Sunday, October 23, 2016

Introduction to Archery Seminar Recap

Sharing knowledge with others is a passion of mine. What I mean is this, I love sharing what I have learned so that others may have more opportunity. On Saturday, I was privileged to be allowed to give an Introduction to Archery seminar at the Rancho Cucamonga Bass Pro Shops. I wasn’t sure how many would attend, but I am not in it for the numbers. I am in it to help others. It turned out to be a great Saturday.

The seminar attendees were of all ages. Some just starting out and some who had been archers many years ago and wanted to get back into it. As one who loves archery, I shared as much as I could in the hour I was up there. I covered everything from youth bows, to pro shops, and to becoming a proficient archer. There were some great questions and some that me thinking. One of which was where there were pro shops and archery ranges in the high desert. I was honest and let them know I wasn’t sure. My focus has normally been LA, OC, and Riverside Counties. For those, like Gary, that were asking, you may want to try High Desert Archery & Taxidermy, The Apple Valley Gun Club, or the Mojave Archers.

For those who stuck around and listened to me ramble on, thank you. For the young men I spoke with at the end, best of luck to you! I hope you are able to get out and shoot some bows, take some lessons, and enjoy it as much as I have. I warn you, it’s addicting once that first arrows flies, so enjoy!

My next Bass Pro seminar will be on November 5 at high noon. This one will be on hog hunting, so I anticipate a larger crowd. Arrive early to get a seat! I’ll cover things from weapons to use, where to look for pigs and pig sign, DIY vs. a Guided hunt, and meat care. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bass Pro Seminar - Introduction to Archery

On October 22, 2016, I will be giving an Introduction to Archery seminar at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The seminar begins at 2:00 PM and will focus on archery, not hunting. There are many who are considering getting into archery, but do not know where to start and have many questions. This will be the perfect forum to get you all started!

If you have any questions or things you'd like to know, please email me before the seminar and I'll be sure to include them. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Badlands Announces Collaboration with Carbon Express Crossbows

West Jordan, UT – Badlands, an industry leader in hunting packs and apparel has teamed up with Carbon Express to offer the new Covert™ Tyrant™ Crossbow in Badlands Approach Camouflage. 

The Covert Tyrant features an advanced trigger box for a crisp and consistent trigger pull, while the adjustable picatinny rail systems allows for both adjustability and customization. Built with premium components, designed for balance and power, the Covert Tyrant delivers maximum responsiveness, and bolt speeds. 

“We’ve put over five years into developing our new Approach pattern and putting the pattern on cutting edge products is key for us,” said Blake VanTussenbrook, Marketing Manager for Badlands. “Carbon Express has once again come up with an amazing crossbow and we’re excited to have it available in Badlands Approach Camouflage. Performance, quality, and durability are key in everything we do and are qualities we share with Carbon Express and their products.” 

The Covert Tyrant featuring Badlands Approach Camouflage will be available early 2017. 

Now in its 22nd year, Badlands continues to focus on exceptional quality, continuing innovation, unmatched performance and as always the only unconditional lifetime warranty in the industry. 

For more information about this event, products in the Badlands line, or general inquiries, please contact Blake VanTussenbrook at 1.800.386.7839 or

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sighting in Before the Opener

Brett reviewing his shot placement while using the Bullseye Camera System.

Waiting until the last minute is not something I am known for. In fact, I am more of a planner than anything else, but I was caught off guard this year due to finding time to hit the range and sight my rifle in. With the deer season opener in a couple weeks, Brett and I needed to go to the rifle range to be certain we were zeroed in.

A few months back, Brett and I spent time dialing in our rifles and figured we were pretty close before the bees took over. We couldn't be 100% sure we were ready, so we had to wait. I spent time with my friend Bill reloading my 300 WM ammo and prepping for range day. After doing my homework, I found a range that would work for Brett and I. We both got the day off and made our way to the Angeles Ranges.

After signing in, we set up at the far end. The range safety officers were really great and had no problem with me setting up my Bullseye Camera System at 100 yards. I saw so many guys with spotting scopes and watched their frustration of not being able to see which shot was which, and where there last shot went. I knew the BCS would be awesome for this.

I was the fortunate one to shoot first. As I tried to chamber on of my handloads, I noticed that the cartridge wasn't chambering properly. It would only go 80% of the way in and then stop. The first one stuck a bit, so I ejected the round and loaded a different one with the exact same result. I became increasingly concerned and wondered what I had done to my rifle! I had brought some factory rounds with me and decided to chamber one of them, and wouldn't you know it, it loaded perfectly! For some reason, my handloads wouldn't fit. Bill and I had taken a great deal of care in prepping the brass and loading them properly. I just couldn't figure out the problem. I brushed it off and shot the Federal cartridge, holding the rifle as I normally do. I was way off to my left. Before getting upset, I chambered another and fired. Then another and another. I disregarded the first shot due to the frustration of the rounds sticking in the chamber and making me upset. The next three were lower than I wanted and a bit scattered, but in the kill zone. I wasn't happy with the grouping, but I wasn't done shooting either. The Bullseye Camera System was fantastic in allowing us to see each shot with ease.

