Sunday, March 23, 2014

#LouCrew Shoots Festus, MO

(Left to right: Chris, "Dremel", Big James, Joe)
#LouCrew shoots Festus, MO. Another great show of awesomeness at a 40 target 3D tournament. Dave aka "Dremel" keeps showing top shooting (& posing) skills. Big James started got off on tremendous start, pin-wheeling shot after shot. His challenge came on the second half of shoot. My man, Joe (@slsgdad), was stubborn in letting us know he meant business. He took ime to give advice and tips to other shooters. He proudly wore his well ironed Hoyt shirt, and accepted compliments of his arrow flight & flat trajectory. Chris and I just could not find our rithym early on, erratic shot placement is putting it lightly.  However, he and I did get second wind and signs of shooting skills, placing more arrows in the 10 ring. 
(32 yard pin-wheeling)


Overall, we had a kick ass time. Laughter is a constant (and a must).  Shooting is fun. Shooting with great peeps makes it that much more amazing.  

(Just because they shoot Hoyt they think they belong in the SI swimsuit issue. Posers! Gotta live it)


I will not go out with out giving an archery tip (and my sorry excuse):  DO NOT drink too many "man sodas" and stay up late the night before an archery tournament, when participants must have  STEADY (and not shaky) hands - ESPECIALLY if you can't hang with the pros, like yours truly. 


Our next shoot: Brownstown, IL. TBA 


Go team #LouCrew  


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Limb Driver Pro-V Rest Review

Looking for more accuracy, forgiveness, and consistency - the trifecta in a rest, especially at longer ranges? Try the Limb Driver Pro-V by Vapor Trail Archery.


I have been using VTA strings & cables for quite some time (my thoughts on VTA's strings & cables). I was hearing a lot about their rests. I took the next step and have been using their Pro-V for about seven months, and now own two (one for my hunting bow, one for my target/back-up bow). 

(You shoot Mathews bows? Keep reading.)


The following are reasons why, I use this particular rest for target shooting and hunting:  
VTA's Limb Driver Pro-V Rest is a FAIL safe drop away, when and if installed correctly.  Because the rest is attached and dependent on the bow's limb movement/cycle, I don't have to worry about buss cable or cable guard slide issues, or any sort of timing. The cord goes from the upper limb to the rest's launcher.  When the bow is drawn, the cord relaxes and the spring-driven launcher rises into shooting position. EXCELLENT VTA CUSTOMER SERVICE!  

What sets the Pro-V aside from other rests?:  
The arrow is kept at level position longer on the guide/launcher through the shot cycle after release, therefore improving accuracy, while still dropping fast enough for 100% fletching clearance. (Watch this video. Notice how long it stays on the launcher!

What I expected: 
1.  Increased accuracy & confidence:  I shot my personal best last week at my indoor league.  It has progressively gotten better since I got started using this rest.
2.  User friendly:  it blew my mind as to how simple the set up is, and how easy it is to get used to it. Adjusting its tension is a piece of cake, and I don't need a bow press.  
3.  To consult with credible and reputable local VTA dealers:  I found two and both are absolute advocates of this rest.  It's gaining steam and popularity amongst target shooters and BOWHUNTERS! 
4.  The cost is very reasonable: The Limb Driver Pro-V Rest retails around $119.99+

Check out this description by Vapor Trail Archery:  "Every arrow rest on the market has it’s pro’s and con’s. Typically the more user friendly a arrow rest is, the less accurate it becomes. That’s why you don’t see many 3 d archers sporting a Whisker Biscuit tm., or many bow hunters with tiny prong arrow rests out in the woods. Vapor Trails limb driven arrow rest technology is changing all that. Now archers can pick the traits they need the most in an arrow rest, without sacrificing accuracy. Whether you pick the Original Limb Driver arrow rest with its flexible and adjustable steel tongue, or the fully contained self centering Pro V arrow rest, you can feel confident your groups will shrink, and you will be steps closer to accomplishing your goals in the field or on the range."  

