Friday, November 30, 2012

Starting an Outdoor Related Business - Part Two

deer, buck, rut, field dress

We've looked at the numbers and although participating outdoorsman are down, spending is up and has been consistent for the last ten years. It's easy to understand why statistics demonstrate this consistent pattern...hunting and fishing is our passion. We value getting in the tree stand, on the water, or beating the brush as much as kids do their Halloween candy or their Thomas the Train collection. That passion leads to tremendous business opportunities in the field.

Alright, you have a product or service that is going to revolutionize the industry. What next? Understand your competition. Spend as much time as you can educating yourself on who they are and what makes them successful. Once you've determined the who, answer one extremely important question. What makes my product/service better or unique? I know you think it's great, as well as all your friends and family, but when your asking for their opinions, follow-up with the question; Would you be willing to invest  on the ground floor of this wonderful opportunity and see how many say "yes"...with a check in hand. So now you have a great idea, your cash in the account, and maybe some help from friends and family.

For this series of posts, we'll forget about discussing in great detail assumed names, LLC, LLP, sole proprietor, patent search, trademarks, copyrights, non-disclosure agreements, logo development, website development, trade shows, social networking, and blogging. So where do we start? For the time being, I'll give you some of the mistakes I made and what I would do differently in hindsight.

First, determine your capital needs since most companies fail in the first two-years due to under capitalization. Take credit cards off the table unless your wife won't mind having the minivan repossessed and a bankruptcy on your credit. If you have a product, you will more than likely have to raise capital. You probably will know someone, who knows someone, who might have an uncle, who's brother-in-law might invest. First mistake I made. Treat everyone you meet as a serious investor and pitch it until you hear the word "no" or "not interested". Get as many people interested and take as many meetings as possible. Don't assume the one person really interested is going to be the "one". I spoke with many people with the means to invest, but thought I had the one ideal person willing to invest the capital I required. I missed many opportunities because I wanted the perfect situation. My ego wanted to establish the ideal company before I had "proof in the product"If you can't raise capital (after many meetings), re-evaluate before making any financial obligations. A little reflection might reveal the light.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at marketing and distribution. Only gets more fun from here.

***On a side note, document all meetings and have all legal documents either complete or in the works before raising careful of the sharks. If necessary, ask the individual to sign an nda (non-disclosure agreement) before taking the meeting. 

A few more statistics for you number crunchers:

Most type of fish pursued in freshwater (excluding the Great Lakes) is the black bass at 33%
Catfish and trout tied at 23%

Most type of big game hunted is deer at 80% with turkey at 11% (I have a little issue with turkey being ranked as "big game", but not my census.

Rabbit and squirrel tied at 15% for small game and doves came in at 10% for migratory birds.

Crucial Wildlife and Riparian Habitat Preserved in Montana

rocky mountain elk foundation, bull elk, elk, wildlife

MISSOULA, Mont.-The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding as part of a group effort to conserve 640 acres of key wildlife and riparian habitat in northwestern Montana. The purchase consolidates public ownership in a crucial area for fish and wildlife conservation and ensures permanent public access to it.

"This small tract of wild Montana land is extremely important for a variety of wildlife-from elk to trout," said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. "We're glad we could utilize our strategic land protection fund and money raised by our RMEF chapters in Montana to help make this purchase possible."

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and Five Valleys Land Trust (FVLT) facilitated the acquisition from Plum Creek Timber. The parcel will be permanently incorporated into FWP's adjacent Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area, which will be managed for wildlife habitat but also for public recreational use including hunting, hiking, bird-watching and continued use of a popular snowmobile trail system. 

Conserving the property was a high priority because it contains a 1.3 mile reach of Deer Creek, an important spawning stream for native bull trout and cutthroat trout and a direct cold-water tributary to Seeley Lake, the community's municipal water source. It also protects productive habitat for Canada lynx in the western United States, as well as valuable cover for grizzly bears moving across the Clearwater Valley. 

"Recent research data proved what locals have known for years-Deer Creek is heavily used by bears, lynx, moose, elk and dozens of other species as primary habitat and as a forested corridor connecting the Mission Mountains and Clearwater River Valley," said Jay Kolbe, FWP wildlife biologist. 

"These lands provide clean drinking water, places for people to enjoy the outdoors, and unrivaled wildlife habitat," said FVLT Manager Lewis Kogan. "Protecting these lands is a great outcome for the Seeley Lake community." 

In addition to FVLT, FWP and RMEF funding, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, local government agencies, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and several foundations also provided financial backing.

"This is a great example of the good that can happen when so many different private and public organizations come together to benefit wildlife and wild country," added Henning.

I believe this is the general area. Anything around Flathead Lake is a huge success for RMEF.

montana, map, flathead lake

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.2 million acres-an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at or 800-CALL ELK.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A tribute to our fallen head of the household

About six months back, I had to put down our yellow lab Jackie. She was thirteen and her quality of life had been slowly fading. Definitely had one of those "Old Yeller" moments and can honestly say she is thought of daily. She was here with the birth of all four of my children...god bless her. She put up with the pulling of the ears and tails with the "patience of job" and because of it, at least one of the kids will mention her at dinner or bedtime prayers.

