RMEF Team Elk- Montana Mule Deer Success

The month of November proved a success for Into High Country and Project Elk Host, Jason Matizinger and myself while hunting mule deer in eastern Montana. The hunts will air on both Into High Country on the Sportsman Channel and wrapped up the final hunt of the production season for Season 6 of Team Elk. New episodes airing in January on the Outdoor Channel. 

RMEF Elk Tracks- Getting Geared Up To Hunt Elk

Getting “Geared Up” to Hunt Elk

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

Elk hunters are a meticulous bunch. We have to be! There is a lot that goes into a successful elk hunt. Heck, just getting out the door is a highly involved process in and of itself: 
Clothing….............................check! 
Boots….................................check! 
Gun/ammo or bow/arrows…check! 
Hunting license.....................check!
Sharp knife…........................check! 
Food…..................................check! 
Water….................................check! 
Vehicle…...............................check! 
Now, what else do I need? 
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently unveiled its Gear 101 gear list, the elk hunter’s essential gear checklist. It is intended for sportsmen and women who range from most avid elk hunter to the occasional. It is divided up in three sections: daytripper, multi-day and outfitted. From there, users can further customize according to weapon, either rifle or bow.

North American Hunter- 100 Years of Targeting Turkeys

Dallas Jones was blessed with having two volunteer guides, Mike Morgan and Marc Anderson, who had nearly 100 years of experience hunting the Morgan Family Farm in pursuit of turkeys.

Under the cover of darkness, Marc and Dallas moved into position, to a place that over the years had fondly been named, “The Killing Tree,” Meanwhile, Mike, Jason Suter (Dallas’s step-father) and I hung back in an effort to get a peek of the hunt without disrupting it.

In the pre-dawn light, we could hear the flock of birds still roosting in the trees below us. As the morning light gently started to peek over the horizon, the birds hit the ground with a thunderous flapping of wings. We could hear Marc coaxing the flock toward Dallas with a series of clucks and purrs.Before the sun had an opportunity to peak over the horizon, the hunt was over. Dallas had successfully been able to connect on his first turkey. This morning we had been blessed.

Click HERE to continue reading...

RMEF Team Elk- The Golden Age of Elk Hunting

The love of wild places and desire to not only protect those wild places but make them better than ever, stirred something in the heart of John Caid some 37 years ago. John is arguably the most experienced elk and wildlife biologist in the world having spent 35 years managing the White Mountain Apache Tribe Game and Fish Department and now for the past two years the Express UU Bar Ranches in New Mexico.

Tune in this week and join me and John Caid in New Mexico at the Express UU Bar Ranch for a management bull hunt and see for yourself why we are now in the Golden Age of Elk Hunting. 

Team Elk airs on the Outdoor Channel Tuesday 4:30pm, Wednesday 1:00am, Thursday 10:30pm, and Saturday 11:00pm EST.


RMEF Executes Game Plan at SHOT Show 2015

Story Courtesy of RMEF Blogspot-

To put it simply, a number of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation staffers find themselves among the masses (64,000 to be accurate) at the largest gathering of the firearms and outdoor industry on earth. It’s the perfect place to solidify RMEF’s relationships with its conservation partners for the present and into the future.

To better understand that, you need to have a feel for the enormity of this event. The 37th go-round of theShooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. January 20-23 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. More than 60,000 exhibitors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, buyers, wildlife conservation organizations, media members and other industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 different countries are on hand. (67,000 attended a year ago.) More than 2,400 members of the outdoor and mainstream media cover the show to view and promote the products they see in their print, Internet, radio and TV stories.

Kristy & the NEW Yamaha Wolverine R-SpecThe show is for trade only and is not open to the general public. Consumers will see the products unveiled here on retailer’s shelves during the course of the year.

The exhibit floor is massive! Exhibit space totals more than 630,000 net square feet. If you do the math, that’s more than 13 acres or roughly the same area covered by the New Orleans Superdome or the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza. SHOT Show features 12.5 miles of aisles which lead to displays of a wide range of products, including firearms, ammunition, gun safes, locks and cases, optics, shooting range equipment, targets, training and safety equipment, hunting accessories, law enforcement equipment, hearing and eye protection, tree stands, scents and lures, cutlery, GPS systems, holsters, apparel, leather goods, game calls and decoys.

