News Page 2 - Sportsman's Box

Deer Popper Recipe

January 08, 2018

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If you've never had a deer popper, then I have to admit, you're truly missing out. A few nights ago, I grilled these delectables, and my family was certainly pleased! I'm more of a visual learner, so this will contain minimal text and more pictures! (I can hear your sigh of relief!)

INGREDIENTS

STEP 1: Soak deer meat in buttermilk to remove the blood. Once most of the blood is out, you can then drain the meat.

STEP 2: Grab a plastic cutting board and begin to assemble your roll ups as shown below.

Step 3: Throw those little poppers in tupperware and marinate in Dale's and Worcestershire sauce for about and hour or so. With Dale's, it doesn't take long to soak up the flavor. It's fairly salty, and a short amount of time of marinating goes a long way.

STEP 4: Time to throw them on the grill! They don't take long at all to cook. I prefer to use a charcoal grill because you can't beat the flavor. I always let the grill get to about 400 degrees. You should cook the poppers until the bacon is completely done. You can cook the venison to your own preference, but I like mine to be medium.

STEP 5: Enjoy!

A FEW TRICKS:

  • You can soak your toothpicks in water prior to assembling, and they won't scorch like mine did.
  • Also, you will not use an entire block of cream cheese, so before you start handling raw bacon and meat, cut about half of the cream cheese for use and put the rest back in the fridge for later use. 
  • Also, you can experiment with different kinds of cheese. My new favorite is Colby Jack!

 

Physical Differences Between

Bull & Cow Elk Hooves

            My father used to work at the US Forest Service in Oregon with a man named Roy who made a scientific study of the physical differences between bull and cow elk tracks. Through studying thousands of elk hooves and tracks, Roy was able to make concrete determinations regarding the physical differences between the hoof shapes of both sexes.  His findings have been successfully used by my family and many others for decades on elk hunts.  What Roy proved was that bull elk have a straight centerline shape to their hooves while cows have a curved centerline to their hoof.  Take a look at the pictures below and you will see what I am referencing. 
 
           The first picture is from my bull that I killed last year.  His hoof shape distinctly shows a straight line in the middle.  The second picture shows the bull elk track in the dirt where the straight center-line can clearly be seen.  Lastly, is an image again showing the distinct straight line on a bull elk hoof. 

 

 

 

 

            The second series of pictures begins with a photograph of the hoof from two different cows killed this year.  They clearly display the curved center-line on each portion of the hoof.  The following picture is a cow track in the dirt with the curved center-line shown.  The last picture is an image of the cow elk hoof shape and it’s curved center-line.

 

 

 

 

            Although there are always variances to every rule, these physical characteristics are well proven.  Of course one might encounter an elk of either sex that has a rare anomaly in hoof shape but that will be, as I said, very rare.  This knowledge can prove vital when scouting an area prior to the season, trailing fresh tracks in the snow, tracking wounded elk, or assessing if any bulls have been actively using a wallow.  The applications for this elk tracking knowledge are truly endless and can be very beneficial to your on your next hunt.  Whether you are a novice or experienced elk hunter, take the time to study elk tracks and unravel the mystery that their maker left for you.  It only adds to the experience and the adventure.

 

Hunt hard, hunt often and be out in it.

Adam Oberheu
@roubideaulife

Whether you're a sportsman looking for a great deal on a must have piece of gear, or someone looking to buy a gift for that special sportsman in your life, there are lots of great deals to be had this year. Lucky for you, we've done the hard work of finding the best deals out there and compiled them all in one place. 

 

1) Browning Shotguns 

Browning is running a $200 rebate on shotguns this year, so no matter where you buy, you'll be able to save some money on a new shotgun. But if you're really looking for savings, Cabela's is the place to go, as they're running a $200 sale on top of the rebate, which gets you a total of $400 in savings! 

2) Fishing Reels 

There are two great reels being offered at 50% off this year, one at Cabelas and one at Bass Pro Shops. 

Bass Pro Shops is offering the Pflueger President spinning reel for only $29.99! Even at it's normal price this reel is one of the best bargains out there when it comes to high quality spinning reels, at $29.99 it's a no brainer. 

Cabelas has the Abu Garcia Revo SX on sale for $79.99. This reel is my favorite reel on the market (I have 4 of them) and I've never seen them offered at such a discount before. If you're a fisherman, or love a fisherman, than it would be wise for you to pick one of these up! 

