Box of Federal shells $15,
Used Mossberg 12 gauge $175,
Only woman hunting along with 19 men and
She shoots the first two roosters of the day…
High Country Archer ~ Mike “Hawk” Huston
A late winter wind cuts through the morning like an obsidian blade through new leather. Russian olive trees, chokecherry and alder fill this river bottom landscape and the smells of willow and sage fill my senses. Canadian geese and golden eye ducks float upon the clear cold waters of the river here beneath the majestic peaks of the Beartooth range. My wife Stacey and I are bow-hunting cottontail rabbits today and she is somewhere west of me stalking the heavy cover for the fleet footed long eared warriors. I see an antler tine sticking up out of the snow, for some people the finding of a shed whitetail antler would probably seem insignificant. For me it is like finding a rare treasure, the deer who carries this heavy rack all year has left his mark upon the smooth bony surface. Long gouges announce the fighting with other bucks during the rut, a broken tine tells the story of a possible battle with another warrior buck. a slight bend in the third tine tells me that this buck had an accident which left his right antler bent and mis-formed while still in the velvet. By days end eight cottontails have fallen to our arrows and we have found four sheds and one broken main beam from an obvious fight between two rivals. Eagles hawks and waterfowl have graced the skies this day. Deer, fox, bobcat, coyote, mink, rabbit, weasel, coon and skunk have left their tracks upon the trails we walked. pheasant and chuckar partridge have busted from the heavy cover and spawning rainbow and cutthroat trout are all along the icy riverbanks. Nature surely abounds here in the wild places, I feel fortunate to live here and even more fortunate to share this wild adventure with my wife today in this majestic place. The true bounty is not in the found sheds, or bunnies taken, nor in the wildlife seen. It is in the life we live, being included in the magic of it all, the circle of life all around us. As a great horned owl watches me from a nearby cottonwood branch, I am reminded by this nocturnal hunter that what I have witnessed in these few hours is only a fraction of what must go on here day and night.a whitetail buck busts from cover and races toward safety with raised tail and one lone antler still clinging to his head. I smile to myself and realize that as much as I would like to believe that I am one with this place , I am nothing but an invader of their homes. However I will return.. because my adventurous soul craves the wild places,my being would not be complete without natures Bounty surrounding me!
High Country Archer ~ Mike “Hawk” Huston
Mike and Stacey Huston are Team Huntress Outdoor Ambassadors, Avid Outdoor Promotors and lovers of the High Country. To read more of Mike’s writings Click on High Country Archer.
My friend asked me, How do you live up in South Dakota when it is so cold? Do you guys really go outside? Then a terrifying thought hit him as he said,I think I would die spending a day out in sub zero weather.
Well folks, we do live in an extreme place. Oh granted there are many places much harsher to spend time in than South Dakota, we get a wide range of weather from 100F plus in the summer to -40F below zero. Due to these extreme climate changes South Dakota is a great place to test outdoor gear.
The answer to my friend was simple. We dress, prepare, and plan appropriately for the weather. The most important of these is dressing appropriately for the activity at hand. It is possible you can put on too many clothes on a sub-zero day. If you do, it causes you to sweat inside your layers; you don’t want this to happen because your clothes will become wet from the sweat. Then the cloth will freeze from the cold temps in turn causing your body temperature to drop.
To avoid that scenario you need to ask yourself the following questions.
#1 Plan: What am I doing to be doing outside today?
#2 Prepare: If my plans call for different activity levels – What do I need to take with me?
#3 Dress: Dress for the weather and for the day.
Today I spent most of the day outside with South Dakota temps around zero or less. I am going to mention some items I use. Please keep in mind I have no sponsors for this article; I just want to share what works for me.
