Archive for the 'Blog Contest' Category

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Published by Frank Biggs on 20 Oct 2016

Public lands belong to everyone in the U.S.

I am a true believer of Public Lands for all!

“Public lands belong to everyone in the U.S. Often, though, your public lands are surrounded by a fortress of private property, making them inaccessible. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to hunt your public land.”

You could be the person in this photo.  You have until October 2016 to get it done.

You could be the person in this photo. You have until October 2016 to get it done.

This is the first feature film ever done for onXmaps and features Randy Newberg (Renown Big Game Hunter) and Matthew Seidel (onXmaps Staff) hunting an area that Randy tends to go to every year. If you watch his show you will know the area in question.

LINKS BELOW

A great video to view today:
LANDLOCKED – Montana Elk Hunt

Until the end of October there is a giveaway:

The great October 2016 give away from onXmaps HUNT

Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

 

 

 

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Published by bargyle6550 on 30 Jan 2013

RIVERSIDE ARCHERS

Feb shoot

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Published by c-lo on 21 Apr 2012

3 arrows and some whiskers

For my birthday I bought some new carbon arrows, not many just three.

I was rounding out a dozen where I’d lost, or destroyed a few. Rounding out my dozen makes me feel good. There is some security for an archer in that, not having a dozen makes me feel incomplete somehow lacking, sort of the way opening your refrigerator and finding it mostly empty feels.

Part of becoming arrow whole again is to get those arrows fletched, which I’m doing as I write this, one vane at a time. Fletching jig at my side, I glue one on, blog rhapsodize myself silly, then glue another and so on. Becoming whole again.

Fletching arrows while I blog myself silly..

I thought I’d also work on my whiskers. Laurel and the kids got me brown whiskers for my birthday, something I’ve always wanted, although I didn’t know it until a few months ago.

Whiskers or string silencers absorb vibration coming off the bowstring making it quieter, making me stealthy and badass so beware all you critters out there that I’ve not yet ever hunted!   Plus they are appealing traditional gear that looks nice, nothing wrong with that.

Putting them on is a whole other matter though, I checked the web and right away ran into a Mana’o Productions Youtube video on the subject. It’s on the long side but this dude has his quiver in order, real pro, liked him right away. I’m including it below for those of you who want to take the time to learn a new skill, polish up or just check it out. If you don’t care just skip it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGuPxe1BMA&w=853&h=480]

Lashing them cat whiskers on
My whiskered bow.

As soon as I was done I went outside and shot a few ends and was amazed at how well they work. On this light 35 lb bow I only lashed on two but I will do the four that Mana’o recommends on my heavier bow and see how it goes. The whiskered approach is meant as a refinement in further quieting an already quiet tool, certainly for bowhunters. I would think the soul searchers would appreciate them also, providing them with an easier, quieter path to the introspection they seek.

Check out my personal blog at:    http://charlesarcheryblog.wordpress.com/

 

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Published by dandu005 on 13 Nov 2011

Bittersweetness of Hunting

I feel that I am not alone when I say that there is most definitely a bittersweet side to the harvesting of game and the hunt being over. I was fortunate this year to once again fill my Minnesota archery tag with a nice buck. Not only that, but it also was the third consecutive year that I took my buck on Halloween weekend. So to say harvesting my 2011 buck made me happy is an understatement, although deep down there was a strange feeling that was oddly not surprising.

Looking down at my buck lying in the bed of my truck, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat upset. I had spent the last 364 days since I killed my last buck getting ready for that moment, and now it was over. The thought that my 2011 season was over really struck at me, and thinking about a whole year of preparation until the next season seemed depressing. I found it very interesting that despite my success I had mixed feelings about it. This was supposed to be a time of utter celebration and nothing more. Which we did celebrate the harvest, and I most certainly couldn’t have been more happy with a happy ending to a hunting season, but the emotions I felt still kept me uneasy deep down.

