All posts by Cobra Dog

HUNTING & NOT COMING BACK!

Think about being in heavy fog and not being able to see 3 feet in front of you…

BEING PREPARED IS EVERYTHING

Recently there was an article published in Field & Stream (October 2017) about a father and son hunting and getting lost in the rugged Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon.   One never made it back… The other his son forgot his GPS and Phone when heading back out to find his dad, he was lost for a number of days…  Searchers finally located him!

“From 1997-2016, 80 have been found dead and another 76 not found”  In this region of Oregon

Some of those that were never found, could have had other issues, such as venturing into a spot they did not belong in…

I know this number could be a lot less, if one were well prepared to the venture into the rugged mountains of the North America.  Most feel they know all the ways back to camp from any location.  Think about being in the Snake River Canyon in the morning at 65 degrees and sunny chasing a herd of Elk and in the afternoon the weather changing to a blizzard with the temperature dropping to below freezing and your horse has been moved from where you tether him up on the trail, plus you must venture into dark timber and any hint of daylight is about gone…

There is no hiker, hunter or outdoor enthusiast that has not gotten mixed up while in the field…  Today there is so much technology to keep you from staying mixed up, lost permanently, or dying in the outdoor from being lost…

Touch screen GPS that works in deep timber.

So many time when trying to help hunters find places to hunt, I request them to have a Garmin GPS, onX HUNT mapping for both the Garmin GPS (colored – microchip capable) and mobile device, such as the smart phones which 90% of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts carry with them 24/7.

Emergency Beacon
Needs to be registered.

The Garmin GPS, at least in the 21st should have WAAS (Wide Area Augmentable System) Note: Global Positioning System GPS is made up of at least 24 satellites, working in all conditions 24 hours a day and is FREE.

Garmin Rino 755 has two way and your location is available to another user. This is one that I highly recommend.

I would say at least 40% tell me they are “Old School” and use paper maps and a compass (that is maybe on the compass).

Just one little note with onX HUNT on the mobile side there is a trail layer that features trails old and new (CONUS).   Another tool that can help in many hunting areas.

Let’s get real about paper maps, most are outdated, and boundaries change all the time.  I threw out all my paper maps, that I have had for more than 30 years with all the X’s on them, moving the X’s to my GPS.  Paper maps are outdate in field use and lacking the ability to Zoom in.  Even if you mark your map with routes, it surely isn’t going let you do an active route back to camp or truck as a GPS would do.  As for the compass, it’s Okay, if your batteries go dead or enemy decides to use an electromagnetic pulse or EMP while you’re in the back country.

These can reach out many miles and reasonable in price in the pairs.

Beside the Garmin GPS, Mobile Phone with the onX HUNT APP and chip, there is the 2 Ways such as Motorola handheld communicators, and last but not lease is an Emergency Locator Beacon, just in case you’re in real trouble and are immobile…  

We must remember to have them in our backpack or ditty bag (U.S. NAVY), along with the other tools used in the field.  Frank Biggs 

 

Last Chance Bull

Nolan had contacted Bwana Bubba in the spring time of 2017, asking if I knew a place in central Oregon, that he might have chance to harvest a elk during the archery season.   I had an old haunt that, my partners and I had hunted with great success.  I was willing to share, but I wanted him to use  technology, in order to give him a better idea and also stay legal on the hunt…

Last Chance Bull

Oregon Archery Hunt

The day before the end of the 2017 season, I’d driven out to a new place I’d never seen before as a last ditch effort to try and kill an elk.   I’d scouted, prepared, & hunted so hard all season long to make it happen on a D.I.Y. over the counter elk tag, public land, archery elk.  After my blunder on opening day when I missed a cow at 44 yards, I figured my 2017 season was over.  I blew my shot opportunity for the year and it was going to be a long 12 months until I’d get another one. 

Nolin used both mobile onX HUNT and Garmin GPS with onX HUNT…

As soon as I got out of the truck that morning I heard a bugle, then another bugle, and another.  It was too dark to see the ridge that I was hearing the bulls from, but I grabbed my gear and took off.  After about 10 minutes I glassed up the shape of an elk about half a mile uphill from me.  I knew if I had any chance at cutting him off, I had to hustle.   I ran up the drainage to the West of him and when I reached the top I could hear it wasn’t just a lone bull.  It was a whole heard, I peered around the corner and saw close to 60 elk working up the draw.  Bulls screaming, pushing cows, the whole herd was going nuts.  

