T.R. Michels'

Trinity Mountain Outdoors Magazine


News, Articles and Information for the Serious Outdoorsman


Updated 7/30/2006



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There will be new articles on the following pages the first week of every month; so check back regularly. The older articles will remain on the pages for 2-3 months.

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Wild Game Recipes




The Truth about Activated Carbon (right after "Magazine Introduction" in this column)

Deer Standology

Horsemanship on the Hunt (top of this column)

Do activated-carbon garments really work?

When is Peak Gobbling in Your area?

Peak Turkey Gobbling Dates

When is Peak Rut in Your Area? Whitetail Rut Dates Chart

When is Peak Bugling in Your Area? Peak Elk Bugling Dates


Magazine Introduction

 In my personal efforts to better understand white-tailed deer, turkeys, elk, ducks and geese I have spent a lot of time over the last 11 years reading the research papers of several top wild game biologists/researchers. I have also spent 10 years researching whitetails, 4 years researching turkeys, 2 years researching ducks and geese, and 3 years researching elk; to find out how the animals act during their breeding seasons and hunting seasons, and reacted to the current weather conditions and lunar factors so that I could be prepared to predict when and where to find the animals on any given day, and use the best hunting techniques to hunt them, based on what I had learned through my research and my personal experience as a professional guide and outfitter for the last 14 years.

In this publication I will try to use what I have learned over the years to help you better understand the Biology &Behavior of the animals; and hopefully teach you some new Hunting Tips. To read about any of these topics click on the appropriate line below.

If you have questions feel free to e-mail me: TRMichels@Yahoo.com; or click on 'Talk Forums / Message Board" in the left-hand column.

Good hunting,



Activated Carbon Suits

Do they work? Have hunters and the hunting industry been


By T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Outdoors

Over the last few years several questions have arisen as to whether or not activated carbon clothing suits work as advertised to keep hunters from being detected by deer (that might smell the odors given off by humans or any unnatural odors associated with the humans while they are hunting). The questions asked include: Is there enough activated carbon in the scent-elimination suits for them to work as the manufacturers claim? How long will activated carbon continue to work? Can the suits be re-activated as the manufacturers claim they can be? Are activated carbon suits adversely affected by humidity?

Activated carbon is used as a filter medium because it has an affinity to "volatile organic compounds". When humans perspire they emit volatile organic compounds and other chemicals, such as hydrogen sulfides, which can be trapped by activated carbon. The manufacturers of activated carbon scent-control suits claim their clothing works because the activated carbon (which is glued to or impregnated into the fabric of the clothing) blocks the release of human odors, or "traps" the odors by a chemical bonding process called "adsorption".

Adsorption occurs when activated carbon grabs and holds other compounds, including gases, scents and odors, at the molecular level. The amount of odor that an activated carbon filter medium holds is determined both by the amount of activated carbon in the entire medium and by how thick the layer of activated carbon on the fabric is. In the case of a scent-elimination suit, the carbon layer is very thin, which means there is very little activated carbon in the suit. In fact, the scent elimination suits are so thin that they hold relatively small amounts of activated carbon, and the activated carbon is so widely spaced in some suits that the suits allow air and odors to go through the suit without coming into contact with and being trapped by the small amounts of carbon in the suit.

One of the problems with trapping odors by adsorption is that adsorption continuously occurs, unless the activated carbon is kept in an airtight unscented bag from the moment it is first activated. Since activated carbon will eventually become full of odors, it cannot work any great length of time. If activated carbon clothing is not put into a sealed bag the moment it is activated, and kept that way until it is used for hunting, it will have adsorbed numerous odors. Depending on how thick the layer of activated carbon is in the suit, it may not work to stop human odors the very first time it is used.

In an attempt to bring some legitimacy to their products, the manufacturers of scent-control clothing have acknowledged this to some extent. Many manufacturers recommend that the clothing should be immediately washed, and then "re-activated" by placing the suits in a clothes dryer as soon as they are purchased.

Do activated carbon suits work as claimed?

When the laboratory at Purification Process was asked to test a popular activated carbon scent-control suit they found there wasn't enough in the suit to even test. In a test with search dogs, by JA Shivik, Ph.D., forty-two people were hidden from Colorado search and rescue dogs. Twenty-one of the people wore activated carbon suits; twenty-one did not. The dogs found all twenty-one people who didn't wear activated carbon suits, and twenty of the people who wore activated carbon suits. There was no noticeable difference in the time it took the dogs to find the humans. It took the dogs 2.7 minutes to detect the humans who were not wearing activated carbon, and 3.4 minutes to find the humans who were wearing activated carbon suits.

Shivik's report states, "That the dogs detected humans wearing the suit indicates that the system failed to prevent detection of human odors." Since deer have a sense of smell equal to if not better than dogs, it is safe to assume that deer would have detected the humans too. The report adds, "The suits are probably not worth the cost to researchers or managers who want to approach canids undetected." They probably aren't worth $150 to $300 to hunters either, if they can't keep deer from detecting the hunters.

The military also uses activated carbon clothing, commonly referred to as Chemical Warfare Suits, but they are limited-use, disposable garments, not intended for multiple use, because, according to the paper The War Next Time: Countering Rogue States and Terrorists Armed with Chemical and Biological Weapons, the new JS-LIST suits worn by the armed services "provide 45 days of wear versus 22 days for the BDOs." These chemical warfare suits have several times more activated carbon in them than the suits currently being offered for hunting purposes; and they only last for 45 days! This document can be viewed on-line at: this address.

An interesting comment in the document states, "In addition they can be washed up to six times without losing protective qualities." This suggests that clothing made with activated carbon becomes less effective every time it is washed. It also suggests that after six washings, the Chemical Warfare Suits, which are made to US Government specifications, and have more activated carbon in them than the activated carbon suits worn by hunters, are ineffective after six washings! And yet, the loss of activated carbon due to washing, and the eventual ineffectiveness of the suits due to washing, is not clearly stated by the manufacturers of the activated carbon scent-elimination suits in any of their literature, or on their web sites. Note the reference to heavy perspiration in the following article, which will be talked about later.

In 2005, the Scent Lok web site at stated:

(begin quote)

"When and how to wash: During warm weather when only a T-shirt is being worn as an undergarment and heavy perspiration is occurring, it is advised to wash your suit periodically. During cool weather when heavier undergarments or layers are worn, there is no need to wash the suit. Washing does not have anything to do with reactivation, but does get rid of unwanted body oils (caused by perspiration), blood, and dirt. Washing a Scent-Lok suit can be done 1-4 times per season without fear of losing carbon from the suit. The permanent ClimaFlex treatment, that is on all Scent-Lok branded suits made during and after 2001, aids in the extraction of unwanted body oils in high perspiration areas when washed. Use only non-scented liquid clothes wash or preferably carbon wash. Once a garment is washed per label instructions it should be put in the dryer on a no heat setting until dry. Once the garment is dry, follow the reactivation instructions. ClimaFlex treatment is also a wicking agent, which adds to the overall comfort of the suit during warm weather."

(end quote) Note: This article has since been removed from the web site.

The comments in the US Government document mentioned above suggest that it is likely that the actions of both household washers and dryers may result in the loss of some of the activated carbon in the scent-elimination clothing worn by hunters.

Can Activated Carbon suits be re-charged as manufacturers claim?

Scent-Lok, one of the largest producers and the only licensor of activated carbon suits, states that their suits can be re-charged by placing them in the clothes dryer for 20 to 30 minutes to re-activate the carbon. On their web site in 2005 they also stated that heat from a clothes dryer causes "Brownian molecular motion" causes the scent to move very fast, which breaks the molecules free from the activated carbon particles, which supposedly re-activates the suits.

In 2005 the Scent Lok web site stated:

(begin quote)

"How are odors released?

It is common knowledge that heat makes molecules move more rapidly. Reactivation is only obtained by using a clothes dryer. Reactivation is achieved by placing the suit in a dryer for twenty to thirty minutes on a medium to high heat setting or according to the label instructions. The heat from the clothes dryer creates what is scientifically known as Brownian molecular motion, which causes the scent molecules to move rapidly. This movement breaks the molecules free from the surfaces of the activated carbon particles and interior pores of the carbon, and allows them to eventually exit out of the dryer vent."

(end quote) Note: This article has since been removed from the site.

In order to re-activate activated carbon a process referred to as "Pyrolysis" is used. To completely re-activate an activated carbon suit saturated with human perspiration it has to be heated to about 800 C; or 1472 °F. And it would have to be done in a controlled atmosphere with low oxygen concentration to reduce the possibility of combustion. This is clearly stated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Engineering and Design, Adsorption Design Guide, Design Guide No. DG1110-1-2, which can be viewed on the internet. At 500 degrees F the suit will be nothing but carbon. Even if desorbtion was possible most household clothes dryers do not reach temperatures over 200°F, which is not high enough to release the trapped odors in the scent-elimination suits. It is highly unlikely that activated carbon suits for hunting use can be recharged, with the result that the suits will eventually become full of odors, to the point where the charcoal will no longer trap odors.

