Long Cold Winter

It has been long winter. Lonny chose to break it up by going on fishing trip to Patagonia, Argentina. Here is some pics…

2016 hunting season was huge success! Check out the Vanatta Outfitters Facebook page for pics.

Wanna hunt this year (2017), call Lonny 970.879.6164 o 970.846.0750 c. We had a group cancel. Rare opportunity!

The VO Crew

Grand Slam!!!

Lonny 2013Way to go Lonny! Nice read…

Steamboat Today

The VO Crew

I smell Fall…

Fall is in the air and you know what that means, it is time to hunt! It starts 9/3 (Wow!). For the most up-to-date info check our VO Facebook page.

That is all for now, we have to pack…

The VO Crew

We are back!

After doing some web work, we are back in action. (WIP) Come see us on FaceBook! More to come…

VO Team

The Sounds Of The Bugles

D. Bay 2010

D. Bay 2010

There is no sweeter sound of Fall than that of a bull elk’s bugle northwest Colorado. It makes a smile creep across your face and the hair on your stand to attention. As guides, we have the best jobs around. As I like to compare it, it’s like being professional ball player getting paid for doing what you love. There’s a catch, we don’t get paid like the ball players.

This post finds us in the middle of our elk season and already we are dreading the end. Keep looking for the updates with the photos, there are some good bulls. Until next week – Happy Hunting!

The VO Crew

And the Bull’s begin to sing…

The bull’s bugle is music to my ears.  The leaves are changing colors and the taste of Fall can be felt on my breath.  Hunting season in Northwest Colorado!

Check out the bulls in the photo gallery.  We’re no Ansel Adams, but you will get the point.  Happy hunting!

The VO Team

The Start Of A New Year

VO @ Wolf Mtn Ranch, 2009

VO @ Wolf Mtn Ranch, 2009

I’m sorry about the delay in getting updates out to you.  As mentioned in a previous post, we are not techy nerds.  We are “rednecks’ that like to hunt, and have only enough computer savvy to be dangerous.  I just happen to be the “redneck” with the most computer knowledge out of all of us.  Heck, I may get us on Facepage or a Tweet account.  You never know.

I picked the title of this entry for a couple of reasons.  First, many of you know that I have been in a battle with brain cancer.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  THEY WORKED!  As of Wednesday, the report from the doctor is that the cancer (what’s left) is dying or dead.  I’ve got a lot rehab ahead of me, but am heading to camp today!   Wahoo!!!

The second reason is – It’s the start of new year hunting!  Gentelmen start your guns, all right that’s the good ole boys but you get the point.  I will be giving weekly updates, with pictures, to keep you abreast of the season.  If you happen to flipping through the tube and land on the VS network, keep an eye out for Lonny, Dirk or myself. 

Gotta go!  I’m late for showing up at camp.  I’ll provide updates when get back to town.

Happy Hunting!


Keeping You Informed

Our goal here at VO is to bring you the best hunting experiences as possible and share our experience and knowledge along the way.  We are constantly getting emails regarding hunts, experiences and updates from around the country.  I’ve felt compelled to share some links with everyone below because I think they are relative to our industry and way of life.  I’ve tried to do the research to ensure their accuracy as not to provide false information.

So take a look at the links and they may open your eyes, as with mine, to some interesting information regarding our gun rights and the future thereof. 




If you feel passionate about your freedom and rights, we encourage becoming a member of hunting organizations or gun clubs (such as SCI or the NRA).  We hope this is informative and helps.  Feel free to give us some feedback.

Brad and the VO Crew

Here kitty, kitty…

So from here in NW Colorado backwoods, you would probably believe about anything from Vanatta Outfitters and this story is no exception.


Winter 2010, VOWednesday morning finds my phones ringing off the hook starting at 6:45am.  The phones being downstairs, I took my time having to stop by head and I had to get some clothes on.  I started checking the caller ID’s to find out that it was a flurry of calls made both Dirk and Lonny.  Then it dawned on me – Dirk was at the ranch looking for lion tracks.  With his digits fresh on my phone and a quick redial it was confirmed — Game On!


Lonny was already in the process of getting ready to head over and pick me up, so I scrambled to get my gear together.  Before you knew, coffee in hand, Lonny and I were heading west to who knows what excitement.  In the opposite direction and a little ahead of our schedule was Rod with his dogs in tow.


