Poor Man Shrimping

Often referred to as the poor mans shrimp, perch are some of the best eating and fun to catch anyone with just a piece of string and a stick can catch.  Portaging from one lake to the next with kayaks, my brother Austen and I sought out the best looking submerged logs, beaver dams and rocks we could find.  Targeting the under fished schools of giant perch which roam the lake of Northern NY, we eagerly tied on marabou jigs and tipped them off with grubs.

A deadly combination

A deadly combination

Finding perch was relatively easy,weeding through the small schools of fish to the lower depths where the big boys live, proved to be interesting.  We had to be more attentive to our presentations on this trip as the fish seemed spookier than usual.  But fish by fish, our boats began to fill.

One of the greatest scenes in the wild is having a big perch bend your light weight pole over and make the drag scream on your small reel.  With a large open mouth  darting frantically in and out of the branches of a downed in efforts to lose the hook, big perch offer excitement for all age ranges.

Thank you Bass Pro Shops

Thank you Bass Pro Shops

One of the nice things about being a bit older is the ability to take off on an adventure by ourselves.   To be able to implement the skills passed down from parents and grandparents and be successful in the lakes and ponds in which they learned to fish is a special feeling.  At the end of this day, we totaled 64 perch averaging over 10 inches.  The biggest was 13inches.  Our total weight was over 30 pounds of fish.  We spent over 2 hours cleaning those fish, and the cookout was amazing.

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A quick shout out to Bass Pro Shops Marabou Jigs.  They give great action, are built well for hours of action and are able to get past many of the smaller fish to the depths of the larger fish faster.  I highly recommend these jigs if looking to score big on perch or crappie.  

Brotherly love...... and perch.

Brotherly love…… and perch.

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July Book Of The Month: Backcountry Bowhunting.

July Book Of The Month: Backcountry Bowhunting- A Guide to the Wild Side

Author: Cameron Hanes

Page Count: 287

Wilderness is an area, the backcountry is a position.  A place of mystery and peril.  One of the last places survival of the fittest rules without mercy.    We as hunters are intrigued by its mystery and adventure.  Many travel to these far haunts in search of game and adventure, few succeed, many are beaten. 

If you’ve noticed, there has been a change in the overall approach we take to hunting in the past ten years.   The mentality towards preparing for the hunt, where we hunt and how we hunt, while influenced by many, has been largely influenced by the work of Cameron Hanes.

The cover alone is enough to make you want to read.  Just wait until you start reading.

The cover alone is enough to make you want to read. Just wait until you start reading.

For those unfamiliar with Hanes work, he has redefined what preparation for hunting looks like through exercising and healthy living- inspiring hunters around the globe.  At the heart of his preparation, is his incredible passion for hunting the western backcountry.  His Oregon Roots and first hand lessons from the Eagle Cap Wilderness area are perhaps the best teacher anyone could ask for.   To help other extreme hunters, he translates those lessons into the book he claims is the pinnacle of his writing career, Backcountry Bowhunting- A Guide to the Wild Side.

Eagle Cap is one of the most rugged places on earth.

Eagle Cap is one of the most rugged places on earth.

Although originally published in 2006, our July book of the month is still completely relevant.  

Ok, so there is new gear and some technology has changed yet, the tactics, methods and purpose behind the book still speak wisdom.  Besides the tips, I thoroughly enjoy the incorporated stories from Hanes which help demonstrate how putting all the steps together can result in a a notched tag.  Paying attention to the stories not only provide great entertainment, but are inspiring. 

If planning a western, hunt, reading this book helps you understand from a mountain weary veteran the level of work and personal discomfort success requires.  

