GEAR REVIEW: Grayboe Phoenix Gun Stock

By Jeff Winslow

Instagram: @sendit110

For the last seven years I have been using my long-range competition rifles to hunt with. While the comfortability and accuracy were unparalleled, carrying a twenty-pound rifle around on all my hunts was becoming too much. I knew at some point I would have to build a specific hunting rifle to meet my needs.

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GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Radian Carbon Tripod

By Johnny Mack

A year ago I night hunted for coyotes standing upright for the very first time off of a tripod. What I found is shooting off a tripod is an absolute game changer unless your tripod falls short in stability or height. The tripod I was using at the time was a perfect mix of lightweight and sturdiness but only from the sitting position. Shortly after that hunt, Vortex Optics released the new Vortex Radian Carbon Tripod and I knew that I needed to get my hands on one to see how it would handle afield.

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A Night To Talk Hunting, Conservation & Build Community

Come join Washington Backcountry and The Soulful Hunter Podcast for a fun night of conversation and community building. Doors open at 5pm and all ages are welcome.

You will have opportunity to win sweet prizes from the companies listed below through the raffle and toy donations that will support the families of first responders during this holiday season. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Address of event: 4493 Russell Rd, Unit D, Mukilteo, WA 98275

We want to thank the following companies for their generous donations.

SKB Cases

OnX Maps

Initial Ascent

Vortex Optics

Kryptek

OSS Suppressors

Kelbly’s Rifles

Linguist Game Calls

CrazyElk Company

Annihilator Broadheads

Western Bear Foundation

Str8 Sheet Fabrications

You cannot out give good and Mentorship is Conservation!!!

How to identify animal tracks

By Chad Hultz

One of the many things that draw us to the outdoors is the scenic beauty of nature, and for others, it is the wildlife. Sometimes the evidence of wildlife is right in front of you, you just have to look. Coming across a bear, deer, or elk grazing can get the heart pumping with excitement. If you are anything like me, being able to see wildlife can be just the luck of the draw. Learning to identify animal tracks can help you know what wildlife is moving around the area you like to frequent.

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GEAR REVIEW: Pulsar Thermal Optics

By Johnny Mack

If you are a fan of predator hunting, there is no better way to do it than going out at night and leveling the playing field by using thermal optics. If you want to do it right, have a higher chance of success and be able relive your hunt for later enjoyment, then look no further than Pulsar Thermal Optics.

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With No Risk, There Is No Reward

By Dennis Deitchman

IG: @dennis_deitchman

I have always been pretty physically fit, and what I thought was mentally fit. In reality, I was just being stubborn and completing tasks in hopes of coming out the other side “fixed”. I could not be in the moment. I could not recognize my accomplishments for what they actually were, and never felt like my successes were ever good enough. I didn’t feel as if it was me accomplishing these feats, I always felt as if it were someone else checking these boxes off I had created in my mind. I felt that since I struggled while doing something hard, and there were thoughts of giving up the whole time, that I was unworthy to even mention it. I almost felt ashamed that I would struggle so much on hard hikes, long unsuccessful hunts, or intense workouts. I was always putting myself down, saying I was not good enough, and nitpicking every little thing. Always striving for “perfection” and in my eyes, always falling short.

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Wild Game Stew

By Chris Torborg

IG: @chris.torborg

If you are reading this you have repeatedly heard some form of the following statements about wild game:

  • “My spouse does not like deer, its too gamey.”
  • “Duck tastes like flying liver.”
  • “Geese are good for one thing, dogfood.”

If you or a loved one has said a form of one of these statements, I have a solution for you – learn proper cooking techniques and the right recipes.

There are three root causes for wild game to not taste good:

1. Improper meat care

2. Overcooking

3. Not cooking it long enough.

This recipe covers braising meat which in turn solves problem #3. When you cook meat low and slow something magical happens, the muscles and connective tissue break down and meld into the flavors you surround them with. This recipe is a fool-proof way to make any wild game taste good enough for anybody to eat. And I mean ANYBODY, mother-in-laws included.

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Spicy Italian Baked Bear Spaghetti

By James Forslund

IG: @bearcountryoutdoors

www.bearcountryoutdoors.com

There is a common misconception surrounding bear hunting and the meat that it provides. For centuries, original inhabitants of America used to prefer bear meat over venison. They considered the meat to taste better, they rendered the fat down to cook with and to waterproof things. All the while venison was mostly used for its buckskin. This recipe is a favorite of ours and a great introduction to bear if you have never tried it.

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Washington Backcountry Placed 3rd!!!

We are excited to announce that Washington Backcountry’s submission into the 2021 Badlands Film Festival was selected as a finalist and placed 3rd!!! If you were not able to watch the live streaming event, you still can by going to badlandsfilmfest.com.

