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Friday, February 27, 2009

My 870

I know many people have a favorite gun and I do too. Here are seven reasons why I like my 870 Super Mag so much. I also enjoy buying surplus ammo.

1) It is the first gun I ever owned.

2) It is very versatile- I use it for Deer hunting, upland bird hunting, the one time I went goose hunting, and at the end of April Turkey hunting for the first time.

3) Durability- I’ve put this gun through just about anything you can imagine and never had a problem with it. Not to mention I have two uncles that have had 870’s for 35 years plus and they look and work just like the day they took them out of the box.

4) My 870 is very reliable- I can only think of one time I had it jam and not fire, but it wasn’t the guns fault, I had a new sling and it got in the way of the pump.

5) Value- In my opinion you can’t find a better gun for the money.

6) I have yet to find someone with something bad to say about an 870.

7) I think my 870 Super Mag looks Cool!

I’d love to hear about your favorite gun.

Ben G.
Thursday, February 26, 2009

Long Walks

My Son Wyatt Ryan and Pup Daffodil
One of my favorite pass times other then hunting, and spending time with my wife and son is going on long walks with my dog Daffodil (aka Daffy). Weather it’s a brisk winter morning or a warm summer afternoon I always enjoy just being out in the woods.

Fortunately for me we live only about a half mile from Montissippi a rather large county park. It has very nice paved and unpaved walking/bike paths. They all twist and turn about in a large pine forest and along side the Mississippi river.

Sometimes it’s nice to just go wander through the woods and see what animals Daffy can find. Rabbits, Pheasants, and Deer are the most common animals we run across. When we do run across an animal Daffy usually freezes, straightens up her stubby tail and lifts up one of her front legs like a good Brittany should. Then we both wait to see what the animal will do. I usually make a move first and the Deer or other animals run.

Other days it’s nice to stay on the paved trails so Daffy can meet other dogs and people. I don’t know what it is with her and kids, but she just goes crazy for them. Daffy just loves to meet everyone.
Another cool thing to see when we walk the paved trails is the model air planes flying around. It just so happens there is model air plane field (airport) right next to the park.

Daffy loves it on a hot summer day when I take her down to the river and let her cool off and get a drink. For some reason I always seem to get just as soaked as she does. I can’t figure that one out.

These walks are great for clearing my head of the every day rigmarole and getting back to nature. They are also great exercise for Daffy and my self.

If you get a chance take a walk in your local county park you might find you enjoy it more then you think.

Back soon

Ben G.
Monday, February 23, 2009

Swans staying through the winter

Not to long a go I read an article in an outdoor publication about how the Trumpeter Swans were sticking around Monticello(where I live) for the winter in record numbers. The article said the Swans were staying because of the open water in the Mississippi River created by the Nuclear Power plant (I won’t go there now), and people feeding them. This is not an uncommon thing in the area with other birds like the Canada Geese and various ducks.

The big problem with the 1500(give or take) Swans is, they are protected here in Minnesota and the DNR is afraid that they will contract some disease which in turn will wipe them all out. They did make the residents in the area stop feeding the Swans, but they still didn’t leave. The swans just started dyeing which isn’t a good thing in the minds of the Minnesota DNR. I’m guessing because they spent a whole lot of time and money rebuilding the Swans population in the state, and they feel it would be a waste to let them just die. Needless to say the feeding of the Swans resumed about a week or two later.

I feel if these birds aren’t smart enough to know they need to fly south in the winter they better be able to find their own food. I say stop feeding them and let nature take its course a thinning of the flock so to speak. The dumb ones will die off and the smarter birds will not only live and prosper, but make the states population of Swans much stronger. This will then help avoid the whole problem again in the future.
Let me know your thoughts.

Ben G.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How it all Started and Brought Me here!

My brother Ryan and I use to spend a lot of time every summer on our Grandparents 80 acre farm here in Minnesota. We were outside all of the time helping Grandma out with chores, feeding the steers and cleaning out the barn. I always loved helping out.

