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Your monthly guide to Missouri outdoors

March 2012

Volume 1 Issue1

There’s no place like home. You hear that old saying kicked around a lot. But if you’re a sportsman and are fortunate enough to have been born right here in the great state of Missouri, then it’s hard to dispute. From the farmlands of the north to the hollers of the Ozarks, Missouri truly is an outdoor paradise. continued on page 18

Also in this issue of Driftwood Outdoors A look at women’s hunting clothes Third Coast Fly Ray Eye Wins Award

Jack’s Fork Adventure - page 6 Taneycomo on page 8

Bowhunting Turkeys - page 10


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March 2012

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March 2012

Missouri’s Abundant Outdoor Opportunities by Brandon Butler Whether or not you believe in fate, some things are bound to happen. Publishing an outdoor magazine was one of those “things” for me. Ever since I was a little boy, my world has revolved around the traditional outdoor sports of fishing, hunting and camping. Over the years, I have been fortunate to turn my passion into my profession, and I am now extremely excited to bring to you central Missouri’s brand new outdoor authority – Driftwood Outdoors. Missouri is an incredible state. If you like to hunt and fish, few places offer the diversity of opportunities we have here. From the whitetail woodlots of the north to the crystal clear smallmouth streams of the Ozarks, Missouri is truly is a sporting paradise. I’m originally from Indiana, but I’ve also lived in Colorado and Montana. I know what it’s like to live in spectacular

outdoor destinations. As a fella who loves to hunt whitetails and turkey, fills as many freezer bags with crappie filets as the law will allow, and gets frantic over fly fishing for trout, I know how fortunate I am to live right here, in the center of it all. Missouri is undoubtedly one of the greatest outdoor states we have in this country. In the pages of Driftwood Outdoors, you will find articles from well-known writers whose main focus is to introduce you to new ways to enjoy outdoor activities here in Missouri, and occasionally beyond our borders. Our goal is to publish articles that answer multiple questions, such as “how-to,” “where-to,” and “whyto.” We want to introduce you to new destinations, and then provide you with information on how to maximize your trip to such places. Ultimately, we hope to you’ll take away from each issue ideas and information on how you can find more enjoyment in the great outdoors. Since Driftwood Outdoors is free to the public, we are relying solely on our advertisers for financial support. With-

Nothing is more important than passing our outdoor traditions on the next generation. Photo credit: Bill Konway

out our advertisers, we wouldn’t be able to bring you this magazine. Many of the businesses and organizations you will see advertising in Driftwood Outdoors are owned or run by sportsmen just like you. These businesses are proud to be associated with hunters and fishermen, so I urge you to repay them with your business. Please don’t hesitate to let them know you saw their advertisement in Driftwood Outdoors, and perhaps you might even thank them for standing up in support of your passion.

Excitement is an understatement. The Driftwood Outdoors team is thrilled to have this publication of the ground and in your hands. We sincerely hope you enjoy the magazine, and encourage you to drop us a line with your thoughts. If all goes as planned, this publication is just the beginning of a multimedia platform we intend to develop in the near future, to even further serve the information needs of Missouri’s sportsmen. See you down the trail…


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March 2012

What’s inside this issue of

News From The Field

A Deeper Look Into Missouri Outdoors

Educational, humanitarian efforts earn MDC’s Mayer state honor

05

Gear Review

06

Jack’s Fork Adventure

08

Taneycomo at Night

10

Bowhunting Turkeys

16

Best Laid Plans

18

No Place Like Home

20

High Tech Wear

Contributing Writers Brandon Butler Jeremy Hunt Kevin Reese Will Brantley Mitch Strobl Stephanie Mallory Managing Editor Brandon Butler Sales Manager Nathan Sizemore 660-216-5727 Creative Layout Joe Pendergrass Circulation Director Jeff Thompson 573-822-2217 Driftwood Outdoors is published monthly. The entire content of this newspaper is Copyrighted 2012 ©. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written consent from the Managing Editor.

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SPRINGFIELD Mo – A professional passion for teaching others about hunting and a humanitarian interest in helping her volunteer instructors recover from one of the worst weather events in Missouri history has earned Jean Mayer statewide recognition. Mayer, a resident of Jean Mayer rural Dade County, has been named the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) 2011 Hunter/Bowhunter Education Staff Instructor of the Year. This award is annually presented to an MDC employee, other than a conservation agent, who excels as a hunter education instructor and outdoor educator. Agents who are volunteer hunter education instructors are nominated under a separate category. Mayer will be recognized at the March 8 meeting of the Missouri Conservation Commission in St. Louis and at the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) Conference May 29-June 2 in Kansas City.

Coordinating hunter education efforts in eight counties is part of Mayer’s job as an outdoor skills specialist in MDC’s Southwest Region. In 2011 she definitely went above and beyond the call of her regular duties. In the aftermath of the May 22 Joplin tornado, Mayer contacted all of her volunteer hunter education instructors in the Joplin area to see how they were faring. She learned three of her instructors lost everything. Jean and her husband Ric donated one of their vehicles to an instructor and coordinated the donation of another vehicle from a neighbor. She also led a donation drive to collect items and money to help hunter education instructors who had been affected by the tornado. She also took annual leave to volunteer to help remove debris from homes hit by the tornado.

Visit us on the web @ www.DriftwoodOutdoors.com

Porous-soled waders banned in Missouri trout waters JEFFERSON CITY Mo – With catch-and-keep trout season having opened March 1, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds trout anglers to help prevent the spread of a new threat to Missouri’s cold-water streams and rivers. Called “didymo” (Didymosphenia geminata) or “rock snot,” this invasive alga forms large, thick mats on the bottoms of cold-water streams and rivers, reducing the quality and quantity of food vital to fish such as trout. Didymo also clogs water intakes and boat motors. It interferes with fishing gear and eventually makes fishing nearly impossible, with devastating economic and environmental conse-

quences. While it has not been found in Missouri, rock snot has been found just south of the Missouri-Arkansas border in the White River. According to MDC Fisheries Biologist Mark VanPatten, recreational equipment such as boats, lifejackets and fishing gear, particularly poroussoled waders, are the most likely ways for didymo to spread into Missouri. “Porous-soled waders and wading boots, worn by many trout anglers, appear to be a likely pathway for the spread of didymo,” VanPatten explains. “The soles hold moisture for days and can harbor cells of this alga. Individual cells cannot be seen with the naked eye and only a single cell is

Commission sets 2012 deer, turkey regulations JEFFERSON CITY–Hunters can start planning for next year’s turkey and deer seasons, thanks to recent actions by the Missouri Conservation Commission. At its Dec. 15 meeting in Jefferson City, the Commission approved 2012 turkey-hunting regulations similar to 2011. The regular spring turkey season will run from April 16 through May 6. The fall firearms turkey season will run from Oct. 1 through 31. The 2012 youth spring turkey season will take place the weekend of March 31 and April 1. In most years, the youth season opens nine days before the opening day of the regular spring turkey season. However, the season framework shifts the youth season one week earlier in years when the usual timing would cause the youth season to overlap Easter. Limits, shooting hours and other turkey-hunting regulations remain unchanged from 2011 and will be published in guide books before hunting seasons. The Commission also set Nov. 10 as opening day for the November portion of firearms deer season. The Commission will set opening dates for the urban, youth, antlerless and muzzleloader portions and other regulations for the 2012 deer season at its May meeting. These will be available in the 2012 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet in July.

needed to establish a stream-killing colony. Anglers who visit waters with didymo can, unknowingly, transfer these cells to the next stream they visit.” The Missouri Conservation Commission approved a regulation change in August 2011 that bans the use of porous-soled waders or footwear incorporating or having attached a porous sole of felted, matted, or woven fibrous material when fishing in trout parks and other specific trout waters. The new regulation went into effect March 1. For more information, please visit: http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom


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March 2012

Driftwood Outdoors Gear & Gadget Review Abu Garcia With a trophy fish on the line, a quality rod and reel can make all the difference.

