“If you kill a 2 point. Awesome, you killed it so be proud of it. Own it. If you’re gonna be ashamed of it, don’t pull the trigger. Go out and have fun and respect every animal you kill.”      – Lance Harris @utahmulies

5 Reasons Bow Hunters THINK They’re So Cool

Hoyt pro-staff member Sean Morgan recently invited me to come shoot their 3D course near Springville, Utah. I was traveling on business and wasn’t able to attend. I was a bit relieved. It’s one of those things you’d love to do if its success didn’t come by way of hard work.

The reality is I was not ready to hang with some of the best bow hunters in the West. That included Hoyt’s Matt Davis and his ridiculous recurve skills. To top it off I’d recently installed a new site on my bow. It wasn’t dialed in. I had some work to do before showing up to 3D shoot with these guys. There ya have it… I’m just not that cool. As a result I have come up with 5 Reasons Bow Hunters THINK They’re So Cool.

1. Bow hunters practice, practice, practice. Practice is best described as pretending. Pretending sounds a little reminiscent of barbies and castles. It certainly demands what is likely unavailable time. Do bow hunters have jobs? Do these people have families? The end goal is to know your arrow and how it will fly in varying conditions. As previously mentioned that knowledge looks a little too much like hard work.

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Sean Senske, Kyle Williams

2. Bow hunters are patient. To exude the patience of a bow hunter will likely result in mosquitos and sunburn. To “wait it out” could be likened unto painfully waiting to earn your money before you make a purchase. As weapons advance, patience is less a requirement to chasing big game. There is a reason man invented the loan and for that matter the rifle. We want it now and by all means we deserve it now!

3. Bow hunters seek perfection. Give me something with more room for error. Who has time to worry about ethics in shot placement? Why seek to perfectly understand an animal’s pattern? Hit em’ hard, slow em’ down, and finish em’ off. A perfect effort is over-rated. Bow hunters seek that perfect effort in all aspects of their pursuit.

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Ryan Eakin and Tim Soffe

4. Bow hunters love the entire pursuit. They love the scouting. They love the campfire. They love the preparation. They love the outdoors and the animals they pursue. They love success while recognizing the reality of failure. Isn’t that too much love for one paragraph? How about the singular love of killing? Certainly that is the reason we hunters hunt?

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Kevin Jensen

5. Bow hunters are proud. Chest puffed and head held high, the bow hunter states “I bow hunt!” We have heard it a thousand times as if it’s enough to simply “be” a bow hunter. Isn’t their pride premature considering a hunter is measured by the trophies on their wall? Show me your wall and then we will talk cool.

For those that are still reading this article, you have exercised the patience of a bow hunter. When you seek to understand the bold, you quickly realize that bow hunters are in fact very cool. I dare say they are bad-to-the-bone!

Bow hunters are dedicated in their preparation, patient and passionate in their pursuit, perfect in their effort, and proud to be bow hunters. Their passion is infectious. They love the animals they pursue and they value true conservation. Bow hunters right the tide of misconception. Hunting is not all about the kill or the trophy. Don’t get me wrong, I love trophy big game; however, bow hunting is so much more!

Special thanks to Sean Morgan of Sean Morgan Outdoors and Hoyt Archery for the invite(s) and killer pics.

Special thanks to Ryan Eakin of Ziis Apparel for always being one of the first to step up and lend a hand!

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Philip Peterson
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Kevin Jesen, Sean Morgan, Hazen Downward, Ryan Eakin, Philip Peterson, Phillip Lundell
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Logan Beckstrand, Sean Morgan, Donovan Strock

 

10 Antler Selling Tips You Cannot Afford to Miss

The shed hunting and antler buying race is on. I am intrigued by the thousands who wander the hills searching the only treatment available to managing their addiction. Ironically, a good portion of the commercial demand on shed antlers is medicinal. This is driven in large portion by an overseas market. As for the shed hunter, the only medicine required to manage their addiction is more hunting!IMG_0751-2

Shed hunting and antler buying is full of new comers, true originals, and everything in between. I would certainly classify myself as a new comer. I recently sat down with Steve Sorensen and Dallas Hemeyer of Steve Sorensen Antler Buying to learn more about this craze. These two are a couple of true originals with a passion for sheds that is unmatched. I came armed with bottomless sushi, my notepad, and a willingness to learn! I soon realized that Steve Sorensen Antler Buying has little interest in a reputation built on one time purchases. Everything they do is laser focused on gaining long term customers that return time and time again. (Steve Sorensen Antler Buying 435-245-3497)

After a good dinner, some laughs, and a few awesome hunting stories I came to one very simple conclusion: DO NOT sell a single shed before considering these “10 Tips.”IMG_0797

Antler Selling 1.0

1. Reputation Talks: Find a buyer with a longstanding reputation of being honest and fair. A self-proclaimed “we are the best in the business” or “we give you the most” means very little. What are the vast majority of sellers saying? A buyer’s reputation comes not from their own words but the words of their customers. Reputation talks!

