Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pennsylvania's Opening Day

After a weekend of work this weekend, I did not get the opportunity to go out and enjoy the outdoors. I was definately thinking about the outdoors and the memories of past hunts while I was in the office all day. The Thanksgiving traffic was so bad that I decided that I should head out early to Pittsburgh for a Monday meeting on Sunday evening and got a hotel room.

Tomorrow is the opening day of Pennsylvania's deer season and I am sure there are lots of sleepless hunters out there tonight anxiously awaiting the early alarm clock to go off so they can get out into the woods and have thier chance at getting a deer for the freezer and build some great new memories.

The 11:00pm news had a segment on opening day and the increasing amount of women hunters that are hitting the woods. It was a great peice of journalism and I am really happy to see that the local news is doing these kinds of stories. I think the more women and children that we can get out into the woods and understanding why we go out there, the better.

They also stated that 350,000 deer were harvested in Pennsylvania last year. With over 2 million deer in the state that is a really great number and a very reasonable harvest. It would be interesting to see the numbers for all of the states in a single spread sheet along with a breakdown of how many hunters hit the woods, how many does vs bucks were taken and how they were harvested. If anyone has a spread sheet that details the national statistics, I would love to see them and post them here for everyone to read.

Good Luck to all my friends in Pennsylvania! May you have 12 points under your stands all day!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Virginia Sport Show

The Dates are February 16-18th, 2007 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This is sure to be one of the better shows in Virginia and I know the show promoters personally are trying very hard to put together a show that is a lot more then just a bunch of exhibitors for your viewing pleasure.

All you Elk Callers out there come out to the very first elk calling competition that is sanctioned in the state of Virginia!

Again I will be giving seminars at this show on:

How to pick a great outfitter!

If you can make it down, let me know I would like the opportunity to say hello. I will be blogging from this show all weekend!

The Greater Reading Sport Travel and Outdoor Show

The Greater Philadelphia Sport Travel and Outdoor Show has moved to the Reading Expo Center at (2525 North 12th Street) & is located halfway between Reading and Harrisburg.

Show Dates: January 18-21, 2007
The Daily Schedule is:

Thurs. & Friday
12:00pm - 9:00pm
10:00am - 8:00pm
10:00am - 6:00pm

I will be giving seminars at this show on:

How to Pick A Great Outfitter !
How to Plan Your Elk Hunting Trip!

These two seminars will be general information seminars to help hunters pick the best in class equipment, plan for tags and everyone will be loaded with information to ask those Outfitters and Booking Agents the right questions to be able to seperate the good, the bad and the ugly!

Come see me at this show. I attended last year and had a wonderful time and I will be blogging from the show floor all weekend.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation National Elk Camp!

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation ELK CAMP

There is no question, I will definately be at this event and I will definately be blogging from the convention floor, bringing you all I can from some of the greatest hunters, outfitters, manufacturers and conservationists in the world! The really great news is that I will be bringing my mom with me to enjoy the event.

Drop me an email if you are going to be there, as I will definately want to meet you!

Safari Club Convention

Safari Club National Convention and Show

January 24th-27th, 2007 in Reno, NV.

If you are looking for a fantastic hunting convention with exhibitors from the entire world this is a show not to be missed. I am trying to work out the details now to attend. Hopefully I will be there blogging from the convention floor and interviewing some of the worlds top hunters, outfitters and manufacturers.

Range Finders

A good friend just called me up and asked me my opinion on range finders. Now as of this time I do not own a range finder. If the manufacturers out there want to send me some to test I am more then open to tryng them out and writing a review. Once I am done with them, I will donate them to a local conservation organization to auction off.

The method I have used in the woods over the past several years for ranging is guessing. The more you practice it the better you get. Luckily, I had the opportunity to play with a couple this fall while hunting in Idaho. To me the real fun was trying to pick a point, guess the range and then use the range finder to see if I was right. I think it could bring practice to a whole new level of fun while in the woods. Of the two or three that I played with, one unit really stood out hands and feet above the rest.

