Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Archery Mule Deer Hunting Seminar at Bass Pro Shops
Attention SoCal bow hunters! My buddy, Bass Pro Shops Pro Staffer and DIYbowhunter.com owner, Eric Welsh is doing an Arizona, over-the-counter, archery mule deer seminar at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA on July 9th and 10th at 3 PM on both days. If you haven't been out for one of Eric's seminars I highly recommend attending. Eric covers a lot in one seminar and he sticks around after to answer any questions. I'll be attending the Sunday seminar to hear all about hunting Arizona and what it entails. It is sure to be a great seminar!

The topics Eric will cover are: 
  • Where to go
  • Recommended optics
  • Spot and stalking
  • Hunting water
  • Hunting the Rut
  • Good over-the-counter-units
  • The proper gear... and much more!

When it is over, you will be ready to hunt AZ! So come on down and introduce yourself. Don't be shy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

How's My Form? See Anything Wrong?
These are questions that have been posed to me or that I have found on some of the archery forums around. When I have answered the questions, or offered up what I am seeing, people are getting upset or defensive with me. Really? You pose a question, but don't really want the answer? Sounds like a difficult marriage. Here's my suggestion to you all that get defensive - don't ask the question if you are unwilling to listen to advice or unwilling to try to change. Let me state this fact - I am no expert. I have never claimed to be, but I have had my set-up adjusted over the years and also been given advice.

Here's one example of what I am talking about. Recently, I was sent a photo of a gentleman who was having issues with his groups. In his photo, he was leaning VERY far forward, his draw length was obviously too short and you could see that clearly. I recommended that he add 1/2" to his DL. I also recommended he raise his peep a bit so he didn't lower his head so much and lean so far forward in his stance. His response to me was that he spent a lot of money putting a different cam on his bow to shorten his DL and that wasn't an option. He also said he was comfortable where his peep was at, so that wouldn't change. Everyone I showed the photo to said the EXACT same thing I did. His DL was way too short and the peep was too low.  They also shared this with him and he still refused to change.

He sent another photo, after he said he made some adjustments, and said he had adjusted his grip and a few other things, but avoided the advice that was initially given to him. Again, he was offered up the same advice. Again, he got defensive and said he thought his set-up was comfortable and that was not about to change it. Well, comfortable and right is not always one and the same. Why can't some people just realize this?

Let me give you a personal example. Hopefully this will make you all aware that we ALL can change. I have been an archer for 27 years. That doesn't make me an expert. Hell, if anything it made me realize that while I have killed plenty of deer, I still may have been shooting, well, wrong! I got to talking with Tim Case a few weeks back and we hit it off. If you remember from my interview, Tim is an NASP Certified Instructor, NAA Certified Instructor and he founded and created Highlander Archery, the student archery club at Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA. He’s also responsible for getting a bow and arrow into the hands of 4,000 people for the first time, from toddlers up through senior citizens. 

On a whim, I asked him to take a look at some photos of me shooting and to get his opinion on my form. He said my form was perfect! Nothing to adjust. Ok, I am joking. My form was far from perfect. In fact, he actually had a few specific pointers for me. Sure, it stung at first because I didn't WANT to change, but I also want to be a better shooter and a better hunter. Improving my shooting needed to be first and foremost.

What did he recommend? Take a look at the two photos and see if you can guess what Tim said to me.

Video still #1 from the range.

Video still #2 from the range.
Figured it out yet? First off, he mentioned that my elbow should be raised a bit. He gave me a few reasons why, but the main reason being that it will give me a more solid anchor and improve back tension. Sure, it is an adjustment to my shooting, but it's a sound adjustment. One that I am trying and it is helping me remain consistent with each shot. At first I felt myself getting defensive, but soon realized that people usually get defensive when they are doing something wrong. Once I made the adjustment I found that coming to full draw, raising my elbow and seating my anchor I was able to find a rhythm quickly. I now focus on this each time I hit the range.

The next suggestion wasn't made directly, but hinted at during our discussion. If you look at image #1, you'll see that I am tipping my head over just a tad. Part of it is because of my glasses, but part of it is from bad form. My peep was set a little too low. I didn't care for that peep anymore, so I went back to my G5 peep. Let me just say that once I adjusted that to the right height I am shooting better than I have in a long time, my neck isn't craned and I feel good about my shot. Like Jason "The New Mexico Sportsman" Amaro says, 'Confidence is deadly.' He is so right! It only took a dozen shots or so to get comfortable with the new adjustment. I am well on my way to more consistent shooting, better form and my confidence level just jumped to a record high. Thanks, Tim!

It goes without saying that sometimes constructive criticism is tough to take. Still, if you are going to pose a question, I have a suggestion. Listen. It's as simple as that. Listen to what people are telling you. That doesn't mean you HAVE to do what they are recommending, but if you want to improve you should listen. Try out what they are saying. Maybe go to a pro shop and mention it to them, but whatever you do, don't get pissy with people. Put on your big boy shorts and be prepared to hear something you may not like. Have a great weekend and get out there and shoot. I know I will be!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Product Review: Magnum RD Tactical Short Sleeve Shirt
Gear reviews on hunting gear are typically performed while hunting and fishing gear is tested while fishing. Most of the time I follow that rule, but not this time. This time I wanted to think outside the box a little bit. The good folks over at Magnum Boots sent me their RD (Rapid Deployment) Tactical Short Sleeve Shirt to do a review on before it hits the market in mid-July. I had to think long and hard on how I wanted to approach testing it out. You see, I know that you can take it hunting, fishing or shooting, but I wanted to also apply it to everyday use. So, at first I took it fishing, but that was too boring a review for me. 

