Okay, lets be honest, we have gone into some of our favorite trendy stores and tried on some of the coolest sunglasses we could find. Its a lot of fun playing ‘Fashion-ista’ but lets not forget that wearing a great pair of shades is about a lot more than looking really cool. To be honest, according to my ego I look great in pretty much anything, but because I spend so much time in the great outdoors, especially on the ocean, I need to take special care in protecting my eyes as well as looking good at the dock. The new Tuna Alley sunglasses from Costa del Mar are everything I could ask for.
Protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun requires a bit of understanding of just what you are protecting yourself from as much as selecting the perfect pair for you. I have tried many different brands, shapes and lenses and have always found myself picking the Costa Del Mar brand. They have been with me high in the Himalayas of Nepal as well as Surfing in Costa Rica and of course all over my home state of Florida. The Tuna Alley model seems to cover all of my needs. In addition to being very stylish, one of my concerns was coverage, and just as scientists are telling us that we should wear sunscreen whenever we go outdoors, it’s also vitally important to protect not only the eye itself but the sensitive tissue around it as well. The large frame of the Tuna Alley does just that.
When I’m fishing on the boat or skiing in the winter, the polarized lenses on the Tuna Alley are perfect for reducing the glare from reflected sunlight coming off the water or snow. I also love them for long drives too as they filter out the sunlight bouncing off the highway causing my eyes to tire quickly. Another feature of the Tuna Alley model that I really like their patented vent system which helps keep these shades from fogging during some of my most strenuous activities.
The UV filtering capabilities of the 580G blue mirror lenses that I chose are perfect for my offshore adventures. The color of your lenses should coincide with the activities that you will be engaging in the majority of your time outdoors. The Sun’s UV radiation can cause a multitude of medical issues ranging from cataracts to photokeratitis (aka: snow blindness). Many Doctors suggest that long term exposure to ultra-violet radiation from the sun can due cumulative damage to your eyes and that just as you should begin using sunscreens starting at a young age, so should you also wear protective sunglasses.
The bottom line is that you need to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. You need to have the best vision possible to really enjoy whatever outdoor activities you choose. Why take chances with the only set of eyes you will ever have. The Tuna Alley Model by Costa del Mar are perfect for all your outdoor needs, just choose the lenses that best fit your lifestyle and remember that you can either live your life behind your computer, Flat-screen television or Smart Phone, or get out there and enjoy!
Important Info on the Tuna Alley Blackout from Costa Del Mar!
•Lightweight, impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses
•Blocks yellow light
•Repels water and oils
•100% UV protection
•Durable nylon frame
•Patented vented system
•Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
Costa’s Tuna Alley 580P Polarized Sunglasses feature a durable nylon frame with integral hinges and a patented vented system. Impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses repel water and oils, and feature 580 technology to block yellow light and enhance reds, blues, and greens for sharper clarity and greater definition. Costa sunglasses are backed by a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. Imported.
How to choose your Costa lenses:
Heighten your visual acuity with a lens color that suits your outdoor needs.
Amber is an excellent all-around lens color that delivers the brightest field of vision; a great choice for sight fishing, driving and everyday activities where high contrast is needed.
Gray maintains color saturation and natural contrast in medium to bright sun conditions; a good all-around pick that’s great for water or land sports.
Have you ever hiked just a little bit further than your comfort level would allow? Or Perhaps you have taken your boat further out than your cell signal could reach in search of that once in a lifetime catch, but you really couldn’t enjoy the moment because you were beginning to get just a little bit nervous? All of us who love the outdoors, whether climbing a mountain, hiking in a forest or somewhere on a deep blue sea have at one time or another wanted to push on just a bit further. Unfortunately we were just a bit uneasy with our ability, the equipment or perhaps the weather. A healthy respect for your ability and the great outdoors is a good thing, but now you can take along a device that will, to a great extent, not only lessen your fears but those of family and friends as well. The Spot 2 Satellite GPS Messenger has given us a lot more peace of mind!
This light-weight device is very simple to use and I either clip it to my pack or wear it on my arm whenever I feel I need that little bit extra sense of security. Many people tell me that they see no point in it because their cell phone is their means of contact if a problem arises. It’s a lot of fun to see them scurrying about trying to get that elusive cell signal when in marginal areas, or really start getting nervous when we are fishing offshore and their smart phone becomes nothing more than an MP3 player. As long as I have a good view of the sky I am relatively certain that within a few minutes I’ll have acquired a satellite signal and can send my location and a preset message to family and friends or call in the Calvary should the situation become dire.