2. Clean Em’ Up: A common sense move when selling anything tangible would be to clean it up. I was amazed to learn that this is often overlooked by many shed hunters interested in bringing top dollar for their sheds. You would never lay a stack of dollar bills next to the oil slick in the garage. Keep this in mind as you look to store your accumulating stack of sheds. If little thought goes into the storage and transport of your sheds, irreversible damage may be impossible to clean or repair. Assuming no major damage has occurred, take a minute and clean em’ up!IMG_3062

3. Grade First, Price Second: I do not suggest you pay little attention to price/lb; however, many sellers get caught up on price alone while missing the grade. A seller’s money is lost or gained on the grade. When researching a buyer, ask first the question “Are they fair in their grading?” The price per pound may fluctuate between buyers. It is easy to take your eye off the ball by focusing solely on price. A missed grade will cost you much more then the variance in price from buyer to buyer. The reality is go back to our #1 tip and this is less a concern. A great buyer has enough business that they are not going to live or die on gaining the upper hand on a singular purchase. Grade first, price second!image1-40

4. Understand the Grade: This can vary from state to state and region to region. That being said there are three grades you want to pay attention to and understand: ***Prices not provided as they vary by area and demand***

  • Brown ($$$): Key to picking up a brown and bringing in top dollar is time. Over time adverse weather causes cracking and discoloration. If it has cracks, it will not be graded brown.You have approximately 0-6 months of exposure before an antler’s quality is compromised. That being said it is tempting to stretch the boundaries of ethical shed hunting. Be sure your efforts to find the highest quality sheds do not pressure an already vulnerable winter herd.
  • White ($$): Weathered over the course of 1-3 years will likely land your shed at a white. As you can see time is a bit more forgiving in this regard. Key to this grade is whether or not the antler is beginning to turn grey with additional cracking. Once that takes place, a chalk grade will be considered.
  • Chalk ($): At over 3 years the weather starts to take its toll. Key indications of this include greying, deep cracks, and flaking. Any pink coloration will land your shed in the chalk category. Don’t get discouraged as there still is a bit of money to be made with chalk antlers. The reality is from chalk to brown they’re all pretty exciting to find! Understand the grade!

5. “Painted” Is Not a Grade: Leave your painted antlers at home. Paint them to keep them. Once painted your sheds have little to no worth to an antler buyer. Painted is not a grade!image2-11

6. Price Check Within Your Market: Unless you plan on traveling to distant locations to sell your antlers, price check within your given market. It can be frustrating and unproductive to both buyer and seller when conducting price comparisons outside of your area. Price check within your market!

7. Ask: Trophy quality and special characteristic sheds can garner higher prices outside of the general grading scale. It never hurts to ask or negotiate such concessions. A general rule of thumb puts your trophy class antlers at 180”+ on deer and 360”+ on elk. Keep that in mind when bringing something truly special to the table. Also keep in mind that your antler buyer is likely well aware of how to accurately measure score. Ask!IMG_4541

8. Know the Law: A good and reputable antler buyer will record everything required by law. For example, when selling a deadhead don’t be surprised when a buyer asks for name, address, phone number, and signature. Do NOT peddle stolen antlers. Know the law.

9. Keep Em’ Safe: The reality is antlers can be worth a lot of money. Equipped with that knowledge it is important that you keep them stored in a safe location. If left out in the open, they will be stolen. This is becoming a growing problem and buyers are offering rewards for information leading to prosecution of such thefts. Keep em’ safe!

10. Hold On: If you aren’t quite sure about selling a specific antler, hold on to it. There is no reason to rush into selling any specific shed or stack of sheds. The reality is each shed has a story. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from a big ole’ check; however, don’t get lost in the $$$. That shed will likely never mean to another what it means to you. Keep a few of those special sheds and share a story! Hold on!

A special thanks to Steve Sorensen and Dallas Hemeyer. Follow them on instagram as @antlerbuyer1976 and @365pursuit. Contact Steve Sorensen Antler Buying at 435-245-3497. These guys will not disappoint! Photography provided by Dallas Heymeyer.IMG_5548

 

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Wyoming’s Top 10 Monster Mule Deer of 2014

I spent nearly every summer as a kid in the backcountry of the Wind River mountain range in Wyoming. My line tightening to the welcome grip of monster trout kept me coming back each and every year. I was 5 years old the first time I made that 26 mile round trip trek. Each time one of those big ole’ trout would fly into the air, I’d yell to my Dad, “it’s a keeper!”

