Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lake Powell Striper Fishing

Every once and a while the opportunity comes along to take that once in a great while trip that you know you will remember for the rest of your life.  I seem to miss out on a lot of those when it comes to fishing because I am gone so much in the summer.  It also seems like a lot of those stories that you hear also occur very far from home.  It is a rare gem of an opportunity to find such an amazing experience close to home.

Back in December my good friend Randy Dickinson hit me up about going fishing for striped bass in Lake Powell (we refer to striped bass as "stripers" just so you understand).  I have always heard friends talk about how amazing the fishing can be at Lake Powell in the spring.  I have heard many tales of dozens of fish being caught in a short amount of time if you can locate a good boil.  However, going in March would mean there would not be any boils.  The fish are in a pre-spawn state, coming out of winter dormancy to eat all they can before the spawn.  This meant we would have to target them in deeper water, which could be a challenge.  I also know how the weather in southern Utah can be during the spring.  I hoped for good conditions to come!

We spoke over the phone several times over a 2 month period as we prepared for our trip.  Things worked out where we could take our oldest boys, Braden and Hunter with us.  So we embarked for Panguitch early Friday morning, March 22nd.  I had been hearing great reports from anglers at the lake, stating fishing was great near the dam.  I was hoping it would hold up!  We met up with Randy in Panguitch, jumped in with him there, and set out for Wahweap bay, on the Arizona side of the lake.


A quick stop in Page for groceries for the weekend, then we were at the marina unloading.  The day was perfect, in the 60s with a slight breeze.  A guide at the boat ramp confirmed fishing was amazing at the dam still.  So we changed plans on heading to Antelope and Navajo canyons, opting to see what the dam was like instead.  We were greeted there by several boats, and Wayne Gustaveson with the Utah DWR, who was just leaving, but instructed us to tie up at the security barrier as fishing was hot there.  We maneuvered into a spot, and began to fish.  Things started out slow, but after making adjustments Hunter was catching fish left and right, followed by Randy.  A few minutes later I caught my first striper ever, followed by Braden a bit later.  We made a reposition as another boat left, then were were into a fishing frenzy!  Every cast seemed to produce fish, more fish, and bigger fish!  For 3 hours we laughed, hooped, and hollered as we caught fish left and right.  Adding to the fun we were getting to know the folks in the boats around us, cheering each other on and having one heck of a good time.  About 3 hours later we had 2 coolers and the bottom of the boat filled, and the kids were saying they were exhausted from all of the reeling in of big fish all afternoon.  So we set back to shore, the work of filleting 44 fish still ahead of us!

Wahweap has an excellent fish cleaning station, where over the next 2 hours we took care of our fish.  Then it was off to find a campsite in the nearby campground, and on to Green Haven for ice, more bait, and an ice cream.  Back at camp we set up before the predicted cold front and strong winds arrived, then it was hobo dinners, brats, and good laughs by the fire until bedtime.

Saturday greeted us with strong winds and cold temperatures.  We took a cruise down to our spot on the lake where it was obvious we would not be able to safely tie off.  I pulled up a forecast on my phone that indicated that winds would calm after the front passed, so we took the boat into the marina, where we hung out at the store for a couple of hours.  Heading back to our spot, we discovered perfect conditions and we also had the area to ourselves for a while!  Immediately we were back into the fish!  Today's catch was 53 kept with somewhere between 15-25 released that we had no room for.  So after another frenzy, we set back to the marina to fillet 53 fish.  The evening was perfect as great weather settled back in, more good food by the fire, more good laughs and jokes as we celebrated another fine day on the water!

On our last day we decided we would give the largemouth and smallmouth a try.  We knew it still was not quite time for them to become active, but we wanted to try for some variety.  A few hours of different tactics and trolling were unsuccessful, so we took a little shore excursion over to Sand Hill to let the kids stretch their legs.  In the past couple of years you would have been able to boat to this spot, but it is now high and dry.  Before we called it a day we were going back to the dam for one more round.  We filled the last cooler, and the bottom of the boat 1 more time, leaving with 2 coolers of fillets and a cooler of fish not taken care of yet.