The Bushnell Elite 1500 was absolutely the leader among the units I played with. The hunter, I borrowed this unit from had it programmed in with the ballitics of his rifle and it would give him the effective range of his bullet and the drop based on gravities pull of the bullet. He told me that it would work with archery as well as ballistics on a rifle and that is impressive.

This unit is not in my budget at the moment, but I am definately going to be saving up for it over the next year or so. When I get some more information on how this unit works, I will post it. I am sure your local Bushnell dealer can get this unit for you.

Sitka Mountain Gear

This fall I had the pleasure to step into a new set of gear that I purchased. Sitka Mountain Gear has developed this gear with extreme hunters in mind. I spent 18 days guiding and hunting in this gear and it's layering system far surpasses all of the gear I have ever had the opportunity to wear.

I hunted in temperatures from 70 degrees down to freezing. I had the opportunity to climb up and down about 20,000+ vertical feet over those 18 days. Every day while on the mountain with this gear I became more and more impressed with its functionality. The quality of the stitching, the quality of the material, the zippers, the layout of the pockets, everything about this gear was well thought out and planned for the serious hunter.

As an individual hunter who is making a committment to hunting each and every year in all extremes of weather, I am excited to own this gear. Now for the typical hunter who is not going to travel out of thier local woods, or only hunts turkey or whitetail deer on a stand, do not buy this gear, it will never be worth it to you. If you are going to be headed to the high country, chasing big game up and down mountains in all extremes of weather, I do not believe you should be without this gear. At close to $750.00 for the entire system, you are going to want to use this gear alot, year after year and you are going to want to take care of it. Keep it in a scent proof bag and well protected.

While you are out hunting the key to hunting is staying dry and warm. Hunting Elk in the Idaho you never have the opportunity to hunt on flat ground and you are always climbing. No matter how in shape you are you are going to sweat and get warm while climbing up a mountain. This gear allows you the functionality to do that in a fantastic package.

If you are going to hunt like I am going to hunt, in Hard country with Harsh Weather.........OWN THIS GEAR!!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

VGDIF Conducts Surveillance for Avian Infuenza in Waterfowl

Julia Dixon 11/20/06 3:01 PM
For Immediate Release
November 20, 2006

Contact: Bob Ellis
Telephone: 804-367-6482
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conducts Surveillance for Avian Influenza in Waterfowl

Richmond, VA -- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is collecting samples from waterfowl as part of a nation-wide effort to monitor birds for the highly pathogenic Asian strain of H5N1 avian influenza. This surveillance is part of a national monitoring strategy, The U.S. Interagency Strategic Plan: An Early Detection System for Asian H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Migratory Birds, developed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Interior.

VDGIF is working cooperatively with the Virginia office of the USDA Wildlife Services to collect samples from shorebirds and waterfowl in Virginia. Waterfowl species that are being sampled include tundra swan, mute swan, snow goose, Atlantic brant, and mallards. These species have been selected based on their potential to migrate from Alaska or the Greenland/Northeastern corridor, or their potential to be in contact with species that migrate from these areas. Samples are being collected from both live-trapped and hunter-harvested birds.

Low pathogenic strains of avian influenza have been around for a long time and are common in certain wild bird populations, especially waterfowl and shorebirds. These low pathogenic strains generally do not cause obvious signs of infection in birds nor do they pose a risk to humans. The highly pathogenic Asian strain of H5N1 is different and unusual in that it has caused outbreaks of illness and death in various wild bird species.

This strain was first detected in Asia 1997, and by 2003 had spread across Southeast Asia. Although large numbers of poultry were destroyed to stop the virus, it reached China and Korea by early 2005. Outbreaks have now been reported in other parts of Asia, as well as Russia, Europe, and Africa. People can become infected with this strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus; however, the virus is not easily contracted by people.

