TruckVault's Xtreme Hunts TV - Mark Kayser's Blog

Funneling Whitetails (Mark Kayser - 10/24/2009)

Mark KayserWe're days away from some of the best whitetail hunting opportunities of the season and you can increase your odds by setting up in areas that funnel whitetails. Look for them and the quick road to success. Tree lines, shrubs, hedges and narrow strips of timber all funnel whitetails, but manmade objects can also be used. Some of the most obvious manmade funnels include travel-restricting objects such as roads and fences. While visiting the Minneapolis area for work I'd routinely skip out and take hikes in many of the parks throughout the urban center. Highways and sound barriers were obvious restrictions creating funnels. Whitetail trails paralleled their course funneling deer through the maze of neighborhoods. It wasn't uncommon at all to be following a trail and run face to face with a whitetail headed to feed on a manicured lawn for the evening.

Fences also provide funnel opportunities. Whitetails have no qualms about jumping a fence, but higher than normal or tightly strung fences may make them think twice. Instead of jumping, they'll follow it for convenience looking for a low spot to cross or an open gate. While guiding for Powder River Outfitters in southeast Montana we routinely watched whitetails follow a fence to an open gate leading to an irrigated alfalfa field and set stands for a later ambush.

There's nothing to say you can't build your own fence too except maybe an uninformed landowner. If you own your own property or have the blessing of a landowner, building a 5-foot fence to force whitetails through an ambush area is a smart idea. The fence doesn't have to be fancy and can even be temporarily stapled to trees. It just needs to eliminate travel options and force deer into a more restricted route you can take advantage of.

If you don't want to go to the work of building a fence, but wish to stop deer from sneaking by your funnel position, alter the terrain. Stacking brush over trails creates a barrier forcing whitetails to take a trail of your choice, not theirs. I once built a scarecrow out of large branches, an old tire and cow bones smack dab in the middle of a trail to make the whitetails go the other way. It worked, but almost too well. When they popped over the hill and saw the alien blocking the route they bolted in my direction, but too fast for a bow shot. I learned two important lessons.First, allow the deer to see the scarecrow from farther away, but more importantly I learned I could funnel deer by my stand.

If you can't find a good funnel in your hunting area, make your own, but most importantly, hunt a funnel for success. Mark Kayser


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That's the tkihning of a creative mind
Kaylana, 12/6/2012 7:29:40 PM

Just a test to see if this is still routed?
DFenton, 4/6/2011 10:23:34 AM

We All Miss Shots (Mark Kayser - 10/1/2009)

Mark KayserI admit it. I've already missed this season. I had a pronghorn buck give me fits before I finally connected. If you hunt enough you'll undoubtedly miss as well. It's part of the experience, but something you can actually fix over time. Here are a few simple steps to diminish your missed shots.

 
First, just say "NO" when a low percentage shot arises. That's why I've had few misses in recent years. It's that simple. I just say no and wait for a better opportunity. That can be tough after mortgaging the house for a hunt, but remember, most animals are creatures of habit. They'll be back, especially whitetails. It might be an hour or three days from now, but most animals repeat their patterns. If you hunt around home you can always schedule another rendezvous with a local buck. If you travel to a remote destination, you'll have to make the hunt happen using the buck's Daytimer.
 
To insure a one-shot success, follow these simple rules. Be able to read body language. Animals tell you what they are about to do through their actions. Alert ears and a rigid body precede a buck jumping the string. A buck licking his nose, grooming and browsing relates to a calm animal. The second scenario provides a better chance of a nonmoving target when the arrow or bullet arrives. Lip curling, grunting and chasing also increase the odds of a wounded buck since movement is a main ingredient of the rut and moving targets are harder to hit.
 
After studying body language, study up on sure-fire stopping methods. Many archers I know grunt at a buck to get him to stop in an archery shooting lane before releasing. It's a natural sound and it raises a buck's curiosity to stop and look around. When rifle hunting, I often coyote howl to get a buck to stop in a preferred shooting lane. The coyote howl reaches bucks out to 200 yards or beyond and deer always want to be aware of close coyotes.
 
I've yet to have a buck bolt and run at the scream, but they all provide a statue-like target. Finally, put yourself in a good shooting position. Look for clear shooting lanes, ample shooting holes and elevation for increased viewing. Treestands, knobs, haylofts and creek banks all provide lofty perches. Missed shots happen, but with preparation, planning and commonsense, one-shot kills can be the norm in your hunting adventures. Good luck.Mark Kayser

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Right on point Rachel.One other idea would to have this party at home and have make-up, hair supplies and dress-up cloehts on hand that Jordyn and her friends can use to create their own looks. Or do some paper bag dramatics where the girls are split into groups and given a paper bag with wacky and fun costume pieces and props that they have to use to dress each other with and create a little skit or tableau for the rest of the party. You might also consider hiring your favorite teenager, babysitter or young neighbor (or two or three) to serve as the make-up artists and hairstylists. It seems a little excessive to be paying salon professionals for a child's birthday party. You could even have someone on hand as the photographer to take fun polaroids of the girls which they could take home as party favors (or even decorate as an art project during the party). I don't think it's unreasonable to have a birthday party that involves make-up and dress-up. I think the key to keeping it age appropriate is to make sure the goal isn't to have all the girls looking like pageant contestants before they go home.
Vicky, 7/14/2015 11:14:46 AM

Finding Success on Public Land (Mark Kayser - 9/3/2009)

Mark KayserI've been sneaking off to bowhunt pronghorns and deer on public lands the last week. Some of the locations have been less than desirable, but others have been somewhat surprising. In fact this morning I bumped into a mule deer buck that was quite respectable. Had I known he was going to bed in sagebrush pocket I couldn't see into I would have been ready. At least now I know he's in the neighborhood. My son accompanied me on a weekend bowhunt for pronghorns last week on BLM ground. It was a fast and furious hunt, but I did manage to arrow a young buck to start filling the freezer. If you plan on hunting public lands this fall you may want to consider every public land option to make your hunt more enjoyable and more successful.

 
If you don't believe you have ample public land to hunt, maybe you're not looking in the right location. The two heavyweights in the public land business are the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.The National Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land throughout the United States including forests and grasslands from east to west and north to south. The Bureau of Land Management has authority over 270 million acres. Check them out nationwide.
 
States also administer vast tracts of public land including states east and west of the Mississippi River. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation provides more than 1.6 million acres of statewide wildlife management areas for hunters. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has 1.4 million acres under state control enrolled in their wildlife management area program. Not only do states own land, but they've been savvy enough to lease land and open it to the hunting public in vast "walk-in" programs. That's what I was hunting when I bumped into the muley this morning.
 
You should also check with the school and public land agency for your state to review their catalogue. Often these lands are open to hunting and situated squarely in the middle of large blocks of private land. Have you considered hunting in a state park, a city park or even a federal wildlife refuge? Consider it. How about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the lands they manage? These public lands are often associated with water projects, but the edge habitat they create is ideal for whitetails. 
 
If you want to discover public land whitetails hideouts, your best resource is to let your fingers do the walking on to the Internet. State and federal agencies list their public land holdings on their sites, provide maps and directions. Once you have an idea of where property is located, you can research and scout at home with programs like Google Earth. These portals allow you to use satellite imagery to zoom in on public hunting hotspots. 
 
If you've been avoiding public lands I think you'll discover there are better options than ever before and you just might shoot the best trophy of
your career. Mark Kayser
 

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Froschi, 7/14/2015 1:43:18 AM

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Kathy, 10/5/2010 7:40:04 AM

Leaving Your Backyard (Mark Kayser - 8/13/2009)

Mark Kayser We all dream about pursuing game in exotic or trophy-producing locations.

Whether your dream hunt is for Alberta whitetails or Dall's sheep in Alaska, you need to plan to make sure your dream doesn't become a nightmare. Today, more than ever, hunters are overwhelmed with unlimited options of outfitters and hunting locales to pursue an outfitted dream. Page through the back of any magazine and you'll be overwhelmed with dozens of outfitter advertisements. 
 
Always be suspect of initial advertising. Although most outfitters run reputable operations, there are plenty of wanna-be outfitters willing to take your money in return for the opportunity to look at nice country without game. Pay special attention to advertisements and Web pages. Do you see the same buck and hunter advertised year after year? If so, ask yourself why they don't update their photos yearly with new game. 
 
Also keep tabs on the outfitter's address. Are they living close to the hunting area advertised? Is the telephone area code the same as the hunting area advertised? After wading through the ads and surfing the Web, it's time to query the outfitter. Here are some questions to ask. After jotting down the responses, tell the outfitter you'll get back to him or her later. Before you finalize the hunt, run the outfitter responses by an objective third party, preferably a hunter with outfitter experience.
 
1. How many bow hunters do you take per year and how many hunters will be in camp with me?
 
2. Is this a one-on-one hunt and is there a discount for two hunters per guide?
 
3. What are my chances on obtaining a license?
 
4. What's your success rate on game and on trophy game, and how much land is available to hunt?
 
5. Are you guides capable of field-judging trophy animals and caring for trophies?
 
6. How many animals can I expect to see in a day and is the hunting private or public?
 
7. Do I need to do any physical training before my hunt?
 
8. What types of shots should I be capable of to be successful?
 
9. Do I need to invest in any specialized gear?
 
10. Can you provide me a list of references from last year?
 
Although an outfitter is responsible for the advertised aspects of a hunt, many hunters fail to realize they are a major part of the success. Plus, they need to realize that some things are out of the outfitter's control. To avoid an outfitted failure of your doing, it pays for you to tone up before the big trip. If you can't make arrangements to be at the gym three days a week, at least go for a walk on your coffee or lunch break to make sure you can meet the demands set by the outfitter. 
 
Hunters need to be mentally prepared as well. All hunts can be demanding, physically and mentally. Game sightings can decrease, vehicles may break down and weather can hamper a hunt, but by keeping a tone of confidence, you'll be ready when the situation turns for the better. Remember that a good outfitter will do everything in their power to give a hunter the best chance at a trophy. 
 
Choosing an outfitter is no easy task and one that demands time for research before money even enters the equation. Take the time to make your dream hunt a trophy reality.Mark Kayser

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Steps to Great Hunting Photographs (Mark Kayser - 7/31/2009)

Mark KayserRegardless if you shoot the new world record or a fat yearling doe, spend the extra time to take a good photograph of your trophy this coming season.

It's important we take tasteful images of our hunts these days because everything ends up on the Internet and we need to keep the image of hunting as respectful as possible. Here are some tips to make your hunting images better.
 
First, bring a camera. Don't leave it at home. Shop for a point and shoot digital camera capable of 4 mega pixels or better like the Nikon Coolpix series (www.nikon.com). Set the camera to store the images at the highest or nearly highest resolution and dial in the automatic setting. It's that simple. The camera will read the light and average the setting for you. For the steadiest shot mount it on a tripod to stabilize the camera and snap away using a remote or your buddy's finger. In bright light, tip the bill of your ball cap back and turn the flash on to fill in the dark shadows under the hat. This is called fill flash and nearly all cameras automatically average the flash needed to brighten a harsh shadow on a sunny day.
 
Next, look for a great backdrop. Decide if the area where the buck dropped is suitable for the shot. If you're hunting in an area that requires packing the buck out in pieces, you'll be stuck with the background at hand. Fortunately, most whitetail locations are accessible by ATV or four-wheel-drive truck and you may want to move the buck to a high hill to add a sweeping panoramic to the photo. Photograph the buck from various angles and heights in any location, but the panoramic shot is only possible with a panorama behind you. Use a wide-angle lens, 35mm or lower to get the widest vista. 
 
Keep it clean. Hunting is killing and killing involves blood, but try to keep the blood to a minimum in photographs. It's best to take your photos before you field dress the animal. Your non-hunting friends at the office don't need to see how many pints of blood a deer can hold. They might like to see your trophy though, without the gore. Before you leave on a hunt, make sure to have a roll of paper towels and water for cleaning chores. Soft drinks will double for water in a pinch. If possible, take your photos before field dressing. And please tuck the tongue back inside the mouth. A hanging tongue is disrespectful and overlooked by many in photos as well. 
 
Finally, take a look at yourself. Did you get blood on your clothes? Are you wearing an inappropriate hat or shirt? Put on a clean jacket and an appropriate hat before getting behind the buck. Plan now and your photos will provide you great memories later. Smile and say cheese!Mark Kayser

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Hi Francine and topper and mark
Love emtia
EMTia, 11/13/2016 7:10:59 PM

Trail Cameras (Mark Kayser - 7/10/2009)

Mark KayserTo get the most from your trail camera you need to put it in the right place and summertime is a great time for your first peek at your fall quarry.

Regardless if you're hunting whitetails, muleys elk or pronghorn, you can set up a trail camera for firsthand surveillance. A friend and I set up trail cameras last week for elk and in another week we're hiking back in to see who's calling the mountain home. Another friend of mine is using my backup camera to capture whitetail images on a property in South Dakota where I hunt. He sends me E-mail updates and keeps me up-to-speed on big buck sightings.



In summer bucks and bulls take on a careless, gluttonous nature as they gorge on the best foods to beef up before the rut. Even mature bucks and bulls become more relaxed, oftentimes revealing themselves in the presence of other bachelors during daylight hours on soybean, alfalfa or other candy-like crops. Bachelor groups of bucks and bulls become a band of brothers, and will do almost everything together up until the breeding season when they begin to disband.