As we packed things up, the boys were teary eyed at the thought of going home.  They had a blast reeling in big fish and cruising the lake; they wanted more.  I have to say, I think the dads were just as sad to go, even if we did not show it.  However I was looking forward to a hot shower and a nice bed!

I will say, I was hoping for more video but it was nearly impossible with all the fish we were catching to hold the camera and help the kids with fish.  I also apologize for some of the shakiness of the video due to the waves and the craziness of what was going on! 

If you are wanting to get in on this amazing fishing I suggest you hurry!  As I stated, this is not normal boil fishing.  Talking with a few folks since, I have found that this is a rare event for Lake Powell that only happens during low water events.  The lake has dropped sharply over the last year, most marinas and cutoffs now being above water.  The lake has not seen this low of a level since 2007.  On these years where there is a sharp drop, the stripers will come out of the canyons early in search for food and for whatever reason they will congregate along the west wall in the dam's fore bay.  Starvation is forcing the fish into this, and local biologists will tell you that you are doing the fishery a great favor if you will keep all of the stripers that you catch.  There is no limit on striped bass in Lake Powell, so fish away!  If you are from Utah, no need to buy an Arizona fishing license.  Simply purchase a $3 reciprocal fishing stamp from Arizona to fish their water on Lake Powell as well.  Keep all the fish you can and enjoy fish tacos year round!

Fishing was easy, simply fish that west wall at a depth between 20-70 feet.  Start at 20 and if nothing keep letting it down until you find the fish.  Buy a bunch of anchovies; you will need them for bait and for chum.  Cut up some pieces, toss them around you, then bait a hook (no need for big lures, just a hook) with anchovies and the rest is easy.  Jigging a bit seems to help, the small waves were doing it for us this weekend.  We caught very few fish (less than 10) under 20"!  Most fish averaged 4-5 pounds, with a few closer to 7-8 pounds!  It is nothing to catch over 50 fish in a short time span.  Don't feel like crowding will pressure the fish!  Every day we had 5-6 boats around us in close proximity in that corner (again, close enough we could all chat!) and the fishing never slowed!  It actually added to the experience as we talked and laughed with everyone.

A report from today tells of the same great conditions, but don't put off the trip!  This event is usually short lived as the fish go into the spawn and scatter back out in the canyons.

A big thanks to Rusty Lures, as we took along a nice sample of gear that I recently purchased from their site!  What a great sponsor, and what a great source of everything you need for great warm water fishing!  You will find everything you need for warm water fishing here!

I want to thank Randy and Hunter Dickinson for taking us along, driving us, and for getting us around on their boat!  I look forward to next time with great friends and good times.  I also want to thank my son Braden for going along for the weekend.  He has had a rough bout with fishing lately, and it took some persuasion, but I think this weekend has really brought him back to a love of fishing.  It was great time spent with my son, time I will cherish forever!

Check out Wayne's Words for up to date reports and Lake Powell info!

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Cat Country" 3 Cats...2 Days!

What an amazing weekend!  We are just returning from an amazing fishing trip to Lake Powell, a weekend that I will never forget!  It's going to take a few days to get all of the photos, video, and a story compiled to share with you, but in the meantime we have a real treat!  Kelly Cox over at i-videowildlife shared this great video with me and gave the go ahead to share it with our viewers.  If you have not checked out his website yet, you really need to do so!  You will find it full of hunting video, photos, and stories that are worth your time for sure.  As Kelly puts it, "Feed your obsession!".  I would like to thank Kelly for sharing this with us.  Be sure to check out the site, and drop by to give his Facebook page a like as well to stay updated on the content of the site, and to connect with the great sponsors they have over there. 

Now, sit back and enjoy this great video of mountain lion hunting at its best, as Kelly works hard to get you a great video while trying to fill his lion tag as well.  We hope you enjoy it, and all that i-videowildlife has to offer as well!  A great site, and great people!

