Thursday, October 31, 2013

BADLANDS and BOWHUNTING WORLD MAGAZINE Team Up for Goliath Giveaway Sweepstakes!

West Jordan, UT – Badlands Hunting Gear has teamed up with Bowhunting World Magazine, a Grand View Outdoors production, to offer one of the company’s biggest giveaways to date.

In an effort to outfit one lucky winner with 11 different hunting items, Badlands developed the “Best of Badlands Goliath Giveaway Sweepstakes.” The giveaway includes several items from Badlands’ extensive lineup of gear ranging from packs to clothing to accessories. The sweepstakes will run through the middle of January 2014 and can be entered by visiting www.grandviewoutdoors.com and clicking on the “Contests” page.

Badlands Marketing Director Blake VanTussenbrook explained, “With our new 4X Clothing line being added to our extensive pack and accessory line, we wanted to give one lucky person a chance to basically win one of everything. We have base layers, camo, packs and accessories all packed into this one sweeps.”

Coming into its 20th year, Badlands continues to focus on exceptional quality, continuing innovation, unmatched performance and as always the only unconditional lifetime warranty in the industry.

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For more information about this product, other products in the Badlands line, or general inquiries, please contact Blake VanTussenbrook at 1.800.386.7839 or blake@vortexoutdoors.com

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Archery Bug - Is There a Cure?

Anyone who gets a chance to chat with me knows how much I love archery, heck I have loved it for decades. While recurves and traditional bows are interesting, I love the mechanics behind compound bows. I love the physics behind the flight of an arrow, and I love talking archery gear. There is something I find very mystical in the way archery has developed over the years and how awesome it truly is. Honestly, I could sit and talk archery for days.

Earlier this year, I began exchanging tweets with actor and celebrity chef, Dean McDermott about his involvement with archery and target shooting. He shared how he had been bitten by the archery bug back in school and he wanted to get back into it. He said he was fascinated by how much bows have changed since his school days. Basically, he wanted to take it back up as he had a lot of fun and wanted advice on a quality target bow. I mentioned a few of the target bows, but shared that I really like the Pro Series bows from PSE Archery, having had the experience of shooting them. He asked what I was shooting and what I would recommend for him. Being 6' 3" tall, I figured he would get more enjoyment out of a forgiving bow and after some lengthy discussion that a PSE Vendetta DC would fit his frame well. I shoot a PSE DNA, but with only a 6" brace height it wouldn't be as forgiving, but I have been shooting for 30 years and I am only 5' 10". The 7" brace height of the Vendetta DC would be much better.

Now I won't lie, I knew of Dean from his acting and family life, but I followed him on Twitter because he seemed like a great dad, a down-to-Earth guy, blogger, and he loves to cook. It just happens that I love to eat, love being a dad and I watched a few TV shows where he shared some of his recipes and I about chewed the remote to a nub they looked so good. I mean come on, the guy won 'Rachel vs. Guy: Celbrity Cook Off, Season 2' and busts his butt for his charities. What's not to like? I still have to try the skirt steak recipe he created.

Long story short, we discussed the best options and I helped him choose the proper gear he would need to begin target practicing. We got it all ordered up and I got everything set up for him, beside cutting his arrows. (I always like to wait until I can actually measure someone up to get the proper arrow length for how they want to shoot.) That was back in March and about the time when our schedules went a bit haywire. We both had prior obligations and wouldn't have a chance to meet up for a while. Dean was off filming a new TV show and I had obligations of my own with work, writing, and hunting.

Fast forward seven months or so and our schedules finally coincided. We set a time and place to meet so I could give him his brand new PSE Vendetta DC.  We met up, shook hands, and then I handed Dean his new bow. The look in Dean's eyes said it all, he was stoked! We talked about the specifics of the bow and target archery for nearly an hour. Then we decided we really needed to get together and target practice very soon. I think once we get his arrows cut to length and he learns the proper form, he is going to love shooting that PSE. 

