Observations On Catching High Pressure Trout


Within every sportsman and woman lies the desire to seek wild places- to seek what is unseen.  There also lies within each of us to re-discover the aloof persona of the ancient trappers and hunters who first transversed the contours of the newly discovered world.  

In attempts to seek the wild places, we tread along the dangerous line between adventure and loneliness.   This line can often take the form of 3x fly tippet.

fly tippetWhether or not you are fishing after tradition, adventure, or for food, trout fishing in the winter and early spring time is near ritualistic for many individuals.  With many states hosting strong stocking programs, the put-and-take allow many fishermen and women the chance at a different species of fish than they are used to chasing.  For some, it is as if they are getting a chance to fish pristine alpine meadows high in the Rockies- it may be the closest they ever get.

Opening day of trout season brings the masses to the creek and river sides, even if the waters are dangerously high and running with more power than a team of Clydesdales.   The most popular way it seems to catch these early spring fish are the classic giant bobber, hook and earthworm.  Although often scoffed at by fly-fishing purists, it is hard to scoff at anyone who pulls out a 19 inch native brown trout through muddy waters.  Regardless of your fishing orientation, after a few weeks of being hammered by the masses, it is no surprise, the fish become shy.

A decent catch.  This guy recently got engaged.

A decent catch. This guy recently got engaged.

A few ideas.

I am by no means an expert, but through trial, error and observation, have learned a few things over the years.

Move from big holes:

Like in life, anything worth catching requires a little searching.  Through observation, many of the early springtime crowds focus on the easy to reach holes.  Granted, these tend to also be where the stocking occurs, however, hiking above or below the most fished holes, not even all that far, can result in less pressured pockets of water.  Seems obvious but you would be amazed at the number of people I never see even 50 yards above a main hole.

One of my favorite childhood tributaries running off of Lake Ontario  was a popular place for local anglers chasing big brown trout and steelhead.  My best friend grew up directly across the street from the biggest and deepest hole on the creek.  Yes, we always did well in that giant pool.  Yet when the heat of the day would come, and everyone and their mother would line the banks, we would head down stream through neighbors backyards, jumping trash piles running past the occasional dog.  Beyond the easiest pool we found untouched pools and we did quite well floating sponge through the small rapid which dumped into a seeming abyss lined by stone on the far bank and a large undercut bank on the right.  We never saw another person on that hole.

Throwing it back to the old days.  Growing up was a blast.  Throw in a good sized steelhead and we felt like mountain men.

Throwing it back to the old days. Growing up was a blast. Throw in a good sized steelhead and we felt like mountain men.

Moving from the main hole not 100 yards from everyone else, one of my good friends caught a rare native brookie.

Moving from the main hole not 100 yards from everyone else, one of my good friends caught a rare native brookie.

Pay closer attention to the hatch and natural insects:

With the majority of anglers using the trusty  worm, bobber and sinker- changing your approach can yield results.  Even if you do not fly-fish, take a closer look at the bugs and minnows traversing the waters.  even with spinning gear, you can “match the hatch” so to say, giving the fish a different presentation may be a key to your success.  Even with spinning gear, I have caught plenty of fish floating a beaded wooly booger down the current.

Target native fish populations:

Native populations?  What I mean is, target the creeks which hold naturally reproducing fish, not stocked populations.  This is by far much more difficult however, there tends to be less crowds and thus less pressured fish.  Targeting native fish requires even closer attention to detail.  From lure and bait size, to knot neatness, presentation and approach to the stream all play into catching native fish.  

A beautiful native brown fell to a wooly bugger in run at the bottom of a rock slide.

A beautiful native brown fell to a wooly bugger in a run at the bottom of a rock slide.

Find a deep pool, drop a line, set the hook hard!

PWL.

