Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Verispellis Skis

Occasionally I accept a sponsored post to help support this blog. I am always careful to make sure it is a product or service that I find exciting and I believe will be helpful. I turn down dozens of sponsored posts for every one I accept. That being said, I was recently approached by Verispellis Skis. They wanted me to write a post about their new skis and the Kickstarter they are running right now.

I love technology, but only when it actually has a function. I don’t understand why everything needs a touch screen or a battery. However, when someone figures out how to add technology to a simple object, and make it better, I get excited. The technology that they have put in Verispellis Skis is not only supper cool; it actually performs a valuable function.

I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about what these skis are and what they do.

 Verispellis Skis ( allow you to change the stiffness of your skis, on the fly, from your smartphone. Now it does not do this via some complex mechanism or easy to break system. It uses (get this!) a shape shifting metal called Nitinol! How cool is that! It sounds like something out of science fiction!

Nitinol is an alloy that changes its material properties with changes in the temperature. At normal, cool temperatures, it is flexible. This would be the standard ski stiffness defined primarily by regular skis made out of wood or fiberglass. When warmed up, the skis become stiffer. You can adjust this stiffness to your preference.

Now, if you are skiing and the environment changes you can adjust accordingly, instead of struggling. It is like having several sets of skis, all wrapped into one!

So, how does the nitinol get warmed up? Good question, with a super simple answer. Built into the skis is a battery. When you want your skis to be stiffer, the battery heats up an element. This element heats up the Nitinol. Not only is this simple, and sturdy (no moving parts to break!) it allows for a ton of customization!

Want just the shovel or the tail stiffened? You can direct heat to just those areas, making only them stiff. The possibilities for customization are endless.

The only question left is how do you adjust them? And no! They don’t have a touch screen, but you will use one! You control all these functions from a smart phone app via Bluetooth. This is a proven and reliable technology. From your smartphone, you can make custom adjustments, or set it to let the app select the stiffness based on the conditions and your style.

Right now, you can find out more and order these skis from their Kickstarter.

For those of you who might not know, Kickstarter is a site that allows entrepreneurs to raise money for their projects via crowd funding. Think of crowdfunding as micro investments via regular people like you or me. As a reward for your investment, the entrepreneur gives you something, usually the product, when their idea comes to fruition. Like all investments, there is the potential for loss. However, I have backed many Kickstarter products and have always been rewarded. In fact, I have run a successful Kickstarter campaign myself. It is a great way to get in on new stuff before anyone else has the chance.

I highly recommend checking out these skis! If nothing else, their technology is impressive. It would not surprise me if they become the standard for skis in the future!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Choosing Between a Crossbow and a Compound Bow

Before we get too far into this, be sure to check out this site for great crossbow reviews: You will be glad you did!

As my longtime readers know, I am an avid user and proponent of crossbows. I like them for a lot of reasons and decided long ago that I would focus my energy on learning and using a crossbow instead of a traditional bow. This decision did not come lightly and took several years to come to. Now, do I think crossbows are for everyone? No, of course not, everyone needs to come to that conclusion on their own.

That is why I am writing this, to help you decide which you would rather use, a crossbow, traditional bow, or neither (a very reasonable choice).

If you are like me, you started hunting with a traditional, centerfire hunting rifle. You probably hunted for several successful seasons with a rifle. After a few years you decided to branch out to muzzleloading. For me, this choice was made because the muzzleloading season is longer in my state, starts earlier, and does not require blaze orange. With the advances of muzzleloaders, they are just as accurate and powerful as traditional rifles out past 100 yards. So, the jump just makes sense. Muzzleloading has become my favorite form of hunting.

Soon after starting to hunt with a muzzleloader, I discovered that the game is much more plentiful early in the season. Why not extend the season even further with archery?

Then came the big decision: Crossbow or Compound bow? I knew from the get go I did not want to fool with a recurve or longbow. Although I GREATLY respect those that do!

Now, there are a ton of pro’s and con’s to both Crossbows and Compound bows. It is not an easy decision.

First, lets test your ideology. Why are you bow hunting? Is it for the challenge? Do you crave the satisfaction of hundreds of hours of practice paying off?

