Thursday, May 31, 2012

Night Crappie Fishing

By Darr Colburn

My brother and I went out one night last weekend with my boys Parker and Paul to night crappie fish under lights.  A front moved through a couple of days before we went and the fishing was a litttle slow but we did manage to catch a few.  I really enjoy night crappie fishing under lights during the summer.  The lake is queit, the temperature is nice and the fishing is usually really good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

12X50 Swarovski EL Binoculars Review

Posted by Jay Scott
The Swarovski 12X50 EL Binoculars have been a piece of gear that I have been pondering over for some time.  Once I got them in my hand the excitement grew exponentially.  I used them over the weekend while scouting for Arizona Desert bighorn sheep and was very impressed with the clarity around the edges and the crisp bright image that I have grown to love with Swarovski Optik.  I have been using Swarovski Optiks for years so it wasn't like I was shocked with how good they were but they seemed impressive for my initial testing.  The images through the 12's definitely seemed brighter, the field of view was great and the shortest focal point on the 12's is about 10 feet.  A couple of important comparisons to point out between the 15X SLC (which I love) and the new 12X50 EL; First, field of view on the 12's is 300 feet at 1000 yards compared to the 15's at 231 feet at 1000 yards.  Second, weight on the 12's is 35.5 ounces compared to the 15's at 45.5 ounces. Third, length of binoculars, 12's are 6.8 inches compared to the 15's at 8.47 inches.  One of the most important things that I look for in a binocular is low light performance.  I have not been able to test that out yet but will in the very near future.  I did not get a chance to hand hold the 12's enough to make an accurate assessment as to how practical that will be.  For now I have to say the 12X50's might be bumped up into the starting rotation.  I will keep you informed as I do more testing.  Thanks to the guys at the Outdoorsmans in PHX for all of their help on these binoculars.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunting and Scouting

Posted by Jay Scott:  I took advantage of the small cold front that came thru the valley this Memorial day weekend and did some Arizona Desert Bighorn sheep scouting in Unit 24B South.  It never ceases to amaze me how much feed and vegetation that this area maintains for the desert sheep.  With highs in the low 90's, it was downright beautiful.  I saw four rams and one ewe and was able to capture some video (see below) of the sheep even though they were over 1 mile away.  I was able to cover some ground in three different areas.  It was my first real look through the Swarovski 12X50 EL's and the Swarovski 10X42 EL Range.  Both of which I found to be amazing!  I have some pics of them in action that I will post later.

Here is some video of one of the rams from 24B South

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thanks to our Soldiers!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

KUIU Yukon Gaiter

Check out one of the new KUIU products coming in late June


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Compeau Trail, outside of Fairbanks, AK

Posted by: Janis Putelis
We headed out the Chena Hot Springs road about 30 miles and hiked the Compeau trail to the top of Twin Bears Peak.  It is a multi use trail so it could be atv'd and mountain biked as well.  Trail was in top notch condition.  The Aspens and Birch trees are finally leafing out giving the woods a lime green glow.

Jennifer on the trail carrying Aina.

One of many botany lessons for Aina.

Twin Bears Peak offered a nice view.

On the way home we stopped on the Chena river and I managed to find a Grayling that wanted  to eat a  dry fly.

The Grayling is definitely a fish that pictures do no justice.  The colors on the side  and the dorsal fin rival that of any Rainbow trout.  I'll get better pics in the future to show them off!

Friday, May 25, 2012

KUIU Silnylon Roll Top Dry Storage Bags

Click here to see more backcountry gear by KUIU

KUIU ICON Packs 5000&7000 plus Load Slings

In case you guys are wondering KUIU flat out has it figured out and is kicking out the most cutting edge products on the market. If you like ultralightweight hunting gear then you need to check out KUIU.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Pics of AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep Scouting

Here are some more pictures of the desert bighorn sheep scouting trip from yesterday.  All Pics were taken by Colburn and Scott Outfitters

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

108 degrees and smiling-AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep

Darr called me yesterday after seeing the weather forecast and we agreed the situation couldn't be better to go find some new country and look for some rams.  Highs predicted for 108 and sunny, hottest day of the year so far..... perfect!.  2Am wake up came and we were out the door.  As the sun rose this is what the Good Lord had for us right off of the bat.  We struck gold today and actually found 17 rams!!  We took some great pics and video, here is just a sample.  Here's to good friends, good country, sweet rams and of course the awesome Arizona summer weather!  All pictures were taken by Colburn and Scott Outfitters.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