In defense of their statements that their suits can be re-activated Scent Lok maintains that the word "reactivation" is a loosely used term. In reality "reactivation", as it applies to activated carbon, means that the adsorption capability of the carbon has been totally and completely re-activated. They have stated that the garments aren't "totally reactivated" after they are first washed and put in the dryer, but that they are partially "regenerated" or "desorbed". Supposedly this partial regeneration is enough to allow the clothing to again adsorb more odors.

While some desorption can occur when activated carbon is exposed to temperatures lower than 750 to 1500 degrees F, there is a point when the temperature is too low to desorb activated carbon. A Virginia Technical University study shows that activated carbon can be partially desorbed between temperatures of 100 to 649 degrees Celsius. One hundred degrees Celsius is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the extreme low temperature during which "partial desorption" of odors and gases may occur. However, as stated above, most household clothes dryers produce less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit; which suggests that the activated carbon suits sold to hunters cannot even be "partially regenerated or desorbed". (The above-cited study is study was originally available on the Internet by logging on to this page.

The use of the term Brownian molecular motion on the Scent-Lok web site is also inaccurate. The use of this scientific term seems to add some credibility to the claims about activated carbon. There is no reference to Brownian "molecular" motion, because Brownian motion does not involve molecules, but rather small particles.

This web site states, "Brownian motion (or Brownian movement) can be defined as 'the random movement of microscopic particles suspended in a fluid. " Brownian motion has nothing to do with the re-activation or de-adsorbtion of activated carbon, because the term is only used only in reference to "particles suspended in a fluid," not to the motion or activity of gaseous odor molecules released by activated carbon that is subjected to heat in a clothes dryer.

Are activated carbon suits adversely affected by humidity?

One of the statements on the Scent Lok web site in 2005 mentioned "heavy perspiration", which may occur as a hunter walks to their hunting site, and may result in high humidity between the hunter's skin and the suit for several hours after the hunter stops walking. The Army Corps of Engineers document cited above also states: "Relative humidity above 50 percent may result in adsorbed and condensed water vapor blocking the pores of the particles and interfering with the diffusion of the contaminants to the adsorption pores."

What this means is that if a hunter wears activated carbon clothing while hunting, when the relative humidity conditions are above 50 percent, or if he sweats, the suit won't work. No matter what the relative humidity conditions are outside, activated carbon clothing may not work, because the act of walking alone will cause the human body to sweat, resulting in a relative humidity of 50 percent or more between the body and the suit. By the time the hunter arrives at their hunting site the activated carbon in the suit will be saturated with moisture, and it will be useless. Hunters can find this government document on the Internet, and so can the manufacturers of activated carbon clothing. But, neither it, nor the information in it, is mentioned by any of the activated carbon clothing manufacturers in their advertising, nor is it mentioned on their web sites.

Conclusion: If there is not enough activated carbon in the suits to trap human odors; if the suits used for Chemical Warfare lose effectiveness after six washings and are effective for a maximum of 45 days; if activated carbon scent-elimination suits do not keep dogs from detecting humans; if the effectiveness of activated carbon is affected by humidity above 50 percent; then it is unlikely that scent-elimination suits using activated carbon can work to keep hunters from being detected by deer during hunting situations, especially if the clothing is worn more than 45 days, or washed more than six times. Many hunters use their suits more than 45 days in a year, and wash it more than six times in a year, which means they will probably have to buy a new suit every one to two years.

Do hunters have other options?

Fortunately for hunters there are other types of clothing designed to reduce or eliminate human odors on the market. No-Trace and Eliminator use cyclodextrene (the same active ingredient used in some popular new air fresheners) to trap human odors. The manufacturers claim that placing their clothinr in a washing machine with unscented hunter's detergent can recharge their clothing.

Does anti-bacterial or anti-microbial type clothing work?

Hunters can also use anti-bacterial type suits work for the reduction or elimination of odors caused by bacteria when used for hunting purposes. These suits include Contain, which uses anti-bacterial ingredients in the fibers of the fabric of the clothing, and X Scent, which uses silver threads in the fabric of the clothing. Both products reduce or kill the bacteria or microbes that produce the odors associated with human perspiration, thus they reduce the amount of human odors that might be detected by deer and other big game animals.

Licensing Agreements

In the early 1990's Scent-Lok applied for and received a patent on the use of activated carbon for several different applications and/or articles of clothing used in conjunction with the control, reduction or elimination of scents, including human related or human produced odors, while hunting. Since the granting of that patent Scent-Lok has done what any company holding a patent does; they have aggressively protected the patent, warning several companies not to produce clothing meant to control, reduce or eliminate unwanted odors while hunting, whether the clothing contained activated carbon or not.

Is the Scent-Lok patent valid?

Recently some questions have arisen as to whether or not the Scent-Lok Patent is valid. On May 11, 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office mailed a document to Scent-Lok, notifying them that "Claims 1-10" of their patent were temporarily "subject to reexamination" and were temporarily "rejected". According to the document, Scent-Lok had until July 11, 2005 to respond to this document. Failure by Scent-Lok to respond "will result in termination of the process and issuance of an ex parte reexamination certificate in accordance with this action." The document cites "Popper" and "Floyd" as previous patent holders and may imply that Claims 1-10 of the Scent-Lok patent are invalid, because either Popper or Floyd covers the claims under previous use. Previous use of those claims would invalidate the portion of the Scent-Lok patent making those same claims. The Patent Office document states, "The clothing of Popper is capable of being used to avoid detection of wildlife through the senses of smell as the clothing in its normal use is worn on the body." This seems to suggest that several of the claims in the Scent-Lok patent were already patented in the Popper patent.

The document further states, "The nonstatutory double patenting rejection is based on a judicially created doctrine grounded in public policy (a policy reflected in statute) so as to prevent the unjustified or improper timewise extension of the 'right to exclude' granted by a patent and to prevent possible harassment by multiple assignees." As of June 2006 the Patent claims 1-10 of the originally applied for Scent Lok patent on activated carbon suits used for the purpose of eliminating human scent or odors hunting have been rejected. However, Scent Lok has resubmitted a claim for a new or revised patent, using different terms, but still using the same general ideas.  


The Rites of Passage

By T.R. Michels

When you hit fifty you realize that life is catching up with you. You begin to wonder if you can still make it anymore. How many more days will you be able to get up at 3 AM? How many more mornings will you spend in anticipation, waiting for the sound of a tom turkey echoing down the canyon, or the bugle of a bull elk on the next mountain. How many more evenings will you wait for a bear or a whitetail buck to appear out of the woods? How many more mornings will there be spent listening to the sounds of the forest awakening around you; the small stirrings as the woods come to life; the tapping of a Downy Woodpecker in the oak, looking for it's first meal of the day; the questioning call of a Chickadee, the scolding of a Blue or Steller's Jay; the call of a Cardinal and a squirrel rustling leaves or throwing pine cones down from the top a spruce tree.

You begin to wonder how long the hearing will hold out. How long will the eyes that have served you so well still be able to pick out the flick of a deer's ear in the dim light of a fall morning? How long will you still be able to see an elk at the forest edge a mile away, or a pronghorn, scarcely visible on the prairie?

Then one day something wonderful happens, you have a new set of eyes and ears, a new appreciation of everything around you. You have a new hunting partner. He doesn't have the experience you have, or the memories you have, but he stirs the old memories in you, a hunting partner like so many hunters before you have had. Not a friend or a dog but something much more wonderful, a son or daughter.

When my son Dallas turned five he went on his first goose hunt. The geese didn't fly that day but he had fun playing in the "tunnel" between the cornrows. Just like I did when I was his age. To me a cornfield is a place to hunt pheasants. Or to hunt geese after it has been picked. To him it is a fort where uncertain heroes and villains reside.

We set out a hundred decoys in family groups and faced them into the wind. He asked about the worn Remington 1148 I was using and wondered when he could have his own goose call. I gave him one of my old calls. The sky was clear, the wind didn't blow and we didn't even see a goose. Still he had fun in his fort. I was hoping to shoot a goose so he could experience the thrill of the hunt, so he would understand one of the reasons we were there.

The next hunt was for ducks. Before the hunt he helped me check the decoys for broken cords and lost weights, and we patched a few holes He made me promise to wake him up early for hunting the next morning. He helped pull the canoe through the jungle of cattails on the way to the slough. He dug excitedly into the decoy bag as I threw the blocks into the water and he laughed when the young lab jumped overboard and got tangled in the decoys.

He was proud of his new camouflage outfit, an old Hodgeman raincoat with sleeves rolled up and pockets that reached to his knees. He felt pretty important when told he was in charge of the dog so t wouldn't jump back in the water and mess up the decoys. Again nothing flew and nothing was shot. He got a little more impatient this time, asking the age-old question, "Is it time to go home yet?" and "When are you going to shoot something?" That was the extent of his hunting the first year.