Other positives:
-Easy to install. Watch video
-Easy to change cable  WITHOUT A PRESS, MESSING WITH or DAMAGING YOUR BOW STRING (I have), and your rest stays tuned! 
-Tighter & consistent groups
-Color options for arm/launcher available in red, pink, blue, green, etc.
-Light weight
-Shoot FOBS? No problem
-Mathews bow shooter? They have one specifically for you: "Designed exclusively for Mathews bows, our Mathews-specific Pro-V features a “Mathews-only” mounting bracket, as well as a sleek high-definition Lost™ Camo, attractively completing your bowhunting setup. (Also available in an all-black option." - VTA






Downside:  (trying to find one) What you will need is a good arrow "holding" device on the flat part of the riser to keep the arrow stable at pre-draw. But if you have shot drop-aways, you have this down packed.

Other things I suggest:
1.  Make sure the little screw is tight to prevent the rest from creeping.  I used medium blue lock-tight for added precaution. HOWEVER, if installed correctly, you don't need it.
2.  Like all rests, paper tune as needed.
3.  Like with all new equipment you buy, practice, get used to it, PRACTICE.

Visit www.vaportrailarchery.com TO READ more FAQ's.

Increase your accuracy, buy one now, and "Quit Your Crying!"

Other reviews/feedback:


Best of luck,
Pro-Staff


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Outdoors: A Conduit For Teaching. When is the right time to introduce young......

Outdoors is a conduit, a tool, a catalyst concept for teaching our young children many-a-life lessons. Start now.
When is the right time to introduce young ones to the outdoors?
My answer is in a form of a question: Is there a right age to start creating memories within a parent-child-family relationship? 

Isn't it dangerous? 
It's more dangerous NOT to teach the respective child the RIGHT, FUN, and SAFE way to handle a "weapon", to conduct an activity, to build HUMAN relationships, and SOCIAL SKILLS.

Check out my son SHOOTING HIS WEAPON (BOW): VIDEO

Believe me, parents, whether via news, tv, movies, computers, etc., "most" children see & know more about the things you don't want them involved in, than you think. Caution: don't be naive or in denial. 

Take the "bull by the horn" and teach them...., "right".

My 24 year old son remembers playing baseball with me when he was just 7, running in the sandy country of Texas.

My 21 year old daughter remembers going to cockfights with me (a tradition in my family - WHERE LEGAL) when she was just 8, going fishing, boxing (yes, boxing).

Now, I'm sharing my passions with my 3 (soon-to-be), 4 year old. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

My 3 year old recently went with me to the indoor archery range. He blew fellow archers' minds with his patience, ability, and learning, and other RESPECTable skills:


1. He learned to wait his turn to shoot. 
2. He learned to wait to retrieve his arrows AFTER everyone else was done shooting (safety).
3. He bettered himself in technique.
4. He learned about, while waiting his turn to shoot, to stand behind the "line".
5. He helped by giving me arrows - when it was my turn to shoot (team playing).
6. He socialized. My son got along and hit it off with my dear friend, Joe.
7. He learned about not being disappointed with "missed" shots (good self-esteem).
8. He spent time with his father. This day - no iPad, no iPhone, no TV, computer, or other electronic-technology gadget or devise, no "sit-on-your-ass" moment could replace this "father-son-memory-creating-kick-ass" moment! The outdoors WON!

WE SPENT TIME TOGETHER AND HAD FUN, FUN, FUN!!!


Don't forget you will inadvertently (or not) introduce him/her about to second amendment, bill of rights, laws, thus, making great & lawful citizens and future supporters of the outdoors.

(Depending on your child's age, click on the link by my friends at Wide Open Spaces: How to Teach Your Kids Archery: Establishing Eye Dominance).

At my little one's age - a knocking point, aiming right, catching a big fish, hitting a home run, winning, chest pumping, etc., are secondary. FUN is primary.

Protect your child from complacency, apathy, and that wicked sense of entitlement - use God's outdoors to help you.

Be creative, and get "out there" with him, her, them. They will learn. They will remember. 

