Friday, April 29, 2011

Kansas Turkey with KUIU and Vias camouflage

The nastiest morning of the trip; cold, rain, wind, and maybe a snowflake or two.  I tried out the KUIU  Chugach pant and Guide jacket on the outside and layered underneath with the merino 250 base layers, the Attack pant, and my new favorite, the Spindrift jacket.
I was eager to try the KUIU Guide jacket because I knew I could move fast, stay quiet, and belly crawl with it, but I wondered how well it would block the wind and keep me dry being that it does not have a waterproof laminate.  It exceeded expectations.  When the wind really blew, I threw up the hood and could have taken a nap.  The Toray Kudos DWR kept the rain drops rolling right off.  The Chugach pants also blew me away with the amount of stretch in them.  I've always felt that hiking in rain pants inhibits my movements, but these babies hiked like a pair of softshells.  Toray's Primeflex 4 way stretch  fabric is really incredible.  I can't comment yet on durability and long range waterproofness, let me get another 20 days in them. 

Lots of glassing while the wind was honking.

I had to belly crawl quite a ways to get into position on these birds.  I was wearing the merino top and Attack pants which kept me cool and hidden, but what impressed me most was they made it through the ordeal without any rips or holes.

Both toms eyeballed me twice as they came struttin' in, but none were the wiser until the first shot went off at 25 yards.

My buddies said the Vias camo would be too light colored for turkeys.  All three birds we killed that afternoon were within 30 yards of me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skiing with KUIU

My wife and I skied home from Vail on Sunday, closing day.  I just got some KUIU gear and decided to give the Guide jacket and Spindrift jacket a try on the ski hill.  I battened down the hatches when the wind blew and opened my pit zips when the sun was beating down on us and stayed comfortable all day.  Skiing through the lodgepole pines always brings me in contact with some branches but the Guide jacket was a worthy adversary.  We took a few pics to see what the Vias camo looked like in the timber and aspens with snow on the ground.  I'm looking forward to doing some backpacking with the KUIU gear.
Scoping my fall hunting grounds.

The Vias Camo pattern looks great in the lodgepole.

My KUIU Guide Jacket keeping the wind off me.


I like it in the aspens.

                            We bumped two cows, so we waited a few minutes to let them clear out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tree Top Turkeys

Just what the doctor ordered!  I just received TreeTops Volume 1 and 2.  It is a recording of a bunch of turkeys in their natural world.  I listened to them last night and they are fantastic.  Talk about a good practice tool!  These will be great to listen to in my truck.  My next purchase will be the new Volume III.  Go to TreeTops Turkeys for more info.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kansas Turkey Hunt

     My neighbor invited me along on a hunt for Rios in northern Kansas and I graciously accepted.  We spent three days hunting and the weather cooperated for about one half of a day.  We had rain, snow flurries, and lots of wind.  The temps ranged from 65 down to the upper thirties.  Did I mention it was windy?  We stayed with Jim Zadina who also runs Tall Grass Upland Game Farms.  From the amount of roosters I saw and heard, I'd bet the pheasant shooting is a blast. 
     Thank goodness we were blessed with half a day of calmer winds and sunshine.  This was all it took to get the birds out and about and talking.  We hit the woods hard for four hours and came home with three nice toms. 

My first Rio and a limbhanger at that!

Bird #1 of the afternoon.  Came in on a string and gave us quite a show.

With a little yelp from my friends.

My neighbor Serb with probably his 50th Rio.


Our excellent hosts, Jimmy and Jeff Zadina.

All smiles after a tough, but successful hunt.

Birds #2 and #3, didn't gobble much, but came a struttin'.

1 1/4"

All three birds came in at 20 lbs.

Jeff's 2010 Archery buck.  This pic does this buck no justice, absolutely the heaviest buck I've laid hands on.  The mass is so great, it shortens the tine length and spread.  Mainframe 4x4 with matching kickers, Jeff said it grossed around 160".