Great places to set up for summer photos are on field edges, water holes, refuge cover and the trails in between all of these. You can capture images of any species using these locations. If water is scarce, set up a camera overlooking a water sources muddled with big game tracks.



Good luck on your images and I hope a big one says "cheese" for you.Mark Kayser


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Check the Calendar (Mark Kayser - 6/25/2009)

Mark KayserIt's less than two months before major hunting seasons kick off. My head is already swimming with things to do and plans to make. Since I switch weapons each season to showcase the latest and greatest from the manufacturers I spend a considerable amount of free time sighting in. This year I've been busy setting up my Mathews Reezen and Mathews Monster (www.mathewsinc.com) for fall hunting season.

I've also equally been busy setting up my new Thompson Center (www.tcarms.com) Venture centerfire rifle and Triumph muzzleloader. Are these my top priorities?

They rank right up there, but another job you need to consider is lining up hunting areas. If you're hunting public lands you need to spend time scouting for game and learning the perimeters. If you're hunting private land you need to renew friendships and offer to help with any chores to "pay" for your privileges.

Setting aside hunting time on your schedule, particularly with your boss, is another priority chore you need to address. If you wait too long important windows like the pronghorn, elk or deer rut may be taken up by other coworkers. You don't want to be in the office when the elk are bugling or the whitetails running?

Finally, go through all your gear for each hunt and make sure nothing needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. It will save you lots of time during the season if you try and prepare and hunt at the same time.

Here's one last tip. If you're lucky enough to have a few dollars lying around and possibly on the hunt for an outfitted hunting trip, this may be your year. I've talked with a lot of outfitters over the past several months and many are behind in bookings from 20 to 50 percent. To keep income flowing they are giving some deals. Get on the phone and negotiate. You may get the hunt of a lifetime for a bargain basement price. Mark Kayser


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As always, Tom hits the nail on the head the truth of which unltftunaoery saddens me greatly. As a career practitioner of marketing research and business analytics for almost 2 decades, I've seen my own industry consistently miss the opportunity to clearly articulate a reason for being, and to effectively help their business partners us the real, predicitive and non-subjective tools available to guide business decision making at the vast majority of organizations. Shame on all of us.
Gerardo, 12/7/2012 9:40:38 AM

New Episodes of TruckVault Xtreme Hunts (Mark Kayser - 6/10/2009)

Mark KayserDid you catch the first, new episode of TruckVault Xtreme Hunts? I didn't either. They just kind of snuck up on me and here we are again kicking off a new show season.

This year TruckVault Xtreme Hunts has been combined with Americana Outdoors.
We're still going to show you great hunts, but you get two outdoor adventures for the price of one admission.

The show lineup has been added to this site. Click on "The Show" icon and then click "Show Schedule" for episode information.

I think you're going to like this season's lineup. I hunted caribou, elk, mule deer, whitetail, quail, pheasants and waterfowl, and each show provides strategies and tips on how to be successful. We also invited some Heroes along to show them our thanks for their public service.

It's show time again and I appreciate your support in watching the show.

See you in the field!Mark Kayser


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None of your great shows were on or scheduled to be on here in dallas texas on versus. What happend?
What is your favorite rifle and scope for colorado elk in .300 win mag using hornady 180 grain?
mike, 2/7/2011 7:39:33 AM

Dwight,

Currently there are no plans for a DVD. That could change however. Last year's hunts are being shown on Versus, Lonestar, Time Warner and AMG TV. Check and see if you have any of those. Schedule info is on this site. Thanks for watching!
Mark Kayser, 6/24/2009 9:21:16 AM

Hi Mark!
My local cable company doesn't carry your show. Is there any way to order a dvd?

Thanks,
Dwight Swift, 6/22/2009 4:59:48 PM

CAFÉ Standards and Hunting (Mark Kayser - 5/22/2009)

Mark KayserTake a look at the accompanying photo. Don’t laugh. This could be you in seven years thanks to new vehicle fuel standards pushed by the president.  New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards were proposed this week and automakers will have less than seven years to get meet or exceed the standards.

Now I’m not going into all the excessive details of the standards. You can read up on it via the Internet. In short, in seven years new cars will have to get 39 mpg and light trucks will have to get 30 mpg. This will cost you and me approximately $1,300 per vehicle when you add in new technology and increased prices for the future. The government says you should recoup the increased cost in about three years after purchase with fuel savings. There are some ways around the standards, but this photo, as funny as it appears, could be the future for hunters.

I’m all for conserving energy, but I also believe we should be able to make our own decisions and drive what we “need” to drive to fit our lifestyles. Last year’s high fuel prices had many of us, me included, rethinking driving habits. We purchased a smaller car to make runs that don’t require a truck. I didn’t need the government guidelines to tell me that my budget needed a break from high fuel prices. The car did the trick, but I still have my truck when the snow is deep or the elk are heavy.

Hopefully technology will allow trucks to catch up on fuel efficiency. If not, I’m going to have to eat half my elk on the mountain so the rest will fit in my fuel efficient car.Mark Kayser


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Your process' is also one sepiifcc to many work places in that often, shall I say always', the office leader has an ajenda or sepiifcc outcome in mind, but in the show of transparency' or including everyone in the decision making process, goes into a hugh and time consuming dog and pony show' to allow everyone to voice their opinions, concerns, objectives, etc., you know the drill. Then when all is charted, written down and analyzed, the office leader's choice, voice, or what ever else you care to name it over rides all the other voices and the end result is just that which was wanted in the first place. Everyone then leaves the meeting down trodden, angry, frustrated and in an ever increasing spiral of defeat and bad moral. Feeling more and more frustrated with the in office system' of team work', supposedly being involved in these empty decision making meetings. What can I say, when one holds the ultimate power in the environment, and plays games' with trying to be a team leader and does not have real people skills, nor have the skills to be a real manager, it brings down the whole office. Everyone values honesty, duplicity erodes!
Jessica, 12/6/2012 5:44:41 PM

Drake,

I wouldn't worry yet about your truck. There's no way they can make us park our vintage trucks (at least I hope not). I'd be more worried about what's ahead, especially for those of us who live an active outdoor lifestyle. I'd keep the maintenance up on your old truck for a future backup!
Mark Kayser, 6/10/2009 12:57:47 PM

Does this mean my 2005 Chevy Silverado crew will also have to meet these standards or will certain vehicles be grandfathered in?
Drake22, 6/9/2009 9:08:56 AM

Bear Season is in Full Swing (Mark Kayser - 5/6/2009)

Mark Kayser It's primetime for spring bear hunting from now through mid-June. A few hunters still get to pursue bears with hounds, but the majority of us are restricted to baiting and even more to spot and stalk strategies. In dense woods and bush baiting is the way to go. The state of Maine has embraced baiting for bear management due to the dense forests that make up much of the state.

Some say baiting bears is like shooting fish in a barrel. I say give it a try and then come back to the table to talk. Sure you might be able to shoot a little "Boo-Boo" bear easily over bait, but the mature, giant boars rarely give themselves up as easily. They slink just out of bow range, oftentimes firearm range, of the bait as the sniff for danger. I've lost count of how many times I've seen big black shadows circle bait and never materialize for a shot.

One of my all-time best bowhunts was a black bear hunt over bait. The hunt was drawing to an end and at dusk a bear, a very large bear, showed up under my stand. In a second he was gone. A few minutes later he returned with attitude. He stood up on his hind legs, grabbed the ladder and woofed as he shook the tree. I scrambled for higher ground fearing the brute was coming up the tree, but he must have felt confident he scared me witless since he stopped and began toward the bait.

I was scared and to this day I don't recall making the shot, but when I gathered my senses I walked over to look at the largest bear I've shot to date. If you're looking for some excitement this spring, try sitting bait for a bear. It's definitely not like shooting fish in a barrel.Mark Kayser

 

 


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Dwight,

I had similar experiences while bowhunting in Africa from blinds. I learned more about African wildlife on that hunt than I could have watching weeks of National Geographic on TV.
Mark Kayser, 6/10/2009 1:00:14 PM

I couldn't agree more with your comments on a bait hunt. My bear also tried to share a treestand with me! But the best part was the numbers of bears I got to see up close. It was probably the best 5-day wildlife education I have ever received.
Dwight Swift, 6/9/2009 5:29:06 PM

Midseason Turkey Tactics (Mark Kayser - 4/22/2009)

Mark KayserIf you haven't gotten after the turkeys yet you better get going. The season is halfway over in many regions of the country. Midseason also means educated turkeys and the stupid birds of the opener are just a distant memory.

Here are a few tips to help you put an educated tom in the freezer. First, hunt with a partner. After being relatively sure of the gobbler's route, set your calling partner approximately 50 to 70 yards behind you in a screened position. Having the caller hidden is crucial since your goal is to have the gobbler hunt for the maker of the calls. As the gobbler searches the brush for the hen imposter he should wander right into your lap without realizing the unfolding ambush taking place.

Second, sound like an entire flock. Practice and be proficient with several styles of calls. This will give you flexibility in trying to find a call and pitch a gobbler may respond to, plus you can sound like more than one bird.
An overanxious gobbler will be more than happy to woo two ladies as compared to one. A boss hen will also be less leery when moving toward what sounds like a small flock of hens as compared to a loner.

Finally, If a gobbler won't budge and you don't like the option of sitting quietly, turn away from the gobbler and slowly start to walk away, calling as you go. Without question a gobbler will realize you are leaving, possibly sparking it to gobble incessantly or to chase down the departing hen.

I took my kids out this past weekend and you can see the results of employing some of these midseason tactics. Good Luck!Mark Kayser


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Snow Days for Turkey Hunting (Mark Kayser - 4/6/2009)

Mark KayserIf you’re one of the many hunters now partaking in the turkey season you might be encountering winter weather. Even if you don’t have the presence of snow, cold weather can still challenge turkey hunters who are wondering why their pre-scouted birds suddenly disappeared. If the cold weather had been throwing wrenches into your season, here are some tips to try.

First, it’s possible the cold weather has caused a panic in the turkey population and instead of forging out to new spring grounds, they abandoned that goal for the security of winter havens. Most turkeys discover winter zones that are hospitable and offer cover as well as food. You’ve seen large flocks of turkeys in the winter hanging out near a farm or ranch, or loafing along a steep ridge that offers wind protection and abundant forest duff for scracthing. Return to those locations and see if your turkeys have turned up there.

Second, look for turkeys in microenvironments. These zones are small areas that turkeys and other animals use to avoid the inclement conditions occurring around them at the moment. South-facing slopes, deep coulees and wind-blown ridges all provide small environments where turkeys may evade the wintry conditions, yet scratch out a living.

Finally, hunt traditional roosts. If you’ve watched turkeys roost in a particular tree time and time again, return to it. You might just catch a mamma’s boy that doesn’t want to get too far from the nest. Good Luck!mark Kayser


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Have You Applied Yet? (Mark Kayser - 3/20/2009)

Mark KayserThat time of year has come and is going quickly. What time is that? It's time to apply for limited quota licenses across the country. If you ever hope to shoot a trophy mule deer, elk or even a grand bighorn sheep, you need to apply now.

One of the great offerings from many states is the opportunity to purchase preference points that you can cash in later. Say you don't want to draw a license this year, but maybe two years from now. Purchase your preference points now and cash in your total points later to go hunting.

Many of the hard-to-get licenses take years and possibly a lifetime to acquire, but it won't happen if you don't start applying now. If you're too busy to apply look into using a service such as Cabela's Trophy Application and Guide Service (cabelas.com). They do all the work and you pay them a fee for keeping track of deadlines and applying for you. I use them to increase my odds in acquiring great tags and in the long run, it saves me money because time is money.

If you have several hunts you'd like to accomplish in your lifetime, it's time to start applying for the license. Good Luck!Mark Kayser


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Shane,
If you're not acquiring preference points for Colorado; start. Big bucks on public land in NW units. Western Wyoming also has good bucks in remote mountain units. BLM hunts in south-central New Mexico are great and my home state of SD has some good hunts on public hunts...also knock on doors.
Mark Kayser, 4/9/2009 12:33:47 PM

Enjoyed your seminar at the Deer & Turkey Expo in Madison. What states do you feel have the best trophy potential while not having too restricitve of application for mule deer and antelope? Criteria would include tag cost, number of years to draw, ease of access or availability of reputable guides.
Shane Kitzan, 4/5/2009 5:54:04 PM

Dwight,
Great resolution! At all times I carry a Nikon Coolpix P4 camera in my pack. It takes great shots in the field of memories and success. For my hero shots I resort to a Canon EOS 50D and a short zoom. For video, you'll have to talk to an expert, but keep it small and have a friend film you!
Mark Kayser, 3/30/2009 7:46:06 AM

Hi Mark!
Filling out applications reminded me that this year my resolution is to do a better job of recording my hunts with both digital photos and video. Any advice on equipment or techniques?
Dwight Swift, 3/26/2009 2:59:00 PM

Take Your Kids Hunting (Mark Kayser - 3/13/2009)

Mark KayserAren’t you glad that so many state game and fish departments are taking a second look at antiquated laws concerning how old a child has to be to hunt? I am. Two years ago I had to travel to Kansas just to take my kids turkey hunting because they weren’t 12 yet. Many states have been revisiting these laws due to the lower number of licensed hunters. Numerous studies also indicate that if you don’t get a child involved in an activity by the time they reach 10 it’s difficult to capture their attention.