Firearms and ammunition are an $8 billion industry. The total economic impact of the industry is nearly $38 billion, which supports more than 245,000 jobs. The market for firearms, ammunition and accessories remains strong, with statistics showing more people going target shooting and hunting.

RMEF carries out a SHOT Show approach of “divide and conquer.” Sales, marketing, public relations,Bob George of Buck Knives showing Kristy NEW series. merchandising and publications personnel hold meetings with sponsors, associates, peers, journalists, outdoor personalities and other key groups and organizations. In this day and age of texting, email, Skyping and other forms of high tech communication, there’s still something to be said for meaningful face-to-face meetings and a good, old fashioned handshake. 

SHOT Show is also an opportunity to learn more about marketing and other industry trends, hunting and wildlife-related research, and to rub shoulders with so many folks with like-minded vision. These established ties with conservation-minded partners help RMEF carry out its mission to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage. 

After all, members of the vast world-wide outdoor industry may live a world apart when it comes to distance, but when it comes to creating and maintaining more public access, and conserving our wildlife and wild landscapes, we’re all on the same page.


9 Questions with RMEF Ambassador Kristy Titus OutdoorHub

Britney Starr of OutdoorHub recently caught up with me to learn more about my passion for elk hunting and conservation. 

Britney asked 9 questions of me:

1. Please tell us a little about your background in hunting. Have you been doing it for your entire life?

2. What is the most difficult aspect of elk hunting?

3. What is the best method of training for elk hunting?

4. Do you shoot a rifle or a bow, or both? Which is your favorite and why?

5. Do you hunt solo? If so, do you pack it out alone, too?

6. Ever have a scary moment out in the woods or a close encounter with an elk that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up?

7. What are five things that you always carry with you in your pack?

8. If you could give only one piece of advice to a new elk hunter, what would it be?

9. Do you have any superstitions or rituals when it comes to elk hunting?

If you would like to read my answers to these questions, CLICK HERE.

 

LIVE Worldwide from RMEF Headquarters

It’s pretty rare that all of humanity can focus on one specific thing at one precise moment in time, but in this day and age of high tech gadgetry, at least it is possible. Thanks to the far-reaching influence of the World Wide Web and a few strategically placed laptop computers, web cameras and microphones, people from just about anywhere across the globe had the opportunity to take a live look into the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s national headquarters.

It happened on June 11, 2014. RMEF sponsor-partner Cabela’s hosted the Google+ Hangout, a 67-minute live chat session with Cabela’s Ambassadors Luke Bryan, Justin Moore and RMEF Team Elk’s Kristy Titus. They took turns answering questions from moderator Storme Warren and those tuning in via the Internet. They also shared their favorite hunting and outdoor adventures as well as their most memorable Father’s Day recollections. 

What Online Views Saw ....... What We Saw at RMEF Headquarters

Kristy, in our humble opinion anyway, had the best seat of all the participants as she pulled up a couch in what we call the “Hunting Heritage Cabin” of the Elk Country Visitor Center. She felt completely at home and seemed to relish being dwarfed by the massive record bull elk mounts behind her. She also offered some sage advice about the joys of hunting, experiencing the outdoors and strengthening relationships with nature, family and friends by spending time in the woods and mountains.


After a lot of laughter, smiles and swapping of tales, the web chat seemed to end about as quickly as it began. But at least it gave World Wide Web surfers the chance to look in and taste a little flavor of the RMEF.

If you missed the Google+ Hangout, watch it below.

Story Courtesy of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

3rd Annual OR RMEF Youth Turkey Hunt

There is nothing more rewarding than taking a kid hunting, which is why every year I team up with the Rogue Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and local volunteer Jeff Heil for the opening weekend of the Oregon youth turkey season.  Jeff serves as the guide and I the cinematographer that captures the hunt on film later providing an edited version to the family. The turkey hunt is auctioned off at the local Medford Oregon RMEF banquet, where 100% of the proceeds benefit the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Hunting is Conservation. Many kids and adults alike may not understand this correlation, but while taking Tyler Seney out into the field for his turkey hunt, I was sure to talk with him about how his hunting trip directly benefitted conservation and the enhancement of habitat for elk and other wildlife, including turkeys. Pretty cool stuff to explain to a 15 year old young man.