Abu Garcia Veritas Rod:

Abu Garcia set out to give anglers an honest product for the price, thus we have the Veritas rod. In Latin, “veritas” means truth and the white color symbolizes purity. Veritas, truth, white, purity; the Veritas comes with a great storyline. Not only was the Veritas designed from an honest perspective, but it also includes innovative technologies that make it the best rod around for the price. The Veritas series is constructed of thirty-ton graphite material with Nano Technology. This combination decreases weight and increases the rod’s compression strength. The rod is ultra sensitive and does a phenomenal job at transmitting bites to the angler. Built for durability, the Nano Technology more than doubles the impact resistance of standard graphite rods. This makes the Veritas resilient against microscopic cracks from accidental and inevitable abuse. The Veritas feels great, is well balanced, sports a beautiful BMW white finish, and is sturdy yet ultra sensitive. Anglers receive high-end benefits at an affordable price.

Revo XS Low Profile Baitcasting Reel:

The Revo XS low profile baitcasting reel is a great way to top your Veritas rod. The ergonomically designed Revo XS is silky smooth, utilizing eleven high performance corrosion resistant ball bearings, good for freshwater or saltwater. The enhanced drag system allows for twenty pounds of drag pressure, which is phenomenal out of such a small reel. The frame and side plate are constructed from corrosion resistant X-Cräftic aluminum alloy, which is stronger and lighter than standard aluminum. With both the Revo XS and the Veritas, quality and performance come standard.

Mountain Mikes Shed Spreader Kit The 2011-2012 deer season is complete, however, some hunters still sneak to the woods in pursuit of a heavy rack. Shed hunting is a hobby that many hunters enjoy. Sheds provide insight as to where bucks are living, which is valuable information for the upcoming season. Aside from a scouting perspective, shed hunting is yet another way hunters can enjoy the woods and obtain a trophy. If you are lucky enough to find a complete set, treat it as a trophy! The Mountain Mikes Shed Spreader kit is the perfect way to show off your shed-hunting trophy.

by Mitch Strobl

A Turkey Season Tool: Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod While many shooters use a rest at the range, many forgo a rest in the field. Caldwell’s lightweight and portable DeadShot FieldPod allows benchrest accuracy in the field. With the DeadShot FieldPod, you leave the firearm in the rest, minimizing any movement once game arrives. Instead of bringing the gun up to your shoulder, simply bring your shoulder to the gun. It is perfect for hunting from a ground blind. The DeadShot FieldPod is extremely adjustable; modifications are made in seconds by loosening adjustment knobs. The cast aluminum center hub provides rotation and tilting capabilities for smooth target acquisition. Upper-frame length and pivot point adjustments ensure a perfect fit for any shotgun, muzzleloader, rifle or crossbow. Constructed of high-quality, lightweight aluminum, the DeadShot FieldPod is both portable and durable. It features three telescopic legs, each with two points of adjustment, ranging from 20 to 42 inches. The FieldPod collapses quickly for those inevitable “run and gun” situations and quickly unfolds when a shot presents itself. Weighing in at less than five pounds, the DeadShot FieldPod goes anywhere. Overall, the Dead Shot FieldPods’s innovative design and versatility make it perfect for a variety of hunting applications. Perhaps the DeadShot FieldPod’s greatest trait is versatility. It can be used to increase safety and success for beginners and to extend effective shooting range for more seasoned shooters. It truly is top notch when it comes to in-field shooting rests. Why wait to increase your in-field accuracy?

Optics: Extend Your Vision! With Turkey season just a few months away, pre-season scouting is right around the corner. Unlike some turkey hunters, I like to scout. The ideal scouting position is from a distance, where it is an absolute necessity to have high quality optics. Alpen Optics has a long line of superior spotting scopes and binoculars. The Alpen Apex 10x42 binoculars are perfect for the spring turkey woods. Coated with sleek green rubber armoring, Apex binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, lightweight (22oz), extremely durable, and easy to grip in slickest conditions. Crystal clear views come standard with all Alpen optics, and with the Apex you get optical clarity from the center of view to the very outer edges; no soft blurs whatsoever. In the field, the Apex binoculars truly gained my respect. Like most hunters, I can be hard on my equipment. While turkey hunting, I was jogging through the woods to get into position and soon found myself face first in the dirt. Unfortunately, my binoculars took the full force of my fall, digging into my chest and giving me the terrible feeling that they were crushed. Much to my surprise, I picked up the binoculars and saw they were perfectly fine. That day I learned these binoculars were, as advertised, tough! Overall, the phase-coated prisms, BAK4 fully multi-coated glass, twist-up eyecups and exceptional low-light performance make the Apex a great investment. Look for these green and black extra sleek binoculars from Alpen Optics. All Alpen products are backed by a lifetime warranty. Find them on the web @ www.AlpenOptics.com


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March 2012

A Jack’s Fork Adventure A smallmouth trip in the Missouri Ozarks shows there are still a few kind strangers in this world. by Will Brantley

I don’t know why the guy gave two nameless 18-year-old strangers the keys to his car. Perhaps regard for the fellow man just runs deep in the Missouri Ozarks, and he could see we were in a bind. Or maybe he just wanted to tend to the 6-pack of beer he was carrying. Regardless, Robert and I needed a ride, evidently looked trustworthy enough, and were now behind the wheel of a faded blue Dodge Shadow with a cracked rear windshield. We didn’t know the owner’s name, having only met him 10 minutes earlier and not bothered with introductions. The tire on Seymore’s Blazer had gone flat perhaps a mile from the river as the four of us—Seymore, Robert, Rusty and I—were en route to go fishing. For what-

wrench,” he said. The gravel road we were on was at the base of a mountain in the Mark Twain National Forest, perhaps 12 miles from town. Robert suggested we just leave the truck and walk to the river to go fishing instead, since it was so much closer. Rusty perked up, but Seymore persisted. “I don’t think I can deal with you two any more at the moment.” Robert and I had walked maybe a mile when an old man and woman in a bench seat pickup pulled up behind us. “You-ins with them boys with the flat tire back there?” he asked. I nodded, and said we needed a 4-way lug wrench. “Yep, that’s what that boy back there said, too. I ain’t got one. But I’ma headed to town, and I’ll give you a ride if you need one.” The woman scooted across the seat next to the man, and Robert and I climbed in. “What in the hell are y’all doing down here, anyway?” the old man asked.

Smallmouth this size are common in streams throughout the Ozarks.

