Posts Tagged with "NICE Crewcab"

The Wolf Days of Winter



Randy Newberg, of On Your Own Adventures, called and asked if I would be a guest hunter on his show for a Montana wolf hunt.  I was excited and thankful that he would call me to join him, especially considering I had zero wolf hunting experience.  Randy and I talked, and we both understood this hunt wasn’t likely to end with much in the way of wolf footage, and even less likely to end with a dead wolf.

But Randy and I both have the same philosophy when it comes to hunting: The odds might be stacked against you, but the odds drop to zero if you don’t at least give it a try.

We spent five straight days hunting for one of Montana’s most elusive creatures.  Our expectations were low, so we were thrilled when we spotted our first two wolves late in the afternoon of the first day. Under normal circumstances, we would have had a shot at them, but the camera guy was unable to locate the animals in his viewfinder, so I had to pass on the shot. I was learning, painfully, that trying to capture the harvest on film adds a significant … READ MORE >

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Bears Bows and Backpacks

I started the spring season with two goals, one: see more bears than I had ever seen in a spring season, and two: kill a spring bear with my bow. Goal one would be easy. I had been working hard to get ready for the spring season. Talking with good friends about how they bear hunt and how to find more bears along the way. I had also been working hard making sure my new Hoyt bow was up to the task at hand.

Bear number one of the year.

The season got off to a bang when good friend Brain Barney and I spotted a huge boar five minutes into our first glassing session. The hunt was on! I bailed off 1500 vertical feet of steep hill crossed the river and made my way up the other side. After a very steep climb my stock was cut short by some very fickle wind, my first hard learned lesson of bear hunting. Bears have a nose that makes an elk look like he has no sense of smell at all! If you don’t have the wind right you might as well not even try it. You will be done before … READ MORE >

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Reflections on this Year’s Deer Hunting


As luck would have it, I tagged out on a beautiful bull elk on the fourth week of this year’s archery season.  With eight more weeks of hunting, I had the opportunity to broaden my horizons and focus hard on finding myself and two others some wall hanging bucks.

October 25th, opening morning of the Montana rifle season, friend and co-worker, Kyle Christenson and I trudged through knee deep snow and headed into high country.  At first shooting light we were surrounded by mule deer.  We saw eight bucks that morning but never took a shot.  Two weeks later, we went back to the same vicinity and Kyle took a gorgeous whitetail.  It was his first big game animal, one he’ll have a hard time topping.

The next week, friend and roommate, Sean Schroff and I went in search of mule deer. Frigid temps and inclement weather pushed some of the larger bucks down into the lower elevations offering us some great opportunities.  Sean was able to reach out and touch his first mule deer.

With seven days left in the season it was my turn to give it a go.  I went to an area that … READ MORE >

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Speed Goatin’

Steven Drake hopes to fill his crew cab on opening weekend of Antelope season.

After three weeks of countless spot and stalks on Montana speed goats my patience and motivation was wearing thin.  It was my last evening of hunting before college started and the pressure was on.  In a last ditch effort I snuck down a coulee on a barren piece of public land.  I failed to spot any goats before I headed in.  Regardless, my hopes were high.

Two large snake skins and a musky smelling puddle of urine had me on full alert as I crawled my way down the coulee.  A half mile into the section I poked my head out to take a look at the surroundings.  I spotted a mature buck bedded on a hillside about two-hundred yards away.  It was time to try my luck at flagging.  I ducked back into the coulee, pulled out a white tee shirt from my pack, and held the shirt in the air as to get the buck’s attention and hopefully spark his interest.  Sure enough, he zeroed in on the white shirt and began running right towards me.  Right then, adrenaline started pumping through my veins, … READ MORE >

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Five Mountain Ranges… One Bull.


This essay appears with permission from the RMEF in its entirety and as originally published in the July/August 2009 issue of Bugle Magazine. Please become a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Help protect the wild places where free ranging wild elk call home. Learn more at

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Everything Happens for a Reason


After having a rocky archery season which ended without harvest but with a high note, I regrouped and looked forward to the rifle season.  I had film jobs going throughout the first few weeks of November, so my elk hunting was going to have to wait until the end of the month.  With the last week of November upon me, I began my search.  Bursting with ambition and physically refueled, I began routinely strapping on my Crew Cab day after day loaded with all the hunting necessities including my video camera and tripod.  Miles were being logged and no bulls were to be found.  I couldn’t believe it. I had hunted as hard as I could throughout the fall for elk and just couldn’t seem to put anything together.  The days and miles sucked into my Crew Cab were running together.  Being tired was only part of it,  physiologically I was waning because of the old saying I stand by, “what you put in is what you get out!”  Well, I knew that I had put in a ton but was definitely not getting anything out.  I couldn’t find a nice bull no matter how far I hiked or long … READ MORE >

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Multiple Quarters….


