Hunting Tips

Deer Hunting: 6 Methods To Determine Wind Direction

Hunters can use the wind to their advantage and evade a deer’s keen sense of smell, but before you can do that, you must determine wind direction.

Hunting the wind is an essential part of hunting that can make or break the success of your trip. To make this task easier, we’ve gathered a few methods to better track the wind’s direction.

Continue reading for six easy to follow methods for determining which way the wind is blowing.

How to Determine Wind Direction

Commercial Wind Detectors — Available online and at most outdoor retailers, commercial wind detectors are a fan favorite for checking which way the wind is blowing. These helpful tools are made up of a small, pliable plastic bottles with a hole near the top filled with fine, scent-free powder. When you give the bottle a squeeze, a little puff of powder comes out for the wind to pick up, allowing you to get a good read.

Milkweeds or Other Weeds — If you want to keep things natural, look around for weeds with seeds that can be carried in the wind, such as dried milkweed pods or dandelions. These almost-lighter-than-air seeds will soar in the slightest of breezes helping you determine the wind’s direction. Many hunters prefer this method to a commercial wind indicator tool because it gives a longer read, and it shows slight changes in direction.

Smoke Bombs — Smoke bombs are a great way to get a good reading on the wind. However, smoke bombs should only be used during the offseason. Hunters love using these because they cover a large area and stick around long enough to get a good read.

Lighters — A tool you likely already have in your pack is a lighter. Did you know it can double as a wind detector? It won’t give you the best reading ever, but it gives you an idea of the wind that immediately surrounds you. Simply light it and watch which way the flame blows out. Just make sure to use it cautiously as not to start any fires.

Check a Weather App — Every good hunter needs a weather app on their smartphone. Many weather apps have features like sunrise and sunset times, temperature, and the all-important wind direction. Open up your app whenever you need to know which way the wind is blowing.

Wet Finger — This method doesn’t require any tools or gadgets. All you’ll need is your finger and some spit. Remove your glove, lick your finger of choice, and put it to the wind. The cold side tells you which direction the wind is coming from.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Mastering wind direction can be tricky, but it can be the difference between coming home empty-handed or with a trophy buck. Be sure to try out these effective methods for determining wind direction on your next hunt with the professional hunting guides at R & K Hunting Company. Our knowledgeable guides have years of experience that bring hunters back season after season. Contact our hunting experts and book your next Rocky Mountain hunting adventure in Utah or Wyoming today.

Tips for Telling the Age of an Elk

Hunting big game like elk is an exciting and challenging sport, but even professionals struggle to determine the age of an elk.  

Bagging these glorious animals is especially thrilling, considering the notoriously low success rate. You can find elk all across the United States, though they are mostly found in the western part of our nation. Between September and the middle of October, elk hunting is at its peak, and mature bulls are out making their mark, fighting each other to prove their superiority to mates and claim territory. 

Knowing how to determine the age of one of these creatures is useful to hunters since harvesting a trophy bull requires finding one between ages 6-10. So, today, we’re talking all about how to determine the age of one.

Continue scrolling for tips on how to tell the age of one of these mystical animals.

How to Determine the Age of an Elk

Antler Size — When trying to determine the age of one of these creatures, look at the size and shape of his antlers. Keep in mind, many factors play into this creature’s antlers, including their diet and growth rate. However, generally speaking, their antlers become more prominent and wider as they age. Rather than branching racks, younger bulls tend to have single, straight-edged spikes — no branches or tines coming off the sides. An older bull can develop six or seven divisions from his antlers.

Head Position — Another way to tell how old an elk is is to look at how they are holding their head. Generally, older elk hang their head lower than younger elk.

Teeth Size — One of the best ways to age an elk is to get a good look at their teeth before taking your shot. You can distinguish younger bucks from trophy bulls by looking at the wear of their molars. Most elk eight and over will have smaller, flatter teeth behind their prominent front teeth.

Hump Size — While effectively examining elk teeth can be tricky, inspecting the size of their hump is much easier. Their hump is the rounded and curved section of their shoulders, just above their front legs. Generally speaking, the larger the hump, the older they are.

