Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kentucky Chocolate!

By John Houck  

We sat above the “Holler” glassing the nooks and crannies of the reclaimed coal mines of Kentucky, when our guide Brandon whispered excitedly, “there he is, there’s Chocolate!” As we followed his pointing gesture with our binoculars, we too spotted the 6x6 bull elk grazing below us, 800 yards away. His dark “chocolate” antlers with polished tips were unmistakable from the three other bulls.

My son Joe and I had front row seats to the best beguiling festival that Kentucky has to offer. The show lasted for two hours as we witnessed bulls, bugles, and battles for the eight cows below us. As the sun set on a misty Kentucky night, we anxiously headed back to camp, anxious to plan our opening day strategy for the Kentucky rifle season.

So opening day strategy continues around the campfire…. While both Joe and I are experienced hunters, and have been on other guided hunts, this was our first elk hunt. What our experiences tell us is, do your homework months ahead of time in regards to finding the right guide and outfitter. Once done, follow the lead of your guide, and have faith in who you’ve hired. This strategy has served us well over the years.

Setting around the campfire, Joe couldn’t stop talking about that “chocolate” elk we saw that evening. So he asked his guide Brandon if we could hunt this particular elk, and Brandon confidently said “absolutely, if that’s what you’d like. I’ve been scouting him for several weeks, and I’ll do my best to find him and provide you with an opportunity for a shot.” We figured with a five day hunt planned, spending a day or two after one specific elk would be a good choice. So, with our faith in our guide, that was our plan.

This hunt actually started in May of 2015 when my son Joe received the news that he hit the lottery! Now I’m not talking about “power ball”, I’m talking about a bull elk tag for the 2015 Kentucky rifle season! I’m not sure who was more excited, as Joe went on to say, “I hope you’ll go with me Dad.”

The planning started immediately. Seasons, rules, regulations, harvest statistics, and outfitters were at the top of the list. We left no stone unturned, as we were determined to make the most of this perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity.

After talking to what seemed like every outfitter in Kentucky, as well as numerous references, Joe decided on OMM Outfitters. Nathan Theriault heads up OMM Outfitters, and he lived up to his reputation by exceeding all of our expectations. First class, all the way!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kentucky Bull Elk Hunt - 2014

Watch the Sportsman Channel - Destination Extreme - Sunday June 14, 2015 at 11 PM

What an extraordinary hunt this was! Hunting the reclaimed mountain top coal properties of Eastern Kentucky was as exhilarating as being at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains - but without the thin air. Elk were bugling all around us and reacting with great enthusiasm to our calling. Coal companies (America's Power) have invested hundreds of millions to restore these lands for wildlife and recreation - and the elk are loving it. These landowners are great stewards of the environment and each year make remarkable improvements to mining and coal burning processes. OMM Outfitters is proud to be a part of the recreation management program of 200,000 acres where we hunt elk, turkey and deer and offer photography and wildlife tours. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cabela's / Barnett Crossbows / OMM Outfitters Experience Report

Boar Hunters Pre-dawn Portrait

With its speed, accuracy, and ease of use the modern crossbow is quickly finding its way into the weapon's arsenal of young and old. 

On the quest to own this once ancient - but now modern - weapon hunters as old as 82 joined a unique factory tour, boar hunt, and luxury lodge experience hosted by OMM Outfitters, Barnett Crossbows, and World's Foremost Bank at the Saddlebrook Resort just North of Tampa, Florida. 

OMM's clients spent an entire day touring the modern Barnett Crossbow factory in Tarpon Springs and personally designing the ultimate personal crossbow - complete with their names engraved on the frame and a custom shipping container. The new crossbows were assembled as the clients watched and then Barnett personnel helped each archer sight in their weapon. A few spouses and friends stayed behind at the resort to enjoy the spa, pools, tennis and golf.

Nathan Theriault and Ben Barthle discussing the hunt.
The following morning hunters woke up before dawn, picked up box breakfasts and headed for the 15,000 acre Barthle Brothers Ranch for a boar hunt. Although the ranch typically only hosts quail hunters, ranch hands and guides worked overtime to set up stands and bait sites for the unique event. At noon-time clients and guides relaxed at the ranches' modern clubhouse and enjoyed a steak dinner while hogs were butchered. Fine dining and great fellowship helped make the event a great success shared a few of the guests who also enjoyed the reprieve from the cold and snowy northern weather.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Florida Gator Hunting 2015!

Successful 10 year old gator hunter. 

Manny Puig and client with
a trident speared gator.
Swamp buggy!

