Skousen Bros - Jeff & Mark

  1. Grim Reaper Broadheads – Fixed vs Mechanical

    Whether you are brand new to archery or a long-time veteran, you have probably noticed that there are very strong opinions on the topic of broadheads. The big debate and question is should I shoot a fixed blade or mechanical head on the end of my arrow?  I don’t know that there is a right or wrong answer to this question because there are pros and cons to both setups.  Also, there are many variables that should be considered to help answer this question.  I have been a big fan of Grim Reaper Broadheads for many years. The company is a small family-owned business that has been around for 20 years.  They have a robust product line and a proven track record of quality.  As an added bonus, they are 100% made in the USA which helps them with quality control.  Not many other broadhead companies can say that these days.  Continue reading →
  2. Reviewing the New Carter Index Release - The “Like Mike II”

    When I first got into archery, I only shot index finger style releases and like most new archers, I wasn’t properly executing my shot.  I basically lined up the pin on what I was aiming at and let er rip.  Since then, I have tried many different styles of release aids and have gotten much better at controlling my shot process.  At one point in my archery evolution, I picked up a Carter release called the “Like Mike”.  This is an index finger style release that has some adjustability for tension and travel.  Meaning you can make the trigger easier or harder to go off as well as you can adjust how much creep is in the trigger. Similar to the adjustment of a good rifle trigger.  This past year, Carter announced an upgraded version of the “Like Mike” and called it the “Like Mike II”.  This article will go over some of the enhancements to the new model Continue reading →
  3. BlackOvis Merino 2.0

    Most likely you’ve heard the term layering as it relates to hunting clothing and how this technique will give you the optimal benefit under a variety of hunting conditions.   Many of the top hunting clothing manufactures build entire clothing systems around this layering concept.  These systems include essentially three components.  1) base layer 2) insulation layer, and 3) outer layer. This article will focus on the first layer of the clothing system (or the layer that’s next to your skin). There has been much debate and research around the most effective material for this base layer application.  Below is a simple explanation of the most commonly used base layer materials and some of the pros and cons. Continue reading →
  4. Active vs Static Insulation

    Earlier this year, Sitka introduced a new jacket and hoody called the Ambient Collection.  The thesis behind this new piece of gear is to use it as a mid-layer insulation piece, that breathes well, and manages moisture in active situations. This was interesting to me and got me thinking about the difference between active and static insulation. My hunting style lends itself more toward activity rather than sitting for long periods of time, so the focus of this article is to define those terms and give a full review of the Ambient Hoody that I have been testing this past summer and early fall. Continue reading →
  5. Crispi Kenai Boot Review

    With hunting season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make sure you have all the gear you need for a successful hunt.  One of the most important pieces of gear, in my opinion, is picking the right boot for your specific hunt. With years of experimentation on dozens of different brands and types of boots, I had settled on the Uninsulated Crispi Nevada as my go-to boot for hunting Elk here in the West. However, this year, Crispi introduced a new boot in their line-up which is basically an exclusive BlackOvis version of the Nevada with a few improvements, in my opinion.  It is called the Kenai GTX.  I’ve been testing this boot for a couple months now and wanted to share my initial impressions.   Continue reading →
  6. 3 Tips for Better Elk Hunting Success

    With Elk season right around the corner, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped the Skousen Bros be more successful elk hunters.  These nuggets of wisdom have been learned and relearned over years of spending a lot of time in the elk woods.  Hopefully you can relate or at least consider some of these tactics for your upcoming season. Continue reading →
  7. CBE Sight Review

    My search for a new hunting sight was intentional but what I ended up with was a result of not being able to get the original sight I thought I wanted.  I had a spring Alaska bear hunt coming up in May and I needed an immediate solution. The sight I wanted had been on order for 4 months and got delayed again due to supply chain issues.  I was explaining my dilemma to a good friend and hunting mentor, and he told me to check out the CBE Trek Pro Sight.  I’m glad I did.   Continue reading →
  8. Lightweight Hunting Pant Comparison

