- Category: Scouting and Hunting With Trail Cameras
- Created on Sunday, 19 June 2016 17:24
- Written by The DIY Hunter
My youngest hunting bud KB along for the hike and helping me by taking photos and video.
Climbing a steeper grade with a 50 lb mineral block and around 70+ pounds of gear.
Hiking past a Browning Strike Force Trail camera.
The big Black Bear that I get on occasion on my trail cameras. Notice his size compared to me in the photo just above this photo.
Exactly one month ago I checked my cameras that I had left out for the winter and took in more. I also was testing a fatter tire system on the Pack Wheel. On this trip up the mountain I wanted to test the fatty tire a little more.
KB was my helper for this trip on the mountain. He was excited to be out on the mountain with dad. We also had to take his Micro Midas BL-22 just in case we came across a coyote. He wants to shoot one really bad. It's pretty cute. He has visions of getting rich off the $50 bounty the state of Utah has on them to help with the deer herd. I like his inthusasium. He has over the years realized that getting a coyote isn't as easy as it looks on the hunting videos.
On this trip in a picked up a little larger mineral block that weighs in at 50 lbs. I used the Pack Wheel to haul in this block another trail camera, 80 AA rechargeable batteries, 3 liters of Powerade, a gallon zip lock baggie full of granular B&J mineral lick, and a shovel. I didn't weigh it but I can safely say it was over 70 pounds of added weight to the Pack Wheel.
Like I have said in the past I have clearly found that minerals don't bring in the critters. They just help me get photos of the critters that are already there. I was very surprised thinking that I might have more elk and larger deer show up. This just hasn't been the case. I have yet to even get a four point buck on camera at the location I like to put out the mineral, and that's in over three years of putting the mineral out and having cameras watching it. I also still get very few elk at all on the two cameras I have by the mineral drop area. Now if an elk or deer is at the mineral drop location they will stick around for a bit to get a lick of the mineral but by far minerals are no magic attractant.
A secondary reason for hauling in the mineral blocks is that it provides me a great way to test the Pack Wheel during the summer and provide Pack Wheel upper body exercise. There is no way I would be hauling in 50 lb blocks of mineral on my back without the Pack Wheel as it easily as it greatly helps.
Like last time out I am testing a few new things with the Pack Wheel, primarily the fatter wheel and tire. While I have found that a fatter tire and wheel to be considerably more expensive to build I haven't found it to be earth shatteringly better than the fat 2.35 wide tires currently offered on the 26/29er builds. Don't get me wrong, the fatter tire is nice and works well. I just wouldn't run out and upgrade my current wheel to this one on my Pack Wheel. If I was shopping for a Pack Wheel I think the fatter tire option is something to consider.
It was nice having KB along with me on this trip. I like spending one on one time with my kids. KB was great at taking photos and video of me testing the Pack Wheel on the trip in. He was a trooper and we both got in some great exercise not returning home until around 11pm. Oops, momma wasn't too happy as KB had camp Kiesel to go to early in the morning the next day.
On the way in we notice a lot of bear sign. My second camera had been turned upside down and had chew marks in it. A bear had messed with it just hours after I put it out a full month ago. no images from that camera.
At my third camera there was mud wiped across the camera. Yep, the footage shows another bear. And at this camera I also got a couple good photos of the large Black Bear I have seen before up there on my trail cameras.
Approaching the fourth camera along my route an ant bed had recently been ripped up with a log being pulled out of the ground. this was just to the side of the camera. You can see a little of the bear's back in the video that was captured of the bear raiding the ant mound.
I like getting the bears on camera I just wish they would leave my cameras alone. I'm pretty sure their noses are able to track down the cameras so easily.
