So as the teams finalized their commercial drafts to the Full Draw Film School staff, we all waited to be critiqued and see where we stood. As our team’s (Team 1) commercial was finished, we could feel the tension in the house. You could cut it with a spoon. Guys were running around getting last minute footage, audio voice-overs, and whatever else they needed. Was good to see smiles every once in a while but these guys were focused. Full Draw guys were also working on their commercial and their film school edit for the evening award event. This was the last night before guys headed home the next morning. It was go time.
As I sat down to reflect on what all went down, it occurred to me that Josh and I had some extra time to do a few short films for Realtree and some diary clips. We were tired of all the seriousness and wanted to lightened everyone’s moods and do a parody or spoof. What we thought would take us about a half hour ended up taking about 2 hours because we couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation or the lack of real human interaction besides filming but we were losing our mind from the hilariousness of the situation. The editing was even harder to get through. Josh was a real trooper for being my test subject. I put him into some situations even I wouldn’t do and he did them without question and had a blast doing it. I’ve filmed a lot of stuff and edited a lot of shorts and this was one of the funnest I’ve ever done and I don’t care how cheesy it is.
As the afternoon dwindled down and the films were all turned in we sat down to enjoy everyone’s thirty second commercials, product short films and give out some prizes and awards. Each commercial was shown and we were all impressed with every bit of cinematic and creative thought put into each one. Was a humbling experience for everyone to see what each team was able to create from scratch. For myself, it was a sigh of relief. For the last two years, I have been fighting tooth and nail to create a cohesive unit of allstars that can perform in every aspect of filming hunts. This industry turns out a lot of people that think they have what it takes and only a few shine through and prove they have what it takes to create a real, cinematic film. I am glad and proud to know that we can now do that very same thing. We have raised the bar for ourselves and those around us to create better, more enjoyable films for the Northwest community. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us. The work has only just begun.
Thank you for taking this journey with us and sticking through thick and thin. From the bottom of our hearts, we are truly grateful! Without our fans and sponsors, there is no Heavy Hitters Outdoors. We look forward to bringing you the best we have to offer and hope you stick around. Thank you! And enjoy these commercials! ~H2O
At first light the teams set out to film their 30 second commercials. Team 1 drew Alps OutdoorZ, Team 2 drew Alpen Optics, Team 3 drew Flying Arrow Archery and Team 4 drew Copper John. With storyboards in hand, gear in the rides we all set out to the locations we scouted the previous day. The weather was near perfect for slow motion with snow falling and great for epic timelapses with rolling, heavy HDR-like clouds. Every time I return home to Central Oregon, it reminds me why I belong there. The winters are awesome, the spring and summer boasts amazing weather and great activities and the fall brings world class hunting and scenic backdrops right before winter.
Team 1 and 2 headed up towards Paulina Peak near a place we used to camp out and fly fish called McKay Crossing. There is a small river that flows through the canyon with a few waterfalls and some amazing views. We split up into each team and began shooting. Team one’s slow motion project with the Sony FS-700 was a scene where a successful hunter is walking up to a canyon with a waterfall. The water dropping over the edge along with the snow dropping is nothing short of a masterpiece as far as slow motion goes. The only real downfall is that Josh was wearing ASAT camo and he is hard to pick out. The ASAT, like always was doing it’s job. Will Bales of Full Draw Film School was there to assist with shot and instruct on how to operate the camera with the added slow motion. At 240 feet per second, it’s really interesting to see how a camera operates differently than your normal 60fps max.
After Team 1 was done with their slow motion scene it was time to move on and help team 2 out with theirs. Unfortunately, the FS700 ran into a condensation issue and needed surgery. It was only 30 degrees out and with the snow falling, even with plastic over the camera, it got too wet and needed to dry out. At this point, everyone is freaking out because an eight thousand dollar camera is not working properly. Being outdoor videographers, this is unfortunately a common issue when shooting in rough conditions. You have to be able to risk the life of your lens and camera to get that shot that can put your film over the edge.
