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Posts tagged “hunting

Meat Eaters R’ Us

FRESH perspective on the food chain

By Kevin Reese

To All HuntersAs an outdoor writer, photographer, videographer and speaker in the outdoor industry I’ve successfully made work out of hunting; unfortunately, I’ve been so busy writing about hunting recently, that I haven’t had many opportunities to hunt at all. My outdoor work is finally starting to wind down but deer season is all but over and only two whitetails fell victim to my stick and string.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’m so immersed in outdoor communications that I don’t watch very many hunting shows at all – a bricklayer doesn’t want to lay bricks then go home and watch bricklaying on television, even if that his is life’s passion.

That said, I do have a guilty pleasure. I’m addicted to Duck Dynasty. Worse, I created a couple of other addicts; my wife and son can’t get enough. We even blew duck calls at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I must admit I was the only one in the family that actually sounded like a duck; of course, I’m also the only duck hunter in our family so I suppose the gross difference in calling technique wasn’t such an anomaly.

During a recent family viewing, Jase Robertson echoed my sentiments, “I don’t like grocery store meat. It scares me.” Disliking purchased meat has less to do with taste and much more to do with the disassociation it creates between us and the brutal reality we call the food chain. A perfect example of this tragic circumstance was sent to me via email years ago. The email was simple, “LOL” with an attached image. Opening the image I found a newspaper clipping that read, “You ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed.” Sadly, the same person that submitted that gem also votes.

Newsflash – ALL meat comes from living things; in fact, all food sources come from living things whether directly or indirectly – meat, fruit, veggies, all of it. Wouldn’t you rather take an active role Click here for more information on The Mindful Carnivore!in what you provide for your family? Like my hunting brothers and sisters, I choose to take an active, responsible role in providing sustenance. Where most people live in that disconnect, we are intimately, blood-under-the-fingernails aware of our role and the significance of taking life to sustain life.

With the close of deer season, it seems that your backwoods grocery store is locking its doors, making for a pretty dismal postseason outlook for meat-seating hunter’s throughout our region, and soon, across the nation. The last time I checked I didn’t see coyote or bobcat entrees littering restaurant menus. For many, hunting is over until spring, full freezers or not.  But living in our Lone Star state, especially here in our area, provides infinite opportunities to stock freezers year round.

With an estimated 2 to 3 million feral hogs rooting up the neighborhood, it’s safe to say we are overrun. The bad news is that feral hogs predate bird eggs (including quail, turkey, and others) and other small and young animals, including other hogs. Rooting also causes immense damage to land as hogs root for grubs, roots, shoots and other tasty morsels in the soil. Rooting injures livestock, destroys farm and ranch machinery, and negatively impacts both the landscape and our fragile ecosystem, especially where other wildlife are concerned.

Kevin Reese rootingOver $400 million in damage is caused annually in Texas alone by feral hogs. They are not native but invasive and compete with indigenous Texas wildlife like whitetail deer for more than just food sources, but habitat as a whole – and, they are winning.

So, what does that mean for red blooded, meat eating, conservation minded hunters? It means hunting feral hogs is not only fun, it helps combat a real problem! Even better, that freezer of yours, hungry for packages of organic red meat, can be fed year round. There are no bag limits or time constraints. Hunt day or night, seven days a week if you’ve got the time. Dust off your britches, pick up your rifle or bow and go hunt. With our feral hog population Corsicana freezers have a bright, bright future.

Hunt hard, hunt often.

Click here to visit Just-Hunt.com!

 


Tactical Hunting: Sir, Yes, Sir!

Much to the dismay of piers morgan, diane Feinstein and willie nelson

(names intentionally not capitalized out of respect… or lack thereof)

By Kevin Reese

BR10-smMy pop once told me I might fit into my dress blues if I used bungee cords; the truth hurts. Looking at me it’s hard to believe I spent eight years in the Marines. In all honestly, I’m not that bad off… I’m just not that well off; I could stand a few months of nonstop treadmill work. Beyond reminiscing about my life as a Marine and wishing I still looked the part, I miss many aspects of active duty life – chief among them being camaraderie and my trusty M-16 A2 Service Rifle.

I wasn’t a huge promoter of 62-grain 5.56 Ball NATO ammunition but it seemed to be sufficient. I qualified every year as a rifle expert and later in my second enlistment as a pistol sharpshooter, qualifying with an original Colt 1911 that had been in Marine Corps service for over 75 years and was still a sweet shooter.

Kevin 3d SRIG-editedAssimilating to civilian life, including civilian shooting was a tall order. On the firing line, I had difficulty adjusting to traditional hunting rifles. I began looking at AR-15 rifles to regain that comfort level I had with my M-16 A2. As an avid hunter on an extremely tight budget, I recall how badly I wanted to purchase one of the Colt AR-15’s I drooled over as I passed by them in the PX. It looked exactly like my M-16 but was semi-automatic; it even had the bayonet stud. Perhaps I arrived at my justification before my time but I thought, back in the late 80’s, the AR-15 would make a great hunting rifle. Certainly, when I was honorably discharged in 1996 and searching for that comfort level I had achieved with my M-16 A2, the AR-15 was my only reasonable option.

chriskevinSeveral years ago, good friend and fellow Marine Corps veteran, Chris Reed, History Channel’s Top Shot season 2 winner, talked about his desire to do more tactical-styled hunting. We talked about tactical hunting often and he eventually restored my fervor for AR platform rifles, something I hadn’t experienced in years. I had been too immersed in bowhunting to stop and realize my passion for modern sporting rifles had slowed to a low-crawl. in the end, I can thank Chris for drawing that passion back to the surface once again, this time for the long haul.

Long range Bolt Action by Kevin ReeseWhile I still bowhunt religiously, I have expanded once again to rifle shooting. My CZ-USA Model 3 .300 WSM is back in the game and more importantly, so is my Smith & Wesson (S&W) MP15T Tactical 5.56. For long range shooting, my Alpen Apex 6-24x50mm scope is the only way to go and I’ve dialed my S&W MP15T Tactical in at 600 yards; however, here in Texas most shots are much closer and my routine hog hunting is predominantly at night.

That said, my AimPoint H34S Hunter is the perfect lowlight/night optic for hunting and shooting within 300 yards and now rests atop my AR-15. The Alpen Apex scope, trusted for long distances precision accuracy, reclaimed its 600+ yard throne to reign over my CZ-USA . Both are topped with HHA Optimizer Horizon mounts. The Horizon allows me to calibrate for bullet drop out to 600 yards and is incredibly accurate. Once the Horizon is calibrated I simply dial in the range within 5 yards, up to 600 yards out, and put the crosshairs on target; there is no need for hold-over or mil-dots. I’ve also outfitted my S&W MP15T with a Crimson Trace Rail Master CMR-201 Laser smithwessonmp15t-2and Hawglite Helios H250. The Helios H250 is a rail-mounted lighting system with a remote switch that delivers a blinding red, green or white led light with a remote switch I’ve attached to the handguard. I also ordered a Harris bipod from Brownell’s to round out my tactical hunting rifle and have since set out on a series of new adventures that send memories of days gone by flooding back into my brain-housing-group.

Like many of our Sportsman Elite loyalist, I cut my teeth shooting every can I could as a kid and honed my skills with military training that has carried over well into my hunting success. More importantly, it broadened my perspective on modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 and the diverse ways we can employ them for self-defense as well as recreational shooting and hunting.

smithwessonmp15tI’ve heard arguments on both sides of the fence, from Piers Morgan backers like Willie Nelson who believes semi-automatic AR-15’s should only be used by military and police (I’ve since thrown all my Willie albums in the trash – sorry I just can’t stomach his position on gun ontrol!), to the well-thought-out ideology of our Lone Star State Senator, Ted Cruz, who educated a nearly catatonic diane feinstein on the differences between a semi-automatic rifle that happens to be black and a bolt action rifle… rather the lack of differences between them!

BHbipod5My pop also once told me “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” – well, he told me many things and I tried to remember the important ones. This is an issue I do take a stand on. I choose to roll my eyes and the irresponsible of ramblings of people like Morgan, Nelson and feinstein (I never dreamed that I would group Willie with California’s waste of a senate seat – Willie’s always been wasted anyway) while I stand with my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms who undoubtedly would love to venture into the hunting woods with an AR-platform rifle that, while offering only a single-shot firing option, does cater to those creature comforts we identify with through service to our beloved country. It’s also worth mentioning that a while back, California senator, Leland Yee, a staunch supporter of gun control even arguing for outright gun bans was arrested and indicted on serious gun-trafficking charges. What’s wrong with that picture?

Read more about Senator Yee here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/26/california-state-senator-arrested-in-fbi-sweep/

So, what’s my message to my fellow Navarro County hunters and shooting enthusiasts on AR-15’s and other modern sporting rifles in the woods? Take ‘em if you got ‘em! I choose to unify our front rather than divide our ranks with ignorant rhetoric and feinstein fascism. I suppose my position came with the commitment to uphold our Second Amendment, along with every other word in the Constitution, unlike some other folks. Of course, I also happen to believe an AR-15 is perfect for more than personal defense, it’s also great for hog and predator hunting!

comeandtakeitThat “Come and take it” perspective was born from military training and the knowledge that “we the people” rule the roost. Equally as important, it came from my proactive approach to real freedom. Whether you choose to shoot a bow, bolt action rifle, AR-15, 1911, revolver, muzzleloader or even Crosman’s ridiculously cool Benjamin Rogue .357-Caliber Air Rifle, get out there and do it! While you’re out there, thank every past and present warrior in our nation’s illustrious history for preserving your right to do so!

Hunt hard, hunt often and hunt with a modern sporting rifle like the AR-15, or better yet, with an ol’ Remington 700 BDL .300 resurrected with a McRees Prescision BR10 Chassis if that’s what turns your rotors! Whatever you choose, just get out there, enjoy God’s creation and eat well.

BR10-3-edited

A standard Remington bolt action rifle fitted with a HUNT READY McRees Precision BR10 Chassis (www.McReesPrecision.net)

 

 


Avoid Duck Decoy Tangles with Decoy Buddy

Click here to visit Decoy Buddy online!Any duck hunter who has been at this great pursuit for any length of time has experienced the exasperation of dealing with hopelessly tangled decoys.