I know that for a fact. My kids are overwhelmed with activities grabbing their attention. Hockey, figure skating, baseball, music, 4-H and others take up after school hours and many weekend hours to boot. Luckily states have been lowering the age to hunt or getting rid of age limits entirely. Personally, I think parents should be the ones to decide when a child is responsible enough to hunt, but at least many of the states are lowering the hunting age to 10.

My son shot his first turkey when he was 9 and my daughter missed a gobbler when she was 7. We had a blast on the hunt and it made a lifelong impression on both. Take your kids hunting as soon as possible. We need them!Mark Kayser


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Scout Now for Turkey Success TomorrowMa (Mark Kayser - 3/6/2009)

Mark KayserIt’s that time of year again. Yes, tax time too (don’t remind me), but more importantly, it’s almost turkey season. Some states are about to begin like Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Others are nearly a month out.

Turkey hunting offers experienced and greenhorns alike a great opportunity to be afield. It’s exciting, relatively inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about looking for a monster trophy with gagging quality antlers. Most turkeys after 2 ½ years of age look alike. For me, turkey hunting is the best option to introduce newcomers to the sport of hunting.

Now is the time to prepare your gear, practice your calls and most importantly, scout. Winter flocks are still bunched, but don’t worry if you can’t get permission on the same property where the birds are wintering. Try locating adjacent public and private land to where the big flocks hang out. Once warm weather arrives those turkeys will spread out and you’ll likely have gobbler roaming on your side of the fence. Plus, resist the temptation to call birds in preseason. There’ll be plenty of time to call when you have a shotgun in hand and it’s easy to make a gobbler wary of calls. Finally, pattern your shotgun. Pick a load and shoot it at a target the size of a turkey’s noggin. Keep shooting at different distances and determine how far your shotgun is capable of cleanly killing a bird.

Today I’m more worried about getting a turkey for my son and daughter than for myself, but the rush is still the same. Now back to those taxes…or do we get to skip a year like many of the top level officials in Washington?Mark Kayser


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That's an intelligent answer to a difficult quesiton xxx
Chelsia, 12/7/2012 5:34:51 PM

TruckVault Blogs 2009 (Mark Kayser - 2/26/2009)

Mark KayserI hope none of you are going through "TruckVault Xtreme Hunts" withdrawal.
I'm not. Why, because I'm still in recovery mode from shooting the second season series. And with the second season in the editing studio it's the time of year to begin planning for the 2010 show season and those hunts will take place during the fall of 2009.

Is there anything you really liked or disliked? Is there anything you'd like to see? Do you have a hero to nominate for one of our "Hero Hunts?" Let me know in this comment section. I have a good idea where I'm going this coming season. It takes months of planning to coordinate a nonstop fall schedule, but you never know. I may not draw a particular tag or I may have a hole in my travel schedule to add in another hunt. I generally try and plan an extra hunt or two or three since not every hunt is successful.

As for the 2009 show season, keep looking here and I'll keep you posted. The show is going to undergo some cosmetic changes, but rest assured the action will be fast and furious, and the content will be loaded with great hunting information. If you still can't live without some Kayser content, watch me on North American Hunter, also on Versus (www.huntingclub.com). See you in the movies!Mark K ayser


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Good post, Bobbi. Maybe that's why I like memoir so much busceae you get into someone else's life and develop a better understanding of his or her perspective. I feel very lonesome these days as a moderate who can see both sides of the various stories.
Dara, 7/13/2015 10:53:53 PM

Economic Bad News (Mark Kayser - 2/18/2009)

Mark KayserSo how has the economy been affecting you? Here in Wyoming it’s definitely not as apparent as what I’ve been seeing during my winter travels in other corners of the country. Wyoming’s energy industry is still strong despite lower prices. Housing hasn’t crashed and there are still “help wanted” ads in the newspaper. Basically if you want to work you still can find a job.

An outfitter buddy of mine recently called me from the floor of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the giant of sport shows based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Although he still felt he was going to have a full camp throughout the fall of 2009, he also could tell that people weren’t openly spending money in advance. Booking future camps wasn’t a sure bet either.

We’re all in this together and even though hunting is expensive, here are some additional tips to save money. First, hunt close to home and drive your fuel-efficient car instead of your truck when possible. Believe it or not, TruckVault makes products for car storage as well. If you get a buck you can always buzz back to load the deer and get it home. Second, if you book a hunt with an outfitter, negotiate out the price of your hunt. You haggle over cars, guns and repair work, why not a hunt. Third, attend your local sport show or DU, RMEF or other conservation organization annual banquet. While attending, look for deals on firearms and even hunts. The cheap prices may surprise you. Finally, keep hunting. It might just be one of the few things to keep your spirits up as this economic turmoil keeps unfolding.

Mark Kayser


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New Mexico Quail Hunt (Mark Kayser - 2/6/2009)

Mark KayserAlthough we had the sun, our most recent TruckVault Hero hunt in New Mexico was minus the surf and the sand. Instead, we had rocks and cactus, but more importantly we had quail. Regardless of the missing beach, it was a great midwinter getaway.

Last week I was fortunate to host New Mexico Army National soldiers Anthony Lopez and Jason Riley for a scaled quail hunt in south-central New Mexico. I teamed up with Bob King who operates the Santa Fe Guiding Company (www.santafeguidingco.com) to host these two deserving soldiers for their first-ever bird hunt. Neither had hunted birds before so when each of them leveled on a scaled quail and brought gravity into play, a smile spread across my face.

Lopez completed a tour in Iraq nearly three years ago and is likely to deploy again soon. Riley recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan so both have been on the front line protecting our freedom. We hunted for nearly three days and although we never got our daily limits, we did see plenty of birds for all-day shooting opportunities. Heck, we even did some history spelunking and visited a decrepit bunkhouse where Billy the Kid once slept.  Giving these guys a break from their important job was a treat for me, but can we truly thank these guys and gals enough? I don’t think so.Mark Kayser

 

 


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Michael,

Actually, I need ANY breed as I'm hunting dog deprived at the moment. It's tough keeping a hunting dog sharp when I big game hunt so much of the year. For now I would feel guilty keeping a hard-charging hunting dog kenneled while I'm away hunting big game 90 percent of the time. Thanks!
Mark Kayser, 2/18/2009 9:39:40 AM

Mark I decided you need a great breed GSHP. contact me. www.germanshorthair.homestead.com LOL
Michael, 2/18/2009 7:20:56 AM

Winter Wildlife (Mark Kayser - 1/23/2009)

Mark KayserI have a soft spot for winter wildlife. In fact, it snowed a pile overnight again and I went out and scraped out a spot for the songbirds, partridge and pheasants to feed. After getting down to grass, I sweetened the location with commercial bird seed and corn. Unfortunately, the mule deer have also discovered the Shoney’s buffet and at sunset they raid it like a pack of raccoons in a neighborhood garbage can. No problem…the birds get theirs before the floppy-ear herd arrives.

Most wildlife agencies frown upon feeding winter wildlife and for good reason. Congregating too many critters in one location can pass along disease and if you feed them too much, it can make them dependent on the offerings. Everything visiting my buffet was present before I sprinkled additional food offerings on my property. Most of the visitors key in on my corral and hang around gleaning leftovers from the feed I put out for my saddle horses. Plus, I never put out too much and that makes the animals look elsewhere for the bulk of their calories. They get their treat and move on.
 
Besides being a softie for winter animals, I also enjoy watching them. There are several hundred head of elk and deer wintering within minutes of my house, but animals such as this deserve our respect. Most are already weak from the past rut and winter. Bumping animals from wintering grounds can cause additional stress and even lead to death. Watch wintering animals from a distance and whether or not you feed them is your decision. It’s a free country, but if you do start to feed them; don’t stop! Now I’m off to scoop some snow.Mark Kayser

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Steve,

It's a Gore-Tex jacket with a fleece liner made by Cabela's, www.cabelas.com. I'm also a big fan of the Under Armour ColdGear fleece...it has great performance as both an outer jacket or a liner. www.underarmour.com. Thanks for watching the shows!
Mark Kayser, 1/26/2009 7:33:16 AM

Mark,
I see you in some of your shows wearing a two-tone brown jacket. Who makes it? Thanks for the great tips!
Steve, 1/24/2009 8:46:43 AM

New Gear (Mark Kayser - 1/19/2009)

Mark KayserI just returned back from the SHOT Show in Orlando. It’s nice to get away, but the return home is always sweeter. Overall the industry is doing fine, but everyone is in a saving mode just like the rest of America. I don’t know about you, but I am into saving, but some of my best stress relief is being outdoors so I’m also going to continue to invest in the industry. Regarding the show, I saw lots of new and updated products so it’s difficult to sort out what everyone believes are the most noteworthy. Here are a few of my favorites.

First, Hunter’s Specialties stunned me with two new products. The first is a new call named the “Kruncher” and does jus that. It mimics the noise of a deer crunching on acorns and serves as a confidence or calming call for whitetails. HS pro staff member Gerald Stewart says it also works wonders on hogs visiting a corn feeder as well. HS also launched a new food plot product with applications beyond the world of whitetails. Named “Vita-Rack Moisture Trap,” this product is mixed into the soil or sprayed on top to retain moisture. I’ve seen the results. It traps 400 times its own weight in moisture for plants to use during dry spells. It will work in your garden, with new trees and your food plot. For more information visit www.hunterspec.com.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to carry my gear more comfortably in the field. One issue I constantly struggle with is keeping my binocular secure while I’m jogging through the woods or even riding my saddle horse. A new product I’m going to try is the Opticbelt made by Del Norte Outdoors. Keep your regular strap on the binocular, but use the adjustable belt, which includes a neoprene wrap to securely hold your binocular against your body. The gizmo cinches a belt around your midsection and also offers dust and moisture protection via the neoprene. See it at www.delnorteoutdoors.com.

I’ll wade through more of my notes and see if I can’t find another item or two of interest for you in the future. Until next time ….

Mark Kayser

 


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Auston,

Congrats on the nice buck!
Mark Kayser, 1/23/2009 8:03:05 AM

Hey Mark,
I saw the picture you took on Duane's place in Pierre this year. He's actually my uncle. We hunted his place on Dec. 30th for a late season bow hunt but didn't get anything. We returned to Murdo that afternoon & I got a 180 class Mulie with my bow. Hope to run into you next year
Auston Butt, Murdo, SD, 1/22/2009 8:16:00 AM

SHOT Show 2009 (Mark Kayser - 1/9/2009)

Mark KayserNext week is SHOT Show and it’s being held in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a regular attendee of SHOT Show and you’d like to talk hunting with me, stop by the TruckVault booth, #1589 on Feb. 15, 16 and 17 from 2-3 p.m. I’d love to hear your stories.

For those of you unfamiliar with SHOT Show, it is a HUGE trade show with the latest and greatest in shooting, hunting and outdoor gear. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public. It’s an industry-only show. If I find some great products there, I’ll post them for you to review. I am slated to be in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo (www.deerinfo.com) from April 3-5 and that is a consumer show. Maybe I’ll see you at one of these shows!Mark Kayser
 

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If you'd like an autographed photo, leave me your name and address in the most recent comment section of this blog. I'll get one out ASAP, but don't blame me if it doesn't increase in value like a Tiger Woods' signature!

THANKS!
Mark Kayser, 2/27/2009 7:33:12 AM

Mark - is there any way we can get mailed an autographed photo of you? If so how do we go about that? Keep up the good work
Drake22, 2/24/2009 4:10:03 PM

Test Yourself with Coyotes (Mark Kayser - 1/9/2009)

Mark KayserIf you want to continue the hunt this winter, there’s no better opportunity than hunting coyotes. I truly believe that any hunter who consistently scores on coyotes is a great hunter. Why? Coyotes are like us. They are hunters and practice their game 24/7. If you want to be a better hunter, put your sights on Wile E. Here are some tips that might make you a better coyote hunter. I know they’ve worked for me.

SCOUT; DON’T RELY ON LUCK
Sure coyotes populate every nook and cranny of American landscape, but that doesn’t mean they are spread evenly across the countryside. Certain areas harbor more coyotes than others and the only way to discover these hotspots is to get out and scout. Using an electronic call with recorded sounds of coyote yips and howls can spark a response. Oftentimes you don’t even need to initiate a howl because they’ll do it on their own at dusk or dawn. Coyotes travel extensively, oftentimes covering more than 5 miles a day in their search for a meal and to return to a safe refuge. Throughout this trek coyotes leave clues such as tracks in mud, dust and snow, plus they leave droppings. Like humans, coyotes love to take the path of least resistance so look for tracks along game trails, cattle paths and two-track dirt roads.
 
CONFIDENCE CALLS
Any coyote that has made it two or more years either lives in a wildlife refuge or has become an expert in detecting hunter pressure and evading a trap. To overcome a coyote’s predisposition to paranoia, include confidence calls during your calling setup. My best confidence call is simply a long, drawn out howl that says to other coyotes, “I’m over here.” After waiting a few minutes to see if a coyote will respond, I begin with a series of prey in distress calls, finishing the setup with a final howl. Other sounds to relax a schizophrenic coyote include the caw of a crow and the yak of magpies. Both birds hound prowling coyotes hoping to get in on the treat of a raunchy gut pile. Coyotes tolerate the pesky airborne scavengers because their sharp-eyed aerial observations can spot approaching danger.
           
