Top 10 reasons why guys never get their trophy mule deer, or trophy antelope, or trophy white tail or monster elk.

November 24, 2017 in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

#1. Cannot afford it. Wrong

Rolling Bones will give you a hunt plan. Rolling bones lets you book the hunt and pay for it over time. Before Rolling Bones I did this by saving $25 per month. I shot some really good elk under this saving plan.

#2. Do not know where to go.

Let Rolling bones do a hunt plan for you. They know where to go.

#3. Do not have the equipment.

Rolling Bones will get you an equipment list and make it for the hunts you need to go on.

#4. Do not know how to get the tags.

Rolling Bones will apply for you. They know how to get the tags. They know the deadlines. The do the paperwork for you.

#5. You think that you cannot draw some of the tags.

We draw too many of the tags that people say they cannot draw. We make a plan to help you get those tags. One thing is for sure. You will not draw the tag if you do not apply.

#6. Not sure what guide to go with.

Rolling Bones knows the guides. They will help you.

#7. Want to go DIY.

Scared to try this way. Rolling Bones can help you get the tags where DIY is as successful as guided hunts.

#8. Tradition.

You only hunt in your home state because that is what you always have done. Make a plan to make your hunt dreams happen. Tradition is good but should not hold you back.

#9. Wants to hunt with your kids or dad.

An example is that you may be scared that dad is too old to go in the high mountains. You may be worried that it will be to cold to take the little kids. Rolling Bones knows where to apply for the kids. They have camps to take your dad too. My kids have shot deer lots of deer. Nice big bucks on public land. Lots of antelope have been shot under this plan.

#10. You have no plan.

With a hunt plan you can afford your hunts, you can draw tags that are dream tags. Rolling bones will ask you what you want. What you dream of. They make a plan to get you on hunts you can afford. With a plan you just might have to choose what hunts to not go on.

Coyotes The Creator Of Good And Bad, coyote calling gets in your blood.

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

Coyote callingAs a young hunter just out of college I was attracted to bow hunting. Growing up in Iowa there wasn’t a rifle season and shotgun season was so competitive and hunting ground was hard to find, so archery is what I gravitated to. Through high school I hunted with stick and string. After College I started shooting competitive. I lived for shooting my bow and bow hunting. My Wife and I were somewhere new every weekend shooting in another tournament. Then a career, kids and life. I didn’t have time to shoot three hours a day and spend every weekend shooting. I still love shooting and bow hunting but other hunting interest started appealing to me.

One thing I always had interest in was predators. In high school I would try to call whatever I could whenever I could. I had very little success, however my interest in predator hunting never went away. So about twenty years ago I was on a prairie dog hunt and I ask the outfitter if he guided coyote hunts? He said no but I know a guy who does. He gave me his name and number. I flew back to suburbs and went back to work. Like a teenage boy with twenty dollars burning a whole in my pocket. That name and number was doing the same… I had to call this guy who guided coyote hunters. Russell Cvach, South Dakota and coyotes! I had no idea how this phone call would change my life. I scheduled the hunt, booked a airplane ticket to Rapid City South Dakota and away I went.

I got to Rapid City Rented a Truck and Drove to Kadoka SD. and settled into my room for a nights rest before the next days hunt. As Russell pulled up in his truck, I was scratching my head thinking, am I crazy. Middle of February and I am leaving the comforts of my home and the new life I had came accustom to, you know the one, Starbucks, heated seats, lunch out everyday. Now I am standing in a parking lot of a hotel on the high prairie of South Dakota and a rancher named Russell that Talks to coyotes is picking me up to hunt this coyote critters for the next three days??? What am I doing was the question I was asking myself. Then the anticipation of the adventure takes over and off we go.
The next three days We called and called and called. We saw coyotes, they just happened to be between sets. Then on the last day we called in two coyotes. Russell blew into his call and started a sequence that by day three was burnt into my memory. About the third set of rabbit squeels I saw a flash of fur out of the corner of my eye and as I spun my head in the direction of the flash I clearly spotted the coyote, actually two coyotes. This was it, it was the shot I had traveled to South Dakota for. I shoot, I missed. I rushed that shot soooo bad. I had coyote fever sooo bad. I couldn’t believe it. I was shook. It was not a question. I blew the shot. I had more “buck fever over those coyotes than I had ever had over a buck deer. My guide was awesome and I didn’t want to leave. However, I had to get back to my world and a world away it was. I had came home with no coyotes. What I did come home with was a great anticipation for the next trip.