    My brother Jeff recently wrote a review on Midweight pants. I will use the same format he used. Most of our scouting and hunting is done in the early season when temps are a little warmer. On an early season archery elk hunt, in September for example, temps can range from 30 degrees in the morning to mid 70’s and 80’s in the day. Choosing a pant that is lightweight and breathable yet still durable is key to making these hunts more enjoyable. I had the opportunity test and put the following lightweight pants through the ringer. Continue reading →
  9. Midweight Pant Comparison

    I love the off season because it’s a chance for me to test gear in preparation for next year’s hunting season.  For the past several months, I have been testing three, high-quality, midweight pants. Continue reading →
  10. How to Build Accurate Arrows

    My twin brother Jeff and I build our own arrows and we are constantly tinkering with our setups to build the most accurate arrows.  A few months back, Jeff wrote an article called "Arrow Setup 101". Arrow accuracy is built upon many of the fundamentals that Jeff discussed in his article.  In addition to trying to build the most accurate arrow it is very important to understand that bow tuning is essential to complete this process.  I won’t go into detail about bow tuning in this article, but even the most accurate arrow won’t have perfect flight without a well-tuned bow.  Bow tuning is essentially creating an environment where the arrow leaves the string of your bow in its most efficient and natural form.  What an arrow does after it leaves the string, is influenced by arrow accuracy. Continue reading →
  11. Sitka Aerolite Jacket Review

    As an active hunter, I’m a huge believer in the benefits of layering my clothing system to regulate body heat.  An effective layering system includes 3 basic components. 1) A base layer that is worn close to the skin.  2) An insulation layer to provide warmth and 3) An outer layer to provide durability and protection from wind and moisture.  Depending on the conditions, any one of these three components can be worn.   It’s very common for a mid-September morning to start out in the 20’s or 30’s and warm up to 60’s or warmer in the day.  A thoughtful layering system in this scenario is extremely effective.   Continue reading →
  12. Picking The Right Late Season Hunting Boot

    A couple months ago I began the search for a late season boot in preparation for a 3rd season mule deer tag I drew in Colorado.  Typically, I wear an uninsulated boot for my September archery elk hunts but I knew this hunt could produce really cold temperatures and plenty of snow.  I wanted a boot with insulation and a little more height. Continue reading →
  13. Kill Kit Essentials

    The purpose of a kill kit is to have all the essential items organized in one place to process an animal in the field.   This list can vary a bit based on personal preference but in my opinion, there are some critical items that should be considered for every kit.  Here is a breakdown of what is in mine. Continue reading →
  14. New Sitka Dew Point Rain Gear Review

    I just returned from a week-long black bear hunt on Prince of Whales Island in Alaska.    Prince of Wales Island is located about 600 miles north of Seattle, Washington in Southeast Alaska near Ketchikan.  The island gets about 220 inches of rain per year and 39 feet of snow.  This is compared to about 10-12” of rain where I live in Utah on an annual basis.  Continue reading →
  15. E-Scouting Tools and Tips

    When researching places to hunt elk, no scouting method is more effective than strapping on the old boot leather and roaming the woods.  This method allows you to discover honey holes such as old wallows, elk rubs and perhaps even bones from a previous years kill.  When you do run across one of these areas, be sure to mark it on your GPS or smart phone. The elk may not be in these areas during your early season scouting, but the bulls will surely return when the rut starts.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t have enough time for this type of boots on the ground scouting, especially when hunting multiple states.  So, an effective way to scout an area remotely is by using Topo maps and Google Earth.  This form of scouting will give you a basic lay of the land, identify access points, and help you find remote areas which will distance yourself from the crowds.  Below are a few suggestions to help you get started. Continue reading →
  16. Fitness Prep For Hunting Season

    Just a quick intro to Mark and Jeff Skousen.  We are twin brothers that live in Utah. We both have 5 kids and busy careers. We have been hunting together from a young age and have had a lot of success over the years because of hard work, dedication, and being in top shape.  For us, preparing for hunting season is a 365 endeavor.  Just as the four seasons come and go each year, we likewise break our fitness training into a calendar cycle.  There is nothing really scientific to our approach, but the end goal is to be in elk shape come September. It is no secret that our preferred weapon and species is bowhunting Elk.  So, every available moment from the end of August through the end of September is spent in the mountains chasing elk. Continue reading →

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