3) Handgun Ammunition

350 rounds of ammunition for under $70 is a phenomenal deal, and this range bucket is being offered at Cabelas, Academy, and Bass Pro Shops in 9mm, .40, and .45. The cheapest I found was at Academy where the 9mm bucket was $39.99

 4) Waders

Cabelas 3mm chest waders with 1,000-gram Thinsulate are marked at 50% off. A great pair of waders for $109.99! 

5) Vortex Optics

There are great deals on two different Vortex Optics at Cabelas. First, you can save $100 on the Diamondback 10x42 Binoculars. A solid pair of binoculars, with a lifetime warranty for $129.99

Next, the Vortex Viper HD spotting scope can be purchase with a $200-$300 savings depending upon which model you get. Awesome spotting scopes with a lifetime warranty and a 4.5 star rating! 

6) Game Cameras

If you're after a great deal on a game camera, Cabelas and Academy are the place to be.

Cabelas has a Stealth Cam two pack on sale for $99.99. Hard to beat two cameras for $100!

Academy has a 12MP stealth cam at 50% off, for a total of $49.99! Again, you could get two cameras for $100!

7) Goose Decoys

A Waterfowl hunter can never have enough decoys. Here are 6 full bodied, fully flocked goose decoys for $100 off! 

8) Garmin GPS Unit 

Even with the advances in cellular technology, a hand held GPS unit is still a vital tool for any back country hunter. Bass Pro Shops is offering this top of the line Garmin unit for just $219.99, a savings of over $100! 

9) LaCrosse Rubber Boots

These LaCrosse 18" rubber boots are 100% waterproof, lightweight, and insulated. Their normal price is $169.99, but for Black Friday Cabelas has marked them down to $84.99! 

10) The Sportsmans Box 

Of course, we would be crazy not to mention the gift that keeps on giving! 

For as low as $22 per month you or your favorite sportsman or woman can get high quality, outdoor gear delivered straight to your door! To make things even better, there are customized options for the bow hunter or sportswoman in your life, and when you thought it couldn't get any sweeter, we're offering 20% off if you use the discount code TISTHESEASON at checkout! You can buy just a one month subscription, all the way up to a full year subscription for that outdoors man or woman that you really love! Click Here to get started! 

Happy Holidays! 

- Brandon Owen 

@Brandon0wen

 

 

 

Bear Hunting Tips and Tactics

 

                Black bear hunting in the West can be an excellent opportunity to get out in the mountains and add another hunt to your fall lineup.  This allows a hunter to get the chance at an amazing trophy and also spend more days learning a specific hunting area.  While the tips and tactics discussed in this article can be put into practice on any black bear hunt, it specifically relates to my experiences with black bear hunting in Colorado. 

 

 

1)  First and foremost, always touch base with the game warden assigned to the hunting unit.  Game wardens are fellow sportsmen who are passionate about helping hunters maximize their Colorado hunting experiences.  With black bear populations rapidly growing in Colorado game wardens are often tasked with euthanizing multiple trouble bears per week.  They would rather see a public hunter harvest that bear.  When you are doing your hunt research and planning, call the game warden and ask specifics regarding bear activity, popular areas, accessibility, etc.  Also do not forget to stay in touch throughout your hunt as they will often spot bears and work to send hunters into that area.


2)  Spend as much time as possible glassing.  Prime bear areas are meadows, canyon bottoms, or creek drainages, all of which can be glassed from above.  A good friend of mine harvested a great 12+ year old sow last year by utilizing proper glassing techniques.  He looked over 4-10 bears per day, focusing his stalks on mature boars and sows without cubs.  After glassing the sow from a distance his stalk resulted in a perfect ambush and shot.  Also remember that early morning and late evening are the best periods to see bears moving in the open.  Try to situate yourself on a good overlook for glassing during these core time periods.

 

 

3)  The first week of the September bear hunt is the best time to pattern a bear.  Division of Wildlife stats show that 90% of the bears are killed during the first week of September.  This time of year bears are typically feeding for extended periods (up to 20 hours a day) and can be consistently seen on a food source.  Choke cherry patches are a great food source to find a bear this time of year.  Also utilize other available food sources when you come upon them.  This year I was making a loop through the timber and found a freshly killed elk (likely lost during archery) that had a sow and cubs feeding on it.  I left them alone, set up about 80 yards away from the kill and waited.  15 minutes later a nice boar walked in and I was able to shoot him.  All by utilizing a fresh, yet unexpected, food source I came upon.