For all of you who want to cut right to the chase and watch our featured film “Soul Seeker” you can do so by going to the Washington Backcountry YouTube channel. While you are there, you can also stay up to date with every episode of The Soulful Hunter Podcast and don’t forget to subscribe as we have a lot of amazing content planned for 2021.

Soul Seeker follows Johnny Mack’s journey of how hunting transformed his life along with how it has the power to transform other’s through primal adventure. His message of “Mentorship is Conservation” is the foundation upon what Washington Backcountry stands for. Being a Soul Seeker is defined by more than just going hunting or squeezing the trigger. It is solidified by the idea that hunting and the experiences associated with it are life transformative.

Just like a spark can be ignited in someone’s soul through their experience, it is OUR job to pass the torch onto others making sure hunting lasts for generations to come. Seeking out new people and getting them started in hunting, while simultaneously building a community of support is the least WE as hunter’s can do to give back to something that has provided so much for us. You cannot out give good and you too can become your own Soul Seeker. #mentorshipisconservation

Instagram: @washington_backcountry Facebook: Washington Backcountry Twitter: @WAbackcountry

Instagram: @thesoulfulhunterpodcast Facebook: The Soulful Hunter Podcast

In collaboration with Revol Entertainment.

www.revolentertainment.com Instagram: @revolentertainment

GEAR REVIEW: Tag Wallet by The Crazy Elk Company

By Johnny Mack

Sometimes in life you don’t realize what you have been missing out on until you experience it first hand and understand the need for it. This was my initial reaction when I came across the Tag Wallet by The Crazy Elk Company. As a newer hunter I was always concerned with how much electrical tape or zip ties I needed to carry with me on a hunt in order to attach my notched tag.

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GEAR REVIEW: Initial Ascent IA4K Backpack

By Johnny Mack

When it comes to hunting gear, people often talk about a good pair of boots and a comfortable backpack as being the most essential gear to make or break a hunt (besides your weapon of course). After spending several seasons hunting and packing out animals, I was always left with a excruciating pain between my shoulder blades that would eventually beat me down and made me despise the pack I was wearing.

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GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Razor HD Gen II

By Johnny Mack

The Vortex Razor HD Gen II is a power house of an optic. Whether you are competing in a PRS match or out in the wild pursing game, this scope has the ability to do it all. With all things in life, there are pros and there are cons. Hopefully this article will help you figure out if this is the right scope for you.

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Broadhead Review

By Johnny Mack

After spending all winter dreaming about the fall hunting seasons, I started to take inventory of my gear and look into what items I wanted to switch out or try. Broadheads were at the top of my list. Not because I didn’t like the head I was previously using, but because there is an abundance of cool technology and heads to choose from on the market these days.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 41 Dylan Dowson

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 40 Lauren Hill

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.

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Dutch Oven Wild Game Roast

By Weston Alexander

IG: @bolt_action_hero

A good pot roast is a staple of many families and definitely one of ours. Households across America have their own recipes that has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s the meal that warms our bellies and also our souls. It the center of where we gather for great conversations and to spend quality time with the ones we love. In this recipe I share my take on the pot roast but add my ow twist to it. This recipe is done with a Dutch oven in an open fire.

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GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Razor UHD 12×50 Binoculars

By Johnny Mack

In the spring of 2020 I had the privilege of using Vortex Razor UHD 12×50 binoculars on my bear hunt. I was beyond elated to be able to use them while hunting after looking through them at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. The first time I looked through them I was blown away with the quality of glass. Previously I was using Vortex Razor HD binos and even though those were very good, the UHD’s are hands far better and in a class of their own.

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GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder

By Johnny Mack

This past spring, I had the pleasure of using the Vortex Razor HD 4000 rangefinder on my Washington state spring bear hunt. I was super excited to finally have a rangefinder that matched my binoculars and rifle scope in optical clarity and sharpness. I have used multiple rangefinders in the past only to feel disappointed when trying to range an animal in low light and then not be able to find it.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 39 Chris Mann

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 39 Chris Mann”

Dungeness Crab Stuffed Morel Mushrooms

By Tony Ellersick

IG:@tonyellersick

On the first weekend of the 2020 spring bear season, we stumbled across a large harvest of morel mushrooms. Knowing that they are prized and still require skill to find, I found it fitting to throw a recipe together for everyone who is looking for a good morel recipe. In this recipe I’m combining land and sea to make an awesome spring time meal or appetizer. Dungeness crab and morel mushrooms pair together so well! Both texture and flavors explode and after making this dish it easily became a favorite combo!

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 38 Chase Harris

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 38 Chase Harris”

GEAR REVIEW: Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener

By Johnny Mack

This last year I decided to try out a fixed blade knife for processing game instead of constantly having to remember to refill my replaceable blades. Once I settled on the Benchmade Altitude, I knew that a fixed blade is only as good as how sharp you keep it. With that in mind, I set off to find a small, lightweight and convenient sharpener that I could trust and rely upon while hunting.