With in a week I was back on a airplane doing what I do, but now I had a new obsession. Coyotes!!! I just couldn’t stop thinking about coyotes. It was not on me, it was in me. My life became consumed with thinking about coyote hunting. I bought a new rifle, I went and bought a scope the price of my first pickup. I was going again. No question. So I Called Russell and scheduled another hunt.

Well on that hunt I didn’t get a coyote either. What I did get was the clear understanding that my life was going to change. Since that second trip. My family and I have moved to South Dakota. My wife and I have raised our boys away from Suburban America in the great State of South Dakota. Russell, Well Russell and his wife Kim have became dear friends of ours. Russell and I are Best of friends and have hunted everywhere together and literally have shot a thousand coyotes, huge mule deer and even a sixty inch Yukon Moose. That frustrating coyote hunt, that most would have considered a failure was actually a huge success. It changed the direction of my life. Coyotes are still today my favorite thing in the world to hunt. South Dakota now is home for my family and I and all because of that crazy coyote fever. There is even a company called Rolling Bones Outfitters today because of the crazy critter we call a coyote..

The Best Of Hunting To You,


The Gift That Keeps Giving, gift of hunting.

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

I was 33 years old living in a city of a million people. Married with two boys and a career in financial services well under way. 200 days a year away from home flying around the U.S like it was nothing more than running around on the gravel roads of Bremer County Iowa where I grew up. I would spend those flights in a suit and tie dreaming of the hunts I had always dreamed of as a child reading my Grand Fathers collection of outdoor magazines. Growing up in Iowa was a amazing thing. We had horses, goats, hogs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese and a cow or two just for good measure. Summers were spent bailing hay, fencing and working around our small farm or at the neighbors farms. We also were preparing for the county fair and the end of summer celebration that went with it.The Gift That Keeps Giving, gift of hunting checkout how.

When we weren’t working or playing ball we were hunting. Craig Macholz, Troy Seelhammer, Brett Miller and I couldn’t stop talking about, thinking of and go on our next hunt. Ducks, Pheasants, Red squirrels, rabbits and Whitetail deer. Its all we thought about, (well maybe the occasional thought of the homecoming queen) hunting and more hunting. I had a Marlin .22 rifle, a Mossberg 12 gauge shoot gun, Fred Bear Kodiak-II compound bow and a 1970 Chevy 4×4 pickup. Could life get any better?

So here I am in my thirties and a world away from the days of hunting shelter belts and small patches of timber in Iowa. I was going on a few adventures each year. Goose hunts in Canada a dove hunt or two in Mexico or Argentina and a Deer hunt to Wyoming I slipped off for for a few days. Most of these were DIY hunts with the exception of Argentina Dove. Then a buddy of mine said lets go on a PrairieDog Shoot. I was in! So I bought a rifle and a scope and away we went. Wow, what learning trip that was. The Western Part of South Dakota was awesome, my shooting past two hundred yards, not so awesome. Inside two hundred was rocking the minute I started stretching it out inconstancy was the best explanation.

After our return, the same buddy that suggested we go on the prairie dog shoot sent me a email about a long range shooting course in Texas, I was in. One thing as a adult I had figured out was EDUCATION was a real inexpensive way to save lots of time and get better results. We registered for the course and of to Texas I went.

The Class was ran by former military snipers and they had a tremendous amount of information. The two day course changed my world. I left with my gun, its optics and the ammo all mapped out to seven hundred yards. Wow was I blown away. I couldn’t wait to get my rifle home with my range journal and start working on my other rifles. Over the next few years I went through all of their classes and what a gift that was. Prairie Dogs now had to look out, coyotes needed to worry past two hundred yards and deer had no chance at 400. It changed my effective range for ever.

