Backcountry Hunting Podcast
Backcountry Hunting Podcast focuses on inspiring and teaching about deep-country hunting, with emphasis on DIY techniques, gear, prep and how-to. Lifelong wilderness hunter Joseph von Benedikt shares stories and tips for success.
info_outline Cartridge Pros & Cons: Short, Long, and Fat 10/15/2021
Cartridge Pros & Cons: Short, Long, and Fat This one's for the cartridge geeks amongst us... A study on how cartridge shape effects performance, efficiency, capability, and most of all, reliability. And yep, stories to spotlight good and bad characteristics are included, along with discussion of great cartridges ranging from classics such as the .300 H&H right up to the ultra-modern 6.5 PRC, 6.8 Western, .280 Ackley Improved, 28 Nosler, and .300 PRC. ENJOY!
info_outline Wind Compensation Made Simple 10/08/2021
Wind Compensation Made Simple This episode details a simple, field-expedient method of compensating for wind. Once you've determined wind speed (we'll cover how to read wind in an upcoming episode), this simple formula enables hunters to make fast, effective wind corrections. ENJOY!
info_outline 3-0h Hate & the 6.5 Needmore: Efficient, capable, and controversial 10/01/2021
3-0h Hate & the 6.5 Needmore: Efficient, capable, and controversial These two great cartridges are commonly called humorously derogatory names. Yes, they do have weaknesses. And yes, disciples of each sometimes have ridiculous conceptions of what their favorite cartridge is capable of. But within their comfort zones, the .308 and the 6.5 Creedmoor also offer tremendous performance. This fun episode unpacks the good and evil of each cartridge, and addresses its worth for backcountry hunting. BONUS: Which is better?!?
info_outline New Zealand & Hunter Ethics 09/24/2021
New Zealand & Hunter Ethics This informative, thought-provoking episode was inspired by correspondence with a serious backcountry-hunting Kiwi in New Zealand. Here, he addresses hunter attitude and ethics, the local conservation-driven approach to Tahr and Chamois harvest, hunt methods, appropriate rifles, cartridges, and bullets, and more. It's a fantastically interesting subject, beautifully presented by someone who lives and breathes backcountry hunting in New Zealand's Southern Alps. ENJOY!
info_outline Glassing Gear & Techniques 09/10/2021
Glassing Gear & Techniques At listener's requests, here's an in-depth look at glassing strategies for success. We address picking and purchasing binoculars, spotting scopes, and high-magnification binos. We detail adjusting fit and diopter, and eye strain and how to prevent it. We discuss strategies for prioritizing what and where to glass, and when and how to glass for best effect. ENJOY!
info_outline Early Season Elk Strategies 09/03/2021
Early Season Elk Strategies Summer is over, leaves are starting to turn, and bull elk are bugling! This fun episode dives into finding, hunting, and packing early season elk. E-scouting, then boots on the ground, reading sign, and watching elk patterns shift... Locating, calling, and killing bulls... and finally, hot-weather meat care and packing are all addressed in depth. ENJOY!
info_outline Keeping It Together at the Moment of Truth, with Duane Buckner 08/27/2021
Keeping It Together at the Moment of Truth, with Duane Buckner Ever experienced a high-speed come-apart when shooting at a big buck or bull? It's normal, and is an important part of the human survival mechanism. But how do you control it so you don't flub the shot? Our guest on this awesome episode is Duane "Buck" Buckner, a veteran of extreme experience and a passionate hunter. Buck has spent decades studying the human psyche and its reaction to shocking stress—as well as how to function through those stresses and complete a task at the moment of truth. ENJOY!
info_outline Top Elk Bullets (and a 3rd Edition Northern Shrike!) 08/20/2021
Top Elk Bullets (and a 3rd Edition Northern Shrike!) Elk season is right around the corner! In this episode, we dig into what makes a great elk bullet, and detail several top performers.
info_outline Pronghorn! Youth Muzzleloader Hunt with William von Benedikt 08/13/2021
Pronghorn! Youth Muzzleloader Hunt with William von Benedikt Recorded in the field, this awesome episode takes you along on a blow-by-blow youth muzzleloader hunt for pronghorn antelope. Excitement, disappointment, redemption, and success—all the elements of a great story. William, age 11, hunts for his first pronghorn using a .45-caliber traditional longrifle loaded with blackpowder and a patched Hornady round ball, and after struggles and near heartbreak, rallies and gets it done in superb style on a buck that will qualify for the Longhunter record book.
info_outline Characteristics of an Ultimate Open-Country Rifle 08/06/2021
Characteristics of an Ultimate Open-Country Rifle What makes a great open-country rifle for hunting the West? Or for that matter, Africa''s wide-open plains or Tajikistan's extreme mountains? This episode breaks down the necessary characteristics, detailing accuracy requirements, configurations shootability, cartridge authority, scope types and mounts, and accessories. Enjoy!
