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elkoholic last won the day on September 14 2017

elkoholic had the most liked content!

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About elkoholic

  • Rank
    Monster Buck
  • Birthday 06/30/1953


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  • Interests
    hunting, fishing, hiking, reading, weight lifting
  1. nice kitty

    This speaks for itself. https://www.fieldandstream.com/video-cougar-stalks-man-on-vancouver-island?CMPID=ene031418
  2. Yesterday

    It's kind of strange here as the turkeys hanging around in town are gobbling and strutting around in the snow. Over the winter the birds hang out in town where multiple people will be feeding them or out of town there are always a few who also feed over the winter. Where I live there is several feet of snow yet (it is snowing right now) and there will not be any turkeys around until mid to late April, depending on snow melt/green-up. Just a couple of miles away and higher on the mountain some friends of mine feed the turkeys year round and there are close to a hundred (maybe more) turkeys hanging around and some of them a really big gobblers. They don't let anyone hunt on their property either. The thing with feeding turkeys like that is the mess they make and even in the summer when many of them wonder far and wide there is still enough of them around those people's house that you couldn't walk across their lawn without stepping in it. Turkey season starts April 15th here and hopefully the snow will be gone at the lower elevations by then.
  3. Favorite Turkey Vest?

    The Knight & Hale RNG-200 looks like a good one. Personally, I've never seen the need for one. Calls go in cargo pockets on pants and an old padded seat I purchased years ago for less than $10 hangs from my belt. A couple of shells in another pocket and I'm set. Some of those vests go for well over $100 and I'm getting more minimalist all the time.
  4. The cost of hunting.

    From what I'm seeing here, only Steve in Alaska has it good and that's only because of being an old fart like me. Of course the cost of everything else in Alaska might make up for it. The lifetime licenses offered in some states are also a bargain. Other than that, it looks like the costs for licenses/tags to hunt are getting to be ridiculously high. I am aware of people here in Montana who are living pay check to pay check that simply can not afford to hunt. Many are working 2 or 3 jobs just to pay the rent/mortgage and living off Ramen noodles they bought on sale, and if they can get the time off to hunt would find it hard to justify the final cost of the meat they hope to put in the freezer. That is if they can afford the freezer to begin with. Hopefully, the death spiral has not begun, but as the number of hunters decline, it is a given that license prices will go up to make up for the decrease in funds. Although that is not the only reason for the decline in the number of hunters, there is a point where many will say that it just is not worth it anymore. The other two driving factors in the decline in hunters is access to land (not a problem in some areas, unless the selloff of public land begins) and aging baby-boomers who can no longer physically hunt. I, along with most hunters, put more value on the hunt than the cost per pound of meat that goes in the freezer, but that intrinsic value means nothing if I can no longer afford the license/tag fees. While one can enjoy the outdoors without "hunting", there is something about the anticipation, the whole process, that has immeasurable value.
  5. The cost of hunting.

    I don't know about the cost in other states for a resident hunter but here in Montana it is somewhat pricey. I purchased a Sportsmans without bear for $35 (half price because I'm an old fart) which includes tags for elk and deer (one of each), upland bird hunting and fishing. In order to buy that you must also buy a base hunting license, $10, and and aquatic invasive species prevention pass, $2. Next I added a bear tag, $19, (it is cheaper than adding it to the Sportsman license) and a turkey tag $6.50. To hunt with a bow I needed a bow and arrow permit, $10 and to top it all of I added $25 in Super Tag chances on moose (5 chances). To all this I added a $10 donation for Hunters against Hunger. I bought it on-line so there was a small convenience fee that brought the total to $121.77. Even without the Super Tag chances and the donation it would have been $86.77. Now, if you throw in a new bow and/or rifle with all the accessories, arrows and/or cartridges plus any other hunting paraphernalia you might think you need and it is no wonder that the number of hunters is declining. Not to mention the huge number of baby boomers who are getting too old to hunt and are now living on a reduced income and find it hard to even justify the reduced fee (if even applicable) for tags. Nonresident licenses are beyond comprehension, especially here in the west when hunting on National Forest Service land. I certainly hope it does not get any worse, but the reality does not look so good.
  6. Is it spring yet?

    No Spring here yet. Check this out: http://www.kpax.com/story/37591384/snowfall-records-fall-in-northwest-montana It is supposed to snow all week. Hopefully will not get too much more. Only about two feet on the ground at my house but east of here it is really piling up.
  7. My office view

    I know there are multiple pictures I've posted of this view on the forums but it is simply a beautiful morning here in northwest Montana. Those thousands of acres you can see in the picture are only a few of the millions of acres in the Kootenai National Forest. The mountains in the background are on the other side of Lake Koocanusa, a 97 mile long lake that extends into Canada less than 10 miles north of here. That ridge top is a tangle of blowdown timber where the elk like to hide and try to keep the wolves at bay. I have taken a 330" bull and a couple of 140"+ whitetails out of there. I don't want to talk about the ones that got away, but they were memorable hunts that if I'd a done my part right would have put meat in the freezer.
  8. On a roll - fair chase

    Well, I think that anytime the intended quarry can use all of their senses to detect danger within their flight zone and have an avenue of escape would qualify as fair chase and definitely spot and stalk is on top of my list as well. A few thoughts to stir the pot. A treed animal has no avenue of escape. Long range shooting where not only does the animal have little chance to detect the hunter but even if it does it does not feel threatened.
  9. motor vehicles and hunting

