Tuesday, April 15, 2014

California Licenses and Tag Purchases Available Online Today!

Just a quick reminder that you can purchase your licenses and apply for tags beginning TODAY in California. Don't wait until the last minute! I have my tags applied for and licenses have been downloaded. I am ready!

Here is the link: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Squealers are BACK!

As promised, I am sharing some of the game camera footage I was able to capture over the past month. This camera has been up for a while and we knew there were pigs in the area, but we had videoed mostly coyotes. That was until the rains came and new plants began appearing.

Now, to give you some insight, Chris and I knew the pigs were coming into this area. Their trail was obvious, but then once inside this area they scattered. At least, that was what we surmised. There were prints all around and they basically made a circle around a few trees. We figured the trees were dropping some nuts or fruit of some sort, but we had no idea what it was. No matter what, when the rains and winds came, the trees gave of their fruit and new seedlings sprouted. The pigs made short work of any new growth. Check it out for yourself.

Monday, April 7, 2014

When the Opportunity Presents Itself

Seeing this after releasing arrows at 40 yards with a 20-30 mph crosswind was encouraging!

My thoughts had been on bowhunting all week. Every day was filled with more than enough to do, but come Friday at 5:00 PM I needed some arrow therapy. Once it arrived, I knew it was time to unwind. I hit up the El Dorado Park archery range and finished dialing in my bow. It felt so good to shoot!

Saturday was a day of opportunity for me. I was able to spend some time with my family in the morning and then go hunting in the afternoon. Plus, my trail cams had been up for a month and I was eager to see what was on them. Were the coyotes still reigning supreme over the area or had the pigs returned? Along with the actual hunt, I was going to be field-testing some new boots and a climber treestand for an upcoming article. Needless to say, I was very excited to get to the woods, but I had a long drive ahead of me for only a couple hours of hunting.

Hiking into my hunting spot, I encountered only two other people hiking and biking out. Off the main trail, the area was empty and not a soul was spotted. I covered the mile and a half to my chosen hunt spot quickly and began searching for a tree to set up in. I decided to check my trail cam to see if it had recorded anything and there was plenty on it! I decided to download the card after my hunt to give me more time in the tree.

This was the first time using this particular climber, but I had taken the advice from the folks at headquarters to watch the How-to videos at home prior to trying it out in the woods. Let me tell you what, I used abdominal muscles that I never even knew existed! After hooking up my safety harness, getting up the tree wasn't so bad and I stopped around 20 feet up. It felt great to be back in a stand and checking out the area. Unfortunately, the wind didn't cooperate. I sat for three hours in gusty winds. It wasn't conducive to hunting, but I was there and wasn't about to let an opportunity pass me by. I saw nothing but birds.

About forty-five minutes before sundown, I decided it was time to climb down. Let me rephrase that. It was time to torture myself on the way down. One very important, key factor I came to understand emphatically is that you DO NOT want to use a climber on a palm tree in Southern California. Yes, that was one of the trees I had the opportunity to climb and decided it looked promising. Sure did. It promised me a half hour of pain and suffering as I climbed down.

The face of a man who knows he has to work to get down from the tree.

The bark of a palm tree is not friendly and unforgiving to bowhunters.
Before I forget, those of you who, like me, wear a binocular chest pack... leave it in the backpack for climbing. Mine kept catching on the seat of the climber and digging into my stomach. Talk about an awkward way to end the day. I almost flipped it around to get it out of the way. Next time it will stay in the backpack on my way up and down the tree.

Back to disembarking my tropical tree prison. On the way down, the straps of both the seat and foot platform kept catching on the bark and hanging up. Every time I lowered myself a few feet it would catch and I would have to spend a few minutes either peeling bark or creatively getting the straps over the bark. This is not easy with a backpack on your back, but thankfully I was strapped into my Hunter Safety System the entire way down.

It took me nearly a half hour to get down out of this tree. That's three times longer than it took me to get up! My elbows were hurting from the seat (more on this when I write the review), my abs were screaming at me, and my legs were tired. Mentally, I felt tired from having to figure out the hard way to not go too far up a palm tree. That being said, I am glad I did it and suffered so you don't have to.

I downloaded the videos from my game camera and packed up the stand and backpack on my back. Hiking a mile and a half out at dusk was a bit tiresome and the treestand straps wreaked havoc on my shoulders, but there way beauty in it. I saw cottontail rabbits everywhere and beautiful game trails in the sunset. I am thankful I had the opportunity to hunt, see the beauty of nature, and test some gear. 

When I arrived home, I talked with my girls about the day and, like I always do, asked Riley if she wanted to see what was on the game cameras. It's fun for both her and I alike and we were both surprised at what we saw. Multiple videos of...

The surprise will just have to wait until Wednesday.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Bob Wickes - Field Time Sport and Guns

This appeared in my email and I wanted to share it with all of you. If any of you local archers, bowhunters, outdoors men and women can make it out to this, please do. I have a prior engagement and cannot attend, but this would be a huge help to the family. The info below is directly from the Field Time Sport and Guns website. 

Celebrating the Life of Bob Wickes 
Benefit BBQ ~ Silent Auction ~ Raffle & Much More!
100% of the proceeds will be used to help with Bob's medical expenses.
Sunday, April 6th, 2014
11:00am - 3:00pm 

On February 25, 2014 Bob Wickes entered the gates of Heaven. He is now home with Jesus. Bob has been a blessing to many ~ a great husband, father, friend, teacher and an amazing man of God. Join us to celebrate his live, support the Wickes Family and raise funds to help cover medical expenses. 

Event parking in the structure on Huntington Village Lane. Please do not park in the main lot.

Old World Village
7561 Center Ave
Huntington Beach
(Behind Costco & Bella Terra)

For more info
Bart Fernandes

Monday, March 31, 2014

What Bow Will I Be Shooting This Year?

This year I decided I needed a change in my archery set up. I felt something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't just the bow, my rest, or my arrows. It was a combination of the three. I began shooting different bows, taking notes, and going back and shooting them again. I kept coming back to the Strother Archery line of bows and I have made my decision.

Image © Strother Archery

After shooting the Strother line over the past six months, I have decided on the Strother Wrath SHO as my go to bow for 2014. It shoots super sweet, super smooth, and there is absolutely no hand vibration after the shot. I have added no vibration reduction on this bow. No Limbsavers, no Sims stabilizer, nothing and it feels great! It has such a clean feel to it. 

Some of you will check it out and ask, why are you shooting a 2013 bow? The reason is that I shot many of the other Strother bows, even the new VITAL, but the SHO felt just right to me. It felt like it was made for me and I am shooting it with confidence.

I will elaborate a little on my complete set up in the coming weeks, but I can tell you this... animals had better watch out this year because I feel more confident with this archery arrangement than I ever have before!