Duck hunting is hard work, no doubt about it. Just getting to a duck hole is often a rigorous adventure, whether it’s a dark-of-night boat ride or a long trudge in waders pulling mud through chest-deep water. Then it’s time to set the decoy spread. All that time spent in the garage the night before the hunt, carefully wrapping decoy lines, securing anchors and bagging the dekes… a waste of time. With shooting light approaching and the sound of wings overhead, you’re still trying to untangle decoys.

Click here to visit Decoy Buddy online!Decoy Buddy, by Game Smart, is a weighted 8-ounce reel that hooks onto your
floating decoy. Simply pull out the amount of line needed for the depth of water you
are hunting, and toss out the decoy. No wasted time unwinding decoy lines, and best of all, no tangled mess of decoy lines to deal with in the dark.

Decoy Buddy also makes picking up decoys easy. Simply reel in the slack with the
built-in knobs, or use a removable handle that floats just in case it is dropped in the
water.

The Decoy Buddy was created by duck hunters and has evolved after years of trial
and development. It offers a balance of dependability to last many hunting seasons
and convenience that will spoil serious waterfowl hunters used to hard work in the
swamps and marshes.

The Decoy Buddy includes two holes for attaching accessories, and the anchor has teeth for a better hold on the bottom in windy conditions and currents.

The Decoy Buddy is available in 12- and 36-packs, or you can try a 3-pack for just
$19.99.

Visit www.decoybuddy.com for more information and to place an order, or ask for
Decoy Buddy at your local retailer.


Deer Hunting: Late Season is a Game Changer

By Kevin Reese

Christmas Credit Where It’s Due… Before we talk late season hunting, Kelly, Jacob and I would like to wish you and your families the merriest of Christmases this year. Our prayer through this holiday season is simply that you know, understand and embrace the Reason for the season. Make a simple birthday song your newest Christmas tradition. Santa is one cool cat but not nearly as awesome as the Lion and the Lamb. Give credit where it’s due this Christmas and commit random acts of kindness.

That said, let’s talk hunting…

Mike Kormos, Editor at the Corsicana Daily Sun, in Corsicana, TX, takes a nice 8-pt. buck!

Corsicana, Texas resident, Mike Kormos and a nice 8-Pt.

Late season deer hunting, fraught with the challenges of downright cold temps and bucks that have decided the nightlife is better for their health. Too often, it seems, deer lockdown after the rut, while does still dot the landscape on occasion, bucks have wised-up and don’t care nearly as much about the does as they did weeks earlier. Food sources change, too. Acorns are on the ground, others sources have dried up or gone… the changing season seems to change EVERTHING we know about deer hunting from the early season through the rut.

I often remind people that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Consistently hunting an area, or hunting it the same way is never a good idea; after all, if food sources, activity, temperatures and down-and-dirty deer behavior (rut) have all changed, why wouldn’t you change the way and places you hunt?

It’s easy for us to get stuck in a routine; it’s a path of least resistance – we don’t have to change anything – same Bat channel, same Bat time. Unfortunately the fault in our logic often is that as much as we think we have deer patterned, by mid-season they have likely patterned us; they know the paths we take to our stands or blinds and know where those setups are located. You might get the surprise of your life if you change the setup. More than once, simple changes have been the difference between seeing nothing… AGAIN, and killing the buck of a lifetime.

Consider trading in your regular spot for something less expected. Don’t be afraid to scout and find prospective areas during a quiet, scent controlled mid-day browse but stay away from known bedding areas and keep your bow or rifle with you – you just never know – stranger things have happened. Consider predominant winds when you find signs of deer activity like scat, scrapes, hoof prints, rubs, etc. Set up your blind or stand on the downwind side of observed activity. After setting up a stand or blind in a new location stay out of the area for several days, if possible, before returning to hunt.

Consider what it is exactly you are hunting over and whether interest in those food and water sources change as temperatures drop, acorns fall and the season progresses. How does the change from fall to winter alter activity and food sources? Are they rutting? Is that trail if front of your setup still used? Is water close by? Is it still their first or only choice? Use changes in weather and activity as the measuring stick you use to grade the effectiveness of your current position. Is it time to change your game? When deer have disappeared, your only option is to find out where they went.

Hunt funnels, pinch points, water sources, trails and areas with heavy acorn concentration or other desirable food sources; ask any hunter sitting over a feeder what happens when the acorns fall. In short, those changes must define where and how you hunt. Hunting over active sign as the season progresses makes infinitely more sense than sticking to the same old setup because you saw a buck working a scrape in early October. The lesson here is, “The only constant is change.”

A lack of success spanning the season can be more than frustrating; it can be downright mentally and physically draining. Human nature, if not kept in check, is to see your cup half empty. Pessimism is a hunter, too. It invades your thoughts and manipulates your decisions. Remember how many times Thomas Edison learned how NOT to make a light bulb? You may remember my pop’s best advice; I’ve made mention of it many times, “If you ask a thousand girls to dance, one of ’em’s gonna’ say, ‘Yes.’” There is nothing truer in our pursuit of wild game although there are times you must change the way you ask the question or approach the “girl”. Often, your biggest hurdle is yourself. Be a warrior against pessimism and a champion of tenacity. Attitude is everything; it either keeps you indoors or pushes you in the woods for another day of celebrating our outdoor heritage no matter the odds or the outcome. “You can’t win if you don’t play!” I’ll see you in the woods.

Hunt hard, hunt often.

TIPS FOR A GREAT HUNTING PHOTO: Be in natural settings, not in the back of a truck or a garage floor. Clean up as much blood as you can. RESPECT THE ANIMAL. Keep rifle barrels pointed away from people. Take the photo from a lower position… your deer will grow! Consider if you would frame the photo and place it on your mantle. If you would, great! If not, take the time to get it right.

Brian Beauchamp Buck 2014-sm

 


Boone and Crockett Introduces New President

MISSOULA, Mont. (Dec. 22, 2014) – A hunter, angler and businessman, Morrie Stevens Sr. of Saginaw, Mich., has been elected president of America’s first conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club.

For over 127 years, Club members have helped shape the scientific, educational, political, economic,social, technological and environmental forces affecting natural resource conservation.

Click here to visit Boone and Crockett online!As the Clubs 31st president, Stevens follows the tenure of Bill Demmer of Lansing, Mich., Stevens is chairman and CEO of Stevens Worldwide Van Lines headquartered in Saginaw. He is also involved in other nonprofit boards and is a member of Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society and the NRA.

“As a lifelong hunter-conservationist, Morrie has served the Club tirelessly in multiple capacities,” said outgoing president Demmer. “Morrie was instrumental in guiding the development of our conservation education programs and will be a powerful force continuing the Club’s legacy in wildlife conservation at the local, regional and national level.”

Before being elected president, Stevens served in various Club officer positions, most recently as executive vice president of conservation, which directs the Club’s endowed university professorship and research fellowship programs across the country. Being a graduate of Michigan State University, Stevens worked with other Club members in establishing the MSU Boone and Crockett endowed chair of wildlife conservation, which now will become the Michigan State University Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center.

Stevens said, “Preserving our American hunting heritage is something very personal to me. I grew up on a farm in rural Michigan on the Tittabawassee River, where at an early age I enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping in the ’50s. What I learned being outdoors has served me well. Today we simply have too many obstacles for our kids to be outdoors, and something very special will be lost if we can’t remove these barriers. Of greatest concern is who will be our future conservationists? Our wildlife and the habitats that support them will need all the advocates they can get. Personal experiences in the outdoors are therefore foundational to future wildlife conservation efforts.”

He added, “Equally important is the focus of scientific management to supersede the more recent trends of judicial management. This begins with educating the next generation of conservation leaders. We also need to continually promote the shared use of public lands and promote good stewardship of private lands. There will need to be an increased level of collaboration of like-minded groups and innovative policies to address these challenges.”

Stevens concluded, “I can assure you the Boone and Crockett Club will do its part. We will maintain the Club’s historic legacy of thought leadership in promoting good government policy as it relates to wild game and its habitat, and sportsmen’s access to these resources. We will continue to seek and distribute new knowledge to guide critical decisions. We will also continue to educate the public and help them understand the historic role and contributions of the hunting and angling community in promoting and funding conservation of our wildlife and public lands for everyone’s enjoyment.”

In addition to the B&C university program at Michigan State, similar programs are established at the University of Montana, Texas A&M and research fellowships at Texas A&M Kingsville, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and Oregon State University.

About the Boone and Crockett Club  

North America’s first hunting and conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887. Its mission is to provide the leadership, stewardship and education needed to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship. Join us at www.boone-crockett.org.


Cam-O-Bunk Bunk Bed Cot System Rises to the Top of Outdoor Sleeping

By Kevin Reese

Photoscape samplePursuing my passion outdoors as a lover of God’s creation, avid hunter, seasoned outdoor communicator and even, as you’ll see, a speaker, still leads to many primitive camping opportunities. Whether my assignments and adventures (often one in the same) lead to remote hunting trips, fishing excursions or just plain camping, I love it most in the company of others, especially my family. Each year, I also look forward to CrossTImbers’ Family Archery Adventure Camp in near Norman, Oklahoma, where most of us camp primitively and some of us are blessed to teach archery, shooting and hunting seminars to the young campers and their parents. It was in preparation for this camp recently, along with the knowledge that this time I would be sharing tent space with my younger brother, James Reese, and pseudo-brother, Brian Magee, from Fired Up Outdoors TV that I began a search for gear that I thought either might make us more comfortable or at least accommodate the three of us with a substantial amount of camping and instructional gear. My search landed me at Disc-O-Bed.com where I quickly found the Cam-O-Bunk XL. As soon as the web page populated I knew I had found something amazing.

camobunk8One of the most amazing, innovative camping products I’ve come across in all of my outdoor years, Disc-O-Bed’s Cam-O-Bunk XL Bunk Bed Cot System rises above the “cot-petition” if there is any to be had, and “stacks up” comfort better than any camp bedding I’ve ever come across, especially considering eight years of gritty, active duty Marine Corps living!

