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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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?
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:
Here you thought, I was going to write about a "Black Tent of Arabian Desert aka beit al-sha'r.
Many hunters as they get older like more comforts than a tent to spend a week or more while hunting in the elements. In the Pacific Northwest, there are more base camps that will use a Recreational Vehicle or better known as an RV. I remember a long time ago, I had a hunter come into the Burns Brothers Sportsmen's Center and tell me he and buddies rented a big diesel pusher to go hunting in Colorado, Wow, was what I said as he was leaving with hunting supplies. Now that was back in 1984… A great deal has changed and more and more are using RV's all year long. Think about being able to take a shower when get back from chasing deer during archery season. It is all about scent, right?
The following video and a slide presentation is the first of it kind in the RV world. Using a camera such as Google Earth uses, this video is possible.
Having recently talked with a ODFW Bio, the news is out that the Coyotes are eating well! There is an over abundance of Rodents and Rabbits in S.E. Oregon. Time for hunters to get out reduce the Coyote numbers if they want Pronghorn and Deer fawn survival in the future!
Keeping this short with an ending comment!
“If you can’t call in a Coy Dog, you don’t know how to call” (CF)
Getting permission to hunt a parcel of land is just like being a salesperson. If you don't ask for the sale, most customers don't think you care… You won't get the Sale!
2017 is know ahead for all of us to hunt. The 2nd Amendment is safe. Most states have the 2017 Hunting Regulations out. Doing your research early, before having to put your applications can lead to success. Scouting prior to application deadline and or long before your chosen hunt unit is critical for success. I write and talk about onXmaps HUNT all the time about being one of the great keys to un-lock hunting success. It is all true! To be one of the 10% that take 90% of the game, then you have to absorb the positive and proven tips that are given to to by the successful 10%…
I want you to think about this scenario, you have been driving by a ranch, vineyard, farm, tree farm or just some private harvested timber land. There are No Trespassing Signs and No Hunting posted on fence posts and trees, with game animals abounding and you notice a number of Coyotes working the area. The signs have no phone numbers or names. What to do you ask yourself, there is no way I am gaining access to hunt…
There are many ways to get it done and as great salesperson you can make it happen in many cases. First off I would purchased onXmaps HUNT and have it on your Smart phone, I suggest to have a Garmin GPS (colored screen-micro SD chip slot) also.
Working the different parcels of privately own properties your interested in, you will know the land owner's name/names and in some cases the Trustee because you have onXmaps HUNT. Now via Whitepages, and other public knowledge websites, you can get the phone number. Relax, take a breath and be sure you have a smile on your face when talk on the phone…
So many times over the course of life, I meet people while in the field, so asking who owns the land when you see a neighbor, should be no big deal. Even going so far asking the neighbor how can I get a hold of the landowner is not out of the question. Many times in the remote area, there might b an old cafe or gas station. Another great way to gather information.
For many years I drove by a large piece of rural land that was growing wild radishes. I thought they were weeds. I would see a couple of B&C and many P&Y Willamette Blacktails. Finally when I got my first sample of HUNTINGGPSMAPS (onXmaps HUNT) from the company, I was able to dial in the future vineyard owner's name. I did a little background on the owner to make sure I had the correct person. I called and told the owner that I drove by his place almost everyday. That I would love to be able to take pictures of the deer on the property. I asked permission to be able to photograph first. It was early May, within couple of months noticing the Coyotes and that he had chickens and geese free ranging, I called him again, I told him I could help reduce the Coyote population. Finally in early August I asked for permission to bow for the deer. I was informed by Michael (owner) that he intended to raise grapes. In the State of Oregon to have venue events, you need a vineyard… The following year with a rifle tag and bow tag, I asked if I could hunt deer with a rifle. That privilege was also granted. It also help to have a common bond. Micheal was a Combat Engineer in Nam and I was a Navy Spook attached to the Marines in Nam. Brothers…
You have to remember that not all ranchers, farmers, and landowners are in it monetary when it comes to hunting. I would bet that if a landowner is approached in the proper mindset, permission would be granted more times than rejected.
