Monday, August 30, 2010

Blog of the Week: I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods

This week's blog of the week belongs to Kari and is called I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods. Kari is a wife, mother, and hunter who lives in Wisconsin. She loves the outdoors and has developed a particular affinity for bow hunting. Her first bow buck was a 13 point non-typical...something many hunters wish they could claim!

Kari updates her blog regularly with one of the highlights being trail cam photos. It's fun to see her Game Pics of the Week which include not only deer, but lots of cool bear shots. Her husband is also an avid outdoorsman and you can read about their many hunting and fishing exploits. Kari started her blog as a way to keep friends and family updated on her activities and it has become a great outdoors blog.

Kari is active on Twitter where you can follow her at @kmurrayhunts. It's another good way to keep up with her adventures and get updates about her blog.

If you enjoy hunting, bear crap, archery, bear crap, fishing, bear crap, the outdoors, bear crap, and bear crap, you should definitely subscribe to I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods! I had already chosen Kari's blog for my blog of the week, but it just so happens she recently marked her blog's one year anniversary. If you haven't checked it out yet, now would be the perfect time! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mmmm, Tasty Broadhead!

This video has been around for a while, but it's one of my favorites. I'm not sure how I would react in this situation. It's just about as close as you can get without kissing! I have to give this guy credit for his composure!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blog of the Week: Family Time

As my first blog of the week, I've chosen Family Time by Dennis. I'll let Dennis tell you a little about himself:

"Retired LE and gun totin NRA member that likes to fish, hike, RV, and camp w/my family. I also enjoy weight training and finding myself again during a personal comeback."

Dennis is a family man who loves to fish! Fishing, however, is not his only love. He enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, and fitness. What's great about Dennis and his blog is that he gets his kids and wife involved, enjoying the outdoors as a family. On his blog, Dennis writes and shares great photos about their family adventures.

Dennis has also interviewed people for his blog, written gear reviews, and has been a guest blogger on other outdoor blogs.

Dennis is very down-to-earth and he's always ready to assist his friends in any way he can. He's the real deal and his blog is a pleasure to read! If you already subscribe to Family Time you know what I'm talking about. If you've never stopped by his blog, take a few minutes and visit Dennis. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stuff I Like: Safariland 6378 ALS Holster

I've used many holsters over the years. Some were comfortable and durable while others were not. Let's face it, when it comes to concealed carry, if your holster isn't comfortable you aren't going to wear it. And leaving your gun at home does you no good if you need it.

For the past couple of years, I've been using the 6378 ALS paddle holster from Safariland. The "ALS" stands for Automatic Locking System. The gun is locked into the holster at the ejection port. The holster is gun-specific and made from a durable polycarbonate material. The paddle is wide and very comfortable. The holster rides close to the body with a slight forward cant.

Safariland 6378 ALS Holster
As I mentioned, the holster utilizes active retention at the ejection port. Releasing the gun requires only a simple depression of a button on the left side of the holster. The button is located right where your thumb falls during the draw. It is virtually impossible to miss the button. The draw is straight up and very natural. I prefer this release to some of the variations on other holsters. With a bit of practice, drawing from this holster is almost effortless. 

ALS release button

Reholstering is a breeze since there is no thumb strap to get in the way. I've never been a fan of thumb straps as retention on defensive holsters. With the ALS, you can rest assured the gun will stay put until you need it. The interior is suede-lined to protect your gun's finish.

Safariland 6378 ALS Holster

I use my holster primarily for carrying my Glock 27, but my full size 22 fits nicely, too, with just a short section of the barrel sticking out the end. The holster is lightweight, comfortable, durable, and it's IDPA-approved. The 6378 is available at many online retailers. I've seen it priced between $40-$50. A little shopping might save you a few Washington's. And for those who don't like paddle holsters, there is a belt slide version called the 6377.

And just to be clear, I have no relationship or association with Safariland.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seeing Is Believing: Photos

They say a photograph is worth 1,000 words. That's true with the photos I'm sharing here, but I'm going to add a few words just for good measure.

I took this first picture several years ago when my friend, Marc, and I were in the mountains of southeastern West Virginia. We were driving around in no man's land looking for access to a river we wanted to fish. While driving along a dirt road we came upon this sign posted on a tree next to a driveway.

Backwoods Warning

Needless to say, this sign gave us a bit of pause. No hunting and no trespassing signs are very common. No agent signs...not so much. What kind of agents were they referring to? Who knows. The fact that the sign was hand painted gave it a kind of "down home" feel. The little picture of the house or torture chamber in the corner gave it a nice touch. It appears there were some other warnings on the sign that had been painted over in white. Seeing this in the middle of nowhere filled us with visions of Deliverance. Despite the fact that we were not agents, we decided to snap a photo and look for river access elsewhere.

This next photo was taken by a friend of mine on his way to work one day. He saw this car in the lane next to him and happened to have his camera. I'm not sure how desperate you have to be to put an ATV on top of a sedan, but these people obviously decided they didn't need a truck or trailer.