I received my Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Cot System just days before the family adventure camp, not as a result of slow shipping, Dis-O-Bed was incredibly responsive; rather, as a result of ordering at the last moment. I did not have time to unpack or inspect it before leaving, I simply loaded the soft carrying cases with rest of my gear and headed north.

camobunk3Upon arriving at the campground and picking the perfect spot, I pulled the soft cases out, laid them on the ground and opened them up. The contents were packed and protected incredibly well with detailed assembly instructions on top. The frame pieces are comprised of heavy-duty anti-rust, powder coated steel components; honestly, there wasn’t a scratch to be found. I studied the instructions for a few minute and began building. I erected the first cot, then the second, stacked them in the tent and had them tethered less than 10 minutes after I had retrieved them from my truck. I couldn’t have asked for an easier-to-assemble, better fitting system!

camobunk2While the Cam-O-Bunk is quite roomy, boasting mat dimensions of 79-in. x 34.5-in., I was amazed at how compactly it fit into my Browning Camping Black Canyon tent; we had tons of extra room for our gear! The Cam-O-Bunk also features a rolled steel base to protect ground sinking and damage to tent floors and other surfaces.

My first night in the Cam-O-Bunk, after a long evening of bowfishing on a nearby lake, was one of incomparable camp comfort. At 44, camp sleep often comes with a few aches and pain the next morning; however, the way the cot’s 600-denier material held fast yet fit the contour of my body had me feeling as rested as I’ve ever felt. We even took in an afternoon nap – tent windows open, cool breeze blowing through – it was a slice of heaven I don’t often get to experience, or generally cared to, given previous camp-sleep experiences. After the nap, we converted this bunk bed cot system into a comfortable camp couch. Yes, we were the only folks in camp with a couch in our tent! Does it get any cooler than a couch in your tent? No, it doesn’t.

If I sound excited, I am! As a Marine Corps veteran, I immediately realized Cam-O-Bunks value well beyond a simple campsite. Disc-O-Bed has developed a product primitive or temporary medical, humanitarian or military quarters; hunting, fishing and camping outfitters; emergency or human services shelters; youth camps; extra bedding at home when the relatives drop in for the holidays, etc.

Looking high and low for something I didn’t like about Disc-O-Bed’s Cam-O-Bunk XL Bunk Bed Cot System was futile. The only worthwhile mention is weight. The entire system weighs about 60 pounds. While I wouldn’t suggest backpacking everywhere with it, Cam-O-Bunk is compact, easy to carry and even easier to transport.

camobunk4Disc-O-Bed also offers an array of great accessories, including a cabinet, footlocker, mosquito net, polypropylene mat, IV stand, extenders to create more space between bunks, and other innovative accessories. My system included side organizers that attach easily to the sides of each cot and provide more than enough room for my Glock 17, flashlight, smartphone, tablet, beverage, a good book and much more.

The Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk has taken its rightful place alongside my favorite outdoor gear. I can’t imagine spending another night in camp without it!

For more information about the Cam-O-Bunk XL and Disc-O-Bed’s other innovative products, visit www.discobed.com.


Browning Grants Signature Products Group (SPG) The Browning Pack License

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more Information:
Contact Andrew Howard (573) 898-3422

Signature Products Group (SPG) is proud to announce that starting January 1, 2015 they will be the official pack licensee for Browning. For 2015, SPG will unveil a completely new line of packs holding true to the Browning tradition of “The Best There Is.”

“We are thrilled to be taking on another Browning license. We’re especially excited to provide Browning hunting packs that reach the level of quality and performance that hunters expect. We have incorporated new innovative designs, materials, and features that live up to the Browning brand,” said SPG CEO, Dusty Zundel.

The brand new Browning Pack line will use Hypo-sonic™ and Mountain Crawler™ systems never before seen on the market. These systems focus on allowing the hunter to go farther, longer and faster.

“Our completely new line of Browning packs and bags were designed for hunters, by hunters.  We’re very excited to showcase all the innovations and features, many of which should change the market,” said Sales Manager, Geoff Maki. “We’re confident hunters everywhere will love this line…because your pack shouldn’t limit your hunt!”

The Browning Packs in the new line include a variety of day packs, lumbar packs, dry bags, dry duffels, luggage, a frame pack, map cases and casual backpacks.

Individual pack announcements will be available in 2015.

SPG is the official licensee of products for Browning®, Realtree®, Mossy Oak®, Ducks Unlimited®, Major League Bowhunter, Under Armour®, Dirty Bird™, Bone Collector®, Hard Core™, and Big Rack.

For more information on SPG , please visit www.spgcompany.com.


SPYPOINT’S LIVE 3G: TOP DOG IN TRAIL CAMERA EVOLUTION

Improving scouting and odds of criminal prosecution one photo at a time… 

By Kevin Reese 

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!Much of my writing over the years has revolved around scouting and preparation as key elements of successful and ethical hunting. While trap, game or trail cameras have been around for over 100 years, the past 15 years have demonstrated the single most aggressive swing in trail camera use for scouting and preparation. And, while trail cameras do significantly improve our ability to scout, plan and hunt, cameras are steadily evolving to include security. Over the past five years I’ve followed the security aspect of trail camera use quite closely and have enjoyed watching advances applied to one model after another. One company I’ve watched carefully over the past several years is SpyPoint.

From the IR-B in 2008, through the game changing technology built into the Tiny-W cameras, to the 2013 SpyPoint Live 3G, I’ve watched SpyPoint consistently walk the leading edge of trail camera technology. More importantly, they do so with such dedication to the protection and security of their clients there is little need to look elsewhere for multitasking products that not only track your wildlife, but give you a fighting chance to catch thugs in the act! And, as you’ll learn, the Live 3G, SpyPoint’s latest high-tech offering, has an added surprise sure to take accountability to new heights.

Live 3G – Finally, Affordable Cell Service!

While the rest of the trail camera marketplace focuses on cost-prohibitive cellular servicing, ridiculously high resolution that most hunters really don’t care much about and adding sound to video clips, SpyPoint has already been there, done that. Sure the SpyPoint Pro-X is a great at 12MP and the use of high resolution photos resonates with wildlife photographers, we don’t necessarily need that much resolution, or that much storage eaten up, to scout or catch a bad guy.

Today’s SpyPoint cameras focus on offering the best combination of scouting and security currently available. While SpyPoint still offers high resolution cameras for discerning wildlife photographers, the latest SpyPoint homeruns, the Tiny W-2 and Live 3G offer 8MP resolution to capture detail those important details without needlessly filling up your SD card. Want Black LED’s, video sound, wifi, cellular, resolution, simple interface and integrated viewers? SpyPoint has all of them! But, there’s more… and that “more” is going to do more than shock you… it will rock the world of criminals everywhere!

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!

Hunter’s Best Friend, Punks Worst NIGHTMARE! 

Imagine someone at the top listening to your whims, wishes, moans and groans then actually addressing them! Now imagine a company listening to the wish lists and gripes of people using other manufacturers’ trail cameras? What don’t they like? What can we do to help them? Let’s be honest, what’s on your trail camera wish list? Let me drop a boot by sharing what I would like to see in a trail camera:

  • Decent resolution but not over the top
  • Video with sound, if that turns my rotors
  • Faster trigger times – I mean, down to zero!
  • Multiple detection zones – see trigger time… not a back leg!
  • Affordable cellular service – I’m on a budget
  • Integrated viewing and configuration window, controls
  • Multi-Shot capabilities
  • Reduced, or increased, shot intervals – depending on my mood
  • Most Important – I want to catch the trash who stole my camera
  • I want to drive to his house and get my camera back!

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!

Now, let me drop the other boot… IT’S HERE!

I recently setup my new SpyPoint Live 3G and found out some great things along the way! The Live 3G can be used as a stand-alone or cellular based trail camera. The cellular service knocked me for a loop; I was a bit scared of the cost factor; I had played with others and paid dearly for it. To my surprise, the cost is incredibly affordable. SpyPoint Live 3G allows you to use your current AT&T account or a pay as you go Truphone account.

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!The first step in my Live 3G experience was to create a MySpyPoint.com account. MySpyPoint.com hosts webpages I use to manage my camera settings and manage my images. In MySpyPoint.com, I dictate image intervals, camera modes and other camera settings. Part of settings is the type of image I would like to transmit. Since I elected to keep my data at 100mb per month (no more than $15 monthly), I chose to transmit thumbnails with the option to download full size images with the click of a button. After thumbnail transmission, the thumbnails appear on my content management page. Along with image transmissions, I used MySpyPoint.com configuration settings to receive text and email messages whenever images are transmitted.

The camera comes with a Truphone sim card; however, again, you can elect to use your AT&T sim card. I chose Truphone to minimize my costs. Once the sim card is activated and the camera is registered with MySpyPoint.com, your camera in ready to communicate.

Full-sized images are taken at intervals you select, down to every 10 seconds and resolution is set at 8MP. Five (5) zones of detection mean a blistering fast trigger speed, down to zero seconds. IR technology has improved dramatically over the years. The Live 3G utilizes 48 LED lights to capture images out to at least 50 feet on the darkest of nights. My personal SpyPoint Live 3G is capturing every bit of 50 feet… and a few feet more with exceptional clarity.

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!The security features are where this camera trumps everything else on the market! Not only do you capture images of perpetrators, those photos are transmitted for download. The camera also sends messages to your cell phone that your camera is being moved. You can even report the camera stolen in MySpyPoint.com. Reporting the Live 3G stolen locks the camera up (until you retrieve it) and provides you with GPS coordinates for your camera every 10 minutes! That’s right, the Live 3G has a tracking device! Imagine the punk’s surprise when you show up at his door, perhaps with the local authorities, and demand your camera back. To help you on your search, you’ve likely already captured images of the perpetrator! Security at its finest – If you want peace of mine, you need SpyPoint Live 3G!