We now have our own shooting academy. To see our students eyes light up as the learn how their rifle system works and how they can maximize the rifles capabilities on their rifle is so fun. Our instructor is Chip Beaman who has been trained by or trained some of the best shooters in the world.
We strive to give that gift that keeps giving, Education and Competence! This gift of education was the best gift I have ever given myself as it relates to hunting. The results are reflected almost every year I live out here and hunt the vast landscapes.

The Best Of Hunting To You,

Why a shooting school?

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

best shooting schoolWhy a shooting school? This is a question that is asked by so many outdoorsman. I was one of those guys. I understand higher learning, I get having a coach to help you, but why a shooting school? I have been shooting a rifle since I was 12 years old and I am pretty efficient, that was my thoughts. Along with the fact that if it’s out past 200 yards and I can’t get closer, well then I should become a better hunter. This was my thinking and my rationalization when I heard of people shooting at 500 plus yards. I was a bow hunter first and my mind couldn’t get around the thought that I couldn’t get within 500 yards. Well then my first trip to South Dakota and a coyote hunt that left me pondering the misses and frustration of being inches off at 250-300 yards. It woke me up to the fact that elevation and windage was as important with a bullet at 350 yards as it is with a arrow at 55 yards.

So I went home with a desire to learn a new skill set. I read articles on MOA shooting and then the argument that Mil Specs are better. I muttered through a ton of information and data and was no better off than I was months earlier.

Today, it’s a little easier with all of the systems out there that have the home work done for the hunter. However, the understanding of how these gun systems work and how the homework gets done, is well worth the education cost if you want to be effective and humane with your shooting past 300 yards. Education to me has always created two primary results, time and money. That is what I find education provides. Failure is an educator and as a sales executive that was traveling and trading 200 days a year, I had little time to learn through my failures, so off I went to my first weekend shooting school. It was outstanding. I learned so much it was crazy. It was amazing to me the data I was consuming and how much I had improved in just 2 1/2 days. I booked back in for the next two courses they had. The end result was, I felt comfortable shooting and harvesting a animal out to 600 yards. Even though we were shooting out to a 1000+ yards, I only felt comfortable shooting an animal out to 600. I clearly was educated and was able to come up with my “personal effective range!” That is truly what I believe hunters should know, their “personal effective range.”

So fast forward 24 years. We now have a hunting company that wants to provide service, education and access to the hunting enthusiast. We work hard at helping people with the two biggest issues they face when coming out West hunting.
One, where to hunt, what to hunt and how to get the hunt you’re looking for. Two, what to shoot, how to shoot and how to get the most from your shooting system. We find so many people come to the West hunting without the information necessary to get the results they desire. We truly want to save the hunter time. Back to that education part, most people don’t have the time, money or willingness to come out West and learn the lesson necessary to be successful through trial and error. That’s where we help. So let’s get you the right hunt, shoot the right system and know your “personal effective range” and you can enjoy years of results.

Off we went building a shooting school. We wanted it to deliver the shooter results and a clear understanding of what he or she and their shooting system was capable of when they left. Our instructor Chip Beaman, has trained or been trained by the best shooters on the planet. He has spent his entire life training, writing curriculum and instructing shooters to manage distance, windage, breathing and the stressful moment just before the shot.

Duplication and consistency. We wanted the student to be able to go home and create the same results with other rifles in their gun cabinet.
Result. We want to personally have a “hands on” approach with our students so no matter what level of shooting ability they come to the course with, they get results.
Real hunting application. Develop a platform of applicable approaches to be more effective in your hunting environment.
We are proud of our shooting school. We are proud of our company and what it delivers. Most of all we want people to have more success and enjoyment from their time in the field. Maybe you’re ready for a shooting school or maybe you just want to ask some questions. Please know that’s why we are here. Email us or pick up the phone, let’s talk. We are here to help! We truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to help hunters with the above issue. As always be safe and enjoy your adventures.

The Best Of Hunting To You.

Sight Focus

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

I just completed 7 days of delivering rifle instruction to a, well let’s just say a diverse group of shooters. What a great group of people, we had a lot of fun with a lot of learning going on. The group consisted of a very accomplished mix of African Professional Hunters (PH), an artist and members of a corporate enterprise that uses the shooting instruction to promote team work, esprit de corps and to strengthen customer relations with clients they invited to the training (this works awesome by the way). We worked on many things during this training one of which was the Principals of Marksmanship (POM). We trained on the standard POM points of performance, body position, proper rifle presentation for the various positions, natural point of aim, grip, acceptable reticle movement, proper breath control, sight focus and trigger squeeze.

