Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good start

The first day was a great one thanks to this Alabama 9-pt who gave me a clean, close shot. I was using my trusty 280 Pro Hunter and at only 70-yards the shot was a good one. He weighted in a light 155-lbs, thanks to chasing does, but had plenty of character including some almost healed wounds testifying to the rut's intensity this year. A great southern deer and one I'll be proud to bring home to SC.

It seems like the weather and the rut are coming together nicely for our hunt and hopefully I'll soon be able to post a photo of Bob with a good buck.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It never gets old to me

Sunrise this morning found me in my truck listening to a Pat Green CD while driving to Alabama. Despite a long show season, preceded by a less than stellar hunting season, I still bounced out of bed and left way before I planned. My excuse was to miss the Atlanta traffic, but it was really because I was so ready to hunt I couldn't sleep.

ATA and SHOT are great shows, although very demanding, but I like the timing for SHOT this year. As in year's past when SHOT is finished before the end of Alabama's deer season, I can usually talk Nikon's Jon LaCorte into letting me "borrow" a show sample to bring down and field test.

This time I was able to talk him out of an M223 riflescope in 3-12X42 with the Rapid Adjust Turret. Hopefully I can test it on a coyote or two as well as on the range. I'm also expecting the new Playmate feeding Whitetail Decoy from Montana Decoy. Can't wait to see how these rutting Alabama bucks react to it. I'm hunting with outdoor writer Bob Humphrey and I'll try to post a few updates as to how we're doing.

Whoever said "Never make your hobby your job," certainly wasn't a hunter....

Friday, January 15, 2010

ATA Shot Update

We just finished Nikon's annual Monarch Awards Luncheon at this year's ATA show. It's a great time and a good chance for all of our TV partners to network and see what's new for 2010. Here's a short clip of Lee and Tiffany Lakosky of The Crush TV. They took home the big prize with this year's Monarch Award. Other winners included Deer and Deer Hunting TV for the First ever YouTube award for Entertainment while Babe Winkleman Productions and North American Hunting Club TV tied for Excellence in Product Usage. Congrats to all the winners!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stuttgart, AR

Winchester Ammunition and Ducks Unlimited teamed up along with Yamaha to host a women’s media camp January 3-5.

On the night of the 3rd, I couldn’t sleep I was so excited. Here I was in Stuttgart, Arkansas, the duck hunting capital of the world and in a few short hours I would be hunting with a three-time Women’s World Duck Calling Champion.

It had snowed all night, and temperatures were dropping. The weatherman said it would be the coldest winter Arkansas has seen in 16 years. That did not stop a few of us ladies as we headed to our pit before sunrise.

I love hunting in different states, especially when the first time out is in the morning. I love the anticipation of the sun coming up, revealing the surrounding landscape. It is like opening a present; you have an idea of what you are getting, but still excited to lay your eyes on it.

When the sun came up I saw what the 13-inches of rain along with the freezing temperatures had done. There was water everywhere, and the only open water that was not victim to the temperatures was in front of our pit.

Even though the snow was blowing in our faces and the prospects of duck landing in front of or blind were slim, the highlight of this morning’s sit was to have Shelby Free, three-time Women’s World Duck Calling Champion calling for us.

Shelby may look like the typical 17-year old girl, but she everything but that. She is incredibly well spoken, has a positive attitude, is taking college level courses at the local high school and is one heck of a caller. She got the attention of a good majority of the ducks that flew overhead. Shelby calling on her RNT call is a form of art. It was a real treat to share a blind with her.

That afternoon I shared a different pit with writers Lisa Metheny and Pat Stockdill as well as DU biologist Virginia Getz. There was little movement that afternoon, and we spent the afternoon talking about anything and everything. What I love about waterfowl hunting is the social aspect.

Before supper we toured Rich-N-Tone duck calls facility. The countless hours spent researching, testing and manufacturing calls was very interesting most of it is still done by hand. After touring the facility we went next door to Mack’s Prairie Wings for some retail therapy.

After a traditional southern dinner we gathered around to discuss conservation issues with DU biologists. I learned about the work DU does on the breeding grounds and across continental breeding

grounds for the benefit of ducks and other wildlife. There was a biologist from every region on hand to discuss issues and solutions specific to their region.

We also discussed Winchester Ammunition’s involvement with DU. Did you know that the two joined forces way back in 1987? Winchester has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor for DU for several years. A DU membership application is included on each package of Winchester steel waterfowl ammunition and the DU logo is displayed on the packaging.

The next morning I hunted with Waterfowl & Retriever editor Hilary Dyer, DU biologist Andi Cooper and DU communication specialist Chris Jennings. We had a few shots on some specs, but nothing fell from the sky that morning.

When we decided to call it a day, Hilary and I decided to test our new Cabela’s women’s waders. We broke through about an inch of ice and walked around in about three feet of freezing water freeing trapped decoys. Breaking the ice on the rice pond reminded me of splashing in puddles when I was a kid and I didn’t want to leave. The new waders passed our “extreme” test with flying colors.

I think I am one of the first people in the world to go to Stuttgart and not shoot a single duck or goose. The 13-inches of rain and freezing temperatures was Mother Nature’s way of saying “that’s why it’s called hunting and not catching!” Despite that, I got to meet and spend time with incredibly talented (female) members of the outdoor media as well as the extremely passionate and intelligent DU staff members. Did I also mention Chevalier Advertising alum JoLee Liepman (now representing Yamaha) was my bunkmate?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

New TurkeyPro Scope

SHOT show is just a few days away so here's an early peak at a 2010 Nikon product I'll be looking forward to using this spring. With tighter shooting shotguns , optics are popping up on more turkey guns each spring. And this latest turkey taker from Nikon has plenty of cool features, some never before seen on a turkey scope!

- 1.65-5X36mm
- removable ARD (anti reflective device)
- 5 full inches of eye relief
- available in Realtree APG or Mossy Oak BreakUp
- new BRT reticle acts as a ranging tool as well as an aiming point