Work the bottom for daylight smallmouth bass.

ever reason, the lug wrench Seymore had did not fit the lug nuts on his wheels. That was the year Firestone Tires were in the news for suddenly exploding, and Robert and I, both prone to shenanigans regardless of the situation, pounced on Seymore when we noticed “Firestone” on the tire’s sidewall. Seymore found no humor in this. He wanted to fix his tire, and he wanted to go catch smallmouths as we’d planned. “You two are going to have to go into town and round us up a 4-way lug

“Well, fixing a flat tire for now. But we came down here to do some smallmouth fishing. I’ve been fishing the Jack’s Fork for bass since I was a kid. Always caught a ton of fish,” I said. “Smallmouth? There’s no fish in that river. They gigged them all out years ago. You boys need to be picking up to go catch catfish on the Ohio.” “Well, we’re here now. And there are several smallmouth in that river. We caught like 50 yesterday,” I said.

“I caught me a 60-pounder out of the Ohio one time.” The town hub was a service station just across the street from a liquor store called the Waterin’ Hole, and this is where the man and woman parted ways with Robert and me. We wandered into the service station and found a massive man behind the counter with a bowl of Cheerios resting upon his ample gut, scooping them into his mouth with a plastic spoon. “Sir, I’m Will Brantley,” I began, extending my hand. The man glared, briefly, and returned his attention to the cereal. “I made me a vow a long time ago not to get busy with anything else until I finish eating. And right now, I’m eating this Shredded Wheat.”

This did not sit well with Robert. “That’s not Shredded Wheat. It’s clearly Cheerios.” The man grunted and moved his bowl to the counter. It was apparent he did not like us. “What do you want?” he asked. Robert spoke up. “Do you have a 4-way lug wrench? Rusty and Seymore and us were going fishing down at the river, but we’re stuck with a flat tire and no wrench. Brantley and I hitch-hiked into town to borrow one.” “I’ve got a wrench. But how do I know you boys will bring it back?” Fat Man asked. Robert slapped a twenty on the counter in high-roller fashion. “You can just keep this if we don’t.”


March 2012

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When floating the Jack’s Fork, don’t be surprised if you land a largemouth or two.

With a rusted wrench in hand, all that was left was to get back to Seymore, Rusty, and the flattened Firestone, 12 miles away in the mountains. Robert and I stood in the parking lot of the service station, eyeing cars as they passed. Across the street, a thin man with a wisp of a mustache emerged from the Waterin’ Hole with a 6-pack of beer and settled into the driver’s seat of his blue Dodge Shadow. It was one of those moments—he saw us, we saw him, and things were thus destined to be OK. He pulled across the street, rolled down his window and said, “You-ins need a ride?” Hell yes, Mister. We jumped right in. “What are you boys doing here, anyway?” he asked. Smallmouth fishing, we said. This flat tire is holding us up. I adjusted in the back seat, next to his 6-pack. The man snapped around and locked eyes with me. “You aren’t messing with my beer, are you?” No, Sir. Just adjusting in my seat. “Well, it ain’t no big deal. Drink one if you want. Where’s your truck at, anyhow?” We didn’t know the name of the road of course. It was one of a hundred such river-bound gravel roads in the forest. “Well, it doesn’t matter because I don’t care to see it,” he said, suddenly swerving off the road and stopping in the driveway of a trailer park. “You-ins just take my car and bring it back when you’re done.” And with that, Thin Man slammed the door, left the engine running, and disappeared into one of the trailers with his beer. I’m sure Robert and I found this unusual, but I don’t remember discussing it. I simply climbed into the driver’s seat, put it in gear and hit the gas. In little more than a half hour since Rusty and Seymore had last seen us, and

knowing we had a 12-mile walk both ways, we’d returned not only with the lug wrench, but a car. “Whose car is that?” Seymore asked. Robert and I shrugged. “Brought your wrench. Don’t tear it up, because the guy who owns it is a hateful old bastard,” I said. “So you’ve got one guy worried about a 40-year-old rusted lug wrench, and another guy who just gave you his car, no questions asked?” Yep. In a few minutes, Seymore was bolting on a new wheel. Thirty minutes later we were at the service station to return Fat Man’s wrench. He glared at Robert and begrudgingly returned his $20. After that, we returned to the trailer park. Thin Man was standing out front, drinking a beer, and talking to his neighbor. “Man, I sure appreciate you letting us borrow your car. Saved us a lot of hassle,” I said, and extended my hand. He recoiled. “Don’t shake my hand. I’m not the danged president.” He never offered to introduce himself, he did gesture toward his neighbor. “This here is Preacher Francis.” Preacher Francis was also enjoying his beer, but he grinned and was cordial. And after another half hour, the four of us were knee deep in the Jack’s Fork, casting Salty Craws for smallmouths. “Maybe next year,” I told Seymore as we waded along, “we should consider a catfishing trip on the Ohio.” Will Brantley is a freelance writer whose work regularly appears in many of most popular outdoor titles.

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March 2012

Taneycomo At Night: Your Best Chance For A Trophy ‘Bow by Jeremy Hunt

It seems as though the popularity of night fishing on Lake Taneycomo has waned slightly over the last decade, but for a hardcore group of anglers, fishing by the “lights of the dam” is still a major part of their lives. I will admit that there were a few years where I hardly made it out after dark, but lately, my fire for this type of fishing has been rekindled. There is nothing quite like the feeling of when a trout about rips the rod out of your hands. And since so many of Taneycomo’s bigger fish tend to be nocturnal feeders, night fishing offers the opportunity of hooking up with a real hog. When stripping a streamer through a deep hole after dark, you better keep a solid grip on the handle of your rod. The most important aspect of night fishing on all of the White River Basin tail-

water trout fisheries is safety. It is imperative that anglers gain a feel of the layout of the river during daylight hours while paying close attention to areas that look like they would be likely spots for nocturnal fish to cruise. The upper sections of Taneycomo are comprised primarily of slow, deep water, so it’s easy to think that every spot is the same, but this is definitely not the case. Big trout will move into different lies at night to feed, but they will still usually be found near where they hang out during the day. Every night fishing experience is going to be different. Therefore, I fish several different depths of water before giving up on an area. When the trout are hungry and feeding aggressively, shallow runs can hold surprising numbers of fish. But if these same fish are feeling content, and being lazy, it often pays to fish deep water holes. A slow retrieve often works best, but it never hurts to change things up if you are not getting the results that you are looking for.

Catch and release is a must when fishing trophy-size trout.

