Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CA Fish & Game Commission President, Dan Richards Needs Our Support!
In case you guys hadn't heard, California Fish & Game Commission President, Dan Richards is under fire and legislators are trying to remove him from office. I blogged about it last week.

Phillip, who writes the Hog Blog, posted about this earlier today. The action info was borrowed from his blog. I highly recommend reading his post. We are both up in arms about this political BS that affects so many hunters. Neither one of us dreams of getting into politics, and hardly ever comment on this sort of thing, but when it comes to matters of California and hunting we are full bore.

President Richards is being hung out to dry for going on a successful (and completely LEGAL) out of state mountain lion hunt. He speaks out for our rights as hunters and he is being attacked. You need to go show your support if you care anything about your hunting rights. Imagine the alternative and he is removed from office and some tree-hugging, anti fills that seat. What do you think will happen then?

Some comments I have seen say that mountain lions are endangered - they are NOT endangered. Another said the mountain lion was fenced in. Completely false. The press is feeding the people of California slighted information because there is an agenda there.

Dan Richards needs our support and here's how you and I can help.

California Sportsmen: Pro-Hunting Commissioner’s Position in Jeopardy Anti-hunting groups are trying to force pro-sportsmen, pro-hunting Commissioner Dan Richards off the California Fish & Game Commission. Why? Because he legally took a mountain lion during a hunt in Idaho. 

A. Attend March 7 Commission meeting in Riverside, Calif., and speak in support of Commissioner Richards. The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa San Diego Room1 3649 Mission Inn Avenue Riverside 8:30AM 

B. Contact your Assemblymember and Senator and tell them to support Commissioner Richards.  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html 

C. Contact Gov. Brown 916-445-2841 and tell him you support Commissioner Richards. 

D. Contact the California Fish & Game Commission 916-653-4899 and support Commissioner Richards. 

Act today. Under state law, any fish and game commissioner can be removed by a simple majority vote in both houses of the state Legislature. 

Currently 40 of the 80 members of the Assembly are calling for Richards to resign. This could easily tip the balance of power on the Commission into the hands of anti-hunting extremists.   Show your support for Commissioner Richards today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Turkey Hunting Seminar at Bass Pro
A few months back, I was approached by the folks at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA asking if I'd be willing to share some of my turkey hunting knowledge in a seminar. As a DIYbowhunter.com Pro Staffer, one of our main goals is to share information with the hunting community, so I naturally agreed. Once I had said yes, I sat back to ponder my acceptance. I started writing things down, gathering up my gear, printing , and quite honestly, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Then, my wife gave me the best advice ever. 'Just be yourself and be relaxed.' Simple and incredibly effective advice.

First, let me say thank you to everyone who came out. You guys made the seminar super fun and exciting for me. Seeing you all so eager and hungry for information made the time fly.

The seminar was on Spring Turkey Hunting. and it started out being general info about Spring turkey hunting. With 25 attendees, I covered scouting, blinds, decoys, calling techniques and where to find birds in SoCal.

Some of the gear I covered during the turkey hunting seminar. Pardon the high res cell phone pic.

What was supposed to be a half hour of me sharing basic information turned into a great discussion lasting over an hour and a half! I didn't want anyone leaving bored, so I ended my presentation at forty minutes in. The audience kept asking great questions, so we discussed more tactics, options and gear. To say it was enjoyable would be an understatement. We had a blast and I am truly thankful for all of the questions and for the guys sticking around. I appreciate the enthusiasm!

I also want to thank Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA for hosting the seminar. Special thanks to Robin Havens and Bob Minor for giving me a platform and the opportunity to share information with local hunters. Thank you. I look forward to presenting again on March 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM for the Beginning Turkey Hunting seminar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turkey Hunting Seminar At Bass Pro This Saturday
Just a quick reminder that anyone interested in Spring turkey hunting in Southern California should swing on out to Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA this Saturday. There will be an intro to turkey hunting seminar and I'll be giving a seminar regarding more advanced turkey hunting.

I'll be giving my seminar at 3pm and I'll be available to chat or answer questions after my seminar.  Please bring some questions!