In order to make the drive and get into position to hunt, Jeff and I met up with Tyler and his dad Shawn long before daylight. Our strategy was to set up on the turkeys just after they left the roosting tree. We had a significant advantage for our hunt because Jeff has hunted this particular piece of public land for many years and had a pretty good idea as to where the turkeys like to roost.

Using the cover of darkness as camouflage, the four of us slipped into the timber. When hunting you always take a calculated risk making moves in the dark, sometimes, the darkness offers you an advantage to move more freely without detection and sometimes it allows you to slip right in to where you want to be, only to find out you have slipped in a little too close and spoiled your morning hunt plans with spooked animals.

The latter scenario was exactly the case with our morning stalk. Perfectly executed, and accidently right directly under the roosting tree. There was just enough daylight for us to make out two turkeys flying away. 

Hunting is all about patience and perseverance, so quitting this early in the day is simply not an option. Off to Plan B, locating other turkeys. Several hours later without luck, we had made full circle. The look on Tyler’s face was priceless when out of nowhere we heard a turkey gobble. We were back in the thick of turkeys and lady luck had brought us the opportunity that we needed.

Jeff and Shawn slipped back and began calling and the turkeys came right in, a story book set up. The problem was that the two jake turkeys that came in were so young, that Tyler was not sure that they were not hens. This demonstrated sound hunting ethics and outstanding moral character for not taking the shot on the birds. When in doubt, go without. Our morning hunt had drawn to an exciting close with the decision to move onto another location.

We carefully sat at the base of the oak trees in our best effort to avoid the poison oak that was seemingly everywhere. Jeff had placed the decoys 20 yards in front of us in preparation for his calling set. We were employing a different strategy; we were calling blind in an area known to host a large number of turkeys.

The warm rays of the spring sunshine made the call set a delight. Call and wait, repeat, these are the days I enjoy most. The ones with good friends and family in the field on a nice warm day doing what we love most. It really does not get any better than that very moment where your only worry is if a turkey is going to catch you moving.

I was slightly dozed off, head against the tree when Tyler spotted the turkeys making their way towards us. The thrill was on when the two jakes came in at full strut, right up to the decoys. I am not sure what it is with turkey’s but they always seem to come in together and like to remain right on top of one another making a shot opportunity impossible.

Once again, Tyler was patient waiting for the turkeys to give him his opportunity. The two turkeys lost interest in the decoys quickly and tucked in and started pecking and scratching just below us and nearly out of sight. The waiting game was on. All we could do was hope that the turkeys would work their way back up the hill towards us giving Tyler his shot opportunity.

Motionless we waited as the jake turkey turned up the hill towards us and away from his companion offering Tyler the shot he had waited his entire life to take. With his father and new friends at his side Tyler had just successfully filled his turkey tag. This will surely be a hunt that he remembers for life and one day, he will re-tell his own children about his first ever turkey hunt with his dad on the mountain in Oregon.  In more ways than one, his hunt literally helped to continue a legacy that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Cabela's Christiana DE Grand Opening

 

 

The smell of fresh candy roasted nuts hung thick in the air, life sized animal scenes that are reminiscent of the pages in National Geographic decorate the store, the mass of shoppers were nearly shoulder to shoulder, some pushing carts, others carrying baskets, as families eagerly explored the 110,000 sq. ft. of shopping paradise; I had finally arrived the Grand Opening celebration of the Cabela’s in Christiana Delaware.

Hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts from near and far were all gathered here to find the latest and greatest in outdoor gear, shooting supplies, footwear, camo, guns, ammunition, archery and more. Inside each Cabela’s you will surely be able to find something for everyone.

Little Carin arrived at the store with her mother and said, “This is a boy store,” thankfully I was there to prove her wrong. You see Carin's mom brought her over to meet me and we had a nice chat about hunting, fishing and the outdoors and I showed her that girls can do it too and Cabela’s has everything for us girls, not just the boys.