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First Published Magazine Article


Passing my small student mailbox, I stopped, my heart jumped.  Folded into the small space was a large white envolope.  I frantically began trying to unlock the box- my hands were trembling.  Tearing the envelope to shreds with my eyes nearly welled up with tears as I dropped to my knees in the campus center.  Countless nights of frustration, determination, and working to the point of wanting to puke while getting nothing in return flashed through my head.   My first print article had finally arrived in the mail.

Although people say print is dying, it is the dream of every writer to be published in print.  According to my professional mentors, being published in print is the equivalent of saying, you made it, you have what it takes to make it, you have been legitimized.

The magazine is a small Christian Hunting Magazine called Pure Hunting.  Small, but I do not care, after starting this crazy journey two and half years ago out of my dorm room, to finally be in print- all the hours of working for the love of writing have finally paid off.

The story is about the intense internal battle I had last spring while turkey hunting with a good friend.  That is all I’ll tell you now.

 

The journey is just beginning- college is over in four weeks, then life really begins.  But one of the most important lessons I’ve learned through this journey is,  the best way to celebrate success- more hard work.

 

To learn more about this magazine go to http://www.purehuntingmagazine.com/

 

Thank you everyone who has supported me through this journey the past few years. It is much appreciated.

 

 

Me with y collegiate hunting partner and one of my best friends, Austin Groff

Me with y collegiate hunting partner and one of my best friends, Austin Groff

photo1

By ______ – a sight all aspiring writers long to see.

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We Entered An Ice Fishing Tournament. Part 2


Part Two:  You are probably wondering why we have no pictures to go along with this story.  Here is why.

After several hours of hauling good sized perch on the first day of the NewYork Pro Am Ice Fishing Tournament,  the spirits of my brother Austen and I were rather high.  While spot fishing through our ice holes the words we craved to hear all morning finally happened.

 

Austen: WE GOT A FLAG!

 

Dropping our jig rods and bailing out of the Primos Double Bull Blind, we carefully approached the triggered tip up.  To our relief, the spool on the Wally World brand tip-up  was moving at a consistent rate.  Austen had learned better specifics on catching pike on tip-ups from our cousin last winter and as he tenderly removed the cheap sticks from the hole, he waited for the moment the line paused.  With one authoritative jerk of his hand the treble hook buried itself into the norther, which began stripping line.  Since I had gloves, my job was to actually pull the fish to the surface.  We are no strangers to pike and know how big northerns fight.  We both  talked rapidly to each other coaching each other as we gingerly brought this fish towards the light.  We knew we HAD to land this fish- it could catapult us into the thick of the competition.  And as the kids in this competition, we needed everything pound of fish possible.

 

 

One flash of the big females face of the hole sent her diving back to the bottom.  The classic pike dive  burned the twine against my gloves and  drove our adrenaline to dangerous heights.  Gingerly, I worked the fish back towards the surface.  As  pike’s bone crushing head came though the ice, Austen sacrificed the safety of his hand throwing it into the gills of the fish, rocketing it onto the ice.  It’s true size shocked the two of us and we quickly  made idiots out of ourselves in our victory embrace.  Our embrace was much more than just about the fish, it was a memory created for life and a re-affirmation we could hold our own against older fishermen.

 

 

 

However, with the high point in our morning came the beginning of the steep downside of the morning.  IN a sudden burst of wind, our blind was shoved several feet.   Falling on my face in an attempt to run for the blind, I soon discovered something- my jig rod had been shoved into the hole.

 

Now I am not one to be deterred easily and soon after weighing the fish ( which at the time was the largest fish at that end of the lake) I was back to fishing.   The wind began to pick up at an alarming rate.  We did not have any way to stake down the blind and thus had to hold it down by our own body weight.  This sort of worked until another flag went up.  Austen bailed, leaving me in the blind- and as I stood, the blind again took flight, shoving our only back up pole into the hole…… again.

