Saturday, June 30, 2012

Backcountry Food: Starbucks Instant Coffee

For those of you who enjoy coffee in the backcountry, you should try the Starbucks Via instant.  I don't normally support Starbucks as I can't justify paying that much for a cup of joe, but their instant coffee is an instant winner.  Lightweight, small, minimal packaging, fast(just add hot water) and best of all, a decent tasting cup of coffee.  Best of the instant varieties that I've tried.  I was able to find it at the local Safeway supermarket. 

Looking forward to a cup after camping with our 10 month old daughter in the land of the midnight sun.  It was her first time out in a tent and needless to say there wasn't much sleep happening.

A great addition to the backcountry menu.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Field Judging Elk and Scoring Elk Antlers 3

Field Judging and Scoring Elk
This post is in response to the prior post, "Field Judging Elk and Scoring Elk Antlers 2"
Below is a quadrant of photos of the "G5" Bull that Darr had sent me prior to the 2011 Arizona archery elk hunt to estimate his score. Darr was able to put his hands on the bull the other night at the Desert Christian Archers monthly gathering. He scored the bull and has the actual measurements. Lets see where I estimated correctly and where I underperformed. The thing I like about trying to field judge and estimate score of trophy animals is that it is constantly a learning experience.  Our readers seem to be very close for the most part in guessing the score of this bull.  We had scores on our facebook and email ranging from 370 to 400 inches.

Here are the actual measurements of the bull.  Lets compare to the estimates.
Left Side: 16 4/8, 18, 15 7/8, 23 4/8, 16 2/8, 56 2/8, 26 6/8=172 7/8
Right Side: 16 4/ 8, 17 7/8, 17 5/8, 25, 19 4/8, 54, 26 3/8=176 3/8
Spread 36 Total 172 7/8+176 3/8 +36=385 2/8 Gross

Overall I made some good guesses but I was way off on the mass which still leaves me scratching my head.  It amazes me that a bull of this caliber would only have 26 6/8 and 26 3/8 inches of mass per side.  On mass alone I missed the mark by 6 7/8.  I still look at the photo and video and it is hard to see how light and thin this bulls mass is.  I have never seen a bull of this caliber have under 28 inches of mass.  I was pretty good with my point estimations but my main beams guesses were also a little off at 58 on each side where the actual numbers were 56 2/8 and 54 respectively.  So on this particular bull I would give myself a C+.  I am also making a mental note about the bulls in Unit 10.  Seems as they grow good long points but sometimes are lacking in mass.  I think that could also be one of the reason the bulls in Unit 10 seem to break so bad during the rut.  The only break that I would cut myself is that it sometimes is very hard to make guesses and estimates without having seen the bull in person.  I think if I would have seen the bull in person I might have picked up on the skinny mass and shorter main beams.  How did you do with your estimations?

Colburn and Scott Outfitters Guide Darr Colburn at the Desert Christian Archers monthly get together holding the G5 Bull.

Darr and Arizona Elk Society Founding Member and President Steve Clark going over the numbers

Left Side: 16 4/8, 18, 15 7/8, 23 4/8, 16 2/8, 56 2/8, 26 6/8=172 7/8
Right Side: 16 4/ 8, 17 7/8, 17 5/8, 25, 19 4/8, 54, 26 3/8=176 3/8
Spread 36 Total 172 7/8+176 3/8 +36=385 2/8 Gross

Lets look at each category of this bulls score and its relationship to percentage of the overall score.  For the example I am just rounding to neareast whole number. 
Point Length=185" or 48% of total score
Mass=53" or 13.7% of total score
Main Beam Length=110" or 28.5% of total score
Inside Spread=36" or 9.3% of total score

Below are a couple of charts to for tips and to use as a reference while field judging bull elk.  Notice how our subject bull did not meet the "norm" in regards to mass.

As much as I love to pour over the numbers and analyze data it is important to keep in mind that the thrill of the hunt, getting to enjoy God's creation and spending time with friends is the thing that keeps us coming back for more.  Try to not let score determine whether the hunt is a success or failure.  Stay tuned for another exercise in Field Judging and Scoring Elk from JayScottOutdoors.  Be sure to find us on face book( JSO and CSO) and check out our YouTube channel.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hunting Gear Review: Leki Micro Sticks

     I took my new trekking poles out for a hike recently and took a minute to share with you how the new Leki Micro Sticks work.  I'm looking forward to having these in my pack at all times, ready to aid my descent off a mountain with a heavy pack.  Thanks to Ptarmigan Sports in Edwards, CO for setting me up with the latest and greatest in backcountry adventure gear.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Roaring Fork River Fly Fishing 6.26.12

The fishing has been very good over the last few weeks. The water is extremely low this year where as last year we hadn't even started fishing yet due to high water until July 10th.  The Green Drakes have been coming off on the Fork between 10-11 am and then again at about 8:45pm.  I caught a Snake River Cutthroat yesterday and then another one today.  I have been fishing alot of dries with the staples being olive and tan caddis, green drakes, and olive stimulators.  Before or after the hatch nymphing with princes, green drakes nymphs or 20 inchers has been very effective.  Lots of fun and very thankful to the Creator for wild trout and rivers!

