Tag Archives: Mystery Ranch Backpacks

Enjoying the climb

23 Aug

Looking into the abyss

It seems like I always conclude a season of hunting with introspection and thoughts of how I could have done better…followed up by oaths sworn to prepare better and train harder for “next year”. And time, with it’s ever exasperating way, reminds us that “hey, your time has come!”….and before we know it…yes, you guessed it…there is no more time left to be had. And as our years progress, time has an even more infuriating way of speeding things up  faster, still. “Life” takes a hold and ratchets it’s self in and plans that we’ve made, would like to make…or have ever thought of making, seem to never fall into place as they should. This is the story of my life!

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Glocking for Bears: part II

19 Jul

*Look for a version of this story to be published in an upcoming issue of Bear Hunting Magazine!

I always am mesmerized by the pads of a predator and take the time to study them...almost like some sort of Palm Reader would analyze someone's "life line". I can't help but wonder what trails have been trod and how many miles had been laid down in this bear's 15-20 year estimated years.

I always am mesmerized by the pads of a predator and take the time to study them…almost like some sort of Palm Reader would analyze someone’s “life line”. I can’t help but wonder what trails have been trod and how many miles had been laid down in this bear’s 15-20  estimated years. A quick note on field judging bears, based on the size of their pads: measure across the pad and then add one inch to equal what the bear would square. This bear’s pads almost measured six inches across, which jived perfectly…as the bear squared over six feet.

There is a saying that “every dog will have his day” and this most certainly applies to hunting. If you spend enough time in the woods, you are bound to experience an “epic” encounter at some point. A few weeks back, my number was apparently up to be thrown a bone and I was to experience one of these “epic encounters”.

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A Lion Will Do

9 Jul

Originally published on the Sitka Gear Insight blog: https://www.sitkagear.com/insight/a-lion-will-do

 

This past hunting season was pretty rough. Just to put it bluntly. At one point during the opening weekend of the September Elk season…I wanted to call it quits. I took the first shot opportunity that I had on a spike bull and ended up with a high-single lung hit. It gave me a blood trail that a blind man could follow and then ended in a bed of frothy, pink blood…but no bull. After two days of searching with everything that I had, I came up empty…and that’s how I felt. I went through the motions for almost a week before I finally started to get it together. The month of September came and went and I moved on to focus my efforts on filling my deer tag.

Looking on in disbelief at a blood-filled bed at the end of a heavy blood trail...but no elk to be found.

Looking on in disbelief at a blood-filled bed at the end of a heavy blood trail…but no elk to be found.

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Laying it all on the line

13 Sep
A moment of complete exhaustion, during the last physical trial of the Train To Hunt Challenge: Pack on burpees.

A moment of complete exhaustion, during the last physical trial of the Train To Hunt Challenge: Pack on burpees.

Every year I look forward to new adventures and new challenges; but I often find myself living inside my comfort zone. Nothing irks me more than living vicariously through other’s achievements or feeling inspired by what someone else has overcome; only to sit idly by…wistfully.

According to Newton’s first law of motion; it’s the natural tendency of objects to resist changes in their state of motion. And when overcoming the inertia of our routine seems too difficult, or impossible; what do we do? We have to mix it up, we have to push forward…and push hard.

I started off this year with my heart and mind committed that I would make this season better than the last and in doing so; I would need to mix it up and step outside of my comfort zone a bit. I needed a goal that deviated from the same old “scout more, shoot my more bow more, train more” gibberish that everyone mutters at the start of each year. To do this I had to think bigger and commit to something that would be difficult…and why not announce it to everyone, while also reaching out for sponsors, for some added  accountability?