Fly selection and overall techniques for night fishing are somewhat simple, and I normally stick with floating lines, five to eight-foot leaders and basic patterns. Although huge streamers attract big fish – especially on the White in Arkansas – a more subtle approach is often necessary when night fishing on Taneycomo. I stick with size #6 and #8 weighted wooly buggers for the most part, and the best colors schemes often have some black either as

the hackle, the body or both. There are also times when I will use “fancier” flies, but I always seem to revert to the old standards for the sake of confidence. Because the water is so slow and open below Table Rock Dam, casting accuracy is not that important; but casting distance does make a big difference. Long casts cover more water and present your fly to more fish. I will usually let the fly sink for five to ten seconds before I start stripping in, and a

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March 2012 lot of bites seem to come when my pattern starts to swing downstream of where I am standing. In all honesty, there really aren’t any ‘bad’ spots when it comes to catching numbers of fish on Taneycomo, but when going after trophy trout, it helps to do some research and have access to certain tools. This has been the first year that I have used my drift boat for night fishing Taneycomo. I’m doing so, because it allows me to get into areas where I see the biggest fish during the day. Plus, a non-motorized vessel allows me to cover large expanses of water without spooking trout out of their holes. Obviously, this approach requires intimate knowledge of the river, and I am offering guide trips at night that utilize my drifter. It is quite the experience, and it gets my adrenaline pumping to fish spots where I know there are concentrations of big rainbows and browns. Keep in mind that cloudy conditions tend to offer up the best fishing, but again, every night is different, so it’s an exercise in futility to try and “pick” the perfect evening. On the other side of the coin, the moon shining on the water can make the fish spookier. When confronted with this situation, go to smaller flies and lighter tippet, like 4x or 5x. Wade cautiously as to avoid stepping into deep water and do not stray too far from your access point just in

9

If you want a shot at catching the largest trout of your life, fish Taneycomo after dark.

case the horn blows and the water starts to rise. Night fishing on Taneycomo is relatively safe if anglers take simple precautions and are diligently prepared. Night fishing in the Ozarks, and especially on Lake Taneycomo, is as productive as anywhere. Chances are, you’ll have success right off the bat. It does take a little bit of time to get used to casting and wading at night, but the learning curve with respect to this type of fishing is not nearly

as steep as with other methods. Darkness hides a lot of flaws. All of the guides at Taneycomo Trout are experienced when it comes to fishing at night, and never hesitate to drop us a line for more information about this unique opportunity.

Jeremy Hunt is a professional fly fishing guide on Lake Taneycomo and the White River. To book a trip, call him at (417) 294-0759

in Columbia, MO

April 14-15

From Anteaters to Zebras & everything in between...

Breakfast & Lunch on site! Novelty Shoots Iron Buck Jug Shoot

The R100 is a 3D archery event like no other, with 100 outrageous, silly, and down right scary targets! At the R100 you can shoot either 100 targets over two days or 50 targets in only one day. You don’t even have to score the targets and you still have a chance at winning door prizes. All prizes are distributed by drawing on Sunday at 2:30pm. Prizes total over $2,000 at this event and ANYONE CAN WIN!

7:00 am Registration or online @ www. R100 .org

Bring your shotguns! Trap & Skeet on Saturday Evening!

Located @ Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports 1420 County Rd. 276, Columbia, MO 65202

www.R100.org or

ColumbiaAreaArchers.com


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March 2012

Bowhunting Turkeys: The Big Three Turkey Hunting Tips Everyone Should Know by Kevin Reese

Turkey Hunting Tips Everyone Should Know As exceedingly warm temperatures rushed in on thunderheads, the accompanying breeze proved useful in blowing the dust out of my stagnant, postseason mind. Spring is rolling in hard and heavy; ushering with it, endless opportunities to venture beyond our routine existence in search of larger-than-life outdoor adventures. For many of us, those outdoor adventure lead straight to turkey country! So, with my one track mind stuck on yelps, clucks, cuts and purrs, I thought a little turkey talk was in order. Chasing turkeys with a bow can be both exhilarating and maddening. At times, it seems aligning the planets might be a simpler task. Depending on any number of scenarios, numerous key elements must align for success. Getting it right accounts for some of the greatest adrenaline rushes imaginable. Conversely, getting it wrong is enough to drive a bowhunter to the edge of insanity. Take a look at three turkey hunting tips meant to stem your tide of tears this spring season. The Right Stuff Let’s face it, trying to win a cat and mouse game with a bird that can see you blink at 50 yards is tough work! Worse, these birds see color! Camouflage is critical when turkey hunting. Pick a pattern that best matches your surroundings and put it on. Breaking up your silhouette is the name of the game here. Camouflage boots, gloves, face masks, shirts, pants and coats are essential. Never wear red, white or blue, those are colors turkeys associate with other turkeys and are the first colors they zero in on. In a ground blind, black is the most effective camouflage. Turkeys also pick out shiny objects. Leave your jewelry at home unless you’re wearing gloves. A great tip is to use wax on the wire frame of your glasses to dull the finish. Ensure your bow is well-tuned, sighted in and well used, a sign you have practiced and are at the top of your game; the prey you chase deserves every ounce of your best efforts. Location, Location, Location! Like real estate, location is everything!

Scouting is critical. Well before season look for signs of roosting around trees near open fields. Return to potential roosting areas at dusk but keep back at least 100 yards. Move quietly. Scan the tree canopies

15 yards in front of your position; I prefer two jakes and one hen although decoying with a jake mounting a hen may be just the ticket you need to arrow that longbeard of a lifetime.

This lucky hunter tagged a tom with a bow and arrow.

Archery hunting for turkeys increases the challenge and excitement of an already thrilling experience.

for turkeys on the roost. If you are able to locate a roost, as a general rule you should set up 100 – 150 yards from the roost. Never walk through a roosting area during early morning hours or after late afternoon. Many hunters steer you towards the western edge of a field because turkeys love to bask in sunlight; my suggestion is to setup on the eastern edge of a field where the veil of shadows can be used to your advantage to cloak movement. With good calling techniques and decoying, turkeys can be lured across the field to your setup. Sit against a tree trunk, rock or blow down tree that is wider than your shoulders and taller than your head. If you’re bowhunting from a ground blind, never open all the windows, open the front and perhaps one side window. Opening more than that, allows turkeys to catch your silhouette through the open windows. Sit as far back in the ground blind as possible. Decoys should be placed between 8 and

Calling Major Tom… Early in the morning, while turkeys are still on the roost, begin calling with soft, slow, hollow yelps. How would you sound if you were just waking up? Hens use this first yelp series to locate other turkeys in the roost while toms also use

those early yelps to gauge direction of travel after fly-down. As the morning progresses, change your calling to regular hen yelps – slow and louder. Soon after beginning your regular yelping, transition into excited yelping. This type of yelping is faster, a bit longer, and a bit louder than normal yelps. If you’ve watched hunting on television, 90 percent of the time what you hear is excited yelping. Feel free to add some clucks and cutting in your yelp runs. The most common error in turkey calling is over calling. Yelp runs are best kept between 4-7 yelps and performed every 10 – 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes is too often. The greatest tip I can offer about calling is simply that just a lack of responsive gobbling doesn’t mean they aren’t coming. In most cases, luck isn’t luck at all; it’s the sum of preparation and due diligence. Following these tips won’t guarantee you that boss tom but they’ll certainly increase your chances. As a last note, most of the turkeys I’ve harvested have been around 9:30 a.m. or even later. When you think it’s time to end the morning hunt, don’t! Late morning finds toms back on the prowl after leaving their hens. Hunters


March 2012

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Bowhunting turkeys is a great way for families and friends to enjoy time together outdoors in the spring.

yearning for lunch may be biting off more than they bargain for in missed opportunities; turkeys, especially toms have been known to fill your lunchtime gap in search of more hens – makes lunch a bit harder to swallow doesn’t it? Get out there; stay out there!

Hunt hard and hunt often. Kevin Reese is an award winning outdoor journalist who specializes in bowhunting.