SCB EDIT: After discussing this review with a few people, I realized that I didn't list any pro's and con's, likes or dislikes to help my readers out. I have to say I don't know what I was doing because I normally do that first thing. To make it right, I am now posting them.

Testing it at my fishing hole wasn't going to cut it.

So, I did the next best thing. I took it to Disneyland! Yes, you read that correctly, I took it to Disneyland and if you read on you will understand why.

Who would have thought that Disneyland was a tactical testing ground?

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, here are the specs from the Magnum website:
  • Available Mid-July 2011
  • 5.4 oz. 100% cotton ripstop
  • ColorLock fabric dying process ensures garment color match
  • EEMS (Escape & Evasion Money Stash) pocket inside rear collar
  • Combat sharp collar design
  • RSCS (Rapid Shed Closure System) non-shine all buttons
  • MVBCS (Multi-Vented Body Cooling System) works with and without body armor (Patent Pending)
  • Vertical access Nelson pocket on left chest with low profile zipper
  • Drop stash pocket on right chest with low profile zipper
  • ACEP (Ab Concealed Equipment Pocket) on 2 sides
  • Notched side access points
  • 6-Month No Fade Guarantee

Why did I take it to Disneyland? As a hunter, I like to wear hunting clothing. As a father with a 2.5 yr-old, I have to bring a lot of stuff with me when I venture out with her. I wanted to be able to have some things close by and not taking up space in my pants pockets where items get crushed or your pockets feel bulky. I thought that this shirt might be a solution to that problem.

First off, let me say this - I don't like wearing short sleeve, button up shirts unless they are jet black. I usually feel like a total nerd because they don't fit right. It is very rare that I will wear one and be happy with it.

When I first put the Magnum RD Tactical Short Sleeve Shirt on I was amazed at how comfortable it was. Most tactical shirts are bulky and the pockets poke you in some way or another. This shirt was different because it felt like an ordinary button-up shirt, but it hid some very cool features. The fit was right on, too. After recently losing 47 lbs. (the right way), I wasn't sure how the shirt would fit. I would normally wear an XL shirt. Still, I asked for a L and the shirt fit very perfectly. Actually, it had a little room to spare. Excellent! The RSCS (Rapid Shed Closure System) - ok, the buttons - are actually snaps that go together easily and look sharp. I actually wore the shirt on the Disney Jungle Cruise ride hoping to get asked if I was a tour guide. Alas, the tourists were far too smart for my trickery.

Now on to the functionality. This shirt performed beautifully for walking around Disneyland. Not only was it my kind of sporty shirt, but with all of the pockets I could carry what I needed to without things getting bent or broken like they would in my pants pockets. The shirt itself has many pockets. 3 are very visible and two are hidden. The drop stash pocket on right chest was difficult for me to find. I had to ask a buddy of mine for help. He saw the zipper sticking out from the right breast area and pointed out that maybe he should do the review. Thanks, Gabriel! I guess I wasn't as observant as I needed to be! The right breast pocket closes with a zipper, but also has a small flap that covers the zipper. Makes the pocket almost invisible to the naked eye. Here I could keep my license, credit cards and other loose items. The left breast Nelson pocket opens on the side and I was able to store my camera in there with ease. I even had room left over for other items, if I wanted. There is a small Ab Concealed Equipment Pocket on either side of the the front of the shirt, too. One fit my cell phone with ease and the other was able to hold my sunglasses very comfortably.

The pockets were cool features, but I do have some likes and dislikes. I like the fact that some of the pockets have the mesh backing, but should you be out in the Southern California hot weather and you start to sweat, pray that you have nothing in the pocket that will get damaged due to moisture. I think having a solid backing for at least the bottom half of the pocket would be more beneficial than a full mesh pocket if you want to keep things in there.

One of the things I really dislike about the shirt is the pocket in the collar. I could also carry my cash inside the EEMS (Escape & Evasion Money Stash) pocket inside the rear part of the collar, but the pocket seems very small. Still, who would think to look there? Well, the pocket is only a few inches wide and has no way of closing. It remains open, so if you are busting brush or a stiff wind lifts the collar, some cash may decide to take flight. I recommend that Magnum either give it a zipper or a small button to keep it closed. Also, make it a little bigger! You do have an entire collar to work with.

ACEP (Ab Concealed Equipment Pocket) on right side.

ACEP (Ab Concealed Equipment Pocket) on left side.

One nice thing about the shirt is that it is breathable. You can open the pockets and vent it out if you are too warm, but it also has a built-in vent in the back. The fabric on the inside of the pockets and at the vents is mess and it worked very well. The MVBCS (Multi-Vented Body Cooling System) works with and without body armor, or in my case - a backpack. I would also carry my 2.5 yr-old daughter through the park from time to time and I always felt cool air on my back. Never did I feel overheated. The lightweight fabric never felt itchy, or uncomfortable.

