January 31, 2011

Backcountry Nutrition

New post at Wilderness Athlete, check it here. WA is performance nutrition for the outdoor athlete. More to come on this during 2011...

January 26, 2011

Badlands Clothing 2012

Here’s a little closer look at the new Badlands clothing line set to release around the 2012 mark. The new line will feature Badlands Bio-Thermic™ System, meaning it works with your body’s own ability to generate heat to keep you warm and dry. Through a 3 tier base, mid, and outer layer system, the line will feature the same quality of perfection that has been seen in their packs, as well as other cutting edge technology.

*SRS Scent Reduction System™ - the ultimate antimicrobial treatment
*Variable Motion Seams – enhances range of motion
*Mammoth Fleece™ - optimal heat retention
*DryVent™ - a hydro-folic coating that draws moisture to the surface
*Hex-Lite™ - honey comb fleece increasing heat retention
*Bio-Shell™ - composite fabric with treated fleece for warmth
*Thinsulate® - low profile heat retention
*Dupont Teflon DWR® - highest quality water repellent money can buy

Bottom line is this line is going to be awesome. Just when everyone thought they knew the playa’s in the clothing industry, Badlands steps in and raises the bar….hmm, isn’t really surprising. Stay tuned….

January 11, 2011

ATA Gems...

The Ben Pearson Archery Stealth 2 made its debut at the 2011 ATA show last week. Video below, full report soon...

Badlands gave a sneak peek of their new performance clothing line set to release in 2012. Meaning, the best packs in the world, will now be able to hold the best hunting clothing in the world.

November 23, 2010


Back out trying to put the hammer down on a few doe's I found some sure sign of a future first rounder! Even though the cuddeback was within 40 yards I wasn't able to snap a mugshot. Stay tuned...

November 8, 2010

The Plan Comes Together...

I never heard him coming. I looked over and he was just there, 45 yards to my left. It was obvious by the buck’s demeanor he spotted the decoy placed just 15 yards in front of me. The buck was focused in and my set up was about to be put to the test.

Getting ready for this season I had high hopes of not re-living 2009. In the end 09’ turned out (Persistence…), however using all of 4+ months of the season trying to catch up to the right whitetail got a tad long to say the least.

Keeping this in mind I was committed to being aggressive. Last year I learned a valuable lesson when I rattled in a bruiser to 30 yards and left my decoy sitting in the truck. This time however, in an effort to pull out all the stops, my decoy was out and ready for action. If I saw the right buck I had high hopes of bringing him in.

For those that are not aware here’s a quick decoy lesson….most can be made into a buck or a doe by simply adding or removing the antlers. They should always be placed up wind and if the decoy is a buck then it should be put in a quartering to position and if it is doe it should put in a quartering away position. Both set ups are designed to place the approaching deer in a shootable position for the hunter.

As he walked behind a tree I grabbed the Pearson. Now at 20 yards from the decoy he was closing fast and about to deliver a serious beat down. He stopped, laid back his ears, puffed his hair, put his head down, and walked towards decoy as if the joints in his legs were missing. Hooking my release I readied for the shot.

At 8 yards the buck moved into position and I released. The Victory Vforce pin wheeled him as he circled to 20 yards before stopping to look back. Taking advantage of the opportunity I loaded up and released again. In the end, either arrow alone would have done the trick however he gave me a second opportunity so I took it. Expired, the buck lay just 45 yards from the tree.

The whole experience was amazing. I’ve seen this work before on TV but never like this in real life. From start to finish I had a front row seat and I just couldn’t have written the script any better.

With a great buck in the books the quest now turns to trying to knock off a few does and running cameras to prepare for 2011. There’s a couple of bucks on my radar that to date, I haven’t gotten any pictures of and I'd like to see where they are and what they're doing. Stay tuned, lots more season and action to come….

See you on trail!

October 16, 2010

September Memories...

Time goes by way to fast. This post is long overdue and what feels like an eternity has really only been in reality, 5 weeks since my dad and I returned from the mountains. A trip of this kind to the backcountry was the first for my father since he started bowhunting in 1977. In my life Dad has always been there for me and knowing he has always wanted to take an elk with his recurve I was proud to think I might have a hand in helping make this happen for him. (For more check out the Man, the Myth, the Legend).

Once dad was in we spent the spring getting up to speed. We combed through gear, separated out the “whitetail” vs. “elk” equipment, and made the long list of to do’s. We also talked a lot about the critical importance of being ready physically. A trip like this takes a huge level of commitment and dad knew what he was in for. For over 5 years he has been with me on more elk hunt, marathon, 50 miler, and 100 mile stories than just about anyone besides Jor. He knew first-hand how tough this style of hunt would be. To get ready Dad was committed to riding his bike and walking with a loaded Badlands and I was committed to knocking out some ultra’s, including my first 100 miler.

Travel plans were pretty simple. To make the most of our time we would leave after work, drive the 22 hours straight, arrive, throw on the packs, and head in. Once in, we would plan and move according to what the elk were doing.