What’s this world coming to, you ask? It’s coming to a place where honest people reclaim the upper hand. Much like video cameras record the good, bad and ugly of daily life, SpyPoint captures the good, bad and ugly of our outdoor lifestyle. Since the late 1800s, trail cameras have been used to answer questions. Today’s cameras, like the SpyPoint Live 3G, answers many more questions than some people bargain for.

So, What’s NOT to Like?

“Not like” is such a strong term. It’s not a dislike inasmuch as it’s a “wish I had”.  After all, the Live 3G is, by far, my favorite of SpyPoint’s entire lineup… and I’ve used a number of different models over the years.  So, here is what I wish I had in the Live 3G. I would love to be able to synchronize on demand. It may already exist; however, if it does then my gripe would be that the instructions, from what I read, did not reveal how I might activate that function. If I could push a button and automatically synchronize that would take my trail cameras desires right over the top!

A second improvement would be to add an outdoor booster to improve cellular signal and transmission. This is NOT a fault of the camera but I would love to see a battery powered external cellular signal booster to reach even further off the beaten path.

Final Thoughts

Even considering the cons that, frankly, I really had to search high and low for, the Live 3G is by far my favorite of not just SpyPoint’s offerings, but all trail camera offerings. As I mentioned earlier, the innovation, details and dedication to quality evident in this model assures me that SpyPoint cares about more than just my scouting, they care about protecting my best interests. Even better, they give me recourse that NO OTHER trail camera to date offers. The SpyPoint Live 3G has been such a mind-blowing joy ride, I can’t imagine what they’ll come up with next!

Click here to visit SpyPoint.com!

For more information about SpyPoint’s incredible line of trail cameras and their latest ultra-cool product, The Xcel HD Action Camera (Watch for that review soon!), visit www.SpyPoint.com.


OpticsPlanet.com ~ How to Prep for a Big Game Hunt

Click here to visit OpticsPlanet.com!


The Cold HEARD Truth about WildEar!

Bowhunter’s hearing amplification with shooting sports protection!

By Kevin Reese

As a tinnitus sufferer, compliments of the U.S. Marine Corps, and avid hunter, hearing has been a significant hindrance to my success in the field. While many count on hearing, sight and smell on the hunt, I have lost much of the second most critical sense we carry into the woods.

So, what’s a frustrated hunter to do? I had heard great things about the quality and customer service at WildEar so I picked up the phone and ordered the Master Series Hearing Enhancement System (HES). What a Godsend! Brad Esson sent me an information and fitting instruction kit and I scheduled an appointment with my local audiologist. I left the audiologist’s office with impressions in hand and mailed them back to WildEar. Within two weeks I had a package waiting at my front door.

What’s in the Box?

Upon opening the shipping box I found a beautifully crafted wood box with my name carved into the lid; I was immediately impressed! Opening the box I found every component neatly displayed including my WildEar Hearing Enhancement Devices (HED), a WildEar adjustable lanyard, extra plugs, a cleaning brush, identification card, extra size 13 batteries, instruction manual and an extremely nice leather carrying pouch.

After a quick read through the instructions and becoming familiar with button locations, I was ready to give my new “WildEars” a whirl. After installing the battery in the first device I immediately inserted it in my ear and continued installing the battery in the other device; while I did so, the left device cycled through a series of tones confirming that I had inserted the battery correctly and the unit was now active. After installing the battery in the second unit and firmly inserting it into my ear canal I heard the same tone; both units were active and appeared to be working properly. Once the units were powered on amplification of sounds was immediate and because the HED was created from personal impressions the fit was incredibly comfortable.

Success, One Ear at a Time!

A major benefit to WildEar’s HES is adjustability. This is the first system I’ve had the pleasure of using that incorporates comprehensive adjustability. WildEar HED’s offer four presets and numerous volume levels to optimize hearing FOR EACH EAR! Using the various presets and volume levels I quickly achieved optimum hearing; in fact, after customizing the settings and recording them on a piece of paper (I now keep folded in the leather pouch for reference) the variance in hearing from one ear to the other I had experienced for years became negligible.

From Every Direction or the Right Direction?

Another benefit was the ability to discern noise direction. Experimenting with other devices I noticed difficulty in ascertaining which direction noises were coming from. Using WildEar’s HED’s I had no problem identifying the source direction of various sounds; a critical element to hearing in the woods! In a matter of minutes I had leveled my outdoor playing field with a keen hearing ability I presume rivals that of my prey.

Hearing to Hearing Protection: From A – Z!

My Master Series HED’s were designed for a diverse range of outdoor activities including both firearm shooting and bowhunting. When rifle or pistol hunting, or during a day on the shooting range, I simply insert the vent plugs into the vent holes. The plugs seal the vent holes preventing outside noise from entering the devices. Noise is suppressed when it reaches a potentially dangerous level. My HED’s only suppressed the firearm blast then returned to hearing amplification.

While bowhunting I remove the plugs. The open vent holes allow for natural noise and air to infiltrate, eliminating any semblance of feeling “plugged up”. It’s worth noting that at any time you transition from bowhunting to shooting a firearm you must remember to install the vent plugs!

The Cold HEARD Truth!

I never realized how much I was missing the field. WildEar HED’s gave me a new lease on my bowhunting life. Now I used them for more than outdoor pursuits. Late in the evening you can now find me watching a couple of my favorite television shows… without subtitles!

The quality of workmanship was readily apparent and proven through use. WildEar accounted for every minute detail. The presentation of the product in the customized box seemed to demonstrate just how much WildEar focuses on satisfying customers; I felt like I was important to them. WIldEar has earned my trust, endorsement and recommendation. Well done, WildEar, well done!

The only con I observed is the inability to power off the devices without removing the batteries. A power button on each device would be a great addition; handling batteries while 20 feet up in a treestand can be frustrating. Considering that minor inconvenience, WildEar still earns top honors with me. I expect my WildEar HED’s will be an important part of my outdoor gear for years to come!

Many thanks to WildEar for offering premium, dependable and diverse HED’s at prices most bowhunters who take their hearing seriously can afford!

Check out WildEar’s array of premium hearing enhancement and suppression products at www.WildEar.com.

Hunt hard, hunt often.


SpyPoint’s Tiny-W2 Trail Camera

Gimmick or Game Changer?

By Kevin Reese
www.just-hunt.com

I high-stepped slowly, taking care to keep the briars underfoot while dodging brittle twigs and branches threatening to signal the alarm to certain nearby critters. It was quite a long trek, I remember, especially in complete darkness. It was 4:30 a.m.; the frost-laden cloak of blacks and grays would not succumb to the golden hues of a rising sun for a couple of hours. Wind direction was perfect, hunting over the super-highway 20 yards in front of my ground blind was going to make for an easy hunt.

Another hundred yards through the briars and blood weeds brought me into a familiar clearing. I headed around the side of the clearing and edged back into the opposite tree line where I had carefully tucked my ground blind and brushed it in. As I neared the blind area cut back limbs and bare ground emerged. Only the branches and foliage I had used to conceal my setup remained. Someone had stolen my ground blind!

Why do we feel that electrical charge course through our veins the moment we realize we’ve become the victim of a crime? What causes that empty shutter in the pit of your stomach as you start processing the crime scene? I could feel my heart pounding and hear it in my ears. My stomach turned the feeling there was hollow right down to the pit. When were they here? I made my way over to a nearby tree to grab my trail camera and realized my horrible morning had become a nightmare they had stolen my trail camera as well – no blind, no camera and no photos of the perpetrators. Call them what you will, criminals, thieves, trespassers – they were all of the above!

What I wanted more than anything was to put another camera up but what would that accomplish? Sure, if they returned I would get another photo but likely lose another camera I even considered using a climbing stand but in the end conceded that the ridiculous amount of effort to check the camera would be excessive there was no guarantee the perpetrators would return. It seemed as though I had a dilemma… until I found out about SpyPoint’s Tiny-W camera. The first generation Tiny-W was incredible… and incredibly innovative. My only concern was the inability to hide the remote black box further away from the camera (50-foot transmission range). Well, SpyPoint promised an improvement and boy did they ever deliver!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Upon capturing an image, SpyPoint’s second generation of this model, the Tiny-W2 immediately transmits a copy to the black box receiver nearly 100 yards away, at least five times further than the original Tiny-W! Imagine yourself in a trespasser, thief or poacher’s shoes. Your photo has just been taken. You break or steal the camera or steal the SD card to eliminate incriminating evidence. Imagine your surprise the following day when 8-megapixel images of your face are plastered all over the community. Now imagine law enforcement officers cuffing you as they advise you of your rights. How on earth did they catch you? With SpyPoint’s Tiny-W2!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

The Tiny-W2 levels the criminal surveillance playing field at home and in the woods while offering game-changing scouting opportunities. Gone are the days of disturbing your setup to check your images place your receiver anywhere within 250 feet of the camera and simply pull images from the receiver.

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Still images are taken at interval options between 10 seconds and one hour in single shot or multi-shot mode multi-shot mode captures six images per triggering. Three sensors create seven zones of detection resulting in blazing fast trigger speed. Did I say blazing fast? How about ZERO SECONDS compared to the industry standard of a 1 – 1.2-second trigger speed! The two side-sensors sense motion and wake the camera up to capture the image. When the subject passes in front of the center sensor, the trigger is instant. Images are captured in daytime color or nighttime infrared black and white and include date, time, moon phase and temperature information. The Tiny-W2 also captures 10 – 90-second video clips, in daytime color and nighttime infrared black and white at 640×480 resolution, perfect for YouTube and other video-feed platforms!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Detection settings are between 5 to 50 feet and 38 LED lights capture nighttime images out to 50 feet. Both the camera and receiver run on six AA batteries and include 12-volt jacks both units also are solar panel compatible and use standard SD cards. The Tiny-W2 package includes the Tiny-W2 camera, Blackbox receiver, installation straps, USB and video cables, and a user manual.

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

Click here to visit spypoint.com!

I attempted to compile a list of concerns about this camera but there really wasn’t a list to be had. It’s truly a phenomenal camera. Considering improvements to the camera, I might ask for a viewing screen on the Blackbox even if the receive was a little larger or perhaps the ability to transfer images from the Blackbox receiver to another wireless device such as my cellphone or a tablet. This might allow for recovering images at even great distances. Some of SpyPoint’s HD-12 Trail Camera Black LED’s would also be a great addition to the Tiny-W2 if a third generation camera is in the works!

