Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Busy week

Sorry that I haven’t been posting much but I’ve had a lot going on! I’ve been busy with the family and the job of course, but I’ve also been putting together some things that could really affect my future and could be really exciting for the world of hunting! I’ve teamed up with a business/hunting partner now and we are working out some really cool and exciting ideas! In all reality, due to our current financial limitations, it will probably be a year or two before our ventures see the light of day so I’m trying to temper my excitement but I’m really excited with what we have so far! No matter what happens we’re going to be filming some of our hunts this year and I’ll try to post some of it when we get it put together!

In some other news I’m trying to find time to put some profiles up of a diverse group of hunters. It will probably be a little bit before I get it together but I just want to further illustrate that the outdoors truly are for everyone!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reminders and Recommendations

Just to remind you I'll be attending some really cool events in August and I would love to see some of you out there! These events will last for several days, at the least, and will be well worth your time to attend! Also, on a non-hunting related note, if you haven't seen "The Dark Knight" do yourself a favor and go see it! Jessica and I watched it Sunday and we both agreed it was one of the best movies we've seen in a long time! And let me tell ya, we don't agree on movies all of the time so when we do its something special!

Below are links to the events I will personally be attending, for more info see my sidebar...

Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic, Concord, NC

The Virginia Outdoor Sportsman's Classic
August 22 - 24 Salem VA

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bikes and Back Porches 2

This squirrel came right up on my back porch, he was going to come right to me until the neighbors cat scared him off.

Bicycles and Back Porches

It's amazing what you can see riding home from work on your bike or just hanging out on your back porch! There are two does in the first pics and just one in the others...

Click on the pictures to view them full size!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bicycles, Deer Scouting, and Adventure Riding

Yesterday I finally had a little time to go scouting one of the areas that I thought my bicycle would come in handy, and boy was I right! I didn’t have much time but I threw the bike, a field pack, and a couple of bottles of water in to the back of my truck and got to my spot as quickly as possible. I quickly got my gear together and started down the trail. I was still easing the bike in when I spotted a doe in the first open spot you come to. I watched her for a second or two but she had been spooked by the noise and got out of there. I cruised on, trying to get through the road as quickly as I could just to see how far it went. I didn’t have much time to do any in-depth scouting I just wanted to get a lay of the land. I can’t find this road on any maps so physically getting out there was the only way I could get my goal accomplished. I traveled as far as I could until the time came to turn back and I was already several miles back. I still don’t know how far it goes but I’ll give it another try soon.

Going in was a big time workout and I found out I’m still not in nearly good enough shape. The more I do the better I’ll be though and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! I wanted to take some pictures but there really weren’t any good views other than a little random deer sign. Coming out was a real blast though as it was mostly down hill and I really got to put my mountain bike to the test! I felt like a true adventure bicyclist, I was jumping logs, flying down hill and really enjoying the moment!

The area certainly looked like it held some deer and that’s always important. More than anything I learned that I definitely enjoyed using the bicycle as a scouting tool, and I will be doing more off-road biking for the pure fun of it as well!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

UFC: update

Ok, so that fight wasn’t much… here are the results from the night.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

UFC: Silva vs. Irvin

30 minutes in to this and I'm pumped, I love the UFC! Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chillin' N Grillin'

I love the taste of grilled food and a cold beverage! Nothing to report really I'm just in a good mood and wanted to share it! Should be shooting off a few arrows in a little bit... hope you are all having a great night too!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


So what was Quinton "Rampage" Jackson thinking? Running from the law in a lifted F-250 with is own picture on both sides of it? I'm a fan but that was one crazy move. I hope the whole story comes out soon. For now check out TMZ.COM.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hunting, Bicycles, Commuting, Money, the Environment, Fitness, and Oil

Wow, what a title! Ok, so maybe it’s a little too ambitious! This is really just going to be a post on my first few weeks of bicycle commuting. The first weeks have went extremely well and I do believe it’s going to become a full time activity. I’ve worked out a way to pack my work clothes in my backpack, as well as my lunch, and wear more suitable clothes to bike in and then change at work. So far everything has worked out well and the air moves fast enough to keep me from being too sweaty when I get to work. The only issue I’ve had so far is that one day last week it was pouring rain when I left work and I hadn’t packed any kind of a jacket. Having no fenders on my bike also provided me with a wet butt before I had even gotten out of the parking lot. I feel like it is going to really improve my fitness level though, and despite the fact that it’s not an extremely long ride or anything, I’ve already came up with ways to make it more challenging when I get to that point.

