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!