However, the truth is that whether you’re after a giant whitetail buck, bruiser wild boar or the scum of the earth that just victimized you and your family, the Tiny-W2 is the best, most practical, most cost effective answer MSRP for the Tiny-W2 is $299.

Any way you slice it, the Tiny-W2 is definitely a 5-star game changer! With the Tiny-W2 and other phenomenal offerings, SpyPoint has landed on the leading edge of trail and surveillance camera innovation! I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Visit www.SpyPoint.com to browse a diverse range of other innovative products including more trail camera models and great lineup of accessories. SpyPoint.com also offers technical support, contact information, a gallery of trail camera images and a comprehensive list of distributors near you.

Kevin may be reached for questions, comments, product and outfitter reviews via email at Kevinr@just-Hunt.com.

Visit Kevin at Just-Hunt.com

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Bowhunting Madness!

Full Draw on the Boys of Fall!

By Kevin Reese

Click here to visit BowTechArchery.com!You have to admit, summer has been relatively mellow this year compared to the inferno we endured in 2011 making the contrast in seasons nearly seamless; in fact this opening week of archery-deer season promises highs in the 80’s! The truth is, while we haven’t noticed much of a change, our whitetail population knows what time of year it is. Temperatures are cooler, acorns are falling, the antlers are back and the velvet is gone. It won’t be long now before gentle sparring on a set of horns becomes a great way to lure in the deer of a lifetime. I love early season hunting – the gentle coolness of morning sweeping across my cheeks, the heavy scent of cedar and dew in the air and early signs of the impending rut. What a perfect time to venture beyond the sea of asphalt and concrete in search of yourself and your buck of a lifetime!

Rifle hunting can be tough but nothing like the often maddening stick and string chase. Bowhunting means confident shooting, getting so close you can see lungs expand and muscles twitch. Like the planets, numerous variables must align when bowhunting; prepare to experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows! Take my word for it; I’ve experience more than my fair share of epic failures. So, in an effort to preserve your early season sanity here are some tips to up your odds in our October woods.

ü  The Cloak of Invisibility: Camouflage is critical when deer hunting. I’m not necessarily talking about color but breaking up your outline is a must. Disappearing is the name of the game. While as a general rule, deer do not see color (at least in the same way we do) they do notice shapes and lines that are not natural to their environment.  If you hunt from a ground blind, black is your key to invisibility; consider the color of the interior of your blind. Make sure you are sitting toward the back of the blind and keep opposing windows closed. You never want to silhouette yourself in the ground blind. They may not see YOU but they will see you MOVE! Even the best hidden hunters are easily seen as soon as they move to scratch, drink some water, adjust in their stand – the opportunities and reasons to move are endless.

ü  Home Sweet Home: Scouting is vital. Setting up your home away from home means figuring out where and how deer are moving. Where are food and water sources, bedding areas and primary trails? Watch for rubs, scrapes, tracks, scat and other signs of activity. Trail cameras are great for scouting areas. Consider predominant wind direction, shade and sunlight to pick your new hunting spot. Don’t hunt upwind. A great solution to hunting regardless of wind direction is to setup stands or blinds on opposing sides of where you believe deer can be intercepted. Ensure you set up close enough to make a confidant shot if the moment of truth arrives. Trail cameras can be a great way to catch trespassers.

*Cameras like SpyPoint’s Tiny-W2 now have the technology to pass photos instantly to “black box” hidden in another area of the woods safeguarding photos of the criminals from being erased. (www.SpyPoint.com)

ü  Win by a Nose: Like hogs, beating a deer’s nose can seem nearly impossible! Make sure to hunt downwind and follow a rigid routine of scent control. Many items are available to control your scent including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, storage bins and bags for your clothes, gear, shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, gum, cover scent products, etc. Work to control your stink with scent eliminating products like Dead Down Wind and cover scents. Dead Down Wind also makes wipes, great for toting in your back pack or fanny pack. Don’t forget to spray the bottom of your boots, yourself and your gear down with scent eliminating spray again before walking into the woods!

*Visit Dead Down Wind online to browse my favorite line of scent eliminating products.(www.DeadDownWind.com)

A couple of other great products to carry into the woods include:

Revelation Amp Hunting Knife(www.RealAvid.com). The Amp is razor sharp and includes a bone saw, gut hook, drop-point blade and high intensity lights for nighttime field dressing.Click here to visit RealAvid.com!

ThermaCELL(www.thermaCELL.com) I can honestly say I’ve been using a ThermaCELL for years and have yet to receive a mosquito bite while the unit is in operation. It’s quite possibly the coolest invention since ice cubes!Click here to visit ThermaCELL.com!

Alpen Binoculars(www.AlpenOptics.com) I love the idea of premium glass at blue collared prices. I love the quality of these binoculars and the no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. A hunter without good optics is often at a severe disadvantage!Click here to visit AlpenOptics.com

Following these tips won’t guarantee you that big buck but they’ll certainly increase your chances. On a pre-rut note, don’t be afraid to rattle the horns but start with some light sparring and keep your eyes open. The boys of fall are in your midst!

Hunt hard, hunt often.


Bradley Custom Calls Bring the Heat to Turkey Calling!

The resounding differences between mass produced and custom built calls are sound, quality and value!

By Kevin Reese

Few things are better than spending a few spring days tucked into the turkey woods with a bow, crossbow or shotgun. The resonating tumbling gobble of wise toms in every direction mean that whether you harvest a turkey or not, you’re in for a good time! Ask any turkey hunter what their fascination with turkey hunting really is, their constant reply is always the same, it’s interactive. Sure, if everything works as it should and you’ve patterned turkey, identified roosts, etc., you may be able to intercept them on the move and setup an ambush; however, those who choose to experience the real thrill of the hunt lure them in with the clucks, cuts, purrs and yelps of a lonely hen. Successfully calling a turkey into your setup for the endgame is not only gratifying, it’s exilerating!

There are some good calls on the market; even several mass produced calls have a decidedly full tone, but there is no substituting a seasoned call maker’s handmade custom calls. Utilizing years of experience, the feedback of veteran turkey hunters and the desire to improve your hunting experience, custom call maker and owner of Bradley Custom Calls, Rick “Hoot” Bradley, offers a line of exceptional custom calls sure to get you to the endgame.

Here are two Bradley Custom Calls I recently spent some time testing:

White Hot Pot Call with Zebrawood Striker

This is a beautifully crafted call. Cut from exotic zebra wood, each White Hot call is beautiful and different in its own right. The call is topped with an exceptional piece of low maintenance slate, both durable and without defects. I dropped the call several times, once on asphalt as I climbed from my truck, without damage to the slate or internal sound board. The sound board itself is made of cherry wood. No matter what call series I ran on the call the sound was full, rich, even warm, without being excessively loud. Since I do not profess to be a grand champion turkey caller, I do make an occasional bad strike and even those were not bad. The call seemed to do most of the work for me. While hollow, higher pitched sounds are often the hallmark of mass produced calls the problem is nonexistent in White Hot. I found shifting from young to raspy and soft purrs to booming yelp runs on this call quite simple. The matching striker only served to further warm up and enrich the sound. White Hot is an exceptionally built, beautifully toned pot call.

 

Tom Boatwright Classic Runnin’ Hot Box Call

The Tom Boatwright signature call, Runnin’ Hot, is Bradley’s newest addition to an already great lineup. The Runnin’ Hot offers a beautiful combination of a purple heart lid and mahogany box. Wood quality, box space and radius cut of the lids underside all contribute to the ease of use and rich tones emanating from the call. The lid’s pivot point is spot-on allowing for greater control whether I employ yelp runs, cutting, clucks or purrs. Like White Hot, even shifting gears between young hen and older raspy yelps was quite simple, something often missing from mass produced calls. The truth is, this call offers great diversity in calling yet all runs sounded rich and warm. The call carried well on loud yelp runs without blowing my ear drums out. Like White Hot again, I hollow runs were nonexistent. Consistently rich, real sounding calls were simple to produce and I was able to produce them consistently. Bradley Custom Calls obviously spent considerable time designing this box call. I was impressed through and through.

The Bradley Custom Calls logo is burned into the wood’s exterior along with a message, John 3:16, that lets you know where Hoot Bradley stands and ensures your hunting buddies know where you stand. That simple message was something I appreciated seeing on these calls.

 

The MSRP on Bradley Custom Calls are $59.95 for pot calls and $49.95 – 69.95 for box calls. A push button call is also available for $19.95 and strikers are $14.95 each in three wood variations; a three-pack is also available for $29.95. To see these calls and others, or to learn more information about Bradley Custom Calls, visit www.BradleyCustomCalls.com.

 

 

 


TOP Shooter Targets Cancer for Michael Spellman Benefit

Top Shot’s Chris Reed’s Tactical .308 Masterpiece Shoots for Spellman’s Cure!

 By Kevin Reese

Cancer is a monster. I can scarcely count the number of times someone has reminded me that if I don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything. So, out of respect I keep quiet on many fronts; however, cancer is not one of them. Cancer is not good, productive, inspiring, kind, peaceful or respectful. The purest definition is simply “monster”! Cancer is not good; it is counterproductive, frightening, nasty, intrusive and certainly not a respectful of one’s time, resources or physiology. I really didn’t have an opinion on it growing up. It never hit close to home, at least until my pop was diagnosed in March, 2011.

Five months after his diagnosis, we lost him. There were no words left unsaid, for that I felt blessed; however, if wishing upon a star was possible, I would have asked for two; one, to spend more time with him and two, that we could have caught it earlier. Fortunately we were afforded the great blessing our spending our childhood through our young adult years, appreciating his dry wit, coy smiles, booming laughter and occasional look that always told us we were in big trouble! By the time he became ill, we were mature enough to handle the news and progress through the illness from start to finish; many don’t get that time with their loved one. Still, many others do get to experience that when the battle is won here on Earth.

