Female Wildlife Officer Killed During Poacher Patrol

According to a South Florida TV station, "A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer was killed Saturday night in an all-terrain vehicle crash. Officer Michelle Lawless was looking for poachers and others who often target alligators and deer at night at the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area in Broward when investigators said she struck a metal gate, while driving without headlights.She was pinned underneath the ATV for hours near the Broward and Palm Beach County line. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. The commission said there is no evidence pointing to foul play, but they are still investigating the death."

Pink Guns - A Hot Topic

Field & Stream occasionally launches discussions about pink guns on their website. I've linked to some of them below:

Sep. 25, 2007 Field & Stream "Field Notes" blog had a post titled Manufacturers Roll Out Pink Guns For Women

Nov. 27, 2007 The "Field Notes" blog had a post titled Pink Guns Flying Off The Shelves

April 7, 2008 The "Field Notes" blog had a discussion topic titled Do Pink Guns Look Like Toys?

I was reminded of these discussions when I flipped through the latest Gander Mountain flyer and went " cute!" over two pink guns that were on sale. My personal take on pink guns is that they are kinda cute - but not realistic for actual hunting.

(At the time of this post)...I (could) only find two manufacturers who make pink guns: Remington (two) - Model 870 Junior 20-Ga. (Gander Mountain exclusive) & Model 597 .22LR Rimfire Rifle; Keystone Sporting Arms has a LOT of pink .22 rifles including - Model 226 Stainless Steel, Model 225 Blued, & Model 221 Stainless Steel (Clearly since this post, there are MANY more manufacturers of pink guns!)

Other than that, you'd have to get a custom gun. Jim's Gun Supply was mentioned in the orignal article discussed at Field & Stream. Here's a link to his website for custom work - he customized the pink Glock in the photo.

Interesting article here and here and here.

The Bassmaster Classic Now Allowing Women to Fish

This rubs me the wrong way. I saw on ESPN here that *gasp* they will be allowing women to compete in the Bassmaster Classic. "In 2008, the Toyota Women's Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year, the top angler in the season-long points standings, will qualify for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. 'Next year promises to be a historic year, with the first female angler qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic,' said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager of BASS. 'The WBT continues to receive some well-deserved attention and we are excited about this opportunity for the circuit to grow.' "

As I commented on that article - What is that??!!!?? Weren't women "allowed" in the big tournament before this? I can understand having men's and women's basketball (or other highly aerobic sports) separate, but is there really that much difference in how well a body can reel a fish in? Doesn't it have more to do with line and rod strength than arm strength?

On one hand, it great that they are doing this, but on the other hand it's outrageous that this is JUST happening now. This is the perfect spot for my favorite movie quote. "This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."

President Bush spends day fishing, bird-watching

October 20, 2007 - President Bush spent the day outdoors Saturday doing public relations for his conservation credentials, according to an article on

"It was all part of an effort to burnish his conservation credentials while announcing new initiatives that he said would protect migrating birds and two fish species, red drum and striped bass, prized by anglers. Bush, noting that migrating bird populations are threatened by increasing development along their flyover routes, said his administration would award private landowners "credits" they could sell, mainly to federal agencies, to encourage them to set aside "stopover habitats" for more than 800 species of migratory birds."

He also mentioned potential tax breaks for conservation easements. Then he went fishing and a WOMAN SHOWED HIM UP!! (You knew there was a reason I was highlighting this story!)

"Traveling to Maryland's Eastern Shore, Bush took a private charter for an hour of fishing with Chris and Melissa Fischer, hosts of ESPN's "Offshore Adventures" show. As Bush mimed catching a big fish for the cameras, Melissa Fischer reeled one in from the bay's choppy waters. Bush said an order he signed would direct the Commerce and Interior departments to further build up stocks of striped bass and red drum, by working with state and local officials to prohibit sales of the fish caught up to 200 nautical miles out in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico."
Bush ended his remarks with a funny jab at Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunter while quail hunting last year. "I love to fish. And the good news, there's a lot of good fishing here ... because the Secret Service won't let me go hunting with him."

No More Archery in Archery Park

Imagine a wonderful world where city-dwellers could walk a few blocks and arrive at a magical place called "Archery Park". There would be targets, earthern berms, and shooting towers for happy little archers to use for practice. The peaceful sound of rushing water would fill the air from the beautiful river alongside the park. Ah...what a wonderful world it would be.

There WAS such a place in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, until recently a sign showed up in Archery Park prohibiting the use guessed it...bows and arrows. According to an article in the Leader-Telegram, "The park was closed to archery in September after a neighbor complained of finding an arrow in his yard." Apparently, the latest in a smattering of complaints over the years.

I think it's regretful to lose a beautiful and convenient place to practice, but I can't say I totally disagree with the decision. Better do it now, than after an arrow pierces a kid playing in her yard. Such a park did seem too good to be true!

Wild Gingseng

Have you seen this plant in your woods??

If you think you have, take particular note of it! You may have a rare and valuable herb growing on your land. It's called ginseng, and it is highly valued by the Asian markets. You could make some extra spending money, but you're not going to get rich off harvesting wild ginseng. Keep in mind though that it is easily wiped out (as in made extinct on a property) by overharvesting. There's a link here and here with more information on harvesting wild ginseng. Plus if you Google it, you'll find your local state regulations (at least I did when I Googled it).
I'm just looking into it and learning about it myself. Have any of you harvested wild ginseng??

