Monday, August 30, 2010

More Scouting... Better Results
I can't believe how fast the time goes between blog posts sometimes. I had planned on writing last week, but got caught up in work, more work and then planning for the weekend hunt. During hunting season it might be difficult to keep up, but I promise to do my best!

Last Thursday was a day that I have been looking forward to for 3 weeks. To make a long story short, my buddy Eric and I knew where we wanted to go to locate the highly traveled route the bears were taking. We mapped it and set out in the AM to find our spot. One of our eager new seminar attendees, Don, accompanied us on our quest. After just a couple of hours we located exactly what we were looking for. Tracks, tracks, more tracks and lots of bear sign. There were at least 4 distinct trails, 5 sets of prints and bear hair and scratches all over the trees. We hiked back up the drainage about a quarter mile and found the perfect ambush spot. Jackpot! All three of us were very excited and couldn't wait to get our stands up. Unfortunately, we'd have to wait to get them up because we still needed to acquire the second stand. Phooey!

Fast forward to Saturday morning. Eric and I knew that we were going to put up our stands in the early afternoon for our evening hunt. What that really meant was we wanted to sleep in for a bit. Some call it lazy while I call it conservation of energy. We met up at our usual spot with twice the gear we normally have. Bear season had already opened the Saturday before, so I had to bring my bow, pack and cooler in case we were successful in arrowing a bear. I was happy to pack it all! Happy AND excited! We also had two stands to hang and some brush to clear. While driving to our destination we spotted 3 different sets of tracks on the road. It was exciting because they were really close to where we had planned to hunt. The anticipation was almost too much to bear (yes, the pun is intended)!

We loaded up and hit the trail to our ambush spot. Eric was using a Redhead frame pack to carry his gear, while I was using my Redhead Mountaineer backpack. What a difference between the two. He had more weight on his back, yet is was so much easier to hike with his frame pack than my backpack. Looks like I'll be investing in some more gear soon! I'll have to sell some of what I don't use first!

The hike in was exceptional and worth waiting until the afternoon to get in there. Once we arrived the work began. We set up two stands, one for filming and one for the shooter. Our trees are very close together, so communication should be a snap. After we finished with the stands, we realized we had made great time and decided to head down the trail and set up a game cam. It forced us to do some more strenuous hiking, but my chubby frame needed a workout. The half mile hike to and from was good exercise, so why not follow that up with some food, right? Sounded good to me! We cooled off while we ate our lunch and planned the evening hunt.

Game time! We changed into our camo, stowed our excess gear and got into the stands. We knew we would have a long sit, about 4 hours, but it would be worth it if a big bruin walked our trail. I hadn't anticipated the 35 mph gusting winds and that made the sit seem twice as long. My eyes were burning from being wind-whipped, which made me feel very tired. Fortunately, our stands were in two very solid trees, so there wasn't much sway to them. The benefit to the wind was no bugs, which meant I didn't have to fire up the ThermaCELL.

The first two hours went by very slow, even for me, but hours three and four brought a little excitement. The wind died down during the third hour and once it did the forest sounds kept us looking all around. The major eye-opener was when we both hear a cub (or two) growling and playing/fighting with a sibling. At least that's what we thought was happening to him. It sounded like it was within a hundred yards, but we never saw them or mama bear. Later on we heard a very odd sound. Still not sure what it was, but it sounded like a deeper call of a rabbit in distress. Sort of. It was on and off for about 10 minutes and we couldn't figure out if it was a yote, bear mating call or someone sucking wind from a hike. 

We had an exciting day to say the least, yet that was the extent of it. No bears made an appearance and the wind made for a chilly evening, but we had a great time. Spending time with friends on the outdoors is one of the most enjoyable things ever. I learned a great deal from Eric and hope to put what he's shared with me to good use. I'll keep you all posted on our adventures. I'm not sure when I'll be heading back up there. DIY Pro Staffers Eric and Nathan (Eric's brother) are heading to Arizona for a Coues deer hunt and then on to meet up with our other Pro Staff member Eddy for a Colorado elk hunt. I, on the other hand, will be working hard and living vicariously through them. Best of luck fellas!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Product Review: SKB ATA Parallel Limb Bow Case
When you put something in a safety deposit box, you want to be sure it is safe and secure, insured and that you can be sure of what's inside every time you open it. As a bow hunter, I want the same thing for my gear, especially my bow. SKB Cases makes the safety deposit box of bow cases and I was fortunate enough to field test the SKB ATA Parallel Limb Bow Case.