USE A REMOTE ELECTRONIC CALLER
Some turn their nose at technology, but you should embrace it if it aids in your predator hunting. Take the new dimension of electronic calls, particularly the models that allow for remote operation like the Hunter’s Specialties Digital Preymaster (www.hunterspec.com). By placing the speaker and sound downrange and upwind of your location, you rivet the attention of the predator to a spot away from you, your scent and your movement. Remote calls allow you to focus the attention of coyotes away from your location, plus manage the calls using the television-style remote. You can turn the caller on and off, increase the volume and switch calls in the middle of a stand to hopefully turn a reluctant coyote into a go-getter.
 
VARY YOUR SETUP IF YOU CALL THE SAME STAND REPEATEDLY
Although it seems like hunters on TV and video have access to half of the West and Texas; you and I don’t always have the same luxury. I find myself calling the same pasture at least two to three times a season, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The key to success lies with variety. Don’t go into the pasture and use the same calling site, call and calling rhythm time and time again. Doing the same thing over and over might work for the first time or two, but eventually even dumb coyotes will figure out something stinks and it’s not a rotting cow carcass.
 
KEEP YOUR ENTRANCE NOISE TO A MINIMUM
Finally, keep noise to a minimum, especially when leaving a vehicle to hike into a setup site. Coyotes obviously have canine-like hearing meaning they can hear sounds at much farther ranges than humans can. Getting out of your vehicle and slamming doors, talking or banging gun cases in the back of truck beds has the potential to ruin a hunt even before it begins. Have your gear organized before you arrive (did I mention my TruckVault?), instruct your calling partners to whisper and park well away from a calling site to avoid alerting your coyote targets.
           
If you place yourself in an area sporting a fair density of coyotes, these tips will insure your coyote count will increase this coming season and you might make a few bucks from the fur. Plus, it will help you eliminate the excuses you’ll need for your hunting buddies.Mark Kayser

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Happy New Year (Mark Kayser - 1/2/2009)

Mark KayserHappy New Year

It’s the New Year! I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas, or at least the good stuff. Santa left a youth-sized ghillie suit for my son and as he tried it on Christmas morning I told him next year we wouldn’t need a tree. We’d just have him wear the suit and decorate him with lights and ornaments. We had to try it out for coyotes over the holiday and although the coyotes weren’t as responsive as I would have liked, the suit blended into the sage and snow like an old tumbleweed.
 
It’s also the time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I’m not a fan of those, but if that’s the structure you need to make changes in your life, by all means embrace the tradition. For hunters I’d like us all to include some changes in our hunting pursuits.
 
First, walk more and drive less. You’ll be more successful and your body will thank you for getting in shape. Second, take a kid hunting. We’re a stagnant pool and we need to refresh the future with a new generation of hunters. Third, practice with your weapon and only take shots you know you can handle. I still see way too many hunters taking risky shots they’ve never practiced and it only leads to wounded game and a black eye for hunters. Finally, join a conservation organization either locally or nationally. Your membership helps fuel land conservation and wildlife management. State and federal agencies can’t do it all, especially with the economic woes hitting the country.  
 
May 2009 be prosperous to you and yours! Happy New Year!
Mark Kayser

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Merry Christmas (Mark Kayser - 12/23/2008)

Mark Kayser et alIt’s Christmas week and a time to spend with family, and friends. I just wrapped up a late-season waterfowl and pheasant hunt in South Dakota with some new and old friends. We were hosted by my good friend Cody Warne who operates Warne Ranches (www.warneranches.com). There I met good friend Don Fenton who oversees marketing for TruckVault and we also teamed up with two new friends, Leroy and Scott Lewis, both Nebraska natives.

Leroy was our first guest for the TruckVault “Hero Hunt” segments for the 2009 show season. Leroy is a 22-year veteran of the Air Force and even after retirement he works as a police officer in the local school and as a volunteer firefighter. His brother Scott serves our country in the Army National Guard and hosting these two public servants on a traditional South Dakota bird hunt was a treat. My thanks go out to Leroy and Scott, and to all who serve our country and communities!
 
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t balmy. Temperatures were rarely above the single digits and wind chills were nearly always subzero including our last day when they dipped below 30 and I even managed to get a touch of frostbite on my cheek. Even though the weather tried to stifle our fun, Cody’s management insured we’d be into birds. We literally saw thousands of pheasants and the duck, and goose hunting was nothing short of phenomenal. Needless to say we took limits each and every day. If you’re counting the pheasants in the accompanying photo, keep in mind it includes the pheasant limit of some of Cody’s other guests.
 
For now, take a break and enjoy the holidays. They’ll be over before you know it! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mark Kayser
 

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It was a pleasure to meet and hunt with you gentlemen. Look forward to watching all of the 2009 eipisodes. P.S., I can vouch for a few of the extra pheasants:-)
Mark Tobias, 5/30/2009 2:21:50 PM

Thanks for all the great feedback...I appreciate it!
Mark Kayser, 1/8/2009 7:30:19 AM

I have had the good fortune to wingshoot in many top destinations around the world and I'd have to say that this pheasant and waterfowl hunt on the Warne Ranch ranks right up there with some of my most memorable moments ever. I can not wait to take some good friends back there next year! Thanks Cody!
Don Fenton, 12/31/2008 9:59:09 AM

This hunt was totally extreme in nature. Not only was the bird hunting out of this world for pheasants, but the duck and goose hunting was just as spectacular. Many thanks go out to Mark, Don and Cody for sponsering this hunt. Cody has a first class operation. Thanks again for this incredible hunt.
Leroy Lewis, 12/27/2008 10:01:35 AM

The Weather Outside is Frightful (Mark Kayser - 12/15/2008)

Mark KayserIt’s that time of year again when the weather outside is frightening and trying to stay warm while hunting is as difficult as Illinois trying to find an honest politician. My thermometer said 16 below zero this morning and I’m grateful not to be sitting in a treestand somewhere.

If you do have to be out hunting, here are some tips to keep you as warm as possible and to keep frostbite at bay.
 
All clothing layers play an equal role, but the base layer rides against your skin and can end a hunt sooner if you make the wrong choice. Anyplace that you expect to sweat should be covered in a polyester-based material to hasten the removal of moisture away from the body. After you pick a base layer you need to insulate your bodily temple. This means wrapping it in an insulating material much like a walrus wraps itself in blubber to protect it from the arctic chill.
 
For your body to work effectively and for insulation to retain warmth you need to protect it from outside elements. After you pick a base layer and an insulation choice you need to wrap them in a waterproof and windproof layer not unlike the Tyvek wrapping a new home. Gore-Tex and Cabela’s MT050 cloth are great options to cut the wind and the snow. Cover every inch of your skin including your neck and face.
 
Feed your furnace. The average human diet revolves around an intake of approximately 2,000 calories a day. Dieticians recommend boosting that to 2,500 for inactive outdoor activities in cold weather like you would encounter during a treestand hunt. Military studies also point to an increase in calories of at least 25 to 50 percent for cold-weather operations. Carbohydrates fuel the fire the best. Finally, take along lots of air-activated hand warmers and use them in your boots, your mittens and on your body in strategic locations. If you experience any discomfort, get in out of the cold. No trophy is worth losing some digits.
 
Stay warm!Mark Kayser
 

 


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Alicia, I'm getting some new photos printed up for that exact reason. I'll E-mail you and get an address so I can send one out. Merry Christmas!
Mark Kayser, 12/23/2008 8:00:19 AM

Mark,
My boyfriend is a HUGE fan of yours and I was wondering if there was any chance that I could get an autographed picture of you for him? That'd be awesome! If you get time, here is my email..let me know if there's anything I could get sent! borka20@uww.edu
Alicia, 12/21/2008 6:02:02 PM

I'm Back (Mark Kayser - 12/8/2008)

Mark KayserIt's been a long season and even though I have a couple of bird hunts yet on the schedule, I've wrapped up most of my big game hunting for the season. It's been a great season as I'm sure you can see from my previous blogs and I thank the Lord every day for my success. I also thank my family for being so understanding about my absence while I'm trying to keep meat on the table and the bills paid.

Trust me, I'm going to re-visit the comment section of the site and get caught up as soon as possible. I did get some updates in during the season, but as hunters I'm sure you know how run down a person gets after being up well before sunrise and getting less than the recommended amount of sleep per day. It's great to sleep in my own bed again!

If you're still hunting whitetails, keep tabs on the weather system moving in next week. In my neck of the mountains it is supposed to drop below zero and that will make tired bucks go to food for survival. If you don't think you can hack the cold, try what I did this season. I used a Heater Body Suit (wwww.heaterbodysuit.com). It kept me warm, yet ready for action. I hate being cold, especially as I get older and this system works to keep me warm.

Now get after those late-season whitetails and don't forget to X-mas shop for that someone special in your life.Mark Kayser


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Hey, that's a clever way of thininkg about it.
Hawk, 12/6/2012 4:21:21 PM

A Quick Update From the Road (Mark Kayser - 11/28/2008)

Mark KayserHere's a quick update from the road. I've been getting reports of big bucks from all corners of the country, but especially from my own backyard in the Great Plains and mountain states. The best update is my own. I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways, but he sure made my day this past Saturday.

After 30 years of hunting I finally came face to face with a giant buck, but it happened so fast I didn't even know it. On Nov. 22 we were filming in South Dakota for TruckVault Xtreme Hunts. Just minutes into shooting light several vehicles accessed land to our east and a few seconds later I saw a deer running our way. I put my Nikon binocular up to my face and saw a large-framed buck with kicker points. At that moment I told my cameraman to get on that deer and be ready because I was going to shoot the second he stopped. The buck ran past us and up a steep hill with deep coulees on its face. Any second he was going to dive into a coulee and disappear for good so I took aim and shot instantly as he paused to assess his escape. This whole scenario took less than 20 seconds. It was fast and furious.

I saw the buck drop through the reticle from my TC .300 Win. Magnum. Not wasting any time I rushed over to the buck and was instantly in shock. I knew the buck was going to be big, but BIG. Lifting him up I started to count points and came up with 12 points per side. He's a mainframe 5x5 with forked G2s and stickers. He should gross score around 205 with some change to spare.

I immediately called my family and shared the good news with them. I'd been on the road for nearly 40 days at that point and even though they couldn't be with me to share it in person, we shared the moment via good cell service. I thanked the good Lord for such a great day, a great experience and the opportunity.

2008 will be a year to remember for me. I hope all of you get such an opportunity in your lifetime. Good Hunting!


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And to think I was going to talk to somonee in person about this.
Chiana, 12/7/2012 11:02:30 AM

It's wndoerful to have you on our side, haha!
Ziarre, 12/7/2012 3:52:03 AM

Sav, Thanks for the comments. Right now the big buck show is only scheduled for TruckVault Xtreme Hunts. The episode will air next summer so keep checking this site for updated show times and schedules. If things change you'll find it here. Good Hunting!
Mark Kayser, 1/6/2009 6:50:34 AM

Any chance you will make an appearance on Monster Bucks with this deer as you have with other deer in the past?
Sav, 1/2/2009 8:38:28 AM

donf@truckvault.com is the actual address to send hero hunt information to.
drake22, 12/15/2008 10:22:11 AM

Roger, A buddy of mine rough scored the buck at more than 200 gross points so he should net in the high 190s as a non-typical. You can see the hunt next season on TruckVault Xtreme Hunts and keep checking this site for the updated schedule...probably during the summer of 2009. Thanks!
Mark Kayser, 12/15/2008 8:13:06 AM

We met last year at the Minnesota Deer Expo.Im from Madison. Nice deer Any score? What part of SD were you. We were harvesting most of deer hunting this year so I got limited time in. Saw one of the deer I wanted after season so one made it. When can A person view the tape of the hunt?
Roger Schrepel, 12/14/2008 6:28:46 AM

Rondi, Yes I grew up in Dell Rapids and my brother is Mike. I'll bet you know Rob. Tell him hi from me and my brother. Both my brother Mike and I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, but we still get back to South Dakota to hunt as often as possible. I guess it is still home.
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 2:02:56 PM

Robert, Thanks for watching the show and for serving your community. I don't actually get to pick the heros for hunts, but send an e-mail to dfenton@truckvault.com and Don will get you the info on how to apply. Maybe we'll share a lunch in the field in the future!
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 2:00:43 PM

Mark, No, the buck wasn't shot on public land, but there was some nearby that he likely accessed. South Dakota is primarily privately owned except for the Black Hills, Grasslands and tribal lands. You have to be good at asking permission to get on land, but don't overlook the state WIAs.
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:58:20 PM

Auston, Shhhhh, don't tell everyone where I was hunting. Just kidding. It took me 30 years of hunting across North America to run into a buck like that. I'm not dumb enough to believe another will cross my path again soon, but you never know and it could happen in South Dakota or anywhere!
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:56:21 PM

Adam, Good to hear from you. If I remember correctly, you scored my big bull elk a few years ago for B&C. I was surprised at the good hunting around Pierre and elsewhere west of the Missouri River as well. A few always make it through...the question is can you tough out the cold! Good Hunting!
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:54:01 PM

Ken, If I come across that "mystical" 200-yard slug gun, I'll let you know. There are hunters out there with 200-yard accuracy from their shotguns using rifled barrels and premium ammunition. Remington's Model 870 Special Purpose would be high on my list of shotguns to use.
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:52:08 PM

Jeff, I'm always interested in new ideas for show...if you don't want to share it on this blog, you can e-mail me at kayser@wbaccess.net. Thanks for watching the show!
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:42:43 PM

Did you go to Dell Rapids High School, in Dell Rapids, SD ? And do you have a brother named Mike who used to hang out with Rob Benage ? If so this is Rondi Benage. please email us to let us know if you are from Dells, threepages@yahoo.com Thanks hope to here from you soon.
Rondi Benage , 12/6/2008 9:02:24 AM

Mark, my name is Robert J. Faas Jr. and I am a career firefighter with Montgomery County Fire Rescue in Maryaland. I truly enjoy watching your shows you are by far my favorite show host. Iwould love to be considered for one of your hero hunts. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration
Robert J. Faas Jr., 12/5/2008 1:19:45 PM

Mark,

Was this a public lands buck? Sounds like other people were in the area and could have had a crack at him too. Great buck that any of us would like to have.
Mark, 12/4/2008 3:09:46 PM

Mark,
I hunted on Macs place 8 years ago...off the white river up on the breaks and took my first mule deer. I know what an amazing place you got to hunt on. Congrats, and keep those booners fallin...preferably somewhere outside jones county though ;)
Auston Butt, Murdo, SD, 12/3/2008 11:05:34 AM

Congratulations! What a buck!
Greg Grantham, 12/1/2008 2:02:58 PM

Mark... congrats on this guy! I just recently moved from Sioux Falls to Pierre and am blown away at the deer hunting opportunities out here - been hunting all public ground and have seen some huge deer! Haven't released the string yet, but hopefully a few good ones made it through rifle season.
adam oswald, 12/1/2008 8:40:27 AM

Mark,

Congrats on that buck of a lifetime. You have quick refelxes to take that monster.