My most used function on the Spot 2 is the Check-in function that allows me to send the aforementioned preprogrammed message and current location to specific individuals. I also like the similar custom message function that is basically a secondary check-in feature. I used this function to let my brother know that I am OK and on schedule along with my GPS position. Although these two functions are similar, you can basically use them to send different messages to up to 10 different contacts. These messages can be sent to their email, as a text message to their phone or both along with your waypoint at that particular time.
To let a greater number of friends know where I am and what I am up to I can also link to Facebook and Twitter, reminding the masses that while they are sitting behind their keyboards and smart phones, “ I am out there!” This Spot Track Progress feature allows pretty much anyone I want to see my locations on a Google Map.
Sometimes, you get yourself into a non-life threatening situation that really doesn’t require calling out Search and Rescue but you definitely need a bit of assistance; clicking the help button will let specific land or water based service providers of your location and send help.
If you are in a life-threatening situation pressing the SOS button will alert closest emergency responders worldwide through the GEOS Emergency Response Center. You can rest assured that if a situation arises where you need immediate help, it’s available.
A few people might suggest that they would not want to pay a service to utilize this product and that their cell phones are okay for their needs, but I feel that the abilities of the Spot 2 far outweigh the nominal yearly fee and the peace of mind I get by knowing it’s there makes my travels much more enjoyable. My family has always been a bit concerned by my extreme adventure lifestyle, and although I cannot completely make them feel at ease, the Spot 2 gives them a greater degree of peace of mind, knowing that they can pinpoint where I am and that I am always within a button click of help.
I was all settled in ready for a great night of reality television. I had my appetizers all laid out and was just about to flip on the channel that had an Alaskan Gold Mining marathon ready to start when my brother stopped in to a watch a few shows with me. A few episodes into the all day marathon we took a break, and then my brother turned to me and said “why aren’t you doing that?” I looked at him and didn’t say a word, I knew what he meant. Throughout my younger years I could always be found on some unique adventure, sometimes it was climbing the highest peaks of the Himalayas while other times I’d be diving some shipwreck in the Florida Keys, but what it really was about was the quest, or the pursuit of treasure. Prospecting for gold is something I always wanted to try but after watching some of these shows I was kind of turned off by the idea due to the extreme risk, expense, and the fact that those on the shows seemed a bit, well, off their freaking rockers! And of course the fact that I live in South Florida where the only major concentrations of gold is found either on centuries old shipwrecks or on centuries old women wintering in West Palm Beach. Well, a little research on the Internet and I had a plan all figured out to have some great fun and learned a bit about prospecting, specifically panning for gold.
After visiting some websites on the subject and watching several YouTube videos on panning for gold I decided it was time to go for it. Well, going for it as much as I could for the moment. I came across a website called Addictedtogold.com that offered great paydirt and reasonable prices. Paydirt! I recognized that term from the gold mining shows, it’s the actual dirt that that one digs out of the ground in hopes it contains gold. Now I’m not a complete moron, I’m not the type to by a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge or anything so I did a bit of research and found that AddictedtoGold.com had done quite a bit of business on eBay and other online sites and enjoyed a very high feedback rating. I’m also not naive enough to think someone is going to sell me something that I can get rich on and not keep it for them self, but I did think that I could have some great fun, relax and learn a new hobby, and that’s exactly what happened!I had ordered some inexpensive equipment used in panning for gold, basically, a pan, a pair of tweezers and a little glass vial to store my pickings. The shipping on my order of 20 lbs of paydirt was lightning fast and I had to wait two more days for my other order from a different vendor to arrive. Now there are no guarantees that I would find much although I had high hopes. I set up a little tub on my front porch and got right to work. Not really knowing what I was doing made the process painfully slow but I was determined not to screw up. Jonathan, the owner of AddictedtoGold.com, had suggested that I use a tub or large bucket to work over so I could go through the paydirt a few times to ensure didn’t miss anything. About thirty minutes into my very first pan of paydirt and down to just some black sand and…nothing! I took a deep breath and regrouped and put another scoop of paydirt in my pan and began the process all over again, dipping, swirling looking and repeat…wait! What is that shiny little thing? It was no bigger than the head of a pin but gosh darn it that was gold! I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for but when I saw it, I knew exactly what it was. All the videos I had watched and the coaching that Jonathan had given me describing the specific gravity of gold and the size and shape of what I may find was dead on.
