Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Colorado Three-Legged Eight-Point Bull Elk Lives On

Last fall my cousin had a run-in with the monster bull elk of a lifetime. Read the full post of the Three-Legged Eight-Point Bull Elk. He worked hard the rest of the bow season to catch the bull on film by setting up a bow cam and shot this video of a nice six-point bull coming into about fifty-yards. You'll see he wants to help me out with the Field Dress plug. The funny thing is he didn't even think of shooting this nice bull as he had the monster eight still on his mind.

He was up in the area last weekend and happened to come across some fellas having a conversation about this huge three-legged bull they came across during muzzzle loader season. It appears by all accounts he made it through another year and is getting the small community talking. My cousin is going to be doing some heavy scouting this year to see if we can't get him on film.

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

North Dakota Harsh Conditions Kill Deer

It's been a tough winter back home this year, but I can't remember seeing the results as illustrated with these photos. You would occasionally come across dead deer walking for pheasants and would always see pheasants frozen solid from an overnight low reaching the 75 below windchills.

These photos were taken from a landowner removing the deer from the fields after several continuous days of COLD! Nature at work!

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

North Dakota Snow...Until You've Lived It You Can't Believe It

Growing up in northwestern North Dakota, my family was extremely fortunate to never experience the flooding the eastern part of the state is going through. My family lives on the banks of Lake Sakakajawea and the lake has been down significantly over the last twenty years. With the amount of snowfall this past year, the lake will finally look like the one I remember from my youth. Although I feel extremely excited about going home with my family this summer to enjoy the lake, my heart goes out to my North Dakota neighbors.

These photos were sent to my father of the snow between a couple small towns nearby and the plowing of the train tracks. Just another day in North Dakota.

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

DU and Partners Receive $1 Million for North Carolina Wetlands Conservation

Federal NAWCA grant supports long-term wetland conservation

GREENVILLE, North Carolina - Ducks Unlimited and partners received a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant for protection and enhancement of over 20,000 acres of diverse wildlife habitat in southeastern North Carolina. Partners contributed over $3 million in matching funds toward the federal grant.

"Over 50 percent of North Carolina's original wetlands have been lost," said Craig LeSchack, Ducks Unlimited Director of Conservation Programs for North Carolina. "This region is experiencing unprecedented growth and development, and the threats of wetland loss, degradation and fragmentation increase each year."

The four project sites are located within the Holly Shelter Game Lands in Pender County, the Suggs Mill Pond Game Lands in Bladen County, and within a newly acquired public game land along the Lower Cape Fear River.

"We plan to enhance managed wetlands on the two existing state game lands," LeSchack said. "As part of this project, the 1,440-acre Whitehall Plantation in Bladen County will be permanently protected through incorporation into the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Game Lands Program."

This grant is an important part of ongoing conservation efforts in North Carolina. The projects included in the proposal partially compensate for the region's loss of seasonally flooded forested wetlands. Local and regional water quality, recreational and educational opportunities will be enhanced.

"Like all of our projects, the partners involved in this one made it possible," LeSchack said. Ducks Unlimited is partnering with The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund to deliver the project. All of the work will take place on North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission lands.

"The NCWRC is proud to participate with our conservation partners in the acquisition of the Whitehall Tract. The property borders the Cape Fear River and provides outstanding habitat to support good numbers of whitetail deer, wild turkey, various species of waterfowl, neotropical migrants, wading birds and Swallow-tailed Kites. The land will be incorporated into the Game Land Program in the future where the citizens of our state will have the opportunity to experience the wonderment of the Cape Fear floodplain," NCWRC Coastal Supervisor Tommy Hughes said.

In Washington, D.C., Ducks Unlimited's governmental affairs staff works with Congress to garner support for annual funding of NAWCA. To date, NAWCA has helped fund more than 1,800 wetland projects on 24 million acres in all 50 states, every province of Canada, and areas in Mexico. In North Carolina alone, NAWCA projects have conserved over 68,000 acres.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization having conserved over 12 million acres.
The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - natures' most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Press release found at The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Join Outdoor Writers for 'Words, Pictures, Money' Conference

Missoula, Montana - Several hundred outdoors communicators are expected to participate in Outdoor Writers Association of America's (OWAA) annual conference; this year's theme, "Words, Pictures & Money."

OWAA's 82nd conference will offer opportunities for education, skills enhancement and networking among members of the outdoor communications industry.

Members of the outdoor media will meet June 13-16, 2009, at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. A few of the featured sessions:

Trade Secrets: Tips on Tapping into an Oft-Ignored Market. Ideas from trade magazine editors can give you important insights on how to successfully break into this market. Speaker: Glenn Sapir.

Beyond Hook & Bullet Writing: Success in other venues. Outdoor writers who label themselves as such may be overlooking a key marketing angle. Speaker: Tom Huggler.

