Thursday, February 26, 2009
"Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. They seem to be the purpose of God for his whole creation." ~Richard Holloway
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Secondly, I want to introduce you to Ben Gustafson, a new blogger who writes Ben G. Outdoors. He loves hunting and the outdoors, and in his own words, gets as excited as a kid when he does anything involving hunting. He started blogging so that he could stay immersed in his outdoor passions all year long. Please check out his site and give him a warm welcome to the outdoor blogging community.
While I was away, I was also contacted by Steve Johnson of HuntOnly.com a website that has information and articles about all types of hunting. They also have a large photo gallery and forums to help get and keep people involved in hunting. Steve is also a part of Whitetail Deer Hunting a website dedicated to, (can you guess?) whitetail deer hunting! I would recommend both of these sites and if you do check them out, tell Steve I sent you!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Every year our Christmas church pageants fell on the last Sunday of deer season. My father and uncles always promised to be at the pageant, but it never failed that one of them would take a deer that evening and they would miss it. On one of those particular Sundays, after the Christmas pageant was over, mom and I drove home to find the garage all lit up, one of my uncle’s trucks in the driveway, and several deer hanging in the garage.
Mom and I walked out to the garage to find my dad, and one of my uncles. My uncle proceeded to explain to me that the dead deer hanging in the garage was, in fact, the lovable cartoon character, Bambi. They had killed Bambi. I didn’t believe him at first, but he didn’t change his story and I soon began to believe that he really had, in fact, shot Bambi!! Of course as my face fell, I began to cry... and scream... and wail.
I can picture the whole scene right now: my uncle with a smirk on his face, my dad hiding his smile, and my mom glaring at both of them. On the way back to the house, my mom explained to me that they really didn't kill Bambi. In fact, they had killed Bambi’s bad uncle Jack, an old, mean deer that had made Bambi’s life miserable. So, my dad and uncle had really done a favor to Bambi and my uncle was just teasing me.
While many people tend to make jokes regarding Bambi’s life during deer season, in our home the bucks are always referred to as Bambi’s bad Uncle Jack. I don’t think my mom has ever forgiven my uncle for that night, and even though I don’t remember a single thing, it always makes for a good story around the dinner table.
Did your parents ever make up a story to explain dead animal carcasses? And how will/did you explain the dead animals to your children? In the meantime, I sincerely hope that none of you ever have to come up with a story like that of Bambi’s bad uncle Jack.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Many young people, in various circles of faith, often make a statement, an affirmation, before being confirmed or baptized within their church. While this post is not faith-based, I applied the same principle to create what I believe is my affirmation for living a respectful outdoors lifestyle.
Writing an affirmation is actually a lot harder than it first seems, it requires a good thesaurus and a profound look inward. I encourage everyone to write their own affirmations, whether it be faith-based, familial concentrated, or all encompassing. I guarantee that it will help you re-evaluate and re-focus your belief and your direction.
My Affirmation of the Outdoors
I believe that hunting is a way of life, not a hobby. I believe that a sunrise can bring hope to a complacent world. I believe I am obligated to protect the land that protects me. I am a lover, and I believe that conscious conservation is the ultimate show of my love. I believe that passion ignites change, change brings growth, and growth is the fuel of life. To grow, I believe I must seek new experiences and make them the source of my education and my joy. I believe that tradition and heritage is the foundation of the enduring ritual of hunting. I believe that to connect with Mother Nature, I must submit myself to her presence. I believe in the power of a sunset to bring peace to the restless, and calm to my soul. I believe that I must focus my actions to bring change and to ultimately secure the future of the natural world.
Field Dress™ lends support to Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors Program
WICHITA, KS (February 11, 2009). Today, many children express an interest in outdoor activities, but don’t have the support to help them realize those adventures. Field Dress LLC has stepped up to help these kids. A portion of the price of every item sold on Field Dress’s website (http://www.outdoormentors.org/www.fielddressed.com) will go directly to Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors Program. Field Dress will also be supplying packs for specific Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors Program events. Chad Rodvold of Field Dress stated, ”Pass It On- Outdoor Mentors is the ideal platform for Field Dress to continue its’ design ideals of respect and passion for the outdoors. I feel extremely privileged to be a part of such a worthy organization.”
The Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors program recruits mentors who will share their love of the outdoors with children who lack opportunities to get outdoors without a mentor showing them the way. Pass It On - Outdoor Mentors was recently endorsed by the National Forum on Children and Nature as on of 30 projects that creatively reconnect kids with nature, benefiting their overall health and appreciation for the great outdoors. “Too many children are spending too little time outdoors,” commented Mike Christensen, President of Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors, Inc. “The generosity shown by Field Dress reflects their commitment to the outdoors…providing not only quality products for those who love the outdoors, but working to make the outdoors accessible for our youth as well. Their assistance through this effort will make it possible for more of our youth to experience the outdoors cherished by Chad and all of his customers.”