Most of the human cases have occurred in poultry handlers working in unsanitary conditions. To date, the highly pathogenic strain of Asian H5N1 has not been found in North America, and hunters should not be overly concerned about H5N1 at this time. However, hunters should take common sense precautions when handling birds. Recommended bird handling procedures include: Do not handle birds that are obviously sick or birds found dead. Keep your game birds cool, clean and dry. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning your birds. Use rubber gloves when cleaning game. Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol wipes after dressing
> birds. Clean all tools and surfaces immediately afterward; use hot soapy water, then disinfect with a 10% chlorine bleach solution. Cook game meat thoroughly (155-165* F) to kill disease organisms and parasites.

VGDGIF is asking for cooperation from waterfowl hunters in obtaining samples from birds they harvest during the hunting season. Department staff will be out in the field sampling birds at Wildlife Management Areas and popular hunting areas and boat ramps. If hunters see VDGIF staff, they are asked to please assist in these efforts and allow birds to be sampled. The sample procedure consists of a simple cloacal swab and only takes a few seconds to obtain. In addition, if a hunting party has had a successful day and has taken three or more of one of the target species (brant, tundra swan, mute swan, mallard, and snow goose) the Department can send someone to sample the birds. Simply call 1-804-367-1258 to make those arrangements.
Hunters can also assist by reporting any unusual sickness or deaths (die-offs of 5 or more birds) in waterfowl or shorebirds observed. If you see such a die-off, do not pick up the birds. Document the location of the birds and immediately contact the Department at (804) 367-1258 or one of our Regional Offices. If you see only 1 or 2 dead birds, it's probably not cause for alarm, and you do not need to call the Department. However, if you see additional dead birds in the same area in the following days, it could be an indication of a problem, and you should let us know.
More information about the Department's surveillance plans and avian influenza can be found at the following Web sites:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
National Wildlife Health Center:
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study:
# # #

Monday, November 20, 2006

Some real success with Horn's Whitetail Adventures

PJ Wright and his team in Saskatchewan is really doing a wonderful job bringing in the deer for thier clients!!!!!

Please check them out at Horn's Whitetail Adventures!!

All of these deer were taken in the last 2 weeks! That is quite a showing of some impressive racks and very very happy hunters. PJ tells me that of the first 21 hunters 23 are coming back in 2007! If you are interested in an amazing adventure give PJ a call quickly to book your hunt!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Phone Update.

I did get out and pick up my phone today but decided to turn it off and focus on web development and cleaning up some other pressing issues that have been on my shoulders for far too long.

I will be back to blogging about hunting and the plans for huntinglife soon.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Opening Day in Virginia.

Today was the opening day of rifle season in Virginia. The weather was warm with a slight breeze probably in the 50's. I hunted the afternoon and as the day went on with the constant breeze I got colder. I picked up a climber that I had left down on the edge of the field and decided to spend the afternoon on the powerlines today. Power lines in Virginia, especially the large ones, are strips of fields that are kept short and mowed once a year. The grass in this particular section is about 3 feet high and is filled with everything including some brambles, grass, young oaks, weeds and poisin ivy. It is usually the ivy that has me bothered. Today it was the cold breeze and time was going very very slow. About 4:30 I got a long visit from a doe about 100 yards and she spent the next 45 minutes playing in front of me. After having just visited Montana and Idaho it constantly amazes me how small the deer here are.

I had a really good time watching her, but cannot for the life of me understand why I did not get out the camera and take some good video of the deer. Today was not a doe day or she would of been a really good dinner.

I got out of the woods about 5:30 tonight and was back on my way home and realized that my phone is sitting on the ground either where I made my stand or where I was parked. I shall have to return to the scene tomorrow and see if I can find my phone somewhere on the ground and do some scouting while I am out there. Hopefully I can find the phone and some new leads on the mystery of where all the deer are hanging out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Congratulations To Jay Houston

For you those of you who have not had the pleasure, this is one of the nicest people I know in the world of Elk hunting. He wrote the book on Elk hunting. Please go check out his site

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Trip out hunting with Brandon

Brandon and I decided to get a late start on Saturday and slept in until the kids woke us up. We got prepared and headed out to Quantico Marine Base to take the class and see if we could find a spot to hunt on the Marine Base. The nice thing about hunting on the base is that the hunting is regulated to only allow so many hunters are allowed per area and you are only allowed to hunt a specific area. When we got to Quantico, we were turned away because they were not offering classes on this Saturday. The hard part is, I am not sure when I can get Brandon out to Quantico to take the class to get him a permit to hunt on base.