Like I mentioned earlier, he's a great guy and is very enthusiastic. As he is getting back into archery, I am eager to hear his thoughts on the PSE Vendetta DC and what gear he wants to try out. Heck, maybe I can teach him a few archery tips and he can share a few of his cooking tips. Keep an eye on the blog for some future meet ups and see how Dean progresses. I have mentioned before that I love bringing new people into archery and that I always learn something new from the experience. I am sure I will learn a few things along the way and I hope Dean grows to love archery as much as I do.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Things Happening in NY State

In the past few weeks I have been chatting with my family back East in hopes of a good whitetail story. My dad and brother have been putting in a great deal of time scouting, putting in food plots and wearing out the seats of their treestands in hopes of locating a big buck. It had been very quiet up until a couple days ago.

My brother got a new Bushnell trail camera for his birthday and had a gut feeling as to where to put it on his property. It turns out my brother is pretty smart. He has bucks fighting, chasing does around, and a big old nine-point buck coming back over and over. My brother nicknamed the deer "'Priest because he has MASS!'" I laughed, but the joke was on me because when I woke up this morning, this was the picture I saw on my phone:

My brother (R) and dad with my brothers nine-point trophy.

My brother had the buck pinned down last night and made a kill shot at last light. It's the first nine-point he has ever shot and it only took one arrow. That's the way we do it in New York! Congratulations to my brother and my dad on a great archery deer season so far! I hope they send a little luck out this way!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cleaning Your Gear Will Help it Last

Preparing for a hunt can be great fun, but in order for it to go as planned you must take good care of your bowhunting gear. I mentioned in an earlier post this year about caring for your archery tackle and what to do to avoid problems. I have had my share of mishaps over the years and thought I’d share some tips I learned. Plus, I wanted to share some simple tips on how to get your kids involved in helping you out. My daughter is almost always willing to help me get ready for a hunt and I’ll admit – I love it! It’s a great way for me to share with her about hunting and caring for your bowhunting gear. While you want your archery tackle in tip-top shape, caring for the little things should be a priority, too.


One of the mistakes I made was not emptying my hydration bladder during the off season and I grew some incredible mold inside. I wanted to take a moment to reiterate the need to keep it clean and be vigilant in proper care. We all get busy, but it only takes a minute to empty, clean and dry the bladder for later use.


My hunting backpack is one of my key articles of hunting gear. It holds all of my essentials, non-essentials, and it has to fit right or your hunt will be miserable. Washing your backpack is something I know I personally like to do, but I am not sure how many others really do this. When I was growing up, I don’t think I ever washed my bag or backpack during the season. Little did I realize that the deer could smell my sweat or the smell of my house each time I hit the woods. I changed my tactics greatly. To begin, when I get a new pack, like this Badlands Point, the first thing I do is wash it in scent-free, UV resistant soap. When I asked my daughter if she wanted to help, immediately she said yes. I figured she would; I mean, what kid can resist getting all wet and playing with water?

For a bowhunter, scent control is a key factor. You can’t have anything on that’s direct from a factory as it will stink! A deer will smell you from a mile away. As a dad, it was a great way for me to explain why I wash my backpack and clothing the way I do. Using a plastic tub, I fill it halfway with cool/warm water. While I am filling it I add my scent-free soap. Filling the tub only halfway allows room for displacement after you drop in the backpack. My daughter was more than happy to drop the pack in the water for a great splash effect. She helped me dunk it a few times before wanting to stop and ask me some hunting questions. After hand scrubbing the pack and then rinsing it, I air dry it over a fence or something outside.

I wash my camouflage clothing the same way, but I utilize a modern washer. Once washed and rinsed, I hang the clothes out to air dry. Once completely dry, I spray them with Permethrin to protect myself from ticks. The next step is one that I do because I am a bit anal about keeping my clothing and backpack scent-free: I use an ozone machine to kill any residual bacteria on them. You will never get your clothing completely scent-free, but I try to get as close as I possibly can. I get my clothes clean within a day or two of hunting as I don’t want smells to sink in. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but properly caring for your clothing will help it to last a very long time.

There are many other examples of caring for your bowhunting gear, but these are a couple I wanted to share. I’d love to hear some of the tips you other hunters have for caring for your gear! My tactics are ever-changing so that I can maximize my ability to get closer to the animals I am hunting. I know that caring for my gear has become essential and I recommend you do the same.

