Blog

GEAR REVIEW: Lathrop & Sons Custom Boot Systems And 3D Mapping

By Johnny Mack

Boots and my feet have a love hate relationship. For the longest time, I steered clear of stiff leather boots because of the blisters and hot spots they created on my feet. Being a former collegiate athlete, I was more comfortable in a pair of Nike Air Max 90’s for hiking than true “hiking” boots. At the beginning of my hunting career I tried quite a few different boots. All of them either left me with very little support and would blow out on the sides when getting into steep terrain or they were too stiff leaving me with blisters similar to what you see on the picture below. I finally settled on a pair of boots that worked, but to fit properly I was told to size down a half size which ended up causing my toes to jam into the front of the boots and leaving me with a sensation on my toes that lasted longer than the adrenaline from the hunt.

Read more

GEAR REVIEW: Wiser Precision PH-170 Nighthawk Pan Head

By Johnny Mack

When it comes to backpack hunting, ounces always matter. Period. Having solid and reliable gear can also be the difference between a notched tag and a trip cut short. In this review we are diving into the Wiser Precision PH-170 Nighthawk Ultralight Pan Head. This is the first pan head that marks all the boxes that you might have when looking for a sturdy and ultralight pan head.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

The Holy Grail

By Josh Austin | Instagram – @ihikeupperleft

We all have that “holy grail” hunt; the one that haunts your dreams, the one that keeps you up at night waiting for those special permit results to come in, the one that will create memories for a lifetime if only you could just put all the pieces together to make it work.  Sometimes that “holy grail” hunt isn’t even yours.  Let me tell you about my hunt of a lifetime.  A hunt where I never even picked up a weapon.  

Read more

Turkey Hunting 101

By Travis Arnott

Veteran turkey hunters all too often hear the phrase “I don’t know where to go” or “I don’t know anyone to show me the ropes” when talking with new hunters. A quick look into how I got started may help put your fears at ease.  After all, hunting in the spring when the temps are in the 60’s and 70’s and not 38 and raining, is a nice change from the grey Pacific Northwest that we deal with quite often.

Read more

Contact Your Legislators & Get Involved!

By Johnny Mack

In today’s world of nonstop political action and divisiveness, it’s time we as hunters start getting involved more and have our voices heard. If you have never written a letter or called your local legislator to let them know how important hunting, fishing and trapping are to you and your life, then now is the time.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Hunting 101: Part 6 – Choosing What Species To Hunt

by Johnny Mack

Once you make the decision to start hunting, it is easy to focus on just one animal as your target goal. Before you get locked in to any specific target animal, there are a few things you might want to consider. More often than not, new hunters focus on hunting one target species, rather than the art of hunting itself.

Read more

Second Focal Plane (SFP) vs First Focal Plane (FFP) – What’s the difference?

By Johnny Mack

If you are new to hunting or shooting and you are in the market for a rifle scope, the amount of options available can be overwhelming at times. Do you go with locking/target turrets, adjustable parallax, what magnification, second focal plane or first etc.? Understanding the differences between second focal plane (sfp) and first focal plane (ffp) rifle scopes is very important.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

First Aid Kits | From your vehicle to the backcountry

By Dennis Deitchman

Being prepared for anything in the backcountry is vital. Whether it is equipment or learned skills, everyone should be prepared with some sort of medical kit. Even if it’s as simple as a couple bandaids (although you really should have a more thought out kit). I have two kits I use. One is for backpacking. It is very small, lightweight, and packs a punch in what it can do for me. The other is for my truck, and smaller outings where weight doesn’t matter.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Smoked Elk Meatloaf

Smoked Elk Meatloaf by Weston Alexander

For those of you looking to do something a little different with your ground meat, give this recipe a try. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Read more

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.

Read more

At least it’ll eat good…

by Johnny Mack

This last weekend I had the blessing of shooting my very first buck. Something that I had waited a very long time for. It was a wonderful late season rifle hunt for whitetail in the upper northeast part of the state of Washington. I was hunting in a game management unit (GMU) that was open for any buck (meaning if it has antlers, it was legal to shoot).

Read more

Wild Game Shepherd’s Pie

Wild Game Shepherd’s Pie by Dennis Deitchman

If you find that your ground meat stash just never seems to go down, and you can only handle so many burgers, Shepherd’s Pie is a great recipe to use up some of that bulk game that can feed you and your family for a few days. This is similar to a chili or a stew, where you just throw in whatever ya got. It’s a great hearty meal for whenever the temps start dropping outside as well.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt – No. 27 Jeff Lusk

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt – No. 26 Dustin Coy

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.

Read more

Mountain Hunter Box

If you are a hunter and active on social media these days, there is a good chance that you might be familiar with subscription boxes focused on providing items specifically tailored to the outdoorsman. Being someone that is very picky when selecting gear for my adventures, I was hesitant to dive in and see what the hype was all about.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt – No. 25 Ryan Lampers

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt – No. 24 Mark Huelsing

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt – No. 23 Christian Armstrong

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.