Team 2 adapted well and changed their storyboard accordingly. They did a great job adapting to the problem at hand and carried on. We found a great location where they could shoot their rifle sequence for Alpen Optics. By this time, the snow stopped falling and the clouds broke up a tad to give some great light. There was an opening in a canyon with a ton of Manzanitas that built great contrast. Took them about an hour and they completed the scene. We hiked back out, shot a short sequence for team 1 with the Glidecam and we were out. On the way back down the mountain we dropped off team 2 do finish up their 2nd timelapse and a little more b-roll and team 1 went back to the house to edit film sequences.
Josh and I (team 1) didn’t have to film our finishing sequence until it was dark. We were going to return back up the mountain to a second waterfall location and shoot a nightlapse and a campfire scene. So with the daylight still out, we took the short time to relax, prep for the long night ahead and build a short storyboard for a product demo for Realtree. A few hours rolled by and around 10pm we headed out. Once we got to the location we set up the tent in front of a waterfall near one of my favorite camp spots, lit up the tent with an LED light, dropped another light behind the tent to light up the trees and waterfall then let the Canon 6D do it’s work. I wasn’t able to get the waterfall in the shot but we got extremely lucky with the clouds rolling back and letting the stars come out and say hi for about an hour.
With the timelapse rolling for the next few hours, it was time to setup the campfire scene, get it out of the way then relax by the campfire, light some stogies and crack open a few choice beverages. We did get bored a few times and started tracking bear prints in the snow. There was an unusual amount of bear tracks. We also ran a go pro timelapse at the camp to see how it did in low light. The result was actually pretty good considering how little light the campfire was able to produce.
After getting back to the house, we rendered the timelapse, put everything together and presented a rough draft for the Full Draw instructors. On to color correction, audio then dialogue. Was going to be an all-nighter.
As I said before, going into the school we had a few true novices. The idea of investing the money into a craft such as videography and photography can pay itself off fast if your path is well thought out. For me, any expense I was willing to spend was worth it a hundred times over. Not only having a plethora of guys that can run and gun a camera or two makes doing a full time show that much easier but that is not the only reason why I decided for us to do this school….It’s the reward of seeing guys with the same passion that I have for filming and shooting the outdoors. Since the school has ended and we have all gone to our perspective locations, I get a kick out of the guys talking about what they learned and what they are planning to do with what they learned. That was worth the price of admission all day long.
The first day, was an eye opener for the team. They had to take their basic knowledge of how to run a DSLR and apply it in a timelapse. Cinematic footage for any show or movie is never complete without a timelapse. It can set a mood, pace or fill between scenes. It’s a true art form to find the right angle, foreground and background. The teams had some great ideas and a some great executions. We set into 4 teams, each led by a Pro Staffer with experience.Team 1 – Jeff C., Josh T. Team 2 – Glenn, Cass, Steve Team 3 – Brad, Jeff H., Sean Team 4 – Jake, Damian, Mike
As timelapses were taking place in their perspective spots, the teams went to work on their storyboards. No show or project can be properly shot without a solid storyline. I believe wholeheartedly in this. A base, foundation of your shot outline and scene timing is key. FDFS (Full Draw Film School) showed the guys exactly that. Through trial and error, the guys built storyboards for their thirty second sponsor commercial. Some took longer than others and some were very interesting to say the least. I’m pretty sure there was going to be a stabbing if one wasn’t approved by the FDFS staff..haha.
Around dark thirty, the green light was given to the teams and some filming commenced. A few of us had already had everything lined up and it was movie time. We wanted to get the creative juices flowing so we watched a few great hunting flicks. After some good face time we called it a night and the morning would boast a ton of amazing filming!
As an annual tradition, all of us at Heavy Hitters Outdoors get together and plan a film school somewhere out in Oregon each year to gain higher knowledge, brush up skills and try out new gear on the market. It’s a great way for us to stay ahead of the curve and stay creative. As a photographer I’ve seen a lot of guys get complacent with their skills and never progress. We don’t want that for ourselves, especially with all the other shows on the market in the outdoor industry. To stand out, you have to find ways to think outside the box and set yourself apart from the rest. Nobody likes to watch a show that is the same, week in, week out. Last year we had a small 2 day school with just a few of us. We learned a lot, did some hands on training but the 2 days just wasn’t enough. This year we wanted to get all hands on deck and make a team event. We contacted Grady Rawls of Grady Rawls Productions who has teamed up with Full Draw Film Tour to make the Full Draw Film School.
