Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy birthday Marines!

Happy birthday to all my brothers in arms. Semper Fi!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kuiu/ Kestrel Knives

Cool concept. Not 100% sold on a no handle type knife for anything that I'd be using that much though...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekly Tips

This weeks tip, brought to you by yours truly and published in Traditional Bowhunter Magazine's Weekly Tips email blast is yet another reason why 550 cord is so useful to have in your backpack. To my knowledge I have never seen the inner cord used like this, so this may be another, original use for para cord. This is my second tip published and I am having fun coming up with ideas that others might find useful. If you aren't signed up for their weekly tips, you should get on the list, it's free.

550 Cord Wind Monitor
By Mike Miller

The second cardinal rule of successful hunting--after hunting where the animals are--is hunt the wind.

While sitting in my elk blind at 8,500 feet this year I felt like I was constantly picking up my dust-type wind indicator. Although I was well hidden behind a screen of spruce, the movement was bothersome. Thinking about what was in my pack, I remembered the various lengths of military "paracord" or "550 cord" I had. I took a foot long piece of cord, removed the core strands, combed them out and tied them onto a couple of low hanging branches. This provided a sensitive and constant wind monitor that only required the movement of my eyeballs. Perfect!

There are 450 and 650 versions out there as well, and the numbers represent the load limit. Each strand of 550 cord has seven strands inside, and each of these strands yields two smaller strands. The smaller strands are what we are after. Simply unravel them and attempt to fluff or comb them out, and you have fourteen wind monitors per foot or so of cord. You can also tie the strands onto your bow tips, but the micro strands are so small they tear apart when removing burrs, so they don't last too long. Don't forget to take the strands out of the branches when you are done hunting for the day.
For price and convenience, 550 cord wind monitors are still hard to beat. Get out there and hunt the wind!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back from elk hunting, round 2

Yup, my awesome wife let me head up to the mountains for a couple more days, the evening of the 19th saw me hunting the same mountain from a simple "back of the truck" camp and I hunted all day the 20th and again half the day on the 21st. No elk meat in the freezer, but I did manage to pin a spruce grouse which I promptly breasted out and ate.

The video journal is done and as polished as I care to make it at this point, I didn't realize just how much video I'd been shooting. Over an hour of quick little vignettes, it was a fun project. However, I don't expect many will find the time or interest to watch the whole thing. Which is really no problem at all... I did it for myself more than anything.

I do have some more pictures to share with you though, and then I'll get to work uploading the video.

Thanks for tuning in, keep checking in as deer season develops!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back From Elk Hunting

I am back. I had the most wonderfully awesome week chasing elk... I literally lost count of the number of mature 6x6 bulls I was within 25 yards of, and the total amount of elk I was within 50 yards of was astounding. I am finally feeling like I am beginning to "know" "my" mountain.

I am in the process of editing my video journal and will hopefully have something posted up here in the near future. Until then, enjoy a couple of photos.

Mulie Doe right by Observation Rock and Mulie Meadows

Spring where I saw elk last year, it was much drier this year.

Sunset over the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Taking a break.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Channel catfishing

My lovely wife allowed me a few free hours last night so I headed out to my local park pond for some catfishing action. I'll admit, I have never caught a catfish before. Family leanings lead us to trout streams and rivers, and when we go warmwater fishing, we hit the bass and bluegills. We simply have overlooked the catfish since it is almost always caught while bait fishing. Nothing against bait fishing, it has it's place, but typically it is just so much sitting there. Several months ago I decided I needed to right this wrong and catch a catfish. After a little research I decided that chicken livers would be my bait of choice. Turns out, it was a good choice!

About 8:45 pm I was wandering the bank looking at the plants and happened to notice my bobber was not there. So I set the reel, pulled and reeled, pulled and reeled and coaxed out of the depths a big ol' cat. Like the carp I shot with my bow earlier this year, I was a little tentative at first... how do I handle this fish? My stringer hooks were too small for the size of the jaw, so I ended up piercing the lower jaw and inserting it there. Meanwhile my bobber is swimming away, but I missed the set and that one got away.

The night ended with the one cat in the truck. Took him home and fileted him up. Looking forward to more cats in my future!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Done with school!

For now at least. There is more education in my future, but a semester break is looking really nice right about now. DONE! And not a moment to soon. Elk season opens in 16 days, although I won't be up there for opening day, I am really, really looking forward to some elk hunting solitude! I am busy writing my lists for camp, truck, backpack and pockets, and it is all I can do to not pack up the truck right now. No new gear this year, with the exception of a couple giant coolers to keep all the fresh elk meat from spoiling, and the same area I head to every year, but I can feel the destiny of this year's hunt creeping up, the excitement and pure adrenaline of a rut crazed bull or a tender young cow 20 yards away. My confidence is high, my arrow groups tight, my list compiled, boxes packed...

I was going through some of my hunting pictures and whatnot on my computer and "found" these again. Always I good thing to review before a hunt!

Stay tuned for much more regular updates as I continue to assemble my gear, practice, hit the gym and the trails and otherwise prepare my mind, body, soul and gear for a successful elk hunt in 2011!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm still here!

Just thought I'd drop by and let my handful of followers know I am still here. Life is good, just been really, really busy pretty much the whole last year finishing up nursing school (finishing it for now, at least, I anticipate I'll be back at it pretty soon, but I'll be taking the fall off at least).

I did manage to get out for a couple bluegill fishing days with my dad. We knocked them dead! At one point I had to unload my stringer of big, fat, healthy 'gills into my dad's mesh bucket because I was doubling them up and they weren't fitting! And then I filled up the stringer again! What a blast, and we are looking forward to a nice fish fry here soon.

I hope to be able to post more as my semester pretty much ends at the end of July and I'll really start getting ready for the archery elk season, so stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Canadian Wilds

Finally found some time to go dig through a couple boxes of old books at my parent's house and found what I have been looking for, Canadian Wilds by Martin Hunter, first edition from 1907.

Book report to follow at some point.