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GEAR REVIEW: Benchmade Altitude Knife

By Johnny Mack

A good knife is something to be valued, and in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “There never was a good knife made of bad steel.” This statement still rings true today and Benchmade delivered when creating the Altitude.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 37 Steve Opat

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 37 Steve Opat”

The Power of Social Media

Johnny Mack of Washington Backcountry recently had the pleasure to talk with Chad Ryker, the host of the Backcountry Rookies Podcast about the power of social media and the influence it can have in today’s society. Give a listen and let us know what you think.

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Wild Game Cassoulet

By John Brooks

IG:@jbrooks999

When people think of French food, they think of stuffy, complicated, unsatisfying cuisine: fragile sauces or soufflé that fail with the smallest inattention. This is sometimes true, but what is also true is the countryside in France is full of down to earth hard-working people who cook very good food with what the landscape provides. This recipe is just that. It incorporates waterfowl, some tougher chunks of critter, bacon, and beans. The ingredients in this recipe are less important than the process. Once you get the process down, you can make this dish personal, and use what you have.

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Why Societal Pressures Have Created an Aversion to Hunting

by Lou Lou Durant

Society wants to domesticate us. 

Think back to when we were little kids. Unburdened by the plagues of everyday life – work, politics, social conflict… That was true, unadulterated freedom. 

We were open books before our pages were written on. And, we weren’t the ink that originally wrote our story. It isn’t until we become adults where we truly begin to evaluate the belief systems that we learned as children. 

This is all to say that before we had our instincts stifled by omnipotent societal pressures and the melodrama of everyday expectations, we were free

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Join Us At The Western Hunt & Conservation Expo

Mentorship, Conservation & Primal Adventure


What does the next generation of hunting look like?

February 13-16, 2020 • Salt Palace Convention Center • Salt Lake City

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Wild Game Avocado Burger with Rosemary/Sun Dried Tomato Mayo

By Dennis Deitchman

There’s a million burger recipes out there, but this is one of my favorites. It’s more than a plain ol cheeseburger, but not over the top and impossible to eat. For your burger, you are going to want to add fat to it, as most wild game has little to no fat content. You can do this with beef fat, pork fat, lots of oil, or even frozen butter cubes mixed in. I look for about 10% fat in my grinds, and you can even play with your grind and add different cuts to it.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 36 Dan Ness

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 36 Dan Ness”

This Is How I Hunt – No. 35 Clint Easley

by Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 35 Clint Easley”

This Is How I Hunt – No. 34 Paul Servey

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 34 Paul Servey”

Inspiration vs. Motivation

by Johnny Mack

While doing some reflection as to why people choose to hunt, I kept coming back to this concept of motivation vs. inspiration. In a world driven by technology and social media, I wanted to know what are some of the deciding factors people need in order to begin a journey of something new.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 33 Rob Keating

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 33 Rob Keating”

Wild Game Chili Recipe

Wild Game Chili by Dennis Deitchman

One of my favorite meals to cook with wild game is a big ol’ pot of chili. It’s versatile and you can feed a whole family on it for a few days. Plus the longer it sits the better it tastes. Overall, it is very simple to make, as long as you pay attention to a few key points in the process. When choosing a meat to use, you can go a few different ways, but the process stays basically the same. If you want all ground you can do that. If you like yours chunky you can use cubed or stew meat, or a combo of both. It really is whatever you have laying around. For my chili recipe I used ground antelope, and elk breakfast sausage. Let’s get started:

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 32 Dan Stanton

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 32 Dan Stanton”

This Is How I Hunt – No. 31 Derek Depew

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 31 Derek Depew”

This Is How I Hunt – No. 30 Dave Dowty

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 30 Dave Dowty”

Hunting 101: Part 5 – Packing For Your Adventure

By Johnny Mack

Anytime you leave your vehicle and head off on an adventure, you should always be prepared to answer 2 simple questions. Can you respond positively to an emergency or accident? And can you safely spend a night (or more) outside? Being able to answer those questions can be the difference between life or death.

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This Is How I Hunt – No. 29 Ian Burrow

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special. Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 29 Ian Burrow”

This Is How I Hunt – No. 28 Jeff Barlow

By Johnny Mack

Hunting is hard.  Flat out. It takes patience, courage, and grit.  More often than not you are left with an unfilled tag in your pocket and a long walk back to the truck.  So why do it? Why put in so much time, money and effort if percentages do not go in your favor? I know why I do it.  I do it because the effort it takes to successfully harvest an animal is unlike any other feeling in life. Because with no risk there can be no reward.  It is what makes hunting and harvesting your own meat so special.

Continue reading “This Is How I Hunt – No. 28 Jeff Barlow”