Scheduling the event we decided that we wanted to go back to my hometown in Bend/Sunriver, Oregon. This place boasts some amazing backdrops for shooting scenic locations, great food and accommodations. We were fortunate enough to connect with Sunset Lodging in Sunriver and stayed in amazing house that fit the H2O crew as well as the Full Draw Film Tour instructors as well. We can’t thank Sunset Lodging enough for their generous contribution and treating us to a huge house that made this happen for us. After getting settled into the house we started breaking down and doing inventory of all of our equipment. As photographers and videographers, you can never have enough equipment but it’s always funny to see all this gear out on the tables but in all reality, you only ever use a portion of it. With almost the whole crew at the house, we all tried to wind down from traveling from different locations in the U.S., shoot the poo and have a few beers while telling old stories and jokes like we always do. My favorite part about these schools is the comradery of the guys. It is such a blast to sit and talk for hours in good company. It’s amazing how much you can learn while talking to other hunters about their experiences as well as photographers and camera guys. A simple conversation can have you running to grab a camera and start shooting just to see what you talked about work.
The goal behind this school and trip for us is obviously to better our skills. Taking hunters that film and hunters that have never filmed and get them to a point where I can send them out on their own and have them make a film on their own, without help, is the goal. This year we had a few newcomers to the art of filming. These guys had just recently purchased DSLR’s and had no real experience behind them. The school is designed to start from the ground up, basics of the camera first then onto lenses, gear, etc. Building a cinematic film is no easy task. Having multiple guys filming, taking timelapses and getting multiple angles is key. See my guys learn this was incredible. Being able to provide them with the necessary tools to be successful is gratifying and very beneficial to Heavy Hitters Outdoors. The Next few posts will be our experience while at the school and what we got out of it. We won’t be going over what the school does, you’ll need to make that investment yourself but we will be showing the ups, downs, trials and tribulations. We hope you enjoy!
By: Jeff Coxen
For more info on Sunset Lodge in Sunriver, please visit their website and let us know we sent you!
I grew up as a fishing fool. My dad said I was born with a Lamiglas in my hand but I didn’t hunt much until I was 12. My dad didn’t hunt much either after having me and my brother plus living in the city didn’t help much. I fished as much as possible, even caught my first salmon at age 2 (with dads help of course). My dad would pull me out of school to go fishing, when the salmon were running or we would go slay a few bass or even blue gill. I never cared much about hunting, I guess it seems weird now days as I think back.
When I turned 12 I moved in with my mom out in Eastern Oregon and the hunting in the area was awesome so I thought I would give it a try. I drew my first deer tag that year and my mom’s boyfriend, Craig, told me he would take me and teach me how to hunt.
He was a rough man. He gave me little direction, and sent me out, pointed to a hill an told me to stay in cover and use the wind. Hell I didn’t know how to do that. That day I got very lucky and shot my first buck. A Benchleg 3×4 with eye guards. From their I was hooked, I almost forgot about fishing.
Craig took me out hunting all the time after that and taught me a lot. That same year I also harvested my first bull elk, a big spike by fork.
Those years I feel were peer luck and lots of learning, not much skill involved at all.
Since then I have been very fortunate to have taken many big game animals. I am 10 for 10 on my bull elk tags and this year I tagged out with all 3 of my tags (muzzle loader, archery bull elk, cascade archery buck). After I tag out, I’m still out with friends helping them fill their tags. This year alone I helped fill tag after tag. It was a very successful year.
I get asked a lot, “what do you do to be successful in the field?”
My first answer when people ask me is stubbornness. I’ll wait out an animal for days, ill hunt the nastiest weather, and I stay out from sun up to sun down. I also use the wind more than any other tool. I don’t care if I have a 400-inch bull at 80 yards and know it’s my only chance, if the wind is wrong, I will back out. I have always been told that a deer/elk can see you twice, hear you three times, but if they smell you they are gone. Wind can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Learn to use it and your odds of tagging out will intensely increase.
