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Alaskan Guide Pack by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

As backcountry hunters we are always looking for the best way to remove our animals from the terrain in which we take them out of. We look for improved gear and anything that will make the pack out more comfortable. A pack is very important and I am going to talk about an external frame pack that I have been using for the last 7 years with great success.  But it is nearing that time when this pack needs to be replaced as it has seen plenty of wear and tear while packing out thousands of pounds of venison over the years. About the only type of company that I do not have a sponsorship from is that from a pack company. I am a free agent so to speak!

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The pack I speak of is the Cabelas Alaskan Guide external frame pack.  Granted it is not a Kifaru or any other kind of sought after pack. But it is a pack that is worthy of notable and proven features that have proven themselves to me time and time again. As described, the pack is made of 420-denier Oxford nylon rip-stop material and 5,000-cu.-in. capacity. Five exterior storage pockets, including a 22″L x 7″W padded spotting scope pocket. Easy-access steel rod loading system; unlike traditional frames that use noisy, hard-to-adjust pin-and-ring attachment systems, the Guide Model’s lightweight yet tough aluminum frames have quiet, simple-to-adjust webbing attachment points to guarantee not only complete in-the-field silence, but ultra-quick adjustments as well. The holster-compatible hip belt and shoulder straps are heavily padded for comfortable carrying. And the belt is Nylex-lined to prevent perspiration buildup in warmer conditions. A built in rain fly will keep your contents dry during those downpours and snow bouts. Removing the pack from the frame leaves you the option of using just the frame to carry your meat out of the backcountry. The adjustable meat shelf allows you to distribute the weight in the correct spot and keeps your load from shifting.

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I have never had trouble with not having enough space for even hunts as long as 17 days with this pack. The variety of pockets and a zippered internal shelf allows me to get at my sleeping back from an external pocket down below. Various locations of straps allow you to attach more gear to the outside if you so wish. Compression straps also help to keep things from shifting and moving. If you remove the pack from the frame, the pack still has built in shoulder and waist straps. This means you can still use the pack detached from the aluminum frame. Another great feature!

Pack Out with Royal Flush

Although I am hoping to replace this pack soon as it is getting worn I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this pack to someone who is trying to find a pack that can really pack a heavy load and a lot of supplies or meat. The price is right too for those hunting for an external frame pack on a budget.

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


VIDEO: Ensuring your equipment is always spot on by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

When it comes down to making a shot count it is too late to find out that your equipment is not how you last left it. Ensuring that your equipment is always spot on you should take necessary measures to ensure that this is true. This is a tips and tactics video that I recently put together to help and to allow you to make that shot when it really counts!

Click on the link to watch Jared’s video.

Www.vimeo.com/62020178

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Spot Shooting with PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

With the bow seasons 2012 fading away and spring seasons of 2013 just around the corner, many of us are left with the anxious feeling of what to do next!? For many this causes some extreme anxiety as well! The past seasons are always engrained in our minds and 2013 seasons will be here before we know it. This applies even more to those that do not hunt during the spring time. Now is not the time to let your shooting fall to the back seat! There is never a time for that for the serious archer…..

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The past seasons are slowly fading away and leaving those important memories and lessons burned into our minds forever; we are left with the “off season blues.” Now is the time to freshen up a few of our skills while patiently waiting for the next season. Many people hang their equipment up and leave it alone until just before the next season. However, this is when it is a good time to sharpen up on your shooting skills. It will pay off in the future seasons to come.

I find it very comical when someone comes up to me and when asked how the shooting has been going I get a reply along the lines of, “I only pull the bow out to shoot it just before season to make sure it is still on.” The customer is always right, right? Well not in this case, I just smile and say that I disagree with their thinking 100%. Generally they are very receptive and listen to what I have to say and why I feel that way.  So what is there to do during the off season I am often asked?

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This may include some 3-D shooting, league shooting, outdoor ranges, or getting together with some friends in the back yard and flinging a few arrows while telling hunting stories. Although 3-D shooting is hard to beat, if you don’t have the time to get away and commit to these events like I do, there are other options. Something I enjoy doing during the off-season is what I like to call “spot shooting.” Others may know this as “stump shooting.” There is no set schedule, just whenever you can get away.

Now I know when I say “spot shooting” most instantly think about punching paper at a spots league from 20 yards or something similar. But not this guy! Nope…..think of shooting that will challenge you with various scenarios and shot situations. Various stance and positions, standing and sitting. Listen up!

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This is something I have been doing for quite some time now and it helps me out a great deal. I got this idea when I was younger. I would go hiking or go for walks in the outdoors looking for sheds or scouting for future seasons. I got to thinking, “Why don’t I carry my bow with me and shoot at different spots while I was out?” This has helped me a great deal with range judgment. (Keep in mind this should only be done away from people in secluded and/or designated areas.)

You are offered with many different shooting scenarios in changing terrain and conditions. Simply pick out a dark patch of grass, a cow pie (preferably dried up), mounds of dirt, or anything you can find to shoot at that won’t ruin your arrow! The possibilities are endless! Also just an FYI, rocks are not a good choice for obvious reasons. But it never fails that I usually end up finding the rock that I am not looking for from time to time.

But no matter what you decide, one does come across patches of rocks that are unseen by the eye. Trust me, you will go through a few arrows but if you pick your spots wisely it will keep broken and/or bent arrows to a minimum.