The MSRP for this shirt is $55, which I feel is a bit steep.  Why do I feel it is steep? Well, I don't do a lot of tactical work. I am a DIY hunter and my gear has to function well, but at a reasonable cost to me. I like the shirt and all, but for $55 I can buy 2 of just about any other 'good' shirt. A more reasonable price might be closer to $45 instead.

For a great looking shirt, that functions like a tactical shirt should, I would recommend this to any outdoorsman and any person who wants to look good, feel comfortable, but most of all be able to access what you need at a moments notice. It'll hold your valuables and keep you cool while looking sharp.


Disclaimer: The reviews on The SoCal Bowhunter are solely my honest opinions. These products were either provided to me for the purpose of review or I purchased them myself. I receive no monetary compensation in exchange for these reviews.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bear Hunting Tips For The Archer
With the Southern California archery bear season only two months away, I have been researching some new ways to bring these animals in close for an ethical, clean shot. We can't bait out here, but we can use calls and scents. So why not utilize them!

Melissa Bachman, well-known female huntress, has a great video clip, over at Petersen's Hunting, explaining when and how to use a predator call for bear hunting. I know that this will be one of the ways I will be trying to bring the black bears in this August. Out here the public land is vast and the bear habitat is there, but you really have to work to find your animals. I plan on wearing down the soles of my boots this year.

Last year, Eric Welsh and I scouted quite a few times and videoed some tips for bear hunters. We had a great time, found lots of sign and were very excited to hunt. Unfortunately for us, we were only able to hit the forest twice due to work, family obligations and timing. I plan on hitting the same spot again this year and this time bringing down a bruin.

The forests are pretty dense out here and putting on an aggressive stalk hasn't proven successful for me personally, but it's one tactic I won't rule out.

When does bear season start for you? Are you planning a certain strategy? I'd love to hear about it and any tips you might have.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Rant - Illegal Guiding and the like
Just a quick rant about all of the illegal activity I am reading in the news. This past week alone there have been articles written about illegal guiding, importing of game for better profit and poaching. Makes me proud to be a DIY hunter who does it all on his own, but irritates the hell out of me, too. I am sick of it, that's for sure. When are people going to learn?

You have a well known outfitter who gets busted for illegal guiding in Alaska...

According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday, Cassidy guided a sheep hunting client in ANWR knowing the Dall sheep the hunter shot was illegal and that it was shot outside the guide’s special-use permit area. In addition, Cassidy did not salvage all the edible meat from the sheep as required by state hunting regulations.

Cassidy also was accused of submitting a false record to refuge officials in an attempt to conceal the fact that an aircraft was used during the hunt. Cassidy’s federal permit allowed the use of certain aircraft for transporting supplies, equipment and personnel into base camp but prohibited the use of aircraft during the hunt.

Then you've got a guy smuggling deer INTO Texas... Really? You don't have enough good deer already?

According to information presented in court, on at least four separate occasions, spanning from October 2006 through June 2008, Powell knowingly imported at least 37 live whitetail deer, many of whom came from captive deer farms in Ligonier, Indiana, into the state of Texas and to his "5-P Farms", high fenced deer breeding facility in Cherokee County Texas. These deer included bucks known as "Fat Boy" aka "Barry", "Silver Storm" aka "Hit Man", "Y 009", "Eagle Storm" aka "BJ", "Thunderstruck", "High Five", and "Primer" aka "Spikes". At all times Powell knew that Texas law prohibited any person from possessing a deer acquired from an out-of-state source. In spite of this, Powell agreed to participate in the above-described transactions in which whitetail deer would be secretly transported from Illinois, Indiana, and/or Pennsylvania, to Texas in order to evade Texas laws and regulations.

Then you have poachers like this guy, who has been busted before, who gets another fine.

Corey Enos, 21, of New Derry was found guilty of unlawfully killing or taking of big game and unlawfully hunting while his license was revoked. He was assessed nearly $7,600 in fines and court costs.

Singer noted that Enos also faces the loss of his hunting and trapping privileges for an additional eight years, as he was on revocation for a poaching incident in 2009.

Some people will never learn. We law abiding citizens need to stay sharp and if you see or hear of this kind of activity, turn them in. It affects the hunting community on a large scale and we need to curb this. 

Enough talk of the bad stuff...

and now... I am off my soap box. Umm, a little help getting down?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sam Leccia: Master of His Own Domain
Those who know me understand I have a fondness for a good cigar. I won't smoke just anything though. Behind me are the grocery store brand days. No, I am not a cigar snob, but I know a good one when I smoke it. My taste in cigars has grown as has my taste for a fine wine.  

Late last year I had the opportunity to photograph a cigar launch event at Taylor's Cigar Lounge in Long Beach, CA. It was there that I met Sam Leccia, the then face of Cain/Nub Cigars. I had never spent the time to watch someone handcraft a cigar before. To say it was cool would do it a disservice. I photographed Sam as he handcrafted some beautiful cigars for people. Many comments heard throughout the night related to the fact that they looked too beautiful to smoke. They were right. The artful precision he took to make each one unique was incredible to watch. At the end of the night I was handed one of his hand-rolled creations. To this day it was one of the best cigars I have ever smoked. I had to sit down for over an hour to relish it.