Over the years I have learned patience pays off more than anything. I used to just stumble around and never sit. Always wondered what’s in the next draw, and usually walk over the hill into the draw, sun at my back and skyline, spooking everything out. Now I will sit and wait, watch everything, find ways to not cross a ridge without cover and always, always watch my step. I don’t know how many rocks I’ve sent down cantons on accident just to spook all the deer out.
When I am walking through the woods I will move like I’m 100 years old. I see so much more that way. Before I learned to move slow, I would blow animals out all the time. Always look ahead. I’ll take 3 steps, stop, look around, and listen. I see ten times the game now that I do this.
Success also comes with knowing your equipment and practicing with it. I shoot my bow year round and hike with my hunting gear, I shed hunt in the off-season to scout, and see what bucks made it through winter. I practice stalking animals when I am she’d hunting too. I try and see how close I can get. I scout my ass off all year and try and pattern my prey, so I know what they do at any given time of the day, or in any weather. 90% of my success on a hunt is in a storm, rain, lightning, and wind. The harsh weather gets the animals moving.
I try to set my season up to where I have several spots to hunt. That way if someone is where I want to be I can go to the next. Or if the wind is wrong I can go to a spot where I can use it to my advantage. If I haven’t tagged out, I am in the woods. I’ve killed 9 of my 10 bulls on the last weekend of season.
Those are what I would consider my main keys to success. To this day, I still don’t know if it’s Lady Luck, skill, or just being in the right spot at the right time, but whatever it is I hope nothing changes for me. I feel very lucky to have harvested all the animals I have.
November 30th. It was the last day I was going to be able to hunt Oregon’s late season Blacktail season. I picked my brother up at 5:30am and we headed to my spot. We started the 2 mile hike about 45 minutes before the sunrise. We made it about 150 yards from the gate before jumping our first deer in some re-prod. We never saw it but we heard it bound off. We tried to back track after it, but after 20 minutes we gave up. We knew there were more deer in the area and didn’t want waste any more time.
The rest of the hike we went slow. I didn’t want to spook anymore deer. The deer back in the area we were heading don’t start moving through until 9:00am so we weren’t in a hurry. We stopped a few times shedding layer as it was pretty warm for being the end of November. For that whole week the weather was warm and clear skies, but today was cloudy and a big storm was moving in later in the afternoon. It was setting up to be a good day.
At about 8:45 we made it to our area. We were only 100 yards from what we call the split. It’s where the road we walk in on splits. We see deer at the split almost every time we go back there. Today was no different. I spotted some movement behind some brush and picked out a deer. I stopped my brother and got a better look. It was a doe, and like I said it was my last day and had made up my mind to take a doe if presented a shot. I watched it as it fed towards the road. I ranged it at 45 yards and waited for it to clear some small trees. It put its head down to feed and that’s when I noticed it wasn’t a doe but a small 2 point. At that same time it must have known something was wrong and turned and went the way it came. I told my brother I was going in after it. Where we spotted this little buck was in a 7 year old clear cut. I snuck down the road in onto a skid road going along the top on the clear cut. I stopped to glass up the little buck but I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was just getting ready to turn around when I spotted some movement off in the distance. I checked it out with my binoculars and found a very nice buck. I immediately dropped to my knees and took my pack off. My heart began to beat furiously. I watched this deer for about 20 minutes as he walked my direction. He stopped to thrash trees and feed. A couple times he turned and heading the other direction only to turn and come back my way. While watching the buck my brother had no clue what was going on and started to come down to see what was going on.
