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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hunting Business Marketing's Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts 2009

Dayne over at Hunting Business Marketing has put together a list of the 50 Best Hunting Blog Posts for 2009.  I suggest you go over and check it out there are a lot of good posts to read.

 The top honor goes to with a post titled Huge Monster 192”: A Two Year Adventure. Actually took the top three spots (#2 being Fixed Blade vs. Mechanical Broadheads – The Great Debate and #3 being Bowhunting Success in Illinois – The Creek Buck).

Whitetail 365  obtains posts in 4th (Whitetail Are Tougher Than You Think) and 5th (Portable No-Trespassing Signs?).

The FS Huntress has the 6th (Hunters Who Happen to Be Women) and 7th (Q&A, Angela Wilson, Taxidermistspots).

Field Notes takes 8th (Environmentalists on Hunters).

Outdoors International grabs 9th (Building Trail, Fishing & Wolves).

 Rounding out the top ten Base Camp Legends nabs 10th  (Idaho Archery Bull).

If you jump down 14th you can see Ben G. Outdoors with Trout Fishing Part 5 (final) a pretty good showing considering how good the competition is.

Hope you enjoy reading all of the great posts.

Ben G.
Monday, December 14, 2009

Not so Productive Deer hunting Season (Part 4)

image credit mawel

Another early morning and I wanted to be in my tree stand before even a trace of first light crosses the horizon. Because my stand was so close to the parking lot I decided to wait until everyone else walked by and then go to my stand.

This morning was a touch cooler then the previous morning so I decided to put my boots and suit on in the parking lot and walk the 200 yards to my tree. The short walk was kind of refreshing and woke me up a little. I was all settled into my stand for about a half an hour before I saw first light.

Sitting in my stand I was getting excited for the hunting morning. I had wanted to sit in this area for the last three years, but could never locate a tree large enough to place my tree stand in. Soon after getting comfortable the excitement started to ware off. As I waited for the legal shooting time this all too familiar drowsy sensation started to set in. Fighting off sleep I heard a couple of late arrivers in the parking lot. One I knew was Pat, but the other I wasn’t sure who it was.

I looked at my phone and it was finally shooting time. I forced my self to wake up and be alert which wasn’t too hard considering every sound I heard made me turn my head and look for a deer. I soon found out the other person I heard in the parking lot this morning was sitting in a tree not too far from me. This was fine because we wouldn’t be able to shoot at the same deer any way.

About 30 minutes had passed and I hadn’t seen any deer. I did hear two coyotes barking at each other. About 15 to 20 minutes after that I decided to give my doe bleat a try. What a big mistake that was.(This is where my hunt gets frustrating) Shortly after hearing me bleat the guy sitting close to me starts using his bleat which would normally be fine, but he is blowing on it super loud. On top of that it seem as though he is blowing on it every three to five minutes for around 30 seconds. To put it in my brother’s words “he is pretty good at playing the trumpet”.

I knew now any deer with in a mile radius was aware of hunters in the woods, and would stay put. Me being stubborn I stayed in my tree for roughly another hour before I had enough (I can’t get too mad because I am hunting on public land). I took my stand down and went back to the truck. I entered the parking lot just in time to see an unfamiliar van leave the lot (must have been my trumpet playing buddy). I put all of my stuff in the truck bed, and went for a walk because I had about two and a half hours until lunch time.

I hiked around for a short while and eventually discovered a great little place to sit and take a brief nap. After sitting for some time I realized even though I was so tired I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I heard a few gun shots but nothing in the direction of my hunting party. It wasn’t too long before my stomach started growling and I decided it was time to go and get some lunch.

I was the last back to the parking lot for lunch today. No one had seen any deer this morning. Hearing this was a little depressing, but very typical for the second day of the deer season. The deer were pressured very hard and bedding down in the thickest of the thick stuff.