The next year I took him with on the first day of day of the goose season. I had sixteen hunters going out with three guides. He played with the Labradors, set out the decoys (reminding me to face the into the wind) and he made some new friends. By this time he had learned to use his goose call and he helped bring in the first flock of geese to the decoys. As the geese swung low there was a pounding of guns and he watched in amazement as they fell. "Dad, they dropped right out of the sky!" he said.

I watched as he tried to drag a 10 pound goose into the alfalfa so he could get his picture taken with the hunters. He had finally seen something get shot and we had some meat to take home. Now he understood what we were doing, why we hunted. I felt his excitement and it made me happy, even made me feel young again.

I began to remember my hunting experiences. The first duck I remember being shot landed in the canoe I still use many years later. When my dad fired, the hen mallard crumpled and plummeted from the sky, almost taking my head off as it landed six inches behind me. Even at five you're not likely to forget such and experience.

I remember the excitement of opening the box of Herter's decoys Dad got for Christmas. I helped tie the cords to the decoys and the strap weights to the cords. I remember sitting on Dad's shoulders as he sloshed through the cattails and "loonstuff" with a gunny sack full of decoys in one hand and the automatic in the other.

The next year Dallas went scouting with me for the archery deer season. There were still too many leaves on the trees, and the wind was blowing too hard, but I had promised, so we went anyhow. We didn't see any deer and because we were scouting nothing was shot. He did learn how to walk quietly through the woods and whisper when he wanted to say something. he learned to recognize the tracks of deer, fox, rabbit and raccoon. I pointed out deer droppings and he saw his first rub and scrape. I showed him how the deer walked inside the first row of corn or skirted the edge of the meadow, just inside the trees. I showed him a trail crossing and where the deer stand was, and I explained why the stand was in that particular location.

Later that year he sat on a stand with me as a big eight point buck followed the does into the cornfield, and he watched in amazement as I blew a fawn distress call and a doe left her fawns to come to our stand to investigate. He was there when I brought the first deer home that year. He held the legs while I skinned the animal, explaining how to hold the knife and pull the skin away from the carcass as I went. I showed him where the different glands where and told him how they were used by the deer. Then he watched as we pan fried the back straps in butter. Later that night he enjoyed his first taste of venison.

I realized that I was teaching him and he was learning, but not just to hunt. He was learning to understand the ways of nature, learning how animals survive, where they eat, sleep and drink. he learned that we don't hunt during the summer so that the young animals have a chance to mature and why we don't over harvest so that we leave animals for the future. He was learning to respect nature and the animals, and the laws that govern them, both natural and manmade.

He also learned to enjoy hunting for the same reason I did. He made new friends and enjoyed their company and their experiences. he learned to enjoy the sport of hunting because it brought him closer to nature and the Great Creator. And he learned enjoy sharing his hunting experiences with his new friends.

He learned that hunting is not about shooting something, it is about the love of nature, sharing and tradition, a tradition that has been passed on from father to son from the beginning of time; the rites of passage. I'd like to thank my father and my son for sharing nature, and their hunting experiences with me. I hope it's something we never lose. Thanks Dad, thanks Son.

This article is an excerpt from the book Musings and Memories; A Hunter's Thoughts by T.R. Michels, available in the catalog.


Horsemanship on the Hunt

By T.R. Michels

One of the things you may be required to do on a western hunt, especially on a drop camp hunt, is get on a horse and ride it several miles to camp. You may even ride horses on the daily hunts. Therefore you should know something about how to ride properly, and you should probably ride a few times before the hunt to get the muscles you will use during riding intro shape. I say this because I've seen people who have not ridden before get fatigued muscles after a few hours of riding. And they've been so sore they could barely walk. Which obviously affected how they walked, how fast they walked and where they could walk while they were hunting. Before I go farther let me say that I spent several years on horse ranches as a horse trainer and riding instructor.

Mounting Your Horse

The first step in riding properly is to adjust the length of the stirrups to fit your legs. Get on the horse and have someone set the stirrups so that you clear the saddle by 2-3 inches when you stand up with the balls of your feet on the stirrups. This clearance allows you to "post" properly while the horse is trotting. Posting is the up and down motion western style riders do to keep from bouncing in the saddle. A rider who posts while a horse is trotting makes it more comfortable for both himself and the horse. When you check your stirrups, be sure to check both sides, because people often have one leg longer than the other. If the stirrup adjustments don't allow you to have both legs feeling comfortable, have someone punch additional holes in the stirrup leathers, so that you do feel comfortable.

When you get on a horse properly you should do it from the left side of horse, facing the rear of the horse, not facing the side of the horse. Stand just in front of the saddle, next to the horse's shoulder, and take the reins in your left hand while you grab the saddle horn, so the horse can't get away from you, and so that you can balance yourself while you mount the horse. Then grasp the stirrup and turn it around so that the backside of the stirrup is facing you, and place the ball of your left foot on the on the stirrup.

Next, grab the back of the seat, shift your weight to the left foot in the stirrup, and pull yourself up while swinging your right leg over the horse in one easy, fluid motion. Don't jump into the saddle or sit down hard because it may "spook" or scare the horse. Once you are in the saddle put your right foot in the other stirrup. You may have to lean over and grab the stirrup to get your foot placed properly in the stirrup, with the ball of your foot on the stirrup. Do not put your foot all of the way into the stirrup because it may get stuck, and riding on the ball of your foot is the best way to use your muscles as shock absorbers while you are riding.

You are now on the horse. But are you in control? This is the time when, unless you keep the reins running to the bit in the horse's mouth tight, it may decide to walk off. This is why you get on the horse form the front. If the horse does decide to move, the movement should help to throw you up and into the saddle, If you are facing the rear of the horse if it does decide to move, you will be standing, or lying in the dust. Be sure to maintain complete control of your horse at all times, especially when you get on and off.

Controlling the Horse

When you are in the saddle you should not hold the reins in your dominant hand; you want your dominant hand free to hold a rope, your weapon, or push branches out of the way when you go through the woods. This is why most people do not hold on to the saddle horn. If you are right handed, hold the reins in your left hand. You can run the reins through your closed fist, with your thumb up and pointing toward the horse's neck or slightly sideways, or you can run the reins between your first and second finger with your thumb pointing forward. The reins should be loose enough between your hands and the bit in the horses mouth to allow the horse to bob its head up and down as it walks, but not so loose that the horse feels you are not in control.

Most western horses are taught to "neck rein" which means you don't pull on the left rein to make the horse go left; you pull both reins lightly to the left, and the slight touch of the rein on the right side of the horse's neck causes it to move away from the pressure, meaning that the horse turns left. To make the horse go right, lightly pull both reins across the horse's neck so that the left rein touches its neck. When you want to turn you should also shift your weight slightly toward the side you want to turn to, while pressing your leg against the side of the horse you want it to turn away from. If you want the horse to go left you press both the reins and your leg against the right side of the horse. To stop the horse pull straight back on the reins, lean slightly back in the saddle and say "whoa". To get the horse to go let the reins go slightly loose, lean forward in the saddle, and say "get up" or cluck with your tongue, and squeeze the horse's sides with both legs. If the horse doesn't move, kick it with both of your heals.

Riding Techniques

As I mentioned earlier you should ride with the ball of your foot on the stirrup, with your toe level or pointing slightly up. Riding with the toe pointing down puts a lot of strain on the lower leg muscles. On the other hand, riding with your toe pointed up allows your lower leg muscles and Achilles tendon to act as shock absorbers. It also pus much of the pressure on your upper leg muscles, which are stronger and better able to handle the pressure and strain.

When you are traveling downhill, lean back in the saddle, and swing your legs and stirrups forward, toward the horse's front legs. If you are traveling up hill, lean forward in the saddle in the saddle and swing your legs toward the back of the horse. Shifting your weight in the saddle will help both you and the horse keep your balance. You want your horse to keep its balance, at all times.

When you are traveling on rough terrain, crossing streams or rivers, or going up and down hill loosen up on the reins and let the horse have its head, so it can see what is ahead of it, and use its head and neck to balance itself. Usually a horse can pick its way through rough terrain and woods by itself best, but if it heads into some place where you won't fit you may want to use the reins to guide it to a more suitable path. If the horse gets too close to a tree you can usually push on the tree with your hand to give you enough room to clear your leg. When you come to stream crossings and have other horses behind you, and all of the horses need a drink, move your horse to one side or all of the way across the stream, so the other horses can drink too. If you don't move your horse out of the way the horses behind you may move into you and create a wreck.

When you are hunting with a guide, it is usually best to follow the he picks. Stay close enough to communicate with the guide, but far enough back to avoid swinging branches as your guide and his horse push them out of the way. If you need to go under a branch, lean forward along or beside your horse's neck. Be as quiet as possible as you go, because game animals may be accustomed to the sound of horses, but they may become alarmed at the sound of human voices.

Be Aware of Your Horse

Be aware of your horse's actions and reactions at all times. If it suddenly stops, raises its head, and pricks up its ears it has noticed something. It may be the elk or mule deer you are looking for. IF the horse seems nervous or edgy, trembles or jumps sideways it may have just spooked at a piece of paper or a ground squirrel, or it may have sensed a bear, mountain lion or rattle snake.