Neck Shape — Bulls in their prime have a pronounced swayback in their lower neck — just before the hump. Keep your eye out for this obvious curvature near their neck’s base to help you age them.

Their Bugle — While this method is not always accurate, listening to their call can be somewhat indicative of their age. Just remember that bulls close to 400 pounds can sound like a spike, and puny rag horns can sound like massive trophies.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Learning how to properly identify the age of an elk might be the difference between a successful harvest or not. Of course, you can always rely on the knowledge and expertise of the hunting guides at R & K Hunting Company. Our expert team has years of hunting and outfitting experience and are Utah and Wyoming’s trusted guides. We want to relieve your burden and stress of planning your hunting trip and handle the permitting and application processes for you. Experience your next hunting adventure in the Rocky Mountains with us by contacting us today.

Methods for Packing Out Big Game Animals

Harvesting a trophy buck is an exciting moment in your hunting expedition. But do you know about packing out big game animals?

The adventure doesn’t stop when you successfully pull the trigger. No, in fact, the work is just beginning! Rarely are the best hunting locations close to trails, roads, parking lots, most civilizations, or any convenient spot. While less convenient, these special hunting areas allow you to enjoy the quiet open-air and the opportunity to harvest big game animals. So, packing out your harvest is more than likely required.

Learn more about this process below.

Methods for Packing Out After Hunting

There are several methods you can use to pack out your harvest after a successful hunt:

Horses or Mules — When you picture a hunter tending to deer or elk, you likely imagine some sort of pack animal carrying the load. Pack animals, such as horses or mules, are efficient beasts, as they can carry close to 20% of their body weight. While these animals can be helpful, they can also be intimidating creatures that require skill to handle. Both hunters and animals will need proper training before taking care of your harvest.

Off-Road Vehicles — Off-road vehicles, such as UTVs or ATVs, are great options when hauling your harvest off the mountain. They do the heavy lifting and work for you, carry a large amount of meat, and many hunters already have one. While a popular choice among hunters, they do come with some drawbacks. UTV and other off-road vehicles are noisy and take away your ability to surprise or sneak up on your prey. Moreover, some hunting areas do not allow these vehicles on the land.

Man Power — The most common and least expensive method to pack out meat is on foot. This method requires physical strength and ability. Because of this, year-round fitness training may be necessary. Thankfully, today’s market offers many backpack options specifically designed for packing out meat. In addition to the financial savings, many hunters today prefer to pack out on foot because of the sense of accomplishment it gives. Just make sure to invest in a comfortable pair of boots.

Other Methods — Some remote locations like Canada or Alaska will require you to pack out your harvest in another method, such as a plane or boat because they lack nearby roads or highways. Boats, planes, and any other unconventional method allows you to hunt in otherwise un-huntable areas. Of course, these methods require additional funds and accommodations.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Packing out your harvest is a small price to pay for months and months of tasty, healthy, and organic meat in your freezer. As your season comes to a close and you’ve packed out your harvest this season, it’s time to think about next year! Book an exciting Rocky Mountain hunting adventure with the experts at R & K Hunting Company. Let us take the headaches and hassles of planning and prepping so that you can focus on landing your next harvest. Contact us today!

Tips For Setting Up A Trail Camera

Thanks to modern-day technology, like the trail camera, scouting wild animals from afar is possible. Not only is it possible, but it is also fun!

One of the best ways to prepare for your hunt is to go scouting. While scouting is a great hunting tactic, it is not always possible because of everyday responsibilities and obligations.

Learn more about setting up trail cameras below.

What is a Trail Camera?

If you are new to hunting, you may not be familiar with trail cameras. A trail cam is a modern hunting tool that uses motion sensors to take photos when animals walk by. They boast excellent battery life and, depending on the storage capabilities of your SD card, can store thousands of pictures. You can easily upload the images to your computer or, if your camera can, send photos via cellular network.

Where to Set up a Camera

Location, location, location. Like real estate, location is everything. A camera is best set up near a food source or mineral site. A well-placed cam will allow you to survey animals from afar while giving you a decent idea on the herd’s size, age class, and surrounding area.