info_outline Single Shot Rifles for Backcountry Hunting 07/31/2021
Single Shot Rifles for Backcountry Hunting Are single-shot rifles appropriate for backcountry hunting? In response to several listener's questions, we take a deep dive into single-shot suitability. Pros and cons, best make and models to consider, great all-purpose cartridges ideal for single-shot rifles, and more. Enjoy!
info_outline Backcountry Hunting with Llamas 07/23/2021
Backcountry Hunting with Llamas Llamas aren't just good for packing into and hunting the backcountry, they're ideal. This episode, I'm joined by old friend and backcountry hunting savant Tyce Ericson, a professional dog trainer and long-time Llama packer. We discuss pros and cons compared to horses, mules, and pack goats, and Tyce details how sure-footed, calm, and capable Llamas are in the backcountry. Plus, being from the camelid family, they can go days without water. Appropriate breeds and purchase and training are covered.
info_outline Short Barrels for Backcountry Hunting with a Suppressor 07/16/2021
Short Barrels for Backcountry Hunting with a Suppressor Responding to several listener's questions about how short is too short, we discuss rifle barrel length for use with a suppressor. We dig into ballistics, velocity loss, velocity consistency, and short-barrel accuracy. Several top cartridge choices are detailed. Advantages and disadvantages of hunting with a suppressor are discussed. Absolutely minimum barrel lengths—without giving up useful hunting-range capability—are explored. ENJOY!
info_outline Backcountry Banzai: The one-day hunt 07/09/2021
Backcountry Banzai: The one-day hunt Think you don't have time to hunt? This episode is all about the one-day, surgical backcountry strike. E-scouting and planning, one-day tips and tricks for success, maximizing your efforts, key times to hunt, and how to pack out when successful. We talk through the true one-day hunt, as well as 24-hour overnighters where you hunt one evening, sleep where dark catches you, and hunt the next morning before heading back to work.
info_outline Two Rifles to Do It All 07/03/2021
Two Rifles to Do It All To refine your skill and become the ultimate backcountry rifleman, you may want to consider a two-rifle set: One in a light cartridge, one heavy-hitter. This fun episode details how to chose your rifles, how to keep them consistent so they shoot and feel alike, and how to set them up for best training and hunting performance. What two cartridges to pick is the primary topic: One light, efficient cartridge for training and for deer-size game, one heavy-hitting cartridge for elk, big black bears, and moose.
info_outline Top Backcountry Kid's Rifle Reviewed: Browning X-Bolt Micro 06/25/2021
Top Backcountry Kid's Rifle Reviewed: Browning X-Bolt Micro After some cool Q&A from listeners, we dive deep into what may be the best compact rifle for kids and small-framed adults on the market: Browning's X-Bolt Micro Composite. From tech specs to field performance, we pick the rifle apart. Top cartridges for beginning hunters and for a spectrum of western big game are discussed and categorized. Lastly, a top choice for a balanced, capable riflescope is suggested and detailed.
info_outline Hunting Bullet Failures I've Seen 06/18/2021
Hunting Bullet Failures I've Seen What constitutes a bullet failure? Host JvB tells the stories of many bullet anomalies seen during big-game hunts. Failures to expand, failures to penetrate, bullets deflected by twigs and brush, and more. Whitetails, mule deer, elk, coyotes, aoudad, and even rogue beef cattle have provided examples of errant bullet performance. Here, we dig in and attempt to diagnose what happened and why, and whether it should have any bearing on our choice of hunting bullets.
info_outline Q&A: Rifles, Cartridges, & Ballistics 06/11/2021
Q&A: Rifles, Cartridges, & Ballistics Kicking back for candid questions and answers... Joseph von Benedikt digs deep into the most interesting questions generated by recent episodes on "The Ultimate Deer Rifle" and "Backcountry Rifle Accessories." Hunting bullets, ballistic trajectories, custom rifle builds, the .30-06 Ackley Improved cartridge, lightweight suppressors, scope covers and flip caps, budget rifle cases, cartridge/ammo holders, and oiled bores and POI shift are all discussed.
info_outline Backcountry Rifle Accessories 06/06/2021
Backcountry Rifle Accessories Prompted by listener's questions, this episode is a follow-up to The Ultimate Elk Rifle and The Ultimate Deer Rifle. First, for hunters that don't want to deal with a custom rifle project, three production-type rifles that fit the profile are detailed. Then we dive into individual accessories, including super-capable scopes, scope bases and rings, bipods, slings, cartridge carriers, field cleaning kits, and more.
