Monday, August 8, 2011

Scouting for Black Bear and Meeting Cameron Hanes
Yesterday was a great day. First off, I was able to head out to my bear spot with Nate Welsh and get two treestands up. My arms and legs are sore as heck today from climbing up and down the trees, but it is one of the sweetest set-ups I've used. We spent a couple hours getting it just right, but I now have a set-up with 180 degrees of shooting area. The season opens in less than two weeks and I am stoked to get out there. I have learned of a few new rules and updated regulations this year, so you Cali bear hunters, pay attention to my blog. I'll be posting the info later this week.

After doing the morning work, I drove over to Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga. Most days when I go to Bass Pro I spend way too much money. Today was no different as I dropped $5.99 on some unscented deodorant. Wowza! I had the great fortune of meeting Cameron Hanes at Bass Pro before his Bowhunting the West seminar. Many have asked me this question today - What's he like? You would be pleasantly surprised when I say that he is just like you and I. He's a hunter, but he's also a damn cool guy that loves life. A few of us, Eric and Nate Welsh of DIYbowhunter.com, Pastor Kerry Mackey of Chaplain to the Outdoorsman, and I chatted a little with Cam before his seminar. Super humble, great listener and made time for each and every person there. Every. Single. One.

Redhead Pro Staffer Eric Welsh, Cameron Hanes and yours truly.
Cam's seminar spectators came out of the woodwork. It was only Cam's second time doing a seminar for Bass Pro (first one was Friday in Denver, CO), but it was packed. There had to have been over 200 people sitting, standing, watching from the stairs just to get a glimpse of the hunting legend. He covered plenty of hunting in an hour, yet one of the most memorable things I took away yesterday was this. A young boy was trying to find a seat and kept moving up to the front. His dad had another child sitting on his lap, so he sat on the floor just looking up. Cam immediately took notice and as soon as he was done with what he was discussing, he walked right over to where the boy was sitting. He said hello and proceeded to chat for a second and give the boy a few items off of his table. I was only able to catch a side view, but the kids face was priceless. I love it when someone takes the time to do that for a young hunter or future hunter. It made my day.

Once the seminar ended, the stampede for autographs and questions began. I hung back with Kerry and we caught up on his Utah trip and his son's new bow. I am stoked that we now have a new member into the archery field. From what I hear, he's going to cost Kerry an arm and a leg in targets.

Following Cam's seminar was a FoxPro Predator hunting seminar led by Pro Staffer Al Morris. I am not much of a predator hunter, but this seminar was fantastic and entertaining. Big Al had better delivery than most stand-up comedians as he described different hand calls and the FoxPro. His calling techniques we impressive to say the least, but he was downright hilarious, too. Another well-done seminar. Makes me want to go yote hunting now!

Thanks to Kerry Mackey for the photo!
During the FoxPro seminar, Cam moved over to a table to finish signing autographs, taking pictures and chatting with local hunters. I had to get in on the action, too. Sure, I had exchanged messaged in posts on Facebook and on his blog, but I had to show him my Fat Albert --> Skinner Al photo and see if he'd sign it. Not only did he sign it, but he was very positive about the whole thing, even comparing my 'look' to that of a WWE wrestler. Thanks, Cam, for all of the info, the positivity and overall humbleness you showed during your short time here in Cali. I hope your flight was able to be rescheduled quickly!

Redhead Pro Staffer, Eric Welsh, followed up at 6pm with a local bear/deer hunting seminar. While only a few folks showed up (dinner time seminars are brutal) the guys and gals that were there had plenty of questions. Two of the guys recognized the DIY local and my mug and asked me a few questions regarding getting into archery and hunting. It was some great conversation! Gents, I truly hope you are able to get out there and fling some arrows. I stick by what I said, if you have ANY questions, feel free to email me. If I don't know the answer I'll find the people that do.

The day was an all around success. When I got home and walked through the door, my day felt perfect. My wife and daughter were patiently waiting for me to come home with smiles and hugs for this stinky hunter who just happened to have dinner with him. It was good to be home.

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