I’ve also identified several hunting areas where the bike will be very useful as well. There is no way I could make it in to one of the areas without being too sweaty when I got there or having to start walking in at way too early in the morning. I hope to take it on a scouting trip or two very soon, as well, to really get a feel for how it is going to work for hunting, but I feel it will have some real advantages in a few areas I plan on checking out.

Another great thing to come from bike commuting is that I’m being easier on the environment, and even better, I’m saving myself a lot of money! I will soon be biking to work five days a week and that equals a lot of gas savings! Finding a good place to put some of that money was easy too. I’ve already decided on a new muzzleloader! At the end of each trip I have a large hill to climb, and every time it gets tough I think about using that new muzzleloader, way back in the woods, on a beautiful mature whitetail, and somehow I make it up those hills time after time!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deer Scouting, Old Friends, and the Blessings of Family

Today was a good day! Sorry that was a little salute to Ice Cube there! Anyway, it really was a good day! I got up early with little Harry and he and I hung out for a little while and then Jessica got up and cooked us breakfast! She soon headed off to work and Harry and I watched some hunting shows until he took a nap and I got up and began getting ready to head out for the day. We soon headed out and ate lunch with Jessica before driving over to visit my parents. We hung out with my Mom and Dad for a little while and then Dad and I went out on a little mission to find some new hunting areas, and to scout for deer sign on some public ground we are thinking about hunting. We rode around for a couple of hours and came up blank on permissions to hunt, but we did find a few areas that we will be scouting further. It seemed we rode from one side of the county to the other scouting, and we actually saw several deer including a tiny spotted fawn! However, one of the best things of the day was running in to an old friend of mine who was out riding horses (his wife actually helped deliver Harry III but I rarely get to see him)! I got to talk to him, and one of his buddies, for a while and it was an pleasent surprise to see him! After the scouting trip Dad and I headed back to the house, and then Harry and I headed back to Wytheville. We took my truck to the car wash and got it looking nice again and then we came home, ate, and I then tucked him in to bed. He is such a blessing in my life, every time I take things to seriously or get to worked up about anything I can just look at him and it puts everything in to perspective. One of my favorite things in the world is carrying him up to bed each night and he puts his little head between my neck and shoulder and it just warms my heart more than anything ever! It was great to find some new areas that I may be hunting this fall but the best thing in my life is my time spent with my son! Anyway that was my really good day, I hope yours was as good or better!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Deer kill more people than Lions, Tigers, Bears and Sharks

From CNN.com. The story is from 2002 but the information is still accurate.

By Marsha Walton (CNN Sci-Tech)
Thursday, September 26, 2002 Posted: 8:57 AM EDT (1257 GMT)
CNN) --Forget the lions, tigers, and bears. Toss out the sharks, the alligators, even the poisonous snakes.

When it comes to humans' worst enemies in the animal world, don't think big. Or sharp teeth. Or even mean.

Hollywood and fairy tales may demonize the shark and the big bad wolf. But the animal that claims far more lives in the United States is one that many people urge their kids to walk up and touch at the petting zoo.

Yes, Bambi.

It's not because they attack, but because hapless deer wander onto roadways that they and other creatures claimed 83 human lives in car crashes in 2000, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation .

Tens of thousands of deer are killed when hit by cars. Erie Insurance, which keeps detailed records on car vs. deer claims, says the number of claims increased from 23,000 in 2000 to 26,000 in 2001, up 16 percent. That company alone spent $50 million on car/deer accidents in 2001, the vast majority of their claims in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In spite of lots of hyped movies and media coverage, the Florida Museum of Natural History reports that sharks killed five humans in 2001, down from 12 in 2000. In the United States, alligators and crocodiles have killed on average one person a year for the past 30 years, says the University of Florida.

While the big bad wolf may be the villain of fairy tales, this animal doesn't even cause a blip on the radar screen when it comes to animal/human conflict. Brad DeVries of the Defenders of Wildlife says there are no records of wolves killing a person in the United States.

But the wolf's "tamer" cousin does not always live up to the motto of man's best friend. From 1979 to 1996, dog bites killed 340 people in the United States, with most of the fatalities involving children 14 and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While Rottweilers and pit bulls were responsible for more than half of those deaths, experts stress that it's not fair to condemn a breed for what's usually the sin of its owner. Dozens of breeds, from dachshunds to Yorkshire terriers have caused deaths.

