If you are a hunter or even just a supporter of the NRA, then I am sure you know about Uncle Ted (Ted Nugent). And maybe you know that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry proclaimed his love affair with hunting and the shooting sports in Outdoor Life. The point is, it is no secret that many celebrities enjoy the outdoors. What is not as well known is which celebrities we share the water and fields with. That's why I thought I'd share a quick slide show that I ran across on the NRA's American Hunter website this morning. Check it out, I am sure there is a surprise or two in there that you had no idea about.
Ah, smell the Spring flowers in bloom? See the gray, misty fog rising up the hills? Hear the rush of cold, clear water as it flows down the side of forest-covered mountain? Wait, are those flakes of snow in the air? As March becomes April, all of this can only mean one thing: The hatchery-supported trout season is opening this weekend in the North Carolina mountains. A drive this Saturday along back roads such as highway 209 in Madison County and Brown Mountain Beach Road in Caldwell County will lead to multiple sightings of Subarus (and Fords, Toyotas, heck, maybe even a Datsun or two) parked on the side of the road with wader-wearing, ultralight rod-wielding men, women and children getting ready to try their hand at catching a few freshly stocked trout. They may throw Panther Martin® in-line spinners, cast out a red worm they just dug-up or even put a bright yellow kernel of sweet corn on their hook. All that matters is they are out there doing what they love to do, enjoying the beauty that is found in every deep valley and spending quality time in the outdoors. If you want to join in on the fun, be sure to buy that license (you'll need a trout license too), follow regulations (and check those signs!) and bring a cooler to take your limit home to the frying pan. And yes, don't be surprised to see some white stuff flying around or on the ground.
Yesterday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC for short) released their report card on the 2010 whitetail deer hunting season and it's worth a read.
The overall news was good. The total harvest stood at about 230,000 deer, up 3% over 2009 numbers. The DEC's commissioner Martens said:
The next statistics were what surprised me the most. You see, New York is no Illinois. We're not exactly known for our quality deer management practices. My anecdotal experience is that most Empire State hunters think our herd has a horrible gender balance and that the overwhelming majority of their peers never fill their doe tags and shoot Labrador-sized button bucks at the drop of a hat.
I'm happy to report that the statistics do not bare that out. New York hunters actually took more does than bucks in 2010 (123,000 vs 107,000). So, even if our herd isn't quite gender balanced yet, we're at least headed in the right direction. Even more promising is the data on the age of bucks taken, 45% of the buck harvest was at least 2.5 years old, a huge improvement over last year's 33%.
Hopefully these figures represent the beginning of a long term trend, and not just a one year fluke...maybe the future of New York deer hunting is looking good after all.
In my first post about fly fishing, we discussed proper rod selection. So now that you have had time to chew on and digest all the information regarding fly rods, it's time for the second course: Reels! I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge on fly reels is limited, so while I am not a beacon of light on this topic, I will be pointing you in the direction of those who are.
Just a quick note: We have added a Blog Roll! If you look to the left of all our blog posts you will see our newly added Blog Roll. We will continue adding blogs we like to check out and think that you need to check out too.
-Inside Out Team
So I alluded to using hair jigs in my fishing trip recap the other week and never really explained how I have grown up fishing with them. The jig itself is probably one of the most effective fishing lures ever used and can catch anything that swims; it is all about matching your color to the conditions and how you fish it. Today the focus is just on using tiny hair jigs for crappie fishing, so sit back and take a minute to learn one way of putting "slabs" in the frying pan.
Apparently I'm being punished by the pagan weather gods for my prideful boasting about the sunshine last week, because we just got six inches of snow dumped on us.
...and I swear that if even one of you from the free states so much as starts telling me about your beautiful weather I'm going to load up my 870 and start heading south on I-81 and so help me god...
But I digress, I might not be able to tell by looking out the window, but my calendar tells me that we're only a little over a month away from the spring turkey opener up here in the Great White North. That means two things: It's time to start practicing your calls and you can officially start shopping for new turkey gear without feeling guilty. I've got a website that will help with both of those.
Check out call manufacturer Down 'N Dirty Outdoors. As you can see in the picture up there, they have one of the coolest logos I've seen in a while (does anyone else think that thing is begging to be a tattoo?) and their calls have badass names like "The Soul Crusher", "The Lethal Injection" and "The Shadow of Death". After a quick browse of their website you can tell that they spend some extra time making sure their calls look as sweet as they sound.
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten my hands on one yet to give you a full blown review, but I can recommend the short videos that they have attached to the page for each call. In each video, a professional caller demonstrates the call and gives you around a minute of prime turkey-chatter audio. I find audio like that very helpful, regardless of what kind of call you're using, you can play the audio over and over again and try to match your sound exactly.