What I like most about this book, aside from the stories, is how Hanes discusses  the “soft skills”. Hard skills are often defined as technical abilities, soft skills are just the opposite.  They are your mental toughness, character and grit, which are not as easily taught as the hard skills of shooting a bow or reading a topographical map   Not only is this book loaded with strategies and practical tips, like switching alkaline, with lithium batteries, Hanes spends considerable time  talking about the mental games and personal trials one faces in the wilderness.  Personally, the pages discussing fear, desire, and mental conditioning I believe are the most valuable pages in this book.  In an age where the playing field among hunters is fairly even when it comes to gear, mental fortitude is the last great separating barrier among hunters in the field.  Hanes’ insight to mental preparation, fear and desire is enough to make anyone want to jump off the couch, throw away the potato chips and head for the weight room.  It has.  His social media page is filled with success stories of countless inspired hunters.  From scouting to off season conditioning, preparation is the heart of this book, and the core of Hanes success as a bowhunter

Each book is a signed copy.  This speaks volumes showing Hanes is thankful for each and every person who reads his work.

Each book is a signed copy. This speaks volumes showing Hanes is thankful for each and every person who reads his work.

Not only is this book a great learning and teaching tool, it is also a resource for planning your own trip.  Inevitably, as your eyes sweep across each page, you build your own mental image of what a trip could look like.  Our minds  begin spinning with the prospect of exploring new country and being challenged.  While beginning to calculate the lowest cost route to a high thrill adventure, we choose a target species of animal and think about different states to hunt.  The last section of the book is Cameron’s Loss of Life or Limb Rating System. He briefly describes several high adventure low cost DIY trips for people like you and me.   His rating system is based upon a five skull and crossbones rating.  Five being the most dangerous in which buying a one way flight ticket might be best to save money.   One skull and crossbones reflects the self inflicted danger of going into a hunt half hearted. He outlines DIY trips for elk in Idaho and Wyoming, mule deer in Nevada, and Sitka black-tail, Caribou and black bears in Alaska.  These short descriptions of fantastic DIY hunts are the flame you need to begin researching these areas and packing your gear.

Look, I’ve hunted the Eagle Cap Wilderness myself.  My father has actually tagged a few animals in this area.  Hunter to hunter, it is just as unforgiving as Hanes says it is.  Eagle Cap is downright brutal, there is no other way to describe  that chunk of country.  Because of my experience several years ago, I can attest- there is not an ounce of fluff in this book.    Whether you have the ability to travel to the west or not, even if you are like me and only have the ability to hunt whitetails in a neighboring state, Backcountry Bowhunting has something for each individual hunter.  A book you will never want to have too far away.

Puchase this book as well as other great gear at http://www.cameronhanes.com

Yes, I did wear a Cameron Hanes shirt under my college graduation gown.

Yes, I did wear a Cameron Hanes shirt under my college graduation gown.



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DIY Hunting Trip Regulations and Logistics Checklist

Out of state DIY hunts is something every hunter dreams about.  But research is certainly a large part of any hunt.  Different rules and regulations can become confusing to keep track of.   With many of us planning trips to other states,  copy and paste this into your own word document to help you plan for your own hunt.   This helps you clarify important rules and regulations each state might have.  It also helps you figure out the closest stores for supplies and meat care.  Hunts not logistically planned out well can be a cause of incredible headaches.  Austen Elk Upclose Picture

State :

Seasons :

Area :

Lodging :

Licensing :

Draw Application Period :

Antler Restrictions :

Baiting Laws:

Shooting Hours:

Daily/ Season Limit:

Sunday Hunting:

Closest Meat Locker/ Processing:

State Harvest Report Number : 

State Carcass Disposing Rules :

Transfer of Meat and Trophies From Field:

Transfer of Meat and Trophies Across State Lines:

Local DNR Phone Number:

Closest Sporting Goods Stores:

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Book Review: The Freelance Bowhunter

June Book of the Month:  The Freelance Bowhunter

Author: Bernie Barringer

Page Count: 208

Traveling to hunt has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years.  Whether a direct impact from media personalities or hunters plain driven by adventure, the desire to experience the thrill of pitting your instincts against game and new territory has never been higher.  However, while this desire lies within all of us to try something new, we also often find our fantasies washed away quickly once we reach the trail head.  Many nightmarish stories have come from hunters bombing off with high hopes only to be smacked harshly by nature through weather, pressure and a lack of research.  Yet, there are those among us who successfully notch a tag on these trips, some have even made a career doing so.  Some of these people include Cameron Hanes, Steven Rinella, and Berrnie Barringer.

