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Monday, March 30, 2009

It's All About the Badge!

Not to long ago when I started Ben G. Outdoors as I was searching and trying to find more blogs of similar content I ran across The Wild Side. From there I found more blogs, and I kept seeing the badge for the Outdoor Bloggers Summit. Eventually I gave in and clicked on it. To my surprise the OBS was much more then I expected, but me being who I am was a bit skeptical at first.

I had to check out the web site a few more times before I was convinced. While checking out the OBS blog found I found tons of useful information about blogging. I also found this site to be a very valuable spot for meeting other bloggers with similar interests via the links.


Finally after about three days of checking , I decided it was time to join the ranks of the other outdoor bloggers I had come to look up to in the short time I had been frequenting them. So now here I am sporting an OBS badge of my own, and very proud to be a part of such a great organization.


I would also like to Credit Elizabeth from the Deer Passion Blog for asking me to join the OBS just as I was composing an e-mail to Kristine.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review of Marauder Outdoors and their Custom Cut to Length Slings


After contacting Matt Lookadoo of Marauder Outdoors he kindly sent me one of his custom slings to review.


I will be actually field testing this when I go on my turkey hunt in May. For now I am going to show you the quality craftsmanship of the product, talk about the friendly service, and showcase this up and coming company.

The product: Custom cut to length slings. When I received this sling I was immediately impressed with how it was packaged, zip tied together with nothing loose or flopping around in the package (no way to get damaged).

I noticed something tied on the sling, it was a windage marker. This is a simple yet very nice added bonus. It is nice to have a sling that you don’t have to adjust to fit your gun. Just strap it on and go. The one inch width and common lengths of 24”, 30”, 33”, 36”, make bulky slings with extra length, and adjustments a thing of the past. You can easily fit your gun into the gun case with out any problems. No more bunching or trouble zipping the case.

Sturdy construction with heavy duty rivets that will not pull through or apart (I tried with all my might). To fit your needs they also come in six standard colors, Camo (digital), Woodlands Camo, Black, Brown, Hunters Green, and O D Green.
They also have some slings with two shell holders which are designed with the single shot rifle in mind (T.C. Encore or the KP1). The shell holders also work well for small metal reed predators calls.
One last note to add about the slings, Marauder Outdoors would be happy to accommodate any, and all of your custom sling needs. In the letter I received from Matt he said that he is currently working on a custom pink sling with stainless steel swivels for his daughter. In other words the sky is the limit.

Friendly service: Wow was I impressed! Matt did every thing right. He responded to all of my e-mails and phone calls promptly, sent the sling out to me in a timely fashion, and I even received a very nice and unexpected letter from him.

Now about the company: Marauder Outdoors started in 2007 when Matt developed the first of many Ideas, shortly after Matt decided to “go public” with the support of his family and friends. Matt is the founder, Videographer, and one of the pro staff, and his wife Misti is the CEO and Director of operations. Marauder Outdoors also films hunts. If you are looking to get one of your hunts filmed contact Matt at http://www.marauderoutdoors.com/id4.html.
~ Ben G.










Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For a good laugh read this post.

Hey everyone I was out reading some posts the other day and stumbled upon this hilarious post at Montana Elk Hunting. It's called Got Hosed? Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wyatt is Ready For Turkey Hunting

Another Great Photo I had to Share. I picked up some new camo today. Amber and I thought it would be a good idea to get a pic of Wyatt and Me in our camo together. Oh and it was almost 60 this afternoon so we were able to take it outside.
Hope you enjoy it.

~Ben G.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proper Disposal of Deer Carcasses

A couple of weekends ago I went out to the Sand Dunes State Forest scouting for turkeys, and I ran across quite a few disturbing piles of deer carcasses. Not only is this illegal, but it’s not very ethical. I guess if you own the land it’s not as big of a deal, but it still poses the threat of spreading diseases like CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease). Again this is public land please respect it and others.

Out of the five places I stopped I got out of my car at three of them, and out of those three spots two of spots had these disturbing sites.


Taken not more then 10ft from the parking lot



I am just disgusted someone would not take the responsibility to properly dispose of their deer carcasses. I know it’s not very hard to find a land fill that will accept carcasses, because most landfills will take them. If you are having trouble finding a spot please contact your local DNR officer, and I am sure they can point you in the right direction.

Thanks

Ben G.


Hunting Boots at the Lowest Prices at BootBay
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walk, Show, & Feed

Saturday was a busy day for me, but very enjoyable. The morning started out with everyone in a rush to get out the door. Amber and Wyatt were off to get pictures taken with a bunny and a lamb, and I was off with Daffy to get a good long walk in the park. After a nice long walk through the park Daffy and I hurried home so I didn’t miss my ride to the Northwest Sportshow. Lucky for me Luke was a bit behind seclude, so Daffy and I made it home with time to spare.