We arrived on the scene with fresh lion tracks crossing the road and up a steep hill to a cliff band of rocks a few hundred yards away.  Immediately we see the two skinny’s (Rod and Dirk) up among the rocks.  As time passed, Rod made his way down and let Dirk sort out the tracks.  In true fashion of a good hound, Dirk was barking down from the cliff band his discovery.


Upon his return to the truck, it was decided to circle the area with snowmobiles to ensure our feline was inWinter 2010, VO the containment area.  As luck would have it, it was determined by a quick loop that it was time to let the dogs go to work.  Now I have to say that “hill” I mentioned earlier is more like a mountain and not only was it steep but also deep with snow.  Being in the middle of a round of chemo (makes me lazy), I found myself scratching my head thinking how am I going to pull this off.


Well now for the rest of the story.  Rod and Dirk volunteered to take the dogs up to freshest set of tracks and turn them loose.  Upon releasing the hounds, it was no time before they jumped our quarry.  It just so happened that the cat had been in the rocks not 125 yards away from where Dirk had been yelling orders down to us an hour ago.


Now I must say that Rod has some of the finest hunting dogs in the country.  Not only can they track but we soon found out that they could herd as well.  I think that Rod must have had a chat with them because as soon as they busted the cat it headed right for us spectators.  And yes, I said spectators.  By this time, it was not only Lonny and I waiting on the action but neighbors and county employees as well.


Well by now it’s starting to get a little exciting and just to fire us up some more, Rod shouts on the radio “Get ready, he’s coming your way!”  At this time we’re hearing the dogs and are trying to anticipate where this lion is going to pull off a meet and greet with us.  I’m running down the road with a pistol in my hand, Lonny is screaming by me on a snowmachine, the county workers go flying by in their truck and the neighbor is running right behind me.


Somehow we all convene in the spot where the savage beast decided to make her stand.  She chose a pine Winter 2010, VOtree only about 50 yards off the road (I was thinking that someone was thinking about me above).  That was a long 50 yards in thigh deep snow uphill.  The rest is in the pictures.  I owe it all to the support (I mean that in more than one way) crew.  They really look out for me and I thank them for it! 


By the time we got to town a crowd had gathered at the taxidermist office to see the feline and hear the story.  I think I overheard Chad mention that we could have used some bleachers to accommodate everyone.  Enjoy the pictures and I hope they were worth the story.


Have a great weekend!

Happy New Year!

As we greatly welcome in 2010, I’ve discovered the answer to the question of my last entry.  The answer wasn’t necessarily an answer we came up with individually or as a team here at VO.  The decision or decisions were made by the “boss” (you all know whom I’m referring).  I will offer this much, we’re “allowed” to go hunting for a good portion of the year and we don’t complain too much of the trade off.

First off, “the bosses” had us all decorate our homes with the typical holiday decorations.  Lonny was surprised by his “boss” by the intrduction of a smaller tree.  Larry’s “boss” once again had picked the exact location for the lawn decor for everyone to thoroughly enjoy as you pass by their lovely home.  My “boss” gets really excited by Christmas and tends to make every branch strain for the strength to hold up all of the ornaments.  However it was mentioned that our tree looked like an advertisement for the Cabelas ornament store thanks to “mother-n-law-boss”.

That just got things started.  Then comes the Xmas parties.  Now having us gone for a few months in the fall comes with the necessary price that we have to be seen in public with the “boss” once we return.  What better part of the year to take advantage of this than the Feliz Navidad season when everyone has an excuse to host a party.  I think that is important to the “bosses” to show that we really exist or survived.  We resist, but it’s a futal effort and thoughts of next hunting season keeps our strength up.

Now the big week comes between Christmas and New Years.  By now, we’re getting used to the fact that we are no where near being in charge but we see the football game in passing to take the trash out, or out to shovel the walkway of snow once more, or take out recycling, or run to the grocery store again or pick up the dog toys once again so nobody gets hurt.  You come to appreciate the chores that the “boss” sends you on like snowblowing where you can’t hear anyone or speak to anyone and your mind can wonder back to the last hunt of the season.  Then you run out of gas and it’s back to reality.

After the smoke clears, you reflect back on the past several weeks and realize that it was a clean shot and you came away with a successful hunt.  I know that had family in town from both sides and it was one of the best holiday season that I’ve experienced.  Maybe having acquired my medical condition a year ago put it in perspective for me and my “boss” but we try not to take the important things for granted like our family and extended Steamboat family.  We here at the VO family hope that you had as equally as good as holiday season that we experienced.  May you have a healthy and prosperous 2010!

The VO Team