We adopted a black lab several years ago to keep Jackie company and with Christmas on the horizon, the thought of a new puppy is being loomed over. Don't know what Santa will bring, but I wanted to remenisce a little about Jackie to help in making the decision.

yellow lab, old yeller, field dress

So there was the time, when I didn't believe in crate training, that she decided to redecorate our kitchen. She shortened all the wooden chair legs several inches, rounded off the corners of the window sill, wanted to see what was behind the drywall, and took out the rubber seal between the refrigerator door and body.

yellow lab, field dress

I'll never forget coming home from work only to find rope all over the back yard from the new hammock I got for Father's Day. She had a lot of fun that day.

yellow lab, field dress

The time we took a road trip together and drove from Dallas to North Dakota straight for 25 hours. She became a "lap" dog that trip, but prepared me for having kids. I had to keep her entertained, so whenever we stopped for gas we would play catch for 10-15 minutes. Amazing how  spending a little bit a time can be so appreciated, but just like a child, give 'em a little and they never want to stop.

yellow lab, field dress

When we were throwing the stick at the lake and she slipped on a moss covered stone. She blew out here right rear knee and needed a transplant. Fifteen hundred dollars later, she had a titanium knee and I became one of "those" pet owners. You know the ones....

yellow lab, field dress

When she demonstrated she was more than just another city dog. We were bowhunting in Colorado  and every afternoon we'd practice crazy shots through all the aspens. Over the years, we lost so many arrows that before we make the trip, you would always order an extra dozen or so just for the "comptetition" shoots. Well, I always knew Jackie had a good nose on her, but this day she became a legend at the cabin with her retrieval of about a half-dozen arrows that had clanked off the aspen branches. It was truly amazing watching her work.

yellow lab, field dress

Or when I would leave for work and she would be at the front window and then come home she would be the first one to the door. She never asked for much, but gave more than all of us deserve.

Well, I guess a puppy is about to bless our humble home!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Association of Collegiate Anglers Announces Cabela's School of the Year Sponsorship

fishing t-shirt, fly fishing t-shirt, field dress
If I would've known the future of fishing and competitive angling (I just dig saying competitive angling), my college life would've seemed and fishing in the land of 10,000 lakes. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before bass fishing is an Olympic sport. I put odds on the 2024 Summer Games. Any thoughts?

San Antonio, Texas 
Already a long-term supporter of competitive collegiate bass fishing, Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter® of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, has expanded its commitment to the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA). As part of the commitment, Cabela's is now Title Sponsor of the ACA School of the Year Program. As part of the multi-year partnership, more than $35,000 in Cabela's gift cards will be awarded annually at ACA collegiate events nationwide, and collegiate anglers will have additional opportunities to earn Cabela's Angler Cash bonuses, among other unique opportunities.

"Cabela's has a long tradition of supporting youth and next-generation outdoor programs," said Scott Williams, Cabela's Chief Marketing Officer. "We consider Collegiate Bass Fishing the premier event of its kind. College anglers are important as ambassadors of all that is good about outdoor sports. They are at the forefront of a new generation of sportsmen and women who share our passion for the outdoors."

The 2013 Cabela's School of the Year race is underway and more than 175 collegiate bass fishing programs are expected to earn points through sanctioned events. Indiana University currently leads the pack, but only 34 points separate the Top 5. With the race and points based on the number of teams beat in competition, the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events are the most critical in shaping the final outcome.
The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series will consist of the following stops in 2013:

Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash - March 21-23 - Table Rock Lake - Branson, Mo.
Collegiate Bass Fishing Open - April 18-20 - Kentucky Lake - Paris, Tenn.
BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship - May 23-25-- Pickwick Lake - Florence, Ala.

"Cabela's has been behind our collegiate series since our first event on Lake Lewisville in 2006. Their continued long-term support and dedication to college bass fishing at this level is a primary reason our events are the largest in college bass fishing year in and year out," said Wade Middleton, President of CarecoTV and Co-founder of the ACA. "We are honored to have Cabela's continued support and excited to see it expand into title sponsorship of the School of the Year program. It should be a great race in 2013. The students will be hitting premiere fisheries at perfect times to catch a lot of fish."

A list of current sanctioned events and program details are located on, along with 2013 Tournament Rules. Additional information, including detailed Angler Packets, will be released in the coming weeks on www.CollegiateBassChampionship. Students and fans may also get up to date Cabela's School of the Year rankings here.

About the ACA
The Association of Collegiate Anglers, a division of Careco TV and The Bass Federation, is a sanctioning body developed to facilitate growth, development, and structure within competitive collegiate bass fishing. The ACA provides support to dozens of regional events nationwide and owns the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, the largest collegiate tournament circuit in the country. With dedicated programming on NBC Sports Outdoors, three nationally televised collegiate bass fishing events, and thousands of members, the ACA is the leader in competitive collegiate bass fishing. For more information on the ACA, or the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, visit For more information on CarecoTV, For more information on The Bass Federation, visit

About Cabela's Incorporated
Cabela's Incorporated, headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, is the world's largest direct marketer, and a leading specialty retailer, of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since the Company's founding in 1961, Cabela's® has grown to become one of the most well-known outdoor recreation brands in the world, and has long been recognized as the World's Foremost Outfitter®. Through Cabela's well-established direct business and its growing number of destination retail stores, it offers a wide and distinctive selection of high-quality outdoor products at competitive prices while providing superior customer service. Cabela's also issues the Cabela's Club® VISA credit card, which serves as its primary customer-loyalty rewards program.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Help Give Georgia's Wildlife A Chance

wildlife, mule deer, field dress
SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga.- Are you grateful for Georgia's wildlife and wild places?