Over the years, hunters that I have met and talked to about the subject, give me back positive feedback. Yes sometimes they mend fences, bring a bottle, bring Salmon, ride a fence line, give a knife, buy dinner in town, but that is from the heart to a new friend. Myself, I have hunted more ranches and farms than I can count. Many have border public land that I primarily hunt or fish during my lifespan! I have never paid cash for access, yet at certain times of the year, they might have something on their doorstep…
Use onXmaps HUNT products to gain the knowledge to gain access to private land. It also will be the tool to know the landowners that border public land and vice versa.
This is one of five Cougars spotted near a town, working within the same proximity of each other. One might not find this to be a factual statement, but in reality it is becoming increasing reality. It may not be in every state in the Union, but it surely is in on the Pacific Coast, which includes Washington, Oregon and even into California. As for the other states in CONUS, I can’t give thoughts on the subject of predators taking a front row seat on the taking of Elk, Deer, Pronghorns and even Bighorn Sheep.
In Oregon the management of all wildlife and fish are managed by O.D.F.W. or better known as the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are 7 members that are part of the commission and they are selected by the Governor of Oregon. In my opinion for a long time, I do not feel that the Governors of Oregon since 1991 have not had much thought on the importance of hunting, fishing, shooting or any other sport related to the outdoors in Oregon.
In 1994 in the State of Oregon voters, voted on Measure 18 on the banning of dogs for the hunting of Bears and Cougars. 43,501 votes more votes lead to the ban. At the time the Governor was Barbara Roberts a Democrat. A great influence of outsiders (lobbyists – protesters) from the Great State of California came and created havoc and fear into the already changing demographics of from what Oregon use to be. Oregon use to be much like Idaho in thought and action, but Oregon has changed over the years, becoming a state that the folks from the Golden State could sell their homes and come to Oregon and buy the same home for half price and less congestion in life…
The Black Bear is not Smokey the Bear or a playful toy and the Cougar is one hungry predator that will take a deer a week. They all might look cute as cub or kitten, but once they get bigger that is not the case. Since there is no hunting with dogs any longer, these two predators go un-checked for the most part. As for Wolves, it all started in Yellowstone and has escalated too many other states. My thoughts are that Wolves hunt to kill and rarely eat the complete animal; it said the other predators will handle the remaining carcass. Oregon has about 60 Moose (Shiras) scattered throughout the N.E. part of the state. With the increase in Wolf population, just how long will it take for the reduction in Moose? One other little notes about Wolves in Oregon, many have been released by so-call do-gooders that breed or breed hybrids. Many years ago, I had a customer tell me she did… From the information I get, there are more Wolves than reported. Such is the case in the Mt. Hood National Forest with reports of sporadic with sightings from persons that do know the difference between a wolf and a dog…
Washington State does not allow the use of dogs to hunt for Cougars or Bears also. This came about in 2001 I believe. Only under conditions deemed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife can dogs be used to harvest a Cougar or Bear that are causing problems with humans or livestock.
In the State of Oregon, through my sources with the government, hired government hunters as we call them can hunt year round to reduce Cougars or Bears in troubled areas. With the used of dogs by the public that hunt, there would be little need for government hunters. Just think about the revenue that the state would take in, plus the amount of sales at sporting goods stores, guides would be able to guide again. Oregon has quotes on the amount of Cougars that can be taken in zones and once it met, then the year round hunting stops. Going onto the ODFW back pages and looking at expected quotes on Cougars, the inside reports via contacts tell a different story.
A hunter should make contact with a Game Biologist. In the State of Oregon, these biologist are very happy to help. As one biologist that I have know for more than 30 years once told me “my job is to help and without hunters, I would not have a job”
ODFW has a major budget deficit and last year came up with idea of special tags big game tags, creating some cash flow revenue. Those that got one of the special tags through a drawing might just have a chance to hunt most anywhere and with a rifle even hunt during a bow season or extended season. Many older hunters have just given up hunting, as their old haunts just don’t have the game as it was prior to 2000. Other than the old boys in the hunting culture, I do not believe that the younger generation has caught up with the problem of predators.
Seems all great, but we have a real problem with the big game population in this state. I spend much of my time from April to August taking wildlife pictures and working areas at key times of the day looking for big game. In just 4 short years many of the great haunts are void of the great bucks that I would find. The Cougars especially have worked over the area well. I won’t waste my time to hunt these areas anymore. I have move into the rural areas closer to the city to find game… The Cougars use to follow the game coming down from the mountains during the winter months. Now with the shortage of game to eat, they are now showing up in the lower valleys in the summer months. It may seem to those reading that I am bias, but I am not. It is about what is more important, the chance for someone to see a Cougar, Wolf or even a Bear in the wild or preserving the big game that you can see anytime. Once the game is gone from the area the predators with move to new feeding grounds. It takes the depleted area a fairly long time to recover the mature bucks and bulls in the area.