Can't afford it? 

My most memorable fishing outings are at poorest times of my life, in Mexico. No, I didn't walk to school bare foot, 6 miles, at 30 degrees below zero. However, We couldn't afford fishing poles, much less the latest and greatest stuff. I fished with rigged "nets" or fishing hooks & line we'd find, tie a stick, insert in a soda can, and use rocks or nuts as weights and VOILA!

I don't remember how many fish I/we caught. I remember having fun with my family: cousins, uncles, friends, mom (no father).

We played baseball with old balls, sticks, and whatever we could use as bases. 

We hunted rabbit in a very humble, unconventional way - not with high powered firearms or double cam, 715 IBO bows that cost 10k, on average (ok, that an obvious exaggeration to make a point). 

For more resources and help, look for:

NWTF Chapters.
Hunter Ed Classes
Check for programs like www.SOElive.com (Student Outdoor Experience)
Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts
Local Community Centers
Other "outdoor" & sports/hunting/archery clubs
Go to local bowling alley
YMCA/YWCA
Talk to friends
Go on nature walks, go feed the ducks, go to local aquariums (my son loves Bass Pro's and Cabela's), petting zoos, camp out on the back yard (if possible) or simply go on camping trips.

What's awesome, most have ways of helping out (thanks to funds from United Way, and other foundations through Departments of Natural Resources, NWTF, etc).

Get up, get out, and have fun. PERIOD!
Create long lasting, lifetime memories (take pictures and smile lots). I know my oldest son & mom will do a fantastic job with my grandson. 

GOD BLESS!

Pro-Staff

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Solid Broadheads Review: my thoughts

I waited, waited and did more research for the selection of my broadhead to go with for my 2014 Elk Hunt. Here it is: Steve Speck's SOLID BROADHEAD.

"These broadheads are made of 100% solid stainless steel. There is no aluminum, and no MIM (metal injection molding). Even the torx screw is stainless! There are obviously no moving parts, and the blade lockup seems absolutely rock solid.
The blades on the Solid Broadhead are made of S30V blade steel, hardened to 59HRC. S30V is a premium steel that has never been used on a broadhead, but it is celebrated in high-end knives for its cutting performance, strength, wear resistance, and edge retention. For a detailed, technical explanation of S30V steel, I highly recommend that you take a look at this article from knife expert Doug Ritter." - Detailed Review at SoleAdventure.com

Other review: by Wired To Hunt http://wiredtohunt.com/2014/01/09/ata-2014-solid-broadheads/

- My expectations of the Solid Broadhead: I've killed my share of whitetail and other game, using a variety of broadheads, but none have impressed my with their TRUE flying heads to take to an elk hunt! Because my shot distance will increase (I have decided 60 yards will be my limit on an Elk hunt), I need the best precision, cutting, durability, and reliability on my broadhead - in ONE broadhead.

- My Personal Experience with the Solid Broadhead:
· Precision: I tested the Solid BH against practice field points, practice competitor BH, and actual competitor BH. I didn't get scientific, here. I am just a BOWHUNTER who chose a day, 60 yards as my testing distance, used my set up (see my gear), and just shot. The Solid Broadheads were just as true as the practice field points, better than its competitor fixed blade, and just as true as the mechanical heads.

· Cutting: I don't want to show you foam, but I can tell you the Solid Broadheads cut...., WELL. The total cut was just at 1.75" (used standard measuring tape). They advertise a 1-5/8" cut. The bleeder blades are absolutely a plus! Allow me to show you the real thing:

· Durability: The above pictures display the exit would. The arrow went completely through, stuck deep into the mud, cleaned it, and it remains SHARP and in TACT! With the cost of these BH, I'm tickled pink just how TOUGH they really are. They do advertise a 45% more edge retention than others - I believe it!

· Reliability: no moving parts = no failing parts. How many times have you recovered your broadhead after it has hit bone or dirt, and blades are bent or missing metal? This has to do with durability, but think about it..., I can rely on its durability for continued use with unmatched CONFIDENCE.