Before I get into the guts of the review, here is the description from their website:
To accommodate most parallel limb bows complete with quiver, sight and stabilizer, SKB design engineers have developed the new 2SKB-4119 Parallel Limb Bow Case. This case is ATA specification 300, category 1 rated (a minimum of 100 trips by air) with molded-in bumper protected TSA recognized and accepted unbreakable fiberglass reinforced nylon trigger release latches, and a cushioned rubber over-molded carrying handle for added comfort. The 2SKB-4119 Parallel Limb Bow Case is the perfect solution for transporting nearly any model of parallel limb bow and all required gear. The 2SKB-4119 Parallel Limb Bow Case has the SKB dual protection with an Unconditional Lifetime Warranty and the $1500 product protection coverage if your gear is damaged by an airline when traveling.
The case interior dimensions are 37" x 17.75" x 7" and it was just right to fit my PSE Vengeance or my PSE X-Force.  SKB says that the case will accommodate most parallel limb bows complete with quiver, sight and stabilizer. I wanted to see if either of mine would fit that way. I did remove the arrows from the quiver and seated them in the arrow holders in the case. If you look at photo #3, it looks as if the case will fold right down over the quiver, thus locking the bow into place. Unfortunately, you do have to make some minor adjustments to each bow to get it to fit over the quiver. I had to loosen the hex bolt in my quiver and rotate it 90 degrees in order for the case to close properly. I really wanted to avoid making ANY adjustments to my bow, bit that was one I could live with. (At least I didn't have to totally remove the quiver like I had to on my last trip). Once I adjusted the quiver, I was able to close and lock the case. 

The foam on the inside is what holds the bow in place. There are no straps inside the case to hold the bow at all, which I found odd at first, but the foam does an excellent job of pressing together to keep the bow from sliding around. I verified this by dropping the case on end a few times (as if a baggage handler would) to see if anything shifted. Nothing moved.

The arrow holders in the case are velcro and work well. If you shoot anything longer than a 29" arrow I would suggest taking them out of the case before putting your arrows in. Especially if you are using a lighted nock. I tried putting the arrows into the arrow holders while they were velcroed inside the case and my arrows kept hitting the foam fairly hard. Next time I will know better. I also left my field points on for this test. If I am traveling I take off any field point or broadhead. Risking a cut bow string is not something I look forward to.

Some if the minor features I liked were the easy-to-grip handle and the size of the case. The handle made carrying much more comfortable than some of the other cases I have tried.

I have been using Cabela's Trekker case for a couple years now and it doesn't hold a candle to this one. The case I have been using has straps to hold the bow in and it can move around a little. The rugged build of the SKB is great compared to the Trekker, too. The Trekker gets dinged up and dented a bit more because it's metal on the outside where the SKB is durable plastic. The plastic latches and locks are slick, quiet and lockable and fit within the TSA regulations. The Trekker has locks, too, but the latches make a bit more noise in the field. The overall best feature is that SKB covers up to $1500 if an airline damages your gear that's inside the case during travel. Huge plus in my book. When I travel, I am constantly worried that I will arrive at my destination and my gear won't be able to function properly because of baggage handler damage. If it happened, I would be bummed, but I would have peace of mind knowing SKB had my back.