Amortizing your digital assets. In a time when the industry is being squeezed out of the old ways by economic forces, it's a new way of considering valuation of work. Speaker: Jim Shepherd.

Making Money from Small Publications. Learn how to work for smaller markets and use them to make a good living.
Speaker: Wayne Van Zwoll.

The Future of Radio. What lies ahead for this medium and for those who depend on it to earn a living? Where is outdoor radio is headed in the next decade? Speaker: Wade Bourne.

Profitable Travel Writing in Tough Times. With outdoor markets drying up, it's only natural to consider travel markets. Speaker: Chris Batin.

Setting up a Digital Photo Show. Setting up a riveting and successful digital photo show using ProShow Gold.
Speaker: Tom Ulrich.

Viral Journalism - Spreading the word through social networking. Come and see what your colleagues are doing to take advantage of the opportunities in cyberspace. Speaker: Anthony Jones.

Meet the Editors Event. Meet with acquisitions editors to discuss their editorial needs and sell your work. Editor participants, so far: Craig Springer, Eddies Magazine; Paul Queneau, Bugle Magazine; Phil Bloom, Outdoor Indiana Magazine; Wayne van Zwoll, Intermedia Outdoors. Ten acquisitions editors expected.

Blog: Stupid name, Stupendous Potential. Find out why every outdoor communicator should have a blog. Speakers: Paul Queneau, Matthew Miller.

The Big Three: USFWS, USFS and BLM. Representatives from the Big Three federal land and resources management agencies will give their perspective on the Obama administration's changes to land-use policies.

Why Let the Kids Have All the Fun? Find out how you can utilize your own personal podcasts as additional income or method to promote your writing, photography or radio-television broadcasts. Speaker: Jim Ferguson.

Attend OWAA's conference and partake in the above sessions and annual favorites including the Scavenger Hunt Photo Contest, Nutty Irishman Bash, the OWAA Auction and hospitalities. Special this year is a Ladies Only Shooting Event sponsored by Smith & Wesson. Plus an extraordinary welcome from the Grand Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau. At this event, learn about Hemingway's Michigan at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.

Join OWAA and your friends June 13-16, 2009, at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich.!

Complete Meeting Agenda: http://owaa.org/Conf_Pages/2009/agenda.html

To Register: http://owaa.org/Conf_Pages/2009/registration.html

Travel/Lodging: http://owaa.org/Conf_Pages/2009/lodging.html

General Information: http://www.owaa.org/Conf_Pages/2009/FAQ.html

To learn more about OWAA's 82nd conference, contact OWAA Conference Planner Robin Giner at rginer@owaa.org or 406-728-7434, or visit the OWAA Web site: http://www.owaa.org/Conf_Pages/2009/index.html

Outdoor Writers Association of America is the oldest and largest association of professional outdoor communicators in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by members of the Izaak Walton League of America and includes professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. OWAA's professionals include writers, photographers, outdoors radio and television show hosts, book authors, videographers, lecturers and artists. The association is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For more information, go to www.owaa.org .

Press release found at The Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sportsman's Warehouse Ends Speculation By Filing For Bankruptcy Protection

On Saturday, Sportsman's Warehouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing ends speculation that the Midvale, Utah based outdoor chain was struggling for survival despite announcing the closure of twenty-three stores, layoff of nearly 2,000 employees and the exchange of fifteen other stores to Canada's United Farmers of Alberta cooperative as repayment of a late-2008 cash infusion.

That infusion was originally to have been the first phase of an acquisition of eighty percent of the chain by UFA. After due diligence, however, UFA said it was no longer pursuing the acquisition, instead taking fifteen stores along the Canadian border as repayment for the capital infusion in late 2008.

In the Saturday bankruptcy filing, the company listed assets of $436.4 million with liabilities of $452.1 million. Chief Financial Officer Rourk Kemp said in the court filings the company "another retailer victim of the worldwide global recession." Industry observers, however, say the company was victim of an overly aggressive and fatally-flawed business model.

A Chapter 11 filing is not a liquidation proceeding. It gives a company legal breathing room while it attempts to reorganize itself going forward. During that process, the company will keep its twenty-nine remaining stores open, continue to pay employees' wages and benefits and honor customer returns and exchanges and gift-card programs.

The filing says the company has secured $85 million in financing from GE Capital Corporation that will be available to it while it is under the Chapter 11 protections.

In the meantime, there are thirty unsecured creditors owed more than $34.2 million dollars who are watching the matter very closely.

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mississippi Native Will Primos Wins Conservation Achievement Award

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA- Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2009 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards at the 74th annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

DU's Wetland Achievement Awards recognize individuals who have made Will and Mary Primos at their Rivers Run Tract outstanding contributions to the restoration and conservation of North America's wetlands and waterfowl. The awards are presented in six categories. This year's recipient for the Conservation/Private Citizen award is Will Primos of Madison, Mississippi.