During this season of thanks, you can help conserve our most endangered animals, plants and habitats.

From bald eagles to longleaf pine savannas, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Nongame Conservation Section is charged with conserving animals that are not legally fished for or hunted, as well as rare plants and natural habitats. The list includes more than 1,000 species of conservation concern!

Yet the Nongame Conservation Section receives no state appropriations for its vital work. Instead, the section depends on grants, fundraisers and public contributions.

That means the future of creatures such as gopher tortoises and goldline darters and the habitats they need to survive depends largely on the public.

Nongame Conservation Section Chief Mike Harris said that while Thanksgiving has roots in celebrating the sustaining harvest of natural resources, that thankfulness also extends to the nongame wildlife in Georgia "that we like to see and that enrich our quality of life."

"Conservation of these species," said Harris, "depends on giving."

Here are four ways you can help give Georgia wildlife a chance:

• Contribute to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. Created by state law, this fund is dedicated to conserving our most vulnerable animals, plants and habitats.

• When preparing your 2012 taxes, give to the Wildlife Conservation Fund state income tax checkoff. Donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law.

• Join TERN, friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section. The Environmental Resources Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides significant support for nongame statewide.

• Buy a bald eagle or hummingbird license plate, or renew your current Give Wildlife a Chance plate! For each sale or renewal, $10 goes to the Wildlife Conservation Fund.

You can learn more about these options, as well as estate, memorial and other gifts, . Or call the Nongame Conservation Section, part of DNR's Wildlife Resources Division, at (770) 761-3035 or (478) 994-1438.

Details on TERN are available at .


DNR and its conservation partners have made strides in conserving Georgia's nongame wildlife.

Examples include:

• Loggerhead sea turtles are nesting at a 25-year high.

• Bald eagle nests in the state have soared from fewer than 10 to more than 160.

• Thousands of acres of wildlife habitat have been acquired for conservation, including 37,000 acres along the Altamaha River, all of it open for other recreation such as hunting.

Contributions to the Wildlife Conservation Fund also help attract and match grants. The Nongame Conservation Section gains about $1 for every 25 cents spent from the fund.

Public support made these conservation achievements possible.

And that is something to give thanks for.
Rick Lavender, communications/outreach specialist - (706) 557-3327;
Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Monday, November 19, 2012

USA Shooting President Receives Olympic Order

north dakota, outdoors, photo, photograph, sunrise

USA Shooting President and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gary Anderson(Oak Harbor, Ohio) was awarded the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Order on Thursday.

International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President and IOC member Olegario Vazquez Raña had the honor to award the IOC Olympic Order to Anderson during ISSF Meetings taking place in Alcapulco, Mexico, on behalf of IOC President Jacques Rogge.

The Olympic Order is the highest award of the IOC and was created in May 1975 as a successor to the Olympic Certificate. The Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Order insignia resembles a collar with the five Olympic rings framed by olive branches.

"Gary Anderson has devoted his life to sport, both as an athlete and as a sports administrator in the USA and at the International Shooting Sport Federation," said Raña. "He has placed his knowledge and experience as an elite athlete at the service of sports administration."

Anderson was a member of the USA Shooting Team for 10 years (1959-1969) and earned two Olympic gold medals in Tokyo (1964) and Mexico City (1968). He also claimed seven World Championship medals, two Pan American Games titles and 16 National Championship titles to go along with six individual World Records in his career.

Anderson has served USA Shooting as President since 2009. At the international level, he joined the international shooting family in 1978 as member of the ISSF Administrative Council, and is now serving the international federation in his role as Vice President.

Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999 to 2009. In addition to promoting firearms safety training and rifle practice for all shooters, Anderson's primary focus at CMP was to develop and sustain successful youth shooting programs at both regional and national levels.

A former Nebraska state senator, Anderson previously worked at the NRA where he served as Executive Director of General Operations. Gary was responsible for the development of safety, training and competition programs. Among hundreds of other honors, Gary was awarded the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) Distinguished International Shooting Badge (Serial number one) in April 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. While at the NRA, Anderson served on the NBPRP board, and was one of the first people to advocate and pioneer a shift in priorities to youth and junior shooting. As a result of this shift, Anderson became the founding and administrative director of the U. S. Shooting Team Foundation.

In 1993, he moved to Atlanta to become the Shooting Competitions Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games. In 1996, Anderson accepted a position with Fulton County Georgia, to manage the Wolf Creek Shooting Venue, a facility destined to become a premier national and international center for the shooting sports.

Anderson's influence on shooting sports extends well beyond the United States. He has traveled extensively throughout his career in shooting, serving as a genuine ambassador for shooting sports, attending 12 Olympic Games, three as a competitor and nine as technical delegate or a jury member. He is also the recipient of one of only five prestigious honorary memberships to the historic and renowned shooting club, Hauptschutzengesellschaft, in Munich, Germany.