Overall, this is an excellent protective bow case. If you do any traveling - driving a truck with your bow in the back or on an airline, you need to have your bow protected. The SKB ATA Parallel Limb Bow Case is a wise investment for any bow hunter. Knowing that I'll be hunting out of state this year makes me realize I now need to get one. I really want to use the double bow case! Traveling back to NY will force me to bring two bows (in case one malfunctions) and having that double bow case from SKB would make me feel much more comfortable on the plane ride.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Giveaway Time! Dick's Custom Bow Grips
Who wants some FREE stuff? The SoCal Bowhunter has a giveaway that you are all going to love! Raulin Dick, of Dick's Custom Bow Grips, is going to give away two sets of custom bow grips here on The SoCal Bowhunter blog! Raulin makes all of his bow grips by hand. He uses exotic wood and customizes the grip to fit your bow. You can find all of the exotic woods here. His skill is superb and with archery season here I know he's going to be busy!

Here's what you have to do to enter for your chance at one of these custom grips. First, you have to publicly follow my blog. If you are already a follower you are ahead of the game! Then post a comment that says what kind of bow you shoot and why you shoot that particular model. It doesn't have to be a super long or overly detailed post. It just has to come from you. I'll run the giveaway for two weeks and end it at midnight on September 2nd. I'll randomly choose the two (2) winners and post them on the blog on Friday by 12pm (PST). So you early birds on the East coast, keep in mind I'll still be sleeping when you get up!

If you don't win one of the custom grip sets, you can still order them directly through Raulin directly. Best of all, you can get $10 off your order by using the promo code 'diybowhunter' when you order. You can contact Raulin by phone at 814-329-6952 or you can shoot him an email to place an order or ask him any questions.

Promo prices for Hoyt, Mathews, Darton, PSE, and Martin grips are $40 TYD for all of the wood he has in stock (while supplies last). After he runs out of his stocked wood, or if you want a grip made with a wood he doesn't have on hand the price will go back to the retail price of $50.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Team DIYbowhunter Scouting For Bear
With the black bear archery opener just two days away, I had to share our latest scouting adventure. Eric Welsh, owner, and I went scouting for a black bear here in Southern California this past Sunday. The video is almost 9 minutes long, but there is some good information in there. We were originally going to be hitting the woods for the opener, but we'll have to postpone it so we can do our seminar at Bass Pro again on Saturday. Whoo-hoo!

While we were getting ready to pack in my treestand, Eric did a gear review on the Eberlestock X2 pack. Check it out and share your thoughts. Good stuff? Too Much? Boring? Exciting? I am very interested in what you all have to say. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bass Pro Fall Hunt Classic and Bear Scouting
We had another successful black bear hunting seminar at Bass Pro Shops on Saturday. We had 20-25 people in the crowd at any given time and it was a great experience being up on the stage sharing about hunting. Eric gave an excellent presentation regarding the law, Fish & Game, trespassing and what to look for when scouting. I gave a short talk on some of the gear in my pack and what you may or may not want to have on hand. We were limited to only 40 minutes, so it was pretty short. Afterward, we were surprised to have about half the attendees stick around to ask questions. We stayed and answered questions for another 45 minutes! We met some great people and truly enjoyed everyone's enthusiasm! is scheduled for two more seminars this coming weekend. One on Saturday at 4pm and one on Sunday at 3pm. I hope to see you guys out there!

Sunday morning, Eric and I put our knowledge to the test. We hit the trail to do some bear scouting as the archery opener was less than a week away. We had scouted two weeks ago and knew the area we were looking for. I had the tracking (breadcrumbs) setting on in my GPS the last time, so we were able to map out the area. We adjusted our plan and found the area we knew we wanted to be in. 

After a half hour of hiking we hit the jackpot! We got about 150 yards in and found a trail and tracks. A great sign! Then it turned into a black bear super highway. Trails, footprints, scat, more intersections of trails and then we found the food source. Choke cherry trees and elderberries! Boo-yah! They were just about ripe, too. That means in a few days they'll be teasing the bears taste buds. The best part was getting just beyond the food. Eric was ahead of me and spotted a very large bear track. We found the trail this guy was coming up from and found the perfect tree for a stand. So, we hiked back up to the truck, loaded the stand on his pack and trekked about halfway down to the spot when we spotted smoke on the far side of the mountain. There was a large fire burning a few miles away. We waited for a few minutes and quickly decided to come back later this week to hang the stand. There was no sense in risking our lives over a treestand spot. It was still a very exciting day of scouting. All-in-all it took us about 6 hours of scouting, over two days,  to find this location. Now we'll get the stand up and in the next couple of weeks I hope to put a big bruin on the ground.

