On the final day of SHOT Show 2011, a surplus of firearms enthusiasts jostled through the Sand Expo Center to gather and gaze at what remained of the unclaimed bounty. Four days being barely enough time to properly peruse the miles of exhibits, first-timers often took the dubious route of bypassing anything lacking a trigger. Unfortunately for those who take the road less traveled, they missed out on hunting accessory favorites that can found at places like Otis, Yamaha, or Buck Knives booth.
Buck's relationship with the NRA extends beyond that of the general. In fact, Buck is exclusively providing their Model 113 Ranger Skinner knife as part of the 2011 NRA membership package. The Skinner features a 3 1/8” drop point blade, a Charcoal Dymondwood handle and a brass bolster engraved with an NRA logo.
“Working with the NRA has proven a great partnership," said CEO C.J. Buck. "We at Buck Knives are excited about offering this knife to the NRA members who are able to make the commitment and help solidify what the NRA is working to accomplish.”
I first met C.J. at the 2009 Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) in St. Louis and shared the story of my first knife. It was a Folding Hunter which my father gave me upon earning the rank of Second Class Scout. After asking him if there was a
knife I should be looking at to replace the Hunter, he smiled, stepped away, and reappeared with The Hoodlum.
"This one is special," said Buck. "There's a great guy named Ron Hood. Ron has more than 40 years worth of survival experience in the military, collegiate and outdoor arena. He used those years of training and the time he spent living with a variety of indigenous people to design a knife we call The Hoodlum. Everything from the weight, feel, balance, angles, material ... everything is designed for the purpose of survival."
He went on to explain how the knife could be used for scoring, chopping, whittling, hammering, and more. The more explained the more people gathered to catch a glimpse of the demonstration. In time I wrapped it up by snapping a few pictures, shaking his hand, and leaving C.J. to the newly formed crowd.
If you'd like to check out the Hoodlum, you can ask at your local hunting/outdoor supplier, visit their website or stop by their booth (#2015) at the NRA's 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year at the 5th Annual Professional Outdoor Media Association's (POMA) Conference, NRAblog sat down with the winner of POMA's 2010 Mossy Oak Pinnacle Award for exceptional achievement in traditional outdoor sports-focused writing – Pope & Young Club member Dennis Dunn. Dunn's latest book, BAREBOW, covers the adventures, and misadventures, surrounding his 40-year quest to complete the North American Super Slam with an arrow and bow.
But rather than have it described by a novice, read what Special Projects Editor Wayne van Zwoll of Petersen's Hunting magazine had to say:
"I hardly had time to get an arrow nocked and drawn…. Having to think on your knees in front of a charging grizzly has a way of speeding up your thought processes…. Either he would not see the obstacle in his path and would run right over the top of me, or else…."
Archer Dennis Dunn didn't kill that bear. In fact, he traveled North seven times before he made an 8-yard lung shot that anchored the biggest grizzly ever taken by an archer of record. That's a hunt worth the telling; but it's just one of 29 North American big game animals. Dunn wanted to take them all "barebow." Using stick bows and compound bows without sights, he completed that quest in September, 2004. But his accomplishment consumes only a few paragraphs in this new, gigantic and lavishly illustrated book. The best part of hunting is in the process, not the product. Dunn takes us not only on trips that brought him luck, but on those that left him empty-handed. He tells about missing a pronghorn at 11 yards, of losing a desert ram to a thief, of hard trails and disappointments every hunter has known. He writes forthrightly, but with the intensity of one with memories still vivid.
In addition to the more than 100 stories covering his crusade, the book is also filled with illustrations painted exclusively for Dunn by renowned wildlife artist Hayden Lambson as well as black-and-white drawings from his son Dallen. Whether you head into the field with a rifle, shotgun, or bow, BAREBOW! is sure to remind any sportsman of their most treasured time on the hunt. What better gift could there be?
Check out BAREBOW! and see if it's the right gift for your favorite hunter.
Guy Vandyke is the VP of Sales & Marketing for HuntNFishregs.com. NRAblog met Vandyke at the meeting of Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) members in LaPorte, Indiana, in July 2010.
What does HuntNFishregs.com do? It helps you get outdoors in any state.
"HuntNFishRegs.com is a fully developed website that provides a state-of-the-art, easy to navigate online source to all 50 states' Hunting and Fishing regulation guides," Vandyke told NRAblog.
What inspired Vanyke and his partner Jeff Hunt to form the site? "One of the big problems was that as people wanted to get information from other states (to hunt and fish in)," he said, "and you either had to wait for that state to send you a regulation book or try and navigate the state web site." It was an inconvenience that was costing men and women the opportunity to hunt or fish, the pair decided. More
Judy and Sam Brimer stood out from the crowd at the Professional Outdoor Media Association's (POMA) annual event. The pair wore bright orange shirts each day of the conference, held in La Porte, Indiana.
They stood out for another reason at the conference's Product Showcase: these three lovely ladies joined them at their booth. Each young woman is modeling a different dress offered by Judy and Sam's new dressmaking company, Camo Formal.
A seamstress by trade, Judy learned to sew in the fourth grade. "I was a little fashion designer," she said. "I was one of 6 girls, and I made sure we all had a new wardrobe each year." 35 years of marriage and three daughters haven't changed her passion. At one time, Judy operated nine shops in Louisiana and Texas.
A few years ago, they closed those shops.
Inspiration hit, and Camo Formal is now a thriving reality. More
Don Gasaway is an NRA member and an avid big game hunter and fisherman. A member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) he makes his home on the web here
Gasaway has hunted extensively in Africa, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. He's a wildlife photographer and a regular contributor to Marion Living, MidWest Outdoors, Heartland Outdoors, Outdoor Guide, Labor Tribune, Illinois Game & Fish Magazine and River Country Outdoors magazine. A Marion, Illinois, resident, Gasaway became a freelance writer following a 30-year career as a social worker and probation officer with the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Gasaway is a firm supporter of outdoor recreation in southern Illinois. He sponsors the Don Gasaway Youth Goose Calling Contest at the Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Days in Carterville, Illinois.
