I grew up in a small town in Central Utah that is surrounded by mountains and live 5 minutes away from anything I want to do in the outdoors. I went on my first deer hunt when I was just a baby and have been going to deer camp every year since. There is something about the outdoors that makes you feel at home here. The sounds, the smells, and the connection you make out there makes it worth the work.
Women in the outdoors is a rare sight, but we’re becoming more and more known, and that is what is amazing about the hunting community. We’re all here for the same purpose—an amazing purpose that allows us to feed our families for the year—but we also get an amazing experience. If you’ve experienced it then you know exactly what I mean. It can’t be explained, the feelings, the sights, the sounds, the emotions all can’t be explained but once you’ve experienced it you’ll know how truly amazing and proud you feel after it is all said and done.
And that is why I continue to hunt and fish for my food. The work is always worth it and the experience makes for timeless memories that can be passed on for generations to come. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, and please feel free to leave a comment on them!
The most successful hunters begin their preparations now!
Hunting season is not just a fall activity. There is plenty of work to be put in once the season ends. From scouting, to food plots, and everything in between. The work is never over if you plan on harvesting an animal next season.
After hunting season ends, checking trail cameras to see who survived and which animals are still in the area can help get a game plan for next year. If your food plots are done producing you can always put out a salt lick or some other type of bait, just be sure to check your regulations for your area. The idea is to keep the animals where you want them. If there is food year-round then there will be animals year-round.
Once spring hits and the antlers start dropping, gather those bad boys up! Antler drops are a good indication that the area is still good and that the animals feel safe there. It also gives an idea on where they travel for food and water. It also gives a good idea on the area they run; you may have one particular buck on a camera on your food plot, but you could pick up his shed a half mile away. You can use the Game Tracking feature in the Hunter Tracker app to help map out the coordinates of your finds.
Now springtime is also the time to start thinking food plots and bait areas. Some food plots require you to plant Spring or early Summer and work them until fall. Get a game plan early on what type of food you are planning on using for the season. If you decide to go with a bait pile be sure to put enough out that you can set a camera and only check that camera once every week. Keeping your scent out of the area is key to success all throughout the season. You can use the Hunting Log feature in the Hunter Tracker app to keep logs of when you checked your cameras or when you started your food plots.
Once the middle of summer hits it is time to start scouting. Trail cameras are great but there is nothing more exciting than seeing a buck in velvet through the binoculars. Keep tabs on previous years animals and start looking for signs of them this year. Plan a few days and go sit, whether it be in your blind, tree stand, or if you are hunting a particular hill side. Go sit and watch during prime movement hours. Remember to minimize scent and don’t forget the snacks.
Picking out a target animal seems to be the easiest part of scouting, but making it happen come hunting season is the trick. Remember that being successful come fall all depends on how successful you are after the season ends. Don’t give up and keep working because when it comes to deer hunting, the work never ends.
Over the Utah General Season Rifle Mule Deer Hunt I had the opportunity to try out the Cyclops 700 Lumen LED Flashlight from GSM Outdoors. It’s a small flashlight that fits great into my pack. It also didn’t add any weight and the bright yellow end made it easy to find when I needed it.
My expectations were not very high. I mean, it is just a flashlight, right? WRONG! The Cyclops is a 700 lumen flashlight which means it is BRIGHT. Bright enough that we didn’t need a lantern to gather firewood when we ran out. Bright enough I left my headlamp back at camp when we went out on our evening hunt. My expectations were blown out of the water!
I loved how it had a low and a high setting. The low setting worked great when we needed to relight our heater in our trailer. Not too blinding but just right to work inside with other lights. I also found that when I held down the button, I could use it to signal an SOS if ever needed. Not to mention the window breaking tool on the end, making the Cyclops 700 Lumen flashlight a great multi tool.
All in all, the way the Cyclops 700 Lumen LED Flashlight from GSM Outdoors performed was much better than expected. I was pleasantly surprised at the brightness and I loved how light it was and that it did not take up much room in my pack (10.2 x 5.8 x 1 inches and only 6.4 ounces).
I highly recommend to anyone who hunts or just loves to be outdoors. Definitely has my seal of approval and I will be purchasing another for my husband’s pack. Check the current price!
I absolutely love this recipe for the pure fact that I harvested the animal. It is always fun to cook up something you harvested. All the way from field to plate, I believe it makes it much more delicious! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!
