Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bass Pro Encourages Parents And Kids To "Go Outdoors"

Springfield, Missouri-Once upon a time, not so long ago, kids went outside to play. Many a fort and treehouse were built, favorite swimming holes were enjoyed, and stringers of fish meant campfires and fish fries. Kids got bumped, scraped, bruised, stung, bit and sunburned. But, they got exercise and learned about the outdoors-how to fish, pitch a tent, make a campfire, identify which plants (and snakes) are poisonous and count the stars at night. It was the real world.

Today, kids don't walk to school or anywhere else much for that matter. They and adults are inside spending countless hours in front of hand-held monitors or TV screens playing video games. They get caught in the artificial worlds of watching television shows, chatting on the Internet and text messaging. And, studies show that living in the daily urban world with all its distractions, stimuli, and confusion can seriously impair cognitive thinking and mental health in general. Bottom line, kids and adults are not getting enough time outdoors.

During the National Go Outdoors Event going on at 51 Bass Pro Shops store locations from May 16th through May 25th, the company is offering kids and adults all kinds of ways to get off their couches and go enjoy the great outdoors. Events include a life jacket trade-in, outdoor skill demonstrations, interactive activities and a chance to win a sweepstakes package with a retail value of approximately $11,000.00.

"One of the most exciting and invigorating places to go this summer is just beyond your front door," said Larry Whiteley, Bass Pro Shops Manager of Communications. "Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children across the nation put away their laptops, video games, and cell phones this summer and head outdoors. Whether it's fishing, hiking through a local park, or simply laying on your lawn watching the stars at night, there are so many great things to do outdoors this summer."

Why is this important?

Bass Pro Shops' National Go Outdoors Event is a way to give kids (and adults) the chance to learn about the outdoors and the reason why is simple. Kids need this chance to re-connect with the outdoors to learn valuable lessons -how to swim, how to camp, first aid, survival techniques, orienteering, conservation-but more importantly, to become good stewards of the land and its natural resources, to feel good about themselves and to improve their general health and well-being.

Likewise, adults need this "disconnect" from their everyday urban life. An article that appeared in the Boston Globe January 2, 2009, cites studies scientists are conducting to examine how urban life affects the brain and our mental health. "The mind is a limited machine,"says Marc Berman, a psychologist at the University of Michigan and lead author of a new study that measured the cognitive deficits caused by a short urban walk. "And we're beginning to understand the different ways that a city can exceed those limitations." The article goes on to state that "natural settings are full of objects that automatically capture our attention, yet without triggering a negative emotional response -- unlike, say, a backfiring car. The mental machinery that directs attention can relax deeply, replenishing itself."
Read entire article here.

Listed below are some supporting facts and figures:
*Long-term health concerns among children are increasing. According to information from the US Fish and Wildlife Web site (, Americans, kids especially, spend less time playing outdoors than any preceding generation.
*Kids spend an average of 6.5 hours a day with television, computers and video games and are six times more likely to play a video game than ride a bike.
*In fact, of all the major recreational activities in 2006, bicycling suffered the worst in declining participant numbers (down 13.3% from last year) according to an annual report by the National Sporting Goods Association. ("Sports Participation Series I and II")
*Stress, depression, obesity, and low self-esteem among children are on the rise.

Why is going outside good?
*According to information from the US Fish and Wildlife site, nature is good for your health. New research shows that children who feel connected to nature have better physical, mental, and emo*/*tional health. Berman's study, as cited in the January 2nd article in the Boston Globe, states that, according to several studies, "children with attention-deficit disorder have fewer symptoms in natural settings. When surrounded by trees and animals, they are less likely to have behavioral problems and are better able to focus on a particular task."
*Other various studies have shown that kids that engage in outdoor classrooms have improved grades and test scores.
*These same studies show that kids involved in the outdoors are more motivated to learn and achieve.
*Studies suggest that families that interact together outdoors create lasting bonds by making life-long memories.

As you look forward to this summer and begin to wonder what you will do with the kids while they are out of school, investigate summer programs that your local Park Board, YMCA, or Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts offer that will help them benefit from being outside. In the meantime, begin with Bass Pro Shops' National Go Outdoors Event at your local Bass Pro Shops store location. Exciting events being offered to entice kids and adults to go outdoors include canoe and kayak demonstrations, casting contests, rock climbing walls, GPS classes, outdoor skills workshops on boating safety, Dutch oven cooking, outdoor survival training and much, much more. (Events will vary per store. Please visit and select individual store location for events listing.)

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary will be on hand at most Bass Pro Shops store locations to answer questions on the proper fit of life jackets as well as to address water safety questions. You can even bring any old or non-fitting life jackets into your local Bass Pro Shops on Saturday and Sunday, May 16th and 17th, for recycling and receive an instant discount of $5 to $20 off the purchase of a new Bass Pro Shops or Stearns life jacket or SOSPENDERS® inflatable PFD.

While at Bass Pro Shops, register to win the "Experience the Great Outdoors Sweepstakes." The National Grand Prize will be awarded to one winner nationwide and has a retail value of approximately $11,000.00. Each store location will select a first place winner who will receive a gift package with a retail value of $550.00. See store for more details.

This year, commit to getting outdoors with your kids for all your health's sake. Visit Bass Pro Shops during the National Go Outdoors Event, interact with your family in the great outdoors and make some memories to last a lifetime.

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Utah Cougar Hunt-Success

Here’s a pic of the tom lion Outdoors International's Utah Outfitter harvested this week. Hunting conditions were hard, but they were able to make it happen. The hunter John N. said this was an exciting hunt with the lion coming down the tree to challenge a pack of excited hounds. Luckily no dogs were killed.

To learn more about this exciting hunting opportunity and others contact Outdoors International.

Feral Hogs Not Tied To Swine Flu

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reminds hunters and trappers there is no indication of a human-animal disease relationship with swine flu and to continue to use common sense when handling feral hogs.

While there is no known threat of contracting swine flu from feral hogs, they do carry other potential hazards.

Due to the danger of contracting swine brucellosis, the Texas Animal Health Commission urges hunters and trappers to always wear a mask or bandana and gloves when handling feral swine during processing. Trappers or any producers who have pigs that are ill with respiratory infections should contact their veterinarian. Trappers or hunters that become ill should seek medical attention and inform their doctors they have been around pigs.

Safeguards for Hunters

* Wear gloves when dressing out hogs and dispose of gloves properly.
* No eating/drinking/smoking while doing so.
* Wear eye protection if there is risk of eye splashed with blood/other fluids.
* Wear coveralls over clothes or promptly change into fresh clothes after dressing animals.
* Wash hands and equipment thoroughly with hot, soapy water.
* Practice good handling/storage procedures with the meat.
* Properly cook the meat.