We don't need no stinking trailer

Do you get 3 or 4 beefy guys to lift the four-wheeler onto the car? Do you use ramps? Or do you just drive it onto the car and hope for the best? The real genius here is securing the ATV in such a way that it won't slide off. At least at the point this photo was taken, it seemed to be working out. The car had out of state tags so it's hard to say if they had driven a long way like this or picked it up locally. I'll give credit for ingenuity if not for smarts.

This last photo was taken by me. This car was parked on the side of the road and I just couldn't help but take a picture. It's not everyday you see a sedan being used as a U-haul quite like this.

Moving Day

The car was covered from front to back with blankets, one of which you can see hanging over the bumper. That is indeed a washing machine practically falling off the trunk. On top was a queen size bed complete with mattress, box springs, and bed frame. On top of that near the front was a dryer. What you can't see is the dishwasher strapped to the front of the car. I'm not sure if they were trying to save on rental fees for a U-haul or simply decided this was a better method. I suppose there are times when you just gotta do what you gotta do. I don't think I can give credit for ingenuity or smarts on this one. It's not safe for other drivers or the stuff being moved.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Butt Out Deer Handle Review

If you're not a deer hunter you probably have no idea why I titled this post the way I did. Even if you are a deer hunter you might have a confused look on your face right now. It will make sense momentarily.

Bow season will be opening here in Kentucky on September 4th. While it doesn't seem like it should be hunting season already because of these triple digit temp's, it is coming up quickly. With that in mind, I thought I'd share my experience with two small, but very handy items for the deer hunter.

Hunter Specialties Butt Out Tool

The first is the Butt Out tool by Hunter Specialties. This is not a new tool. I'd seen them in Wally World and in the hunting catalogs, but never paid much attention to them. I suppose I assumed it was kind of a gimmick. I no longer think that.

Hunter Specialties Butt Out Tool

While in deer camp one day, one of the guys pulled this tool out of his pack and asked me if I had one. I told him no and that I had never seen anybody use one so I didn't know if it actually worked. He asked if I wanted to see it in action. I replied in the affirmative as long as he intended to demonstrate on one of the deer hanging in camp and not on me.

His demonstration proved to me that the tool does indeed work as advertised. At the start of the field dressing process, simply insert the tool you-know-where, twist, and pull it out. The tool will pull out the intestines and nasty stuff so you can quickly and easily cut them off and resume field dressing.

I picked one up last year on sale at Wally World for five bucks or something. I've only used it on a couple of deer, but it saves a lot of aggravation and does exactly what it's supposed to do.

Apparently, since I bought my original Butt Out, Hunter Specialties has come out with the Butt Out 2. It's 2" longer and is equipped with a butt-stop so you know exactly where the tool needs to be in the butt. How nifty.

Glenn's Deer Handle

The second handy-dandy item is the Glenn's Deer Handle deer drag. I've had this for a long time and have used it on many deer. It flat out works. It really comes in handy if you're bringing a deer out by yourself. If you have someone helping, this thing makes dragging almost a breeze.

Glenn's Deer Handle Deer Drag

It's simple. If you've got a doe, just put the rope around the neck and run the handle through the loop end so it cinches up tight. On a buck do the same thing around the base of the antlers. By using the antlers it keeps them off the ground while dragging. You can pick one of these up online, Wally World, or other hunting stores.

These items are inexpensive, compact, and very useful. I never go in the woods to deer hunt without them in my pack. And just for the record, I have no relationship with either company. I bought these tools and simply wanted to share my opinion. 

Is it September 4th yet?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Awesome Rub Recipe

This recipe was shared with me by a friend who called it "Venison/Steak Oxalca". Personally, I've never found the word oxalca anywhere, but essentially this recipe is for a rub, if you will, that is great on all kinds of meat. And when I say it's great, I mean it's great! Not only is it great, but it is very simple to make.

Here we go....
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chipolte chili powder 
In a bowl, add enough olive oil to create a paste with the above ingredients. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until mixed.

Apply liberally to beef, pork, chicken, venison, or other wild game. Allow 2-3 hours marinade time. 

Meat can be baked, broiled, or grilled. The rub can also be applied to the meat while it is grilling. 

Tips: Vary the amount of chili powder to suit your taste. Some like it hot, others not so much. Same for the minced garlic. Go slow with the olive oil. The ingredients need to mix, but you don't want the end result to be liquid. You can also double the recipe for large amounts of meat.

When it's done, crack open a cold one of your choice because this is good stuff! 

Art For Nature: How You Can Help

(Update 08-31-10: this fundraiser is now over.)

I feel strongly enough about this that I'd like to ask the two or three people who actually read my blog to take a minute or two and visit the following link:

Art For Nature 

I won't duplicate the details here, but if you can assist even in a small way it would be appreciated more than you know. Small numbers add up quickly if everyone would pitch in just a bit.