My target after shooting my Remington 700 chambered in 300 Win Mag at 100 yards.

For the past month, I have been reading The Long Range Shooting Handbook: A Beginner's Guide to Long range Shooting by Ryan Cleckner. Now, I am not a beginner shooter, but I am also no expert, so I read most of the book (still not done with it) as I would if I were a beginner. Ryan mentioned a few different ways of shooting and how he dislikes pistol grips on a rifle stock, but that if one were to use one to relax your hand and not torque the stock. There are also a few other tips he gave, so I applied them to my next three shots. I wanted to be 2" high at 100 yards to have my scope ready to shoot at longer distances. My next three rounds were exactly 2" high and two were touching, while the third was less than an inch away. Success! To be honest, I was ecstatic! I don't know if I have EVER had a rifle sight in that well. I was done, or so I thought. My next actions proved to be regretful. I took a different one of the reloads and chambered it to see if it would work. It was a tight fit, but chambered well. I shot and then attempted to eject the shell. The bolt was jammed! I pulled as hard as I could and had no luck. My heart sank and I got upset at first, but that quickly turned to questioning why this happened. I set the rifle down and helped Brett out while I considered my options.

Brett sighting in his hunting rifle at the Angeles Ranges.

We spent the next half hour on Brett's rifle and getting his shots tighter. After a half hour of shooting, he took a break. I tried ejecting the shell again and pulled with everything I had. When the shell gave and the bolt came back, it was so quick i didn't have time to react. My fingers became jammed between the scope and bolt handle. Not just stuck, but pinched tight enough to tear skin and not allow the use of my fingers. I had to use my other hand to push up on the bolt to release the tension. Yowza! That hurt, but it was totally worth it to know that the shell was ejected successfully. I checked the chamber for damage and saw none. The shell, on the other hand, showed exactly what had happened. The tolerance in my chamber is really tight and these shells were off by just a minute amount, but it was enough. Whew! To be sure my rifle was still shooting properly, I shot one of my lead rounds with success. 

Jammed my fingers in between the scope and bolt while extracting a stuck shell. Elbow is from the kick of the Win Mag.

Brett and I spent the rest of the afternoon dialing in his weapon. When we were finished, we were exhausted, but thrilled that we were ready for opening day of rifle season. With the opener less than than two weeks away, we are now packing and preparing for our hike into the backcountry. With any luck and hard work, we will be hauling one or two deer out of the woods next weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recap: Bowhunting Deer in SoCal Seminar at Bass Pro

Last Saturday morning, I prepared for my Bowhunting Deer in SoCal Seminar at Bass Pro Shops like I do any seminar. I collect my thoughts, make some notes, and set up in preparation for a few people to discuss hunting in SoCal. Normally, I try to keep my seminars to 20-30 minutes and save time for questions after. What I didn't prepare for were the number of blog readers that actually showed up! (Thank you all!)

The chairs filled very quickly and more hunters showed up to stand and listen to what I shared. I won't go into everything I covered (you can come to a seminar for that), but it was a great experience. I had the great pleasure of sharing my knowledge and fielding numerous questions from new and experienced bowhunters alike. My one hour seminar was extended and continued on for several hours. Yes, it went over three hours! I wanted to be sure each question was answered as there were many great questions! I do apologize to the wives and girlfriends that had to wait patiently. I hope the attendees got as much out if it as I did. Thank you all for showing up and participating!

I want to thank Bass Pro Shops for inviting me to do the seminar. It was a pleasure and I always have a good time! I also want to thank Raptorazor and Badlands Packs for providing some top-of-the-line giveaway items. Many walked away with a brand new Raptorazor Mako or Big Game Skinner. Raptorazor went above and beyond with these items and for those that won, please go over to their Facebook page and thank them. One lucky bowhunter walked away with a Badlands Calor 1/4 zip in the new Approach pattern. He emailed me and mentioned he will be using it this deer season. Great to hear! I would guess that he's going to get hooked on that pattern. I hope all of you get to use the prizes you won and I hope to hear the stories of your success!

Next month, on October 22 at 2 PM at Bass Pro, I will be giving an Intro to Archery seminar. I'll have more details soon, but in the meantime mark those calendars!