As soon as I heard of this “premier adventure race for bowhunters” called the Train To Hunt Challenge, AKA the”Search For The Fittest Bowhunter In The West”…I immediatly made up my mind that I was in. It was announced late last year and with snow still covering the ground; I went into training mode full-bore. Since I had been hunting more and more with my Recurve and had every intention of starting the season with it in hand…I had to ask myself; why wouldn’t I compete with anything other than what I would be using in the mountains? This would put me at a disadvantage; as far as being competitive goes…but this was more of a competition with myself, more than anything else. The course had been set and no alterations would be made…at least that’s what I thought.

One of many training sessions. This was just after the snow melted; I trained rain or shine and as many days a week that my schedule would allow. This day it was pouring down rain. My wife had to snap a pic; thinking that I was crazy as she watched me shoot an arrow, sprint to the target and back and shoot again, all while it rained cats and dogs. You only get out of things what you put into it...and it was my intention to "go big".

One of many training sessions. This was just after the snow melted; I trained rain or shine and as many days a week that my schedule would allow. This day it was pouring down rain. My wife had to snap a pic; thinking that I was crazy as she watched me shoot an arrow, sprint to the target and back to shoot again, all while it rained cats and dogs. You only get out of things what you put into it…and it was my intention to “go big”.

With every workout; I felt my strength and endurance growing and with that, my confidence in my stickbow shooting grew as well. A moment dawned upon me; could I possibly do this? Could I possibly stand a chance of going beyond just competing…when the dust settled, could I actually be standing tall as the victor? At that point is when things went horribly off course.

One of the many logs that I had to clear by hand this day. By the time that I got to the log that would end up knocking the "eff" out me; I was pretty exhausted and obviously was not thinking clearly. Hopefully I learned my lesson and will always assume that any downed tree is under tension!

One of the many logs that I had to clear by hand this day. By the time that I got to the log that would end up knocking the “eff” out me; I was pretty exhausted and obviously was not thinking clearly. Hopefully I learned my lesson and will always assume that any downed tree is under tension!

The first setback came in the form of a concussion sustained from having an ax handle and my own fist being driven into my face. This happened while clearing a road into an area where my hunting partner had drawn a spring bear tag. I was very fortunate that I walked away with only a concussion, a broken tooth and a slightly mangled right hand. But this would set my training back an entire month and I was almost devastated.

Even though I couldn’t exercise much beyond a short, light walk during the time my brain was healing from my concussion; it was only a couple of weeks before my hand healed enough to allow me to shoot my bow again. I was ecstatic about this and began to shoot my bow daily from that point on.

A view from a rainy day in the spring bear stand. My nephew was to arrow a nice, 300# bear from a different location this afternoon. I had the pleasure of dragging his bear out for him. His expression when he first caught a glimpse of what he had shot; was well worth the effort...even if it was supposed to have been MY bear!

A view from a rainy day in the spring bear stand. My nephew was to arrow a nice, 300# bear from a different location this afternoon. I had the pleasure of dragging his bear out for him. His expression when he first caught a glimpse of what he had shot; was well worth the effort…even if it was supposed to have been MY bear!

Before long I was back into the swing of things and almost to the fitness level as I was before my accident…and then the second set back occurred. After spending a week with my wife on the island of Kauai; I returned and promptly tore my hamstring…only three weeks before the competition. It almost seemed that I just wasn’t supposed to reach my goals this year and that I just wasn’t supposed to be competing in any “bowhunter specific adventure race”. I wanted to scream out loud my frustration; but still was determined to be at the competition and do what I could. A week later found me in a treestand and waiting on a bear that never showed it’s self; but I had the privilege of packing out my Nephew’s first Black Bear instead. Somehow my hamstring kept it’s self together, as I lugged the 6′ 3″, 300 lb bear out of the woods. My nephew’s grin and enthusiasm matched the size of the bear that he had pin-wheeled…and that was more than enough for me.

I had so much anxious energy before the competition; I had a very hard time dealing with it. If I would have had to wait much longer for my heat...I might have blew a gasket!

I had so much anxious energy before the competition; I had a very hard time dealing with it. If I would have had to wait much longer for my heat…I might have blew a gasket!

