Archive for the Hunting Category
When you talk to Rudy you can’t help but see a man who is passionate about the heritage of hunting and the stories it creates. We are excited to highlight season 2 of “Huntography” on Filson Life, which follows hunters in deer camps, over 12 states, all who have connected through social media and their love for American hunting. Everything kicks off tomorrow, safe Travels Rudy!
Huntography is a grassroots hunting movement. I am on a journey to film and document the authentic stories and experiences of America’s hunters, one at a time. Through first person storytelling, I want to show what really happens in our deer camps. It’s a type of reality that has been missing from outdoor television and videos. One that everyday hunters want to see and can truly relate to.
To add another level of uniqueness, I wanted to use social media to find some folks to film for season 2 of Huntography. Actually, that turned out to be quite easy.
You see, when I started getting active on Twitter, Facebook and blogs within the deer hunting niche last October, I just followed, friended and talked to regular folks like you and me who were talking about deer hunting online. The conversations came naturally as we all had the same interest in common.
Over the course of a few months, I had found myself talking to these folks virtually everyday about deer hunting. Now think about that for a second. Although the deer hunting season had ended, our passion for deer hunting had kept us online and communicating with each other.
In the traditional offline world, most hunters typically go back to their daily routines and don’t have the burning passion for hunting on their minds 24-7.
So for season 2 of Huntography, I wanted to tell the story of some of these super passionate hunters who used online technology to share their whitetail deer hunting passions. Hence the title – Getting Social with America’s Whitetail Deer Hunters.
1 Huntographer. 12 States. 19 Deer Hunters. 5,000 Miles. Fall 2011
Starting October 15th, I will make the journey across America for the social media deertour. From deer camp to deer camp, I will capture what everyday hunters experience before, during and after the hunt.
To make it even more challenging, I will be using multiple Canon HDSLR cameras. These cameras are not the standard within the hunting industry. They are mostly used by indie documentary film makers to tell a story in a more cinematic fashion.
From my first hand experience using them in season 1 of Huntography, I can say that it is very challenging to get everything right. This includes lighting, audio, focus and more. But it’s this challenge that’s drives me to try harder. And when everything comes together, the reward is quite satisfying.
All the hunters that I’ll be filming, including myself, will be using social media to share what is happening in real time. This means you’ll see LIVE status updates, photos and videos right from the tree stand and deer camp on Twitter, Facebook and our blogs.
Since we announced the deer tour 3 months ago, we’ve had a good amount of grassroots interest not only from hunters but from outdoor hunting companies. Many of which have shown support for our cause by donating their products directly to the hunters on the social media deer tour. For this, we are all thankful.
Huntography is here to tell a story. It’s the unique stories that bring hunters together. And nothing tells a better, more vivid story than video. We’ll use social media and technology to help like-minded hunters better connect with each other across the country, from online to offline.
After spending a few years of her life selling ads for the outdoors industry, Kristen Monroe discovered her true passion in life, hunting and fishing. Kristen loves to share her obsession with others by writing and giving motivational speeches to encourage individuals to spend more time in the great outdoors. In this post on Filson Life, Kristen explains what hunting is all about to her, including, camaraderie, good eats and the enjoyment of nature.
For me, modern day hunting is not about the kill, it’s about camaraderie, food and enjoying the great outdoors. It’s different than back in the day when ones family would go to bed hungry that night if they had a bad day in the field. Sometimes I am outsmarted by the animals and I go home empty handed. Luckily, I can stop at the grocery store to feed my family. I recently had a taste of deep-rooted hunting, where that night’s meal was contingent on the days hunt.
Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) holds its annual convention in September. Outdoor writers, visitors’ bureaus and industry partners meet from all over the nation. It’s not just networking- its meeting good friends, having fun and getting business done all at once. This year the convention was held in Iowa at Honey Creek State Resort on Rathbun Lake. I was invited by Brent Lawrence, representing the National Wild Turkey Federation, to partner up and compete in a Coleman cooking challenge. The tasks at hand- use the Coleman outdoor cookware and prepare a meal that reflects the unique local culinary culture of Southern Iowa.
Lawrence and I decided to take a risk. Instead of bringing the food already prepared from home to the convention like we could have done, we decided to cook our game from our Iowa hunts. 2011 is the first dove hunting season in Iowa’s history and Lawrence decided to take part. Unfortunately, that hunt only produced two doves for us, not enough to feed the judges for the main course. Nature is unpredictable; any good hunter has a backup plan.
The morning of the cook off, 11 members of AGLOW went to The Dunn Deal Hunting Lodge in Russell, Iowa for a pheasant hunt. If we didn’t get pheasant, there wouldn’t be a main course to feed the judges. We had a lot riding on this hunt. One of my favorite things about pheasant hunting is watching the dog work. I’m not sure who was having more fun us, or Ginger-Eric Wilson‘s trusty German Short Hair. We had a blast and plenty of pheasant for the judges and the audience.