I did video much of our trip and that will be coming later this week! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seminar, Scouting and Target Practice
This weekend is looking to be a very busy, yet productive one. I'll be over at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga tomorrow helping Eric Welsh, Team DIY, with the bear hunting seminar at 4pm. It's a shorter than normal seminar, so I'll have to not be so long-winded. I'll be reviewing what's in my pack and what you should have when you go archery bear hunting. It's another free seminar, so if you can make it, come on out and say hello. If you show up at 5pm, well, swing on over to the restaurant where I'm sure you'll find us telling a hunting story or two.

Sunday is going to be full of excitement. Eric and I will be heading out to do some scouting for black bear and set up a tree stand or two with the hopes of bringing down a bruiser next weekend during the California archery bear opener. It'll be my first year specifically targeting bears during the archery season. Oh yeah! I am more than excited, I am eagerly anticipating some bear steaks on the grill next week. Then I'll be heading to the range to do some more target practice to get everything fine tuned. It'll be an afternoon of shooting, adjusting, washing my clothes and meticulously reviewing the gear I need to pack.

Have a great weekend everyone and be safe.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Free Bear Hunting Seminars at Bass Pro Shops
Shazaam! Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga has asked Team DIY back to do our archery black bear hunting seminar during their Fall Classic. We are slated to go on this Saturday at 4 PM on the Tracker Stage. Once again, it is free to attend. The seminar will be a 40 min seminar covering laws, scouting, gear and more. We will be sticking around afterward to answer any questions you might have. 

We are scheduled to do the seminar next weekend as well. Same time, same stage. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Product Review: Loc-A-Peep Hunter and Whisper Lite Peep Sights
Do you remember when you started using a peep-sight on your bow? I remember it very vividly. At the time, using a peep-sight was a new gimmick. Little did we know that the 'gimmick' was going to aid in our focus and help us bring down more animals by improving our shot placement.

For the past few months I have been testing out the Loc-A-Peep Hunter and the Whisper Lite peep sights on my bows. When I spoke with the Loc-A-Peep creator, Jon Bach, (who is also the Owner/Director of X-Ring Archers, the 1999 NFAA National Outdoor Champion and Certified NFAA Expert Level 4 Instructor) I was happy to know that his main goal is not about making money. His  main goal is to educate archers and offer them the best products to help them become better archers. He explained why he does what he does and I was impressed. He also mentioned that when I got my peep sights to read the instructions and he highly recommend that I watch the installation video prior to installation. After watching it and going through the paces of installation, I recommend that you and the staff at your pro-shop watch it as well.

A bit of information about the Loc-A-Peep from their website:
Every peep sight until now had to be "served" or "tied" into place on the bowstring subjecting them to move regardless if they were tied in correctly or incorrectly.
LOC-A-PEEP'S design accomplishes 10 major tasks:
  1. Movement on the bowstring is eliminated.
  2. It doesn't need to be "served" or "tied" into place.
  3. Cuts down on installation time for shop owners for quicker bow set-up.
  4. Empowers archers to do-it yourself.
  5. Skeleton design for lightweight and speed.
  6. The oval shaped hole increases peep hole size and remains round optically at full draw.
  7. Since it doesn't move improved accuracy and shooting consistency.
  8. Available in black or red.
  9. Available in kit with different hole sizes.

My first task was to bring the peeps over to Archery Outpost and have them installed using their bow press. The first one I had installed was the Hunter Loc-A-Peep with the rubber tubing. It comes with five different size openings. I started with the smallest opening of 1/8" and had them install it according to the included directions. There was definitely a learning curve for all of us involved. The peep is two separate pieces. You put the bow on the press, leave some tension it and separate the strings in the middle. It is built so that the strings hold the peep in place on either side by force. The major issue was there is no lip on the peep to keep the string from popping back off. This was one of the many discussions we had with the product.