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I have found carbons to be more forgiving for this type of shooting for obvious reasons. Aluminum tends to bend pretty easy as we all know because it retains memory. The nice thing about carbon arrows is: if they are not broke they are usually good to go. I flex check my arrows often to avoid downfalls. I also tip my carbons with 100-grain Zwickey judo points or some style of rubber blunt. This will keep your arrows from skipping into the next county. The judo tip usually makes it quite easy to find your arrow after the shot. The tip does not allow the arrow to completely bury itself under grass or dirt. But don’t get me wrong; the judo tip does not make your arrow invincible to loss. I have plenty lying around out there as well as many busted arrows to prove this. Despite the loss of arrows, I feel this hobby has helped me out a great deal with range judgment and depth perception as well as different shooting positions and elevations.

I will also use my broadheads every chance I get as well. There is nothing like using your hunting set-up year round to perk your confidence in your ability and equipment. There are also rabbits and squirrels that you may run across while hiking, scouting, or shed hunting that all taste pretty good! Prairie dog towns are also another fun place to practice hitting small targets at extended ranges! They don’t taste near as good as a rabbit though!

So even if you shoot league, go to 3-D shoots, or fling arrows in the backyard, and/or you just simply want to try something different to put a bit of a spin on your shooting, try “spot shooting,” it just may be something the “off-season blues” called for…below are a few things I do.

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When I go on a family hike or with friends you will see me toting my bow along. It is a great way to sharpen up my skills and keep on my A game. I like to think of my bow as an extension of me. I often times get weird looks from others on hiking trails but if they are bowhunters they often think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

It is also fun to get together with a few buddies and go for a long hike. Each person takes turns picking out what they want to shoot at along the way. Usually the one who makes the least effective shot goes and retrieves everyone’s arrows in an attempt to redeem themselves on the next shot. I also like to carry a pack with weight in it to help  learn the best ways to shoot with a pack on and the additional weight and how to maintain your form and balance. The various shot scenarios will help you determine how to keep the correct form when shooting angled shots. It is a fun way to add a little competition all while increasing your effectiveness.

Another thing I like to do while out is to push myself in order to get my heart rate racing and my breathing going full force. Quickly look around and pick something to shoot at and take the shot while huffing and puffing. This helps me to control my breathing while completing that shot. There have been numerous times that this has happened while hunting. Knowing how to shoot under these conditions can reap big rewards for you in a future hunt.

So this spring I will be out shed hunting, this summer I will be out scouting, I will be hiking, getting myself in shape, fixing fence, etc….the options are endless, but you will find me with my bow right there with me as I sharpen up on my shooting. Will you?!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Maximum “Effective” Shooting Distance by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

This is another one of those touchy subjects with many. It often turns into “I can shoot farther than you” conversation that turns to arguments at times.  Even worse when you start throwing in the talk about animal distances!

This is what it comes down to and it is as simple as this. Your maximum effective shooting distance is that distance in which you are comfortable and can consistently put  your arrows in a group one after another repeatedly.  For some this is 40 yards and for others it may be 90. Keep in mind this is not shooting at live targets during hunting conditions per say!!

Shooting from various positions is important....

Shooting from various positions is important….

“So what do you need to do to increase your maximum effective range?”  It all comes down to one word…….PRACTICE! And then more practice, practice, and practice! Try not to use an excuse that it is too hot or cold out, it is too windy, it is too wet, it is raining, etc…you get the picture. Sure there has to be limits but by shooting in as many adverse weather conditions as you can will also increase your shooting capability and confidence. Having confidence in your shooting and your equipment is very important and this can only be gained by shooting as often as possible.

When I first started shooting over 25+ years ago I started shooting at 10 yards and over time my range increased to 20, 30, 40, 50, etc…As I became more confident in my equipment and myself I began to stretch that distance to 110, 120, etc…Granted this didn’t happen overnight or over a year or two. I am still brushing up on my shooting today and I feel as if I can never be as good of a archer as I want to be!

A practice that I like to do at times is shoot an arrow at my target and run to that target, grab my arrow and run back immediately picking up my bow and shooting another arrow. Sometimes I do this while shooting up or down a hill as well to mimic the effects of being short of breathe as if I had to get up a hill quick to make a shot. As I get better I start to move the target farther away.

I am to the point today that I usually practice at ranges greater than 80 yards. This makes those 50 yard shots feel like chip shots and those 30 yard shots a slam dunk! So what is my maximum effective shooting range? Right now I would say that it is 120 yards but can stretch that out to 140 yards but I lose a bit of confidence after 120 yards. I can assure you that I will continue to improve on that! Remember, this is while target shooting.

Light levels can change....

Light levels can change….

Another thing that makes this type of shooting possible is by having a flat shooting, fast performing bow. That makes the Omen Pro and Max my favorite bows to date because of their raw performance. The shorter brace height has never been an issue for me either. Having great form makes these longer shots possible and longer shooting will actually improve your form. Why? Because a minor flaw in form at 30 yards may mean a 2” change in point of impact. A minor flaw in form at 100 yards can mean a foot or more! Longer shots force you to improve and keep your form consistent. Longer shots compound minor flaws in form and this makes you become a better shot and archer. Shooting from various positions is also important. Standing (even and uneven ground), sitting in various positions, with various types of clothing, different angles, etc…again, you get the point. Mimic as many various shooting positions and situations you can.