As I was trying to decide what to do I turned around and saw there was another hunter about 60 yards behind me.  I thought to myself,  “You’ve got to be kidding me”.  I busted my ass to get up here and I’m going to have to compete with this guy.  As frustrated as I was, I walked down to him and said “Hey, there’s a big herd of elk up here”. “What’s your plan”?  “I don’t want to screw up your hunt”.  I fully expected him to tell me to take a hike.  Instead what he said next blew me away.  He said “We need to cut them off, and get in front of them, let’s go!”  I asked him what he wanted me to do, and he said “Come with me” and we took off!

Self portrait picture of my velvet Spike Bull.

I’m not a tall guy, 5’6”.  But this newly met hunting partner of mine is at least a foot taller than I and subsequently covers ground much faster than I can.   Before I know it I’m out of breath and desperately trying to keep up with him.  As we follow the fence line between the public and private land, we keep getting glances of the herd about 250 yards away in the draw to the east of us.  We dropped our packs a ways back to be as quick and low profile as we could.  The herd can see us, but we keep pressing on to try and cut them off, in the valley 1/4 mile ahead of us.  I keep thinking to myself “I can’t believe this is happening”.  We paused at this little knoll and heard some elk coming up to where we were as they headed to cross in to the private, so we set up.  I sat behind and told this guy “I’ll range for you” and before we knew it, there was a group of 15 cows being pushed by a big 6×6 up the hill in front of us.  I keep ranging him, 124, 117, 111, and 110.  He’s not going to get any closer. There are no trees or brush that we can get closer to either.  We wait for them to cross the fence so we can keep pushing forward to where the rest of the herd is headed and all of the sudden this piercing bugle rings out no more than 100 yards from where we sat.  This massive 7×7 was pushing another group of cows through the same spot!  My partner slid down the hill 20 yards, but the bull stayed just out of range and wouldn’t stop.  He was on a mission, away from us.  We wait for them to clear and then we’re booking it to the next draw, “if we can get to it there’s a good chance they’ll be there waiting.”

Now the work starts, but it is so worth it…

Right as we crest the draw we see 25-35 elk pushing up and onto private, there’s still quite a few elk coming up the draw though.  I start cow calling to try and bring the big bulls closer.  There’s elk everywhere, bulls pushing cows, screaming, heads back and hot to trot.  They just won’t come any closer than 120 yards.  My new friend scoots down the draw another 10 yards and 6 elk bust out 30 yards below us, it’s so steep that we didn’t even known they were there.  A bull stops at 60 yards, I hear “do you wanna shoot that bull?” without hesitation I said “Hell YES”.  I pull out from the tree I’m behind, range him at 84 yards. I’ve been making this shot all year.  I have flung thousands of arrows practicing for this moment.  I can make the shot, I dial my sight to 84 yards, draw my bow, anchor, cow call to stop him, settle the pin on his lungs, and my arrow is gone.

I watch the glow of my green knock sail across the ravine. THWACK!  He drops, barrel rolls 3 times to the bottom of the creek bed, stops, and it’s over.  “He’s down”!  I sat next to the tree beside me and cannot believe after all the work I put in, the ups and downs, the frustration, everything, that it all came together.  It wasn’t over, because of how quickly he went down he didn’t spook any of the other elk, it’s time for me to try and call in a bull for my partner.

There is some rough terrain to navigate at night, plus forging a creek…

I cow call like nothing else to try and bring the 6×6 in from 150 yards but he just isn’t willing to leave his cows.  My buddy takes off over the next ridge after him and I start hiking back to get our packs.  While I was walking back I was overcome with emotion.  It’d been 6 years since my last elk.  

As any archery hunter knows, this is something that requires an immense amount of preparation, dedication, will power, and luck.  But everything lined up that morning and I was beside myself.  My arrow left my string at 7:32 am. By 8:30 I was notching my tag and taping it to his antlers.  As I sat and looked at him I realized that I’m here alone.  I have a 450-500 pound animal down in the bottom of a ravine, 1.5 miles from the truck and it’s just me.  I snapped a few pictures and started the process, 6 hours later he was ready to be hauled out and I started the journey back to the truck with one of my most prized possessions, meat.  It took me until 11 PM that night to get him back to the truck.  My body was nearly broken, but I didn’t care.  I couldn’t wait to do it again.  And the phrase that kept resonating in my head stayed there until my head hit my pillow, “Never, ever give up”.

Almost to the access road and the truck. Last load out, the rack…

This is my story Nolan Lathrop –  2017 Central Oregon. 

“The land of Rimrock and  Junipers”

Frank’s RV Newsletter Fall 2017

Now is the time to explore with an RV!