OK, so now picture this, there I am sitting on my front porch placing scoopfuls of paydirt into my gold pan and going through the motions that I saw while watching gold mining shows like “Gold Rush” and “Bering Sea Gold.” I was having a blast! My neighbors were thinking I was a bit insane by now as every so often they’d here me shouting Eureka! Something that I learned after just a few hours of panning is that you need to find a comfortable position when bending over your pan as it took me almost as long to straighten myself out as it did to find the days gold, which by now was almost enough for a cheeseburger at MacDonald’s…on cheap burger day. But that was not the point, I was finding gold and relaxing and learning how to separate gold from dirt. I was practicing for going out and finding my own claim.Let’s be honest, the chances of you even coming close to making back what you spend on paydirt is probably better than winning the lottery but still highly doubtful. If you are going to purchase from a miner, do a bit of research on that company like I did on AddictedToGold.com. Check for their past feedback ratings and try and email the owner for a bit of information, most honorable miners will get back to you quickly and be happy to offer assistance. They realize that if you are anything like me, and if they treat you right, you will be a repeat customer.
So, now that I know how to pan the stuff, I started accumulating more equipment for prospecting and practicing with more paydirt and running the old dirt through various other apparatus. I have also decided to join a gold prospecting club to meet other like-minded folks and perhaps make a few new friends along the way. I hear they have some great outings!
Just a quick note about the neighbors who were so quick to look at me like I was a crazy man; well it’s amazing what putting some barbed wire around a hole in my front yard with a shovel and sign saying “claim jumpers will be shot” can do, not to mention the several phone calls I received this week about where they can get a gold pan of their own!
The dictionary defines an advantage as something that is a beneficial factor, and as Hunters and Outdoorsman we are always looking for some tool or knowledge that can give us an edge. Sometimes the advantage is not so much over those animals we are hoping to harvest, but over other hunters competing on limited resources. This is especially important when one is hunting on public land. I recently had the opportunity to try a product that not only was instrumental in a successful Antelope hunt near Gillette, Wyoming, but it more than liekly saved me from a substantial fine for trespassing as well! The good folks at HuntingGPSMaps.com provided just such a product.
Hunting GPS Maps provides a chip that goes easily in most Garmin gps devices that have color screens and expandable memory, in my case the Garmin Montana 650t hand held gps. This bit of technology not only allowed me to determine which areas were public or private land, but it helped me find smaller parcels of public land which hunters without this chip would never have known about. It was on one of these smaller, lesser-known blocks of state land that we harvested a beautiful Wyoming Pronghorn Antelope.
During one of our morning hunts, my buddy and I noticed a cloud of dust and flashing colored lights coming towards us on an old dirt road. Within minutes we saw the officers leading 2 other hunters towards their vehicle. It seems that not all land is created equal, and much public land is not a perfect square! Our Hunting GPS Maps chip kept us from making a fatal error; it accurately showed us where we where in relation to private land that may have had an irregular shape. The other guys were not so lucky and more than likely paid a hefty fine for trespassing on the land that we had considered hunting before purchasing the chip. I actually think that the cost of the fine would have more than surpassed the cost of the chip…and my GPS!
The Hunting GPS Chip can also assist you prior to your hunt as it can give you a better understanding of not only which land is public and private, but allow you to find newer or easier access points to that land. You need only plug the chip into a computer or card reader to view the maps and create a plan of action for your hunt. After the hunt you can also plug the chip in and view any waypoints you logged, which are invaluable for future reference and scouting.
Just like the guy with the British accent trying to sell you something on late night Television I get to say, “But wait! We’re not done!” Along with additional features such as topographical maps, trails, roads and much, much more the folks at HuntersGpsMaps.com also added property owner’s names and property boundaries. This came in very handy one morning as we had met a father and son sitting in their car by the side of the road staring at about a dozen Antelope about a ¼ mile into private land. The little boy, who was about 14 years old looked like he was getting sadder by the minute. Now here is a very cool feature of this product, I saw the land owners name and matched it with a sheet provided by the local hunter’s information center that had the phone numbers of land owners who will allow hunter’s to trespass in order to hunt for a fee. We outlined a route for them to take on their paper map, and having done our good deed for the day, we continued our quest to hunt only public land. There are occasional updates which are great as land can change hands frequently.