"These individuals have each had a tremendous impact on North America's waterfowl habitat," said DU Executive Vice President Don Young as he presented the awards. "DU is proud to recognize their contributions and hopes their personal achievements inspire others to engage in conservation."

Primos is the founder and president of Primos Hunting Calls. A philanthropist, hunter, conservationist and waterfowl enthusiast, Primos demonstrated a passion for wildlife from an early age. Childhood hunting trips with his father Kenneth and uncles Gus, Billy and Aleck only intensified his innate interest in wildlife.

"The sights and sounds of wetlands when they are full of ducks is enough of an award for me, but to be recognized by DU for my small contribution to the places that waterfowl call home in summer and winter only inspires me to do more," Primos said. Today Primos Hunting Calls is a major brand in the outdoor industry, providing skillfully crafted calls for waterfowl, deer, elk, predator and turkeys as well as manufacturing some 300 hunting accessories that make our days in the field more successful. Primos has also developed a successful video series called "The Truth" and two popular television shows titled "Primos' Truth About Hunting" and "Primos Truth about Whitetails." In addition to his contributions to the outdoor industry, Primos is an energetic supporter of DU.

"Primos Hunting Calls is a DU Corporate Sponsor, and Will has helped DU in numerous other ways, especially in the pursuit of major sponsors and foundation support for the cause of wetlands conservation. Will has been unwavering in his support for DU and conservation in general, serving many times as a spokesman, presenter and master of ceremonies at DU events," said DU Director of Land Protection Jimmy Emfinger who nominated him for the award.

Further demonstrating his commitment to conservation, Primos holds a property under a conservation easement and actively encourages others to consider perpetual protection of their recreational lands. The Rivers Run property in Leflore and Humphreys counties in Mississippi was a good wildlife property when Primos acquired it, and through his efforts, it has become an outstanding wildlife property. Primos worked with DU to help restore hundreds of acres of agriculture to bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands.

"Will spares no expense in seeing that wildlife needs, especially those of waterfowl, are met at Rivers Run," Emfinger said.

Primos was educated in the public schools in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Belhaven College in 1974. He worked in the family business until 1989 when he decided to pursue his passion for making game calls. He and his wife Mary spend their time working, traveling, hunting and enjoying the outdoors, especially at Rivers Run.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Taking the day off!

Going to recharge and enjoy them family today. The picture is a little over a year old. You think we have our hands full...we have another son due in six weeks. We're doomed.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oops...fishing accidents

This guys knows what he's doing. Nothing that a little whiskey couldn't take care of.

This one might take a little more finesse.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Busch Family Mansion Site of POMA Event

The Busch Family Mansion at St. Louis was announced as the site of the Professional Outdoor Media Association's (POMA) 2009 Business Conference Kickoff Event, July 29, 2009. Attendees will enjoy an evening lawn party at the mansion and touring the spectacular private home. POMA's conference is schedule for July 29 - August 1, 2009 (www.professionaloutdoormedia.org).

"POMA thanks Adolphus Busch IV for allowing POMA to kick off our conference at his family's home," said Chris Chaffin, POMA president. "Touring the home and learning more about the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance (www.grha.net), which Mr. Busch chairs, will certainly be conference highlights."

"There is no doubt that POMA's business conference is more important than ever for folks looking to spend wisely," added Pete Brownell, president of Brownells. "Any time you can connect with several hundred industry professional in one location, you've got to do it. Add in the chance to tour the Busch mansion and it's really a no-brainer."

The private ancestral home of the Busch family is part of the 281-acre Grant's Farm (www.grantsfarm.com), which takes its name from the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. Today, Grant's Farm, operated by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., is open to the public and is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 100 different species from six continents.

Grant's Farm has been a St. Louis tradition for over five decades and is preserved as a living symbol of the Busch family's love for animals and Anheuser-Busch's commitment to wildlife conservation and preservation. Admission is free and reservations are not required.

"During these tough economic times, conference attendees can make the most of their travel and public relations dollars," said POMA Executive Director, Laurie Lee Dovey. "In addition to visiting the Busch Mansion, POMA Business Conference attendees have access to a wide range of hard-hitting, business-building seminars, a firearms testing event, equipment showcase and tackle testing event, and opportunities to network with hundreds of outdoor journalists, industry representatives and peers. That's a lot of bang for the buck."

The honorees of POMA's 2nd Annual Pinnacle Awards, presented by Mossy Oak will also be announced at the event. The Pinnacle Awards honor excellence in communications that are focused on the traditional outdoor sports and wildlife conservation.

All outdoor journalists and industry professionals are invited to attend the conference. Visit www.professionaloutdoormedia.org for complete details and to register. The host facility is the Marriott St. Louis West.

