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March 2015 HO


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Recent entries


Through the Lens

Bowfishing Goes Big Time!

Thu, March 05, 2015

I was a bowfisher before bowfishing was “cool”. If you had told me even just ten years ago that bowfishing would have the popularity it enjoys today, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

The 2015 Bass Pro U.S. Open and World’s Bowfishing Fair shows just how far the sport of bowfishing has come. Seemingly overnight, bowfishing has gone from being viewed by many as a bit of a fringe redneck sport to a “respectable” sport with several national level tournaments.

The Bass Pro U.S. Open is clearly the largest national bowfishing tournament event in the nation, and the world as well.

The World’s Bowfishing Fair, held June 12-14, 2015, at the Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri, promises to be a mash-up of free seminars, exhibits, celebrities, live music, giveaways, and great deals on bowfishing gear. Additionally the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship, the world’s biggest bowfishing event will take place during the World’s Bowfishing Fair.

According to Bass Pro Shops media release, within a mere 11 hours after registration opened for Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship, the max number of 275 four-person teams had already signed up for the June 12-14 event. The world’s biggest bowfishing event will feature more water to fish, a whopping $100,000 in cash and prizes, and tons of free activities at the World’s Bowfishing Fair.

image courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

The World’s Bowfishing Fair, June 12 - 14, 2015, is fun for the whole family. The event is held at the Bass Pro Shops flagship superstore in Springfield, Missouri, and includes vendor booths, giveaways, seminars, and live music.
“One thing I can promise you – if you come to the World’s Bowfishing Fair and U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship at Bass Pro Shops flagship superstore in Springfield, Missouri, no matter how far you travel – the trip will be worth your while,” said John Paul Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Bowfishing Tournament. “The World’s Bowfishing Fair has something for everyone who loves bowfishing, archery or just spending time on the water.”

The World’s Bowfishing Fair will feature custom bowfishing boats from around the country and vendor booths from the leading bowfishing companies. The event at Bass Pro Shops Springfield store features free seminars and panel discussions led by the experts including winners of the U.S Open and World Championships and bowfishing guides. In addition, attendees will have a chance to meet their favorite TV show hosts and other celebrities as well as enjoy live music and shooting contests.

Throughout the weekend, customers can take advantage of great deals on the latest name-brand bowfishing gear, including hot, new ArchEnemy packages. Those registered for the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship can receive special discounts and pricing at the biggest sale of bowfishing gear ever assembled.

The tournament portion of the weekend is bigger than ever, too. U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship competitors have access to over 3,500 miles of shoreline at the following five Ozark area lakes: Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Truman, Pomme de terre, and Stockton.  Plus, the tournament’s purse is fatter in 2015 with a $25,000 grand prize, $5,000 big fish prize, hourly drawings, and a $10,000 state record jackpot, meaning there’s $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. The tournament features a Big 20 format and up to four bowfishermen per team.

Event organizers expect the 2015 event to be huge, based on last year’s attendance. Though 2014 was only the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship’s second year, it was already the biggest bowfishing event in the world. The 2014 tournament was almost twice as big as the inaugural event, hosting nearly a thousand of the nation’s top bowfishermen. Teams from over 30 states took more than 32,000 pounds of rough fish in one night. Removal of these undesirable species not only improved habitat conditions for game fish, all fish removed were processed into organic fertilizer for use on organic farms.

Those who attend the World’s Bowfishing Fair at the Springfield, Missouri, Bass Pro Shops can enjoy other activities such as touring the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum and the Archery Hall of Fame, which features the world-famous Fred Bear collection. Plus visitors can see over 100,000 gallons of aquariums, including those featuring giant alligator gar.

“This event will be three days packed full of fun activities for the entire family, so make your plans now to attend the World’s Bowfishing Fair and U.S. Open,” Morris said. “Whether you’re a seasoned tournament fisherman or a casual bowfisherman, you won’t want to miss out on all the action.”

If you love bowfishing, make your plans today to attend the 2015 World’s Bowfishing Fair! You can bet barring any unforeseen disasters I will be there bring all of the action from the event to the Heartland family!

Check out this U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship video-

For more information visit Bass Pro U.S. Open



Strolling in the Snow

Mon, March 02, 2015

Even though it’s the beginning of March, and my mind is thinking more about morels, yesterday morning we awoke to seven inches of new snow. Not one to be deterred by a little snow on the ground, I set out to see how the creatures were fairing with another blast of winter.

I wasn’t dissappointed!

Right out of the hat I ran into a little mink trundling along and popping in out of his tunnels in the snow along a little stream

Next, when I topped the ridge line - the neighborhood turkeys were out also out for afternoon walk.

Lastly, I was happy to see the deer out milling around -

I know everyone is sick of winter, sick cold, and sick of snow and ice - but GO OUTSIDE! There are some great examples of Mother Natures finest works out there right now; enjoy them while you can, it will be sweat and skeeter season soon.


Great Way to Start the Day!

Thu, February 26, 2015

If you waterfowl hunt, especially if you are currently chasing the great white storm of spring snow geese, you know it’s been a little tough in some areas the past week or so.

If you waterfowl hunt,  you also probably have a bedtime and breakfast ritual that consists of multiple messages, e mails, phone calls, ad nauseum all saying the same thing “Where are the birds?” “Are there new birds here yet?”.

Consequently, I wasn’t surprised to see a notification for a message from my pal Nicholas Holdinghausen of Marion early this morning.

What did surprise me was what the message contained -

photo courtesy of Gary McCree

Holdinghausen shared with me that he saw the goose just as he was stepping from the truck and uncasing his gun. For my buddy Nick, quick thinking, and good shooting paid off this morning, especially since many of us are lamenting the lack of new birds, and the difficult conditions. The goose not only sported the standard numbered leg band, but also a monetary reward band. How lucky can one fella get before breakfast?

Holdinghausen was hunting with the famed caller Gary McCree of Goosemaster’s Place. Holdinghausen has suffered through a full waterfowl season of good natured ribbing from many of us in Southern Illinois - bestowing nicknames like “The Jinx” and “The Black Cat” referring to the sometimes sudden stop of waterfowl activity when he arrives. I feel certain this is his way of telling us he has sent that black cat packing!

Congrats Nick and know this old gal is very envious!

*****UPDATE***** Holdinghausen reports that the bird was banded on an island in Nunavut, Canada and it was banded in 2005. That tells me that bird was smart, wary, old goose and just think about it; that goose has been shot at likely for 10 seasons, and Nick was the one to out smart it!


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