Now to what everyone is wondering. You wouldn’t dare shoot at an animal at 120 yards would you?! Well that all depends…..More than likely not but I will shoot at and kill animals at longer yardages than most archers would even think about shooting.  Again, why? Because of my practice that I have done and the confidence I have in myself and my gear!  120 yards is not a shot I have ever done and do not plan to because I like the challenge of getting in close as I can for a shot!  With that being said the animal’s behavior, body position, and weather conditions do come into play for each shot. An animal that has no idea I am there and is completely relaxed will allow a farther shot than an animal that is alert and nervous. Every condition has its place and many do not have a place for a shot at all. Keep in mind that I will never loosen an arrow on an animal that I know will not make a good clean ethical kill shot! We should all have that same belief in our mind at all times.

Elevated shots are important....

Elevated shots are important….

The greatest archer of all is the one who knows his limitations.

Only you can answer what your maximum shooting range is. It will depend directly on your level of confidence and capability directly related to practice and the shooting you make yourself take part in. Maximum shooting distance on a live animal in a hunting situation takes on many variables that also, only you can decide on.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and practice and brush up on your skills! I challenge you to start practicing at longer distances. You will be happy you did! It will increase your maximum shooting range guaranteed!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Packing Out Your Game by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

I can’t remember the last time when I had brought home an entire carcass of a deer or elk. It is so much easier to field dress the animal and take all the meat out with me. There is less of a chore of having to take care of it once you are home and less time involved once you get there. Many feel that hanging and aging meat is very important but I haven’t felt that it is enough of a need to ensure my meat is hung and aged rather than almost processed right out of the field. Once home all I have to do is clean it up and package it.

Going in light and coming out HEAVY!

All capped out.

Using the gutless method is also very inviting for obvious reasons; there is no need to remove the innards as there is no reason. The way I like to go about doing this is by boning out the animal; removing the meat and leaving the carcass behind. The head and cape will go home with me as well if it is a buck or bull.

Removing the hide

Removing the hide

After walking up to the animal and admiring it and taking the necessary and wanted pictures I always go straight into removing the meat. I start on the side that is facing up and skin the animal on that side only. I make a cut through the hide along the entire length of the animal from the back of its head to the rump. Usually this involves caping the animal out and removing the hide on that side as far up the neck as I can go. (Watch for a future blog about caping) Next I remove the hide all the way back to the hind quarter on that side. I first take the backstrap off of the upper side, debone the hind quarter by following the leg bone with my knife and take all shoulder and neck meat as well. If done right you will have the hind quarter all in one piece. It can be a bit of an art and practice makes perfect! Last thing I do on that side is remove the tenderloin on that side. Once I have that side done I flip the animal over and do the same to the other side, removing the hide and all meat.  Removing the tenderloins can be a bit of an art as well. This is done by making an incision below the spine and pushing the guts away to get to them and carefully filleting them out. Be extra careful not to puncture the stomach as this could cause an unwanted mess! If needed open the bottom side of the hide and skin to allow the guts to escape. This will move them away from the tenderloins.

Flip the animal over and continue with skinning and de-boning

Flip the animal over and continue with skinning and de-boning

The last thing I do is remove the head and cape from the spine. The meat has been laying on my game bags cooling and is now ready to be put in my pack. Each piece of meat is placed in a game bag before being put inside my pack. I will pack everything that I have with me below the meat and then put the meat on top of that with the intent to keep the heaviest load close to my back and in the center. This allows for more comfort while packing out and the load will be distributed evenly. After the meat the head, antlers, and cape are place on top.

Flip the animal over and continue with skinning and de-boning

Flip the animal over and continue with skinning and de-boning

I have found that packing out an animal in this way is far easier than having to drag the entire animal out of your hunting area. Even if I have an animal that is close to an access point I still will incorporate this practice in as to me, it is much easier. Going in light and coming out heavy always leaves a smile on my face!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


My Bow Choice by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

I am often asked what makes me decide which bow is best for me. Ever since I began shooting my first PSE nearly 25 years ago I always looked forward to the next year when the new bows were introduced. It was always like Christmas in October when PSE would introduce the new bows and that hasn’t changed one bit today! I always look forward to what PSE will bring out for new bows and technology. This last October was no different! It has came a long ways since I was shooting my PSE Deer Hunter.

I decided to give the DNA a try and I have finally gotten my hands on my own. I have only shot the DNA at 20 yards in an indoor range so I cannot say for sure how I feel about the bow at longer distances. But when I have shot it, it has felt and shot like a dream bow. Smooth draw, vibe free, and very fast. Accuracy and forgiveness will have to be determined after I get it back. I have stripped my DNA down and sent it off to Hydro-Dip in Utah to have it dipped in the new Kryptek Highlander pattern! Once I have it back in my hands and get it put back together you can expect I will be out there shooting this bow out past 100 yards to determine if it will take the place of my Omen.

DNA fresh out of the box!

DNA fresh out of the box!