Monday, October 14, 2013

North American Hunting Club Interview

I have been a proud member of the North American Hunting Club for many years and just recently I was asked a few questions for their new Member Profiles. This interview will give you guys some insight as to who I am, why I hunt, and my background. I hope you enjoy reading it.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BADLANDS RELEASES TECHNOLOGY-PACKED EXO RAIN SERIES CLOTHING

Recently, I have read quite a few blog articles and magazine articles discussing rainy conditions while hunting. I know that many hunters are looking for high quality rain gear. Check out the press release from Badlands regarding the new rain gear!

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West Jordan, UT – Released as part of the new and revolutionary 4X Clothing line from Badlands, the Exo Rain Series brings a dedicated rain suit to an apparel lineup that is filled with options for all types of hunting.

Recognizing the desire for a packable yet durable and functional rain suit, Badlands developed the Exo jacket and pant to not only repel water better than a seasoned sea otter’s pelt but to also contain the same 4X Scent Containment Technology from the rest of the clothing line. This was accomplished by utilizing:

  • Dupont Repel DWR treated polyester outer layer to repel water and oil-based liquids such as blood
  • Polyurethane laminate midlayer
  • Silvador silver treatment application to outer and inner layers to neutralize and control odors
  • All exit points equipped with Scent Gasketing Layer made from coffee and bamboo to absorb and neutralize all odors attempting to escape the garment

Badlands Designer Chris Lambert said of the Exo Series, “We knew if we were going to make a rain series we had to do it right. We used the best materials available and then packed in all of the features that hunters need most. It’s watertight, light, comfortable, breathable and packs down to a very small size for portability.”

The Exo jacket and pant are available in the Realtree Xtra pattern and retail for $199.95 each.

Coming into its 20th year, Badlands continues to focus on exceptional quality, continuing innovation, unmatched performance and as always the only unconditional lifetime warranty in the industry.

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For more information about this product, other products in the Badlands line, or general inquiries, please contact Blake VanTussenbrook at 1.800.386.7839 or blake@vortexoutdoors.com

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Interview with TightSpot Quivers President, Joe Jacks

TightSpot Quivers President, Joe Jacks with his 2013 Montana Antelope.

TightSpot Quivers was founded in 2009 by Joe Jacks. He doesn’t gloat about having the best quiver on the market, but instead encourages other bowhunters and has built a company from the ground up.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was a skeptic when TightSpot Quivers first hit the bowhunting scene. When a few Montana boys mentioned to me that I needed to check out TightSpot a few years ago and that it was the best quiver out there, I thought I had heard it all. Once I tried one out I was amazed at the construction, adjustability and I became a believer. I have been utilizing a TightSpot quiver for two years now and love it.
 

SoCal Bowhunter: Hi Joe. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down and answer some questions. I appreciate it and I know my readers will as well. You are the President of the top-rated quiver company in the industry and I can honestly say I don’t know much about you as a person. Would you share with us a little more about yourself and about your archery background?

Joe Jacks: Hi Al. First I want to say thanks a bunch for giving me the opportunity to do the interview and including me on your website.

As for my archery background, I am sure that it is much like many other folks. I was raised spending time in the outdoors and hunting and fishing with friends and family. I started shooting a bow as a very young boy and would shoot anything I could as often as I could. When I was 16 I shot my first deer with a bow and have enjoyed shooting everything from fish to pheasants and anything in between. Even today I find myself shooting and hunting whenever I can, however I focus most on deer, elk, and antelope.
 

SCB: How did you get involved with starting up TightSpot Quivers? How did you form the company?

JJ: Before TightSpot Quivers I was a Real estate agent here in Montana and when the market started to go south I got out and started TightSpot Quivers. I knew some smart guys in the industry that helped get it up and going and the quiver hit the market in January of 2009.
 

SCB: What made you want to get into the quiver making business and what challenges did you face?

JJ: As you know Al, before the TightSpot Quiver there was not a quiver out there that fit tight to the bow. Myself and many others have always been frustrated with a quiver that sits far from the bow. As a matter of fact most guys take their quiver off to shoot their bow because it is cumbersome and unbalanced. The TightSpot quiver is designed to sit behind the arrow rest and fit up against the cable guard. This means the quiver is as tight as the riser eliminating that lateral toque that you get with most other quivers.