The morning of the competition had my hamstring feeling a little tender and the butterflies in my stomach had me feeling very anxious. I gave it everything that I had and ended up finishing dead last in my division. Even though the competitive side in me wasn’t happy with my performance that day; deep down a warm feeling of satisfaction welled within me. Sometimes just being able to stay the course and finish; means more than the end result.

Crossing the finish line and completing a goal that pushed me past my comfort zone and made me reach deep within myself to complete.

Crossing the finish line and completing a goal that pushed me past my comfort zone and made me reach deep within myself to complete.

A quick note to thank some key people who provided some crucial help that enabled me to compete in this event.

I want to first thank Tim Endsley, of Bad Medicine Archery for his endless generosity. Without him, I truly would not have been able to even enter the competition!

I would like to thank the folks from Alaska Bowhunting Supply and Grizzly Stik arrows; for providing me with the absolute, hands-down, best arrow shafts that I’ve ever had the privilege to shoot. Grizzly Stiks “fly like darts and hit like a Mack truck!”

Also; I would like to thank South cox, of Stalker Stickbows for building the finest, custom recurve that I’ve ever laid hands to. My Wolverine FXT definitely delivers the goods!

Last but not least; a huge thanks to my best friend and hunting partner Darin, for running with me and documenting the event. I can’t wait to put all of his footage together!

Writing my competitor number on each of my arrows. A big thanks to Tim Endsley of Bad Medicine Archery for sponsoring me for this event!

Writing my competitor number on each of my arrows. A big thanks to Tim Endsley of Bad Medicine Archery for sponsoring me for this event!

My Grizzly Stik Momentum EFOC's, dressed up with some blingin' custom arrow wraps from Bad Medicine Archery.

My Grizzly Stik Momentum EFOC’s, dressed up with some blingin’ custom arrow wraps from Bad Medicine Archery.

This must have been pee #60 before I competed in my heat. I didn't have any caffeine that morning...so it must have been nerves.

This must have been pee #60 before I competed in my heat. I didn’t have any caffeine that morning…so it must have been nerves.

Warming up with some dips.

Warming up with some dips.

Event jersey

The first physical challenge: over your pack burpees.

The first physical challenge: over your pack burpees.

The one and only target that I missed during the comp; would basically put the nail in the coffin of my placing. If you missed a target; you had to do double of that physical challenge. This was the worst possible target that I could have missed; because Backpack Getups were the only physical challenge that I struggled with.

The one and only target that I missed during the comp; would basically put the nail in the coffin of my placing. If you missed a target; you had to do double of that physical challenge. This was the worst possible target that I could have missed; because Backpack Getups were the only physical challenge that I struggled with.

More backpack-getup agony

More backpack-getup agony

100 yard "shuttle run", with a 70# sandbag. One of the easier challenges.

100 yard “shuttle run”, with a 70# sandbag. One of the easier challenges.

Catching my breath and getting ready to thump a target.

Catching my breath and getting ready to thump a target.

Just after loosing the second to last arrow of the competition.

Just after loosing the second to last arrow of the competition.

Catching my breath during the last physical challenge: pack on burpees.

Catching my breath during the last physical challenge: pack on burpees.

Heading to the last target. I remember this target vividly; it was an Elk and I was pretty gassed. I remember letting the arrow fly...wondering if I had even picked a spot...and then being relieved to see that I had scored a neck hit.

Heading to the last target. I remember this target vividly; it was an Elk and I was pretty gassed. I remember letting the arrow fly…wondering if I had even picked a spot…and then being relieved to see that I had scored a neck hit.

Since I wanted to finish strong and not re-injure my hamstring ; I chose to walk at times. This was right before the last target.

Since I wanted to finish strong and not re-injure my hamstring ; I chose to walk at times. This was right before the last target.

Taking aim on the last target and then it was a 400+ Meter sprint to the finish.

Taking aim on the last target and then it was a 400+ Meter sprint to the finish.