I use a 6-pin set-up and the small aperture of 1/8" looks to be for the single-pin shooters. I can see where it would be beneficial to have a small aperture with a single-pin, but not for me. For me it just wasn't working. Not because it was bad, but because I couldn't see my pins. I had to move the bow all around to get to see my 60 and 70 yard pins. We switched that one out for the next size and moved our way closer and closer to the 1/4" opening. After testing all five openings, this was the one that worked the best. I could see all of my pins and it felt comfortable when shooting. I wasn't straining to see the pins or my target. The major benefit with this peep is that you don't have to serve the string. You tighten down the two screws and you are all set. From my observation, I think the smaller openings would be ideal for treestand hunters with a single-pin sight. You will lose 3-6 fps on speed with the rubber tubing, but you can get either peep with or without it. The great thing about the Hunter kit is that you have five openings to choose from and you can always switch back and forth if you'd like. It give you many options, should you change sights or maybe your eyesight isn't the greatest (like me).

NOTE: I think that the folks at Loc-A-Peep should consider adding a small lip to keep the string from popping out. This will avoid frustration from you and from the pro trying to install it. If it is kept the way it is I have a feeling people will move on to other peeps. Other than the issue of the string popping off, this peep worked very well. I was able to cinch it down by tightening the screws and when I needed to adjust it up by 1/16", I just had to loosen the screws and slide it up. I then re-tightened the screws and I was in business. No serving, nothing to cut and no knot tying.

Part two of my review was to test out the Whisper Lite. The model I tested has no rubber tubing and has a rubberized outside to be silent during the shot. Installation of the Whisper Lite was similar to the Hunter. We had to use a bow press, but with this one there are no screws. The string fits in the grooves on either side of the peep. Installation was a snap. I started shooting right away and this is a keeper! It stayed in place after multiple shots and when I needed to adjust it I only had to slide it up or down. If I had to go more than 1/16" I had the pro put it back on the press and add or remove a half-twist in the string. The Whisper Lite really is silent, too. I never heard a twang or anything out of it. I could see all of the pins and felt very comfortable in my shot. The opening is 1/4", so it was perfect for me.

The Hunter model is great for anyone hunting in a treestand with a single-pin sight or someone hunting on the ground with a multiple-pin sight. The Whisper Lite works great, too. It just depends on your preference. I like having the Hunter with the rubber tubing because it's in the right spot each and every time. I might lose a few feet per second, but I am ok with that. You can buy the Hunter kit, with all five openings, or you can get the single peep with the 1/4" opening. They are reasonably priced, too. After using these new peeps my groups have improved considerably. After more than 500 shots using the two products, I would definitely recommend using one of these for your hunting needs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scouting For Bear and The Neighborhood Opossum
Let's have some fun! I thought I'd post a couple videos today instead of being long-winded, dry and boring. We have a opossum that lives next door and he likes to eat our cats food. So, I busted out the video camera the other night and taped him on a stroll.

This is the video of Team DIY member, Eric Welsh and I on a recent scouting trip. It's certainly not perfect by any means, but it's a start to the season that opens in less than two weeks. We found a few sets of tracks and lots of scat. I have a good feeling about this year. Enjoy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Busy Weekend At The Pro-Shop
Archery season is right around the corner and I cannot wait to get to hunting. I've done some scouting, marked my spots and I have been practicing with my archery tackle more often than I ever have. Still, I had to be sure everything was set up right on my bow and back-up bow before I hit the woods. The pro's over at Archery Outpost have always done a great job with tuning my gear and helping me out. I don't care what anyone says, even after archery hunting for 26 years, I can always use some help with the fine-tuning.

The first thing I had to have them do was to cut my new Easton - Full Metal Jacket arrows to the correct length. I measured my draw length using the basic calculation of height, arm span, divide by a thousand, do a back-flip, etc. I came up with 29.5" three times. It didn't seem right. Years ago, when I was 16, the pro shop said I was drawing 31". I was then told a few years later by another pro that was incorrect and my draw was too long. Back and forth, back and forth. It was very frustrating not having it explained as to why you need a certain length. Wait no longer, Al! The explanation they gave me, and showed to me, was this - you need 1.5" of clearance from the back-end of the broadhead (end of the arrow shaft) to the grip on the bow. Otherwise you run the risk of a good slice in your fingers. Gee, let me think about that... do I want to be drawing on a 300 lb. black bear and cut into my finger? Not in your life! After measuring and adjusting the cables I was drawing 30.5". Right on! I felt so at ease knowing we had that part out of the way.