*Release compiled with assistance from the ISSF and Civilian Marksmanship Program.
ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world's most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000. For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit

Winchester Ammunition is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team: Winchester® Ammunition has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor and supplier of the USAShooting Shotgun Team since 1999. Members of the 2008 shotgun team brought home four medals from Beijing using Winchester AA International Target loads. Winchester is an industry leader in advancing and supporting conservation, hunter education and our country's proud shooting sports heritage. For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products,

About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at and on Twitter
Kevin Neuendorf
USA Shooting
Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Friday, November 16, 2012

Current Deer Rut Activity at a Glance - Oklahoma

buck, deer, rut, field dress

Deer rifle season kicks off Saturday, Nov. 17, and promises as usual to be the biggest day of the year for hunting in Oklahoma.

Last year, rifle hunters accounted for 61 percent of the total deer harvest. Surveys indicate that last year, almost 153,000 hunters took part in the 16-day regular deer gun season alone. When taking into account the youth deer gun and holiday antlerless deer seasons, that number jumps to nearly 196,000.

According to Erik Bartholomew, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the overall deer harvest this year is down slightly from last year, but antlerless deer harvest is up from where it was this time last year.

That's good news, according to Bartholomew, and hunters also have reason to look forward to the deer gun season opener this weekend.

"Field reports say the rut is ramping up in parts of the state," Bartholomew said. "There's no time like the present. The weather is supposed to be great, so get out there and enjoy the deer woods this weekend."

As Oklahoma moves into what is hopefully another great year for deer gun hunters, personnel with the Wildlife Department are offering information just in time on the most current rutting activity in regions across the state. The rut, or deer breeding season, is a biological process that typically occurs around mid November. Deer activity during the rut picks up, but the amount of activity can be influenced by a host of factors such as day length, temperatures, moon phase and herd condition.

The northwest region of Oklahoma is known for big deer and good hunting, and so far Department personnel stationed in the region seem to agree that the rut could be well-timed with gun season.

"The rut should be going good by the opening of gun season," said Thad Potts, wildlife biologist stationed at Canton, Dewey County, Drummond Flats and Major County Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Potts as well as others have said that deer rutting behavior in northwest Oklahoma has been slow thus far, with some increased activity in the last few days.

Eddie Wilson, wildlife biologist stationed at Cooper and Ft. Supply WMAs, reports an increase in fresh scrapes, but still little movement during daylight hours.

"Hunter activity will be heavy opening weekend and throughout the week on the WMAs," Wilson said. "If the cool weather holds, bucks will most likely be very active during the entire nine day season, as rut is usually going on strong by the 20th of Nov. in the Woodward area. Hunters can focus on food plots areas and hope a hot doe will bring in a buck."

Wilson's reference to a "nine-day" season is a reminder to hunters that seasons on public lands may vary from the statewide 16-day gun season. For full details and dates for seasons on public lands, including a information on antlerless deer hunting days on both public and private lands, consult the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide," available free online at

Weston Storer, wildlife biologist stationed at Beaver River, Optima, Rita Blanca and Schultz WMAs reports that minimal rutting activity has been noted so far in the Panhandle counties, with a few exceptions of younger bucks "testing the waters." Storer said the majority of corn crops in his part of the region have been harvested and that deer "have been relocating to wheat fields."

"A good direction to start your hunt is to locate well utilized food and water sources to glass," Storer said, adding that if the rut is still not active the bucks may be hitting the wheat fields. "If a cold front starts the rut, the does will be going in the direction of the food sources. And the bucks will be hot after the does."

Larry Wiemers, biologist stationed at Cimarron Bluff and Cimarron Hills WMAs, also has noted a few bucks following does in the past week to two weeks, but heavy rutting activity has not yet been observed.

Northwestern Oklahoma hunters may be in for a treat of heavy deer activity on opening weekend.

In the northeast region of Oklahoma, the beginning stages of the rut have been underway, according to Craig Endicott, northeast region wildlife supervisor for the Department.

"Bucks were running hard in early muzzleloader season, but activity appeared to lessen toward the end of muzzleloader season," Endicott said, adding that the rut should peak between muzzleloader and gun season.

Endicott said deer movement has been reported as slow in the mornings and better in the afternoons, with lots of nocturnal activity.

"The weather patterns and moon phase are effecting deer movements but in general, they seem to be feeding on acorns on timbered ridges and benches during the morning and mid day, then moving onto fields/food plots in the late evening," he said. "Deer activity will no doubt pick up with some fronts, rain and cooler temperatures."

Biologists say acorn production was sporadic in the region, but better than anticipated. Some persimmon production occurred as well.

"Hunters need to scout the areas they hunt for deer sign," Endicott said. "Scout for food sources and locate travel lanes, creek crossings or pinch points where bucks may be patrolling to locate a hot doe. Once a good area has been located, hunters must be patient and stay in the woods as long as they can."

On northeast Oklahoma WMAs, successful hunters will need to spend time scouting, but they can find good deer hunting.

"There is good hunting on the WMAs, but with the high usage associated with these areas, hunters need to scout for some less used corners and back areas," Endicott said. "Remember to read up on the specific regulations for any WMA you may be hunting, and be respectful of other hunters."

Endicott also suggests carrying a grunt call to use as a tool for stopping a buck on the move, allowing for a clean shot. Also, be alert for does that are being trailed by bucks.

"Chased does will always act differently, especially looking behind them on several occasions," Endicott said.

Deer gun season hunters may be entering the woods toward the end of the rut in southeast Oklahoma.