This was immediately after I crossed the finish line. A lot of things were going through my head at this moment. One of which was being glad that my hamstring held up; but the competitor within me was grumbling over my finish time of 36:00.

This was immediately after I crossed the finish line. A lot of things were going through my head at this moment. One of which was being glad that my hamstring held up; but the competitor within me was grumbling over my finish time of 36:00.

Sweaty, dirty and thirsty.

Sweaty, dirty and thirsty.

Even though I didn't finish as competitively as I had originally hoped; I felt deeply satisfied to have finished what I had started.

Even though I didn’t finish as competitively as I had originally hoped; I felt deeply satisfied to have finished what I had started.

I'm very proud to be a member of the Bad Medicine Archery Pro Staff. Live your brand! #noregrets

I’m very proud to be a member of the Bad Medicine Archery Pro Staff. Live your brand! #noregrets

Not the placing I had hoped for! Since I was the very first person to compete with a Traditional bow; I was showed a certain amount of respect...even though I placed dead last. To me; it was just competing with the gear that I would be using when it really mattered. And of course I thought that besides the limitations of my injury; I could have at least made a better showing with my shooting. But I guess that never being satisfied is the only we can continue to improve ourselves.

Not the placing I had hoped for! Since I was the very first person to compete with a Traditional bow; I was showed a certain amount of respect…even though I placed dead last. To me; it was just competing with the gear that I would be using when it really mattered. And of course I thought that besides the limitations of my injury; I could have at least made a better showing with my shooting. But I guess that never being satisfied is the only way we can continue to improve ourselves.

Warming up before the 3D shoot; which was the second day of the competition.

Warming up before the 3D shoot; which was the second day of the competition.

I had the privilege of shooting with a few of the top placers in this competition. Not only were the outstanding athletes; but they were a great bunch of people as well. Thanks guys; I had a great time!

I had the privilege of shooting with a few of the top placers in this competition. Not only were they outstanding athletes; but they were a great bunch of people as well. Thanks guys; I had a great time!

Bearing down

If you look closely; you can see my orange fletching streaking towards the target.

If you look closely; you can see my orange fletching streaking towards the target.

Pick a spot

Cashing in on white Gold.

13 Feb

The woods give way to winter's heavy blanket. This is a prime opportunity to be out and observe a whole different side of the mountains.

The woods give way to winter’s heavy blanket. This is a prime opportunity to be out and observe a whole different side of the mountains.

“When the temperature drops, a white coat enfolds.

The mountain grows silent, cept’ for crackling ice entow.

A soft descent, whether the North Winds will blow.

Heavens wide open; to release winter’s White Gold.”

It wasn’t that long ago; that any warm feelings I held toward winter, were very one-sided. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest; I viewed the winter months as a long endurance of cold weather and fighting treacherous road conditions. To me the months of white were only enjoyable if a chair lift ride to the top of the mountain was involved and immediately followed by some high speed s-turns; with either sticks or a board strapped to my feet.

At some point I had an epiphany which helped to change my views and broaden my scope. I know that I always appreciated how the coat of white brought a different kind of beauty to the landscape…but it was shallow in depth. I really think that I can credit bowhunting for changing the way I view a lot of things about this time of year.

Nothng quite compares to a day spent afield during a sunny day during the months of white.

Nothing quite compares to a day spent afield during a sunny day during the months of white.

I’ll never forget my first season spent with a bow in my hands. It seems like an eternity ago…but I can remember it like it was yesterday. By my second weekend of being out in the deer woods; a fresh coat of snow that was two feet deep, covered my little valley. It was exciting to see the signs of my quarry’s passing; seem to float up from the ground and reveal it’s self to me. It was a whole new world from the week prior…the woods seemed silent; yet filled with new sounds. The soft falling of snow filled the air like quiet static; the metallic tinkling of ice crystals bouncing off of my clothing. The soft squish and woosh of my boots; as I still hunted along the trail. The veil had been lifted from my eyes and a new awareness was being revealed to me…there no longer was just an endurance of cold and a quick descent. This was something new and something that I’ve learned to savor.