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Barbara's Big Brown

Every now and then I'm fortunate enough to be standing next to an angler when they latch onto a truly big trout.  This was the case a couple of weeks ago when I was guiding on the Yampa river outside of Steamboat Springs, CO.  We already had enjoyed an incredible day of fishing when Barbara set the hook and a yellow flash went screaming down the riffle we were standing in.  The fish made a swirl at the end of its run and I got pretty excited when I saw the size of its tail.  We moved quickly down stream to catch up with this brute.  The fish made another run but soon tired and held its position.  I left Barbara's side, snuck in behind the holding fish and made a stab at the water below it hoping to corral it before it decided to resume the fight.  My aim was true and I came up with one of the bigger brown trout I've seen.  Barbara didn't know what she had caught and couldn't believe all the fuss about pictures that Ed and I made.  As she fishes more and catches more, she will appreciate the size and fortune of a fish like this.  Good job Barbara!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brian Rimsza's AZ Goulds Turkey Hunt

I went with Brian on his 2011 Goulds Turkey Hunt in Southern Arizona.  We had a great hunt but it did not last very long.  Rimsza used his Elite bow and whacked this beautiful Goulds on opening morning.  Check out the video and pics of our adventure.  It was my first time in the new KUIU gear.  I will be posting more on that soon.  Initial impressions of the gear is WOW. 

Check out where this gobbler strutted the whole road up!

Pictured from L to R, Jay Scott, Brian Rimsza, Randy Spray

My Montbell Bag was dreamy for sleeping under the stars

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

KUIU Shipment

Look what showed up in the mail today!  Just in time to make the AZ Goulds Turkey Hunt that I am leaving for in the morning.  I am looking forward to beating it up!  Will keep you posted.  KUIU

Ryan Eustice Merriams

Eusty and Tylo had a good hunt for this mountain Merriam.  Nice work guys!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Motherlode Turkey Calls

I consider myself an above average elk caller but definitely only a average turkey caller.  I call well enough to harvest my share of birds but I have been constantly trying to get better with a mouth call.  I am always looking for better calls and recently I have found some turkey mouth calls that I absolutely love.  IMO, these are by far the best mouth calls that I have ever used.  I am posting this segment of how these calls sound for me but if you really want to hear good calling listen to Joe Slaton, owner of MotherLode Turkey calls  He has a great website with videos and demonstrations.  You can't beat the price of these calls as well.  Joe makes all of these mouth calls himself.  Try them out you will not be disappointed.  His turkey videos on his website have incredible footage and great calling.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rim to Rim to Rim Training Update

Well I am about two weeks away from attempting a Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon hike in 24 hours. This hike will be around 48 miles with 20,000+ feet in elevation change. I started training on February 1 and have logged over 200 miles on the trail. Most weeks I would get in 20-25 miles of running and hiking. Two of the last 3 weeks I got in over 40 miles for the week. I did two 20 mile mountain hikes. Yesterday I completed my longest hike so far,  a 30 mile mountain hike. I took just about everything I plan on taking for the R2R2R hike. The key to completing the R2R2R is going to be keeping my body fueled & and hydrated. I have found that towards the end of the long hikes I have done nothing tastes or sounds good to eat. Once I stop fueling my body it does not take long for my energy to diminish. The Wilderness Athlete Products will be key for the big hike. I started the 30 mile hike yesterday at 3:20 am and finished at 2:10 pm. One of the trails got very crowded mid morning and  that slowed me down quite a bit. My body felt pretty good at the end of the 30 mile hike. I have some soreness in my right shin/ankle. The temperature at the end of the hike was 96 degrees and the heat took a lot out of me. It seemed like I could not drink enough water & and electrolytes to keep me hydrated. During the R2R2R hike I will really have to stick to my hourly game plan of food & and liquid intake. From the research I have done I will need to consume around 5,000 calories during the hike.  I kept track of everything I ate on the 30 mile hike and will be adding up the calories to make a list of the foods I will bring on the R2R2R hike. I will keep you posted on what will be in my pack for the R2R2R.

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