 

The wind was picking up to incredible speeds, reports of over 50 miles per hour.  We had not caught a single perch since weighing in.  The wind only added to our frustration of loosing a second pole.  I made the half mile walk back to the bait shop to buy the cheapest jig pole I could find.  Downing two candy bars and my first Mountain  Dew in years to spike my sugar levels I finally reached  Austen, who had our third and most expensive loss of the day.

 

“Dude- I lost my phone down the hole………”

While checking the tip ups while I was gone, his phone slipped from his pocket.

 

By this time in the morning, the wind was blowing with the equivalent of a small tropical storm.  Multiple times we were nearly blown over and had to jump on the blind to collapse in order to save it.  The Double Bull would have made a great parachute that day.  After not being able to fish for nearly two hours, we joined everyone in bailing off the ice.

 

After talking with folks, we caught the notion, we were actually in contention to place.  It actually turned out we were in 5th place after day 1.

Wind burned and exhausted, we crashed in our beds the moment we returned to the shelter of our house.

Knowing we needed a huge second day to stay in contention, we hit the ice day two with the same but slightly exhausted enthusiasm.  However, the bite was slow, no big perch, not a single pike bite.  We dropped to a final 11th place.  11th still put us in the top 50% of teams, which for our first tournament, was not a bad weekend of fishing.

 

Thanks for talking me into it Austen, what a riot

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We Entered An Ice Fishing Tournament Part 1


Like the tiny crystalline snowflakes reflecting on the powder snow, so too did the stars twinkle resemble the frozen molecules in the 5 am sky.   Muffled voices mixed with the smell of  burning menthol circulated among the group of bundled group of men and women with the sled arrays of ice fishing equipment at the starting line of the New York Pro Am Ice Fishing Tournament on Sodus Bay February 23 and 24 2014.

 

Two weeks earlier, my younger brother Austen had called and convinced me to enter a the pro division of the second largest cash prize ice fishing tournament in the country.  I have a hard time turning down any adventure.  Looking at the potential prize pool also added fuel to the competitive area of my brain.  Obviously the question loomed in my mind- could we compete in the Pro Division?  While fishing is hardly anything new to me, ice fishing has become a new found love in this endless winter. Sitting over an eight inch hole in the ice watching for the bounce-bounce- bounce of my jig rod has become like any vaccination I’ve received- injected directly into my blood stream.

 

With a rare upward spike in temperature, the formerly knee deep snow was reduced to slush.  Only re-freezing overnight, the hollow cap of slush was easily broken through by both foot and machine.  The majority of the teams rode atvs, but due to the thin slush layer over the 12 plus inches of solid ice, my brother and I easily kept up and even out paced the machines to our spot between 12-15 feet of water.

 

 

Setting up in under the canopy of stars was near magical- you really knew you were alive.  We don’t own a depth finder for the ice or a camera, we only could guess as to our depth based upon our own calculations looking on water depth maps on our smart phones and the fisherman’s internal hunch.  That hunch you get in the middle of your stomach, which has guided fishermen for eon’s.  Our hunch and calculated guess led us to setting our 12 dollar tip-ups and jig holes unknowingly on the downward slope of a drop off- on the line of weeds and a sand bar.  This change in sub-aqua contours and vegetation put us in the perfect position to target big perch and the elusive Northern Pike.

 

 

Since we are new to avidly chasing fish on hard-water, we do not own a true ice fishing shanty.  Our shanty is our Primos Double Bull Blind with every window closed as much as possible.  Not the greatest thing in the world but hey, any port in a storm.   Having forgotten a headlamp, we worked and began fishing under the light of my phone’s flashlight app.  But that app sucked that battery down faster than the rate the perch began hitting.  With a dead phone the sun began illuminating the ice, a perfect blue bird day.

