Monday, November 12, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Squirrel and Noodles

As promised in my article in this month's Indiana Outdoor News I am posting my recipe for Squirrel and Noodles that I used during the Coleman Cooking Challenge at the AGLOW (Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writer's) conference.

Squirrel and Noodles
2 large fox squirrels- skinned and cleaned
6 C. broth (I made this homemade with chicken but canned broth is fine)
Place squirrels in a large crockpot and cover with broth.  Cook at medium to high for at least 6 hours.  Squirrel should be tender and falling off of the bones.
Debone all squirrel meat and set aside.
3 whole carrots, cleaned and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 TBSP butter
Sauté until tender in butter.  Set aside
6-10 C. broth (again I used homemade broth to which I added some of the reserved stock from cooking the squirrel)
1 Bag of Egg Noodles (or you can use homemade noodles-recipe to follow)
Bring to a boil.  Add Noodles and cook until almost tender then add reserved vegetables and squirrel meat.  Cook until tender and meat is heated through out. 
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.

Old Fashioned Egg Noodles
2 fresh eggs
2 tsp. salt
2 C. flour
½ C. Water
Mix together flour and salt.  Beat the two eggs separately until frothy.  Mix egg together with flour mixture.  Gradually add water mixing until you have pliable dough.  It may not take all of the water to achieve pliable dough; the goal is to have dough that can be rolled thin.  Knead the dough until smooth. Divide dough in half and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  On a floured surface roll half the dough thin.   Drape over mixing bowl for 30 minutes. Repeat for second half of the dough. Then cut dough into thin strips.  Spread noodles on a towel and allow to dry over night.  Use immediately or store in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I am remiss!

I haven't been posting because I've been in the field doing!  Squirrel hunting for the first time, alligator hunting for the first time, staying in Branson for the first time.  While staying in Branson might seem a bit out of the norm for someone that enjoys the outdoors because the first thing that comes to mind is the 'strip' and all the shows, I never set foot on the strip.  There was no time because I was exploring the outdoors in the Ozarks!
There is never a need to visit the strip while staying in the greater Branson area.  I was lucky enough to stay at Chateau on the Lake, which is set above the picturesque Table Rock Lake.  The Chateau boasts it's own marina in addition to all the standard fair of a luxury resort.  Not bad for a bunch of outdoor writers.
Guests at the Chateau don't have to go far to find a guide either! Of course they can arrange that for you at the marina or if you'd rather parasail-they've got that too.  Not what I was expecting.  However, I decided to go a little further afield in my adventures.  Someone mentioned trout fishing and my head was swimming with visions of those fresh water fish of my childhood.  I was in for a little canoe fishing  thanks to NuCanoe and Hobie.

We winded our way from the Chateau on the Lake over to Lilleys' Landing on Lake Taneycomo.  Lake Taneycomo is stocked with Rainbow trout with a large trophy only section. We were fishing in an area that we could keep a limit, which we needed for the Coleman Cooking Challenge back at the Chateau on the Lake later that day. Taking a Nucanoe built for two out we casted and slow retrieved the local little secret weapon for trout.
It was a beautiful morning, slightly crisp but still warm enough to be comfortable.  In no time the technique paid off and we boated some beautiful Lake Taneycomo Trout.
The Nucanoe was ideal for expreincing the beauty of the Ozarks.  No need to for the buzz of trolling motors, just the idyllic lap of water on the side of the Nucanoe.  I wish I had more time to just cast and enjoy the bounty but we were on a tight schedule when we had boated a limit thanks in no small part to the other outdoor writer's helping out we headed back to the Chateau on the Lake for the Coleman Cooking Challenge. The fresh caught trout would be our main course in our Ozark themed challenge.
Find out more about the other items I harvested by picking up the October edition of the Indiana Outdoor News.  I will not only be sharing that story but posting some of my own original recipes here in upcoming weeks.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wisconsin’s Marianne Huskey Makes Angling History