For more information about Field Dress, please visit http://www.fielddressed.com/. For more information about Pass It On -- Outdoor Mentors, Inc., please http://www.outdoormentors.org/.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Sometimes the setting sun breaks out again,
And touching all the darksome woods with light,
Smiles on the fields, until they laugh and sing,
Then like a ruby from the horizon’s ring,
Drops down into the night.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
One of the hardest parts of hunting is the season when there is no hunting. My ultimate passion is hunting for whitetail deer in my home state of Kansas, and when the season isn’t open I am longing for the time when it can begin again. The off season can get kind of long around here but it’s the best time to learn new skills, try new products, and to enjoy being outdoors without the pressure of trying to bag a trophy animal.
Right after Christmas my husband and I both invested in new bows, and so far we love them! Our off season activities up to now have been target practicing and fine-tuning our shooting skills. I love new products, but breaking them in can sometimes be challenging. I’m not as comfortable with the new bow as I’d like to be, but I’m definitely on my way to getting there.
We have also talked about entering a few of the 3D shoots that are offered around here. While neither of us has ever taken part in one before, I can’t think of a better opportunity to meet new people and work on being outdoors and staying hunting focused. While I am still itching for the 2009 deer season to get here, I am also having a blast forcing myself to get out of my comfort zone. What’s the one thing you do in the off season to keep the hunting bug at bay but still stay focused on your favorite sport?
Monday, February 16, 2009
I do my best
to keep pointlessness
at bay. But here,
wet above my
knees, I let it fly.
Here, hot and cold,
fingers thick with
thinking, I try to
tie the fly and look
for the net, loosening
knot of why I came
here today, not yet
I'll free or fry
and browns once
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
“Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but when an opinion is brought forth with such disregard for others involved in their own activity only the insecurities and disrespectful tendencies of that individual are revealed.
For my wife and I hunting is as much for necessity as it is for sport. Whatever game we get in the field is less money spent at the grocery store and more paid towards other needs. Mr. Orlet comes across as someone who would dispatch his game and leave it lay after having one too many drinks to know which end of his weapon is the business end. Alcohol, by the way, should never be mixed with hunting until the quarry is cleaned and the weaponry, be it bows or firearms, are put away for the day.
I have hunted my entire life and I am lucky enough to have met a woman, my wife, who enjoys hunting as well. But this is not about her or I, this is about someone disregarding a very large and very important equal membership to our God given right and ability on this earth. While there are so many different groups and politicians out there who want to regulate into oblivion our rights to hunt and fish, there are those out there like Mr. Orlet who are tearing down a major part of our population who may be undecided on whether they would like to hunt or fish. This article could turn women, and non-traditional hunters, away from our sport and give the anti-hunting anti-gun advocates leverage against us by being portrayed as a pastime dominated by chauvinistic idiots.
In the past I would have regarded this material as the author’s desperate attempt for attention, acting out in anger to desperately reaffirm himself as a man after an ex-girlfriend or even an ex-wife came to her senses. But in these uncertain times, this made me believe that we need to pull together as a community, men and women, for future generations to enjoy what we have now.”
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Mr. Orlet makes women appear needy and emotional, when in fact it is Mr. Orlet himself, who is the emotional dependent. From my impressions, Mr. Orlet uses these primitive rituals (hunting) as a way to remove himself from the forces of independent, free-thinking women who see through his needy alpha-male farce. My initial outrage toward Mr. Orlet has subsided, because I expect such comments from men with his attitude, and I pity them. My outrage is now directed at The American Spectator for publishing such a boorish article from an incompetent man.
Mr. Orlet makes mention that while duck hunting “men need a gun in one hand and a beer in the other..” Well, Mr. Orlet, the women hunters that I know would be the ones shooting the ducks while you hurriedly try to find a place to set your beer without spilling it. My guess is, they would also be the ones asking you to quit whining “about how cold and bored and miserable” you are. The next time, Mr. Orlet, that you feel the need to demean a group of people, I would suggest you start with a minority you actually know something about, because women hunters are one group that won’t be bullied.
So what does it mean to be a female hunter?
Most people who learn that I hunt initially assume my husband was the one who started me in hunting, or that I am just his tag-along in the world of primitive male rituals. I will admit that my love of hunting is deceptive at first. I dress in fashionable clothes, I work eight hours a day at a desk, and I love jewelry, purses, and shoes, but don’t let the high heels fool you. In my world, hunting is serious business. My first hunting experiences were with my father and uncles as a tag-along, with a gun bigger than I. No one expected me to like it but I fell in love with the outdoors and made it my passion.
The night I took my first large whitetail buck, there was no male presence whatsoever. My father was out of town on business and my uncle was at a basketball game more than an hour away. There were no men to help me drag that buck out of the ravine, no men to help hoist it in the bed of my truck, and no men who helped me split open its chest cavity. At 15 years of age, and in only one night, I learned a valuable lesson: that as a girl, and as a growing woman, I had no boundaries. Strength, courage, and will are limitless.