This video was uploaded from the i-videowildlife YouTube channel.  Be sure to check out all of the great hunting videos available on this channel!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cooper Tires, "My Everyday Road Trip" Contest

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooper Tire for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's that time of year for many of us, tax returns are in and it's time to put off buying a set of tires!  For myself, I'm needing to get this done soon!  In fact, I'm surprised I made it through the winter, I probably should have replaced already.  You can bet I need to do it before the mountain roads become accessible, and I really start putting the miles on my truck!

I happen to be a BIG fan of Cooper Tire!  In fact, Cooper is about the only brand of tire that I have had on my vehicles, dating back to when I was 16.  I currently have ran with their ST, STT, and ATR model tires.  It's the ST I need to replace on my truck now, and I look forward to placing another great set of Coopers on my truck soon!

Cooper is kicking off spring in style this year with their Cooper Tire's My Every Day Road Trip Contest!  In addition to a new set of tires, how can you go wrong with a gift card to use for $5,000 in gas to fuel your road trips this summer?  Man oh man, that would really open doors for me on vacation possibilities with the high gas prices we are faced with!

Cooper wants to hear about your "Every Day Road Trips"!  Whether ordinary trips to the grocery store or extraordinary memories, like a newborn’s first car ride home, Cooper Tire is commemorating life’s every day road trips with an exciting opportunity to earn an entire year of free gas during the “My Every Day Road Trip” contest. Running March 1 through March 29, fans of Cooper Tire’s Facebook page can share their not-so- everyday road trip stories by submitting video, written stories or photos.

“Cooper tires are crafted for life’s every day road trips and we’ve long heard from dedicated fans about their daily journeys. We’re excited to create an open forum for people to share their stories,” said Hal Gardner, Cooper Tire’s Vice President of Marketing Communications and Market Intelligence.

So how do you enter the contest?  Simply enter a story, photo, or video between now and March 29th that highlights your "not so every day road trip".  Be sure to highlight how Cooper tires got you there, or added to the experience.  The photos, stories, and videos will be judged by this, and by your originality, creativity, and passion for Cooper tires.  Submit your content to the Cooper Tires Facebook page.

The top written story will win a $100 gift card to use toward gas for one week while the highest rated photo entry will receive a $500 gift card to use toward gas for one month.

The top five video finalists will each win a new set of four Cooper tires and advance to the final phase of the competition. In the final phase, Cooper Tire Facebook fans will be encouraged to vote for their favorite Every Day Road Trip video, to help determine the final winner. The video with the combined highest score and most votes will be awarded a gift card for $5,000 toward gas for one year to fuel their daily drive.

How about an opportunity to win based just on voting?  Cooper Tire is also offering its fans a chance to win a Road Trip Kit just for voting during the My Every Day Road Trip sweepstakes. Beginning April 15, fans can vote for their top video to help determine the overall Cooper Tire Facebook video winner. For each vote (one per day), fans will automatically receive an entry to win a Road Trip Kit. The prize pack includes several items to keep them on-the-go, including a $100 Cooper Tire auto service voucher, a $50 gas card, $50 iTunes gift card and Cooper gear.  So many ways to win, you really need to get in on this one!

Visit Cooper Tire’s Facebook page for complete contest and sweepstakes rules and submission guidelines.

Cooper Tire has been outfitting our vehicles for nearly 100 years!  Cooper is committed to quality and affordability, and you will find a tire to fit your every need; truck, car, trailer, heavy-duty, check Cooper Tire out, they will have the tire for you! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wilderness Athlete, Week 1 Results

All I can say is WOW!

I'm down 4 pounds in 1 week and to be honest I didn't feel like I was hitting it that hard to get these results!  Including the weight loss, I have also lost a total of 4 1/4 inches, from measurements at my chest, waist, hips, upper thigh, lower thigh, and calf.  let's just say I was in enough shock that I had to check a second scale to be sure, and the results were confirmed!