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Investor Update

The business plan is in the hands of Mr. X and I'm anxiously waiting for a response from Mr. Z. See previous post "Who you know" to catch up on the details. I had to change the the name "moneyman" to Mr. Z., just seemed a little classier.

So its wait and see time. The lunch meeting apparently went well as I received an email from Mr. X and he said "I was impressed with you and your story, and you can count me as an ambassador for you and your product." He was thinking about other avenues to help me out and mentioned a friends ranch and a certain outdoors radio personality when he said "Would love to take you up to his place and arrange a meeting with "radio-man" so as to get further exposure for Field Dress." Everything sounds great, but this is really the time I hate. I'm not very adept and sitting back and letting things happen. I keep feeling "I have to make it happen" or it will never get done.

My dilemma...do I...
1) wait for either a response from Mr. X or Mr. Z
2) wait for an invite to the ranch
3) wait for an introduction to the "radio-man"

or do I facilitate some sort of action with an inquiry? Your feedback would be appreciated.

***********On a side-note...my twins turned two yesterday and I can't remember the last couple years. Kind of scary how fast time flies. I have to continue to remind myself life is short and stay balanced. On that note, work is going to be secondary this week to family. The weather is supposed to be great this week and most schools have "spring break", so I am going to try to be a more accessible daddy. Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is it about to become us versus them?

When the National Park Service decided to ban lead in fishing tackle and ammunition from properties under their control, they probably thought this was another of their little surprised that would stay under the radar. Instead, they've found themselves justifiably pilloried by a wide array of organizations representing the hunting and fishing communities and several state legislatures who find their capricious rule-making more than a little offensive.

At this point, the idea of politicians getting angry over bad regulatory policy seems a bit disingenuous, but hey, allies are allies when it comes to the National Park Service.

Anyway, only one group has sent us a release supporting the news that by 2010 the use of lead for fishing or hunting would be banned in the National Park System- the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF has been on the leading edge of the move to ban lead, and has incurred the wrath of hunters and anglers. Groups who have affiliated with the NWF have also found their motives questioned.

The primary fishing and shooting organizations have come out swinging over the decision. The National Shooting Sports Foundation called the decision "arbitrary, over-reactive, and not based on science."

The American Sportfishing Association says the ban runs "counter to the president's memo on transparency in government." ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson says "Their intention to eliminate the use of lead in fishing tackle in national parks was made without prior consultation of the sportfishing industry or the millions of recreational anglers who fish within the national park system."

"In his January 21, 2009, Executive Memo to federal agency and department heads, President Obama made it very clear that he expects the federal government to be transparent, participatory and collaborative and that 'executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information.' We expect the National Park Service to follow the President's order."

Unfortunately, that expectation may be misplaced.

In West Virginia, where the New River Gorge National River covers a vast area of land - and is under NPS administration, state officials are questioning whether the NPS policy violates states' rights. West Virginia wildlife chief Curtis Taylor has gone on record as believing this decision "will come down to the powers of the states versus the power of the federal government."

Having just returned from a fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas, I know from conversations with guides and anglers that this decision isn't one they plan to take without making their opposition known.

In three-days of fishing, the secret weapon for catching fish during our trip was a simple white maribou jig. Under NPS regulations, those same jigs would become banned. As one guide remarked, "the government has more than showed they want to tell us what to do, eat, and think. I've already had about enough of their telling me how to behave when they're doing whatever they please - with our money."

West Virginia officials may have mirrored the rest of the country's concerns with their considered opposition. As they've indicated a willingness to "come to the table" and dialogue with NPS officials, they're also on record as saying NPS officials coming to the table with a preconceived notion that banning all lead ammo and fishing tackle is the way to go. If that were the case, they told the Charleston Gazette, "it would be difficult to have an effective dialogue under those circumstances."

The NPS may be facing a lot of difficult dialogues with this seemingly unilateral decision.

Posted by Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who you know!

Several years ago I moved to a different house and neighborhood only to meet a family I now consider family. To get to the point of the post without getting too sappy, they've introduced me to my wife and just recently have put a potential investor on my doorstep. Now the personal introduction to my wife has blessed us with twins and another due in May. Lord help me! What will the professional introduction yield...it's going to be fun finding out.

When I originally founded Field Dress, I contacted someone I knew whom always said if I come up with something, give him a call. He's one of the really "good guys" and although not an outdoorsman, took the time to look at the business plan and take a meeting. He loved the designs and concept compared to the competition (won't mention), but was weary about the apparel industry. He passed my plan onto his company's financial department and they combed through it only to find the numbers work...even if I came up with the numbers a little bit backasswards from their professional accounting practices.