Sam puts his heart and soul into what he believes in. He has since departed from his former employer and formed his own company, the Sam Leccia Cigar Company. As he prepares to launch his first master creation, "Debut", he recently took some time out to answer a few questions for The SoCal Bowhunter.

The Master crafting a signature blend in Long Beach, CA in 2010.

SoCal Bowhunter: Hi Sam! I know a lot has happened since the last time we saw each other. Let me back track a bit, what made you want to get into hand-rolling cigars and creating unique blends?

Sam Leccia: I have been smoking cigars since I was 15. I used to go into the walk-in humidor at the local mall just for the aroma. I was hooked early on. Like most people that I run into, I was fascinated with the rolling process of cigar making. I used to deconstruct just to learn how to re-make them. I would switch wrappers from different cigars, then re-arrange the blend. they never looked pretty, but it was a great leaning experience. I rolled my first cigar from raw tobacco about 11 years ago, and have become better and better at it. I like to try different things to get different results. it's just something I enjoy doing. I have been able to turn my hobby into my life, and for that it is very gratifying.

SCB: Your debut cigar, aptly named "Debut" is about to be launched. Would you describe the blend for us?

Sam: I am very excited about the
"Debut". The dark oily wrapper is Habano grown in Ecuador. The blend consists of tobaccos grown in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Santo Domingo. It is a med to full blend with a chalk white ash, and a nice draw with ample amounts of smoke. The flavors I would describe as a hint of coffee, almond, and a rawness that I really enjoy.

SCB: How many names did you have to go through before choosing
"Debut" as the front-runner? 

Sam: Hundreds. Literally hundreds. Some I will use for future lines, but
"Debut" kept sticking out and was appropriate.

SCB: I am going to take a guess and say that you've probably already sold out of the first run, with just pre-orders, right? When can we expect it to hit the market fully?

Sam: The response has been truly humbling. I have been overwhelmed with it all, and I couldn't be more appreciative.
"Debut" should start shipping in July.

SCB: Knowing your unique style, have you any plans for future cigar blends?

Sam: I have lots up my sleeve. One thing that I am doing right off the bat is playing around with some limited release cigars and some unique prototypes. The best part is, you will not be able to buy them, you will have to find them. I will be hiding one in a select amount of boxes of the debut. I think it's a fun way to get out some of the things I plan on releasing in the future.

What type of box will you be packaging these in? Is there a special wood that you like for this blend?

Sam: Funny you should ask. The boxes for
"Debut" will not be made of wood. The boxes are made here in the USA, and are made from 100% recycled and 100% non toxic materials. The rains forests in Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil are being depleted in devastating numbers. While I do not propose to be "green" I am proud of the fact that I am not responsible for one tree cut from the rain forest. I am excited about the packaging. It looks great, I hope others follow suit.

SCB: Any plans in the works to do a tour to promote the Sam Leccia Cigar Co. line?

Sam: I will certainly be hitting the road. I can't wait to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

SCB: Being the graphic designer and photographer that I am, I have to say that I am totally digging your logo, ahem, I mean brand. Some brands are just tossed around, but this one totally fits you. Any special significance behind the design?

Sam: Well, the Ankh cross that centers the logo is one of the oldest known symbols in the world. It represents eternal life, or some interpret it to mean Eternal Peace. Either way, I like that. As far as the rest of it? what better to protect Eternal Life than with Mythical dragons. It just seemed fitting, I think it's a 21st century rendering of the past. I respect history and traditions, so much so that I hope to create my own.
SCB: Now you know, if you do make it out to SoCal again for an event, you can guarantee I'll be there, camera in hand looking for those unique shots.

Sam: Well I would hope so, we had a blast last time we got together, and I look forward to hanging out again.

SCB: For the outdoorsman, that love to chill outside with a smoke and a tasty beverage, what would you suggest to go with the Debut? Normally, I love a good scotch or a slightly chilled bourbon.

Sam: Well, I like all those that you suggested. I think it mostly depends on my mood and the weather. Some good microbrew beers are always a fine compliment to a good cigar. My rule of thumb is simple: if it has a proof I'll drink it, and if it burns, I'll smoke it.

SCB: If we found you enjoying a
"Debut" in Pittsburgh where would it be?

Sam: While it certainly wouldn't be hard to catch me at some of the local cigar shops here in the Burgh, I truthfully enjoy a cigar when I can be alone enjoying it by the Monongahela River or just hiking in the woods. I get very little alone time, which is how I like it, but I do value the moments I get to be alone. I like to reflect and make new goals with myself, soul searching kind of stuff, and a cigar helps pull that out of me.

Sam, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer my questions. We all look forward to seeing things once again take off for you. Cheers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New York DEC Considers Allowing Crossbow Hunting
Debating is a learning experience. I love to debate, where we can go back and forth, argue our points and learn from one another. Most bow hunters would consider a crossbow archery tackle, but do not want to share the woods during archery season. Why do you think that is? I have teetered on this subject throughout the years. In the past year I have weighed the facts and have changed my mind. I truly think that a crossbow IS archery tackle and should be allowed during archery season. Why do I think that way? Well, it still takes skill to prepare to hunt with a crossbow. You have to practice and know your gear. You still have to lug in a 12lb. weapon, load it, find your animal and make a quick, kill-shot. 