So, you know the daily routine that I have been following from my last post.  The routine has stayed basically the same.  I have opted out of quite a few lunches to go with a meal replacement shake.  I haven't snacked much in the mornings and afternoons still as I really haven't felt the urge to.  The only real tweaking I have done is with the "blaze" drink (the combination of the "Hydrate and Recover" along with the "Energy and Focus").  Mornings when I am dragging I will mix the blaze up then.  If I feel pretty good in the morning I will just drink a hydrate and recover and have my blaze before lunch instead.  I feel like the results have been great through flexing this around.  Also, I have taken advantage of the hydrate and recover quite often; after workouts, during a hike, during sheet rocking when I have felt myself getting drained, and crazy enough, before study time when I typically get dragged down a bit.  It's a great pick me up!  The blaze is still doing the job without the crash as well.

Now, here's a breakdown of my daily and workout activities over the past week:

Friday was spent at home, getting a head start on homework for the next week, then back to hanging sheetrock during the afternoon.  The whole day was active and busy, however I did not do any real workout.

Saturday was a chance to finally get out with the family!  We spent an active morning riding ATVs, looking for a herd of elk and enjoying new country.  The challenging terrain we rode was also accompanied by a few snow drifts that we had to fight through and dig out of!  Returning home, I tilled the garden and hung more sheetrock in the basement.  I actually thought it would be kind of a restful day, but honestly I feel like the Wilderness Athlete is giving me so much energy and good feeling that I can't stand to sit still!

Sunday was a lazy day, other than finishing a bit of sheetrock to complete 1 room.  The day was spent relaxing with family, and catching up on homework again.  I found myself again knocked down a bit by the sinus infection I have been fighting as well.

Monday was a day spent in the office at work.  With the return of good weather, I took myself out for a 4 mile run in the Alvey Wash area south of town.  This run is great, going out away from town, making it so there is no possible shortcut to return home!  It was a challenge with the sinus infection, and having not run for quite a while, but I was able to complete the run in about 45 minutes.

Tuesday the office was killing me (maybe getting restless due to the energy again)!  So, in the afternoon I headed out for the hills to shed hunt a bit.  I spent about 4-5 hours hiking the hills, probably only about 3 miles worth or so, but the terrain provided a great workout, just enough to help alleviate some of the soreness from yesterday's run.

Nothing like a run through this amazing scenery!
Wednesday I hit the hills for another day of shed hunting with my 5 year old son.  We spent most of the day (from about 9 AM to 4 PM hiking around looking for sheds.  While it was a lot of hike, stop, glass, and resting, along with waiting for my wandering son to catch up, looking back I'm guessing we covered about 4-5 miles, zig-zagging through the hills.  It was great time spent, and again I was feeling the soreness return to my legs.  This wasn't enough to stop me from going to play another 2 solid hours of basketball though!  The legs felt like jelly when I returned home at about 10:15 PM!

Thursday it was time to get back to the gym, the legs have had it for a day or two!  So I focused my workout on a fast paced chest, abs, and arms workout routine.  This consisted of machine weights, push-ups, and crunches.  It was a great workout, I'm still feeling it!

This weekend will be active, but a 3 day fishing trip will limit time to actually work out.  However, I plan to take my Wilderness Athlete along and continue holding strong to the program!  Four pounds was a lot towards my goal of dropping to 220!  If I keep this pace up I will hit my goal in 28 days for sure!  I'm trying not to get too excited, I have always had trouble getting under 225 and I know I will really have to step my workouts up next week to push through that barrier to my goal.  With only being 10 days into my 28 day challenge I do remain very optimistic though!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Shed Photo Contest Update

My first ATL of the year!
Shed season is obviously into full swing!  I look forward to opening Facebook and the email every evening to check out the pictures that are pouring in.  The best is yet to come as the snow retreats and allows us access, and the elk have only begun to drop!  We wanted to take an opportunity tonight to show off a few of these great finds that have been entered in the contest so far.

Are you unfamiliar with our contest?  Simply submit photos of your shed hunting outings by email to OR post them to our Facebook page to enter  If you don't have Facebook it's OK, email those photos, we will add them to the album there, and you will still be entered.