Now I’m not completely saying that this bit of technology is going to take the place of a professional Guide or outfitter, after all, you still need to know how the animals move, where they want to go and other crucial factors, but the people at HuntingGPSmaps.com have definitely made it easier for the average Joe to get out on his own a bit and learn on the fly. This year I’ll be back in Wyoming for Antelope, perhaps Montana for Elk, or any number of species that I never attempted because I didn’t know where to hunt on my own. If you are the kind of guy that just wants to get out there but can only afford to hunt public land, this is an invaluable tool. If you have permission to hunt private land you can easily see the boundaries and perhaps keep away from the border with public land. I used that method to sit and wait for the masses hunting Osceola Turkey in Florida to push a flock of birds into the private ranch I had access to. Do it yourself hunts are just one of the many reasons this chip is so useful, but there is something also to be said for just plain old knowing exactly where you are and where you shouldn’t be!
I hate when someone comes up to me and asks me what type of fishing rod should they buy? So many times I feel like screaming at them “how the hell should I know!” its kind of like a complete stranger asking you what food should they eat? Without knowledge of what they like, any allergies and how much they want to spend its very hard to answer this question. Buying a fishing rod is no different but it is very exact depending on your use for it. There are so many choices but this choice may not be all that difficult if you know what you are looking for. Remember that different types of fishing require different types of tackle and you would not use a fishing rod designed for Tuna when you are fishing for Trout. The same goes for the quality of the rod just like the quality of a restaurant, there is a great difference between MacDonald’s and a 5 star restaurant, both are considered meals but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
If you are a beginning fisherman there are quite a few inexpensive choices you can make and most of them won’t break the bank. Pretty much any tackle store or Walmart will have what you need, but if you are a tournament angler or somewhere in between your choices will need to include a few more factors. Do you travel to your fishing grounds? Do you fish from shore, a pier or do you own a boat? Basically, the more often you fish and the type of fishing you do should determine the quality of the rod you purchase. This fishing rod should also fit your fishing style, such as a rod that breaks down into 2 or more sections if you travel, a longer rod if you fish from piers or the surf or one with specialized guides if you troll from a boat. Although there are some rods that can do double duty for several species of fish and are adequate for both fresh and saltwater it is quite often about the experience of the angler that determines how much wiggle room you have with your rod and reel. But this doesn’t mean you can use a tuna stick for trout or visa versa.
Most fishing rods are designed to accommodate either a spinning reel, conventional reel or baitcasting reel and again the choice comes down to what you are planning on fishing for. If you are fishing for crappie on your local lake you may choose a spinning reel and matching rod for this type of fishing, taking into consideration that lighter line will give you a better feel for any bites and working a jig or lure. Match the rod to the reel to the line for the species and water conditions! For large offshore species you may need to sacrifice some sensitivity for a rod with backbone and a reel with a smooth drag and capable of holding a large quantity of quality fishing line. I will say it again and again, the key is to match all the equipment to the target species. Often the equipment used for a great many species will overlap and you can use the same tackle with only minor tweaking. For those on a budget this is an important consideration.So now as you narrow down where you are most likely to fish and what types of fish you are most likely to target, you now need to consider what techniques you enjoy using to fish for them. My brother only uses live bait and I prefer to use artificial lures most of the time so we both have to tailor our tackle to these individual techniques. With live bait he needs a more sensitive rod to feel the bait or fish indicating an imminent strike, while I need a rod that allows me to cast repeatedly and work my lure with maximum action and efficiency.
Most rods will be made out of either fiberglass or graphite. Fiberglass has been the tried and true material but will be a bit thicker in diameter for similar strength and reliability. Graphite is the overwhelming winner when more sensitivity is needed. Fiberglass is probably a bit heavier that graphite but the difference is not so great as to make it a deciding factor. Balance and action are the important factors. Rods are considered to have a fast, moderate-fast, moderate or slow-action, much of the action is dependant more on the taper and construction of the Fishing rod that the material used. A rod that flexes mostly near the tip is said to have an Xtra-Fast taper, while a rod which seems to flex over the entire length of the rod employs a Slow taper.