Finally an epiphany happened, and I realized why I was feeling these mixed feelings. The happy feelings go without any need for explanation. However, the unhappy ones I found to be caused by the end of a season. I would no longer get to go out into the woods, sit in a tree stand, observe mother nature, and enjoy God’s work. I anticipate that opportunity all year, it is what I essentially live for among other select things. I have also found that it is inevitable that these feeling will come when you put in so much time and effort into the preparations for your hunting season, then have it all come down to the climax and have it end only to start the cycle all over again. The important thing to remember is that you get the opportunity to do it all again. For many this chance doesn’t come. Half the fun of hunting is the off-season preparation isn’t it? The anticipation, the prepping, all working up to that fleeting moment, that is why we do it. So don’t let those end of the season woes get to you. Always remember there is another season coming, so reap the rewards of the recently ended one and start getting ready for next year’s adventures, and remember why we do what we do.

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Published by dandu005 on 25 Oct 2011

Bowhunting in Reality

Looking through today’s hunting publications, what do you see? Page after page of celebrity hunters holding up freakishly large deer that surpass even the limits of our dreams. Usually these images are displayed on the ad pages promoting some sort of product that is supposed to be the cause for the fall of the monarch. While I will say I do like watching some of these celebrity hunters and enjoy their shows, I feel what they are promoting is being misinterpreted by the public. We the public are starting to believe we must shoot big mature bucks, and that trophy hunting is coming to be the one accepted method in the woods. Shooting a young buck will lead to scoffs and criticisms from “much greater” hunters who think highly of their commitment to trophy hunting. In reality, the typical deer hunter doesn’t have access to land that is capable of producing record book bucks consistently like TV hunting personalities do. Big mature bucks are far more rare than most people realize, and that is where this misinterpretation can lead to problems for us hunters. We work so hard for something that quit possibly may not be possible that we no longer enjoy the sport and forget what hunting is about. In these modern day magazines, I am also noticing a rise in the number of articles being published about this issue. The authors are attempting to pursuade people into seeing what the world of hunting is turning into. More and more hunters are losing sight of what is important to the hunt, that is the hunt itself and not the kill. The world of hunting is turning into an unquenchable thirst for shooting the biggest deer in the woods, and if you don’t do so you fail as a hunter. Much too often it seems we find ourselves scrutinizing others for taking lesser deer than our standards. This is brought about by the false interpretations we get from the media. Remember this, the memories we make afield with our friends and family beat any trophy that can ever be harvested. Realizing what hunting really means to you and hunting within your means and reality will lead to an enjoyable experience for all rather than a struggle amongst ourselves.

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Published by dandu005 on 29 Aug 2011

Old School Dilemma

For the last couple of years, I have been fighting a battle within that won’t settle. It isn’t so much a battle of is an act right or wrong, but whether to change and try something new. I know I am not the only one out there that doesn’t like change, so I am sure you guys know my struggle. The struggle I speak of is the switch back to traditional shooting equipment.

Currently I shoot a Mathews Reezen complete with all of the bells and whistles. I have wanted to get into shooting traditional recurve more, yet I feel that it would be bad to try to shoot both bows at the same time, splitting practice time between the two bows. It seems to be not as efficient as focusing on one method. However, I can’t get myself to make the full switch to shooting a recurve and leave the Mathews behind. Traditional archery is growing more and more popular  as each year passes, so that also puts pressure on me to pick it up and go. I already shoot a recurve around compound practice time and am proficient enough to hunt with it. Although is it wise to switch back and forth between bows during bow season and tournament seasons? I may be exaggerating any concerns about shooting both and it may be no problem at all.

Comments are desired to help not only me, but any others who may be contemplating picking up traditional archery.

