Idaho’s Top 10 Monster Mule Deer of 2014

Monster mule deer are one of many reasons why I love the state of Idaho. I went to school in Idaho. My wife is from Southeast Idaho. It is a place I also called home for several years. We brought our firstborn child home to a single-wide trailer in Hibbard, Idaho. We loved that trailer and we loved Hibbard. On a clear day you could watch the sun rise over the Tetons. It is a view that is unmatched. To top it all off, Idaho is the land of monster mule deer and trophy big game! For outdoorsmen and women it is a perfect combination.

This Top 10 is full of spectacular mule deer. As with my previous Top 10 articles including Utah, Colorado, and the Arizona Strip, these bucks are in no particular order. From 1-10, these mule deer deserve a spot on this list.

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Nate Jones

0. Nate Jones: The readers always send pictures and stories of big ole’ bucks that should have been considered. Sometimes the readers are right. Sometimes they are wrong. When they get it right, I add those bucks to a BONUS section at the bottom of each article. Whether a buck makes the list or not, I love seeing your pictures big or small.

Ryan Thomas sent me a picture of Nate Jones’s monster 2014 archery buck. I am placing this buck in a very special #0 spot for 2 reasons. First, The buck is a giant. This buck green scored 225 7/8″ and dried at a impressive P&Y nontypical score of 215″.

The second reason for placing this buck at the top of this list is the bowhunter simply deserves it! Killing a 200″ buck can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Accomplishing it with a bow places the hunter in a whole new bracket. For the sake of this article, that bracket comes in the form of #0. That means we get to enjoy 11 massive bucks on this list of 10! Nice work Nate on an absolute giant. Sorry I missed it! Readers… Enjoy!

Gary Webb Idaho 14
Gary Webb / South Creek Outfitters (801) 836-8411

1. Gary Webb: South Creek Outfitters seem to get it done every year. 2014 was no different for owner Gary Webb. At 221 7/8” this buck really is a giant. I love the character of this buck. You could say I’m a sucker for big ole’ eye guards coupled with some mass n’ trash. Congratulations Gary and South Creek Outfitters on an absolute stud.

To learn more about this buck check out the following links: South Creek Outfitters, South Creek Outfitters on Facebook, on Instagram @southcreekoutfitters

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Shawn Stanley

2. Shawn Staley: Can you say MASS! This is the sort of mass and character that you don’t see every day. As a result, this buck lands on Idaho’s Top 10. Throw in that cape and a wide 31″ and this buck is truly a unique specimen! Nice work Shawn on an absolute stud late season Idaho moose buck.

Wyatt Johnson Idaho 14
Wyatt Johnson

3.  Wyatt Johnson: At 14 years old, Wyatt just notched this big ole’ 200 incher to his belt. That is an achievement many will not accomplish in a lifetime. To say this 6X8 32” mule deer is a monster would be understatement. Congratulations Wyatt on this Unit 40 216” giant.

Michael Wright Idaho 14
Michael Wright

4. Michael Wright: Non-typical mule deer are gnarly but a perfect typical is simply sexy! This 30 ½” wide typical is beautiful. Well done Michael on a record book Idaho monster. This buck is one of my favorites on this Top 10! Nice work.

Tyler Hobbs 2014 Idaho
Tyler Hobbs / Bear Lake Fishing Charters (435) 890-4551

5. Travis Hobbs: It’s time to share simply one of the best! No matter the state, this 239 1/8″ giant would show up on any Top 10. It didn’t come easy and after a long 5 year chase, Travis was finally able to connect on this bad boy. This should come as no surprise considering Travis’s business is chasing down trophy animals and fish. In 2014 alone, Travis whacked 2 bucks totaling 430″. He also owns and operates one of the best fishing charters on Bear Lake. If you are into big fish, look him up!

For more information on Travis’s monster deer and catching monster fish in Bear Lake, check out the following links: Bear Lake Fishing Charters on facebook.

Ryan Christensen Idaho 14
Ryan Christensen

6. Ryan Christensen: This 36A buck has got it all.  Deep forks, huge main frame, some trash, and incredible eye guards are characteristics of this once in a lifetime buck. This buck really is a dream. Nice work Ryan on an absolutely stunning Idaho muley!

Rick Yellowhair 2014 Idaho
Rick Yellowhair

7. Rick Yellowhair: This list just keeps getting better and this buck is no exception. Rick is no stranger to big deer but this one will be tough to top. Nice work Rick on a giant Idaho muley.