Professional walleye fisher, Marianne Huskey, first made history earlier this year by placing second in the AIM Pro Walleye Series on Lake Superior just off of Brimley, Michigan.  The placing made her the  highest placing female in the AIM professional walleye series tournament to date.
Marianne's year of accomplishment was far from over. As the pro walleye season ended, one last award would be awarded-Angler of the Year.  History was once again set when Marianne became the very first woman to ever win angler of the year in either the pro bass or walleye circuits.
Marianne sites her passion for fishing beginning when her grandfather took her fishing for perch on lake Michigan when she was just six years old.  Wetting that first line sparked Marianne's desire that finally cumulated in her becoming a professional angler.
Photo provided by Traditions Media, LLC. 
In addition to winning Angler of the Year, Lund/Mercury Pro Marianne also won a $10,000.  prize provided by sponsor Lund Boats.   Topping off her extraordinary year of fishing Marianne plans to marry her best friend and traveling companion, Matt Pika.
Marianne is sponsored by Lund, Mercury, and Frabill.
Congratulations Marianne you are an inspiration!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Squirrel Season!!

The injury last August
Squirrel season opens today!!  The first day of fall hunting season is here.  Squirrel is just the first of the seasons, soon we will enjoying the migratory birds that are already beginning to appear here.  Mourning Doves open on September 1st, also Rail, Teal and Canada Goose open the same day.
I can't wait to get out and test my skills on the wing.  
Soon deer season will be here.  I began preparing this morning with a workout.  I know that might not seem like the first thought for preparing for the hunting season, however, it is important to be prepared for the conditions that I will be hunting in.
Last year I suffered a devastating knee injury on the brink of hunting season. We will filming for the TV show in Wisconsin at the time, I appeared in all my Curves in Camo glory in the medical tent.  The injury sidelined me until the end of September and I completely missed out on alligator hunting and scallop diving in Florida.  I stepped this morning into the gym that I belong to for the first time in almost a year.  I was hesitant and I felt stupid for injuring myself so badly. 
The AGLOW conference in September post surgery
I didn't need to feel intimidated, I was welcomed back to training with hugs and encouragements.  Going the first day is the most difficult, whether it's starting a new program or picking up again after an injury or absence.  I made it through with encouragement and much sweat.  Being welcomed back to the Lifeplex was just what I needed to reclaim my fitness.
This hunting season I have squirrel season and early migratory bird hunting before I leave for the trip I missed last year-gator hunting in Florida. I have a busy season planned-writing conferences, archery hunts, and Hobies in Northern Minnesota are on the short list.  Helping out some other women  harvest deer and fowl is a first priority.  It will be a packed fall with opportunities to fill the freezer with a variety of game.  Thanks to the Lifeplex I will be ready for what ever life throws at me. 

Scallop diving in the Gulf of Mexico
I hope hunting season finds everyone else well and ready to enjoy nature.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Between

We are firmly set in the lull.  It is finally the time of year when there is very little to do in the great outdoors.  I can fish, but honestly-it's been too hot to fish.  I have been eyeing the bow fishing equipment hanging in the garage-so there are possibilities on that front, but once again my brain protests with-"But it's hot".
I have been avoiding heat and cleaning out our freezers lately.  The extra meat that we have is being transformed into jerky.  I purchased a jerky gun and have been going a bit crazy with it ever since. I have dehydrated using my old countertop dehydrator (I've had this thing around for about 20 years) and our Little Chief smoker.
The first batch was not adventurous, I used the store bought mix to make a slightly sweet spicy jerky.  It turned out surprisingly similar to the jerky I bought last year from our processor that was made by Zick's.  In my opinion, I just struck gold!  If I can make my own- nom nom nom!!!!
The second batch I used some sausage seasoning with a heavy pepper base that ended up salty but quite similar to a Slim Jim taste, also a score!  Next batch, I am still waiting for some inspiration.  I'm thinking perhaps a teriyaki flavor would hit the spot.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