I thought it was about time I got out an article for 2017, as it has been a while.   

How about an opening picture take from the my RV?

Willamette Valley Blacktail deer in velvet during early August 2017. He has disappeared from the scene as of August 19th.. He will show up after the season for more pictures.

First note of the day is that I believe ground is finally moving up in Woodland, Washington on the new B Young RV Dealership.   Taken a while to get the permits and of course get the complex plans all put together and signed off.   The complex is going to be quite the RV Dealership and it will be great for our Washington customers, making it much easier getting their RV’s service and buying an RV.   Of course our staff that lives in Washington will get an automatic pay raise in having not to pay the Oregon Income Tax for working in Oregon.

B Young RV just got done with the second Tiffin Rally in 7 years.  This Rally was held in Salem, Oregon and was a very successful Rally for B Young RV, Tiffin RV, Sales Staff and that of the customers that drove away after a couple of days in their new Tiffin RV.

Since my last article B Young RV has added a couple more Sprinter chassis based motorhome companies, that being Winnebago with the Navion (Class B+) and Regency RV with the Exalta (Class B).  Both companies are highly regarded in the industry.

2018 Winnebago Navion 24V at Gold Beach, Oregon

Tiffin has come out with the Wayfarer Sprinter chassis Class B Motorhome.  My feelings are that the Wayfarer is right up at the top.   One of the standards from Tiffin is the diesel generator and solid hardwood cabinetry.  The Chafee style door makes it easier for seniors to put their cargo in the holds.

Business wise at B Young RV, another recorded breaking year for the company, it is simply amazing how much traffic and the number of RV’s heading to destinations all over North America.

About 4 months ago I traded in my 3rd RV bought from B Young RV for another.  Seems when they are about 1 ½ years old with 35K on them, it is time.  As you all know it is all about the floorplan and the floorplans changed all the time.   This one might have to last a while…  It is the first one with a solar panel, factory installed inverter and the TUMA hot water heater system.  My wife said she loves this RV and has done some interior decor, styled to the beach, this being the first time in any of our RVs’…

TUMA  system is easy to use and get hot water on demand.

It is a phenomenon to see what is happening with Grand Design RV and the popularity of the many products they make with the Imagine, Reflection, Solitude and Momentum.  Inventory is tough to keep and the factory is making more plants to keep up with the demand.  Recently my neighbor, who has been looking for a travel trailer, bought an Imagine and did not mind waiting for a factory order.

The fall season camping season is about to start and many of the camp grounds now have openings.  So many times the weather in the valley can be bad, and trying to go east can be tough with the weather in the mountains, but the Oregon or California coast can be great.  The parks this summer were tough to get in with no or little openings, even during the middle of the week.  Have you ever thought how lucky we are to have a coastline that we can see the ocean and get to the beach fairly easy?

Roosevelt Elk are something to look for during a trip to the coast or along the coast. This is an Oregon bull, but California on the Northern Hwy 101 is the spot to catch them…
Picture take 10-13-17 

Oregonians are very privileged to have so many Oregon State Parks to use.   RVers’ come from all over North America to see and camp in Oregon, thus you’ll see many using these parks.   The Californians come in groves during the fishing season using all the parks on the Oregon Coast. 

I have seen during our travels south to the border that many of the State Parks are going through upgrades, such newly installed septic hookups at most campsite and best of all the clearing of the plants and brush in the campsites.   This allows larger RV’s to use the sites.  It is always said, “If it fits, then it is your campsite” FRB  

This Whale was very close to the rocks. One has to be on the ready to get the shots.

There still are Whales working up the Oregon Coast as of this past week.  To be truthful, almost every spot one could pull alongside the road, you could see Whales breaching.  At Whales Cove, there were Cow’s with Calves working the bay.   There is a trail that you can get close, but be careful about putting your weight on the tree on the edge overlooking the bay.  It is a long ways down to the rocks below…

This Whale and others near Boiler Bay, Oregon

For all of B Young RV Customers and those that read this have a great fall and winter.  Those heading south to AZ and S.E. California, have a great and safe trip.

Frank Biggs 503-737-9595

B Young RV – frankb@byoungrv.com

 

Jay L’s 2017 Oregon Muzzleloader Pronghorn

2017 Oregon East Beatys Butte Muzzleloader Hunt

First of all I want to say thank you very much for all the help…

Getting it done with the Muzzleloader by Jay Lubbes.