Lance Cole Scout Outdoors Idaho 14
Lance Cole / http://www.scout-outdoors.com

8. Nate Archibald: The Scout Outdoors team simply know how to find and hunt huge mule deer. From Brian Cole’s monster Utah buck to this big ole’ Idaho buck, these guys get it done. Visit www.scout-outdoors.com and you will quickly learn Scout Outdoors has great deal of passion for the sport. They have some great apparel, galleries, and forums. Go check them out online. Congratulations Nate on an absolute pig.

To learn more about Nate’s buck and Scout Outdoors, visit the following links: www.scout-outdoors.com, Scout Outdoors on Facebook, on Instagram @scoutoutdoors

Jake Kobetsky ID 2014
Jake Kobetsky

9. Jake Kobetsky: Jake whacked this monster buck in Eastern Idaho. I love the tripod and mass on this old buck. Is there a better feeling than getting a monster mule deer into the back of a truck? Well done Jake on an absolute toad and a well deserved spot on this list!

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10. Mike Pimentel: This buck has some incredible character. I’d imagine this ole’ boy has spent some time in the sun with those light horns and cape. Everywhere you look this buck has something going on. Well done Mike on an absolute trophy Idaho mule deer.

Several Top 10 caliber bucks fell off this list. This speaks volumes to the quality of mule deer found in Idaho. I appreciate every one of the recommendations that came in for this article. You guys killed some bruisers.

So what do you think? Is there a 2014 Idaho buck that I simply missed? Please share! I love adding undisputed BONUS bucks to these lists.

If you like the content of this blog, please take a quick minute and hit the little “follow” button on the bottom right side of your screen. Follow me on instagram @jdheinerblog.

Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Michael Moore!

Like many of you I was struck by Michael Moore’s recent comments regarding the film American Sniper. Here is a little twitter refresher:

“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse”  -Michael Moore

It was the small section of his tweet that referenced his youth which caught my attention. Admittedly, he was “taught snipers were cowards.” Is it possible that the pathetic platform with which Mr. Moore has built his career began in the home? Is his life the result of what he was taught in his youth?

Now I have to give the guy credit, he got us all talking. That is certainly a win for Mr. Moore. Congrats big fella. Somebody get that man a celebratory éclair. On a more serious note and the spirit of an old Willie Nelson song, mommas don’t let you babies grow up to be Michael Moore!

In classic Michael fashion, he missed an opportunity to express gratitude for the selfless sacrifice of his uncle. This of course comes as no surprise. Michael’s whole life has been spent focused on the symbolic sniper.

I am grateful for a mother who taught me that ungrateful behavior deserved a slap upside the head. My own mother typically governed such slaps with a feather. It was my father who would gladly reinforce their unified message with more attention grabbing measures.

It is time we capture the attention of America’s youth. We will do this in the home. Simply put, we do not need another Michael Moore. We need to develop our youth to lead lives full of gratitude. We need another Chris Kyle. An attitude of gratitude is either gained or lost in youth and is orchestrated in the home. Here are 4 attitudes each of our youth should be learning at home:

  1. Be grateful to those that gave their life for you
  2. Be grateful to those that fight for you
  3. Be grateful to those that expect only the best out of you
  4. Be grateful to those that provide for you

Lastly, be sure to direct these attitudes of gratitude down the right path. These can be misplaced. It would come as no surprise if Michael Moore himself subscribed to his own version of the above 4 attitudes. Misplaced gratitude may be a greater evil to no gratitude. Misplaced gratitude may even find you at the receiving end of an American Sniper’s trigger. I am sure ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban can tell you all about that.

DIY Hunting: The Trophy Slayer’s 4 Skills

Successful DIY Hunting requires a special breed of individual. Do you know a “do it yourself” hunter that deserves a spotlight? Is the proof in the photos? Email me at jdheinerblog@gmail.com. Take a minute at click follow in the bottom right hand corner of this page and follow me on instagram @jdheinerblog

FEATURED DIY HUNTER: EVAN AULT

I did well in college. Based upon grades the argument could be made that I was smart. I know that sounds funny. The reality is I was strategic.

My approach to getting good grades began at the beginning of the semester. Most guys spent the first few days phone skoping the hottest chicks in the class. My “in-class” strategy was much different and had nothing to do with hunting chicks. I simply identified the smartest and brightest students and hitched my wagon for the semester.

I would study with these students. I would ask them questions. I would review their notes.

Simply put, I surrounded myself with the smartest and brightest people in the room. They rubbed off on me.

You might wonder what this has to do with hunting? The reality is this has a lot to do with hunting. It has a lot to do with life. It has a lot to do with my new DIY Hunting Series on this blog.

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Evan Ault 2006 General Season Bruiser – This buck started it all!

Are you surrounding yourself with the best? Are you learning from the best? Are you hunting with the best? This series of posts will help you answer with a passionate “yes.”

