I am an experienced outdoorsman with an eye for conservation and sustainable land use

Besides being a writer and researcher for The Prepared, I consult in the outdoor industry and work as a precision rifle instructor. I am an experienced hunter and angler and have spent thousands of hours in the outdoors catching fish, hunting, bird watching, and exploring planet Earth.  

Here to answer any questions about hunting, angling, or general outdoor activities. Questions related to gear selection, ethics, game recipes, stalking, training, mindset, and hunt preparation are welcome.  

Here are a few photos from a recent mule deer hunt in Central New Mexico. 


A tripod is an excellent tool in the woods. 


Approaching with caution and reverence. 


Solid kit. Mystery Ranch pack, semi-custom Remington 700 rifle, Athlon scope. 


  • Comments (7)

    • 9

      you say you were able to get the deer opening morning and it seems like this hunt went very well, happened quickly, and went smoothly. have you hunted a lot before?

      I know there are millions of factors, but for you personally, what is the percentage of times you have gone out and came home with something? do you feel that percentage has increased the more you have done it and gotten more experienced?

      • 9

        Hello Pint of beer. 

        I have hunted since childhood with my fathers and uncles, but didn’t get really good till I started hunting solo. I got really serious in my mid 20’s. (I am 36 now) When I got serious I made of list of where I saw people fail. People fail because:

        Lack of field craft
        They are not serious
        They don’t know how to read sign
        They are conventional
        They don’t understand ballistics
        They cannot shoot very well
        They cannot get into a stable position
        They lack the grit, hardness or gear to keep moving forward.

         The primary reason people fail is they cannot hit what they are aiming at, or they cannot get in a stable shooting position. The only reason I got into precision rifle is because I saw someone badly shoot a deer, could not find it, which means the deer died in the thicket and was not harvested. Accurate rifles, good scopes and quality gear does not cost a lot of money. There are a lot of good trainers on YouTube, or available for hire.  It is easy to practice. 

        Percentage wise. When I got serious about hunting, I would say I have been successful 80% of the time. I have been skunked on some turkey hunts.

        The trick to being successful is playing to your strengths. I can kill anything out to 600 yards. I can carry ungodly amounts of weight. I can hike 10 miles a day in the woods with ease. I can camp out in the wilds and keep my body warm and keep a low profile to not scare the game. I only hunt public land, and have found if you can get a few miles away from a road or trailhead you can find game. 

        I was in the Valles Caldera all day yesterday with my god daughter. We hiked 15 miles and she harvested a nice cow elk. We stalked the game for 1000 yards and she harvested the animal at 450 yards with her precision rifle. Perfect shot through the heart. We packed out 400 lbs of meat via a sled. Leaned a lot. 

        Keep the questions coming!

    • 9

      How skittish are wild deer? I live in a mountain community and these deer are absolutely not afraid of humans. We can be walking 5 feet from them and they will keep eating, or I can be working on my car in my driveway and a family of deer will just walk past super slowly not showing any signs of being on guard.

      If things ever went south in my community, the deer won’t last long as everyone can just look out their backdoor and see 4 deer just sitting there.

      • 8

        Wild deer can be skittish, but they do acclimate to the sounds in their environment. The canyon I hunted last week was a few miles from a road, and the car sounds echoed up the canyon. I have been miles from humanity watching animals but heard sonic booms from aircraft, and the animals didn’t bat an eye. I have also had deer look at me and be more curious than fearful. 

        If you guys started harvesting those deer, they would be gone or adjust to being nocturnal.

    • 11

      I appreciate the respect you showed for the animal, that was nice.

      What are you going to do with the meat? Two projects I would like to do if I had a whole deer is to make pemmican and jerky!

      • 8

        I take my meat to a butcher. The prime and select cuts will be pulled out. Meat that is not prime will get ground up and turned into Italian, Mexican, and breakfast style sausage. The choice cuts will be used for French-style cooking—lots of searing and braising. Liberal use of red wine and bearnaise sauces served with duck fat french fries or mashed potatoes. 

    • 6

      I am wanting to learn more about being ‘in-tune’ with nature. I believe this is a skill that civilization has lost since we have modernized. 

      And by being ‘in-tune’ with nature, I mean being able to read the signs that it gives off. For example, when looking over a valley, if you see a strip of dark green grass and trees and everything else looks dry and dead, that is where there is a water source. Or being able to tell the weather before it comes in. 

      As an active outdoorsman, do you feel like you have regained some of those lost senses and skills? If so, can you share with us what they are?