One summer for my 10th birthday I got a spring loaded BB gun. It didn't take long for me to become a pretty good shot (soda cans). Once I became a dead eye it was my mission to shoot all of the sparrows around the farm. I spent countless hours chasing sparrows around the giant pine trees that surrounded the farm. I don't think any of the birds we killed went to waste because we always fed them to the farm cats, and after a while they came to expect us to bring them the birds. This is where the flame to hunt inside me started.

That fall my uncle Larry and his friend took us grouse hunting . Even though Ryan and I didn't know what was going on as we fallowed Larry and his friend around. We watched and learned as much as we could. I do know they missed quite a few grouse that flushed up right in front of them. It was a blast and I'm sure mom was grateful when we came home so worn out.

Around that same time my other Uncle Bruce took Ryan, Aaron (his son) and myself out Squirrel hunting. I shot a .22 for the first time and had a blast running through the woods chasing squirrels up trees. This went on for a few years and I enjoyed every hunt as that flame in side me became a fire.

Once I was old enough to play football I didn't really have much time for hunting . Needless to say my hunting life was put on hold and the fire to hunt was now just a single flame.

My sophomore year in high school I moved out to Sandpoint ID to live with my Dad. He took me out deer and elk hunting. I also did a lot of deer hunting with my good friend Josh. I really only got to shoot at one deer, but the flame inside me to hunt was rekindled and back to fire size.

I moved back to Minnesota my senior year of high school and started right back where I left off. The only difference was I had a job and was able to buy my own .22 and 12 gage. I did so much grouse pheasant,and squirrel hunting I knew just about every woods we hunted like the back of my hand. I could tell you when we were going to flush out the birds and where we would see squirrels. I had tons and tons of fun, and fire was bigger then ever.

I finally shot my first deer when I was 20 what a rush. The fact that it was an eight point buck made it even better. I haven't missed a deer season since and as time went on I kept hunting as much as I could.

After I got married I didn't seem to have as much time for hunting as I use to. I still never missed a deer season and made some time for the occasional grouse hunt and fishing trip.

As recent as this last fall I felt that fire to hunt in me grow and grow. It must have been because of the birth of my Son Wyatt. I to want to teach him as much about hunting as I can so he can enjoy it as much as I have.

Over the last five years or so I have wanted to start my own business I've looked in to so many different things I can even count them any more. Then shortly after deer hunting this season my wife said to me Ben you get so excited about hunting whats with you your just like a little kid. Then it hit me like a brick wall hey dumbo why didn't you think of this sooner. You love to hunt why don't you try something in the outdoors industry. Here I am pursuing my dream, and it's something that I am very passionate about. This is just the first part of my journey in the outdoor industry and plan to keep moving forward from here.

I'll be back soon
Ben G.
Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Amazing Shot

This is a story I have to tell everyone even though it’s not deer hunting season any more. So I deer hunt with a group of about eight guys in a NWR here in Minnesota. Most of us are family, along with a few friends. Great bunch of guys we always have lots of fun even if we don’t get any deer.

This past season was a rough one weather wise it was cold and very windy the deer didn’t want to move. The first week had gone by and I think we only had two deer for all eight of us which is very unusual by the end of the first weekend we always have at least half of our tags filled.

After an unsuccessful morning hunt on the second Saturday of the season. My cousin Aaron and I decide to go walk around across the river. After walking for quite some time we decided to sit on a log and take a break, get hydrated, and do a bit of chatting.

About fifteen minutes went by and we decided to change the direction we were walking and go west instead of south. We got up from our log, and after taking no more then ten steps I saw a white flag of a deer bounding through the woods. At that instance I called out deer. I contemplated shooting but it was at least 100 yards off and running full speed. I decided against shooting because I didn’t think the slug from my 870 was even going to come close to hitting any deer at that distance. Not to mention I had just gotten a scope for this season and didn’t have very much practice with it.

Not more then the time it took for the decision not to shoot went through my head, and I hear a loud boom from my right. I thought to myself why is he even is bothering to shoot. Then another shot rang out. I was fallowing the deer through the woods, but I looked away to see if he was going to shoot again. Nope he was done. We both just figured that he didn’t get it because we couldn’t see the deer any ware, but because of past hunts we decided we better go check it out.

Sure enough after a short search we found the deer lying on the ground dead as a door nail. Neither one of us could believe what we saw. The both of us just started laughing and laughing. Not only at the crazy shot but the size of this tiny deer I would guess about 70 to 80 lbs max. Sad but it was another deer.