I enjoyed your write-up in the North Am. Hunter on the 300RUM. Could you do some nvestigative reporting to find that mystical 200 yard slug gun?

All the best.

(Father) Ken Hummel
Schuyler Co. IL
Father Ken Hummel, 11/29/2008 5:34:32 PM

DEER MARK, LOOKS LIKE A GREAT DEER, BUT HERE IN MASS. THEY ARE ALL GOOD DEER EVEN THE LITTLE ONES. LOTS OF PRESSURE HER, BUT STILL SOME GOOD ONE'S. MARK I HAVE A GREAT IDEA FOR A NEW HUNTING SHOW,REALLY I WOULD LIKE TO RUN IT BY YOU. I LOVE THE OUTDOORS MORE THAN MOST,ALWAYS READY TO PROVE IT. THANX.
JEFF GIACOLETTO 4132692082 , 11/28/2008 1:27:23 PM

Ahhh, the Weather (Mark Kayser - 11/21/2008)

Mark KayserIt can make or break a hunt and during the it can be as unsettled as your mother-in-law during the holidays. I've been running around the country nonstop and have seen it all. We had intense temperatures in New Mexico, rain in Kansas and snow in South Dakota, and Montana.

The hunt I just finished is a good example of why you shouldn't let the weather get you down. Our first day started out with intense rain despite only a 20 percent chance of moisture. Thank you weather forecaster. Even so I hunted hard and ended the day by rattling in two nice mule deer.

Unfortunately I only had a whitetail tag and the whitetails didn't answer my call.

The next day I awoke to 40 and 50 MPH gusts, icy sleet and snow. I was bummed, but went into the field anyway. By midday I passed on a nice 4x4 whitetail and late in the day, in the peak of the gusts, I rattled not one, but two nice bucks including a heavy-antlered 5x5 that I would have shot. Thick brush prevented a clean kill so I passed at 25 yards, but I definitely had found a hotspot.

The next day the sun came out and I worked the same area over. I called in three bucks before sunrise, but no shooter. Finally, at midday I took a lunch break high on a hill for spotting opportunities and spotted the big buck again rutting on a doe.

A short stalk later I ended the hunt with the same mature buck I rattled in during the hurricane winds the day before. Even though I shot the buck on a sunny day, I had equal, if not a better opportunity the day before.

Don't let the weather get you down and hunt hard all day.Mark Kayser

 


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Thanks, Mark. Enjoy the show. I believe my Christmas present is going to be the T/C PH in .300 Win Mag. with a Nikon 4-12 X 50 on top.
G. Grantham, 12/1/2008 2:00:47 PM

Sorry for not getting back to you and others sooner ...I'm living on the road right now with limited cell service and little internet due to my rural outposts. I'm using a TC Pro Hunter in .300 Win Mag. I've had one-shot kills all fall including a monster bull and a monster buck you'll see soon.
Mark Kayser, 11/27/2008 6:23:13 PM

Still trying to figure out what type of rifle you're using.
G. Grantham, 11/26/2008 4:15:28 PM

On The Road Again (Mark Kayser - 11/14/2008)

Mark KayserIt’s that time of year again where I drive from hunt to hunt and oftentimes at night. Whether you’re driving across the country like me or driving across town, you need to drive defensively. Why? It’s the rut and whitetails move nonstop day or night, but particularly at night. I already had one run-in with a pre-rut buck this year and our family subcompact didn’t take the beating with pride. That wasn’t the first deer I’ve hit. In fact, for a period of time I was averaging at least one deer a year, a rate I’ve happily slowed.

My best accident, if you can call it the best, occurred while I was working for another employer. At sunset one evening a herd of whitetails dashed out of a steep ditch and across the road in front of me. I leveled four deer in one instance. To get home I had to duct tape the only remaining headlight back into the trashed grill of the truck.

Mark Kayser

 


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I use the Under Armour ColdGear face mask all the time...it's great and the more skin you cover the warmer you'll feel. Get them at www.cabelas.com or www.underarmour.com. Good Hunting!
Mark Kayser, 11/27/2008 6:25:03 PM

will just take all your space--you wore the face protector when you took your kids on the turkey hunt--the one you wore was green==mike
mike capps, 11/19/2008 12:02:47 PM

continuing the above inquiry, i saw someone on a different show with an identical one in a different color--i think they are great and warm------good hunting---mike capps--knoxville, tn
mike capps, 11/19/2008 5:48:27 AM

mark--have no clue what i am doing and you might get two of these but don fenton with truck vault suggested i try this--he is forwarding my email to him---what is that face protector you wear in heavy winter hunts--i thought it might be a scarf, but would like to know and where to get one--great show
mike capps knoxville tn, 11/18/2008 5:11:08 PM

No Bull for Desert Mule Deer (Mark Kayser - 11/7/2008)

It can get “Western” at any time during a desert mule deer hunt. The rugged terrain of the desert creates obstacles that can test your endurance. Rocks, prickly pear cactus and rattlesnakes all keep you on your toes. While hunting in New Mexico last week it got even more Western than that. I was hunting with Bob King who operates the Santa Fe Guiding Company (www.santafeguidingcompany.com). We stopped to talk to a neighbor who appeared to be having trouble loading a bull. In fact, the bull had nearly injured another hired hand and his son.

With patience running thin and a bull that was clearly a danger, the owner of the bull decided it was time to make burger out of the bull. Seeing our group was toting enough firepower to repel a small contingency of invaders, he smiled and asked if we would help him with his ornery bull. Of course we obliged. Seeing the excitement in my guide’s eyes, I graciously handed him my .300 Winchester magnum to help with the deed. I watched from the sideline.

The bull saw our group advancing and advanced himself with vengeance in his eyes. He charged the fence, ramming horns into the steel pipes. His next move was his last as he charged through the gate at the group. Three shots later and the bull was ready for homestyle butchering.

You never know what you’ll see out hunting, but it never ceases to amaze me. Regardless, always lend a hand when you can.Mark kayser

 


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The rifle is a TC Encore Pro Hunter in .300 Win. Mag. I used Winchester Supreme Elite ammo with XP3 Bullets. I dropped every big game animal this season in its tracks except for two big muleys. They both managed to take 2-3 steps before tipping over. Go to www.tcarms.com for more info.
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:40:26 PM

I am curious to know what rifle you use, as in this picture? The closeups look like a Ruger single shot loaded from the breach. I am having trouble finding one.
Greg Grantham, 11/23/2008 6:51:04 AM

Good Friends and Good Hunting (Mark Kayser - 10/30/2008)

Montana ElkI’m writing this blog from elk camp in eastern Montana and it’s a great reminder of why I hunt. Of course I hunt because of a deep yearning inside that so many writers try to explain, but fall way short of describing. Instinctive urges aside, I enjoy the hunt because of good friends, great experiences and breathtaking country. Doug Gardner at Powder River Outfitters (www.powder-river-outfitters.com) has it all and then some. His camp isn’t a Marriott Suites, but it’s comfortable with great food. It’s the people, the game and the country that makes Doug’s hunt unforgettable and one that client after client return just like myself.

I’ve known Doug for 13 years. I guided for him for a good share of those years and he and his guides have become my good friends. In fact, I’ve watched his kids grow up and all three venture off to college for a bright future. I could go on and on about the fantastic deer, antelope and elk hunting found in Doug’s corner of the world, but many of our best times on this hunt were between stalks and in the evenings after the hunt. We joked about the time I couldn’t make up mind whether or not to shoot a buck and Doug finally settled the answer by saying “ if you’re not going to shoot it, hand me the rifle and I will.” Another great memory revolved around the time I first drew the special bull tag in this area and was hoping for a better shot on a bull bedded in thick pines. Guide Randy Trucano urged me into the shot by saying he was going to stop watching and have lunch if I didn’t hurry up and shoot that bull. I did.
 
Looking for a big bull in the pines of eastern Montana was a great experience, but the camp memories were equally a treat. Enjoy them while you can.
Mark Kayser
 

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Al, good luck with the hunting and thanks for reading my articles. Drake, I haven't scored the bull yet (too busy hunting), but he's in the neighborhood of 340, which is a great bull according to the Kayser scoring system!
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:38:28 PM

Nice Elk Mark...I also just got done reading your NHAC article " Wisc Wapiti " Nov 08...Im orginally from there now in Las Vegas 6 years ( work )...bought my new bow for xmas...:)..looking forward to get back into hunting again...Enjoy all your TV shows as well.....Al
AL KRUTZ, 11/12/2008 3:16:39 PM

That looks like a monster mark...how big was he?
drake22, 11/6/2008 2:25:48 PM

Get Ready for the Rut (Mark Kayser - 10/24/2008)

If you live in the northern regions of the U.S. and into Canada, get ready. The whitetail rut is about to rock. If you live in South Texas, hold on. Your time will come in December. This is my favorite time of year, at least in equal to the elk rut. Whitetails begin to trip up and make mistakes they normally wouldn’t make even if drunk on fermenting wild fruit.

Now is the time to begin using mock scrapes, grunt calls, bleat calls and rattling. Whitetail bucks know the days are shortening and it’s only a few weeks before the first does come into heat and all chaos breaks out. If you’re hunting from a treestand here’s a tip to keep in mind. Don’t call too much when the buck is within 80 yards or closer. You will probably want to double that distance when rattling, especially if you aggressively cut it up.
 
Why? Deer have incredible senses and can pinpoint noises down to a few feet. If you call when they are close they’ll be able to pinpoint your location high in a tree and it won’t sound normal. In fact, it will trip an alarm and they will likely walk away.
 
This week I saw the first signs of the rut and during an approaching front complete with wind and rain I was able to call in a small buck to 12 yards and pass on it. Right before sunset a nice 5x5 whitetail appeared and I grunted to him. He heard the sound and I grunted softly again to direct him. When he made the 90 degree turn to my stand I shut up and got ready for the shot. The buck marched right in and went directly to my Hunter’s Specialties Estrus Plus scent, but only offered a shot quartering to me. I waited patiently and finally he turned broadside at less than 12 yards and I released the arrow. He dashed off and tumbled at less than 80 yards. To say I was pumped would be putting it mildly.
 
The rut is about to explode so now is the time to pull all of your tricks out of your game bag and put them to use. Good Luck!
 
 
 
 
 

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I bet you mean rubs, right? Rubs originate from bucks when they rub the velvet from their antlers. More importantly, they are signposts, both visually and through scent. Bucks follow rub lines and leave scent from their forehead gland as a mark for territory and to see who else is in the country.
Mark Kayser, 12/8/2008 1:36:31 PM

What part does tree scraping play in the ruts for bucks? is it like marking territory?
drake22, 11/6/2008 2:27:09 PM

Keep it Clean (Mark Kayser - 10/17/2008)

Some of you have undoubtedly begun field dressing chores with early-season bowhunts and gun hunts for big game. I’ve had my share of “gut experiences” already this season. If you’re a guide or an outfitter your field dressing chores may be nonstop from here on out.

Here’s one tip to live by: wear latex or vinyl gloves when field dressing big game. Why? First and foremost, gloves help you stay clean. Blood and animal materials have a tendency to get into the pores and lines of your skin, under your fingernails and create an appearance of a serial killer if you don’t wash thoroughly after the hunt. Second, latex gloves protect you and lessen the chances of infectious diseases being transmitted to you via blood and other bodily fluids. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll encounter an infectious disease while field dressing big game, why take the chance? Diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) show no evidence of possible transmission between animals or humans, but there is evidence Lyme Disease can be transmitted from deer to human via deer blood.

Regardless of the evidence, wear latex or vinyl gloves. If you want to really keep yourself clean, invest in AI gloves, or artificial insemination gloves worn by ranchers and veterinarians involved in elbow-length jobs on the business end of livestock. Hunter’s Specialties includes these long gloves in their Field Dressing Glove kit (www.hunterspec.com). I always keep several packets stowed in my TruckVault and daypack for the chore of field dressing. When I’m done I’m clean and presentable enough to stop by a convenience store or my buddy’s house to show off my trophy.

Good hunting!