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Published by vaportrail33 on 27 May 2011

Do You Really Want To Video Your Hunt

By Rex Holmes, Jr.,  Scent Authority and Inventor of The Vapor Maker

In 2009 a couple of hunting buddies, Joey and Ross and I decided we would go on a 10-day deer hunt to Wyoming.  In addition to the experience of the hunt, our purpose for going was to get video footage using The Vapor Maker®, a scent dispersal product I had just debuted at the 2009 Buckmasters Expo.

To get video footage of a hunt you need a video camera and an operator.  Joey and Ross had never been filmed hunting and I had never operated a video camera, but that didn’t deter us one bit.  After all I had used a Canon digital camera with success; I just needed to get a Canon video camera to take on the hunt.  I searched Ebay and purchased a used camera I felt would be just what I needed.  The purchase came in less than 24 hours before we were to leave for Wyoming, so I had no time to even test out the camera.  I had purchased the tapes and downloaded the manual, how difficult could this be?

We had planned to leave in mid-September, barring no work or personal problems arising.  The day came; actually the night finally came because we left at 9 pm and drove the 1800 miles -26 hours – straight through to the house we had rented in Wyoming.  We unloaded and got everything ready to go hunting.  We unpacked the video camera and started to load the tapes, realizing none of us had ever seen a professional video camera before, much less turn one on or load a tape in it. Does this sound like three country boys on a deer hunt?

We got the camera on and loaded the tape in…no luck.  Just an error message that said “no tape.”  So we tried again and again….still the “no tape” message.  What’s a country boy to do, but call the customer service line?  We did and they led us through every step imaginable, still “no tape.”   I even called the pawn shop owner in Chicago, IL that I had purchased the camera from.  He could only offer to let me send it back.  Talk about frustrating, here we had come 1,800 miles to video our deer hunt and the camera wouldn’t work.  Trying to do too much too fast, I thought.   I was feeling pretty bad about the whole experience when it occurred to me there was writing inside the camera where we had been trying to load the tape.  Sure enough, it said, “push close this first.”  Presto, it worked, the tape was loaded and we were ready to film and hunt.  I didn’t think much of that customer service representative, and I could only imagine that she was relating to her co-workers the story of the three hunters who travelled across country to film a hunt and didn’t know how to turn the camera on or load the tape.

Now we were ready to head out.  With the afternoon approaching we were feeling confident that we could find a good vantage point to sit and film deer.  This afternoon would be all about getting footage of how many big bucks were out there and how they were moving.  We were excited and felt blessed because we saw 7 bucks that afternoon, one of which was about 170 inches.  We felt fortunate that we got to film him sparring with a small 6-point.  About 40 yards from us we saw a doe come across the creek and pick up a 17 inch 10-pt and take him back across the creek.  It was a great sight which I did capture on video, but Joey was so amazed he forgot to even pick up his bow.  It just so happened the wind was blowing from us to the deer, but whenever the deer would get fidgety I would use the Vapor Maker® to spray scent and they would calm down almost immediately.

It turned out to be a great afternoon and I was confident I had all kinds of footage.  We couldn’t wait to get back to camp to view the footage.   Turns out Murphy’s Law had come with us to Wyoming.  The TV at our camp was so old the antenna wires were screwed to the TV, and of course, it had no cable connection to view the video.  God smiled on us again that day because the local hardware store had a box converter to hook the camera up to the TV.   That problem solved, we were now more than ready to view the footage we had taken.

We plugged everything in and sat back to relive a great afternoon.  You can’t imagine our shock and disappointment when all we saw was the camera jumping all over the place.  I was zooming in and out and moving left to right at lightning speed.   We decided day one was a learning experience and went to bed looking forward to the next day.

We slept in that morning to give the deer time to bed down so we could slip in and hang stands.  That afternoon the wind was blowing in every direction, but we managed to slip back in to our stands.   We saw several bucks and does, but only one buck came close enough for a good bow shot.  It was a small mule deer buck which walked right under the stand without picking up our scent.  The Vapor Maker® was doing a great job of attracting deer and covering our scent.