Well I put in for a muzzleloader antelope tag down around Beatys Butte. I knew this hunt would be crazy hard being it was muzzleloader and it’s after rifle season if I even drew it.  

I was at work helping dig and lay storm drain when my foreman got super excited and started yelling that he drew his dream hunt.  Well of course I had to check my draw results. Holy smokes I drew my lope tag. Throughout the day I checked 4 or 5 times and each time the website said I drew it. So that night I started studying google maps and started researching field judging and just all sorts of things. I get a hold of Frank not knowing who he was and I picked his brain. Told him I was buying onX HUNT Oregon and pairing it up with a Garmin 64s.  

Weekend before 4th of July (my anniversary weekend) we make the 9 hour trek to scout around some areas Frank gave me. We see a few goats but they were few and far between. A couple of decent bucks were spotted.

Nice Cover Also!

A month later after studying a ton on onX HUNT I decided to go look at an area that was behind some private property that had a few water holes. I see a ton of Antelope and 3 really good shooters.

I head down the day before season and meet up with a buddy named Jeff. We get camp all setup and we decided to take the Razor out for a cruise to scout.  We see a few antelope nothing to spectacular but I’m in good spirits seeing some.

Next morning we head out before daylight out to where we see some goats the night before.  Right at daylight we decided to give 2 smaller bucks a pass and we kept on heading out. We glass a few decent lopes that may have been shooters but they were so far away and we really didn’t have a good advantage point to get a real good idea if they were shooters or not.

We decided to head back towards where we see the smaller bucks. We look 600 yards in front of us and we see a bunch of Mulie does and one loner Lope together. We see he had good cutters and good mass and it was game on.  We close within 120 or so yards take a look and liked his mass and cutters. Took the shot and down he goes I’m tagged out by 0715.

We take a few pics get him to the Razor and ride 6 or 7 miles back to camp. I get him caped out and put in the coolers. We tear down camp as fast as we can load up the Razor and I get to Sewell’s Taxidermy as fast as I could.  Seeing a ton of Antelope on the way out with a huge smile on my face. I get to Sewell’s and they were very impressed with this buck being my first lope ever and with a muzzleloader at that. Well they tell me that he looks like he might be a book buck. He tapes it for a green score real quick and green he came out 74 inches. 

I would have gone in 100 percent blind if it wasn’t for frank helping me out with some waypoints. Yes I branched out and found my own little honey hole, but I would have went out to a couple of those spots if my morning hunt was a bust. Great guy and very knowledgeable. Thank you again!!!

Randy R’s 2017 Nevada Pronghorn Hunt

First off I have known Randy, who lives in Washington for a number of years.  He once drew an Oregon Pronghorn Tag and got a hold of me.  He used Garmin and onXmaps HUNT back then and even found his own honey hole….

‘Yes Frank , We did use onX Maps. That’s how we found the honey hole when Travis had his tag a few years back. Just couldn’t find a mature one there this year. Have yet to see another hunter in that spot. I’m sure come rut time a big one will show. We have a friend in 033 now, looking for something mid 80’s. I’ll let you know how he does.”

 Hi Frank,

Just got back from Nevada and thought I’d better share my story with you.  Travis my son and I arrived in Mountain City on Sunday afternoon.  Right away we wanted to check out an area we knew held numbers of antelope west of town.  After locating several groups of animals that evening and the next morning we were not seeing much for mature bucks.

We decided to check out the unit to the east and look over some new country.  After few miles it started looking like lope country. Soon I glassed up a few does a mile away . We drove a bit closer and snuck in to get a better look.  Three or four soon materialized into 27 with one good-looking buck. We marked the location on the Garmin and pressed on.  By now it was pushing late afternoon and in the upper 80’s we arrived in a massive area that looked like prime antelope habitat with several good water sources.  Cruising and stopping to glass, I spotted the buck I knew was my #1 target.

Randy’s! Orignial target Lope in Nevada…

I attached a picture we took with a phone scope.  We left him alone and found a camp site a couple of miles away.  This area was getting a lot of traffic and other hunters out scouting. Seeing this I figured we’d have competition in the morning.

We struck a plan and went to bed thinking about the big guy all night. Up at 5:00 and on the road by 5:15 we planned to hike up a ridge to a good vantage point.  Sitting in the dark for 45 minutes we were  finally able to pick things apart.

Soon I spotted 5 antelope high up the mountain on a sage flat.  Getting the spotter on them I thought it was the big one.  We made a plan and the stalk was on. It was a steep and noisy climb trying to use the lay of the terrain as cover. After and good hour we closed the distance to 500 yards.