While the buck fed I stopped my brother at the top of the skidder trail and had him drop to his belly. The buck must have seen him or something because he through his head up and looked in our direction. After what felt like an hour he started his walk towards me. I ranged him at 60 yards now, right at my comfort range. I got my arrow ready and waited. The wind was perfect and the buck was still coming so I waited. He walked behind a brush pile that I ranged at 45 yards. I stood up and when he cleared the pile I drew back only to have a small shrub right in my shooting lane. I took 2 steps to the left and with a clear lane, the buck stopped, I put my 30 yard pin a little high on his back just behind the shoulders and let my arrow go. The buck took a step just as I released. THWACK! Was the sound I heard; My arrow shooting straight into the air and with the buck taking off running is what I saw. My first thought was Holy s*%t I missed!!! I thought my arrow went right over his back and hit a brush pile right behind him. My heart sank. The buck ran off about 40 yards and stopped. He stood there for about 3 minutes. Then he stared to wobble a bit and turn broadside. Seeing his reaction my heart began beating again. I hit him!! I threw up my binos and saw blood! He had blood on his body. It was a little far back so I knew it was a liver shot. About a minute later he laid down just behind some shrubs.
My brother, through the whole situation had no idea what was going. He didn’t have a view of the buck or me the entire time. He heard the sound of the shot and the sound of a hit. I called back to him to come down and told him I was sure I just hit a nice 3 point maybe even a 4. I wasn’t sure yet what he was. The only thing I knew was he was big and the shot was a little back. We started to high five and celebrate. I gave him about 45 minutes and decided to get my arrow. I took about 10 steps and the buck jumped up and ran over down a hill out of sight. My heart sank just a little. I went to where my arrow was and found it covered in blood. I had a straight pass through and 38 yards and it hit a stump and flew straight in to the air. Now know he was for sure hit we decided to give him some time. My brother still had a tag to fill and we have been seeing deer all morning.
After about 2 hours we decided to track my buck. We got to where he bedded after the shot only to find one little puddle of blood. We stared to look around and couldn’t find any more blood. I was getting frustrated. We slowly made our way down the clearing in the direction he ran. About 60 yards down the hill my brother waived and pointed down the hill. He then called out saying the buck jumped up and ran down into some thick timber. Again my heart sank. With no blood trail and him running into thick timber we gave him more time. We made a call to my dad to come help track him. I knew he wasn’t going to make it much farther as he was slow to run when we jumped him. An hour passed before we pressed on. My brother took the tree line and I went 30 yards into the timber next to a creek. I found a game trail with some fresh tracks so I walked down the trail. I went about 40 yards and went around a small bend. I looked down the trail and about 15 feet in front of me laying on the trail was my buck. He was facing the opposite direction and that’s when I noticed how big he really was. My heart now pumping out of my chest I knocked another arrow drew back and let it flight. Direct hit! Down he went! I was at the highest of highs at this point. I called for my brother to come down and the celebration was on. This hunt was an emotional roller coaster! From the high of the first shot, to the downs of jumping him with no blood trail to follow, ultimately the payoff was worth it as I walked up to my biggest Blacktail ever. He turned out to be a very nice 4×3 with small eye guards and very good mass. ~ Josh Taylor (field staff)
Recently we were sent a GoScope Extreme telescoping GoPro Pole to try out with our GoPro POV cams. When I opened up the package, right away I was a little scepticle about the durability of the product. After using it for the past few weeks, I can definitely lay that assumption to rest. I have dropped it countless times, shoved it in and out of my pack, dropped it from a moving truck at 45mph and it still works like a charm.
Now we do a lot of POV style filming in our hunts and outside of Heavy Hitters Outdoors on various personal projects with Sycan Media, so its nice to be able to add to our arsenal of tools that we have available. A few of us ski and snowboard as well as surf and having this will be fun to test out when the weather finally turns and we are able to get out and do that. The GoScope has allowed us to get a whole new angle with our B-Roll shots. I was able to get angles I normally wouldnt be able to get before, without have to lug around a big monopod or tripod with a heavy camera on the end. I’ll be able to get closer to some wildlife like Copperhead Snakes without worrying about getting bit and getting some Epic film.
The GoScope allows for two GoPros to be mounted on it for two simultaneous shots. I have not used this feature and not sure that I would have any use for it with what I do but it gives you that option of filming yourself as well as what is in front of you which would add new dynamics to your film. The grip is soft and comfortable and it comes with a wrist strap that is very rugged and has a superb grip on it for anti-slip situations. The telescoping takes a second to get used to. Once it’s locked in, you don’t have to worry about it coming loose but isn’t super fast like a lot of tripod or monopod legs.
