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Category Archives: Sportsman’s Corner

New From Winchester…

For all those shotguns owners out there like myself, we’re always in search of the latest and greatest. Well everybody, for those who haven’t heard, there have been some new gadgets added to the toy box of shotgun goodies!

No longer do you have to hassle with multiple barrels if you switch between shot and slug depending on the season. Winchester has just released a Non-Lead Zinc Slug! At last, a slug that is fast, effective and most of all usable in all states! Non-toxic bullets are a requirement in many parts of California as part of the fight to keep the Condors safe. Now you can buy both shot and slugs that are safe for the condors and the environment.

The other benefit to these new zinc slugs is that aside from being lead free, they’re usable in Smoothbores! No need for rifled barrels just for slugs. These 12-gauge slugs are 3/4oz, .72 caliber and a muzzle velocity of 1400 feet per second! They don’t expand a lot but they do penetrate deeper which make them great for larger game, and the price is reasonable. Check out these new slugs at Winchester today, New for 2011!
www.winchester.com

 

Always Come Prepared!

When it comes to camping one can never be too prepared. Though most trips go off without a hitch, things do happen. Here are a few things that will come in handy when it comes to tent tears, bad lantern mantles and any other small mishap.

Sewing Kit

Tent Repair Kit

Cable Ties

1” Webbing

Seam Sealer

Duct Tape (which fixes just about anything)

Waterproofer

Washers

Cord Locks

Replacement Zippers

Lantern Mantles

Parachute Cord

Shock Cord

Shoe Goo

Spare Buckles

Safety Pins

Stove or Lantern Repair Parts

Tent Pole Splints

leatherman tool (this has pliers, screwdrivers and small knife)

First Aid Kit

This little kit of goodies can help you enjoy your trip and allow you to stay longer as those pesky little mishaps can be fixed and won’t spoil the fun of having to go home due to a broken zipper or lantern mantle. As you put together a pouch of these items, and the more use you get out of them you can expand your kit to include the things you find you need. Happy Camping!

 

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Keeping Your Flies In "Mint" Condition

If you love fly-fishing then you know the perils of keeping your flies straight. Well here’s a simple and inexpensive way to keep your flies organized. This is a great beginners fly box for those young and old.

Take an Altoids box and clean out any mint dust of course. Then take a section of cardboard from an old shoebox and cut 3 strips one- 3 ½” x ¾” this will fit lengthwise inside the tin. Then two pieces- 2 1/8” x ¾” these will fit across the width of the tin.

Next cut two notches in the longest piece and one notch in the center of each of the smaller pieces. Cover each of the three pieces with duct tape. This will keep things waterproof and make the cardboard fit snugly in the tin. After you wrap the pieces in cardboard and re-snip the notches lay the long piece lengthwise in the tin and the two shorter pieces widthwise.

This will create 6 individual compartments to keep your flies organized! You can also embellish your tin by adding pieces of magnet or foam to further organize your flies. With the inside dimensions given here you can customize your tin to fit your needs and various size flies!

This makes a great project to get your junior fly-fisher started and give he or she a place to start their own collection of flies that will catch them a whopper!

 

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They Are Armored For A Reason… Stay Away!

A new study done on a possible link between (oddly enough) Armadillos and Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease, came back with some sad news for Armadillo lovers…

Apparently people who have either handled or consumed Armadillo may be at risk for leprosy. The following is a snippet from the New York Times:

Armadillos have never been among the cuddly creatures routinely included in petting zoos, but on Wednesday federal researchers offered a compelling reason to avoid contact with the armored animals altogether: They are a source of leprosy infections in humans. Using genetic sequencing machines, researchers were able to confirm that about a third of the leprosy cases that arise each year in the United States almost certainly result from contact with infected armadillos. The cases are concentrated in Louisiana and Texas, where some people hunt, skin and eat armadillos. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is an ancient scourge that has largely disappeared, but each year about 150 to 250 people in the United States and 250,000 in the world contract the illness. As long as the disease is identified relatively quickly, treatment with antibiotics — a one- to two-year regimen with three different drugs — offers an effective cure. But every year dozens of people in the United States do not recognize their skin lesions for what they are early enough and suffer lifelong nerve damage as a result.- New York Times

 

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Taking Caribou-sness!

