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 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.
info_outline Bear Baiting Essentials with Tyler Freel 03/19/2021
Bear Baiting Essentials with Tyler Freel Spring is upon us! It's time to plan your bear baiting strategy. Host JvB and Tundra Talk Podcast's host Tyler Freel cover the essentials of bear baiting from A to Z. Picking a bait site, choosing a tree stand or ground blind spot, jump-starting your bait, maintaining your bait, using trail cameras to monitor your bait, shooting bears on a bait, and tracking and recovering are all addressed. Grizzly baiting is discussed. As a final shot, Freel gives his favorite ways to prepare, cook and eat bear.
info_outline Barrel Break-in & Other Q&A 03/12/2021
Barrel Break-in & Other Q&A This technical episode dives into the art and science of barrel break-in processes. Which barrels benefit most and which don't benefit much at all are detailed. Potential benefits in accuracy and easy cleaning characteristics are explored. How-to processes and materials are listed. Plus, the up-front section includes several interesting listener's questions and answers about picking an outfitter, sharpening knives in an emergency, taping muzzles in bad weather, binocular magnification, and more.
info_outline Custom Knife Edition 2, plus more premium rifles 03/05/2021
Custom Knife Edition 2, plus more premium rifles Announcing the 2nd limited edition of our Northern Shrike backcountry hunting knife, co-designed and hand made by master bladesmith Evan Siembida of Siembida Custom Knives! With Evan on the line, we discuss choice of steel, handle material and treatment, new scabbards, and more. Only 25 will be made; if you want one, call Evan at (740) 270-9057.
info_outline Suppressors Made Easy, with Silencer Central 02/26/2021
Suppressors Made Easy, with Silencer Central If you want a suppressor, this episode is a must-listen. Host JvB and Silencer Central's CEO and owner Brandon Maddox dive deep into how to choose a silencer, and just how easy the purchase can be. Silencer Central offers the most efficient purchasing service available, including e-signing forms, self-completing and submitting fingerprints and photo, and a complimentary silencer trust. Incredible as it may sound, when you purchase through Silencer Central, your suppressor gets shipped right to your house.
info_outline High-Quality Rifles for Backcountry Hunting 02/19/2021
High-Quality Rifles for Backcountry Hunting With tax time upon us, and hunting season right around the corner (hey, we like to be optimistic!), a look at top backcountry rifles was in order. Here we discuss the characteristics and advantages of premium, production-grade hunting rifles, plus detail several excellent choices from Browning, Christensen Arms, Kimber, Ruger, Remington, Sako, Savage Arms, Tikka, and Winchester.
info_outline Budget Rifles for Backcountry Hunting 02/12/2021
Budget Rifles for Backcountry Hunting Prompted by a listeners comment, this episode addresses budget rifles that provide capable performance for backcountry hunters. Characteristics of low-cost rifles are detailed, including pros and cons as well as what you give up by not purchasing premium quality (an unavoidable element). Six solid budget rifles are detailed, including:
info_outline A Hunt of a Lifetime with Gary Heward (Desert Bighorn) 02/05/2021
A Hunt of a Lifetime with Gary Heward (Desert Bighorn) This episode we're joined by Gary & Colton Heward, professional western big game guides. Colton hosts our Scouting & Navigating segments. Gary drew a Desert Bighorn sheep tag in 2020. This is his story, including how he overcame a massive infection in his knee replacement before his hunt, macular degeneration in his vision, and other obstacles in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of hunting sheep. His rifle, scope, .280 Ackley handloads and more is detailed, along with a blow-by-blow of the hunt. Enjoy!
info_outline The Archery Den with Logan White 01/29/2021
The Archery Den with Logan White This fun, conversational episode with Top 20 Mathews bow dealer Logan White digs into bowhunting trends and gear evolution, as well as the passion that drives successful bowhunters. We talk new bows, arrow construction and tuning, broadheads for whitetails and elk, bow sights, and a whole bunch more.
info_outline Hunting Mountain Lions 01/22/2021
Hunting Mountain Lions This episode dives into mountain lion hunting in the American West, detailing population trends, taxonomy, hunting methods, DIY versus outfitted hunts, firearms and archery gear appropriate for cougars, shot angles and kill zones, whether mountain lions are good to eat, and taxidermy prep and options.
info_outline Browning's New 6.8 Western & .280 Ackley 01/15/2021
Browning's New 6.8 Western & .280 Ackley Meet Browning's awesome new .270-caliber short action magnum: The 6.8 Western. This is the cartridge that Joseph von Benedikt used during his 2020 Alaska solo drop-camp caribou hunt. It's got a fast 1:7.5 rifling twist rate, enabling it to shoot a new breed of heavy-for-caliber, high-BC .270 bullets of up to 175 grains.
info_outline Monster Deer & Minimizing Gear 01/04/2021
Monster Deer & Minimizing Gear Welcome to the 101st episode! This fun discussion covers two topics: big mule deer bucks and minimizing your backcountry gear. Monster-buck glory days are relived, statistics of harvesting a big buck are crunched, and methods to contribute to mule deer recovery are suggested.
info_outline Kids Hunting: How To Start Them Right 12/22/2020
Kids Hunting: How To Start Them Right Welcome to our 100th episode! We talk about something of critical importance: our kids, and passing along our love of hunting and the outdoors. How to generate interest, pick a first gun, learn safety, choose binoculars & scopes, make good shots & clean kills, take good pictures, & how to field dress game. Also involving kids in aging meat, & processing it at home. Respect, stewardship, and storytelling are important too; this episode details teaching these concepts & making them resonate.