Luke showed up and we were off the Show. Surprisingly we didn’t have any trouble finding parking. It has been quite a while since I had been to this show and was very excited to get there and see all of the great stuff it had to offer. As we walked through the doors I was at once over whelmed by the amount of booths and people. After the St. Cloud show I guess I had expected something much smaller.

Luke and I wandered back and forth through the Iles and saw tons of resorts, outfitters, game farms, sporting goods stores, and some other miscellaneous stuff. We stopped by some booths, chatted with some of the outfitters, and checked out a couple of guns. There were also lots of impressive Deer, Elk and Moose mounts along with lots and lots of huge Muskie mounts.Time just flew by and three hours later it seemed as though we had just gotten to the show.
When we got to the last booth we both looked at each other and said, “Is that it”. Not saying the show wasn’t huge and didn't have a ton of exhibiters, but we both expected to see some sort of new equipment, something that made us go ”Wow I want one of those”.

We decided to grab one of the maps and see if we had missed any thing, and to our surprise we had miss one very important room. It was the wild turkey room. As most of you know I am going turkey hunting this spring and Luke is going with me. Now very excited we headed toward the turkey room. As we walked trough the doors I was very disappointed there were only about five booths. After that we called it a day and headed home.

When I got home I had about an hour until I was off to a game feed, put on by my brother-in-law Matt’s church and two other churches. I had a wonderful time and eat way too much. The menu was as fallows Bacon Duck Wraps, Cheesy Goose, Deep Fried Fish, Buffalo Sloppy Joe’s, Antelope Chili, Pheasant Chili, Venison Meatballs, Venison Roast, and lots of bars and cookies. Oh there were also some veggies. They raffled off lots of prizes like fishing rods, DVD’s, hats, and Knives. Speaking of knives the featured speaker was Chuck Buck of Buck Knives. He gave a great speech and had the crowd laughing and cheering for him a couple of time. I learned a lot about his company and the charity work they do. The one thing that really stood out to me was that Buck Knives moved from California to Idaho (tax reasons), and with in the next two years they will be making all of their products in the U.S.A., and not in China. Chuck seems like a great person, and he runs a great company.
Monday, March 16, 2009

Lion Hunt?

A good friend of mine sent this to me not sure where it came from, but I had to share it. This is one hunt I don't think I would want to be a part of.


video

More Video

Bear Dance

~Ben G.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interview with Jerome Philippe

I was contacted by Jerome Philippe founder of Africa Hunting.com on March 10th and he asked me if I would be willing to do a write up about his site. I thought I would take it one step further. I asked Jerome if he would take the time do an interview with me. Jerome agreed to do the interview, so I called him up on Wednesday afternoon and did and interview with him. We chatted for about a half an hour. I want to highlight some of the things we talked about.

Can you tell us about a little bit about yourself?

I was born in France and grew up in Namibia Africa. I moved to the States in the late 80’s to go to school, during that time I met my wife. We got married had a child and moved back to Africa. In 1996 we moved back to the States to give my handicapped daughter more opportunities. My family and I own a large hunting property in Namibia where we have an outfitter service. I have been promoting in online for 12 years at http://www.africanhuntingsafaris.com/.


When did you get into hunting?

I was basically born into it. Both of my Grandfathers hunted, and so did my Father .

What is your favorite type of hunting?

I enjoy Bird, rabbit, and boar hunting; my favorite is bird hunting when there is a high volume of birds and lots of action.

Where did you come up with the Idea for Africa Hunting.com?

Being on the web for 12 years I found there was not a place to find information about all of Africa for hunting. Any thing that came close was very out of date. I also wanted to make Africa more accessible to the world, but mostly the US. I wanted to make it very easy for someone to investigate all the aspects of hunting in Africa like getting, permits, lining up your pass port, and licenses just to name a few. Currently I have around 2800 companies listed in the Africa Hunting.com Directory which supports ratings and reviews.

When did you launch Africa hunting .com?

September 2008

Explain to us why Africa hunting.com is a good site for people to go if they enjoy hunting in Africa or for some one just checking it out?

It has a good rating and reviews section which allows someone to research a lot of different outfitters. The review section can help to expose the bad outfitters and highlight the good ones. Guides can also use the site to promote them selves if they are switching outfitting companies. It also makes Africa hunts accessible to everyone for as low of a price as $7000. (I would rather say: Most Americans would be surprised at how affordable hunting in Africa can be, a nice first time plains game hunting safari including 4 to 5 species, can be around the same price as a guided Elk hunt in North America.)

What advice do you have for someone dreaming about hunting in Africa?

First of all go to my site, and ask people who have done it before questions. Ask your friends about their experiences hunting in Africa, get references, and actually call the outfitters.

Do you have any thing else you would like to tell the readers?

