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    Quote Originally Posted by jvanhoy View Post
    Stay safe and thank you both for your service.
    Thank you for your support, jvanhoy!

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    You know this "overseas trip" is actually kind of useful.
    Its been over 100 degrees every day and I've been putting in some serious running/hiking time.

    It's the perfect training for when I head out to NM in July to chase OTC barbary sheep!



    Rumor has it I'll be getting back right when the red snapper season kicks off in Florida, so I am pretty excited to get back for that too!

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    I also forgot to mention that I picked up my Montana super tags today
    Who knows, maybe one year in my life I will draw one of these things!


    I've got them for Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming now!!!!

  4. #79

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    Over the last week and a half I've put on over 150 miles and only have 2 sheds from yesterday to show for it. Although, admittedly, I'm not really looking for sheds or in a good area to find them. The goal is to put miles on the boots and get into shape. I'm also trying to do my best taking pictures of all of the cool stuff I see. I figure eventually I'll learn how to take good ones.

    My dog ~ "I'm not much of a shed hunter, but when I do, I find all of the chalks..."


    "And giant sheds..."










    Hopefully, this week I will have the 4wd fixed on my truck so I can confidently head up to the mountains to get after some bear. If all goes well with the truck, I'll do a weekend solo trip either this upcoming weekend or next.
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  5. #80

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    I got a package full of memories today.



    I can't think of two better images to remind me of my time in NM... Barb are rugged critters, and every hunt I went after them was an adventure. And in my opinion there's no better symbol of the Llano Estacado than a male and female pair of coyotes. I spent many late nights at work listening to the serenade of countless yotes in the desert.

    You probably don't hear it often, but I sure miss living in that flat barren wasteland.
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

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    Things are finally slowing down on my "trip" and I should be back in the US "soonish".
    I've started putting in some small orders for hunting/fishing gear.
    It's always fun to come home to new stuff

    I think June, July, and August will mainly be scouting, shooting, fishing, running trail cameras, and stand prep!
    Time is ticking down and I think I'm something like 109 or 110 days until opening day in NM!!!!

    I CANNOT WAIT!



    First things first, when I get back I need to hit the core area of that large Florida deer was chasing. I NEED to find those sheds!!!!!

  7. #82

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    I was able to get out Saturday for a pretty good hike. My goal was to get up high and glass up a bear. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans. The morning started calm and nice, but quickly turned to windy, cold and uncomfortable. I saw a lot of good deer and elk sign, along with plenty of actual deer and elk.

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    Someone enjoyed success in this spot before me. Congrats to the lucky hunter.
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    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  8. #83

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    Much to my surprise, I did spot a bear wandering around. I didn't have high hopes of seeing one with how cold it was. Just a few moments after I confirmed it was actually a bear and not another burnt stump, mother nature decided she didn't want me to see the bear anymore and sent a snow cloud to block my view. After walking over to the last place I'd seen the bear, I couldn't find any sign of it. Oh well. It was a fun and exhausting day. This Idaho terrain is not for the weak legged individual.
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    Found a killer shed too. Don't worry though, the Crew Cab handled it like a boss.
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    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  9. #84

  10. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanish View Post
    Cool country!
    It's a refreshing change of scenery compared to Eastern NM, but its been a bit of a challenge physically. I switched from doing a lot of running to doing a lot of squats to accommodate the change in terrain, and that's helped quite a bit.
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  11. #86

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    My fall plans have completely changed!
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    I checked earlier this afternoon, and it said I didn't draw. A few minutes ago I woke up from a dead sleep with the epiphany that I plugged the incorrect license number in. I immediately got out of bed, stomped to my wallet, and fired up the computer. I freaked the wife out a little... Normally, once I'm asleep there's nothing that will wake me up. (Unless it's hunting season)

    It's always been a dream of mine to have a moose tag in my pocket and to be able to actual hunt them. I'm aware 10-4 isn't a highly sought-after tag, but I figure my chances of killing a moose are better with a tag in hand than without. I'd always rather be playing the game than watching from the sideline. Yada yada yada...