"The rut that I'm seeing is in full swing," said Joe Hemphill, southeast region wildlife supervisor for the Wildlife Department. "By the time next week gets here, we probably will be on the backside of the rut."

Still, deer should be on the move.

"They're going to be very active," Hemphill said. "They still have to eat. They're still going to be on the acorns."

Hemphill said lots of bucks are being observed fighting and sparring, and that "there's lots of scraping activity going on."

Hemphill reminds hunters to read the "Oklahoma Hunting Guide" before heading afield, noting any changes that may affect their hunting season. He also notes that that the fall colors in the region are as vibrant as they have been in years.

Forage and water levels are below normal levels in the southwest, and unseasonably warm, dry weather has been dominating the region, according to Rod Smith, southwest region wildlife supervisor for the Wildlife Department. But according to Smith, hunters could see some active rutting on opening weekend.

"Pre-rut activity to date seems to indicate heavy rut activity will likely be in full swing for the opening of rifle season," Smith said. "Younger bucks have made themselves more visible, and hunters in the field report seeing an increased number of scrapes. Bucks have been observed tracking but not yet in full chase mode. Bucks observed mingling with does are showing increased interest, while does remain unreceptive."

Hunters in southwest Oklahoma may want to place greater emphasis on available water and fresh, succulent forage. Food plots on regional WMAs are reportedly in fair condition due to the drought. Wheat is in good enough condition to provide a usable food source. Hunter activity on WMAs has been average or slightly below average, while a number of hunters report they are waiting on cooler weather. Still, Smith said regional businesses such as motels and restaurants have reported normal activity through the muzzleloader season.

With the rut building in intensity, it could be a good time to be a southwest Oklahoma deer hunter.

"So far, 2012 has been a mixed bag when it comes to rutting activity in the central region," said Jeff Pennington, central region wildlife supervisor for the Wildlife Department. "Most hunters saw higher than normal rutting activity early in the muzzleloader season with the excellent weather conditions. Daytime rutting activity decreased later in the season with warmer weather conditions."

Pennington said the rut picked up again during the first full week of November, with some bucks observed chasing does during the middle of the day. Increased observations of road-killed dear have been observed as well, often a sign of rutting activity.

"The rut will almost always peak in the central region between the tenth and twentieth of November, and this looks like it will be the case in 2012," Pennington said.

Prolonged drought conditions continue in the region. Pennington said the overall deer activity has been higher than normal due to the nutritional stress caused by the drought.

"Despite the dry conditions, patchy portions of the region produced a surprising number of acorns, especially the black oaks along creek drainages (most people will call these red oaks)," Pennington said.

Locations that still have good acorns will be prime hunting spots during gun season as drought stressed deer try to replenish energy reserves. Growth of wheat and other typical cool season foods have been limited by the drought.

"The height of grass and other vegetation is very low again this year, which should make deer highly visible to hunters," Pennington said. "The drought conditions will be tough for the deer, but should make for very good hunting conditions."
Michael Bergin or Micah Holmes (405) 521-3856
Website:      E-mail:
Press release found at the Outdoor Wire
deer, buck, rut, field dress

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Starting an Outdoor Related Business - Final

sunset, outdoors, photograph

Define your sales channels. The simple definition is how are you going to make money. Since I've based most of the posts related to having a product we'll stick to that model. There are two types of sales channels: direct and indirect. Direct is the basic brick-and-mortar or in the online world, your individual ecommerce dot com. This is where you are in charge of the customer experience. You have a website, you promote your products through pay-per-click advertising, you have your Facebook page, and you utilize all social media platforms to bring the customer to your checkout. That's all fine, but the reality is you'll have to utilize all the different inderect sales channels if you expect to make any real money online. More on indirect later. For now let's focus on getting your product out in the market.

An experienced sales representative or manufacturers representative agency that specializes exclusively in the hunting, fishing, and outdoor industry is a must for any succesful start-up. The problem is getting the highly experienced individuals or firms to rep your product due to the competition. Most, if not all, will not represent competing brands. So the reality is you'll have to go with your instinct on who you retain. In desiding the terms of the agreement, be specific on territories and expectations. You will have to oversee the representative if you expect any significant results. This is not a hand-off and hope for the best situation. Manage your sales force as if you are paying them a weekly wage. How much do you expect to pay for a sales rep or agency is negotiable so be ready to put on your poker face. I would look in the Black's Directory or Shot Show for researching individuals and agency's. Someone I was extremely impressed with was Bruce Hudalla at Hudalla Associates. They represent high quality manufactureres and have all the necessary "in's" to the major retailers.

Back to indirect sales channels. The choices are endless online, however you have no control of the sales experience. I look at it as setting up individual stores throughout the country, but now you are in the online world. This is achieved through other market places such as Ebay, Amazon, and other affiliates. Most successful companies utilize all the different online channels to promote their products. The trick is to be sure the affiliate web site aligns with your product and mission. You wouldn't put your fishing lure on a technology site. Just getting views is not your goal. The viewer has to be converted to buyer so keep that in mind. Just getting views and click throughs doesn't keep the electricity turned on. Find your buyers and work with those sites. The great thing about the hunting and fishing community is it's like a brotherhood and they will support a quality product.