Information about Swine Flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

* People cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. Most influenza viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not spread by food.
* Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.
* No food safety issues have been identified, related to the flu.
* Preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the flu had contact with hogs.
* The virus is spreading by human-to-human transmission.

The CDC recommends the following measures to prevent the transmission of flu:

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
* Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based sanitizers.
* Try to not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus.
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* Try to stay in good general health.
* Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Detailed information and updates on the flu outbreak may be obtained at:
Texas Department of State Health Services

If you own swine, consider the following practices to enhance the biosecurity on your farm to prevent the disease from being transmitted to your herd:

* Workers should shower and change into farm-specific clothes and shoes before entering swine facilities.
* Establish, implement and enforce strict sick leave policies for workers presenting influenza-like symptoms.
* Recommend that workers with symptoms be seen by a medical provider immediately.
* Restrict the entry of people into your facility to only workers and essential service personnel.
* Prevent international visitors from entering your facilities.
* Ensure adequate ventilation in facilities to minimize re-circulation of air inside animal housing facilities.
* Vaccinate pigs against the influenza virus. Vaccination of pigs can reduce the levels of virus shed by infected animals
* Contact your swine veterinarian if swine exhibit flu-like or respiratory illness, especially if the onset or presentation of the illness is unusual.
* Notify your Texas Animal Health Commission area office or the Austin headquarters at 800-550-8242, after you have contacted your veterinarian.

The Texas Animal Health Commission is ready to assist with on-farm investigations, if pigs are present where a known human case has occurred, and to assist with epidemiological investigations with any human cases that may have links to swine in Texas.

More information for producers may be obtained at:
National Pork Producers Council
Texas Pork Producers Association

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Total Outdoorsman Challenge Results Are In

So the challenge came and went...along with it my chances to get Field Dress in front of the folks at Field and Stream. Didn't embarrass myself, but should've spent some time practicing as I'm confident I could've made it to the next round. Bait casting did me in.

The challenge comprised of three parts: Bait casting, archery, and shooting an air rifle. There was a small line for the archery so I did the bait casting first. You had to cast to several hoops placed in the small pond outside BassPro from a boat deck about 45' out. After several practice casts, I then took aim and went 0 for 5. Game over! Never got the chance to practice before going out, but I wasn't even really close. Little disappointing, however I can't expect much. I'm a walleye fisherman...drop the line off the boat and troll along.

New the pressure was on and moved on to the air rifle. The first picture shows the results. Not too bad. You were placed about 60' away and had two practice shots and five that counted. I declined the rest and to my surprise hit three in the center for 10's and two in the next ring for 9's. The guys running the challenge said I had the best of the day, but since it wasn't too busy I think they were just trying to make me feel good.

Then on to my love...archery. An easy twenty-five yard shot. This I was disappointed in as I have tournament shot since I was six. The second target shows the in the center for 10, two in the 9, and two in the eight. With just a little bit of practice this should've been a slam dunk, but I guess life sometimes gets in the way.

So, I will have to wait till next year. Practice, practice, practice...I'll get my new baby into the world in a few weeks and find my groove as a father of four. Then look out next year, Field Dress will put on a good showing.

Don't forget to get registered for the chance to win a Free Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fox Sports Nets to Air Hunts for Heros' Veteran Outdoors

Georgetown, Texas-- A new patriotic and uplifting show honoring our country's heroes is a refreshing antidote to the excessive negativity of most reality programs on television today. Hunts for Heroes' Veteran Outdoors, a platform for wounded veterans to share their stories and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime hunting or fishing adventure, will air on 10 regions of Fox Sports Net channels beginning Saturday July 4th, 2009.

Thirteen (13) original episodes will begin airing weekly at 7:00 a.m. (local) on Saturdays, and will run through December 26th. The show will reach an estimated 110 million households weekly and will also be re-ran a second time each week (times to be announced) for 26 consecutive weeks. Hunts for Heroes' Veteran Outdoors will be aired on FSN Arizona, FSN Detroit, FSN Midwest, FSN Ohio, FSN South, FSN Southwest, FSN West, FSN North, FSN Wisconsin, and FSN Florida.

"We are extremely pleased that Hunts for Heroes' Veteran Outdoors will be airing on Fox Sports Net, and we couldn't have hand picked a better day for it to debut than our country's Independence Day," says host Cody Hirt. "Our goal is to give our heroes a platform to tell their inspiring stories. We want to honor their patriotism and their sacrifice to our country."

Over the past few years U.S. Army Veteran Wes Higgins and Cody Hirt, the show's hosts, have participated in and coordinated numerous hunting and fishing trips for wounded veterans. It was on these trips, listening to the powerful stories told by these brave men and women, that they realized that everyone needs to hear these stories of triumph! Their struggles and their stories truly make you appreciate the life you get to live...and our quality of life is a direct result of these heroes.

Hunts for Heroes' Veteran Outdoors is a project of Four Point Productions LLC and Careco Multimedia Inc. The shows sole purpose is to honor our country's service members who have been wounded in combat by giving them a platform to tell their story in their own words. The program is both emotional and uplifting as it surprises participating veterans with their dream hunting or fishing adventure as a way of saying "thank you" for their service.

Veteran Outdoors Brad Strittmatter (832) 607-4778 or
Hunts for Heroes, Billy Hodges (979) 543-3861

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sportsmen Urge USDA Intervention in Colorado Roadless Plan

WASHINGTON - An assemblage of prominent sportsmen-conservationist groups today pointedly criticized a proposed plan for management of Colorado's national forest roadless areas and asked U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to intervene in the rule-making process until fundamental problems with the draft plan can be resolved.

Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Colorado Trout Unlimited, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited's Sportsmen's Conservation Project expressed significant concerns about the ability of the proposed Colorado roadless rule to sustain important fish and wildlife habitat. The groups stressed that finalization of the Colorado roadless rule should be deferred until key officials are appointed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service and a review of the proposed rule can be undertaken.

"The proposed Colorado roadless rule does not adequately conserve Colorado's roadless areas and can be substantially improved and clarified," said Joel Webster, TRCP associate director of campaigns. "Colorado's backcountry areas are world-class, and hunters and anglers have a huge stake in assuring their responsible management."

Organized sportsmen have been meeting with representatives from the state and U.S. Forest Service throughout the development of the Colorado roadless rule, which was initiated in 2007 by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. Contrary to the governor's stated intentions, a draft rule released by the U.S. Forest Service in 2008 is considerably weaker than the national roadless rule and includes exceptions allowing energy drilling, coal development, major water projects, transmission corridors and timber cutting in valuable public-lands fish and wildlife habitat.