My favorite part about Cabela’s Grand Openings is taking the time to talk to the kids in the store. Through the eyes of a child, the world is a very different place, having them talk about their own outdoor adventures that they have experienced; the striper and bass fishing tales, rabbit hunt success in the backyard, squirrel hunting stories with BB guns, how they shoot their bow and arrows, hunt for whitetail shed antlers only to find turtle shells and even the stories they have only dreamed about, for some it was moose hunting tales or cheetah hunts, all unique stories all special, all touched my heart.

The looks on the parents face when their child starts describing an adventure that they have led or dreamed about doing is priceless. Out comes the pictures of little ones being outdoors men and women, proud with their fish of the day or whatever pursuit they were after, even if that pursuit were simply a new adventure, finding some mud or scraping a knee.

I enjoyed sharing my adventures of climbing some of the steepest, roughest mountains in the world, seeing a star filled sky that is so brilliant it lights up the night, and walking through a forest of trees that are so big and grand you can’t stretch your arms around them.

Painting that picture of a not so distant land, a place that each and every one of them can and should venture to explore was a thrill for me, just as I was thrilled with the thought of finding a turtle shell on a shed antler hunt or catching a striper that is nearly my size or hunting the tiny Sika deer that apparently bugle like their cousin, the elk.

Other outdoor experts were also in the store sharing their adventures, Joe Teti, Co-Host of the Dual Survivor television show, Cameron Hanes, Under Armour Athlete and backcountry bow hunter and Sean Mann, Champion of Champions Goose caller were also there.

Across the nation, the love of our family, country, the tradition of hunting, fishing and the outdoors. It brings me a tremendous joy to see the faces of children when they come into a Cabela’s and see a life sized moose, wolf, big horn sheep or mountain lion for the very first time. Not only do these children get to see these animals, they come to realize that the adventure of taking on the outdoors all be it hunting, fishing, hiking or camping can be a reality for them if it is something that they have never before experienced.  Within each child and grown up, Cabela’s is building a dream and offering the gear and the expert guidance from Outfitters to make each dream a reality.

 

 

 

Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show

The first ever Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen show was full of buzz and energy from everyone in the community of Wenatchee WA. The show boasted a prime opportunity for everyone to see first-hand the latest in outdoor gear, the newest in fishing boats, motors and accessories, the hottest guides and lodges from all over the Northwest, and even pick up some discount coupons from Cabela’s! There were many special attractions and opportunities for attendees learn from the informative seminars presented by outdoor professionals to which I was thrilled to be a part of.

There is nothing that I love more than elk hunting and having an opportunity to share my love of all things elk hunting is such an honor. On Saturday and Sunday, I discussed elk hunting strategies from scouting to in the field pre-rut, peak rut and post rut hunting gleaming on experiences that I have had in the field.

Saturday afternoon I held a second seminar that was all about elk and the language they speak. Many in the crowd were experienced elk hunters and callers, others were new to elk hunting and calling. Demonstrating cow elk sounds, mews, chirps, estrous cow calls, barks, cow bugles and bull elk sounds, one, two and three note location calls, display calls and challenge calls followed by a discussion in inflection and how elk use that inflection to relay emotion and tell a story.

After this weekend, I am even more pumped up for elk season to open to share the woods with the most majestic animal in the world.

Kruger was even able to make the trip and many children stopped by the Cabela’s booth to pat him on the head and get a puppy kiss. Many kids were proudly showing off their fish that they had caught at the show excited to get home and cook them up for dinner.

I am already looking forward to the second annual Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show.

Northwestern Outdoors Radio Show

 

John Kruse, host of Northwestern Outdoors Radio interviewed me at the Wenatchee WA Sportsmen Show. The interview aired on 54 Pacific Northwest regional radio stations.

During the interview, we discussed a little bit about myself, how I fell in love with elk hunting,  the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Team Elk Television Show, did a little elk calling demonstration discussing elk language and wrapped up the interview talking about my Rhodesian Ridgeback Kruger, Cabela's and the ACM Awards show and Turkey Season opening.