Next to my skin I wear silk long underwear. I find silk to be my favorite for a light weight insulating layer, it moves well under any type of secondary layer, dries quickly, and wicks moisture away from your skin. Next layer of clothing I wear is fleece sweat pants and a sweat shirt. Yes I know, I am not going to win any fashion shows wearing sweats all day, and some days I wear jeans but no matter the winter weather I always wear layers. My outer layer today is Carhart Arctic bib overall bottoms and a Carhart arctic coat. For my feet I wear Wetland Muck boots with cotton socks, (I find the wetland boots work very well to minus ten or so) a bomber rabbit fur lined hat, Kinco insulated gloves and a silk wild rag around my neck. Of course eye protection from the bright sun glaring off of the snow. I spent over six hours in zero degree temps today and was not cold at all wearing the above items. For years our family has worked, hunted, and played outdoors year round. We have bought cheap gear, and some extremely expensive gear. I will tell you GEAR makes all the difference in the world.
Thinsulate and other new fibers are awesome stuff. Know how many grams plus the temperature rating in the gear you are buying. Take time to read some reviews, You will spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less warming up or worse, suffering from exposure.
The Muck boots I wore today weigh about 5 lbs. I use them for hunting in the fall, all winter, and throughout the spring. The Wetland Muck Boot is an extreme boot for extreme field conditions. They are rugged, durable, comfy and very warm. These boots keep my feet warm and dry even in the most unpredictable temperatures of South Dakota. You can find them via http://www.hanksclothing.com/muck_boots_wetland_premium_field_boot_buy. html
Arctic Carhart clothing holds up to the rigors of ranch work as well as hunting. Mine are still in service after ten years of hard use. I have put in a few zippers and patched a spot or two where the fence has bitten me, but the quality is unbeatable. I give two thumbs up to the folks at Carhart, this stuff works. I have many of their products and love them all. I prefer Black; it soaks in the suns warmth giving that little extra on the days when you really need it. It also makes it easy to be spotted in the snow. Shop for these products via http://www.hanksclothing.com/carhartt_arctic_wear.html
Silk wild rags can be purchased in many places, don t think you re going to stay warm by being cheap, 100% silk is the only way to go in this item. Here is a vendor I have not used, but I like the fact they guarantee the items they sell http://cowboywildrags.com/index.html
Silk wild rags are one of the coolest looking things you can wear to keep you warm.
Gloves, I should have mentioned two rules earlier, if your feet or fingers get cold, YOU ARE COLD! Buy the right gear for the activity you are taking part in. Here are a few of my favorite places to shop for gloves; yes I know I am a bit of a glove junkie. http://www.kinco.com/prods/L03.php http://geierglove.com/ http://www.sullivanglove.com/scripts/default.asp
Silk underwear is my choice, but some folks enjoy others; try them to find what works best for you and your body. Compare all kinds all prices and shop from a source you trust. Buy American made when possible. http://www.wintersilks.com/ three weights of silk http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/guide-gear-china-silk-clothing- .aspx?a=40252 china silk http://www.underarmour.com/ Under Armor http://thesocksite.com/100-cotton-midweight-waffle-knit-thermal- underwear-p-559.html Cotton
Heat escapes out of the top of your head so choosing a warm topper is a must. I prefer a rabbit fur lined bomber hat. I have several depending on the outing. The fur lining is soft and light weight, making this very comfortable as well as toasty warm. http://www.madbomber.com/store/
Over the years growing up watching my father, I learned to value good gear and how to take care of it so it can take care of you. Don t be afraid to pay for quality; research, shop, and purchase wisely. Quality never goes out of style and chances are it will not wear out or fail when you need it most. If we can help you with any gear purchase please feel free to give a call. We are consumers just like you. The above mentioned sites are for reference and research only; we are not affiliated with them. Here at the ranch we don t make any clothing or get paid to mention brands, we work hard and play hard putting our gear to the test every time we go out the door. When we find something we like, we not only use it, but try hard to share what we learn with others along the way so they might spend more time comfortably enjoying the great outdoors too.
Dave is a Team Huntress Outdoor Ambassador, South Dakota Hunt Safe Instructor, outfitter, certified concealed carry, competition hunter and President of Pheasant Phun Inc. As an avid outdoorsman he enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Stacey Huston says look out your window
We all enjoy venturing out into nature, if for nothing more than to recharge our souls. Nature has a way, if you are willing to put aside the pettiness of life, of putting life into perspective. She shows us the simple little things in life and lays them all out for each to discover.