PRO TIP: An exceptionally ideal place to set up your trail cam is at an intersection of several trails. Setting up here will allow you to obtain valuable information regarding animal movement patterns as they move from bedding to feeding areas and back.

Camera Placement and Settings

Most trail cams have different settings or “modes.” Find a setting that best suits your needs and select that mode. A common choice among hunters is a single shot with 10-15 seconds between each picture. However, if you find a place to set up your camera next to a food source, you may want to extend the time between photos to avoid filling your memory card with duplicate images.

Mount your camera at about waist height. This puts the sensor at just the right height for deer and will give you the best pictures. However, if you are on public land, you may want to place your camera well above eye level, pointing downwards to avoid unwanted attention from other hunters.

PRO TIP: For better images, make sure you do not set up your cam directly facing the rising or setting sun. You will get higher quality images with a north-facing camera since your pictures will not be as overexposed.

Checking Your Camera

Checking the images on your camera is nearly as exciting as Christmas morning for outdoorsmen. However, it is essential to practice self-control. The more you check it, the more disruption you will cause. Too much disturbance and human activity can cause deer to change their habits and travel patterns.

PRO TIP: The best time to check your camera is midday since deer are most active during the morning and evening. Even better, check it on a rainy day so your scent washes away sooner.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Using a trail camera is a great way to scout from afar and is a great hunting tactic that all hunters should use. Another useful tactic is to book your next hunt with a professional guide from R & K Hunting Company. Our knowledgeable and skilled guides have years of experience in Utah and Wyoming and are trusted by hunters everywhere. Book your next hunt with us today and learn why hunters come back season after season.

How to Prep Your Deer for Taxidermy

As the hunting season approaches, it’s important to refresh yourself on how to prep your deer for taxidermy.

The goal is to end your season with an exciting trophy animal, and proper field care is necessary so that you can admire your harvest for years to come. What you do in the field just after your harvest is crucial when preserving your trophy for mounting.

Scroll on for more information on prepping your animal for this process.

How to Prep Your Deer for Taxidermy

Every season, taxidermists are given capes that are unusable. Whether they are cut too short, or the harvested animal has been left above freezing for too long and the hair begins to slip, the cape is unusable. It’s essential not to make mistakes in the field that will ruin your mount. Here are a few pro tips for prepping your deer for this process:

Field Dress ASAP

— It’s important to field dress your trophy as soon as it’s down. As you finish the belly incision, make sure you don’t cut into the chest or brisket area. You’ll need to reach into the chest cavity to retrieve the heart, but it’s crucial to stop as soon as you reach the rib cage. Do your best to keep blood, dirt, and debris off of your animal’s fur.

Carefully Pack Out Your Animal

— Make sure to pack out your trophy carefully. Deer fur can easily become damaged and is prone to breakage because it’s hollow. While this is ideal for insulating the animal, it’s not ideal when removing it from the woods or mountainside. Use a tarp to wrap up the deer to keep from damaging the fur with dirt, rocks, and brush. Cautiously removing the deer will protect the hide and keep it in mounting-worthy shape.

Quickly Cool Your Harvest

— The sooner you can cool your deer, the better. Rapidly cooling your harvest will prevent the meat from spoiling and the fur from slipping. Drop off your deer to your meat processor promptly and let them know you have caped it for taxidermy. If you plan to do it yourself, remove the hide and cape it as soon as possible to avoid trapping heat.

Freeze the Cape

— Once you remove the cape, get it in a freezer or cooler, but don’t let it get damp. Wet fur can grow bacteria and is then susceptible to slippage. Try double bagging the cape with trash bags to ensure it stays dry.

Hire Help if Necessary

— There are many videos and diagrams available online on how to remove hide and capes. However, if you’re unsure or don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, call your taxidermist. They can talk you through the process or can be hired to do it for you.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

The best looking mounts and taxidermy start with the best-looking animals. Find your trophy animal with the expert guides at R & K Hunting Company. Our professionals have years of experience and are Utah and Wyoming’s trusted guide experts. Book your Rocky Mountain hunting adventure today!