West Side

The 'other' side of lake Michigan, the land of cheese and big Kings!  Hitting Wisconsin to fish in the 333 Salmon Cup with Captain Pat Kalmerton and the crew of Wolf Pack Adventures last weekend was a treat. We are no strangers to fishing in Wisconsin but I had never fished the west side of the big lake.
It was quite a few firsts for me.  I had also never fished in a tournament before.  I love fishing but I'm more about the experience and the ability to fill the freezer.  My desire to eat what I catch or kill is my main driving force.
The Salmon Cup was pretty straight forward to understand, you catch five fish and weigh those five fish. Whom ever has the heaviest total for the two days combined totals wins.  Easy Peasy right?  We lined up with the other boats for the shotgun start.  I am not a morning person, I stood bleary eyed as we took out of harbor at the shotgun start.  Captain Pat had a plan, he fishes this lake regularly with his clients on board the Wolf Pack 1.  Fishing for the large lake Michigan fish is a game of water temperature, he found a good location and we set out our limit of nine lines.  He set at various depth and with and without meat. I soon had a fish on.  Reeling in I landed a small salmon, good for the cause it was added to the icebox as we set out to find his big brother.

We trolled north and south in the ideal water temperature at a consistent speed, nothing happened.  We changed bait set ups.  Still nothing happened.  Others boats were landing fish but it was dry aboard our boat.
Fishing is full of little quirks and we began to suspect one of the bad omens of fishing-bananas.  Someone (I won't name names) had picked up bananas.  Never bring bananas on board a boat, it's bad luck. While we didn't have any on board, the offending fruit had been touched.  I asked the 'someone' if they washed their hands?
He immediately washed his hands in the lake.  I'm not superstitious but we immediately got a hook up. So whether it was the banana essence or something else I'm not going to say. What mattered was we quickly had a king on board.
We landed our five fish just in time to go check in our box.  We knew it was going to be light, every fish was fought hard for.  We weighed in at 42 pounds even but Wolf Pack 2 came in heavy (no bananas or banana essence, just saying) they were firmly in 4th place going into day two.
Day two felt completely different.  It was a little cooler especially on the lake and the flies were biting, thankfully I thought to wear long sleeves and pants.  The crew didn't so much as look at a banana before boarding.  They set up quite a few with meat and they threw in the secret weapon 'Dewey'.  I didn't question why a lure would be named Dewey but just looked for the results.  We got action right away.  Dewey must be a fish charmer.
I reeled in a small coho, we would see if we could hook his big brother.
Captain Pat grabbed a reel from the holder as a fish reeled off another 300 feet of line.  It was a good one. Captain Pat worked the fish alternately feeding it line and reeling it in, tiring the big boy out.  He fought the fish for a good 20 minutes before he had it up to the surface in the prop wash.  After the bad luck of the day before we were all holding our breath until we had the fish boated.  Scooping him into the Frabill net, we boated a nice heavy King.  This was exactly what we needed to bring our totals up. Plus we had almost six more hours to fish, it was a much more relaxed feeling on board.
We landed several excellent fish bringing our daily totals up into a respectable range.  Wolf Pack 2 finished in 2nd place overall and we were in a respectable 13th (I'm not saying anything else about superstition but 13th? Hummmm).
How do you celebrate a weekend of fishing in Wisconsin? Why a sandwich with a pound of bacon of course!  Pat took us down to Frankie's which is a charming little bar and grill just a few miles from the water in Sheboygan.  People in Wisconsin make you feel like you're at home and they know about the really important things in life, good friends, good fishing and good food!
Being on board the Wolf Pack was nothing short of awesome.  I can't wait to book a trip out with Captain Pat again, I'm thinking a ladies weekend in Wisconsin!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hobies on the Niagara

Morgan Promnitz of Hobie Cat
I've wanted to try out Hobie Cat's line of fisherman friendly kayaks for ages.  My devastating knee injury prevented me from getting into one last September at the AGLOW Fall conference but when the opportunity arose again this spring, I made sure that I got my chance to try one out. 
Niagara USA along with Hobie Cat's own Morgan Promnitz and Ingrid Niehaus gave the membership of AGLOW the opportunity to try out this unique equipment on the Niagara River.  