We have a great basket of prizes from our sponsors!  Prizes such as a pair of Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binoculars, a Magpul sling from our friends at Dixie Gunworx, a $50 gift card to the Phone Skope store, and a Garmin Rhino GPS from us here at SUH&F!  More prizes may be added, so make sure you check our contest page for updates.  We only ask if you do have Facebook to like each of these sponsor's Facebook pages to be eligible for their prize.  Contest ends April 30th, so there's plenty of time to get in.  Remember, it doesn't have to be a picture of a shed antler, it can also just be pictures from your outing!

A little bit better idea of this shed's size, as Ashlynn holds it.
I have been able to get out a couple of times this week myself, and finally found my first decent brown deer antler of the season, however I was unable to match him up.  I might go give it another shot next week.  My son, Jackson and I tried to pair him up today, but only managed a few old whites.  It was still enough to keep him excited during a long hike!

Check out these other great photos from viewers, and be sure to enter yours as well.  Good luck to you all!

We are headed for striper fishing at Lake Powell this weekend, and hope to have a great report, tips, photos, and video for you.  Everyone have a great weekend!

My son Jackson with one of his finds on the day:

These two photos are submitted by Brooke Brunson:

Shane Shakespear sends us this sweet ATL, one of the most unique I have ever seen!  This shed sits in a natural "pond" in a rock, the water is about 8" deep!  This rock/pond is also about 6 feet off of the ground!

These last photos were entered by Brandon Jennings.  Looks like it was a great day in the hills!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Camo Phone Cases

Good morning all, I want to take a few minutes to introduce you to a new line of phone cases I just found that I believe you would all be interested in!  A couple of weeks ago "Fuse PlusYou" hit me up about showcasing their line of camo phone cases here on our site.  They sent me a case to try out, which I placed on my new iphone 5 and have been using for about a week now.  Let me give you a quick rundown on my thoughts,

I headed over to to look specifically at the camo phone cases to make my selection.  I was first impressed by the prices.  I am used to seeing phone cases in the $40-50 range, however I found the case I was most pulled to listed for only $25!  So I chose the Mossy Oak camo case, which arrived just 4 days later. 

I am very impressed with the simplicity of the case!  My last case, called a "Body Glove" was initially great, but soon the joints in the case broke and the entire thing fell apart.  The Fuse case is simple, the phone just snaps right into the case, easy on and easy off.  No needing a coin or anything like that to take it off of your phone.  The case itself is a very durable plastic that protests the back and sides of the phone well, along with the camera.  Pair this up with a screen protector and your phone looks good and is protected well.

Fuse Plus You has a very good variety of phone cases at very affordable prices.  If camo isn't your thing, check out their site for other options that may fit your liking better.

Fuse Plus You is offering a special discount for our readers!  For 10% off of your item, be sure to use promo code SUH&F.  This applies not just to camo cases, but to any case of your choice!  A big thanks for Fuse for sharing their products with us, and for hooking our viewers up with the discount!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wilderness Athlete, Kicking Off the 28 Day Challenge

About a week ago I had the privilege of welcoming Wilderness Athlete to our list of sponsors, as well as introducing them to you.  If you missed our first post giving an overview of what Wilderness Athlete is all about, you can follow this link to catch up:  At that time I was also excited to announce that I would be stepping up to the plate to take their 28 day challenge.  Well, I received my products a little over a week ago, but postponed starting until this week due to spending a week in the office, and eating out of restaurants as I was out of town that week.  I want to be able to give this program 100%, so I held off until this week to get started.  Here I am in just my 3rd day, and while results are still a ways off, I want to share my thoughts on the products so far to kick things off.

So I actually started Tuesday, as Monday I was back in the office and to lunch with my friends.  I feel like I am following the plan fairly well so far, apart from a couple of trips to lunch where I hope I didn't over do it.  But I will say, one thing I like about the program is that it's not a hunger program!  It actually encourages a decent breakfast, lean protein lunch, and again a lean protein dinner.  The key is cutting the sugars, fats, and processed foods.  So here's a little breakdown of my routine with the 28 day challenge.