Here's my seminar schedule for the next month:

Sat. Feb. 25th  at 3:00pm for Spring Turkey Hunting. General info about Spring Turkey hunting
Sat. March 10th at 2:00pm for Spring Turkey- Getting Started.  Basic information for hunters new to Turkey hunting
Sat. March 24th at 1:00pm For Advanced Turkey Hunting -Enhance your Techniques. More advanced calling, where to locate

I am looking forward to seeing a few of you there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Legal Mountain Lion Hunt Brings The Claws Out
Some hunting stories on this blog will not be in related to bowhunting, but rather to stand by the side of other hunters who hunt legally and that is what I am doing in this post. In this article in the Mercury News,  California Fish & Game Commission President, Dan Richards is hung out to dry for going on a successful out of state mountain lion hunt. Some of the comments posted after the fact are incredibly ignorant and others are downright ridiculous.

One of California's top wildlife officials found himself in the political line of fire Friday, after a photo surfaced showing him holding a dead mountain lion he killed in what appeared to be a recent big game hunt.

Daniel W. Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission, shot the lion in Northern Idaho. The photo was posted on the website of Western Outdoor News, a hunting and fishing publication.

Mountain lion hunting has been illegal in California since 1990, when voters passed Proposition 117.

Within hours of the photo appearing, callers deluged the state Fish and Game Commission office, and the Humane Society of the United States urged Richards to step down.

"It's not illegal. But he's thumbed his nose at the people of California," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society. "He's supposed to be representing the interests of all California citizens. It seems like such a tone-deaf action. What part of 'no' doesn't he understand?"

Richards did not respond to requests for an interview.

But on the Western Outdoor News website, Richards, 59, is quoted as saying that he shot the lion with a Winchester Centennial .45 carbine on Flying B Ranch. The 5,000-acre property in Northern Idaho charges $6,800 per person for a 7-day lion hunt.

While it may not be legal here in California [insane], Mr. Richard DID NOTHING WRONG here. He went out of state and hunted a cougar in a perfectly legal manner. Legal to hunt in Idaho, legal method of take and he didn't bring any parts back to California. 

Why are people up in arms? They want him to step down? Sure, the HSUS has the most narrow-minded individuals and they began the crusade. People are mad because it's not legal here so he shouldn't be able to go do it? Get off your high horse people. Not everything that is illegal in one state is illegal in the next. I can't shoot a spike-horned buck here in Cali, but if I go to NY it's completely legal. Does that say that I am doing something illegal? Not at all, but others would have you think that. Oh, and I have killed spikes in NY. They tasted delicious.

It's interesting how the HSUS says that Mr. Richards is 'thumbing his nose at the people of California,' but that is quite untrue. He's done just the opposite. If he were thumbing his nose he'd have killed a lion here in California. And contrary to what the HSUS believes, the MAJORITY of hunters I know would like to see the hunting of mountain lions made legal again. Their numbers should be regulated and controlled like they used to be. 

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, said Friday he is considering introducing a resolution in the Legislature to remove Richards.

"He's thumbing his nose at California law," Huffman said. "He's mocking it. Frankly, I think he should face the music and step down. He's done something that's a disgrace to his position and to responsible hunters in California."
Why is it a disgrace to go to another state and hunt legally, Jared? It sounds like Mr. Huffman need to rethink that statement a bit. This quote is the most ridiculous statement I have read in this entire article. It's seems obvious Mr. Huffman isn't a hunter. I say Richards followed the law to a T. He didn't hunt the big cats here, he did the next best thing. He went out of state, where it is legal and legally hunted one. Enough said.

I wasn't a resident in 1990 when the ban on hunting cougars went into place, but I know that if given the chance I would hunt them. Yes, I said it and I know that the majority of hunters I am acquainted with would say the same thing. They have dwindled the deer population more and more each year, they kill our pets and worse than that end up in our school yards where people are called in to kill them anyway. I don't see the HSUS or anti's targeting those people. They don't remove them, they just kill them. While I agree that those lions need to be taken out of the equation, I don't see any fallout from those killings.

People commenting are driving at the fact that the lion was shot on a ranch and saying it was a canned hunt. (Long pause from me laughing my ass off.) Ok, really people? A canned hunt for a cat would be to put him in a crate and unload some lead into him. Ever seen what 5,000 acres is like? It's huge and to even FIND a mountain lion on property like that would be a feat. To be able to successfully hunt one and kill it is even tougher. Ever seen a mountain lion in the wild? Close enough to kill or be killed? I have not, but I know they live right where I hunt. I have found tracks and have friends who have had encounters and they had some stories to tell. I don not want to encounter one, but with the amount of time I spend in the California outdoors, the more likely I am to see one. Even some good friends of mine have had one jump over their fence and into their backyard. There are many mountain lions around, no matter what people think.