"Trout Unlimited has been at the table with other sportsmen's groups negotiating earnestly with both the state and the Forest Service throughout the Colorado roadless rule process," said David Petersen, TU Colorado field director for sportsmen's conservation projects. "Consequently, we are deeply disappointed that at this terminal stage the proposed rule continues to propagate undesirable management practices and paradigms. As currently written, the proposed rule is rife with exceptions that could adversely affect public-lands hunting, fishing and watersheds, and it largely ignores the clearly expressed desires of Colorado sportsmen - as well as the Colorado Division of Wildlife and an overwhelming majority of citizen input asking for maximum roadless area protections."

The sportsmen point to specific examples of overly permissive language in the proposed rule, including the following:

  • excessive discretion and allowances for timber cutting and road building in the backcountry, far removed from forest-edge communities
  • expanded utility and water conveyance allowances
  • roadless coal mining provisions (especially in the Priest Mountain area).

"Exceptions allowing road building and development in roadless areas must be narrowly and clearly defined in order to sustain the economic boost provided by Colorado's backcountry," said David Lien, co-chairman of Colorado BHA. "Especially in these troubling financial times, our towns and rural communities rely on the income provided by sportsmen now more than ever."

Colorado's 345 roadless areas comprise approximately 4.4 million acres. Roadless areas provide superior habitat to species prized by sportsmen, including elk, mule deer and native Colorado cutthroat trout, and form the core of the more than $1 billion hunter and anglers contribute annually to Colorado's economy.

"To favorably resolve the Colorado rule, its problems must be addressed so that roadless area characteristics are conserved at a level comparable to the national roadless rule," said David Nickum, executive director of Colorado TU. "Our groups want to conserve roadless values in the places where Americans hunt and fish - and ensure that our backcountry traditions are upheld for future generations to experience and enjoy."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Training is Depressing

So all week I've been meening to get out the bow and rod and practice a bit before this weekends Field and Stream's Outdoorsman Challenge. When you have three kids and another due in a couple weeks and a couple jobs to make sure I can feed them...not much time left over, but last night I finally stopped and said I had to do it.

However, it's pretty depressing when you have to climb into the attic and break into your bow case because you can't remember the combination. When I finally cut though the case handle to "release the beast", I was just happy the string was in tact and sights still straight. So here's the deal. I've had an old Hoyt for twenty-one years...yup...I know...but I never fealt the need to spend the money when I only had time to hunt one week per year and I knew where the arrow was going. Yes, one week per year. I make it a point to go to either ND or CO every year for a week. The last couple of years have been a struggle with twins and starting a new business. So I've lived through the stories of my blogging friends and the hunting and fishing forums...that's even more depressing.

Back to last night. Called a buddy of mine who is a member of a local archery club and he offered to take me out and "show me how it's done". A little trash talking is always fun, but I didn't want to offer a response since my confidence was a little bruised. When I arrive, the targets are set from 10 yards out to 40 and they have an outdoor lighting system so I plan on sticking around for a while. My friend pulls out a new case, Mathews Switchback, release, and starts to laugh as I "release the beast" from the broken twenty-year old case, put on my fingertips and armguard, straighten a couple of sites and say "pick your poison".

Thirty-yard target was first and I am happy to say the bow still works...with a little user error. I kept pulling to the right, but had decent groupings. More than anything, I'm really happy everything is set the way I left it two-years ago...OUCH. After a few adjustments and thinking about all the arrows over the years, I found my groove and backed it up ten yards every ten arrows or so till I hit sixty. Results weren't too bad and the trash talking picked up quite a bit on my end. New Switchback....hah.

Anyways, a little sore this morning...getting old, but I had better grab the rod and see if I still remember how to cast to a spot. This could get ugly so I better make sure the kids are inside or I might catch more than I bargained for...windy today so maybe I can blame the conditions for my failed attempts. Will keep ya'll up to date.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Outdoors Magazine Seeks "Cover Girl"

Outdoors Magazine, the East's premier publication devoted to the better hunter, angler, and trapper, is looking for an exceptional cover photo to adorn the July issue showcasing women in the outdoors.

"The things we have lined up for this issue are absolutely fantastic," said Outdoors Magazine Publisher James Austin. "The edit is exceptional and the response has been tremendous from across the country. This issue isn't just a superficial 'tip of the hat,' it is absolutely devoted to serious female hunters and fishers. It celebrates their talents, strengths, accomplishments and journeys in a way that hasn't been done before. I am incredibly excited about the way it is all coming together," he said.

"The one thing we need to wrap it up is the perfect picture to put on the cover," added Austin.

The ideal photo would be a "trophy shot" of a woman with a whitetail, moose, trout or salmon. Well composed pictures with other big-game animals/fish will also be considered. Backgrounds in the picture are important as is the sharpness of the image. Because cover photos on Outdoors Magazine are dramatically enlarged, photos must be large in size (approximately 300 dpi).

Send pictures via email to or via post to: Outdoors Magazine, 531 Main St., Colchester, VT, 05446. Call (802) 879-2013 if additional information is required.
Kyle Scanlon (802) 879-2013 or

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lutto and Nischalke Form New PR Agency

San Antonio, Texas -Karen Lutto, former president and owner of Lutto & Associates public relations, and Mike Nischalke, former editor-in-chief of Shooting Times Magazine, have launched a full-service outdoor public-relations agency, Hunter Outdoor Communications.

Named after Lutto's son Hunter as well as drawing focus toward the outdoor industry it will primarily serve, Hunter Outdoor Communication was created as a legacy company that brings the benefit of Ms. Lutto's and Mr. Nischalke's combined 35-plus years of practical experience amassed while working in this industry.

The combined backgrounds of the two principals of HOC offer their clients a unique form of PR agency. Lutto has owned and operated an independent public relations agency for more than 16 years. With a primary focus on the outdoor industry, her company has also handled real estate, banking, and business-to-business enterprises. Lutto is a veteran of the public relations field, bringing forth more than 24 years of public relations experience, including work at a Silicon Valley PR agency, a national advertising agency, and as an in-house director of public relations for an international optics company.

Including his term at the helm of Shooting Times, Nischalke brings 17 years of editorial and media relations experience, beginning in the Marine Corps, where he escorted multinational members of the media during such events as Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and a high-level espionage trial at Quantico, VA. Nischalke also spent nearly a decade at the National Rifle Association, first as a staff photographer, later as the editor ofShooting Sports USA, and finally as the senior editor of the American Rifleman. He was also a frequent contributor for "American Rifleman TV."