Our first book of the month is focused on Bernie Barringer’s new book aptly titled, The Freelance Bowhunter.- DIY Strategies For The Traveling Whitetail Hunter.  The Freelance Bowhunter is not just another how-to book, it is a resource.  Barringer combines information on setting yourself up for success on DIY hunts with his own stories of success and failure.  Since he adds his own stories to the pages, you are not only entertained, but know Barringer is not selling you fluff.   Even though Barringer is a successful outdoor writer and he knows many icons of the outdoor world, does not mean he hunts differently than the majority of us.  His knowledge and tips are from the thousands of miles driven and hiked, battling the odds of arrowing a mature animal, away from home- usually on public land.  

Although this book covers many of the topics we hear about regularly, there are many topics we tend to take for granted.  Barringer dives deeper and each chapter is packed full with little details of golden truths.   Even down to the way you ask  questions to gain insider tips.  Barringer’s book forces us to reconsiderphoto1 (4) our approach to preparing for a DIY hunt.  

Barringer breaks down the DIY whitetail hunting concept from the top.  He helps us start with the big picture- why we want to attempt a DIY trip, actually.  He challenges us to take a deeper look at why we want to go to another state and hunt a place we have never been to.  He walks us through choosing a state with some incredible personal tips on  finding and picking an area through interpersonal communication and the power of the web. From there, Barringer even walks us to all the way to picking the tree you will touch off on a big deer.

Barringer really hammers home the concept of how to scout and why to spend precious time scouting a brand new area even with limited time.   He even breaks down ways to effectively use the web to scout an area from the kitchen table, using electronic topographic maps, to using trail cameras on public land.  Talking about trail cameras and their use is one of the hottest topics today.  Barringer outlines several small details in their use to improve success chances and should not be over looked.  His use of trail cameras has even forced me to reevaluate their use, purpose and place-even on my own properties.

Throughout the book, Barringer even shares his choices in gear and why he uses them for long DIY hunts.  This book helps with the learning curve of your own DIY hunt.  If you read this book and feel inspired to plan a hunt on your own, keep this book handy, and pay close attention to the times Barringer tells of unsuccessful ventures to avoid those mistakes.  

A great read with a good cup of coffee.

A great read with a good cup of coffee.

To further improve the resourcefulness of the book, Barringer outlines ways to stay warm with a full stomach when on the road.  There are several different methods of transporting your killed animal are discussed, one I’d had never considered until now.  And also, unconventional tactics to keep in your deck of cards until the pressure mounts and calls for a change in methods.  Barringer further helps other hunters like you and me by outlining state by state information.  From season dates to tag application dates and prices.   Above all, The Freelance Bowhunter is more than just a book, it is an idea and which lives among all of us.  These are trips and adventures at our fingertips.  Read this book, be inspired, research, put the petal to the metal and shoot straight.

For more information and articles from Bernie Barringer and to purchase your own copy of The Freelance Bowhunter, visit  www.bowhuntingroad.com/.

Deep Ravine Doe

Strategies like the ones outlined in this book helped us fill the freezer many times as collegiate hunters.

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Teaching Izzy To Fish

Scanning the murky waters of the small pond I hoped- no prayed, to the almighty for a small crappie, perch or bass to bite.  Kneeling  on the left beside little four year old Izzy with my hand gently on her shoulder, I talked her through each step trying to catch her first fish.  

Repeated attempts to cast the tube jig off her pink Barbie fishing rod resulted in entangled in the bushes surrounding the bank.  Teaching a four year old to fish may be seen as a nuisance, or even a chore for parents and other adults who know nothing about fishing.  To me, walking a kid through the steps to catching their first fish is a duty on which I find pure enjoyment.  Knowing the young child will blabber on and on about the  fish they caught is worth the ten minutes it takes to help teach them the ropes.  