As an instructor, promoting safety and teaching students how to be safe with firearms during training and for the rest of their lives is goal number ONE. Other than safety, the primary goal every instructor has is to teach their students how to shoot to the best of their ability. To achieve this goal, we look very closely at the various points of performance necessary to consistently shoot accurately. Instructors dissect each point of performance while watching the shooter go through their sequence and provide corrective instruction. Seasoned instructors have the ability to quickly identify and remedy issues shooters are having that affects their accuracy. Sometimes however, shooters are doing everything right as far as the instructor can see yet their target does not reflect this. After rifle accuracy and flinching is ruled out, there is one issue that very well may be the culprit. When corrected, this gets the shooter back on track and printing shot groups to their, their firearm and ammunitions capability.

For this edition, I am going to discuss (arguably) the second to the last point of performance before the trigger squeeze sequence begins, SIGHT FOCUS. Although most shooters who have received even the most rudimentary marksmanship training have been told to focus on the front sight, or in this case the reticle, I have found that in practice many shift their focus back to the target just before the gun breaks the shot. As I wrote above, in all other points of performance the shooter is doing everything right. Their shot group is 1.5 Minute of Angle (MOA) or larger when in fact it is known, that particular firearm is capable of sub MOA accuracy. Sight focus should be considered at this point.

When asked, these same shooters will testify in a court of law, they had sights in focus and maintained that focus throughout the shot process. I say to them, ok great you focused on your sights, for this next series of 5 shots, I want you to focus with all you have on your reticle, I mean a laser focus and you must do it while telling yourself in your head, FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS and strive to maintain that focus even as the gun goes bang. As they go through their shooting sequence I talk them through their points of performance and reiterate FOCUS ON YOUR RETICLE, DO NOT SHIFT FOCUS BACK TO YOUR TARGET. When they do this, many times their shot group shrinks right up and they say “ahhhh ok I got it”. Sometimes the shot group does not tighten, when it doesn’t and I still suspect focus is the issue, I have them conduct the following exercise just to ensure we are on the same sheet of music.

I have them look at the pads of their trigger fingers side by side. I then ask them to focus on the finger print ridges on one of the fingers. At this point while maintaining that focus on the finger prints I have them move the opposite finger behind the one in focus and they can plainly see that even with the front finger in focus they can move the other finger and still see exactly where it is. I will tell them, it is impossible for the human eye to focus on two things at a time. Even though the two fingers are right next to each other, you can only focus and clearly see one of your finger prints. With that in mind, on your next shot, laser focus on that reticle as if it were your finger prints. Most times this works for correcting a focus issue. It is pretty cool when I have students, and I have had many, tell me, “I thought I was focusing before when in reality I was racing back to the target just before I squeezed the trigger”.

I’m not saying this is the problem with every shot group, it is just one of many things that may not be executed properly.

If this does not fix the issue, then I continue to trouble shoot until the problem is identified and fixed. Dry firing is a wonderful tool to get shooters back on track, however the student must go through the exercise correctly, so many times I walk through every step with them as they go through their sequence. That’s for another edition……

One of the goals every shooter should have, is the ability to CALL YOUR SHOT, this means succinctly knowing where your sight was the instant your gun is fired. The only way, and I mean the only way to accurately call your shot, is by truly focusing in on your reticle/sight. If you are able to do this, with practice you will know exactly where that bullet went without even looking at the target. Being able to call your shot will allow you or if you have one, your spotter to accurately correct for wind or elevation. Furthermore, this information will tell you if you had a good or bad shot on your target which is great information to know when looking for an animal you just took a shot at.

Sight focus is a major ingredient to repeated accuracy, practice it during dry fire exercises and actively remind yourself during that portion of the shot sequence, FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.

Happiness is a tight shot group, so keep em tight

Chip Beaman

Rifles, Range, System And The Natural Progression

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

The shooting world is changing every day. It seems like everyday I look at another magazine and another company is producing a product for the long-range shooter. The question today is the same as it was 18 yrs ago when I set my bow down and unplugged from the tournament archery world and started my obsession with long range shooting and varmint hunting.

