FDFT // 009 – SOUTH COX

PART 2 – BUCKS, BULLS, & GOATS IN COLORADO

REALTREE’S SCORE YOUR RACK TOOL

rack-score1

TRY REALTREE’S NEW! “SCORE YOUR RACK”  TOOL FOR YOUR WEEKEND HUNT

Keep your buddies honest and prove your bucks Bigger!

This handy step-by-step Antler Calculator makes scoring your Buck incredibly easy.Each step comes with a brief description to be sure that you measure correctly. You can upload your own image of your whitetail buck, and share on your social media via Facebook page with their automated image. Hit Submit and it superimposes the score directly on top of it.

Just in time for the Rut!!

The “Score Your Rack” Realtree calculator in 5 Steps

1) Measure the inside spread

2) Length of abnormal points

3) Length of main beam

4) Length of points

5) Include the mass measurements for an accurate score.

SCORE YOUR BUCK NOW! 

Full Draw Film Tour’s Wesley Smith and Jon Walusiak measure a rack in only 15-minutes using the all-new Realtree.com Antler Scoring Tool. The free interactive tool provides helpful tips and videos along with an interactive scoring system to make quick work of scoring your whitetail.

 

You can also download the printable version here.

RealTreeAntler

FDFT // 008 – SOUTH COX

BUCKS, BULLS, & GOATS IN COLORADO

FDFT // 007 – ZACH BOWHAY

ZACH BOWHAY DISCUSSES BOWHUNTING IN IDAHO WITH SOUTH & KODY

ROCKIES VS. ROSIES

As my Grandpa once said, “Elk are exactly where you find ‘em!” This saying has always held a special place in my memory bank whether I’m chasing bugles in the thick jungle of Western Oregon or the high mountain peaks of Colorado.  In my experiences, Rocky Mountain Elk and Roosevelt are very similar in their habits and actions; the main difference is the habitat that they reside in.

For the first 15 years of my elk hunting career, I was waist deep wading through the brush of the Oregon Coast Range pursuing Roosevelt Elk with a bow in my hand. From those early encounters, I’ve been fortunate to expand my boot tracks the last few years in a wide variety of landscapes chasing bugles of Rocky Mountain Elk. The obvious difference between the two sub-species is the size of their bodies and antlers. While Rockies generally top the record book with tremendous scores, the Rosies fill up the freezer with prime steaks! Both of the species intrigue me to pursue each September.

Rosies-

The hardest challenge with harvesting a Roosevelt bull is their habitat that they call home. The thick reprod (Reforested Tree Plantation) can create a physical barrier from accessing their afternoon beds. While this can be a curse, it has also been a blessing on some hunts. The jungle like terrain can conceal movements, enabling a  up close and personal encounter without detection.

The key to my success over the years is locating tougher to access hunting grounds. Most these areas have been located on Private Timberlands. The restricted access programs often leave miles of gravel roads behind locked gates. During ‘Fire Season‘ these lands are generally closed to motor vehicle access, making it harder for people to access. (Click here for the Oregon Corporate Closure Access List) Mountain bike has been my choice of transportation. With custom trailers attached, I have essentially assembled my own pack horse. By pedaling into the vast vehicle restricted areas, I have found less hunting pressure, which I attribute to most of my success.

Much of their habitat is influenced by logging activity. The logging actually provides new habitat in which elk are often seen in the open clearcuts. These clearcuts are their feeding grounds. They will typically use the clearcuts in the evening, throughout the night and can be spotted leaving them at daylight. The big difference of their counterpart is they live within a small home range. Sometimes they will seek beds within eyesight of the feeding grounds. Movements are smaller and less distance is traveled on a daily basis.

Once they leave the clearcuts, concentrate on their bedding grounds. The thick timber patches or younger reprod is prime bedding habitat. If you are unable to locate them first off in the morning, shift your efforts to these areas as the day continues on.