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But teaching little Izzy on this particular day brought an extra reason I wanted her to catch a fish so badly.

Thankfully Izzy was a patient little girl who did not become frustrated easily and was willing to try as best she could any instruction handed down.   She did her best to “bounce” the silver tube jig in a jerky up and down motion forgetting to reel unless instructed to.  Her quiet demeanor soaked up the experience while I tried to remain as enthusiastic as possible even as we were not catching fish.  

3 Observations to successfully hooking a child on fishing.

Besides the obvious tip of keeping it short and interesting, here are a few things I picked up from working with Izzy.

1) Let them choose the lure or bait:

While we know what the fish are going to be biting on, give the child options within the parameters of what will be most successful for them to choose.  This gets the kids involved on an even deeper level.  With Izzy, we knew the fish in this particular pond were going nuts for small tube jigs.  We had a multi colored tub jig box and by letting Izzy select the color she wanted to fish with, she now has a greater and more involved memory of the experience.  

2) Reeling may not be a bad idea:

We typically think taking young children fishing is most successful with a bobber and worm set up.  In many instances, yes, this is true.  However, from watching Izzy, I realized since she had to reel and work the tube jig by herself, she was far more engaged in the process with little time to become distracted.  This will vary child to child so pay attention to their personality type.

3)Hook Theory:

Young children I’ve helped seem to have an issue grasping the concept of setting the hook.  To combat this issue, if you are using bait, use a hook such as a small circle hook in which the fish essentially catch themselves after taking the bait.  Without having to worry about the precious seconds needed to set the hook, a circle hook will help give you and the child time to practice the concept on a live fish.

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Half way around the pond produced several lost fish, I was nervous she would lose interest in the activity.  Her line darted out from the edge of the bank with ferocity.  Thankfully, due to the little fish’s speed combined with the height above the water we were on the bank, the fish hooked itself.  Izzy’s mother relaxing on the other side of the pond shouted her excitement as the small bass was held up for people to see.   I turned to my friend who was walking alongside observing the action and breathed a sigh of relief.  We both smiled and watched little Izzy sprint around the pond to tell her mom.  


Teach your child to fish and they could end up like this.

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HAWK Treehooks Review

One of the biggest noise makers as far as new products go this year have been the introduction of HAWK Treestands and Accessories.   Although my internship with the company is over, I still love the gear and will support them in my  writing when I can.   As we approach the middle part of the year and hunting season not all that far off realistically, we need to begin looking at the new gear we want to take with us this fall.  Here is a run down of the new treestand hook accessories launched by HAWK for 2014.

Tactical TreeHook:

Ok, how was HAWK able to improve  the simple tree hook.  A classic yet vital accessory we all depend on while ascending trees has not seen too much improvement until now.  The team at HAWK beefed up the coating on the handle with a durable over molded plastic coating.  Tipped with what they call the Auger Tip, HAWK has designed the tip threads to begin immediately.  Auger Tips come standard on all HAWK hook Accessories.  The benefit is,  during those moments of trying to haul gear into the tree, and get settled, you will not spend extra time having to dig into the tree sine the threads begin cutting through the hardwood immediately.  These tips are extremely sharp, to keep you and your gear safe,  HAWK has equipped the Tactical Tree Hook with a protective covering and carabiner to latch to your pack or belt loop.

Considering the rate that many of us tend to misplace treehooks, it is a good thing these are only $5.99.


JAB’ Handle:

Ergonomically built for direct user comfort, the JAB’ handle is one of the most brilliant hooks designed for the market today.  Leverage for securely drilling tree hooks while in the stand is can be a pain.  One aspect I remember distinctly talking with the HAWK team about endlessly was the ability of the threads to flip back like a pocket knife.  This feature keeps me and my gear safe from being poked by the sharp point.  This also allows you to store and the JAB’ Handle much easier, keeping your overall pack organized.  With a rubber coated surface and an MSRP of $12.99, slide this into your pocket and go.