World Angling

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Caribou Adventure

Posted by Janis Putelis
I'm spending the summer in Alaska.  My wife Jennifer took a job in Fairbanks.  In our spare time we are trying to do as many adventures as possible.  I was invited along on a Dalton Hwy spring Caribou hunt.  Here is the basic rundown.  200 miles north of the Arctic circle, 9 hr drive from Fairbanks, North side of the Brooks range.  Hunters must be 5 miles off of Dalton Hwy before shooting.  No motorized vehicles allowed.

We left Fairbanks Friday morning and headed north on the Dalton Highway aka the Haul road.  We crossed  the mighty, yet still frozen Yukon River, passed the Arctic circle, through the town of Coldfoot, and over Atigun pass around dinner time.  Beating the darkness was done easily since it won't get fully dark again until sometime in late August.  

The following morning we packed our gear, strapped on our Cross Country skis, and headed due West to an imaginary line at 5 miles that would allow us to hunt.   

Atigun Pass

Brooks Range

Caribou tracks
Almost immediately we started seeing Caribou tracks and soon the Caribou themselves.  After setting camp and melting lots of snow for water, we took off to a high point to get a look around and plan a hunt for the morning.  That first day we saw close to 1,000 Caribou and were able to pick out the two main travel routes in the vicinity of our camp.  It was amazing to see such a migration.

Mountains as far as the eye could see.

Well worn.

The second morning, after a breakfast mixed with aerobics to get warm, we posted ourselves on a ridge that  
most of the Caribou seemed to be coming to.  We spotted our first group quickly and two hours later the group of eight were feeding right to us.  My cohorts, Andy and Dash, made three shots at 100 yards and we had three Caribou down.  As a non-resident, shooting a Caribou would've cost $400.  I decided to pass on pulling the trigger and just enjoyed the adventure.  It was Andy and Dash's first ever big game hunt and it was exciting to experience their process of becoming hunters.  I was glad to introduce two more to the sport.  

Looking north across the foothills to the coastal plains.  That is where the Caribou are heading to calve and spend the summer.

Last day of April and still frozen solid.
We took our time skinning, quartering and processing the meat for transport. To shave weight and save space we deboned the shoulders and ribs.  The Caribou were getting ready to shed their winter coats which made for a hairy mess.  We had to be super careful to keep the meat clean.  After a long day we decided it would be best to stay in the field one more night, get some rest and head out in the morning.

We were greeted by four inches of fresh our last morning in the field.

Lows around 0 deg and highs in the low 20's.  I lived in two layers of KUIU merino wool and my KUIU Spindrift jacket the whole trip. I added layers of the KUIU Guide jacket, Chugach jacket, and my Mountain Hardware down jacket accordingly, sometimes wearing all of it at once.  It was cold!

Packing up camp after three days of fun.

Packed up and ready for three miles out.  The Pulk sleds hauled our gear and Caribou meat very well.  In the foreground is my KUIU Icon 6000 pack loaded to gills.  At 60lbs. with extra gear strapped all over the outside, the Icon pack was still very comfortable and allowed me plenty of movement to kick and glide myself home.

Smooth sailing!  

The whole adventure was accomplished via a Honda Civic hatchback topped with a Yakima skybox.  By getting almost 40mpg, we did the trip for $100./ person.  

The highlight of the trip was our Wolverine encounters.  We spotted him the first day loping along the ridge the Caribou were favoring.  After closer inspection with our optics, we could see he was carrying the whole head of a Caribou.  Another hunter had been successful prior to our arrival and the Wolverine was doing clean up!  The evening after we killed, he came cruising along the frozen lake edge near our camp.  He would stop at every mound or spot where the snow had melted and mark his territory.  Every time he did this, he would eyeball the three visitors and then continue.  He definitely was not afraid of us.  To top it off, on our way out, two miles from our campsite, I look to the flank of the mountains and see a small black dot loping up a slope steep enough I would be scared to ski.  With my binoculars I confirm another Wolverine sighting and can't help to wonder where and what he's going to get himself into.

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