If the horse's ears go back flat against its neck, it is mad. If it is near another horse it may be getting ready to kick or bite. It's time to take control of the situation and head off a dangerous situation. Giggle the reins, talk to the horse, or slap its neck to get the horse's attention and let it know you are still in control. If the horse's eyes open wide and you can see the whites of its eyes, it is afraid. If it swishes its tail from side to side it is annoyed. If the tail goes around in a circle the horse is mad. If you feel the horse hunching its back it may mean the horse is getting ready to wake you up with a few playful hops; get ready to hang on. If the horse's head goes down between its legs when it hunches its back, get ready to bail out or grab leather, because it is probably getting ready to "come unglued" and do some serious bucking to get you off it's back.

This article is an excerpt from the book Hunting Northern & Western Game ($9.95+ $5.00 s&h), by T.R. Michels, available in the



Hunting Merriam's Turkeys on the Nebraska Plains

By T.R. Michels

The sun was already high in the sky when Bill Barzydlo and I saw our first Nebraska turkeys. They weren't in the wooded ravines where I expected them to be; they were just off the highway that ran through the Sandhills Region of north central Nebraska. I had just commented on the lack of trees, except for those around the numerous abandoned and occasionally occupied farmhouses. Then I saw the two tom turkeys, strutting 20 yards from a highway department sand pile, 50 yards from a farmhouse, complete with a dog lying in the dust near the front porch and several cats. Because of the amount of white on their tail feathers and rump I thought they were domestic turkeys. But, when we passed a flock of fifteen turkeys walking across the prairies 15 miles down the road I realized I was seeing my first Merriam's turkeys.

(Read the rest of this article, click here: )


Game Research

By T.R. Michels

I've often been asked why I spend so much time researching game animals. The simple answer would be because my research on the seasonal behavior, daily behavior, calls, scents and breeding activity of game animals is the basis for many of my books, articles and seminars. Without the research, and my experience as a hunting guide, I wouldn't have much of that information. But, the truth of the matter is I do it because I want to find out all I can about the animals. I attended St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, to become a wildlife researcher; it's what I've always wanted to do. Although I didn't graduate from college, my research papers have been read by many top game biologists.

Noted deer biologist Dr. Larry Marchinton recently told me he gave my seven year scrape studies to one of his university students, and she has gone on to do her own scrape studies. She is now doing elk research, and I hope to be exchanging research findings with her. Dr. Valerius Geist (who is one of the top deer and elk researchers in the world) told me he would like to have my research papers published in the Canadian Field Naturalist or the American Midland Naturalist; two of the top biological reviews in North America. I feel honored that these two men respect my work.

The downside to not having graduated from college is that it's hard to get funding for my studies. It costs me about $5000 per year to do my research. Thankfully the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association funded part of my 2002 elk research project. If you know of an organization that would be willing to fund all or part of my elk research for 2004, please provide me with information on how to contact them. Meanwhile I'll keep doing what I love to do; researching game animals, and writing and telling you about it.

May God bless you and yours,



Take A Child Scouting

By T.R. Michels

Hunters across America are recognizing that the anti-hunters and animal rights people are out to stop animal use and hunting. Some of these hunters are joining conservation groups and organizations supporting the right to hunt. Others are actively trying to recruit more hunters through women's outdoor groups, and trying to involve more children in outdoor sports. There is no question that all hunters, fishers and trappers need to become more involved and take a stand in order to save our hunting, fishing and trapping rights.

As a group we have been complacent too long, too willing to sit on the sideline and let others do the work that should be done by all of us, and we are paying the price. In recent years bear hunting, and goose relocation have been banned in many states. If we don't do something to get more people involved in our great sport and in stopping the anti-hunters and animal rights groups, we will lose our rights, and there won't be enough of us left to stop those groups.

One of the best resources we have for new hunters are our children. Parents used to pass on the hunting tradition to their children, but with many families headed by a single-parent, and being raised in urban areas instead of the country, parents no longer have the time to hunt. Consequently the children of these urban families spend very little time interacting with nature. Instead, they play video games, watch television and have a lot of spare time on their hands. In order to change this trend, those of us who enjoy our hunting heritage and would like to preserve it, need to actively find ways to involve today's youth (our own children and others) in experiencing the outdoors and hunting. Summer camps, the Boy Scouts, 4 H, FFA and outdoor learning centers are one way to get children involved, and there need to be more opportunities. Another way to get children involved in the outdoors is by spending more time with them, and ourselves.

As the the son and daughter of an outdoor writer and hunting guide my son Dallas and daughter Tawnya are obviously subjected to more hunting than the average child. There isn't a day that goes by in our house when hunting isn't talked about. At seven Dallas had already hunted ducks, geese and squirrels and been on scouting trips for deer and turkey. Scouting trips are an excellent way to get a child interested in the outdoors. They are also an excellent time to teach children about nature, animal behavior, ethics and morals. These trips can be fun and still educate the child, and they are a great way to get children interested in hunting.

On one of our trips Dallas and I scouted a new area for turkeys, deer and squirrels. As we walked through the woods I pointed out the trees and plants I knew. There were red and white oak, and I explained to him that acorns are an important food source for the animals in the fall and winter. I showed him an aspen grove, and told him that elk in the west often leave tooth scars in the bark, and that aspens, cottonwood and willow often meant water nearby. We found raspberry, gooseberry, cherry grape and strawberry plants. I explained that grouse often eat the fruit of these plants. I showed him poison ivy, stinging nettle and thistle and pointed out the dangers of each. He saw deer feeding at the edge of a field, heard a turkey answer my call, and was fascinated at the abundance of land snails. He learned the call of the crow, barred owl, squirrel, cardinal and wood duck.

By his second trip he knew the difference between red and white oak, and knew what wild grape, gooseberry and raspberry looked like. On his first trip he wasn't too interested in exploring, but this time he spotted a hill and decided he wanted to climb to the top. I wasn't sure he could make it up the steep 700-foot slope, but he was determined, and after falling and slipping a number of times he made it. I was more proud of his accomplishment than he was.

Normally while scouting I wouldn't have climbed that hill, but after seeing the beautiful view I was glad we made the climb. It gave me a whole new perspective of the valley I would not have seen had it not been for my son. Not only is he becoming more inquisitive because of our scouting trips, but I am too. When he sees a plant I can't identify we go home and look it up. When he spots a deer trail and wants to follow it I gladly go with him. The last time I let him lead we jumped two deer out of their beds. These trips are teaching us both new things, and they are a great way to spend quality time with a child without worrying about the job, phone calls, television or other intrusions. If you are concerned about the animal rights and anti-hunting movement, join a conservation group or pro-hunting organization that is politically active. But, don't forget to involve your children and recruit others to our hunting heritage if you want to save our hunting rights.

This article is an excerpt from Musings and Menories; A Hunters Thoughts ($9.95 + $5.00 S&H), by T.R. Michels, available in the catalog.


Whitetail Research

By T.R. Michels

I have learned a lot about game animal research over the last few years: 1. Researchers are learning about game animals so fast that the only way to keep you up to date is to do it in a regular newsletter. The problem with magazines is that by the time the article gets printed the information is probably a year old, and the writers who get hold of research seldom do research themselves or have access to other sources to verify the research they are writing on. The article often leads you to believe that the research project and researcher's findings and conclusions are gospel, and they aren't. 2. Not all game animals react alike. Animals of the same species react differently in different areas and different habitats. 3. Animals of different sexes react to environmental conditions and predatory pressure, especially hunting, differently. Males of most prey species, because they look different from females, are more susceptible to being chased, killed and eaten, therefore they are more wary. The older the animal, especially males, the warier they are and the more they react differently than other animals in the same area.

(Read the rest of this article, click here:


Game Calling Research

By T.R. Michels

Through my studies I have learned that not all animals of a given species sound alike. Not all cow, calf or bull elk sound alike. Not all whitetails sound alike; different bucks use different Tending Grunts; different does use different Social Contact Grunts. A goose doesn't sound like a gander, and goslings don't sound like adult geese. Flying geese have a slow measured honk; landing / backpedaling geese use a fast call. When a goose is chasing another goose its calling is louder than when it stands still.

There is no "feeding call" that you can use to ask other ducks to come down and feed with you. The feeding "chuckle" of the mallard is actually a hen telling the drakes to leave her alone. The "hail call" is a "come on over here" call, but not like most hunters think. When it is used in the fall, the hail call is a hen mallard announcing to any drake within hearing distance that she is ready to get engaged, but he is not going to reap the benefits until next spring. The keys to calling are using the right call at the right time; and using the right pitch, duration, and loudness of the call.

I've written a book, Wild Game Calling, which will tell you everything you need to know about calling whitetails, turkey, elk, ducks and geese, If y ou are interested in this book contact me at TRMichels@yahoo.com.

To view more hunting tips click here: .


The Moon & Game Animals??

Through my nine years of game research I have found no correlation between the daily activity of deer, elk and turkeys with the overhead / underfoot position of the moon. I've come to the conclusion that daily game activity tables are unreliable.