I started like most. I took a rifle I had and tried to build it into something it would never become. Then I bought a high quality production rifle put a very high quality scope on it. After that I bought every box of high quality manufactured ammo I could find. I wanted to see what the rifle liked and go with that. I also was trying to save money. I had looked at custom-built rifles and even though financially I was blessed to be able to afford one, it didn’t seem like a responsible thing to do. With two kids and a wife, $5,000.00 for a rifle and another $2,500.00 for the scope rings was just flat not in my mind something I was going to do. The other thing was, I would rather spend that money on a hunt. Maybe some of you have had the same thoughts? So I found my answer. The system I built worked, well kind of. Out to 600 yards it held about a 1 1/2 MOA grouping, which for deer it was fine but for coyotes, not so fine. So here is what I did. I built two rifles exactly the same. One 7mm Remington Mag in a Browning A-bolt with the B.O.S.S break that I had a trigger and bedding job done on. The other was a 22-250. I took both these rifles to different shooting schools and used them for a few years. The issue was I still did not have the performance I wanted past 600 yards. My farthest shot with the 7mm was on a Colorado Mule Deer at 701 yards and with the 22-250, a coyote at 589 yards. Some would say that is all you need and they’re right. I am not the guy who goes hunting for the longest shot possible, actually just the opposite. I want to hunt within the range of the most ethical shot and humane kill I possibly can. But when the situation presents itself and there is no way to get closer, I want to be able to make that shot effectively to harvest the animal.

When we started our company to help people figure out and solve the Rubik’s cube code of hunting the west, we realized that people also needed be able to effectively shoot to 500+ yards. So we went to work to solve the issue that so many had. They come out West and spend thousands on the trip to go home only empty handed because they missed a shot past 300 yards. As a company we want to produce results and provide success when and where possible. So off we went to deliver a system to our clients that would work as good as the $7,000.00 plus systems and have all the data delivered to the hunter! Then all they would need to do is practice, learn wind, elevation and squeeze. After building a couple of rifles and working with a few companies, we found a solution. We wanted to build a rifle and caliber so that you the consumer, could not only get bullets from us but if you ran out or got separated from your ammo, you could still find it in the place you were hunting. Two, we wanted them to hold a tolerance with the right ammo the rifle could shoot out of the box to 1000 yards. Three, we wanted it to be all weather so you could hunt with it from Alaska to Nebraska. Four, we wanted it to be cost effective. Let me explain number four. When I built my first rifle, I took an approach that cost me a lot more than if I would have just bought the $7,500.00 system. I bought a $1,200 rifle, a trigger job and bedding for $250.00, quality scope and rings for $2,500.00, ammo testing and research $500.00, cerakote $300.00, totaling almost $5000.00, and I still didn’t have a rifle that was built for ranges past 600 yards.

So how do we produce a better system for less money? We did the homework and research! Let me explain. We found a rifle builder that had an action that was as custom as they come. We also wanted to produce the rifle that would keep the cost at a price point where it would be available to the masses with a result of shooting out to a 1000 yards. It comes cerakoted with a Flats Break, a hand built MRC 1999 Action 20 MOA rail, Leopold rings, and a 3x18x50 VX-6 for just under $4,000.00. We did it. We are so proud of this hunting rifle and what it does for the hunter. It comes with two boxes of ammo and ready to range dial and dump at the elevation you hunt at.

I have spent my life as a hunter working on being a better shot, whether it is with a bow, shotgun or rifle. First for the animal and second for myself, so I can hedge my success in the field. I am a hunter first and a shooter second. In a world where a lot of people are trying to be a “sniper”, I want to be a hunter that can shoot. We believe we can put a rifle in our hunter’s hands that can extend their range. If they are comfortable out to around 200 yards, we want to help them go to 300 or 400 yards. Not everyone will have the time to become great out past 600 yards, however most can get to 400 yards with the right education and the right system. Give us a look if your considering extending your range or looking for a great hunting system. As always, we wish you the best and safest adventures in the field.

The Best Of Hunting To YOU!

Best buck of your life. How about 3 of them.

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

Best buck of your life. How about 3 of them.