If you answered “yes” to these two questions then you might be leaning towards the compound bow. They require more skill to use. There is no doubt. During the hunt there is a lot that can go wrong when using a compound. One of the hardest things is that you have to draw without the game seeing movement. It also takes months of practice to consistently hit the vitals of a deer at 30 yards. Do you have time to devote 30 minutes a day for practice? Do you enjoy repetitive archery practice? If yes, then a compound is for you!

However, are you hunting for meat or simply to extend the season? Do you get your satisfaction from a clean kill? Do you not have time to learn a new skill?

If you answered yes to these questions, then a crossbow might be for you. There is no doubt that they are easier to use. Out of the box, I was shooting 1-inch groups at 30 yards after less than an hours practice. This ease of use means you have less chance to wound an animal. I know several hunters that gave up on bow hunting after terribly wounding an animal due to a poor shot. There is no drawing, you simply aim and shoot. The crossbow arrows (called bolts) are even shorter, making them easier to carry!

I chose a crossbow because I did not believe I could consistently make a clean kill with a compound. A clean kill this the most important thing to me.

After the ideology, it comes down to practicality. So here are some pro’s and con’s to each:

Crossbows take a long time to load while a follow-up shot from a compound can be made quickly.

Crossbows are usually louder than compounds.

Compounds usually have a little more range for the very experienced archer.

Crossbows are usually heavier.

Compounds require more accessories (release, sights, and other doo-dads) that can break, get lost, or get hung up in brush.

Compounds are safer (sometimes). Many people leave their crossbow loaded when climbing a stand or walking around. This is not super safe.

You have to unload a crossbow if you do not shoot it. This is one of the biggest headaches for me. I usually use an old, sacrificial bolt.

Lastly, the biggest questions of them all is should you use a bow at all? It is harder than you think. I had a trophy buck within 20 yards of my stand once. He stood behind a clump of grass for 20 infuriating minutes eating. If it were gun season, I would have put him down, but because I had a bow, I could not risk shooting through some grass. Arrows do strange things when they hit the smallest things. Tracking animals hit with an arrow is a skill in itself and loosing kills is not uncommon.

In the end, it is up to you and what your priorities are. Now go out there and make your decision!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Care Tips for your Hunting Dog

 Make no mistake about it. It can be difficult to choose the right hunting dog for your needs. Prior to beginning the training process of your new dog, take the time to do a couple of important tasks. First of all, think about exactly what you want your dog to do and be. Then, you will be in a much better position to select the breeds you will research for further consideration.

Key Concerns

This is the most fundamental area of inquiry to make. You must do some thinking about what role a dog needs to play in your life. Are you planning to do hunting of upland bird species, waterfowl, perhaps both of these? Would a flushing, pointing or retrieving breed be best for your purposes? Do you expect your dog to live in your house, or are you planning to have an outdoor dog? What size dog do you prefer?


Hunting dogs need good nutrition and this means feeding them with the best food that you can find. Here is a list of the best dog food brands. Remember a hunting dog will be active, so the right levels of nutrition is important for wellbeing.

Due Diligence

Once you have determined the answers to the questions described above, the research process can really take hold. Now is the time to give substantial thought to your geography. It makes little sense to get a dog suited to one climate and terrain only to attempt to have him hunt in the opposite conditions. You must also take care to understand the distinctions in intellect, care requirements, disposition and the like of each breed. Discuss your options with colleagues in the hunting world, read online forums and take all possible steps to make a truly informed decision before you buy.

Selecting The Dog

One question many dog shoppers must think about is why they should get themselves a puppy instead of a seasoned hunter. The answer is that a puppy offers the opportunity to put your own training philosophy to work and not have to rely on what someone else may have taught the dog. Further, having a dog from its earliest days facilitates a true bond of loyalty and respect that makes this type of relationship work.

At the time of actually making the purchase, try to spend a while with the entire litter of dogs if you can, monitoring the dog's attitude and interactions with the others. Pay attention to which dog is likely to bond with you, and be sure to heed all advice from the breeder. The very best time to bring puppies home is anywhere between the 7- and 9-month age points.

Useful Dog Training Advice

There can be little doubt that each dog is different and needs a customized approach to training. The specific hunting purposes and breed characteristics will be highly determinative of the right road to take. However, there are some constants that apply to most hunting dogs.