It has also been found (by a top whitetail biologist) that there is no correlation between peak breeding of white-tailed deer and any moon phase. Rut date charts that predict peak breeding of whitetails by using the moon as an indicator are unreliable! If you want to know when peak whitetail breeding occurs in your area check out the Conception Dates Graph and Peak Breeding Dates on my .

However, I did find (and so have other researchers) a correlation between daytime sightings of deer and turkeys (and scraping and gobbling activity) with the amount of light, monthly gravitational pull, and monthly biomagnetics associated with the moon. My Moon Indicator is quite accurate at predicting peak monthly deer sightings and scrape activity of whitetails; and peak monthly gobbling activity of turkeys. The Moon Indicator is available in the Trinity Mountain Outdoor Products catalog.

This article contains excerpts from the book Whitetail Notes & Activity Factors ($24.95 + $5.00 s&h), by T.R. Michels.


Elk Research

In August of 2002 I continued the elk research project I began in 2001, watching and listening to 70+ antlered, and 55+ de-antlered 3.5 year-old and older bulls; approximately 60 one and two year old bulls; and approximately 210 cows and their calves, for 2-4 hours in the morning and 2-4 hours in the evening. The herd had grown from 600+ to 700+ elk. One of the things I wanted to find out was whether or not the moon was correlated with bugling, breeding or daily behavior. In order to do that I have to be there at various times of the day, week and month.

I've even been there during the night, when the moon was directly overhead. And, just like whitetails, most of the time the elk were bedded while the moon was directly overhead; not moving around like some of the of the lunar game tables predict. I've found that the overhead/underfoot position of the moon has very little to do with any animal I have researched so far. If you want to see more game, hunt in the morning and evening, when the animals are most active.

It doesn't appear that bugling or breeding is correlated with the full moon phase. In 2002 the second and third bugling peaks occurred at almost the same time as they did in 2001.

However, the peaks weren't correlated with the moon. It did appear that bugling was affected by temperature/windchill. The warmer it got, the more frequently the bulls bugled, until temperature/windchill got to 70-80 degrees; then they bugled less frequently.

My studies shows that bull elk of different ages begin bugling at different times of the year, and that some bulls bugle more frequently than others. Bugling activity also depends on whether or not the bull is with cows without other bulls nearby; with cows with other bulls nearby; or without any cows or bulls nearby. I found that spike bulls bugle much less than older bulls; if they do bugle they don't usually use the "Full Bugle Sequence" (the roar, bugle and chuckle all strung together), and they usually begin bugling later in the year than older bulls. Two year old bulls often bugle, but they don't' roar or chuckle as often as older bulls do. They also begin bugling later in the year than older bulls.

During my studies I heard two calls I don't remember reading about in any scientific report; both of these call appear to be threats between bulls. After watching several cows get bred over the past two years I have never heard a cow-estrus call. There doesn't seem to be one!

I have found no correlation with the moon and peak breeding or with peak bugling. It doesn't appear that the full moon affects breeding or bugling activity. As with whitetails elk may come out later than normal in the evening when there is a full moon, and they may go back to the woods earlier in the morning.

It is pretty difficult to make a mistake when you are using a mouth diaphragm to call elk, because no two bulls, cows or calves sound alike, and they don't all sound like you'd think they should. I should learn a lot more after we get the calls analyzed in early 2003, and it should help when you and I are hunting elk. There's more information on elk behavior, vocalizations, calling, and hunting techniques in the 2003 Revised Edition of the Elk Addict's Manual, available through the Trinity Mountain Outdoor Products catalog. I guarantee this book will make you a better elk hunter.


New Product Reviews

Wick Outdoor Works

I met well-known coon dog trainer and author John Wick and his wife Linda several years ago; they are two of the nicest people I have ever met. They manufacture and sell some of the most durable clothing and hunting accessories for coon and upland bird hunters you can find. I've been using their saddlebags, gun cases, duffel bags, jackets, vests, bibs and brush chaps for years. Their stuff is indestructible. Check out their catalog at

 Look for more new products in the catalog, or look for the products in the Trinity Mountain Outdoors booth at the shows where I'm speaking.

Articles on this Page

(Click the star to go directly to the article)

Activated Carbon Scent-Control Suits; Have hunters and the hunting industry been duped? *

The Rites of Passage *

Horsemanship on the Hunt *

Hunting Merriam's Turkeys on the Nebraska Plains *

Game Research *

Take A Child Scouting *

Whitetail Research *

Game Calling Research *

Does The Moon Affect Animals? *

Elk Research *

New Product Reviews *

Wick Outdoor Works *

Capture View Binocular Camera *

T.R. Michels Guide Service *

Outdoor Adventures *

Whitetail / Turkey / Elk / Waterfowl University & Guide School *

Guide Review *

Lobo Outfitters, Colorado *

Press Releases *

Hunt of a Lifetime News *

FREE Hunting & Fishing Trips For Disabled Children *

Hunters Unite to Help Fellow Hunters *

Elk Addict's Manual *

Daily In-Field Game Animal Biology/Behavior & Hunting Techniques Seminar with T.R. Michels *

Whitetail Addict's Manual *

Study Shows Hunting is Beneficial *

Safari Club International News *

Alaska Sportsmen Step Up *

Interloping Antelope *

CWD Update *

Bald Eagle Boost *

Wolf Management *

Wildlife Surprises *

Just Plain Sick *

More on SCI *

US Sportsmen's Alliance News *

Two PETA-ites arrested for killing dogs and cats *

US Sportsmen's Alliance 4 Star Rating *

HSUS Fails to Make the Grade *

PETA "Ab"uses Christianity *


Also In This Issue

(Related Websites, Business Affiliations, Hunting Products, Guides, Outfitters & Consultants, Christian Outdoor Organizations, Charitable Organizations, Conservation Organizations

for Whitetail, Turkey, Elk, Ducks & Geese

T.R.'s articles at Adventures in the Outdoors on Bowhunting.Net


Capture View Binocular Camera

 SIMMONS started a trend in 2003 with the CaptureView, the industry's first full-featured binocular and camera in one that lets you view the action up close, then capture it in digital images. Now Simmons expands the CaptureView series with a high-resolution, waterproof 8x30mm, 3.2 megapixel model that won't send you packing when the weather gets nasty.

The CaptureView is the perfect accessory for hunting, sporting events, traveling, wildlife watching, or any other use that benefits from a closer look. With CaptureView, you can bring the same images back home, where it's easy to download the photos to a PC, then print or e-mail to family and friends. The 8x30mm configuration is an ideal choice as an all-around binocular you'll want to take along everywhere you go.

Simmons' new Waterproof 3.2 megapixel CaptureView offers three image resolution choices: 1600x1200, 1280x960, and 640x480. Its built-in 16 MB memory can store up to 20 high-resolution or 80 lower-resolution images. An LCD screen on top allows instant review. In addition, the new CaptureView will record 60 seconds of continuous video. For those occasions when you want to shoot more photos, CaptureView has a slot for a Secure Digital Memory Card.

Other versions of the CaptureView include an 8x22mm VGA model with 640x480 resolution; 8x30mm, 1.3 or 2.0 megapixel; and an 8x42mm, 2.0 megapixel version with flip-up LCD screen. All CaptureView models come with a carrying case, USB cable, and CD-Rom with image-capture and editing software.

Suggested retail price of the new Waterproof 3.2 CaptureView is $279. For more information, consumers may contact Simmons Outdoor Corporation, 201 Plantation Oak Dr., Thomasville, GA 31792, phone 800-285-0689, or visit our website at www.simmonsoptics.com.


T.R. Michels Guide Service


T.R. Michels with two Merriam's turkeys

I'll be doing some turkey hunting in Missouri (eastern turkeys), Nebraska (Merriam's turkeys) and Kansas (Rio Grand turkeys) in the spring. I should have openings for 4 people per week, at between $450 and $600 per week, plus room and board.

We also offer Whitetail hunts in Missouri. We have access to about 3,000 acres, near the Kansas state line, and a 5,000 acre Game Refuge. This gives us access to lightly-hunted game. If you are interested in hunting with us contact me ASAP; I don't expect these hunts to last. If you time it right you can even hitch a ride with us. These are guided hunts; no food or lodging, hotels and restaurant nearby.

We offer 5 day pre-baited unguided black bear hunts in East-central Minnesota, $500 per person. Hotel and restaurant nearby.

We also offer hunts for Canada geese near Rochester, MN; early October through mid December; $75-$140 per person for a half day hunt.

If you are interested in joining us on any of these hunts click here or contact me direct. E-mail:


Trinity Mountain Outdoors Adventures

Trinity Mountain Outdoors, formerly of Wanamingo, MN, has moved. Owner T. R. Michels, states that while the organization was in Wanamingo, it mainly catered to hunters, booking hunting trips across North America, selling Michels' hunting and cook books, and managing the Trinity Mountain Outdoors Magazine and T.R.'s Hunting Tips on the internet at www.TRMichels.com. With the move; and as a result of his personal interest in game animal research, bird watching, wild flower collecting and outdoor photography Michels has expanded the business to include Trinity Mountain Outdoor Adventures.