Fun times in Florida with our clients in

One of the most exciting adventures a person can go on is an alligator hunt. Seeing such a giant at close range can take your breath away.
Long time friends Hanging out.

The thought of being in their jaws can also come into play. All of these aspects brings a sportsman to an adventure like no other. However, it's not just about gator hunting with us. It's about having fun and spending time with family and friends in the outdoors. It's about swamp buggy rides and airboat excursions with a stop along the way to grill up lunch. It's about the "experience". It's the way we are.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Too few dying by bullet: Maine’s moose problem

Posted Feb. 15, 2015, at 6:04 a.m.
In addition to death by hunters and vehicles, parasites — such as winter ticks, lungworm and tapeworm — are killing many of Maine’s moose. So many that the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, in a knee-jerk reaction to mortality reports last spring, dramatically lowered the number of moose permits proposed. Thus, nearly 950 fewer moose were killed by hunters in 2014 compared to 2013. Again, 280 fewer permits are being proposed for 2015.
Yet some moose tick experts believe a connection exists between tick infestations and overpopulation. Also, overbrowsing of immature hardwood forests, another indicator of overpopulation, results in malnourished animals and slows reforestation, an economic concern for large landowners.
Why, then, is the moose harvest being reduced? Isn’t a greater harvest one of the most effective remedies for controlling ticks and overbrowsing?
Death by winter tick and starvation are the cruelest ways for a moose to die. Tens of thousands of these tiny bugs attach themselves to animals and suck the blood. The moose becomes anemic, and when warmth and food are needed the most, instead of eating, it frantically rubs off its winter fur coat to detach the ticks. The sight of a tick-infested animal makes it easy to fathom why even the hungriest carnivores pass up a dead carcass.
Better to die by a bullet.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Maine Moose Silent Auction Deadline Approaching

Maine Moose Permit Silent Auction
Deadline Feb 16, 2015 - 8 Days left to apply. Contact OMM now! 

Call us to discuss bidding strategy and details for the 2015 Maine Moose Hunt Auction Tag. Winning bids for 2014 ranged from $10,800.00 to $12,500.00. This tag offers a guaranteed tag for someone seeking a trophy Canadian Moose! Apply for the lottery too and get your money back if you win a lottery tag!

This is a guaranteed tag and a great value compared to Alaska and Canada hunts. We have trophy bulls. You can plan your trip months in advance, drive your own vehicle, and bring home all the meat! 

September - October Standard Bull hunts offered by OMM in Zones 2 - 3 - 6; all inclusive rate of: $15,995. (plus tax and license fees) including tag, guide, recovery, meals and lodging; additional observer at $1,000. Call today: 207-444-7529 extension 5.

Brothers Rejoice - Moose Photo Gallery

Maine Moose Lottery 
Online Deadline May 14, 2015 at 11:59 pm. 280 non-resident permits to be issued. 

Although the number of tags offered is lower than in recent years, fewer residents and non-residents are applying. If you are a non-resident hunter, contact OMM for information and unique strategies about how to improve your odds.

The 2015 moose permit lottery drawing will be held on Saturday June 13, 2015, in Bethel, Maine. 

Kentucky Elk Lottery 
Online Deadline Midnight April 30, 2015. Application fee only $10.
100 non-resident permits to be issued.

Since being introduced in 1997, elk have thrived in eastern Kentucky. High breeding and calf survival rates, the absence of predators, mild winters and abundant food sources support an expanding herd and elk which are on average 15% larger than elk found in western states. Check with us for auction and landowner tag availability.

OMM is the exclusive outfitter on about 200,000 acres of some of the best eastern Kentucky elk, deer, and turkey habitat. The property is managed with a view to producing trophy class animals. Our main focus is elk and providing an extraordinary outdoor adventure. Refined calling techniques and pre-season field and aircraft scouting add to the adventure and success.

New Brunswick Moose Lottery 
Online Deadline April 30, 2015.
100 non-resident permits to be issued. 

Trophy quality hunts hosted by OMM Outfitters in exclusive hunting areas known for big moose. The hunting experience is much like what is available at our nearby Maine lodge. Hunts are superior to the hunts offered by Quebec over-the-counter tags and expect the animal and antler size to be larger than offered in Newfoundland.

Application fee is just CA$40.26 and results are available online from May 19 to June 12, 2015. Tag cost is CA$614.24. Contact OMM after winning a tag and we will advise you about which Zone to select and get you on the calendar at the New Brunswick Lodge.
Apply for a New Brunswick Moose tag