    I couldn't be more thrilled. I have a pretty big challenge ahead of me, but I'm always up for one of those. After all, the greater the challenge the greater the reward.
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newhartford Iowa
    Posts
    1,779

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    Good luck with that moose tag.

  13. #88

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    Well I'm finally back from being overseas and I hit the ground running.
    They gave me today and tomorrow off, so I wanted to take advantage of it.

    I went out and started shed hunting the area where I was chasing a giant Florida buck last year.
    I wasnt able to find them yet, but I did find this little guy...




    OH yeah.... and I did find a nice shed It's a little old, but I love it!












    I found it approximately 100 yards away from where I found this nice shed last year.

    It almost looks like the same deer, but a year between them...




    What do you think?







    No big deer in Florida....







    Anyways, I'm so pumped to be back and prepare for this year.
    I'm 100 days away from my elk hunt in New Mexico and I cannot wait!!!!!!

  15. #90

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    I only have 3 WY deer points and I put in for 102, 105, and 101 today.....
    I am not holding my breath, but I certainly won't be upset if I draw.

    Also purchased my Iowa PP today!

  17. #92

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    Yesterday, I was visiting with a landowner who used to let me hunt turkeys on his property before I moved away. I did a quick walk and sat around listening for turkeys. I didn't see any sign of or hear any turkeys, but I found this crusty old elk shed.





    The landowner said he hadn't seen an elk in the property in over 10yrs, and I'm guessing this shed was from around that time.

    *This is not how I found the shed. It was tangled under a decent sized Douglas fir. I can't believe the squirrels didn't eat it.
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

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    Ironic we both found some ancient sheds this week?

    Nice find!

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    With the summer beginning we start the toughest part of any year for me..... my "hunting lull".
    I have no scheduled hunting until Sept 1st other than a potential OTC barbary sheep hunt in July.
    Normally when I was back in New Mexico this time was filled with scouting trips, shed hunting, and other prep.

    Being in Florida I am slowly learning that it's not as easy to do that.
    Yesterday I went out for a shed hunting trip, and it was a disaster.
    92 degrees, 82% humidity, mosquito swarms, and the worst part of all.... spiders.

    Now you may be chuckling right now, but I'd rather hike in cougar and bear country any day over mosquito and spider country.
    For those of you who are not familiar with Florida spiders.....

    The area I hunt is thick vegetation. Between almost every single tree is a giant spider waiting to eat you.
    What makes it worse is their webs are anywhere from ankle to face level.
    Perfect, invisible, heart attack causing webs....

    As you slowly navigate through the woods you can take a wrong turn and you're face to face with a 3"-7" spider who is ready to eat your soul.... REALLY I SWEAR.
    It won't keep me out of the woods, but you bet I'll be moving a lot slower than normal.

    No worries, I've got plenty of shooting and training ahead of me to keep me busy. This year will be totally different because I'm now a "flatlander".
    So I need to be extra prepared for when I go from 0 to 10K feet.

    My training has hit a whole new level and I'm honestly beyond excited with the results.
    A little back story....
    When I found out my wife was pregnant and that I was moving, I used that as a crutch to be LAZY!
    I enjoyed every single second of it... we ate out more, we only walked daily and stopped our cardio/gym routine, and I was just.... LAZY!
    I went from 185lbs being in shape pre baby to 200lbs of yuck post baby.

    Since I got off the lazy train I have been motivated to get not only back to where I was, but better.
    I'm 30 years old and know how important it is to be in good shape. Not only for myself and my hobbies, but for my family!


    Well.... 3 months in and I am now 180lbs and killing all my exercises and cardio.




    I am not stopping. In less than 90 days I will be hitting the New Mexico mountains in the best shape of my life....
    Feel bad for those elk everyone because they don't even stand a chance!


    See you soon New Mexico....
















    I CANNOT WAIT
    Last edited by Lostinthewoods; 06-05-2017 at 08:08 PM.

