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Table Mountain Outfitters - Top Notch Hunting Guides

by Dustin DeCroo 31. July 2011 16:11
Dustin DeCroo


The late summer of 2010 brought with it all the common anticipation of any upcoming hunting season, but with a few new opportunities.  One of these opportunities was to hunt with and film my friends Justin Zarr and Todd Graf of the Hunting Network.  It was a pronghorn hunt with Table Mountain Outfitters of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It was during this hunt that I was fortunate enough to meet the owners of Table Mountain Outfitters, Scott and Angie Denny. 


Justin and I with his first antelope, taken at Table Mountain Outfitters in 2010.  Click here to watch the video of this hunt!

Fast forward to this Spring 2011.  Knowing I had a fair amount of experience not only hunting out West but also running a camera, Scott and Angie asked if I’d like to film some of their bear hunters at camp in Idaho. The only experience that either one of us had with the other was based on a few conversations at antelope camp eight months prior.  They were taking a chance with a camera man they didn’t know very well and I was committing almost a month of my life to film with people that I barely knew, in a place I had never been.  With that said, it turned out to be an incredible time and allowed me (an outsider) a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a successful outfitting operation. 

When the general hunting population thinks of “bear hunting,” we typically render immediate images of sitting over an afternoon bait waiting for a bear to make its way to a bucket filled with goodies.  At Table Mountain Outfitters, you have the opportunity to sit at bait sites in the afternoons, but the morning hunts are filled with what can be fast paced, adrenaline filled hunts with hound dogs.  As a long time bird hunter, I have an extreme respect for any type of working dog, but I was still slightly hesitant about hunting bears with dogs. 

On the first morning, my uncertainty had evaporated.  There is no possible way I can explain to any reader how incredible and unique this hunt can be.  It really is something you have to experience for yourself to understand and appreciate.  From the hours of care and preparation that the guides put into 22 dogs before and after the hunt, to the sometimes super steep and long hikes in to a tree where the dogs say, “we’ve won,” to the determination of the dogs and the people involved.  All that work and that’s just for one aspect of one part of the hunt.  That doesn’t include the time spent preparing meals for a whole camp full of hungry hunters, setting bear baits, and maintaining an entire camp in the meantime. 


Here's a few of the bear dogs that Scott & Angie use to track down bears in the remote Idaho wilderness.

It was neat to be a “neutral” party with Table Mountain Outfitters, I wasn’t the hunter or the guide and was able to see both the client side and the business side of this industry.    I was able to form my own opinion about everything I encountered.  Somewhere around 15 hunters were in camp while was in Idaho, I interviewed several of these hunters during hunts and after hunts and to my knowledge there wasn’t a single hunter that didn’t leave with a feeling of success in regards to both; their hunt and their overall experience.


Hunter Mike White killed this beautiful black bear with his Mathews Z7. This was Mike's 7th hunt with Table Mountain Outfitters


Teri and her husband Steve traveled from Tampa, Florida to hunt bears with Scott and Angie.

After seeing all the pieces that must fit perfectly together for an operation like this to be successful, I am amazed at and have an incredible amount of respect for Scott and Angie and the team they’ve put together to make Table Mountain Outfitters atop the list for hunting outfitters.  If you’re in the market for a guided hunt of almost any species in the Western United States, give Table Mountain a shot at your business, I would bet you are not disappointed.   You can visit them online at www.tablemountainoutfitters.com


Scott & Angie Denny - owners of Table Mountain Outfitters.  These two work incredibly hard to make sure their hunters have the best chance of success on each and every hunt.  Their hard work is what has made them one of the most popular outfitters in the US today.

   

 

Baiting Wisconsin Black Bears

by Marshall Kaiser 29. July 2011 09:26
Marshall Kaiser

Although this time of year is spent getting ready for whitetails. There are several hunters out their holding a golden ticket or black bear tag.  Ursus Americanus or commonly known as the North American Black Bear are a popular game animal with a lot of archers.  But how much studying of the bear do we do before setting up a bait stand or hiring someone to run their dogs after a suitable bear to harvest.  There are many interesting facts about this particular game animal that I didn’t know before I set in the attempt to arrow one of these prized animals in central Wisconsin.  After 10 years of applying I finally got a bear tag and was able to set up a bait station with game cameras in hopes to take a big bruin with my recurve.

In setting the bait station depending on where you hunt make sure you check out rules and regulations for proper and legal baiting procedures.  In Wisconsin I was not able to use any meat from any animal.  So dohnuts, cookies, frosting and condensed milk was the bait of choice.  I set the bait with 4 foot logs piled in a V shape forcing the bear to come into the bait giving me a quartering away 12 yard shot. The logs would help me determine a quick estimation of the size of the bear.  I placed sand around the bait station (hollowed out log) to measure the pads of the bear that were coming in for their daily bread.  The inner soft pad of a bear that is at least 4 inches in width is generally a 250lb plus black bear. In other words that is a very nice bear especially with archery equipment.

For 2 months I had a very active bait station that was being hit several times a day.  The trail camera photos and videos were proof of this also the empty stump was a great sign.  The stump was approximately 150 lbs, and they would roll it around like it was an empty coffee can.  My research in the bear world was very interesting.  I didn’t realize they have extremely good eye sight.  Some scientists' even feel the black bear can learn visual discrimination faster than chimpanzees and just as fast as a dog.  Their dominance is displayed by the height of their claw marks on trees.  They can reach speeds of 25-30 mph.  Yes that is faster than a human.  Their nose is also a good attribute for the black bear.  I tested this theory by placing one of my old sweatshirts around the tree that I had the logs placed against to form the V.  Within 24 hours the sweatshirt was torn to shreds.  The next day it was gone.  My purpose was to get them use to my scent coming in and out while hunting and freshening the bait.  The second sweatshirt I placed was taken over by a trio of cubs with their mom.  They would visit the bait several times a day carrying my sweatshirt around like it was their nightly blanket.  I witnessed this for several weeks the shirt would be gone for a few days then it would show up again for a day or so and then the cubs would take it back to wherever they came from.  The trio of cubs and their sleek nosed sow gave me lots of entertainment while on stand.

My goal of the hunt was to harvest a boar that was carrying a nice white bib.  Only 25% of black bear in the Midwest will carry a white crescent or bib on their chest.  As luck would have it I would not get a chance to see this bear during shooting hours.  Hopefully in another 5-8 years I will get another chance if he is still around.  Black bear can grow as old as 18 years in the wild.  The current record is 33 years.  The picture below is an Albert record book bear I shot in the spring of 2006.  The bear stood 7’10”, weighed approximately  560lbs, and the skull was over 20 inches in width.

 

 

 

 

Bowhunting.com staff member Jessica Edd is featured in Eastman's Bowhunting Journal!

by Scott Abbott 14. June 2010 02:52
Scott Abbott

Bowhunting.com staff member Jessica Edd has been recognized in the 2010 May-June issue of Eastman's Bowhunting Journal, for a Pope & Young bear taken in Wyoming. The bruin's skull scored 20-7/16 placing it 2nd all time in the state of Wyoming for black bears taken with archery tackle. Congratulations to Jessica on a phenomenal bear and for the recognition from Eastman's.

 

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