The next morning we returned to our stands even though we felt they weren’t in the best place to hunt and film.  The deer were just starting to move when the bottom dropped out and it came a flooding rain. We had no choice but to go back to the truck and wait out the flood to protect the camera.  Even though I had brought along a heavy duty garbage bag to cover the camera, I didn’t want to take any chances of ruining it before I even figured out how to use it.  After the rain, the sun came out to a scorching 94 degrees.  We took our climbers and headed down to the river bottom.  He heat was intense and we were soaked with sweat.

We were sure this afternoon would be great for hunting and filming.  I was going to be the cameraman and Joey the hunter.  We found a tree and Joey climbed first – another learning experience.  Never let the hunter be the first up the tree when you are filming.  But we were settled in and I had used the Vapor Maker® to spray us and our stands down with 33 Point Buck lure and attractant.  I also sprayed the ground around the tree.

We didn’t have to wait long before we spotted three does and an 8-point about 14 inches coming down the trail.  Because our scent was blocked so effectively, one of the does began feeding about a foot from the tree.  The wind was swirling, but none of the deer had picked up our scent.  Soon we saw him – a 135 inch Whitetail following the 8-point right to us.  They were about 20 yards in front of us.  This was perfect; I had the camera right on them just waiting for Joey to take the shot that never came.  The big buck was moving in and out around to our left.  I thought he was going to go around us when he turned and angled back toward us.  But by then I had turned around so far in the tree I was about to fall out.   I kept filming (I hoped) and Joey finally released the shot at about 23 yards.

We found a little blood but weren’t sure about the shot.  We didn’t know how to replay the footage (or see if I had actually gotten footage) to check the shot.   Joey said there were about 7 deer within 20 yards when he got the shot off.  He said at 20 yards the buck was broadside but there were too many eyes too close to get drawn back.  We decided not to search for the deer that evening, but to head back and see if we had captured the shot on tape.

Returning to search the next morning, I literally had to crawl around on my hands and knees just to spot the tiniest specs of blood or see a footprint. When we discovered the buck, Joey had hit it a little too far back. Because of Wyoming gaming laws we had to carry the kill to a taxidermist to remove the brain stem and some other organs because of CWD, Chronic Wasting Disease.

I learned many valuable lessons during those 10 days.  One, videoing a hunt requires a lot of work and planning.  Using a video camera requires practice, more practice and patience, although in the end I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the footage I was actually able to use.  You can check it out at my website: www.vaportrailscents.com and see for yourself the beauty of Wyoming and the great deer we saw there.  Secondly, I was extremely pleased with the effectiveness of The Vapor Maker® and scents we had developed.  This was really the purpose of the trip and I felt good about what I had filmed and discovered.

All in all it was a great trip with great friends, even with Murphy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 07 Apr 2011