So now that you have a lot of the information you need to purchase a fishing rod, and keeping in mind that the wonderful people at your local tackle shop or outdoors superstore will be able to guide you in your choice, its time to make a choice. If price and durability is a factor than look towards the less expensive fiberglass, if you need increased sensitivity and can afford it, look into graphite. But again, it really comes down to a balanced outfit and what you are most comfortable with. Many rods will serve your purpose but only a few will really feel like a great fit.
I’m left handed, so my choices for buying guns can be especially limited, especially when it comes to shotguns. But what about everyone else who wants to hunt Turkey, Pheasant, Small game, deer or anything else that can get them out into the great outdoors, do they need to own several shotguns or just be smart about only one? You are now about to learn about the wonderful world of Choke Tubes. But keep in mind that length of the barrel should also be taken into consideration.
It seems that each time I go into my favorite Outdoors store I begin to fondle and caress a variety of shotguns, saying to myself “oh this is a perfect Turkey Gun or no Goose stands a chance if I only had that one. I then begin to think about how much it would cost me to own a gun for every species and I get depressed. Well, not any longer, I was lucky enough to find a gun that I felt very comfortable with and had a barrel that allowed me to screw in a choke for several needs. The bottom line is that choke tubes take one gun and make it specialized enough to fit numerous types of hunting needs. The choke tube changes the pattern and range of the pellets so one gun can be used successfully for numerous types of game. Proper use of the choke tube can also extend your range so a Turkey gun can effectively be used wing shooting as well, merely by screwing in the proper tube.
My first Shotgun did not have a screw in choke and although I loved it, I missed many opportunities, as anything outside of 20 to 30 yards was a difficult shot for me as I used it both for Turkey and Geese. Many hunters were forced to by several barrels to be able to hunt using one gun. Today is merely a matter of screwing in the proper tube.
So what does a choke tube do? Basically a choke tube affects the pattern of the pellets by constricting them for a longer or shorter period of time as they leave the barrel before the pellets begin to spread out into a larger pattern. By doing this, a tube allows the shooter to have a more flexibility on the desired pattern depending on what you are hunting or shooting at. A similar example could be one of those multi-purpose nozzles on the end of a hose, turn it to a more open position and the water sprays out in a wide pattern but does not have the distance of when you have it closed a bit tighter and although the pattern is significantly tighter, it holds together for a much longer distance. The same holds true for a choke tube. It is important to know which type of choke tube to use when hunting different game.
Now that we understand that a choke tube affects your shotgun’s range we need to understand which one to use under what situations, so here goes just a bit of good info:
A Turkey Choke is an extra-full type of choke pattern that is perfect to keep a very tight pattern for a longer distance thus ideal for the head shots need when hunting Wild Turkey.
A normal Full Choke is also for tight patterns and used often for waterfowl hunting or when using buckshot and also Turkey hunting. It is designed to deliver about 70% of the shell’s pellet load in a 30-inch pattern at approximately 40 yds.
The Modified Choke is ideal for hunting waterfowl and upland game such as Pheasant. It is also many hunters’ choice for small game such as rabbit as it delivers about 60% of the total pellets in a 30-inch circle at 40 yds.
The Improved Cylinder is an excellent choice for hunting game that is a bit closer such as quail, grouse and Pheasants that are flushed by pointers up close to a rising bird. If you were hunting Waterfowl over decoys this would be your choice as well. The improved cylinder is more open than a modified and delivers about 50% of a shell’s pellets in a 30-inch circle at a distance of 40 yds. Many hunters use this tube when using rifled slugs.
These are the most common types of choke tubes used today however with changing regulations on which type of metals can be used for certain types of hunting, specialty tubes are now available that work well with the varying hardness and pattern traits of the different types of pellets available. You may decide to use a specific type of metal such as steel when waterfowl hunting or Hevi-Shot for Turkey hunting and may then consider a choke tube designed for that type of shot. Just as with skeet and trap shooters, the right tube can increase the effective range of your shotgun.
With interchangeable Choke Tubes you merely need to screw in a choke for Turkey Hunting in the morning and then in a matter of minutes change it out for Pheasant hunting in the afternoon. You need only have to decide what your hunting preferences are for your the shotgun of choice and have the choke available that gives you the best pattern for that particular hunt. Remember, the is knowing the shot pattern that will give you the best chance includes knowing the probable distance to target, so know the environment you will be hunting.