I first met Chris & Thorene (Thor) Schippmann of Liard River Adventures at the 2007 SCI Convention in Reno Nevada. I was very impressed with them, and what they and their area had to offer, so the following year we booked a moose & caribou hunt with Chris & Thor for the 2009 season. Liard River Adventures is located along the Liard River and Alaskan Highway, not a great distance from the Yukon border. The area’s spectacular wildlife fauna and hunting opportunities consists of eight species of ungulates, namely Stone Sheep, Mountain Goats, wild Wood Bison, Canadian Moose, Elk, Mountain Caribou, White-Tailed and Mule Deer; plus at least seven species of medium-sized carnivores including Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Lynx and Wolverines.

My wife Paula & I drove from California to Liard River Adventures in Alberta and ‘vacationed our way’ there through BC, Banff & Jasper National Parks. Paula spent a day or two with Thor at the Liard River base camp and then flew home… that’s when my hunt began.

At the main lodge, I was introduced to Chris’ brother Ty, my guide. Ty has several Belt Buckle awards for largest mountain caribou taken in British Columbia and without a doubt, one of the toughest and best guides I’ve had the pleasure to hunt with. Foggy windy weather delayed the start of the hunt by a day, which began with about a 25-30 mile flight north toward the Yukon, into the wilderness and the Caribou Range. Once we finally reached the upper camp we made up time, by riding horseback to make it to the Caribou range by dusk. The plan was to take a mountain caribou first, as they had a shorter season, and then go for a moose. With all of us at the one camp and cabin, it was a bit cramped, but still comfortable. As I turned in for the night, I had no idea that the following day I would be signing the inner wall of the cabin with the trophy moose I harvested.

The next morning we all went our separate ways. As luck would have it, Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Edible Plants & Tasty Garden Treats

Before we had supermarkets, we had to grow our own food.

And before we even had farms, we had to gather our meals from the forests.

But while we have evolved to Hunters of bargains and deals, and Gatherers of Hummel figurines and Beanie Babies… Our forests have evolved very little from the early days of humanity.  There’s a whole feast we can gather in our forests, we only have to learn what they look like and how to use them!

Dandelions: The broad leaves of these plants can be eaten like lettuce, or steamed. The blooms are sweetest when they are young – unopened and close to the ground. These too can be eaten raw or steamed. Be sure the dandelions you are picking are far from roads and homes- since they can be considered weeds, they could have been sprayed with pesticides and weed killers.


Cactus: The large, wide paddles of certain Cacti (called nopales in Spanish) can be boiled until soft and eaten- they taste similar to green beans. Wear gloves when picking cactus paddles and removing the needles- there are small hairlike needles that are a pain to remove from skin and clothing. Remove the needles by shaving them off with a knife.

Many cacti also grow prickly pear (called tunas in Spanish) – a grainy, seedy fruit with the texture of a pear that tastes like fruit punch. You can shave the needles off of these and eat raw.

Miner’s Lettuce: This plant is common in mountainous areas all over the country. It gets its name from the California Gold Rush men who ate it to prevent scurvy. Eat it raw in salads, or cook like spinach, as its taste is similar but rougher in texture. Collect and consume before the flowers bloom for best flavor.

Marigolds: This common garden bloom’s petals can replace expensive saffron in a variety of dishes. It can also be used in salads as it has a citrus flavor.

Lavender, Roses and Violets: You know they all smell great, did you know they taste delicious too? They taste just like they smell- Lavender and Violets are sweet with a hint of citrus, and rose is rich with berry and apple flavors. They are a great garnish or additive to desserts and mixed drinks- roses need their petals trimmed of the bitter white end before using. The unique flavor of Lavender will also work well in savory sauces and stews. Violet leaves can be eaten- cook the heart-shaped leaves like spinach.

The Internet is full of advice on how to test your own local plants for edibility. Recipes for how to prepare your favorite plant edibles are also online. You don’t have to have a garden to enjoy Nature’s bounty; you just have to know where to look!

 

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5 Easy Steps To Fillet Your Catch

For those who love to fish or those who would like to start but have no clue what to do after you land one, here are 5 simple steps to clean and fillet your fish. A sharp knife will keep you from tearing up your meat and make the entire process cleaner and easier.

1. First you want to start with a very sharp knife. Cut your fish from the tail to the head and remove all innards. Rinse thoroughly. Place your blade behind the gills and slice inward towards the head until you reach the backbone and spine.