 

 

4)  If you are working through dark timber or thick brush utilizing a high-pitched calf elk call can be very effective.  While archery hunting for elk I have successfully called in multiple bears per year with this method.  On my bear hunts I have never needed to use this method but it is a great tool to use.  Calf calls are simply squeaky cow elk mews.  Treat this set up similar to a predator calling with semi-intermittent calling sequences and staying in a set up for 45 -90 minutes.  Bears don't hardly rush into any food source but they will come if you keep calling.
5)  A black bear has a different anatomical shape than other big game.  When shooting black bears remember to shoot directly above the front leg rather than behind the shoulder.  The heart and lungs of a bear are more forward sitting than many people realize.  Many bears are lost due to being shot too far back and hit in non-vital areas.

 

 

Hunt hard, hunt often, and be out in it.
 
Adam Oberheu
@roubideaulife


            A habit is defined as, “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

           We’ve all heard or been told at one time or another “it’s how we’ve always done it!” or the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ll be the first to admit that I wish, when my passion for the outdoors began to flourish and I became hungry for knowledge, that I had someone to show me the way they had always done it; what had always worked well for them. I didn’t. As I reflect back, I feel an appreciation that I cut my teeth without sage advice, crazy as that may sound!

            You see, the one drawback I’ve observed with receiving age-old advice is the tendency for those words to create a comfort zone, and comfort zones can be too... comfortable.

            My first experience came at a young age, when I began fishing. From the outset I would read, tirelessly, and ask those I felt were more experienced than me “what works?” At that young age, inquiring predominantly about largemouth bass, the consistent feedback was a jitterbug and a broke back Rapala will always catch largemouth bass! Perfect! Out I went, cast after cast with occasional success, which was enough to get me excited, but barely sufficient to be satisfying. It was at this point I had a moment of clarity, “how did these experienced anglers come to have such confidence in these presentations?” LIGHTBULB! They tried it. They just tried something other than a worm and a brass hook. It was then I decided, we can always do better!

            Since that day, I’m probably one of the most frustrating people to fish with because I will try anything! Even when the fishing is going seemingly well, I will try to do better! Heck!  I even go as far as keeping broken lure parts to create my own lures! I find myself constantly trying to find out why something works when it works, and how can I build on this!

 

Admittedly, there are times when I ask myself, “what are you doing? Can’t you just be conventional?” Then, moments like a visit to a family member’s cottage solidify my conviction. While visiting this cottage one fall, we hadn’t been there long when I snuck away with my tackle bag and rod to see what was lurking out front of the dock! I had been out there for an hour, with no action, when their neighbor appears on his dock and hollered, “In my five years here, I’ve never seen a fish caught in this river.” I laughed, nodded back, and thanked him! Then silently, to myself replied “don’t go too far, sir....” another hour passed and my ninth lure change, the neighbor on his 3rd beer, still watching from the gazebo on his dock. I opened my tackle bag, and said “ok Ryan, let’s get weird.” I opened my box of tandem spinnerbaits, I pulled out a ½ oz. chartreuse and white bait, with 2 willow leaf blades, and asked myself, “what could make this better?” I decided to add a 6” yellow mister twister in the hook because, why not? It was at this moment a friend of the family we were staying with appeared on the dock, and while swirling his glass of wine, chuckled and said “what do you think is going to bite that hideous creation?” I smiled and replied “let’s find out!” I opened the bail, flung the lure out, and when it hit the water I just let it fall, I count to 3 and began my retrieve. The “hideous creation” gets halfway back to me, and suddenly a tap, I let it go dead, then give a quick turn of the reel and BAM! The line cuts through the water to the left, I raise the rod, and fight back! My wine swirling accomplice steps forward with a “no way....” I kneel down and reach into the water pulling out a 2.5 lb. largemouth, and I stand up, I give a whistle to the neighbor, and show him the luck of this dock has changed! He gives me a smile and a wave of approval replying “nice fish, man!” Once again, I remind myself, we can always do better!


          That’s the moral of my tale today, I will never claim to be smarter or better than any other angler or hunter. The beauty of our craft is that we will, in fact, never graduate. We must constantly remind ourselves that just because something has always worked, there could be something that works better! After all, if Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they likely would have replied with “faster horses!!!” There was nothing wrong with horses, but Mr. Ford believed there must be something that works better, and I think we can all agree we’re glad he tried!!

          So I encourage you when you're in the woods, on a field edge, or dropping lines, if the results aren’t what you want, break the habit! Put your predecessor’s favorite lure back, and try something else! Who knows, you might just get introduced to a better way!

 

Now, get out there!!