Then we had to adjust my peep on both bow. I am testing out the Loc-A-Peep system on both bows (review to come soon). We made the proper adjustments and and discussed the new peep system. What happened next is what I love about hunters helping hunters. One of the local hunters was shooting and drilling the bullseye out of each of his 5 targets. No lie, I watched him fling a dozen arrows and center punch each one. It was an incredible display. When he was finished, he came over to talk to us and he watched me draw my PSE Vengeance back. He immediately noticed my top cam was lagging. I would have never known had it not been for him. Connor made the proper adjustments and after shooting a dozen arrows I was very happy. The bow was shooting fast, dead quiet and accurate. I shot a dozen arrows with my X-Force and that was also right on the money, too. A big thank you to Connor over there at AO. Great customer service and fun to talk to (and a helluva shooter). I now feel confident that my gear will function exactly as it needs to.

Now that I have my arrows cut and inserts glued in, I just have to wait a couple more days for the epoxy to cure before I fletch them all and then do some practicing. Once I start with the FMJ's I'll be shooting a 445 grain arrow. That's work on deer, hogs and bear with ease. I just have to make the shot.

Going over your bow set-up each year is a good way to get to know it intimately. It just feels right. If something is off you will know it right away. I found this interesting article, Build the Ultimate Speed Bow, over the weekend about bow set-up and the speed of your bow. It's a good read and makes you think about what you are shooting and what you may want to switch to next year.

Have a great week everyone. Be sure to check back this week as I will be having a contest to give away some handmade, custom bow grips. 


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Product Review: ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent and ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern
Vuvuzelas. I don't think there's anything more annoying than those things. If you don't know what they are, Google it. Black flies and mosquitos buzzing in your ears and biting you while you are hunting can be just as annoying, a bit more painful and have more of a health risk. I am not a huge fan of spraying down with bug spray before or when I hit the woods. It can get smelly, wear off and may not cover all areas. What do I use? When I hit the woods I bring my trusty ThermaCELL mosquito repellent.

Many of the hunting shows preach the use of a ThermaCELL, but being an ordinary guy just wanting to hunt the forests of Southern California I wanted to try it out for myself. We all know that our hunting season run parallel with bug biting season. On my last few scouting trips I brought out the ThermaCELL and was very happy with the results. For those who have never heard about or used a ThermaCELL, here's how it works:
ThermaCELL uses revolutionary, patented technology to dispense a small amount of repellent into the air over a long period of time. ThermaCELL is powered by a butane cartridge which provides the cordless, portable heat necessary to operate the device (batteries are not needed). It directs the heat to a metal grill. A mat saturated with Allethrin, a copy of a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers, is placed on top of the metal grill. The heat generated by the butane cartridge vaporizes the repellent allowing it to rise into the air, creating a 15 x 15 ft (225 sq ft) “Mosquito-Free-Zone” in minutes. The repellent is very unpleasant to mosquitoes, but when used as directed, will not harm humans or pets.
Let me tell you, this contraption is awesome. Each unit has a great little carrying case with two pockets, one for extra butane and one for the extra mats. Getting the actual unit inside the case and snapping the snap was a chore. Other than that it's very easy to use. It works on mosquitoes and black flies. I never measured the 15' distance between myself and the bugs, but it works great. Each cartridge does last close to 12 hours and the mats between 3-4. I haven't had any problems with the unit or having it work. I will always bring it on every hunt, unless I am in the Arctic! I don't have it always on either. I turn it on when the bugs start flying around and pestering me. I even took it on an evening nature walk with my wife and daughter. None of us got bit and we very much enjoyed ourselves. I felt kinda bad for the people in front of us who had to keep slapping bugs off.