Calling has been a myth amongst the ‘old-timers’. Many people said, “They don’t bugle!” My experiences are quite the contrary. A rutting Roosevelt may not be as vocal as a Rocky bull, but they are more territorial and aggressive! Locating a bugle is the hardest challenge. The mountains and trees don’t let the sound carry very far. Often time the hardest part is pinpointing where the bugle came from. Once located, I am very aggressive with calling and approach. Often I will run at the bull, simulating a threat from another bull. Typically with the wind in your favor, you can push the envelope and get within 60 yards or closer without being seen. Most of the time, the bull will counter your attack with a steadfast approach to the threat! Don’t be afraid to break branches on your charge. Simulate the natural sounds a rutting bull makes. Besides the vocalization, often I breathe through my bugle tube, emulating the sounds I’ve heard from approaching bulls. This in your face advance can be an adrenaline filled encounter. Be sure your final setup allows for a clear shot. Most often the shot will occur in close quarters under 20 yards.

Rockies –

The more popular Rocky Mountain Elk inhabit a much larger geographical region. They can be found as far West as the Cascade Mountains to the foothills of Pennsylvania and everywhere in between. My experiences chasing these critters have included Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. While the terrain has varied in these locations, their habits have remained relatively the same.

Similar to hunting Rosies, I search out hard to access terrain. Whether it is a USFS roadless area or wilderness, I try to find areas that require more work to hunt. My preference is backpack hunting. Typically I will load up for 5-7 days worth of food and gear and head off. I avoid busy trailheads with horseback hunters and search out ‘off the grid’ starting points. The worst is showing up and seeing lines of trucks and trailers of competition before I ever start hunting. Avoid these high traffic areas! Hunt were there may be less elk but most of all, less pressure.

Aside from the obvious difference of antler size, they hold fairly similar habits to their cousins of the West. The striking disparity between the two is the habitat they reside in. The landscape shapes their movement and nature. Typically, Rockies are found in more open terrain with natural vegetation.

Rockies often feed in open terrain like Rosies but these can be found in natural areas like meadows or old burns where fresh green vegetation is found. Once the sun is up, they typically start making their way to higher grounds in the timber where they spend the afternoon grabbing some ZZZ’s. They use the thermals to their advantage and move up with the descending morning breeze making an approach from above near impossible. These daily movements I’ve seen far as 15 miles round trip from their feeding to the bedding grounds.

This open terrain lends to a couple different hunting styles to be deployed. Spot and stalk or herd shadowing is very popular and successful for many different hunters. Though this is not my preferred style, it can be very rewarding while chasing pressured call-shy Rockies. The two hunters that have perfected this art are Dan Evans and Randy Ulmer. They will target a specific animal and follow his movements until he lets his guard down and makes a mistake. Patience and time behind the binos can lead to punching your tag.

While my preferred method of hunting Rockies is calling. I typically engage the same tactics I use for Roosevelts. The challenge of calling a large mature herd bull is rewarding! The biggest difference that I have found between the two sub-species is the vast difference of habitat. This difference makes the calling set-up different. The open terrain won’t cover your movements like the jungle counterpart. I will still be very aggressive in calling but the approach must be much more calculated and methodical. Use the terrain to conceal your movements and push as close as possible before pushing the bull’s buttons.

While I’ve enjoyed cutting my teeth hunting Roosevelts in the western slopes of Oregon. I believe the lessons I’ve learned hunting in the thick steep country has expanded my skillset and proved to be deadly while chasing their Rocky Mountain counterpart. I highly encourage you to take on a new challenge, whether you’ve never killed a Rocky or Rosie. Set a goal and go chase the unknown. I believe if you hunt in country that is unfamiliar or out of your comfort zone, in the end, you will increase your skill set and you can apply it to your next hunt. At the end of your hunt, whether you’ve been successful or not, reflect on the mistakes you’ve made and learn from them.
Remember that elk are exactly where you find them. Sometimes you have to forget that picture perfect meadow and roll up your sleeves and dive into the thick brush to chase that dream bull!

FDFT // 006 – NEVADA MULIES PART II

STALKING MULIES ON THE MOUNTAIN

FDFT // 005 – SOUTH COX & FRIENDS

FRIENDS, STICKBOWS, BACKCOUNTRY & VELVET MULE DEER

BACKCOUNTRY EDIBLES: KFC, TUNA & PINEAPPLES

 

Wesely's collection of delectable edibles.