For you?: This product is for serious bowhunters looking for the best of the best, reducing mechanical failures, increase precision, and ensure the most ethical kill possible. I already know it works for whitetail. I am confident it will work on bigger game. Oh, it's MADE IN THE USA! They are available in a standard 100 gr, 125 gr. Deep six nuts, they have you covered. If what you have used, use, and are not comfortable with change - "don't fix what's not broken".

Negative: Sticker Shock. $79.99! This "Rolls Royce" of broadheads is NOT for everyone.
But that's based on the "eye of the beholder".

Think of all the positives. All the positives in ONE broadhead! If you practice with your real broadheads, damage one (or two), off to buy more. If you don't practice with the real thing..., then how do you know they are going to fly "true" when the moment of truth presents itself? With the Solid Broadhead, you can "practice the way you are going to play - with the actual BH you will be using, and be confident.

"The Solid Guarantee: We guarantee every Solid Broadhead for life. If the broadhead ever fails in a hunting situation we will replace it - no questions asked. The quality, craftsmanship and materials used are second to none, and we stand behind our broadheads every step of the way!"

I am HAPPY I got to test them out in practice, BLESSED to have put more meat in the freezer with them, and very CONFIDENT with my choice of Solid Broadheads for my 2014 Elk Hunt!

So you are ready for the best broadhead? Click here to order now
http://www.sandsarchery.com/Solid-Broadhead-Company-s/128.htm

Vapor Trail Archery Custom Bowstrings: My Thoughts

"Peep turn, string stretch, and weather related instabilities are a thing of the past...,QUIT YOUR CRYING!" Vapor Trail Archery

I love reading that!

MY FACT: Besides consistent form, knocking points, follow-through, peep-alignment and performance must be equally as consistent and important. VTA fills that need.  Even though I also use their arrow rest (separate review), on this blog, I am going to focus on MY experience with their custom bowstrings.

Over 6  years ago, I was looking for a new set of string and cable for an old bow I had.  I went to my second home (Bass Pro), and spoke with the archery department lead. He gave me a few options, but said I couldn't go wrong with VTA. He knew (and still does) how picky and detail oriented I was with the products I chose. He especially knew how hard I was (and still am) on my equipment. For those who know me locally, know how much I shoot, and shoot, and shoot. Besides hunting, and preparing for hunting, I belong to FOUR local archery clubs. I SHOOT! My bow strings have got to perform. I purchased my first VTA product, and have not looked back since.

Since VTA has been with me so many years, through thousands of shots, different bows, colors, various kills, and even a B & C KS giant, I owe my #archery and #bowhunting family and community my humble opinion.

First, I am not a professional archer, nor do I shoot the highest scores.  THAT'S WHY I CAN'T AFFORD SECOND BEST! I need all the help I can get. I can't (and neither can you) afford to have a creeping problem,  having to "train" my string, nor a short life span on my set. 

Let me start by describing their color selection: WOW! "Vaportrail offers a mind boggling 5,100 color combinations for your bow string with a 3 day ship!"

I have many words to describe the quality of their product, but ONE stands out the most: PERFORMANCE! Expect thousands, in my experience, shots out of a set. Expect consistency and a quick bow tuning. 

I have many words to describe the manufacturer's customer service, but choose ONE: SECOND TO NONE! (O.K. that was a phrase, but it's only ONE phrase.) That's how good it is. They really have taken care of me. 

I recently asked fellow target shooter why he was so upset (we were at a 3D shoot). He was having problems with creeping. He said he had ordered a new set from a local dealer. It was going to take 5 days to get..., maybe. Then I heard the cost. Yikes!

VTA not only has outstanding product and service, but they care about the archery community. I KNOW THAT FOR A FACT!

Price: pound for pound the best buy, IMO. Not the cheapest (you get what you pay for), but you will still have both your arms and legs.

