Some Young Hunter’s Luck!

Some call it luck. Some call it skill.

I know Mackenzie, so no doubt there was quite a bit of skill involved on this hunt.

Those young guys can sure throw the hindquarters around too!

Congratulations on a fine Mule Deer trophy.

Until next year! See you on the mountain.

 

Mackenzie Hayes of Glenwood Springs, Colorado with his 2015 trophy mule deer buck from Game Management Unit 21 (GMU 21) near Rangely, Colorado
MacKenzie Hayes With His 2015 Mule Colorado Mule Deer

 

MacKenzie Hayes of Glenwood Springs packs out his trophy mule deer taken in northwestern colorado in 2015.
Packing is the Hard Part – But Maybe Not!

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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A Taste of High Country Summer

A fisherman poses with a stringer full of brook trout, caught while flyfishing on a high mountain stream in colorado in the summer.
Brook Trout Put A Smile On Your Face. Photo Courtesy of Rocky Tschappat, Aspen, Colorado

 

Few things go as well together than brook trout and a clear mountain stream, unless of course it is a hot cast iron pan and some freshly caught fillets.

I am told that these beauties had perfect, firm flesh and that beautiful orange color of wild fish. Apparently, these brookies  never saw any wrapping paper either.

Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Thank God For Summer!

 

RECIPE FOR COLORADO COWBOY TROUT

  • 8 small trout
  • 3 apples, sliced thinly
  • 1 sliced onion
  • honey
  • 3 slices of precooked ham, chopped
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon

Stuff trout bodies with apple, onion, and ham. Drizzle some honey on stuffing; add lemon juice and season to taste. Seal in doubled-up heavy-duty foil and cover in hot campfire coals. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serves four.

Keep in mind that if you are making this recipe, you are definitely doing it in the right place and are probably in a fine state of mind.

Enjoy!

*Adapted from The All Trout Cookbook by Rick Taylor. It is a great trout cooking recipe book, and I highly recommend it if you can find a copy.

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Flyfishing The High Country by John Gierach.
It’s Definitely Worth the Walk

Flyfishing the High Country by John Gierach. With Chapters on the high lakes, beaver ponds, the high streams, tackle and flies, the Frying Pan River, and more.

We generally have copies of this in stock, as well as other John Gierach books. Please email for availability and price.

Hope To See You In The High Country Soon!

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

It’s Rainbow Trout For Dinner(s)

A fisherman poses with a fillet of a big trophy rainbow trout, before brining for the smoker
A Slab of a Slab!

 

You have a clue that it’s a big one when you can’t fit it into a selfie.

I don’t know about you, but this is the biggest trout fillet that I have ever seen. No doubt there is a bit of an optical illusion going on here, but then again, maybe not…

There will be more than a few meals out of this fish, either way. It was caught in Colorado, but I’m afraid that I would not have a friend for very long if I told you exactly where.

This one is heading for the smoker after a proper brine and soak. I can almost smell the swirling woodsmoke now, teasing the recesses of my epicurean memory. I remember too, just how much I love a fresh trout dinner.

Perhaps it’s time to grab a fishing pole…

 

A fisherman holds a trophy rainbow trout out in front of his body and takes a selfie
Too Heavy, In A Good Way!

 

A SIMPLE BRINE RECIPE WITH MAPLE AND GINGER

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic

Mix well, and brine fish for 6-10 hours. This should be enough liquid to cover 8-10 pounds of fillets.

 

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You Know It’s Big When They Call It “The Spider Bull”

BOONE AND CROCKETT CLUB CONFIRMS NEW WORLD’S RECORD ELK
FRIDAY, JANUARY 02, 2009

The Record Class Spider Bull Elk

MISSOULA, Mont. (By The Boone and Crockett Club)

Perhaps the largest elk ever produced in the wild—a Utah bull taken in 2008 by a hunter on public land—has been confirmed as a new World’s Record. The official declaration was made today by the Boone and Crockett Club.

A Special Judges Panel determined a final score of 478-5/8 Boone and Crockett non-typical points, an incredible 93 inches above the B&C minimum score of 385 for non-typical American elk and 13-plus inches larger than the previous World’s Record.

With official data dating back to 1830, at 499-3/8 inches it is the only elk on record with a gross score approaching the 500-inch mark.

The giant bull has 9 points on the left antler and 14 points on the right. The larger antler has a base circumference over nine inches.

The Boone and Crockett scoring system, long used to measure the success of wildlife conservation and management programs across North America, rewards antler size and symmetry, but also recognizes Nature’s imperfections with non-typical categories for most antlered game. The bull’s final score of 478-5/8 inches included an incredible 140 inches of abnormal points.

“Along with measurements that honor the quality of the animal, Boone and Crockett Club records also honor fair-chase hunting,” said Eldon Buckner, chairman of the Club’s Records of North American Big Game committee. “Through our entry process, signed affidavits and follow-up interviews with the hunter, his guides, and state and federal officials, we were satisfied that this bull was indeed a wild, free-ranging trophy and that the tenets of fair chase were used in the harvest.”

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

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Let The Buffalo Roam – Forever

Buffalo Play

November 2015

SOAPSTONE PRAIRIE NATURAL AREA – Modern science and ancient ritual combined Sunday as a herd of 10 American bison thundered from a holding corral onto the northern Colorado prairie, the first step to restoring the nation’s largest iconic land mammal to this part of its historic range.

It was the first time in nearly 150 years that bison with complete heirloom genetics – from in and around Yellowstone National Park – had touched public grasslands near the Wyoming border north of Fort Collins.

About 350 community members and project partners gathered to watch the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd charge onto 1,000 fenced acres at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space.