So here is the amazing part. The bullet went through the hind quarters up through the heart. After we found the deer we stepped off the distance (the deer dropped where it was shot) and it was just over 120 yards with a stinking 12 gage slug gun. When I found out how far it was I just about fell over in amazement.

I don’t know if I will ever see a shot as amazing again but it was fun to witness.
Oh he did get tons and tons of grief from all the guys for shooting such a small deer.
Hope you enjoyed my story
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ben G’s review of the three most common Turkey Calls; Mouth, Slate, or Box which one should you choose.

First I will describe what each one is then compare the three.
Mouth call also known as diaphragm calls are typically a small horse shoe Shaped call that can have any where from one to three reeds on it. It is used by putting it in your mouth and applying pressure to the reeds with your tongue against the roof of your mouth and forcing air in-between the two.

Slate calls also known as pot and peg calls these calls are typically round slightly bigger then a hockey puck in diameter, and about half the height. They usually have a wood cup (pot) with holes drilled through the bottom and encased piece of slate. They can sometimes be different materials such as glass or aluminum. They also come with a striker which is used to rub across the slate to create the turkey sounds. The striker is made of wood, but can be made of other materials too.

Box calls are just what they sound like a box with a lid that is hinged to swing left to right. They kind of look like a one sided rolling pin. The turkey sound is produced with friction as the lid rubs on the edge of the box.

Ok so now you know what they are which one should you pick।I will rate each one one, two or three in ten categories and the one with the lowest score will be the best .I will give a brief description of each category.

Box 22 Slate 24 Mouth 12
Learning curve
– amount of time it takes to learn how to use the call and difficulty. The box call is very easy to learn just move the lid back and fourth

Amount of sound- total amount of different turkey noise you can make with the call. The mouth call has a wide range of calls that can be made with it.

Volume Variation- range of volume you can make with each call. This one was a toss up between the Slate and the mouth call but I think you can make more variation with your mouth.

Ease of care- amount of maintain and difficulty. Mouth call is virtually matenince free.

Hands free- just as it says. Mouth call is the only one that does not require the use of your hands.

Price- In my experience the mouth call is far less expensive then a box call, but close in price to a low end slate call.

Carry-smallest and easiest to carry in you pack or pocket. The mouth calls by far because you can carry it in your pocket and the other two you need to put in a pack.

Noise other then turkey-Any noise made by the call when transporting. Although any one of these calls can be stored so it won’t make any noise when you get are getting the call out of your pack the mouth call won’t make any noise.

Weather effectiveness-How well will it work in all weather conditions. Now days they make most of the calls so the water won’t affect them, but come on the mouth call is in your mouth how can the weather affect it.

Easily misplaced-how easy is it to lose or misplace. Well by sheer size the box call wins this one the other two don’t even come close.

As you can see I think the mouth call is the best call you can use. If you can get past the difficulty of learning how it works it is well worth it.
Be back soon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Five Reasons Why Brittany's are the Best all around Gun Dogs

Hello again everyone!
Ok so now I have to write a bit about my Dog Daffodil (aka Daffy) and her breed Brittany's. Why you ask do I think Brittany's are the best all around Hunting/Gun Dog.

Number one the Brittany breed has more dual champions then any other breed. Dual champion meaning being a champion in the field and the next day after a bath and brush being a champion in the show ring. What else could you ask for a smart dog that cleans up good.

Number two they are one of the most friendly dogs I have ever come across. They are very happy to meet new people and dogs all the time. I guess I would describe them as the social butterfly of the gun dogs. For instance my pup Daffy just loves to meet new people when I take her out for a walk at our local county park or around the neighborhood. She is always walks up to strangers with her butt wagging and a friendly look on her face that says pet me please I want to be your friend.

Number three they are one of the easiest dogs to train in my opinion because the are just so darn smart. About a month ago my wife Amber was watching one of those dog training shows on TV and saw them teaching this dog to leave things alone like a treat for instance. So Amber decided she wanted to teach Daffy how to do this. I kid you not it only took my wife three tries and Daffy would leave the treat on her foot alone. I could go on and on about how smart my Brit is we just love it.

Number four They are small what else can you ask for if you want a dual purpose dog in the house. Ok so I can take her out in the woods with me come home bathe her and then she is the perfect little lap dog for Amber. (and me too!)

Number five They are great with small children. I was told to watch Brittany's with small children. Which is true when you are playing with them, but wow I am amazed at how well Daffy is with our four and a half month old son Wyatt. She loves our little guy so darn much. Daffy lets Wyatt do things to her that I can't even do to her with our getting a reaction. I can hold Wyatt above her when I am petting her and he will grab Daffy with his Sharp little finger nails and squeeze at most Daffy will just walk away but most of the time she just takes it. Then she will turn around and lick Wyatt in the face.

Well if this doesn't turn you toward Brittany's I don't know what will.

I'll be back soon.

Ben G.
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ben G.'s Review of the St. Cloud Sportsmen Show

Today I went to The St. Cloud, MN Sportsmen Show. I hadn't been to this show since I was quite young. It was a lot of fun, I met my brother-in-law Gary and three nephews and we went around the whole event.

At first I was a little disappointed because it seemed so small, but there was a lot of good hunting information for me to learn. I enjoyed looking at the trailer of shame from TIP. I can't believe some of the stories these poachers come up with. Like the two bear cubs that the poacher said he thought they were both yearlings. When even my 10 year old nephew Isaak even said those cubs must have been just born not long before they were shot.

The trout pond was also a nice attraction they even let you keep the fish. Seven minutes to fish with a two fish limit. Although I didn't partake in the fun Nathan and Sam two of my nephews did Nathan caught one and they even put it in a cooler so he could come back and get it after we went through the rest of the show.

I saw some sort of cool fish cleaning board that held the fish in place and didn't make a mess as you were cutting up your fish.

I also saw this really cool little gadget that allowed you to attach your video camera to your Shot gun, rifle scope or bow. So now you can record your own deer hunt no need for a film crew. Sweet!! Right you just better hope you have a remote for you camcorder otherwise you take the risk of missing your shot by turning your camera on.

They had five black bears there I never knew bears like to eat oranges, green peppers, and carrots, but you learn something new every day.

I also got some information on a great Game Farm in Avon, MN. It sounds like a good place to take my little Pup Daffy out to learn a bit more about hunting.

There was a hole other side to the show it was full of boats, docks, fish houses, campers, and even an air plane. I did see one strange, but probably not very new tool to clear your beach of weeds. I thought it was pretty darn neat.

Some of the campers at the show were bigger then my first apartment. Not to mention way nicer. It's crazy to think that someone tows these giant things behind their truck. I got kind of an extra run down of the campers because one of my other Brother-in-laws Nick works for Elk River RV. They were the only RV delear at the show.

There was lots of other good stuff too just about something for everyone who enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and the outdoors.

That's it for now check back later.

Thanks Ben G.

Turkey Tags

Whoo Hoo!!!
I received my turkey permit. For those of you not from Minnesota we are not granted our tags unless we win a lottery. If you can't tell I'm pretty pumped about getting it. My good buddy didn't get one but that's ok. He is still planning on going with me and doing some calling, just for the experience. That was our intention any way if only one of us got a tag the other would go and help out.

So this is will be first experience either one of us has had turkey hunting. I'm slowly getting all of the gear I need. I can't believe all of the options there are for camo its unreal, but I am sorting it out and picking up what I think is the right stuff.

I bought some mouth calls about a month and a half ago. I enjoy the challenge of learning how to use them. I know I have at least five of the ten calls on the CD down and I'm close on about three more of them. I love riding in the car listening to the CD and practicing. (Amber doesn't appreciate it when I practice in the house)My dog went crazy at first but now she seem use to it now.

I also bought a slate call which my wife is better at using than I am. I think I almost have everything I need. Luke and I went out and got some decoys. Along with some other stuff we didn't need. The only thing I don't have any info on and need to find some soon would be how to field dress a Turkey. I guess I'll just have to go buy a book or something.

Well that's it for now I can't wait till April 30th. Oh before if any one has any advice on Turkey hunting please send me as much info or links to articles as possible.
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