I feel blessed in some small way to have experienced it from the perspective of voice. All too often we feel we have no voice when cast into cancer’s downward spiral, but there is a light at the end of that tunnel! Losing someone close to us to cancer is not the end, it’s the beginning; the beginning of using our voice, our finances and our encouragement to make a difference for others battling their monsters. Michael Spellman is the OTHER I wanted to share with all of you.

Michael Spellman’s storybegan long before I heard about it. While on a recent turkey hunt I took a call from good friend Chris Reed, winner of History Channel’s Top Shot, Season Two. After venting about a tom I had missed earlier that morning, I asked Chris what he was up to. Chris quieted a bit, “I’m building a rifle for a friend of mine, Michael Spellman. He’s another friend of mine battling cancer with a great wife and kids. I’m building a special one for him. We’re going to raffle it off and donate the proceeds to his fight. We need to keep him here to raise his kids. Can you help get the word out?”

Chris couldn’t see my reaction but I hope he sensed it through the air waves, I was beaming. Here was a chance to give my voice in chorus with so many others to help a good father win his fight and somehow reconcile the loss of my own; make our loss a purposeful, positive blessing for great kids, a strong woman and a remarkable man. Asking how I could help spawned this article. I can help by telling ALL OF YOU that you CAN make a difference!

Chris has pulled all of his tricks out of the bag to build this amazing rifle, and you can own it! A raffle is currently underway for a modest $5 per ticket. All of the proceeds will be donated to Spellman’s fight. Recently Reed’s masterpiece was displayed at the 141st NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits, in St. Louis, Missouri. While those who want to make a difference have purchased raffle tickets in person, tickets may be purchased online at www.MichaelSpellman.org.

What you stand to win…

Beyond the obvious, winning the fight against a monster with Spellman and many others, you may win the masterpiece Reed not only designed but personally assembled!

Here are the specs you’ve been waiting for:

Remington 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD

  • Caliber.308 Win w/ 20” Heavy Barrel with 5/8-24 Threaded Muzzle
  • Accepts AAC and 5/8-24 Threaded Flash Hiders, Muzzle Brakes and Suppressors
  • 1 in 10-inch Rate of Twist for increased Bullet Stability
  • X-Mark Pro Externally Adjustable Trigger Set at 3 1/2 pounds
  • NIGHTFORCE 5.5-22×50 NXS Scope w/ illuminated Reticle and Zero Stop Turrets
  • McRee’s Precision Modular Folding TMAG Stock w/ Detachable Box Magazine
  • Starlight – Hard Sided, Watertight, Chemical Resistant, Military Grade Gun Case

CNC precision engraving lets you know just how special this rifle really is; engraved on the left side of the receiver is “Outlaw Custom guns by Chris Reed” with serial # 0001 while “SHOOT FOR A CURE” is engraved on the opposite side, reminding you that your help, along with many others, truly makes a difference!

The rifle will be raffled off at Outlaw Sporting Goods grand opening celebration on July 4, in Greenwood, Mississippi. The winner does not need to be present to win. The lucky winner can pick up the Spellman rifle at Outlaw Sporting Goods or have it shipped to the FFL dealer of their choice.

Feel like you haven’t made a difference? This is your chance to make one! Don’t wait. Get your tickets at www.MichaelSpellman.org.

ABOUT MICHAEL

Michael’s Story as published on www.MichaelSpellman.org

Michael Spellman is a lifetime resident of Mississippi and has spent his entire life in rural Carroll County. The 1994 Graduate of Carroll Academy led his high school football team, as quarterback, to its one and only state championship victory. He has also protected his community as Chief Deputy Sheriff and is the son of Carla Shackelford and retired Game Warden “Big” Mike Spellman, a father of two and friend of many.

His fight now is one we all hear about way too often. Michael has been diagnosed with cancer. He has not asked for help nor would he even consider such a gesture, but it is our duty as friends of Michael to help him just as he has helped so many.

We are asking for anyone willing to make a donation or to purchase a raffle ticket to do so in his honor.

ALL proceeds go directly to Michael and his family to help with medical expenses and to seek out the best treatment they can afford. Michael does not have any insurance to cover these costs and has sold practically everything he owns to keep from burdening others.

We ask that you please help in any way you are able; please know your contributions will be treasured.

Finally, please take a moment and ask the Lord to look over Michael and his family, and pray that we can help them find peace through this difficult journey, AMEN… and Thank You! 

 


Bowtech Insanity CPX + Ripcord Code Red Arrow Rest + StarrFlight F.O.B.’s = PERFECTION!

Last year, as a result of many hunter and archer questions and a complete lack of anyone willing to step up, Good friend and master archery technician, Jerry Reeves, and me set out to be the first to document the ability to shoot StarrFlight’s controversial Fletching Only Better, also known as F.O.B.’s or FOB’s. We found success quickly. Using my Bowtech Invasion CPX and a Ripcord Code Rest arrow rest, safe travel for my FOB was easy!

This year, we set out to do it again! Many asked and again we appear to be the first, or only, ones to answer the question definitively. “Can you shoot FOB’s through a 2012 Bowtech Insanity CPX? Not only did we accomplish this task, but like last year, we have the first video to prove it!

And, to throw an exclamation point on this success, it’s important to point out that success was achieved using my personal setup, a short draw length, maxed out draw weight and a shorter brace height than the Bowtech Invasion CPX that we used to test the setup last year. My personal bow is comprised of a 27-inch draw length, 70-pound draw weight and 6-inch brace height, shooting 308 feet per second! The shorter brace height, short draw length, max poundage and the increase of 13 feet per second arrow speed over last year’s test mean that we’ve really pushed the envelope on the performance of my Ripcord Code Red Arrow Rest.



I have to attribute our success to the incredibly fast performance of the Ripcord Code Red arrow rest. The rest fell, leaving plenty of time for the FOB to pass through the shelf. Even better was the complete lack of bounce back from the Ripcord. I slowed the video time down exponentially. Unfortunately, even slowing the clip down from less than one second to over 6 minutes, did not demonstrate FOB flight well enough to use; however, I could clearly see that there was absolutely no bounce back. I was definitely impressed with the rest. I’ve used Ripcord arrow rests for years now and love them, but I have to admit I was shocked when I saw just how well it performed. I have also enjoyed shooting StarrFlight’s FOB’s for years so the opportunity to continue shooting them from a setup I was skeptical about was a relief. For now, the Ripcord and the FOB’s will remain an integral part of my bowhunting adventures!

Hunt hard, hunt often!

 

 


2012 Fred Bear Archery & Bowhunting Communicator Award Honoree is Bill Krenz

Jan. 9, 2012, Columbus, OH – The Fred Bear Archery and Bowhunting Communicator Award, created by the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) in 2005, recognizes outdoor journalists who make significant contributions to the sports of archery and bowhunting, excel at their journalistic craft, and mentor up-and-coming outdoor journalists.
 
Although the award is presented to active journalists, a special exception was made this year. The late Bill Krenz, founder of Zebra Publishing, whose untimely passing on Dec. 13, 2010 shocked the industry, was named the 2012 honoree.
 
The award was presented by POMA and the Archery Trade Association during the OutTech event the night before the ATA Show in Columbus, Ohio. Krenz’s wife, Sherry, accepted the award. POMA President Kevin Tate and ATA CEO Jay McAninch spoke of Krenz’s impact on the industry and the many lives he touched.

 Photo Courtesy of Zebra Publishing

“Some awards honor the people who receive them, but in this case, it’s POMA’s honor to be associated with Bill,” said Tate. “The people who drive the archery industry, people who dedicate their minds to their business and their hearts to the outdoors, who combine their lives with their livelihood and pour everything they have into a cause they love, those people give to life far more than they could ever receive, and far more to our industry than we could ever return.”
 
For nearly four decades, Krenz was an energetic defender and communicator of all that is right about archery and bowhunting. Businessman, writer, speaker, video and television personality and grassroots bowhunter and archer, Krenz demonstrated an unwavering vision and commitment to promoting archery and bowhunting worldwide.
 
His career included 20 years in the archery industry with PSE, Hoyt and Bear, and a lifetime as a journalist and communicator, sharing the excitement and the passion found in our world’s wild places.
 
He and Sherry founded Zebra Publishing in 1998 and launched “Inside Archery,” a title that quickly became the industry’s number one trade magazine. The launch of “Bowhunt America” magazine a short time later balanced the “Inside Archery” offering with a consumer title that has become well respected in the marketplace. Both publications continue their mission today.
 
“Bill was not only an outstanding outdoor writer and editor, he was also a passionate participant in the sports of archery and Bowhunting,” McAninch said. “He was committed to portraying bowhunting in a respectful, ethical manner. Bill also was a strong advocate of the archery industry and worked to support the success of all the companies with whom he worked.”
 
Nominations for the Fred Bear Award are accepted from all archery industry journalists and professionals. Nominations may be made on the POMA website.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Laurie Lee Dovey, Executive Director
Professional Outdoor Media Association
lldovey@professionaloutdoormedia.org
814-525-6989
 
Amy Hatfield, Communications Manager
Archery Trade Association
amyhatfield@archerytrade.org
 
About the Organizations
 
Professional Outdoor Media Association, www.professionaloutdoormedia.org
 
Mission:  The Professional Outdoor Media Association is a group of individual communicators and Corporate Partners who believe in, defend, support and promote the heritage of hunting, fishing, shooting, trapping and traditional outdoor sports through writing, photography and other means. By doing so, members hope to educate the general public about these sports and encourage more participation in them. The organization serves the membership by helping members grow professionally, improve their skills, better their working environments and enhance their businesses.
 
Archery Trade Association, www.archerytrade.org
 
Since 1953 ATA has been the trade association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. ATA is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, and reducing taxes and government regulation while increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. ATA owns and manages the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and longest running trade show worldwide.


Sighting-In Your Bow: Keep it Simple

*As published at www.GlobalOutfitters.com

By Kevin Reese

When considering hunter ethics, the most important element beyond the scope of wildlife conservation and habitat preservation is shot placement. Good bowhunters understand this critical ingredient and practice year round to ensure their prey receive nothing short of best efforts from confident, ethical integrity-minded sportsmen. 

