/  Articles posted by David Long

The Big Decision

At 46 years old and having been bow hunting since age 16 in my home state of Washington, I always have loved the high country and chasing animals up there with my bow. I have always read the stories and looked at the pictures of the lucky hunters who pursued the big early season bucks in the Colorado high country as I'm sure many of you have. I always chose the early deer and elk season in my home state during that time of year and let Colorado be a dream.

I recently returned home from a 5 day archery elk hunt in Colorado. While I never put my tag on an elk, I did get to try out a lot of new gear. Several items performed extremely well; therefore, I wanted to do a quick blog post on these items offering my thoughts in case anyone is in the process of trying to decide whether to purchase these items or not.

I truly enjoy building my own arrows. It makes for a very enjoyable afternoon sitting at the dining room table and building up a batch of arrows while listening to some great music. Not only do I take great pride in the fact that I can say I built them myself, but it also gives me 100% control over the

What in the heck am I thinking? I must be crazy! Those were the exact thoughts that crossed my mind as I watched the trophy antelope put a half mile of sagebrush covered desert between him and I in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, after several days of spot and stalk hunting, the sight of antelope disappearing over the ridge in a cloud of dust was becoming an all too familiar sight. This spot and stalk antelope gig was evidently going to be a little tougher than I had originally thought!

My clothing system for scouting in July and August is relatively straight forward and doesn’t change too much. During this time of year, temperatures typically dip down into the high 30’s or low 40’s at night, but daytime temps are relatively warm and you typically see a high near 70 degrees. Because of this, I know I don’t need to pack too many extra layers knowing that I won’t see any extreme weather conditions. With that being said, I always check the forecast before heading out and make necessary changes if needed, but normally an afternoon thunder shower is usually about the worst I will see this time of year.

BRIEF HISTORY The Pope and Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and wildlife conservation organizations. Founded in 1961 as a non-profit, scientific organization whose objectives included bettering the image of bowhunting, the Club has grown to be the standard-bearer for the principles of fair chase, ethics and sportsmanship in bowhunting. Named in honor of pioneer bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young, whose exploits during the early part of the 20th Century drew national attention to this “forgotten” and challenging form of hunting, the Club encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting quality hunting, sound conservation practices, high standards of conduct and fostering dedication to the protection of bowhunting’s future.

Proper care and storage will ensure maximum years of use and optimum performance of your sleeping bag. Always store your sleeping bag uncompressed. A breathable cotton storage sack is ideal for this. Modern lightweight sleeping bags such as Katabatic's, are made from some of the lightest, most advanced materials available. These fabrics are very durable for their weight. However, care should

Unless you have spent any time in northern Scandinavia, you are probably not familiar with the word Akto, which means “alone” in the native language of Sami. In 1995, Hilleberg released their Akto tent which is a lightweight four-season tunnel design solo shelter. Since hitting the market in 1995, the Akto has become one of Hilleberg’s best-selling tents and has

Stuff sacks. Honestly, not many of us give them much thought. When we purchase sleeping bags, pads, etc we simply use the standard stuff sacks that come with the items. When you purchase an item such as a tent, you are talking numerous stuff sacks for the tent, poles and stakes. In addition, if you use additional stuff sacks for storage like I do, we can be talking between 6-8 stuff sacks in our pack at any given time.

Between overhauling my backcountry gear list and writing the new book, I haven’t had a whole lot of spare time lately……but by no means am I complaining. I enjoy doing both. Whenever I need a break from the book, I have been evaluating my existing gear for both weight and functionality. I have made a commitment to drop all unnecessary weight from my pack; therefore, I am researching the lightest, most functional gear on the planet. I’m calling it my “Quest for the Best.” Let’s be honest, when it comes to our backpack hunting equipment, we all want to shave ounces on gear in order to reduce the overall weight of our pack. We don’t necessarily want to sacrifice functionality or comfort in doing so, but we definitely want to cut weight where we can.