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Boone & Crockett Big Game Awards

2016 Boone and Crockett Club 29th Big Game Awards

2016 Boone and Crockett Club 29th Big Game Awards

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I attended the Boone & Crockett Big Game Awards in Springfield, Missouri this past weekend. What a great time. Much smaller than SCI but all of the invited trophies were on display at the BassPro Shop. Was incredible to see. This is a huge BassPro that also features an NRA Firearms Museum and the Archery Hall of Fame museum. I was able to spend much of Saturday taking in all the trophies and touring the exhibits.

Craig Boddington served as the host of the awards ceremony and read a short summary of each hunt as the award was presented. This was a really nice touch. While my buck ‘Lightning Four’ was not the top scoring Blacktail when submitted, after the panel scoring I ended up taking First Award. What a great honor for my buck. So grateful for this experience.

I was able to meet some wonderful people and hear great stories of their incredible hunts. I also met several of the measurers and wonderful people that are the Boone & Crockett organization.

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I took pictures of most all the trophy submissions and have them in a Flickr Album here

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Spring Turkey at the Diamond C

My annual turkey hunt was looking like a bust. Usually I wait for a nice sunny weekend but this late April Saturday was cold and a little damp. The Toms were not talking. We couldn’t get a gobble anywhere out of the shock calls and started to use a hen call to see if that might work. At one stand we started to get a lot of hens talking back quite loudly but no gobbles. We waited a long while and finally moved on. Well the new spot was no better but walking back towards where we were, sure enough there is a Tom coming to our old stand through the woods. I took a bead on his bobbing head and when I had a lane between the trees took my shot. That did it, nice Tom in the bag yet again. 100% last four years. Then it was looking for pigs. Seemed like great weather for the pigs to be out but no luck there.

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My second mission was to retrieve my 2010 trophy bucks that I had been keeping at the cabin. The first huge non-typical buck I took in August that year and the second in November, a typical 4×4 that make the Boone & Crockett all time book. I finally moved my elk head and other smaller bucks to storage and am going to display my 4 Boone & Crockett bucks in my study.

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My 2010 Trophy Bucks

My 2010 Trophy Bucks

Glock 21 Keeps Getting Better

I added two upgrades to my Glock 21 in and am very pleased with the results. First, I had it Magnaported. I have a couple other guns ported and I didn’t realize they do Glocks. The effect is noticeable in the reduction of muzzle flip. The .45 is not that bad to begin with, the porting just makes it better.

The second mod is the addition of a Trijicon RMR red dot sight. I had it done with Suarez International. They mill your slide to mount the RMR for best fit and performance. They also add fixed sights, I ordered the night sights, and then co-witness the red dot with your iron sights. The result is a very natural adaptation to draw and sight acquisition. With practice it is very fast.

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Red dot sights are definitely the fastest way for most humans to shoot a handgun. When a red dot was first used at the Bianchi Cup it was a winner and no one has won it since without using one. There is a good review on the Trijicon RMR on the Truth about Guns blog.

I tried it out at my local indoor range and it was not disappointed. At 10 yards I could put most through the same big hole. I’m looking forward to taking it to an IPSC practice session where I can try shooting fast. It won’t turn me into an open class shooter but I have no doubt I’ll be a lot faster than shooting my Production 34.

Safari Club Convention 2016

SCI Convention 2016

 

My big archery blacktail from 2014 was awarded Fourth Place for North American Archery by the Safari Club International. I attended the incredible convention for the first time this year. The Night of the Hunter awards dinner was hosted by Eva Shockey and Tom Miranda.

Kari and I stayed the The Four Seasons hotel in Mandalay Bay right where the convention was held. Kari managed to capture my award presentation  on her iphone. It was yet another great consequence of taking the buck of my lifetime. ‘Lightning Four‘ as we called him is the new SCI number two archery Blacktail.

I spent the next couple days roaming the incredible showroom floor. ( Photos ) This was bigger than any tech convention I have attended at Mandalay including Oracle. Everywhere incredible taxidermy exhibits, acres of gorgeous high end rifles, all the optics manufacturers, and outfitters from all over the world.

I enjoyed meeting many of the celebrities and writers from the Hunting industry including Diana Rupp editor of Sport’s Afield, my favorite hunting magazine. I ran into Jim Shockey and he was gracious as always. Safari Press and Trophy Room Books had great displays. I was barely able to cover the showroom floor in two days. My good fortune continued with a poker tournament win.

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Scarface Junior

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Back to Diamond C Outfitters for my second California tag. Lots of great bucks taken this year. I’m hoping for a big 3×3 but am ready for anything. I almost shoot a 4×3 with my bow the first night when an opportunity presents itself at 35 yards. I decide to pass on the young buck. Saturday morning comes and we find a great buck ‘Scarface Junior’ bedded on a grassy hill with a doe. Named for his dad, this buck has no scars and looks like an absolute monarch. He’s very close to where I shot my August buck. Dylan and I sneak up to a ranged 328 yards until he starts to appear a little concerned. I’m using the Browning .300 WSM again which I have complete faith in. Clayton manages to capture the shot from back in the truck. He is a great buck, the biggest body buck I have ever taken. 167 pounds field dressed. Beautiful cape and just a great old buck.