A 20-year veteran in the public relations arena, 16 of which have been with Lutto & Associates, Kimi Herndon will join HOC as an account executive. She will remain in Richmond, Virginia where she will manage the HOC satellite office. Herndon can be reached at

The team members of Hunter Outdoor Communications are extremely excited to launch their full-service public relations agency, with its headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, and a satellite office in Richmond, Virginia. For more information on the company please call (830) 755-4308, or e-mail
Karen Lutto (830) 755-4308 or or Mike Nischalke (703) 380-3595 or

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Monday, April 20, 2009

Field Dress to Compete

Time to dust off the bow, check the eye-sight, and practice a cast as I embark on the quest to become the TOTAL OUTDOORSMAN. Alright, a little dramatic...saw the press release and thought it might be fun, as well as, get a chance to put Field Dress in front of a few people.

Been a couple years since I've been in the woods or water so it might be interesting. Being a dad and trying to pay the bills has taken precedence over my passion for the outdoors. Training starts how things have changed.

Field & Stream's Total Outdoorsman Challenge Returns

New York, New York-The search for the country's best all-around sportsman is officially on as FIELD & STREAM, the world's leading outdoor magazine and Bass Pro Shops, America's favorite outdoors store, today unveiled the dates for the 2009 FIELD & STREAM TOTAL OUTDOORSMAN CHALLENGE•PRESENTED BY MOBIL 1. Now in its sixth year, the annual coast-to-coast competition offers sportsmen and -women more chances to qualify than ever before with a beefed-up roster of local qualifiers taking place April 25-26 at Bass Pro Shops. The Total Outdoorsman Challenge will culminate in an intensive, three-day, final championship event in Springfield, Mo., September 10-13, 2009, pitting 16 of the nation's top outdoorsmen in head-to-head competition in seven outdoor skill challenges: fly-fishing, bass fishing, rifle, shotgun, endurance, archery and ATV handling.

Widely celebrated as the country's premier competition for outdoorsmen, the 2009 Total Outdoorsman Challenge kicks off with free local qualifiers taking place April 25 and 26 at 48 Bass Pro Shops nationwide - twice as many locations as last year - allowing thousands of hopefuls across the country more opportunities than ever before to showcase their skills in baitcasting, air rifle and archery (participants must bring their own bows).

Field & Stream editors will evaluate the local qualifier results to cull the top 200 participants to contend in one of four regional qualifying events taking place in June 2009. Participants who place in the top three positions at the regional qualifiers will then advance to the Championship Event, where they will face off against the top three finishers from the 2008 Total Outdoorsman Challenge and a sole "wildcard" competitor selected from online submissions at The sportsman who is able to out-fish, out-shoot and out-hustle his or her opponents will win the grand prize package, which includes: $25,000, a profile in Field & Stream, a Yamaha ATV, a year's supply of Mobil 1 motor oil, and extensive exposure on and the Outdoor Channel's Total Outdoorsman Challenge television show.

There is no fee to enter the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge and each event is open to the public. Anyone is invited to cheer on sportsmen from all walks of life as they test their abilities across a wide range of outdoor disciplines.

"Three-time Total Outdoorsman champion Paul Thompson told Field & Stream that a ˜total outdoorsman' is a ˜jack-of-all-trades,'" said Anthony Licata, editor of Field & Stream. "That's what we're looking for - outdoorsmen who approach every experience in the outdoors, whether they are hunting, fishing or camping, as an opportunity to grow their skills and have fun doing it."

For the second year in a row, Field & Stream will host a regional qualifier during the widely-attended, four-day Country Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn., June 11-14, 2009, the "crown jewel" of country music events. Total Outdoorsman defending champion Paul Thompson will show off his keen outdoor skills against a field of country music stars in a special celebrity edition of the competition on June 11 leading up to the regional qualifier slated for the following day.

The May issue of Field & Stream (on newsstands now) features an exclusive Q&A with Thompson, in addition to training tips and advice and complete event registration information. Before heading to Bass Pro Shops for local qualifiers, sportsmen who think they have what it takes can also brush up on fishing, hunting and camping tips from every U.S. state with the May issue's cover story, "The United States of Skills."

Sponsors of the 2009 Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge include: Mobil 1, Bass Pro Shops, Yamaha, Toyota, 2009 CMA Music Festival, Rocky Boots, Mossy Oak, Under Armour, Veramyst Smith & Wesson, Thompson Center, Diamond Archery, Eukanuba and The Outdoor Channel.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Get registered for a Free Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt here

Friday, April 17, 2009

Panhandle Habitat Work Focus for New Dallas-Forth Worth Pheasants Forever Chapter

DFW chapter forms around Pheasants Forever's grassroots model

Dallas, Texas - Upland game enthusiasts from the Dallas-Forth Worth area have formed the region's newest Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, the DFW Chapter of PF. The new chapter will work with local natural resource agencies and landowners within the 37-county panhandle portion of Texas to improve land management practices for pheasants and other upland birds.

Although the chapter will be based out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the bulk of the state's pheasant population is found a few hours away in the panhandle region. The new chapter will utilize PF's grassroots model to raise funds in the population center that go toward habitat projects in the panhandle. Pheasants Forever and its quail division, Quail Forever (QF), are the only national conservation organizations that empower chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent. As a result, chapter volunteers are able to decide where their locally-raised funds are best put to use, while belonging to a larger national organization with a voice on federal and state conservation policy.

The panhandle area consistently reports strong pheasant numbers during Texas' three-week pheasant hunting season, but there is plenty of room for habitat improvement. Not only will the DFW Chapter of PF add to the wildlife habitat found in the agricultural and set-aside lands located within the panhandle, their agenda also includes becoming a catalyst and leader for future chapters to follow.

"The people of Dallas-Fort Worth are passionate about conservation and we want to show them what's possible when given the proper tools to succeed," said Jordan Martincich, PF/QF Regional Representative, "There is a great deal of excitement about pheasants and it's just a matter of time before this enthusiasm translates into better habitat, more birds and happier hunters."

The DFW Chapter of PF has elected Kacey Cain of Rockwall as president, Phil Hartman of Garland as the treasurer, Jeremy Wethington of Grapevine as habitat chair and David Nobles of Dallas as the youth/education chair. For more information about the chapter and upcoming events, please contact Phil Hartman at (214) 325-6362 or via email at

Texas is home two PF chapters and six QF chapters. For more information on PF/QF in Texas, to start a chapter or join one of the state's existing chapters, contact Jordan Martincich, PF/QF Regional Representative, at (816) 560-1070 or via email at

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Press release found at The Outdoor Wire

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Firearm Safety by Dumb and Dumber

The stupidity of people amaze me on a daily basis. Nothing better to do. I can't believe I'm going to contribute to their "five-minutes of fame"!

Register to win a Free Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt here

Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 12 Montana Counties

MISSOULA, MONTANA-Twelve counties in Montana are slated for wildlife and habitat conservation projects using $149,665 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Carbon, Deer Lodge, Lake, Lewis & Clark, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Park, Petroleum, Powell, Stillwater and Sweetgrass counties.