Next, he brought in a couple of associates who were familiar with the apparel industry, but again, not outdoorsman. They liked the designs and concept, however weren't completely sold on the staying power of the name Field Dress. Surprised me too...again, not outdoorsman. My investor made a requirement at this time however, IF he decided to move forward, he wanted his associate involved in the day to day operations. With my ego in check, I completely agreed. I just want Field Dress to work and take it to the masses.

We were then waiting on the responses of two other departments and this is where I made the fatal decision. When it came to retaining the services of someone in marketing/advertising and a sales representative firm, I contacted whom I believed to be the best in both. Each were a tough sale for separate reasons.

First, the sales/marketing firm represented the competition and it would be a conflict of interest to take me on as a client. I would have to convince them to drop they're $100,000 gauranteed annual billing and represent Field Dress, an unknown. Secondly, the sales rep firm also represented a "thousand pound gorilla" in the industry and were coming out with their own t-shirt line. Well, I'm pretty good at sales, but I have more common sense to believe I'm that good. Both, after multiple meetings and calls had to respectfully decline. Although, I respect their decision, I also can't wait to rub it in a bit, IF Field Dress makes a run. My mistake? I should've also been talking to some other quality firms. Could've made a difference in my contact's decision to sit in "wait and see" mode.

So, we'll see how this one plays out. The new contact, we'll call him Mr. X, is more of a middle man for the "moneyman". Mr. X and I had a wonderful lunch meeting and more than anything, I am happy to know him. Mr. X is an outdoorsman and I'm confident we'll spend some time in the field together. The next step is getting Mr. X the business plan and wait for the next phone call, email, or text. This is where the fun begins.

And yes dad, you always told me "it's not what you know, but who you know".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Must See Sites

Been tough getting back in the saddle after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation show this past weekend. Set-up last Wed. and exhibit Thurs.-Sun...all day. I believe they were expecting 50-70,000 visitors, but sadly, I would say no more than 20,000 walked through the exhibit hall. I knew we were in trouble when Wayne Carlton, of Carlton Calls, had a presentation for maybe seventy-five people, when it was set-up for a couple hundred. He was amazing though, throwing out sounds I've only heard on the mountain.

So, although the show was disappointing to many, I was very fortunate to have several other exhibitors as neighbors, whom made the weekend worthwhile. Next door was Charlie Paynter of Quinlan Ranches, a soft-spoken, easy-going man who knows the meaning of customer service. Quinlan Ranches looks top-notch and also is providing year-round enjoyment through a camping program they're initiating. Big bulls, muleys, fishing, and 1700 acres of beautiful scenery make Quinlan Ranch a "gold star" on my map of "someday go to's".
For more information contact Charlie Paynter at 505-699-6621 or got to Quinlan Ranches.

Directly across from us was Big Game Outfitters of Mexico and Mr. Carlos Hermosillo, his wife, and daughter, Carla. Wonderful family run operation that has been part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for twenty years. Big Game Outfitters offers Desert Mule Deer, Sheep, turkey and other varieties of game birds. Now, I knew sheep hunts were expensive, however I didn't know I would be buying a new truck, and a pimped-out one at that, if I ever decided to go after one. Fantastic family and I promise I'll make the trip to take a Desert Muley in the near future. Carlos just so happens to own the 2nd largest muley in the world which he took a couple of years back. He gave me a couple of cigars to enjoy throughout the show and at the end of the day I did just that.

For more information about Big Game Outfitters of Mexico contact Carlos at (52) 55-5671-2064.

Next to Charlie was Lorenzo Ghiglieri, an artist of unequaled talent and story telling ability...at least in my opinion. If you contact Lorenzo, you had better have time to talk because you will hear stories that will leave you wanting to know more about this man and his history. The best way I can try to describe him is "walking and talking history". He has personally met the Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and King Juan Carlos to name a few and each are the distinguished owners of his works. Personally, I love his Eagle Sculptures and hope to sell a million t-shirts to be able to someday afford one for my humble home.

For more information contact Lorenzo at 1-877-551-4441.

The show may not of yielded the sales I would have hoped for, but my new friends more than made up for it and I will consider the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Expo a success.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stedi-Stock

What is the Stedi-Stock? Taken from the Stedi-Stock website - Stedi-Stock® optical stabilizer allows the user to interchange their optical devices, (35mm camera, digital camera, Camcorder, or spotting scope) on one steady stock platform, providing stability like a tripod, with the maneuverability of the device itself.

To me the proof is in the pudding...and the show this past weekend demonstrated the Stedi-Stock is here to stay. People walking around the show with their cameras didn't know what hit them once they put their device on the Stedi-Stock. All of a sudden they had to have it and you could see Stedi-Stock walking around the show in every direction. Only six ounces and made of nylon, you can take it with you and be confident it won't weigh you down or break in the bag.

Spotting scopes...come on, when was the last time it left the truck. With the stedi-stock you can actually take it with you. Filming the big hunt, Stedi-Stock works with all types of video equipment and have accessories to boot. Whether its the quick release or clamp, Stedi-Stock will make your videos and pictures that much better.