If you have any questions or want to talk about anything in the previous posts, shoot me an email at fielddressllc @ gmail dot com and I will get back to you. Be passionate about your venture and go after it. Good luck.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 Hits $2 Billion in Sales

outdoors, photograph, field dress
***Note: Starting an Outdoor Business - Part Four will continue tomorrow. To catch up click on part one, part two, or part three

Kennesaw, Ga. -, the world's largest Internet auction site for firearms and accessories, today announced it reached $2 billion in cumulative merchandise sales on Nov. 10, 2012. A testament to the company's popularity among loyal users and casual visitors alike, the site first reached $1 billion in sales 10 years after launch, rapidly growing to $2 billion in less than three years after achieving the 10-digit threshold.

"This is an incredible day for the entire team," says Steve Urvan, CEO of "Doubling sales in less than three years to reach the $2 billion mark is an incredible accomplishment and one that we are extremely proud of. We have made significant enhancements to the site over the past couple of years that are proving to be a catalyst for continued success."

The popular auction site has steadily grown by more 265,000 new users per year the last several years, cementing its position as the 646th largest U.S. website according to Quantcast (Nov. 10, 2012) and the third largest 'Shopping and Classifieds - Auctions' site, behind eBay and eBay Motors, on Hitwise's rankings.

"The e-commerce industry continues to see considerable growth and reaching this milestone in such a short period of time reassures us that we have the right systems in place to be a major player in the space," added Urvan.

An increasingly significant force in the marketing of firearms and related hunting and shooting sports equipment, was named SHOT Business Company of the Year at the 2011 SHOT Show and was recently named the Official Internet Auction Site of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, USA Shooting and the USA Shooting Team Foundation.

About is the world's largest gun auction website. Launched in 1999, is an informative, secure and safe way to buy and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting/shooting gear online. promotes responsible ownership of guns and firearms. Aside from merchandise bearing its logo, sells none of the items listed on its website. Third-party sellers list items on the site and Federal and state laws govern the sale of firearms and other restricted items. Ownership policies and regulations are followed using licensed firearms dealers as transfer agents.

Press release found at The Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Starting an Outdoor Related Business - Part Three

Marketing your new outdoor business is an enormous undertaking...did I say HUGE! So my only advice is to "bring in the experts". You really have no idea how big the industry is until you dive in and stay under for a while. For the next week or so, dive into the SHOT Show (The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) and Conference. According to their website and it's true, SHOT is the world's premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyes from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. SHOT 2013 is being held in Las Vegas, NV January 15-18. If you visit SHOT Show online go to SHOT INFO, click Search 2013 Exhibitors, and click on the letters to show who is exhibiting. It is truly amazing and exciting to see the advancement of hunting and fishing.

Now that your really excited, how do you start swimming with the sharks or let's say trout. When I was looking for a marketing/public relations firm, I met with several that made no lasting impression on me whatsoever, but there were two fellas that I wish I would've been able to spend thousands with their respective companies. 

One, is Jeff Bergman with Providence Marketing Group. Without giving a complete bio on him and making it sound like I'm related, I'll just say good guy and straight shooter. You'd be a friggin' idiot not to give him a call. 

Secondly, Jason Bear at Full-Throttle Communications. Jason comes from a rich bloodline in the outdoor marketing arena and his knowledge is worth tapping into. 

Another good resource for everything outdoors is the Black's Sporting Directories published by Grand View Outdoors. The Black's Sporting Diectories are a series of annual buyer's guides and directories currenlty covering the Archery, Fly Fishing and Shotgunning industries. They are definitely worth looking through and remembering the names of companies and top execs. You will begin to notice the one's that keep showing up everywhere else you look.

At the end of the day, I would spend the majority of my budget to utilize the knowledge and abilites of a good marketing / public relations firm. Do you really want to be online having to deal with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogging, Chating, Posting, Commenting, Linking, Liking, Favoriting.....oops sorry for the social overload. Anyways, with all of that, a quality firm will put a solid plan on how to do everything that is available.

Too much info to get into sales channels and distribution so onward to tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beautiful Mountain Lion!

Colorado, mountain lion, cat, field dress
Not much of a story, but you have to like receiving a picture of a beautiful mountain lion in your inbox. My aunt had this Colorado cat visit her neighbor this weekend and sat long enough for the photo. I think it was hunting for an easy breakfast. Thanks Von!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Starting an Outdoor Business? A few facts and more you should consider..

If your thinking of starting a business in the outdoor industry there are a few things you should  know.

First, let me tell you a little story 'bout a man named Chad (this is my blog and I am Rod McBellanic to to the online world. Longer story for later). I founded, Field Dress, creating t-shirts for the outdoorsman focusing on the rich history of hunting and fishing. We officially launched in the Fall of 2007. I met with investors, top outdoor marketing firms, and top outdoor sales rep agency's. After a lot of calls, I focused in on who I thought were the best options for the "home run"...should've went for the base hit, but more on that later. So I'm in about the fifth round of meetings with one investor, the marketing firm is contingent on the investor, and the sales rep firm is contingent on the marketing firm. (Note: Be sure to realize EVERYONE knows each other in the hunting and fishing world - more on that later) Suddenly the world does a 180'. Housing, economy, election and I was on my own. I had a little cash  so I decided to give it a go without the heavy hitters.