Would you like to go on a DIY public land hunt and have everyone fill their tags with their biggest bucks of a lifetime. This story is about these 3 really nice bucks they were able to harvest.

The plan is to make sure we get some great bucks. We have waited a long time for this tag. They are not really believing that we should pass up small 4 point bucks as they have never see them hunting. The scouting day before the hunt we see some good bucks but none that are really nice.

My Brother in law and his son my nephew applied for this tag for 15 years. They both just wanted a huge buck. They have hunted for many years and my brother in law has shot two 2 points. My nephew has never shot a buck. They drew this tag in the maximum point pool.

There is a really smart engineer who works with us. He also drew this tag. He drew it by pure luck. He drew it after 6 years.

Day one.

Opening morning less than 1/2 mile from camp we see a really good one and a bunch of other smaller bucks. We decide to wait and see if we can find a huge one. During this hunt my brother in law sees 400 bucks. He has an opportunity at a buck that has 11 points on one side. it is 40 yards away. He cannot see it. It takes off and we get no shot.

My nephew and I are taking a hike seeing if we can sneak in on any bucks. We find a really nice buck and discuss if we should shoot him. We decide not too. I hope we do not regret it.

The really smart engineer goes on a hike with his 4 boys. He has shot a small buck before. He is not sure how to tell if a buck is big or not. On his hike they see some bucks laying down. They are nice 3 points. The kids are a little excited and how these bucks are not taking off seems a little weird. While they are watching these bucks another buck is walking in the trees behind those laying down. He walks by a tree and he is big. Then another buck walks by the same tree. Oh wait it is the same buck? He is not sure if it is big enough. When he tells us this story later we all start laughing and we tease him a lot. We think he should have shot this buck. i would have liked to have seen that buck anyway.

The next few days brings a big buck every day. They give us the slip.
I will try and write a lot more detail about each buck in a story but I am going to include the pictures of all 3 bucks and let you judge for yourself.

You really can get you a huge buck. Most of the time it will not be 15 years. Even if it is 15 years and you apply in 3 states. The average would be 5 years. A really nice mule deer every 5 years is not too bad. Especially if you have never shot a big muley.

Start applying in states where these mule deer live. When you draw the right tag getting a large buck is just lots easier. This app will help you with points and applying. https://goo.gl/N71rO0

The Colorado Miss Fit!

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

We are very fortunate to have a camp in Colorado that extends our hunting season into December and January. The Western Colorado location is just outside of Craig, Co.. The weather this time of year can be a bit unpredictable and down right cold. However if you can bundle up and get your mind around four days of bone chilling cold you could be infore some of the best hunting ever.

This years trip was a combo hunt for me. Elk and Mule Deer. The priority was to shoot a bull and glass and glass for the buck that the owner and head (Mitch) guide had seen the week before. We arrived in camp a day later than expected and my anticipation was high. The first night was as usual, get our vouchers go get our licenses and get back to camp for a fantastic home cook meal. The next day proved to be super tough to glass no snow, overcast and dreary. We saw about twenty bucks 100 does and about fifteen head of elk. We ended the day with a great anticipation for the next day. There was a cold front heading in with about ten to twelve inches of snow was in the forecast. As we headed back to camp evidence of the weather change was hitting the windshield, FRESH WHITE FLAKES. Tomorrow was going to be good!

Day two has arrived and it is what we were hoping for. Six below Zero, a foot of fresh snow and deer on their feet. Immediately we started see deer and lots of deer. Where yesterday we were struggling, it seem today was the total opposite. Now we are looking through deer everywhere we put or binos. Buck after buck and just not the one we were after. We came across a great deep forked buck that really had me thinking but just not quite there. As we pick through deer on our way to the spot that this crazy buck had been spotted the week earlier the comments of Mitch kept the conversation alive. Deep forks on the bucks right side with extra points everywhere and a twisted left side with a cluster of points on the top. This was the description of the deer we had heard about the night we rolled into camp. Wow, that will keep you off the trigger of good buck in anticipation of see a deer like that. As the day went on and buck after buck did not meet that description the mood kept declining.

