Friday, January 19, 2018

Birthday Celebration, Anteris Alliance Try & Buy, and SHOT Show 2018

Today I celebrate my birth and my life. In my 43 years, I would never have guessed that I would be more grateful to be alive as I am right now. After the October 1st massacre, I have learned a few things about myself, my family, and the world. I try not to take things for granted like I did (we all fall short), and I get up each day with a vigor to learn and soak up as much as I can. I get to enjoy waking up next to my wife every day, conversing with her, and loving her. I am privileged to be allowed to wake my daughter up for school, talk with her each morning and drive her to school. I am a very blessed man, so yeah, Happy Birthday to me!

I have been asked if my life and death experience in Las Vegas would change my view on firearms. Not on firearms themselves, no. I am still a firm 2A supporter and I love my weapons. They are fun to shoot and to hunt with. Hunting is my major passion and utilizing firearms is one piece to that puzzle. I think we have to do a better job of managing the purchase process, but I haven't the first clue on how to do it. I am always open to discussion on the topic, but understand that we may or may not agree, but we can still be friends.



This time last year, I was planning to attend my very first Anteris Alliance Try & Buy followed by SHOT Show. I had no idea what to expect at the Try & Buy and I had no expectations. For it's inaugural year, they did a great job! Now that 2018 is here and the Try & Buy is only two days away, I am seriously pumped. It is slated to be even bigger than last year. There will be more vendors, attendees, celebrities and more things to try out. Plus a little after party to cap off the day.



For my birthday, my wife wanted to know what I wanted. I told her 'to be able to go to SHOT Show and see all the new gear', talk to my friends in the industry, and get to shoot the different firearms. My blog has suffered a bit since 10/1/17 and I am really looking forward to some new content to share with you all. My main focus will be on hunting while I am there. Firearms to hunt with, ammunition, reloading, and components. I am eager to hear what the attending media thinks of some of the gear I have seen in press releases.

For those who are attending SHOT Show, here is my rough schedule on where I will be at certain times in case you want to meet up and chat. I'd love to meet you guys and grab a picture!



Monday – Industry Day at the Range – Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club

I'll be walking around here all day trying out new bolt-action rifles, crossbows and I have only one interview.


Tuesday – SHOT Show Floor

I have many places I want to visit in the morning. Many of them reloading companies.


Wednesday – SHOT Show Floor


I'll be heading back home on Wednesday afternoon, so if you want to meet up, don't hesitate to message me on FB, email me or call!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Anteris Alliance Try & Buy 2018


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Goals & Objectives for the SoCal Bowhunter

It has been a few years since I last posted some goals for myself or the status of the blog. That being said, where did 2017 go? Let's recap, shall we? The first 3/4 of the year flew by and the last 1/4 dragged a bit. I went to the first Anteris Alliance Try & Buy, attended SHOT Show for the first time and was added to the Bass Pro Shops Redhead Pro Staff. I also didn't post articles nearly enough and that weighed heavily on me this year. I focused more on my family more than hunting. My wife and I were at Route 91 in Vegas and had to run for our lives. I gained a great deal of weight and lost any desire to workout for many reasons. I lost my grandmother right before Christmas. Am I feeling sorry for myself? Nah, just stating facts and kicking 2017 to the curb.

Here are my 2018 Goals & Objectives for the SoCal Bowhunter:

  1. Write more than last year, and video more hunts and gear reviews. While people like to read, they enjoy videos more and more. I may add another publication or two to my writing list.
  2. Set up my reloading bench and get started reloading my own ammo at home.
  3. Offer some more hunting seminars at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and hopefully get some of the attendees out in the woods!
  4. Go to some fundraisers and game dinners. It's been nearly a decade since my last one.
  5. Practice much more with my bow. 2017 wasn't as fruitful as I would have hoped and I know my practice regimen was lacking.
  6. Get more sleep and workout like I would hunt. No excuses.
  7. Make more jerky! Is there such thing as too much jerky? I think not!
  8. Set up a 3D target day with my friends. I know a few guys who are eager to make this happen.
  9. Introduce a few more people to bowhunting and get them out hunting!
  10. Bow hunt for elk - either in Colorado or Idaho. Training started today as I am very much out of shape and really need to focus if I plan to hunt above 10,000 feet.
  11. Plan a hunt in Utah or Arizona! I'm not getting any younger.
  12. Bow hunt in New York with my family for whitetail deer.
  13. Put more trail cameras out and do more scouting!
There are a few changes coming from me that involve the blog, writing, and how I see things in 2018. I'll be sharing more as time progresses. Have you set any goals for 2018? If so, please share! I'd love to hear some of yours and wish you all a great 2018.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Project Game Cart: Phase II

Weekends are full of a variety of to-dos these days. Parties, hunting, reloading, and projects. Fitting some shopping in between is always good, too! For me, hunting season is winding down. I have a deer tag and a bear tag left and plan on getting to the forest in two weeks. I am praying the fires do not come near the area again. Before that, I have obligations and projects, and I enjoy every minute of them. I have a newfound respect for waking up everyday and being alive and want to accomplish many things. The highlight of the weekend, that was hunting related, was working on my bicycle game cart. 