After lunch today I decided to set my stand up in the swamp I was walking in earlier that morning. I set everything up and plopped down in my stand for what would be a very uneventful evening hunt. I tried a little rattling, and calling, but nothing was going to move the deer after all of pressure the day before. I soon realized my only chance at seeing a deer would be in the last 20 minutes of shooting light as they were going to the fields to eat.

As the light faded that evening I was getting anxious just knowing I might see a deer at any moment. I wasn’t even lucky enough to see a deer that evening. In fact I only remember hearing one shot that evening, and it was quite a long distance away. I took my sand and steps down packed up my gear and headed back to the truck to go home.

Check out my next installment of a Not so Productive Deer Season to see if I had any luck on my next hunt.

~ Ben G.

Links to the other parts to the series
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 1)
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 2)
Not so Productive Deer hunting Season (Part 3) 
Thursday, December 10, 2009

Interview with Rod White of Land and Game

 Ben of asked me if I could help him out by doing an interview with Rod White focusing on his company Land and Game, and of course I agreed. This was a fun interview and I do have to say I have never interviewed an Olympic Gold Medalist until now.

Rod, Can you tell us a little bit about your self?

I have a Gold and Bronze Olympic medals for Archery but my background is quite a bit different then most Olympic archers because I started out Bow hunting. I went out with my brother when I was 12 and missed a bunch of deer. My dad said I should take archery class, so I did. When I got to the class all the other kids had Olympic style recurve bows instead of compound bows like the one I was hunting with. At the end of the seasonal class there was a national competition and I came in next to last. The next year I set a goal of finishing in the top ten. The next year I came back to the competition and came in something like eighth. I figured if I could finish in eighth place I set my goal for the next year to place in the top three. The next year I took first. Soon I was traveling from Italy to Indonesia on Jr. World teams and made the men’s adult world team by the age of fifteen. By making small goals and accomplishing them, I eventually climbed the ladder toward the Olympic team and went on to win the Gold at nineteen. Having started as a bow hunter, which is pretty unique to archery target shooters, I picked up major hunting sponsors such as Realtree and Mathews. Through some of those sponsorships, I was introduced to mature deer in the Midwest. I grew up hunting in Pennsylvania and if you saw a 130 inch  buck it was the biggest thing you would ever see. So you can imagine the passion that was ignited in me on my first day on stand in Illinois when a 140 inch plus deer walked a treeless fence line all the way to my stand across a cut corn field. I was hooked on Midwestern bucks and traveled back to PA to pack my bags…I’ve lived here ever since.

Explain to my Readers what is.

It’s a land management and real estate company that helps clients find the right properties to fit their needs. Not every property can grow and hold mature bucks so the service we provide for committed clients is of tremendous value. Once we find the piece that matches their hunting preferences and style, we alter the habitat to grow mature whitetail bucks if it doesn’t already have what is essentially needed to accomplish our clients’ goals.

What Sets Land and Game apart from other land sales originations?

The biggest thing is the fact that we are a full service company with the ability to alter the land to produce the best deer possible for that property. We don’t just list the properties, we manage and balance the wild life, crops and over all investment for our clients. That’s something that no one here in the Midwest is doing although a lot of other companies are trying to replicate what we do. But it’s not that easy. Every property is unique like a fingerprint and the experience necessary to take it to its highest performance level possible isn’t something that can be mimicked or falsely represented. I personally design each property layout in a custom fashion based on literally thousands of days in the field in mature whitetail habitat from Alberta to Kansas. The essential ingredients needed to grow, hold, and harvest mature whitetails, remains constant in nearly every state. The types of plants that grow in different areas may change, but the types of landscape structures that produce consistent results remain constant. The complete understanding of all of that is something that can’t be taught in a classroom or by franchising a company name. We will always likely be a small group of professionals, that’s the only way to produce consistent results for our clients have it be in Iowa or Alabama.

What drives you and your team to be such a successful organization?