How to Field Judge and Score Desert Bighorn Sheep 3

This post is the conclusion to the blog post titled, "How to Field Judge and Score Desert Bighorn Sheep 2".  If you haven't clicked on the original post do so now and this will make more sense.  Below are my estimates and guesstimates on what the ram scores.

My eye tells me the ram is between 164-166.  My numbers add to 165 4/8 Gross.

Left Horn-33 6/8, 14 1/8, 13 6/8, 12, 9 1/8=82 6/8
Right Horn 33 4/8, 14 1/8, 13 7/8, 12 1/8, 9 1/8=82 6/8
Gross Score 165 4/8

Others have guessed between 164-168. He is a neat little tight curled ram.  I definitely prefer a ram with a bigger drop in the horn and not so tight but he has some character for sure.  Notice how much smaller bodied the subject ram (left ram in picture below) is than the ram on the right.  For the record the ram on the right net score was 170 3/8.  The subject ram has not been harvested.

Stay Tuned for another exercise in Field Judging and Scoring Desert Bighorn sheep.
Ram on left is the subject of this post.  Photo by Colburn and Scott Outfitters.

Don't forget tto make your guess and estimate on the Arizona Bull Elk Scoring Post titled "Field Judging Elk and Scoring Elk Antlers 2"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Field Judging Elk and Scoring Elk Antlers 2

Practice Field Judging and Scoring Elk
Here is a big bull elk from Arizona Unit 10 that was filmed by Darr Colburn of Colburn and Scott Outfitters.  Darr was able find and film this bull many times prior to the start of the archery elk season.  This footage was taken in Early September 2011.  Unfortunately, this bull was wounded by another archery hunter and was not recovered. The head was found and the Arizona Game and Fish Department ended up with it.  The rack was then auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Darr was able to put his hands on the bull and run a quick tape so we have a pretty good idea what the actual score is.  After a few days we will post the actual scores and you can compare your numbers to the real thing.  Watch this video and this is your chance to try to Field Judge this great Arizona bull on the hoof.  Whether you use the Estimating Actual Measurements method (EAM) or Estimating Shortest Points method (ESP), give us your guess of his total gross score (1), Guess his Point length per side and total (2), Guess his Main beam length for each side and the total of both (3), guess the mass per each side and the total (4) and his Inside spread (5).  We will post the actual score and more pictures in 24 hours.  We will also breakdown our estimates.  Click the post title above to leave a comment or put your score on our facebook page

Click the post title above to leave a comment or put your score on our facebook page

Click Below for other links related to Field Judging and Scoring Elk
How to Score/Field Judge Elk Antlers
Field Judging and Guess the Score Elk Video Series
Field Judging Elk Article in Elk Hunter Magazine

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to Field Judge and Score Desert Bighorn Sheep Part 2

Field Judging and Scoring Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep
Here is a great picture that was taken by Colburn and Scott Outfitters guide Darr Colburn on Nov. 2nd 2010 while scouting for Ron Arndorfer's AZ Unit 44B North Sheep Hunt.  That was a magical day of photographing and videoing good rams.  On that day we were accompanied by good friend and professional wildlife photographer Julie May.  We were all able to capture some great shots of the "Logo Ram" and his friends.  Later during his hunt, Ron ended up harvesting the ram on the right and it completed his Grand Slam of sheep.  What does the "Logo Ram's" buddy score?

Below are photos of two Arizona Desert Bighorn rams with completely different shaped horns.  The ram on the right is from the last blog post on Field Judging and Scoring Desert Bighorn sheep, we know his measurements and his Net score.  In case you don't want to click on the other link here are his measurements, Right Horn-36, 14 3/8, 14, 12 4/8, 9 4/8=86 3/8 and Left Horn-34 1/8, 14 3/8, 13 6/8, 12 5/8, 9 4/8=84 3/8 for a total of 170 6/8 gross and 170 3/8 Net.  So what do you think this other ram (pictured on left) scores?  Length of each Horn? What are his bases?  What are his quarter measurements?  Total score? You can click on the Post Title "How to Field Judge and Score Desert Bighorn Sheep Part 2" and leave your comment and your guess on the each measurements and total score or go to Colburn and Scott Outfitters Facebook to leave your comments and score estimates.

Front on View

Right Horn View

Left Horn View

Be careful on this photo because they have switched sides. 

