We’ve been having fun in the mountains and it reminded me that I need to share more elk hunting tips with you. I’ve also got a segment from the creator of Freedom Frames, safe firearm storage.
Links of interest for this episode:
Freedom Frames — https://www.freedomframes.com/
WSI HEATR Gear use discount code LLCO10 – https://wsisports.com/
MAC Outdoors support the channel! – https://mia.limited/1
Self Defense Radio Network – https://selfdefenseradio.net
1:21 — Elk Hunting Tips
Have you been out on your hunting adventures this fall? I hope that you have, and if you have been out there, will you please share your adventures with us? Go to Mac outdoors on Instagram or Facebook and let me know what you’ve been up to, whether you’ve been successful or not. If you’ve seen anything really cool while you’ve been in the outdoors, or if you’ve harvested something I’d love it if you tagged us in your posts on social media, I actually had a mule deer tag for a second rifle season in Colorado, and I did get out there for four or five days, but I had a friend in town who hadn’t yet taken an elk and had been on an elk hunt and never saw an elk. And so, you know, me, I absolutely had to do everything we could to try to make our friends successful on the elk adventure
Second rifle season in Colorado has been pushed back in the past couple of years. So it’s not as early in the year as it used to be. It used to be the end of October. Now it’s kind of the beginning of November. Normally, the rut is going on in September, which is archery season, and everybody wants to archery hunt because they want the experience of the rut. Well, let me tell you, last year I called in a bull for my husband during third rifle season. This year we called in a few different bulls and managed to get our friend a successful shot on a bull during second rifle season, which as I said, is now at the beginning of November. You didn’t use to have rutting bulls in November, but that’s changed.
Let me know if you think the rut has changed because of the Earth’s rotation, because of global warming, because of whatever factors– let me know. Do you think that the cycles of wild animals are changing because of a certain reason? Is it because of too much pressure? Because quite honestly, I know that there are way more archers in the woods than there ever have been; At least in Colorado, in September there are. And I think all that pushing and people calling and all the activity in the woods–we also have a, had a record number of hikers, but all of that I believe has changed the elk cycles. And there may be additional factors that have changed it.
If you are hoping to someday pursue elk, whether in Colorado or another state, I hope that you will do some research, do some planning, and maybe you need to go with an outfitter. We are not doing guided hunts anymore, but I can give you some recommendations if you’re looking for a guided hunt. I’m actually working for other people who offer guided hunts. Maybe through them, you can request to have me or someone else as a guide. That’s a plan that can be made down the road.
Before you get ready for elk hunts, let’s talk about a couple of things that you’ll need. First of all, I have a gear list on the sidebar here. Click it to download an elk hunting gear list. This is a general list. If you are going to be going with an outfitter, ask them for their list because they may have stuff that they provide for you that you don’t need to pack and bring. And you may need different things, whether you’re providing camp or whether they’re providing camp and so forth.
There are a lot of things that you need to ask when you’re planning your hunt. Something that I will say is your gear is important. You need moisture-wicking fibers in your fabrics. You need to have base layers, especially in Colorado. The temperatures fluctuate from 25 ℉ to 80 ℉, whether it’s archery season or just now in early November rifle season. These are things that you have to be prepared for.
Layering is a must. You need moisture, wicking fabrics. In past episodes, I’ve shared Voormi and other gear. Voormi clothing is made from a wool blend fabric. Wool or a poly-blend fabric is great because then it’s not holding the moisture as cotton would. Cotton fiber holds moisture. Your boots are also important, have something that provides good traction, make sure that your boots fit so that you’re not getting blisters inside your boots
Have good socks, again, not cotton because cotton will hold sweat and other moisture. Then when the temperatures drop, you’re going to get cold; you don’t want to have hyperthermia.
You’re going to need your hunting license, start researching on the websites of whichever state you’re planning to hunt. Go to the DNR, do some research and see where you’re going to want to hunt. You can also ask friends for recommendations, get in some of the hunting group pages on social media, for the different states that you’re looking at, and ask questions there. I do say that with a little bit of caution behind my words because it seems lately, there are a lot of conflicts in some threads. There is sometimes a scarcity mentality, so proceed with caution when you’re asking questions on social media.
When researching hunting areas, you can also look to groups like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or SCI. Additionally, look to other conservation organizations and they may be able to give you some resources in the area where you intend to hunt. Another thing that I have done is contact the chamber of commerce in an area to see if they have any outfitter recommendations and things like that. In Colorado, we have the Colorado Outfitters Association and they can give you referrals for outfitters as well.
