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It is time to prepare!

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Archery Elk opens September 6 in CO.

Rifle season is also just around the corner. October 12-16 is the first combined rifle season.

If you are a big game (elk, moose, sheep, goats, bear, deer) hunter, the time to prepare is just about OVER! If you didn't start back in May, when I first suggested this, you have waited too long. Sure you can pick up that compound and sling a few down range and discredit yourself and the entire Hunting community. Sure unethical hunters do things like that. It hurts us all. Big game hunting requires preparation, lots of preparation. More than you might think.

Are you in physical shape? Start walking now. Today! Add a pack and some weight. Then more weight. Then pick up your pace. You might have to cover 5 or more miles a day with all your gear on your back. Even if you "pack horse" your supplies (and you) in to your favorite spot, you still need to be in shape. I've never met a hunter who said, "Im in perfect shape for this hunt." I have met lots along the way who were out of steam, breath and energy who ask, "how much further to the road?" Or, "do you have any water you can spare?" Don't get caught at 9000 feet with no gear, lack of water, and no food. (Perhaps that is why 90% of the hunters i see are less than 1 mile from the road. And 90% of the big game I see are over 1 mile from the road. That's a hint.)

Are you in mental shape? Begin working on your attitude, setting your limits and goals. Begin planning your hunt now. Visit the area you hope to hunt and begin to get a feel for the terrain, the challenges, the patterns you think the animal you will hunt will travel. "Failure to plan is planning to fail." And while you are at it, plan for the unexpected.

Have you mastered your hunting instruments? Bow hunters better start flinging arrows soon, if you haven't already started. Picking up the bow the week before the season is careless thinking. Shooting that trophy animal is not same as shooting the paper targets in the back yard or the 3D targets at the local range. Rifle hunters should be putting a few down range on a regular basis. Again, that trophy at 400 yards, moving through the scrub oak, is not the same as the paper targets at 100 yards in the range. With both tools, know your limits. I have passed on nice animals which were beyond my limits. My limits may not be your limits. Hitting a trophy animal and making a good clean shot are miles apart. Pushing your limits will only hurt you and cause regret.

Remember this is a demanding adventure, requiring your to be in shape, mentally and physically at the top of your skill set.

By the way, Im Jeff Patton, co-owner of Stonehaven Arms, LLC. If we can help you with your hunting dreams, call us. We specialize in custom rifles for the North American Big Game Hunter. While hunting is our passion, building custom rifles is a joy and an art. We want hunting to be your passion and a quality Rifle (or bow*) is crucial!

Email me. I'd appreciate hearing from you. (


*sorry we specialize in rifles, but we appreciate the dedicated bow hunter as well,

Nice 6x6, taking a snooze.

whether you shoot a straight limb, recurve or compound.

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