It is extremely important to properly pattern your shotgun prior to its use as different guns can and do pattern differently. Set out a paper target at the predicted distance you will be shooting at. I usually do 30 yards when Turkey hunting and take several shots with my favorite load. If I decide to try a different load I will then need to pattern that gun again with the new shot. You may also try different chokes until you find the one that you feel works best for you and that gun. I will either buy Turkey Stickers or draw the bird on my test paper and mark where the majority of my pellets go and the effective pattern. You should do this with all your chokes and shells so you know how each one will act when needed.
I have blown many a hunt by not having the proper choke in my shotgun and not patterning the gun properly. I have learned much since then and now have really increased not only my shotgun’s effectiveness, but also my own enjoyment by having the ability to change my effective range and pattern depending on the quarry. The Choke Tube definitely allows the hunter to turn one shotgun in many.
I’m what they call a southpaw, more commonly called a lefty, I am left-handed. It’s not a disability, well, at least not physically but since only 7-10% of the world’s population is left handed, there tends to be a very limited choice of products which are adapted for use by those of the left-handed persuasion. Growing up, I was the kid who always smudged his homework by dragging my left hand over the ink as I wrote. In high school andcollege, the positions I could play on the varsity baseball team were limited to just a few. Finally, when I began to really enjoy being in the outdoors and took up hunting, finding a shotgun, rifle or bow that I truly liked was also a bit of chore. I began my Wild Turkey hunting passion with an old Remington model 870 Wingmaster and can still remember shells flying past my eyes as I ejected them. If I missed on the first shot, second shots were a bit more frustrating for more than just the miss. Then I found it, the shotgun that has become my all purpose gun of choice, and although it is not built specifically for left handed persons, it could not have been designed better for me. Its’s the Browning BPS.
I’m not going to go into the various models of this amazing
gun, although it does come in a variety of styles, barrel lengths and colors,
(I own the Mossy Oak Break-up pattern). I also will not go into detail about
the choice of choke tubes available for this shotgun that basically turns my
one shotgun into several specialized guns. I will instead discuss how this
shotgun is the perfect Pump Shotgun for the left-handed shooter. There are some
high priced models made companies such as Benelli, which are wonderful guns,
but if price is an issue or if you don’t want to take chances with guns made
for right-handers (Benelli manufactures left handed models too), the Browning
BPS is a great choice.
OK, to start, my preference is a pump shotgun. Cost did come into consideration, but I also feel they are a bit more reliable and easier to maintain. They are very simple with probably less chance of malfunction. I have also shot many semi-automatic
shotguns, mostly right-handed, as that’s all that was available to me, and I did not like the blast and shell ejection in front of my eye. This is why I now only use shotgun’s specifically designed for lefties. I do feel there is less recoil experienced
with the semi-automatic, and they are also a bit quicker to get back on target after a missed shot.
This article is about what I like about my Browing BPS so lets get back on track. This shotgun is a bottom feed and bottom eject, which is the feature I absolutely love, this gun is perfect for either lefties or righties. The safety is located on top and is easy to work while also being very quiet. Many times I will go hunting with my best friend who is right handed and does not own a shotgun, I can allow him to use mine and because of the bottom eject and top safety. If you are going to be a one shotgun family and have both right-handed and left-handed shooters, this definitely helps. The bottom eject is also nice when I am sitting with my buddies dove hunting, as I always seem to be getting hit with spent shells from their shotguns, not so with my BPS.
I hunt a lot in the swamps of South Florida and in the mud of Central Wisconsin and I can get a shotgun
pretty darn dirty. This gun is very simple to break down for thorough cleanings. Just like any weapon, you may need to practice breaking it down onceor twice but after that it should be easy.
So, do I have any negatives on this shotgun? Not really, some say it’s a bit heavy, but to find a gun of similar quality and function would be significantly more expensive. Yes, I would love to have a left handed Benelli semi-automatic, but not so much that I am willing to spend almost twice as much for it. My Browning BPS has taken Turkey, Pheasant, small game and Wild Hogs and will continue to do so for some time. If you are a left handed hunter in search of a great gun that works well for the “Southpaws” and is in an affordable price range, than look no further than the Browning BPS. Whether you are left handed or right-handed, this is a fine Shotgun for all seasons!