Visit us on the web @ www.DriftwoodOutdoors.com


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March 2012

Travel Pattern Turkeys by Brandon Butler

The classic picture of a turkey hunter is someone covered from head to toe in top- notch camouflage nestled tight against cover. This hunter remains motionless to stay undetected by the incredible eyesight of the wild turkey. He is a good enough caller to bring birds into his decoys, so he sits and waits. I’ve never been good at waiting. Sitting still is something I can handle for about an hour, and then my feet begin to dance. On a recent hunt out west, I discovered a whole new way to look at turkey hunting. Glassing for big game is utilized much more in the vastness of western states. Hunters spot and stalk game by first locating them with optics, and then attempting to close the distance to what is necessary for an ethical shot. I have learned to apply these tactics to eastern turkeys, and really enjoy it. Perhaps my calling is not where it should be and maybe some traditionalist would frown on running and gunning, but I love to move when I hunt and stalking turkeys is no easy task. Being a mobile turkey hunter requires doing you homework. Learning where birds roost and where they spend their days feeding is the key to intercepting turkeys on travel patterns. As deer hunters, we do this very same thing nearly every time we hunt. I do not use a ground blind very often when turkey hunting, because I like to be able to hit the road when need be, but using a blind along


March 2012 a turkey travel route is a sound method. I hunt both deer and turkeys on some creek bottom ground mixed with hardwoods and agricultural fields. A steep, wooded ridge runs along the opposite bank of the creek on my neighbor’s property. This ridge is the roosting hotspot of a vast majority of the turkeys I’m after. During deer season, I watch these birds nearly every time I sit in a particular stand along the creek. It only took me a few hunts, after the crops were down, to realize the birds were very easy to pattern. Each morning they fly down and gather in the southeastern corner of the field before spreading out to feed. The southern border of the field runs along a smaller ditch which is lined with brush. This smaller ditch makes a roughly ninety degree turn to the south about two hundred yards west of where the birds gather in the field. While the turkeys do spread

out to feed, they eventually work their way to this point before heading out into the larger fields to the south. It didn’t take a lot of thinking to realize sitting on the point would serve as a great ambush location for a turkey hunter. Thinking outside the box can help us hunters discover new ways to fill our tags. If birds are hanging up on you this spring, or if you just feel like trying a new approach to turkey hunting, then why not use some of your deer hunting skills to take your tom. Challenge yourself to try something new, and you’ll find there are many enjoyable ways to take a tom. See you down the trail….

Brandon Butler is the publisher/editor of Driftwood Outdoors.

Watch for the next issue of Driftwood Outdoors to be delivered

April 1, 2012

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March 2012

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March 2012

Fishing America’s Third Coast

The Indigo team has revolutionized fly fishing for carp on the sand flats of northern Lake Michigan. Giant carp, like the one Brandon Butler is holding here, put up a spectacular fight on a fly rod.

It’s hard to imagine a region as amazing as West Michigan. Pristine rivers pour into Lake Michigan, and inland lakes dot the landscape. Fishermen from around the country come to pursue trout, steelhead, salmon, smallmouth, northern pike, carp and more. West Michigan truly has it all. Kevin Morlock owns and operates Indigo Guide Service out of Walhalla, Michigan, a small town on the Pere Marquette River about halfway between Ludington and Baldwin. Steve Martinez is also a fulltime guide with Indigo. These two are all true professionals, with years and years behind the oars. What really makes this team special though, is their diversity and creativity Runs of steelhead, salmon, and brown trout, along with resident trout, make for year round fishing excitement on the Pere Marquette River. Indio guides break out all sorts of techniques, from fly fishing to back dropping, to put their clients on cold water fish. The Pere Marquette is their home river, but they also guide on the Manistee, Muskegon, and White Rivers. They’ll go where the fishing is hot, and use whatever technique will work the best. Kevin Morlock is an adventurer. He’s not happy just putting a client on fish. He wants to give you an unforgettable experience. A couple of years ago, he thought it would be fun to run the Iditarod, so he did. Less than a 1,000 people have ever completed the 1,150 mile trans-Alaskan sled dog race, and most who have finished took years to prepare. Kevin devoted a few months to physical preparation, yet breezed to the finish in a respectable time. It’s Kevin’s work ethic and commit-

ment to be knowledgeable of fish and fisheries, that drove him to seek out a unique fly fishing experience in Michigan; his chance to be a pioneer. But when he told me he was designing a flats fishing boat to target carp and smallmouth around the Beaver Island Archipelago my initial thought was, he’s finally spent one too many days in the sun. As I listened to him outline his plan for revolutionizing Great Lakes fly fishing, I knew doubting him would be a mistake. I never anticipated a single trip could change my perception of an entire species. Aside from being one of the most amazing destinations I have ever visited (now three times), Beaver Island is home to an incredible number of carp. And I do believe, catching just one of these beautiful beasts in crystal clear water will change anyone’s perception for good. Beaver Island is also home to good numbers of trophy size smallmouth bass. March, April, and May are hot months for spring river runs, and September through November are ideal in the fall. Beaver Island trips take place in June and July. If you’re interested in experience all the wonder of fishing Michigan, give Kevin a call at (231) 898-4320. You can check out the Indigo website at www.indigoguideservice.com, and follow the guides are their engaging blog, www.ThirdCoastFly.com

If you would like your outdoor destination featured on Driftwood Destinations contact us at 660.216.5727 to learn more.

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March 2012

Understanding Optics Improves Outdoor Enjoyment by Brandon Butler

Understanding the ins and outs of optics, specifically binoculars, can provide an all around more satisfying venture afield. There are multiple binocular styles available with varying features. It can be difficult to understand which are best for your needs. The following will hopefully shed a little light on the important topic of understanding binoculars. Different activities as well as different locations necessitate different optics. If you’re running a fishing boat on Lake of the Ozarks, the magnification you need exceeds that necessary for watching a backyard birdfeeder from the comforts of your kitchen window. Binocular Styles There are 2 main body styles of binoculars: porro prism and roof prism. Porro prism binoculars are offset, meaning

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the eye pieces and objective lenses are not in a straight line. The eye pieces are usually closer together than the objective lenses. Porro prism binoculars are the more traditional of the 2 styles, and can offer great viewing performance for a generally less expensive price.

Roof prism binoculars are designed with the eye pieces and objective lenses inline. In a pair of roof prism binoculars, the eye pieces and objective lenses share the same axis. One major advantage of roof prism binoculars is, they are normally less bulky. They are however, generally more expensive

Both, porro prism and roof prism designs can provide excellent quality and enjoyable viewing. Determining which prism is right for you comes down to multiple factors including; cost, bulk, and personal preference. Optical Power The first number, the digit(s) to the left of the x, always refer to how much magnification a binocular possesses. If you were to purchase an 8x binocular, you would have an optical tool in your hands with the ability to make an object appear 8 times closer than it actually is. Therefore, the first number is how close the object will appear. Some binoculars have a zoom. A 7-10x binocular has the potential to range in magnification from 7 times to 10 times more powerful than the human eye. The second number, the digit(s) to the right of the x, indicates how big the objective lens is. This represents how wide of a view the binocular will represent and how much light can be gathered to form an image. For example, a x50 will allow more light at a wider view than a x28. Glass and Coatings BK7 prism glass and BAK4 prism glass are two grades of glass frequently used in the design and manufacture of consumer binoculars. BK7 is most often used on low to mid-level priced units, while general purpose BAK4 is used on higher grade, more expensive binocu-

lars. BAK4 is a softer glass, requiring more attention in grinding thus offering greater light transmission and color correctness. Lenses receive coatings to help reduce the amount of light which is lost due to reflections. Generally, binoculars receive a single layer of coating on each glass surface. More expensive models have multicoatings applied which further reduce the amount of light lost to reflections. When considering how to spend your hard earned money on outdoor equipment, don’t overlook the importance of having quality binoculars. Deer hunters do a lot of looking in those long hours on stand and squirrel hunters spend a lot of time peering into treetops. Seek out a good deal on a quality set of binoculars and start enjoying your optical experience. See you down the trail‌