So what's the problem? Does it make you less of a hunter because you are using a crossbow? Hell no! It shows that you are versatile and can use other tools. Whatever weapon you choose shouldn't ostracize you from being considered an archer. Take the relationship between traditional archers and compound users, for example. We use different tools, but one utilizes more gadgets, is slightly different to shoot and both are usable during any archery season. Yet, each hunter should be allowed to choose what he uses as a weapon, right? Right!

How do YOU feel about crossbows during archery season? If this were your home state, would you oppose it or go with it?

As quoted from The Outdoor Wire:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced proposed regulation changes that will allow the use of crossbows for big game hunting and eliminate a permit requirement for certain physically disabled hunters to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game hunting season.

"The proposed changes will provide our sportsmen and sportswomen additional opportunities while hunting afield this coming fall," Commissioner Martens said. "The popularity of crossbows is growing in New York and the use of modified equipment is in high demand to meet the needs of our hunters who are temporarily or permanently disabled."

The NYS DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposal through July 11. If you live in NY, I urge you to comment.

I will take public comments indefinitely. Shoot straight.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Nature Walk
Last weekend I was able to get out a spend some quality time with my daughter by going on a nature walk while my wife photographed a beautiful family. Riley and I checked out all of the flowers, baby animals and played around making it even more fun. I love watching her grow up, although it's sad to see how fast she's doing it! Here are some of the shots I took while we were out. They are not super clear as I had to take them with my phone. I brought my point and shoot camera and the batteries dies right when we got there. I had taken the back-up batteries out for her camera. Lesson learned!

A beautifully colored hillside just off the trail.

Riley sitting pretty (her idea) on a log.

This just caught my eye with the color and sharpness of the spines.

The next day I was able to get out to do a little fishing standing. I fished the local park for a couple hours just to relax and didn't even get a bite. It wasn't about the fishing for me. Had I really wanted to catch lots of fish I would have brought bait and fished the late hours of the day. Most of my morning was spent practicing my fly casting. I had a great time.

Glassy water, no fish, but a beautiful day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Saturday, June 11th – 8am to 8pm
Oak Tree Gun Club (OakTreeGunClub.com) in Newhall, CA

Benefiting several magnificent 501(c)(3) charities – this year’s themes are: Children of
Heroes, Wounded Warriors and Wildlife Conservation.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA.org)
GuideOn (GuideOn.org)
Children of Hero's Wish Program (Calpyc.com)
GallantFew (GallantFew.org)
The Audubon Society (Audubon.org)
Shriners Hospital For Children (ShrinersHQ.org) -- continuing the presence of a large
hospital organization at our events

The anticipated Constellation of Stars include:

CELEBRITIES/ACTORS/ENTERTAINERS: Ron Perlman and the cast of Sons of Anarchy,Keith David, Steve Harris, Ralf Moeller, Vinnie Jones, James Caan, Tim Abell, Michael Rooker, Joe Mantegna, Cedric Yarbrough, Aaron Eckhart, Ace Young, Brian Austin Green, Casts from The Office, NCIS, and CSI: Miami, Cherilyn Wilson, DB Sweeney, Dean Cain, Elizabeth Berkley, Erik Estrada, Ernie Hudson, Tom Selleck, Frank Stallone, James Woods, Joe Polito, Julian McMahon, Jessie Camacho, Colin Farrell, Kofi Siriboe, Kwame Boateng, Kwesi Boakye, Lena Headey, Louise Mandrell, Michael Copon, Sofia Milos, Jack McGee, Giancarlo Esposito, Neal McDonough, Powers Booth, Summer Glau, Timothy Bottoms, Connie Stevens and Nancy Sinatra.

PRODUCER: Sandy Climan (Aviator), Simon Mirren (Criminal Minds)
DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan (Smoking Aces, A-Team) and P.J. Pesce (Smoking Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball)

NFL LEGENDS: Andre Reed, Ben Davidson, Chester McGlockton, Deacon Jones, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Eric Dickerson, James Lofton, Kermit Alexander, Marcus Allen, Marv Fleming and Tim Brown

MLB STAR: Don Buford




SHOOTING CHAMPIONS: Jon Michael McGrath II (Junior/World Champion), Kim Rhode (2x Olympic Gold Medalist & 6x National Champion), Joella Bates (multi 3-D World Champion & 1st Professional Women’s World Champion), Kim Rhode (multi Olympic & National Champion), Sergeant Glenn Eller (Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist), Sergeant Vincent Hancock (Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist) and The US Beijing Olympic Shooting Team

WORLD RENOWNED ARTISTS: James Partee, JR (recipient of over 60 state, local and national awards during the past three decades, who's who in wildlife art, winner 15 stamp/print competitions, people of the century "'permanent art collection" of the Smithsonian museum, winner of the Georgia state duck stamp); Ray Kelly (distinguished wildlife, native American, western artist, South Dakota master work award winner 2009/2010, commissioned work for many Hollywood luminaries, recipient of prestigious Point of Light award); Paul Batou (native Iraqi artist – has created many compelling works of his native land that have been featured in galleries throughout the United States); George Yepes (one of the world's foremost award winning Latin painters, commissioned to paint for numerous Hollywood luminaries including Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Madonna and Sean Penn); Steve Kanaly (actor -- star of “Dallas” / highly regarded watercolor artist); Jon Watto (superbly diverse metal sculptor & artist – creates amazing jewelry, belt buckles and a wide variety of other metal icons); Chuck Stapel (legendary, knife maker of the stars, utilizes natural resources, incorporating them into the very essence of the knife itself for many of his one-of-a-kind creations); Jack Allocco (8 time ASCAP [Film & Television Music Awards] award winner & composer).

