Tony Mudd lives in Reno, Nevada with his 13 year...


Tony Mudd lives in Reno, Nevada with his 13 year old daughter, Gabrielle. Tony grew up in Michigan and started chasing whitetails with a bow  34 plus years ago. He arrowed an 8 point that first year from a make shift ground blind, and an old Bear bow.  Needless to say, that archery hunt lit a fire in his soul that has and will last a life time!  The first 10 years he shot compounds with fingers, and then to switched to longbows and recurves exclusively, taking several record class animals.  In 2002 he switched back to the compound, and picked up a release for the first time.

Tony has arrowed well over one hundred big game animals. He was the 24th bowhunter in the world to complete the Archery Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep, and he’s arrowed 22 of the 29 North American Big Game animals with hopes to take the other 7 one day. Tony’s favorite animals to bow hunt are Brown and Grizzly bears, Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Whitetails and any other big game animal!!  His favorite way to hunt is backpacking.

He is a Pro Staffer for PSE, American’s Best Strings, Carbon Force Arrows and is a Life Member of SCI, NRA, Wild Sheep, GRAND SLAM/OVIS, Idaho Bowhunters and the Alaska Bowhunters.  He is a senior member and scorer for the P&Y club.

When not hunting Tony spends the majority of his time with is daughter, helping others get into archery and shooting 3D. He also loves mountain trail running and hitting the weights a fare bit as well.

General

How long have you been hunting?
I’ve been chasing critters for 39 years and the last 34 years exclusively with a bow.

Where do you live?
I live in Reno NV, but home will always be where I grew up and started bow hunting in Niles, Michigan.

What is your favorite species to hunt?
Tough, tough question! If I had to choose one animal to hunt I guess it would be a screaming bull elk, or one of the big dangerous bears, or a Dall sheep, or a big whitetail! See I told you it was a tough question! 🙂 What ever I’m hunting at the time is my favorite!

Sheep HuntingTony Mudd - Desert Bighorn

How many sheep hunts have you been on?
I have been on 5 sheep hunts 4 of which I was the hunter.

Where were your sheep hunts? Which outfitter did you hunt with? Why did you choose this outfitter?
My first sheep hunt was a DIY desert sheep hunt in the Muddy (had to be a good omen!!) mountains in Nevada. I was fortunate to have killed a beautiful ram on the 9th day.

The next three hunts I hunted with 3 different outfitters. For Dall sheep I choose Braun Kopsack for several reasons; at the time he had killed more Dall sheep with a bow than anyone (that still may be the case), he had several in the top ten of the Pope and Young record book and was highly recommended as well.  I killed my Dall on the second day of a planned 10 day backpack hunt.

My Stone hunt was with British Columbia Safari’s, Keith Connors and Shane Black. They wanted to start taking bow hunters and I was the first. I choose this out fit based on the concessions they were willing to provide to make this a successful hunt.  I hunted with an excellent guide by the name of Allan Crawford.  Al’s hunters have never left the mountain without a ram.  I certainly didn’t want to change that!  On the 6th day Al got me within 100 yards and I covered the next 45 yards and made a tough, steep, uphill shot. The ram didn’t go 20 yards before tipping over and falling a short distance.

My last sheep hunt was drawn in the Wyoming State draw.  This finished my Grand Slam of North American wild sheep. I hunted with Wind River Outfitters owned by Fritz Meyers of Dubois Wyoming. My guide was a young man by the name of Cody Brown.  This was by far the luckiest hunt I have ever been on and an exciting story in the full length version! Can’t do a short version on this one!

Did the outfitter offer you the proper gear list and preparation information?
As for the proper gear list and preparation most outfitters give you a basic list but the best thing to do is collect different lists from different sheep hunters. Especially very experienced sheep hunters and DIY sheep hunters, like Tom Foss, Bryan Martin and Tom Hoffman.

What were the weather conditions throughout your hunt?
As I mentioned recently in your blog, and Tom Foss said, “Hope for the best weather but expect the worst.”  I hunted in everything from white out conditions to 80 degree blazing, beating down sun.

What was the hardest part of your hunt?
There wasn’t really a “hardest part”. Sheep country is spectacular; it’s HUGE, BIG and breathtaking. It can be intimidating at times but just take it step by step, enjoy it, be patient and before you know it you might just find yourself 20 yards from a beautiful broadside feeding ram! Something I’m confident you can do with a stickbow!

What were you not prepared for?
For the most part I was prepared for about everything, except for possibly my Stone sheep hunt.  It was supposed to be a horseback hunt and it turned out to be a backpack hunt; I could have been in better hiking shape like I was on my Dall hunt.

I led myself to believe we would be on horses more than we were.  Don’t assume , ask, and then be prepared for anything. If you get to sit on a horse and don’t have to do a lot of backpacking enjoy it. But if you have to get after it with a pack on your back be ready! As for the horse part I grew up on them so it’s second nature to me. But if a hunter hasn’t been around them much it might be a real good idea to learn to ride at least a little!

Gear

What is your gear list for a Stone or Dall Sheep Hunt?
I use Bryan Martin’s equipment list on all my hunts, it’s one of the best lists I have ever used.  I have attached that.