Provided you are able to closely control a dog's environment and guide his or her behavior, there is no reason that the training process needs to be difficult or unpleasant. For instance, if your dog is meant to be a waterfowl retriever, make certain to get him or her comfortable with water from the earliest moment. You want to dog to associate water with fun, play and ultimately, praise.

Gradually introduce the dog to the surrounding world, beginning with his crate, moving to the rest of the house, then the yard, and eventually the hunting ground. Teaching simple sit and stay commands should come first, as these are the stepping stones for more detailed commands needed for hunting. Do not become frustrated if the dog does not initially respond, simply remember that you must get in the habit of triggering the desired response and reinforcing who is in control.

Let your dog spend time with other humans and dogs in a social way, but continue to practice hunting commands as well. Daily work will ensure that the relationship is effective as soon as possible.

Provide the dog with exposure to decoys as well as the unique scents of the species you plan to hunt. Dummies featuring these distinct smells will help teach the dog to recognize a true prey animal when one is encountered.

Practical exposure to hunting conditions at an early age will ensure that the dog is prepared for actual adventures in the field. This includes having the dog around guns and the noises they make.

Remember that positive reinforcement of good behavior is very effective, but it must not be excessive in nature. The point is to hone a dog's natural, breed-specific instincts.

Clearly, the road to owning a truly helpful and loyal hunting dog starts well before many might expect. By preparing in advance of the purchase itself and following some useful tips on training and bonding, a savvy hunter really can succeed in developing the strong relationship everyone seeks.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Who they are.

MASP Industries is a custom gun manufacturer based in Lincoln, NE They  set themselves apart from others by their core values to provide the best quality protection to those they care about most, their community. Whether that be next door or 4,000 miles away. Since 2013 they offer the highest quality products and professional services to their customers. Exceeding in these areas allows them meet their last core goal of a philanthropy oriented business model.

 The Mission

With your help, MASP Industries is honored to offer the opportunity to give back to those public servant’s families who have payed the ultimate price for our safety. MASP is producing a limited edition, limited run, custom designed “Fallen Series Thin Blue Line Glocks”. They will be giving 100% of the proceeds back to help support these hero's families. Only a very limited number of 500 are being manufactured, and when the 500 orders are reached, production will cease.

They are so excited to finally release this, and for YOU to be one of the lucky few to get your hands on this custom Limited Time Run  “Fallen Series” Thin Blue Line Glock 17.

This project represents everything they  at MASP do everyday. First, they are offering the absolute highest quality firearm that has come to be expected from MASP Industries. Second, it meets their ultimate goal of putting protection into the hands of those they care about around them, their community. Lastly, it reinforces their core value of giving and philanthropy, by all proceeds from the project going back to  grade-A non-profit charities that have aligning core values of protecting, providing, and giving.

This Limited Time Run Fallen Series Glock 17 will include:

-Decked out custom Cerakote and Engraved Designs

-Your choice of Gen 4 or Gen 5 Glock 17

- “1 of 500” Serial Number Engraving

-Custom Molded Thin Blue Line Pelican Case

-Certificate of Authenticity with Custom Serial Number

-MASP Industries' Premium Glock Upgrade Package (See Link!)
This project has been critiqued and designed at even the smallest detail to ensure it is the highest quality product they can give you for the best price.


When you purchase your Thin Blue Line Glock, MASPS gives you the opportunity to add an additional donation on top of ALL the proceeds going to charity. If you donate $100 or more you will automatically be entered into a rifle give away for one of MASP's MVP-15's ($1,300 value!)


Step up and be a hero to the families that have been effected by the loss of an officer.  Only 500 are being made, so do not hesitate on this purchase. Now is the time. Click the link, Purchase with Purpose, Support Fallen Officers Families.

Feel free to direct any questions to

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Essential Kayak hunting tips for beginners.

If you have followed this blog for long, you know I am a big believer in kayaks. I absolutely believe they are the most fun you can have fishing. The excitement of being down there with the action and having a large fish pull you around is absolutely unmatched in the outdoors. Couple that with the ability to go places boats cannot and the ability to go there silently makes them the perfect fishing platform.

I am not the only person who recognizes this and kayaks are getting more and more popular. Innovations are being made and the boundaries are being pushed in what they can do. Gone are the days that kayaks are used solely for touring. You name a water based outdoor adventure and someone has probably done it in a kayak.