 

-Ryan Borst

@itstheemoose

Most memorable hunt - I've been blessed over the years to grow up hunting with my dad and grandfather who instilled a passion for the outdoors in me at young age! So when it comes down to picking the most memorable hunt it's hard to pick just one, but as I sat here thinking back the one that stands out the most was when I harvested my first deer at the young age of 8 with my dad! I can still tell u every detail of the hunt like it was yesterday! It was about 20 minutes before dark and she came out and started feeding. I began to shake as my dad helped me raise my single shot New England 20 gauge to the rail. Boom! It all happened so fast but when I pulled my hat up there was the white belly laying on the ground! I don't know who was more excited me or my dad! The big doe turned out to be a button buck but didn't matter to me or him. This hunt will be a memory I will cherish forever! 

 

Favorite game to eat and how to prepare it - Elk probably takes the cake for the best wild game meat I've ever had! There is really no bad way to prepare it, it's better than beef! I do love a good elk burger or steak on the grill! 

 

Favorite game to chase - I'm a hunter and love to hunt about anything that's in season but if I had to choose just one animal to hunt for the rest of my life it would definitely be the wild turkey! Sitting in the woods at daybreak as the world comes alive and hearing that first gobble on the roost, nothing compares! 

 

Social Media is one of the most powerful tools for a business, outfitter, or personal page’s growth. It can be a game changer if utilized effectively. With a few simple steps in posting to social media, a business or personal blog page can flourish and attract the desired target audience.

The Basics

Always Use Good Grammar – This may seem like an obvious point; however, companies oftentimes utilize bad grammar in their posts. This can make the company seem untrustworthy. Using good grammar is a sign of professionalism, and being able to communicate with your audience is key. The same goes for personal blogs; it’s important that your posts convey professionalism.

Be Consistent in Posting – For Instagram, if you’re growing your business or personal page, it is recommended to post twice a day at peak times for optimum exposure. On Facebook, anywhere from two to three times daily at ideal times is recommended.

Ideal Times: If your Instagram account is set to a business page, it will actually provide helpful insights for you—including times to post. However, there is a trend in posting to Instagram. Think of the times that people are most active on their phones—when they wake up, lunch break, and around 7-8 p.m. Many individuals claim the best times to post to Facebook are from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and during the lunch hour on Saturday and Sunday. The next tip is certainly connected to consistency—quality.

Post Quality Content – High quality photos on social media certainly reveal a sense of professionalism. Is it necessary to go purchase a Canon or Nikon to get high quality images? Not necessarily. A camera costs a great deal of money, and it also requires a creative eye behind the lens. Smart phones are capable of taking quality imagery; however, if you’re wanting to take your outfitter or personal blog to the next level, consider inviting a professional photographer on an expense free fishing trip or hunting trip in exchange for pictures. Networking is key in social media.

Networking—Build your Brand and Business Faster

The most frequently asked question I get is “How can I grow my following?” Sadly, there is no shortcut in any industry. Yes, you can buy followers. Yes, you can buy a page. However, those brands are easy to spot that have taken the easy route to success. Their following is inactive. The best way to get your brand or business to grow faster is to collaborate with the right people—social media influencers. Choose people in the outdoors’ industry that have a large following and audience you hope to tap into. If those individuals are truly professional, he or she can provide you with a media kit that reveals his or her impressions. Likely, this individual will trade marketing and exposure for a hunt or fishing trip. Most individuals in the hunting industry are eager to help you, and will happily share tips or assist in the growth of your page.

Sponsorships—Partner with the Right Companies

Partnering with a brand is another way to increase your following and also, increase brand integrity, too. When a potential customer sees that the outfitter or personal page is partnered with a respectable brand, he or she is going to be more inclined to trust your business or the opportunity to work with you. Also, incorporate those brands when out in the field for pictures; most likely, that large company will repost your picture and give your page exposure. 

Quick Growth Tips:

  • Utilize Instagram’s story feature by staying relevant and at the top of your followers’ page
  • Partner with another page for a fun giveaway—be sure to not go overboard with giveaways. Too many giveaways can jeopardize brand integrity.
  • Go live, occasionally! Your followers will receive a notification when you’re live. Does it have to be perfect or scripted, absolutely not. People don’t expect that from the live feed. For an outfitter, this works perfectly. A quick minute or two of a crew fishing will make your audience wish they were not behind their desk and actually out there with you—which could lead to potential bookings.
  • Be active! Comment on someone else’s wall. Also, to not lose followers, make sure you answer direct messages promptly—especially when it deals with a question regarding pricing, business hours, or product questions utilized in posts.