To the anti's and HSUS, how about you guys get your facts straight and understand that we hunters, we Californians, support Dan Richards for going out and hunting legally and making a successful kill on a big cat. Sure, he had to do it in another state and he'll have to mount it and leave it there. I would have to do the same thing. Heck, he'll have to go back to Idaho to eat the backstraps because of the laws here not allowing any part of a mountain lion to be brought into the state, but he has followed those laws. I say congratulations to Mr. Richards on a successful hunt, keeping things legal and please, do not back down from the pressure. We have your back in regards to hunting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Turkey Hunting Seminar at Bass Pro Shops
Developing new hunting topics for discussion in the hunting community is a challenge. Coming up with topics people want to learn about and doing it in an exciting way is tough. Hunting turkey's in Southern California is a challenge. Combine them and you get plenty of people asking how to hunt them and where to find them. I am no expert, and will never claim to be, but I try to share the knowledge I have with people to help keep hunting alive. In doing so, I have been blessed to have been asked by the management at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA to give a short seminar on local turkey hunting in Southern California. To say I am honored would be an understatement. I am stoked!

Giving a seminar on local hunting is a great way for me to meet some new hunters, answer some questions and hopefully make some new friends. Plus, it give me an opportunity to break out the box call, the slate call and my diaphragm calls.

Some of the topics I hope to cover are:
  • Gear to use
  • The art of calling
  • Where to hunt

This flock in the video below tends to stay on private property, but from time to time they venture onto public land. You just have to be in the right place at the right time.

Want to hear more? Plan on attending my seminar on hunting SoCal turkey's on March 24 at 1 PM. It's being hosted by Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  

I'll post more info on the days events as it grows closer. There will be other seminars throughout the day that you won't want to miss. Is there a specific topic you'd like to hear about? Shoot me an email and I'll do my best to do so!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fundraiser for the Long Beach Archery Club
Supporting archers, especially local archers, is something we should all do. Promoting the sport is something I love to do and when I head that a local university was having a fundraiser I had to share it with everyone. Especially seeing that it is being held in my back yard!

If you can make it - great! If not, maybe you can donate some cash towards their trip.

Long Beach Open Indoor 2012 at Archery Outpost
Hosted by Long Beach State Archery Club
Starts at 9am this Sunday, February 19

Archery Outpost 
10714 Reagan St. Suite B 
Los Alamitos, CA 90720 

2 FITA 300 rounds
Men and Women
Compound - Olympic Recurve - Bare Bow
There is a $20 Registration Fee
You may register online

This is a fundraiser for the Long Beach Archery Club to get the team to James Madison University for the USIAC 2012.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Product Review: Piranha Custom Bowstrings
Understanding how important having a quality bowstring on your bow may seem obvious, but please bear with me. Without a quality string and cables installed, your bow it will not perform to its highest potential. Brand new bows have factory strings installed and many archers just leave them on their bow. They are good, but not great. Your best bet is to go to a pro shop and have strings made or find a good string maker on your own. I was fortunate enough to find Eddy Erautt, the owner and string maker at Piranha Custom Bowstrings.

I met Eddy a couple of years ago through www.DIYbowhunter.com and we became instant friends. When he started his company back in 2010, we talked strings and my bow set up. Turns out we were both shooting the same brand of bow and he offered to set me up with a set of strings and cables. I passed at the time because I already had a new set of strings on my bow and liked the ones I was shooting.

In 2011, I purchased a used compound bow and the previous owner explained it still had the original string. Trust me, I could tell. The string, while intact, was frayed and thinner than custom strings I had seen. I went to the range and shot the bow and you could feel how sloppy the string performed and how slow the arrows were flying out of the bow. I called Eddy and he said that the string on my bow was probably only 20 strands. He explained that he uses 22 strands on the string and cable with 24 strands on the split bus cable. By building a 22/24 strand string and cable not only do you get a better, more stable set of strings, but it also eliminates most timing issues. This insures there is no reduction in speed and your bow remains in tune. He then sent me a set of strings and cables to test out on my bow. Now let me tell you, Eddy gets his strings to you quickly. He doesn’t rush the process, but the strings were in my hands in just a couple days.