Give Harold or Deb a shout for more information. This truely is a great product.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Joker One - Released

When I first moved to Dallas, working in a gym as a trainer for the rich and shameless, I was extremely fortunate to have met the Campbell's. A family I have looked to for guidance and friendship over the years, they are unlike any family I've ever known. And that's saying a lot considering my family is about as strong as one could ever hope.

The oldest son of four, I worked with Donovan during his football years in high school. He went to a private school, graduated from Princeton with honors, and joined the marines. Rather than taking a job of his choice, he decided it was his calling to help lead other young men. After returning from his first tour of duty, he was accepted to the graduate program at Harvard Business School. When the Marines called asking for him to return to service, he returned for another tour. He was married, starting a family, on his way to a successful career, and he returns to duty. I can't imagine making those decisions or being his parents as he made them. I'm truely having a hard time writing about someone I admire so much...I can't seem to come up with the right words to describe Donovan. He's an amazing young man and I'm a better person for knowing him.

I hope you will pick up a copy and tell your friends. Please email me any comments or correspondence you would like to have with Donovan.

The following is taken from RandomHouse Publishing

After graduating from Princeton, Donovan Campbell, motivated by his unwavering patriotism and commitment, decided to join the service, realizing that becoming a Marine officer would allow him to give back to his country, engage in the world, and learn to lead. In this immediate, thrilling, and inspiring memoir, Campbell recounts a timeless and transcendent tale of brotherhood, courage, and sacrifice.

As commander of a forty-man infantry platoon called Joker One, Campbell had just months to train and transform a ragtag group of brand-new Marines into a first-rate cohesive fighting unit, men who would become his family: Sergeant Leza, the house intellectual who read Che Guevara; Sergeant Mariano Noriel, the “Filipino ball of fire” who would become Campbell’s closest confidant and friend; Lance Corporal William Feldmeir, a narcoleptic who fell asleep during battle; and a lieutenant known simply as “the Ox,” whose stubborn aggressiveness would be more curse than blessing.

Campbell and his men were assigned to Ramadi, that capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province that was an explosion just waiting to happen. And when it did happen–with the chilling cries of “Jihad, Jihad, Jihad!” echoing from minaret to minaret–Campbell and company were there to protect the innocent, battle the insurgents, and pick up the pieces. After seven months of day-to-day, house-to-house combat, nearly half of Campbell’s platoon had been wounded, a casualty rate that went beyond that of any Marine or Army unit since Vietnam. Yet unlike Fallujah, Ramadi never fell to the enemy.

Told by the man who led the unit of hard-pressed Marines, Joker One is a gripping tale of a leadership, loyalty, faith, and camaraderie throughout the best and worst of times.

Review Quotes from Donovan's peers:

“Donovan Campbell, first as a Marine and then as a writer, shows us that the dominant emotion in war isn’t hatred or anger or fear. It’s love. His story stands as a poignant tribute to his men–their courage, their dedication, their skill, and their love for one another, even unto death. This is a deeply moving book.”
–Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

“Joker One is the finest small-unit description of a platoon at war in Iraq. Hang on and cheer them on.”
–Bing West, author of The Strongest Tribe

“Joker One is the real goods, what Hemingway called ‘the true gen.’ The classic military story: one platoon leader, the men of his platoon, and the impossibility and urgency of the assignment. The book will sharply take its place in ranks beside Black Hawk Down and Jarhead. If you want to know what American fighting will look like in this century, you need to read Campbell. Like the best stories, military and nonmilitary, it’s a story about love, community, and a brotherhood.”
–David Lipsky, author of Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point

“Donovan Campbell was a platoon commander in the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in Anbar in 2004–the unit that had my flank. In Joker One, he tells the story of that hard fight from the ground level better than I thought possible. This is how it was in Ramadi in 2004, before the Surge, before the Awakening, when Iraq fell apart. And this is what it is like to lead men in battle. Read this book if you are going to war, or if you have gone to war, or if you want to know what war is.”
–Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl (Ret.), “Centurion 3,” author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife

"So many "soldier books" emerge from America's wars. Many are overstated; this one is not. It is an honest down-in-the-dust-and-rubble look at young Marines."
–Stu Weber,author of the bestselling Tender Warrior

“Joker One hits you right in the gut. This book is boils years of politics and debate down into an extremely harrowing and human story about what it means to be a grunt. Joker One is heartfelt, thoughtful and exciting depiction of modern warfare that will surely stand the test of time. Campbell’s story is more than about war; it is about service, family, dedication and leadership. His voice is powerful, compelling and clear. In Joker One, this young writer emerges as a voice for the millions of us who have served in America’s defense since 9-11. Campbell speaks about what is most important in life, and America should be listening.
–Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, and author of Chasing Ghosts