When you decide to come. And if, if you know where you’re going, if you have your hunting license and so forth, that is when you need to make for certain shore that either your bow or your firearm are cited in that they’re on target, that you can shoot them off-hand in a kneeling position, in a seated position, prone position (which doesn’t happen very often), but practice shooting positions.
Practice with your gear, put your backpack on and practice shouldering your rifle, put your binoculars on and practice drawing your bow. This is a must. Things can happen pretty quickly in the woods and you don’t always get a shooting bench scenario. When you’re going to have a shot on an animal.
If you’re planning to bring shooting sticks, or have a bi-pod on your firearm, make sure that you practice with those, but don’t rely on them because you’re not always going to have time to access to them when you are going to be in a quick shot scenario. If you’re not comfortable in a quick shot scenario, do not take those shots. We don’t want to take the risk of wounding or injuring an animal we want to do our best to make a one-shot clean kill.
Practice ahead of time and be prepared for your expedition. In Colorado. We have a variety of terrain where you can find elk. You can find them at 5,000 feet. You can find them at 11,000 feet. So when you’re practicing, put on your pack; maybe run up and down a hill and then practice shooting. Make sure that you’re in a safe location, you have a safe backdrop. If you’re at a range where you can’t run around, practice running in place to elevate your heart rate, get your sights on target, then shoot. If you are in a scenario where you can run, always be aware of where your muzzle is pointed. We want to be safe when we’re practicing, as well as in the woods.
Be aware of where your muzzle is pointed and obey the four rules of firearm safety. If you are walking down a hill and the muzzle of your rifle is slung over your shoulder, your muzzle is pointed behind you; If you’re walking down and someone’s behind you guess where your muzzle is pointed? — At the person up the hill behind you! –Think about those things.
I know some Outfitters and guides that I’ve visited with have kind of become numb to being muzzle-swept. I tell you what I may be because I’m an instructor and I’m constantly teaching safety, being muzzle swept is something that I do not like ever. I want you to be sure to be aware of this, whether you’re practicing or whether you’re actually in the woods and don’t tell me, “well, the gun is unloaded” because when they’re taking reports about most firearms incidents, the gun handler usually says, “I thought it was unloaded.”
Archery hunters, you can also practice the running up and downhill, stop and draw your bow and shoot at a target situation. I suggest this type of practice because when you’re in the field, hiking up and down the hill, you don’t always have that time to wait for your heart rate to go down before you get a shot. If you’re there and you’re huffing, puffing, panting, and trying to be able to draw your bow or mount your rifle and get the crosshairs on an animal, the animal’s not going to stay there forever to wait for you to calm your heart rate in order to get a shot.
I was recently hunting with my friend KJ, who lives in Louisiana, where there are no hills. I’ve joked about hills versus mountains and being prepared. What you can do to prepare for the steep terrain, if you do not have mountains in your area is to find bleachers or steps. If you choose the bleachers at a school stadium, make sure you have permission to be there. Climb up and down some the stairs to get your heart rate up. Also, put your backpack on while you do this type of training. If you sidestep up and down a hill or bleachers, it’ll also help you strengthen the muscles you need to balance when hiking on uneven trails. You’re not always on the trail when you’re hunting, and the trails up there may not be finely groomed.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with your gear. Know how to load, how to unload, and how to look down your optic on the target and so forth. It is such a joy to hunt with somebody that is confident in their gear and can actually enact what they practice when they’re out in the field.
(14:13) Freedom Frames Interview
Mia Anstine — We’re at the Poma conference in Franklin, Tennessee. And I am here at freedom frames with Garrett Dudley. Tell me all about the frames and what they are.
Garret Dudley — Yep. It’s doable today. So I’ve been working with my hands since I was a teenager, started off building log cabins. And for the last 16 years, I’ve been making a living with a stair business sales to airports and custom stares and installed handrails and balustrades and that kind of thing. So a couple of slow weeks, several years ago, I came up with an idea. I punched out this model right here, which is my Sentinel model, which is made to go in the wall. And so I took that to my first gun show, got really good reactions. And a couple of young men come up and say, man, we love your product, but we rent. We can’t cut a hole in the wall. So I came up with these other two models. So let’s, let’s start from my first model. This is a Sentinel goes in the wall between the studs.
It’s wicked fast. It’s got room for a longer gun or a revolver. This little guy here is a removable or reversible for an extra clip mace or snicker bar or whatever you feel like you want to hold or hide. It’s got room also up top for a second piece or a shelf money stash. He used to your favorite motorcycle that you don’t want your kids to have, et cetera. And let’s say it goes between the wall. It looks great when it’s shot that’s job one, if it doesn’t feel good when it’s shot it’s you should spend your money on something else. So there’s my inside recess model. And these two are surface mount. This is my ambush model. This one’s in portrait. I’ll make this model in portrait and landscape. This particular frame has been opened tens of thousands of times. Literally, it’s beat up, but the joinery is still great.
