birds has become a major subject!  Must be the Anti-Hunters and Anti-Gun advocates finding a new avenue to target to draw a crowd for their cause! Well as usual I have a few words to say!  There is a great deal of writing and talk going on right now about the subject and I have my own thoughts about the subject. As we look at the circle of the food change including mankind, we find in one way or another we all bait for survival or our enjoyment. We have the livestock ranches around the world, the livestock eat on ranches and open ranges without much disturbance, then comes the day they first go to the feed lots, then to the butcher, then receive a head shot and end up on our tables to eat by humans and canines.

Bald Eagle 01 int

The Bald Eagles were everywhere, in trees waiting their turns. About 12 Bald Eagles, adults and juveniles were working the sheep!

Even the birds of prey figure out the how to eat the sheep that seem to come up dead in a field, in the State of Oregon in the valley near the towns of Lebanon and on the way to Marcola, I have seen as many 12 Bald Eagles on sheep.  Ah!  Is that nature’s way to feed the birds of prey, or are they opportunist to feed on fenced Sheep?  Easy Prey! So in the hunting world with any kind hunting weapon to take down big game, birds, small game or other wildlife, there is some form of baiting involved. Let’s take waterfowl hunting, majority of the time planted fields are flooded in many parts of the country.  Ah! Say!  Ok! Your hunting spot does not flooded any fields, yet the birds come into the field to feed en route to the water for protection.  We lay ambush from cover or blinds with decoys in wait for the waterfowl to fly by or land within our decoys.  So are the decoys a group style of baiting? Upland game bird hunters in many cases with hunt corn fields, wheat crop fields or other fields that have produce an edible to market crop.  Yes! The birds hide in the adjacent cover, but they still feed on the remnants of the crop. We have bear hunters in many states that get to bait bears with meat or fruit and lay in wait from treestand or cover blinds.   In the northern sector of CONUS and into Canada many bears are ambushed while working the fresh growth of grasses in the spring.   What an excellent way to keep the bears in check. I know that a well-known hunter and advocate of hunting big game native to the U.S. and exotics from around the world baits the game and lays in wait from a treestand or ground blind.   He is very successful, yet he does not eat all his harvests.  Most do not know that he raises the game animals and the meat goes to needy families.   For him, his family and friends, it is about the hunt, the harvest and the excitement of the whole experience.  This is done on this own land and in one way this is his crop! In some states you can bait big game, but you can’t bait predators, such as Bear and Cougars.  That is a great way to manage a state, so it is said (wildlife managers).   So bears and cougars run rampaged with no predators other than mankind taking out a few during hunting seasons.   Plus over populations of bears have taken out large sections of timber that is not quite ready for harvest.  Did you know that they themselves find a great source of sap from these age trees?  The strip the bark off, secure the sap and the tree dies.  So we won’t have to worry about baiting big game such as deer and elk to hunt with the way it is in Oregon. Did you know that a Cougar only wants fresh meat and takes on the average about one (1) a week on deer and if working take elk, then maybe one every 14 days. Recently I got a short 15 second video from an old hunting buddy.  It was taken from a camera on his property just outside of the city limits of a rural town, close to Portland, Oregon.  Just think about the fact it is summer in the Willamette Valley and he has never seen a Cougar this time of year.  In the past years he has seen a Cougar in the snow following deer to their winter staging area.  So you ask what does this have to do with baiting, well if we could bait for Bears and Cougars in Oregon, maybe we could save our deer and elk herds. Press Here To See We have in the western half of the United States the privilege to hunt for Pronghorn (Antelope), though they will roam the great sage brush plains, they do love to work agricultural areas, especially alfalfa.   Is it a form of baiting to wait for the Antelope to leave an alfalfa circle and be shot going under the barbwire fence?   If we think back to the existence of man, he has in many cases waited for the game he was going to eat to come to water, food or leave from one of them. Recently I posted a video of a great video archery shot of a Blacktail Deer, there were apples on the ground from the apple tree near the treestand.  The comment wasn’t very good telling me he wasn’t a hunter working over bait.  It didn’t help that the opening picture was of the same buck standing over a pile of apples early in the season.  I explain to help the commenter understand that the opening picture was of a different spot to take census or take count of the bucks in the area and that the kill shot was near an apple tree.  Press Here To See

WGI_2401

Does anyone really think we would get these shots without doing something to slow them down on the way to the vineyard?