 

Bounce by bounce, good sized perch began coming though the frozen surface.  Decent sized fish in the 9 inch range.  We fished trying to catch fish by feeling for the tap of the perch.  This changed when we realized, we could see the bottom through the ice.  To make matters even better, we could easily identify dark objects swimming below.  Spot fishing through the ice greatly increased our rate of landing fish.  We were able to keep our baits away from the smaller fish and present the baits to the larger looming black objects. Within minutes of discovering this ability to successfully spot fish through the ice we landed a pair of 1 pound perch.

 

Since we have shared multiple intense moments in the wild, I know my brother better than most.  I know specifically when he is genuinely shocked.  His face elongates jaw dropping and his eyes become huge, the color in his face drains and the words “OH-MY- GOSH”, rolled off his tongue in fragmented exasperated syllables.  I knew he had hooked a giant perch when this scenario played out as we hovered over the ice holes.  The largest perch I have ever seen Austen hurriedly pulled through the ice and we tossed in our cooler to limit the chances of dropping the perch through the hole.

Something which shortly became a theme.

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Veins Of Ice


What connects you to your family?

Frozen lakes and ponds give the impression of desolation and death, leaving little to the imagination of those driving by.  If solid sheets of ice look boring to the passerby, imagine trying to explain the fun of staring at an eight inch hole in the ice for hours upon end.  Patience and willingness to brave incredible wind and cold in pursuit of the aquatic life beneath the ice requires you to be driven, or touched.  Selling the idea to someone else takes an incredible amount of enthusiasm, and a stroke of stupidity at times as well.  But as is the case, everyone has someone, or even a few people in their lives, who will never say no to a good adventure.  Either they are as touched as you, love the thrill of adventure, or both.

For being new to ice fishing, I guess this isn't a bad start. (Photo Credits- Austen Reid)

For being new to ice fishing, I guess this isn’t a bad start.
(Photo Credits- Austen Reid)

Gray clouds dimmed the atmospheric lights  in the Superbowl Sunday late afternoon.  Wind  buzzing from the North made our hunting blind turned ice fishing shanty feel like we were wearing toilet paper.  How dumb do you really have to be to be out there?  We could be at home ready to chow down on hot pizza and pulled pork.  But the idea of giant perch drove us both insane.

Are we dedicated sportsmen or just touched?

Are we dedicated sportsmen or just touched?

The silent stares of my brother and I at the three ice holes in front of us said more than words.  In-fact, the silence was richer than words.  The only words which really mattered here were:  “getting a bite, watch that pole, got one, pass the minnows, and, stand up I need to throw this perch into the cooler.”  The silence which we shared in the dimly lit hunting blind spoke to the strength of a friendship and brotherhood.  A silent understanding.  Only those who share the same ice in their veins of silent understanding can stand each other enough to trek into the mountains of ridiculousness.  I mean honestly, only complete knuckleheads can call silently staring at jig poles on the cold ice for hours one of the best adventures of their life.

The common thread connects families.   The only time my mother ever fished with us.

The common thread connects families. The only time my mother ever fished with us.

After an hour of not catching anything on the cold ice, most people would turn to their partner and want to leave.  Since Austen and I share the same veins of ice, our silence meant, “we stick this out until he have to leave.”  But when you share the same veins of ice, you figure things out until a solution is found.  By mixing and matching, trying different depths and jigging movements in silent determination, we found a combination which worked.

I couldn’t help but laugh at Austen’s antics every-time he missed a bite.  Actually, we both would act like little kids each time we missed a bite.  Unlike the middle of summer when perch seem to be much  more aggressive, hooking one of these fish in the middle of winter can be compared to the finesse of dancing.  Movements too early or too late result in a blown attempt in front of perch who have the decision tastes of Olympic judges.  Austen became a master of this finesse fishing.  Watching the tap, tap, tap of his pole for the right moment, “finding the touch”.   Eventually he scored a 13 inch jumbo perch.  I could see the golden radiance of the monster perch through the other holes as it came to the surface.  Our eyes were large with the astonishment of victory.  For a brief moment, we were as loud as the Seahawks nation would be later in the evening.

