Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Headed to Ely finally

Garth and I are headed north this Friday afternoon, Aug 1, for the longbow pronghorn hunt as well as evaluating the deer, grouse and elk locations. We'll probably spend more time closer to McGill but will generally stalk the road which is also the western border of the Elk hunting zone. The lakes generally located along the river (and containing water) bisecting the step toe valley will likely be our hiding spots if any.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Google Earth is your friend

Use Google Earth and start getting to know the hunt area.  Look up McGill Nevada as your starting point. NorthWest of McGill is Basset Lake. Basset Lake is created by a dam on the river that flows up through the Step Toe Valley, which is our hunt area. Using Google Earth, start at Basset Lake and follow the river north all the way 'til it hits Currie right at US 93. That is where we'll be, and that is where the Elk, Deer, Pronghorn and Grouse will be found. Also note the green circles. That is Alfalfa, privately farmed and the food of choice for our game (no you can't hunt in the alfalfa field without permission). 
Also note there is an old rail road track that runs from McGill to Currie, right through the middle of our hunt area, the Nevada Northern (www.nnry.com for more info on the Ghost Train of Old Ely) You can drive on it (sort of) if needed to retrieve game, just go really slow. As far as I know, the part where we hunt is not maintained and will not have actual trains on it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Met with the game warden and more range time

Garth and I went to the archery range then attended the optional hunter education with Q&A last night. It was sponsored and catered by John Mull's Road Kill Grill. Great food!  I learned a lot, and as with the case with learning, I didn't know, what I didn't know!

Garth longbow from 60 yards
The "proof" you have to keep with you directly relates to the tag and typically is the head. For example, we are not hunting cow elk, we are hunting antlerless elk (which usually but not always is a cow), therefore, you must keep at least the top half of the head until you reach your destination. Same goes for the pronghorn, horns longer than ears, ya keep the head to show that they were longer than the ears.


Obvious rules, you can't shoot anything in any way for which you do not have a tag. No such a thing as an accident, if you do, it is a felony.  This is probably why poaching is less of a problem in Nevada than in other states!

There were of course some funny stories. The guy that showed up with the largest doe mule deer ever. Unfortunately, it was a donkey, not a doe mule deer. But think about it, the big ears on the mule deer?

Processing the game, I've always gutted first. They recommend skinning first, then gutting, then quartering. Of course, fastest cool down possible is how to go. They also recommended cleaning the meat as good as possible, cold water and a wash rag etc.... then when you put it on ice, keep the ice separate, maybe in a jug or bag, so that the meat stays dry.  Most important though is to keep it cold.

Most interesting thing I learned is that a pronghorn is not an antelope at all, it is a completely separate species and contrary to popular believe, they do shed the sheath off the horns every year. It's basically made of hair so it deteriorates very fast and you'll probably never see one on the ground. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weekend range trips

I visited the range with Jason Saturday and Ryan Sunday. Both laying the wood, sighting in magnum cartridges for the long range Elk hunt! For a first time extended bench shoot, both zeroed in to sub 2" groups - excellent.  Jason's 150 grain nosler partition speeds out at 3245 feet per second from his 270 Weatherby magnum, has the best long range knockdown of all of us and will zero in at 300 yards and easily drop anything at 400. Ryan's 338 winchester magnum propels the 210 grain nosler partition at 2830fps with thunderous,  unmatched knockdown power out to 300 yards.

Garth and I are headed to the Clark County complex for more practice on Wednesday as well as a meet and greet to try to figure out how to shoot an antelope with a longbow!  My hope is to just drive by and see one, we'll see. 2 weeks from this Saturday, we'll be in and around the Steptoe Valley not only stalking antelope, but making a note of where the deer and elk are roaming.

I've had a few comments about pushing the nosler partition so much, for example, it sure doesn't look special. True, many make super fancy LOOKING rounds, but, "if you want the best bullet for your next elk hunt, get a Partition."

Click here for the Chuck Hawks article on the partition

Friday, July 11, 2014



GMAN Says....

I have been wanting to make a new post from my end of the world. It is tough trying to keep up with 2 blogs, but here I go.

Alan is doing a great job thinking this all through. Nice work. Thanks for checking the moon phases. That will be some helpful knowledge.

Gman is going to be rocking the .308 SCAR 17S on this outing. It's not the most powerful cartridge, but given a close range, within 400yards, I should be OK. If not, I am planning on a running second attempt since it is open desert and the animal won't be able to hide. Well, hopefully. If all else fails, I can always unclip a grenade and throw it in the general direction of the elk. All portions will be ground meat and no steaks.

My Ax. FNH SCAR17S 7.62x39 (.308)

Not my exact weapon image, but google images is providing me with this while in Portugal.
This is the optic that I have been using. It's the Elcan Spectre 1.5X6. 6 power is way small, but. I will make it work. The ARMS levers make it a quick mount to the top rail and zero is not an issue. It always is set, even after removal.
The center dot is illuminated, or the crosshairs. Shooter's choice.
More info. Produced by Raytheon.

I also have a bipod made by Vltor which is light and quick to pop out. I will need to practice with that at the range, but will also consider using the monopod in case the brush is too high.

As soon as we get back from Europe, which is August 10th there will be range time planned for the 16th and 17th. Ideally, we can hit the desert during the week before since school will not have started yet.

That's not much, but I like to hear about all the technical stuff. So, Alan.... Post some info on these home loads that you will be using. I will do a full range report when we get back as well.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

moon phases and Antelope hunt

It looks like we'll have no moon in the pre dawn hours for the first several hunts.  Moon will be setting just a few hours after sunset but set later as days pass in each month.  It's almost identical for all of the fall months. This is good for us! Why you ask? Because a bright moon would prompt the elk/deer/antelope to be up and moving around eating etc... No moon pre dawn means they will be up and moving around as the Sun rises.  Some extra light from the moon after sunset is nice just in case we have one down.

Garth and I are headed to Ely after work on Friday, August 1, returning Sunday August 4 for the longbow Antelope adventure! 

I finally ordered my pack. I went with the Eberlestock Gunrunner in Coyote Brown along with the 3 litre hydration bladder.