The new Natural History Tour company will offer one two to three day Natural History, Bird Watching & Photography Tours to State Parks and other destinations in greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin; and seven to fourteen day tours to several North American Parks such as Canada's Riding Mountain, Banff and Jasper National Parks, Denali Park in Alaska, Yellowstone and Teton Parks in Wyoming, Badlands National Monument and Custer State Park in South Dakota, Glacier Park in Montana, Everglades Park in Florida, and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.

Michels, who is a nationally recognized big game researcher and naturalist, states that he loves to share his passion for the outdoors with other outdoor enthusiasts, and enjoys teaching others what he has learned in his 40 years of hunting, animal research, bird watching, wild flower collecting and outdoor photography. He adds that he will personally guide many of these tours, and that he has partnered with one of the major tour companies in the state in an effort to provide a full service outdoor adventure.

In addition, Michels states that Trinity Mountain Outdoor Adventures will offer one to two day Natural History Tours, Game Animal Tours, and Bird Watching and Photography Tours to State Parks and other sites in southeast Minnesota, and to several State Parks and scenic areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. "There is a lot to see in Minnesota." Michels explains. "Many of Minnesota's residents don't realize the diversity of flowers, plants animals and birds we have in our state.


In the southeastern corner of the state bird watchers can see the brilliant blue Indigo Bunting, the sizzling hot scarlet Tanager, the giant Pileated Woodpecker, and several species of woodland birds and waterfowl, including Trumpeter and Tundra Swans. They may hear the lyrical whistle of the rare Upland Sandpiper on it's nesting ground in the spring. In addition, they can view wintering Bald Eagles soaring, spinning and wheeling over the Mississippi River, and visit the National Bald Eagle Center at Wabasha on beautiful Lake Pepin. In the summer they may be able to see Bald Eagle chicks stick their heads up above the edge of a huge eagle's nest.

Outdoor lovers can also tour the largest privately owned elk herd in the nation, which is just north of Rochester. The farm has over 600 head of elk, including several world record class bulls. Outdoor lovers can see newborn elk fawns in June, and hear hundreds of elk bugles from late August through early November. They can also watch and listen to tom turkeys strutting, gobbling spitting and booming as they try to impress the hens

In the southwest corner of the state, nature lovers can enjoy American Buffalo, and the birds and flowers of the tall grass prairie at Blue Mounds State Park. Or they can visit Pipestone National Monument, where the stone used to make Native American Peace Pipes was quarried. In the northwestern corner of the state they can watch and listen to Prairie Chicken on their booming grounds and Sharp-tailed Grouse on their dancing grounds, plus they can see moose, elk and a variety of waterfowl and northern birds. In north central Minnesota outdoor lovers have a chance to see dozens of black bears at the Bear Refuge, and hear the lonely howl of a Timber Wolf a the Wolf Research Center.

In the northeast corner of the state bird watchers can visit the north shore of Lake Superior and Voyageurs National Park to see one of the most diverse populations of woodland warblers and woodpeckers in North America. They may even see the rare Piping Plover along the St. Louis River Valley. Or they can join the annual "hawk watch" on Hawk Ridge overlooking Lake Superior, where hundreds of bird watchers gather each year to watch several species of hawks during their fall migration.

In western Wisconsin they can visit Krech's Meadows to see listen to the guttural calling of Sandhill Cranes as they perform their mating dance in the spring, or visit the International Crane Institute in Baraboo, where they can see cranes from around the world."

For more information: , E-mail


T.R. Michels' Whitetail / Turkey / Elk / Waterfowl University & Guide School

While giving seminars at the hunting shows over the last several years I have been asked about guide schools. Our new location offers the perfect place to run a hunting and guide school. We have plenty of land, several types of habitat, plus deer, elk, turkey, pheasants and geese that are easy to watch, and to learn from. The course will include instruction on goose, duck, elk, mule deer and bear hunting. It will also provide information on how to become a guide, outfitter or hunting consultant; and assist in job placement after graduation.

You will have the opportunity to participate in the on-going going deer, turkey and elk research in the spring and fall, which will help you understand how the weather and the moon influence seasonal behavior and breeding activity of the animals. You will also have the opportunity to walk rub routes, scrape lines, locate buck bedding areas; watch and listen to turkeys, elk and geese; and pattern and photograph deer, turkeys and elk. Sessions will include instruction on how and when to use scents, calls, rattling and decoys, and the right time to use them based on the progression of the rut/hunting season.

You will learn how to choose hunting sites based on seasonal and daily use by the animals; how to locate feeding and breeding/strutting areas and preferred bedding/roost sites; and the best times, locations and techniques to hunt deer, turkey and elk during the different phases of the breeding/hunting season. Turkey sessions begin in early April, deer and elk sessions begin in early September. For more information click here:

T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Outdoors


Lobo Outfitters, Colorado

Since 1994 I've had several of my clients hunt with Dick and Mike Ray of Lobo Outfitters. I also guided elk hunters for Dick for a couple of years. If you are looking for trophy elk, mule deer, mountain lion or black bear, on good property, with good guides and good accommodations Lobo Outfitters is what you are looking for. Contact Dick or Mike Ray, Lobo Outfitters, 4821A Hwy. 84, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, Phone: 970-264-5546, FAX: 970-264-9249, www.lobooutfitters.com.


Press Releases

Hunt of a Lifetime News

"Hunt Of A Lifetime" is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grant hunting & fishing adventures and dreams for children, age 21 and under, who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. We are doing what we can to make a difference in their life, a dream come true. To make all their dreams come true, we need your help. If you are interested in helping a child live their dream, please contact us for more information. Www.HuntOfALifetime.org


FREE Hunting & Fishing Trips For Disabled Children

The United Special Sportsmen Alliance (USSA), a non-profit organization, coordinates hunting and fishing trips for disabled and terminally ill children. Since 2002 the organization has coordinated over 400 trips for children. It has already coordinated ten deer hunts and three guided bear hunts for 2003, and is working on many more for the fall of 2003. Two of the 2003 bear hunt participants are in wheel chairs, one is recovering from a lung transplant. The trips have all been at little or no cost to the participant; and a parent, family member, guardian or caretaker is encouraged to participate with the child.

All of the hunting and fishing trips are donated by independent landowners, game ranchers, large and small guide outfitters and caring individuals. Current major sponsors include Northland Cranberries, the Safari Clubs of Kansas-Minnesota-Missouri, Buckmasters and Bass Pro Shops. Past hunts have included Bear, Hog, Turkey, Deer, Elk and Bison. The USSA continues to receive donated trips, and is striving to match them up to special children as quickly as possible.

The USSA is looking for more terminally ill or disabled children interested in hunting or fishing trips. Persons Interested in donating fishing trips, hunting trips, funds; or in referring children who would like a trip, should contact Brigid O'Donahue, biotec@tds.net 1-800-518-8019, or log on to the USSA web site at


Hunters Unite to Help Fellow Hunters

Hunters Helping Hunters provides assistance to hunting families that have had an interruption in the family structure or support system due to medical problems or a death in the family. Through contributions, donations and other financial aids, the goal of Hunters Helping Hunters is to provide funds to help alleviate financial issues such as medical bills and housing payments during stressful situations. The organization began accepting applications for financial assistance in late 2002, and has assisted four families with grants totaling $2500.

Hunters Helping Hunters is the result of an idea formed by a group of members from a hunting club. Through friendships and acquaintances within the club, the members were made aware of a fellow hunter or a hunter's family who were in temporary need due to unforeseen circumstances. While there were already charities to help with other problems, the group recognized the need for an organization to help fellow hunters get back on their feet. As a result of their association the club members founded Hunters Helping Hunters.

Hunters Helping Hunters is comprised of 31 Founding Members and several Honorary Members from the hunting community. The organization offers individual and corporate Honorary Memberships to the hunting community and associated businesses. Hunters Helping Hunters applied for 501(c) Non-Profit Organization status, and it was recently incorporated under the statutes of the State of Iowa.

Hunters Helping Hunters completed its second fundraising raffle (when?) with plans for another fundraiser in mid-2003. A membership drive is currently underway, and individuals or corporations interested in helping families in need are invited to become members or make donations. For more information contact: Dustin White, President, (866) 444-0338, ; Darren Gibson, Vice President of Media and Fundraising, ; or visit the Hunters Helping Hunters website at http://www.hhh-usa.org.


Elk Addict's Manual

Trinity Mountain Outdoor Publishing announces the release of the newest edition of T.R. Michels' Elk Addict's Manual. Written by outdoor writer, professional guide and deer researcher T.R. Michels, the 2003 edition of the Elk Addict's Manual contains the latest findings of T.R. Michels' two-year research project on elk; should contact

including how elk react to meteorological conditions and lunar factors; when the elk rut starts, peaks and ends; how age affects the breeding behavior of bulls and cows; and the 21 different vocalizations and sounds elk use to communicate with each other.