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Trail Camera Addiction (Mark Kayser - 10/10/2008)

Mark KayserI admit, I do use trail cameras, but I’m not a camera junkie like many of my hunting pals. I know guys who can’t get a good night’s sleep if they don’t check their trail camera first. Not surprisingly, these same folks are addicted to E-mail, cell phones and text their friends like the world is coming to an end.

I’m all for trail cameras. We’re all busier than ever and trail cameras provide scouting opportunities that might be lost due to hectic work and family schedules. A trail camera can give you crucial information about an area while you’re busy wrapping up a work project or taking the kids to soccer practice.
 
To get the most from your trail camera, keep it in service year-round. It won’t do you any good stashed in the corner of your hunting closet, but it will do you a world of good recording events throughout the year. Whitetails, particularly mature whitetails, lead a secretive lifestyle, often with a nocturnal tendency. Even though studies clearly show most mature whitetails adhere to a limited home range lifestyle, they adjust inside that home range to take advantage of different habitat and browse sources throughout the seasons.
 
Right now one of the best places to put a camera is on an active scrape. Some whitetail fanatics would advise against placing a deer camera on a smoking hot scrape, but I believe that is one of the best places to acquire images of mature bucks, especially with the infrared technology in newer models. Active community scrapes usually reveal more than the dominant bucks in a region. If you stumble across a scrape as large as the hood of a pickup truck, you probably have a photographer’s dream location. These scrapes routinely lure in every buck in a territory, from button-buck dreamers to Boone and Crockett contenders.
 
Get your camera out and make some memories, but be careful not to create an addiction. Check your camera as minimally as possible to keep your presence in the woods to a minimum. Good luck!
Mark Kayser
 
 

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First, always look for a high spot to begin your morning hunt for a glassing vantagepoint. Second, Look for rough country adjacent to food sources and watch for travel between. Finally, go deep. Get away from roads and other hunters to find a true trophy. Good Luck!
Mark Kayser, 10/24/2008 6:58:55 AM

Mark, I drew a western Kansas either spieces Tag and plan on hunting public walk in ground. This is my first time going after Mulie. Any sugestions???
Michael, 10/16/2008 3:35:34 PM

Rob,

It's the TC Pro Hunter in .300 Win. Mag. It's accurate and works great for my hunting style.
Mark Kayser, 10/13/2008 5:17:55 AM

10-11-08 watched show today about deer hunting in S.D. Question-what kind of rifle are you using? Is it single shot?
Rob in vancouver, wa, 10/11/2008 11:33:26 AM

Hunting on a Budget (Mark Kayser - 10/3/2008)

Hunting on a BudgetIf you haven’t noticed, things have been going from bad to worse this year when it comes to economics. If you’re like me, you’ve been tightening your belt and finding ways to save money. For the first time in more than a decade my family purchased a car to save money on fuel. The big trucks weren’t helping our family budget.

To get more out of your hunting budget you might have to plan just like you would with your household budget. Here are a few tips to get more out of your hunting dollar without giving up any hunting opportunity.
 
First, hunt close to home. Instead of traveling to New Mexico for elk, spend more time with the whitetails in your backyard. Don’t forget about small game in your neighborhood as well. Put more emphasis on squirrel, dove, fall turkey, hog, black bear and exotics. These species can provide the same rush of excitement as a bull moose, but with a huge savings.
 
Second, hunt with a pal. If you’ve hunted by yourself for years consider teaming up with a hunting partner to save fuel, save lease fees and to have someone help you if, and when you do find success. You’ll be able to travel twice as far with twice the funds at your disposal.
 
Third, keep your gear longer. Do you really need a new bow this year or a new rifle? Look at all of your gear and only update the items that are in desperate need of replacement. Treat yourself to one new item a year instead of a whole shopping cart full of items and you’ll be money ahead.
 
Finally, if you still want to travel for a hunt, consider mixing business with pleasure to write off the expenses. Is there a meeting you could coordinate at the start of finish of your hunt? Can you meet with subcontractors along the way? Be creative and look for ways to legitimize your travel.
 
It doesn’t look like the economy is going to get any better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun hunting.

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The folding shooting sticks I use the most I made by Underwood Rifle Rests, www.underwoodrest.com. You can also get a classic oak set from Hunter's Specialties. My favorite bipod, no question, is made by Harris, www.harrisbipods.com. I wouldn't hunt without one of these by my side.
Mark Kayser, 10/24/2008 7:07:59 AM

Mark,
I have watched you for a few years now and I admire your small fold out bi-pods (not mounted on the rifle) when you stop to rattle. What brand are these and where can I purchase them? They look like they would fit in your pocket. Thanks for the help.
Shane, 10/17/2008 11:16:01 AM

Honesty. That's something you don't see every day. Thanks for that. I think thats why I watch your shows.

I like the T/C as well.
Brent, 10/9/2008 10:23:14 AM

Honesty. That's something you don't see every day. Thanks for that. I think thats why I watch your shows.

I like the T/C as well.
Brent, 10/9/2008 10:22:57 AM

Brent,
One of my first rifles was a Browning BAR, but for the majority of my hunting career I've relied on Remington model 700s. My use of Winchester and others was due to sponsor obligations ... they pay the bills. That said, they also get the job done and I love my TC Pro Hunter.

Good hunting!
Mark Kayser, 10/9/2008 6:45:55 AM

I notice you using the Winchester semi-auto this year and wanted to know what you think? Is this your 1st auto rifle? I have the Browning Shortrac and love it. When I find a group of hogs I can usually get 2 and sometime 3 with my autoloader.

Keep the info coming it is appreciated.
Brent, 10/8/2008 7:52:30 AM

Screaming Elk Action (Mark Kayser - 9/22/2008)

Mark KayserTeam calling paid off for elk and you’ll get to see the results on TruckVault’s Xtreme Hunts next season. I hooked up with Scott and Angie Denny at Table Mountain Outfitters (www.tablemountainoutfitters.com) for Wyoming elk. They outfit for elk west of Cheyenne in one of the windiest corridors in Wyoming. Besides wind, rain invaded half the hunt, but the elk density was superb and rarely were we out of sight or sound of elk. Scott and Angie have perfected a calling system that involves three people including the hunter. Scott hangs back to call and move in the background making a bull believe a cow is wandering around. Angie sticks with the hunter to call out the shot distance as a bull sneaks into range.

 The hunt was packed with action including encounters with monster bulls and me flubbing a great opportunity. Oops!
 
On day four of the hunt we spotted a bull cross canyon bedded in the shade. After sneaking in close we tried to coax the bull our way, but he was not willing to give up his afternoon nap. Sneaking closer, Scott spotted antlers and he and Angie backed off while the cameraman and I crept closer. At 35 yards I motioned to Scott and Angie to call to see if the bull would rise from its bed. Once again he ignored cow calls, but a bugle fired him up. It took a few minutes for the bull to position itself for a broadside shot and I had to stalk a few yards closer, but a double-lung shot ended the hunt and landed us a great episode for the series.
 
It's hard to beat the action of archery elk hunting!
Mark Kayser
 

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Mark D.,
I learned how to call porcupines by watching them from my treestands and imitating their vocalizations. I actually called one right up the tree to my stand and it looked me in the eye. HONEST!
Mark Kayser, 9/24/2008 7:20:39 AM

Mark,
I have enjoyed your show. Sunday I watched you hunt turkeys with your boy. Really a good show. I have been around the mountains for a good many years but never had heard of anyone calling in a porcupine until I saw you do it. When and where did you learn that trick?
Mark D, 9/23/2008 8:35:56 AM

It's Elk Time & Time for You to Do Something ABout It (Mark Kayser - 9/15/2008)

Early September is great for calling in satellite bulls while your chances to sucker in a mature bull tend to increase with the intensity of the rut in mid- to late September. Although it helps to hunt solo to be sneaky, I believe it’s best to hunt with a partner for elk. First, if you’re hunting wilderness areas and anything goes wrong you have a backup partner to get help. Second, if you do get an elk down, you have a partner to help you get it out. Finally, calling with a partner is a great strategy and here’s how you can win at the elk calling game.

After you locate a herd of elk with a vocal bull, try and get in front of them so they’ll want to go to you. Next, look for a likely ambush site that isn’t too open. Open terrain allows an elk to look for what they believe is another elk. If they can see through the timber to where the call is emanating without seeing a bull it may put them on alert. Next, move your non-calling partner at least 50 yards in front of you. Why? You want the incoming bull to walk past him or her as they seek out your calls. Finally, try not to sound too tough. It’s best to begin with cow calls and then work up to a squealing bull. If you sound too tough it may also scare a bull away. They’ve worked hard to get the cows they’ve gathered and competition could mean the loss of their herd and chances at love.

If you have any other great tips, please share them in the comment section, but for now, I’m going elk hunting!

Mark Kayser


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Quebec Caribou Update (Mark Kayser - 9/9/2008)

Mark Kayser - Quebec CaibouI have to admit, the skies were friendlier than I thought they would be, but the lines were unreal. To get into Quebec, Canadian Customs had set up 13 aisles winding through an auditorium-sized room. It took me nearly an hour to pass through customs and since I had time to kill, I counted the crowd. How many were in the room at one time: approximately 1,000. Immigration was another 1 ½ hours and if you add the half hour of time to clear my firearm, I spent more than three hours to pass into the country. Mind you I was working so the immigration line to obtain a work permit was something most of you could skip.

When we got into camp, the friendly skies once again became unfriendly. The forecast was for showers, but it rained, sometimes poured, every day. The migration was miles away and we only saw the occasional straggler. It was definitely an “Xtreme” hunt. We hike a minimum of 9 miles a day and came close to 15 miles on several days. It was the perfect regiment to get in shape for elk, but we still needed a caribou show.
 
On the last day of the hunt, despite rain and wind, my cameraman and I stalked a trio of bulls for three hours before finally setting up the perfect ambush. Here is the result, but how if you want to know the details on how we found success while battling weather and no migration, you’ll have to tune in for Xtreme Hunts next season.
Mark Kayser

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Russ,

Thanks for the nice comments and we already have three shows in the can for 2008. I think they are three of the best yet so stay tuned.

Drake,

As for the score, I've been too busy to put a tape to the antlers...maybe this winter when I get off the road!
Mark Kayser, 9/22/2008 9:33:00 AM

I think you do an excellent job as a producerand hunterand have a lot of common sense that other shows don't have. For example, my favorite is when they whisper after shooting a deer with a rifle. Many times, it is inaudible.
Russ Johnson, 9/11/2008 7:09:50 PM

What did your Caribou score approximately Mark?
Drake22, 9/9/2008 8:49:40 AM

Flying the So Called Friendly Skies (Mark Kayser - 8/29/2008)

I got to be honest. I’m not looking forward to the first TruckVault Xtreme Hunts hunt for this fall. Why? It involves flying the so-called friendly skies. That’s right. We’re going to park the truck for the first episode and chase caribou in Quebec. That means dealing with the TSA, border security, Canadian Immigration and of course the airlines themselves.

I know everyone is doing their job, but with everyone doing their job it weighs down on me causing me to memorize regulations, abide by laws, pay extra charges and try to remain cheery in the entire process. I rarely meet an airline employee with a friendly face when they see my firearm, except for one helpful chap I met in the Hayden, Colorado, airport a few seasons back. He checked my gun for free since he said his airline did it for skis, so why not guns. 

With all the hassles, and mind you I’m not blaming the industry or government, it’s no wonder more and more hunters opt to drive or simply hunt their backyards. I know I’m looking harder at my backyard and opportunities within a day’s drive from my Wyoming base. Anyway, I am excited about chasing caribou and I’ll report back to you when I get back from the friendly skies.

Mark Kayser

 


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Dave,

Thanks for the comments and you might see me in the field since I hunt a lot in the Dakotas, and surrounding states.
Mark Kayser, 9/9/2008 8:33:45 AM

Bill,

Trust me, I support the airline industry all too well. I just believe the personnel who work in the industry would put on a smile from time to time. As for the Toyota, half the season was shot with my Chevy and others with a the help of ARB's Toyota. Without sponsors, there's no show.
Mark Kayser, 9/9/2008 8:31:47 AM

Mark, your dead on with your comment. My in-laws live in North Dakota, while we live in Virgina. I absolutely refuse to fly and put up the hassle when I can drive, have my own vehicle, and carry as many guns and as much ammo as I want. Keep up the great work, and I hope to hunt with you one day.
Dave K., 9/7/2008 10:07:33 AM

Honestly Mark, after watching your show I made an effort to find this blog to forward a comment to you. Berating the airline industry and the advantages it offers does not seem sensible. Prefering to drive a TOYOTA truck on your show does not seem sensible either. Please try to support US industries.
Bill, 9/6/2008 9:23:36 AM

Plan Now for Whitetail Bowhunting Success (Mark Kayser - 8/20/2008)

It’s time to begin planning for bow season. If you want to increase your success, study these tips and avoid whitetail bowhunting’s top 10 mistakes. 

1.      FORGET ABOUT SPEED
Don’t get hung up on the speed of your bow when hunting whitetails. Fast-shooting bows are generally noisier and more difficult to tune. Instead, make sure your bow shoots accurately and quietly. 

 2.      TUNE YOUR BROADHEADS
Shoot your hunting broadheads before you go afield. Fixed-blade broadheads fly differently than your field tips. You may even need to re-sight your bow to match the flight characteristics of your broadhead. 

