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Dedicated outdoors devotee, Kankakee Daily Journal, Feb 01

Challenge part of ice fishing’s allure, Dale Bowman, Feb 01

Youth program gives hunting situations, Quad City Times, Feb 01

Midwest Summer Fishing Report, Dale Bowman , Jul 21

Ticks are becoming growing problem, Jeremiah Haas, Jul 19



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Recent entries


Through the Lens

Reaching Out to the Ladies

Wed, November 03, 2010

I can’t even begin to tell you how many press releases end up in my in box on regular day.. not too many of them actually end up making the cut and not going directly to the trash bin, but there’s always a few that catch my eye and really want to make me jump for joy, call the contact person, go further.. this one from the Outdoor Wire service this morning was one of those.

Courtesy of the Outdoor Wire:
Women Hunter Garb & Gear Section New Focus at Expos
A new ‘Garb & Gear’ section of women’s hunting apparel and related hunting products (hunting clothing, thermal clothing, firearms, bows, gloves, boots and accessories) designed for female hunters’ physical needs will be an exhibit floor highlight at the 2011 deer and turkey hunting expos produced by Target Communications in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Female hunters are the only growing segment of the hunting community. Manufacturers are paying attention with new products designed for the female form and preferences.

“We have emphasized family participation for years. Now we’re stepping up our efforts with this new focused area to better serve the female segment of our audience,” said Glenn Helgeland, president of Target Communications. “Nearly 25 percent of our expo attendees, year after year, are female, and they are outdoor participants.”

“Women want to have clothes designed for them, and that are warm and comfortable. They need hunting boots that are warm, light and strong. They want gloves designed for the female hand. Women don’t see any particular need to suffer while they are deer hunting, unlike men,” Helgeland noted. “Men tend to think you need an icicle hanging from your nose to know you’re enjoying your hunt.

“Women usually need rifles of lighter mass weight, shorter stocks and smaller calibers with less recoil, and bows with shorter draw lengths and lighter draw weights so they can handle the equipment confidently, skillfully and without fear.”

“Expos are a perfect fit for this specialized product category, because it is 100% hands-on, try-before-you-buy,” Helgeland added. “Things either fit or they don’t. The customer needs to know that; women demand fit, quality, price.

“We tell manufacturers, ‘Here’s where your product becomes real, where the rubber meets the road’,” Helgeland said. “They and attendees benefit from this contact. It’s personal, live and in color, offering instant question-answering opportunities and instant feedback. The product can be examined and tried on; the manufacturer can explain and show the product’s benefits. Purchases can be made. It should be a win-win.”

There will be nearly a dozen designated booths for women’s hunting clothing manufacturers at each expo; each clothing booth will have its own fitting room for privacy and security. Exhibitors with related products and accessories, and related women’s hunting organizations, will be located near the clothing center for maximum availability and visibility.

The WOMAN HUNTER magazine Women’s Information Center will anchor this area with topical information handouts, a hunting quiz and lists of women’s hunting information and equipment sources.

Noted outdoor writer and firearms expert Ron Spomer will present a seminar—“The Shocking Truth About Women and Firearms”—to clear up mispercptions and counter the poor advice female hunters often get from male advisors. “Women don’t need and don’t want cannons,’ he says, “and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

The 2011 event dates:

• February 18-20 Michigan Deer & Turkey Spectacular (25th), Lansing, MI

• March 18-20 Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo (19th), Columbus, OH

• March 25-27 Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic (21st), Peoria, IL

• April 1-3 Wisconsin Deer & Turkey Expo (27th), Madison, WI

Other new activities at the expo: Puppies & Kids Sunday, Firearms Answer Man and Turkey Answer Man added to the Tech Info Center (to complement firearms, archery, slug guns, clothing/footwear and food plots topics), DVD Theater, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance raffles, sweepstakes and Sentry program, and Tradeshow Sunday with sporting goods dealers as special guests.

For attending and/or exhibiting details on the deer and turkey expos, visit the events’ web-site——and click on the state event of interest, or call 1-800-324-3337.


Hey Kids! It’s Time to Enter!

Tue, November 02, 2010

2009 Participant Kodi LaFore receives some waterfowl hunting advice from Tim Grounds

It’s time once again for youth in Central and Southwestern Illinois to enter their names for chance to attend the Annual Downriver Outdoors Celebrity Youth Waterfowl Hunt.  Those wishing to enter the contest can find entry boxes   in St. Clair County (Curt Smith’s Sporting Goods in Belleville), Madison County (Clark Boat and Motor in Alton), Jasper County (Dairy Queen in Newton), Crawford County (Rural King in Robinson), Richland County (Holiday Restaurant in Olney), Clay County (Car Corral in Flora), Effingham County (Lock,Stock & Barrel in Altamont and Weber Brothers Equipment in Teutopolis), Coles County (1st Federal & Loan in Mattoon). Those wishing to locate an entry box can call event founder and organizer,  Scott Huschle @ 618-363-3323 to determine where the one nearest them might be.

Event Founder and Organizer Scott Huschle and I at the 2009 event

This year’s Celebrity Youth Waterfowl Hunt will pair ten lucky young hunters between the ages of 10 and 16 with a celebrity for a morning hunt at Keck’s Marsh in Vandalia, Illinois on December 12th and 13th. The event will kick off with a dinner and a meet greet with all of the celebrities and the guides on the evening of the 12th. After dinner and some short safety, calling, and waterfowl hunting instructional programs the youth will be paired with a celebrity to hunt with the next morning. Some of this year’s celebrities include Marc Miller, IDNR Director, John Mabry and Danny Cox, both former Cardinals players, Tim Grounds, World Goose Calling Champion,  2008 Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year Anthony Padgett, Radio Personality and writer Larry Reid, and renown dog trainer Chris Akin to name just a few . Following the hunt there will be a luncheon and an opportunity for the youth to be photographed with their celebrity hunting partner. All youth must be accompanied by an adult, and must have taken and passed the Hunter Safety Course prior to the hunt. Appropriate hunting attire is also required.  Guides and retrievers will be provided. For More information about the contest and the hunt, please call Scott Huschle at 618-363-3323

2009 participant Olivia Thoele and IDNR Director Mark Miller show off the mornings success

(0) COMMENTS…Will He?

Mon, October 25, 2010

Willie exploring the river bottom woods

Wille, Wide Glide Willie, made his entrance to our household last Monday. Suffice it to say,  the last seven days have been more than interesting, more than fun, and often more than exasperating. Mr. Yellow Ball of Fur seemed like a Willie to me and the Wide Glide is a nod to his big blocky build. But Willie has morphed in Will He? Will he fetch? Will he eat the shoe? Will he puddle on the floor? Will he systematically empty the basket of clean laundry and cart every piece out the door to the deck? OH WHAT WILL HE DO NEXT???

Willie getting acquainted with Buddy The Moose Dog

No mere duck dog, Willie has actually has an important job ahead of him, he’s training to be my next service dog. My current gal Dolly is showing her age and at ten has just about reached the end of her career. Bless her heart, Dolly deserves a comfy retirement basking in the sun on the deck. Buddy, the moose dog in the household,  is a tad too stubborn and tad too friendly to ever make the cut as a service dog, but Willie..Willie is showing great promise already. I feel certain Will will have a very well documented life. He’s already learned that the sound a shutter makes means smile at the camera and pose.

A mere 24 hours in the household and he already was grasping the importance of posing and smiling

I’ll leave you all wondering…what Will-he do next?


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