Rear View

So what do you think this other ram (pictured on left) scores? How long is each horn? What are his bases? What are his quarter measurements? Total score? You can click on the Post Title "How to Field Judge and Score Desert Bighorn Sheep Part 2" and leave your comment and your guess on the each measurements and total score or go to Colburn and Scott Outfitters Facebook to leave your comments and score estimates.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to Field Judge Desert Bighorn Sheep Part 1

Field Judging and Scoring Desert Sheep

This blog post is designed to show how to score a sheep.  There are 8 mass measurements total between both horns (4 mass measurements per horn), then you add the length of each horn add all the numbers up and that gives you the rams gross score.  The way you figure out where to take the mass measurements is to measure each horn and then divide the longer horn by four.  For example if the left horn is 35 6/8 inches long and the right horn is 36 inches long, you would divide the longer horn in this case 36 by 4 and that would give you your D1-D4 measurements.  So the base would be at 0, D2 at 9", D3 at 18" and D4 at 27 inches.  Remember that it is very important to be exact with these calculations because being off by a couple of eighths can make a dramatic difference in the rams score.  Then to find the rams Net score you subtract only the differences in horn circumference per measurement.  For example, if Left D1 is 15 and right D1 is 14 6/8 then you would have to subtract 2/8" from the gross score.  Once you subtract the differences between D1-D4 between each horn that will give you the rams Net score.  Remember that you do not subtract the horn length differences only the mass differences.
This picture is taken from the Boone and Crockett Website, it shows the side angle view of where the circumference measurements are taken from.  D1 is the base measurement of the sheep, D2 is the first quarter, D3 is the second quarter, D4 is the third quarter measurement.  Divide Measurement C of the longer horn by four. Starting at the base, mark both horns at these quarters (even though the other horn is shorter) and measure the circumferences at these marks, with measurements taken at right angles to the horn axis.

C is showing where the length of the horn is taken from.  B depicts the tip too tip spread which has no relevance in relationship to the scoring of the sheep but is just a reference measurement

This shows how the length of the horn is measured to the tip because a lot of times the tip of the horn is not a perfect 90 degree angle.

Pictured below is a ram that Colburn and Scott Outfitters Hunter Ron Arndorfer harvested in 2010.  This desert ram completed Ron's Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep.  Ron's ram officially scored 170 3/8 Net Boone and Crockett.  This ram is going to be the feature ram for this field judging and scoring Desert sheep exercise.
These yellow lines are for example only and are obviously not exact.  The lines in reality are actually cylinders shapes that go completely around the horn.  I tried to draw them as close to where the circumference measurements should be taken.  It is important when you are glassing and examining these rams to try to mentally estimate where the each measurement may fall.  Watch out for big cracks or holes in the horn.  If the quarter measurement falls within a crack or hole in the horn that can dramatically affect the measurement for that quarter ultimately lowering the score of the ram.  The circumference of the base is measured at a right angle to the axis of the horn. DO NOT follow the irregular edge of the horn; the line of measurement must be entirely on horn material.

(My lines may not be exact but are strictly to be used as reference) This picture is designed to show where the length of horn is measured from.  The length of horn is measured from the lowest point in front on the outer curve to a point in line with the tip. DO NOT press tape into depressions. The low point of the outer curve of the horn is considered to be the low point of the frontal portion of the horn, situated above and slightly medial to the eye socket (not the outside edge). Use a straight edge, perpendicular to the horn axis, to end the measurement on broomed horns.

For exercise lets dive into the numbers of this ram. The longest horn is 36 inches so the mass measurements for D1-D4 for each horn shall be 0, 9, 18, 27 on both the right and left horn.  This ram is pretty symmetrical and there are not a lot of differences in mass between each horn.  The D1 or Bases are the same at 14 3/8, D2 has a difference of 2/8", D3 has a difference of 1/8", D4 has a no difference.  So there is only 3/8 inches of deductions on this ram.  This ram grosses 170 6/8" and Nets 170 3/8"

Here is a picture of the left horn, notice it is broomed off more so it is obviously a little shorter than the left.  Left Horn Measurements, Horn Length 34 1/8, D1 14 3/8, D2 13 6/8, D3 12 5/8, D4 9 4/8 for a total of 84 3/8.  Once again the yellow lines are designed for example only and are not exact.  It is important to always be thinking about these different quarter measurements fall within the horn.  It gets easier to estimate and calculate the measurements when you break the horn down.

This is always a hard angle to field judge from.  I prefer a level head.  It is important to try and get front on, side on and rear views in order to see the entire horn.

Here is a picture of the right horn.  Right Horn Measurements are Length 36, D1 14 3/8, D2 14, D3 12 4/8, D4 9 4/8 for a total of 86 3/8

Here is another picture of the ram's right horn
It is always important to get a good view and picture or video of the back of the horn.  Notice on the rams right horn there is a pretty good sized divot out of the back of the horn.  When trying to estimate the score it is important to determine if the quarter measurement will fall within that divot.  If it does it may lower the score of the ram.

Congrats to Colburn and Scott Outfitters hunter Ron Arndorfer for completing your grand slam with this fine Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep.

For more videos and pics on Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep see the links below
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunting Videos
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunts
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Scouting Photos
Scoring and Field Judging Bighorn Sheep magazine article
Record Book Trophy Animals Harvested

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