GORDON BUCK – Pending New Record Archery Mule Deer

Gordon Buck, 2018 Mule Deer

In this day and age, in a world of self promotion and images that travel faster through social media than wildfire in a dry forest, how does a potential all time world record archery mule deer buck harvested in early September not be seen around the world until now? It starts and ends with a humble guy who is less interested in hype than he is in the hunt.

Enter the bowhunter who harvested this once in a generation buck, Justin Gordon of Kamas, Utah. His drive and passion for pursuing mature mule deer in the high country has been his focus for nearly two decades. He’s humbly gone about honing his craft and skill, all the while refining his equipment selection in order to spend time on public land, in true DIY (Do It Yourself) fashion pursuing his dream: to harvest a mature mule deer buck surpassing the magical 200″ mark.

Gordon Buck, Grip and Grin

ONCE IN A GENERATION

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The BlackOvis Guide to Outdoor Gifts

Gift Guide

If you have a person in your life who loves the outdoors, holiday gift giving can be a real chore. Hunters can be very opinionated about their gear choices. Was that a nice way to say that? You never know what size, color or camo pattern they want. Everyone wants to give a great gift but we don’t always have the information we need to pick exactly the right thing. We polled our Gear Guide Team and came up with a few ideas that should work for the outdoors person in your life. For this list we tried to pick items that are legitimately solid gear choices, but that also should be welcomed by any outdoorsman. We have also tried to give a few options of similar gear in different price ranges. After all Michael Scott said it best… A gift is a way of telling someone hey man I love you this many dollars worth. IF you have any questions, need a couple more gift ideas or would like help placing an order please feel free to call one of our Gear Guides at 801-559-7556.

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BlackOvis NWT Merino Series

BlackOvis Merino Wool

For this gear review, I purchased five items from the BlackOvis NWT Merino Wool gear line. The idea was to buy everything from the waist up, give it a go and see what I thought. I bought the following items:

There is actually an additional top in their line, the 190 Crew Long Sleeve Top, but I missed it when I loaded my shopping cart. I can guarantee it will be hanging in my gear room before this September.

When choosing a base layer material, we essentially have three options: synthetic, wool or a blending of the two. As a general rule, synthetics like polyester, capilene, et al. are less expensive, dry faster, breathe better and are typically more durable than wool. For a long time, wool was coarse, itchy and therefore uncomfortable. This was a strong motivator to buy synthetic. Merino wool isn’t a new product. It has been around for quite a while now, but when the industry discovered the amazing merino… it changed everything. A merino wool fiber is super fine, much more fine than a human hair, which translates into incredible “next to skin” comfort. Selective breeding programs and new manufacturing techniques continue to make wool “obstacle”s essentially obsolete.

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How to Select the Right Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that helps you sleep well can be a game-changer while spending time in the outdoors. If you don’t get some quality sack time at night, not only will you not be at peak performance the next day, you could end up pretty miserable. But not just any old sleeping bag will fit the bill; you need the right sleeping bag for you based on how you sleep and the conditions you plan to encounter (climate, weather, available shelter, etc.). It’s not a one-size-fits-all formula for selecting one of your most important pieces of gear; there’s several factors that you should take in to account as you look for the right bag for you. Often times, finding the right sleeping bag can be a trial and error process. I can tell you from experience that it is worth the time, effort and money spent finding the right bag that lets you sleep your best at night in the mountains.

There are several styles of sleeping bags: rectangular, mummy, quilt, hybrid, etc. And within each of those categories, you can usually get down or synthetic in most models, left or right side zippers, extra length and/or width, wide vs narrow foot boxes, hood styles, and the list of options goes on and on. While I do own and use a very plush and roomy rectangular style bag that gets paired with a cot and foam pad when the occasion allows, the bag weighs something like 14 pounds and only gets used if I’m sleeping in a trailer or driving right to where I make camp. Since these situations are very uncommon for back country hunters, this article will be geared more towards how to pick the right sleeping bag based on backpack hunting/back country intended use where weight and size are at a premium.

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How to Choose the Right Trail Camera in the West

Stealth Cam Header

There are many different models of trail cameras these days, all with different specs and megapixels that may make it confusing when trying to choose. It’s hard to know which one is right for you and your situation. You might be new to trail cameras and just want to get something going to see what’s in your area, or you might be a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your cameras cameras for higher quality images.

Typically you want the most megapixels and the most LED bulbs for the best price. On all Stealth Cam models, the number in the model name represents how many LED bulbs are in the camera. If it says “NG”, it stands for No Glo bulbs which eliminates the flash at night so it doesn’t spook the animals. No Glo LED bulbs are great for security cameras as well.

Stealth Cam Utah Moose

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Sleeping Bags – 101

Synthetic VS Down

This is a topic that has been covered extensively and there are a million write ups explaining the differences and pros and cons of different types of insulation. For the purpose of this write up I will give a broad overview of Down and Synthetic insulation.

Synthetic insulation is generally heavier and will not compress as small as down. It also tends to pack down over time and lose loft. Loft equals warmth. On the plus side, synthetic insulation is generally cheaper than down and will hold loft and provide some warmth when wet. It also tends to dry faster than down. Down insulation is lighter and will compress extremely small. The downside is it is more expensive and will not insulate when it gets wet. It also takes longer to dry out. Marmot uses Hydrophobic down or synthetic insulation in most of their bags with a couple of models using both synthetic and Down. Hydrophobic treatment is a method of covering down with a waterproofing agent that helps it repel water. This along with mixing in a small amount of synthetic insulation gives users the best of both worlds in one bag.

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