The first snow of the season is definitely a very special thing to hunters and something I greatly look forward to. It’s a time that the animals all change their patterns and become more “pattern-able”. While for some it may not be too drastic…it means a new way of life for others. They all become more trackable; with their hooves and paws leaving their story within the layers of snow. You can often tell the time of their passing down to the minute and tell exactly their attitude or how they are feeling; just by observing the amount of snow in a track, or by the drag marks they leave behind.

Here Moose, Elk and Deer tracks cross each other on a beautiful sunny day.

Here Moose, Elk and Deer tracks cross each other on a beautiful sunny day.

I used to view the deep snow as a limitation…that was before I discovered snow shoes. To me the deep snow opens up new avenues of travel that may have not been possible; maybe even the week prior. Just pick a line and go! It’s usually that simple. Push deep and follow that herd of elk. Strap your camp to your back and access that area with un-plowed roads. They may have been lined with hunting camps during the weeks of September…but remain empty and unpressured through the late seasons. Do the ungulate populations a favor and take a trapping class. Take advantage of the predator’s need for extra calories during the cold months and help thin out their numbers by appealing to their winter-appetites. This time of year holds plenty of new possibilities; you just have to be open and embrace them.

Somehow I am constantly taken aback; how the white-coated ridglines and mountain tops seem to stand out in HD clarity and bring the lines of topography into clear focus. Everything seems to pop out at you; seeming larger and much closer. I see things much clearer these days and yearn to test mother nature on all her fronts. A tear of sadness almost forms at the corner of my eye…when the warm air currents of March sweep in…and take my White Gold away for the next seven months.

September magic

7 Sep

Discovering a shed antler that is hiding in plain sight, quickens the pulse almost as much as finding antlers with their deer still attached. This was another special September morning.

 This September seems to be heading for the annuals of “epic”. There is something special about this year, that is slowly becoming apparent. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say “slowly”; because this fall has started with a flurry over this past Labor Day weekend.

My wife breathing in the beauty of one of the many small islands found along the Pend O'reile River.

It was my friends idea; taking our wives for a nice kayak along the Pend O’reile River as a last “fun thing” before September really kicked off and we abandoned our wives for the mountains. It ended up just being my wife and I this past Sunday, but it was  great just the same. Being so close to the water as you glide along serenely in your kayak; there’s not much like it. What a great way to end the summer.

I couldn't belive how cold it has been getting at night. Monday morning was exactly that: COLD! But to the sportsman who craves the activities of the fall; it just means better odds that he might fill his tag.

Every since deer season started back on the 1st, there has’nt been much more on my mind; except maybe chasing rutting bulls within the next handful of days. This past Saturday and Sunday were filled with some very enjoyable time spent with friends and family…but it was killing me to get back out into the woods. Finally, Monday was all mine to use how I saw fit and I saw fit to get up early and head out into the crisp and freezing, autumn air. Everyone views a successful day afield in their own manner and my view might be considered simple by some. I had a few chances to fill my tag this day, but chose to sit back and observe this beautiful day I had become a part of. As I stalked across one of my favorite little gullies; I looked down to plan my next step as the sunlight revealed the curvy silhouette that was immediately familiar to me. With delight I recognized the form of a shed antler and smiled to myself like a child as I picked it up. I almost forgot the doe that I had been casually stalking and was close to giving up my deer hunt for a shed hunt. I broke my careful and stealthy form, to cast around for the antler’s mate…but then I realized that I was looking for antlers that were still attached to their deer! And then it was back to the hunt.

The day's prize strapped to my pack.