One of the last frontiers we are seeing with kayaks is hunting. A few years ago I started seeing my friends go out duck hunting in their kayak. Some have even attempted larger game, gaining access to hard to reach public land for deer, turkey, and varmints.

You can sneak up close to game in a kayak

Like kayak fishing, kayak hunting requires careful planning and gear selection. It takes a lot of effort, but the effort is often well worth it.

The first thing you need to look into is the laws concerning both boating and hunting. It can get complex depending on your area. In my state, it is illegal to shoot deer from a boat. You also must have safety lights, even on a kayak, at night. Your state or country will have different laws, so just go over them carefully before you do anything else.

After you make sure you are doing everything legally, you need to make sure you do everything safely. For this you will need some gear. The most obvious is a PFD. If you are in a kayak you should be wearing one. Period. Other than drowning, the biggest danger is hypothermia. Hunting is mostly done in cold weather. A dunk in a lake with your normal hunting cloths in near freezing weather is deadly. You will get very cold very quickly. You need to be wearing a good pair of insulated waders with a belt (so they do not fill up) and a dry top. A dry top is a pullover type jacket that is designed to keep you dry. They are somewhat expensive, but just as necessary as a PFD. Another option would be a complete dry suit. Although they can be on the spendy side.

Another consideration is your kayak itself. A small kayak might not cut it. It needs to be able to carry you, your gear, and your kill. Check its weight rating and add at least 150 pounds to your weight. Can it handle it?
Some of my closest wildlife encounters have been from a kayak

Ok, so you have squared away the legal and safety stuff, now onto the fun stuff!

The main purpose of a kayak when hunting is to get you to a good spot, a spot no one else has access too. Sometime this means an hour or more paddling. Be sure you have a good seat so you can sit comfortably. A good paddle is also important. I like a long touring paddle, but you will need to try several to find a type that fits your style.

Depending on your quarry, you may need some specific hunting gear.

Duck hunting requires the most gear. They sell some amazing camo for kayaks. You can turn it into a small floating blind if you wish! Some people I know tow a small raft for all their decoys and camo. Waterproof storage of ammo and your gun should also be considered. My kayak has a waterproof opening in the center that fits a shotgun perfectly, however not all do. You need to carefully consider this.

I need to throw a blanket in there to protect my baby
Deer and other larger game come with their own needs. Most importantly, how are you going to bring your kill back? For small game there are specially designed coolers to keep your catch on ice. Larger game will need to be lashed to the deck of your kayak. This can get very tricky. You need to have the straps and a good plan for accomplishing this. Having a deer fall off your kayak or causing you to capsize is a nightmare I don’t even want to think about!

Using a kayak to hunt can give you the edge you need, especially on public land. However, it does come with a lot of extra considerations. Do your homework. Make a plan. Get the right gear. You will not regret it!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gear Spotlight: Big Daddy Car Roof Bag

Wow! I have been going through a lot of changes lately! Two fairly big ones that affect this blog.

First, I got a new truck! I drove my old ’99 Toyota Tacoma for most of my adult life and loved it. However, it had a major rust problem. I could put my fist through some of the holes in its frame. Considering I drove my kids around in it, I just did not feel safe in it any more.

So, I got a Honda Ridgeline!

Big upgrade. It is nicer than the Toyota in almost every way. Safer to be sure, but also much, much more cargo capacity.

Change #2: We are moving out of the city and into the mountains!

Yea, this is the big one.

I’m not going to go into details, but moving is complicated. The company is paying for the move, so we have movers. Naturally, there is a gap between when our stuff leaves and when it arrives. So for this three or four day period my family, complete with three dogs, will be living with just what we can fit in that new truck.

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that the moving company will not move some things. Namely firearms and ammunition……. I have a lot of those. So, they need to find a place in my truck also.

As you can imagine, I am looking for ways to expand the storage in my truck. There are many options, but for me the best bet is going to be the Big Daddy Car Roof Bag.

This thing is amazing! First of all, I don’t need a roof rack to use it. It works with roof racks, but if you don’t have one, no problem.  It uses straps that install through your cabin making it super secure. It is also fairly easy to install. Easier than a traditional rooftop carrier to be sure.