I spent the morning fishing Ontario for salmon.  We were chased from the lake by an incoming storm so I had my doubts as to whether or not I would get my opportunity to try out the Hobie equipment.
The afternoon was breezy and there was a healthy chop on the waters of the Niagara River.  It would be a bit of a challenge to maneuver the small craft along the shore line and be able to cast.  It started rocky for me.  The wind wanted to push us into the shoreline and I was not comfortable with the small craft.  

Maneuvering out of the dock and away from larger craft had me flustered.  What was I thinking?  Ingrid encouraged me to pedal faster into the calmer waters along the shore line away from the bustle of the dock.  I over corrected the steering and managed to run into the dock but no worries I was easily back into the path along the shore line.  
My maiden voyage in a Hobie
Getting into the rhythm of steering with one hand and pedaling was the key to becoming comfortable, I'm a Mom so I'm a natural multitasker. It's seat and peddles are adjustable, which meant that my 5'4" frame was comfortable and Mark's 6'5" frame was comfortable in the same boat.

As our small group put the docks behind us we all tested out maneuvering the boats.  The small size of the boats did not compromise the stability, which surprised me.  Never once on the river did I feel like I was going to tip over, which I thought would be the case, I liked being wrong.  I even felt stable in the wake of much larger craft.  I have spent many hours river fishing and the constant current can pose issues even in a motor powered boat, however, the Hobie allowed me to hug the shoreline and soon I became comfortable enough to cast into the fertile waters under structure. 

No motor also provided the advantage of stealth.  I wasn't disturbing the fish that were congregating in the shallows, bonus!  I could see the applications unfolding in my fertile fishing fantasies.  I thought about running into the reeds after big large mouth Bass back home or chasing after those big pike as they feed in the shallows.  Yes, this was definitely something that I would be adventuring out in the future.

While compact and lightweight it was big on storage.  Rod compartments and additional storage within easy reach meant that I could stay out fishing all day. Peddling back wasn't as much fun as peddling out, I was tired. Getting the Hobie out of the water was easy though.  The peddles lift out and the rudder retracts with just one lever.  It was lightweight so even I could take care of my own gear.  In the near future I see a ladies fishing weekend with Hobies, take note ladies!  Then I plan to head to the northern lakes of Minnesota to test out the stealth of the Hobie on those northern Pike, oh yes Hobie I have big plans for you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Over the Falls

I had several preconceived notions in regard to New York.  I had never been to New York, I had heard many excellent fishing reports from other anglers, but I was hesitant.  I thought urban sprawl, I was more than thrilled to find out I was completely wrong.

We coordinated our visit with the folks at Niagara USA and they pointed us in the right direction for fishing all of the waters accessible from Lewiston, New York.  Literally right out of the doors of our hotel, The Barton Hill Hotel and Spa, was the Lewiston landing boat launch.  Add to that the convenience of trailer parking for boats and it was the best combination of luxury and accessibility.

I sampled the bounties of the area, fishing Lake Erie for smallies on a bright and sunny morning.  Going out with  Darrin Schwenkbeck of Shipwreck Schwenk's Angling Adventures, we worked the break wall and shoreline for smallies.
Darrin Schwenkbeck holding a smallie with Buffalo, NY in the background

I knew I was in good hands if I wanted to catch fish.  Darrin has won a Bassmasters Northern Tour event and has finished in the money in several Elite Series tournaments, he knows how to catch fish.
Better yet, Darrin is a runner (like myself) and a guide not only on the lakes around Niagara but also on the legendary Lake Champlain-the other Great Lake situated in the Adirondack mountains.   It's great to have a guide that knows where the fish are, it's even better to have a guide that is well rounded and interesting between the bites.