Lunch and the more glassing and covering more country. We started down the ridge that fell off into deep cedar draws on both sides. Deer were on their feet everywhere and we were just hoping we would come across the needle in the haystack, the one crazy horned buck on 27,000 acres. About a hour after taking our lunch in the field Jimmie my long time friend, guide and hunting partner says “Brian I have your deer!” “look, look he’s right here..” He put his spotting scope up and said give him a look, because we are shooting this buck, its the one Mitch was telling us about. Sure enough it was. 385 yards he was bedded with three does and behind a clump of sagebrush between several cedars. We got ourselves into position for the shot and now it was just a waiting game for him to stand. About fifteen minutes into our wait he stands and turns broadside to present the shot. I dialed the turret on our custom Rolling Bones Extended Range Rifle, squeezed the trigger and down he went!

The recovery came with great anticipation to see what this buck was all about. When we walked up on him? Or it? The deer grew. It is not very common for a deer to grow when I walk up on them but this one was a huge surprise. Not only did he have extras and crazy antlers but his or her gender was in question?? It was hard to determine when we went to field dress this mule deer what its exact sex was. The deer had a huge body but not like a typical buck. long legs, long body, skinny neck, massive skull, and really small male buck parts. The antlers though, they were crazy cool and the deer of a lifetime was on the ground and getting ready for a ride in my truck to the taxidermist!

The Best Of Hunting

Dall Sheep In My Scope!

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

I was in a day dream it seemed. I had been dreaming of a Dall Sheep hunt since I had read Fred Bears Field Notes when I was a young boy living in Iowa hoping to one day see some of these magical places he wrote about. Now I was on a bush plane flying through Hells Gate getting into basecamp for our fourteen day Caribou, Grizzly Bear, Dall Sheep combo. As I pondered the vast and steep mountains it seemed I was in a dream I had had a thousand times before. This was really happening. I have a chance to put a Dall Sheep In My Scope!

When we landed I was taken back by the camp and what our hunters could expect when they get into their home away from home. As a outfitter and hunting consultant it is important that the only surprise for our hunters and guest are pleasant ones. This camp was going to be a first for me. I was seeing it for the first time. Wow was this stunning. Not just the landscape (which was really, really intimidating) and its crazy beauty but the individual wall tent that would be for my use over the hunt as I came in and out of basecamp as necessary. The main cabin, the shower tent, the cold keg of beer and soda they had flown in, running water, electricity to each wall tent and cover patios. Wow, again was my thoughts. This was not probably what Fred Bear had encountered when he hunted the Alaska Range. I was excited, scared, ready, and nervous all at one time. If thats possible?

It seems never to fail me as I embark on these adventures a little guilt sets in. I am a world away from my life. My wife and boys that is. I always have some form of remorse even though my wife (Lynley) always encouraged me and in twenty-five years of marriage she has never said no to a single hunting trip. I start thinking of all that I could/should be doing back home. Somewhere in these thoughts the wild side takes over and I get lost again in the anticipation of the unknown that lies ahead of me.

The next morning we were up early and repacking for the first seven day part of the trip. Float the drainage and look for a opportunity. Be a predator, that was then plan. We loaded our pack, jumped in the the bush plan and off to a sand bar where Jeff (my guide and partner in survival) was waiting with a raft and seven days of rations for the two of us.

Our first leg was influence greatly by record high temperatures and glacier run off. The fishing was awesome and the hunting, well we need to change our approach. So change we did. Andy our pilot grabbed us and back to camp we went. A day back at basecamp, a shower, a sit down meal, repack the pack and ready to go to the higher elevations the next morning.

The change was exactly what was needed. When we landed on the small runway and unloaded we immediately spotted a band of sheep. WOW! The day dream was no longer a day dream the only thing that separated me from hunting the majestic Dall Sheep was about four miles of crazy tough timber, swamp and tundra. Well and about four thousand vertical feet after the four mile hike. The sheep were there! Now it was a matter of putting in the work. We set out on our trek. A drift across a raging glacier stream, a mile of swamp, a march through the timber we were standing at the foot of where we were going to camp. Just as we crested the last of the heavy willows we looked up and spotted two bull moose that would have made any hunter drop their jaw in awe. After about ten minutes of looking in amazement we made our way another half mile and set camp. As we set camp and cooked dinner we had Sheep spotted all around us. What a feeling as I crawled into my sleeping bag for a night of much needed rest.