My feelings are if it is legal by the state in-which you hunt, then there should be not issue. Many years ago when I was having a conversation with Randall Byers of the Pope & Young Club, he made comment to me that in Idaho it was legal to hunt deer over bait and that he and his buddies like to use corn.  At the time I thought it was terrible, as I had never done it with big game.   Guess I was clueless to the fact it was legal! I have laid in wait for a buck Pronghorn coming to water and ambushed them at a crossing to water.  So is water bait?   I would believe in some sense of the idea that it to be bait! Another instance years ago while hunting for Pronghorn over at Earl Smith’s Ranch outside of Antelope, Oregon, Mike the ranch foreman would say come with me and see what happens in a few minutes.   As we watched from about 200 yards away I watched countless Elk jump over the fence and into the wheat field.  They did it at the same point every night.   That to be a strategic location during the archery season to hunt for the elk.  So would that be considered baiting to wait close by for the elk to come and go or just being an opportunist like the Eagle? I used to hunt for Mule Deer bucks on the Mayo Ranch outside of Riley, Oregon.  We would wait in the tall grasses for the Mulie to enter the cut and bailed Alfalfa fields to eat the second cut.  So we did not intently bait the deer ourselves, but we made opportunity work for us!  At that time I would have never thought that to be a process of baiting, yet I did not plant the crop, but was an opportunist to be in the right spot! So everyone has their own thoughts what is baiting.   It is about hunting and harvesting game to eat, though myself I give the meat away for the most part, as I have many friends that beg for deer and elk meat every year.  So for me it is about the adventurer and the harvest, so in later life I have found that using every opportunity to get the hunt done legally is Right. Anti-Hunters have created the problem with hunting in every sort or form of the sport or natural order of mankind’s desire to kill animals and baiting is just another subject to change the course of history.

This was in January and in this case it was about seeing what the carryover was with the Blacktail Bucks in the area.

This was in January and in this case it was about seeing what the carryover was with the Blacktail Bucks in the area.

All should take note that if hunters or other sports people did not  buy sporting goods, which includes licenses to hunt, fish and collect coastal creatures in the oceans, there would be no successful management of game, fish , upland game birds or waterfowl.   It is the money from those that love the hunt or fish that allow all to enjoy seeing game.

These are my thoughts on the subject and may not be the thoughts of others!  Bwana Bubba   

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Published by Frank Biggs on 08 Apr 2014

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – How Not To Trespass!

To Trespass Knowingly or Not To Trespass with Technology!

Without getting carried away with the past, I will say that in the day, in Oregon when the Bhagwan & his Cult ruled some 60,000 acres outside of Antelope, Oregon, that also had some 60,000 acres of B.L.M. within the boundary, with a vast majority of it being landlocked, I ran the line to hunt for the big Mule Deer and Rocky Mtn. Elk that roamed the land.  Later it was taken over by the Washington Family, who donated the land to Young Life.   The Bhagwan was pretty easy if you stayed on the B.L.M. via a public road access.   Young Life in the first year allowed access via Current Creek on the Big Muddy Rd.   That did not last long when the Management of the Young Life on the Big Muddy found there was real money with the hunting of big game.

Since this post, mobile technology from onX HUNT is in full swing. Your phone can now be the tool and you can even share waypoints to another user…

In 2002 I was stopped on B.L.M. on the Northeast Sector of the Grizzly Elk Hunt Unit in Oregon by Young Life Patrollers.   They demanded our Licenses, which in Oregon if on private you’re going to have to give it to them.   I told them we were on B.L.M. and I wasn’t going to give them anything.   They were packing handguns and demanded the licenses of all three of us.  I said are you going to shoot us if we don’t and they said” are you going to shoot us”, I said funny our rifles are on the Quads some 100 yards down the B.L.M. Road.  Standstill for a while and the other hunter (Young Life Donor & Doctor) who was with us gave up this license first, then without any more battle of words we all gave the Olsen Brothers our licenses.   Their words when they finally got their old technology GPS’s (old technology GPS didn’t work well in pockets) out of their front pockets and found a signal said the following “we are on B.L.M.” “Ah! We still know you were TRESPASSING!”  Let it be known that they had to cross B.L.M. to get to one small parcel in the middle of B.L.M.