Colorado Archery Mule Deer

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Back to Twin Buttes Recreation again to hunt mule deer. I’m hunting with Scott Robertson. Had lots of great stalks on some huge bucks. On the fourth day we came on some deer just within the tree line. There was a good 4×4 in the bunch so we decided to try a stalk. We got to about 67 yards but there was a young buck in front of the 4×4. Eventually the separated and I moved up to see him broadside looking at me at 53 yards. I drew back and shot and saw my lighted knock leaving with him. We found my arrow with about five inches broken off and ten inches of good blood on it. After a couple hours we tracked him about 75 yards passing an old lion kill. A good 4×4 with just the skull left and horns eaten down by rodents. Then when we find my buck he’s actually a 5×4 with a branch on his right main beam. He’s also got fresh lion claw marks on his hind quarters and his tail has been bitten off.

Lion marks on buck

What a great hunt. We saw some huge bucks and had many exciting stalks before this one came through for me. So happy to have made a perfect shot at 53 yards. The Robertson’s are a wonderful family and the food, hospitality, and hunting are the best. Will definitely be back possibly trying the rifle. It’s hard to stop bow hunting though when you are two for two on archery mule deer. Still waiting to see if any of my friends connected after I left. Hoping one of them nailed the big non-typical we had been seeing.

Scott & Sean CO Mule Deer

Blacktail buck called ‘The Freak’

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One of the many bucks on the hit list was one with a deformed left front and three tines in back that was dubbed ‘The Freak’ I had him on my mind along with a big 3 called ‘Stickers’ Lots of great bucks on the ranch as always. The weather called for high nineties so was not looking forward to the heat and with all the fires the area was thick with smoke. We didn’t have a lot of luck Friday evening. Saturday we thought we had The Freak pinned down in a draw but after a couple hours realized he had slipped away.  Sunday morning the smoke was almost as thick as fog and Dylan suggested we tour around and try and ‘get lucky’. Well as usual we do, he spots a big rack just above the tall grass on a hill top near some grazing does. We make a stalk down the hills, we crawl up to a crest and he spots him at 271 yards. I can clearly see his ears and believe I can kill him right there. I’m using Dylan’s Browning A-Bolt custom gun which he has completely dialed in with a CDS turret. I hold just enough below his head to get a neck or body shot and at the shot his head just falls.

Three young bucks

Looks like the bucks are growing early and fast here in La Honda. I’ve seen one great 3×2 with tall eye guards. Hope to catch him on the trail cam soon.

 

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Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall

atlatl11aFinally got a chance to try out my prized Christmas gift from Kari. My hand made Atlatl. I discovered Robert Edwards of Alberta Atlatl through twitter. He actually makes Atlatls such as prehistoric man used to throw spears with enough velocity to kill a wooly mammoth.

I didn’t realize that even here in California there are records of Atlatl use. A Pinto culture site is located near Little Lake, California where there are petroglyphs depicting atlatl use from 4000-500o years ago. I think this rock may be an Atlatl instruction manual:

Atlatl Instruction Manual

I was impressed by Robert’s web site and the fact that he had actually taken a whitetail deer with one. I’ve been so busy with launching our web site at work today was my first opportunity to give it a try. The atlatl is hand made from purpleheart wood and the darts are hand fletched with turkey feathers. Robert even included an extra dart with a traditional knapped obsidian point. My yard isn’t big enough for this so I took my old deer target down to the elementary school thinking I would have some privacy. Of course the Sheriff showed up coincidentally as I was setting the deer up so I had a nice chat educating him on the hunting practice of prehistoric man. He was sufficiently convinced I wasn’t so insane to be danger to myself or others and finally leaves with a  ‘well I better get out of your way then’

 

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After about 45 minutes of near misses I finally put one in a leg. I managed only once to get 3 darts into the target, all a little too far back. And finally from 20 yards I managed to put one in the middle and declare success. I doubt I could get close enough to a deer and have him let me wind up and throw one his way.  Of course wooly mammoths probably weren’t that concerned with us getting close …at first. Glad my dinner doesn’t depend on my ability to use one of these. It’s fun though to try it out and know this is what our ancestors used to hunt even before the bow and arrow.

 

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CAVES OF ALTAMIRA

I recall when I was small
How I spent my days alone
The busy world was not for me
So I went and found my own
I would climb the garden wall
With a candle in my hand
I’d hide inside a hall of rock and sand
On the stone an ancient hand
In a faded yellow-green
Made alive a worldly wonder
Often told but never seen
Now and ever bound to labor
On the sea and in the sky
Every man and beast appeared
A friend as real as I

CHORUS:
Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall
When there wasn’t even any Hollywood
They heard the call
And they wrote it on the wall
For you and me we understood

Can it be this sad design
Could be the very same
A wooly man without a face
And a beast without a name
Nothin’ here but history
Can you see what has been done
Memory rush over me
Now I step into the sun

-Steely Dan, The Royal Scam album

One for the books

My big blacktail from August we called The Lightning Four is starting to get officially recognized by several of the record keeping organizations. He is officially the new number 2 typical Columbia Blacktail taken by bow for Safari Club International. They scored him at 154 3/8 ranking him 23rd overall.

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Here is the display from the SCI site showing his new ranking.

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The Boone & Crockett Club has also officially recognized Lightning Four as scoring 156″ which will crack their top 100 list in their all time record book. Should he still be in the top five at the end of this three year scoring period I’ll need to submit him for a panel judging. That would be exciting and he could receive an award for his species in that scoring period.

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And lastly, Pope & Young, the bowhunting organization has asked that I ship the horns for their panel judging in Arizona preceding their Convention in April. Unfortunately I can’t attend the convention however he may end up in their Top Ten all time list for Columbia Blacktail Deer. It will be interesting to see what the panel scores him as there was a big difference between SCI and B&C. So exciting to have taken such a great buck with my bow and to receive the distinction such a great animal deserves.