Lawrence and I prepared bacon wrapped dove for an appetizer and a family recipe of creamy pheasant served over wild rice. For dessert, a Peace Tree Brewery’s Imperial Stout beer ice cream shake and a hot fudge Sunday with bacon, bananas and jalapeño peppers. Lawrence and I tied with our competition according to the judges overall opinion; however, we lost by one in overall points. I still call it a success, the food turned out great and another fantastic memory was created. I am grateful to live the life I do, The Filson Life.
As Tom explained in part 1 of his Filson Life blog series, he is a year round hunter, there is no off-season. With his second installment with, Filson Life, Tom explains how he continues to prepare for his hunts in order to execute when it comes time to hunt. Good luck out there this weekend!
Location, check. Tags, check. Permission, check. Packing list, check. With all of the planning completed for my Montana Elk and Mule deer hunt this fall, I am finally ready to continue with my year round rituals that keep me in the hunting spirit. With the hunt just months away, there is still plenty to do.
Once my rifle/ammo is selected, I check my clothing as Montana has some of the most brutal winters and weather patterns. I hunt with primarily Filson clothing and, through the years, have purchased different hunting clothes, depending on the climate in the area I am hunting. For this hunt, I will need two sets of hunting clothes: My Mackinaw wool bibs and jacket for the elk hunt and my double tin pants with either my sweater or my merino wool shirt. These Filson garments have endured years of hunting and I try to take good care of them, taking a little time to prepare them for the hunt. The Tin pants get waxed, the boots oiled, and the wool dry-cleaned and sewn where the occasional barbed wire fence has taken its toll. Usually this ritual of preparing my clothes involves a nice glass of wine and patience. For some reason, I have never had to change or replace a button on my Filson shirts.
In addition to my personal clothing, I need to ensure I have all my other equipment in check. This includes everything from optics to processing equipment. As I run through my list, I target all of the items needed for purchase. Next, I start organizing the items to be packed. I usually fly out with a cooler loaded with game bags, a vacuum sealer, the entire field dressing equipment, etc. I always spend a little time packing a day pack that has the necessities for personal hygiene and first aid. The first aid kit should be packed to the highest level you are comfortable with or trained at. By starting this process early, I again give myself the best opportunity to be organized and well-prepared.
I look forward to this fall’s hunts all year long. The process of researching and preparing for the hunt keeps my hunger for hunting alive all year long. While I may not work on my hunting plans on a daily or even weekly basis, knowing that I am continuously preparing for a hunt “hands on” makes me a hunter even during the off-season. With all the prep work done year long, I am hopeful that it will pay off. This year my old man is going with me and if we don’t harvest the 6 by 6 or the 30″ Mulie, it will be just fine. I will at least know that I was prepared to get the big one. Good luck fellow hunters.
Judith O’Keefe was born in Paris, France but was fortunate enough to grow up along the northern coast of California. This is where she fell in love with the sport of fishing, which sprung her to explore some of the world’s best spots including; Chile, Florida, the Bahamas, Nicaragua and her current home of Oregon. Yet, with some influence from her husband Brian, her good friend Rob and her buddy Cooper, Judith has recently taken her skills to the field and is ready for game bird season. Oh, and we forgot to mention, she has one awesome recipe to try next time you bag some doves. Check it out here in her guest post for Filson Life.
I don’t know who’s more excited about the upcoming game bird hunting season, me or my pudelpointer, Cooper. Its Labor Day weekend, and the season will open in a little over a month here in Oregon. Every summer I plan to get out with Cooper and get some training in, at least a few regular hikes. This summer we did it. Most every day, right after breakfast, the two of us would head out and spend a fair amount of time tramping around just up the road at a neighbor’s ranch. I managed to get in a twenty mile hike last month on our annual family vacation, and this is Cooper’s eighth year, but he doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet, so I think we’re up for the challenge.
Most of our upland bird hunting is done in southeastern Oregon. I usually prefer rooster pheasant and California quail over chukar. To hunt chukar, which is in partridge family, one doesn’t have to be in good condition, they need to be in peak condition. I don’t doubt Cooper would make the grade but I generally just stay away from this bird. Dove hunting is another bird I’ve not gone after. My friend, Rob, recently went out on opening day and did quite well. He was generous in sharing half a dozen breasts, along with a simple recipe for cooking them. Delicious, but I plan to stick with rooster pheasants and the occasional quail that happens to cross our path. Having spent the majority of my time outdoors, streamside with a fly rod in hand, bird hunting is relatively new for me. Why did I take up the sport? My husband bought me a youth model, twenty-gauge shotgun, some years back, but it’s just been in the last three or four years that I’ve found myself drawn to the field. I love dogs, was raised with them, but Cooper is the first dog “with a job” that I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with. The reason I took up bird hunting is the combination of time spend outdoors in the fall – my favorite season – and the opportunity to watch my dog do what he does best, what he loves more than anything else – and THAT is why I’m going to spend this next month going through the gear, cleaning the shotgun, and improving my aim with some target practice. Oh yes, we’ll continue those early morning hikes as well.