Okay, I got a bit sidetracked; back to it….what makes me decide which bow is best for me? I am a spot and stalk hunter as you know if you have been following my blogs. I hunt in the west in open country often and having a bow that is fast and forgiving is what I prefer. There are times when a 70 yard shot may present itself and having a flatter, faster shooting bow can make a huge difference. Granted speed doesn’t kill but it does sure help with these circumstances! Having a faster and flatter shooting bow will make judging yardage not as critical. This also increases my maximum effective shooting range. (Watch for a future blog on Maximum Shooting Range)

Ever since the introduction of the X Force HF in 2007 I was very excited! The speed and shoot-ability of this bow was better than ever in the PSE line. Since then the X Force line has continued with new bows over the years and there is an X Force for every style of archer. The speeds are phenomenal and yes, the shoot ability is top notch!

That brings me into the year 2012. I acquired an Omen Pro, black riser with skullworks limbs and accessories. The thing looks saweet! The black and skullworks combination just pops! I was pulling 74# and shooting a 390 grain arrow around 330 feet per second. I was drilling the bulls-eye out to 120 yards and very confident in my shooting and in the bow! I have never shot another bow as good as I am shooting this bow. The thing is a dream for me to shoot!

Omen Pro

Omen Pro

So that leads me back to the DNA. Will the DNA stack up to my Omen Pro? Time and testing will soon tell and I will keep everybody up to speed on my findings. Granted, what bow shoots best for me and what I prefer will not be the case for others. Each person needs to find the bow that compliments them. The Omen Pro has worked great for me and I look forward to trying out other bows as well. I hope to get my hands on an Omen Max too and I assume that will be just like the Omen Pro with a few refinements that I am sure will shoot just as great!

Another all time favorite bow of mine has been my 2012 Revenge. This thing is short and shoots incredibly well. I used it to hunt turkeys last spring and it will likely let the air out of a few more thunder chickens this spring! I would have to put my Revenge right behind my Omen Pro as far as shoot ability and accuracy. The Omen Pro had the edge over the Revenge as the Revenge just doesn’t have the speed and accuracy of the Omen Pro out to farther distances.

2012 Revenge

2012 Revenge

I will do another blog in the future about the DNA and what I think of it. I am pretty confident that it will be what I like in a bow as it is lighter and that would really help in my backcountry hunts. Saving every bit of weight on these hard to do hunts will help out a great deal. As a backcountry hunter I am always looking to shave weight somewhere. But the biggest question remains. Will I be able to shoot the DNA as well as the Omen? Time will tell and I will share my finding with you in the near future! Watch for a one of a kind DNA coming your way!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Scouting New Hunting Ground from Afar by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

Referencing Google Earth and my map

Referencing Google Earth and my map

When we decide we want to hunt in a new location we preferably like to set foot on the ground, on location, to determine the terrain features and lay of the land. But often times that is not a possibility due to limited time, resources and various logistical constraints. I have been asked numerous times, “How do you scout an area that you have never set foot on before?” “How do you decide on an area to hunt out of state when you are unable to go there yourself?”  These questions have became very common with my most recent hunt where I was able to take down a 400”+ Public Land bull elk in a General Area in a location that is not known for monster bulls! “How did you find this spot to hunt?!”

I first decide on an area to hunt by calling local Wildlife Biologists in the state where I have decided to hunt. I narrow my options down by checking on which states and areas offer a good chance of drawing with at least 2 preference points. I look at past records that I can find about these areas by checking out various talk forums that are geared towards a state by state basis and my species. General tags are also easier to draw than that of a limited tag unit. This means I usually need to find where the public land and general areas are since I do not have a lot of money to throw around to pay access fees or an outfitter/guide.  I am a Do-It-Yourself hunter and have extreme pride in doing my own hunts from start to finish!

Next I start making phone calls to local Wildlife Biologists in the areas that I am interested in. When talking with the local Biologists I ask various questions such as:

1)      Where would you consider the healthiest animals are located this year? (For whichever species you are pursuing)

2)      How have the winters treated the animals in this area and have there been any known diseases lately?

3)      What is the hunting pressure like in this area?

4)      What is the maturity level of the animals in this area?

5)      How is the forage in this area?

6)      What is the terrain like in this area? (most often found out by maps)

7)      Would you hunt this area if you had the option?

If possible, I like to talk to local hunters as well that have firsthand experience about these places. Some ways to go about this is to again visit various talk forums on the internet and put a post on there. Those that are willing to share advice will do so. This can be a huge help as well!  A good title for the post would be, “Looking for advice for Unit 127B in Utah. Help please!” You will find that there are many others out there that like to help others become more successful in their hunting endeavors.

I also like to take a look back at the last year and figure out what the weather was like in the past. What is a dry year, wet year, record harvest year? Etc… Much of this information can be obtained from the Wildlife Biologist that you talk to. This will also help me determine some good areas geographically where there could be a good chance to find an animal of my liking.

Mapping software and maps come in very handy.

Mapping software and maps come in very handy.

When I have this information compiled by writing it down in a notebook, printing off maps, ordering topographic maps and having the Forest Service send me maps; I spread all the information out in a spare bedroom on the bed. This area gives me a chance to lay it all out so I don’t miss anything. I grab my computer and fire up Google Maps and Earth and start studying the lay of the land. I compare the paper maps with that of Google and get a really good understanding of the area I am most interested in. I identify the key terrain features that will likely make animals call it home!

Technology has become a great thing for us to be able to use. I like to find a location that offers everything that my prey needs to survive; everything that my prey needs to feel secure and safe. I go over my information and find areas that look promising. Google Earth allows me to start dissecting that area looking for food, water, shelter, bedding areas, and good travel corridors. When you are using Google Earth you can determine where the feeding areas are simply by looking at open meadows, timber and field edges. Finding water is easy to do as well. Look for low areas that may have plenty of run-off from higher elevations or an area that may have a spring nearby. Wetter areas on Google Earth really stand out by the brighter green shades of foliage. Look for streams or creeks. Look for small ponds; anything that will yield water. Water is essential and almost every animal you will hunt depend on a daily water supply of some sort. Locate bedding areas by looking at a topo map and also Google Earth at the same time. This will help determine potential bedding areas by locating benches, thicker cover, dark timber, rough rugged nasty terrain that pressured animals like to hang out in, etc…Now combine everything; the bedding, feeding, and watering  areas will be connected by travel corridors. When looking at travel areas look for pinch points, saddles, benches, anything that will allow an animal to travel more easily.

Like stated before, I do not have all kinds of money to be able to make long trips to scout before season starts. Being able to use maps and technology really make it possible for me to scout an area without actually being there. Often by the time I step foot on the actual area I know almost as much about the lay of the land as if I would have if I have been there before. Granted, I will not know what is there for animals but if I have done the research right there will be animals there, no doubt! Doing just this allowed me to take a bull of a lifetime in 2012 and quite possibly one of the largest bulls ever taken on Public land in a General area with archery equipment! A DIY bull that will rank high in the MT record books!

This is a very low down and dirty process and a lot more details go into it. For blog purposes you get the point.  Feel free to look for more detailed and future articles and stories at my web site that I am expanding called Trigger Addiction located at http://www.triggeraddiction.com.  What Triggers your Addiction?

Picking out favorable terrain features that will help hold animals

Picking out favorable terrain features that will help hold animals

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Patience by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

It doesn’t matter what you hunt, where you hunt, or how you hunt; there is one thing that you need on every hunt you partake in, in any location at any given time of the year. The one constant that is needed on any hunt is patience. With patience, you are able to stalk or wait on that animal of your choosing without pushing the envelope too far and educating them. Patience will yield you more animals than any other factor that comes into play. I will touch on various types of hunting situations and my three favorite ways to harvest an animal as well as provide an example of how I used patience to turn the situation into a positive outcome.

The Omen Pro getting it done!

The Omen Pro getting it done!

Spot and Stalk:

More animals are missed during spotting than one would think. When you find a good vantage point and you are glassing the terrain and you think that there is nothing there to look at; slow down and go over it again. More often than not I have missed bedded bucks on the first look. I have to remind myself to be patient and go over the terrain again and look for any little thing that might show signs of life. Look for something that doesn’t fit the terrain, look for shadows and look for shady areas that could provide that buck or bull with the shade needed to stay comfortable. I have found that after initially glassing an area, I may find a few animals but by slowing down and taking more time, I often find numerous animals that most often are over looked. One situation in particular comes to mind. I had been glassing for what seemed like an eternity, my eyes were tired, my legs were numb and my butt was sore. I was sure the buck that I was searching didn’t stop in this basin. He had to have moved on. I took a break, ate a snack, drank some water and enjoyed the view from my perch. I took in a few deep breathes, stretched and went back to glassing. I felt revived as I pressed the spotting scope to my eye. A few minutes passed and suddenly I noticed something out of the ordinary; my buck bedded in a location that I had already glassed numerous times! He had been bedded there all along! A simple break was all I needed to regain my concentration and get my patience back in check.

When it comes to stalking an animal, patience isn’t an option; it is a virtue. Stalking pits your skills against that of your prey on their terms. They are very familiar with the terrain in which they live. You must be too. Being patient will make it easier for you to complete that stalk. Impatience will cause you to step on the twig or brush up against that branch that you should have seen. I have found myself numerous times rushing a stalk and have to remind myself to slow down and be patient. By doing this I begin to notice more things that could ruin that stalk. Numerous stalks pop into my head when thinking about this topic. One such stalk I found myself bewildered and lost. I couldn’t figure out where I was in relation to the terrain. I looked back towards my vantage point where I was and realized that everything looked much different now. From over two miles away things sure look different when you get to that location! I pressed on not sure of exactly where I was. Just then I bumped a buck that I didn’t know was there. He jumped up and blew out of the basin taking the big boy with him. I had become impatient and ruined that stalk. I didn’t take the time to do terrain recognition like I should have. I rushed myself. If I would have been patient the outcome may have likely been much different.

Ever since watching that monster cross over the ridge something inside me changed. From then on, I remind myself more constantly to remain calm and keep patient. That was many years ago and patience has rewarded me many more animals since that time. When I know I am rushing things or becoming impatient I will take a knee or sit down, grab some water and say a quick prayer, recheck my position to ensure that I am on track and go about my stalk.

Tactics combined took down this old buck!

Tactics combined took down this old buck!

While sitting in the treestand or in a ground blind, I have seen many people lose concentration and an animal will come along only to bust them because they weren’t paying attention. Yes, I am that guy! Patience comes into play again. It can be hard but keeping an open mind that an animal could come walking along at any time can keep a person going. Knowing that you are so close to either success or defeat and thinking about it can help remind you to stay alert at what is going on around you in any situation. Sitting in an antelope blind can be exhausting to say the least. I am reminded of sitting in a blind at a waterhole in 100+ degree heat or perched in a treestand during the rut all day long in freezing temperatures. In either situation you are almost guaranteed to see an animal! 12 hours in on my 14 hour sit, I finally had a shooter antelope buck come in to quench his thirst and 4 hours in on my 6.5 hour sit I had a mature whitetail sneaking along the trail in search of a hot doe. Both animals are now on my wall! Why? Because I was patient!

Patience is a must in this situation as generally you are on the move with the animal and keeping at least two steps ahead of them and what they are going to do is essential. Anticipating what the next move will be can be difficult at times because animals can be so unpredictable. Paying attention to the habits of animals is important. If you are able to watch the animal of your choice before going in for the kill always helps but is not always possible. Many times while planning how to ambush an animal, I have had to change my plan numerous times to adjust how I was going to kill that critter. The wind can change, animals can change heading, you may run out of cover, you may be hot, tired, and wore out but maintaining patience is vital to success. I am reminded of this last season, twice. Spot and stalk situations turned into ambush situations. Spot and stalk and ambushing are much the same to me but in an ambush you have an animal that is still on the move. I had spotted three whitetails moving from their feeding area to their bedding area; as I stalked closer I realized that they were moving faster than I initially thought. I quickly decided to slip in front of them. After a couple of failed attempts I was hard after it again. This time it paid off as the three bucks passed by around 40 yards. I opted to take the most mature but not the biggest racked buck. My arrow hit its mark from 44 yards! Patience and staying two steps ahead of these bucks made it possible. Another situation this last season was with a mature muley that I had spotted at first light. At 8 am I was moving along a shallow draw towards 14 deer; one of which was the buck I had hoped to pass an arrow through. I did get impatient and a doe spotted me. I had become impatient and was moving too fast. After a long stare down the doe moved her group off to safer pastures. A half a day later I was inching forward on the same group as I had a couple of more times throughout the day. There was very little cover and patience forced me to remain pressed to the ground and moving very slow. I knew it was the last stalk/ambush of the day. I had run out of cover and the deer were moving my way. I had planned for them to move down this low area headed in the direction they had came from that morning. I had 75 yards to crawl to get to the only cover available to conceal me. Once I was there I prepped the area and moved the weeds/grass that I needed to for a shot. Numerous deer, and that doe, finally picked me out when they were at 30 yards. The buck was still pulling up the rear. I remained calm, range finder pressed to my eye, bow in my hand, and patience at bay. The buck came into the opening at 62 yards, I lowered my range finder and hooked my release and pulled my bow back slowly in one motion without spooking the deer. I watched as my arrow ended my 2011 season perfectly! This same type of patience ended my 2012 season much the same as you read in my last week’s blog Post Rut Whitetail! Both of these hunts were made possible by using spot and stalk and ambush scenarios combined.

Patience made this dream come true

Patience made this dream come true

Still hunting has proved very productive for me in my backcountry elk hunt less than a month ago. Getting in the bedroom (bedding area) of whatever animal you are hunting and almost making time stand still between each step you take can be very rewarding but only if you are again, patient! In order for me to still hunt correctly I need plenty of patience and I need to be spot on with my movements. In doing this I like to take no more than three steps at a time and stop, glass what is in front of me, and move on with a few more steps when I am sure there is not an animal within eyesight. I pay particular attention to each step making sure not to step on tree branches, pine cones, dried leaves, or anything that might cause unnecessary noise. The goal here like many other types of hunting is to see that animal before it sees you. Once you spot an animal you can finish up the hunt by closing the distance by spot and stalk or with an ambush situation.

One of the largest general area bulls of all time

One of the largest general area bulls of all time

Regardless of what type of hunting you are doing; spot and stalk, ambush, still hunting, treestand, blind, etc….the list goes on and on. You can often combine a couple of these types of hunting together to fit the scenario and make you more successful in the field. The sky is the limit and patience is key! Patience has its place in each and every hunt. Increase your patience and I guarantee you will increase your success!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.Preview


PSE’s Jared Bloomgren’s 2012 Post Rut Whitetails


Jared Bloomgren

 Laid to Rest

Laid to Rest

In December I was able to concentrate on strictly hunting whitetails in my home state of SD. November was filled with a rifle hunt for muleys where I was able to anchor an outstanding buck with over 20 miles of hiking public land in two days! Although these blogs are geared towards bowhunting and archery I think he is a worthy adversary to show here as well! It would have been a hunt completed with my bow but unfortunately forgot a very important piece to that puzzle as I snuck out of our home very quietly with fear of waking my children at 3 in the morning! Oops!

Now back to bowhunting for whitetail in December during the Post Rut. Most times the bucks are starting to get back to their routine of concentrating on food because of lost body weight and energy due to the November rut. However, the does that were missed in the first breeding cycle will come into estrus again roughly a month after their first cycle. Generally this happens during the middle of December and you can bet the bucks will still be checking for receptive does around this time.

This year in 2012 I was seeing what I had seen in previous years. The deer were starting to calm back down from the rifle season and the onslaught of bow season when most hunters are out. The deer began to move back into public land from the security of private, less pressured land. Figuring out their travel patterns became easier to do. They are back to a solid feeding and bedding area routine unless a doe comes into cycle. Then you may see an occasional buck paired up with that hot doe for a day. Otherwise the bucks will start to join back up in bachelor groups and start to let their guard down once again like in the early season. Although they might not be as relaxed as early season they will become very hunt-able with the bow again. Even those deer that were pressured a great deal during the rifle season will start to chill out! This is a great time to be out there and getting after them!

My preferred way to hunt any animal is by spot and stalk and still hunting. Treestand and ground blind hunting can be very affective too but I like to be able to move when I want and where I need to without having to move a stand or blind. I have found that being mobile really increases my odds of killing the buck that I am looking for. Numerous times in the past I have only watched as the buck I was after passed by a stand that I wasn’t in because I was in the other. The next day I would move to that stand only to watch the buck cruise by the other. Very frustrating! So I got out of my stand and was able to kill that buck by stalking him two days later! My best whitetail to date!

20 Mile Muley

20 Mile Muley

Okay, focus Jared! Back to December 2012! It is hard not to reminisce about past hunts and fun times! So December 2012…..I started to hunt an area where I had seen good bucks in the past. An area that is often overlooked because many wouldn’t think this area holds the deer. At any rate I was in there again with an arrow nocked sneaking through the woods looking for a good buck. After a couple of days of hunting this area I had it narrowed down to 3 bucks nicknamed #1, #2, and #3. #1 was a stud 4×5 with an inside spread of at least 21” and the thickest palmated main beams I have ever seen! #2 was a 4×4 with exceptional mass and tall tines throughout. One brow tine had to be at least 12” and his G2’s had to be a solid 12” as well! #3 was a 6×7 with some really neat character. He was a main frame 5×5 with split brow tines and a kicker off of a G2. A great buck as well! I was hoping to get a chance at any of these bucks!

#1 gave me the slip numerous times and one evening I thought I had him but again gave me the slip. While backing out of the area I came face to face with #2 and I let him walk due to #1 being so fresh in my head! I am thinking that was a mistake! Oh well right!? #3 was showing signs of rutting activity and I passed him as well as I wanted him to breed the doe he was pushing.

Some days I would wait along a known travel corridor for the deer to begin to move. When they did I would usually make my move to position myself better or to close the distance. I am a spot and stalk hunter to the bone and that is how I was getting my chances at these 3 bucks mostly. I was also pairing that with still hunting. It goes something like this…..get the wind in your favor and start moving through known areas where the deer like to frequent. Go slow, very slow, one or two steps and glass into the trees hoping to get a glimpse of a deer. At that time if it was a deer I wanted I would change over to spot and stalk to close the distance. At times it can be frustrating because you may bump a doe and that doe may bump your buck but it is taking a chance. Hunting is the only time I gamble generally!

I may have put too much pressure on the area as the bigger bucks began to not show themselves. I have a sneaking suspicion that they went nocturnal and were onto me. This can happen very easily when these older bucks feel the pressure. I decided to give them a week to relax and went back after it.

My Omen Pro Performed Flawlessly Again!

My Omen Pro Performed Flawlessly Again!

The first morning in after a fresh snow and very chilly night I was able to sneak up a ridge in the darkness and position myself close to a known travel area. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing deer movement. It was #3 and he was pushing a doe again! I got down and belly crawled through the snow and got to a big pine and was able to stand alongside it. When I peeked around the tree he was coming at me with a doe in front of him. She turned and he stopped and rubbed his tarsal glands together at 45 yards. The doe moved off and he stood there broadside long enough for me to get an arrow nocked and move around the tree and come to full draw. Just as I was locking in my 40 yard pin he went back to chasing the doe! Aaaaahhhhhh…..

I quickly decided to kick it into full gear and move ahead of the deer. I knew where they were going to bed and I wanted to be there waiting for him! About an hour later I was creeping along to the edge of an open area where the deer usually move through. I picked out a thick cedar tree and broke a few branches and hid myself the best I could. A short time later I had slick heads moving past me at 10 yards. I could see the buck below about 125 yards away moving my way. The lead doe of 6 finally picked me out. No matter how hard I try I cannot look like a cedar tree! Someday I will figure it out! As they stood there doing their head bob action, stomping their feet and snorting at the odd looking addition to the cedar they finally moved past a little ways and stopped anywhere from 40 to 80 yards and kept looking back in my direction. #3 could see them and he too became cautious but he also had in his head that one of these does was the one he was chasing earlier and he wanted to find her! No complaints by me as he kept closing the distance until he walked right up to a doe that was standing at 41 yards. As soon as he looked away my Omen Pro came to full draw and I settling my 40 yard pin low on his vitals. Drawing back as slow as I could helped keep the does at bay long enough for the shot.

He didn’t even know what hit him. Snow, pine needles and dirt flew through the air as he headed back down the hillside on his death run! The arrow was a great double lung and he slowed to a walk 85 yards later and stopped. He was swaying side to side and I knew he would go down very soon! Then he bolted and was out of sight and in the trees. I quickly found my blood covered arrow and took up the trail in the fresh snow. Gotta love tracking a deer in the snow!

Packing Out My Prize!

Packing Out My Prize!

About 150 yards later I was following his tracks and spatters of blood and his prints became very unsteady in the snow. I knew I was getting close. Just a little ways later there he was piled up, lying motionless. I said a quick prayer and collected my prized posession. #3 was laid to rest! Unfortunately he had broke off both brow tines on one side and I didn’t see this until now. I wondered if he broke them off fighting or rubbing a tree, I will never know. I admired his rack and snapped a few pictures before deboning his meat, caping him out, and packing him into my pack for the hike back to the truck! Another later season whitetail hunt was a success!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Jared Bloomgren The Red Zone


By Jared Bloomgren

The “Red Zone”…..a stage in every stalk that I CRAVE! My bow is checked over one last time for anything that may have went wrong up to this point…..I recheck my position to ensure I am on track….Grab a quick drink and a take a quick stretch….Pack comes off, boots come off or booties are put over my boots, my senses enhance even further and my reaction time quickens all while slowing down. Each movement, each step, and each breathe is thought about with much more thought and concentration. Moving like a wild animal with stealth, concentration and thought out movement is a must!

Often times staying low and slow in very important.

Often times staying low and slow in very important.

The Red Zone can vary on the terrain but for me it is usually the last 150 yards of the stalk. You are now within easy hearing distance of your quarry and often times may be within sight as you move. Picking the best possible route is a must during the final stages of your stalk while you are in the Red Zone.

One of my favorite quotes, one that says it all and doesn’t need to be explained: “Getting close to game undetected and maintaining self control while delivering a well placed shot are the true keys to bowhunting success.” -M.R. James

Sneaky Pete Feet

Sneaky Pete Feet

Now there are a lot of things that need to come into consideration at this time and you need to become more aware of your surroundings. Like stated above, when I decide that I am in the Red Zone I remove my pack and take a quick break, grab some water and remove my boots or put on Sneaky Pete Feet or some other type of booty to help muffle the noise I may make while walking. I take a quick survey to be sure that I am on the right track. One thing I forgot to mention on my last blog is that I input the animal’s likely position into my GPS before I leave my vantage point. That way I can use that as a reference while I move helping me keep on track. I don’t rely on it solely because picking the animal’s position could be off substantially.

Twigs and branches are not your friend in the Red Zone!

Twigs and branches are not your friend in the Red Zone!

Paying attention to each step is a must and vital to achieving the overall end state. It always seems that when you take that one step and you weren’t watching where you place that foot is when you find that noise maker! A twig, pine cone, leaves, etc…you get the picture. Not only must you pay attention to the ground you need to watch for tree branches and brush that may rub against your equipment or gear that would cause noise. Loose rocks can also be a nuisance. Picking a route that avoids anything that can make noise is very important. Another crucial factor is the wind and/or thermals. Have they changed? Are they still steady and in the right direction? I have had to re-plan a stalking route a time or two when I have gotten into the Red Zone because of these variants. Sometimes finishing the final stage of the stalk will require switching up the plan and making adjustments.

Stepping on this pine cone could ruin all your hard work in a hurry.

Stepping on this pine cone could ruin all your hard work in a hurry.

It doesn’t matter if I first spotted the animal from 2 miles away, the final 150 yards usually takes the longest. Slowing the pace 10x’s will help you move more quietly and it will also help calm your nerves. If possible I will try to get a visual on the animal to ensure that it hasn’t moved. There are times when you have to find the animal again as it may have gotten up and moved a bit before re-bedding a short distance away. Generally they won’t move too far away but may change position to get back into shade if it is a warm day. If you cannot locate em’ just keep going with the stalk, nice and slow as if it is still bedded in the same spot. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready.

It doesn’t matter how many stalks that I have done. I always get an adrenaline rush when I finally see that animal. It always requires me to take a quick break to regain composure if at all possible. My senses become even keener and movements slow even more as to not tip that animal off. When I get into position for a shot I make sure that it is a shot that I know will be a good clean kill. I take another deep breath and look at my sticker on back of my arrow rest, “Stay calm and pick a spot.” It helps to make me focus and think about the task at hand.

PSE's Jared's reminder.

PSE’s Jared’s reminder.

Sometimes I have had to wait for the animal to stand in order to get that shot. There are different ways of helping to get that animal up. You could throw a rock or grunt but I have found by trial and error that that isn’t the best way. Patience is always the best option. Patience will yield you far more animals than anything! (watch for a future blog about the importance of PATIENCE) I like to wait the animal out and let it make the call. Eventually it will stand to reposition in the bed or to move to feed. Being ready during that time is a must! By throwing a rock or grunting it will give that animal an idea that something else is in the immediate area and most often they will bust out of their bed. By letting the animal decide when it is ready to stand will have them far more relaxed and allow you more time to take the necessary shot. But be patient! It could take sometimes hours for the animal to stand or it could take seconds! Nothing like gambling!

If you have been following my blogs you now know the proper way to help you become a successful Spot and Stalk hunter. Spot and stalk hunting requires the most patience in my opinion and it really pits your wits against that of your prey. It is the hardest style of hunting and the rewards are far more rewarding in the end! After 25+ years of spotting and stalking I still learn something on every outing; something that I put into my bag of tools to use on a later hunt. Never stop learning and always keep advancing! Keep your mind open to always learning more! GOOD LUCK!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


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