To say this list has some “keepers” would be an understatement! In 2014, Wyoming produced some absolute giant mule deer. These bucks are in no particular order so be sure to vote for the #1 buck at the end of this article.

A special thanks to key contributor Jeremie Lewis. Many of you may know him on Instragram as @wyohighcountry. This Top 10 was made possible by his knowledge and expertise on Wyoming Mule Deer. If you are not already following @wyohighcountry, get over to Instragram. He is a “must follow!”
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Josh Dimmick

1. Josh Dimmick: You could say I am partial to matching inlines. Evan Ault and I chased a very similar buck for 2 years in Utah. Evan was lucky enough to harvest that buck in 2014. With very similar characteristics that buck could pass as this old monarch’s little brother. Josh’s smile says it all! At 218″ he should be smiling. What an awesome buck. Well done Josh and congratulations on a magnificent buck.

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Rick – Non Typical Oufitters

2. Rick: Dubbed “Snag” this buck is one of my favorites out of any state in 2014. As if this buck’s drop tine isn’t enough, its mass and character is unmatched. This should not be a surprise to anybody that follows Robb and Brenda of Non Typical Outfitters out of Alpine, Wyoming. These guys could single-handedly put together a “Top 10 Wyoming” list featuring bucks harvested solely under their watch. If you plan on hunting mule deer in 2015, be sure to call Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000. Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org. The story on this buck is awesome! Get it here

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Diana Berger

3. Diana Berger: What an absolute giant buck! This list keeps getting better and this buck fits in well. The past year has been a great year for the women! Utah’s Top 10 Monster Elk of 2014 is evidence of that. Diana certainly knows what it means to hunt monster mule deer. Take notes boys! Congratulations Diana on a beautiful Wyoming muley!

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Sean Morgan – Sean Morgan Outdoors

4. Sean Morgan: I love this buck! At 35″ this thing is an absolute beast. The picture is amazing as well and was recently featured in our “Hunting Hashtag 10 Most Stunning #massntrash” article. As a Hoyt pro staffer and avid hunter, Sean’s passion for these animals is unmatched. This guy puts in some serious miles in pursuit of these giants and seems to always get it done! Nice work Sean on a giant Wyoming stud! For some incredible footage you have to check out “Tale of Three Seasons” on youtube. Follow Sean on Instagram @seanmorganoutdoors.

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Ben Daniels

5. Ben Daniels: At 231 4/8″ I am dying to know more about this 2014 Wyoming bruiser. If you know Ben or the back story to this buck I would love to hear the story! This buck is an absolute beast. Congratulations Ben on harvesting such an amazing animal.

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Nicolle Wilson

6. Nicolle Wilson: The ladies are at it again! This 31″ public land 8X10 monster is simply amazing. Many of us hope to pass the 30″ mark at least once in a lifetime. The other bench mark would put you in the 200″ club. Accomplishing both on one buck places you in a unique category of awesomeness! Nicolle, you are awesome! Well done and congratulations on an amazing trophy.

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Greg Wilding – Non Typical Outfitters

7. Greg Wilding: This isn’t Greg’s first rodeo. He and his family have made a habit of killing monster big game! This buck dubbed “Stickers” is no exception. Greg said it best when he said, “Christmas came for me on Sept 27th this year with the gift of “Stickers.” Soliciting a bit of help can be an important element to success on any hunt. Greg picked the best and pursued this giant with Robb and Brenda at Non Typical Outfitters. Be sure to follow Greg on Instragram @wild man_g. If interested in booking the hunt of a lifetime, give Non Typical Outfitters a call at 307-654-0000! Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Hunter Unknown – Non Typical Outfitters

8. Non Typical Outfitters: Although we can’t seem to find the hunter’s name associated with this buck, it certainly deserves its rightful spot on this list. If you know anything about this buck or its back story, please shoot me an email at jdheinerblog@gmail.com. That being said, a well deserved applause goes out to Non Typical Outfitters on an absolutely stellar year! What a monster buck! Contact Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000. Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Hunter Unknown – Non Typical Outfitters

9. Non Typical Outfitters: Although we can’t seem to find the hunter’s name associated with this buck, it certainly deserves its rightful spot on this list. If you know anything about this buck or its back story, please shoot me an email at jdheinerblog@gmail.com. One last time, well done Non Typical Outfitters! The mass on this buck makes it a “must have” on this list! Contact Non Typical Outfitters at 307-654-0000 to book your 2015 hunt.  Visit them online at www.nontypicaloutfitters.org

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Phil Krall

10. Phil Krall: To round off this list we have “Captain Hook” as it’s referred to here at JDHeiner Blog. Take a look at that cheater! Phil’s reputation precedes him as one who consistently kills big muleys. Those results don’t come easy and are the result of extensive scouting. Congratulations Phil on a well deserved Wyoming giant!