To give you some backstory, many of the areas I hunt have a locked gate crossing the road, therefore no vehicle access. I have taken my bike through and ridden up and around and love it. It's quiet and quick. Unfortunately, I have had to lug my backpack and bow on my back while doing this. It's not a big deal, but it's tiring and awkward. A few years back, I found some all-terrain tires and started building my own cart. Then we bought a house and that project was sidelined as I tossed a bunch of the gear. It was simply cumbersome and I knew there had to be a better way. Fast forward to a few weeks ago (and about a year of thinking about it) when I found a Yakima cart that is used to transport your kids behind the bike when you ride. I bought it for $40, stripped it down and got right into transforming it into a hunting cart.



You may ask why I stripped off the original covering when it had a rain cover, netting, and clips in all the right places. To be honest, I didn't like it. It was yellow and purple and I wanted to be able to hide it when hunting. I also wanted faster access to my gear. I also found kid puke and other fun stuff inside and was not about to wash it. I did, however, save all the straps and clips knowing they would prove to be very beneficial!

My plan is to have a cart that I can transport my pack and bow without having it on my back, but also leave room to haul a deer or pig back, too. This cart has all the room I need. My original plan, that I intend to continue with after deer season, is to have a solid base of some sort of open rack, like a metal rack with open grates to allow for air and drippings to fall through. I found a great instructable that talks about using metal shelving. Excellent idea! I am trying very hard not to drill any holes if I don't have to. Right now I don't have the grate, so I am using coated chicken wire that a friend gave me. The width was perfect and I cut it down to size and zip-tied it into place. That would give me a temporary floor and it should hold up to 100 lbs. I had some spare metal bars from a recycled Easy-up that I used to form a crossbar. This allows some support for my pack without putting full weight in one spot.



I wasn't sure how to mount my bow, but I remembered my dad using some mounts for his UTV that worked great. He was eager to talk about the design and thought that idea was good, but he had a better idea. Not only did he have a set of Kolpin Rhino grips he wasn't using, these actually have a mount that secures to the bar where you don't have to do any drilling. I became very excited and they should be here by the end of the week.



The one thing I had hemmed and hawed about was covering the aluminum. Should I paint it? Should I use camo duct tape? Should I hydro-dip it? I think I am going to combine a couple things. Kevin Paulson, from HuntingLife.com, mentioned that painting it a matte black would be good. I tend to agree, but I also want to keep it our of site when I am hunting. I also have a desert camo netting that I will carry to toss over when hunting. It'll work well and packs light!

This week I will sit down and plan a few more things out for it. How many of you have a cart like this? Any suggestions or ideas? I am interested in hearing what you might do with building a cart like this. Leave me a comment with a suggestion or idea (funny or legit, I don't care) and I may pull a name or two for some hunting related gifts from my stash!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Gear Review: Rangemaxx Shooting Bench Table


Range day is a day I look forward to. Not only do I get to sight in different firearms and hone my skills, I also get to field test gear and share those findings with you guys. For months I have been testing out the Rangemaxx Shooting Bench Table from Bass Pro Shops. Normally, I would take a chair and a table. They work alright, but this shooting bench is a better option. 

Specifications: 

  • Shooting height: 36.2''. 
  • Tabletop dimensions: 27.2'' x 20.9''. 
  • Weight: 29.8 lbs.

Assembly was fairly easy for one person, but I could see two people making it less cumbersome. Either way, I was able to assemble it and sit on it without any issues. It was comfortable and easily adjustable. It folds down enough to get it into a truck, but I would not recommend transport in a car. It's bulky and you do have to take the seat off for it to lay flat.




At our desert range, I set it up quickly and was able to get it adjusted for proper shooting of my two rifles. The shooting bench allows all shooters, right- or left-handed, a comfortable shooting experience, for the most part. I did find some issues with having to turn my body a bit to make sure my elbow sat completely on the bench top. I think it would be beneficial to make the top slightly larger or have a pad near the elbow to allow for better comfort. I also am not a huge fan of the way the V-shaped barrel rest sits or the design. I think it needs better padding (which I have added later on) and I couldn't get situated comfortably to sit the barrel inside the V. I actually rested the stock inside the V and that allowed more mobility and comfort. It may not be the way it was designed, but it worked for me. The rubber coated V-shaped gun rest protects barrel finish, but it's in the shape of a V and some rifles do not fit comfortably with the barrel in the V and your elbow on the corner of the bench top. I understand why it is a V shape, but I would like to see a U shape rest to allow for stocks to be placed properly, not just the barrel. The padded vinyl bench top cover has two ammo pouches that also work well.

Overall, the Rangemaxx Shooting Bench Table is a great tool for the range. It is very sturdy and solid for all size shooters. I urge caution when adjusting the barrel rest bolt connected to the bench top. The weld on the table top is easily bent and I think it may snap off if proper care is not taken. I have noticed some play in it. Other than that structural issue I think this is a nice addition to my range gear. An improvement to the system would be a movable bracket holding the barrel rest. Currently, the mount is set direct center on the bench. I would like to see it movable (left to right) to allow for easier adjustment between firearm sizes.

The Rangemaxx Shooting Bench Table retails for $79.99 plus shipping. My recommendation is to buy one and pick it up at your local Bass Pro Shops. This will beat any table set up you have and it is a great tool for the range.