We didn't have much down time between the bites, Darrin kept me on the fish.  We fished with both a jerk bait technique, which is one of Darrin's secret weapons, and a tube bait set up.  Casting and catching and talking about marathons made for a one of the most enjoyable mornings on the water I've ever had.
Cross training for fishing and hunting makes the difference in the ability to endure adverse conditions and less than ideal situations yet still harvest animals and catch fish when others fatigue and have to go in.
The more hours that are logged in the field, the greater the chance of success is, it's simple.  It was great to find another angler that shared the love of endurance sports and translated those skills into angling.
Fishing the edges produced 3+ pound smallmouth

The icing on the cake was to find out that we caught more fish than most others fishing that day.  The crystal clear waters of Lake Erie made for some exciting visuals of the smallies as they took the bait and we were able to land them.  New York is a surprise.  Crystal clear waters abundant in a variety of fish species, friendly and knowledgeable people, and a short drive from many Midwestern cities. New York is many things, chief among them-it is now my "go to", destination for fishing in the Great Lakes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

1st Annual Curves in Camo Ladies Weekend

Boy-I needed that!  Most weekends are welcome but last weekend was a whole lot more than just welcome.  During the long trade show season I arranged for the ladies from -Sarah, Shelly and Stacy- to come up to our farm to hunt long beards.
I thought it would be a fun weekend especially getting to hunt with other women. I took my turkey the day before the group was to arrive so my mission was to see some other ladies harvest birds.  Though all three are skilled hunters none of them had harvested a turkey before.
Turkey hunting can be tedious and tricky.  Most of our set ups are on the ground with out a blind,  which means that movements have to be kept to a minimum and camouflage is head to toe.  That was no problem for us, we looked like walking ads for / Prois.
Stacy from with her jake

Stacy was the first to strike feathered gold with a nice jake Saturday morning.  As a bonus to her hunt Sarah and I got some footage in the same field of a big boss Tom mating a hen, it was like National Geographic!!
The afternoon hunt produced a bird for Sarah.  I took Sarah out to a farm that had yet to produce a turkey harvest this season.  I was sure we would get birds in as the day waned.  Sure enough, three jakes came in to our Zink Avian X decoy affectionately named 'Rosie'.  We got two of the jakes mounting Rosie on film and Sarah took out the biggest of the decoy assaulters.
All four ladies with Sarah's jake. 
The best part was the stories that night around the fire under the super moon.  We laughed and talked and relaxed, which in the busy world we all live in is a rarity.  We had some deep fried wild turkey and alligator to go with our hunting stories.  The whole weekend was more relaxing than a week at a spa.  I can't wait to host another.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turkey Tracks Wrap up

Turkey Tracks 2012 was a huge success.  31 hunters took to the field this year and 21 birds were harvested through the weekend.  Saturday evening at the Landowner's appreciation dinner, emotions were high.  16 birds had been harvested by dinner time with one double beard making his grand appearance just after dinner.  

Two Turkeys down for Turkey Tracks Hunter
 Jerry and his Guide Mark
This was the first Turkey Tracks event since Eric Corey passed away and his absence was felt by all.  I don't think we all realized the magnitude of Eric's foresight when he first came up with the Turkey Tracks concept.  It was an incredible tribute to see all the hunters enjoying themselves and the joy that those that guided them also felt.
Carol Corey, Eric's Mom had some awesome surprises for some of the younger hunters, Erin Martin was selected to go on another hunt to Texas.  Also a hunting organization out of Michigan gave hunts to those of the hunters under 21 that met their organizations guidelines.  So many of the young hunters came for one hunt and left having the opportunity to take part in another.
I personally loved hearing our hunter, Jerry's story of taking his Tom.  He passed up a couple of jakes early.  I wondered if a Tom would present an opportunity for him. It had been a difficult turkey season so far and opportunities were slim.   Not only did Jerry take a Tom he was so excited he passed his gun to Mark and told him to take the other Tom, since he knew Mark hadn't had an opportunity to take a Indiana bird yet.
What a great double to capture on film.  It was Jerry's first Tom, and I hope not his last.  Providing land and guiding hunters through Turkey Tracks, is an incredible experience.  Seeing the joy and camaraderie shared though the weekend, just cemented the certainty that programs like this are needed through out the outdoor community.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Turkey Tracks Foundation

Turkey Season will be opening here in Indiana on April 25.  That means that Turkey Tracks will have hunters in the field this weekend.  The Turkey Tracks Foundation is an organization that provides turkey hunting opportunities to individuals that are disabled or terminally ill at no cost to those individuals.