The bugle had been lingering in the background since jolting me awake at 1:24 a.m. I was growing impatient watching Andrew finish his breakfast.  It was time to go.

We had glassed this bull and his 30 cows last night as they fed into a timber and sage covered meadow across the canyon.  Exactly the situation we had been searching for, we sat down our packs and made camp.

Andrew enjoys another meal from the Jetboil! Photo by Mark Seacat

While eating dinner, we watched as the herd began feeding their way toward the upper portion of the meadow.  Above them, a brief ridgeline separated the herd’s meadow from a dark tract of timber that ran on for miles.  In the mid-morning tomorrow, the elk would likely disappear into this area to bed.  We knew catching up to them in the heavy timber would be difficult.  Our best chance was to be above the herd at first light.

Andrew was still working on his breakfast as we began wading across the river.  We were late, but the ridge leading us to the elk was direct and we made good time in the breaking dawn.  Twenty minutes before shooting light, we … READ MORE >

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Close Doesn’t Count!


The Author watches as the first sunlight reaches the high country. Photo by Tyler Johnerson

Well, I can’t say I didn’t have my chances.  I hiked into a completely new area and spent a total of 2 days scouring for elk.  I saw 18 different bulls with only 2 being shooters.  I had an opportunity at a smaller 5 x 6 on the first evening but he wasn’t what I was after.  I had one of the shooters at full draw Wednesday morning at 50 yards before he winded me and wheeled out not giving me any shot.  Pushing on I relocated the herd bull, four satellites and 18 cows. They were 2 basins away and this was the last morning of my fall archery hunting season.

It was freezing cold throughout the night and into the next morning.  Above treeline, the wind was brutal….. but that is where the elk were.  I waited about an hour for my opportunity to develop.  Laying there freezing for about 30 minutes in one spot, I let at least 10 cows and three of the five bulls leak by me at 10 to 50 yards away. I was perched in the cliffs in … READ MORE >

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Random Encounter


Mark Seacat carries out the first load. Photo by Chris Awe

In my never ending search for total compatibility, commitment through hard times, and good looks, I have had many letdowns in my years.  Friends have told me to lower my standards, get over myself, and to lay-off the pursuit.   It wasn’t until early one fall in Montana that a friend paired us up.

Being the good buddy he is, Mark Seacat of Mystery Ranch had anticipated my anxiety and setup a blind date.  As an avid hunter, scheduling was hard this time of year.  My life evolves around long days in the mountains, seeking out adventure and game.  Knowing this, the arrangement was made… 5AM, on the tailgate, under the moonlight, 40 miles away at my favorite trailhead.

With hunting, and the proverbial “One” on my mind, a ruthless devil started to turn inside me.  Knowing all too well, we both agreed that it would be smart to have a third-party make the introductions.  I got to the trailhead early.  I incessantly dried my palms over the dashboard heater as I saw Mark’s headlights bobbing up the road.

Fumbling for my headlamp, my first impression was of shock and … READ MORE >

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Bighorn Dream Hunt


Bo Maurer’s Crew Cab loaded for the trip out. Photo by Chip Johnston

Big Horn Sheep – Successful.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read those words on the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.  The entire neighborhood could hear me screaming with excitement.

Now that I had drawn a Bighorn Sheep tag for Southern Colorado, the pressure was on.  I immediately called my good friend and outfitter Jeff Chadd with Majestic Mountain Outfitters.  He and his team immediately started scouting the area looking for big rams.

The one piece of gear that I knew I needed to upgrade was my backpack.  I had been using an original Dana Design Terraplane.  As luck had it, I found the Mystery Ranch Backpack facility during a trip to Bozeman, Montana.  I was so interested in their products that I stopped by their store in person with my original Dana pack in tow.  Mark Seacat did a great job of fitting me for this new NICE Frame and Crew Cab.  We compared my original pack to the new pack with weight, comfort, etc.   Mark even introduced me to Dana Gleason, the founder of Dana Design and Mystery Ranch.  I was only dreaming of … READ MORE >

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