I vote touched.

I vote touched.

5:30pm rolled around leaving us with an hour until the Superbowl and guests were already at our house.  We smiled at each other, we shared the same veins of ice, we moved together as one unit.  Sharing the same veins of ice does not refer to just ice-fishing, but the same focus, drive, love and enthusiasm  you share with another person for adventure.  Sharing veins of ice means regardless of terrain, conditions, or time, external environments are never subject to the word no.

 

Who do you share veins of ice with?  What connects you deeper than words with your friends or family?  Can you identify it?

 

What are your Veins of Ice which connect you?

What are your Veins of Ice which connect you?

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Line Up For Ducks


During this past late waterfowl season, I had a chance to learn about a style of decoying with which I was unfamiliar.  Using long lines for decoying was interesting to learn and quite effective for diver ducks.  I had a chance to learn more about long lines from a local guide who hammers unique diver ducks each season.

Enjoy.

http://www.heartlandlodge.com/publisher/General-Hunting-Blog/2014/1/28/Lining-Up-For-Ducks–Understanding-Long-Line-Decoying

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Cold And Brutal


All three wire indicators bouncing almost simultaneously at the end of our jig poles had my friend Ben and me on edge.  Staring at three desolate holes in the ice, we knew perch were tasting our minnows.   With one solid bite, my left hand reacted on instincts, grabbing the small rod and reeling to the surface a respectable 13 inch jack perch.    While brief stunned expressions of disbelief were exchanged between Ben and me, please understand, this was a hard earned fish.  But it was what we had nearly frozen ourselves and drove half way across the state to find.

grumpy old menDrawn to the ice by the allure of reports of people hammering giant jack perch on the frozen lakes in the surrounding areas, I should have checked my fantasies at the shore.  Yes, ice fishing can reveal incredible numbers of fish, however, while this polar vortex has most of the country trapped under an arctic spell, my luck was a warm as the air.  But alas, I am stubborn and can never turn down an adventure.  Having done minimal ice fishing in my life, I could feel the ice calling my name.

Saturday the winds on Honeyoe Lake were brutal enough to have flown a sail boat.  Peering out from the little windows in Ben’s shanty, I felt sorry for the guys next to us in lawn chairs.  At least the shanty provided wind protection.  For seven hours we stared into the ice, hoping for a bite. And as I was caught in my own thoughts I realized, what a brutal existence ice fishing is.

Don’t get me wrong though, it was a total blast. Throw in a good mix of snacks and conversation, time actually went by quickly.  Better to have a line through the ice than be bored in my dorm room.   I have a total understanding now for what made the Grumpy Old Men so grumpy.

 

big perch

I did learn a few things:

  1. Use smaller minnows.  The minnows we bought from the bait shop guy were far to large for perch.  They were only tasting the minnows and not actually taking a big bite.  Once we began cutting the minnows into smaller pieces, we began hooking a few fish.
  2. Staying warm. As I said, ice fishing can be a brutal existence.   If you think you have enough layers on, put on another layer when it is cold and windy.
  3. Proper Hat; Heat escapes through your head.  Make sure you have or invest in head-gear with thick enough insulation to keep your body warm.  I love my Mad Bomber hat for this reason.
  4. Food and water: Bring plenty.  The wind and cold sap your body more than you realize.  Staying hydrated especially can make a difference in how long you last.  Keep water in thermoses to keep water in liquid form.

Although we traveled quite a ways for only one good fish, any hard core fisherman will tell you, it was totally worth it.  3 holes

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Polar Duck Hunting


“Dude, get up, let’s go duck hunting.”  My younger brother had flicked on my lights at 5am not even nine hours after getting home from the ATA show in Nashville.  After two cups of coffee, my brother, a friend, and I were slipping with each step carrying decoys and a red kayak out onto the ice-pack.   These frozen waves of Lake Ontario were well over ten feet thick and had extended its slippery reach about 100 yards away from the shore.    Fractured cracks in the ice pack  provided incredible hiding spots.  It may have been stupid, but hey, great ambush points.