Read more

Hunting 101: Part 4 – Understanding Wind & Thermals

By Johnny Mack

Being a successful hunter requires a lot of grit, patience, knowledge and a little bit of luck.  One of the ways to build your own luck, is to understand how and why wind and thermals play an important role in the success of your hunt. Luck is often confused with preparation and experience. In part 4 of our Hunting 101 series we are going to cover and explain the importance of wind and thermals while hunting. Applying this information while out in the field will not only help you but also explain why things did not go as planned .

Read more

A Letter From The Soulful Hunter

By Johnny Mack

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Try to take yourself back to your mindset when you were there? Were you nervous? Unsure? Felt lost and maybe even overwhelmed?

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 22 Chad Ryker

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.

Read more

Hunting 101: Part 3 – Optics & Glassing For Success

By Johnny Mack

If you have been following along with our Hunting 101 series, you should now have the knowledge and confidence to find land to hunt on (part 1) as well as be able to find animals (part 2).  Part 3 is everything you need to know about the importance of optics and glassing for success.  The term “glassing” is an action word to describe the use of binoculars or spotting scopes to look for animals.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 21 Travis Greenwood

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.

Read more

Is Mentorship What’s Missing In Hunting?

If you are an old salty veteran or brand new to hunting, you might have heard that hunter numbers have been declining for some time now. Every year that passes, the hunting community loses more hunters than it gains and the trend is not looking good.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 20 Jon Collins

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 19 Wesley Smith

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.

Read more

Building Community with Washington Backcountry

On March 9th, Washington Backcountry hosted one of their social events to build community for anyone who loves to hunt or anyone wanting to learn how. It was a fun evening getting to know everyone and packed with great conversation. One of the highlights of the event was having representation from the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife there to partner with us on our mission to transform lives through primal adventure.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 18 Tyler Nelson

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 17 Kyle Kamp

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 16 Lexi Hokett

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 15 Taren Weigandt

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 14 Josh Kirchner

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.

Read more

Episode 63 – Backcountry Mentorship with Johnny Mack

Johnny recently had the pleasure to chat it up with Emory Wanger of the By Land Podcast. The By Land Podcast is focused on better backpacking but breaches a variety of topics that take place in the backcountry. Whether you are a hiker, backpacker, hunter, or nature enthusiast, the By Land Podcast will have something for you. The podcast can be found on iTunes, Stitcher as well as other popular platforms.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 13 Jared Larsen

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.

Read more

Join us in building community and hear why mentorship is conservation.

Whether you are new to hunting or an old crusty veteran, we would love for you to join us on Saturday March 9th at 6:30 pm to talk hunter recruitment, mentorship, share stories and much more.  Representation from the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife will be present to engage in conversation as well.  If you want to build community and friendships within the hunting community, be sure to attend.  Feel free to message us if you have any questions.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 12 Garrett Weaver

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No.11 Tom Ryle

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.

Read more

GEAR REVIEW: MAVEN B.2 11×45 BINOCULARS

By Johnny Mack

If you are in the market for binoculars, spotting scope, or a rifle scope and have not heard of Maven optics, listen up.  Maven jumped into the optics market in 2014, and is based out of Lander Wyoming. The company is built upon the idea that optics can be developed without compromise in quality or performance, all without the big box store markup.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 10 Chase Gunnell

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.

Read more

Mentorship is conservation.

By Johnny Mack

Washington Backcountry was founded upon the belief that mentorship in all aspects of life is important and needed.  Earning your stripes is paramount for reflection and growth.  However, sometimes the concept of earning your stripes is put before the teaching and learning process.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 9 Tony Wintrip

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 8 Jeremiah Doughty

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.

Read more

GEAR REVIEW: Hunter’s Blend Coffee

Do you smell it?  The beautiful aroma of delicious fresh coffee being made in the morning.  That wonderful sound of coffee dripping down into a pot, or percolating on the stove.  These are the sounds that remind us that it is time to focus.  That it is time to prepare.

Read more

Hunting 101: Part 2 – How To Find Animals

By Johnny Mack

Finding animals to hunt is difficult.  I used to believe that if you simply walked into the woods, you would find them.  Turns out, that is not the case.  Over all my years of backpacking and hiking, I can count on one hand the amount of times I have come across deer, bear or any other game animals while in the wild.  Hunting is difficult as proven by harvest statistics every year.   In the state of Washington approximately 20% of hunters successfully harvest a buck yearly.  To find animals you need to understand the three basic things needed for survival: food, water and shelter.  Just like humans, animals would prefer not to travel miles and miles to get each one.  If you can narrow it down to all three within a close distance, you are on the right track.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 7 Andrew McKean

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.