The game bird is a lean machine. The challenge when preparing them for the plate is to preserve as much of the bird’s natural moisture and flavor as possible. Rob’s simple method worked quite well on the dove breasts he shared with me.
- 6 dove breasts, cleaned and skinned
- 3 slices of thick cut, peppered bacon, cut in half cross-wise
- 2 -3 fresh peaches (ripe, but firm), skinned and sliced
- Ground cayenne pepper
Wrap each breast with a ½ slice of bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. Place the wrapped breasts in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Turn frequently to start the bacon browning, then turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for approximately 20 minutes, turning the breasts often to brown evenly. When the breast meat is just cooked through, remove finished breasts and allow to rest while sautéing fresh peaches in a little butter. Serve breasts over hot peaches, sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper. Accompany with a side of cooked couscous or rice.
Filson Life guest blogger, Tom Slaughter, is a year-round hunter – both a planner and an executer. Whether it’s traveling to Alaska, Colorado or Montana, this hunter is always prepared for the journey, especially when he has his Filson gear with him. In this post, Slaughter tells us about his planning process for an elk and mule hunt for the fall season.
I am a hunter year round. There is no off-season, only planning and execution. Generally, I spend January through March researching various species and hunt locations. March through June is dedicated to tag applications and more focused research. Between July and September, I finalize the hunt location and dates and start my packing list making sure I have all of the necessary gear. By October, I am ready to execute my plan and start packing, a process which takes several weeks. By this time, I am in full swing and prepared to go on my much anticipated hunt.
Although I do return to some hunting areas, sometimes I search for new places to hunt. I usually start this process in January while I’m still on a high from my last major hunt and eager to plan the next one. Whether targeting a specific species to hunt or a general location, I rely on word of mouth for some guidance. Sometimes, I even look to hunting TV programming to see where hunters are having success. This year, after learning that some of the best Mule deer hunting is in Eastern Montana, I planned a 10 day Mule Deer and Elk hunt with my dad.
By April, my dad was on board with a Montana hunt, but I still had quite a bit of legwork to do. I contacted the state biologist assigned to the specific region in eastern Montana. In my experience, people in these positions are well-informed, experienced, and provide tremendous insight that can make the difference between a successful hunt and a logistical disaster. The biologist offered me assistance with acquiring BLM charts, state land charts, etc. She also suggested that I cold call ranchers to try and get permission to hunt on private land. She was also very helpful in setting me up with BLM land for Elk and the phone numbers to the ranchers that she knows who grant permission. I will be hunting elk in the south central portion of Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park.
For the Mule deer hunting, I spent three evenings researching and compiled a list of 100+ ranches, 1 taxidermist, and 1 general store. After two evenings of cold calling, I had permission to hunt on 7 different ranches. I located each ranch on the charts and discussed the quality of the hunting at each ranch with the biologist. I made a “handshake” deal over the phone with one rancher who has 6,000 huntable acres. My father and I will be the only hunters during that week. His fee was exceptionally reasonable for a week of hunting permission and included use of the ranch house. Honestly, it was such a good deal, I was somewhat skeptical. I ended up calling the local motel and taxidermist to double-check the landowner’s reputation and to see if the guy really had good Mulie hunting. They highly recommended him and were surprised that I was able to get in on his property due to the demand.
With my hunting area set, I needed to compile my packing list of rifle/ammo, clothing, etc. I start this process as early as possible so I can make any necessary purchases, mitigate costs, and be well prepared. Travelling via plane for hunts is very difficult due to the baggage constraints and mismanaging packing and exceeding the maximum baggage allowance can be costly. With my packing list ready, the planning season is complete and I am ready to start the execution phase.
Stay tuned for part two!
It’s finally here! The opening of Dove Season and who better to celebrate with than Filson Life guest blogger, Tommy Ellis, who has grown up celebrating the first day of Dove Season in the south for years, all with his friends and family’s traditions. Tommy is a wildlife and landscape artist with a specialty in watercolors and also an avid hunter and fisherman. He comes to us from Tennessee to tell us just what it’s like in his neck of the woods and all of his fond childhood memories. We wish we were there!