Austen, Greg and myself.

Austen, Greg, and myself.

Barking orders like a general, my younger brother and family waterfowl expert, Austen, ordered us around  positing decoys and getting into shooting positions as gun shots hummed like thunder in the distance.   Soon, low softball sized dots scuttling across the water would zip by our long lines spread and every once in a while  they would cup their wings and set.  My good friend Greg, who has never hunted ducks until this late season, was a natural wing shooter and looked more like a seasoned veteran the way birds fell like rain each time his gun went off.  Doing an on your own hunt, buying all your own gear, learning how to set up decoys, and being successful was a great way to celebrate an incredible ATA show.

Feeling very victorious after a great ATA and duck shoot.

Feeling very victorious after a great ATA and duck shoot.

Late season duck hunting is feast or famine.  I’ve spent my fair share of deathly cold mornings staring at a a barren field.  In the years of pursuing post Christmas waterfowl, I’ve picked up on a few things.

Weather Patterns:

As you plan your winter hunts, watch weather patterns.  In the hunt described above, we ended up killing 10 ducks that morning on the big open waters of Lake Ontario.  One reason being, warm air had pushed from the south pushing birds back to the north.  If you have the ability, follow the warm air patterns.

Open Water:

Open water in the late seasons can be the equivalent of finding diamonds.  Ponds and swamps will more than likely be frozen so here are a few places to look: lakes and creeks.  Lakes tend to take a bit longer to freeze giving you time to hunt and the open waters give the birds a place to roost.   Creeks running through agricultural fields should stay open since it is moving.

Austen with his first Old Squaw duck.  This is how the avian flu is spread.

Austen with his first Old Squaw duck. This is how the avian flu is spread.

Big Water Points.

The late season chasing any species of animal usually deals an interesting hand.   Many of us will not have flowing creeks or plentiful corn fields to set up in.  More than a fair share of ducks have fallen on big waters.  If you are forced to hunt big water, find geographical points or peninsulas.  Setting up directly out front of a point gives you a greater chance of birds flying within range.  This increases your decoy visibility.  However, depending on the wind, one may want to consider setting up slightly on either side of the point.  I observed that late season birds would fly along the closest geographical land point.  Several times we had birds bust us by flying around the corner to our right with no warning.  Ducks preferred to stay on the water side of the point and would fly around that point putting them in barrel stuffing gun range.

Greg and me.

Greg and me.

After spending a week in Nashville, my shooting was a bit rusty and was lucky to go home with three.  Although we ended with ten birds total, the number of birds could not do justice to the incredible adventure of hunting ducks in an arctic style setting.

While walking back to the truck we met a guy taking pictures of the shoreline.   Despite still clothed in full duck hunting apparel the man asked, “What are you guys hunting?”

Me- “Polar bears, had a shot at one as it floated in on an iceberg from Canada.  We got his Coke too.”

Austen-” We even had a shot at a Walrus coo-coo-chachoo.”

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My First ATA Show


Bright florescent lights beamed a glare down upon the bustle of people and tow motors.  The team hustled ahead as my imagination ran wild and I’ll be honest, words really couldn’t do justice to what I was seeing.  My mind felt numb.  From mindless blogging in my dorm room to walking the aisles of the ATA show as an intern with HAWK™ and Killer Instinct™, I couldn’t thank God enough for his blessings.  As our booth  began to take shape and come together, my boss and I smiled at each other, the treestand game was about to be changed.

photo (66)

I have to tip my hat to the design team behind the new HAWK™ treetands and accessories and Killer Instinct™ Crossbows.  This team has poured every mental fiber of strength they have had over the past year in pursuit of a larger goal.  The out-pouring of interest  over the three day show was overwhelming, making the time and sacrifice of each team member completely worth it.

