Sunday, July 22, 2012

How bad do YOU have it?

Took a few minutes after Church today to sling a few arrows. Cause September is getting close. Every little bit helps, they say, and after all, I'm hoping for just one shot on each hunting trip. I've read that Randy Ulmer has practice sessions that consist of only one shot, executed perfectly. Makes sense.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hunting With Kids

If you have children, you should teach them to hunt. It's that simple.

No, I don't have kids. Yes, I'm telling you how to raise yours.

I was raised in a family that hunted and fished. Born in rural Mississippi, and later living in Wyoming, we were not in the minority for those areas. In fact, it was quite difficult for me to imagine the lives of those people I later met who did not fish or hunt. For my family, there was never a question of "are we going to hunt deer this year?" The question was "when are we going again?"

My First Squirrel, Age 12

Hunting is a lifestyle, and one that is often misunderstood and misrepresented by media outlets who make hunters out to be beer-guzzling Bubbas hunting from their pickups with a spotlight or blood-thirsty savages who kill poor, helpless, defenseless animals. I generally like Walt Disney movies, but the movie "Bambi" with its portrayal of a massacre of animals carried out by hunters that you never see has done more to damage the image of the hunter than any other movie. I can't tell you how many times I've heard from non-hunters "oh, did you kill Bambi?" My response of "no, I'm after his daddy" gets mixed reactions. The big, sweet eyes of the critters in that movie are forever ingrained in the minds of anyone who watches it.

My First Pronghorn Antelop, Age 14

The media doesn't want to give credit to the conservation work that hunters do. They don't want the general public to know that the average hunter who responsibly takes his share of game does more for the health and general well-being of our wild game populations than most so-called conservationists combined.

If you've ever had a discussion about the positive side of hunting with an anti-hunting liberal, you know how futile it can be. No matter what facts they are presented with, they still see Bambi's big, brown eyes every time they think of a deer dying at a hunter's hand. These people will rarely change their opinion of hunting, or of hunters. That's why our children are so important.

The health and economy of our sport depend on new participants being brought into it on a regular basis. This where kids come in.

My "Papaw" Daniel Hemphill

If you start your children hunting, fishing and generally enjoying the outdoors at an early age, they will gain an appreciation for these things before our modern society has a chance to brainwash them. They will also create a lot of memories that will never be forgotten. My fondest memories of my Papaw involve fishing in his old Cajun bass boat, and the one time I went duck hunting with him. We didn't get a single duck, but I remember the trip. In my opinion, children aren't going to have those same kind of experiences and memories sitting in front of a Playstation or Xbox.

One of my dad's Wyoming Mule Deer

My dad is still alive, and the days we spend together hunting in the fall are some of the most important days of the year to me. Some of my most vivid memories of time with him were our hunting trips in Western Wyoming. Last year I didn't make it out to Wyoming to hunt with him, but this year I'm going to be there in September. It'll be a chance to make some new memories, and thank him for the old ones.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New String and a Friend's Essay

I picked my Hoyt CRX32 up from Social Circle Ace Archery today after having a brand new set of ProLine strings and cables installed, the bow paper-tuned and the sight leveled. The strings and cables are BCY 8190 fibers in ProLine's Streak Freak. The main color is blue with a streak of neon green. Here's a grainy Blackberry pic of my string:

ProLine is really growing this year, due in large part to the quality of the product they build. They also have great customer service and Amanda is a pleasure to work with when you are placing an order. You can get a custom string built in the colors and materials of your choice to the specs of just about any bow on the market. ProLine recently signed world-renowned archer Dave Cousins to our already-impressive team.

After bringing the bow home and taking it out to the yard to shoot, I noticed a problem with the sight. The third axis adjustment screws were not tight, and when I attempted to tighten them up, the seemed stripped out. So I took the bow back to Steve Pittman at Ace and he stayed after closing time to help me get the sight straightened out. He ended up having to re-tap the sight for larger 10/32 3rd axis adjustment screws. Got her set up again and brought her home to shoot a little bit.

This past Sunday was exactly two months from my New Mexico mule deer hunt. I'm really getting stoked! The passing of June marked the first month of this year that I didn't hunt at least one time. I hope to rectify that situation in July with a hog hunt or two. I did at least scout a little bit during June. This is a fun time of year when hunters are getting tags in the mail, scouting, putting out trail cameras and looking for stand locations. 

My friend Chris Moreland wrote an essay for a college class at DeVry University about conservation and I liked it so I thought I would share it here. I have the entire article posted on my "Conservation" page. Here's an excerpt from it:

After days of preparation and hours of careful construction, the stage has been set for a daring event. With the whole world watching to see what would come of it, the Tight Rope Walker takes a deep breath and eases out his leading foot, testing the cable on which his life depends. With the realization that his life expectancy could be snuffed to mere seconds, the importance of balance comes into focus. For whatever reason, if he finds himself leaning too much to one side or the other, without catching his balance, he will most likely fail at the attempt. The delicate balance of our ecosystem can be likened to such an event.

Check it out, I think you will enjoy the read.