September 1st, opening of dove season, at 12:00 noon hunters take to fields across our state. I remember this being one of the first hunts I was ever taken on. As kids we waited and waited to hunt with the adults, dove fields or squirrel hunts provided our chance to be included and to learn from our heroes. We were so excited to finally get to climb in the truck to head out on a hunt.
I hunted mostly with firemen from Nashville, it took several trucks to load them, us, gear and guns to travel down to Bedford county where amazing amounts of doves live. We had several farms that knew us and sometimes the Beesleys Dairy farm would provide us with a five to 10 acre field all our own. I remember standing in the shade of a treeline waiting for the birds to fly, listening to them tell us where to set up, which way to look and why birds came in at certain points.
Shooting was always fast and fun, it limits the norm and the ride home was always so much fun telling of shots both hit or missed. A good day meant a lot of doves for the table along with ducks or geese from the freezer when we got home. The tradition became, folks gathering in the kitchen visiting while everything was prepared after a hunt. Mrs. McIntyre cooked doves in a way I could never figure out but loved nonetheless. We were always trying to help but she kindly ran us out of HER kitchen.
Most of the old timers that taught us are gone now leaving us as teachers, not only of the hunt but of meals afterwards. Opening day brings back memories of hot days, cut fields, darting birds, along with the thrill of being included in the ritual of starting our season. Our traditional meal has grown over the years to include many things grown in our gardens, corn, tomatoes and peppers on the grill. It has grown from doves to include any opening day no matter what we hunt, it is another reason to be with friends and family and pass along to the kids the meaning of what we do.
We at Filson Life are excited to introduce the first of many guest contributors. In this series, we’ll share personal stories from leading bloggers in a variety of areas of expertise. From ranchers to shooters to photographers and travelers, Filson Life contributors will give you an insider’s look at the Filson life.
Our first feature comes from Mark Huelsing of Sole Adventure, whose blog originated on the idea exploring the outdoors on foot. He shares the irreplaceable traditions and lessons he learned from his grandfather and which continue to transcend generations.
The alarm on my watch went off at 4:30 AM. I hopped up and dressed in layer upon layer, the whole time noticing so many things about the special room that I was in – the photos on the desk, the shotgun above the door, and the various wildlife mounts on the walls. Each of these items represented so many stories. Even though I wasn’t a part of many of those stories, I felt like they were a part of me.
As I left his room and headed down the hallway, I found my Grandpa, just as I expected him to be – wide awake with breakfast and a pot of coffee ready for me to share with him. He wasn’t able to hunt with me this year, but that didn’t stop him from being just as excited as I was to start the morning.
We shared breakfast as we talked about past hunts, as well as the day of hunting that lie ahead. Somewhere in that conversation one of us would no doubt mention that, “even a bad day of hunting is better than a good day of work.” Breakfast was soon finished and he sent me off with the same parting words he had always shared as I head afield, “Good luck, buddy!”
I lost my Grandpa to cancer this past summer. There will be no more early morning pots of coffee with him. No more stories told and retold by him. He won’t be there to wish me good luck as I head out the door. We had always been close, and I had always felt a special connection with him, but those times that I got to hunt at his place brought us even closer.
Hunting has connected me in a deeper way with my Grandpa, but it also connects me to an endless heritage of hunters that have come before me. As absurd as it may sound to those who have never experienced it, there is a certain connection that hunters have with those that have come and gone before them. Many people would say that hunting is outdated and there is no need to hunt in our modern society. I would have to disagree. Hunting is a heritage that needs to be kept alive.
As summer’s heat slowly begins to fade, the thoughts of a cool fall morning’s hunt are consistently on my mind, and so is my Grandpa. I feel privileged to carry on a piece of his life – the heritage of hunting.
Patti Beasley has found her perfect pair of hunting pants. Not only do they keep her dry and warm, but her dog loves them too!
Even a cold, snowy day can’t keep me from enjoying a day in the field with my pointer, Stetson. My Filson ladies hunting pants not only look great, they also keep me warm and dry and protect my legs from briars. I love these pants so much they are my favorite hunting pants that I own. I guess that explains why Stetson goes crazy with excitement when he sees me put them on. WE BOTH LOVE THEM!
James Tessmann’s first introduction to Filson was with the Feather Cloth Shooting Shirt from a DU Banquet. After that he was hooked on the big game upland hat and keeps coming back for more. He recommends the product to others and says, “They last, despite the abuse.” James sports his cap to enjoy outdoor sports such as Fly Fishing, sport clay shooting, duck hunting, small game hunting, hiking, outdoor photography, ranching and farming.
I’ve owned every piece of gear under the sun. The only piece I’ll swear by, that’s never broke, let me down or been replaced is My Waterfowler Hat. It’s solid gold.