WarBird™ Climber.  Aluminum stand retailing for around $269.99

WarBird™ Climber. Aluminum stand retailing for around $269.99

 

Walking the first morning into the show, my stomach may have well been a fish tank from the way it was swimming with nerves.  I sent a text to my father to say a prayer for clarity.  His response, “Will do, welcome to the show.”  As an executive in another industry, he knew full well the nerves I was experiencing.

wingspan

Soon enough my meeting schedule was in full swing and as the media contact, this meant meeting with tons of cool people.  From magazines to TV shows, press members and buyers every time I turned around I was talking with someone.

As time rolled on, I became much more comfortable and confident talking with people and being interviewed on camera.

Inevitably, celebrities were walking the floor.  Now you must understand something, when each person reflects back on their childhoods, everyone has something which signifies their  young years.  My mother tells me when she thinks of my childhood, she remembers many of these people on VHS from the 90’s.  Those people such as Will Primos, Tom Miranda, Brad Farris, Bill Jordan and David Blanton.  For those who have never had a chance to meet some of the icons of the outdoor industry, they are real people.  There is not an arrogant bone in these people.  They just work hard, like really hard.  I met Tom Miranda and told him my brothers and I grew up watching Advantage Adventures and he was nothing but appreciative.

 

Killer Instinct™ Crossbows.

Killer Instinct™ Crossbows.

As the show wore on, buzz about this new company with sharp looking gear began to spread, fast.  The ATA show is in a very large convention center and we had people from the other side of the building coming over to check out the gear for themselves.  People were bringing their friends to the booth and giving them the run down without any of our help.  More than once we were told, “This is the best looking stuff in this entire room.”

 

SAFE-TREAD PR

I learned a ton at my first ATA show and am more than excited about the overwhelming interest in the new gear.    There were lots of questions asked, but the most frequently asked question was, “where can I get the new HAWK™ treestands/gear?”  The answer- we are working hard on getting the new gear placed.

Here are a few videos from the show.

 

Helium™

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D9IY6YYSpM 

Introducing the Killer Instinct™ Crossbows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFyYubEOw58&list=PLVZgJohXVfzjUZ3S1DPGT5c2BPfEJcn5x&index=73

Accessories

 

I want to say thank you first and foremost to the HAWK™ and Killer Instinct™ team.  You guys did great and thank you for giving me a chance to work alongside you.

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Murphy Puked


While there have been many highlights of my year, there have also been some moments which just make you shake your head.  This morning at 5:30am my little 4 Runner was packed full of people, gear, and my dog with little room to move as several  of us attempted to go hunt ducks.  Just as we were about to turn onto the highway, I heard a dreadful scream from the back right seat in which Austen was sitting.  “NOOOOOOO NO NOOOO Murphy you idiot! Ugh its all over my lap!”  A smell which would have subdued a rhinoceros, hit everyone’s gag reflexes.  Murphy had puked all over the back seat sparing nothing, not Austen’s lap or gun. Pulling  over to the side of the road next to someones house,  everyone piled  out of the truck about to lose their own stomach contents.  Austen jumped into a random snow bank and practically gave the snowbank a lap dance such was his ferocity in trying to remove the puke from his pants.  Dreading the next scene, I looked into the back seat at the now tiny lake of dog puke landlocked by my seats.  “Oh sweet Lord,” But for as frustrated I was, there was nothing to do but laugh the situation off.  Piling snow onto the small lagoon of goo was the only reasonable solution for the time being.  While the snow soaked up most of the puke, there is now a very very large discolored stain in my back seat.  Not that my truck was any cleaner beforehand, due to hunting season but, Levi brought up a good point.  Any chance I had of finding a woman just plummeted like a duck being smacked by a wad of #2 shot.  While now be solidified deep in the negative percentile of “luck” per-say,  I guess I really have no choice, I‘ve got to get this truck professionally cleaned before next semester.

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