There is only one real complaint I have about this product and that it does not have an option for a 1/4-20 mount for accessories like a light, or a different POV cams like a Contour or a Kodak Playsport which we also use. Would be nice to have that option available and you could still mount a GoPro using the GoPro tripod mount.
If you are into solo filming and doing trick shots and/or adding new, creative B-Roll to your portfolio, this GoScope is a MUST own! We are stoked to have this new tool and intend to have it with us on every trip we go on from here on out!
– Super lightweight: 6 Ounces
– Fits in your backpack
– Comes ready to attach to your GoPro® Camera
– Telescoping from 17″ to 37″
– Mounts on Two Sides (Capable of Holding Two Cameras)
– Durable in Saltwater, Freshwater, and Snow
– Floats with One Camera Attached
– Indestructible: Made of Forged Aluminum and Poly-carbonate
(ALL UNDERWATER SCENES WERE FILMED USING A GOSCOPE)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received GoScope for free from GoScope, LLC as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Retailer Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.
As soon as one season ends the next one is on your mind! You take the mistakes you made from the previous season and correct them for the up and coming season. We spend countless hours scouting, shed hunting and critiquing our archery skills and equipment. Your bow string is something most dont even think about, but at the moment of truth it is the tool doing the most work. For the past six years, I have had privilege to bowhunt whitetail deer. They are very cunning and nervous animals. Being notorious for jumping and ducking at the sound of a bowstring. With Winners Choice Custom Bowstrings you wont have to worry about that anymore. Having installed Winners Choice strings, my bow is quieter, much faster, and accuracy is far superior than factory strings.
What I noticed right off was my peep sight came up at the same position every time the bow was drawn. Even after hundreds of shots, there is no stretch in my strings. Accuracy is phenominal and it is quieter than ever. String fray is very minimal to non at all so winners choice strings will out last the competiton. Even if you do not hunt and just love the challenge of shooting archery equipment, there is a Winners Choice Bowstring for you.
What I like the most about my Winners Choice strings is the accuracy my bow has gained. I have always liked shooting my bow before but now my confidence has risen to a whole new place. Knowing my bow shoots better than ever I’m less reluctant to travel to 3d bow shoots. I also practice longer shots without fear of losing an arrow. So when the moment of truth steps out from behind that oak tree broadside twenty yards away, with the confidence you have built up in your bowstrings, Winners Choice Custom Bowstrings will not fail! – Nathan Knapp
I recently received a set of Winners Choice X8190 Bowstrings and Cables for my 2013 Hoyt Charger. Upon receiving the new strings I noticed the level of quality right away. I had heard great things about the product that Winners Choice brought to the archery game but had never experienced it myself. Until now……..Prior to receiving the new X8190 strings and cables, I was shooting the stock strings that came on my Hoyt Charger.
In the 3 months that I shot with the stock strings my bow came out of time due to the strings stretching four times. The last time was so bad that the top cam was at full rotation nearly ½ of an inch before the bottom cam. On top of dealing with string stretch I was also dealing with constant peep rotation. Within days of receiving my new X8190 strings, I was on my way to my preferred bow shop. Once my bow was restrung, I noticed an immediate difference. As soon as I returned home from the bow shop, I put the new strings to the test. I was truly amazed at how minimal the shoot in time was. I’m talking less than 15 minutes. I have now had the X8190 strings on my bow for the better part of two months. I have been amazed at the performance and consistency of these strings. I shoot anywhere between 100-500 arrows per week. I have experienced zero string stretch and zero peep rotation.