By utilizing these tactics listed above, the outfitter, guide service, or personal blog will see growth in both following and brand integrity. Remember that trial and error is key; what works for some pages does not work well for others. First and foremost, always be professional.

 

    Water sources in elk country largely fall into four categories: ponds/lakes, streams, seeps/springs, and wallows.  

    Larger ponds and lakes can be difficult to hunt due to their size, unless steady travel patterns can be recognized.  On the mountain I hunt there is a group of guys who utilize permanent ground blinds to hunt elk coming into a large pond and they harvest elk every year.  They are able to do this because they have identified specific trails that are highly used in that basin.  Smaller, isolated ponds can lead to elk feeling more secure and be great options to set up on.


 

    Streams are the most difficult water source to hunt.  This is simply due to the availability of water for miles.  The elk do not have to return to the same spot every time.  Unless you have found a highly traveled trail on a stream crossing, trying to catch passing elk on a stream can be very difficult.  I have never found a stream spot that is so highly traveled that I have repeatedly set up on it.  I have however, had numerous elk encounters along streams simply because stream bottoms are cooler during midday and offer security to elk.

 

 

    Springs and small mountainside seeps are used by both elk and deer in the western mountains.  In an area with sparse water sources these are highly utilized.  Where water availability is not an issue, they are hit infrequently by elk and present a difficult ambush site. 

    The last water source, and the most exciting to find, is a wallow.  I can’t help but get excited when I come upon a torn up wallow with fresh mud flung everywhere.  Even better is sneaking up on a big bull tearing one up.  It is an unmistakable sound that will make your heart rate soar!  Some wallows are used infrequently and utilized more as a water source than for cooling or rutting purposes.  Some wallows are very active each year while others are intermittent.  This is where knowledge of hunting an area becomes invaluable.

 

    Two years ago I filmed elk actively using a wallow.  Last year I hung a tree stand on that wallow and ended up having very few elk encounters.  Localized pressure caused the elk to avoid that area more than previous years.  Again, these can be excellent locations for tree stands or to sit on during the day.  Wallows can be just as effective pre-rut when elk use them to cool down as during the full rut when bulls use them to display dominance and mark scent.

 

 

    Where you hunt and how you choose to hunt will dictate whether a water source is a good position for you.  Often it is a trial and error system of learning.  If you are able to place a game camera on a site prior to your hunt, that can help answer many questions regarding frequency of use and patterns.  So think about these basic guidelines when you are out on your next adventure chasing elk and begin your own catalog of elk patterns and hot spots.  

 

Hunt hard, hunt often and be out in it.

Adam Oberheu
@roubideaulife

 

My Most Memorable Hunt - My most memorable hunt would have to be my red stag hunt in the Patagonia region of Argentina in 2016. I spent 10 days chasing free range red stag across the Andes with my dad, and it was the some of most physically demanding hunting I’ve ever experienced. After making rubs and scrapes down a ravine below us on the first afternoon, a large bull headed back up the ridge to bed down for the evening. We quickly moved to cut him off at the pass and, within minutes, I saw the tips of his horns coming through the brush. The stag came into full view just 35 yards away, and my instinct kicked in as I immediately pulled up my rifle. Looking through the scope, all I saw was neck and chest (having been prepared to make a 150-200 yard shot), but I didn’t have time to make any adjustments before taking the shot. Half a second before the bullet made contact, the stag spotted us and charged. Thankfully, about 15 yards away, he made a hard left and plowed back down the ridge. He was dead on the ground less than 30 seconds later. You can read the full story on my blog, The Bright Side of the Road [www.brightsideoutdoors.com].

Favorite game to eat and prepare - Venison! I always have some in the freezer, and I know I can whip up breakfast, lunch, or dinner any day of the week.

Favorite game to chase - This is definitely a tie between hunting whitetail deer and duck hunting. I love the quiet solitude of deer hunting, watching the woods wake up in the morning and the thrill of chasing a mature buck, beating him at his own game. On the other hand, I love the fast paced action of duck hunting, and the camaraderie of being in the blind with friends, family, and our hunting dogs.

My most memorable hunt - Waterfowl hunting the east coast for the first time, where our blinds were located in the core sound, and I got to experience the sun rising in the middle of the ocean, and harvest species of ducks I had never hunted before! 

 My favorite wild game to eat and prepare - Venison steaks, prepared on the grill! 

 My favorite game to chase - Either turkeys or whitetail