Let’s be real. The majority of hunters in the world do not bivouac out for days and days on end. But, there is still a high number of hunter who still do that. In the animal covered mountains of the west, you could see a number of different types of hunter. The hunters who don’t get out of their trucks, the guys who drive their quads around all day, the “lets just sleep in this morning” guys, the up before crack of dawn guys, and the off the grid for a week guys. Having mentioned all these stereotypes, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the food we eat. You might be reading this thinking, “oh my gosh, here we go, I get to be told again to change what I’m eating.” Well, sir, you are wrong. Because, this isn’t Rachel Rae’s, and I’m not your cardiologist. The fun sized snickers are still crammed into a ziplock and put right in with the rest of my food.

So with my years of being the “Bowhunter on a Budget” I thought I’d share some of my tips or knowledge if you will, about the food I eat. There’s nothing worse than having to chose: spend money and go hunting, or spend money on stuff to hunt with.

MEALS

For the guys who don’t get out of their truck, and those stuck to their quads. The odds are you’ve probably got a slick set up back at the camp. And you most likely have the luxuries of a camp stove with a frying pan. So let me blow your mind with a couple recipes of my own.

One year while chasing spring bear, my cousin and I discovered we forgot the oil to fry our burgers with. Well, Instead of butter or oil, I dumped half of my Corona in the skillet. Without saying anything to one another, we just stared, curious to if I had just wasted half a beer or not. But before long the beer started to basically boil, and we put our patties into the brine. Eventually, we had what is still to this day the best burgers we have ever had. Corona Burgers are now a spring bear hunt tradition and it’s not going anywhere soon. For those who like their burgers a little crispier on the outside, once they are done in the Corona just throw them onto a hot skillet with no oil for a couple minutes and watch ’em brown.

Chicken. Man, I love chicken. Another repeating meal year after year, yis the Italian chicken. It’s pretty much elementary to do and tastes like heaven. At the grocery store pick up a couple bottles of the Italian salad dressing, as well as boneless chicken breasts. Cut the breasts into chicken strip sizes and place in the pan, like the Corona and burger patties, dump the bottles of dressing into the pan and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Your welcome.

The truth is you could literally cook whatever you wanted with the way your hunting. And I’ll admit it, I’m jealous. I’ve woke up a couple mornings in the backcountry with slobber all over my pillow due to my dreams about scrambled eggs, harsh browns, and sausage. But I’m stuck with instant oatmeal.

To the guys who spend more time in the woods than in camp, Hello. I am one of you. I used to be a truck and quad man, but now I’m am here. Although Im venturing more and more into the backcountry as we speak. My deal, is I don’t feel like spending an hour making something to eat after I’m dead tired from chasing elk around all day. I’m tired. I want to eat and be asleep in 30 min. The easiest way for me to do that is going to my camp spot prepared. But if your back at the truck every night, you’ve got the abilities to go all out with the cooking. So you really don’t have to many excuses do you? But if you’re like me and don’t like spending the precious sleep time, I’ve got a couple tips. Taking some homemade clam chowder in a ziplock container, and heating it up real quick is one go to meal of mine. (Works with anything canned such as chili)

Backcountry Edibles - 2

Another meal is cottage cheese with a can of diced pineapples on top, it might take 2 minutes to make. It often times hits the spot perfectly. To be honest I’ve gotten sick of burgers before, “really? Again burgers? For the 5th night in a row?” They get boring. There’s just something about this meal that really does something for me mentally.

Usually I’ll stop by KFC on my way in to the trailhead and throw a 12 piece bucket into the cooler, that can last me up to 3-4 nights depending on my hunger. I like cold chicken too, so it’s pretty convenient to just slam the drive through, run in grab some condiments for the day pack, and throw my bucket in the ice cooler. I can do the same thing with pizza. Cook up a meat lovers the night before you head out, throw it in the freezer so it’ll stay colder for longer, then in the cooler. Cold pizza.

To the guys who only see there truck at the beginning, and at the end of their trip, you don’t have to many choices. And unless your paying a ridiculous amount of money to get a drop camp with stove, propane, heater etc.  Your gonna carry your food in one way or the other. There are some obvious choices like mountain house. But you’ve already covered those bases.

