Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shout-Outs and News

I haven't had much to blog about lately, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight some of the other blogs I keep up with, and some events going on that I find interesting. I'm always looking for new bloggers to follow, and I like to keep up-to-date on what is going on in the outdoor industry. Here's what I've been reading lately.

My friend Britney Starr of Starr and Bodill African Safaris is working with the United Special Sportsman Alliance and the Lake Superior Safari Club International to put together a 10 day safari for a wounded warrior and his brother. You can read all about it on Britney's blog. Very proud of Britney and I think this is an awesome moment for her. She was also recently named an editor for Women's Outdoor News Gear Court. Congrats Britney!

One of the most interesting events in the world of archery that I've heard about lately is a Bowathlon. This competition is part foot race, part obstacle course and part 3D archery. The events are timed and are designed to simulate the elevated heart rate a hunter faces in real-life conditions and forcing you to take challenging shots.  There are two of these events that I'm aware of, one being the Bowcast at the Bird 3D Shoot and the Train to Hunt Bogus Challenge

The concept is very interesting to me! I'd love to be able to compete in one of these events but I don't think I will be able to this year, unless another one is scheduled somewhere farther East. Mark at Sole Adventure did a great write-up about the concept and got some great feedback from his readers. Check out his story here. Also Dustin Jones, the Idaho Bone Collector, will be attending the Bogus Challenge, so he can give us some first-hand information about the event from a participant viewpoint.

Today kicks of the 2012 Cabela's Bassmaster Federation Nation Western Divisional tournament on my old home lake, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Green River, WY. My old club Cowboy BASS will be hosting the event. If I still lived in Wyoming, I'd hope to be fishing the tourney. I made it to the FLW The Bass Federation equivalent of this tournament on Lake Havasu, AZ in 2007, and qualified for the 2009 Federation Nation tourney but wasn't able to fish it due to logistics after moving to Georgia. I've friends from several states competing but I'll be pulling for Wyoming's team!

Lee Thomas (left) and Steve Siddoway hosting registration at the 
Expedition Island Pavilion in Green River, WY. 
I've fished with them both...great guys!

My local archery pro shop, Social Circle Ace Archery will be having a Grand Opening event Saturday, June 22, and will be featuring an appearance by Travis "T-Bone" Turner of the Bone Collector and Team Realtree. Steve Pittman, former owner of 12 Point Archery in Covington, runs the shop and they carry Hoyt, Bowtech, PSE and Mathews bow, in addition to most of the top accessories on the market. I'll be at the event, so if you're in the area, swing by and say "hello." Steve is expecting a great turnout.

Steve Pittman in the Social Circle Ace Pro Shop

If you're looking for some recipes and good information about cooking wild game, check out Food For Hunters. Rick and Jen's blog features some tasty game recipes and also talks about some of their own outdoor adventures. Give them a read.

One last shoutout to Al Quackenbush, the SoCal Bowhunter, for some helpful feedback and tips on my blog. In addition to being a great blogger, Al is a graphic designer. I appreciate your honesty and insight my friend.

I've got 5 or 6 3D Shoots over the next few months to get dialed in for bow season at Christian Bowhunters of Georgia and Hilsman's Archery. Also, I'm only 3 months away from my New Mexico mule deer hunt. Looking forward to fall!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Backyard Pursuits and Other Stuff

I had a great shoot at the Christian Bowhunters of Georgia 3D Tournament on Saturday. I actually won my class which was a first for me. I have been shooting as a Novice but will now be moving up since I have won that class. My turkey season wound up uneventfully. No bird but I have learned a lot this year. Already looking forward to next season! Now it's time to tune up for my New Mexico mule deer hunt in September and possibly squeeze in a hog hunt in between now and then.

Evan Bungum has been making some big changes to our Backyard Pursuits website and it's looking pretty sweet. We've got some slick new graphics and profiles for all the crew. We also have some great new sponsors this year like Norway Fusion Vanes and Rage Broadheads in additions to Natural Camo Facepaint, Hunting Science and Double Take Archery that we've partnered with the last couple years. Double Take and Rage are now owned by the same company so it was a natural fit. Be sure to check the site out at and let me know what you think. I'll be posting some archery tips there very soon and I'll keep a link to them on the right side bar here on my blog.

Of all the items introduced at the archery and hunting trade shows earlier this year, I've been most anxious to check out Badlands' new hunting apparel. Knowing the quality of Badlands packs, it's natural to assume any other item developed by this company will be top notch. The line releases in July, but a couple of my blogging buddies were able to get their hands on some early samples to review. Al at the SoCal Bowhunter, is reviewing the Ion pants and Mark at SoleAdventure is giving us his impressions about the Velocity jacket. Both of the early comments seem promising. You can view their articles by clicking on the links.