If you are willing to look and listen, nature has the answer to most any problem. I hear people tell me all the time that if they had my camera, or my lens, or if they lived where I do, then they would be able to take good photos too. However, it honestly isn t the equipment you use; cameras and lenses are only tools, even though I am pretty proud and protective of my camera. It is all in how you choose to look at life. You do not have to have the most expensive camera, and I can tell you from experience, if you enjoy wildlife photography, you will NEVER have a camera with a good enough zoom. Nature still exists, and will always do the coolest things just outside of your zoom range “ that is part of the beauty of nature and my draw to photography. There are so many cool and wonderful things, and the ones that I am allowed to capture and share with the world are each a special gift to me. As for where I live, well it is a pretty amazing place, but there is beauty everywhere “ if you choose to look for it, you will find it.
People, for the most part, tend to get stuck in the rut of life and with the state of our economy, it may only get tougher for those who have forgotten how to look and see the beauty that is all around them.
Look out your window; look in your own back yard. I would say that nature is there with all her glory and wonder, just waiting for you to discover the little treasures that she has placed there. Just for you, to remind you of what is truly important. Don t overlook or take for granted what nature has to offer. In fact, my most valued gifts are the ones I almost took for granted, because I look out my window, or walk by them every day.
The mule deer cross through my yard everyday, morning and night. I know they are coming and will often find myself watching for them, but I very seldom stop to truly appreciate the beauty that they bring to my world each time they do. But on this evening, when I looked out my window, I saw things in a different light, as the sun s light drained from the world that surrounded me, and the cool evening turned the air blue and cast dark shadows over the landscape. I was reminded once again that beauty isn t only found by searching, going miles into the woods, or by spending thousands of dollars on expensive equipment and gas. Beauty is and has always been right in front of you ¦ all you have to do is look.
To take a photo in low light it is important to eliminate camera shake as much as possible, and most photographers suggest using a tripod and remote shutter release to accomplish this task. With this shot, though, I did not have much time to think the shot through before the buck disappeared over the rise, or the light left completely, so I quickly grabbed my camera, slipped out on the deck and braced the camera in the corner, where our railing and porch post come together. I waited until the deer sky-lined, and took the photo, leaving the flash on for a faster shutter speed. Since he was walking away from me there was no eye shine. A little contrast adjustment and saturation removed more of the detail, leaving this silhouette photo. (Exposure 1/100 F6.3 at 400mm ISO400)
Stacey Huston is an outdoorswoman to the core, and would much rather spend time in the high country than in the local shopping mall, and feels more at home in heavy timber than in a salon. She is an accomplished photographer and is the staff photographer for Journey With Red Hawk T.V. series. Stacey is also a licensed falconer and raptor rehabilitation volunteer, helping injured raptors to once again soar on open skies. She resides with her husband of 18 years and their two boys in the mountains of western Wyoming. To see her photography, go to http://afocusinthewild.blogspot.com/
We are very excited to see the new show and how it gets all put together. We only know one of the stories, ours. There are 9 other teams and the stories that they will also have. It should be an exciting venture, through the season!
Voting will start on after the first show on www.battleofthebow.com. Please watch the show and let us know what you think!
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
The voting has begun. You can rate each team once a day. Click here to vote!
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
The sun slips silently lower in to the lush South Dakota Grasslands, casting a soft golden hue across the landscape, as we slow to take the turn onto the familiar gravel road that will lead us back to Pheasant Phun¦ The excitement builds as I look forward to once again seeing old friends and the prospect of meeting new. As the gravel crunches beneath the tires and the dust rises behind the truck I fondly think back to my last trip here for Team Huntress. Two Months ago I came along to Team Huntress with the intention of teaching. I was there to help with archery instruction and to see if I could get some photos of the event. I planned on staying back and observing¦ and stepping in to help out were needed. I am not the type of woman who ever thought she would do something like this. Throughout my life, I have always had more male friends than female. I was the girl in high school who hung out with the boys cuz they did all the cool stuff. I was never interested in cheerleading, or shopping. There were always better things to do, and all of them included being outdoors.