The downside: I'm struggling here, but hey, Murphy's Law is applicable. The world is not perfect, and neither is VTA. A local Hoyt Staff shooter, won a set last year at the Tweep Shoot. "The best I've ever shot. I need another set for my new bow". The glitch here was, the serving began to fail. Remember what I said about customer service? I guess this is not a downside after all. He got taken care of, and was still faster than having to wait over a week for results.

If you are reading this, are into archery and/or bowhunting, chances are you know of Archery Talk. I took the liberty of supplementing my opinion with those of others: http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1093560
1. "Talked to Steve at Vapor Trail Tuesday and ordered a set...I am very impressed with the personable service,, felt like I was talking with an old friend : cheers:"
2. "VAPOR TRAIL! The reason is quality, price, customer service!...."
3. "Another vote for Vaportrail. Awesome customer service and very fast shipping."

I am going to spare you the pain of giving you all the specs and reasons you need a quality set of string and cable on you bow. Shoot, they've done all the work.

Read their story here: http://vaportrailarchery.com/story/

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Non-Hunting Friends: Part 3 - Other Benefits of Hunting

If you are against animal cruelty, poaching, and endangering a species, you have a friend in a hunter - PERIOD! By now, you know we are humane in how we approach our game. By now, you know that we are law abiding in our endeavor, sport, survival, heritage, and passion. Poachers are not hunters. Animal mills employees are not necessarily hunters. Employees not trained in treating the animals humanely in butcher factories are not hunters. If you (and your pet, if applicable) are not a VEGAN, do not engage in anti-hunting efforts or speaking against animal based products. Just makes you look …., you know! Be prepared to put your money and actions where your mouth is, and live your "anti" lifestyle, potentially sacrificing relationships with your closest family members and friends.

I love and respect my vegan friends, and they respect me :) I am a meat eater - I AM A HUNTER!


I ask to be pardoned for the delay of this final part of my THREE part series blog. I am a busy father, a professional, a hunter, a hunter & archer with duties, and then there's me time. I promise to keep this one as short as I possibly may by briefly touching on other benefits of hunting. Read along.

On Part 1 and Part 2, we have covered historical perspectives, religious background, economic impacts (good and bad), and dismissing the believe that "hunting is killing".

1. Now that I have announced a planned Colorado Elk Hunt for 2014, one of the factors I mentioned is preparation. One aspect is physical. THEREFORE, hunting is: Exercise & staying Healthy
· "The vast majority of hunters reap the benefit of being outdoors and getting plenty of exercise as they look for game. Hunters that target species such as elk, deer and antelope walk great distances in search of their quarry." In case you didn't know, I ride a bike on rugged terrain, with my hunting gear and pack, then do lots of walking, depending on what spot is correct for the hunt. Read: Pressured Public Land Whitetail - My Way to get an idea of my regimen. I have to rest well, stay prepared or in shape for the gruesome workouts I get afield. Yes, hunting can be part of staying healthy. Do I work out? NO, not in a traditional fashion, but shooting my bow maintains a good muscle memory. Also, like other athletes, there are exercises for archery shooters. Healthy, well-built, strong individuals have asked to pull my bow. I draw from 65-70 pounds, depending on what I'm shooting for (hunting or shooting leagues), and these fit individuals CANNOT draw (pull) my bow back. They are stumped. It's not because of lack of strength, but because of a different muscle group and conditioning (back muscles are used the most)
· For my Elk hunt, I CANNOT depend on muscle memory, itself, but will HAVE TO add a more conscious "healthy" diet, more muscle specific routines and longer walks, running, and other cardiovascular activities to prepare for the altitudes of Colorado and the physical demands of walking with weight for miles and hours! Then, if I kill an elk, packing it out will be an added challenge. EXERCISE!
· TO MY RESCUE: http://bowhunting.net/2011/02/archery-muscles-by-bowfit/ and http://www.elk-hunting-tips.net/hunting-fitness.html