2 cups butter milk or enough to fully submerge the backstraps
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
Fully thaw the backstraps
Place the backstraps in a bowl and cover in butter milk. Make sure they are fully submerged. Add a dash of salt and pepper and mix all together. Let sit for 1 hour.
After one hour. Pull the backstraps out of the butter milk and rinse. In another bowl mix together Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper. Mix together well. Add back straps to mixture and marinate for one hour.
Pull the backstraps right from mixture and place on the barbecue on medium heat. Cook until you reach you desired wellness by turning them every 5 minutes and enjoy!
I was recently given the chance to try out the Etymotic Gun Sport PRO Electronic Earplugs and I must say that I am impressed. First off the packaging is phenomenal. It comes with cleaning tools, filter tool, a bunch of different attachments to fit your ear, and best of all batteries. A ten pack of batteries is included and they are super easy to install. The hard case that the earplugs come in is great too. I can throw it in my pack and not have to worry if they get lost or damaged.
I first tested them out when I was vacuuming my house. Kinda silly but I wanted to see how comfortable they were and if I could use them out on the gun range. In about a minute I forgot that they were even in. What else was great is that vacuuming was actually fun, say what!? The annoying noise was drastically reduced and my ears didn’t have that constant ringing like they normally do. What I really liked is that as soon as I turned off the vacuum, the noise volume gradually climbed back up. I kept it at the normal setting but on the back of the earplug there is a little lever that if you flip it magnifies the sound more. I found that the original setting was plenty good for holding conversations and such.
After forgetting I had them in, I took them out and decided I would make a quick run up to the gun range. I put ten rounds, out of my .380 auto, into the target and was utterly amazed. I am used to my ears being squished by the big, bulky over the ear protectors, but these make my stance feel more comfortable and I wasn’t so worried about my ear protection falling off. Also my eye protection didn’t interfere with them at all, which is a BONUS!
Overall my experience with the Etymotic Gun Sport PRO Earplugs has been great. I have used them almost every weekend and each time I pull them out I am pleasantly surprised with how much I truly like them. If you are in the market for some new shooting ear protection, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Shed hunting has recently become more popular here in Utah. It is an easy way to get out and enjoy the outdoors but also find a little “white and brown gold”. Usually we start shed hunting late January and continue through the spring. Except for this year. This year there was a ban placed on the entire state until April 1st.
Now I fully agree with the ban, but there was some serious backlash from sportsmen that just wanted to get on the mountain and be the first to pick up some antlers. The deer and elk herds looked super rough this year due to the tremendous amount of snow we received in a very short period of time. Creating the ban helped the herds recover and it also kept some of the pressure off.
The antler gathering course, a course that reiterates keeping the pressure off of the animals and how high winter death rates are, must be completed before venturing out to gather some bone. Once you complete the course you can print off your antler gathering permit to carry with you while out shed hunting. If you do not have a permit it is illegal to gather horns.
So fast forward to the opener. It was like World War 3 had hit the mountains. We decided to wait until the afternoon because of the immense amount of people on the mountains (even though we were going to hike our private property).
We ended up doing really well opening day. Having only hiked around 6 miles, we came back home with 3 antlers, all brownies! One around 80 inches and a small 2 point set that was found only ten feet apart from each other! The sad thing is we had seen week-old boot tracks following the game trails in some of the public land areas on opening day, most likely people out shed hunting early. Our game wardens seemed to be on top of the issue though. Citations were written for anyone gathering antlers before the ban was lifted Fines exceeded $1000. It is sad that sportsmen and women can’t follow a simple rule… No antler gathering!
We ended up going the next day for a quick hike and found the match to the monster horn we’d found the previous day. This buck never made an appearance on our game cameras and we had never seen him on our scouting trips but ding dang this buck is a BEAST! Both sides are around 80 inches and both sides are heavy! Total lucky find but we will take it!
All in all I think that the antler ban was a success. Antlers were found in the winter range areas and matches were found closer together. We only covered 10 miles in two days and matched up two sets. Normally we cover 20 miles to find one horn let alone a match.
I am hoping that the DWR will consider doing the ban again next year. It was nice enjoying the animals in the winter ranges longer and we also got to do more scouting for next hunting season. And most of all we had fun!