Persistence Pays

My daughter has always been interested in my hunting and fishing trips. Several years ago, I carried her out to the field to let her shoot the old Ithaca 20 gauge shotgun I grew up with to get her used to handling it so she could go on a dove hunt with my dad, my son, and I. The kick did not bother her, but she hated the BANG. She wanted no part of gun hunting.
Over the last few years, she has wanted to go bow hunting with me, and she has helped me when I was practicing several times. We purchased another bow for my son this Christmas, since he had outgrown the youth bow we had for him. Naturally, it became a hand down to Julianne. I had to adjust the draw length and draw weight for her, but at the time, she still could not pull the bow back. I told her to keep practicing pulling it back and by spring when the red horse sucker fish make their annual run, she could go bow fishing with me.
Bow fishing in itself is a very unique style. It is set up with a line attached to a heavy solid core arrow, tipped with a barbed point. When aiming, the saying goes “aim low”, because the refraction of the light through the water makes the fish appear at a higher angle. Think of looking at a straw in a glass of water. The straw is not really bent, but it looks that way through the glass. Also, unlike bow hunting, where you are trying to get a clean kill by hitting the vitals, bow fishing just requires you to hit the fish. Your object is to get the fish on the arrow and then bring it in.
Well, over the first few months of this year, Julianne pulled and pulled and pulled. Finally one night, she called me and my wife into the living room. “Watch! I can pull it back now!” Her excitement caused my son to roll his eyes!
Just as they do every year, the sucker fish made their spawn in late March, and as I had promised, the first night I saw they were running I carried Julianne out to the creek banks. For a period of a week, and easily over a hundred attempts, and through several bow fishing arrows (the rocky bottom of the creek is not that great on the fish points) Julianne and I attempted to get her first take with a bow. We went at night using a light, went during the day using polarized glasses, I honestly believe she probably went in her dreams while sleeping. Occasionally she would take a break, and my son and I would get a few fish, then she would be at it again.
My regular job allows me to work four days each week, and during the sucker run, my weekday off was on a Friday. I usually carry the kids to school on my day off, so I made my usual track. After dropping my son off at high school, we still had an hour before Julianne was due at middle school. I looked over at her and asked, “Wanna try one shot?”
She answered, but did not need to. We ran out to the creek. She strapped on her release while I was driving. “Julianne, do you know what the saying is for snipers?”
“No, daddy.”
“One shot, one kill. They cannot afford to shoot twice because the second shot will give away their cover. We’ve only got time for one shot this morning, and there is no guarantee the fish will be here this afternoon.”
We walked down to the bank and spotted several fish. They were a little too far, so I motioned for her to follow me upstream a few yards. There we spotted one about ten feet out. I had Julianne pull back her bow. “Now?” she asked. I whispered to her to take the shot when she was ready. And ‘twang’, ‘splash’. She backed up a few feet.
“You got one!” She had not even noticed. We both grabbed the line, and pulled it up on the shore.
Her persistence had paid off, and now there is another kid hooked to the outdoors.

Bill Howard’s columns can be read at www.billhowardoutdoors.com

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 04 Apr 2011

Through a Child’s Eyes

North Carolina offers youth days for hunting some species each season. It gives the youth a chance to go out and have an adult guide them through a hunt, allowing only the child to take a shot. April 2 is youth day for turkey. Bearing that in mind, I feel obligated to share a story a new friend, Chase Shepherd shared with me.

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I closed my eyes while my dad smeared camouflage face paint on my forehead. “Just hold still. We’re almost done,” he whispered. I was ready for the hunt to begin. I loaded my gun, strapped on the gun rest, and put on my hat. “Got everything?” Dad whispered.
“Yeah,” I replied, while I too, was in a whisper.
We started walking back to the area my dad picked to hunt. “Today’s the day you’re killin’ a turkey,” Dad whispered.
“I hope so” I whispered back.
My dad stopped about five minutes later and whispered, “Go sit at that tree, I’m gonna’ set up the decoys.”
“Okay,” I replied.
???? I did my best walking over, trying not to make any noise. I finally stopped at the tree and watched my dad set up the last decoy. It was still dark out so we had enough time to sit down and get comfortable.
Dad sat down first, and then I sat down in between his legs. He set his gun up against the tree and then instructed me to practice aiming on the decoys.
?? The sun just started to rise, and all I heard was gobbling. It was crazy! Then my dad started calling. He did some average hen calls, and that’s when he whispered, “Don’t move!” My mind started racing! Is this really going to happen? Is it a big one? Am I ready? I started to shake as I glanced over. It was a big tom, beard dragging the ground, walking back and forth. “Don’t move,” Dad whispered again.
Then the turkey heard a hen across the creek behind us, and never came in. I was devastated. When all of the sudden, “Here comes two more!” Dad whispered. It wasn’t over yet. My heart started pounding once again. The two turkeys were running to us! I gripped the cold metal of my gun. Then they jumped up, and started attacking our decoy, they were flying in the air, and hitting it with their spurs.
I pulled the trigger, but not hard enough. Since the gun didn’t fire I had to wait for another open shot.
Finally the time came. One of the turkeys stopped, and stared right at us. This time I squeezed the trigger, and the turkey dropped. My dad shot at the other turkey, but it was flying and he missed.
We stood up and started high-fiving and fist-bumping.
“You smoked him buddy!” Dad exclaimed.
Then we walked over to claim my trophy. When we got there we exchanged high-fives again. “You killing a turkey means more to me than me killing one,” Dad said.
When we got back to the truck, we started to take pictures. Some were with Dad’s cell phone and others with the digital camera.
That was the greatest day of my life. It was exciting, fun, and most of all…an adrenaline rush.