Originally introduced in 1994, the Elk Addict's Manual also discusses the biology of North American elk; how to read elk sign; locating the best places to hunt; choosing the right times to hunt; and several highly successful techniques for hunting elk with a bow or gun; including the use of scents, calls, rattling and decoys for hunting trophy class bull elk.

For more information contact: Triinity Mountain Outdoors, Website: .


Daily In-Field Game Animal


& Hunting Techniques Seminar

with T.R. Michels

T.R. Michels now offers in-field hunting seminars. If you want to understand deer, turkey, elk, duck and goose biology and behavior; learn how the animals use scents, calls and body language to communicate; be able to read and interpret game animal sign; learn the hunting techniques of calling, decoying, flagging, rattling and use of scents, used by top guides and outfitters; and become a better hunter, why not learn from one of the top game researchers, outdoor writers, seminar speakers and hunting guides in North America? T.R. Michels has been guiding and researching game animals since 1989. And he is now using his knowledge of game animals to help hunters become more familiar with game animals, and to become more successful as hunters.

In-Field Seminars / Classes

You'll spend 2-4 hours in the field and/or in the classroom each day with T.R Michels, watching, listening to, and scouting for game; or learning game biology, behavior and hunting techniques from his books. You'll learn to call, rattle, flag, and use scents and decoys to attract the game. You'll also learn to read and interpret sign, and learn the best places to setup for that monster whitetail, long-bearded tom, big bull elk, or the winging waterfowl.

For deer and turkey you will actually go scouting on our nearby research and hunting properties. You'll see all sorts of sign, and learn to understand what it means.

For ducks and geese you will go to the Rochester Goose Refuge to watch and listen, and you could actually hunt in area goose fields.

For elk you will visit the nearby 1500 acre elk farm, with over 700 elk, including over 40 antlered bulls scoring over 280, you'll hear hundreds of bugles and cow/calf sounds, and you will often see bulls fighting. You could actually hunt fenced elk along with this.


Turkey and deer from April 1 to May 30.

Whitetail from August 15 to Dec 30.

Elk from September 1 to October 30.

Ducks and geese from November 1 to December 15.


Turkey; arrive one hour before daylight.

Whitetail; arrive two hours before sunset.

Ducks and geese; arrive one hour before daylight. You can combine this with a goose hunt (during season) for $75 per day.

Elk you can arrive either an hour before daylight or sunset. You can combine this with a fenced elk hunt (archery or shotgun) for bulls scoring between 225 and 400 (prices vary).


$25 per day per person for turkey, elk and duck & goose; $30 per day for whitetail.

We guarantee you will learn a lot during T.R.'s seminars. If you are interested write, e-mail or call for seminar dates.


Whitetail Addict's Manual

Trinity Mountain Publishing announces the release of the 2002 Revised Edition of the Whitetail Addict's Manual, which contains the latest information on whitetail biology and hunting techniques from T.R. Michels, a well-known whitetail researcher/animal behaviorist, writer, seminar speaker and professional guide. The result of Michels' years of research on how the weather, the moon and the rut influence whitetail deer movement helps hunters determine the right times and places to hunt deer. His years of experience as a professional hunting guide helps hunters choose the right techniques to use when they are pursuing trophy white-tailed deer. Contact: Trinity Mountain Outdoors, e-mail: TRMichels@yahoo.com, Internet:


Study Shows Hunting is Beneficial

National Geographic News reports that independent researchers in Great Britain have concluded that hunting and shooting are positive aspects of wildlife conservation.

Scientists from University of Kent in southeast England published a study in Nature saying that farmers who hunt and shoot can help restore Britain's lost wildlife. The study found that hunting and shooting provide an extra incentive for landowners to voluntarily get involved in environmentally sustainable farming practices.

"According to our research, it's people involved with country sports who take up these subsidy schemes," said Nigel Leader-Williams, professor of biodiversity management at the University of Kent. "They plant new woodland because they want foxes and pheasants to live in it."


Safari Club International News

Wolf Management in the Doghouse


TUCSON, Ariz., - Two recent court rulings have set back wolf management in the U.S. SCI has expressed concern over these two federal court decisions that have prohibited effective management of growing gray wolf populations, and hindered the potential for sportsman participation in said management.

In one case last August, the honorable Judge Garvan Murtha, of the U.S. District Court of Vermont, issued another disappointing ruling against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's attempt to reclassify the gray wolf species from "endangered" to "threatened" status. On Sept. 13, wolf management received a third judicial setback when the honorable Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, took action prohibiting Michigan and Wisconsin from lethally taking problem wolves preying on livestock and other domestic animals.

"Who else but our appointed state and federal wildlife officials have the expertise and the authority to ensure that the Endangered Species Act is properly enforced and our nation's wildlife is scientifically conserved?" said SCI Executive Director Tom Riley. "SCI will continue to support the reclassification of the gray wolf and will support the Service's efforts to rectify these erroneous judicial rulings."

The contention surrounding wolf reclassification began in October of 2003 when a cabal of animal rights organizations, including Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and others, brought to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon a case challenging the USFWS' authority to change the gray wolf's ESA classification. SCI intervened in that case, together with the Oregon Hunters' Association, the American Farm Bureau and the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, to support gray wolf recovery achieved by the USFWS and to help the USFWS defend against the challenge that had been waged against the rule to reclassify wolves.

Instead of recognizing the USFWS' monumental conservation efforts that resulted in the recovery of large, healthy and viable wolf populations in both the Eastern and Western United States, the Oregon Court invalidated the USFWS' Final Rule to reclassify gray wolves from "endangered" to "threatened" status. As a result, gray wolves throughout the United States retained their "endangered" classification. The USFWS has reserved the right to appeal the Oregon Court's ruling, but has indicated that an appeal is unlikely.

The Vermont case, brought by a second set of Plaintiffs, also offered a disappointing result for gray wolf recovery. The Vermont Court's opinion does nothing to overturn or modify the current "endangered" status of gray wolves imposed by the Oregon Court's determination. In addition, Judge Murtha addressed some issues that were outside the focus of the Oregon Court's previous ruling. He ruled that the USFWS had improperly deleted a proposed Northeastern Distinct Population Segment of wolves, without first giving the public an opportunity to comment on the matter, and that the USFWS improperly lumped the Northeastern states into a single Distinct Population Segment that also included the wolf populations of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In the Sept. 13 ruling, Judge Huvelle invalidated the permits that Michigan and Wisconsin had been using under permit authority issued by the USFWS to cull the two state's problem wolves, and ordered that no further wolves be taken under those permits. The USFWS admitted to the Court it had inappropriately issued the states' permits without first publishing notice of the permit applications and without allowing public comment on the applications. Both Michigan and Wisconsin have submitted new permit applications and the USFWS has published a Federal Register Notice to solicit comments on the wolf depredation permits. Once a thirty day comment period is completed, the USFWS can move forward to issue new permits to replace those invalidated by the Court.

SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI's 173 Chapters represent all 50 United States as well as 13 other countries. SCI's proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit www.safariclub.org or call 520-620-1220 for more information.

SCI's record-breaking 33rd Annual Hunters' Convention hosted more than 19,700 sportsmen from 50 countries around the world. Thanks to over 1,100 top exhibitors helping hunters realize dreams around the globe, the Convention raised nearly $11 million for SCI and the SCI Foundation. To register to attend SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention, in Reno Jan. 18-21, 2006, call 888-746-9724 toll-free or visit www.safariclub.org.


Alaska Sportsmen Step Up

A coalition of conservation-sportsman groups, including SCI's Alaska (ROAR 5.3) and Alaska Kenai Peninsula chapters, are challenging a proposed animal-extremist-backed ballot measure seeking to ban bear-over-bait hunting (ROAR 5.3) in that state.

According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Mirror, the coalition is informing voters that backers of the ballot initiative are not registering with the Alaska Public Offices Commission in an effort to hide their true out-of-state origins. The coalition also has engaged Pac/West Communications to assist in its advocacy efforts.

"One of our main themes is, 'Don't let out-of-state extremists come in and manage Alaska's game,'" said Pac/West spokesman Jerod Broadfoot. The measure is slated for vote during the Nov. 2, 2004 general election.

Poacher Capture Reward

The Associated Press reports Alaskan authorities are investigating a series of poaching incidents which began along the Knick River approximately two months ago.

A $4,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for poaching more than six Dall sheep, a moose, and a mountain goat. According to wildlife officials, there are no leads yet in the investigation.

Anyone with information concerning these incidents should contact their local law enforcement officials or Alaska Fish & Game's Wildlife Conservation Division.


Interloping Antelope

New Mexico's oryx herd (ROAR 3.5), which was first introduced in the 1960s, is closely monitored by wildlife management professionals. It has shown an ability to push out indigenous species, to cause habitat damage, and now may represent a new threat to that state's wildlife.

According to The Associated Press, state wildlife biologists are investigating if a previously unknown virus similar to malignant catarrhal fever that was found in a recent oryx study poses a threat to New Mexico's other wildlife. Catarrhal fever is difficult to transmit but, once deer and elk acquire it, the disease almost always is fatal.