Additionally, a biological research project has statewide interest.

"Our volunteers across Montana helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and it's part of the payday for our supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors," said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Montana conservation projects, listed by county:

Deer Lodge County-Treat noxious weeds to improve elk habitat in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Lake County-Restore native grasses and shrubs for elk and other wildlife by prescribe burning 250 acres of overgrown forest in Flathead National Forest.

Lewis & Clark County-Thin 650 acres of overgrown forests to improve winter and transitional range for elk in Helena National Forest.

Lincoln County-Using prescribed fire, reduce tree density and improve elk forage on 989 acres in Kootenai National Forest.

Mineral County-Offset nearby private-land development by prescribe burning 700 acres to improve elk winter range on 700 acres in Lolo National Forest; aerially treat 522 acres of spotted knapweed in Lolo National Forest.

Missoula County-Rejuvenate native grasses and re-establish natural fire regime in upper-elevation shrub fields using prescribed fire on 325-plus acres of elk range in Flathead National Forest and Lolo National Forest (also affects Powell County).

Park County-Treat 300 acres of noxious weeds to enhance habitat for elk in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (also affects Sweetgrass, Stillwater and Carbon counties).

Petroleum County-Prescribe burn 1,787 acres to reduce fuel loading in ponderosa pine habitat and improve forage for elk and other wildlife on BLM lands in Lewistown area.

Powell County-Increase winter-range forage for elk using prescribe burns on BLM lands; improve fencing and water developments to distribute livestock away from riparian and overgrazed areas in Blackfoot River watershed.

Statewide-Use data previously collected from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to answer questions regarding roles of climate, wolf predation and habitat quality on elk calf recruitment.

Partners for 2009 projects in Montana include Bureau of Land Management, University of Montana, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.

An additional $159,503 remains in the 2009 RMEF project budget for Montana. A second round of grant proposals will be reviewed later this year. A committee of RMEF staff, volunteers and partner representatives will select projects for funding.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed 605 conservation projects in Montana with a value of more than $113 million.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.5 million acres-a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at or 800-CALL ELK.

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Get Registered for the Free Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Special Thanks to Jim and The Great American Outdoor Trails Radio Magazine

I'm sure most people in the outdoor industry have heard of the show and if you haven' need to click here.

The Great American Outdoor Trails Radio Magazine is a hunting, fishing, and the outdoors radio podcast. Good content, guests, and entertaining hosts has GOAT growing on a monthly basis.

Jim Ferguson, reached out to me through LinkedIn and offered feedback and help with Field Dress. With such a strong listening audience and the quality of the show, I knew Field Dress had to be a part of the show. Here's the catch. Jim never asked for it, he was just offering help in the form of contacts and advice...basically being a true outdoorsman.

Some time ago, I sent out mucho emails to outdoor bloggers asking for feedback and help...and that's exactly what I received. Honestly, I wasn't really surprised with the overwhelming response because that's what an outdoorsman is supposed to do.

This was a little different however, unsolicited help with no expectations. Maybe he needed a few t-shirts, maybe he was betting on "come", or maybe he really is just a good guy...either way a "special" thank-you to Jim and the Great American Outdoor Trails Radio Magazine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How TMPs Threaten Hunting

Very insiteful an elk hunter on public lands, the ability to pack out an elk has dictated the one's I've gone after in the past. Been extremely frustrating knowing I'm physically able, but knowing I wouldn't be able to retrieve a possible trophy. We as sportsman have a lot of work to do. I would appreciate everyone's thoughts on the issue...Rod

Determining what a Travel Management Plan (TMP) does depends on who you ask.

Ask a Forest Service official, and he'll say it's a way to balance the conflicting expectations of millions of visitors to national forests while protecting the land and wildlife under their administration.

Ask a soil scientist and he'll say it's a way to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation of waterways.

Ask a hunter, and he'll say it's one more roadblock to access-a bureaucratic reaction to a minority of irresponsible people that could penalize an overwhelmingly responsible majority.

Fundamentally, a TMP designates roads and trails as being opened, limited, or closed to motorized vehicles-including cars, pickups, ATVs, off-highway vehicles (OHVs), etc. As the plans are developed, a number of alternatives are often considered based on environmental assessments and public input-types of vehicles allowed, closing entire trails or just sections, closing for the entire year or allowing seasonal openings, inclusion or exclusion of "unauthorized trails," etc. The final decisions are documented on a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, which together manage 449 million acres of land, are in the process right now of creating TMPs for every unit of land they manage.

TMPs can work dramatically against hunter access. Right now, BLM is considering closing 139 miles of roads and trails in Arizona's Middle Gila Canyons. And in March, 186 miles of trails in Montana's Badger-two Medicine area were closed to motorized traffic.

Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said, "The effect of the road closures is that the Forest Service is creating larger and larger chunks of essentially unavailable land-de facto wilderness. The chief problem is game retrieval. Many of us are still fit enough to hike into the interior of these larger and larger blocks of public property, but we'd have no hope of packing an elk back out. This turns hunting on public property into a rich man's sport, practically available only to those who can afford to keep horses year-round, or who can afford to hire outfitters for game retrieval.

"Twenty years ago," Marbut continued, "there were enough points of road access to these lands that a person would have a decent chance of getting a 4x4 within three or four miles of a downed elk, making the retrieval possible, even if difficult. Now, with the many road closures, there are lots of places where it would be necessary to pack a downed elk 10, 20 or 30 miles through rugged, mountainous terrain-simply not possible for the usual hunter."

The issue of game retrieval is critical, one that Susan Recce, NRA-ILA's Director of Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources, has fought for in a number of TMPs. She noted, "The agencies are inconsistent from one plan to another. Some plans provide for retrieval, some don't."

In general, according to rules published in the Federal Register [(36CFR212.51 (b)], TMPs do allow for "the limited use of motor vehicles within a specified distance of certain designated routes...solely for the purpose of big game retrieval." Local officials have some discretion in determining that distance and those routes, but they are cautioned, "The Forest Service expects responsible officials to apply 36CFR 212.51 (b) sparingly to avoid undermining the purposes of the travel management rule ..."

Recce even feels that TMPs could be in conflict with an Executive Order issued by President Bush in August 2007-"Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation." This order called for federal agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and management of game species. Closing the trails does just the opposite.

Trail closings can affect local businesses, too. Facing proposed closures of trails in Tennessee's Nantahala National Forest, Helen and Chuck Davis, who owned a cabin rental outfit, put up "For Sale" signs. "We are facing a difficult decision," Ms. Davis told the Cherokee Scout. "We have everything up for sale. We are struggling. This is due to bad government decisions."

