The DIY Hunter

Landen with spike elk shed antler

Dallen and KB looking for elk shed antlers

KB and Dallen looking for shed elk antlers.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird watching us from the oak brush.

KB packing spike elk antlers

KB packing some spike elk antlers in his backpack.

Five spike elk antlers

The crew of us boys with our five spike elk antlers. Landen was a little down for the photo. He wanted to find a big antler. Me too, me too.

My three boys and I decided to go hunt for shed elk antlers over Easter break. I was off for Good Friday and so I took the boys out to see what we could find. 

I knew a very general area of where the elk would be this time of year and we set out to scour the area. The elk would have been shedding their antlers over the past several weeks with the smaller bulls probably just losing their antlers.

The area we were hunting in has lots of thick oak brush. We spent a couple hours weaving around and around looking for antlers. We were finding a great deal of fresh elk tracks so they had to of dropped their antlers somewhere near by.

After a couple hours we found a nice brown elk spike in a meadowy area. After finding this one we really scoured that area very carefully and ended up finding five spike antlers within about 200 yards of each other. Two of the spikes were brown and three were whiteys from years past.

So we have a pretty good idea of where we can find spikes in future years to come but where were the bachelor groups of bulls hanging out when they dropped their antlers? I figured they would be lower because they would have dropped their antlers sooner than the spikes. We spent another couple hours working our way down the mountain hoping to find some nice branched antlers but we couldn't find any.

I had brought a couple of Browning's newest trail cameras with me in my Alps Pathfinder pack. The boys were a little tired so I let them play together building a fort while I hiked up a draw to set out the trail cameras.

I was excited to get a couple of new Recon Force XR, BTC-2XR trail cameras and a Strike Force, BTC-5 trail camera. I have loved the cool videos and images I have been getting with my 2013 models of Browning BTC-1, 2, and 3 trail cameras and I'm excited to try out Browning's new 2014 models this year.

The Strike Force BTC-5 trail camera is really small and is packed with awesome features. I can't wait to see what it captures. It's a little early in the year but I would love to catch some bears or young calf elk and whatever else I can on the cameras.

As luck would have it, as I was out setting out the trail cameras I stumbled onto a small five point elk antler. How funny! I didn't think I was in an area that they would have shed their antlers. The boys weren't amused that somehow I found the "big" antler while I told them to have fun here while I go off to setup trail cameras.

Browning Recon Force XR with Strike Force trail camera

Browning Recon Force XR next to the smaller Strike Force trail camera.

Browning Recon Force XR with Strike Force trail camera back and bottom side

The bottom and back view of a Browning Recon Force XR next to the smaller Strike Force trail camera. I like the heavier duty strap loops on the back of the Strike Force.

Browning Recon Force XR trail camera on tree with door open

This Recon Force XR trail camera looks much the same as the original Recon Force. One noticeable change are the back-lit buttons when in update mode. Most of the changes come in the form of better images, video, IR lighting and sensors.

Five point elk antler shed

I hiked up a draw to put out some trail camera while the boys were playing and building a fort. Oops, the boys aren't going to be happy about me finding a five point antler.

Browning trail camera power pack and Strike Force trail camera on Browning trail camera tree mount

I setup a Browning Strike Force trail camera with a Browning Trail Camera Power Pack watching one of my favorite locations from last year. I am curious to see how well the batteries last with this camera and with the power pack setup.

Browning trail camera power pack

Here's a closer view of the Browning Trail Camera Power Pack.

Browning Recon Force XR and Strike Force trail cameras with doors open

This shows the Browning Recon Force XR next to the smaller Strike Force trail camera with the doors open.

Sample image from Browning Strike Force trail camera

Here's a sample image taken from the Strike Force trail camera. It was a dull cloudy day and as you can see the snow is still on the ground from winter. Within a couple weeks things should really start to green up.

Here's a link to the original high resolution jpg image the Strike Force trail camera took which is a 10 MegaPixel image with a 2.8 MB file size.