My 2013 Hoyt Charger is set at a 30″ draw length and 70lbs of draw weight. I shoot a 450 grain Gold Tip Expedition Hunter arrow with 2″ Blazer Vanes that are set with a 3 degree helical. Prior to putting on the Winners Choice X8190 strings, I was shooting 304 feet per second. After installing these strings, I am shooting 310 feet per second with an astounding kinetic energy level of 94 foot pounds. I will recommend the Winners Choice X8190 Bowstrings to family, friends and strangers alike. The entire team at Heavy Hitters Outdoors trusts them……YOU should too. ~ Sean Schulz
8190 Xtreme™ is made from proven 100% Dyneema fibers just like the exceptional 8125 material except that 8190 Xtreme™ features the never before available SK90 grade Dyneema which is a major improvement on the SK75 grade used in 8125.
8190 Xtreme™ features
8190 Xtreme™ is quite simply most advanced bowstring fiber ever introduced. Used in conjunction with Winners Choice proprietary construction method 8190 Xtreme™ has enabled Winner’s Choice to once again raise the bar in bowstring quality and reliability.
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So I was recently given a pack of Toxic Broadheads from a friend and thought I would test them out after a bunch of heated discussions whether or not they had penetration power and if they were legal in states like Oregon where there is strict guidelines on what broadheads you can or cannot use. These are a killer looking broadhead that look like Muzzies bent to form the shape of a toxic chemical warning symbol. The only real issues I would have is the blades are pretty much one and done, although replaceable, it makes it hard to site in on a perfect broadhead everytime. The other is that it only comes in a 100 grain application. For us Elk hunters, we like to have all the KE we can get so a 125 grain would be great.
There are countless ways to mess up an elk hunt, or any hunt for that matter, but one way to better yourself as a hunter is to be physically and mentally prepared. Being prepared will help minimize your mistakes and make your hunt more memorable. Elk hunting is tough; steep mountains, high elevations, and brutal weather conditions will be against you and all for the elk. Hunting in the mountains under these conditions can test anyone’s physical and mental fortitude. This is why it is important to be prepared to optimize your odds for success.
I read a quote by Cam Hanes recently that got me thinking “Everyday you spend in inactivity, you get weaker. Everyday that the elk move through the high country, they get stronger. And the longer you wait to exercise, the wider the gap grows”. Persistence and perseverance are critical components of any hunt but they are also critical components of a strenuous workout and shooting routine. Before embarking on your hunt, make the commitment to yourself that you will hunt hard every day, no matter the circumstances and not to quit before the end of your hunt. This is also true for your workouts and shooting routines. This is where being physically prepared comes in handy.
A lot of elk hunters do not focus on the important areas of the body that are used the most during the hunt. So what specific areas of our bodies should we focus on improving if we want to become capable and confident hunters? The answer is simple; legs and lungs. I’m not telling you to just lift and workout just your legs and lungs but focus on them a little more at least. Think about it, everything you do in the woods starts and ends with your legs. Legs are a foundation for your body and also a foundation to a successful and most importantly a more memorable hunt. Your legs are one of the most essential physical assets that will determine how hard you will be able to hunt.
In the mountains you will be facing a scientifically proven battle for oxygen resources. The low concentration of oxygen in the high, thin air at altitude will make it difficult for your body to perform at its best. I’m going to put this as simple as I can…BE IN TOP CARDIOVASCULAR SHAPE! We have to train our heart and lungs to be as efficient as possible, so our blood circulation and oxygen is prepared for the stresses of hunting.
If you’re just getting started on a fitness regime you should aim for a minimum of days of cardio exercises a week. From there work your way up to 5-6 days a week. Shot for a minimum of 20 minutes a session but no longer than 60 minutes a section. When doing cardio you will need to be in your Target Heart Range (THR) to exercise your heart and lungs. This THR is 60-85% of your maximum heart rate (if you need help finding your THR send me and email at email@example.com and I will help you).
The best way to achieving your desired physical fitness level is through variety. When hunting you will be faced with a multitude of challenges, this is why you shouldn’t rely on one exercise to prepare for your season. Mix it up so you aren’t getting bored with your exercises, go on a hike, a bike ride, run the dog, do circuit training, or crossfit, just mix it up.
My goal is to become the best possible hunter I can be. I hope that is yours too. Having a wide variety of exercises will get you in an adequate form for hunting and help you become a better hunter. Now the question is do you just want to go elk hunting, or do you want to bring one back? Good luck!!