I've been having a little sluggish #moosemonday today. The weekend wasn't long enough to get nearly enough accomplished. #diyhntr #browningtrailcams #trailcameras #outdoorlife #outdoors #hunting #getoutdoors #getoutside #browning #moose #wildlife #trailcameras #trailcam #trailcamera @browningtrailcams
How about #moosemonday with this little guy at the watering hole. @diyhntr packs in a shovel almost every trip to dig out this spring to form a little pool of water. It's amazing how doing this attracts the critters to the pool so they can get their picture taken. #packwheel #wildlife #mountainlife #getoutdoors #getoutside #outdoorlife #outdoors #wildlifephotography #moose #trailcam #trailcamera #browning #browningtrailcameras #browningtrailcams #trailcameras #trailcam #trailcams
We often hear comments like "the Pack Wheel looks like it will only go on good trails." In actuality we take Pack Wheels all over the place off trail. Here's an example from out checking trail cameras where we are climbing up the mountain using game trails with around 70 pounds of gear, which included a 50 lb mineral block. Because we don't always travel on well groomed trails we like to really beef up our custom built wheels to handle the punishment of rocks and limbs. #packwheel #backpacking #backcountry #hikingtrail #hikinggear #hiking #mountainlife #huntutah #utahhunting #gamecarts #outdoorlife #outdoors #hunting #getoutdoors #getoutside #kneesaver #trailcameras #trailcam #trailcamera #
Traveling overgrown game trails checking trail cameras with 70 pounds of gear. Our new gear panniers and our meat panniers are designed to go through brush like this and stay securely in place. #packwheel #getoutdoors #getoutside #trailcameras #trailcam #trailcamera #browning #browningtrailcameras #outdoorlife #outdoors #hunting #kneesaver #huntutah #utahhunting #gamecarts #hikingcart #hikinggear #hiking #hikeutah
Here's the not so great footage of the black bear that took out the ant bed to the side of my trail camera. A couple photos before this post you can see how I found the location of my camera. #blackbear @browningtrailcams #diyhntr #browningtrailcameras #browning #browningcams #browningtrailcams #trailcameras #trailcam #trailcamera
Two young bull elk that have stopped by the mineral block a couple times in the pat month. The only elk to come into the minerals.
A bull moose getting a selfie on a Browning Strike Force trail camera.
One of the young bulls that is frequenting the area.
The smaller of the two bears that are in the area. This bear is the one that has been getting my cameras. Including this camera just after this photo was taken.
The big Black Bear. This guy is a pig.
- Category: Scouting and Hunting With Trail Cameras
- Created on Sunday, 22 May 2016 17:24
- Written by The DIY Hunter
Hiking up the mountain hauling in a mineral block, trail cameras and a shovel to dig out the wallow.
It was still a little muddy going up the mountain in May.
Testing a fatty tire on the Pack Wheel.
November 7th of last year I made my final trip up the mountain to check my trail cameras. It was a fun last trip up the mountain were I ran into two different sets of fresh bear tracks. I even got some nice footage of a large black bear that had been by my camera just a couple hours earlier.
On my last trip up the mountain last November I left three of my older Browning trail cameras out setup to take images. I have been excited to see what those cameras captured in over six months since I put them out.
With the rain we have been getting almost every weekend all spring long it has taken some time before I had a chance to get back up the mountain. When that mountain gets wet it turns into a greasy, slimy, mess making vehicular travel a little fun to say the least.
In the location of one of my trail cameras I have been placing mineral blocks out for a couple years. The blocks do a decent job of keeping critters around long enough to take their photo but haven't done anything to really attract any more elk. In fact I almost believe that I use to get more elk on trail cameras in the years proceeding having the mineral block in the area. I have a few trail cameras in this area and elk that do come by some of my cameras rarely go the additional two hundred yards around the canyon to where the mineral block is. But if elk do come by the mineral block they'll give it a lick and get their picture taken. At least this is what I have found in this area. Minerals just aren't attracting animals but they do help with getting photos.
On this trip up I wanted to take in a new mineral block. I also had six more trail cameras, plenty of batteries to replace in the three cameras I had left out and a shovel to dig out the wallows. Of course I always carry my normal gear like a hand saw, snacks, knives, space blanket, BDM pistol, and head lamps etc. Anytime I go up on the mountain I like to go prepared so that I can safely spend the night should something happen to me.
To help with hauling in the forty four pound mineral blocks I like to use my Pack Wheel. On this trip I strapped down an Alps Outdoorz Commander frame pack to the top of the Pack Wheel and then placed the mineral block, trail cameras, batteries and shovel on top of this platform that the Commander frame pack provided.
For those of you who follow my blog and know me, I have worked on designing the Pack Wheel hiking/game cart for years now. It started with me looking for a system to haul bone out elk off the mountain by myself on my solo DIY archery elk hunts. 2007's archery elk hunt was the tuning point that got me really working on the concept. With all the years I have worked on perfecting the system I am always looking at testing something new. I may not be the fastest at testing everything that I have in my head to try but I do like to thoroughly test and look at options that may be helpful to the Pack Wheel. I take the Pack Wheel into some of the craziest places to see how it performs. I want to know everything I possibly can about how, where and what a Pack Wheel is capable of.
One of the things I am testing this year is a fatter tire and rim. So, on this trip up the mountain I am testing a new tire/rim combo in real world environments. The fat tire preformed well, was it earth shatteringly better than the current tires and wheel offered for the Pack Wheel, No. I will be testing it further this summer and during the hunting seasons this fall. Some of my initial thoughts are. It does offer the ability to run tire pressures at just 15 psi in a tubeless setup. This low tire pressure should soften the "ride" over obstacles. Did I notice this on this trip, hmm... slightly. The 2.35 inch tires on the 26/29 builds we offer I am able to run around 23 psi and feel just about as good.