  20. #95

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    I just got back from a work trip, and I was able to tack on some scouting time to the end of it. I went and explored a little bit of my moose area and did some bear hunting/nature hiking. I didn't see any bears walking around, but did learn a lot about the unit. The biggest take away from the trip is a realistic expectation that I might spend 20+ days in the unit and not walk out with a moose. I knew it would be a ball buster, but I was wishfully thinking visibility and access would be better. It's steep, THICK and access is terrible, which is exactly how I thought it would be.

    Road access is a frustrating issue many of us are facing this year. There are so many areas I've wanted to explore, but haven't been able to get to due to the snow. I've never wanted a snowmobile more than I have this year. Since I was driving down from NE WA, I tried to access the unit from the Montana side and wasn't able to get through the pass because of this...
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    I got to within 13 miles of where I wanted to be, but ended up driving an extra 240 miles to go all the way around. There might have been a way to navigate trough the forest roads, but I went for the sure thing. Day one of the scouting trip/bear hunt was spent just getting there. It was very frustrating. Nevertheless, I got there, and it was exactly what I thought it would be.... rugged.

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    The only spot with relatively decent access looks great, but I'm guessing that's where anyone else who's hunting the unit and neighboring unit will be. I don't know much about moose behavior in this area (all of my moose experience and interactions comes from the years I spent in NE Wa), but I am willing to bet if I spend enough time in this drainage, I'll eventually cross paths with a moose. Due to the "ease" of access in this spot, I don't know if I'll actually spend much time there. I'm afraid some other like minded hunter will be there competing with me, and being anti-social I prefer to stay away from situations like that. Who knows? There might not be anyone there when I'm hunting.
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    There are some open grassy areas in view here, but its mostly short scrub brush. Here's a deer that was 20 yards away from me...
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    The rest of the unit appears to be mostly virgin forest, and the number and size of the old cedar stumps along with all of the blow downs is going to make for very difficult travel. Visibility in most wooded areas is around 50 yards at best, which will likely mean not seeing many animals. Since I'm not buying a motorcycle, horse, or paying for a guide, all of my travel in the unit will be by foot. Due to the layout of the unit, anywhere I go will be miles and thousands of feet of gain to get there.

    All in all, my expectations for the hunt are not as high as they were a few weeks ago, but I 100% believe a tag in my hand is better than no tag at all. This moose hunt will likely provide me the biggest challenge I've ever faced when it comes to hunting. I may very well walk away at the end of the season with my tail between my legs and an unpunched tag in my pocket, but it will not be due to a lack of effort. I'll give it everything I have, and leave with nothing left in the tank.

    I always look forward to a challenge, and can't wait to spend a bunch of time in such a beautiful place. I might have an entirely different opinion after the hunt... I guess we'll wait and find out.
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    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  21. #96

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    I did see a lot of whitetail does in the moose area, and managed to find some more chalk to add to the collection.

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    While I was in Washington I went to an area I used to spend a lot of time chasing whitetails, and it looks like its still a great spot.

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    I have high hopes that my buddy will put a nice buck down on this property. It was good to see old friends and know that the landowner is still letting guys hunt his land. If I didn't already have a packed hunting season I might make my way up there for the fall, but Idaho is keeping me pretty busy by itself. I can't wait for the results of my wife's draws to come out, and maybe I'll have an extra elk tag for late season. Fingers crossed!
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    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  22. #97

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    Wow, I thought I was high speed when it came to the military hunting lifestyle, but you boys are on a whole new level.

    Just like you guys, I love New Mexico and have came back for a second time. When I was in Turkey I burned my leave to come back here for a 16D Rifle hunt. We're right around the same year group too. What do you guys do?

    Keep up the blog fellas and let me know if you need any help on any of your NM endeavours. Based on your photos, I think I have a real good idea on where your archery elk hunt is, but I don't plan on being in that neck of the woods anytime this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmgraham1986 View Post
    Wow, I thought I was high speed when it came to the military hunting lifestyle, but you boys are on a whole new level.

    Just like you guys, I love New Mexico and have came back for a second time. When I was in Turkey I burned my leave to come back here for a 16D Rifle hunt. We're right around the same year group too. What do you guys do?