"Some men are mere hunters; others are turkey hunters"
Last week one of our other members wrote about a method to make shooting with both eyes open much easier: Eyes Wide Open. I have another method to share in this post.
There is a handy gadget called a Sight-Blinder. These Sight-Blinders serve the same purpose as the masking tape on your favorite pair of shooting glasses, crossfire reduction. When shooting with both eyes open we don't want our non aiming eye to take over. For right eye dominate shooters this is the left eye and for left eye dominate it is the right eye.
The added advantage of this product is being able to move to the field easily without worrying about wearing your shooting glasses. This product is very basic, it consists of a small piece of metal bent at a 90 degree angle. The Sight-Blinder is attached to the barrel's vent rib using very strong two sided tape.
The Sight-Blinder attaches to any vent rib that is at least 1/4 inch wide. It can be mounted for both left and right hanged shooters; more details can be found here. There are multiple other products sold by Meadow Industries, LLC, including a fiber optic sight and Sight-Blinder in one which can be found here. There is detailed information regarding the products on the Meadow Industries website.
I've used a Sight-Blinder for skeet shooting before and was very impressed with how easy it was to keep both eyes open and on the target. My shooting improved, especially on fast moving targets and doubles where the shooter needs to pick up the second target very quickly.
I highly recommend these products they range in prices from about $15 to $30. If you don't want to spend any money or try shooting with both eyes open before making any purchases try the other method on our site for a cheaper alternative.
I don't know about you, but if I am wearing pants then I have at least two knives on me. Pocket knives are just incredibly useful tools. Almost every day I find myself needing to open a box, trim some cardboard, cut a rope to length, or accomplish any of a myriad of other precise cutting tasks and I find myself extremely grateful that I have an appropriate tool on my hip that I can access, one handed, in a matter of seconds. That convenience and efficiency is the primary reason why clipping a pocket knife into my right hip pocket has become as much a part of my morning routine as shaving or putting on my socks.
There are of course fringe benefits to having such an essential tool on your person at all times. These will be realized if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, be that situation of the wilderness, trapped-by-seatbelt, or two legged predator variety. Another fringe benefit comes from watching your metro-sexual coworkers nearly faint when you deploy one of these blades to make quick work of a task that would have sent them running for their safety scissors.
I've been through a fair number of daily carry knives, but for the last few months I've been carrying the SOG Twitch II and I've been very happy with it. The edge of the 2.68" blade was razor sharp out of the box and has so far proven itself to be quite durable despite frequent abuse. In the past I've usually carried significantly larger knives in the 4" range and I was initially skeptical of the comparatively compact blade. However, I am happy to report that I've been using the knife for nearly four months and I have yet to encounter a situation where I caught myself wishing for a longer blade. I should also note that the Twitch II has a straight edge from tip to base. I consider this feature a must-have in my carry knives, I find that pocket knives which have both serrated and straight edges on the same knife offer too little blade real estate to function effectively in either capacity.
The hinge mechanism has also impressed me. The fit and finish of the knife in general and the hinge in particular is exceptionally good. There is absolutely no noticeable play in the hinge joint and the overall machining quality is higher than you would expect for its reasonable (~$50) price point. The opening is a lightning fast spring assisted affair that can be initiated either by using your index finger on the "kick" that protrudes from the back or by using your thumb on the more traditional stud. There is a safety lock on the back of the knife that prevents the spring assist mechanism from opening the knife. However, employing this feature dramatically impedes your ability to quickly press the tool into action. So, I employ Glock safety philosophy and keep my finger off the "kick" until I'm ready to get the party started. Your mileage may vary, enter at your own risk.
Now, I don't use the Twitch II as a hunting or a fishing knife. For those specialized applications I have fixed blades that I carry on my belt. But, for an everyday carry knife, I've yet to come across a product that I would recommend over SOG's Twitch II, and that's saying something given the pile of worn out and broken folders I've left in my wake.
Just wanted to update everyone that we will be registering our own domain in the next day or two. You should redirect directly to the new site, but if not, we'll post the link to the new site once everything has been taken care of. Also, once fall rolls around, our hope is to start posting some "webisodes" of our adventures. Below is one of the quick intros that Cory has put together for the hunting episodes.
-Inside Out Team
Sometimes the great ideas that we have just need something to bring them to the forefront. The Inside Out team will be putting our talents to work and sharing our knowledge and love of the outdoors with anyone who wants to listen.
Curran's Outdoor Adventures
GoBlog (Get Outdoors)
Grants Blog (Growing Deer TV)
Hunt Like Your Hungry
inFOCUS (Campbell Cameras)
inMotion (Heartland Bowhunter)
Make It Happen Outdoors
Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
The Rivah Blog
The Will to Hunt
Wired to Hunt