Online forums have become one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to research just about any topic. These online communities allow rookies and seasoned pros to rub cyber shoulders and trade insight, tips, reviews and good-natured jabs from anywhere in the world. One of my favorite forums is Archery Talk. Along with the great information you can glean from the endless threads, there's also a great classified section where you can score some killer deals on all types of hunting gear. You can also read lots of great articles and blogs like this one from Ted Nugent. A word of warning though: if you're an archer, this site can become almost as addicting as Facebook!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Turkeys, Muleys and 3D Shoots

Well, turkey season is winding down in Georgia and I've yet to take a bird. Acorns 1, Blind Pig 0. I still have a couple of days before the 15th that I will hopefully have an opportunity to hunt. I've almost closed the coffin a few times but for different reasons I never could quite get it done. Although it hasn't been the successful season I was hoping for, I've really learned a lot. The guys I normally hunt turkeys with weren't able to hunt with me this year, so I've been hunting on my own every time. I enjoy hunting solo, but I've only been hunting turkey a few years, and the learning curve is steep. But each time afield, I've come back knowing something I didn't know when I went into the woods. So in its own way, that in itself is success. It just depends on your definition.

J.J. Salinas with a New Mexico Mule Deer

I was fortunate enough to draw a New Mexico mule deer tag and I am stoked! I've taken a few muleys with a rifle but this will be my first time hunting them with a bow. I also applied for a pronghorn antelope tag there but didn't draw out. I'll be hunting with my pastor Rev. Daniel Gissendaner and our friend J.J. Salinas who lives there in New Mexico. We are planning on being there for the opening of the season on September 1st. The bucks should still be in velvet and in bachelor groups. I've always wanted a velvet-buck mount, so this will be my chance. Almost as much as the hunting and camaraderie, I'm looking forward to some authentic Mexican food...that will be a real treat!

I'll be shooting a Christian Bowhunters of Georgia 3D Tourney this weekend, and I'm planning to redeem myself from the last shoot. I've been shooting some new Easton Fatboys through my Alphamax and I've got it dialed in pretty good. I've also gone back to shooting a Scott Little Bitty Goose for 3D as well. After experimenting with a thumb trigger/back tension style release for a while, I never could get really consistent with it. I'm much more comfortable and accurate with a regular trigger release. I know that's in direct contradiction to what most top level archers would say. For me, shooting 3D is about becoming a better bowhunter, and using the same type of rig that I hunt with will help accomplish that, in my opinion. I know that back tension helps to cure target panic and makes many archers better shots, and with more time and perhaps some coaching perhaps I would become one of those who benefit from it. But for now, I'm going to stick with what works for me.

Wyoming officials have sat down to develop a wolf management plan, and this is great news for big game and big game hunters in the Cowboy State. I'll be reviewing their plans when I can and adding my 2 cents.

Isn't Uncle Ted Nugent awesome? He's been stirring up the Liberals lately with his speech at the NRA event and other interviews and I love it. He's in-your-face, and the Left likes to call him a radical, but that's just because he calls them out and isn't afraid of the consequences. He is one of the Second Amendment's best friends. God bless him for it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Truck Buckle

I found a cool truck accessory made right here in Georgia that caused me to have one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments. Joel Peters has developed a belt buckle for your truck, or Truck Buckle. 

A Truck Buckle is a hitch plug for your 2" receiver in the shape of a Western-styled belt buckle. There are a couple of different customizable designs with several front figures including a cross, a star and a deer head. You can find out more about them at

I was at my friend Aaron's house one day and he mentioned seeing a Truckle Buckle on a truck with a big decal saying what it was, and we Googled it standing right there in his driveway. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have one. The first one that jumped out at me was one with a deer head on it.

So I got in touch with Joel and got one on the way. First let me say that Joel has been a great guy to work with and I hope these Truck Buckles really go far for him. The buckle itself is very well made, and seems like it will last a long time. The detailing is very nice as well. It was simple to install, only requiring a standard pin for your hitch. I use a lock on mine as with all my hitches. Otherwise it would be very easy for it to be stolen from you.

The Truck Buckle is a classy accessory that dresses up your truck or SUV and sets it apart from the crowd. I've owned several hitch plugs in the past, and I would always see them on other peoples' trucks. That's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it's good to be different. If you're looking for something to make your truck just a little different, check out and tell Joel I sent you. You'll instantly have a cooler ride than your buddies, until they get one of their own!