I put in a long and very hard hunt this day and was “only” rewarded with a smallish shed antler and some breathtaking sights to file away into my memory banks. Like I said before; my views of a successful hunt may be considered much more simpler, compared to the next guy. A little after two o’clock I succumbed to the miles and the heat (once the sun was up, so was the temperature; it ended up being almost ninety degrees!) and headed for home and a hearty meal. I was to meet a disabled friend later on and help him with his elk hunt; so I aimed to catch a quick rest and recharge my batteries. After a few pieces of my wife’s out-of-this-world, scratch made pizza; I wearily climbed back into my truck and headed out of town once again. I didn’t find my friends truck until almost 5:30 that evening and according to the pre-arranged signal; I bugled a sad note using my reed call and grunt tube and to be quickly rewarded by three quick cow calls from the trail below.

About the time we got on the blood trail; the cow was spotted only a short distance away.

I wasn’t sure what my friend had in mind; I just knew that he had a game camera set up over a trail that had provided some very promising intel that he was excited about. After I located him a few hundred yards down the steep trail, I found him in a nice little clearing, about to hang a tree stand. After the tree stand was hung; he climbed up and got situated. After a few minutes of whispered conversation, where he excitedly told me about the elk, deer and bear he got pictures of on his camera; I figured I’d better find a spot nearby and get settled.

I found a little depression to nestle into, just a few yards behind the tree and 15 yards or so off to his right. I had only been calling off and on for a little more than 35 minutes when I heard something coming in very quickly. I only had time to arrange myself into an awkward squat, with my elbows resting against my knees…and to realize how much in the open I was…before the “something” arrived on the scene. At first I only saw a pair of large and very dark ears, that were swiveling around like antennae. My first reaction was “what…a stinking moose!”, but quickly realized that not only was this not a moose, but it was a cow elk and she was headed right for me!
She was coming in on a string and seemed to know exactly where she was headed; the other cow elk that had just been talking to her! She came to a stop only 15 yards from me and seemed to look almost through me, with a quizzical look that said “I know she’s right over here…somewhere!” I couldn’t belive it that she was only fifteen yards from me and hadn’t spooked with me being out in plain sight! But then one word came to mind: OPTIFADE! That’s right! I had my personal Optifade cloaking device on! Well, after about 45 seconds (that seemed like 45 minutes), with my quads burning from the awkward squat I was in, she finally had  enough and turned to move along. As she left my field of view, I gave her a chirp with my reed call. This must have been all my buddy needed, because I heard the sudden twang of a bowstring; followed by her racing off and then a crash.
This was the last trip up the mountain. In my Mystery Ranch Crew Cab; I have the last hind quarter, the backstraps, tenderloin and neck meat from my friends elk.

I held my breath for a second before glancing up at my buddy. The arm held high was all that was needed to be said. As we whispered a few sentences about the shot; we heard her breathe her last breath only yards away. What a perfect end to a perfect day! We found the cow only 25 yards from us and quickly got to work. I packed the first rear quarter up the mountain in a bag he had used to lug his tree stand in. After I got the hind quarter to his truck; I went to mine to retrieve my trusty Mystery Ranch pack and to get some game bags. All in all, three trips up the mountain and two hours later it was a done deal. I wearily drove home with a smile on my face and a satisfaction that enveloped me like a warm blanket.

Today at work, once again my mind was miles away from my customers, emails and phone calls. My mind was stalking through the woods in chase of elk. Today was the start of my elk season…and once again I was stuck behind a desk and a computer! tomorrow will be my turn….!
Reading the signs of the deer woods.

*On the nature of gear; as always I’m using my tried and true Sitka Gear. This year they have several pieces constructed of Merino wool. And with me not being a huge fan of synthetic next-to-skin layers; I was very excited for these new additions to their line. I’ve been wearing the Merino Core zip-T over the last few days in the woods and I’m very impressed! Not only have I noticed that I sweat less, but have far less body odor after spending hours of stalking and bush whacking. While this may seem a little quirky for me to comment on; this should speak volumes to the scent conscious hunter. Besides the awesome temp regulating and scent control; I noticed that this piece also has significant wind resistance for a piece of this weight. I give this piece a 10 out of 10 and plan to order several more of Sitka’s Merino base layers. Now if they would only make Merino Wool boxers…then I’d be set!