TMPs are not isolated inconveniences cropping up somewhere across the country from you. It's a nationwide issue-OHV users went from 5 million in 1972 to 52 million in 2006, according to one study. And the chief of the Forest Service has identified unmanaged recreation-which includes cross-country OHV usage-as one of the four most critical threats to national forests today. TMPs are being developed at the Ranger District or Field Office levels. If there is no TMP in place on the BLM or Forest Service land where you hunt, you can bet one is coming. Each will be open for public comment-and it's critical that hunters get involved in that process.

"Hunters are in the best position to know how a draft TMP would affect the roads and trails they use during hunting season, and they need to provide that information to the agencies," said Recce, who has provided NRA's comments on many TMPs. "The public participation process begins with the announcement of the agency's intent to prepare a plan," she continued, "so the public has input before a draft plan is written. Once written, the public can comment on the alternatives for management that are addressed in the plan. Hunters have to be active players throughout the planning process. They have to take charge of protecting their own interests."

How do you find out when a TMP in your area is opening up for comment? NRA-ILA sends out email alerts on major issues that affect gun owners, including TMPs. To receive these emails, visit, move your mouse to "Take Action" in the upper right, and click on "Email Signup."
(Also visit FS for the Forest Service TMP overview.)

TMPs have the potential to close down thousands of miles of roads and trails that sportsmen need to get into ever-shrinking public hunting lands, and there is substantial public sentiment in favor of closures. Yet in many cases hunters have been strangely quiet on the issue. In nearly a year of accepting public comment on the Humboldt-Toiyabe TMP, Forest Service officials received a grand total of 19 letters from citizens.

That's no way to make sure hunters' concerns are heard.

-- J.R. Robbins
Robbins is Managing Editor,

Note: For tips on wise use of OHVs, visit

Article available at The Outdoor Wire

Monday, April 13, 2009

Report Shows Waterfowl Hunting's Contribution to Economy

Waterfowl hunters spent $900 million on a variety of goods and services from food, transportation, guns and decoys to hunting dogs, clothing and other incidental expenses in 2006, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These trip and equipment-related expenditures generated more than $2.3 billion in total economic output for 2006, which resulted in $157 million in federal and state tax revenues, supported more than 27,000 jobs, and generated more than $8.5million in employment income.

"The financial support provided to conservation, and the economy as a whole, is significant," said Rowan Gould, acting Director of the Service. "Waterfowlers, like many other sportsmen, have a proven track record in their contributions to the U.S. economy, and that's certainly something to take comfort in during these tough economic times."

The report, The Economic Impact of Waterfowl Hunting in the United States, is an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The report shows more than 1.3 million people, 16 years of age and older, hunted waterfowl in 2006. Waterfowl hunters represented 10 percent of all hunters, 7 percent of all hunting trip-related expenditures, and 6 percent of all equipment expenditures.

According to the report, waterfowl hunters tend to be younger, have higher educational achievements, and are more affluent compared to all hunters. The majority (74 percent) of waterfowl hunters live in the South and the Midwest.

"The Service plays a key role providing outdoor recreation opportunities such as hunting," said Gould. "And hunters are critical partners - in part through their purchase of Federal Duck Stamps and a tax a firearms and ammunition that supports habitat conservation - for our efforts to conserve wildlife and wetlands for future generations."

The National Survey, conducted every five years, since 1955, is one of the nation's most definitive sources of information concerning wildlife-dependant recreation. The U.S. Census Bureau conducted the survey in two phases. First, a screening interview identified wildlife-related recreationists. The second phase consisted of multiple interviews to collect detailed information on participation and expenditures for U.S. residents 16 years of age and older.

The waterfowl hunting report in addition to the detailed National Survey report, state reports, and other addenda can be downloaded here.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit .

Press Release Found at The Outdoor Wire.

Don't forget to register for your FREE Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt at Field Dress!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Realtree Offers New Turkey Website

At Realtree's new Turkey Website you can get all the turkey news, info, facts and fun you want when you want it, and if we're guessing correctly, that means all of the time.

With a variety of features that will have you clicking for hours, will leave you wanting for nothing...except maybe a shot at one of the gobblers yourself. And, if you think you're an expert hunter, then take the Turkey Quiz to find out how much you really know about wild turkeys.

And for regional reports, stories, photos and a place for you to get your 15 minutes of fame, check out the Turkey Report and dive into some of the best content around. Would the quality of your life improve greatly if you could somehow watch all turkeys all the time? Now you can. Click on Turkey Television to check out different channels and get real online HD quality TV whenever you want it. Turkey Television also features a semi-live webisode dedicated to turkey hunting enthusiasts-Daybreak. Daybreak will focus on the entertaining side of turkey hunting by bringing you a semi-live hunt each Friday, along with a detailed breakdown of some of the newest gear around. Do your eyes go cross when reading assembly instructions for your hunting gear? If so, the Turkey Podcast has got your back, with demonstrations for mounting a scope and plenty of field tips.

With blogs, podcasts, online TV and much more, Realtree's Turkey Website is the next best thing to being in the woods. Don't believe us? Check it out for yourself at

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Farm Raised Trophy Bucks...Just Too Much

Time to vent on the following press release...if I offend anyone in some bad. You may want to read the release first.

Maybe it's my old-school roots or just growing up in North Dakota, but damn, when did killing a farm-raised "cow" become such a great achievement. I can't even call it a "bull"'s too masculine for the reference to this article.

Let me try to understand the concept. Take a piece of land, fence in the deer, brand and tag 'em, log 'em into the software, feed 'em, breed 'em with other like minded individuals (notice no negative reference to these individuals..I'm growing), sell 'em, kill 'em, CELEBRATION. I couldn't find one reference to Hunting! GMS Sell-a-deer module....that just makes me chuckle.

I just can't believe the idea of killing a monster buck is worth so much as to have to pay rediculous amounts of money to go to a farm to make your dreams a reality. How does the process go?
  • Tell that special someone you want to go "hunting"
  • Call the farm
  • Log onto the site
  • Pick your "cow"
  • Write the check
  • Drive your Hummer to the farm
  • Have a cocktail
  • Camo-up
  • Drive to the blind...over the feeder
  • Wait for the example of Pavlov's Dog Theory to happen
  • BOOM!

Beyond the arguements of "high-fence" vs. "fair chase", outfitters, blinds, and feeders...where is the attraction. In my humble opinion, I guess the attaction begins with the old "Pinky Theory" or to clarify..."mines bigger than yours".

When I first started hunting, dad had me shoot a doe, from there a spike or bigger. For some reason I got it in my mind..."if it isn't bigger than last year, it ain't worth shooting". Now I completely understand "feeding the family" and "filling the tag". The last night of hunting season in North Dakota for archery was typically New Years Eve and fifty below zero and I've thrown plenty of arrows at a lot of rags to fill the freezer. But the "hunt" was always more fun than the "kill".