It is also large. 14 cubic feet large! That is the size of the trunk in my wife’s car! We will be able to get most of our “extra” stuff up there. If you are going camping it would fit your tent, four sleeping bags and mats, plus your food with room to spare! 14 cubic feet might not sound like a lot, but it is!

Now, some rooftop bags have a problem with leaking. Not this one. It is rubberized and sealed. The stuff inside will not get wet. Period. This was a big sticking point for me. We will be moving in the dead of winter and it will be our household stuff up there, it cannot get wet.

I don’t plan on using mine often so storage of the actual bag when I’m not using it is a concern. Thankfully it is fully collapsible and stuffs down into a stuff bag. Much smaller than a sleeping bag. Easy peazy! I can just store it with my camping gear.

I should probably mention how inexpensive it is. Very inexpensive. You can buy them from their web site for £69.99 (about $94) or on Amazon. Here is a link to the Amazon listing. They are out of stock on Amazon right now, but I have been told that they will be back in stock mid January. This comes with everything, including all the straps you need plus a roof mat and stuff bag!

If you are looking for roof top storage for your car or truck, I recommend trying the Big Daddy Car Roof Bag. I think it is a good choice!

While you are on their web site, check out their other products. They have a lot of unique, well designed products, including a kids camping cot. I think we will see a lot more out of this company in the future. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

How to Catch Yellow Perch

If you are just starting to take up fishing or an active fisher for years, this articles information will make you a top perch fisherman. You will be able to learn the necessary technique that will allow you get a good catch, and you will not have to return empty-handed when you learn how to catch yellow perch in this article.

Yellow perch is United States and Canadian fish found in freshwater. These fish are referred to more simply as just "perch", a light yellow overall body colour with dark vertical lines down each side. Its size varies from between 4 and 15 inches in length (Commonly a maximum around 40cm) and usually stops at four pounds. The meat flavour is very sweet, easy to fillet from the fish, and tastes excellent deep fried in a flour based batter.

Perch is a regular name for several various types different fish species, it's common relatives are European redfin perch, and Balkhash perch. They are a carnivorous freshwater fish and are usually found in rivers, lakes, ponds, farmers water storages and streams. Their diet consists of shellfish, small fish, and water breeding insects. They are by far the most popular freshwater fish among fishermen, they commonly travel only in schools and become most active during dawn and at dusk, both times are commonly associated with when they are most prone to seek food.
You do not need a thick fishing line and a long fishing rod to catch perch.

You only need a 6 lbs line and the lightweight fishing rod to get started. The yellow perch also love live bait, and you can use baby perch as bait which is very productive. You have the absolute best opportunity to catch perch in live bait. Ensure small hooks are used as yellow perch are not a big fish, so you will need a small hook to ensure your fish always hooks up after taking a bite at your bait or lures. A small hook and a small piece cut from a live worm will do wonders for you.
Fish in and around rock beds, and also weed beds, as these fish often use areas such as this to hide, waiting to feed on other small species, including their own.

The best advice is not to fish for perch swimming in large open waters. It also implies that you won’t find this fish in a large open body of water. Often the most productive fishing can be had in the morning or right after dinner, just before and during sunset.

Perch will frequently school with other small fish such as smaller bass. Generally where you find one, there are many others around the same area. Trolling a lure or casting a weedless lure directly over weed beds can make the fishing better too. Synthetic fishing lures often work extremely well, but you have to pick the right type; otherwise, you're wasting your time. A lightweight jig as well as a set of poppers is what we recommend.

Although methods of fishing for perch have changed over the decades, their love for food has not. Live bait in the form of smaller fish is usually much more effective than using artificial fishing lures. One of the best baits to use is soft shell crayfish. This kind of bait works throughout the year. If the soft shells are not available, then freshwater minnows definitely work perfectly in the cold water, while night crawlers regularly work better with warmer water, you can also use google to find a fishing store online to obtain lures and fishing information.

A crappie rig provides an excellent way to catch perch, they can also be used to test and see whether fish are biting your area. Personally, I like to rig up various live baits in a simple crappie rig and troll to see what is striking. Once I know, I will double up the bait on the rig and start taking on the fish, loading up the boat. Nothing is more exciting than times when you are able to nail two big perch in one go.

If crappie rigs are not your cup of tea, a simple slip based bobber setup used floating and waiting for a strike, will also work very well.

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