I have had two major challenges since the beginning. The first challenge was the price of the quiver. In 2009 the MSRP of the TightSpot was $149.95. Even though many dealers will sell it for a bit less, it is still an expensive quiver. As a matter of fact it was the most expensive quiver on the market at the time. I wanted to produce a high quality product that you could depend on and not have to worry about it breaking or not performing. The quiver is constructed with some of the highest quality components including the pure carbon wrapped rods. I could have used a carbon and glass composite however they are heavier and vibrated more so I went with the best I could find. With that said, my biggest challenge was trying to explain to dealers and customers why they should spend $150 on a quiver. Often times I could give them every feature and benefit of the quiver but really the best way for people to understand the TightSpot Quiver was to get one on their bow and try it. Once they did they could appreciate it for what it is and understand the value they are getting. Nowadays, most people do not even bat an eye at the price as there are so many other companies out there with expensive quivers.

The other big challenge was explaining to a dealer or customer that they do not have to take their quiver off to shoot comfortably and accurately. Often times I hear people ask, why would they pay that much money for a quiver that they are going to just take off when they get up in a tree? I completely understand that the TightSpot Quiver is not for everyone. However, knowing that you have the quiver on your bow for a back up shot, or that your arrows will not fall out when crawling through brush, or that you can have the same point of impact with the quiver on as you do with it off are just some of the reasons for hunters to consider a TightSpot Quiver. Today I am amazed at the number of call and emails that I get from guys who have always taken their quiver off when shooting and now they leave it on because of the TightSpot Quiver.
 

SCB: How long did it take you to develop the first prototypes and do you still have them?

JJ: The TightSpot Quiver was in research and development for over three years before it hit the market. Just like most things we would design a quiver, try it out and make adjustments based on the performance. Even today we are still making minor tweaks here and there to make it the best possible quiver it can be. I still have some of the prototypes however many of the first quivers were taken apart and reused over and over.
 

SCB: I love the fact that TightSpot Quivers are Made in the U.S.A. How difficult has that been to maintain?

JJ: Al, making the quiver in the U.S.A has been the only option from the beginning. Having access to a machine shop here in Belgrade and contacts around the US to mold our hood and other parts has been great. Sure I could cut some costs by having the quiver made overseas but I like the fact that I can make adjustments to the quiver at a moment’s notice as they are being built. We have complete control over inventory and can increase or decrease quantities with demand. If we get a big order for a certain color, we can typically produce it within 24 to 48 hours as opposed to being back ordered for two months while we wait for the product to arrive from overseas. Not to mention that we are putting people to work here in the USA!
 

SCB: Now that four years has gone by since you started the company, how does it feel to hear customer testimonials from some of the biggest names in the archery/bowhunting industry?

JJ: Al, it feels pretty dang good. I grew up reading whatever hunting magazines I could and watching hunting videos and shows. To have some of those well known names that I grew up watching and reading about using my product and telling how much they like it feels pretty cool.
 

SCB: With all of the archery companies out there, how does TightSpot stay relevant and maintain the status as the best quiver in the bowhunting market?

JJ: Al, I am not going to lie, I look to see what other companies come out with every year and even sometimes cringe when they have some of the same features that the TightSpot has. However, in the long run if it makes the archery industry better as a whole then it is a good thing. That is part of the process of archery products evolving and getting better and better each year. At that point all I can do is keep focused on what I am doing and not worry about what the other companies are doing. I am confident in the TightSpot Quiver and will continue to make improvements whenever possible to make it the best. We have grown substantially each year since ’09 and hope to continue that trend with the best made product on the market.
 

SCB: Do you guys allow yourselves time to get out and hunt?

JJ: That is a funny question. You might think that we do nothing but hunt. However in 2009 I hunted the least amount that I ever had in my life due to the demands of the business. Hunting is huge part of this business. Setting time aside to hunt is very important, not only for the business but because it is what I love to do. Since ’09 I have made certain to set the time aside. When a customer wants to know if the quiver is noisy I can respond and let him know that I harvested a mule deer doe, a whitetail doe, a whitetail buck and a bull elk last Fall and a turkey and Axis doe in the Spring and none of them jumped the string. I think that it speaks volumes that customers know that the quiver is tested each year by myself and a hand full of people who put time in the field and can speak from personal experience.
 

SCB: What is your favorite animal to bow hunt? What animal(s) are on your bucket list?