5 Tips For Hunting The Wind

Every seasoned hunter knows that hunting the wind is the key to success. However, hunting the wind isn’t as easy as it sounds. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you stink. Not to us — but to the deer, you are hunting!

Deer heavily rely on their keen sense of smell to sniff out predators and, if the conditions are just right, they can detect you up to 300 yards away. But a deer can’t smell your stink if the wind can’t carry your scent to their nose. Meaning, a deer can’t blow your cover if you are downwind of them. Paying close attention to the wind and knowing which way the wind is blowing throughout your hunt will get you closer to tagging a deer.

Learn more about hunting the wind and using it to your advantage below.

TIP #1 — Hills vs. Plateaus

Generally speaking, hilly areas are much more challenging to hunt than plateaus. The wind is fickle in the hills, whereas the wind in flat areas is much more predictable. Not to say you shouldn’t hunt the hills, but given a choice, flatter areas prove to be more successful.

TIP #2 — Know Your Thermals

In addition to hunting the wind, you need to hunt thermals while in hilly areas. As you know, warm air rises and cold air falls. A thermal is a column of warm air rising. It’s crucial to keep thermals in mind as you hunt because if a buck is above you and the sun hits the hill you’re on, the air that rises will carry your scent, blowing your cover.

TIP #3 — Use an App

Always know which way the wind is blowing with a weather app. Type in your location and get hourly updates and forecasts right to your phone, including which way the wind is blowing. Remember, a “west wind” begins in the west and blows to the east. What about a “south wind?” It starts in the south and blows to the north. Bonus tip: bring a compass to ensure you know your directions (it can get confusing in a wooded area!).

TIP #4 — Conduct a Crosscheck

Apps are great and undoubtedly convenient; however, they are not always 100% correct. Trees, hills, valleys, and many other natural factors can play into the direction of the wind. Because of this variable, it’s not bad to double-check which way the wind is blowing.

TIP #5 — Don’t Rely on Scent Eliminators

It’s hard to say how effective scent eliminators actually are. Products containing pine or acorn scents seem to be better at hiding your scent. However, don’t count on them completely covering up your smell. Use scent eliminators as a safety net and always hunt the wind.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Once you master hunting the wind, your chances of harvesting that trophy buck significantly improve. To increase your chances of a successful season even further, book your hunt with the professionals at R & K Hunting Company. Our team of skilled and knowledgeable guides have decades of experience and are eager to share their insider tips with you. Contact R & K Hunting Company today!

What’s the Difference Between a Hunting License and Permit

To hunt game in Utah and most other states, you’re required to obtain a license. However, certain situations call for a permit, as well. See the differences between a hunting license and a permit.

Hunting Licenses Vs. Permits

A license allows you to hunt big game or fish in a sovereign state, whereas a permit is something needed, in addition to a license to hunt for certain species, such as:

  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Pronghorn
  • Rocky Mountain goat
  • Swan
  • Turkey
  • Bear
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bison
  • Cougar
  • Sage-grouse
  • Sandhill crane
  • Sharp-tailed grouse
  • Bobcat

Why do I Need a License?

The history of hunting licenses goes back a millennium, with William the Conqueror in 1070 AD, England, which then spread throughout the world. A few reasons for needing a hunting license include public safety—especially regarding children, both as bystanders and hunters. It’s also used for the regulation and conservation of wild animals and allows for revenue for the sovereign state. It also helps contain the transmission of animal-borne diseases (rabies and Lyme disease, notably).

A basic hunting license allows you to hunt small game, which includes most species of waterfowl and upland game. If you plan on fishing, you also need a license, and there are different types to meet the needs of different anglers.

Obtaining a license can be purchased online and are valid for a full year from the date of purchase.

How do I Obtain a Permit?