Since that night I have taken many a whitetail deer and countless other animals, but that does not change the fact that as a woman in the world of hunting my accomplishments are disregarded and discarded. It does not change the fact that although I am a great shot and a better one than most men I know, the guys behind the gun counter will not look me in the eye. And living a successful life does not change the fact that guys like Mr. Orlet will continue to be threatened by women like me. These are the attitudes and the circumstances that many women hunters face. Yet, I would like to make one thing clear. The outdoors lifestyle, hunting included, is not just a hobby. For thousands of men and women, it is a way of life; a standard by which all things real, natural, and true are measured. For we do not own the land, the sky or the water… instead, the universe possesses us. The natural world is the one place where every man, woman, and child is one and the same. When we can all believe in the power of ourselves and in each other, that is when the attitudes and published articles, like that of Mr. Orlet, will cease to exist.
(Later this week look for a guest post by my husband, also in response to this article.)
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
8 count pkg of 12" soft tortilla shells
1 lb ground venison
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 190z can of enchilada sauce
1 1/4 cup salsa
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In skillet, brown the ground venison. Add the cooked rice, 1/2 cup of salsa, shredded chese, and 2/3 of the can of enchilada sauce. Mix together and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Then, fill each tortilla shell with 2-3 spoonfuls of venison/sauce mixture. Roll tortillas and place seam side down in a 9x12 baking pan. In separate dish, mix together the remaining 1/3 can of enchilada mix and 3/4 cup salsa. Stir together. Spread evenly over rolled tortillas. Top tortillas with the remaining shredded monterey jack and cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 2-30 minutes.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
1) Less Is More
The object you focus on hitting at the range is usually a piece of paper, at least eight inches square, or larger, with a designated bull’s eye. But what do you actually consider your target? Is it the entire piece of paper? The bull’s eye? I really hope you didn’t agree to either of these. Instead, visualize the bull's eye, then visualize a small, barely visible pinpoint within that bull's eye. That should be your intended target. A smaller target creates a more distinct sight picture. A distinct sight picture forces you to aim at a more permanent, never-changing spot. If you’re aiming at the entire piece of paper you have millions of those tiny pinpoints to focus on, each one of those points different. The more pinpoints you allow yourself to have, the greater your standard deviation. If you reduce the number of pinpoints, you reduce the number of possible errors.
2) Trigger Truth
Know your trigger. You can pull your trigger or you can squeeze the trigger, whichever terminology makes you feel better, but if you don’t know the feel and release of your trigger, you’re going to flinch and pull your weapon off its intended mark. I’ve watched many a newbie place their entire index finger through the trigger guard. This is about as effective as playing a piano with your elbows. The index finger should never be inserted in the trigger guard past the first knuckle, and just the pad of the finger placed on the trigger itself. Most of the time, light pressure with the pad of the index finger is all that’s needed.
3) Deep, Calm Breaths
This is a given, and usually one of the first techniques that all shooters employ. The easiest way to achieve this is to take a few deep breaths, inhale and then hold your breath and focus on the other techniques. While it sounds simple enough, this is actually rather hard to accomplish, especially if you’re looking at a beautiful whitetail deer or a trophy bull and you’re thinking of all the other techniques. The more you practice, the more natural your breathing technique will become.
4) Go Matrix (Like the movie)
One of the things that I struggled with when I was younger was flinching. Being dominantly right-handed, I always jumped and pulled to the right. Flinching is not a bad thing, it’s simply an inherent reaction to an extremely loud noise. But there are ways to keep the damage that flinching does to a minimum. After getting accustomed to your trigger, and finding that exact pinpoint as your mark, visualize your bullet traveling from your gun and smashing through your intended target. Use your mind to sink your bullet into the exact spot at which you aimed. This technique minimizes jerky movements that comes with flinching and gives you better control of your reactions and the gun after the recoil of the shot.
5) Don’t Stare At the Rack (I’m talking about deer)
Obviously, this tip is for when you’re actually hunting. The number one reason that experienced shooters succumb to the disease called buck fever is because they look at the rack. You can look at the rack beforehand, count the number of points, guess the score, whatever… But when you’re ready to look through that scope, do not, under any circumstances look at the rack. In fact, try not to look at anything except for the little pinpoint spot behind the shoulder where you are going to place your shot. Because when it comes down to it, that rack doesn’t matter at all. In fact, it’s utterly useless if you can’t make a well placed shot. So, ignore it.
6) Create a Mental Checklist
Creating a mental checklist is a quick way to remind yourself of all the techniques that you want to employ before you take a shot, at the range and in the field. As you practice and employ the concentration techniques, mentally check them off your list. The more often you practice this specific technique, the more natural all of your techniques will become. So when the beautiful animal that you’ve been searching for gives you only a few seconds to take a shot you can quickly go through your checklist and take the best possible shot.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
For her goodwill act, the Utah Divison of Wildlife Resources awarded Mary the opportunity to hunt during the 2008 bull elk season. She took the opportunity and brought home this beautiful bull elk on opening day. She has since named the bull "Last Chance" because she thinks it will probably be the last big bull elk she ever takes. You can read the full story at the Utah Divison of Wildlife Resources web page.