"Quite likely the kind of person who was an irresponsible owner of a Doberman in the '70s is the same kind of person who is an irresponsible owner of a Rottweiler in the '90s or a Presa Canario in 2002," said Dr. Randall Lockwood, an animal behavior expert.

Most dog attacks, Lockwood says, are predictable and preventable, the result of an owner's failure to properly raise, train, socialize and supervise an animal. That's often the result of the wrong dog for the wrong reason.

"Getting a dog as an offensive or defensive weapon is a lot like having a loaded handgun in the nightstand," said Lockwood. Usually a child, a family member, or a neighbor is the one who gets harmed. In his studies of more than 300 fatal dog attacks over the past 25 years, he says just one was a burglar.

Black bears and grizzly bears killed 133 people in North America in the past century, six more in 2000 and 2001, according to Steve Herrero with the University of Calgary. But each year across the United States and Canada, there are millions of uneventful human/bear encounters.

The current population is about 700,000 black bears, and 60,000 grizzlies on the continent, says Herrero, professor emeritus of environmental science. He's spent more than 10,000 hours studying grizzlies, and has written and produced books and videos on bears and keeping safe if you confront one.

He says the usual reason for injury or death is a too-sudden encounter, when the bear perceives the human to be too close. Usually, he says, in those defensive situations the bear simply growls and runs.

Surviving a confrontation can be accomplished, says Herrero. Sometimes you can just "talk it down" like you would an enraged, out of control human being. If that's not working, there are effective cayenne pepper bear sprays on the market now that give the human enough time to escape. Playing dead can work, he says, but if you have no other choice, and if the bear is being offensive, just attack the bear all you can, with a stick, a stone, a knife, or smack it on the nose. Usually the encounters last two to 10 seconds, but in that time they can inflict terrible injuries, says Herrero.

The number of bear attacks in North America has gone up in the past 50 years, mostly, says Herrero, because more and more people are working, camping, and hiking in what was their turf for many years. Ten people were killed in the 1950s, 14 in the '60s, 22 in the '70s, 27 in the '80s, 29 in the '90s

The critter that humans should fear the most usually is dismissed as a mere annoyance, a pest at a picnic or the pool. But the disease-carrying mosquito, delivering encephalitis, the West Nile virus, malaria, and Dengue fever, makes it far and away the deadliest beast in the animal world. The World Health Organization says mosquitos cause more than 2 million deaths a year worldwide. Another insect, the tsetse fly, kills another 66,000 annually.

Another great article by Bob Mcnally

Sensible Summer Fun: The Plinkin' Revival

Read it in it's original form here...

Bob McNally | July 09, 2008

With urban sprawl rampant throughout America, it’s no wonder that “plinking” has sort of died out with other old, fun and sensible pastimes.

Plinking has a wide definition, but essentially it’s just unsophisticated target shooting at objects like tin cans and water balloons, stump tops and pine cones. In the not too distant past, a couple of youngsters with a pair of .22 rifles could spend a rural day afield, walking and carefully target shooting without fear of hurting anyone or anything valuable, nor getting into trouble with landowners or local authorities.

Those days are gone in parts of suburban America. But in vast areas of rural countryside, plinking still can be done easily and safely, and it’s a great way to spend a summer day with friends and family, especially kids and beginning shooters.

I’ve long lost track of the times I’ve invited ladies and youngsters who have never fired guns to a low-key morning of plinking. Everyone, and I mean every single person, has thoroughly enjoyed rolling tin cans with a .22. It’s safe and wholesome, inexpensive, and a great day outdoors for the whole family.

When I go plinking, I bring a wide variety of .22 rifles and handguns, and include some heavier firearms, too, like .38s and .380s, .45s and sometimes a .223 or .22-250 rifle or two. And I always have a new or young shooter along to show that guns are nothing to be afraid of, and that safe, rural plinking is as much a part of heartland America as apple pie and proudly waving Old Glory.

Having a good place to plink can be a problem for many outdoorsmen. Hunt clubs, and large tracts of property or farms owned by friends, are potentially good plinking locations.

Air rifles and bows-and-arrows can be substituted for .22s in small tracts where safety is a concern. But getting out and shooting is what it’s all about. Time with friends and family, far from television and air conditioning; where the air is clean, the flowers are wild.