    Keep up the blog fellas and let me know if you need any help on any of your NM endeavours. Based on your photos, I think I have a real good idea on where your archery elk hunt is, but I don't plan on being in that neck of the woods anytime this summer.
    Hey jmgraham1986,

    It's nice to see someone else who appreciates what New Mexico has to offer! I'll be pumped if I can work my way back there after this little Hurlburt Field gig is up.
    How did you do you on your 16D hunt? I've always dreamed of drawing that tag, but Cj was lucky enough to hunt it last year, and he shot a great bull!

    I work in acft maintenance, fuel systems specifically. How about yourself?

    Did you draw any tags this year? Best of luck to you on your hunts if you did draw and thanks for following along!!!



    I'm getting so antsy now because the archery elk hunt is only 75 days away.....

  24. #99

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    Another Mcgregor Oryx hunt and a primitive Muzzleloader hunt on Mt taylor for deer for me and my wife drew a Caldera Cow tag and a Fra Cristobal Sheep tag.
    Antelope, deer and elk pts in CO and Elk and Antelope Pts in AZ. I was planning on burning deer points in AZ this year, but I'm going to use every bit of time I have to invest in this sheep hunt so I only put in for a hail mary MD hunt there.
    The 16D hunt was a goat rope from jump street, starting with the rotator out of incirlik being canceled, leading to a C130 hop to ramstein and then a C-5 breaking on the ramp with me on it twice. I then spend $1K in commercial tickets and burning favors from friends for a ride to Frankfurt to finally get to ABQ and I eventually ate tag soup. How does the old saying go; Dont pass on the first day what you would like to have on the last day? It was a great hunt and I'd love to draw it again when I have the ability to give the hunt its due diligence.
    I'm munitions maintenance. Are you part of the 6th SOS? You know Kelly Webster? I was pretty good buddies with him at Whiteman. I think he worked fuel cell at Cannon before he got out.

  25. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgraham1986 View Post
    Another Mcgregor Oryx hunt and a primitive Muzzleloader hunt on Mt taylor for deer for me and my wife drew a Caldera Cow tag and a Fra Cristobal Sheep tag.
    Antelope, deer and elk pts in CO and Elk and Antelope Pts in AZ. I was planning on burning deer points in AZ this year, but I'm going to use every bit of time I have to invest in this sheep hunt so I only put in for a hail mary MD hunt there.
    The 16D hunt was a goat rope from jump street, starting with the rotator out of incirlik being canceled, leading to a C130 hop to ramstein and then a C-5 breaking on the ramp with me on it twice. I then spend $1K in commercial tickets and burning favors from friends for a ride to Frankfurt to finally get to ABQ and I eventually ate tag soup. How does the old saying go; Dont pass on the first day what you would like to have on the last day? It was a great hunt and I'd love to draw it again when I have the ability to give the hunt its due diligence.
    I'm munitions maintenance. Are you part of the 6th SOS? You know Kelly Webster? I was pretty good buddies with him at Whiteman. I think he worked fuel cell at Cannon before he got out.
    It's crazy how small the world really is, especially in the Air Force.... I know Kelly!
    We worked with each other for a couple years before he got out. He's a good dude. Looks like he's living it up in KS now and shooting a bunch of things.
    I don't work at the 6th, I'm up at Headquarters.
    Im the Fuel's, Hydro, and E&E functional... so three years and hopefully I'lll be heading back west. I don't think that will be an issue.

    That trip home for your hunt sounds like a NIGHTMARE. I can relate 100%... I just got back from a little AOR-round robin trip and the intra-theater travel is the worst!
    I actually stopped at turkey. How did you like that?

    Congrats to you and your wife on some killer draws!!!!! Especially your wife... DANG....VC cow.....AND Fra Cristobal Sheep!!!!
    A guy from Cannon had that hunt last year and he shot a pretty nice ram. (Low 60s I believe)
    Good luck on the McGregor hunt. I had that tag last year, but my baby was due the day of the hunt, so I had to transfer it.... I need to draw it again!
    Sounds like you've drawn it before, were you successful?

    You've definitely got a busy year ahead of you!

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