Carol Corey with her son-Eric
Eric Corey lived to hunt.  If he could,  he would hunt 24 hours a day.  In 2001 at 15 years old he was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Mark Smith of Raghorn, INC. knew what should be done, he started making phone calls.  They were able to secure a hunt with Safari Nordik and airfare in a private plane through family friend, Leigh Smith.  Tina Pattison of Hunt of a Lifetime arranged a shopping spree to outfit Eric for hunting in northern Quebec at Gander Mountain.  The film that was captured on that trip broadcast on the Sportsman Channel where it drew the attention of the Raghorn's key sponsor-Rangemaster Outfitters.
Brian Busch, the owner of Rangemaster Outfitters contacted Mark and asked if Eric's parents would let him travel to Africa to pursue game there.  These trips were just the beginning.  Through numerous other hunting related organizations Eric was able to go on hunts that he had only imagined.

Eric told his parents that he felted he was so blessed to have had so many opportunities but he wanted to share this opportunity with other hunters with disabilities and terminal illnesses.  He wanted to give back to others in the community the opportunities that he had.

Measuring Spurs at the Annual Turkey Tracks Event
In April of 2009 Eric hosted the first Turkey Tracks.  Ten hunter's attended.  The event ran through the weekend resulting in 6 of the 10 hunters harvesting a turkey.  Eric accomplished something that very few ever will. Every year since on opening weekend hunters have taken to the field with the Turkey Tracks Foundation.  On January 18, 2012 Eric Corey passed away, leaving an incredible legacy behind.
This first weekend in turkey season the Turkey Tracks group will be together again guiding hunters in the field.  This will be our first year without Eric.  I know we will all miss him terribly but as we see the smiles on the faces of the hunters bringing in turkeys, we can measure the legacy that he planned.
If you or anyone you know would like to donate to the Eric Corey Turkey Tracks Foundation you may do so through the Northern Indiana Community Foundation.
Here is the event on Facebook.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

HR 4089-Positive Legislation, finally

Usually it's something negative that we are talking about in the Outdoor community.
US Sportsmen's Alliance on HR 4089  This legislation is designed to protect our rights for hunting and shooting on public lands.

Take a look here and see how your Representative voted: The vote on HR 4089  If your Rep voted for the bill, give them a call and thank them for protecting your rights.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

NRA Show Wrap Up

NRA Banquet 
Finally back home from the Show season.  The cumulation of Curves in Camo second season working the outdoor show circuit was the NRA Annual  Meeting and Exhibits.  I had never attended a NRA Annual Meeting before.  I learned how to shoot through the NRA youth shooting programs years ago.  Growing up in a house with my dad, a proud life member of the NRA since the 1950's, I know the importance of keeping and bearing arms.
Myself with Joe Sarafini (Top Shot season 2) and Iain Harrison (Top Shot Season 1-winner)
 The first time my dad instructed me in shooting a handgun safely was exciting.  36 years later to attend the NRA Annual Meeting was a treat.  Seeing all of the new products available this year, speaking with others that share my passion for firearm ownership and hunting, and hearing others stories of their adventures in the field was something I want to repeat next year and every year after.  Something interesting occurred interacting with other enthusiasts during the week in St Louis.  The number of older women wanting to tweak performance when slug gun hunting was incredible.  I spoke to countless women and men wishing to tune in their slug guns for greater accuracy and consistent performance.  I was able to share the unique attributes of Lightfield Slugs to achieve those expectations.
The NRA gives its members access to this information all in one place, putting on a heck of party along the way.  On my to do list for next year will be to attend the foundation dinner again, it was a fabulous dinner and auction.  I would also like to go to the Ladies Luncheon.  So many women shared stories of how fabulous the luncheon was this year I don't want to miss it the next time I attend.
If you are a member of the NRA attend the meeting and enjoy the experience of 73,000+ like minded individuals.