March 2012

Missourian Named NWTF Communicator Of The Year NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ray Eye knows a thing or two about wild turkeys and, thankfully for hunters across the nation, he likes to share his knowledge. Called “America’s Premier Turkey Hunter” by The Wall Street Journal, Eye has communicated his expertise on turkey hunting and the outdoors for more than three decades. The Hillsboro, Mo., native was named the 2012 NWTF Communicator of the Year Award on Feb. 11 at the 36th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show. Eye has hosted several national television shows, written for national outdoor publications, has his own outdoor radio show in St. Louis and conducts seminars across the nation. Eye also writes “Chasing Spring,” a popular blog on OutdoorLife. com.

He also has a new book titled “Ray Eye’s Turkey Hunter’s Bible: The Tips, Tactics and Secrets of a Professional Turkey Hunter.” “Receiving this award is very humbling,” said Eye. “It’s such an honor to have my name alongside the great people who have won this award in the past. I think people in my position have an obligation to spread the gospel about our trade.” Originally a welder and an avid turkey hunter and contest caller, Eye honed his communications skills while demonstrating turkey calls he made for Wal-Mart in mid-1970s. Six years later he was asked to give a seminar at a local college and his new career took off. Mixing his expertise with down-toEarth honesty and timely humor, Eye built a national fan base. “When I think about it, I can’t believe

it. I talk and people want to listen,” Eye said. “People are still hungry for information on how to do something.” Eye has been an enthusiastic NWTF member and supporter since the NWTF’s founding in 1973. Each year, he donates his time to hold seminars at the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show. He has also donated guns and hunts, as well as promoting the NWTF’s mission whenever possible. “In every type of media from radio and TV, to magazines and books, and now through Internet blogging Ray has promoted our mission and conservation efforts to help the wild turkey and other wildlife,” said NWTF Editorial Director Burt Carey. “He’s a superb communicator, and I’m excited for him that the NWTF Board of Directors recognized him with this award.”

... More About Ray Eye Before the celebrated ‘return’ of American wild turkey populations, a boy named Ray Eye was born into a hunting tradition rooted in one of the remaining turkey strongholds, deep in the Missouri Ozark mountains. He grew up living with those turkeys and essentially becoming one of them. It’s a standing joke that he received his degree from Johnson Mountain University Having been born to a Missouri Ozarks country farm family, Eye began his turkey hunting career at an early age, having been taught by all his older kin how to go about it. Fancy camo, calls, magnum shells, decoys and extra-full turkey chokes didn’t exist. He became an early pioneer in outdoor TV programming, promoting hunter safety, outdoor skills, outdoor ethics and sound conservation principles as far back as 1983. An icon of the turkey hunting world, Eye absolutely loves teaching others about hunting wild turkeys. He holds crowds spellbound with his slap happy, matter of fact, vivid presentations at his seminars. His spectacular film footage of wild turkeys and the hunts to get them makes every hunter want to be there. He volunteers his services for fundraisers for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Eye never passes up the op-

portunity to mentor a young, up and coming hunter. Ray Eye is a conservation communications giant. His accomplishments could fill volumes. He has generated and created an awareness of our great

Ray Eye accepts the NWTF Communicator of the Year Award

outdoors and the issues surrounding them in millions of Americans. Few individuals in the history of the conservation movement have generated the quantity and quality of outdoor related media materials over a span of several decades. Yet, Ray remains humble, down to earth and a friend to all he meets. He is a friend of the NWTF, the wild turkey, con-

servation, the outdoors and Americas hunting future. Ray is a busy man, however he gives back regularly through his volunteer efforts of appearing at fundraisers for conservation organizations and running youth hunting camps. He has also volunteered seminars for the NRA, NWTF, US Sportsman’s Alliance and various school districts and sports clubs. Eye has taught and helped more hunters the past thirty years about hunting wild turkeys than any outdoor personality through his thousands of seminars, presentations, appearances, articles, TV shows and DVDs. He is far and away ahead of all others with his teaching, information, tactics, and turkey hunting knowledge and especially far beyond what anyone else produces with DVD video productions. Ray Eye is one of a kind: natural storyteller, gifted hunter, excellent photographer and videographer, and darn good at getting it all down in print. They didn’t break the mold when he came along. They didn’t even make a mold. There will never be another Ray Eye.

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Ray Eye: America’s Premiere Turkey Hunter.

CWD found in two free-ranging deer in Macon County JEFFERSON CITY Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) received two positive test results for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) from 1,077 tissue samples taken from free-ranging deer harvested by hunters in north-central Missouri during the 2011 fall firearms deer season. Both positive test results were from adult bucks harvested by Missouri hunters in Macon County, and are the first CWD-positive results for free-ranging deer in Missouri. MDC plans to obtain more tissue samples for CWD testing by harvesting additional deer in the immediate area where the two infected deer were harvested. “Teamwork among landowners, hunters and MDC staff allowed us to detect this infection early,” said MDC Deer Biologist Jason Sumners. “We will be working with local landowners to harvest additional deer for tissue sampling. This is a first step and one of our best hopes for containing, and perhaps even eliminating, what we believe to be a recent localized event.” MDC staff have contacted the two Missouri hunters who harvested the CWD-positive bucks to inform them of the situation and answer questions. For more information, please visit: http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom


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March 2012

There’s Place Like Home by Allen Treadwell continued from cover

Over the years I have had some amazing opportunities. As a competitive shooter of shotguns, I have been honored by the privilege of representing the United States in world cups and world championships. As a professional in the outdoor industry, I have been trusted by outdoor companies like Bass Pro Shops and Winchester, to represent their companies in the public eye. Traveling the globe filming for televisions shows is a job most would love to have. I don’t take these opportunities lightly, as I know how blessed and fortunate I am. At the end of the day though, it’s still work. And after weeks on the road away from home and my beautiful wife, I can’t wait to get back home to Missouri, pitch my suitcase in the corner and relax. Whether that means simply taking a walk down to the local creek to throw spinners for smallmouth, or tagging along with Grandpa on a late season rabbit hunt. No matter where I am at in the world, my heart and thoughts are on home. And home for me is Missouri. I have to believe though, that even if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to be born in Missouri, I’d still love this state. I mean, how unbelievable are the outdoor opportunities here? We have everything from monster whitetails to monster trout. Our turkey hunting is unsurpassed and our reservoir system is phenomenal. Crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, catfish, paddlefish; you name it and we can fish for it right here in the Show-Me State. My home is in the southwest corner of Missouri. Down here its rolling hills filled with hardwood timber. In the fall, when the leaves turn every color imaginable, I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful sight. Although the whitetails are not as plentiful down here as in other parts of the state, I can’t wait to slip out with my bow for some much need time on my home turf. These Ozark whitetails are some of the hardest deer I ever hunted. Since they’re roaming the woodlands, foraging on browse and acorns, they’re tough to pattern. I honestly believe if you can arrow a mature buck in Ozarks, then you can kill one anywhere across the country. Turkey hunting these hills isn’t easy. Just when you think it’s going to be an enjoyable day outdoors, an old gobbler starts up two hollers over and the next thing you