“Donovan demonstrates, in a very engaging way, truly authentic values based leadership; inspired by faith, anchored in discipline and lived out in true love for his men.”
–Steve Reinemund, Chairman and CEO, Retired - PepsiCo, Dean of Business and Professor of Leadership and Strategy, Wake Forest University

Read more reviews here

Monday, March 9, 2009

World Record Desert Mule Deer & Rainbow Trout

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Pics

The following are pictures of the elk making the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Tour.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New State Record Bear And Moose

The Vermont Big Game Trophy Club has recently certified three new state records in the bear and moose categories. On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2009 VBGTC Director of Big Game Records, Curtis Smiley, measured and certified new state records for hunter killed black bear and moose.

On November 11, 1989, in the town of Stamford, Robert Costine killed a male black bear whose skull has finally been officially measured with a resulting score of 20 7/16. This score easily eclipsed the former hunter killed state record bear which was killed by Raymond Forrest in 1996 and scored 20 4/16. The Costine bear has been submitted for entry into the Boone and Crockett Club "Records of North American Big Game". This represents the fourth time in the last 6 months that the state record bear skull score has fallen. The all-time record bear skull for Vermont came from a nuisance bear killed in Maidstone in July of 2008 with a score of 21 5/16.

That record however is not the only state record for bear to be reestablished this week. In September of 1965, James Thomas killed a monster bear in the town of Norton that was weighed on certified scales at 525 pounds clean dressed. The Thomas bear recently came to light when Mr. Thomas contacted the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club and provided a photograph and supporting documents from the Vermont Fish and Game Department which verified his claim. The previously recognized record for clean dressed weight for a Vermont bear was 514 pounds and was killed by Craig Tanner in the town of Lemington in 1986.

During the 2002 moose season, Robert Dewey killed a world class Canada moose in the town of Woodford with a 64 3/8" outside spread. When this moose was scored last week it was certified with a VBGTC score of 208 7/8, making the Dewey moose the new number one moose in the VBGTC records. This moose has been submitted for entry into the Boone and Crockett Club "Records of North American Big Game" with a net score of 195 3/8 making it the number two Vermont moose taken in fair chase by a hunter. The Dale Potter moose will remain at number one by net score at 196 2/8.

Vermont's biggest buck measured to date for the 2008 deer season was killed by Skip Woodruff in the town of Windham during the muzzleloader season. After the official drying period, Skip's deer measured an incredible 151 1/8. We expect to have these trophies and many more on display on April 4th, 2009 at the 1st Vermont Big Game Trophy Club Trophy Show and Awards Banquet at the Canadian Club in Barre. The trophy show is open to the public from 10-5. Admission at the door for adults is $5.00 and children under 16 are free.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Mossy Oak Pro Staffer Lodwick Claims Two Gold Medals

LIBEREC, CZECH REPUBLIC - Todd Lodwick, a Mossy Oak Pro Staff member,took home two gold medals at the Nordic world championships February 21 and 22 in Liberec, Czech Republic. His victories capped an outstanding week of competition by U.S. winter athletes.

The 32-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colo., claimed his first medal at a major international event in Friday's mass start. Lodwick competed in four Olympics and six world championships before retiring after the 2006 Torino Games. Until this season, his best individual result at worlds was 13th in 2005.

He added his second gold in Sunday's individual Gundersen event, a jump on the 100-meter hill followed by a 10K cross country race. U.S. teammate Bill Demong took bronze - the first time two Americans have shared the podium at worlds.

It has been a special season for Lodwick, who returned to training last summer after taking nearly two years off to spend time with his wife and children. He won silver medals in his first two World Cup competitions this fall.

Lodwick recently joined the Mossy Oak Pro Staff. Not only is he a successful skier, he also loves hunting and just being outdoors.

"We grew up with a love to be outdoors and a family that holds the traditions of hunting close to the heart. I still continue those traditions in every season of the year. Whether it is big game or a big mountain, I love to hunt and ski out West," said Lodwick.

For more information about Todd Lodwick, log on to www.usskiteam.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TRCP Addresses Impacts of Climate Change at House Hearing

Sportsmen discuss threats posed by climate change to public-lands hunting and fishing, urge decisive action by Congress

WASHINGTON - Sportsmen advocated for federal management practices that sustain fish and wildlife populations in the face of global climate change at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced. The sportsmen's testimony, submitted jointly by the TRCP and American Wildlands, emphasizes the need to safeguard migration corridors and other crucial public-lands habits in addressing the landscape-level effects of climate change, which is subject to increased funding under the proposed budget for 2010.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates how climate change can fundamentally alter American landscapes, economies and recreational traditions, particularly those that rely on federal public lands. As fish and wildlife habitat, abundance and distribution shift in response to a changing climate, patterns of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities likewise could follow suit. The Tuesday oversight hearing convened by the House Committee on Natural Resources' National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee evaluated the role public lands can play in mitigating the effects of climate change and weighed the distribution of millions of dollars to federal agencies to address threats to natural resources on these lands.