Notice the buck in my profile and unless I pay someone on the "farm", I'm pretty sure it's the last "great" whitetail buck I'll take. Will buy the tag and continue to hunt, but will just have to be happy with the actual "hunt". Isn't that what it's all about? Thanks dad!

McKinney Whitetails Scores with GMS

WACO, Texas — Eleven-year NFL pro Steve McKinney has a passion for whitetail deer which inspired him to begin his own hunting and breeding operation with one goal — produce world-class whitetail at a reasonable price. To achieve that goal, McKinney knew he needed his operation to run as cost-efficiently as possible so he turned to GMS and the revolutionary game management software took his game to an entirely new level.

Designed specifically for the deer and wildlife industry, GMS assists breeding and hunting operations organize and maintain all of the pertinent information needed for quality deer and game management.

“For me, the GMS software is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” says McKinney. “There is so much information to keep track of when raising deer from pedigrees to shot records and GMS allows me to keep detailed records of each deer in a very user-friendly way. So when I need to look something up about a certain deer all I have to do is click one button and it’s all right there. Breeders who are not using this software are definitely making their life more complicated.”

The GMS Sell-A-Deer module allows deer breeders and wildlife managers the ability to automatically upload stored data on a particular animal, including pictures and pedigrees, onto the web for marketing. In addition to its marketing functionality, the Sell-A-Deer module also allows breeders to mix-and-match their deer pedigrees with the pedigrees of other GMS customers. The technology, available as a 12-month subscription service, combines the genetic characteristics and traits of any two deer and pedigree lines and creates a visual ‘what if’ scenario for potential offspring.

“The Sell-A-Deer program by GMS is, by far, the most user-friendly software available today to market your deer,” adds McKinney. “Why people would spend thousands of dollars on their deer herd and not a couple hundred for this program to sell those deer is beyond me. Sell-A-Deer is simple to use and you can update the deer you want to sell in a matter of minutes, rather than going back and forth with your webmaster. The ‘Dream Deer’ function is also a great benefit when trying to match those perfect genetics together before breeding season.”

McKinney Whitetails is located in Marquez, Texas, just a few miles from beautiful Lake Limestone. In 2006, McKinney took over the 10-year breeding operation and made the decision that no deer without a proven pedigree and record of proven performance would enter the property. McKinney has spent years improving his foundation doe herd with laparoscopic artificial insemination from top Northern and Texas bucks with a history of producing superior offspring, and today the ranch features bloodlines from Tommy Dugger, Lee Wheeler, Leo Hicks, Gene Gonzales, Bill Grace and Horn Heaven Whitetails to name a few. For more info, visit McKinney Whitetails.

“The feedback we have received on our new Sell-A-Deer program has been terrific and Steve gives a perfect example of how to use this new module and help a ranch operate more efficiently and increase sales,” says Mike Owens, president of GMS. “The Sell-A-Deer module is a proven tool to help breeders become more profitable and everyone can see it in action at Steve’s website at McKinneyWhitetails

The No. 1 tool in game management, GMS assists breeding and hunting operations and game managers maintain and organize information on their animals, track all aspects of a hunting property, develop plans to help maximize herd health, quantify herd ratios, compositions and age structures, develop a wildlife management plan, schedule hunts, record information in the field via Pocket PC technology and much more.

Press release found at The Hunting Wire

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Big Announcement for Field Dress

Fri. April 11th, I'll announce the news you'll want to make sure you come back to read. Would love to fill you in, however, I have to make sure everything is ready on this end. Meaning my computer skills are lacking and I'm learning this on the go.

But just a little taste for my friends...something about hunting, Field Dress shirt, free, pheasant, trip, and whitetail.

Reporters And Photogs Invited To Bald Eagle Nestling Banding


Get a "behind the scenes" opportunity to join bald eagle biologists in action! The Arizona Game and Fish Department will hold an eagle banding media day, where reporters and photographers will have the rare opportunity to watch biologists climb a high tree to a nest site with eaglets inside. The nestlings will be brought to the ground to receive an identification band, have measurements taken, and to be photographed.

Arizona expects to have nearly 50 breeding pairs of bald eagles this year. This is a great opportunity to have close interaction with one of our nation's patriotic symbols and to learn about the state's management efforts to protect the future of Arizona's eagles.


Thursday, April 9, 2009
9 a.m.


Meet at:
Box Bar Ranch, Rio Verde, AZ

Directions: Take Loop 101 to Scottsdale Road. Go north to Dynamite Boulevard and turn east. Dynamite Boulevard turns into Rio Verde Drive. Go to the dead end (Forest Road) and turn north. Turn immediately east onto Box Bar Ranch Road. Follow the road around and turn left under the Rio Verde Ranch archway. Stay right and follow the road around past the Saddle Club. Continue straight through the wood fence and go around the garage to the large parking area and the "Rio Verde Cookout" sign.


* Kenneth Jacobson, head of the Arizona Game and Fish Department Bald Eagle Management Program
* Kyle McCarty, Arizona Game and Fish Department eagle biologist

Additional Information

R.S.V.P.s are mandatory for this popular media-only event. Media should be prepared for a short hike to the nest site. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring water, snacks and sunscreen.

Please contact Lynda Lambert at (623) 236-7203 to confirm attendance.

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

I always thought something like this would be amazing to watch. Back home, some years ago, the bald eagles migrated to my hometown in "droves". If I remember right, a large part of the river was down and you could grab fish with your bare hands. Easy pickins for our symbol of hope and freedom...they were everywhere.

Don't forget to check out
Field Dress for your hunting and fishing themed t-shirts.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Reminding Wolf Activists Of Modern Wildlife Management

MISSOULA, MONTANA-Modern wildlife management through regulated hunting has never pushed any species to threatened or endangered levels, and there's no science to suggest it would happen with wolves, either.

The Boone and Crockett Club is offering this simple, historical fact to activist groups threatening new lawsuits designed to forestall state management of gray wolves.

"We're calling upon activists to look at the impeccable track record of modern wildlife management, end litigation and join hunter-conservation groups in celebrating the completion of wolf recovery," said Lowell E. Baier, president of the Club.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set May 4 as the next target date for turning gray wolf management over to states. Last month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed removing restored populations of wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species. His announcement celebrated another vanishing-to-flourishing wildlife success story. It also meant that states might soon use hunting to manage wolf populations alongside other resident species.

That's the perfect scenario, says Baier.