2. Hey, it's cooking time! People hunt deer because they enjoy eating deer meat, which is called venison. Deer meat has a high level of protein and less fat than beef or pork, so it is an awesome healthy choice for many, and can be prepared in tons of ways. Friends like the IRON COOKER (https://www.facebook.com/IronCooker) rock! Because of the hunting industry, the business has benefited. I am a customer of his. He has sponsored my archery tourney. He knows COOKING! Cooking can be fun. It is a time to rejoice and count our blessings. Don't forget about hunters donating and sharing meat with the hungry.
TO MY RESCUE: a. Venison cooking tips - http://www.myrecipes.com/t/game/venison/
b. Elk cooking tips - http://www.elkranch.com/cooking_tips.shtml

3. From an ecological standpoint: Overpopulation equals overgrazing! Overgrazing will set a chain reaction, including starvation for the species we "kill" and to those that are not hunted! It means survival of the fittest. (remember increased vehicle collisions because they are out in search of food, or the destruction of homeowners' gardens...?) "Young trees and plants which would be useful for the replenishment of the forest floor will all be destroyed if hunting was not allowed in certain areas of the world. With selective hunting, we can preserve both the deer species in a particular area as well as the plants and vegetation." Remember, deer are NOT the only ones entitled to the forest or respective habitat. Hunting helps keep it balanced as best as possible. Therefore, "Regulated Sport Hunting: The Humane Way of Preservation". Too, if you want to protect the deer, for example, DON'T LET IT STARVE!

Question. Would you rather see extinction or conservation? FYI: Hunting IS conservation. I'd like to see PETA blindly investing THEIR OWN money (or at least match what hunters contribute) to increase jobs, dollars flowing in our economy, increase forestry, wetlands, sanctuaries, and preserve species, maintain federal family parks open, feed the hungry, ALL WHILE keeping animal species from starvation, maintain anti-poaching programs, decreasing vehicle collisions, etc. Maybe, each PETA member will take a species home and protect them, shelter them, and keep it thriving!

Read How Activists Can Cause an Animal’s Extinction – Click Here

4. Hunting: An Education in Survival Skills
I LOVE THIS!!!: "..it is morally important and ethically correct to imbibe within each hunter the spirit of being vanguards of environmental awareness." With hunting comes a responsibility. Hunter education courses are mandatory. It teaches about ecological factors, conservation, SAFETY, respect, and even the animal we pursue. It teaches about family involvement, economic impact, health, and the skill of survival and it's best! It opens opportunities as a profession (conservation officers) to social involvement (not playing video games). It teaches facts of life and death - NOT JUST EMOTIONAL REACTIONS AND FORWARDING UNPLEASANT VIDEOS!

5. Protect People! "Hunting deer is also beneficial because people need to be protected from them. As deer populations grow, individuals enter areas where people live. When this happens, deer can cause traffic accidents that can result in death, along with damage to cars. Deer also spread ticks that carry Lyme disease and other infectious diseases." - Matthew Scully

Did you know? There are local government programs/businesses hired with TAX payer money to go into communities to control deer population? YES! A MUST READ: http://chesterfield.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/protesters-rally-against-local-deer-sharpshooting This is a few miles of my living quarters. It is still happening around the country.

TO MY RESCUE: Read about other diseases. CWD is a major concern in MO and WI, for example. http://www.nyantler-outdoors.com/deer-diseases.html

I hope this has helped and maybe changed your view on hunting. Thanks for reading and God Bless!

One more time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2N0Utg7KYE

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Non-Hunting Friends: Part 2 - Economic Impact

My good Lord! Part 1 (click here if you missed)was a fair introduction, and a very heated debate with my anti-hunter friend. She finally apologized for having offended me and agreed to retract her conspicuous "..cage..and hunt each other..." comment. We will meet in Chicago to have a drink and catch up. Win-Win situation. Now let's analyze one of her rants, paradoxical in nature, before we get to the meat of Part 2.