OTHER NOTABLES: Ms America - Tracy Broughton, Miss San Diego - Marina Inserra, Miss Utah - Liz Lyda and Playboy Playmates!

More added all the time for friendly championship competition Hollywood style!

LOS ANGELES, CA -- May 1, 2011: A starburst of A-List Celebrities enlist with Host/Honorary Chairman Patrick Kilpatrick of Uncommon Dialogue Films to compete in a day long safe, shooting sporting clays event to benefit a number of dynamic charities at The 2011 Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational.

Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall, CA is the breathtaking venue for this all-encompassing outdoor extravaganza on Saturday, June 11th.

The event is not just sporting clays, it's an IMMENSE circus – to be seen NO WHERE ELSE -- with rifles, pistols, sub guns, belt machine guns, cowboy / trick shooting, pirates,  revolutionary and civil war re-enactors and canons, live exotic animals, an animal sanctuary/rescue booths, novice to Olympic level shooting, outstanding archery, fabulous fly fishing demos, global fishing trips, exquisite boating / kayaking booths, interactive product displays, eye dropping quick draw and exhibition shotgun displays, LaserShot virtual bird hunting, an AirSoft tactical course provided by Khyber Interactive Associates, a high end, bargain filled live auction, extensive celeb red carpet, massive gifting, all 5 branches of the military will have a strong presence, color guards, two military bands, bagpipers, the Navy Seal Parachute team, operational command vehicles, brilliant tactical/defensive pistol and edge weapons demonstrations -- there will even be a hand cranked Gatling Gun to shoot! In fact the event just got the services of 12 period canons that will be booming all day long. The list of attractions goes on and on and is growing all the time!!!

Once again Michael F. Hupy will be providing $2,500 in cash prizes for the specific shooter class winners!

Fiocchi Ammunition and Cyalume Technologies will not only be displaying -- and providing for all participants -- their revolutionary Cyalume Illumination Shotgun Tracer Rounds which light up both day and night but also will be vividly displaying their Cowboy Action Shooting ammo line as well! Plus they will be providing 30,000 shotgun rounds for the tournament and a massive quantity for the rifles, pistols, sub gun rounds as well.

With Fiocchi’s generous help The Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational will be providing an entire section of fast draw and action shooting complete with masters of the craft who will aid and facilitate the safe participation of the festival attendees.

American firearm icons Colt & Smith & Wesson are among the scores of event sponsors -- providing exquisite auction items, team sponsorships and game day presence. Now catapulting its presence back into Hollywood is Weatherby -- the big game rifle choice for Golden Age Hollywood Stars like Clark Gable, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart and Carole Lombard. On June 11th at The Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational they will be unveiling their shot gun and sniper line as well.

“When a sponsor is not able to attend personally we use military personnel and accomplished actors and actresses to man their booth and become decisive spokespeople for their products” said Kilpatrick.

NRA Blog is providing 500+ eco bags for gifting.

The First Ever California Outdoor Heritage Alliance “Courage in Entertainment Award” will be presented to the outstanding entertainer who has selflessly advocated for the truth about shooting, hunting, fishing, conservation and ecology.

“Hollywood has always been devoted to service and charity, to America, to the Bill of Rights, to the Armed Forces, to ecology and fun, great actors and storytellers. The Hollywood Sporting Clays Invitational continues that tradition of showmanship and service as we become the greatest Hollywood shooting/pro military hero, hunting, pro animal conservation, fishing, archery, pro America charity event ever!” said Patrick Kilpatrick.

Even the menu is 5 star and organic – participating is an exquisite caterer, Captain BBQ, who will be preparing a mouth-watering Western theme BBQ with wild game (also on the menu is seafood and various wonderful vegetable dishes) that has been donated by the San Fernando Valley chapter of Safari Club International (SCI). Also catering are 2 Guys Grilling who have a complimentary style to the whole day and are two of the most delightful people on the planet – cooking up a few surprises on another part of the course. Last but certainly not least, is a veteran chef, who was part of last year’s event -- Tommy LaVasseur, The Camo Gourmet, a true master of his craft. Also present will be many differing food sponsors and vendors – everything from confectioneries to cupcakes, gourmet hot dogs with delectable toppings and sodas from Surf Dog to mouthwatering AutoGelato, a Coca Cola pavilion, tequila, even a scrumptious selections of wines from Warbird Pinup Wines, an up and coming label and an elegant family company -- Conway Family Wine!

Among the dynamic and tremendously generous sponsors are: pinnacle Jarrett Rifles, superb Kenetrek Boots, exquisite Mountain Hollow Game Calls, The Freedom Group’s brilliant firearms companies outstanding Bushmaster and exceptional Remington Arms have joined together to participate in this year’s extravaganza, the blazing graphic arts of Birchwood Casey Targets, stunning U.S. Optics, dazzling Night Optics products and hyper functional and comfortable Original S.W.A.T. boots and footwear!