After having my local pro shop install them, I hit their indoor range. Immediately I noticed a difference in performance. The bow didn’t have the sloppy feel to it anymore and there was a noticeable difference in arrow speed when I shot, too. I locked my peep sight in and the test was on.

Piranha claims that their strings are pre-stretched and there will be no peep rotation. After putting over 600 shots through the bow, I can tell you that statement rings true. The peep stayed where it needed to, no rotation and the strings performed extremely well.

String care is something I preach, as does Eddy. Bowstrings will dry out if you are not careful and he knows this far too well. While he now resides in Colorado, Eddy grew up in Southern California and he knows how the weather, temperature and extended use will affect a string. He also knows quality string making. One thing he explained to before I started shooting was to be sure wax my string after each practice. This has extended the life of my string.

From Piranha’s website: Every string we custom build is pre-stretched to 300 lbs. Using the industry’s leading Trophy Fibers by BCY, along with 3D End Serving, and #62 Braided Center Serving. To provide you with the highest quality bowstring that will last you thousands of arrows. We stand behind our strings 100%, with a NO peep rotation, NO stretch, NO creep, and, NO serving separation guarantee along with a one year warranty on all factory defects.

Piranha Custom Bowstrings also has the best customer service. Many times I have had questions regarding string, or a bow that needs a new string and even my own bow. Eddy has always picked up the phone or returned my emails promptly. He makes it his goal to be certain that each customer is satisfied with his or her purchase. He cares about the performance of his strings and he’s just a downright nice guy with a wealth of knowledge.

You can call Eddy at (866) 926-3339 or fax him your bow specs at (866) 342-7047. 
Email Piranha at: piranhacbs@hotmail.com.

Piranha Custom Bowstrings P.O. Box 1000 Cortez, CO 81321-1000

Monday, February 6, 2012

Caring for Your Gear in the Off Season
Here is my second contribution to BowAmerica e-magazine for bowhunters. This is the February issue where I discuss end of season gear care (pg 18). I also have a gear review on Piranha Bowstrings. Be sure to check that out, too!

As hunting seasons end or end for many of us, we need to think about stowing our bowhunting gear. We wash our camouflage, hang it up to dry and put it away with care, but what about our archery tackle and hunting equipment? Do you take the proper care of it after the season ends and throughout the off-season? I have had to learn the hard way and I am going to try to cover some essentials to keep your archery gear in tip-top shape! I am going to focus on the compound bow archers out there because of all of the extra bells and whistles we keep on our bows.

In the high-desert of Southern California, we bowhunters should be taking great care of our gear during AND after the season. Carelessly, years ago I used to hang the bow up and leave it untouched for months, never even giving it a second thought. Times have certainly changed. Now I go through a checklist of gear care, but also some off-season routines to keep me sharp and to keep my equipment in great shape.

Top priority is to keep your gear in tip-top shape. Why on Earth would we spend our hard earned cash on quality gear only to let it turn to scrap? The first thing I do, after my camo is washed, dried and packed away, is to go over each piece of my gear to be sure it's going to stay working well for the next season. Instead of singling out each piece of my equipment, because I know each of our systems is different, I would like to generally cover what I do in the off-season to properly care for it.

Take inventory.
The first step is to lay everything out on the floor or some surface where you can view everything. If your hunting bench or garage looks anything like mine then you know you have your work cut out for you. Laying everything out gives you an idea of what you have and where you will need to store it. It will seem like a daunting task to have everything laid out before you, but trust me, this will be beneficial. Your checklist will vary and I encourage you to create one for yourself and the type of hunting you do. The photo below is just a sample of some of what is in my pack during the season.

Look over your compound bow and any added parts.
Each year, as I start to stow my gear, I tackle the biggest item first. I look over my compound bow (and any backup bow) and it's different essentials (sight, stabilizer, quiver, etc.) for missing or loose parts. On a few rare occasions, I have had some very close calls with my gear. A couple years ago, while I was practicing, I set my bow down to retrieve my arrows and noticed something odd. I couldn't put my finger on it right away, but I knew something didn't look right on my bow. As I looked closer, I noticed one of the e-washers on my upper limb was gone. As I looked closer, I realized that if I kept practicing there was a chance the bolt could slip out and I'd be in a world of hurt or that it may cause some irreversible damage to the bow.
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