We are all accomplished in some aspect of hunting and or farm and business management. For instance Jimmer Kostroski killed the world record at the time typical velvet whitetail in Rochester Minnesota. Now that’s an area you don’t hear much about when it comes to mature whitetails! He is now partnered with us by bringing his own crew to our clients’ fields to implement habitat plans. Dereck Lewis learned the whole process through an apprenticeship with me logging countless hours of tree time and field work. I’ve made a huge investment in Dereck and he has proven himself in the field now with his own accomplishments. Now the clients he has been working with are producing results themselves as well. Another thing we do is work with our clients to learn about the whole process of managing the land. Our goals are generally not to just purely manage properties ourselves, it’s to get landowners off to the right start and down the right path to success. From there, most clients take on more and more of the management responsibility each year rather than completely doing the work for them. Although some clients choose that route, most know that part of the joy of landownership is producing their own results and a little dirt under their fingernails is an important part of the feeling of success.

Geographically what area of the country are your clients in?

Actually they are from all over the country we do have a lot from Louisiana for some reason, but a resoundingly large amount are residents within the borders of the states their property is located in. Be it Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alabama, or Canada.

Can you inform my Readers about AHS?

It is the Advanced Habit System and it is a system to grow, hold whitetail deer on properties, and at the same time helping deer to reach their maximum potential. It’s really a very in-depth structure system of management and habitat manipulation that is put in place on properties in a multitude of environments and locales. It’s very complicated to those who are not familiar with habitat alteration, but most of our clients know that it produces consistent results. And, that’s what’s the system is all about…Results!

I have heard a little about the Ron Skoronski farm & know that you had a set time frame to sell it.
1. Can you tell me what makes the Ron Skoronski farm such a good property?

It is an anomaly in its self, being 3400 contiguous acres, which is unusual in southern Iowa. Not only does it produce trophy whitetails it is a great farm from an agricultural perspective too.

2. Would you be will in to let us in on some of the details of the sale?

The seller did not want to list the property with a realtor at all. They gave us a three month time limit and even with the economy in a good state that would have been a huge task. I had a client lined up to go preview the property and for the fist time ever the client didn’t show. How embarrassing! But the owner decided to stick with us given the unfortunate cards we were dealt. We put an accelerated marketing program in place. One of the elements involved inviting eight different realtors to preview the property. With such a large commission involved, we utilized the incentive to bring in other realtors networks. Combining that approach with the incredible video presentations and a multitude of other unique processes we utilize, we had four offers in 8 weeks and the client accepted the last one.

In your opinion what was the biggest factor in making the sale a success?

I don’t think I can say there was on big factor but a few that made this sale such a success. The seller was willing to sign an exclusive contract with a generous commission. By focusing on the property’s attributes and not the commissions. Utilizing our video talents and advanced property packaging. And most importantly, the accelerated marketing program as a whole.

What is the Legacy Land Partnership?

 It is a group of individuals who purchase average to below average land and watch it mature in to prime hunting land and an overall incredible investment opportunity. We utilize the land to maximize the potential of their investment and produce excellent returns both financially and in the form of antlers. A lot of these landowners only have limited time to hunt their properties and this program allows other hunters in the Legacy Land Partnership to use and enjoy the land for their specific hunting needs. Provided they are willing to be a part of the network, this helps to grow the entire group’s holdings and elevate the full utilization of the property.

What does it take for a property to reach Legacy Status?
First the Advanced Habitat System has to be put in place and then the land has to reach its maximum potential for what ever game the property owner would like to target. Have it be whitetail deer, pheasant, upland game etc. Finally when it becomes the ultimate property for the targeted species then it would reach Legacy status.
I want to thank Rod White for the time he took to do the interview. It was great to talk with him. We chatted for a little while after the interview and I think Rod is a stand up guy who just really enjoys the outdoors , bow hunting, teaching people (about land management, & bow hunting)  and running his business. I would also like to thank Ben at for making this whole intervew possible. All of the extra work he put in to make it work really was nice.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Interview with Jason Pickerill Associate Product manager at Bear Archery

I thought it would be a good idea to broaden my horizons and start scraping the surface of all there is to know about bow hunting. I got in contact with Jason Pickerill Associate Product manager at Bear Archery and interviewed him. This is what he had to say.

1. Can you explain a little about your position at Bear Archery?

I work in Product Management; Product management basically is the conduit that connects: sales, engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, marketing and management. You could say that we have our hands on a product or project from idea conception all the way to the finished product. We are also responsible for our company’s profits/losses, inventory and aide in the overall business plan for the company. It may sound like we have a lot on our plate, but we are just one part of a large group of people that keeps us going.

2. What do you like most about working at Bear Archery?

I don’t think I could pinpoint just one thing. First there are about 14 of us at our Evansville, IN office and we are all a lot alike and have a common passion and that is archery, so you get really close to these guys they become just like family. Second everyone here is very ambitious and wants to be the best they can be and we all want our products to reflect that. Third, it is very cool to work for Bear Archery, just because of the heritage or tradition that a company like Bear has. Everyone here likes the fact that we carry on and continue to make quality archery products; just the way Fred would have wanted it.

4. Have you personally had any success with the products?

Yes I am a die-hard bow hunter along with everyone else in the office. I didn’t have a lot of formal instruction when I first began shooting a bow, I was sort of self-taught for a long time, but I have learned a lot about shooting from my colleges since I started working at Bear Archery. Taking my hunting experience and combining it with improved overall shooting ability and using quality products has definitely made me more successful in the field.

5. What bow is your Favorite?

It is hard to beat all of them, but I am looking forward to shooting the new Attack, but I also really like the Assault, Both are real shooters.

6. For someone like me who has never bow hunted, but really wants to get into it what makes Bear Bows better then the competition.

Bear Archery has been making bows since 1933; our founder Fred Bear to some is the God-Father of Archery. So shooting a Bear makes you apart of that legacy, it makes you apart of something special. Much of what made Bear successful over the last 7 or 8 decades is still alive today. We got a great team of people that eat, breath and sleep archery and are completely dedicated to manufacturing the highest quality equipment at a great price.

7. What other types of products does Bear Archery offer?

We have a full line of traditional bows including long bows and recurves, traditional equipment and the largest selection of Youth Archery bows and equipment.

We also offer a whole line of accessories under the brand Trophy Ridge. Trophy Ridge has a Vertical In-line pin series (Micro Alpha V5, Alpha V5, Crazy 8 and Fire Wire V5). We also have an entire series of Horizontal Pin sights (The Judge, The Hit-Man series, The Punisher Sights).

Doesn’t matter if you want a full capture arrow rest or a drop away we have you covered with both arrow rests (A whole line of the world famous Whisker Biscuit), Quivers (Arrow Cage 1 & Arrow Cage 2, 6 Shooters and the 4-Banger), Stabilizers (The Shockstop Series), Arrows (Crush, Blast, Hailfire, and Wrath), and Broadheads (A whole line of Rocket Arrowheads). One of the nice things with Bear and Trophy Ridge you can get every thing you need to bow hunt except the stand, camo, and deer.

8. Where does Bear Archery Draw its inspiration or generate ideas when designing new products (is it a dedicated team, outside help, or a combination of the two)?

A lot of it comes from our team of design engineers, who have a great combination of education, experience and passion for the sport. There is a lot of creative energy in the office and we brainstorm together, test products, look at our personal experiences with equipment, analyze the market place and make all decisions as a team, meaning everyone may be involved on a particular project.

9. You said before that Bear also sells Traditional Recurve and long bows which one of these types of bows would you say sells the best?

It is all based on your personal preference and shooting ability, but a lot of traditional guys favorite bow is the Super Kodiak, this design has been around since 1967 and there is a reason for that.

10. The traditional bows are almost as expensive as the compound bows why is that?

They are all hand made and very labor intensive. The guys that make them are very skilled craftsmen. In fact some of the same guys that were taught by Fred are still there. In fact Neil Byce our Operations Manger moved with his family from Grayling Michigan to Gainesville, FL when Fred moved Bear Archery down there in 1978,both Neil and his father were taught by Fred Bear himself.

I hope you enjoyed all of the info from Jason. Here are my thoughts on my interview with Jason. Fist of all he was a pleasure to work with and I really enjoyed doing the interview with him. It is also nice to know the employees of Bear Archery all use their own product and actively bow hunt. I hope all of you enjoy this interview and I look forward to having a good relationship with Bear Archery, and Trophy Ridge. I'm thinking we will be hearing more from these guys.

~Ben G.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not so Productive Deer hunting Season (Part 3)

Image Credit Bruce Tuten

With astonishment I stared at the big buck through my scope waiting for him to fall to the ground. No such luck the deer didn’t fall in fact he stopped and stood at the edge of the woods. With urgency I dug in my pocket rummaging for another shell. Nothing in my right pocket at this point I had to bring the gun down to search my left pocket .The big deer just remained motionless as if mocking me. He finally decided to stroll off as if nothing had ever occurred.

I was fuming at the fact I had only one shell in my pocket, but at the same time thrilled I had the chance to see such a beautiful buck out in the woods. This was certainly at least the second biggest deer I had ever seen (alive) in my many years of hunting.

When I arrived back at the parking lot everyone asked if I shot the deer. I said I shot at it. The next question was why only one shot. I had to explain that all of my shells were sitting on the back of Ryan’s truck except for the one I for some reason had in my pocket.

Aaron said let’s go check for blood and see if by chance the deer is still close. We grabbed our shot guns and went into the woods. We walked a ways, and it was if the buck never even existed. Then went back to check for blood. I was pretty sure I didn’t injure the big guy, so the search was very short. Aaron and I made our way back to the parking lot.

When back at the parking lot I confirmed that it was Brandon who had shot at a deer near me earlier that morning. He said it was a nice little four point buck. Ryan saw three does that morning and let them pass because he was waiting for a buck.

What a strange opening morning no dead deer, but everyone saw a deer, even Pat on the way in that morning.” Well we have all afternoon and the next day” some one said. We then proceeded to eat lunch and BS for a while.

After lunch everyone, but Brandon, Aaron and I went to their stands. The three of us went for a walk to see if we could push any deer out of the clumps of brush out in the middle of the fields. We stomped in and out of about six of these little spots with no luck what so ever. (A lot of deer sign) At that point I headed back to my stand to go sit for a while.

When I arrived at my stand I just couldn’t sit in it. I knew the spot I had my stand in was geared more toward a morning location. I felt it was better to move my stand, let this spot cool off, and then try and hunt it the next Saturday Moring.

I quickly took my stand down and quietly walked out of the area. I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get to the new spot I scoped out and I didn’t want to sweat too much. I actually dropped my stand off at the tree I had picked out. Then headed the 200 yards back to the parking lot to get rid of some of my extra stuff, and grab some more water. It was an awfully hot day and it seemed like I was always thirsty.

After I was hydrated I put my stand up and was sitting in it by about 3:00pm. I sat until the end of legal shooting time and didn’t even hear or see a single thing. It was a little disappointing, but that’s just the way deer hunting goes some times.

I don’t believe anyone else saw any deer that afternoon. Which is all right ”it’s only the end of the first day how could it turn out to be a not so productive deer hunting season we have lots of time left” I thought to my self as I jumped in Ryan’s truck before leaving that night.

You will have to wait for Part 4 to see if we shot any deer on the second day of the season.

Ben G.

The other parts to the series
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 2)
Not so productive Deer hunting Season (Part 1)
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