When we go out of the B.L.M. via the same trail we took in via B.L.M., an OSP Game Officer was waiting for us on the Hwy 218 road access.  He asked the following “did you guys have an incident while hunting” I said of course we did, but we were on B.L.M. and showed him the maps that we had, which were made up of old technology and Garmin GPS to outline all of the B.L.M. and had it color coded, with our tracks going in and out.  We were carrying the first Topo mapping Garmin GPS that had come out in 2000.   We all thought it was over with the proof that we were legal.   Well 9 months later we get ticketed for Criminal Trespassing.  The same OSP (Oregon State Police) Game Officer from Bend, Oregon drove over to issue the tickets to us in Oregon City, Oregon.  I asked him why, since I had an OSP Game Officer as a neighbor and the Senior OSP Game Officer some 4 houses away.  His comment “was he had to do it, as Craig I., said he saw you Trespassing”.  Then the next comment was “you know you’ll get off on the Trespassing” and I said yes, but we have to hire 3 lawyers!

What the heck i will share the past. Remember only horses for human foot traffic in the area. Private Land Owners can change the demographics for all with the B.L.M...
What the heck I will share the past. Remember only horses for human foot traffic in the area. Private Land Owners can change the demographics for all with the B.L.M…

In conclusion:  The DA of Wasco County didn’t want anything to do with it, as we had the evidence that we were innocent of Trespassing on Young Life.

Comments made by the others hunting BLM, old combat veterans “why didn’t you have a firefight Frank?”  It was in jest, but reality we were held at bay with handguns, which should have been kidnapping!

The above story now leads into why a hunters or outdoor people should have a Garmin GPS and onX HUNT  Mapping Software.  The technology that I used back then took a great deal of time and resources to get it done.  Now it takes about 15 minutes to have the advance technology on your computer and your GPS to be 100% sure of where your hunting.

Many of my hunters have waited 10 to 20 years to draw a premium tag to hunt deer, elk and especially pronghorn.   I don’t put the sheep or goats in the picture as it might never happen and at least in the State of Oregon, the ODFW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will help you in locations of goats and sheep.   Funny though that many sheep and goats work between private and public land!

The mapping software can be used as a tool to find the private land owners when you see a herd of maybe a 100 Pronghorn in the Alfalfa and most likely get permission to hunt for free!

Many figure they don’t need this type of equipment that paper maps will work just fine for them!

I have given an example of government paper map in the below picture and a picture from onX HUNT so you can compare the difference.

Normal View at National Forest

This is what Brett thought he was hunting with National Forest cross fences and coming in from the 160 road working north.

Hunt onXmaps - Deer

What Brett ended up on was one of the south corner triangle pieces below the Ochoco Creek Rd. with no corner fences.   There were no signs either on the land and it was all open timber.   Brett was ticketed with a word from the Game Officer he could pay restitution of up to $6250.00 (For Real) to the landowner.  Brett offered to put of No Trespassing Signs, the landowner took the signs from Brett and he went to court.   He did show the Judge in that particular county a Government Map, which helped a little, but still paid a fine to the court.

I am now informed that landowners do not have to post their lands.  So in areas such as National Forest that has private mingle within and no fences, it is your responsibility to know the private (At least in Oregon).

onX HUNT has maps for almost every state in CONUS and the great state of Alaska has a map.

I recommend this product with utmost confidence that you’ll have memorial and successful hunts and trips without hassle. #huntsmarter #teamhunt #onxmaps #bwanabubbaadventurers

Knowing is everything!   Bwana Bubba

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Published by admin on 26 Nov 2013

BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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This column celebrates the writing of Bowhunt America Founder Bill Krenz. This piece was originally printed in the June/July 2005 issue of Bowhunt America.

Work on Your Weaknesses
The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.