Hydrate and Recover!
Upon waking up, I mix up a drink dubbed "the blaze" by wildland firefighters.  A quick side note here, another reason I love the program is that not only was it developed for the "Wilderness Athlete", but it also has had great success with wildland firefighters as well.  The best of both worlds for me!  Anyway, the blaze consists of a mixture of the "Hydrate and Recover" powder and the "Energy and Focus" powder, along with a couple of "Lean Life" pills.  The blaze is great for revitalizing the body with energy, and the pills act as hunger control.  The blaze is packed with vitamins and minerals, and I love the taste.  I also love the taste of the Hydrate and Recover on it's own, which is great to use before, during, or after a workout.  I will say, the blaze in the morning, and another in the afternoon provide me plenty of energy without the crash.  It's only been 3 days, but I've had a lot of late nights, early mornings, and a time change to deal with.  The energy boost is obvious, I'm loving the drink!

About 15 minutes after my morning blaze, I mix up a "Meal Replacement and Recovery" shake, and add in a scoop of the "Green Fusion".  OK, honestly, the Green Fusion smells like alfa-alfa cubes to me and I was skeptical mixing it in with the shake, but I did it as I want the results of this full serving of daily fruits and veggies.  The first shake didn't sit well with my taste buds, but I have to tell you, after this morning's shake I found myself wanting more.  The taste has grown on me and I like it quite a bit.  I'm a picky eater, so I hope that tells you something.  I also take my 2 multivitamins, and I'm on my way for the morning.

I haven't done so well with a snack at all mid-morning as suggested (fruits and veggies), in fact I've had no snack at all.  To be honest I rarely find myslef hungry before noon, which is odd for me.  I think the Lean Life pills are doing the job quite well. 

About 15 minutes before lunch it's another Lean Life pill, and another blaze (or just the Hydrate and Recover).  The program allows for you to tweak things.  Some mornings I only do a Hydrate and Recover (plus the shake), then a blaze at lunch.  Lunch at home is something light, a little brown rice, chicken, some lean protein source, or maybe a replacement meal shake if I'm in a hurry.  This week, with meetings and such I have went out to lunch and have eaten plenty.  So, I tweak things a bit, having a meal replacement shake instead of dinner.

Again, the mid-afternoon snack has not been necessary for me as I have not had the urge to eat!

Dinner time calls for 12-16 ounces of water before I eat, no starches for dinner.  Again, a lean protein source is recommended, and wild game is a great one so bring on the deer or elk!  No snacking after 7:00 is a must, and again in 3 days I haven't had the urge as I usually do!

Again, it's only been 3 days, but I like the path I'm on and it hasn't been that hard at all!  I've recently tried the Herbalife diet, and while I love the shakes, I had experienced frequent food cravings and hunger, as well as ups and downs in energy that I found it hard to control.  My 3 days of Wilderness Athlete have given me more energy than I've had in a long time, no crashes, and lots of motivation!  It's been hard with the time change and work priorities to get up early to work out, but after I get the Hydrate and Recover (or a blaze) into me, I feel like I'm raring to go!

So here's where I start off.  This morning I finally got to a scale and I'm weighing in at 232.  That's not horrible for 6'4", but I should at least be down around 220.  This has been a hard weight for me to hit the past few years.  I can get 225, but struggle for more before bouncing back up, often to as high as 240-245!  Yes, super embarrassing to admit that!  I have a list of measurements and next week we will see how those are comparing to this week, as well as the weight.