As a matter of shot placement, accuracy and consistency are key. Many say practice is the only answer to consistently accurate shot placement; while this is true, it’s not the entire formula; well tuned equipment is also vital to your accuracy. Confidence in your equipment is as important as competence in your shooting abilities. Archers of all ages struggle with shot placement at some level whether dealing with target panic, buck fever, improper form or a bow in need of proper tuning; they key to mistake-proofing is using the process of elimination.

 Ensure your bow is well tuned, including timing, tiller, center shot, etc. and that your shooting equipment matches your needs, i.e. correctly spined arrows. Once you are sure of your equipment, ensure your shooting is consistent and accurate; at this point, accuracy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making great shots, it simply means you are grouping your arrows and establishing a pattern. Now it’s time to sight in your bow.

Here’s a simple to tip to make sighting-in a bit easier.  Consider a cross, or crosshairs – a cross pattern is made of both a vertical and horizontal line; the point at which those lines meet is the bullseye. The problem most archers have when sighting in is that they focus on the bullseye as a point of aim instead of one line at a time.

Pick a side of your target specifically used for sighting-in and tape or spray paint a cross that spans the entire target. Decide which line you would like to aim at first; I like to aim at the horizontal line so we’ll begin there. Aim at only at that horizontal line and shoot well to the left of the vertical line. Move your aiming point to the right a couple of inches and put your pin on that horizontal line again, shoot, then move your aim to the right a few inches and shoot again; continue shooting at the horizontal line, moving from left to right, until you establish a consistent vertical distance above or below that horizontal line. If you consistently shoot below the horizontal line, adjust your pin or sight elevation down. Conversely, if you’re shooting above the horizontal line, adjust your pin or sight elevation up. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR ARROW WHEN ADJUSTING YOUR SIGHT!

Now, follow the same method for adjusting your windage (left to right adjustments). From the top and moving down every few inches between shots, aim only at the vertical line and shoot enough arrows to consistently show a pattern of hitting either to the left or right of that line. If you are hitting to the left of the line, adjust your sight to the left; if you are hitting to the right, adjust your sight to the right. Again, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR ARROW WHEN ADJUSTING YOUR SIGHT!

Many people understand how to sight-in a bow; however, many struggle with the process because they concentrate on hitting both lines at the same time. Sighting-in on one line at a time simplifies the process by concentrating your focus on one broad focal point – just try to hit the line, period. When you adjust to hit one line and then the next, your next shot will be exactly where you need it – in the vitals.  

Hunt hard, hunt often.

Kevin can be reached at kevinr@just-hunt.com for questions and comments.


Las Vegas to Host World Elk Calling Championships

MISSOULA, Mont.–Grunting and squealing, growling and screaming, America’s best elk callers are headed to Las Vegas to vie for a world title.

The 2012 RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships will be held as part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) convention and International Sportsmen’s Exposition, Feb. 2-4, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The raucous event is open to the public.

Elk are the most vocal species of North American deer. The signature call is a “bugle,” a loud, high-pitched whistle or scream used during mating season by bulls trying to attract cows and advertise their dominance to other bulls. Bulls also grunt at cows straying from their harem. Cows bark to warn of danger, mew to keep track of each other and whine to signal distress. Calves bleat when they are lost.

Mimicking these sounds has been a competitive sport for almost 25 years, but 2012 will be the RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships’ first time in Las Vegas.

“This event is always a spectacle,” said David Allen, president and CEO of RMEF, a conservation organization focused on conserving and stewarding elk habitat. “It’s been featured by The New York Times and CBS Sunday Morning, and now we’re pleased to introduce this competition to a city that appreciates spectacles like no one else.”

“If a bull elk shows up and rips the doors off the Las Vegas Convention Center, at least you’ll know why,” he joked.

Competition is held in six divisions: professional, men’s, women’s, natural voice, youth (age 11-17) and pee-wee (age 10 and under). Amateur-level callers have 30 seconds to make general cow elk sounds, followed by bull sounds. Professionals are required to make specific calls such as bugles and barks. Most callers blow across a latex reed placed inside the mouth. In the natural voice division, however, no reeds are allowed. A variety of plastic tubes are used like megaphones, giving the sounds realistic resonance.

Judges–biologists, naturalists and hunters–score each competitor anonymously.

Prizes and cash ranging from $500 to $2,500 will be awarded for first- through third-place in all six divisions.

Prize sponsors include Leupold, Block Fusion, Cabela’s, Horn Hunter Packs, Hoyt, Kershaw Knives, Montana Decoy, Montana Silversmiths, New Archery Products (NAP), Remington, Schnee’s and Traditions Performance Firearms.

Defending world champions: Professional Division–Corey Jacobsen, Boise, Idaho; Men’s Division–Dirk Durham, Moscow, Idaho; Women’s Division–Misty Jacobsen, Priest River, Idaho; Natural Voice Division–Michael Hatten, Elko, Nev.; Youth Division–Greg Hubbell Jr., Belmont, Calif.; Pee-Wee Division–Colton Crawford, McMinnville, Ore.

To compete in the 2012 RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships, see complete rules, registration info and entry fees posted at www.rmef.org.

Preliminary rounds of competition begin Fri., Feb. 3, at 10:00 a.m. Finals begin Sat., Feb. 4, at 9:00 a.m., followed by awards and crowning of new world champions.

Spectator seating is included with daily admission to the RMEF convention and expo: $12 per person, free for youth 15 and under, and free for active military with military ID.

The expo includes attractions, displays and activities for the whole family, plus 385 exhibiting companies in booths filled with outfitted hunting and fishing opportunities, art, gear, firearms and everything elk and outdoors. Hourly seminars led by authorities detail hunting strategies, destinations and gear; urban and wilderness survival; fishing; and travel nearby and around the world. Cabela’s will sponsor game-calling clinics. International Sportsmen’s Expositions, which produces America’s premier hunting, fishing and travel shows, is managing the exhibit hall and expo. Expo hours: Thurs., Feb. 2, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 3, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 4, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The convention, expo and RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships help raise awareness and funding for conservation. In 2011, RMEF passed the 6 million acre-mark in habitat conserved or enhanced for elk and other wildlife. In Nevada alone, RMEF has completed 190 different conservation projects affecting 275,870 acres.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that has protected or enhanced habitat on over 6 million acres–an area larger than Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain and Great Smoky Mountains national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

About International Sportsmen’s Expositions (ISE):
Founded in 1975, ISE produces five consumer sportsman shows across the western United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada (Las Vegas) and Utah. Check dates and show special events at www.SportsExpos.com.


Chip off the Ol’ Block!

A Bowhunter’s Legacy

 

*As published at www.GlobalOutfitters.com

 

ByKevin Reese

We snuck around the outcropping of mesquites then froze in our tracks. I looked back at my huntin’ buddy and put my finger to my lips. Shhhh. Slowly pushing through the briars brought us to a clearing where our prey its destiny. My buddy stayed behind me, holding onto my shirt to keep his balance. I steadied my bow and came to full draw. I could feel my buddy’s excitement building as he wringed the back of my shirt. Thwack! The jackrabbit ran frantically through the briars but escape was futile; he piled up a short 15 yards away. I turned and fell to my knees as my buddy rushed in for a high-five, “Congrats, dad!” The hug that followed was a reminder of one of few bigger-than-life reasons we fight so fiercely to protect our outdoor heritage.

What were you expecting, a bunch of guys hunting trophy whitetails? A day in the woods with my son is much better than that! A mountain of memories has been piled upon that distant day yet the details are no less vivid. Whether remembering the first time he watched a buck clear a barb-wire fence or the day he conquered his fear of heights by conquering my treestand, the memories never fade – only fuel my desire to share more with him; watching him develop his own appreciation for the outdoors while thanking God for its splendor is a blessing in its own right.

At home, we sit in the deer-stand (our couch). With his bow (and suction cup arrows) at the ready, we silently sit in wait for the trophy of our dreams to trek across our television screen. I watch him draw his bow, then release. His arrow finds its mark on our television screen with a puck. He’s harvested some incredible trophies!

Not long ago, as I tucked him in, he asked the question that truly validates the effort and time we’ve taken to begin building his legacy, “Daddy, can I have your truck?” Puzzled, I asked him why but wasn’t prepared for his answer, “So I can take you hunting when I grow up.” I came dangerously close to opening a floodgate of tears. “Yes, you can have my truck when you grow up.”

I share the same joy as him, perhaps more so, I suspect. For me it’s not as much about the fun as it is about my legacy and our outdoor heritage. When I see him smiling back at me, I think, my son is the future of our outdoor heritage. I think about the legacy I hope to leave him and the lessons he continues to learn such as patience, discipline, self-control, self-reliance, confidence, ethics, reasoning, decision-making, respect for our natural resources and appreciation for the miracle of life and permanence of death; however, the most important lesson he is learning is how to build that same legacy or better in a concerted effort to guarantee enjoyment of our outdoors and the teaching of those same invaluable lessons for generations to come. I look forward to the day when I can honestly say he’s a chip off the ol’ block. What could be better than that?

Hunt hard, hunt often.

Kevin can be reached at kevinr@just-hunt.com for questions and comments.


Cold Weather Bowhunting

Seven Tips Every Extreme Hunter Should Know

*As published at www.GlobalOutfitters.com

By Kevin Reese

Cold weather bowhunting offers great opportunities to see and harvest some of our nation’s finest trophies in some of the most pristine environments on the planet; however, doing so comes at a price. Do you have what it takes to stand up against brutal subzero conditions? Hunting deer in some of Montana’s most brutal, bone-chilling environments, where survival is dependent on preparation and on the fly decision making has taught me some valuable lessons. Here are the top seven:

 

Stand Guard… in Layers!