The exclusive Auger Tip

The exclusive Auger Tip

Xtendible Bow Arm:  

The aircraft grade aluminum body is the traveling hunters new best friend.  Easy on weight and on your wallet, weighing in at, 6.5 oz. bowarm extends from 8.75 inches to 16.5 inches with a suggested retail price of $17.99.  This arm fits perfectly in cargo pockets for those who need to hike into areas with as little gear as possible.  Also highly user friendly, the actually tree attachment is quickly disconnected from the bow arm for easy tree installation.  Like the JAB’ handle, the detached part allows for excellent leverage.  Snap the arm back onto the bracket , find your preferred length, nock an arrow and start hunting.  I had the chance to help test this arm while hunting big parcels of woodland state forests.  I refused to leave my apartment without it in the bag, it quickly became one of my favorite accessories.




To top off the already impressive line of new tree hooks, HAWK sends hunters into the field with the GoGadget Bow Arm. Using two axis’ instead of the traditional one horizontal rotating axis, the beauty of having two axis’ is, being able to truly customize where you place your bow.  A  360 degree rotating over molded hook, the GoGadget silently moves to fit how you want to be set up in the tree.   No longer will you have to lean out away from your tree to grab your bow.  Leaning away from your tree exposes your profile and increases your chance of possibly falling out of the stand.  HAWKalso included three accessory knobs to be able to hang your optics and calls.   Built from aluminum, the GoGadget is easily transportable in your pack to and from the truck.  The GoGadget retails for $34.99

One of the best locking systems there is.

One of the best locking systems there is.

Horizontal and vertical adjustment.

Horizontal and vertical adjustment.

Customize your set up.

Customize your set up.

HAWK Tree Hook Accessories combine user efficiency with affordability for the hard working hunter refusing to give up reliability.  All HAWK gear is built on these principles which makes the young company  a new force to be reckoned with.   This gear allows you to hunt further with greater efficiency.  HAWK helps you Push The Wild Limits.


Connect with HAWK on their Facebook Page here.


Push Yourself – Find Your Destiny.

Connect with us on social media #PWL.


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Alps OutdoorZ, Pursuit Bow Pack Review

As the spring grows into the dog days of summer, we begin thinking about the new gear we want to acquire for our hunting, fishing, hiking and backpacking adventures.  Over the next several weeks we will look closely at different equipment possibilities.

This is what we envision. Loaded down with fresh meat and if possible, a decent

This is what we envision. Loaded down with fresh meat and if possible, a decent trophy.


ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Bow Pack, First Take:

Strapping my brother’s bow into the Pursuit bow holder and just walking to the backyard made me feel giddy.  Although mid spring, the feeling of having a bow and pack on my back sent shockwaves of primal bowhunting desires through every synapse in my brain.   Whether you are heading out back behind the barn for a quick evening hunt, are gearing up for a long day trek,  or just heading out for a recreational hike, the Alps Outdoors Pursuit Bow Pack  provides space, ample pockets and compartments with a handy way to secure your gun or bow for the duration of the hike.

Hanging off of the HAWK™ GoGadget™ here, it it easy to envision this same scene in late fall in the deer woods.

Hanging off of the HAWK™ GoGadget™ here, it it easy to envision this same scene in late fall in the deer woods.



With 2700 cubic inches, the Pursuit allows one to store key day trip essentials.  Included in the Pursuit Pack is  a water bladder compartment and port to snake a bladder hose non-intrusively out the top and clip onto the shoulder strap. 


Food, clothing and other supplies store pack comfortably.  Extra clothing, portable cooking stove, game bags, and other accessories fit well in the main compartment.

The front compartment is slightly smaller yet contains several mesh pockets perfect for storing and transporting small accessories.  There are six total individual pockets in the front pack including an elastic gear holder like you see in a turkey vest.  Use these to keep your pack organized by storing small flashlights, knives, ammo, food, calls and optics.