The site is open to every one interested in hunting in Africa; it also has forums, a photo and video gallery and places for writers to post any thing about hunting.

Thanks

You can also view posts about Africa Hunting.com on the Whitetail Woods and Deer Passion Blogs.



Ben G.


Other Interviews

Interview with Warrior Outdoors

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RGS to hold Fun Shoot in Ogilivie, MN

Proceeds used to restore and protect grouse and woodcock habitat

The Rum River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) will hold a "Cabin Fever Shoot" on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at Pheasant Ridge Shooting Preserve, 1547 Imperial Street, Ogilivie, Minnesota beginning at 9 a.m. rain or shine. According to Gary Lillion, registration is $75 and includes birds (1chuckar, 2 pheasants) and a Rib-eye steak dinner after the shoot. (Guest dinner is $20). Teams will consist of 1 shooter and 1-2 dogs. Time limited to 30 minutes per team. For more information, reservations and/or directions contact Lillion at 763-689-5627, 763-843-9417, or by e-mail at lillion4@hotmail.com . All entries must be submitted by March 15. Proceeds from this event will be used to restore and protect grouse and woodcock habitat. Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage. Information on the RGS, its mission and management projects can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire
Saturday, March 7, 2009

Scouting for Turkeys



Saturday I went out scouting for my May turkey hunt. It might be a little early, but why not use the snow to my advantage. Daffy and I jumped in the car and headed to the Sand Dunes State Forest to see if we could find any sign of turkeys.

Stop one looked really promising. First of all it had a great parking spot, so we didn’t have to park on the side of the road. All pumped up I got every thing ready to go and got Daffy out of her kennel and we were off to find turkeys. We were only about 300 yards away from the parking lot when I discovered this place was no good. It was a very small portion of the forest and a river was blocking us from going any where else. I decided it was time to go back to the car and find a new spot.

We drove around and found another great spot, a dead end, with a cul de-sac for a parking lot. I was pretty disappointed when I saw a couple of horse trailers, horses and some dogs running around. I decide to move on and find a new spot.

Spot three looked really great. A nice long road to walk on, off road parking, a large field filled with saplings, and a giant forest. Daffy and I were off and determined to find some sign of turkeys. We walked not even 100 yards and I slipped on some Ice and fell. Now I’m thinking great what a crappy day no luck in our first two spots, and I just fell and got all wet. Lucky for me Daffy was eager to continue our search and the look on her face inspired me to keep going. With nothing more then a bit of lost pride, a wet glove and pant leg we went on. After walking down the road for another quarter mile or so we went into the woods. We walked the woods for an hour or so we and didn’t find a thing other then knee deep snow and one fresh deer bed.



Where I fell on the Ice
Daffy is a great helper

Deer Bed
On the way back to the car we ran into a very nice man named Tom H. (I can’t remember his last name). He lived across the county road from the state forest and walked the forest road we were on just about every day. After chatting for about 20 minutes, Tom gave me some good info. Tom said “He very rarely sees turkeys along the forest road”. Now more bummed then ever, Daffy and I headed for the car, hopped in, and were off to find our next spot.

The forest road where we met Tom

After driving for about a half an hour I finally found the last spot we were going to be able to check out for the day. We walked for no more then 10 minutes and saw a set of turkey tracks (woo hoo!). I thought to my self, “after all of the crap we went through today we did it”. Daffy and I fallowed the tracks for almost an hour. Along the way we found a bunch more tracks, and I had a turkey answer my calls a couple of times. Then we found what looked to be a roosting spot, and couple of promising fields to set up and to shoot a turkey in May. After Daffy and I found the fields we went back to the car and called it a day.

Fist Turkey Track

Turkey tracks every where

Roost?



Droppings under Roost


The most promising of the two fields

Daffy on the way back to the car at the end of the day


Lessons learned Saturday, persistence pays off, get a map, talk to who ever you can they always have some advice, scouting for turkeys is fun, Daffy blends in with the snow really well, snow shoes would have helped out a lot, ice is slippery, I will have to do some more scouting, sometimes dumb luck is the best luck.

Ben G.

Related Posts

Turkey Hunting Addiction (Part 1)

No Turkey

Turkey Tags

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wonderful Photo

I know this really doesn't have much to do with the outdoors, but I just had to post it. I came up the stairs last night to see My wife Amber, Son Wyatt, and Pup Daffy all sitting just like this. I grabbed the camera and snapped a photo.



Enjoy



Ben G.
Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Encounters with Moose

I started thinking yesterday after my post from the http://www.outdoorsweekly.com/ about the Minnesota moose population and the videos I saw on Way In The Bush. I have had a few memorable encounters with moose in the past and I thought it would be fun to share them.