Spring Turkey season is done, and we begin putting away our decoys, calls and all those other
fun goodies that make our hunting adventures so much more exciting and comfortable. We now begin to think about what we can do to take care of our outdoors fix until the next hunting season begins in the fall. It’s usually about this time that I begin to really get into my wildlife photography, I mean after-all, it’s basically hunting but with a camera. I decided to keep out of the storage room two pieces of equipment that I could use for wildlife photography, the ones that definitely helped me during Wild Turkey season. These are my ground blind of course, and small piece of green, hinged plastic called the Turkey Dave Footrest. The blind is great, but it is too limiting, as I like to be able to keep on the move, trying different areas just as I do when I run and gun for Turkey. The Turkey Dave Footrest made my journey a bit more comfortable.
As many of you who have put in long hours in pursuit of Wild Turkey know, one of the first things you do before plopping your butt down against the tree of your choice is to find a small log or something to lean your feet against to prevent cramping and other aches. Sitting in that position without a “block” of some kind will eventually become a bit painful. Outdoorsman Dave Sumner designed the Turkey Dave Hunter’s footrest after many long hunts and sore backs. He noticed that he was always squirming and often developed an aching back both during his hunt and for a time after. He also noticed that if he placed a sturdy support for his feet, it alleviated the pain. Instead of making a ton of noise and
rummaging around the area he was hunting looking for a footrest, he designed a portable one that he could carry easily on him or put in hisTurkey vest.
I normally would not want to carry any additional equipment with me when hunting or engaging in wildlife photography, and to be honest, I had my doubts about this piece of gear as well, but after actually using it I can honestly say it works! The color is a forest green and blends in well when I am in full camo.
Sometimes I will take it to the park (not in camo of course) and sit against a tree taking pictures of squirrels, birds or whatever else happens to get close.
I can now sit against a tree with little discomfort. I have now started to just leave the Turkey Dave Hunter’s Foot Rest in the car, as I never know when I’ll
get the urge to just sit back and watch the world go by. Some key features to the Turkey Dave Hunter’s Foot Rest are that it’s extremely light yet very sturdy. It is designed with saw toothed edge so that as you push into it with your feet while sitting against a tree it digs in to the ground making it even more stable.
For mort information or purchase of the Turkey Dave Hunter’s Footrest Click Here.
I have finally realized that I am no longer the spring chicken I used to be, scampering up 14,000+ peaks, hiking many miles into the Everglades or fishing 20 miles offshore of my home in South Florida by myself may not be the smartest thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love my adventures and they will have to pry the throttle or walking stick out of my cold dead hands before I am relegated to a rocker on some front porch. It is for these reasons that I have decided to purchase some sort of Personal locator beacon that will not only give me the peace of mind that I can be found and rescued in the event of an emergency, but will also ease the fears of those that care about me and have concerns over my adventure lifestyle.
I spent quite a bit of time researching various products, asking many questions at the local Bass Pro Shops in Fort Lauderdale and Gander Mountain in West palm Beach and comparing the answers of the sales staff with my own personal needs. They were all very informative and were all also in agreement that for my needs I needed something that was extremely reliable and hopefully would never need to be used. There were several models that were reviewed, some that allowed friends to track your progress and send text messages and others that were geared strictly for imminent danger and life threatening situations.
After weighing all my options and needs, and deciding that reliability in such a device outweighed price and occasionally used features, I had narrowed my decision down to a select few, all made by the company ACR which deals primarily in Epirbs, PLB’s and other life support devices. The several models I looked at from this company confused me for a while as they all seemed quite similar. I visited their website and then sent an email to their customer service manger detailing my intended uses for a Personal Locator Beacon and how my journeys are quite often water related. I was very pleased with his response and have copied here in hopes it helps others contemplating purchasing one of these units.
Look no further than one of the two units below.
• SARLink 406 GPS PLB
• AquaLink 406 GPS PLB
The SARLink is sold by the Outdoor Industry because the voice of the Outdoor customer tells us that they want smaller and lighter. So we responded by taking all of the air out of it to make it as small as possible, and because of this it doesn’t float. However, because a small portion of the Outdoor consumers also recreate around water, we do offer a floatation pouch accessory.