2. Next turn you knife around and slice towards the tail gliding along the backbone and exiting at the base of the tail.

3. With the skin still on, insert the blade tip just below the ribs and carefully remove the rib cage.

4. Now to remove the skin. Grasp the skin as the tail and run the blade away from your body at a shallow angle to avoid puncturing the skin.

5. This should have freed your first fillet. Now turn your fish over and repeat on the other side.

Remember that if you plan to transport your fish across state or country borders, to leave a piece of the skin attached for identification purposes.

Fish are an incredibly healthy, low-calorie source of protein. Many worry about mercury levels in fish, but researchers still advise two servings per week (unless you’re pregnant than just one). Fish have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, combat depression, improve skin health, relieve arthritis pain, and even prevent cancer. When fishing, keep moderate-sized fish, older fish contain more mercury.

Tip: Using a cloth around your hands can help steady your fish and keep it from slipping out of your hands and causing an accident seeing as you are using a very sharp knife. Another tip that rids your hands of that odor that never seems to dissipate: Hold a steel blade under running water! You’ll never know you touched that fish!

 

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First For Hunters

I had the pleasure of attending the Safari Club International annual Convention in Reno Nevada this past week and I just have to say- What an experience. Whether you partake in the sportsman world of hunting and fishing or just enjoy observing wildlife, SCI is an organization that makes both of these activities possible. For those that hunt, SCI fights to make sure that your rights as a hunter are protected. They fight it all the way to the steps of the capitol to ensure that we as hunters can continue our right to bear arms and enjoy a sport that we love.

If you aren’t someone who participates in hunting, know that Safari Club International is a big part of wildlife conservation. Whether it’s game or non-game animals, SCI puts a lot of time and money into supporting organizations that help protect all species of wildlife to ensure that there are plenty to be observed and ethically harvested to maintain our delicate ecosystem. “If it weren’t for hunters…their would be no wildlife.”- a line spoken by several speakers of this show including the president of SCI and Alaska’s governor Sarah Palin.

It was great to walk around and see a world that few see. A world filled with a variety of visitors all sharing a passion for the sportsman world. Men and woman of all ages and backgrounds came together to offer one another hunting and fishing opportunities, tips, weaponry and of course unique ways to have your harvested animal mounted.

For those that don’t enjoy hunting, or feel that those that trophy hunt are unethical people allow me to offer this bit of information. Animals that are taken for their size and stature, and they are mostly African animals, the hunter takes home the outer part of the animal to be mounted but all of the meat and every other bit of the animal not taken by the hunter is used and consumed by the local people. In a way these hunters are able to partake in a hunt, take home the parts that they want to keep and the rest is donated to help feed the local community.

Learn more about Safari Club International and other organizations like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that help support wildlife conservation and hunter rights click the links above.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Sportsman's Corner

 

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Protect Your Best Friend From A Potentially Fatal Situation

We love our pets, no doubt about it. We take care of them and do our best to protect them when at all possible. But what happens if your dog or cat is bitten by a Rattlesnake? If you live or frequent areas that have these slithering savages, then a vaccine may be in order.

My family owns a ranch in the hills an hour and a half from a veterinary hospital. As the owner of a boarder collie that herds cattle at our ranch and is VERY active and curious, I knew this vaccine was necessary. The Rattlesnake Vaccine gives my pup a fighting chance should she come in contact with a rattlesnake.

In 2003 Red Rock Biologics created a Rattlesnake vaccine to help dogs and cats build up the antibodies that will ultimately help them to fight off the infection that occurs when bitten. It is not a lifesaver, but it does give them a fighting chance especially in instances like mine where I may not be able to get my dog to a vet immediately.

So if you are in a rattlesnake area where you live, where you hike or walk your dog, where you like to go camping or where you hunt with your dog, then consider this inexpensive vaccine. To learn more about this great vaccine visit Rattlesnake Vaccines For Dogs and talk to your Vet. Shots run about $20 per shot and after the intial shot a booster shot is given within 30 days of the first shot and a booster is given 1-2 times a year depending on how often your pet is exposed. $40 a year can help save your pet from a lot of pain and save you from a very expensive vet bill.

 

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A Proud Pups First Hunt

This is Toby and this moment was captured as he and owner Tom Kelly finished up a successful day of duck hunting. Toby is a 3-year old Yellow Lab and after his first trip he has proved to be a great little hunter.

 
 

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