According to NMGF Director, however, the investigation is not far enough along to "sound the alarm on the oryx."


CWD Update

After testing more than 1,600 deer and 29 elk, North Dakota Game & Fish reports that the state remains free of chronic wasting disease, reports ESPN.com. Brain tissue samples from these specimens were collected during the 2003 fall deer hunting season. In 2004, testing will focus on the state's northern regions.

In Wisconsin, preliminary results from a new federally approved IDEXX screening procedure for CWD show the disease is present in 14 new counties. Pending confirmation, the state has not yet added the new counties to those already on the official CWD listing.

SCI congratulates North Dakota and Wisconsin for proactive surveillance efforts against this progressive disease affecting a small percentage of deer and elk populations in a few states and Canadian provinces. For more information on CWD, go online to www.sci-foundation.org/cwd/cwd.htm.


Bald Eagle Boost

Good news regarding the United States' official bird, the bald eagle. ESPN.com reports that for the first time in more than 100 years, two of the regal raptors have been spotted nesting near the Little Calumet River on the southern border of Chicago, Illinois. According to US Fish & Wildlife, until now, most Illinois eagle sightings have been along the Mississippi River.

The eagles' exact location is being kept secret by state officials and bird enthusiasts so the pair will not be scared away from their nest by curious onlookers.

SCI urges Chicago residents to heed the concerns of state wildlife officials to help expand the range for bald eagle.


Wolf Management

The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to give Idaho and Montana more wolf management authority over their packs, which are part of the reintroduced northern Rockies wolf population. At some 750 animals, northern Rockies wolves have more than doubled initial USFWS population growth projections.

Sportsmen can submit comments on the Idaho/Montana proposal by writing to USFWS; Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator; 100 North Park, Number 320; Helena, MT; 59601; .

In Alaska, according to The Associated Press, aerial sportsmen culled some 114 wolves in the Nelchina Basin near Glennallen and near McGrath. The action was taken to help stem moose predation.


Wildlife Surprises

Conflicts between humans and animals continue to underscore the need for proactive wildlife management programs using legal hunting as a tool to help minimize risk:

ESPN.com reports a deer broke into a Kalamazoo, Mich. business, causing damage and startling employees before escaping and being stuck by two vehicles.

Foxnews.com notes a sea lion weighing some 1,500 pounds dragged a fisherman off his boat in Alaska. The fisherman suffered minor injuries and a shredded pants seat.

Associated Press says an alligator bit the leg of a 65-year-old woman riding in the back of a pickup truck through Florida's JW Corbett Wildlife Management Area.

Reuters reports a retired crocodile hunter saved the life of an 11-year-old girl attacked by 10-foot crocodile while she was swimming.


Just Plain Sick

PETA continues to show a total lack of sensitivity and propriety.

Its new Canadian billboard campaign leverages the horrific acts allegedly perpetrated by accused British Columbia serial killer Robert Pickton. According to news reports, Pickton allegedly mixed his victims' remains with pig meat from his farm. The PETA billboard depicts a girl and a pig, with the statement "Neither Of Us Are Meat".

SCI sends condolences to the family members of the murder victims ruthlessly exploited by the shocking anti-meat campaign. To sign a petition calling for greater IRS scrutiny of PETA's tax-exempt status, visit: www.petitiononline.com/rvkptaex.


More on SCI

Founded in 1971, SCI is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.

With some 200 chapters around the globe, the 501(c)(4) non-profit association is a tireless advocate for the more than 45 million sportsmen and sportswomen who, through their legal hunting activities, represent the single largest source of money necessary to maintain wildlife populations and habitats, to conduct wildlife research and to enforce wildlife laws. For more information about SCI, visit www.scifirstforhunters.org or its government relations Web site at www.sci-dc.org.

SCI Foundation funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. For more information about the 501(c)(3) Foundation, visit www.sci-foundation.org or its International Wildlife Museum Web site at www.thewildlifemuseum.org.


US Sportsmen's Alliance News

Two PETA-ites arrested for killing dogs and cats

Two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) employees have been arrested and charged with multiple felony counts of animal cruelty for allegedly dumping dead puppies and other animals into a dumpster and driving a PETA-owned vehicle that contained the remains of other animals.

If these allegations are not shocking enough, official records show that PETA, a national animal rights group based in Virginia, has killed over 10,000 dogs and cats since 1998.

On June 16, police in Ahoskie, North Carolina arrested People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) employees Andrew Cook, 24, and Adria Hinkle, 27, for allegedly picking up dogs and cats from shelters and dumping their dead bodies in the garbage. Authorities found 18 dead dogs in a dumpster and another 13 in a van that was registered to the animal rights organization.

Police say the animals were picked up from two local animal shelters and were reportedly alive when they left. Veterinarian Patrick Proctor said that one of the dogs was a healthy six-month-old puppy that had been killed that day. He also spoke about a female cat and two "very adoptable" kittens, also found dead.

Cook and Hinkle have each been charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of disposal of dead animals.

The Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization that works to protect consumer choices, reports that in 2003, PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals its took in, finding homes for only 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and the Virginia Beach SPCA placed 66 percent of its animals.

"PETA claims to be uncompromising in its stance against animal cruelty, which its members cite as an excuse to harass hunters, anglers, researchers and others who legally and ethically use animals," said U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance President Bud Pidgeon. "Its actions show the same hypocrisy of which it has been accused by a growing number of the public in recent years."


US Sportsmen's Alliance 4 Star Rating

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation has received a Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator and was ranked #1 most efficient animal focused nonprofit--as reported in Petersen's Hunting, August, 2004.

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is a national organization representing over 1.5 million sportsmen through its member clubs and individual constituents. The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance provides legislative, legal defense and public education services to defend and advance sportsmen's rights in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 states.

Contact Information:

Phone: (614) 888-4868 Fax: (614) 888-0326

Website: www.ussportsmen.org

Doug Jeanneret, Director of Communications:

Beth Ruth, Associate Director of Communications:

Sportsmen who are considering a donation to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation can review the Charity Navigator rating by clicking here.


USSA Charters Permanent Coalition to Protect Bear Hunting

- (05/20)

Unyielding attacks on their sport have led bear hunting organizations to form a permanent coalition to fight back.

At a May meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, 40 bear hunting organizations from across the country met with U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA) representatives to establish a permanent bear hunting protection group.

The new group is named the Bear Hunter Rights Coalition (BHRC). Many of the coalition's members were also part of USSA's National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force formed in 2003. Task force members ensured the defeat of federal legislation introduced that year by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-California, which would have banned bear hunting with bait on federal land. The group also thwarted antis' efforts to sneak the ban through as an amendment to the Department of Interior spending bill.

The task force went on to help defend bear hunting at the 2004 ballots in Maine and Alaska, and in legislatures nationwide.

"The USSA's initial coordination of the bear hunting community two years ago defeated anti-bear hunting attacks, but our partners wanted to make sure the effort would be continued over the long haul," said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs. "Attacks on bear hunting have not subsided and members agree that formalizing the organization and running it out of the USSA office will provide even greater support to stave off the antis' attacks."

Michigan Bear Hunter's Association, the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association were among the first to sign on in 2003 and continue to recruit members under the BHRC flag.

"The Alliance's success over the years has been attributed to our ability to organize," said Sexton. "That was evident in the formation of the National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force and will be recreated with the BHRC."

For more information about how to join the Bear Hunter Rights Coalition, call the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, (614) 888-4868 or e-mail info@ussportsmen.org.


HSUS Fails to Make the Grade

While the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation is a leader among charities, the nation's largest anti-hunting organization has missed the grade.

Charity Navigator gives the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) a two-star rating. The organization's fundraising spending is inefficient, and according to Charity Navigator's overall rating, the group "needs improvement."

The HSUS has received other negative ratings by charity watchdog groups. The American Institute of Philanthropy gave the group a D rating for spending over 50 percent of its expenses on fundraising. The December issue of Smart Money Magazine calls HSUS a "laggard" for putting barely 60 percent of its expenditures toward programs in 2002.


PETA "Ab"uses Christianity

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a new anti-meat campaign that instructs people to "Go Vegetarian and Be Saved."

According to the PETA website, the group has created a billboard that depicts an "ample" woman eating a hamburger and turkey leg with the headline "Gluttony Is One of the Seven Deadly Sins - Go Vegetarian and Be Saved." PETA says the ad will be erected along I-35 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

"PETA tries to elicit emotional responses through publicity stunts including this insulting billboard," said Tony Celebrezze field director for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "The organization has a political agenda to end all animal use and will use any tactic to achieve its goal."

"As a Christian I resent PETA relating eating meat to not being saved. While gluttony may be a sin, gluttony is not eating meat. It is eating too much of anything, including vegetables." T.R.


Copyright 2006, T.R. Michels / Trinity Mountain Outdoors

All information on this site is the copyrighted material of T.R. Michels / Trinity Mountain Outdoors, and/or the respective authors. Federal Law expressly forbids copying or other use of this information without the written permission of the publisher or respective authors.


T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Outdoors