I have heard more than one of my friends tell me they think the butane cartridges and mats are overpriced. I am not so sure I agree with them. Sure, they if you use the unit all day, every day you are hunting you will need to bet refills. Look at it this way, do you want to enjoy your hunt, or do you want to be pestered by bugs and risk infection with West Nile Virus? To me it's a no-brainer. Heck, you can buy a summer pack of 10 Butane Cartridges and 30 Repellent Mats for $49.99 from their website. I may not have loads of money to spend, but I'll be sure to have a stockpile of ThermaCELL refills.

The second part of my review is on the new ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern. It works like the original ThermaCELL, but as a lantern. You can hang it up, carry it and set it up on a table for those evening outdoor get-togethers. The LED lights are very bright and provide ample light for just about any setting.
Product Features
  • Eight LED lights, with two illumination settings
  • Twice as much light as previous ThermaCELL lanterns
  • Up to 98% protection from mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums
  • 15 x 15 foot comfort zone
  • Easy grip handle
  • Rugged outdoor structure
  • Lightweight - 13oz
  • Mosquito repellent operates on a single butane cartridge
  • Light operates on four AA batteries (not included)
Eric Welsh, over at, had this to say about it.
'It works awesome. We put it up to the porch light that was surrounded by mosquitoes, moths, etc. Within 10 seconds they were all gone. The lantern seemed to be lightweight enough to maybe take on a two-day backpacking trip. The worst thing is the butane button. If you forget to turn the butane off with the light its all over. I think the butane cost just as much as the lantern itself.'
I think I understand why ThermaCELL has them separate, but I also see Eric's issue with it. When I turn off a lantern I want everything to be off. I believe the ThermaCELL Outdoor Lantern was designed so you could use it during the day, too. I guess you'll really have to pay attention to the lantern settings. Otherwise you may end up with a hefty butane bill!

Both items work well. I would recommend both to hunters and campers alike. If you hunt or camp and are having an issue with bugs, head on over to their website for more information and on where to buy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In The Running For A Trophy Whitetail Hunt!
Hi everyone! Can you tell I am excited? Archery Talk had a contest to have some designs made with their 2010 Pantera bow. They picked the Top 5 designs to vote on from all of the members who entered and I am # 3 on the list! Please send this out to anyone you might know on AT and have them vote for # 3 from post 296.

Here's what my entry looks like:

Not sure who else to send it to, but I am going to try my hardest to win it!

Thanks for voting!

Bear Hunting Seminar - Success!
On Saturday, Team DIY put on a bear hunting seminar at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It was a success! It was the first time any of us had put together a seminar of this magnitude and best of all it was free!

Eric Welsh, owner of, put together a very informative presentation for about 20 attendees. We had an even mix of archery and rifle hunters, young and old, and male and female. My presentation was on gear and what should be in your pack for bear hunting. I learned a lot about public speaking, the way I talk and how I interact with the crowd. I definitely need to work on that, but most of the guys asked questions and were pretty open to everything. I was impressed with a particular youngster, about 10 years old, who asked quite a few questions and I was proud of him for stepping up.

We had a giveaway for some great hunting gear and Bass Pro even helped out by giving away some first-aid kits and insect repellent. Everyone walked away with something. Thanks, BPS! 

XADDICT Archery owner John Weaver was there with some rad new shirts, too. When Eric held up John's new t-shirt design everyone in the audience ooohed and ahhhed. Check out his shirts (especially the new Shed Kings shirts when they are posted).  John gave away a couple and the guys who got them were very excited.

All in all, I would say that it was very successful for Team DIY. Our goal was to share information and we did just that. We had a good turnout and hope to be able to help out during the Fall Classic at Bass Pro by giving a few other seminars. We have a few lined up and can't wait to be a part of it. Ok, I just can't wait to go there again to see what new gear is available. I did very well and only bought what I needed this time - some JetBoil fuel and a Camelback cleaning kit. No archery gear! Double success!

I hope all of you that attended were able to walk away with some good information you will put to good use. If you have any questions, please email me or shoot out a question on the forum. We'll be happy to help out!