Read more

GEAR REVIEW: Crispi Lapponia

By Johnny Mack

I have spent most of my life in the woods starting with backpacking when I was 7 years old.  That first trip was a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail in northern Washington.  Growing up I hiked in any pair of available athletic shoes that my mother wouldn’t kill me for ruining.  Year after year, hike after hike, were spent stomping around the wilderness with some type of everyday rubber soled average athletic shoe.  Although hiking in those shoes proved to be comfortable for the way they fit, they were by no means waterproof, durable or had enough support.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 6 Beau Martonik

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.

Read more

Hunting 101: Part 1 – Finding Land To Hunt

By Johnny Mack

This last weekend Washington Backcountry had the pleasure of hunting mule deer with a new hunter who reached out to us for some help and guidance.  It was the first time that we had the opportunity to practice what we preach when it comes to mentoring new and prospective hunters.

Read more

GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Viper PST Gen II

By Johnny Mack

There is an abundance of optics companies these day all competing for your dollar and loyalty.  Vortex Optics is one of those companies and they have developed quite the cult following in recent years.  That following was built upon their “VIP” warranty.  It states that no matter what happens, your Vortex product will either be fixed or replaced. In the world of hunting, if your optics fail, you are going to have a slim chance of success.  Hopefully you will never have to test their warranty, but it is nice to know it is there.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 5 Hannah Kycek

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 4 Jana Waller

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.

Read more

The 2018 season started off with a BANG!

The 2018 hunting season has been highly anticipated by the team here at Washington Backcountry.  August marked the opening of fall bear here in Washington as well as the newest arrival to the Washington Backcountry family.  Our team member Tony Ellersick welcomed his first child and baby boy Karsten to the world while team members Wes and Johnny hit the mountains for Wes’s first ever backpack hunt.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 3 Jeff Winslow

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 2 Jason Phelps

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.

Read more

This Is How I Hunt Series – No. 1 Jason M Grove

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.

Read more

The Use Of Social Media – Meeting Hunting Partners & Building Community

By Johnny Mack

Five years ago I met my best friend and now my wife through the power of the internet and social media.  We didn’t know each other growing up nor did we even know of each other’s existence until we met using the free dating app Plenty Of Fish.  It was love at first sight and it has been nothing but love ever since. The irony of it as it relates to hunting is, people have no problem using the internet to meet their spouses and significant others, but how many people will not use it to meet hunting partners or build community in the hunting world?   

Read more

Nutrition In The Backcountry – How To Eat For Success

By Johnny Mack

We recently had the pleasure of getting to know and talk with Registered Dietician Kyle Kamp of Valley To Peak Nutrition located in Boise Idaho.  Kyle has been featured on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast presented by EXO Mountain Gear (https://exomountaingear.com/124/), and is an amazing person who decided to make a change in his own personal life after realizing how unhealthy he was and the hardships it was causing.  Kyle decided to pursue nutrition and exercise to make a change in his own life, and after losing 140 pounds, he chose to become a licensed and registered dietician as a way to inspire and help others on their own journey.

Read more

More Than Meets The Eye – Using Scouting As A Recruiting Tool

By Johnny Mack

Summer is here and hunters are in full-blown scouting mode for this coming fall.  Welcoming summer brings about velvet antlers, new adventures, and plenty of fresh air as people are looking forward to exploring the different parts of the country.  As hunters are hitting the hills, there is another group of outdoor public land enthusiasts gearing up to do the same.

Read more

Hunting Answers The Call To Fulfill Our Need For Spiritual Health

By Johnny Mack

Have you ever been questioned about your passion or obsession with hunting?  How about being told that all you focus on or talk about is hunting and chasing animals.  My wife hounds me nonstop about how it is always on my mind and preoccupies my thoughts. She says it is the best worst thing to happen to me and our family.  It might be sad to say, but I can’t help it. Fulfilling my innermost primordial call to hunt and be wild is at the core of my existence, and hunting answers that call.  

Read more

Wellness & Hunting – A Perfect Match

By Johnny Mack

Wellness & Hunting

How much thought do you put into health and wellness?  Do you prepare every off season for your next adventure or does your health ebb and flow like the ocean tide depending on what you have planned?  The term “wellness” is synonymous with health, and is a common word that most people would be able to understand or describe. Yet even with it being common, it is not something that is used in everyday language nor do people truly understand the full breadth of its meaning.  Wellness is something that most hunters would associate with exercise and healthy eating, and for the most part, that is true. However there is so much more to the term than what the general public probably knows.

Read more

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Who we are: Washington Backcountry came about out of an idea born in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. Hunting and the outdoors are not just a passion but also a way of life for us. We strive to be ambassadors for the hunting and outdoor community, while serving as a resource for those who are unsure about where to start.

Read more