I was in the high country of Colorado with a friend of mine, while I was attempting to get my jetboil going, I noticed he was eating something. I asked him what he was eating and he replied with this. “Oh. Dude. It’s money. Flatbread with peanut butter and honey.” He had discovered all natural peanut butter in little serving sized packages. He snagged some “honey sauce” packages from KFC earlier, and brought in some flatbread. Now I’m not a fan of 100% natural things like this, they usually taste like garbage. But, this combo. Is ridiculous, I absolutely love it. And for the ultra sensitive person about what they are packing in, I’m sure you could find 100% whole wheat flatbread to give your body more nutrients.

Another meal that is often overlooked is tuna on crackers. Yes, you read that correctly. Starkist, makes “Tuna Creations” that come in small serving sizes packages, there are multiple flavors, lemon pepper, sesame, barbecue, ranch, olive oil and vinegar, to name a few. These added with a Ritz cracker, now that’s something I would eat at home.

Another friend of mine who is backcountry nerd also introduced me to a majorly high calorie meal that might make you think, “what the frick.” Most of us have heard of Cameron Hanes infamous bacon and peanut butter bagels. But one day in the backcountry I asked my friend what he was eating and he said without missing a beat “the Cameron Hanes Bagel 2.0.” After I stopped laughing he explain further just what was in this beast. A blueberry bagel covered in peanut butter, with Nutella, honey, and bacon. I could help it, I told him that it was the grossest thing I had ever heard of. And then after a couple minutes of bickering I agreed to taste it. Well… I was pleasantly surprised. I now have to admit, not only was it good, but it was very filling. Also, because of the calorie content, it is definitely something that will go into my pack the next time I bivouac out.
Idahoan, makes small 2 serving sized pre packaged instant mashed potatoes. Eating some hot buttered up calorie filled mashed potatoes when your 14 miles from the trailhead is just comforting. Especially if you add a touch of Sriracha, packing in a bottle of this can save your taste buds lives. It tastes good yes, but mentally, I feel my spirits re-inflate after a solid mashed potato massacre.

SNACKS

Truck and quad guys. Your guys’ choices are just about limitless. Anything that you could carry in your truck. Or put in the compartment of your quad, and you don’t even have to carry it. You’ve got this figured out, don’t you?
Honest to God, I saw a guy driving very slowly down a gravel road, with another man cooking on a barbecue that was strapped down in the bed of the truck. Now that is what I call ingenuity. But seriously, cold pizza, chicken legs, salad, hot coffee, sushi, Taco Bell, whatever you could want really.

Day hunters, our choices are quite a bit more limited than our brothers in the trucks. But we still have choices. Personally I have done cold pizza before, it’s great for the soul to be on top of a ridge far from the roads eating pizza, I’m not sure what it is, but it’s good. Granola, dried fruit (apples, apricots, mangos, bananas etc), granola bars, trail mix, jerky, the list goes on and is still fairly large.

Pocket jerky is one thing that’s a fairly common snack among us. Getting large, and thick chunks of jerky from the local butcher to shove in our pocket, comes in clutch. Sometimes we just need to occupy our mouths throughout the day, this and a bag of cashews is what does it for me.

Backpackers. The reality of snacking when your in the field, everything gets boring. Eventually. There’s nothing worse then eating the same pro bar that you’ve been eating for the last 5 days. Eating food almost becomes a chore for you to do, you don’t eat because your not hungry. You don’t eat because nothing you have in your pack sounds good. Your eating because your body needs the energy to keep going, and to wake up and do it all again the next morning. That’s why I always try to mix it up (Flavors, brands any variation at all and I’m on it). Every morning is a different flavor of the instant oatmeal.

Mio is a water enhancement liquid, I’ll bring three different flavors on a trip. This helps tremendously when I just can’t stand another drink of water.

Sriracha. Man. Saved my bacon in Colorado. I took a decently sized bottle of the stuff into the high country and my mind was blown. I used it on dang near literally everything. I put sriracha on my sriracha. Mountain House meals are way better with that stuff, Instant potatoes, and I even put it in my oatmeal one morning.