We had some good months, nice store orders, and  turned down a 7,500 unit test run with Academy Sports. Things were looking promising until the wife announced one little word...TWINS! I had to get a real job, blogging and a few a handful of t-shirts sold per day wasn't going to cover Thirty (30) diapers a day, let alone everything else. So I dabbled with Field Dress, but anything done part-time is half-assed, so I buried it.

Today, I've started completely over. We've added another to the tribe of four and I've been humbled with everything that has happened over the last several years. New start, relaunch, and "base hits" will work for me. But this isn't about me, so let's get to you. There is a lot to cover, so I am going to break it up and post about this throughout next week as well. I will let you know if I am going to miss a day.

Here are the statistics to consider:
Statistics are from 2006 and only from the U.S.

1- Thirty million (30,000,000) people fish
2- They spent forty-two billion ($42,000,000,000) on expenditures
3- They only spent about two-weeks fishing that year
4- The largest percentage of anglers by age group is 35-44 comprising of 25%
5- Of all anglers, 37% have an average household income of $50-$100,000

1- 12.5 million (12,500,000) people hunt
2- They spent twenty-three billion ($23,000,000,000) on expenditures
3- They only spent two-weeks hunting that year
4- The largest percentage of hunters by age group is 35-44 comprising of 25%
5- Of all hunters, 16% have an average household income of $50-$100,000

So what is the take away? Besides the fact we spend WAY to much for only a couple of weeks. Dig a little deeper and if we look at statistics from 2001, you'll find the number of outdoorsman is down about 10%, however spending is up $8,000,000,000...that is billion my friends.

Should you start an outdoor related business? Depends on quite a bit more, but come back and we'll dive in a little deeper. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tripod, the three-legged Colorado bull elk on film!

It took a few years, but here you go. If you've missed the history of Tripod, the eight-point three-legged bull elk, check out the previous posts here and here. The legend of Tripod lives on.

elk, tripod, bugle, bull, field dress
colorado, elk, bugle, bull, field dress

For additional photos of Tripod and more, visit Field Dress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NE Bull Elk Harvest, Success Rate Highest Ever

Colorado, bull, elk, outdoors, rocky mountains, field dress
LINCOLN, Neb. - A record 105 bull elk were harvested in Nebraska in 2012. The 91 percent success rate is also a record, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. That compares to 90 bulls harvested and a 79 percent success rate last year.

The bull elk season was Sept. 29-Oct. 28. Thirty-one cows were harvested in the first half of the cow elk season, Sept. 29-Oct. 28. That season resumes Dec. 1-31. 

There were 303 elk permits sold, but refunds were given on 19 (seven bull and 12 cow) permits because of concerns about access due to the Pine Ridge wildfires, which occurred just before the season opener. Elk harvest by management unit was: Ash Creek - 14 bulls, two cows; Bordeaux - 26 bulls, nine cows; Box Elder - six bulls, three cows; Boyd - none; Hat Creek - 27 bulls, 10 cows; Niobrara - seven bulls, three cows; North Platte - 22 bulls, four cows. Bulls also were harvested by the two auction permit holders and the one lottery permit holder. Successful elk hunters are reminded to send in elk tooth collection envelopes to Game and Parks.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus. Worth a look.

Sorry for the advertising...couldn't get away from it.


 Maybe you've seen it, but worth a second look. Visit his website at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Hits Henry Repeating Arms

Henry Repeating Arms Bayonne New Jersey facility suffered significant damage from hurricane Sandy. The company's corporate headquarters is a 109,000 sf facility which sits on 3 acres located directly on the Bayonne waterfront. Presently without electricity, telephone and email service, Henry Repeating Arms asks that its distributors and dealers refrain from attempting to contact them, nor ship any firearms to the Bayonne facility, until the company notifies them that they are once again operational. Anthony Imperato, President and owner of the company states "We took one on the chin, but our great employees will get us through this and soon have us back on our feet". He feels that If PSE&G, the NJ electricity provider, gets power to the plant sometime during the week of November 5th, that Henry should be operational the week of November 12th.

About Henry Repeating Arms Henry Repeating Arms is one of the country's leading rifle manufacturers. Their legendary name dates back to 1860 when Benjamin Tyler Henry invented and patented the first practical repeating rifle during the Civil War. It became known as the "gun you could load on Sunday and shoot all week long." Henry rifles went on to play a significant role in the frontier days of the American West and soon became one of the most legendary, respected and sought after rifles in the history of firearms. The company's primary manufacturing facility is in Bayonne, New Jersey and they have a second facility in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Contact: Anthony Imperato President, Henry Repeating Arms (201) 858-4400

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Saturday, November 3, 2012

PF's "Rooster Road Trip 2012" Ignites November 5

Saint Paul, Minn. November 1, 2012 - Over the course of its 30 year history, Pheasants Forever has made more than 161,800 acres accessible to public land pheasant hunters through land purchase, restoration or legislation. Some of these areas will be profiled during Pheasants Forever's Rooster Road Trip 2012, a 5-day, 5-state, public lands-only digital media pheasant hunt taking place November 5th through the 9th.

During Rooster Road Trip 2012, a trio of Pheasants Forever hunters and four bird dogs will hunt five states - Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota - in five days, posting stories and video from the field. The effort focuses on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat. In fact, any follower who joins Pheasants Forever as a member online through the Rooster Road Trip webpage will receive an exclusive Browning Pheasants Forever cap and be entered to win the new Browning A5 Hunter shotgun.