Here's how my workouts have broken down this week.  I started Tuesday, and honestly with work was unable to hit the gym, take a run, or anything.  I did a bit of lifting of steel pipe for about 30 minutes, other than that and packing a few boxes up stairs the day was kind of a wash.  Wednesday was a very long, tiring day in the office and seat of a truck, but I was able to end the night on a good note, 2 hours of pretty intense basketball.  It was a great workout!  Today I hit the weights at the fitness center for 50 minutes, focusing on chest and abs through machine weights, crunches, and push-ups.  I'm feeling the 50 minutes of it today, especially after basketball tonight.  Tomorrow, I plan at least a 3 mile run (hopefully more if I can control the cough from the cold I've had) and Saturday will be hiking!  I hope for good results next week!

So what's my goal?  Well, I was shooting for 220, but after seeing the scale at 232 today I want to see me dip under the 220 mark in a month's time, even if it is only 219!  It's a lofty goal, and I hope the weather and work cooperate to allow me to reach it!  One thing I will mention about the 28 day challenge, it doesn't call for strenuous workouts, just an "active lifestyle"!  A solid workout program can be a real challenge for many of us with work, kids, sports, church and community activities, and so much more.  If I can stay active, work out 100% when I can (and strive to do it 5-6 days a week), and stick to the plan above I should see great things.

So, I'll be reporting my results, but I will say you aren't going to see the normal half-naked before and after photos that you usually see from things like this.  I will try to get photos, but until things change a bit it won't be very revealing!  Nobody wants to see all of this right now (if ever!).  I looke forward to sharing more of Wilderness Athlete with you!  Thanks for the support. 

Be sure to check out Wilderness Athlete by clicking on their logo in the right sidebar to link to their website.  You will also find Wilderness Athlete on Facebook.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Arizona Shed Trip, and Photo Contest Entries

Hello there friends, how are you enjoying this spring weather?  While many of us are making plans it seems like Mother Nature is bound and determined to show us who is really in control, reminding us that spring time in the west is very brutal and unpredictable!

Well, I'm fairly ashamed to report how my Arizona shed trip went.  I know many have been asking for details, and I have held off, not just to shame, but to a busy return to work as well.  So, let me break the trip down for you through this photo series!

We knew the weather report looked a bit bleak, but the trusty ol' National Weather Service was predicting mainly rain for the area we targeted, with little to no accumulation at the elevation we planned on shed hunting.  So, through the rain we proceeded to Kanab, and looking south we decided we would be alright.  Actually, the storm seemed to be breaking a bit.  As we began our short climb to our destination, the weather rapidly deteriorated, however.
Look at the open ground!  It's not that bad, just a little rain, right?

 This was less than 10 minutes later... 

Needless to say, setting up camp was an interesting chore!  It did break a bit for us though, that's not very much snow!

The real storm moved as we were standing around the fire that nigh.  Surely it would let up soon!


Things looked a bit different when we woke up that morning!

Needless to say we weren't in a hurry to get going the first morning as the snow continued to fall!  Finally, about noon it broke and our boots were quickly laying down tracks on a nearby ridge that has proved successful in the past.  What was about 4 inches in our camp was a bit more where we hiked.  While we were in the deer, it proved nearly impossible to find bone in tall brush and deep snow.  SO, we regrouped and headed to a lucky spot from last year, lower elevation where we would find less snow, less ground cover, and more deer.  Sure enough, there were more deer, but the sheds were either still not there, or proved to be difficult to find in the 2 inches of snow there.  Discouraged, but not out of ambition, desire, or optimism, we returned to camp feeling sure that when the sun would finally shine through tomorrow our success would be great!

Getting a plan put together!

The next morning, we broke camp and headed a few miles away to a spot that had also been good in the past, where we knew we would find less snow.  The few vehicles we saw braving the snow and mud was an indication that maybe our grounds were picked over already.  Shed hunting is getting very popular, and the secret spots are few and far between now.  We were seeking isolation from the crowds, and our friend Ryan had a good idea where to find it!  So we headed out for some redemption!  The clearing skies made for some amazing scenery for the day!

In no time we were in more deer than we had seen the entire trip!  Good sized tracks and a few small bucks holding on gave us hope.  However, we returned to the truck tired, frustrated, Zach throwing a snowball to symbolize his "throwing in the towel".  Arizona had won this time, the snow still proving to be too difficult for us to overcome.  