Look at a hunting guidebook, which is available at the wildlife.utah.go website for the species you want to hunt in the state, or check out your state website for more information. It will indicate whether you need to apply for a permit in the state’s hunt drawing. In Utah, drawings include:

  • Bear – Black bear
  • Big game – Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, buck, bison, deer, elk, moose, and pronghorn
  • Antlerless – Deer, elk, moose, and doe pronghorn
  • Crane, grouse, and swan – Sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse, greater sage-grouse, and tundra swan Cougar
  • Sportsman – Rocky Mountain bighorn, elk, moose, desert bighorn sheep, bear, bison, cougar, turkey, goat, deer, and pronghorn (one permit for each species)
  • Turkey – Wild turkey

You can apply for a permit from a drawing two ways: visit the online application website during an application period on the wildlife.utah.go website and call or visit the DWR office during the application period. If you live in Utah, before you apply for a permit, ensure you meet Utah’s hunter education, age, and license requirements. There are also regulations to qualify for being a resident.

During the application, you will be instructed and have several opportunities to review your hunt choices. Keep in mind; you can apply anytime during the open application period. If you have a group, check to see if you can apply with the other hunters.

Call R&K Hunting to Book Your Hunt

Once you obtain your license, give us a call and let us match you with the perfect hunting guide. Our experts are licensed and insured, as well as experienced hunters who know the best places to hunt, to give you the most successful chances of bringing home big game. Contact us to learn more.

What is an Outfitter?

An outfitter or guide fulfills a necessary role in the hunting industry, providing valuable insight into hunting, due to their large-scale experience. They make for a more efficient and successful hunting experience for people who otherwise may not have time to put into scouting before a hunt.

Discover more about outfitters and factors to consider when choosing one.

What Does an Outfitter do?

An outfitter is a licensed business that employs guides who then take hunters out on hunting trips. Outfitters provide a variety of products and services for clients, so they ensure they’re getting the best experience and the best chances of success. They also provide clients with transportation and gear, called “outfitting.” They should be licensed, bonded, and insured. Depending on which state you live, there are certain requirements outfitters must meet to conduct business. 

Additionally, some states offer guide and outfitter boards/associations that regulate the practice of outfitters and guides. They hold their members to high standards with membership being a privilege, not a guarantee. Several states require outfitters to be members of the outfitters association before they become licensed. 

Factors in Choosing an Outfitter

It’s important to contact your state’s wildlife department to ensure an outfitter is registered. Check to see if your state has a guide and outfitter association and see if the outfitter is a member. Last but not least, call the outfitter and inquire about references. If they can provide a list of satisfied clients, you should be good to go.

Also, check to see if their guides follow regulations for your state. For instance, here are the requirements for outfitters and guides for both Utah and Wyoming.

Utah

In Utah, there’s a great system on the Department of Public Licensing’s website. You can verify if an outfitter is licensed by clicking on the tab to the left that says, “Verify a License.” You can then type the name of the outfitter or guide to see if they’re actively licensed and if they’ve had any issues or problems with that particular guide. Guides must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete licensing application
  • Produce competency as a hunting guide with verified proof of 100 days minimum of outdoors-related training.
  • Produce satisfactory evidence of upright, moral character.
  • Must renew license yearly.
  • Must be employed or associated with a licensed outfitter

Wyoming

The state requires all outfitters to be registered. Here are their guide requirements:

  • Must renew the license annually
  • Must complete guide licensing application
  • Must possess first aid certification
  • Must be approved by the Wyoming State Board of Outfitters
  • Must not be a convicted felon
  • Must be employed by a licensed outfitter


Contact R&K Hunting 

If you’re ready for your next hunt in Utah or Wyoming, contact us to learn about our expert hunting guides who are all licensed and experienced. We cater to your individual needs and ensure you have everything needed for a successful and enjoyable hunt. Contact us today.

   

How To Dress For Your Upcoming Hunting Trip

If you’re new to the hunting scene and not sure how to dress while on a hunting trip, you’ll want to stay tuned to learn what to wear. Yes, winter is about here, but it’s never too early to put some hunting clothing on your wishlist. They also make a perfect gift for the hunter in your life.

Dress in Layers

For the upcoming winter season, the keyword is warmth. Don’t be a hotshot and grin and bear it while on a hunt. Comfort is essential, especially if you’re planning to make it an all-day affair. Insulated wear is your best bet, so investing in layers will pay off. Gloves, hats, boots, thick socks, undershirts, pants, jackets, and coats should be in your shopping cart. If you’re hunting in early fall, you may not need a heavy coat and gloves and instead, a long-sleeved shirt and jacket. A billed hat shields your eyes from the blinding sunrise or sunset, so think about investing in one.