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I believe Chase gives us an inside look at how a child feels sharing the outdoors with his parent. It is a memory that will last long after his dad can no longer go out in the fields, yet it is also a memory he will surely share with his kids in the future. I am also sure if you asked Chase’s dad about that day, he too would agree it was one of the greatest days of his life as well.

Bill Howard is an avid bowhunter, hunter education and IBEP instructor, and outdoors columnist for the Yancey County News and Wilson Times (North Carolina). You can read his blogs and catch video on www.billhowardoutdoors.com.

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Published by bhowardoutdoors on 22 Dec 2010

Why Hunt?

I’ve been given the honor and opportunity to write a blog about something I dearly love and enjoy.  Who could pass up a chance to write a blog on hunting and fishing?  So with the pertinent task of coming up with something so special that it would send the public into a frenzy to read this blog, I began wondering; do I open with a short autobiography?  Well, that would certainly send everyone into frenzy, but not the type the I would like!

How about a few stories of hunting successes this season?   That will surely follow, and at the end of the blog will be a contact address for you to send information and pictures of your trophies. But for the first blog, I’ve decided to explain why we hunt, what we hunt, and why it is important.

Fred Bear, a man known as the father of bowhunting, once said “Don’t base the fun or experience of hunting on whether you get an animal or not.  The kill is way, way down the line.  You can enjoy the woods.  You can enjoy the companionship of the birds, and the fish, and the animals, the color of the leaves…”  It really holds true.  Some of my best experiences have been without the climactic shot to bring down the game.  Every fisherman remembers the ‘one that got away’, but may not be able to tell you anything about the three fish she caught two weeks ago.  The beauty of God’s canvas with you being an integral but non-invasive part of it, that’s really the goal.

As outdoorsmen, our targets are usually the majestic whitetail deer with a crown of bone, or we may hope to bring in the strutting tom eager to meet a new mate.  The trout may be fooled into attacking a cork with feathers believing it to be an unlucky insect.  All have garnered our passions; our unrelenting efforts in pursuit of the biggest and most beautiful of Darwinian challenges.  We have entered nature’s domain, and blended in and became part of nature.  We accepted the challenge and try to conquer nature in its own territory.

 We come up with reasons for hunting and fishing, such as nature tends to overproduce, or disease and famine will destroy more wildlife than hunters if we do not help balance the carrying capacity of the land. But really, what I have found goes back to what Fred Bear stated. I do not have the first dove I killed mounted on the wall. But I do have a fond memory of hunting with my grandfather and my father. I was using an old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that my grandfather and father used as a child. I also have a wonderful memory, and fortunately, a wonderful picture of my son and I walking off a field in Eastern North Carolina with two tundra swan on our shoulders.  My son used the old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that I used as a child.  Hunting is a bridge of generations.  It’s a constant with many variables.   It’s something we must protect, but we must not abuse.  This is why we do what we do and why we enjoy it so.

I look forward to sharing your hunting and fishing experiences, as well as thought provoking and entertaining insights through this blog each week.

 Bill Howard is a Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Instructor , a Wildlife Representative and BCRS Program Chairman for the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, and an avid outdoorsman.  Please forward any pictures or stories you would like shared to billhowardoutdoors@gmail.com.

 

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