Moments after arriving at this beautiful place it was clear that there are no strangers here.. Jane Keller and her family welcomed us in with open arms and quickly made us feel comfortable and at home. A safe haven if you will. I spent an amazing weekend getting to know some beautiful and inspiring women – hosts, instructors, as well as guest. For me as a wife and mother who enjoys the outdoors, there was nothing so cool, as for me, to watch some of these girls grow and blossom before our eyes as they found a common passion., and realized their natural talents. To see how quickly they were drawn to and found enjoyment in new things that they never thought possible.
I fondly recall the huge grin that unfolded upon one woman s face as she put aside her uncertainties and shot a pistol for the first time. For reasons of her own, she had an inherent fear of handguns¦ With gentle instruction and thorough teaching of how to safely handle a handgun, she found herself standing at the shooting range and actually enjoying each hole that the pistol in her hand was punching in the paper plate before her.
Another guest discovered a natural talent when it came to shooting and we all shared her excitement each time she shot the bow, pistol, and shotgun and hit the intended target. Some moving and some stationary! We all felt the pride as her mother watched on. How special for mother and her grown daughter to be able to share that moment of learning and discovery together. There is no ego at Team Huntress only companionship and gentle encouragement that only ladies know how to give. Team Huntress is not about hunting, Team Huntress is about educating yourself, taking the opportunity to explore, and maybe even discovering something new to enjoy, and giving yourself permission to just relax and have fun.
We pull into the yard and are once again greeted by old friends that have grown beyond friendship to hold a special place in my heart. I am nervous about the courses I have so eagerly agreed to instruct, but that nervousness is quickly replaced with excitement about connecting with the new girls and the new adventures that will be shared. I have spoken with many women about the Team Huntress events, and once in a while I hear someone say Team Huntress is not for me. I would like to meet the people there, but I don t think I would fit in¦ I am not a hunter¦ I don t like guns¦ or spiders and dirt, I might cut myself with arrow¦ And¦ and¦and My answer to them is Stop making excuses! No matter your outdoor skill level¦ Team Huntress IS for you.
This is not a camping trip¦ Or a survival course¦ You will be fed gourmet food and sleep on amazingly comfortable beds in an amazingly beautiful lodge¦with indoor plumbing and a hot shower. You will have the opportunity to learn outdoor skills alongside other like-minded women; all while being pampered with massages, and foot rubs and facials. It is ok to give yourself permission to relax and have fun, and maybe even try something new. You might even surprise yourself.. You might actually have fun..lol
Though I can tell you a story about every one of the girls that I have had the honor of meeting at Team Huntress.. I would like to recall a story about one particular woman that came along to Team Huntress, I think, just to humor her friend. She had no real desire to shoot a bow, let alone a gun. As the day progressed with food and pampering and gifts and skills the instructors made sure not to pressure her into anything she did not feel comfortable with, but after a few moments of watching the other women, and seeing how much they were enjoying archery, she found herself with a longbow in hand and that familiar spark in her eye when she popped a balloon¦Success!
Later that evening while we relaxed around the lodge, enjoying conversations and sharing stories from our day¦ She confessed how easy and fun it actually was to shoot a bow, and that she was now afraid to tell her husband, because that would mean that for all these years he had been right after all. She said that she would like to get a recurve when she got back home just do some target shooting in the backyard.
A few months have passed since the last Team Huntress event and as I sit here at home writing this article ¦ I smiled to myself as I read the message That I just received from her friend that drug her along to Team Huntress. This particular lady, who had no desire to shot, or go out hunting with her husband, had just returned from an evening in the woods.. recurve in hand¦and her husband was there to share with her and video the whole thing!
Women from all over the U.S. come together for the Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic¦ each for their own reasons.