"Climate change has the potential to impair our fish and wildlife populations and outdoor traditions," said William Geer, who directs the TRCP's Western lands office and has worked on conservation issues for more than three decades. "Our ability to address the challenges presented by climate change now will determine the future of our iconic landscapes, the animals that inhabit them and our ability to hunt and fish."

"By taking decisive action to protect crucial areas of fish and wildlife habitat like migration corridors, the federal government has an opportunity to address the potentially devastating impacts of global climate change," said Rick Ridgeway, founder of the Freedom to Roam coalition and well-known mountaineer and outdoor adventurer. "If important habitat areas become isolated or fragmented by climate change, the survival of large mammals, as well as numerous smaller species, could be gravely threatened."Freedom to Roam unites a range of diverse stakeholders to forge solutions to the threats that human encroachment and global warming present to the survival of America's wildlife.

Sportsmen stress the importance of public lands, including those administered by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, in providing habitat connectivity and wildlife movement corridors at a regional level. American Wildlands' Corridors of Life program works to identify and conserve habitat links in the northern Rockies in concert with ongoing efforts by local, state, regional and national entities and in collaboration with federal and state biologists.

"Obviously, maintaining the ecological connections and wildlife movement corridors between major wildland habitats presents an enormous challenge," said Jim Roscoe, Corridors of Life program coordinator for AWL, "and the central role of our public lands in responding to this challenge cannot be overstated. Americans are counting on our federal government to guarantee adequate funding and the appropriate management to conserve these critical habitat linkages and secure the future of our irreplaceable fish and wildlife resources."

Accelerating climate change is acknowledged by the sportsmen's community as a serious threat to America's hunting and fishing opportunities. Eight of the TRCP's partner organizations recently released "Season's End," a report detailing the predicted impacts of climate change on the habitat and distribution of fish and game in the United States and the implications for sustainable hunting and fishing. A sequel presenting strategies, measures and costs to help fish and wildlife adapt to global climate change is scheduled for release in 2009.

"In adapting to climate change, securing funding for fish and wildlife management is critical," concluded Geer, who formerly directed the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "The appropriate tools and resources will equip wildlife management agencies to capably administer fish and wildlife resources and mitigate the effects of climate change."

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Field Dress to Exhibit at Elk Camp

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman who's company is called Stedi-Stock. I had contacted him to literally pick his brain regarding the Stedi-Stock and what he was experiencing in the outdoor industry.

After an hour of constant conversation, he asked if I was attending the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Expo. I put all shows aside this year and told him my strategy for 2009...grow at the grass-roots level and "survive". He then offered me space in his booth. His generosity surprised me and I really thought it was too good to be true, but he persisted.

So the team of Stedi-Stock and Field Dress will be side by side and if you get a chance to come by the show, please stop in and say "hi". Also, please visit the Stedi-Stock website and say hi to Harold, a true gentleman and outdoorsman.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Resource for Food Plot Information

Whitetails Unlimited members interested in establishing and maintaining food plots have a new resource for information. J. Wayne Fears, who has researched, developed and wrote about food plots literally from the beginning of the concept, now has a regular column in the pages of Whitetails Unlimited Magazine.

Fears, who has been managing and writing about white-tailed deer for some 50 years, did his first research on food plots in the late 1960s. He has degrees from Auburn University and the University of Georgia, and his half-century of hands-on experience as a game and property manager, researcher, hunter and outdoor journalist give him the skills to provide WTU members with easily understandable information on this wide topic. Fears is the author of more than 20 books and 4,200 magazine articles.

Titled "The Food Plot Doctor," Fears uses questions that are e-mailed by WTU members as the basis for the topics he writes about. While he can't answer specific e-mails, the column will highlight questions or problems that readers are having with food plots, making his column both topical and informative.

"Our members now have a direct line to one of the most knowledgeable sources anywhere on the topic of food plots," said Whitetails Unlimited Magazine Editor Jeff Davis. "J. Wayne is one of those people who is at the top of his profession, but at the same time he's always eager to learn more. I watched him at an industry food plot seminar, and he was asking great questions, down on his hands and knees crawling through food plots looking at plants, and drawing additional information out of the company biologists. It was a real lesson on how a journalist should work. When you couple that with his clear, informative, and easy to read writing style, you can understand why I'm excited about having his work in the pages of Whitetails Unlimited Magazine." Whitetails Unlimited Magazine is published four times a year, and distributed to approximately 90,000 members across the U.S. As the column goes forward, the preceding four Food Plot Doctor columns will be archived on the Whitetails Unlimited website.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire