Monday, June 16, 2014

My oldest girl has caught the fishing bug! I took her out to see if we could catch a few smallies, and she ended up out fishing her dad. Had to teach her how to cast and she took it from there. Love to see the kids learn some conservation with catch and release.

Spring Turkey in Utah 2014

One of my favorite times of year is the spring Turkey hunt. This hunt gives me something to do in the spring that is a blast, but a very hard hunt where I hunt. These birds are at high altitude and there are not a lot of birds around. Try as I might I could not find a longbeard, I finally shot this jake one snowy morning after I had passed up 8 other jakes. Thank goodness for My Core4Element clothes, especially the elevation vest a good friend loaned me, it was a lifesaver when the temps were cold waiting for birds to fly out of the roost or to come to the call.

3-D Shoot at Royal Rutt

Attended the 2nd annual 3-D shoot at Royal Rutt Outfitters again. This is one of the best shoots there is. The terrain is steep and will make you work up a sweat to get to the targets. Royal Rutt puts on a great shoot with lunch and great prizes.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hunted the general over the counter Turkey hunt again this year, and was able to tie my tag on one this time. Hunted this bird hard for almost 2 weeks. I was getting up at 4:00am to get there and find where he was roosted, got him to come in on the second day of the hunt only to miss him twice with my bow. (always check your equipment to see that you have adjusted your slider sight back). Many times he would come in but just not close enough for a shot. The last time he skirted my setup and was just over a rise, I snuck up over the rise with my decoy in hand and caught him off guard. One shot and I had my first turkey. Thank goodness for my Core4element in Mountain Mimicry being at 8500ft in the Uintah's the morning were cold and the afternoons were warm. Being able to layer and blend in to my surroundings was crucial on this hunt.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

When I received my Torrent jacket and pants, my initial reaction was that rain gear shouldn't feel this soft and be this quiet. The only rain gear I have ever had was the bargain store plastic kind, and this definitely was not bargain store quality.

The Torrent jacket is very comfortable, it has two hand warmer pockets (one pocket converts to the stuff sack for the jacket) The main zipper, just like the Element jacket has a soft cover over it for maximum comfort, has Velcro cuffs, and a draw string on the hood ( I had a hard time figuring out how to loosen the draw string up after I had it cinched down) If you get heated up while hiking, it has pit zips with mesh that gives you ample ventilation.

The Torrent pant was just as soft and comfortable as the jacket, this must be credited to the brushed tricot fabric it is made of. The biggest thing I noticed on the pant was the ease of getting them on over your boots. With zippers running all the way up to your thigh, you can pull these pants on over the biggest boots with ease. It has two hand warmer pockets, and the back pocket converts into the stuff sack. It has an elastic waist that is lined with the same gripping rubber strip as the Element pant to keep them from slipping off. A button snap and Velcro closure over the snap keep the waist waterproof. My pants were a little long, but with the two different snaps at the bottom of the legs you can snap them closed around your boots pretty well.
The Torrent rain gear is not the smallest when packed away, but is pretty light weight. Now for the waterproof test

Being the end of January, there isn't much rain , so I decided to make my own. I went to my works car wash and turned on the hose at full spray and ty-wraped it to the wall spraying directly on me. ( my wife had actually told me to was her car, so I thought this would be a good time to do the test) I stood in the direct spray for 5 minutes, turning and twisting in every direction. After the five minutes I shut the water off, removed the rain gear and was totally dry, not one seam leaked! The only thing I did not like was the rain gear seemed to stay wet on the outside for an extended period of time, but I am willing to give that up for the quiet fabric and ease of movement you get.

All in all this is a great set of rain gear, I can't wait to try it out on a hunt. Now instead of running for a tree, or the truck, I can put on my Core4 rain gear and keep hunting. After all that is sometimes the best time to hunt.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I have never had technical hunting clothing before, either they were to expensive or didn't have a camo pattern that I liked. Then I came across Core4Element and decided to see what all the hype with technical clothing was, and to see if it was really worth it

With my budget I decided to get a few main pieces of Core4 first to see how well it would perform.

I ordered the Element pant, Element jacket and 190 merino wool top from When they arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see the Element pants came with a free Talus belt, and the Element jacket came with a free stalker beanie. Always great when you get more than expected!

The appearance of the clothing looked well made, and has a lot of bells and whistles I am not used to in my hunting clothes I was used to wearing. Here is a rundown of the pieces of Core4 I used through the hunting season.

The Element jacket: The biggest thing I have noticed was the Velcro cuffs, being a bow hunter the ability to close the cuff tight is a huge benefit. The jacket has two hand warmer pockets, a chest pocket and a left bicep pocket, all with waterproof zippers. There are also zippered vents on each side of the jacket for when it gets hot, or if your need to access inside layers with out taking the jacket off. All the zippers unzip rather well other than the bicep zipper, you almost need two hands to unzip it. With time I hope the zipper will loosen up and be easier to use. Upon Zipping the jacket up, the first thing I noticed was the zipper is covered at the top. I don't know how many jackets I have owned that I can't zip all the way up because the zipper is always rubbing on your chin. This was probably my favorite thing about the Element jacket

The Element pant: The pants were loaded with many features I have never had in a pant before. The most noticeable is the removable knee pads. With a little pull of a zipper you can either have knee pads or can take them out. The pants have cargo pockets with a separate zippered pocket on the outside, again these zippers are a little stiff like the bicep pocket on the jacket. There are two back pockets that have a nice flap to cover your wallet or whatever you may put in them without fear of it falling out. Two zippered mesh vents in the thigh area are a nice addition for hot days. Zippers and snaps on the lower legs make pulling your pants on easier if you have your boot all ready on. Upon putting the pants on I noticed my hands felt something rubbery on the inside of the waist. The rubber strip on the pants helps so your pants don't slide down, one of my favorite attributes of these pants. The Element pants come with suspenders that have the same anti-slip rubber under them. I'm not a suspender guy so I opted for the Talus belt that came with my pants.

The Talus belt: One of the best belts I have used, it is simple yet does what it was intended to for. Made out of Nylon web, and cinches tight in any position, no trying to find the right hole in a belt to find out it is to tight or to loose. It reminds me a lot of the old Boy Scout belts you would wear when you were a kid. The only downfall to this belt is the buckle is very noisy when hooking up. Once the belt is done up there is no noise what so ever.

Merino 190 Crew: I chose the crew over the zip only because I don't like a zipper on my shirts. Made out of 190 weight merino wool it is very light weight. The bottom of the shirt is plenty long enough to tuck in and not have to worry if it will come untucked. As an added bonus there is no tag on the shirt, so you wont' be bothered with it rubbing on your neck. Nice for those hot days as a stand alone, or as a layer underneath on colder days.

Stalker Beanie: The beanie is made out of quality material and would be very comfortable only if it fit my head. It only comes in one size, and unless you have a large head, I would recommend getting a Merino 190 beanie. I did just that and it fits much better. But what can you say for free. The Merino beanie is light weight so when it gets cold, I just put my Stalker beanie over my favorite beanie, just so my camo matches.

With a rundown of the clothing I acquired it was time to put it to the test. The first hunt I tried Core4 on was the Utah turkey hunt.With temps in the 30's I headed out to set up my blind. With the DWR treating on the clothes the light snow just beaded up and rolled off. I stayed plenty warm while moving, but when I sat in the blind for a while I was headed to the truck to get my polortech vest. I would recommend getting a few more layers for cold weather hunting, as the clothes are best suited for the mobile hunter. The many pockets in the jacket and pants were nice for stashing calls and treats.

The next test was the early archery hunt in Utah for elk. With the hunt starting in August the temps were well into the 80's. I was a little worried as the Element pants are a little heavier weight pant than other pants I have used. While hiking in the middle of the day I would get a little hot. Unzipping the vents in the thighs would help greatly, but if you get hot easily you might want to try the lighter weight Switchback pant, that I heard is perfect for hot weather hunts. The Merino 190 crew top is perfect for warm season temps. While hiking I get sweated up pretty easy, when stopping to glass the merino wool dries quickly, and after days of use never smelled at all. My Element jacket stayed in the pack most of the time, unless the wind was blowing or got cold in the evening, then I would slip it on and it kept me warm.

Last but not least was Utah's late season extended archery season on the Wasatch Front. Temps again were in the 30's and lower. Snow was the norm on this hunt. As long as I was hiking and still hunting I would stay very comfortable in my Core4, if I stopped for any amount of time I would dig out my vest to keep warm.( I think an addition of the Assault shirt would remedy this) Walking through snow all day would also soak through the bottom of my pants, but what pants would not be soaked. A pair of gators would be a nice edition to Core4's lineup. I was surprised how well the DWR finish held up to the hours of snowfall, never soaking through my jacket. Now that Core4 has rain gear that will be next addition to my Core4 arsenal.

Over all I was very pleased with the athletic fit, the durability, and the many thought out extras in Core4's lineup.

Got out on the Wasatch Front again this year, one of the hunts that I always look forward to. On day four of my hunt I was able to connect on this mature buck. After a hard day of hunting in the deep snow I was able to put an arrow in his heart from 27yds. at last light. It was a fun hunt and I can't wait for next year to be able to do it all again! To read a little more about my hunt visit and check out their blog page, also hopefully look for a future story in Eastmans Bowhunting Journal on my buck.