info_outline The Ultimate Deer Rifle 05/28/2021
The Ultimate Deer Rifle Elk aren't all that lives in the West. In this episode, we configure our idea of the ultimate mule deer rifle. Of course, it has the lovely side benefit of being also ideal for pronghorn antelope, whitetails, coues deer, mountain sheep, mountain goats, and so forth. Rifle characteristics, appropriate cartridges, actions, barrels, stocks, and bullets are all in the mix.
info_outline EXO MTN GEAR packs with Mark Huelsing 05/21/2021
EXO MTN GEAR packs with Mark Huelsing Today I'm joined by Mark from EXO MTN Gear to talk about modern backcountry hunting packs. To my delight, Mark goes full nerd on materials, design, construction, fit, and more. Plus, we talk about sizes and how to choose the best pack for everything from day hunting to expedition-level, carry-your-world-on-your-back packs.
info_outline Hunting Aoudad: Poor Man's Desert Bighorn 05/14/2021
Hunting Aoudad: Poor Man's Desert Bighorn This episode, we dig deep into aoudad hunting. Joined by outdoor writer Brad Fitzpatrick and professional big game guide Colton Heward, host Joseph von Benedikt discusses hunt cost, appropriate rifles & cartridges, hunt methods, shot placement, fitness preparation, realistic expectations, and finding a good outfitter and guide.
info_outline The Mechanics Of Killing: Bullet Performance & Ethics 05/07/2021
The Mechanics Of Killing: Bullet Performance & Ethics This episode digs deep into big game physiology and the various challenges that deer, elk, bear, moose, and other western big game present to hunting bullets. Low-resistance impacts (broadside, lungs, no ribs) versus high-resistance impacts (quartering, shoulder bone, lots of heavy muscle, ribs, dense internal organs) are compared and explored. The old "dump all the energy inside and not exit" theory of bullet performance is debunked. Rapid-expansion versus controlled-expansion bullets are discussed. ENJOY!
info_outline Sleeping Bag Temp Ratings & Fill Types 04/30/2021
Sleeping Bag Temp Ratings & Fill Types Nerding out on the nitty-gritty tech specs of sleeping bags, we share a letter by a sleeping-bag savant we'll call Ben. He details temp testing protocols, common--but misleading--rating procedures, and how to read between the lines and get a bag that will keep you warm. Plus, Ben addresses down versus synthetic, with its various properties of long life and loft. Then, he talks pads, R-values, and adaptable systems that work. You'll know a lot more about sleeping bags after listening to this. We sure did!
info_outline Big-Ticket Backcountry Gear 04/23/2021
Big-Ticket Backcountry Gear Podcast contributor Colton Heward will be spending 30 to 40 days in Alaska this fall, packing for a dall sheep outfitter, then hunting grizzly and caribou himself, then off to a cast-and-blast on Kodiak Island for Sitka Blacktail, sea ducks, and fish. Although he's been a professional big game guide in the Lower 48 for 10 years, all this impending adventure has him questioning some of his gear. In this episode we hash over what he's replacing, and detail why and with what.
info_outline DIY Javelina Hunting with John McAdams 04/16/2021
DIY Javelina Hunting with John McAdams I'm joined this episode by Big Game Hunting Podcast host John McAdams. John is a passionate javelina hunter, and gives a fantastic interview detailing the species, taxonomy, scouting and hunting techniques, appropriate rifles and muzzleloaders, and tells a couple good stories to boot. We even talk field dressing and cooking javelina.
info_outline The Ultimate Elk Rifle 04/09/2021
The Ultimate Elk Rifle In this fun episode we "Dream Big," and create our idea of the ultimate elk hunting rifle. Characteristics of an ideal elk rifle are detailed and discussed. Component selection such as a specific action, trigger, barrel, stock, bottom metal, scope, scope mounts, and accessories are detailed—along with the reasons why each selection made the cut. Optimal elk cartridges and bullets are discussed and—with appropriate agonizing—narrowed down to just one. Tuning and practice methods are outlined.
info_outline Timney Triggers & the Backcountry Apprentice's First Buck 04/02/2021
Timney Triggers & the Backcountry Apprentice's First Buck This episode the Backcountry Apprentice segment's host William von Benedikt (age 10) joins the full episode to tell the full story of his first deer, taken in Idaho, and to discuss Timney Trigger's 75th Anniversary and the Backcountry Hunting Podcast trigger giveaway. (The winner gets any Timney trigger of their choice!) Please enter to win at www.timneytriggers.com/backcountry. Not just for a chance to win an awesome trigger, but to show Timney how much we appreciate their sponsorship and support!
info_outline Vortex, Burris, & Leupold Hunting Scopes 03/26/2021
Vortex, Burris, & Leupold Hunting Scopes Scopes for backcountry hunting! This episode responds to a listener's question about whether Vortex and Burris scopes measure up, particularly to legendary brands such as Leupold and Swarovski. Specific Vortex and Burris models appropriate for backcountry hunting are detailed, along with bar-setting models by Leupold.