3.      PRACTCIE LIKE YOU HUNT
Practicing at an indoor shooting range is great when the mercury dips, but when you are preparing for the fall season, shoot outside and mimic your hunting style. If you hunt from a tree stand, practice from one. If you stalk, practice shooting in crouched positions. Clothing, temperature, moisture and body exhaustion all play a pivotal role in how your bow and arrows will perform under your guidance. 

4.      CLEAR AMPLE SHOOTING LANES
Be sure to leave enough cover to camouflage your tree stand, but make sure your arrow has plenty of clearance to reach the deer. After trimming your lanes, look at the possible shots from both ground level and from your tree stand. Also pay special attention to backdoor entrances a buck may use unsuspectingly.

5.      PAY ATTENTION TO SCENT
Whitetails rely on their noses first and use their eyes, and ears for backup. Scent-free technology is incorporated into clothing, clothes detergents, body soaps, ground blinds and dozens of other products. 

6.      PLACE YOUR TREE STAND HIGH
Bowhunters who place their stands at only 10 to 15 feet up are wasting their time. Deer can easily see movement at this height in their peripheral vision. If branches don’t block your shooting lanes, try to be at least 18 feet up in the tree or more. 

7.      ROUTE BUCKS YOUR WAY
Don’t be afraid to blaze a trail to your treestand. Trail manipulation several weeks prior to the season will not spook your buck, but it may route them past your stand site during the season. 

8.      KEEP A FULL GAME BAG OF TRICKS
Rattling, grunts, mock scrapes, scents and decoys work. Use them to lure bucks into an area, but specifically, use them for distractions to get a clear shot at an unsuspecting buck. 

9.      MOVE WHEN A BUCK’S VISION IS BLOCKED
Even if a buck is distracted, you need to draw your bow when the buck’s vision is blocked by either a tree trunk, a limb or by the buck itself as it looks straight away. It’s too risky to draw when the buck is stationary with its senses on full alert.

10. SHOOT AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY
When opportunity knocks, shoot. Too many beginning bowhunters wait for the perfect shooting opportunity. If a good shot presents itself, don’t wait for a better one. It rarely happens.
Mark Kayser


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Great advice!
drake22, 10/1/2008 4:26:26 PM

Mark,
Great tips and advise! Far too many bowhunters set stands that are too low (below 15 ft.)and utilize ladder stands in inpractical situations. I would like to see more public land big game hunts where different strategies are necessary.
Scott Sawyers, Charleston,WV, 8/31/2008 1:13:21 PM

Are You Up For The Hunt? (Mark Kayser - 8/15/2008)

Proper fitness can mean the difference between a successful hunt and an expensive hike.Remember my last blog? Hunting seasons are starting and if they haven’t for you, they are just around the corner. Are you ready? I mean, are you physically ready? If there were a physical fitness test given to hunters, I’m betting the majority of you would fail. Why am I so sure? According to the Obesity Society (yes, it does really exist) more than 64 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. In fact, five percent are considered morbidly obese. If you’re one of the 64 percent consider whipping yourself into shape for your own health and increased success in the field.

 Most hunts are demanding, especially Western hunts and upland birds hunts in the country’s midsection. Expect to walk miles, sometimes at altitude and sometimes in heat. You need to be in shape to undertake the rigors and come out with a trophy, or game bag full of fowl. Face it. Carrying extra weight slows you down. It impedes your tree climbing abilities and it definitely affects your overall health including raising the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke and heart disease.
 
You should begin working out at least three months before hunting season, but better yet, consider a year-round regiment. Consult with your physician before you begin a workout program and remember to include both aerobic and weight components in your training. You’ll need to hike to get that trophy pronghorn or limit of sharptails. If you bag an elk you’ll need to pack it out or even pack your dog out if it injures itself while miles from the truck.
 
If you have a dog don’t be one of those few who take the dog out in the country for a run, but follow along in a vehicle. Park the vehicle and walk along with your dog. When the season opens you’ll be a lean, mean hunting machine ready for anything Mother Nature dishes out. Mark Kayser

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Dear S. Carson,

Many of the outfitters I work with now send an outline on how to get in shape before a tough hunt. Unfortunately, Americans are just letting themselves go and whether they pay an outfitter or go on a DIY hunt, they're tossing money away by not being in shape.
Mark Kayser, 9/22/2008 9:36:27 AM

Mark,
Thank you, for all the information. I have talked to many hunters about getting in better physical condition for the hunting season, but to my disappointment they don't tend to listen. How bad is that, when it's coming from a Fitness Facility Owner and full time hunter! Got any suggestions?
S.Carson, 9/18/2008 12:23:10 PM

I wondered what the heck that was too! Glad someone asked the question!
drake22, 8/19/2008 9:53:39 AM

Thanks for the compliment on the show. As for the lollypop; it's a Hunter's Specialties Scent Wafer in natural pine scent. I sweat so much while chasing elk I try everything to keep my scent to a minimum. Thanks again and keep watching!
Mark Kayser, 8/18/2008 7:46:22 AM

Mark, just watched your Colorado elk hunt. Was that a lollypop sticking out of your hat? Great show by the way.
Mark, 8/17/2008 7:28:48 AM

Freezer Space in August (Mark Kayser - 8/8/2008)

Drinking pronghorn - copywrite Mark KayserIt’s almost time. What time you ask? Hunting time! The first seasons are about to kick off and for big game that means pronghorn antelope. In fact, when I think of August pronghorns immediately come to mind. In Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota, the states with the three large concentrations of pronghorn, archery seasons kick off next week.

 There are three reasons why I love pronghorn hunting. First, pronghorns move all day long. There’s always action. Unlike deer and elk, which retire after sunrise and only come out after sunset, pronghorns move around all day long. It keeps your spirits high and the boredom low. In high density areas I seldom am without a pronghorn in my sights.
 
The second reason I like pronghorn hunting; you can hunt them using a variety of strategies. If you are savvy and in good shape, you can stalk them. Stay low, use the terrain and sneak into archery range. If you like to dupe pronghorn, decoy them. This works best in September during the rage of the rut. I learned from the best: Mel Dutton. After spending several seasons tagging along with Dutton, the originator of the first commercially manufactured decoy, I was sold on the adrenaline-gushing experience decoying provides. If you like to stand hunt you can wait at a water hole for pronghorn. It’s one of my mainstays because video photographers get plenty of film and I get great shot opportunities.
 
Finally, I love pronghorn hunting, especially bowhunting, because of the high success. For the last three years I’ve been at 100 percent with both bow and rifle. If you sit a water hole for three days in semiarid country you should get a bow shot. I don’t care what anyone says, pronghorns are not “goats.” They’re a challenging big game opportunity that’s unique to North America and if you haven’t hunted them you’re missing out on a great hunt in great country.
 
For DIY opportunities look at South Dakota’s Walk-In lands, Montana’s Block Management and Wyoming’s Walk-In Areas and their Hunter Management Program. For outfitted hunts check out Powder River Outfitters (www.powder-river-outfitters.com) and Table Mountain Outfitters (www.tablemountainoutfitters.com). Now get after it!Mark Kayser

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Thanks for the confirmation!
drake22, 8/21/2008 2:36:51 PM

It's better not to chase game, wounded or healthy. Adrenaline and enzymes pumped into the bloodstream taint meat and give it that wild taste. So yes, it is better to make a clean shot on game that is unaware of your presence.
Mark Kayser, 8/20/2008 6:14:47 AM

There is an old wive's tale I think that that goes something like this, "It is better to shoot a antelope at rest rather than while, or just after, running because the meat will tasete better due to the build of of lactic acid in the muscles during excercise." Is this true Mark to your knowledge?
drake22, 8/19/2008 9:56:21 AM

Trail Camera Tricks (Mark Kayser - 8/1/2008)

Trail cameras can be key in revealing game routes.Now is the time to get your trail cameras out and they’re not just for whitetails any longer. Trail cameras work equally well for whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn and elk. Why now? Summer animals are less apprehensive about moving openly during daylight. In fact, most species are busy bulking up for the upcoming rigors of the rut and winter.

 There are two key areas where you can place trail cameras for successful images: food and water. You can also place the cameras along travel routes leading to these sites. Since summer heat drives animals to water, focus on these sources now, particularly if you live in a semiarid region.
 
The whole idea of a trail camera is to verify the existence of trophies in your area without alarming them of your presence. Here are some tips to keep your presence to a minimum. First, practice with your camera so you know the most effective distance for a quality image and the best height to ensure you capture the whole animal in the shot.
 
Second, don’t place it too close to the animal and the first tip will help you pick the proper distance. Having the camera 10 yards or further away will help muffle the noise of the camera and simply help make the camera less conspicuous.
 
Third, place the camera along a main trail, road or active pathway where game may expect some human activity. This allows you to check it with frequency without alarming game from an increase in manmade commotion. A good friend of mine in Wisconsin has his along an ATV trail so he can ride up and pull the card without even getting off of his quad.
 
Finally, resist the temptation to check your camera too frequently. Viewing new trail camera images is like Christmas morning presents, but too many intrusions many cause game to change patterns or move completely. Whitetails may just vary their summer pattern, but a spooked elk could move miles.
 
Trail cameras are a great way to verify what’s going on in the wild when you’re not there. I know they’re one of my new best hunting partners … now if I could just get the date programmed right. It reminds me of my old VCR!

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Anthony,

I'm not what episode you watched, but we did not film an elk hunt for TruckVault last season. That being said, I've shot many elk over the years and most have been with the .300 Win. Mag and most recently the .300 Ultra Mag. Right now I'm hunting with a TC Pro hunter.
Mark Kayser, 8/4/2008 8:15:17 AM

Drake,

I use a Steal Cam I590 and a Bushenll Trail Scout Pro. Moultrie is another solid brand several of my peers use while scouting. There are a number of good models out there, but like everything, not one fits everyone's needs so you need to research the options.
Mark Kayser, 8/4/2008 8:13:18 AM

Do you have a particular make and model of camera you prefer using Mark?
drake22, 8/3/2008 10:42:58 PM

I just saw the show, I think it is episode 102, where you took down that beautiful elk. Great show and great hunt. I was wondering, what kind of rifle did you use for that?

Thanks,
Anthony
Anthony C., 8/1/2008 11:37:06 PM

The Good and Bad About Wolves (Mark Kayser - 7/25/2008)

Wolf - copyright Mark KayserHere we go again. Earlier this year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially removed wolves from the Endangered Species List in the northern Rockies. This includes the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, as well as portions of Oregon, Utah and Washington. States were granted the final word in management and according to both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the states; wolf reintroduction has been a resounding success. Of course that wasn’t good enough for animal activists.

 
The recovery goal was set at 300 animals throughout the three-state region of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and currently that population is estimated at more than 1,500. I don’t have a calculator handy, but I think that meets the goal. Because of the accomplishment, the three main states began planning to hunt wolves; at least until last week. A wolf-leaning judge in Montana ruled in federal court to suspend the removal of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains from the federal Endangered Species List. Right now state governors and congressional members are reviewing their options to retrieve management of a species that is both revered, yet controversial.
 
Hunters in my home state of Wyoming did get a taste of wolf hunting earlier this year. In extreme northwest Wyoming wolves were listed as trophy game animals, whereas in the rest of the state they were listed as a predatory animal species. In the weeks immediately after delisting Wyoming hunters showed their enthusiasm by taking at least a dozen wolves in the predatory zone. That doesn’t count animals involved in livestock conflicts and shot by wildlife officials, and landowners in all three states.
 
If appeals and last-minute lawsuits can be won, you can plan on hunting wolves yet this fall, but Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal isn’t optimistic. His office is suggesting at least another year before wolf management could again be placed in the hands of the states.
 
I’m not promoting the all-out destruction of the wolf. It’s unique to have wolves back in the Rocky Mountain environment, but nothing is natural and dropping wolves into a modern environment demands management. Livestock producers and outfitters are seeing the effects of wolf predation firsthand. Hunters have also seen the effects a pack of wolves can have on the elk, moose and deer populations in a region. It’s a shame that the process couldn’t continue as planned. Now my tax dollars are once again going be spent on more studies and deliberations when I could be putting plans together for a wolf hunt over the mountain this winter.Mark Kayser
 

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Wolves are generally apex predator in any ecosystem they occupy. Highly adaptable, they thrive in most any environment they are introduced; from forests to deserts, mountains to tundra. Proper management/balance is key to a successful game introduction. I hope our gov't leaders can figure it out!
drake22, 7/30/2008 4:45:12 PM

Keep Organized (Mark Kayser - 7/18/2008)

Mark Kayser with a whitetail deer.Ask my wife. I'm a very organized person, maybe too organized if there's such a state of organization. Right now I'm less than a month away from my fall tour of North America that includes filming for TruckVault Xtreme Hunts, gathering material for magazine articles and filling my freezer, and the freezers of friends. My hunting schedule extends into 2009 with very little time in between to look for lost gear and ready a new lineup of accessories for the next hunt.

It's no secret I rely on my TruckVault to keep me organized on the road and at home. It's hard to be successful on a hunt when you can't find your gear because it's jumbled in a pile behind the seat of your truck. TruckVault's secure storage units allow me to customize the interior with movable dividers to hold any gear. The best part of a TruckVault unit is that my gear is secure from the elements and from intruders with lockable vaults. You can get a TruckVault to fit any truck, SUV and even cars. Most of the three-letter agencies use TruckVaults in their vehicle fleets and that's good enough for me.  