Thank you for taking the time to check the link! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Of Friends And River Smallies: Evolutions

My love of fishing for smallmouth bass in moving water began in ernest on the New River in West Virginia. And it was my best friend who got me started. At that time, Marc and his wife lived just a few miles from the river. He began fishing it on a regular basis and it wasn't long before I was making trips from my home in Kentucky to fish it with him. Even though I grew up in WV, I had never fished the New.

New River, West Virginia

Our fishing evolution began below the Bluestone Dam. During our early exploits, we would simply wade across the river below the dam trying to cover as much water as possible while trying to avoid drop-offs and swift currents. It was often easier said than done. The New River is not to be trifled with even on a good day. The pay-off was usually quite good, though, as we would hook into smallie after smallie. We practiced catch and release and allowed even big ones to return to the river.

Our equipment also underwent an evolution. During those initial outings, we could usually be seen wearing cheap waders, inexpensive boots, and throwing lures like Rooster Tails. There was nothing necessarily wrong with what we were using, but it didn't take long to figure out cheap waders don't last long. It's not a pleasant feeling to be waist deep in cold water and have your waders spring a leak. 

Bluestone Dam, New River   

We had a blast wading below the dam and caught a lot of fish that way, but we naturally developed an itch to fish more of the river. The places we wanted to fish could not be waded. Our equipment evolution led us to buy one-man pontoon boats. Marc and I both purchased Creek Company ODC 816 float crafts. These were lightweight dual-pontoon boats with take-down frames. With these boats in our arsenal, we began taking float trips and covering water we had never fished. We were able to carry more rods, more tackle, as well as food and drinks.

Not only did our method of covering water evolve, but our fishing gear evolved as well. We began to move away from inline spinners and similar lures to spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, and our favorite - tubes. Not only were we covering more water, but we were catching bigger fish. In addition to using a wider variety of lures, we also began using better rods and reels. By no means were we spending hundreds of dollars on these items, but we bought stuff that was going to last longer than the $19 combo special at Wally World.

After fishing the New (and nearby Greenbrier River) for a couple of years, Marc and I started a river and stream smallmouth fishing website. It went on to become extremely popular and opened doors in many ways. It was a big part in the evolution for us. That's another story, though. 

Creek Company ODC 816

As our fishing knowledge evolved so did our tactics and equipment. That did not necessarily protect us from mishaps and injuries, however. We experienced the usual bruises and scrapes, particularly while wading. I buried a treble hook in my palm during one outing. Marc took a nasty fall while wading and dislocated a finger. We lost many, many lures and broke a lot of gear. Our most potentially dangerous mishap, though, was a result of our own stupidity...

We were floating the river one day and had chosen a section of river that included Brooks Falls. Portaging the falls was no easy task and we weren't thrilled with the idea of stopping our trip at the falls. We wanted to fish farther down river. As we were floating along, we tossed around the idea of going over the falls in our ODC's. We both knew it wasn't a bright idea, but by the time we got to the falls, we had talked ourselves into it. 

There's a certain point when you realize it's too late to stop what you've started. As I was going over the falls after Marc, I realized it was too late to stop. And I really wanted to stop! When I got to the bottom I knew my ODC was probably damaged. I had barely stayed on it. Marc had not been so lucky. He ended up in the river and one of his pontoons had been punctured. He managed to get back on his ODC, but was soaked through. After we collected our respective composure's and gear, we realized how foolish we had been. Needless to say, that little stunt put an end to our trip for the day.

Marc with a New River smallie

Marc and I fished the New River for several years. I often stayed with him for a week at a time and we fished daily. Through the website we met some guides and had the opportunity to fish the river from rafts and drift boats. We were using good gear and had developed a nice arsenal of lures to match any conditions we faced. It was good times!

Our fishing wasn't the only thing undergoing an evolution, however. Life was going through an evolution and, for Marc and his family, it meant moving away from the New River. Because of that change, we haven't fished the New in several years. My fishing took me to the many lakes and streams here in Kentucky as well as trips to Canada and New York. I still miss the river, though.

Brian with a New River smallie

Marc and I have been best friends since school and have been on many fishing and hunting trips together. Life's evolution took us away from the adventures on the river, but perhaps one day we can fish the New again. Even if it means wading below the dam throwing Rooster Tails. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thanks, Guys!

I know what you're thinking - boy, is he tardy to the blogging party! Yup, this is my first blog and, yup, I'm way behind the blogging phenomenon. For all I know, blogging is on the decline at this point. It wouldn't be the first time I'd been late getting in on something popular.

The thing is, if it wasn't for some Twitter buds of mine, I still wouldn't have a blog and you wouldn't be reading this. Jeff (@MyNatureApps), Dennis (@FishingWithDad), and Larry (@larrybourgeois) recently encouraged me to start a blog promising they would subscribe (uh-huh!). It's not that I had never considered it before, but my thinking was that with all of the blogs out there who would give a rat's butt about another one. Well, with the push these guys gave me, I'm now excited about it! We'll see what happens. 

So, as the title says, thanks guys!