Go Incognito

When choosing your wear, it’s important to blend into your environment. Standing out in neon yellow or green allows the big game to pick you out and then scatter like cockroaches. You’re hunting is over before it’s begun. So, the best thing is to dress in camo, which includes dark green, khaki, brown, and whites mixed to create the illusion you blend into the environment. You can also opt for earth tones, which hunters seem to like more than camo. If you’re quiet and don’t stand out to the game, your chances of catching and shooting that big elk increases.

A Ghillie suit can help you blend into your surroundings and replaces every other item you may need. Some places sell a 3-D type camo that closely resembles foliage you would never guess, hid a person. Of course, think about the weather, because the suits can become hot. If you’ll be hunting in warm weather, get a lightweight ghillie suit. 

Dress for the Type of Hunting

If you’re planning on some waterfowl hunting, you’ll obviously be near water. If it’s fall, you can shoot for lighter weight, waterproof clothing. If it’s winter, you’ll want insulated camo to stay warm while in cold water. If you plan on getting in the water to play decoys, choose waders. Hunting in marshy areas requires waterproof pants and boots.

Orange Blaze It

States require wearing orange blaze accessories to distinguish you from other hunters. So first find out those requirements. Depending on the season, you may need to have different accessories. Many outdoor stores and hunting brands make vests, hats, caps, beanies, and gloves at affordable prices.

Contact R&K Hunting Company

To get the best-guided hunts and to book your upcoming trip, call us. We can match you with the perfect guide for your needs and desires. Our guides are heavily trained and experienced and know the right places in which to hunt for the ideal trophy animals. Contact us today.

Hunting Monster Bull Elk With R&K Outfitters

In hunting with R&K hunting company for years I have heard about the killer ranches they had in Montana. I have put in for one particular ranch for 4 years for a rifle elk tag. I have been successful every year for archery but when I re-applied for rifle no luck. However 2011 was different. I received a call from good friend who also happens to an owner famous company Daniel Richins who said I just won the lottery and drew the rifle tag. I was stoked, I haven’t hunted elk for years as my focus has been the elusive mule deer.

Now I had something to look forward to. As most of know the wait is the worst part. 2011 was shaping up to be a good year. Being in construction the last few years have been brutal I am fortunate to have some work going and of course when you don’t want to be busy you are. Now the trick was to try and plan a good time to go on the much anticipated outing. I was starting to think my old baseball # 11 was going to bring me luck. With 2011 having the rare 11/11/11 and it came during my hunting season, I felt it was a sign. So naturally I planned to hunt 11/11/11 of course I had dreams of a 411 bull in my sights also LOL.

As the time for my hunt came my hunting crew comprised of myself, my son Tyler and Jeremy Steffensen a great friend and excellent guide, unfortunately one man short, my son in law Mike could not get off work. We met our guide Ben Kemp, picked up some groceries and we where off. We toured the ranch that evening then went to the lodge to get ready for the hunt. Waking up at 4:30am the next morning was like Christmas I couldn’t sleep at all! I was anxious to make this hunt a reality. As we waited for sun to come up we were already glassing a herd in an area that Ben with his knowledge of the ranch knew they would be. As it got light enough to see we decided one was worth taking a closer look at. We made a plan to come around the mountain up wind from them. When we crested the hill the first bull was 75 yards away. He sniffed us and backed away. Ben had us back track and re position hoping we would catch them moving to their beds in the trees. Sure enough here come 14 bulls through the trees the herd had picked up a few more bulls we hadn’t saw earlier, with multiple shooters now in the herd heading through the trees, trying to keep tabs of which one was the best was hard. Not wanting to make a mistake our opportunity was gone. Nothing like a good adrenaline rush first thing in the morning to get you awake. We spent the rest of the day hunting hard trying to get in on some more action with no avail. We saw what had to be over a hundred cows with some rag horn bulls feeding in some open meadows on the lower end of the ranch but nothing worth getting the gun out over. Ted had told me when spoke on the phone on my way up not to be too picky because the snow hadn’t pushed the bulls down yet and the big bulls had pulled off the cows and where typically alone in the timber recouping from the rut. He said most of what he saw the week before where about 320 caliber bulls and they were all broken up from rutting. Staying optimistic throughout the day was not an easy task for me & I was beginning to think he may have been right. Needless to say I am not very patient person and can discourage easily. The country was killer and there was tree rubs everywhere. We joked that Ben had spent all summer up there with a belt sander. There where that many rubs, you would think you were bound to find elk everywhere, like they typically do on this late season hunt.