We proceeded to CF Phelps Wildlife Area which is a public hunting land. Upon pulling into one area we saw two does run between 10 cars and about 20 people and we backed off the area quickly as they all started moving towards the deer and it looked a bit crowded. Dangerously crowded for what we were looking for.

We proceeded to look at the map and found a range so we took some time and found that, so we could test out the muzzleloaders. Brandon shot two rounds and I shot 5 rounds and we were absolutely dead on at 50 and 100 yards. The day was really hot so about 1pm we headed into a new area and proceeded to head out into the woods. Walking around we ran into so many hunters that by the end of the day we had just about given up. Brandon and I seperated and walked back to an area that we thought was going to be fantastic. Brandon walked directly underneath a hunter in a treestand and we moved another 150 yards away and sat down.

Too hot for deer, a really nice nature walk and more good times spent with a great friend and a great hunting partner.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Brandon and I are headed out on Saturday.

Brandon and I will be heading out Saturday to either Madison County or Quantico Marine Base. I am thinking Quantico is our best bet for a real opportunity to get Brandon a good buck.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday Hunting with Tristan

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Saturday hunting with Tristan was a ton of fun although we only saw deer after it got dark and we were on the road home. He and I saw Horses, Cows, Crows, Squirrells, Woodpeckers, a ton of birds and a really nice sized cotton tail rabbit at about 3 feet.

Tristan has a really hard time staying even remotely quiet at the age of 9 and the amount of energy and movement is absolutely amazing to me. I think if I even tried to move as much as he does just sitting on the hedgerow I would be absolutely exhausted.

I think I am going to need to save up some money for a really good blind to take him out hunting in so we can mask some of the movement and just work on the whispering part.

All in all a great day!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Having a bit of a rock throwing contest

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

It does not matter whether you are young are old..You should never lose the day to day skill to have a little bit of fun whether you are hunting in the mountains, or walking in the city. Don't forget to stop and play.....It is one of our natural needs in life.

Some of my favorite moments in life have been throwing rocks, rolling rocks down the mountain or jumping in puddles on the city streets.

Wispy Clouds

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Wood Sculpture #3

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Wood Sculpture

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Wood Sculpture

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Art is truly all around you, you just need to remember to stop and look at it.

Backside of Pole Mountain wtih a great pair.

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Hunting with Brandon and Dennis was the highlight of my two weeks plus in Idaho. The times we shared on the mountain from the first day on elk prairie to the last day in camp every moment was special to me and will be remembered for the rest of my life. I think that is what hunting camp really should be about. It is not about the killing of an animal, it is not about the weather or the food, or the even where you are hunting. It is about the friendships that you make and the memories that will last the rest of your life.

Thank you so much to the both of you for some great memories!!!!!!!

Elk Wallows on the 109 Trail

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Elk Rubs

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Peter Ditton shows off a wonderful elk rub about 10 feet up on this tree.

Now this is an Elk Rub

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

Seeing a tree that looks like this really gets the blood flowing!

Coyote Tracks

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

This was the first print I saw in the saddle of pole mountain. This coyote walked down the trail running the ridge cap. I kept walking down his trail to see where he was going but after a mile or so and his prints running down and not a single elk trail crossing across the ridge I lost interest in seeing where he was headed.

Sunset at Prospector Creek

Originally uploaded by huntinglife.

A beautiful night I spent on the mountain alone with some mountain goats and no elk.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pictures from Idaho Trip

More Pictures to come soon. Having some trouble uploading all of the photos I would like. Not sure if it is a bandwidth issue or some kind of file isssue.

These two are my favorite two hunting buddies. An absolute joy to hunt with!

The Words of Lloyd Dobbler

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed. You know, as a career - I don't want to do that."

Lloyd Dobbler, Character... SAY ANYTHING.. 80's Movie that is a favorite of mine.