The first time I ever remember seeing a moose was in the short time I lived in Alaska (six months or so). I was about six years old and my Mom, Ryan, and I lived with my Uncle and his family just outside of Anchorage. We were on our way to town just pulling out of the driveway in my Mom’s tiny car and there it was a giant bull moose standing in the ditch staring right at me. I remember being so scared I unbuckled my seat belt and hid on the floor until we were a long way away from the huge moose. I did see many other moose in the short time I lived up there, but none as memorable as the first.

I did not see another moose until I moved to Idaho about ten years later. I was snowmobiling with some friends off Lightning Creek Road. As we were going by some brush on a logging road out popped a cow and a calf right next to me. If I was not so startled, I bet I could have almost reached out and touched the cow. In my sheer amazement, I let off on the throttle just a bit, and in no time flat, they were off the logging road and into the forest out of sight.

In the following fall, I was out deer hunting with my good friend Josh. We were on our way back to Josh’s house from a long day out in the woods. Along the way, we heard something off in the distance. Then I saw some movement in the trees behind us. We both got our guns ready to shoot at what we expected to be a large Mulley buck, but to our surprise, it was a lot bigger then we originally thought. It happened to be a young bull moose running right in our direction. Josh yelled, “Moose!” We ran as fast as we could in opposite directions and out of the moose’s path (What a rush.) To this day, I still think something else spooked the moose because he did not even seem to see us as he ran past. I have not seen a moose since that wonderful fall afternoon.

Some day I hope to get the chance to see more of these beautiful, strange looking animals we call moose.

~Ben G.
Does this moose look real to you
Monday, March 2, 2009

Deer Hunting isn’t all about Hunting.

There are many different aspects of deer hunting one of them is processing your kill. Lots of people decide to bring their deer into a meat locker or meat shop, and have all of the processing done for them. From what I understand this can bring with it quite a hefty price tag depending on what you have out of venison made into.


Processing your deer all starts shortly after the kill when you field dress the deer. I don’t care who you are or where you come from if you don’t field dress your animal as soon as possible it can cause major damage to the meat. Although there are a few different ways to dress your deer this step is the just about the same for every one.


Now I will let you in on some of the secrets we have found out over the years of hunting and processing our own venison.


Our party believes the best time to skin your animal is shortly after you bring it in, from the woods or at least with in the same day. The reasoning behind this is the animal is still warm the hide comes off with little effort. When you let it hang for an extended period of time you may have to use a four wheeler to pull the hide off, or spend a large amount of time removing the hide. This can create a much grater risk of damaging or wasting meat.


The next step we take is cleaning the deer off and trimming excess fat. When it’s cold out like most Novembers here in Minnesota your hands get awfully chilly and sometimes numb. Cutting off the excess fat allows the meat to cool much faster during the evening, and washing it gets rid of any debris you may have pick up out in the field. I could go into details here, but it is pretty basic.


Depending on the weather we will leave the carcass hang for up to three nights, but if it is warm which it has been in the past we try to cut it up that night shortly after it is all cleaned up. De boning of the meat is usually a group effort and takes very little time. We try to cut it into bigger pieces so we have the option to make jerky. No matter how good you are there are going to be some scraps, so we make two piles one for sausage and the other for the big roasts. We always cut out the back straps, and tender loins and cook them up that evening. Which makes for a great meal after a long day. Once the meat is cut we seal it in an air tight bag with a vacuum sealer. Then put it in the freezer.


Some time with in the next month after the deer season is over we all get together to make the sausage. First we grind all of the pork shoulder on a course setting, then the venison on the coarse setting as well. Now we go back and grind each one of them again on a fine setting. As we are grinding the meat some one else weighs out the correct portions to make a 60/40 split (60 venison 40 pork). We use to have a butcher grind all of our meat, but after having a couple bad experiences my uncle decided to invest in a grinder. After the correct amounts are weighed out we mix by hand the meat and seasoning.


We typically buy either pig or sheep intestines to use for casings. We use an old antique sausage stuffer to stuff the casings. You just put the casings on the nozzle, fill the stuffer up with as much meat as possible and crank. As you crank the stuffer meat it pours into the casing.You have to make sure you pinch one end so the meat doesn't shoot out the end. Once the lengths look good we cut it, and tie both ends together with a piece of string. Now it’s time to seal it in an air tight bag and take home to freeze. We usually have this set up so two guys are stuffing while two are tying, packaging and labeling everything. It goes pretty quick.


Summer sausage is very similar but the casings aren’t eatable and they are a whole lot larger. After a day or two we hang the summer sausage in the smoker for a while and then you seal it in bags and freeze.


Although processing venison isn’t really hunting, I feel it is part of the whole experience. I have had some really great times with my hunting buddies while processing our venison. If you have never done it before I suggest you try it out not only does it save money, but it makes you appreciate your tasty snacks that much more.

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