Monday, September 28, 2009

New Gear

Last week's Oakland Press column dealt with some new gear for the outdoors set and a book review.
While I am far from an expert, I don't review products or books that I think are not up to the standards readers anticipate when the make a purchase. This is strictly my personal opinion.
The new book, "Guide to Great Lakes Fishes," by Gerald R. Smith of the University of Michigan is a good bet whether you have books on fishing or are just getting started.
You can never have too many. And the more recent they come out the more information is available such as those pesky species we are now seeing that come in through ships ballast.
Published by the University of Michigan Press, these 136 pages are full of good information, drawings and phots.
Worth the price of admission are the maps toward the back showing where certain fish species should be found and a comprehensive listing of web sites applicable to fish.
For you hunters and those that are gadget challenged like me, it doesn't get any simpler than Bushnell's Backtracker GPS. Hand-held, it holds three way points and will get you back from your stand to your starting point once the lights go out. Check it out at
Sooner or later you'll need light in the woods or on the boat. The Gpo Fast and Light is a new LED light-actually three-in the bill of a baseball camp. You wear the battery and wiring, concealed in a headband.
A switch concealed under the visor turns the light on for straight ahead work, another click shines it downward to assist with unloading a gun or tying on a bait and a third, brightens the second selection.
There is absolutely no added weight to the cap. Wear it like any other and go. Check it out at or 916-853-CAMP.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hunt safely

Fall hunting seasons are here. In no time archery deer season opens (Oct. 1-Nov.14). Whether you go afield to hunt squirrels or woodcock, or wait to hunt deer, remember to hunt safely.
That means you small game hunters need to wear hunters orange. For me the more orange the better.
Always keep guns pointed in a safe direction and on safe when not firing. Know your target and what is between you and it and beyond. Don't take a shot if you have doubts.
Archers aren't required to wear hunters orange. Instead they will be in one style of camo or another. In any event they may be difficult to see.
If you are deer huting from a tree be sure you wear a safety harness b0th to climb and then in the stand. It should be the type that will support you upright without cutting off circulation and one that allows you to gain the stand back in the event of a fall.
Never climb with a bow and arrows. Leave all of your equipment on the ground tied to a rope. Bring the other end of the rope dup with you. Once you are secure in the stand haul up your gear. Do the opposite when you leave.
For any hunting be sure and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Stay safe during these hunting seasons.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cross bow

Not exactly fresh news but we now are allowed to hunt with cross bows. I'm not sure I understand the need for them.
Years ago and on the board of directors for Outdoors Forever, a group dedicated to making the outdoors accessible to disabled people, cross bow hunting was a hot topic.
Good friend and physical therapist Dan Selahowski was instrumental along with the late Roger McCarville and others in getting legislation passed to allow hunting with a cross bow for individuals that demonstrated medically they had disabilities preventing them from hunting with other types of bows.
For awhile this legislation was strictly adhered to. Doctors didn't sign off for any reason. It was a well thought out approach.
Now comes additional legislation that opens the use of cross bows to the population. Going back to when I first began bow hunting there were only recurves and long bows. Then came compounds which seemed to be a huge change.
But whitetail hunting with these bows has always been a challenge. The wind, a leave, twig or small branch, the release, and other things, all go to influence arrow flight. It was a challenge.
Now with the advent of cross bows, where is the challenge? It's almost like hunting with a silenced gun in bow season.
You don't shoot arrows, they're called bolts. Shorter than an arrow, they travel at 400 feet per second.
I'm all for new technology. But cross bow hunting should have been left alone and used by those it was intended.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'm fired up about this new way of communicating with all of you that read or participate in the outdoors sports. I try to cover most of it in my weekly columns in the Oakland Press that appear Thursday's in the Sports section.
From time to time I get emails from readers that agree with what I write, some disagree, while others offer tips or suggestions about things going on or people they find interesting. I try to answer all the mail and foloow up where I can.
Heading into fall brings with it the various hunting seasons. And with it the complaints that the DNR isn't doing enough for the deer herd. That their numbers are too high witnessed be fewer deer being seen.
There are those that think the number of anterless permits are far too high. And of course the issue of deer baiting always comes up. Many hunters are opposed to baiting while others see nothing wrong with it.
Then there is the implication that the current administration in Washington is out to take our guns away from us. Not just handguns but your grandfather's shotgun or the .22 that was handed down or given to you as a kid.
I look forward to hearing your comments and what you are interested in. These days with a shrinking dollar, not a lot of time to get outdoors, and the many single parent families, it sometimes seems like being outdoors camping, fishing, hunting, skiing, boating, hiking or doing whatever you enjoy are not a priority.
Maybe that's wrong. Maybe some of these activities should be moved up on the to do list.