Dressing for cold weather hunting is not as much about dressing in layers as what comprises the layers. Starting with a moisture-wicking under garment like Under Armour is a great way to suppress moisture, by way of perspiration. The next layer, also good as the initial base layer is a set of polypropylene thermal underwear. Polypropylene also possesses great moisture wicking, great drying, breathing and insulating characteristics. The next layer may be comprised of fleece. Fleece shares the nearly the same insulating ability as wool at half the weight; however, because of its inability to protect from biting wind, I do not recommend it as your outer layer. My personal choice for an outer layer is wool. Yes, wool is heavy, but it’s virtually waterproof, protects well from the brutal whipping wind and has a phenomenal insulating factor. And, because bulk is a bowhunter’s enemy, wool is quieter and far less bulky than most down outer wear applications. Because we also spend a lot of time on our feet, heat loss via conduction is a serious concern. My premier choice for footwear is a 1600-gram Thinsulate waterproof hunting boot at mid-calf height; coupled with wool socks and ThermaCELL’s new Heated Insoles, the combination cannot be beat! Turn the ThermaCELL Heated Insoles to the high setting of 111 degrees and you’ll swear your sitting fireside!

 

Hypo What?

Hypothermia! It’s the number one killer of ill-prepared hunters in blistering cold conditions. Hypothermia attacks when your body temperature drops to a point that impacts normal metabolism and your body is incapable of replenishing lost heat, usually around 95 degrees. As hypothermia quickly progresses uncontrollable shivering and mental confusion set in leaving a slightly disoriented hunter utterly lost and incapable of making critical, sound decisions. The number one catalyst for a healthy dose of hypothermia is moisture. Killing moisture at its onset is critical to combating opportunities to develop hypothermia.

 

Keep it Covered!

Keep every exposed part of your body covered, at least within reason. We can’t very well run around like wool mummies but we can protection from conduction as mentioned above. A fleece or wool balaclava is perfect for dangerously cold temperatures where frostbite is a concern on exposed skin and ice particles may be as comfortable to breathe in as you would like. Good boots and insulated bowhunting gloves also are essential to protect against frostbite.

 

Compression is King!

As mentioned above, wool is a great choice as an outer garment not just because of its great insulating properties but also because unlike other bulky garments, wool is generally flat, laying close to your body contour. Before hunting in cold weather, dress in all layers you expect to hunt in and practice. Ensure there is no contact between you, your bow and your string. Also make sure your layers do not inhibit your ability to shoot with proper form and anchor in the proper place. Contact with layers must be dealt with and can be improved by applying a compression sock to the forearm of your forward hand and even an outer belt around your torso, if necessary.

 

Survival is Serious Business!

Carry a first aid kit and outdoor survival kit including water-resistant matches or a lighter, fire starters, a compass and or a GPS, your cell phone, emergency blanket, poncho and other items in your backpack. You may laugh but I also carry my ThermaCELL mosquito repellant unit. ThermaCELL operates by igniting a butane cartridge via a spark; one cartridge can burn for as long as four hours. In a pinch, that ThermaCELL unit does a great job of warming hands and other things and the butane may come in handy as a fire starter if you find yourself in survival mode! Great resources expanding on first aid and survival kits can easily be found via your internet search engine.

 

Eat Like a King!

 High calorie foods also are suggested; your metabolism has more to do with your body heat than many people realize. You must have calorie intake to keep your metabolism at a normal state. Slowing of your metabolism as a result of calorie intake can lead to loss of body heat and hypothermia.

 

Plan Your Hunt, Hunt Your Plan!

Having a plan before you hit the woods just makes survival sense! Adhering to a good plan only increases your chances of having a successful, memorable and safe hunt. However, things can and do happen when we least expect it. Anytime you venture into the woods, especially in extreme, life threatening temperatures, make sure you outline your hunt as much as possible. Include detailed information about your hunt locations, dates, times of travel, trail markers, companies, outfitters, other hunters in your party including contact information, etc. Leave a copy of all of your plans with someone you trust who is not going with you. If the unthinkable happens, people are more apt to effect product searches by using a copy of your itinerary and hunt plan.

Kevin can be reached at kevinr@just-hunt.com for questions and comments.


Guts, Grit and Glory

Inside the Mind of a Bowhunter

*As published at www.GlobalOutfitters.com

By Kevin Reese

 Friend and owner of Hardcore Huntin’ Music, Steve Conover says it best in a song from his Hardcore Huntin’ Hits CD entitled Real Tree Hugger. “Rise, kill and eat. That’s good enough for me. It’s a tree huggin’ way of life.” The shortest way to explain a real tree hugger is simply to provide sustenance for their family; however, hidden in the shadow of simple provision lies the complexity of what truly drives a tree huggin’ bowhunter into the woods. Human nature, spiritual fulfillment and the flat-out adrenaline rush that follows a double-lung shot at close range are a few of those complexities that keep us in the woods day after day, season after season with stick and string in hand.

 

Proud Providers

There is no debating our primary objective. While the “journey” and coinciding memories are a the heart of a successful hunt, there is no denying the principle reason we are hunting and passing on our heritage as hunters. We are either providing or teaching to provide. If we weren’t trying to fill the freezer we couldn’t really call it hunting, could we? We were perfectly designed to provide and by nature our instincts tell us we must in order to ensure survival. While we have any number of other options to provide in this day and age, the nature of provision has never loosened its grip. If anything it has become the driving force behind our total bowhunting experience; leaving us not just as providers but considering our means of take there truly is a sense of pride in success.

 

Finding YOUR Center-Shot

Establishing your center-shot in archery involves a tuning technique that perfectly aligns your arrow with your limbs, string, bow sight and arrow rest. With finely tuned center-shot your arrows fly much truer; there’s a certain raw beauty in good arrow flight that assures us we’ll hit our mark if everything we’ve done up to the point of release is also aligned.

 

While rifle hunters scratch their heads at a bowhunter’s shear tenacity in the stand, we seldom call it tenacity ourselves. We call it exorcising our inner demons, reversing our priorities and clearing out our waste baskets of meaningless-busyness. While rifle hunters wonder how we can spend countless hours waiting on one good shot, we wonder how they miss the greatest trophy of all… finding your center-shot.

 

Look ‘Em in the Eye

I love a good hunting story. I’ve listened to scores of tall tales about spectacular kills from afar, fogged scopes, misfires at the moment of truth and perfect shots; however, a vast majority of the stories lack what a bowhunter craves most – intimacy. Certain intangible rewards reveal themselves to every bowhunter during the most critical moments that rifle hunters rarely experience. Look ‘em in the eye. Witness the haunting thud of your arrow as it pushes through hide and into the vitals. Experience the adrenaline of up close and personal hunting where you know your prey on a level rifle hunters simply do not understand or embrace.

 

Guts, Grit and Glory

This is where guts meet grit head on; the place where a bowhunter’s story rivets the rifle hunter; it rarely happens the other way around. Embracing the opportunity to get outdoors and close the distance means embracing the good, bad and ugly of bowhunting. Doing so surely leads to the one intangible reward bowhunters crave more than meat on the table – glory! Nothing plays in the mind and on the heartstrings of a bowhunter more than glory. Some would call it the X-factor. Whatever you call it; few rifle hunters ever experience it.  

…and they think we’re crazy!

Hunt hard, hunt often.

Support my friend and fellow tree hugger Steve Conover! His music is “by, for and about hunters.”

Like him on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/HardcoreHuntinMusic

Click “Share” on Hardcore Huntin’ Music’s Facebook page then email HuntingMusic@mail.com to receive a free .mp3 of his hit song Real Tree Hugger!

Buy Steve Conover’s CD, Hardcore Hunting Hits, at www.HuntingMusicCD.com or in iTunes format at www.HuntingMusic.com.  

Kevin can be reached at kevinr@just-hunt.com for questions and comments.


An Ounce of Prevention

Listen, Scout & Know Before You Go!

*As published at www.GlobalOutfitters.com

By Kevin Reese

 

I knew I was going to be hunting there and had the time to go. He even invited me to help check stands, etc. but I declined; I was simply too busy. The result of my inability to “make time” was the excruciating hunt I describe for you below.

 

The Cost of Poor Planning

 

My guts wrenched as panic struck. I watched as the sun rose while frantically scanning the ground below. 20 feet up in my climbing stand, I succumbed to the brutal realization that what I thought was a trail in front of me was simply the remnants of one. The searing heat radiating through my insides intensified when my eyes locked on a super highway not more than 100 yards to my right; it was heavily cloaked by a mesquite thicket but would have been easily seen in the daylight. The sight was double upsetting than simply hunting an old trail, and it got worse. Over my right shoulder where I never expected to shoot was a significant branch covered in trash, completely blocking any potential for a shot regardless of distance; the only remaining shooting lanes were to the front and on my left side at 90 degrees. With daylight now sweeping away the shadows, it was too late to adjust. I rattled quite a bit and brought in several great bucks that hit a doe trail early on and blew me off. I could have rappelled from my treestand and it wouldn’t have made any difference to them.

 

Several of the bucks I rattled in would have been considered a trophy in anyone’s book; they had mass, points, spread, maturity, everything! However, the only one I pulled within range of my ill-planned setup was young 6-point. It was nice to watch him from a distance of only five yards but frustrating at the same time. While watching those bucks file down the super highway in the distance and witnessing this young buck eating grass at such close range, all I could think about was “I can’t… I’m too busy.” If I would have spent even 30 minutes walking the area weeks before, I would have known exactly where to place my stand in that general area. The result was that my stand was hung in the worst possible area and in the worst direction.

 

Fool Me Twice… Shame on Me!

 

It was like rewinding a video tape to a previous year’s hunt. I thought I had learned my lesson but obviously had not. I’m reminded of an old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I don’t think it ever applied to my hunting life anymore than in those two hunts combined. The good news is I am still able to get into a climbing stand (or any other) and easily trek back up a tree. Lord willing, that ability will continue to exist for many years to come so I have ample opportunities to make good on lessons learned.

 

My advice is simply to walk on the rocks I stumble on; learn from my mistakes and hard-learned missteps to avoid pitfalls like the one I described above. The easiest way to prevent epic failures in your hunting experiences is by listening to people, scouting and learning about the animals you pursue. Be prepared for as many situations as you can dream up, especially with bowhunting where every detail is critical. In the end, success and mistakes combined, hunting is more about the journey than the end of a blood trail.  

 

Hunt hard, hunt often.

 

Kevin can be reached at kevinr@just-hunt.com for questions and comments.