Arrival Colorado, September 11 - 6pm…
Parked the truck at over 11,000 feet, threw on the Badlands, and dove into the backcountry. We only had 2 hrs before dark so we pushed to get in as far as possible before stopping for the night. Up at day break we quickly re-packed and headed out. Our mission was to roll on some major ground (7+ miles) and put as much distance as possible between us and civilization. After a long day we arrived at our first real base camp, roughly 9 miles deep. That night we drifted asleep to bugling bulls and high expectations of the days ahead.

The hunt…
Looking back we were the closest on the first morning (day 3 overall). Working our way down a canyon we caught a bugle. It was behind and up on us so we turned, put the wind in our face, and started to close the distance. Unfortunately at 30 yards the 5X5 spotted us, turned, and gave no opportunity for a shot. It was a quick but close encounter that left both dad and I excited for what was yet to come.

A second opportunity came coming back out of the canyon that same night. Moving quietly I spotted the same bull at 40 yards. When I first saw him he was above us and working his way in the opposite direction towards a small cut. I quickly turned to dad and signaled. We needed to move fast as our opportunity was to make a run at getting to the cut before the bull. Thermals were falling and if we beat him there we just might have a chance. Moving to the cut we lost sight of bull only to never see him again. He was gone and so were our hopes of trying to get an arrow in him.

The next best opportunity and the one that had me dialing the satellite phone to our packer, was in the same canyon, 2 days later. After catching a bugle below we dropped in elevation closing the distance. At 33 yards I spotted a cow. She was standing broadside and looking behind her. As dad and I quickly set up the bull bugled again and it was clear he was below her. After his bugle she turned and ran only to be followed by 2 more cows traveling on the same path. Dad and I sat there, tension on the strings just waiting for the bull. We waited, but nothing. As a big, 800lb bull elk does, he just disappeared.

Over the course of the next 6 days we tried to chase down the bugles every day, but for whatever reason, just couldn't close the deal. This was the 2nd year in a row I have rolled out of Colorado with an un-punched tag. I feel defeated and I despise it. It really bothers me and to be honest, I believe it bothers me more than the average person. Let me explain...

Since 06’ elk hunting has shaped my life. Good or bad, depending upon who you are and how you look at it. I have suffered, fought, pushed, smiled, laughed, climbed, ran, puked, and cried in the name of it. I have gone from running 0 miles in 07’ to finishing a 100 mile ultra-marathon this past August because of it. I have tried to do everything I can to set myself up for success. One cannot plan, prepare, and go on a trip like this without getting 120% involved. It becomes you and what you do and when you fail it hurts.

They always say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I’m committed to make next year different. I plan to work harder and prepare better.

All in all it was a great trip. Dad and I got to spend time together gutting it out in some rugged, beautiful country and I will cherish those memories forever. Dad, I know you’ll read this so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how proud I am of you. Throughout your life you have done and conquered the unconquerable. You are a fighter, a warrior, and an example of what life is all about. From start to finish you dug deep, you pushed yourself, and I feel like you showed yourself what I already knew.

Thanks for being committed pops, not many will realize the amount of effort it takes to do what you did. I couldn’t be prouder to be your son and I’m grateful for being able to share in those brutal, tough times together in the backcountry. To me that’s what it’s about….elk or not. The great Teddy Roosevelt once said… ”It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat, and blood…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

Elk hunt 2011 started the day I re-packed my Ox to come out. I’m committed and I have 317 days to make it different…

See you on the trail.

September 27, 2010

Badlands Ox In the Field

Returning from the backcountry of Colorado I wanted to follow up on my earlier post, The Ox, First Impressions. As stated, this trip without a doubt put it to the test. It was packed, repacked, dropped, swung, thrown, pulled, and in short.....abused. The results? Smack dab between awesome and excellent and just north of best pack period.

Leaving home bag fully packed I was pushing just short of 54lbs. Upon arrival in CO and before leaving he trail head pops and I rearranged a few things and my final weight ended up being somewhere around 63-65lbs for the 9+ mile trek into the backcountry.

During the voyage it became clear to me that one of the design points to this pack was working just as described....."the Ox is designed in such a way that pushes the frame back (which is light) and the pack forward (which is heavy) to provide the user with a sense of balance only dreamed of three years ago." Dead on....I knew I was carrying the weight, but it didn't feel like I was carrying the weight. It really did carry like a dream.

Packing the Ox was a breeze, all compartments were well located and just made sense. I had no problem fitting all my items plus some addition's in its 9 pockets and 7 compartments. Straps and zippers were strong. I piled and pushed and fit in more items than should be and never once did a strap or zipper bust, break, or even budge.

All in all I would sum up my first experience with the Ox as a great one. Over the years going into the backcountry there are a few choice items that I refuse to leave home without and the Ox by Badlands was just added to the top. Full story on the elk hunt coming soon....see you on the trail.