Not feeling comfortable at that distance we moved to a pile of rocks and shorted it to 380 yards.  Not pulling the spotter out again I readied for the shot.  As I got settled in I told Travis I wasn’t sure it’s our buck.  They were about to feed over the ridge top when I said I like him anyway. At the shot they all grouped up and I knew I had missed .  They fled over the top not offering a follow-up shot.  I figured we’d better go check, just to be sure it was a clean miss.

At this point we were nearly 7000 ft in elevation.  Reaching the top Travis picked them up 3 – 400 yards out grouped in tall cover.  They saw us and busted out of site.  Since we were up there we decided to continue along glassing the vastness below.  After another 45 min. of side hilling.  Travis shouts “buck”!  I looked directly downhill and 120 yards away was the buck I just missed staring at us.  All I could see was his neck and head. I threw up my .280 and squeezed off a shot. He immediately flipped over backwards and disappeared.

Randy’s 2017 Nevada Buck down and posing for the pictures…

Off went the Does crashing down the mountain stopping a 1000 yards away waiting for the buck.  Getting down to him I very was thrilled with his symmetry and the nice backwards hook to his horns.   After a few photos and tagging him I dressed him and down the mountain we went.  

At the road we both knew we were a bit turned around the road and surroundings did not look familiar. Looking at the Garmin and onX HUNT we realized the truck was 3.5 miles away as the crow fly’s.  Travis took off and I began boning out the buck and putting it into game bags.  

All Lope hunters would appreciate the symmetry of this Pronghorn!

After 1.5 hrs I was getting a bit worried when I seen a dust cloud in the distance and my grey Tacoma coming my way. He ended up climbing a high ridge and spotted a rig parked glassing.  Meeting up with 2 older fellows from Reno they had seen our truck and gave him a ride to it.  Still not sure where I was since he’d not marked my location. He looked at the map and thought I might be on the road  heading south of our camp which we had not explored yet.  Sure enough he guessed right and we got the meat iced up good and went back and broke camp.

Overall we had a great trip and was very happy with the buck I took. I feel very lucky to be able to still get out and enjoy what I love and to share it with my son.  

Randy 

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Sunglasses

Wearing Sunglasses While Hunting

Non – Reflective

I have mentioned this before, but most laugh about the shear though of wearing sunglasses while hunting Pronghorn – Antelope or any other game animal.
A funny thing when a customer of mine told me about his Pronghorn  hunt in Wyoming with a bow. The buck was coming in close to his blind.  Like most humans he blinked and the startled Lope jump and head to the distant hills. By my experiences I have learned to know that especially Pronghorn have better sight than me and can see my eyes above all else. It they can’t see your eyes, they can’t tell your human! Take heed on this! Bwana Bubba

I personally liked the green lens with brown frames. Bwana Bubb
Ray Ban Seafaer are easy to raise when glasses. 
 

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – TrophyStickers Decals

TrophyStickers

I have found great pleasure in finding new companies that have innovation, proving that entrepreneurs can make a difference…   TrophyStickers is an outstanding example!

How many times have you gone into a Sporting Goods Store and noticed decals or stickers that were of Elk, Deer, Pronghorn and other big game?   They are very popular with hunters and you see them on the back of pickups and SUVs windows quite often.    The decals are always of a big recorded class big game animals that a company had an artist make up.  So is it a dream or reality of the hunter when he or she displays it in the back window?  Why not have a reality sticker showing the real antler or horn configuration. 

This TrophySticker decal represents a Mule Deer I harvested some years back in central Oregon.

I have found a company by the name of TrophyStickers, which can make it a reality for the hunter or even the non-hunter.   It is very simple process to get it done.  You simply take great pictures of your harvested animal, which means straight on frontal and side profiles would be great also.  

Why not take great pictures of your once in a Lifetime Mule deer, Whitetail deer, Rocky Mountain bull, Roosevelt bull, Tule bull,  Pronghorn or another big game that you harvested and make it a real sticker that represents the actual animal?

With great photos of your animal’s rack or horns, you get an accurate decal.

Many hunters love to take pictures while scouting, what if you found the monster buck during the scouting-photo op, or even off of your trail cam, why not have it made into a TrophySticker?

A great deal of work and skill to get it right. Very impressed with the detail. Bwana Bubba

What a great present to give your son, daughter or grandchild on their first big game animal harvest.

You can find and get a hold of Trophy Stickers at the following sites:

Internet:              Internet TrophyStickers

Instagram:          Instagram TrophyStickers

Have fun Bwana Bubba