Next year the show will be in Houston, Texas May 3-5.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guns, Guts, And Glory

Do you enjoy the smell of gun powder?  I know if someone marketed a men's cologne I would buy it for my husband.  The next best thing? Kicking off Thursday April 12th, 2012 with the banquet auction, the annual NRA meeting and exhibits in St. Louis Missouri.
NRA Annual Meeting

I refined my shooting abilities through the NRA youth programs  but this will be the first national meeting I  attend.  I am excited, not only to be working in the Lightfield Slug Ammo booth  (booth # 3741), but also to be fortunate enough to  celebrate an essential right, the 2nd Amendment.

I am hoping to score some new gear and then I will be heading to Kansas on the first of my quests to complete the Wild Turkey Grand Slam.  I can't think of a better way to start off spring.
If you are attending the NRA Annual Meeting stop by and share your hunting stories with us in the Lightfield Slug booth #3741.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'Shroom season

Up here in northern Indiana 'shroom season is starting.  This morning I got reports of nice yellow and black morels coming in. YUM!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

US Sportsmen's Alliance

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance has launched a new blog targeting informing the outdoors community about legislation that affects our hunting rights.   The current blog takes to task California House Bill 1221.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Real Hunger Game

I have just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.  Needless to say I love the fact that Katniss Everdeen provided for her family by hunting.  My choice to hunt, while not based in starvation, was based in feeding my family.

I rarely buy meat from a grocery store, rather most days I head to my freezer to choose which type of meat my family will eat every day.  A few years ago I made a purposeful decision to take responsibility for myself and my families food supply.  Hunting was just one portion of that responsibility but one that I cherish.

Being in the woods allows me to shed the demands of every day.  It allows me to step back, take a deep breath and interact with my environment in much the same way my ancestors did.  The actual harvesting of an animal is the reward at the end of a successful day afield, however, it is often the smallest part of the reward.  The actual opportunity to be still, to listen to what is around me, to seek time with those that enjoy the hunt are all part of the larger picture that makes up the why of hunting.

I feel so lucky to be able to share this ability with my family and friends.  When hunting season arrives our camp is filled with stories and catching up with friends that we don't get the opportunity to see as often as we'd like.  Often new people come into camp and we forge new relationships and new stories.

As turkey season approaches, I look forward to the ladies weekend I have planned.  I can't wait to experience first hand as some of the ladies try to harvest toms with bows.  Seeing strutting toms this afternoon on one of our farms got me bouncing in my seat with excitement.  It's all part of the opportunity I am lucky enough to enjoy.

Passing the tradition down to my children not only allows for more food in the freezer but gives me the opportunity to teach them a way to provide for themselves.  It teaches them patience and persistence. Hopefully we will see the kids in our family harvest toms and jakes during the youth season next month here in Indiana.  Hopefully they will also share their experiences with their friends and family in the future.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Coming out of Hibernation

Winter seems to be over. I don't want to say that too loud, not here in northern Indiana.  We've have plenty of snow and ice storms this time of year to warrant being wary of  making bold statements about winter or the lack there of.  This unseasonable weather has made me long for a nice run.
Last year at this time I was in training to run in the 500 festival's 5k race.  A friend had talked me into signing up to run.  Three of us signed up to run to give each other the motivation not to back out even if we had to walk.  I was in good physical shape, I had been running indoors on the track at the gym I belong to but I've never been a competitive runner.
I figured that it was a good way to build up stamina for spring hunting season.  I couldn't have been more right.  When I had to run and gun for my Boss Tom last year it was this training that allowed me to maintain a steady heart rate.  The training also allowed me to calm down to shoot.  I know that doesn't seem like much but it can in the field make the difference between a hit or a miss.
Lining up for the 500 Festival 5k was a bit over whelming.  The 500 Festival 5k and Mini-marathon is one of the largest races in the United States.  I don't know what I had been talked into.  I was sure that despite my training I was going to be humiliated with my performance in the race.
I wore all black and my snappy little skull head band.  I figured I would blend that way and no one could really see how badly I did, it was like urban camo.