Seems like we don’t have to many choices. Pro-Bar, has a line of backcountry edibles that personally are my favorites. Their “Meal” line, which consists of, Superfruit Slam, Wholeberry, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Blueberry Blast, and a couple more. They also have a “Base” which contains a Chocolate Cookie Dough, and well as a Chocolate Mint. They also make some energy chews called “Bolt”, and my favorites in those are Berry Blast and Fruit Punch.

I love cashews. When I bivouac in, I carry a sandwich bag full of cashews for each day. As far as calories, protein and energy, these nuts pack quite the punch to replenish your system with all your energy being spent. GU has multiple flavors in their energy gel packets, also MtnOps has “Blaze” energy drink made for the trail and small enough to pack.

Hope this has given you some useful information for your next hunt. Go farther and shoot straight!

-Wesley Smith
 Rookie Outdoors,  Team Full Draw

FDFT // 004 – KRISTY TITUS

EATING QUAKER OATMEAL AND JERKY DOESN’T CUT IT ANYMORE…

FDFT // 003 – KODY SMITH

ARE YOU AN INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

FDFT // 002 – DWIGHT SCHUH

REALLY…YOU DON’T KNOW WHO DWIGHT SCHUH IS?

FDFT // 001 – SOUTH COX & KODY KELLOM

READY, AIM, LAUNCH! WHAT THE HECK IS FULL DRAW FULL TIME???

FULL DRAW ~ “REAL N’ RAW!” on the GRITTY BOWMAN PODCAST

The Gritty Bowman Podcast unleashes the Full Draw Crew in this Real n’ Raw interview. Get to know these guys behind the scenes and see what they’re all about. See what drives them and what fuels the tour. You’ll laugh and chuckle… Be sure to share this with your friends.

Click here for more Gritty Bowmen Podcasts and visit them at www.grittybowmen.com

Don’t forget to grab the latest FDFT DVD’s and Apparel from the FDFT SHOP. Also be sure to check out the DATES/TICKETS page for upcoming show in your area.

MEET ‘TEAM FULL DRAW’

The ‘TOUR CREW’…

Over the years, we have met some great people along the way. These friendships have grown and hence so has the crew. Without these guys, we simply couldn’t bring FDFT5 to 28 cities across the U.S. If you’ve been to a show this year, you’ve probably already seen them running around in the gray ‘TOUR CREW’ shirts. These guys have really embraced the FDFT mission and their energy is contagious…here is a sneak peak into their lives. To see more of their shenanigans, follow them on Instagram. Enjoy.

 Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith – Instagram @_wesleydsmith 
Born and raised on Brownsville Oregon, first time I actually went elk hunting I was 6 years old. Oldest of 6 siblings. Graduated in 2011 from Central Linn High School. competed in collegiate track and field/basketball at New Hope Christian College in Eugene. I currently work full time in construction. I’m starting my own outdoors company called Rookie Outdoors (Follow on Instagram @rookieoutoors). I’m strong in my faith as a Christian. My Dad is my favorite hunting partner. Some other hunters I’ve kinda looked up to a lot is Larry D Jones, and Dwight Shuh I’d read a lot of their content they’ve produced. My favorite thing to hunt are screaming bulls and blacktail. I hunt ducks and geese, and catch bass all summer long.
Someday I would like to kill a Grizzly with a stick bow, and deer with a spear, then I can die. I’m very single at the moment. I sport a mullet with golden curly locks…it’s more manly thank you think.
I won’t listen to Tim McGraw.
Blacktail enthusiast. Bass fishing nut. 1/3 athlete, 2/3 hunter.
Brownsville Bar 2014 Memorial Day Karaoke contest Champion. Did not vote for Obama. Someday I’m going to invent the worlds most comfortable underwear to hunt in. My Spirit animal is a Naked Molerat. Oh and I eat the Oreo fillings and put the cookie back.
Zach Henderson
Zach Henderson – Instagram @zachhendoo
I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. I have been shooting a bow for my entire life, it’s my true passion. Growing up I remember chasing my dad around before I could hunt, listening to bugling rutting elk dreaming of next September. I am now married and getting to share this amazing sport with my wife. Teaching her the fundamentals of hunting and archery brings me back to my childhood learning the same things from my dad.
I started to film my hunts a few years back, and it has really became a big part of my hunting career. Being able to capture and share the moments I experience with people is something I find great satisfaction in. Elk and mule deer are the main species I like to hunt. Whether it’s spot and stalk for mule deer in the high country, or bugling for bulls from ridge tops, both get my adrenalin pumping. Bowhunting has been an amazing ride so far. I can’t wait to see what next September will hold!
Joe Sanchez
Joe Sanchez – Instagram @_jsan_
I was born in California but moved to the valley of Oregon when I was about four years old, I am now twenty seven and and have a family of my own that supports this awesome career I’m chasing!! I’ve always had a passion of the outdoors, growing up watching hunting and fishing shows, it has always caught my interest.
I started rifle hunting when I was twelve years old, After taking a few bucks with a rifle I wanted to challenge myself and started bowhunting when I was sixteen years old. Once I did that I was hooked on bowhunting for life and have never looked back! Now I enjoy hunting western big game, Elk and Blacktail deer to be exact, but bowhunting elk hunting is my true passion, there is nothing like a giant bull screaming right in front of you! In the last two years I’ve picked up the camera and have had the chance to film some awesome stuff from personal outdoor adventures to filming outdoor TV shows. I can’t wait to see what this new year is gonna bring for bowhunting, filming and the Full Draw Film Tour!
Morgan Gregory
Morgan Gregory – Instagram @just.instinct
Born and raised in a small farming community, the outdoors, hunting, and fishing have always been a passion of mine. I feel very fortunate to be able to combine my passion for the outdoors with my my love for design and film making not only as my personal employment but also under the umbrella of the Full Draw Film Tour.
Very few things are more gratifying than sharing an experience or telling an individuals story through the medium of film in a way that captures an audience leaving them with a memorable impression. The Full Draw Film Tour is a catalyst for outdoor film makers of all skill levels to do exactly that, and provides them the opportunity to reach a large captive audience of bow hunters. I am excited to be apart of a team that is also passionate about the outdoors and that seek to capture and promote the outdoor lifestyle.
Brad Minzey
Brad Minzey – Instagram @bminzey1
Born and raised in Montesano, WA a small town on the coast. You could say I was born into hunting. From riding around in my car seat in the back of my Dad’s truck during deer season, to spending summer vacations in my Grandpa’s gun shop in elementary school. It has been in my blood my entire life and becoming an avid outdoorsman was inevitable. I have been blessed to grow up hunting with my Father by my side, teaching me everything he knows along the way. As the years go by and the hunting seasons pass, our roles have swapped. He is now following me around and helping me chase my crazy dreams. To me, hunting has always been about the memories and spending time with those I hold dear.
Recently I have picked up the camera to try to capture those memories and be able to share my experiences with others. I fell in love with the idea of capturing my hunts on video and being able to tell my story through the lens of a camera. I have a love for fitness that I gear towards my ultimate love of elk hunting. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the Full Draw Film Tour and grow as a hunter, as well as spend time with others who are in love with living their life as hunters. I am determined to live this life God granted me to the fullest and use every ounce of talent he gave me. I look forward to meeting all of you at the upcoming shows and swapping hunting stories.
We’ve got more in store for you. Thanks for reading!

NW LADIES HUNTING CAMP WINNER #2

Congratulations!! to our Week #2 Winner.

KRISTIE HENDON

Ladies-Winner#2

She will be receiving Free Registration to this years NW Ladies Hunting Camp, June 12th-14th.
To know more about NW Ladies Hunting Camp visit www.ladieshunting.com, or on Facebook.

 

 

NW LADIES HUNTING CAMP WINNER #1

Congratulations!! to our Week #1 Winner.

MARLA DOUGLAS

Ladies-Winner#1

She will be receiving Free Registration to this years NW Ladies Hunting Camp, June 12th-14th.
To know more about NW Ladies Hunting Camp visit www.ladieshunting.com, or on Facebook.

Also be sure to check our SWEEPSTAKES page this week.

We will be giving away another FREE Registration to this years NW Ladies Hunting Camp.
And remember the more you share the greater the chance to WIN!

Winner will be drawn this Friday, June 5th 2015 at 5:00 pm