 Treestand hunters will also appreciate the adjustable straps in the front pack.  These straps allow you to create an open and flat surface for ease of storing and reaching gear in the stand.  Instead of digging around and making noise, this essentially allows you to have a small table in the tree with you.  



Having my key in stand gear readily accessible without having to dig around is save on time, frustration, and noise.

Having my key in stand gear readily accessible without having to dig around is save on time, frustration, and noise.

For those needing to hike long distances to their areas, the Pursuit Pack comes with a bow and gun holder.  Straps attached to an elastic protective covering, tighten to secure your gun or bow. The bottom cam or butt stock of the gun are secured in an adjustable lower pocket. The adjustable lower pocket is one of the elements of this pack I love since it keeps dirt out of my bow cams increasing the lifespan of my bow cams and strings.     Even fishermen wishing to hike into remote locations can benefit from this system. 

The Pursuit preformed well on a deep woodland trout fishing trip.  I was able to store extra gear and secure my flyrod in the bow holder for long hikes.

The Pursuit preformed well on a deep woodland trout fishing trip. I was able to store extra gear and secure my flyrod in the bow holder for long hikes.


Who isn’t looking forward to this?

While the majority of the time I spent with the bow in the holder, I realized that this could also be useful for hiking in after turkeys.   Not every big gobbler is converniently located right in your neighbors field.  It is easy to envision filling the pack with gear, strapping a shotgun into the holder and hiking into deep woodland hollows and distant mountain draws after weary old toms.


Don’t let distance stay between you and the gobbler of your dreams. Pack in and tag out..


This feature allows your  hands to stay  free for glassing and keeping balance while traipsing over terra firma.   For hunters, especially archers, the waist belt supports a pocket compartment compatible with many of today’s range finders.  


Knocking into objects will no longer result in extra noise.  The material of the Pursuit is a soft, almost fleece like material.  For those whose adventures take them into the thickest haunts of the animals they chase, this material will improve your stealth.  



Excellent padding, especially on the lower lumbar area.

Since the best days to hunt are often times during periods of weather, the Pursuit comes with a blaze orange rain cover.  The blaze cover can be used during survival situations to alert rescuers and is also key during firearms seasons.  


But everything else aside, what makes or breaks a backpack?  The way it feels on your back.  The Alps team has designed this pack with luxurious padding as well as an aluminum stay for back support.  This small piece of aluminum helps keep the pack from sagging and putting extra pressure on your shoulders- one of the best unspoken aspects of the Alps Pursuit.  

The Pursuit is also built with excellent padding.  I love how comfortable it feels while sitting on my back, especially the extra padding built into the lower lumbar area.


This flexible aluminum stay not only relieves pressure off your shoulders, but gives support to the overall pack keeping it upright while in the stand allowing you to keep your gear organized.

With the Alps OutdoorZ Pursuit Pack, you are placing ingenuity, convenience, stealth,  and support on your back.  The Pursuit has an MSRP of $129.99 and can be purchased at major retail locations.

Read more about the Pursuit Pack and all of Alps OutdoorZ fine products here.


Pushing The Wild Limits,


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Graduated, Time To Move On.

“You have wandered in this mountain region for a time, turn north.”


This steep canyon wall in Oregon describes the climb  to the collegiate summit.

This steep canyon wall in Oregon describes the climb to the collegiate summit.

God spoke these words to Moses in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.  This verse was also quoted over the past weekend during proceedings for the graduation of the Houghton College Class of 2014- my class.  It hit a cord in my heart.

Graduating college is like clawing by the skin of your teeth and the depths of your fingernails to the summit of a substantial mountain.  This mountain pushes, grinds and forms your work ethic, resolve, and personality.  The mountain of  collegiate academics is no easy climb, but when you get to the summit, there is no downward slope to descend.  Actually, it feels more like a cliff, you jump off, free falling down until you can spread the wings of your gliding suit and begin steering.  While it is easy to want to cling onto the past as hard as possible, not wanting to make the jump, the verse has wisdom.