“We pride ourselves on never doing the same thing for competitive sponsors – customizing every product / company presence for utmost event & global exposure as well as maximizing interactive fun with the attendees and celebrities” said CEO Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick continued, “Not only are these sponsors teaming with UDF for the event but for product integration in future UDF projects and films”.

“California is the original visionary Green State and America is the light of world for freedom and democracy. Our event properly aligns organic food, care and reverence for animals and wounded warriors, managed resource hunting/fishing and the wonderful shooting sports whose dollars and people preserve and bolster wildlife and habitat worldwide all merged with a military that rescues and liberates globally. Hollywood is all about fun, beautiful women, handsome men, delicious food, entertainment, learning new skills for the whole family and charity! It is within these bold nuances that the new century should be forged” said Kilpatrick.

Add to that -- lots of international media … everyone from CNN, E! Entertainment, ABC, Sportsman Channel, NRA News, NRA Blog, Outdoor Channel, Orion Multimedia, Versus to name a few and dozens of tactical and outdoor vendors (check our web site for all the glorious sponsors) and you have quite a party cooked up!

The 2011 Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational
WHERE: Oak Tree Gun Club (OakTreeGunClub.com)
23121 Coltrane Avenue
Newhall, CA 91321
(661) 259-7441
WHEN: June 11, 2011, 8am – 8pm
RED CARPET: 8am to 9am
Patrick Kilpatrick, Host/Honorary Chairman
Marina Susan, Co-Host
323 252 8702 (cell)
323 962 3200 (office)
323 962 3100 (fax)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Archery Range at SoCal Park in Jeopardy
Supporting local archery and especially local archery ranges is something I am proud to do. I read in the news last week about the Pasadena Roving Archers being scrutinized and
the archery range in Pasadena facing shut down because of some hikers and dog walkers. News stories pop up online all the time, but seeing one like this saddens me, but also lights a fire in my gut. I am quoting both articles I read so you can get all of the info I have. This is a lengthy post because of the articles, but please read them through. Just take a look at some of the photos from some of the archery shoots. Look how many people love coming out to shoot in Pasadena? Pretty impressive if you ask me!

Image © Pasadena Roving Archers
Image © Pasadena Roving Archers

Story #1 from The Pasadena Star-News.
Roving Archers fend off critics taking aim at their shooting range in Pasadena's Lower Arroyo Park

PASADENA - Since 1935, Pasadena Roving Archers have had a home in the Lower Arroyo Park.

It's now the oldest field archery range in the world and one of only two in Southern California, according to President Gary Spiers.

But after more than seven decades of accident-free and generally peaceful co-existence with dog-walkers and hikers, club members say they're being targeted by claims they take up too much space and are a danger to others using the popular 150-acre recreation area.

"It's unclear how it evolved," Spiers said, adding that he thinks the controversy started with a complaint to the City Council late last year.

"The problems are not clear to us."

The safety and space issues in the Lower Arroyo, last raised about 20 years ago, has resurfaced at the most recent Recreation and Parks Commission meetings - now accompanied by a lively on-line debate, pro and con.

"We've never had an accident here, the archers are very safety conscious - no one wants to shoot at anyone," Spiers said Tuesday, as a group of club members moved between targets set against the hillside east of the arroyo channel.

The club's area is one area of dispute.

The city lists the range as 18 acres, but long-time Roving Archer Jim McQuarrie said it's probably half that. Use of the north range is restricted to once a month, plus an annual competition, he said, and the club's area has never expanded.

Spiers said the city - not the club - put up a line of short wooden posts among the rock edging that separates the range from the designated hiking trail; several are topped with signs alerting passersby to the archery range.

"The signs don't say 'keep out,' but they do say 'Danger, archery,"' Spiers said. "It's like a riptide at the beach - people have to take responsibility."

The nonprofit club has about 350 members, including whole families, Spiers said. It has conducted classes in one form or another since 1967, including free try-outs for the public at weekends, and several members are world-class competitors.

But former Councilman Bill Crowfoot, who lives near the lower arroyo, said having archery on public land is problematic and not just another "tedious squabble" between park users.

"Archery, for all its tradition and inherent elegance as a sport, involves the shooting of potentially lethal weapons," Crowfoot said in a lengthy memo sent this month to the city's Recreation and Parks Commission.

Archery, he said, is not an "innocuous use" for recreational land.

"This issue has become significant because we have a shortage of accessible landscaped attractive park space for walkers in Pasadena," Crowfoot said in an email Tuesday.

"People are discovering just how much land on the west bank of the arroyo is off limits to walkers because of the archery. The city is more crowded now than it used to be and too much of the park is turned over to archery. It's that simple. To say that this controversy is all because of one person is unfair; one person had the guts to call them out."

John Fauvre, who brought the initial complaint to the City Council, said walkers in the arroyo have a longer history even than the archers.

"I'd like to see shared use," Fauvre said, suggesting designated days or hours for archers to use the range that would leave it open to walkers at specific times.

And if the range is one of the last in Southern California, he said, that's probably because other cities have decided the liability could be too great.

"It's in one of the most beautiful, accessible areas of the arroyo," Fauvre said. "Our position is that, if archery is dangerous and imposes risks of liability to the city, maybe it's no longer appropriate."