Was it a wasted trip?  By no means!  This will go down as one of my favorites for sure!  The weather made things a bit inconvenient and uncomfortable at times, but I will always cherish the amazing country we roamed, and for sure the stories and laughs shared around the campfire.  From the trouble we used to get into, work stories, stories of family and friends, and (since we are being honest) women past and present, and of course, the stories of hunting that we have no doubt retold countless times.  They never get old, and I'll never forget the good times spent with good friends.  Thanks so much Mike, Zach, Spenser, and Ryan for making it a great trip to remember, and I look forward to our next trip to this beautiful piece of country where we will get another shot at redemption!

Shed hunting is a great experience, some would call us crazy, but there is a great thrill and reward to finding those awesome sheds from the ones that made it another year.  It gives us hope for the next hunt, and provides some puzzlement and amazement as we find sheds from bucks and bulls that we may have never even knew existed in an area.  Photos are really starting to light up email, texts, and social media lately.  

Have you noticed our shed contest?  Check out the details on the "contests" tab at the top of the page!  You can also check out the eligible photos in the contest on our Facebook page under the "2013 Shed Photo Contest" album.  Here are a couple of our first entries!  Be sure to submit your photos, you have until the end of April to get them in to us!  Great prizes await, be sure to click on the "contests" tab for prize details.  More great prizes are being added often.  Thanks to Spenser Owens and Jonie Barton for the following photos, and good luck to all this shed season!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Phone Skope

What a great month we have had in picking up new, amazing sponsors!  I would like to introduce you to our newest sponsor, Phone Skope!

The Phone Skope is an exciting new product that is going to change the way we photo and video wildlife.  Those that have followed the blog here know that I love digiscoping (digiscoping is taking photography or videos through a camera adapted to work with your spotting scope or binoculars).  I have a couple of different kinds of camera adapters, but I find that I do not always have my camcorder, or nice camera with me due to no space, or rough country or conditions that I don't want to carry that equipment into.  I also find some of the best moments I want to capture is simply during travel, at work, or other times when I don't have all of my gear with me.  So what happens then?  You see me frustrated trying to zoom in on something with my iphone camera!  Enter the Phone Skope!

I may not always have my spotting scope or camera with me, but most often I do have the phone and a pair of binoculars with me, two items much more convenient to carry!  Cameras built into our phones exhibit amazing quality these days, but obviously lack in zoom capability.  How about an adapter so small it can fit in your pocket?  Custom fit to your phone, and to your optics, the Phone Skope adapter is highly effective at converting your camera phone into a high tech digiscoping tool!  Simply click your phone into the case, and slide the setup over your eye piece on your optics, Phone Skope does the rest.  The camera will be ready to take in the entire field of view of your optics, the custom adapter centering the camera in the eye piece, no adjustment required!  Now you are ready to take amazing photos through this simple, light weight set up.

Phone Skope features adapters that are universal for smaller optics, such as riflescopes and binoculars, and adapters specifically for spotting scope models.  

Talk about custom, you can also get your Phone Skope adapter in a variety of colors and even camo patterns.  Be sure to check out their website to see the full range of options.  Remember, they have a setup for almost every smart phone and optics type.  You will not be disappointed!  Visit the site for more specifics on adapter components, even video clips to demonstrate how it all works.

I am excited to receive my own Phone Skope within the next week or two (as soon as I can get to a store to upgrade my phone first) and then to hit the field with this awesome piece of gear to gather some amazing photos!  It should be a blast to use out shed hunting and turkey hunting this spring!

For our readers:  More details to come, but Phone Skope will be hooking us up with a $50 gift certificate to the Phone Skope store!  This $50 could be yours, about all you need to walk away with your own Phone Skope!  Depending on the model, Phone Skopes run between about $50 to $70.  Stay tuned for more details when we officially announce where this will fit into our shed hunting photo contest! 

Again, a big thanks and welcome aboard to Phone Skope!  Glad to have another great product and company backing our site!