"It's time to get on with what's best for both wolves and people. All other game species and their habitats are being carefully managed on balance with biological and cultural carrying capacities. Now that wolf populations have reached and exceeded population goals, they need everyone on board to ensure the balance of protection and management required for top predators in healthy ecosystems," he said.

Baier added, "Lawsuits that block state management authority are not about state borders determining population management, or genetic interchange or more science needed. They're about activist groups not wanting wolves hunted. And that ignores the reality that America is well past the day when one species, especially an alpha predator like the wolf, can be left unmanaged."

A century ago, wolves were nearly extirpated as a stealer of livestock and livelihood in the lower 48 states. Since then, the science of wildlife management has evolved away from extensive predator control. Aldo Leopold was among the first to recognize that all living things in an ecosystem are interrelated. Successfully managing any single component means understanding and managing the whole, including restoring the role of top predators where possible.

Leopold fostered new understanding that just providing blanket protection for one species is not enough. Everything must be managed or conserved together.

About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair-chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship, and is the universally recognized keeper of the records of native North American big game. Member accomplishments include protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the National Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For details, visit

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Don't forget to check out Field Dress for your hunting and fishing themed t-shirts.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Joker One Update

I went to a book-signing for my friend Donovan last week and was excited to see how well he looked and seemed to be doing. A quick hug and small talk led to a lot of thinking of how extremely proud and fortunate I am to know such a fine young man.

Not being an avid book reader and of course being extremely biased, I will just say Joker One is doing well and number 15 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Please go to the official Joker One website to read more or pick up a copy for yourself or someone you know.

Click here to read the First Chapter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Colorado Sheep

My cousin has started to do photography and came across some nice sheep the other day. He is making a trip to Alaska in May and will be sending over some amazing pics. Stay tuned.

Don't forget to check out Field Dress for your hunting and fishing themed t-shirts.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paralyzed Hunter's Video Wins Grand Prize for Friend in Weatherby Contest

PASO ROBLES, California: A hunting buddy helped make Frank McDonald of Ligonier, Indiana, the grand prize winner of the "Why I Want a Weatherby®" Video Contest. Weatherby formally announced all contest prize winners April 1 and posted their videos on the company website.

Garnering the most votes from Weatherby Nation members, the grand prize video shows Dale Hagberg, who is paralyzed, talking from his bed in Ligonier about why he wants a Weatherby rifle for his friend Frank. Hagberg and McDonald hunted together until 1987 when Hagberg was paralyzed in a diving accident.

Hagberg submitted the video, nominating McDonald as the prize recipient. As the grand prize winner, McDonald receives an expense-paid trip to Weatherby headquarters in Paso Robles, California, as well as a hand-selected custom Weatherby rifle. He will tour the facility and meet with company President Ed Weatherby. McDonald will also have the opportunity to personally work with the Weatherby Custom Shop to design his rifle.

"I never dreamed we would really win when I entered but I'm sure glad we did," Hagberg said. "Frank has been such a good friend....This could never repay him for everything he's done, but at least it shows him how I feel. Thank you, Weatherby, for helping me give Frank a once-in-a-lifetime experience and thanks to all the people who voted for us. We couldn't have done it without them." Hagberg noted that since he can't go afield anymore, he especially enjoys McDonald's hunting stories and videos.

"I'm a lucky man only because I have a friend like Dale," McDonald commented. "Now he's made me the winner of a once-in-a-lifetime prize. When he told me about this contest back in August, I thought it would be cool to win, not thinking of the grand prize, but just a prize. As things got going and the voting started, we started hearing from people all over the country in states like Missouri, Arizona and Florida and from so many local people as well. So I would just like to thank Weatherby and all the voters from everywhere. A special thank you to Dale."

The contest began in August 2008. Entrants submitted videos of two minutes or less that demonstrated why they wanted a Weatherby gun. Contest entries were posted on Weatherby Nation, the company's online community for hunters and shooters. Weatherby Nation members voted to determine the winners. Voting ended February 15. More than 68,000 votes were cast. With 6,592 votes, Hagberg's video topped the field of 66 finalists.

"Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to those who entered or voted," said Brad Ruddell, vice president of marketing and sales for Weatherby. "The creativity in a number of the finalist videos was very impressive and reflected a great amount of time, thought and effort. It was quite moving to see onetime hunting buddies and long-time friends win the grand prize. Weatherby is honored that Dale saw our contest as a meaningful opportunity to express appreciation for his bond of friendship with Frank."

Fifteen other contest entrants received Weatherby firearms as prizes:

* Andrew Dwyer, Lincoln, Neb. first prize of a Mark V® Deluxe or Accumark® rifle
* Tommy Kujawa, Greendale, Wis.; and Dusty Compton, Dodd City, Texas second prizes of a Vanguard® Deluxe or Vanguard SUB-MOA rifle
* Dana Wheeless, Brownwood, Texas; John Hamrick, Columbus, Ohio; and Shane Ary, Linden, Tenn. third prizes of Weatherby SA-08 Upland shotguns
* Adam Hamrick, Grove City, Ohio; Tammy Austin, Stillwater, Okla.; Graham Smith, Bloomington, Ind.; Isaac Martin, Telford, Pa. fourth prizes of Vanguard Synthetic rifle packages including rifle, scope, sling and case
* Manuel Lara, Miami, Fla.; Ernest Hedrick, Collegeville, Pa.; Abel Avila, Albuquerque, N.M.; Virginia Faulkner, Minot, N.D.; Matt Ryan, Citrus Heights, Calif. fifth prizes of Vanguard Synthetic rifles

The other finalists received Weatherby Nation prize packs.

Founded in 1945, Weatherby, Inc.'s 2009 line features the popular Vanguard® and legendary Mark V® rifles, over/under and side-by-side shotguns in the classic Athena® and Orion® lines, semi-auto and pump shotguns, premium ammunition and security/shooting accessories. The company is based in Paso Robles and invites all hunters and shooters to visit and join its online community at

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Don't forget to visit Field Dress for your hunting and fishing themed t-shirts

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hunting Africa? Must visit

Jerome, owner of Africa Hunting, has put together an absolute "must visit" site for anyone thinking of hunting africa. Personally, I have never had the opportunity, but have had friends come back with stories and photos unlike anything I've ever seen.

Africa Hunting has everything you would come to expect from a hunting community; forums, profiles, photo galleries, stories ect. However, I found so much more I stayed and looked around much longer than typically. From a business perspective, you can receive a free listing in their Hunting Directory like I did with Field Dress or upgrade for premium placement in searches. Unique sections such as Travelers Warnings and Crime and Rating and Reviews of Outfitters. Other unique items were the Shot Placement Guide, Malaria Map, and Guidelines for Measuring Your Trophy.

So if your planning a trip to Africa or thinking you might someday, start your search off at Africa Hunting, you'll be glad you did.