JJ: This is a tough question! There are so many choices. I really enjoy hunting antelope in August. I can come into work for 30 minutes, check up on things and then be glassing for antelope by 9:00am.  For the most part you can hunt antelope any time of day and when a stock gets blown you find some more and do it all over again. On the other hand in September there is nothing more exhilarating than the crisp cool air as the sun comes up on a mountain side and a rut crazed bull bugling in your face! And of course I can’t leave out spot and stalk mule deer hunting in November. When the Muley bucks are in the rut and chasing does it can be unpredictable what they will do. It can be a fun game of cat and mouse. As for the bucket list, I hope to make it over to Africa someday. If I could get a nice Kudu and great big wart hog I would be super excited.
 

SCB: TightSpot offers one of the best guarantees in the business. ‘If your (original owner) TightSpot™ Quiver breaks, no matter how, we will repair or replace it at no cost.’

What has been the craziest story anyone has had to share when sending in for a replacement?


JJ: Haha! It seems like we have heard it all. Guys using a thumb release and letting the whole thing go. It will usually come off the string and smash into the carbon rods and arrows in the quiver destroying them all. Or the guy who has left their bow on the roof of the truck and it fell off on the Interstate when going 75 MPH. Talk about road rash! More and more I hear of guys running over them with their 4 wheelers or trucks. Sometimes they call just to let me know that the quiver was the only thing that made it through when they have run over them. If they do break them, no matter how, if they send it in we will repair or replace it at no charge.


SCB: Are there any new products or exciting new things in store for TightSpot you can share with us?

JJ: As of right now we are just finishing up with a few minor tweaks for 2014 and should be able to get you a press release by December 1st.


SCB: Joe, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights with the SoCal Bowhunter readers. We appreciate it and are looking forward to seeing TightSpot Quivers around for a very long time!

JJ: Al, it was a pleasure. Thanks a bunch for all your support and including me on your website. Good luck to you and all the readers this season!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Yellowtail Burger Recipe (First Attempt)

Yesterday I shared what I did with some tuna filets. Today I will share my take on yellowtail burgers. I had never made fish burgers before and wanted to try some things. With the help of the SoCal Salty and my stomach, I concocted this recipe.

Yellowtail Burgers

Ingredients:

6-8 yellowtail filets

2 medium size onions

4 scallions

2 jalapenos

2 eggs

Breadcrumbs

Two limes (cut in half)

Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning

2 bowls

1/2 cup measuring cup

2% shredded Mexican cheese

Tapatio (Hot Sauce)


Prep Time: 20  minutes

Place aluminum foil over the top section of your grill. Fire up the grill to a medium heat.

Start by cutting the limes in half and squeezing the juice into a large bowl. Set aside.

Chop up the yellowtail into small chunks. Don't go too small because you don't want it turning to mush. Add the diced yellowtail to the lime juice and mix thoroughly. Leave it there to soak. Go wash your hands (my wife would be very unhappy to have everything in the kitchen smell like fish).

Chop the onion into small chunks. Again, don't go too small. You want some good bite here! Set these aside in a separate bowl.

Slice up the scallions and the jalapenos. Mix them in with the onion.

Add one egg to the yellowtail mix. (Set the other aside in case you need it.)

Measure a half cup of breadcrumbs and pour into the yellowtail bowl.

Measure out two tablespoons of Camp Dog and add it to the mix.

Pour the vegetables into the bowl of yellowtail.

Pull up your sleeves and start mixing everything by hand. Get it worked in good and after a bit, make a patty. If it holds together well you are ready to grill. If not, add the other egg to hold them together.



Make about 8 (eight) patties and wash your hands. Sprinkle a good dusting of Camp Dog over the top of the burgers.

I use PAM, but you can use vegetable oil or olive oil on the foil. Spray it on and then carefully place your burger patties, Camp Dog side DOWN! This gives the outside a spicy crust. Then once they are all on there, sprinkle some more Camp Dog on top. Close the grill cover and wait 3-4 minutes depending on how thick you made them.



In 3-4 minutes, carefully flip the burgers as they can still fall apart. Wait another 2 minutes and cover the top of each burger with a little cheese. Wait until the cheese melts and you are ready to eat!


Once on the plate, pour a little Tapatio over the top of your burger. They might already be spicy enough for you, but I like mine with some kick. Share with a few friends and enjoy!