Ask Eastmans' Q&A

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BOB LOONEY
Does Wyoming look at my preference points when going through the second choice draw? I have not seen this subject brought up much. I want to keep building my points and hunt, too. I was thinking of applying for a blue-chip area for my first choice and then going with a decent unit but guaranteed draw for second choice. This way my daughter and I can hunt and build up her skills until we decide to burn our points for a top-end unit. We have max points.

Bob,
Yes, Wyoming does look at your preference points on the second choice, but does not take them from you if you draw. Their system runs through all of the first choice applicants first; then, if there are tags leftover, they run through the second choice applicants ranked in order of preference points. Your strategy is very wise indeed and will help to keep you hunting more often.
Guy Eastman

Note: Eastmans’ subscribers can look in this current issue’s MRS for the most up-to-date information on the 2010 Wyoming antelope draws (as well as the Wyoming mule deer draws and Montana’s nonresident general draws).

HOMER BENAVIDES
I’m from Texas and have been hunting the Caribou range in southeast Idaho for three seasons, simply because of the OTC opportunities there. The area seems to have a few elk but I’ve only seen one that might score 300. After talking to other hunters in the area, it seems this area just doesn’t have many quality animals. I used to hunt New Mexico Unit 16D, but I never seem to draw anymore. I’m hoping to find a place I can go each year on a DIY hunt and find some good elk. I know that’s what everybody is looking for, but do you have any ideas?

Homer,
If you’re looking for a place to go DIY each year, traveling to Idaho is always a good idea. but maybe unnecessary for someone from Texas. There are tons of OTC opportunities much closer to you in Colorado, where you can hunt elk every year. My advice would be to check out the MRS in EHJ 113. Nate Simmons has an article in that issue about OTC elk hunting opportunities, and Colorado is mentioned in detail. Colorado has more elk (by a wide margin) than any other state, so with some research, you should be able to find a good area closer to home.
Ryan Hatfield

BRETT JOOS
I’m going to buy a .300 hunting rifle and am wondering if there is a website that does evaluations on hunting rifles. I am also asking for your advice on a brand that you would recommend. I am disabled, so I need a rifle that is lightweight, with not a ton of recoil. I am currently looking at a Remington .300 Win.-Mag. ADL.Ask Eastmans'

Brett,
Matt Suuck has done an excellent job of evaluating rifles in his “Backcountry Rifle Review” in this issue, so you may be able to pull some information from that article. My personal choice right now is the Savage .300 WSM with an AccuTrigger and a Sims Vibration recoil pad. The gun is a tack driver and the recoil is very mild. This would be my gun of choice for the criteria you have outlined. The Remington is a good product as well, but I really like the AccuTrigger. Guy Eastman

KODY LINDSAY
Hi, my wife would like to start hunting deer and elk. I want to by her an all around good caliber, but I would most likely get too much gun and I don’t want to mess up a good thingWhat would the Eastmans’ crew suggest?

Kody,
Everyone’s got an opinion on a subject like this one, and there can be multiple good answers. However, for a perfect all-around rifle that she could use on everything from antelope to elk, and especially one that won’t intimidate a newer hunter, it’d be hard to go wrong with a .270.
Ryan Hatfield

JOSH REGAN
Thanks for putting together a great magazine and TV show. I love to see it done the way it is supposed to be done out West! I have a boot question. I’m a bigger dude with a size 13 boot, and my trouble is that my foot is really narrow. I currently have Danners in various makes for differing conditions. With the right sock configuration I get by okay - that is until I go on a backpack trip. After a few days, my feet get torn up enough to take me off the mountain. Of all the boots you folks have tested, which would fit a narrow foot best?

Josh, Thanks for the great question. I know what you mean about boots and narrow feet. Mine are pretty narrow as well and one thing you don’t want is bad blisters. A good fitting boot is hard to find for some of us. I use the Lowa Sheep Hunters and they work well for me. You can get them through Schnee’s in Bozeman, Montana (www. schnees.com). Our Managing Editor, Ryan Hatfield, is also a bigger guy who wears a size 14 or 15 and needs a narrow boot, and he says that Kenetreks (www.kenetrek. com) work well for him. One other thing to consider is calling Dusty (618-544-8782) over at Lathrop and Sons (www.lathropandsons.com). They make semi-custom boots and can fit any foot. They will obviously be more expensive, but well worth the money. Mine have lasted me over five seasons, so the durability is well worth the money. Guy Eastman