It’s good for the soul, and for the active people involved.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From time.com

Here's a good article about hunters for the hungry.


Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007
Shooting Deer for the Homeless
By Elisabeth Salemme

Hunting may seem a cruel and heartless activity to animal-rights activists and many Americans. But hunters are trying to show they can be compassionate people too. A growing number of American hunters are donating part of their bounty each year to people who need it most, the poor and the homeless, through nationwide campaigns like Hunters for the Hungry, which delivers game meat to local food banks and shelters. In Georgia, where the group was founded 15 years ago, more than 1,000 hunters delivered 5,000 pounds of meat in 2006, making 25,000 meals. Nationwide, the group is on track to deliver its one-millionth meal in December. "It's really vital now because it's the holiday season, and there's more need during the fall and winter," says Glenn Dowling, executive vice president of the Georgia Wildlife Federation. "Now is when this influx of high-quality protein needs to come into play in the food banks."

Hunters for the Hungry and other programs like it operate in nearly every U.S. state; in the past year, total pounds of food donated increased 30%. Rick Wilson founded his Maryland-based ministry, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), 10 years ago while on a hunting trip in Virginia, soon after he witnessed a poverty-stricken woman collecting road-kill in the woods. After soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in donations, Wilson and volunteers began providing what Wilson calls "God-given resources" to the homeless. The organization has since branched out to 26 states, with more than 100 chapters. "We see ourselves not as a hunting organization, but as a feeding ministry," says Wilson, who is now FHFH's executive director.

Supporters of such campaigns say their benefits go beyond feeding the needy. In Georgia, which has one of the largest populations of deer in the southeast, hunters say their pastime doubles as an ecological good, by thinning out overcrowded forests. Victor DeVine, a hunter all his life, volunteered with Hunters for the Hungry last year at Georgia's Fort Yargo state park, where he says deer overpopulation had become unmanageable. "It was the first time the park was hunted in 50 years," he says. "It was even affecting other critters because the deer were taking too much food."

But to animal rights activists, feeding the hungry with animals killed for sport is not a justifiable end. The Humane Society of the United States says that most hunters are pursuing a recreational activity whose purpose is not food gathering. "Rather than spending money on a recreational pursuit and donating the byproducts, spending that money on other types of charitable programs or food for the hungry would be a great alternative," says Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society. "If hunters are donating the spoils, [feeding the hungry] is really a secondary issue." Markarian says there are also non-lethal ways to avoid conflicts between deer and human populations, like installing reflectors to prevent roadside collisions.

Another concern with donated game meat, the Humane Society says, is the risk to human health. Unlike farm-raised meat, which undergoes a federal government–controlled inspection process before it can be sold, meat from wild animals may end up on a plate with little regulation — increasing the risk of contamination. "Because goose and deer and other suburban animals feed on lawns and flowers that are treated with pesticides, meat from those animals could be unfit for human consumption," Markarian says.

Still, hunters' donations remain constant staples at shelters and food banks. In Georgia, for example, thanks in part to the state's generous bag limit of 12 deer per year, venison steaks (not to mention venison burgers, lasagna and chili), are not only abundant, but well liked. "It's very popular and it's very similar to beef," says Sarah Robertson, who coordinates food donations at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the state's largest food bank, which distributes to more than 800 shelters each year. "It's been a huge win-win for us."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TUESDAY NIGHT PURSUITS presented by Mossy Oak on The Outdoor Channel

Don't forget to check out the new line up of show's on The Outdoor Channel presented by Mossy Oak! So far all of the new shows have been great and I'm sure next weeks shows will be no different!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Brief Look Back

As many of you know, I recently started hunting again. I hadn’t hunted since I was probably a senior in high school and even as a youth, while I had hunted some, I never really got in to it as more than just a casual hobby. I have always enjoyed the outdoors but never got obsessive about hunting because you had to get up early and it was too cold among other reasons.

Cut to many years later, after I quit Drivn (the band I had been in, on and off again, for the last 6 years) I realized I needed a new hobby to take up my time. I had slowly been rediscovering my love for the outdoors, and doing a lot of hiking and just anything outdoors related. After giving it some thought, I decided to give hunting another try. Needless to say, I have found a new lifetime hobby and I’m really glad! It’s a hobby that not only gives me some much needed exercise but it also gives me time to clear my head and think, a peek into the animal kingdom, challenge, adventure, and a view into things that I would never see unless I spent some time in the woods. I have developed a passion for hunting that is rivaled by only my family and friends. There are not many places that I would rather be now than out in nature.