Before the release, a spiritual leader from the Crow Nation of Montana offered a prayer in his native Apsaalooké language, as the golden eagle feathers in his headdress waved in the prairie wind. Four Native American guests then drummed and sang a Pawnee going-home song.

“I want to wish the buffalo well going back to their homelands,” drummer Dwayne Iron told those assembled…[More]

By  Coleman Cornelius

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I only recently found out about this amazing wildlife project. I just wish I could have been there to see it happen. This will definitely be on my travel list for 2016.

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

Find the Original Article and Read More About This Bison Reintroduction HERE

Guard Dog Of the Mountain

Just a friendly (or unfriendly) mountain dog, or otherwise lovely example of Mountain Man Chainsaw Folk Art.

I was surprised to find this standing post at an old miner’s cabin near the edge of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado, while hunting for mountain goats on the high peaks above.

You never know what you will find out there in them’ woods…

a photo of some chainsaw folk art, carved from a fir tree near an old miner's cabin at the edge of the maroon bells-snowmass wilderness area near aspen colorado while goat hunting in game management unit 12 gmu 12
Watch It There Buddy!

 

Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

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What Does Hunting Mean To You?

As Ortega Y Gasset so famously said, “We do not hunt to kill, we kill in order to have hunted”

As you can see, wiser philosophers than I, and other people of the hunt have weighed in on the subject of hunting since the dawn of man. Just look at some of the amazing cave art found around the world if you don’t believe that.

My thoughts about hunting are simple, and complicated. In the end, I hunt because I can. I hunt because “I am” … a hunter. I make no apologies in that regard.

Here are some of my feelings on the matter.

Care to share some of yours?

 

Some Selected Excerpts

 

“We can only be as strong as the sum total of our experience, and I cannot comprehend a life barely lived without the solid grounds of woods and field beneath the boots. The pursuit of wild things is a foundational activity, built upon the realities of the natural world and the spirit of the quickening heart. It is an opportunity to learn some core moral values, while becoming part of something much larger than one’s self”. – From a Pheasantful of Memories

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“There is a place I have been that many elk hunters must eventually visit. The mountains may shine amidst spectacular landscapes and it may look like typical elk country, but somehow things are different there. It is a land of mystery and natural forces inaccessible by horseback, jeep or other conventional means. Inward rather than outward, it is a journey of the heart on a path unique to each individual. It is a place you only know once you get there”. – From Forever Humbled.

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“A few things I know. A hunter’s fate is determined by his relationship with, and actions upon, the mountain. It probably would not be a mountain goat hunt without a fall of some kind somewhere in the mix, and hopefully I have now had mine. A man’s knee will lose a battle with a rock each and every time, and I am probably not the first person that these goats have observed bashing themselves upon the boundaries of their bedroom.

Perhaps that tired old euphemism is true, sometimes, and what did not kill me will make me stronger. I have been initiated upon the altar of stone, and may now have some protection against further mishaps. My boots will be set down more precisely from now on.

No matter what happens, blame cannot be placed at the feet of the goats. They are just being goats, and what becomes of this insignificant, two-legged animal is not their concern. They know as well as any creature on earth the perils of miscalculation, and the mortal ramifications of a misstep. They live with those truths for practically every breath of their life”. – From Careless For Just A Second Can Get You Killed.

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“At that moment I see through other eyes, from some other time.  A hint of memory flashes and reveals this place as it looked long, long ago. I see the ancestors there, huddled in the mist beneath heavy robes of fur, watching, waiting. I see their spears and primitive weapons, eager to sink their sharpness into hide and flesh. I hear their footfalls and their labored breath heaving in their chest. I feel the spear’s blade upon my hand, at the razor’s edge of all things. They are but a heartbeat away.” From Sacred Ground.

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Elk give perspective to the concept of what it means to be tough.

From our point of view he is a pitiless and unaffected creature, and he expects nothing of you that he would not expect of himself. He is a “game animal” with a lot of game. He believes strongly in equal opportunity, for he will take on all comers with hardly a care. Should you decide to enter his backyard and hunt him, you can tread lightly and show little effort, like many, and experience small success, like most. Hunt him big, and you can peg the throttles until the rockets burn out. He can take it. Can you? Your choice.

Once committed, he will meet you head on and wear you out physically and mentally, a little or a lot. He can grind your hopes into gritty powder and turn your dreams into nightmarish obsessions. He will turn and happily watch from the hill above, as you beat yourself bloody on the rocks. He waits, until you sheepishly stop to pat yourself and make sure that nothing is permanently broken…”              – From An Elk Hunter Looks At Fifty

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I warn them several times to stay clear of my knife in case I slip, but they never miss an opportunity to touch or prod or examine in some way this elk. Their mother has sternly warned them to not ruin their cloths, and both their father and I reminded them more than once. For all the good it does. They want to be close, to smell its’ smell and lay their fingers on its teeth. Even in death, they want to become part of its life. These two are hunters, make no mistake, and I’m proud to be with them on this mountain at this moment in time when two young people chose to join us all in the adventure that we love. – From How It Ought To Be

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“Time is the hunter of all men, and no one knows this better than we do. That knowledge gives us perspective, and direction. In that regard we are never lost in this great big world, not in life, nor even in death… ”                 Michael Patrick McCarty

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Please See Our Catalog of Used and Rare Books HERE

Planet Mountain Goat

July 12, 2015

As you can see, our two friends from the previous week have found some company. It’s a boy’s club for sure.

This view was taken through a spotting scope at twenty power and may not be the best photo.  However, I can assure you that there is one big boss billy in this group.

How many more hours to opening day?

A photo of a far off view of mountain goats in a spotting scope, in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of Colorado in GMU 12

 

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Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

A Journal of Wild Game, Fighting Fish, and Grand Pursuit