Houghton creates bonds for life.

Houghton creates bonds for life.

Sweating under a cap and gown surrounded by fellow classmates, this verse spoke to my heart.  It was time to move on.  Time to make room at Houghton for the next generation of students to experience the magic of Houghton.  Time to take what has been taught and apply it.  Time to reflect on the memories and lessons, but to not waste what has been learned and impact those searching for something larger and greater in life.

Houghton, I will never forget.  It is in the moments of decision that destiny is shaped.  I can remember distinctly the moment I told my parents I’d give Houghton a shot.  Houghton allowed me to be who I am without the worry of scrutiny.  If not for Houghton, the people God had me meet, I would have never met and been able to learn from.  If not from Houghton, I would have never met one of my closest friends Austin Groff.  If not for Houghton, this journey of writing may have never taken place.

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

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

Pushing The Wild Limits started after writing an essay for a class about one of my heroes, Cameron Hanes.  I had so much fun writing that essay, a few days later I found myself wanting to get that charge out of writing again.  And in my 8 AM. Social Media and Society class, Pushing The Wild Limits was born.

Beast Mode Graduation

Beast Mode Graduation

If not for Houghton, I would have never met some of the legends of the outdoor industry. If not for Houghton, I would have never been able to have the understanding of my friends and professors to work as hard as I did for  HAWK™.  Thank you Scott Lee for giving me that chance. Thank you Professors for your understanding and support.   If not for Houghton, I would never have had a chance to benefit from the direct care and teaching of the professors I now call friends.

While I could spend ample time describing how Houghton changed my life,  it is time to move on.  Not to forget those lessons, but to put them into action.

Thanks Mom & Dad.

Thanks Mom & Dad.


Thank you Houghton for changing my life.  Thank you God for your presence and favor of Houghton College.  For it is through Christ’s presence at that school that is what really changes people.

In the weeks to come while I am searching for a full time job, I will be revamping this website.  New looks, new purpose and mission will be set into motion.  In the mean time, I will be doing gear reviews on items you may want to consider for your future adventures.


To the Houghton class of 2014, good luck, God Bless, and Push The Wild Limits.

In Christ,

Jason Reid

young morning


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Wrapping Up

Giving Second life to a woodland warrior.

“Dude, did you get that gun dipped?!”  My good friend and shooting aficionado, Levi McGee exclaimed one evening as I pulled out a transformed old friend from its case.

Owning your own gun is something special.  A bond develops quickly, the way your retriever bonds with your soul, rainy morning after a rainy morning in sulfur odored swamps.   You know its feel, its touch, how to settle on the bead for that absolute perfect shot.  Your gun travels and if they could talk, would be able to relay the details and truths about what really happened that day in the woods.  While some guns are meant for sitting in a cabinet except for a few weekends per year, others, were built to be workhorses, built for every 4 A.M. wake up call, built to be your companion in the worst of conditions.  However, they are not invisible and the weathering a gun receives despite how well you clean it after every hunt, still will take its toll.

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Rainy days are my favorite to turkey hunt.  I despise being soaked but it is worth the trip considering for some reason in nasty weather, the gobblers get active and more receptive.  That being said, my Remington 870 has seen its fair share of tough days in the weather.  From the outside, the blueing is fading and the wooden stock shows its age.  Although I purchased it used, I still want to protect my gun for as long as possible.  Making it look  sharp is also an aspect which has laid heavy on my mind.  

Purchasing a new camouflage plastic stock and re-bluing the gun would run me a bit of a bill at this point, and as a young man almost out of college, I need to pinch pennies where ever I can.   The thought of camouflage taping my gun has passed my mind many times, however, the last time I used cloth tape on my gun, it seemed to trap moisture rather than wick it away.   

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John Hinde from Mossy Oak Graphics recommended I try some of his camouflage tape on my gun.  The high definition pattern on a durable adhesive tape looked as if it might solve the problem with moisture on the gun.   