What would you change on this list?
Nothing.

What was your loaded pack weight?
For backpack hunts I try and limit my weight to less than 55#.

What size pack & brand of pack did you carry?  Would you take this pack again?
4500 cu.in., Eberlestock  J107.  I would use it again BUT I would like to see it lightened up from 8 plus pounds.

Do you have any recommendations of gear not typically on a gear list?
No.

Training

What physical conditioning program did you do to get ready for your hunt(s)?

Cardio:  The best workouts I have found are hiking with heavy packs.  I normally start with 50# and gradually work up from there around 80#.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday heavy packs.  Tuesday and Thursday hiking without packs, or light jogging.  I like to use these days to hike and shoot stumps.  I’ll vary the hikes fast and slow, and stump shoot while my breathing is labored.

Strength training: I normally do two to three full body workouts per week, until about a month out.

Any other training you would recommend?
As mentioned above, hiking and shooting under pressure and while having an accelerated heart rate is very helpful.

Shooting

How did you prepare? How far was your shot or shots?
Shooting steep uphills, and steep downhills is a must. My desert ram was 35 yards, the Dall was 25 yards, the Stone was 55 yards and the Bighorn was at 12 yards.

What was your bow set up?
All sheep were shot with a compound, and sights.

Any changes you would make?
Only thing I would change is I had two ram’s life sized and two pedestal shoulder mounts, although they are all beautiful.  I should have had them all life sized.

This article has 14 comment(s)

  1. Brandon Hammonds

    Awesome info on Tony! It’s a story you read and hope one day to maybe reach have of the goals Tony has! Congrats to him for being such a dedicated bowhuter.

  2. Ryan

    Those are some impressive rams taken with archery equiptment! Awesome stuff Tony!

  3. Drake Atwood

    Tony, you are the man! It obviously takes a certain mindset to be able to have success in big country like that…and to be able to complete the Slam in only 5 years is a completely different success story in itself. I, like many, look up to you for your dedication in accomplishing what you set out to do no matter what the challenge is!

  4. Dave Beronio

    Great interview,

    thanks for the inspiring comments, this is the stuff that gets me fired up.

    For those that havent met Tony, I have had the pleasure to get to know Tony after meeting him at a 3Dshoot and have talked with him many times since. When this guy talks about his training, shooting, or the gear he uses (or will use Kuiu),,,LISTEN. This guy is a machine and his success is a direct result of his passion. There are probably not many that could keep up with him in the mountains.

    Thanks Jason for another great interview
    Dave

  5. Jared Bloomgren

    Tony is a “go get em’ kinda” guy who strives to meet his goals. Not to mention he is a great guy to boot! Good luck in your future endeavors Tony! Talk to ya soon!

    Jared

  6. Tony Mudd

    WOW! Thank all of you for the kind words I truly appreciate them. One thing I have learned over the years there is not a hunt or not a trophy that can ever compare to the friendships that have come along as a result of bow hunting the last 34 years.

  7. Brian Morris

    Maybe next time you can interview him on hunting turkeys! He can shoot the grand slam in 5 years but hasent been able to kill a turkey. LOL! One of the best bowhunters I know! I am honerd to have Tony as a hunting partner and friend. Keep up the good work!
    Maybe we will get you that turkey one day!

    Brian Morris

  8. jon hill

    tony is my friend and a member of our archery club walker river bowman,yerington nevada. what he has done with a bow is amazing. at tonys wild sheep dinner this year there was like 9 guys that have grand slams of wild sheep.

  9. Kim Womer

    I had the privileg of becoming friends with Tony several years ago and can attest to the statement “he’s a machine”. We cat hunted together in ID and the man went all day in near zero weather with 3 plus ft of powder on the ground. He truly loves to hunt and gives 110% effort even if he’s not taking the animal.
    Congratulations on all your accomplishments Tony!

  10. Bob Heddy

    Great interview, Tony is a very good friend and a great hunter, he certainly is in a very exclusive club when it comes to hunting and yes other wild animals as well. I had the pleasure to hunt with Tony last fall for Elk, that hunt was one of the most exciting hunts I have been on. Tony is also a great representative for PSE archery as well as other products that he believes in. Thanks Tony

  11. troy means

    Great interview Tony. I enjoyed reading about your experiences and the valuable input you offered.

    Looking forward to hopefully joining you on the mountain again someday.

    Troy

  12. Roxann Hill

    Great story Tony, It is alway awesome to listen to your hunt stories. You truly are a great archery hunter, and I do understand to fire for hunting and the outdoors. Good luck getting those last 7 animals, I know you will.

  13. Tyler Preszler

    Another great read guys!!! Keep up the good work and I cant wait to see whats to come.

  14. Bill Watts

    Great interview guys!

    There are few people I know that are of the same caliber as Tony Mudd.

    He is a great hunter, father to his daughter, and friend to many of us who have had the pleasure of sharing a campfire with him.

    Moreover, it is indisputable that he has a hunter’s heart and is an inspiration to many who seek adventure and physical challenge in the wild places of nature.

    Good luck completing that Super Slam, bud!

    Watts