So I’m showing the durability of it again. It’s got quick access. It’s got a magnet drawn. It can go right-handed, which is where I’m headed. It’s set up. Now you can change the pin over to go left-handed if you like the landscape model has a water tray. So there’s more room. You can actually fit two mid-size pistols in there. Okay. And as far as mounting, it it’s just two screws, right? You need to Mount it to a stud, you got two screws, one high, one low. So it needs to be in a stud does need to be in the middle necessarily just needs to go through. Stud has just a bendy tabs. So you put whatever you want to get your diploma, or what have you. It’s very important that it looks like it’s a regular picture, right? So you don’t want to screw it tight to the wall. So I’ll put these little pads on the back as if you look at all my frames, they’re all sitting forward, just like it was hanging on, on, on a wire. Right? So that’s my ambush model again, portrait or landscape. And then this is my guard. This is my newest model by 10 picture. It’s pretty fast. Oh, wow. Pretty neat. Wow. Hands you the,
And again, just swings right out there. How is it swinging? Do you have you have a mechanism spring or
Different mechanisms? This one they are patent is still pending on this one. So what I will tell you is it’s riding on ball-bearings bottom. So it’s nice and smooth and more help along life of service. I’m making these out of plastic. Now still have a couple of the Woodlands left, but I am outsourcing just this dowel apart, but it is under tension. It also has a set screw here that you can vary the angle at which it stops. Right. And I’ll say, if you hang it in the core and you wanted it to stop here, Right. And also the magnets pulling it towards that. That’s, that’s part of the mechanism, but not the real mechanism. Yep. And also bendy tabs again, and two screws, one alone done deal.
Mia Anstine — Cool. Is the frame, are they all Oak frames? No. Do you do different species of what? I mean, I see you have several finishes. Yep. But as far as the species of wood, what all do you do?
Garret Dudley — Red Oak for most of my stains, I can do white up when I can get it. It’s actually a run on white Oak right now, but I’ve got walnuts. That’s actually a combination of old Canada, cherry, both with a cherry stain or the natural color. And since I make all my own trim, whatever I find that I think looks good. Or, you know, if you want to say Hickory and I can find the lumber for that, I’ll I’ll run it. Yep.
Mia Anstine — It is Alder a good thing for frames or is it too knotty?
Garret Dudley — Come from is hard to get. I use pretty thick. I use eight quarter horses, which are like two and eight or two and a quarter inches thick. Rough cut. That’s more of a,
Mia Anstine — A good substitute
Garret Dudley — Or two here. I’ll have any hanging up, but I do have some, this is actually you’ve lifted cereal. I liked it again. I see something happens. So here’s a cheery frame. Yeah. And so I was doing these in a natural color because I think it’s a center to stay in really nice looking good.
This is a color that I had a client that said he wanted a cherry and I showed him the natural charity. Like, Nope, I don’t want that. I want this charity. And I’m in the trades. And when you get cherry, this is, this is what you get this nice. I don’t know what color you call it. Orange or red or whatever. And some cherry it’s like people we vary in color and size and shape. And so, so does the woods. So that’s my cherry. I do all my, a little color chart upfront.
Garret Dudley — Keep an inventory, but you’ll see if you look closely at the site that there’s likely a three-week turnaround. So if I do have to mill it down and make it from scratch, what I typically do is keep parts red Oak in particular, milled and ready so that I don’t have to do the whole thing. Right. I can just pick up from step four. We get it out the door quicker. Yeah. We’re working on that. I’m a small, small business and it’s a very unique product though. And you know, I’ll make them one at a time. So you won’t see them just anywhere. Right. It’s worth the three or four.
I have a flat rate shipping of 36 95. We ship from central Virginia. And that’s where I make my living in the stereo business. And this is just a little off of I’m having some downtime and some tools.
Garett Dudley — Typically I tell people the security is in the craftsmanship. You don’t lock your other picture frames. But having said that I can do a child lock where I insert a small wire. I use a thin gauge wire that you can just dump it hard. And then some your forms that you can get what you want. So it’s really a child to turn it down a lot. But my hope and my experience so far is that it’s your secret till you can’t stand it anymore and you want to,
Garret Dudley — It definitely looks like a frame and I like the options. So I will point people in my show notes to your website. And so they can find you easy and everything else. Are you on social media? Also, we working on it, Facebook and Instagram. Okay. So they can find you there. We, it takes a team like always, I always say that it takes a team and get help wherever you can.
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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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