I’ve had some great adventures since I started hunting again. I have gained strength in my mental toughness and determination, confidence in my abilities to survive off of the land, and my appreciation for wildlife has been regained. I’m in better shape now and I’ve learned to enjoy simple things like watching birds flit around through my binoculars. I’ve also learned just how shy a squirrel can be and how funny a bird can look at you when you’re in a treestand 20 feet off of the ground. I like taking pictures of deep woods that I would never have seen if I hadn’t ventured out. I’ve also enjoyed the thought of teaching all that I’m learning to my son, Harry III. Part of what fuels me to keep going is wanting to teach him to set goals and keep at them so he can achieve anything no matter how hard it seems to be. I also want to teach him to enjoy being outside and to not base his life around TV and video games as most of this generation does. Maybe one day he’ll be the next hunting celebrity that all the outdoor channels are featuring! No matter what, I want him to get to know what it’s like to be outdoors, then he can decide how much he wants to be involved in it after that.

Hunting has taught me to pay more attention to my environment, politics, and conservation. I’ve learned more about such things as topographic and aerial maps as well as just learning more about this country in general. It has brought me closer to some of my friends and to my dad as well. When I was younger, Dad had always been active as an outdoorsman. Once retired, he became very inactive and was not in very good shape. He has really gotten back into hunting and fishing though and really enjoys having a hobby and spending time with me doing something he had forgotten that he loved. Obviously, hunting has gotten me interested in writing again as well. I started out just keeping a hunting journal to keep track of what I was doing, and whether my techniques were working or not. It has made me love writing again, and with such a great subject as hunting and the outdoors, it’s so easy. My attitude towards life has improved as well. There’s just something about knowing your place in the world that tells you things are going to be alright, even when times get tough. Knowing that you can handle the cold and ferocity of the wild puts a bad day at work into perspective for sure. There’s nothing like taking on Mother Nature to let you know how tough you really are. Without mental and physical toughness nature can beat you down very quickly. There is such a challenge in spending a cold, snowy, December day on a treestand, but it’s worth it to experience the quiet of a new fallen snow alone in the deep woods where not everyone will venture. The sense of accomplishment you feel from knowing that you tried and survived when nature itself seems out to get you is tremendous.

There’s also nothing like the taste of food you have harvested yourself, whether it’s fresh vegetables from your garden or an animal that you have taken. Wild animals are much healthier than the steroid fed animals that most people buy at the local store. They generally have less fat and definitely have no additives.

I have to say that I feel so grateful for the fact that I’ve rediscovered my love for hunting and the great outdoors! I also feel that due to the way things have unfolded in my life I feel that one of my new missions in life is to be a spokesman for the outdoors lifestyle. I’ve been on the other side and I know of all the stereotypes and misconceptions of hunting and I feel it’s my duty to do all I can to educate people and let them know that hunters are some of the best people out there and that hunting is a great lifestyle to pursue. There are so many people out there that are misled in their believes about hunters and we as outdoors people have to get out there and show them that these believes simply are not true. I really want to become a truly great hunter and outdoorsman but if nothing else I really want to bring more people in to this lifestyle. I know that this lifestyle is not for everyone but I really want to open up minds and bring education to those out there who don’t understand what we are all about!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Drury Outdoors ProStaff member Chris Ward... Really nice guy!

A little while back after watching Drury Outdoors Dream Season 2 I wrote a post about how impressed I was by Chris Ward and Eric Hale. They are both local Virginia boys and I felt represented our state very well and I said so in the post. Well, I nearly fell in the floor when I got home this afternoon and had a message from Chris Ward on my answering machine. It seems he had stumbled upon the post and was really appreciative of the kind words. I was honored that he would actually take the time to find my number and pick up the phone and call me, unfortunately I rarely use my home phone and missed the call. Most people today, myself included most of the time, have forgotten the personal touch that a phone call gives over an email, but apparently Chris Ward is not one of those people. If you read this Chris, thank you very much for the call it says great things about you and it was a big inspiration for me! I still say you represent Virginia and Drury Outdoors very well, and they should be really thankful to have guys like you on their team!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mossy Oak Treestand

Wow! I’ve been watching Mossy Oak Tuesday night’s on the Outdoor Channel and I must say the new Mossy Oak Treestand pattern looks GREAT!