know, you’re wiping sweat from your brow in 50 degree weather. Up and over these hills is tough, but you have to go for it, and when you drop a bead on a big red head, you know the hike was worth it. In most parts of the country, squirrels don’t get the respect they deserve. Down home, we hunt squirrels with a passion. If I had a dollar for every squirrel Grandpa’s shot…well, I’d have a lot of dollars. Watching a busy tail bunch up on a big oak limb as I level the crosshairs of my .22 gets me almost as excited as a Booner buck. I don’t know of any other sort of hunting that builds better woodsmanship skills than squirrel hunting. The southeast portion of the state is full of game, too. But when I think southeast, I first think waterfowl hunting and fishing. Watching a flock of geese lock up and commit to your set is one of the most exciting moments in the entire spectrum of traditional outdoor sports. How lucky are we as Missourians to have such incredible waterfowl hunting here in our state? Of course, much of it is attributed to the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers placing us smack dab in the middle of the Mississippi Flyway , but a lot of it has to do with the great job our Missouri Department of Conservation does of securing and managing waterfowl hunting properties. If you know of a better way to spend a summer day than floating down a crystal clear Ozark Mountain stream, then by all means, please let me know. The Big Piney is as beautiful as smallmouth waters get. Floating through miles and miles of natural, hardwoods habitat, pitching plugs to bronzebacks and admiring all sorts of diverse wildlife, then pulling over to camp on a gravel bar and spending the night in the middle of nowhere sharing a fire with good friends and family. Yes sir, what a way to spend a weekend. Northern Missouri is one of my favorite parts of the state. I have been fortunate to hunt whitetail deer all over the United States, and northern Missouri in the middle of November is as good as it gets. Whether you’re sitting way atop an oak tree overlooking a cut bean field or hiding tucked up underneath a blow down watching a river bottom, northern Missouri offers a real shot of getting a glimpse of a Boone and Crockett buck. And if you think north Missouri is a prime place to be in November, then give it a try in April when the hard gobbling eastern birds are screaming their heads off. Northern Missouri offers some of the best eastern turkey

Missouri turkey hunting ranks second to none.

hunting in the world. There’s no doubt about it; I’m a proud Missourian. There are days when I still can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been both professionally and personally, but even if I wasn’t traveling around the country living my dream of filming outdoor television shows, I know I‘d still be a happy person, because I’d still be walking Missouri’s hardwood ridges with a squirrel rifle and

floating her beautiful waterways. Until next time, Allen Treadwell

Allen Treadwell is a professional outdoor communicator who hosts television shows for Bass Pro Shop and Winchester.


March 2012

The Conservation Corner A look inside the great outdoor based groups here in Missouri. NWTF.org - On March 28, 1973, the Commonwealth of Virginia issued incorporation papers to a fledgling organization in Fredericksburg called the National Wild Turkey Federation. The NWTF has come a long way since its founding chief executive, Tom Rodgers, took $440 out of his own pocket to put this organization in motion. And what it has turned into is nothing short of phenomenal. Since 1973, the NWTF and its volunteers, partners and sponsors, have worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage. Before the NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the

NWTF and our members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $372 million to conserve nearly 17 million acres of habitat. Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, have benefited from this improved habitat. Our dedicated volunteers bring new hunters and conservationists into the fold — about 100,000 every year — through outdoor education events and our Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen and JAKES youth outreach programs. Our state chapter and the local chapters of which it is comprised are dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey in Missouri and the preservation of our hunting heritage. To that end, each local chapter holds an annual fundraising event, called a Super Fund banquet, to raise money and to increase membership. For information on how you can join NWTF or start a local chapter in your area, visit www.monwtf.org

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March 2012

High-Tech Wear For The Hardcore Woman Hunter by Stephanie Mallory

Forget rolledup hems or beltcinched waists. Today’s huntresses no longer have to wear their husbands’ or boyfriends’ oversized camo when they hunt. Now women have an assortment of camouflaged clothing to choose from that is designed especially for their bodies, and we’re not talking just basic pants and shirts. Now, just like men, women hunters can select high-tech hunting apparel that performs well in extreme conditions and will keep them comfortable no matter what Mother Nature decides to dish out. There are a number of manufacturers that produce women’s camo clothing in addition to men’s. But, we’re highlighting a couple of companies that focus entirely on women’s camo hunting apparel. Their clothing lines designed for the female hunter look and perform great, even when worn by the most diehard female hunters.

Próis® Hunting Apparel Kirstie Pike, owner of Próis®, says her company designs clothing for women who do not want to settle for “hand-me-downs or make-do gear.” The Próis customer desires a unique look, but is not willing to sacrifice comfort or effectiveness in the field. “I think with the huge influx of women into the hunting and shooting sports, it’s a great thing that manufacturers are starting to recognize the need for women to have functional and comfortable gear in the field,” says Pike. “We select top-rated performance fabrics to provide wind-stopping, wicking, waterproofing, silence and thermoregulation. We create each item to maximize efficiency and functionality in the field utilizing signature features, such as scapular pockets, magnetic snaps, lum-

bar compartments, ducktail features and more. We take great pride in the fact that our gear is made as an overall commitment to the female hunter.”

Próis Ultra Backcountry Shirt The Próis Ultra Backcountry Shirt is designed for women hunters who want a tough shirt with functional storage. The shirt is constructed from Prois’s signature 100% polyester birdseye fabric, which wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool when it is hot and warm when it is cool. The neck zipper allows venting in warm weather. What sets the Backcountry apart from the rest? The shirt features a unique and convenient three-compartment lumbar pocket system, which is perfect for holding calls, gloves, hand warmers and other hunting necessities. The Ultra Backcountry provides maximum function for the hunter on the move.

Próis Ultra Fitted Pants The Próis Ultra Fitted Pants are designed with 100% polyester brushed tricot 380 Gm fabric, which boasts the four “S’s”: soft, sturdy, silent and snag-resistant. Fitted just below the natural waist for a formfitting and functional

feel, the Ultra Fitted Pants are designed to allow more room through the hips and thighs to enhance comfort and function. The pants feature large cargo pockets with magnetic closures for silence, a boot cut fit, elasticized cuffing and cordlock to cinch the cuff closer to the boot during the hunt. Knee pleats enhance movement and comfort while sitting, squatting or stalking.

ter repellency. You always have easy access to your gear thanks to double-angle hip pockets, large side bellow cargo pockets and a deep welt accessory pocket with zip closure. A lower waist rear yoke design eliminates gapping and enhances fit.