The following is the physical differences.
AQUALINK P/N 2882 9.2 oz OR 260g 2.3 x 5.8 x 1.45″ 5.9 x 14.8 x 3.7 cm
SARLINK P/N 2883 8.9 oz OR 252g 2.3 x 5.8 x 1.25″ 5.9 x 14.8 x 3.2 cm
Because it floats and you have no problems with a unit a little bigger than the Sarlink, the Aqualink would be your best bet.
You can then also use it for any overland excursions you may want to add to your travelling itinerary.
I am now planning to purchase the AquaLink 406 GPS PLB this week and regain my confidence that if I Journey into the great outdoors I will also be coming home with more great stories to share. Remember that when purchasing such units, they should be considered a method of last resort and not because you ran out of gas but because your survival is seriously in question.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to sit in the woods for a full 24 hour period, just to see what assortment of wildlife passes by? Most avid outdoorsmen have the patience and tenacity to sit in a tree stand or rest against a tree on the forest floor for hours, but rarely would one get the chance to see all that nature has to offer during those busy evening and twilight hours. Somewhere along the way, someone had the foresight to recognize a need for capturing what goes on in the woods when we’re not there; enter the trail camera.
While trail cams come in all different shapes, styles, sizes and prices, they are most commonly attached discreetly to a tree, most commonly along a proven trail – i.e.: a path where deer, bear or other animals are clearly frequenting. The camera is motion-activated and on many models, you can choose the duration between photographs. Another feature may be a camera equipped with night vision capability, allowing you to capture pics of what passes by or even feeds in front of your selected area. These trail cams are great for seeing those that are most active at night, like deer, bear, raccoon, etc. Trail Cams may come with a flash set up or IR capability (infra red may have less effect on spooking the animals) for night photography. When looking for a trail cam with a flash make certain to investigate the effective flash range of that trail cam. The greater the distance from your anticipated target, such as a bait station or entrance to a field will determine the necessary effective flash range. Make sure that there is nothing between your target and the camera that can trigger the photo. I have in the past had swaying branches use up all my pictures, and this was when I was still using real film!
When scouting for an area in which to place the trail camera, hunters will normally look for signs of activity such as a spot where several game trails merge. The weekend hiker should have little trouble finding these locations if those trails are active and in constant use. The entrances to fields or a food source as well as a water supply are great spots to set up. Animals that are eating or drinking are usually very calm and may allow multiple pics to be taken before moving on. One of my favorite pictures is of a black bear in the Florida Everglades that leisurely sat down in front of my trail cam to munch on a doughnut I left for him. I saw a single bear print at the edge of game trail and set the trail cam up there. I have my reservations about leaving food in front of the trail cam to bring in and keep the animals there a bit longer, but if that is your choice, you may consider matching the bait to the animals you are seeking to get pics of. Grain and molasses will bring in bear, hog, and deer, while decaying meat may allow for pictures of coyotes and bobcats.
No matter what make, model or style you choose, there are a few things you can typically expect with the use of a trail cam. My first word of advice is this: don’t get too excited the very first time you go back (usually you would not check on it for a few days at a time since too much action around the site will deter animals from frequenting the area). When you first check your camera you may see the display state that you have 5 or 6 pictures, but the funny thing is this: one is typically of you as you walked away after setting it up and another will be of you as you approach the camera to check it! The first time we set one up in our backyard to try to get some photos of a fox we were sure we’d seen sneaking around, the kids were so excited at the thought that we had so many photos. Once we downloaded them, we saw blurs of birds flying by, the tail of a raccoon that was a bit too fast, and of course a close up of me as I set it up and was cleaning the lens. Good family entertainment, but not what we got the camera for! In the end though, we did get a good look at that wily fox and the kids were thrilled.
While perhaps the initial and most frequent use of the trail cam was for hunters to scout potential hunting areas and get a taste of what was living in the area, trail cams today are used by nature lovers and families alike. A great way to get some up-close and personal candid shots of animals we normally wouldn’t be able to get this close to. If you are considering purchasing a trail cam, do your research. There’s no reason to pay any more than you have to, depending on its intended use. You will be paying more for higher resolution of the camera. Should you have any really great shots taken with a trail cam, feel free to submit them to us here and we’ll post them for others to enjoy.