Let me share with you 4 skills I have learned from one of the most successful DIY big game hunters I know. In 2006 Evan Ault killed a general season buck that he will surely never forget. It is his 06′ buck that gave him the bug! His DIY record since that time is pretty impressive and most the pictures on this post have been from the last 2-3 years. I have followed and hunted with Evan for 4 years and here are my observations:

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1. The Best Spend the Time: Monster big game rarely come by way of luck. Let your passion drive you to spend time in the field. It is not enough to say you are passionate about the sport then stay put on your couch. Your hunt should not start on the opener and end on the season’s last day. Get out and spend the time required to kill a trophy. To a fault, Evan spends the time.

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2. The Best Never Settle: It is extremely difficult to pass on a good buck. I have observed Evan pass several bucks and bulls that 99% of us would kill. This often happens at a time in the hunt when I am confident it was his last chance. The reality is he is willing to walk away. In magnificent fashion, he usually pulls something off within the last hour. Evan rarely chokes and never settles.

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3. The Best Know the Area: This goes hand in hand with spending the time. A common fallacy amongst the haters is that money is the only path to area and success. I will tell you that a vast majority of Evan’s trophies were killed in general units across Utah and its surrounding states. Simply put, he studies the area. Trophy animals exist in your backyard, go find them. Study your area.

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4. The Best Glass: If you only listen to one of these 4 steps, this is it! Growing up hunting, we covered a lot of country. We would load up the horses or put on the hiking boots and go, go, go. Every now and again we got lucky. At first I thought it odd that Evan would sit and glass for hours. I often thought, “let’s get going” or “we are wasting our time.” Seemingly out of nowhere and after painstaking time behind the glass, the mistake is made. Out of his bed that giant appears only for a short time. Trophy animals rarely make mistakes so you need to be ready. You need to find a highly visible vantage point and get behind the glass.

It is 100% worth the investment. Spending the time with the right optics, area, and vantage point have changed how I view hunting big game in the West. Here are some of hunting’s preferred brands of spotting scopes and tripods:

Spotting Scopes: Swarovski Optik, Vortex, Carl Zeiss, Nikon,

Tripods: Manfrotto

If you have dreamed of killing monster big game in the West, take these 4 DIY Hunting skills and implement them today. The results are undeniable.

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The Best Way to Cook Venison – The 3 Abilities

I know it is a bold statement to announce that I have found the absolute best way to cook venison. The reality is it’s true! I have based this on “The 3 Abilities.”

1. Ability to Preserve: Does it increase the shelf life of the meat?

2. Ability to Store: Can it be stored long-term at room temperature?

3. Ability to Use: Does it have multiple uses?

Do you take into consideration the ability to preserve, store, and use your meat? Or, are you simply wrapping and freezing?

Bottled meat preserves your harvest for 5-7 years. It will store at room temperature and the opportunities to use it are endless. We use our bottled meats in stew, on sandwiches, and in burritos on a regular basis.

If you are constantly waging war on freezer burn and freezer space, here are the top two recipes utilizing the #1 method to cooking venison.

1. Kody Smith at www.GoHunt.com: Kody’s recipe caught my attention due to the addition of bottled peppers and onions. He doesn’t over complicate the process yet adds a few extra elements that are sure to please! I personally keep it simple; however, I love the idea of throwing in these ingredients. Kody nails it with this recipe and his step by step guide to bottling venison.

Click the Link: DIY Meat Care: Bottled Venison

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This recipe won’t disappoint. As an avid outdoorsman, Kody lends his experience to the vast resources found at www.gohunt.com. Check these guys out! While visiting their site, be sure to read Kody’s other articles. He has got an awesome article on hunting with goats: Opening Day Success,  Expectations Come to Fruition.

Follow Kody and the gohunt.com team on instagram @splittine @gohunt @lsartini11

2. Angela at www.foodstorageandsurvival.com: With over 752 articles on topics ranging from food storage, food preparation, survival, and prepping, Angela certainly knows her stuff! I loved this recipe for its simplicity. This is very similar to how we do it in our own home. This is a great way to get started and Angela’s blog is a must follow.

Click the Link: Home Canning Meat – Bottled Meat

Food Storage and SurvivalHome Canning Meat - Bottled Meat

Go visit www.foodstorageandsurvivals.com for some incredible resources. Check out Angela on youtube and be sure to also follow her on Instagram @foodstorageandsurvival.

I hope these recipes proved helpful as you consider “The 3 Abilities” to preserving, storing, and utilizing your game meats now and in the future.

Please take a minute and follow my blog by clicking the little follow icon in the bottom right had corner.  Follow me on instagram @jdheinerblog