The Rok Blog is designed to connect you with those who we think are at the top of their hunting game—a chance learn about them and what is behind their success- helping you become a better hunter.
I first came to know of Jared Bloomgren through an article he wrote for Eastman’s Bowhunting Journal a few years back. He’d taken a great archery buck in a difficult unit in Wyoming’s backcountry. I could tell this hunter from South Dakota knew how to get it done and I could learn a thing or two from him.
Jared’s “20-Mile Muley” from South Dakota public land, 2012.
As Rokslide was forming in early 2012, Jared was a natural fit for the prostaff and I was glad to see him come on. As I’ve got to know him better, I’m continually impressed with his varied hunting abilities that have allowed him to take great animals with multiple weapons. I wanted to bring him on so we all could get to know him better. I interviewed him earlier this month…
Robby: “Jared, you seem to be a dyed-in-the wool hunter. How did you get into hunting?”
Jared: “I spent numerous years hunting with my family as a child. My late father taught me what was right and wrong and how to respect Mother Nature. He is the greatest man I have ever known. When I’m hunting, I feel closer to my father and everything that his life had to offer.”
Robby: “I understand that you serve our great nation through the military—thank you—how did you serve?”
Jared: “I’ve been in the National Guard for 12-plus years. I was deployed in Iraq and still serve as an officer with the South Dakota National Guard. I am a 12B Combat Engineer and a Captain working now as a Platoon Trainer. I will continue to honor my oath I gave to the United States and the American people.”
Robby: “You are a family man with kids, right?”
Jared: “I’m married and have two beautiful children, Emmalynn (3) and Jackson (2). I strive to teach them the same things that I learned from my father. I want to help them become successful in life and in whatever they decide to partake in. I would be failing as a father if I did otherwise. “
Robby: “You’re successful hunting a variety of species with all weapon types. How are you finding success in such a broad pursuit?”
Jared: “My father was a rifle hunter and my older brothers taught me how to shoot bow. My passion and skill hunting with various types of weapons is something that I have taught myself through trial and error as well. Practicing keeps me up to speed on my capabilities and believing in myself and setting goals had made me successful. Refining these skills year after year has allowed me to fulfill many wishes, dreams, and goals. “
Robby: “Do you have a favorite species to hunt?”
Jared: “This is a very hard question as no matter what game I am after at the time seems to be my favorite. But, I would have to say elk and turkey are probably it because they are so vocal and interact with you and your calling so much. It makes it more personall. But then I think about spot-and-stalking mule deer in the backcountry and antelope in the open prairie and I am sent into a spin! They are all so darn fun to hunt! Now if only I lived in a state where I could elk hunt more often or be able to afford more elk tags!”
Robby: “Seems you are pretty much DIY and public land?”
Jared: “Yes, it stacks the odds against me but coming out victorious on public land and DIY is always very rewarding. I have taken many great animals in areas not known for trophies. If you go farther and harder than others, you often times will find the quality you are looking for. I did go on a guided hunt for Canadian black bear and plan to hunt Alaska guided in the future, but DIY is always my favorite.”
Robby: “What do you think is the hardest North American Big Game animal to kill?”
Jared: “I have not been lucky enough to hunt many animals like bighorn sheep and mountain goats, so I am going off of what I have focused on thus far: whitetail, mule deer, elk, antelope, and turkey, mostly spot-and-stalk which is always my preference. I would say that elk is the hardest species for me to come by but mostly because I live in a state where I cannot hunt them often—maybe once or twice in a lifetime—and I don’t have the funds to apply for the tags very often out of state either. Would I consider them the hardest animal to hunt? Possibly, especially if you’re talking a big herd bull over the 350″ on public land. But compare that to killing a 185″+ muley in the backcountry is very hard as well! Coin toss!”
Jared’s 2009 Wyoming Buck first appeared in Eastman’s Bowhunting Journal.
Robby: “It’s the hunt planning season right now, how do you plan your hunts?”