As we where glassing another area. The Best of the West film host, Latt interviewed me for a show they were putting together for their fall lineup. Among other questions asked what distance I was comfortable shooting at. I told him I felt way comfortable at 500 to 600 yards, I had a long range scope and shot up to 1200 yards quiet often at a long range course Justin Richins with R&K has back in Utah.

I felt the gun could handle such a shot but would prefer to have something closer. I have plenty of experience off of the range in the field as well with R&K. I shot a 188 gross typical buck with guide Jess Richins two years prior @ 558, last year I took a Wyoming Deer at 625 yards, a antelope at 450 yards, a Utah Deer at 550yards and earlier this year had harvested a stud of velvet high country deer during the 2011 season at 450yards with my master guide & Daniel Richins.

As the Day went on we where following our guide and film crew to a new area to watch for the evening hunt and see if we could spot some Bulls feeding out. Tyler spotted some antelope which led to him to look over the area real quick when in the distance he found four bulls feeding out of the pines over a mile away. We got out the spotting scopes to have a better look, quickly we determined even at that distance one was a shooter. Ben didn’t know we stopped as he was ahead of us so Tyler took off to alert them we had found a bull worth pursuing and given the distance had to get a move on to get into position before we ran out of shooting light.

By the time Tyler and Ben had returned Jeremy had now upped the pressure by telling me this bull was a stud. I let Ben know I was all over this and now he just had to tell us how we could get in on it!! We drove what seemed like forever and finally came up a back of a knoll. Ben said I would have a great shot from there. As we hiked to the top of the mountain my heart was racing Ben kept telling me to stay calm and collect my breath so I wouldn’t be winded, by now Jeremy, being the mountain goat he is was already to the top of the hill with his spotting scope set up. I looked up to see if he’s found them and see him hold up 4 fingers I thought sweet I reached down turned my dial to 400 yards thinking this is a done deal. I get up there and say they are farther than four hundred yards. Jeremy said yeah I held up five fingers first then four I said great I missed that small detail. It only took seconds to realize this was my only opportunity. He was definitely a bull worth taking. We were on the only hill around and the elk where feeding out in flat prairie grass. Confident in our ability and knowledge as a team with Latt from the best of the west telling me this was do able and him reading the wind which for some odd reason had stopped. We got the gun all set with a bi pod and a shooting bag in the back. I followed the elk forever in the scope and felt so comfortable and confident in the situation. I begged them to let me take a shot as he was coming straight on. They insisted I wait until he turned, which seemed like forever. Latt being quite the motivational speaker kept reassuring me that I could do this and to be patient and stay calm. I had Tyler, Jeremy and Ben looking through a Spotting scope. The camera zoomed in and ready. Everyone kept calling out where he was in position to the other 3 just to make sure we all agreed. It sounded like NASA command center he’s the 3rd back now the second now the last, LOL. Finally he turns but one bull is too close so they say hold on. My whole body is numb from waiting. He finally distances himself and they say go when ready. I squeeze off and am just left. I chamber another and money perfect right above the front shoulder.

I can’t believe it 901 yards. Now the fun I get to hike that 901 yards off the hill which I can assure you took quite a bit longer than it did my bullet. The reality starts kicking in that I just with the right equipment and team just pulled off a killer shot on a trophy animal and a once in a lifetime experience. He is a 7×7 that scores 365 1/8 gross. A beautiful bull extremely thin from rutting but a trophy and a shot on camera to prove it now this was a hunt!!! I would not recommend a shot like this to everyone but practice, knowing your comfort level and investing in the right equipment it can pay off!!! 11/12/11 turned out just fine!!!