Kate Middleton Gets Ready for Hunting

I was already a fan of Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend. Now I have another reason to like her - she's trying out hunting!! Per an article on the internet, she got decked out in camo and sighted in a rifle with the royal family. Anti-blood sports campaigners are freaking out naturally, but we'll just ignore them as usual.

"Prince William's girlfriend - now hotly tipped again as a future royal bride - chose to join a shooting party in Scotland at the weekend, much to the anger of anti-blood sports campaigners. But she was Photographed practising with a formidable bolt-action hunting rifle watched by Prince Charles and two ghillies before heading off into Highlands."


Arm Guards for Female Archers

From a purely female archery hunter perspective - women need to use arm guards. Shocking statement on the bad form of women? NO!

Every time I recommend that a woman use an arm guard, the man next to her will say, "But if your form is good, the string won't hit your arm." Yeah, but even with perfect form it is likely that the woman is going to have a problem when she's actually hunting (especially in cold weather).

Why? Because of the lack of women's hunting coats, she is probably wearing one sized for men. This means that the arm length is a smidgen too long, which means that it's slightly bunched up. Bunched up fabric on the arm leads to...yep, the string catches on the fabric. The problem gets bigger when it's cold and there's extra clothes beneath the coat. An arm guard is ideal for holding back and snugging in all the extra fabric!

So ladies, the next time you hear a condenscending comment about "not needing them", take a moment to enlighten the guys on why using an arm guard may not have anything to do with your form!

Realtree ProStaffer on "Women in Deer Camp"

Kelly Gotch, a Realtree Prostaffer, wrote an interesting article about "Women In Deer Camp." Click here for the full article. See what she says about how she "felt this negative energy concerning my presence in camp on several occasions." She goes on to give tips about participating in deer camp. Many of the tips are general deer camp ettiquette and could be applied to either gender. Good read, Kelly!

Boundary Waters incident highlights classic struggle

10/5/2007 - Today Newsweek published on online story regarding a shocking August incident in the beautiful and serene Minnesota Boundary Waters. Six local men briefly terrorized campers within the federally protected area, saying "F---ing tourists … get the hell off our f---ing property” and “go home f---ing enox tree-huggers." In the story they explain that 'enox' is apparently local slang for 'environmentally obnoxious.' Let me know your thoughts on this. Do you sympathize with locals who are being told how to act environmentally? Or are the locals being outrageous for wanting to use the land for recreation as they see fit?

In my opinion, preserving the Boundary Waters in the most natural state possible, while still allowing restricted camping, is a slam dunk, no-brainer. If someone wants to run their motorized recreational vehicle (boat, ATV, or other) around on public land, they'll put the same amount of time and effort into DRIVING to a location that allows it, as the amount of time and effort they have spent protesting the federal rules. If using a boat or ATV is such a big deal to them and they feel too restricted in Ely, then move next to a natural area that allows ATVs and boats. If it's more important to live in Ely specifically, then they should wake up and thank their lucky stars that they live right next to one of the most natural areas in North America. Hopefully this incident won't stop anyone from taking their canoe to the place where you can still listen to a loon calling at sunset.

Gift ideas for the outdoors couple

There will come a time when you'll need to buy a gift for an outdoors couple. Instead of getting them monogrammed towels (if you've ever done this, smack yourself), how about a fun outdoorsy gift?? Make it a two-person gift to encourage them to get out there and use it together; rather than an item that one would use alone too) Here's a few ideas:

Ramp up the outdoor romance with a Picnic at Ascot™ Backpack for Two! They've put all the picinic supplies needed for two people into a handy backpack. For example, the "Hudson" model includes: combination corkscrew, nickel plated cork stopper, hardwood cutting board with juice groove, cheese knife, wooden salt & pepper shakers with non spill tops, acrylic wine glasses, coordinating melamine plates, stainless steel flatware and cotton napkins. The giftees will be pleasantly surprised by this innovative gift idea!

The couple that sleeps together, stays together (Duh!)! Double sleeping bags are extremely popular. They'll love it and you'll love how easy it is to find one to buy! Many manufacturers have a double version of their sleeping bags. Check Kelty for an extra wide variety of double sleeping bags including the Lunar, Corona, Eclipse and other past and future models.(see the end of this post for a picture)

In the same spirit, the camping couple may appreciate a two-person sleeping cot to put their sleeping bag on. Versions of double cots are made by Kamp-Rite, Cabela's and others.

Riding double on an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) isn't for everyone (some like to drive separately). But for the couple that likes to ride together, an ATV backrest/bag is a great idea. It can function at both a backrest for the person behind and a storage container. Some even have arm rests and cup holders!

Now more than ever, hunting couples are popping up on TV, in magazines and out back in the woods. Sitting together while hunting is a blast! For that, they'll need 2-person deer stand. Many deer/tree stand manufacturers offer 2-person stands including: Gorilla Treestands, Summit Treestands, API Outdoors, Ameristep, Family Tradition Treestands, and more!

Can you think of any more I should add to the list?