Check out the new Sitka Gear Merino Zip T here: http://www.sitkagear.com/products/open-country/base-layers/merino-zip-t

Glock-ing for Bears! My first season chasing Black Bear with my Glock 20.

27 Aug

Bear Medicine: My film dipped, Lone Wolf built, Glock 20SF 10MM. If you are planning on doing a similar build up using components from Lone Wolf Distributors; be sure to use promo code:” backtrail” when you order! Just trying to hook my Back Trail fans up!

As every year comes and goes, a lot of changes may take place….but one thing stays the same: I dream about the month of September all year long. Usually this time of year, all I can think about is chasing rutting, Bull Elk with my bow and everything else that goes along with the preparation. But this year is slightly different.A couple of months ago, I was at work discussing some marketing campaigns and strategies with our Marketing guy, Zack. I work for Lone Wolf Distributors; which most would consider the “King of the hill” when it comes to anything having to do with the Glock pistol. It’s been in my mind for a while now, to help push us into the Hunting/outdoor market, instead of just catering to the competition/Law Enforcement venue that we’re known for. After all, according to the CEO of the company, JR Shepard…that was the whole reason Lone Wolf was founded: to fuel his passion for hunting and fishing! So why not? One model of Glock in particular; the Glock 20, chambered in 10MM has long been regarded in some circles as an ample hunting sidearm. I’ve been a long fan of the 10MM cartridge and know good and well what it is capable of. I’m never found very far away from my G20 and Lone Wolf offers quite a few performance upgrades that turn it into a hunting beast. So…an idea was hatched. I had already made claim to be the one with the first known kill, using our 9G AR carbine (now called the “G9” http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Products.aspx?CAT=3682) last year while in Texas, when I took a very nice hawg from the ground. But that was not enough! I wanted to whack something with my Glock 20 and I wanted to very badly.

So, what could I set out after, hunting with my Glock?….The first thing that came to mind, was a picture a customer of mine sent me last year. It was of a huge Alaskan Black Bear that he had leveled with his Glock 20, which (of course)  had been pimped with our long slide and 6″ barrel. Plenty of bear medicine!

I always have a bear tag in my pocket; however I’ve never just set out after bear as a species. Bear have always been a secondary to the Elk and Deer I love to chase during the archery seasons. I gave up rifle hunting almost 10 years ago and it was hard to leave my bows at home; but I knew what I had to do. This is my last year hunting as a WA resident; but luckily the unit only minutes from home, opened to bear just a couple of weeks ago. I knew going into the month of August, that I’d have only a couple of weeks to dedicate to bear hunting, before the madness of September set in. Since then, I’ve already been out a few times; but so far not so much as a decent look at a bear.

The mild winter and relatively short summer has left the woods around here still very lush and green. The berry patches are six-foot tall and very abundant; this leads to a food situation akin to an “all you can eat buffet” for  bears! The trick is finding “the right berry patch” and being at the right place at the right time. I’ll be out until the end of the month, busting brush and Glock-ing for bears! Expect to see more of my bear season…hopefully the next title will be: “Bear down!” Some info on my setup:Glock 20SF: film dipped in Mothwing Woodland Mimicry 1.0, Long slide and 6″ barrel by Lone Wolf Distributors, trigger job (3.5# connector, 6# trigger spring, skeletonized striker and polish job.) LWD stainless steel guide rod and 20# ISMI recoil spring. Ameriglo “Hackathorne” sights.http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=Main

Ammo: Double Tap Ammo: 180 gr. CXHP http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=122 and 200 gr. FMJ. http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=39

*Make sure to read “Glocking For Bears: part II“…I finally am able to put my Glock 20 to the test.

 

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