By: David Boehler -The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Count Jay Mitchell among those who call the Journal Sentinel Sports Show the highlight of their winter show circuit.

“We look forward each year to returning,” said Mitchell, who runs Action Adventures Guide-Outfitter Inc. “Over the years, we have made many lifelong friends, and each year we look forward to new acquaintances.”

Action Adventures is a full-service guide and outfitter located in Montrose, Colo. Mitchell and his staff specialize in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness experience and will again have a booth at the show this year. “Whether it is a summer horseback vacation or a fall big-game hunt, we have the trip to meet your needs,” Mitchell said. “Your vacation can be tailored to meet your desires, whether it’s climbing 14,000-foot peaks or watching the sunset from your cabin deck. “If you are interested in peaceful solitude, away from the summer crowds, in some of the most beautiful country the West has to offer, one of our summer vacation packages is what you are looking for.” Ranch Vacations provides cabin rentals, horseback rides, fishing for trophy trout in Action Adventures’ private lake, and numerous hiking and mountain biking trails. During the summer, mule deer, elk, grouse, turkey and horses roam freely on the ranch. “The ranch is very remote and secluded and offers the visitor a chance to view wildlife in its natural, undisturbed environment,” Mitchell said. “These vacations allow you to set your own pace and design your day to meet your expectations, whether relaxing on the deck or planning an all-day horseback ride.”

For the more adventurous, Action Adventures has Wilderness Pack Trips. “Leaving civilization behind as you head away from the trail head into the wilderness, all thoughts and worries disappear while meandering down the trail,” Mitchell said. After a day in the saddle, it’s time to stop and make camp. While relaxing, the horses are unpacked, hobbled and turned out to graze in the meadow. Meanwhile, a cook prepares supper. Char-broiled steaks, potatoes and ranch beans are a menu favorite. Most evenings people fish in the streams or beaver ponds, as deer and elk appear to feed. The night ends with a campfire under the stars. “The western night sky at 12,000 feet is something to behold,” Mitchell said.

Guided hunts are packed in by horseback to Mitchell’s base camp deep in the Uncompahgre Wilderness. It is the ultimate elk hunt, Mitchell said. “These are true guided hunts,” he said, “with two hunters per guide.”

Semi-guided outfitted hunts, drop camps on private land and wilderness pack-ins are all offered for archers, black-powder and rifle hunters. Western Colorado is famous for its mule deer hunting, as well. Colorado has by far more entries in the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young record books than any other state. “We offer private land hunts as well as wilderness pack-in hunts for those monster mulies,” Mitchell said.

Each year Mitchell donates a summer vacation or hunt to the Milwaukee Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “As a western outfitter, we genuinely appreciate the hospitality of the Wisconsin people when we visit,” Mitchell said. “Milwaukee is always a high priority because of the high ethical standards exhibited by our past clients from this area.”