Bear season Oregon is a bit different and not all year long. The draw tag season from April 1st, to May 31st normally. The general season opens August 1st and ends December 31st on the west side of the Cascades and November 30th on the east side of the Cascades. So one has to glass and find bears, a bit tougher to do, than getting a do to tree a bear. Government hunters can do whatever to get a problem area done. Special tags are issued for timber companies to handle bears in Oregon…
I believe that anyone that is hunting in Oregon should have a Cougar tag and Bear tag on their person. Many times hunters have run into the overabundance of Cougars in a particular area and shot a Cougar, did not have a tag. You will be ticketed and in some cases it could have been life and dead encounter, you might or might not get out of the ticket if caught.
In Closing: I will give a few instances for 2016 from some of hunting buddies, plus I will put out a few key areas with onXmaps HUNT map pictures for those that want to challenger their talents to find a Cougars. Bear season is just about over, but send me and email and I can direct you to spots in the future.
2016 Owyhee Deer Hunt: MJ and BO drew the tags for the great Owyhees in Oregon. In the day as I remember the Owyhees, the bucks were big and plentiful, sort of a pick and choose hunt for big Mulies. MJ and BO have private land to hunt on breaks of the Oregon/Idaho border on the Oregon side. Having done a great deal of planning and making calls, they truly thought they had it dialed in. The land was in prime condition for Mule deer habitat. During their week hunt, only a few small bucks were seen, remembering they had made an early scouting trip in August 2016, with the same results. The local ODFW biologist told them they hit at the wrong time… Very experience hunters that in the past were used to finding big Mulies. The hunters over on the Idaho side still have the Mulies of size, as they control the Cougars still with dogs.
2011 Archery Elk/Deer Hunt: Another hunting partner from my past went to a new haunt near an old haunt. This is an area that the government hunter has taken out more Cougars than 4 times the quota of the Cascades, which are 271. ST has during bow season taken a Cougar and on the same day could have taken another one. 2016 he had two Cougars at 100 yards from him at this ground blind. His 1911 could not get the job done at 100 yards in the timber. I also feel they are braver and human scent or the fact Cougars are keen on knowing, fear little. Deer were very scarce, though the elk were in good numbers. The Heppner Unit has been known as an elk breeding area…
My son this year (2106) during a rifle deer hunt near an RV Park outside of a rural town jumped two mature Cougars. He did not have a tag and knew what would happen if he had killed them. The deer population was way down and the team only got one 2 year old deer about 2 miles from the sighting…
Another comment is from my buddy Mark D., who lives near Oregon City, Oregon on 90 acres. Five Cougars have been sighted during the month of August 2016 around this place. His place is within 15 minutes of a major city. The deer are way done on this place, as he has cameras out. Just recently he caught sight of one decent Blacktail buck. The elk have not been on his place for more than 6 months.
2016 Pronghorn hunt for one of my onXmaps HUNT hunters. I had suggested him talk to one of the ranchers in the flat lands in the Steen’s Mountains Unit. He was told by the rancher that the Pronghorn are scare, less than 5 years ago they were pest on the ranches and farming lands. The big C word (Cougars) came out. The hunters had to hunt very hard to find a good buck, not a monster. The Steen’s Mountains of Oregon once produced the #2 B & C Pronghorn… Those us that have hunted the Steen’s Mountains for big Mulies, which are gone now. No longer a pick and choose style of hunting there. The Steen’s at one time was 4X4 or better hunt…
So in reality the states that have a problem with predators are the same states (metropolitan cities) that were Blue in the recent election, giving the point that we know those that are the loudest and not using their common sense for the good of all…
“There is a place for predators, but they should not replace renewable resources in nature”
“The elected politicians of any state must take in account the outcome of a bad decision that they have made bowing down to a small load group of “Tree Huggers”, much like the Old Growth Spotted Owl farce”
A few photo from onXmaps HUNT IPAD Mobile Mapping: