Friday, August 1, 2014

Desert Bighorn Sheep Scoring and Field Judging-What does this Ram Score?

What does this Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Score?  How old is he?  How long are his horns on each side?  What are his bases? What is his mass per side?  What is his total mass?  How does his body look compared to other sheep?  Does he have a big head?  Is he a shooter?  How do I know if he is a shooter?  Is he old enough to shoot?  Is he a mature ram?  What makes a mature ram?

These are all questions that I ask myself when I glass up a new ram.  Sheep hunting and in this case Desert Bighorn Sheep hunting is something that gets in your blood and most people that do it one time are hooked on it for life.  This happened to me in 2009 when my good friend Glenn Hall drew a coveted Unit 44B North Arizona Desert Sheep tag.  I dove in head first and have been hooked ever since.  I cannot get enough of these little buggers.  I will attempt to make this post series as educational as possible.  I am still learning lots of things about how to age, field judge, score and hunt these awesome animals.  I wouldn't feel right about it if I didn't thank a particular guy who has helped me learn along the way.  There have been many along the way but this one person gets calls at really odd hours and circumstances.  Greg Koons, of High Desert Outfitters, who is a friend but has been an incredible mentor to me in this sheep hunting quest for knowledge.  Greg has selflessly helped me at every turn.  He has always answered my dumbest questions and has welcomed me into the "sheep fraternity" with opens arms.  This fraternity is sometimes hard to crack into because of number of years on the job and experience.  This is definitely an activity that you have to earn your wings.  I have always appreciated Greg's willingness to share knowledge about an animal he so dearly loves.  Greg to you I say "Thank You". 

The next post I will dive into all of the questions from the first paragraph.  If you know the exact answer to the questions above don't spoil it for those that don't.  Special thanks to my friend Kent Inglett for sharing the above photos.

Prowler Tuna Fishing Video

By Darr Colburn

Here is the video from our 1.5 day fishing trip aboard the Prowler out of Fisherman's Landing in San Diego, California.  We had a great trip and brought home lots of yellowtail and yellow fin tuna.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jackson Hole Wyoming Pics 2

Last night after dinner I went looking for some wildlife to film and photograph.  We saw a bull moose and then a cow and calf moose but it was too dark to film.  I caught up with this nice group of elk that included cows/spikes and calves.  They were really communicating with each other and it never ceases to amaze me how nasally they sound.  I heard many herd talk sounds during this encounter and it was fantastic to hear the different tone and intonation they use.  I really love my new Swarovski 95MM Spotting scope with the Swarovski TLSAPO adapter.  I feel my images are getting better and better as I get more used to the new setup.  The Canon SL1 has proven to be a real champ as well.  The learning curve has been steep for me but it is starting to take shape.  Thanks to Cody at the Outdoorsmans for setting me up with all of my great equipment.  I am completely sold on the Swarovski TLSAPO.  I hope you enjoy the images.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1.5 Day Fishing Trip on the Prowler

By Darr Colburn

I had been watching the fish counts out of the San Diego landings and really wanted to take my boys Parker and Paul on their first tuna fishing trip.  Ted and Gowdy at Phoenix Fishing Supply got my reels filled with new line and got us the hooks and gear necessary to go fishing.  The counts were looking good so we decided to run over and jump on the Prowler out of Fisherman's Landing.  My good friend Bryan Otts joined us for the trip.  We got to the landing around 6pm and got checked in.  We walked over to Mitch's Seafood to grab some dinner and watch the returning boats unload. 
Mitch's Seafood is a great place to eat dinner and watch the boats.

After dinner we loaded our stuff on the Prowler and met captain Buzz and the crew.  Buzz and the crew were super friendly and we had a good feeling about the fishing.  Once the boat was loaded we headed out to get bait and then on to the fishing grounds.  We would be fishing Mexican waters in the morning.  We got all our rods rigged up and listened to suggestions from the crew about the bait (sardines) and how to fish them.  We headed down to try and get some sleep but Bryan and I slept very little the first night.  We started fishing the next morning right at first light.  Buzz had seen a large patty and we pulled up on it.  The boat came alive with hookups and chaos.  "Fresh one" and "I got color" were heard constantly for 30-40 minutes.  Paul was still sleeping but Bryan, Parker and I caught 4-5 yellowtail a piece.  We went back to the patty 4 times and ended up putting around 100 yellowtail on the boat the first hour of fishing!

Paul woke up just in time for the next patty stop.  The boat came alive again as yellowtail started coming over the rail.  The captain started telling everyone to release the yellowtails since we were at our limit.  We did pick up a few yellow fin tuna as well on the stop.  Paul landed 4 yellowtail and one yellow fin at that stop.  Parker and Bryan also hung several more fish.  One hour into the trip the boat had limits of yellowtail!  Captain Buzz started searching for tuna and we had a couple of really good stops for yellow fin.  We trolled and stopped all day picking up a fish here and there.  We got on a couple more decent bites in the evening and picked up several more yellow fin tuna.  The boat total for the day was somewhere around 150 yellowtail (limits), 103 yellow fin and 3 dorado for the 24 anglers on board.  We released lots of other yellowtail that were not counted in the totals.  All the people on the boat were very friendly and the captain and crew bent over backwards for us.  The crew really went above and beyond to help my boys catch fish.  This was one of the best off shore fishing trips I have been on.  We will definitely be getting back on the Prowler for another trip.  Once we got home the work began packaging the 29 fish we brought home. 
Paul with a yellow tail.

Bryan Otts with a nice sunset yellow fin tuna.
Parker with a nice yellow fin tuna.
The smile on Paul's face says it all!
Colburn boys with a yellow fin double.
Paul fighting a yellow fin tuna that would be just ounces away from being the jackpot fish.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Jackson Hole Wyoming Pics 1

We made the voyage up to Wyoming and it was a great drive from Colorado.  I was able to get out and get a few quick photos of some wildlife.  The grandeur of the Grand Tetons amaze me every time I see them.  My friend, Eric and I floated a section of the Snake River today and had a bunch of small beautiful Snake River cutthroat come up to the big attractor dry fly.  Our God is an awesome God!

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