Some searching for something personal, some not really searching but thinking they have come along to support a friend or a relative, and some think they are there just to teach. However, one thing is for certain. After an enjoyable and unforgettable weekend, bonds will be made, and lifetime friendships forged. But most importantly, we will all have learned, in more ways than you could have ever imagined.
Team Huntress is more than just a women s outdoor clinic.
Huston is an outdoors woman to the core. She would much rather spend time in the high country than in the local shopping mall, and feels more at home in heavy timber than in a salon. She is an accomplished photographer and is the staff photographer for Journey With Red Hawk T.V. series. Stacey is also a licensed falconer and raptor rehabilitation volunteer, helping injures raptors to once again soar on open skies. She resides with her husband of 18 years and their two boys in the mountains of western Wyoming.
New to our Camp Store this jacket has it all! Soft, silent shell of our 100% polyester 8000/5000 waterproof/breathable fabric. Well insulated with 150Gm 3M ULTRA Thinsulate- this jacket will not leave you out in the cold. Lined with our 100% nylon tricot for added ease of layering and movement. Deep chest and hand pockets. Innovative inner sleeve liner keeps arm mobile yet reduces drafting and maximizes dryness. Safety Harness access at the base of the neck with magnetic tab closure allows the huntress to wear harness under the jacket. Hood with exterior drawstring closure that pulls hood away from the face, thus maximizing peripheral vision. Drawstring at waist to enhance warmth. Includes the signature Prois Ducktail Feature that is designed to provide additional warmth and dryness to the backside¦simply unsnap and the tail drops down an additional 12 inches that optimizes dryness when sitting in the elements.
The heavyweight pants that are engineered to withstand the coldest conditions mother nature has to offer. Constructed with 100% polyester 8000/5000 waterproof/breathable shell that is soft and utterly silent. Insulated with 150 Gram 3M ULTRA Thinsulate and lined with our sleek nylon tricot. These pants are the ultimate in warmth whether you are trekking across the frozen mountain terrain or awaiting that trophy buck in a treestand. Elastic waistline with added elastic drawstring and cordlock. Large cargo pockets with pillowtop closures. 9³ boot zippers added for ease of donning. The Prois XTREME Pants are designed to meet the needs of THE serious hunter! Find them in the Camp Store
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
See the original article at CampWildGirls.com
When in our lives do we become who we are? Is it from the moment we take our first breath, Is it as an adolescent, a young adult.. Or do we really ever become one decided person? I believe we are who we are simply because we are meant to be that person. In our lives we are sometimes fortunate to meet people who change our lives forever. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good.
I was blessed to be raised by my parents; mom always made sure we were well fed, loved and still wishes the best for her children. Dad made certain that we were immersed in the wild places and nurtured my natural desire to become part of the natural order of things. My best friend in my youth John roamed the mountains of Montana with me making memories along the way, although we are no longer friends those memories still remain. Ladies I have known, some broke my young heart, some captured it¦ while my soul mate and life partner Stacey WON it through true love and absolute devotion. I have buried good friends and cried at the loss, I have made enemies who will last a lifetime and friends who will last even longer.
My children are my most perfect accomplishment, yet I see my own flaws in them and wonder if they will be able to cope with all that lies before them. I see my strengths in them as well and am proud of their ability to enjoy life and all it has to offer, no matter what befalls them. I secretly hope for them all there is to see, do and experience, yet I wish they would always stay close by. I have a hand full of friends who I believe in and who believe in me, a select few who I would give my life for and who I am sure would return the favor. I am a hunter and most of my friends and family are hunters as well, yet there are those close to my heart and immersed in my life who would never harvest an animal.
Yes brothers and sisters of the bow, life is an ever changing ride. I am sure mine will change, evolve and I look forward to every moment I get to experience it. Thanks to those who have joined my circle on this journey we all share, and to those who may be a part of it in the future.
May every day be blessed with fine hunting, every hunt be filled with adventure and every adventure be filled with enjoyment. And may every twist and turn of this journey we call life be intertwined with one another, as we all strive toward a common goal… To not simply exist but to LIVE!!!!! Hawk