On this fatter tire I am going with a really lightweight build. One of my requirements with all of my Pack Wheels is to keep them as light as possible and as strong as possible. The fatter tire/rim I am testing weighs in slightly lower in weight than our 29er builds. So why do I not just offer this fat wheel? Well I probably will... My dealer pricing for the components of the fatter build is $97 more. The rim is also not as strong as our other rims. Also, the rims are only available with 32 spokes instead of the stronger 36 spokes that I like to use. To compensate for only having 32 spokes I am running the strongest downhill jumping spokes I can find. Is it strong enough for my demands? Probably. Is it stronger than the 26/29 wheels we build? No. Is it worth the extra cost? Hmm...
Because I am taking Pack Wheels in areas that are not groomed biking trails, I am really insistent that the wheels be very strong. A Pack Wheel doesn't get the stresses like riding and jumping a mountain bike but a Pack Wheel has other stresses from the rough terrain it may be going through. Going on game trails and off trail the wheel and spoke may encounter sticks and rocks that may take out the spokes. Having more spokes helps insure that the wheel is still strong enough to get you back off the mountain should a spoke gets broken on a rock etc.
I'll be testing the fat wheel more and may offer this option in the future. If you are interested in a fatter option for your Pack Wheel drop me a line from the contact page on the Pack Wheel website.
On my trip up the mountain this time I didn't see any bear tracks. There were a few elk and deer tracks. I did see four deer with one being a young buck just starting to grow his first antlers.
It was nice to get back out on the mountain. I wish I could just live there. Sometimes I wish I was a mountain man, born 200+ years ago...
Now it's time to go through what the cameras captured during the winter. It's like Christmas every time. I love it. Trail cam pics below!
Nice Bull Moose that came past one of my Browning Trail Cameras in December.
Some cow elk getting their photo taken.
Here's a fun coyote pic that was captured this winter.
The snow was deep enough that this squirrel is right at the level of the camera.
A mountain lion passed by one of the cameras in a snow storm this winter.
A couple real young bull elk showing up in May.
The snow is starting to get deep.
A young bull elk passing the wallow in May.
Young bull moose at the wallow in winter.
- Category: Scouting and Hunting With Trail Cameras
- Created on Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:45
- Written by The DIY Hunter
Landen giving me a crazy look while we were out checking trail cameras.
One of the Cottontail Rabbits we saw on our trip up the mountian.
Here's a selfie of Landen and me during our hike to check the trail cameras.
Who says it's hard to find four leaf clovers?
Back out in August to check the trail cameras. This time with my son Landen.
At our first camera we found the handy work of a black bear. The homemade NiMh external battery pack was destroyed with batteries on the ground and the camera was ripped from the tree. I'm going to get more of Browning's full metal security boxes to place the cameras in where I have problems with bears.
Upon checking the cameras there was once again far more bears on cameras than elk. Where have the elk gone? :(
Landen and I had a nice hike. It was great to get some one on one time with him. He's a fun kid. He liked to make funny faces every time I'd pull out the camera. He was a trooper and hiked all over the place with me looking for different possible locations for placing trail cameras.
We were hoping to find a bunch of elk on the cameras but alas they just are still a little far and few this year. There is a lot of feed on the mountain this summer so apparently the elk just haven't felt the need to frequent this area very much.
Unfortunately from a hunting perspective I can't just move and hunt where the elk are as most of the mountain is locked up in a CWMU so I have to try and catch the "scraps" that might fall from the table, so to speak. This spot requires that the elk come to me because it is backed in so close to the CWMU. I really don't have much of an option other than to hope they come out of the iron curtain.
We have been seeing a lot more cottontail rabbits this year and this trip out was no exception. We were able to get one to pause long enough to snap a few pics of the critter.
I let Landen take the wheel of my old Montero for the trip back down the mountain. He did a wonderful job especially for his first time driving and only being eleven years old, although he is 5'10" and 175 lbs. Good job Landen!
- Bears and More Bears on Trail Camera
- Checking Trail Cameras - Using a Motorized Pack Wheel
- Motorized Pack Wheel - Hauling Trail Cameras and Mineral Blocks
- Stolen Browning Trail Cameras - DIYHNTR03 and DIYHNTR21
- Full HD Trail Camera - Browning's New Recon Force (BTC-7FHD)
- DIY 12V NiMh Rechargeable Trail Camera Battery Pack