It was a cool day, great for running.  I kept a steady pace through out the race.  The truly unique part of this race was the live music along the route.  There were even belly dancers.  I finished the race in a new PR for me and I didn't throw up, so bonus!!  The unsuspected surprise of the race was the fact that I finished 4th in my age division.  Sometimes motivation and accomplishment come from unusual quarters.  The results of the hard work was not only the accomplishment in the race but the ease that I was able to translate the skills learned in running to running down my big boss tom.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gearing up for the Season

The warm weather has me excited for turkey season.  I was just looking through photos rom last year and they reminded me how difficult it was to harvest a big boss tom.  This year I am planning a ladies weekend to hunt hard for the big boss toms.  I am hoping that this early unseasonably warm weather will not inspire early breeding.  If it does I can imagine that we will be doing more running and gunning. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Indiana Firewood

A new permanent rule for visitors to Indiana state park system regarding firewood takes place on Saturday.   Under the new law, visitors to state parks, forests, fish & wildlife areas and reservoirs may not bring firewood from out of state.  For in-state visitors: firewood may be brought in, however, the bark must be removed.  The insect larvae live in the sapwood under the bark.  Removing the bark cuts down on the chance of spreading the emerald ash borer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Excellent point by the US Sportsmen's Alliance.  It is sickening to see this environmental terrorism group trying to strong arm a government employee.  There was an excellent article in a recent Indiana Outdoor News regarding the dangers in Indiana for excepting funds from this same group.
US Sportsmen's Alliance Article 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Big, Rich (and slightly scary) Texas

I found myself at loose ends last night, which is unusual for me. In light of nothing needing done I did some channel surfing. I some how landed on Big Rich Texas on myStyle network.

Now I have to admit that I enjoy the occasional Jerseylicious moment and I have been inspired by Ruby but this Big Rich Texas last night was scary. What hooked me in was they were talking about the annual pheasant hunt. Cool. I wanted to see how they did it down in the Lone Star State, especially because they said it was a posh venue.
Two of the Barbies went to the Beretta store to get outfitted for the hunt. I wondered if they did this every year what exactly did they need?

The one old Barbie walks into the gun room and asks not for the proper gun for her, rather she asks for "The most expensive gun." The gun they show her isn't all that expensive, but since she did't know guns from her backside she didn't realize the difference, it's more about status than functionality. To cement this point, she cackles that her bullets are more expensive than what her nemesis Barbie can afford. Hey- maybe Mattel should consider a nemesis Barbie for next Christmas season. She could come with optional plastic surgeon Ken and a spoiled Skipper to hang out with.
I kept watching, despite that fact that I knew I shouldn't. It was like a train wreck. I had to know if they were going to 'accidentally' wound one another in a Dick Cheneyesque moment.

The hunting property they went to was beautiful. Like so many Texas hunting ranches it was set up to impress, though they showed very little of the ranch. The guide quickly took out the first group of women with the hunting dogs. The guide looked nervous, especially after the cougars commented about his hunting chaps.

I turned it off after one of the women screamed after she shot a pheasant like she had been shot and completely freaked out the guide. That guide had guts though, he gave her gun back. I don't think that I would have got anywhere near those women.

At that point I had enough. I couldn't watch anymore-I was concerned with never getting back the time I wasted on watching these spoiled clueless women. I love going to Texas to hunt and I am glad that I had very little contact with women like these.

Now on to more important things like finding some of those real expensive 'bullets' for my 870 Wingmaster.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Iowa Deer Classic in Des Moines

Come by and say Hi at the Lightfield Ammo Booth at the Iowa Deer Classic
I can't wait to see the big Buck contest and do a little shopping on my breaks!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Michigan Deer and Turkey Spectacular

Stop by the Lightfield Ammo booth at the Michigan Deer and Turkey Spectacular to say 'hi' or share your hunting stories with myself and Mark Smith of Lightfield's Wild Adventures TV

Tuesday, January 17, 2012