Friday, December 14, 2012

The Outdoor Report

On November 30th, I did an interview with Jack Borcherding of the Oudoor Report Radio show, seving Oskaloosa Iowa and surrounding area. During the interview we discussed how I got involved in the outdoors, the companies that I serve such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Team Elk, Cabela's, Swarovski Optik, Under Armour, Realtree and the publications that I write for Elk Hunter Magazine and Western Hunter Magazine and what it means to me personally to be to be able to serve as a female ambassador for those companies all while  helping to ensure the continuation of our hunitng heritage, conservation of wildlife and habitat.   


Today's Country KSJJ Radio Show

On November 25th, I sat down with RL Garrigus from 102.9 KSJJ Radio, serving all of Central Oregon and talked about how my fall hunting season was progressing from my October trip to Colorado in pursuit of bull elk with RMEF Team Elk and Lori Chester, mule deer hunting in British Columbia with Cabela's Ultimate Adventures T.V. and mule deer hunting in Montana with RMEF Team Elk. We also discussed the importance of mentoring other upcoming hunters and outdoor lovers.

Dakota Prairie Outdoors Radio Show Nov.

On November 7th & 8th, I sat down with Scott Bachmeier of the Dakota Prairie Outdoors Radio show and talked about how my fall hunting season was shaking down. We discussed some of the great hunting adventures that I had been on with RMEF & Team Elk and Cabela's Ultimate Adventures.Visit the link below to listen to both shows, the first titled "Elk Update with Kristy Titus" and the other titled "Colorado Elk and Mule Deer Hunting."
Dakota Prairie Outdoors Radio Show has 250,000 radio listners and 90,000 internet listners.

Blizzard Buck

When hunting mule deer in November in Montana's high country, weather can move in quick changing your hunting conditions nearly immediately making glassing impossible and the terrain downright dangerous. Jim Brennan and I encounterd this dangerous type of fast moving blizzard, the kind that I had never before encountered.

We had been warned that once the fog rolled into the valleys and cooleys, it was easy to get disoriented and turned around and sometimes, you just have to encounter it to believe it. The storm was settling in and the fog was freezing to everything, the camera equipment, the rifle and even our clothing not only making everything slick and dangerous but also taking visibility down to nearly nothing.

Three days, 18 inches of snow accumulation in some areas and negative 15 degree temeperatures later, the storm broke. Jim and I were freed from our hotel prison. When these types of storms break, they can cause a gleeful excitement within any hunter, no matter how cold it is. The deer that have held up in heavy timber will be out and about in search of food and water. The bucks having been pushed out of the high country will be in pursuit of hot does.

A cold so bitter it bites through exposed skin like a 1000 tiny needles can't slow down the determined hunter and determined we were.  Skyline on the ridge back stood a stunning sight, a wide, mature buck milling around the snow and eventually out of sight. Jim and I knew that we could close the distance on the majestic buck as all of the conditions were in our favor. We found that the buck had nestled down in a drainage surrounded by does and distracted as he showed off tearing up brush with his antlers.

Creeping into position at less than 100 yards, Jim set up to take the shot as I said a silent prayer that the camera would keep rolling and not freeze while Jim took the shot of his lifetime. Our patience had once again paid off...Jim had taken the buck of his lifetime and I was privledged enough to share the experience with him, all caught on camera.

The elements of this hunt were brutal by anyone's standards but the rewards were boundless. Memories created that will last my lifetime, recalling the bitter freezing cold, freezing equipment and two friends that stuck it out to fulfil a dream on the mountain. 

Team Elk Montana Mule Deer

Hunting rutting mule deer bucks in November in Central Montana is one of my favorite hunts and coupling that with hunting for RMEF's Team Elk television show with my good friend Jim Brennan was icing on the cake. 

The Central Montana landscape is  rolling with grassy hills and scattered buttes that speckled with mostly Douglas Fir. Montana is also the home for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and to it's credit RMEF has completed 742 projects within the state alone, permanently protecting nearly 200,000 acres of land and enhancing over 500,000 acres of land.

Covering expansive rugged terrain at elevations nearing 7,000 feet, our strategy was to gain elevation and get a good vantage point letting our optics do the walking for us. On this hunt, spotting bucks was not our difficulty, the deer numbers were plentiful, spotting a mature buck on the other hand took a little patience.

For days, we played a game of "Spot, Stalk, Bust..." with a blizzard on the way, the winds were less than ideal and extremely unpredictable. Stalk straegizing was extremely difficult without a true wind, doubling that difficulty with expansive, wide open terrain.  The bucks were cagey keeping at a solid 500 yard distance in the wide open unapproachable landscapes. One day in particular, I sat and watched a stunning shooter buck for 5 hours without anyway to stalk on him. I literally had to watch him disappear into the timber, never to be seen again.

My love of hunting is all about the hunt itself, being out in the elements, breathing the fresh air, the cold wind biting at my cheek's, the sting felt on my hands and fingers when I take off my gloves, testing myself and my skills as a hunter. The reward of the hunt are the memories that last forever. I will never forget when a rag horned bull literally ran 70 yards below me panting, oh the irony of Murphy's Law, elk tag in hand, wrong unit. These are the moments, the what if's, the close calls that I live for, these times are what bring me back to the mountains year after year.

Perseverance paid off for me when Jim spotted a group of does feeding within a cooley. Just above the does lay a mature buck watching them from a distance. The buck was bedded in a stalk able position that also afforded me the luxury of cover. I was able to creep within 350 yards of the bedded buck and settle in a solid prone rest to make the single perfectly placed shot. My dream mule deer hunt had finally come true.