    William, I do not think that driving to or from an area where you will be hunting is poaching. I do think that if your intent is to drive around until you see something to shoot, or if stopped/parked and spotting from a vehicle you are indeed poaching if hunting from a motor vehicle is illegal in that area. Even if legal, I would question the ethics of that practice. Sitting in a vehicle and trying to spot an animal in the distance that you can then make a stalk on is in my mind hunting from a vehicle, but I am not sure that it gives one any great advantage beyond that of getting from one spotting place to another faster and with little or no physical effort. Therein lies the rub for me. Hunting should require some effort, even if it is just putting down your cup of coffee and getting out of the comfort of your heated vehicle. I know many of the forum members do most, if not all, of their hunting from stands. It is a lot different here in the western states. There is a tremendous amount of land, millions of acres, where I live and road hunting (or poaching) is way too common. There are thousands of miles of Forest Service roads and come the general firearms season they are crawling with vehicles inching along at a snails pace, loaded firearms at the ready. Most shoot from the road and many from the vehicle itself. Even during archery season when the elk are rutting there are those hunters stopping and calling from their vehicles and listening for a reply. They are definitely hunting from a vehicle and yes they are poachers. There is an unfair advantage to being able to cover many miles in a day without breaking a sweat. Stop and get out and burn some boot leather. Hike to a vantage point and glass or call. Bottom line is, whatever the law is in your hunting area, if you are not hunting legally, you are a poacher.
  10. On a roll - fair chase

    Since I'm on a roll tonight, how about a few thoughts on fair chase hunting. I read a statement today that got me to thinking about the current state of hunting and doing absolutely everything we can to put the odds in our favor as hunters. The thought was, that in order for it to be fair chase the animal we are pursuing should have at least a 50% chance of getting away and for it to be truly sporting it should have a greater than 50% chance. From the simple act of providing unnatural food sources to draw them in, along with manipulating travel routes, to creating bedding areas we have increased our odds depending on how adapt we are at changing the habitat. Add in camouflage, scent control and the myriad of cover/attractant scents, decoys and the odds become even more uneven. Now throw in a shooting house which further veils scent, along with sight and sound, plus it is left in place and the animal becomes complacent with its presence as it has become a harmless piece of the landscape. The list goes on and on and with each passing season more "technology" floods the market. Even the animals movements are being tracked, and that is the only real unknown for the hunter on stand. Will the animal show up while hunter is sitting there? If it does step out in range (and that has probably been manipulated) the odds are probably not 50%. Bow hunters sitting in an open stand are the closest to the 50/50 proposition and on a stalk the animal probably has a better than 50% change of getting away. What do you think is the best "fair chase" hunt?
  11. motor vehicles and hunting

    If you have seen some of my old posts, you probably know one of my pet peeves is road hunting/hunting from a motor vehicle. It is illegal in most states with the exception of handicapped/disabled hunters, or in some states if done on private property, Texas for example. To the best of my knowledge no state allows hunting from a public road or right of way. So, with that, if one is spot and stalk hunting, with the spotting done by driving around trying to spot something from a vehicle, is it illegal? I say definitely illegal. Like a mountain lion hunter driving Forest Service roads looking/hunting for tracks to turn the dogs loose on or an elk/moose/deer hunter doing the same thing only stopping every 1/4 mile of so to call. Does the hunting only begin when you see, hear or cut the tracks of your quarry? Or, not until you step out of your vehicle and off the public right of way? What exactly are these people doing before they magically become hunters when their quarry is sighted? In the past 50+ years I have spent thousands of hours tromping around the mountains "not seeing" my quarry so I guess I haven't done near as much hunting as friends and family think I have, but at least I wasn't in a motor vehicle at the time I wasn't hunting. Yes, it is easier to cover a lot of ground in a vehicle (advantage predator) but just what is it you're doing if not hunting illegally? Isn't hunting illegally called poaching? Game wardens here just give me a constipated look when I ask why they do not enforce or even try to educate people about illegal use of motor vehicles during hunting season. Not all people who hunt are hunters, some are simply, poachers. Any thoughts on this subject?
  12. night raiders

    Although common enough, flying squirrels are seldom seen and that is surely because they are mostly nocturnal. I discovered that there was a pair visiting/raiding one of my bird feeders when late one night I noticed the feeder swinging back and forth. I set up a couple of trail cameras to see if I could get a video. I wasn't disappointed.
  13. Winter has arrived

    We had 4 weeks of temps never getting out of the single digits and lows well below zero. Then on Saturday it warmed up and the past 4 days have been in the mid 30s with a little bit of rain. Snow level in the back yard went from 30+ inches of fluffy snow to 16 inches of heavy, wet snow. I much prefer the cold when it comes to snow and moving it around. From this to this
  14. Double Pedestal Mount

    Looks great! I hope you have a spot picked out to put it where it can be gazed upon and enjoyed every day.
  15. With a heavy heart

    I want to thank everyone for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. She will always be part of who I am and has left me with many fond memories of a life shared. I had promised her that I would not become a hermit, so I will continue to stop by and visit the forums and not just disappear into the mountains.