Andrew Chamberlain's goal has always been to provide a solid understanding of cartridge performance – a true, unbiased education for anyone interested in shooting. As a corporate partner of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, or POMA, Chamberlain met with a variety of writers and photographers interested in his product, including NRAblog. (We first noticed his shirt.)
While Chamberlain is the mastermind of the Cartridge Comparison Guide, the inspiration came from active-duty military members.
"My younger brother and his buddies are active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "They were all excited talking about this veteran hunt, and one guy said, 'I’m going to get this great big magnum,' and it got me talking about ballistics and perfomances."
Chamberlain is a project manager who spends his days planning government health facilities. He and his wife have moved many times in the past decade, from Mexico to Alaska to Colorado. They're currently in Utah and are awaiting the birth of their first child in early 2011.
"I started putting together these spreadsheets, focusing on what was popular and hot at the time," he said. Chamberlain was sharing the information with several soldiers, and figures he had about half the cartridges covered.
Inspiration hit, and he decided to made an official project of the task. Now available as a spiral-bound book, the Cartridge Comparison Guide is gaining steam as a top resource for hunters and shooters. If you prefer, pay a $10.00 membership fee for complete online access.
"I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet availability, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced , standing ballistic data for different environments, overall comfort in shooting, ability to adapt to the cartridge and how proficiently and predictable I could adjust my point of aim, hold over, or doping," he writes. "I wanted to find the holy grail, and if I couldn't find it, I wanted to find the best all around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot."
NRAblog met Dean Toth at the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Conference in La Porte, Indiana.
Toth is passionate about hunting. And when he was faced with an obstacle, he was passionate about finding a solution. Below, he explains to NRAblog how he founded Big Game Drag Glove:
I developed the Drag Gloves out of necessity. After the shot we were consistently involved in very long drags with Elk, Deer and Pronghorn.
It was killing my friend Mark Mills and me to hold onto legs, ears and antlers. I was tired of using my belt or ropes and getting my hands pinched. Our hunting camps are very successful, but some people are to old or to young to be very productive in a drag. In our country you cannot use carts or sleds. A person would not want to or be capable of taking these kinds of products into the mountains hunting. Nor would you want to go all the way back to a vehicle to retrieve such things. The Drag Gloves weigh 10 ounces and fit nicely into your back pack.
The gloves come in assorted sizes and colors. They sell for $14.95. Above, NRAblog's Lars Dalseide tries out the gloves on a decoy deer during the POMA conference.
Toth points out two things a hunter will instantly notice when using his product to pull harvested game:
(1) a vast increase in leverage and
(2) the strap does not gouge, pinch or bind the hands.
Toth says he hears from satisfied customers who have discovered all sorts of (additional) uses for the gloves. His own eight year old son, Kyle, even used the Drag Gloves to haul his own Christmas Tree. "The uses for the Drag Gloves are limited only by the imagination," Toth said.
Learn more about Big Game Drag Glove.
Vice President of Marketing Vickie Gardner is a clever lady. Her business card, in fact, reads "Vice President of Stuff & Marketing." She explains, "I figure, who really looks at it, anyway -- plus, you have to have fun!"
Garder, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, is also a hardworking volunteer. She was honored with the prestigious Betty Lou Fegely Emerald Cornerstone Award at this year's annual meeting of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Gardner was singled out for her extraordinary volunteer service to the organization. Thanks to fabulous outdoor photographer John Jefferson for snapping this photo. Alpen Optics
is known for its line of binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes and accessories. Alpen's objective is to provide superior quality optical products at affordable prices while providing features and benefits normally found only on products priced much higher. Alpen offers more than 70 products and accessories, and all are backed up by a limited lifetime factory warranty.
Alpen Optics is a proud supporter of the NRA's Women's Wilderness Escape. Alpen Optics is a six time winner of Outdoor Life Magazines' Great Buy Award for the Shasta Ridge 10x42 Model Binoculars and winner of the Field and Stream Magazine's Best of the Test Award for the Model 711 20x50 Spotting Scope.
For more information about Alpen Optics, visit www.alpenoutdoor.com. Stay tuned to NRAblog for additional coverage of the POMA conference.
Every year at the Professional Outdoor Media Association
(POMA) conference, we take a trip to a local range for Media Day. That's where participants get a chance to try out the latest in outdoor equipment and accessories. While Lightfield
munitions showed off their latest Less Lethal
ammunition line and Alpen Optics
provided scopes for some, the lines predictably started on the firing lines.
With everything from Remington 1911s to Winchester 20 gauges, there were plenty of firearms to go around. And the folks at the Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area Shooting Range were more than gracious with their assistance. One Range Officer, John Rozinkis, stopped us during a cease fire to show off his BlackBerry's NRA screen saver. He might have been jockeying for a blog mention -- it worked.
A nice addition to this year's Media Day was the opportunity to test drive a Dodge Ram Outdoorsman. Available with a 1500, 2500, and 3500, the Outdoorsman comes with a bigger tank, a bigger bed, and a RamBox Holster. The Holster allows you to store two long guns or six fishing rods in well-hidden slotted flaps above the rear wheels -- a nice alternative to rear window rack. And the suspension performed well through the mud and over the fallen trees we muscled through.
All too soon it was time for lunch and a return to business at hand. We were glad to get back to the seminars and grateful for the Media Day. After all, how else could we keep on top of the equipment and gear you'll be taking out tomorrow.
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