The next morning was a wake up call for sure. No pun intended. The work was about to begin. We had about another three miles to hike to get to where we would spend each day glassing and studying rams. That first morning brought some amazing encounters. With in a hour we had rams four hundred yards from us. Holy cow, for a kid who grew up in Iowa this was a crazy surreal moment. I had a legal ram in my scope. as we studied the band of rams we decided to put them in our back pocket and look for maybe a bigger ram. We had another band of rams spotted and we needed to give them a look.

The next days went by like a flash. We ascended to the top of a stone glacier on one of those days to get a better look a large ram only to have light and weather mess us up. He had amazing mass and sweeping horns we just couldn’t get a for sure on his age. With two days left we were studying the original ram we were on the first morning and decided to make a move on him. We knew he was legal just not quit how big he was. He looked like a older ram, pointy hims, pot belly and a short nose all the things you look for. Off we went up and up and up. Let me tell you, you “pay the man” on these hunts. As we went up we were confident that we had the rams in a place we would be in a shooting position with in a couple hours. As we were ready to break the crest on where we believed we would see the rams we glanced to our left up the bench and the very thing we had hoped wouldn’t happen was happening. The rams had winded us and were on their way out of the zip code. I ripped my pack off and threw it down. Jeff identified the largest ram and gave me a range. I dialed the elevation on my turret and settled the crosshairs on the ram. I heard the magic words from the camera man. I AM ON HIM. As he was fifty yards from going over the mountain. Literally over the mountain. I squeezed the trigger and heard the words you live a life time to hear. “HIT”… “He is hit, blood on his shoulder, he’s wobbling, he’s down!” “He is down Brian!” “Congratulations Brian, your ram is down.” This was a series of comments that Jeff had stated the moment after I squeezed that trigger. This one was all on film for the world to see and i will remember those words for a lifetime.

All the years of dreaming. All the years of working and traveling. All the preparation and its a reality! I am holding my ram. What a felling. Blessed, relieved, excited, overwhelmed, grateful, thankful, exhausted and so much more! Thats how I was feeling. It is hard to explain. I will never forget calling my wife on Jeff’s satellite phone and expressing my joy and gratitude.

As I reflect on this, I really know why we do what we do at Rolling Bones Outfitters. We work hard at making this type of dream come true for so many.

The Best Of Hunting To You,


Make your precious points count

in Blog, Let's Roll /by Rolling Bones Outfitters

The big ones are where you find them. Precious points can get you where the big ones live. It does not matter in many states or areas if it is public or private land. You still have to draw the tag. In Colorado using your precious points in the right places at the right times is a big deal.

OK how not to do it.

I have wanted to hunt the Gunnison basin in Colorado for many years. When you would travel through there in the winter you could see really big bucks. I think they rival AZ strip bucks. Maybe not but no matter they are huge.
Here were my mistakes.

I put in with my son as a group. 23 tags were in this max point pool. 24 people put in. We did not draw. Then I saw the draw odds and it said you could have drawn with a point less than we had? In Colorado all tags go to those with max points. I called the Colorado DWR and the guy said that is not possible. He checked my points and that I had applied in that area. He said he would get back to me. He called me back and explained that I was the last person chosen and because I put in as a group and there was only one tag left. It went to the lower points applicant.

States say that putting in as a group does not hurt your odds. We have not found that to be true.

Next mistake.

We got a tag and went the year after a really big winter kill. Where were all the deer we usually saw. They had not made it. It took many years to come back. Those points were not very precious.

We try to scout and talk to people after the hunts and in the spring to see how the deer herds are doing.
Scouting after a hunt lets you know how many deer are really around.
This past weekend we went scouting in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah just to do our homework and make sure we use our precious points where they can do us the most good.

The right plan is to build your points until you get the area you want. On the year you want it. Seasons move around and even a week can make a difference on where the deer or elk are.

Here is some pictures of deer we saw scouting this weekend.

RADS can help you get the points you need and there is knowledge in the reps, outfitters, and hunters who use our system that can help you get your dream hunt, in the right place at the right time.

If you do not have precious points it is time to start getting them.