Spiers and MacQuarrie said the history of archery as a public recreation in the lower arroyo, as with the nearby Casting Pool, should be acknowledged and appreciated.

"There are 22 miles of hiking trails," MacQuarrie said, adding that no city map shows paths for walkers in the archery range.

And as for reports of "bad archer behavior," Spiers said, not everyone shooting is a member of the club, although everyone is required to follow the rules posted.

"I would like to see (the city put) a new set of rules there," Spiers said. "Adequate signage would go a long way - if you don't understand the rules you're going to be in conflict ... Mutual consideration goes a long way, otherwise it becomes an intractable problem."

Marnie Mosiman of South Pasadena, walking her Airedale, Zazi, past the range Tuesday morning, said she was aware of the debate over the Roving Archers' use of the arroyo.

"I heard a rumor they were closing this trail at the weekends," Mosiman said. "It's not true - great," she said, as Spiers and MacQuarrie said that and other "misinformation" was going around.

Mosiman said she'd never felt endangered during her regular walks, but is "cautious" passing the archery range and keeps to the marked trail.

"I'm a big fan of letting everyone who comes in this area using it as they want to," she said. "We'd love an area to let dogs off leash."

Story #2 from ABC 7 in Los Angeles:

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- There's a dispute brewing over a popular nature spot in Pasadena. It's between the archery club that's been there for 75 years and the people who love to hike and walk their dogs there.

The archery range is located in the Lower Arroyo Park in Pasadena. The first "Robin Hood" movie starring Errol Flynn was filmed there back in the 1930s and some of the members of the Pasadena Roving Archers club helped train the archers in the movie "Avatar."

The club has also produced Olympic champions. Lower Arroyo Park has been its home since 1935. It's 18 acres of targets and nature, and now it's the center of a dispute over access to an old trail near targets.

"This is actually the oldest field archery range in the world. The 28 targets designate a field range and, if we start to give that up, we can't recapture it," said Gary Spiers of Pasadena Roving Archers.

There are 22 miles of hiking trails in the park, and what's in dispute is about a quarter mile of it.

John Fauvre lives near the Arroyo and said he's been walking through there for more than 60 years. He said there should be a way to share this trail.

"I think you can have a safety program, if the archers and the walkers cooperate. That would clarify the situation and would clear the archery lanes, so that they could be safe for walkers. And that there be clear rules," said Fauvre.

According to a nearby residents' association, the archery club and a group of walkers and hikers have their sights set on working out a shared use resolution to present to the Pasadena Parks and Recreation Commission at its next meeting in July.

"We've never gone where the archers are. I walk here with different friends," said Monica Krieger of South Pasadena.

Krieger said everybody can get along and it's clear that the range is there.

The archery club boasts that in its 76 years there, no one has ever been hurt by an arrow. Both sides are hoping no matter what happens, that remains the same.

I also found this in case you want to support the Pasadena Roving Archers. If you are an archer, I highly recommend that you write, but PLEASE be polite! Don't be disrespectful. Be an upstanding person and explain your stance in a respectful manner. Read the 'What To Say' below for some writing tips.

Your voice needs to be heard! Please take a moment to send a note to our local government officials who are currently considering policies that may seriously impact PRA's ability to operate as we have for many years. If you have enjoyed your experience with archery in Pasadena, please do the following:

Send an email to the following addresses (below):
  • The members of the Recreation & Parks Commission
  • The City Council
  • The Pasadena Star-News
  • The Pasadena Roving Archers (so that we have a copy)
If you live, work, or attend school in Pasadena, please contact the City Councilperson for your district (you can find your district at the Pasadena website, http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Council/ if you're not sure; the archery range is in Steve Madison's district); otherwise, send your message to the Mayor's office.

In your own words, explain who you are, your connection to Pasadena and the archery range, and address any one point of your choosing: the amount of park area dedicated to archery vs. other sports, the benefits of archery as exercise, educational benefits, economic benefit to the city, safety, history, the minimal environmental impact, the inherent absurdity of "shared use" that would permit people to walk in an archery range, etc. Basically, whatever is important to you.
  • If you live, work, or attend school in Pasadena, please say so.
  • If you habitually shop, dine or do business in Pasadena before or after you come to the range, please say so.
Thank the city for providing this unique recreational opportunity and encourage them to continue to do so.

Recreation & Parks Commission:
Stacy Houser, Liaison: shouser@cityofpasadena.net (She will distribute your letter to the Commission members)
Mayor Bill Bogaard: bbogaard@cityofpasadena.net
City Manager Michael Beck: mbeck@cityofpasadena.net

City Council:
Jacque Robinson, District 1: district1@cityofpasadena.net
Margaret McAustin, District 2: mfuller@cityofpasadena.net
Chris Holden, District 3: jmcintyre@cityofpasadena.net
Gene Masuda, District 4: gmasuda@cityofpasadena.net
Victor Gordo, District 5: vdelacuba@cityofpasadena.net
Steve Madison, District 6: smadison@cityofpasadena.net
Terry Tornek, District 7: ttornek@cityofpasadena.net

Pasadena Star-News: letters.star-news@sgvn.com
Please also send to info@rovingarchers.com