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The First Lite Campfire is our spot to share with you, our customers, stories about our adventures in the field, information on our pro staff, pictures from our trophy room, the latest news and everything in between. Please check back with us as we build the First Lite community and feel free to drop us a note at to let us know how we are doing.
I recently returned from Azerbaijan where I hunted with Mike Monnin and Caleb Applegate, buddies of mine from Barrow, Alaska. We had a great adventure, and each of us shot a nice tur.
The Big Hole: Big Fish, Big Problems
The morning and evening caddis hatch-like migration of rafts in and out of Missoula and the bikini hatch on the Clark Fork serves as a constant reminder that summer has officially arrived. I can’t help but get selfishly annoyed that everyone seems to enjoy the same hobby. Does anyone go mountain biking or play golf anymore?
Compound Elk Set-Up From Scratch
Building My 2012 Elk Set-up
The draw results are out and for this Mule Deer FANATIC it wasn’t a good year for drawing tags. In fact, after everything is said and done the only tag in my pocket right now is a limited entry Colorado Elk tag. Now its time to build my elk set-up and here’s what I put together.
2012 Elk Set-up
2012 Hoyt Carbon Element RKT
Winner’s Choice Custom Bowstrings
CBE Tek-Hunter 3 pin sight
Tight Spot Quiver
2” Fuse Axium stabilizer
Carter QUICKIE release
Easton Axis 300, 4” Easton wrap, 3 2.1” Fusion Vanes
Guide Approved Gear
Guiding big game hunters in Alaska is my profession. As a professional, I try to make my clients’ wilderness/hunting experience better than he, or she, dreamed possible. Over the past 15 years I have come to realize that quality clothing, gear, and tools are vital to the success and enjoyment of my hunters and myself. Spending over 100 days in the field hunting and guiding, I need equipment that will not fail. This is not a gear list to trump all others, but this is what I use. And it works for me.
Had a few days to travel and check in with some dealers last week. Wanted to say thanks to the guys down at the Gunnison River Fly Shop for de-railing my work trip for a day. The Gunnison and the Taylor fished great, nobody on the water and an epic caddis hatch to boot.
Some BC Highlights
The weather was great, the bugs were down, and it was 100K to the nearest internet access. The Griz had most of the black bears pushed out of the usual spots. Despite there heightened awareness we managed to sneak in on a few, put some miles on the bikes and pound the willows for some moose sheds. All and all a 19 hour drive well worth it.
A few photos courtesy of Primitive Outfitting and FIrst Lite
Long road through beautiful country.
Good friends up here in the BC.
First Lite BC
Team First Lite,
I will be on the road for the next ten days or so travelling from the home office in Ketchum Idaho to Penny British Columbia. There will be stops along the way scheduled and not, some for First Lite and some for fun. (Fortunetly I always travel with a full quiver of flies, rods, Pabst, and a big yellow dog.)
Team First Lite
We at First Lite just want to take a minute to say thanks to all of you that check out our website daily just to see whats new. The contributions all of you make to our Face Book page and Blog posts are encourageing and helpful in regards to the developement of our product line, network, and company. We promise to keep you in the best gear possible if you keep the ideas and information coming. Let us know what you would like to see from us in the future.
We would also like to take a moment to welcome Steven Rinella to the First Lite Blog and look forward to his field notes and tips in the future.
First Lite would like to thank Billy Molls for his continued support of First Lite and conservation in the outdoors. We've known Billy for a long time and he was one of the first people to put our clothes to the test. It means a lot to us when Billy includes First Lite on his packing list. Because as anyone knows who has hunted or guided in Alaska, his job and sometimes his life depends on his gear. So take a quick minute and get to know Billy.
A Turkey Timetable
First Lite team member Kit Fischer Shares some turkey knowledge for the season. Kit smacked a gobbler by the way and submitted it to our FL turkey contest.
Backpacking With The Heat
Judgeing from the responses it appears that most of our fans are in favor of carrying a side-arm. That being said what are the reccomendations and thaughts behind them? For instance if you reccomend a .45 what is the reasoning. What to carry in what situation, is your side arm of choice more of a deterent than it is capable of stopping a chargeing animal? We'd like to hear your opinion on the matter.
Backpacking with or without the heat?
Early Sept, archery opener, and the mulies are in the high country. The temperatures are still hitting eighty degrees and the only chance of hearing a bugle is to get up where the nights are cool. The access is a designated wilderness area and that means a long hike into the bowls, bulls, and bucks. You are repacking your gear for the final time. You know how much everything weighs. You know exactly where and how your gear needs to sit in the pack to ride even and easy. The food list is engraved in the brain as is the fuel, the route, and the millions of variables you are expecting to encounter.
Eastmans DIY by Jacob Long
Check out Eastmans Jacob is making First Lite proud.
Are You A Sportsmen Conservationist?
"Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick"
Let's start by defining what a "sportsman conservationist" is. These are hunters and anglers who understand the opportunities we are afforded as sportsman did not happen by accident. Most of us have the opportunity to have quality hunting and fishing experiences because somewhere in History somebody recognized the value of connecting ourselves with nature and making sure the next generation is given an equal shot. Folks like Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold and George Bird Grinnell round out the hall of fame. See how you shape up against the greats.
NoDak: A First Trip to the Mecca of Hunting
I've never been to North Dakota before. All I knew about the state was that a) It is currently enjoying one of the only budget surplus positions in the Union, due to the booming oil industry, b) it is sandwiched somewhere between here and Michigan, and c) it supposedly offers some of the best all around hunting opportunities in the world. Being an avid bird hunter, it was definitely on my bucket list, so when a coworker and friend offered me up the chance to experience it first hand, I jumped at it. I didn't learn much about their fiscal situation and I saw a few oil refineries on the interstate but I definitely was able to confirm point C--the hunting is as good as advertised.
First Lite Facebook Photo Contest Underway!
We feel like giving something away. How about $180 in First Lite goods?
Ethical Shooting: The Irrelevance of Distance and Tips for Success with Phillip Larson
First Lite Pro Staffer Phillip Larson, inarguably one of Montana's best archers, calls in to provide a multitude of tips, tactics, training excerises and games to make you a better bow hunter. Oh--and he also answers a just little question of "what is an ethical shot?"
Ethical Shooting Series Week 1: McDonalds, The Wall and Driving Miss Daisy
To kick off our series on the topic of ranging and ethical shooting, we're dialing back the clock all the way back to 1990. Now I know a lot of us don't exactly consider 1990 to be that long ago. After all, it was a great year: The first McDonalds in Moscow was opened, the Hubble Telescope was launched into space, East and West Germany were unified once again and Driving Mrs. Daisy won best picture (I never saw it but I'm sure it's horrible). Do you know what wasn't around in 1990?