Obtaining a role of tape, the transformation began.  

The tape has a strong adhesive adhering to the gun’s surface with ease.

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From just a few feet away, this gun looks as if it has been dipped.  I do not think ducks, geese, deer or turkey will be seeing this at all.  If I were really picky, I would go buy a completely matching camo suit.

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Mossy Oak Graphic Tape has given my gun a new look, feel, and layer of protection.  I worry less about taking it on bad weather hunts.  But while it may look different, the soul of the gun is still dead on.

Check out all their great products here, http://www.mossyoakgraphics.com/

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God Bless, Pass The Ammo Bag.


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Alaskan-esk Adventure

 Brown trout are a predatory fish known especially for their aggressive behavior and ferocity at the end of monofilament.  Yet, the giant brown trout were not alone, there were two predators hunting each other.  I hunting them, and they hunting my lures.  The semi murky green tinted water gave benefited both parties – the element of stealth.   Overcast skies set the stage for a showdown between two dominate creatures.  This wasn’t Alaska, this was Upstate NewYork.


Angrily huffing from the south, the warm wind three miles inland at my home had turned near evil.  Standing along a public fishing bridge on Sodus Bay, I chatted with other fishermen and women trying to fill their buckets with perch and blue gill.  The lady I was talking with tried to light a cigarette in the wind – the southern breeze did not make us feel fine.   Seeing white caps on the bay was a near surprise after the seeming never ending winter and ice cap over the water.   Yet, as the wind cut through our clothing, the desire to try and catch a perch diminished, but not my desire to continue fishing.  

Trading in my light weight perch rod for my heavier spine Ugly Stick, I threw on my waders and lugged myself through the mud and briars to the shore of Lake Ontario with a handful of spoons.   This time of year, mid to late April, the annual creek and river run of the giant brown trout and steel head are swimming back to the lakes.   These fish which normally make their home residence in depths in excess of 100 feet, can be caught in as little as two feet of water.

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The stark contrast of the lake compared to the bay confirmed my decision to change target species.  Dead calm, nary a ripple, and overcast clouds.  My first two casts resulted in lost fish, less than twenty yards from the shoreline.  This felt like a page right out of an Alaskan adventure

Tearing open my tackle pack pondering over every possible presentation scenario taking into consideration all conditions.  

  1. Consider the color of the water:  If the water were clear, a larger spoon might spook the fish.  Considering the low visibility, I looked for brighter colored lures.
  2. Overcast: The fish will not be as spooky.  A bigger lure could work fine.
  3. No Chop: Although the color of the water gives the fish less visibility, would the dead calm water and a larger lure spook the fish?  


Scrounging up a larger blue and silver Lil Cleo™ and a small rainbow colored stick-bait, the two lures sat in my hands as the fibers of my brain player judge and jury weighing the pros and cons of each.   The Cleo gave extra weight and distance to my casts.  Extra flash and extra distance, a deadly combination, I snapped it to my swivel.

When you aren’t expecting it, having a giant Lake Ontario Brown trout follow your lure to your feet can be near erie.  Standing up to my hips in the water, the colors and sheer power of each tail flick of the predatory fish could be seen as it swam dangerously close to my legs  And In that split second instant of closeness, it seemed like our eyes met- two creatures- two hunters- one understanding.

Dear Corona Beer, I Found My Beach.

Dear Corona Beer, I Found My Beach.

Letting curiosity play the guide, the long shoreline looked like a giant playground.  Standing on a rock in four feet of water, I wondered aloud if this were really ten minutes from where I had grown up or if it were Alaska.  

Three fish in less than ten minutes later, I sat on a small secluded section of the beach.   The overcast skies began receding, the bite slowed to a sluggish pace.  My dinner lay still on its carrying stick.  The slow lapping of the water on the rocks was music.  I’d found my beach.  

My First of two ten plus pound fish.

My First of two ten plus pound fish.


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