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts in the comments section and cast your vote below for Wyoming’s #1 buck of 2014. Follow JDHeiner Blog in the right hand column of your screen and follow on Instagram @jdheinerblog

“You are just as capable of weathering the storm. You are just as able to climb the hill. You are just as strong to handle a horse.” -To My Little Huntress

To My Little Huntress

Dear Kate,

Your recent comment took your mom by surprise. She called me at work to tell me about her experience. What you said was both sweet and heart wrenching. “Mom, if you have a boy Dad won’t want to take me hunting and fishing anymore.” You are aware of your Mom’s desire for number five. Maybe we will finally get that boy? That concerns you. I am trying to come to terms with the idea of five kids as well.

My concerns are different than your concern. I want to give you and your sisters every opportunity the world has to offer. I wasn’t sure how I would take care of one and here we are at four. Your grandpa Heiner always says, “each child will bring its own bread.” It is his way of saying the Lord will provide a way. I always laugh and tell him “that is easy for you to say when I am the one footing the bill.” To grandpa’s credit things seem to work out.

Kate, it is important that you know a hundred boys could not replace you. You are irreplaceable. You have a toughness about you that a boy could only hope to match. It seems natural for a son to hunt and fish with his dad. It is truly special to have a daughter that wants those same things. You are just as capable of weathering the storm. You are just as able to climb the hill. You are just as strong to handle a horse.

Kate, you need to understand two things. You are irreplaceable. You are strong. As a result you will always be welcome in my camp!

Love,

Dad

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Utah Elk Hunt 2012

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10 Reasons Kids Should NOT Hunt

I recently spent the weekend shed hunting with my daughter Kate. With a kid in the mix you could say it takes major work just to get out the door. Tasks preventing me from enjoying my weekend piled up. These tasks were largely kid related. To be frank, they were “Kate” related.

She didn’t have the right clothes which required a trip to Cal Ranch. She was also hungry. “We will take one chicken sandwich and hamburger plain.” As added frustration the horse trailer had a flat and one of the horses needed her hoofs trimmed. Upon gathering water bottles, getting fuel and purchasing trail treats, my Saturday had nearly slipped from my iron clad grasp.

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Kate and Meg

Admittedly, I asked myself “why?” After much thought, I have come up with exactly 10 reasons why kids should NOT ever hunt in all its forms.

  1. Hunting teaches kids how to provide. Really? What kid needs to learn how to provide? We are no longer cavemen or pioneers. Our kids are entitled not only to basic needs but to added comforts.
  2. Hunting teaches kids how to be uncomfortable. What kid needs to learn the value of cold hands and blistered feet? Kids should never be expected to sleep on the ground. As an advanced society we are certainly above this. All the comforts of the world should be ours. Our time is best suited teaching our kids actual lessons of value like how to get something for nothing.
  3. Hunting teaches kids how to stay fit. Good health is overrated.
  4. Hunting teaches kids how to respect God’s creations. Who’s that guy anyway? Isn’t America’s prosperity the result of our own great minds? Aren’t those awe-inspiring hills and all that is in them a result of some big bang?
  5. Hunting teaches kids how to prepare. Prepare for what?
  6. Hunting teaches kids how to work. We live in a day and age where every one of our kids are entitled to a job despite their work ethic, reliability, prior training or education. To really spend the time teaching a kid to work would have been valuable maybe 52 1/2 years ago.
  7. Hunting teaches kids how to survive. Survive what?
  8. Hunting teaches kids how to conserve resources. Resources are plentiful. Do you really think they are going to run out? If the goal is to conserve, wouldn’t killing do just the opposite? Maybe PETA is on to something. Clearly hunting and conservation do not go hand in hand.
  9. Hunting teaches kids how to solve problems. Problem solving is for the birds. The risk of encountering too many problems while hunting is real. Clearly my own attempt was chuck full of unnecessary problems. I should have known better than to leave my recliner and remote.
  10. Hunting teaches kids how to have fun. To be honest the high-pitched shriek of kids laughing can be annoying. It is certainly counter intuitive to hunting. Perched behind the glow of their iPad in the darkest corner of the house their laughter and tears are only a distant squeal.
I guess greater clarity can be found in putting your thoughts to the figurative paper. As I read back through this post I have come to the realization that the above 10 reasons are exactly why my kids WILL hunt. It is these 10 reasons that make sense of the madness found in hunting with kids!
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Kate and Miya
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THE LOOK THEY GIVE WHILE READING THE BELOW COMMENTS. ENJOY!