If you’re an NBA basketball fan, you know
who Karl Malone is. Malone, who retired after playing eighteen seasons for the Utah Jazz and one for the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of the greatest power forwards ever. Malone was the league’s MVP in 1997 and 1999, was a 14-time All-Star selection, and finished second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Malone could do it all. He could rebound, play defense, and score.
But there was a time when Karl Malone was just average. He was picked by the Utah Jazz in the thirteenth round of the 1985 NBA draft. Twelve other teams passed on Malone before Utah called his name, and his rookie season was lackluster. His first coach, Frank Layton, called Malone in after that first year and explained, “Karl, you have a unique combination of size and speed, but your shooting is just so-so. You will be just a journeyman, an average big man in the league unless you work on your shooting. Your shooting is your weakness.”
“I’ll go home and work on that during the off-season,” Malone told Layton. Layton had heard the same line from a thousand other players. Most never did anything about it.
But Karl Malone wasn’t most players. He recognized the truth in Layton’s words, worked his tail off during that—and every other—off-season, and became one of the best shooting forwards in NBA history. By the time he had retired, Malone had scored 36,928 points, second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time NBA scoring list.
The biggest difference between Karl Malone and so many other players was his willingness to work on his weakness.
Most bowhunters recognize the fact that they must practice their shooting to become more accurate in the field. They set aside the time, ready their equipment, and pound arrow after arrow into their backyard target, hoping for the best.
I’ll tell you a secret. That’s not the way to do it. The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.
To do that, you must first identify your weaknesses. Check your ego at the door and objectively evaluate your own shooting. I like to do that periodically in two ways.

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Try setting up a video camera and filming your shooting from all angles. A video doesn’t lie—you’ll identify your bad habits right away.

First, I’ll mentally take stock of my recent shooting performance by asking myself a series of frank questions beginning with, “How have I performed during my regular practice sessions?” The idea is to identify specific problem areas. Last summer I did that and had to admit to myself that I was missing to the right and left much more than I would like. Horizontally, most of my shots at all distances were quite good, but my weakness seemed to be stray rights and lefts. I next looked at my recent performance in the field, evaluating every shot I’d taken at big game in the last few years. I don’t mind telling you that I was a bit taken aback to note the same right-left problem.
Having identified a likely weakness in my shooting, I next set up a video camera and filmed my shooting from all angles. That’s the second step. A video doesn’t lie. It showed me exactly the shooting patterns I’d gotten into. I hadn’t taped my shooting in a long time and was amazed at how my form had changed. I was leaning back, my anchor point didn’t seem as consistent as I imagined, and my bow hand
was jumping around far too much at the shot.
The next step in serious shooting improvement, beyond identifying weaknesses, is to develop and implement a plan to work hard on those specific weaknesses.
In my case, I zeroed in on cleaning up my right and left misses. To do that, I created a four-step shooting checklist for myself. On my checklist was to stand up straighter during the shot, concentrate on a consistent anchor point, do a better job of centering my sight’s circular pin guard in my peep sight, and maintain ideal bow-hand position through the shot. That ideal position was established by consciously trying different bow-hand positions on my bow’s grip (moving my hand right and left) until I found the position in which my shooting was most consistent right and left.
I also decided to shorten the draw length of my bow slightly, as a too-long draw length often contributes to right and left misses, and to spend at least 20 minutes each practice session shooting at a target with a black, 1-inch-wide vertical line drawn down its center. The object was to hit that vertical line every time, somewhat disregarding where on the line the arrow hit.
After a month of such focused effort, my right-left problem diminished considerably.
Honest introspection may reveal different shooting weaknesses at different times. At different times, I’ve struggled with a failure to follow through properly, shooting too fast or too slow, handling the pressure of important shots, judging shot distance, shooting in dim-light situations, being able to draw my bow smoothly and easily without jerky movements, and picking a specific aiming spot on big game. Those are all common weaknesses that can be worked on and significantly improved, although each requires a different plan of action.
NBA great Karl Malone recognized his weakness and worked hard to correct it. You can do the same. Working specifically on your weaknesses is an important key to
improving your shooting.

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If you’re not satisfied with your shooting, identify and work on your weaknesses, rather than just pounding more arrows into the target.

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