Jared: “I spent a lot of time out of state hunting in Montana last year in pursuit of a big bull elk I’d found on public land, which is always hard on family and funds. For this year, I’ll hunt hard closer to home. I found an area last year that is looking very promising for a 185-200″ class mule deer. This makes the decision to not apply out of state much easier! That will be my focus. This will entail many hours looking for sheds of the bucks that I am after. Scouting will be a key for all my hunts and I hope to have a big antelope, whitetail, and mule deer scouted before seasons start. My planning is a year-round activity. Scouting and planning is more than half of your hunt in my opinion.”
Robby: “How do you manage job and family so you get enough time in the field?”
Jared: “This seems to be a constant struggle and I forsee that at least until I am getting paid to hunt! lol… My wife has been very understanding but I won’t say that it doesn’t cause heat at home. I spent the last seven years working active duty for the military. These jobs gave me 30 days of leave a year that I used mostly for hunting. Having the two little rugrats at home has made spending time in the backcountry harder but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We will see how the future pans out and the available time I get to hunt.”
Robby: “You took a tremendous Montana bull last fall, probably top 10 in the West, tell us a little about him.”
Jared: “I got lucky killing a 400”+ archery bull—a dream come true—but I attribute that luck to the many hours spent leading up to the hunt. I didn’t set foot out there knowing I would do this but found an area that would allow a bull to grow to maximum size. It was in an area that was very easy for anybody to draw and to hunt. But the bull was hanging out where very few others were hunting. An area that was deep, dark and nasty!
Jared’s awe-inspiring 2012 Montana bull. This bull may be the #1 public-land DIY bull taken in 2012. I don’t know about you all, but I can’t get enough of this giant! You can read the entire story on the hunt in Extreme Elk Magazine’s spring 2013 edition
Robby: “What tactic(s) did you use to put him on the ground?”
Jared: “I scouted extensively but didn’t actually step foot on the area until the day before season. I hunted near there in 2010 for another slammer bull that I never came home with. I studied the area more intently on Google Earth this time and knowing how dry it was I focused on food and water sources. Checking satellite imagery also helped me find areas that still held water and good food sources with the lack of moisture. After locating these areas I started looking for the “elky” areas and put a plan together. I pushed deep in elk country a day before season and got the surprise of my life when I located the bull.
I threw everything I had at this bull. I sat on active wallows the first few days when it was hot and even passed on a couple of bulls that I would have normally been happy with. I sat in my stand as long as I could but I’m a spot-and-stalk hunter. I located the herd and would still-hunt closer. I became aware that this bull wasn’t going to come into any type of calling and I just had to be patient. Once I would locate the bull and his harem I would shadow them and wait for the right time, keeping the wind and thermals in my favor. This meant many bivy nights when light would fade. The next morning they would be close by and I would be able to get back within the herd again. I did this until the moment came and I was able to make my shot.”
Robby : “You’ve taken some great bucks from South Dakota with a muzzleloader and a rifle. What do you contribute to your success in a less-than-great mule deer state?”
Jared: “Putting in the time and energy. Scouting, research, and being positive; telling myself “one more mile” until I find what I am looking for. Last year’s buck I nicknamed 20-Mile Muley as I covered 20 miles of terrain in two days to find him. This was public land that I had never set foot on before. Probably one of the hardest mule deer hunts I have ever done.”
Robby: “What’s the hunting future hold for Jared?”
Jared: “The Lord only knows. Setting goals and continuing to work towards them is all that I can do. I will continue to hunt hard and as often as I can and continue to write about my experiences to help others be more successful. I started a book about my life, about types and styles of hunting, tips and tactics, and past adventures. Hopefully it will be published someday! What pans out for me and what the future holds will come with time.“
Robby: “I see you’ve opened a store called Trigger Addiction. What is it?”
Jared: “ Trigger Addiction is a small online archery store where I market and sell the products that I have used and/or believe in—products that I will stand behind because I have personally used them. The store is in its infancy and still a work in progress. Although just archery sales now, I might expand it in the future or it might just remain a hobby. Maybe someday I will add a blog section and share my articles and blogs. Who knows?
The reason behind the name ‘Trigger Addiction’ is simple. The moment when you squeeze the trigger is the exact moment you will either be either so close to success or defeat. It is addicting indeed. That is what triggers my addiction.
Robby: Thanks Jared. I wish you all the best and am glad you’re part of the DIY hunting world.
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