Mark Kayser, showing the benefits of a TruckVault Secure Storage System.My organization doesn't stop there and neither should yours. Summer is the best time to get your gear organized, inventoried and prepped for the upcoming hunting seasons. I'm fortunate. I was able to take an old coal storage area and transform it into my hunting room complete with shelves for ammunition, game calls, optics, camping gear, backpacks and boots. I can breeze into the room and immediately grab what I need from the shelves without hunting for it in a jumbled mess. I have another room set up for clothing and I keep it scent free.

For me, keeping organized has led to success. Last season is a good example. I finished one whitetail hunt, but a friend of mine had some other obligations so we couldn't start the next hunt as planned. By having my TruckVault stocked and organized, I was able to move on to an impromptu hunt undertaken in a day and half. The result of this spur-of-the-moment hunt is the first show of the season and a great trophy.

It's this type of organization that's helped my success...at least that's what I tell my wife to wrangle the extra rooms in our home.Mark Kayser


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Mark,

Thanks for the info...
Dave K., 10/3/2008 7:31:09 AM

The SXR I used was a .300 WSM. I'd stick with this in either the semiautomatic or an even better move might be a model 70. My favorite scope is the Nikon Monarch BDC reticle in 3-12x42. I'm a big fan of the .300 ... .300 Win Mag, .300 Ultra Mag and the .300 WSM. Good Hunting!
Mark Kayser, 10/2/2008 7:21:52 AM

Mark,
I've been meaning to ask you about your SXR. What caliber is it? What scope do you use on it? I've wanted to get an SXR, and trying to decide between a .300 Win Mag, 30-06 or a 270 WSM. I primarily hunt deer, but want to get something for Elk or Moose.

Good luck, and good hunting!
Dave K., 9/29/2008 9:49:40 AM

Dear Brent,
It's a Hunter's Specialties True Talker and makes grunts, plus great bleats. I love it.
Mark Kayser, 9/25/2008 7:57:48 AM

Hey Mark,

I used your tip about grunting as you walk through the woods over the last couple of years and it works well. It seems like I always see you using the same grunt. However I have been able to identify it. Can you tell me the brand?
Brent Stanphill, 9/23/2008 1:45:40 PM

Dear Navy Dad 80,

I used a .300 Win Mag ... one of my favorites!
Mark Kayser, 9/22/2008 9:38:11 AM

I want to ask what cal. encore did you shoot that big buck with?
navydad80, 8/30/2008 9:10:26 AM

It depends on it your clothes are made with activated carbon or simply polyester. With carbon, like Scent Shield, three or four times a season is plenty if you reactivate them in a dryer. All other clothes I wash in scent-free detergent whenever I sweat in them. Kill the bacteria to kill odor.
Mark Kayser, 7/31/2008 8:28:12 AM

How often do you recommend washing your clothing?
drake22, 7/30/2008 11:33:18 AM

I use scent-free laundry detergent for all my hunting clothes. Products like Hunter's Specialties Scent-A-Way laundry detergent work great. If I want to add a splash of natural scent to my clothes I use their fresh earth detergent. I always store my clothes in a scent-free bag.
Mark Kayser, 7/22/2008 6:50:39 AM

What do you recommend for cleaning hunting clothing like pants and jackets to keep them scent free?
Scott Mickelson, 7/21/2008 9:39:44 AM

Summer Scouting (Mark Kayser - 7/10/2008)

We found a pair of shed elk antlers - a good sign of the bulls in the area.Despite the heat and the occasional bug bite, summer is a great time to be out scouting. I just returned from a trip to the mountains and although my family and I barbecued, watched fireworks and rode the horses, we also managed to get in some scouting time. Since we were in the mountains we focused on elk.

Rubs, old wallows and watering holes were still evident from the previous rutting season indicating past elk activity. We also spotted several groups of bulls with antlers large enough to indicate whether they would be shooters or not. Of course the cows and calves were in large herds and put on a show as good as any fireworks display.

We even found a few shed elk antlers to give us an idea of the quality of bulls in the area for the upcoming season. The bulls in this particular area rarely migrate because snow melts throughout the winter and a recent burn provides ample forage year-round.

It doesn't matter if you're scouting for elk, mule deer, pronghorn or the popular whitetail, summer is a great time to get your eyes on a buck and track it until fall. Dust off your binocular and your trail camera, and break a sweat now for success this fall.Mark Kayser

 

 


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Surprise Ending (Mark Kayser - 6/27/2008)

Mark Kayser hunting bear in the middle of a surprise June blizard.We just finished our last hunt for the 2008 show season. It turned out to be quite a surprise. Our destination was southwest Montana and our goal was to call in and harvest a black bear with a pistol. I was carrying my trusty TC .300 Win. Mag as well for a long-shot backup. I had been corresponding with outfitter Mark Shutey at Stockton Outfitters (www.stocktonoutfitters.com) for several years and we finally set dates to get together.

Shutey runs a great camp with comfortable cabins, great food and lots of good-hearted joking ... my kind of place. So what was the surprise? I can't give everything away ... you'll have to watch TruckVault Xtreme Hunts to find out the ending, but the hunt was scheduled for June 8-13. Here is the big surprise.

It snowed and snowed and then snowed some more. It snowed steadily for nearly 40 hours and turned southwest Montana into a winter wonderland. All that was missing was were Christmas lights. Of course bears went into low gear or no gear making our hunt even more difficult. Who would have guessed I'd be hunting in blizzard conditions in the middle of June? Not me!

Anyway, now that the filming season is in planning mode for this coming fall I'm busy getting bows and guns ready ... you should be too!

Mark Kayser

 

 


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Yes, use bowstring wax and use it often. That said, you should wax your string and any cables constructed of string material often enough to prevent fraying and wear. Visit your nearest archery pro shop to purchase a high quality bow wax.Good Hunting!
Mark, 7/10/2008 10:49:33 AM

You can't really "over-wax" your bowstrings so any time can be the right time to wax. I recommend that you wax your strings every two weeks during peak use depending on your hunting conditions.
drake22, 7/7/2008 3:10:54 PM

Mark,
How about answering a question? How often should a person wax their bow string, is their an easy way to tell when the time is right?
Mark, 7/7/2008 1:48:15 PM

Congrats on your new series debut Mark... here's to great success in '08 and our series schedule for airing '09!
drake22, 7/7/2008 11:42:35 AM

It's Xtreme and it's New! (Mark Kayser - 6/20/2008)

Mark Kayser with a fresh kill, welcoming you to the new TruckVault's Xtreme Hunts web site.I want to welcome you to TruckVault's Xtreme Hunts web site and invite you to watch TruckVault's new series, TruckVault Xtreme Hunts, appearing on Versus this coming August. Get the details from this site, grab some popcorn and sit back for a real adventure.

Many of you might know me from North American Hunter or Whitetail Revolution, both on Versus, but if you don't know me, I'm sure you'll get a better understanding of my ways after watching the first episode of the series. In short, I love to hunt. Whether it's birds or bears, ducks or deer, I enjoy time in the field and I don't let a little weather, mud or extreme terrain deter me.

Like you, I still have to work and although TV provides me some of my income, I'm strapped to a desk part of the year and traveling throughout the winter to round out my IRS donation. It's a great way to make a living, but in all honesty it's demanding on my family. Making time for family throughout the nuttiness of the fall is a must, but often impossible task when you're traveling from border to border for hunts. Would I change careers if I could? Not on your life! I'm just always trying to manage my time as best as possible.

 Why TruckVault? Most of my hunts involve driving and when I begin my nonstop travel during the fall the TruckVault helps keep me organized. I can bring my shotguns, centerfire rifles and archery equipment, and switch hunting activities in a matter of minutes with the organization of a TruckVault unit. TruckVault is nothing more than an organizational tool, but it's also a lifestyle choice that keeps me focused from hunt to hunt and even during family time (which usually involves the outdoors).
 
Now back to the show. Get ready for hunts that include high altitude elk hunting, desert mule deer hunting in blazing heat, rattling whitetails in subzero temperatures and chasing ringnecks across oceans of grass. You'll get to see me sweat, shiver and shake ... and fail. We're going to try and fill the time with as much success as possible, but be ready for a stumble because like you I don't always come home with loin for the freezer.
 
Be sure to post your comments and I'll try and provide answers and comments when possible. Until then, enjoy the show and good hunting!

 Mark Kayser

 

 


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NeoZeptepi, 12/30/2008 2:03:33 PM

Loren, The rifle is a TC Encore Pro Hunter in .300 Win. Mag and the riflescope is a Nikon Monarch 4-16x42. It's a great combination and helped me make a season full of one-shot kills in 2008.
Mark Kayser, 12/16/2008 7:31:15 AM

Mark, I like the looks of your rifle and scope. Can you share what you use? Thanks, Loren (WA)

bargerl@verizon.net
Loren, 12/14/2008 9:03:16 PM

Conor,

Sorry...been out hunting. The late-season pheasant hunt ran Aug. 15. It should run again in October or November. Check this site for updated episode information and thanks for watching! The dogs were incredible!
Mark Kayser, 8/27/2008 7:10:46 AM

I was wondering when you are going to show the Montana Pheasant Hunt...I have a Braque Francais whose parents are in the hunt, and would love to see them in action.

Thanks,
Conor
Conor Shary, 8/22/2008 1:05:00 PM

Dwight,
Thanks for watching the show. I'm sold on the Extreme All-Weather TruckVault in the standard version. I can haul an ATV or other gear on top of it (2,000 pounds worth) and still have my gear protected inside. You can also order it with larger drawers (magnum). Hope this helps and thanks!
Mark Kayser, 7/30/2008 9:07:34 AM

Can't wait to catch the show! Which Truckvault products do you use? I don't have a topper on truck and want something weather-proof.
Thank!
Dwight, 7/26/2008 8:24:14 AM

Welcome Mark!
NeoZeptepi, 7/7/2008 11:39:23 AM

Test Yourself with Coyotes (Mark Kayser - )

Unless you live in a hotspot overloaded with coyotes, taking one of these Wile E. critters is one of hunting’s greatest accomplishments. I truly believe that any hunter who consistently calls in and shoots coyotes is a good hunter. Why? Coyotes are like you and I; they’re hunters. There’s one exception though. They hunt full-time and most of us don’t have that luxury. By being on the job 24/7 they learn their environment, they learn the best places to look for prey and they learn to stay away from danger. If a coyote lives past 1 ½ years of age, it transforms into an Einstein. If you want to be one up on a coyote, try a few of these tricks that have helped me over the years.

SCOUT; DON’T RELY ON LUCK
Certain areas harbor more coyotes than others and the only way to discover these hotspots is to get out and scout. Coyotes travel extensively, oftentimes covering more than 5 miles a day in their search for a meal and to return to a safe refuge. Like humans, coyotes love to take the path of least resistance so look for tracks along game trails, cattle paths and two-track dirt roads. Also scout around water holes looking for dog-like droppings packed with hair. Using an electronic call with recorded sounds of coyote yips and howls can spark a coyote response. Oftentimes you don’t even need to initiate a howl because they’ll do it on their own at dusk or dawn.
 
CONFIDENCE CALLS
To overcome a coyote’s predisposition to paranoia, include confidence calls during your calling setup. My best confidence call is simply a long, drawn out howl that says to other coyotes, “I’m over here.” After waiting a few minutes to see if a coyote will respond, I begin with a series of prey in distress calls, finishing the setup with a final howl. Oftentimes the mere addition of opening and closing howls is all that’s needed to bolster a coyote’s confidence level. Other sounds to relax a schizophrenic coyote include the caw of a crow and the yak of magpies. Both birds hound prowling coyotes hoping to get in on the treat of a raunchy gut pile.
           
USE A REMOTE ELECTRONIC CALLER
Some turn their nose at technology, but you should embrace it if it aids in your predator hunting. Take the new dimension of electronic calls, particularly the models that allow for remote operation like Hunter’s Specialties digital Preymaster (www.hunterspec.com). By placing the speaker and sound downrange, and upwind of your location, you rivet the attention of the predator to a spot away from you, your scent and your movement. You can also turn the caller on and off, increase the volume and switch calls in the middle of a stand to hopefully turn a reluctant coyote into a go-getter.
 
VARY YOUR SETUP IF YOU CALL THE SAME STAND REPEATEDLY
Although it seems like hunters on TV and video have access to half of the West and Texas; you and I don’t always have the same luxury. I find myself calling the same pasture at least two to three times a season, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The key to success lies with variety. Don’t go into the pasture and use the same calling site, call and calling rhythm time and time again. Doing the same thing over and over might work for the first time or two, but eventually even dumb coyotes will figure out something stinks and it’s not a rotting cow carcass.
           
KEEP YOUR ENTRANCE NOISE TO A MINIMUM
Finally, keep noise to a minimum, especially when leaving a vehicle to hike into a setup site. Coyotes obviously have canine-like hearing meaning they can hear sounds at much farther ranges than humans can. Getting out of your vehicle and slamming doors, talking or banging gun cases in the back of truck beds has the potential to ruin a hunt even before it begins. Have your gear organized before you arrive (did I mention my TruckVault?), instruct your calling partners to whisper and park well away from a calling site to avoid alerting your coyote targets.
 
If you place yourself in an area sporting a fair density of coyotes, these tips will insure your coyote count will increase this coming winter and you might make a buck or two on fur. Plus, it will help decrease the amount of excuses you’ll need for your hunting buddies.
 

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mark are you still responding to this blog?
dfenton, 1/5/2012 4:18:38 PM