"The real trophies of the hunting world aren't measured, scored or hanging on a wall, they're out there for you and me to hunt and they're accessible to us thanks to the conservation work of organizations like Pheasants Forever," says Anthony Hauck, the nonprofit's online editor, "High commodity prices and a drought have increased demands for land use, so it's equally important for the conservation and sporting community to show a demand for public lands and permanent wildlife habitat." Watch the Rooster Road Trip 2012 Preview

One of the most popular features of the Rooster Road Trip, the unique "Dog's Eye View Video" is back for the second consecutive year to provide pheasant hunters and bird dog enthusiasts a fresh take on upland habitat and wingshooting from the dog's perspective. The group will also incorporate pheasant cooking videos into the 2012 trip.

In addition to Hauck and his English cocker spaniel, "Sprig," Andrew Vavra and his Lab, "Beau," Bob St.Pierre and his pair of German shorthaired pointers, "Trammell" and 7-month-old "Izzy" round out the trip's hunters. All three are marketing employees of Pheasants Forever and responsible for the organization's website content, Facebook pages, blog sites, Twitter feeds and other online communications.

Follow Pheasants Forever's Rooster Road Trip 2012 at:

Pheasants Forever's Rooster Road Trip 2012 webpage
Pheasants Forever's Facebook page
Twitter @pheasants4ever
Rooster Road Trip 2012 is brought to you by: Browning, Nebraska Game and Parks, Garmin, South Dakota Tourism, Purina, Federal Premium Ammunition and U.S. Bank.
Rehan Nana (651) 209-4973

Friday, November 2, 2012

Update on the Colorado Eight-Point Three-Legged Elk known as Tripod

You may have seen the posts or have read the story, but we finally found and photographed the Colorado Eight-Point Three-Legged Elk known as Tripod. He isn't as big as I had imagined (still big though), but I'm sure he looked a lot bigger at five feet! I'll have him for your viewing pleasure next week. In the meantime, get caught-up with the story here and here.

Gander Mountain Hosts Ice Expo in Forest Lake, MN

 ST. PAUL, MN --- With another highly-anticipated ice fishing season just around the corner, Gander Mountain will host its third annual First Ice Expo on Saturday, November 17 at their Forest Lake, Minn., store.

"Over the past three years, we have seen incredible growth in the popularity of the First Ice Expo as one of the region's largest pre-season ice fishing events," said Steve Uline, executive vice president of marketing for Gander Mountain, "Once again we're bringing together some of the biggest names in ice fishing and the top brands in the business. This is a free one-day opportunity to get all the gear and advice needed for a fun and successful winter on the ice."

The First Ice Expo will be held Saturday, November 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Gander Mountain store in Forest Lake, Minn., the event is free and open to the public. Chip Leer, host of Midwest Outdoors and the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour will also emcee at the Gander Mountain First Ice Expo as the 2012 event host. Former Minnesota Vikings tight end and avid outdoorsman Jim Kleinsasser is scheduled to make a special appearance and sign autographs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

As well as, having representatives from many of the top brand names in ice fishing on hand, the event will also feature special appearances and seminars from today's top pros:

• "Spoon Fed Walleyes" by professional walleye angler Tony Roach

• "Rattlin' Up Walleyes" by professional walleye angler Ted Takasaki

• "Ice Formulas for Crappies" by soon-to-be member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Outdoor News contributor "Tackle" Terry Tuma

• "Dave Genz's Winter Fishing System" by Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame member "Mr. Ice Fishing" Dave Genz

• "Advanced Walleye Strategies for Today's Angler" by star of Jason Mitchell Outdoors and professional fishing guide Jason Mitchell

• "Modern Techniques for Finding & Catching Panfish" by multi-species angler and renowned fishing guide Brian "Bro" Brosdahl

Drawings for over $3,500 in enter-to-win prizes will be held throughout the day. Prizes include a Jiffy Ice Drill, Vexilar Fish Locator, Frabill and Clam portable ice houses, and the first 500 customers to make a purchase will receive a free First Ice Expo long-sleeve t-shirt, while supplies last. Customers may also take advantage of many "gift-with-purchase" opportunities from a variety of fishing vendors. This is the third year that Gander Mountain has held the First Ice Expo in Minnesota and is expected to host the event at other locations around the country.

For more information visit the Gander Mountain web site, at

About Gander Mountain Company

Gander Mountain Company headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., is the nation's largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for firearms, hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services. Since 1960, Gander Mountain has offered the best selection of outdoor equipment, technical apparel, active casual wear, and footwear featuring national, regional and specialty brands at competitive prices. Focused on a "We Live Outdoors®" culture, Gander Mountain dedicates itself to creating outdoor memories. There are currently 117 conveniently located Gander Mountain outdoor lifestyle stores in 24 states. For the nearest store location call 800-282-5993 or visit Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton's (, a leading catalog and Internet based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Home is where the heart is...Bowhunting Whitetail in North Dakota!

With hunting season arriving in northwest North Dakota and life getting in the way of a trip home, I had to take a little time to enjoy a few photos from the local shop, Scenic Sports, and think about what I'm missing this year. Take a little time to enjoy some of what North Dakota deer season has to offer.

Photos found at Scenic Sports, Williston, ND