SHE Outdoor Apparel Expedition

www.proishunting.com

SHE Outdoor Apparel SHE Outdoor Apparel clothing and accessories are created and field-tested with the help of a team of dedicated professional outdoorswomen. By combining their expertise with comments and feedback from customers, SHE Outdoor Apparel incorporates the best ideas in the outdoor industry into every garment. “Not too long ago it was nearly impossible to find true hunting and field wear for women who really enjoy the outdoors,” Pam Zaitz, president and lead designer of SHE Outdoor Apparel, says. “That’s why SHE Outdoor Apparel has defined itself in the outdoor apparel industry as being focused on designing and providing attractive and functional apparel.” Zaitz says the company takes great pride in its attention to detail making sure that products fit the way they should. Each item must include perfectly designed materials and construction. It must have a balanced functionality. And finally, the results have to be attractive. By emphasizing each of these four essential mindsets in the women’s wear, SHE accomplishes its goal of providing the customer with great looking and superb fitting and performing clothing.

SHE Outdoor Apparel Expedition Tech Pants The SHE Outdoor Apparel Expedition Tech Pants enhance freedom of movement thanks to 310 gram polyester bonded knit form stretch material. Knee darts help with athletic performance and mobility. Antimicrobial properties assist in scent control, and the material is treated for wa-

Tech Hooded Pull-Over The SHE Outdoor Apparel Expedition Tech Hooded Pull-Over also features form stretch material to enhance freedom of movement as well as extended cuffs and waistline for maximum coverage and versatility. Antimicrobial properties assist in scent control, and the 310 gram polyesterbonded knit material is also treated for water repellency. Dual-zippered under arm vents allow airflow when needed. Double-entry kangaroo-styled hand pockets and vertical easy-access chest pocket with zipper closure provide easy access to gear. www.sheoutdoorapparel.com Stephanie Mallory is the owner of Mallory Communications, and represents many of the largest companies in the outdoor industry.


March 2012

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March 2012

Sometimes Even the Best Laid Plans go Awry - Thank Goodness! by John Martino It’s interesting how even some of the best laid plans don’t turn out as expected. But I’m not complaining. This was the case with our two dogs

Jesse and Liza-Jane. It began a little over three years ago with a conversation between my cousin Jim and me. We had just lost our previous pet, a beautiful yellow lab named Josie. My cousin was the owner of several high powered English Pointers. They were born of champion blood lines, which really didn’t matter to me. All I wanted were decent hunting dogs and more importantly, pets. “I have just had this one bred,” he said, patting his sweet-faced liver colored female on the head. “I want your two boys to have pick of the litter,” he added. My family is no stranger to animals. We have had dogs our entire lives, not including livestock and other assorted critters. I have grown up around dogs, yet I have never wanted any animal, dogs included, to share the inside of our home. Our pets are allowed to run free on our property, until night fall, where they are then relegated to the comfortable enclosed kennel, under roof, located behind my shop. Several months later, my cousin’s dog Penny gave birth to a beautiful litter of multi colored pups. Seven weeks later, after they were weaned, my two sons Anthony and Joseph picked out their pups. Even though they were technically the boys’ dogs, I knew in reality who would end up with the responsibility of raising them. Jesse was primarily white in color with liver colored spots like her mother. Liza sported a black face and ticking which became more predominate as she grew older. For the first several days, the boys pleaded their pups be allowed to stay in the house. “They are only babies,” they whined. Less out of compassion and growing more tired of being continually nagged, I conceded. The “girls” as I called them, spent most of the daylight hours outdoors, but night time usually found them scampering around the house. It was time for me to establish ground rules and I was going to draw a firm line on dog behavior. “They can stay in the house for only a while

longer,” I said, “but in no way is this permanent.” “There is to be no barking, no messes on the floor, no running around, no stinking…and NO sitting on the furniture!” They could stay in the house as long as they laid on the floor, as motionless as the carpet itself! By the second or third week, both Liza and Jesse would rest on the sofa, curled up in my lap. I loved stroking their silky ears as I watched their small chest rise and fall with each breath. “I am glad you’re sticking by the no furniture rule,” Anthony would say with a smirk. I quickly learned that when hunting dogs join your family, you are not head of the household any longer. I have to admit, from the dozens of dogs we have owned, these were by far the most beautiful. Even as pups they had deep chests, sculpted muscles and a face that would break most people’s hearts. “These dogs sure are lookers,” the vet and her staff would always say when we took them in for their shots. As time went on, they grew more rambunctious and even more beautiful. Their athleticism amazed me as they could run like the wind for hours on end. I looked forward coming home from work just to watch them prance around like proud, gaited horses. I have always believed there are

A well-deserved rest for a hard working hunter.

few sights more beautiful than a bird dog, swinging from side-to-side, vanishing then reappearing in the thick cover, then locking up firmly on point. Eyes blistering with intensity, nose stretched outward and tail ramrod straight. From the onset I began, albeit it short, training sessions. I quickly realized if you ever hear someone say they don’t

John Martino with Liza and Jesse on a northern Indiana pheasant hunt.

have time for a hunting dog, they are probably telling you the truth. Without plenty of time, most of us will never get to know our dog or ourselves for that matter. I also realized at no time in my working career could I have sufficiently cleared my schedule, or my mind, to understand that training is not about teaching it to act like a human. Learning in dogs may take up to 2,000 repeated repetitions. And a puppy can only take a few short sessions each week. You definitely cannot rush things. Because of this, both dogs have become pets rather than hunters. Sure I take them in the field each year, more out of respect than anything else. Most of the time I watch them rocket out of sight, waiting for them to return later. If I’m lucky, I watch them point for a few seconds before busting birds into flight then chasing them in an effort to run them down. “They sure are good hunting dogs,” my brother Jimmy always tells people. “John turns them loose then spends the rest of the day hunting for them,” he muses. Then a little over a year ago, tragedy struck. We had noticed a lump on Jesse’s belly. It started out small but grew quickly. After several trips to the vet it was finally diagnosed as cancer. “It’s inoperable,” she sadly admitted. “Damn!” I said out load. “Even dogs can’t escape that dreadful disease.” The vet suggested putting her down but probably from our own selfishness, we couldn’t. She had become part of the family so we decided to take her home and let her live the rest of her life where she belonged. After several months, she got to the point where she couldn’t even raise her head. Her eyes would still follow you’re

every move. Even though I have always been the one to take care of things like this around our house, I couldn’t bear the thought of me being the one. We couldn’t stop petting her and thanking her for the joy she brought to our lives as she was driven back to the vet. She is back home. Although we still had Liza, it just wasn’t the same. Losing 50 percent of our dog population wasn’t easy. We missed our pet and Liza missed her sister. Since then, the love and affection that was divided between two dogs, is now reaped upon one. Life has moved on and Liza has become the sole princess of our house. My emergence as a dog man has even surprised many. I have always loved field dogs, but as I mentioned earlier, I never wanted them in the house, much less woven into the very fabric of my life. I am beginning to believe the bond between Liza and myself is that thing called love. I feel so blessed when she jumps on the sofa and falls asleep with her head in my lap. Even though there have been only few moments that contained a point, a pheasant and me pulling the trigger, there have been others that are equally as important. Yes, things sure didn’t turn out quite as planned. But I’m not complaining!

John Martino has traveled the world as an outdoor writer. He’s found the true trophy is always the experience.


March 2012

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March 2012 Driftwood Outdoors