Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 Springer Report

It is that time of are launched before the sun comes up on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, people call in sick to work, smiling faces and shiny chrome piggies are what it is all about. Springer season is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest!

I woke up to my alarm at 5am on Friday morning. By 5:30 I was in line at a Portland Starbucks in my Realtree jacket and boots. I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I didn’t care because in a half hour I would be in an undisclosed location hoping for a fight, with some chrome as my prize.

We had five headless herrings with no bling spinning as our guide Darin trolled on the calm water. The day before there was a lot of wind and rain, but bipolar Portland weather seemed to be in a good mood. I settled into my Springer ritual; cake for breakfast, sitting diagonal from my rod and a game of Bejewled on the iPod.

Before I could get too comfortable I saw my rod bounce a few times and then get buried instantly…..FISH ON! My heart was racing as I lept onto my rod. I kept telling myself, keep the line tight, stay square with the rod and breathe!

Darin was coaching me as I reeled. After what seemed like an eternity, I had my “moment.” I don’t have a creative name for it, but it is that moment when your Springer surfaces and you get a good look at your trophy.

I will never forget my first “moment” four years ago when I thought Springers were the size of Trout. Imagine my surprise in that moment when I saw how big Springers really were! For the record, I froze like a deer in headlights, I let my line go slack and I lost the fish.

Anyways, back to the story. With Darin’s coaching I won my fight and smiled with my shiny chrome pig! By 1pm this was the result: 4 rods and 5 fish, all keepers!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Swinging Beards and Swinging Clubs

Spring has definitely arrived. Turkeys are gobbling and golfers are talking about the Masters. Sure Tiger Woods stating that he will be competing this year after his latest issue with his wife, has been one of the main topics, but the fact is…it’s the Masters…with or without him.

And did you know that the National Wild Turkey Federation’s headquarters is located only 30 minutes from the Augusta National Golf Club?

If you happen to be in the area for the tournament or traveling through while heading to a hunt camp, I strongly recommend stopping by and visiting the Winchester Museum, located inside of the NWTF’s facilities.

The Winchester Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the restoration, management and hunting of the wild turkey.

The Museum features interactive exhibits, such as the world's largest turkey call, which visitors can actually step into and learn how to operate different types of wild turkey calls. Other exhibits include a retired USDA Forest Service helicopter, a wildlife oddities display and many other unique attractions.

While on a recent turkey hunt we took a couple of outdoor writers on a tour and as we

turned the corner, an animated, life-like, old-time storyteller sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch of his cabin began telling stories about the history of the NWTF, turkey hunting and conservation.

It was discussed among our group to grab “grandpa” and bring him on our hunt for entertainment.

The Winchester Museum is truly a phenomenal place to visit. It also provides a section that showcases a variety of historic turkey calls donated by master turkey call makers Neil Cost and M.L. Lynch, as well as many other award winning call makers. Through these exhibits, visitors can easily view the evolution of turkey calls spanning more than a century.

And before you exit, you have to go and sit in The Dave Harrelson Memorial Theater. Once inside, you’ll find yourself deep in a spring forest at the break of dawn, mixing the sounds of nature with early morning calls of wild turkeys flying down from their roosts.

After visiting the Winchester Museum, you’ll be pumped up to go hunt a few longbeards. And be sure to use Winchester’s Xtended Range shells when turning those birds into jellyheads!

Museum images are courtesy of the NWTF. Gobbling turkey image is provided by Stephen Bauer/NWTF.

I finally did it

Well, I couldn't hold out any longer........I'm now on Facebook. Thanks to Megan, Shannon and Kristin for pushing me to finally do it. Its hard enough keeping up with email, LinkedIn and voice mail so I was not really expecting this to be much fun. Shocked me when I realized I actually like it.

Now if I could just figure out how to access it from my iPhone.......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010