My anti-hunter friend: "I don't wish harm to anyone--but if they're already killing--hunting is killing--then keep it to themselves..." Me: FACT: Hunting is not killing, thus an egregious statement. Hunters have a minimum success rate. Hunting is the entire individual experience - be it for fellowship, food, tradition, connecting with nature. FACT: The past two years, this one still in progress, I have killed 3 deer. Last year I lost one to the coyotes, killed a giant deer in KS (and fed multiple families, including me), and one doe deer this year. I have spent countless of hours afield. I have spent countless of days afield, not to mention MONEY! FACT: I have passed on many deer, for personal reasons, never releasing an arrow. HUNTING IS NOT KILLING! One of my favorite sayings is, "IF YOU WANT TO KILL SOMETHING, DON'T HUNT. IF YOU WANT TO HUNT, WELCOME TO MY WORLD".

Read: The UGLY of KS My Hunt - 2012.

My anti-hunter friend: "And you are the hero--killing animals with weapons that put you at an unfair disadvantage". Me: FACT: My kills are private, personal, and intimate. I kneel before the lifeless deer's body, and THANK my God for what He has provided me. I thank Him for the health, ability, resources, and His guidance to make it happen. FACT: Unfair advantage? Of course, I am a predator. I am a meat eater. I am a hunter. A clean swift kill is my goal IF I even get a chance to release an arrow; furthermore, IF I even choose to release an arrow; furthermore, IF I release an arrow - I hope I hit my intended target. Wanting to see an animal suffer would make me a sociopath!

My anti-hunter friend: "And I'm sorry I value animals' lives as much as humans. It's my values, my opinions. Best." Me: FACT: I am thankful for her valuing animals' lives as much as humans. I respect her values and opinion. Ethical hunters value life just as much. We learn about our game, their anatomy, their habits, their environment, their conservation, and their edible values. Every group has bad apples. Pardon the cliche. Not all hunters follow rules. Poachers, my friends, are not hunters. Google poachers, I'll spare you more facts. Hunters are anti-poachers.

THEREFORE, LET'S MIX IT IN A LITTLE: Anti-hunter's believe: "More studies are needed concerning stress responses associated with eco-touring and photographing animals, activities supposedly morally superior to hunting. The stalker's intentions, malevolent or not, seem unimportant. It's reasonable to believe that animals will show fear and anxiety responses to human stalkers that are similar to those shown to non-humans stalkers." - antistalking.com

So, my non-hunting friends, if you enjoy a walk or jog in a park where wildlife co-exists, photograph wildlife, eco-touring (visiting Yellow Stone National Park - heck, a zoo for that matter), and/or have moved/bought a house that has "pushed wild life out" or moved into "their area"...., you are being naughty because you partake in "..activities supposedly morally superior" - WOW!

Economic Impact
Now that I may have stimulated some thinking, let's talk about the ECONOMIC IMPACT. You may Google more information about your state, but I will focus on my state of Missouri:

GOOD IMPACT: "Hunting Supports Missouri: Conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life". Thank you MDC for providing us with this very valuable information and support!
· 600,000 hunters call MO home
· More than 1.4 billion is contributed to MO's economy by hunting. This comes in various forms: buying arrows, ammo, weapons, food for camp, hunting clothes, fuel, lodging, processing, cameras, etc., etc.,
· More than 24,000 jobs are supported in MO through hunting: Gas stations, outfitters, hotels, vehicle dealers, big box retailers (Walmart, Bass Pro Shops), mom & pop stores, Park Rangers, restaurants, videographers, editors, teachers, etc., etc.
· MO leads the nation in recruiting new hunters, with 1.16 hunters replaced for every one lost. This success is largely due to citizen interest in conservation, youth-only seasons, low-cost permits, and Department-sponsored hunting and education programs.
· More than 2 million tons of venison have been donated by hunters since 1992 through the Share the Harvest Program. Almost 6,000 hunters participate in the program each year. Also check out "Hunters for the Hungry". Hunters are humanitarian, too. Is that an incredible value to posses and pass on to our children, or what? Even trophy hunters, when they kill, the meat is donated to the local village and citizens!

TO MY RESCUE: I really hope you don't skip this link: http://www.huntersforhungry.com/

· More than 500,000 deer hunters spend more that $750 million each year directly related to deer hunting in MO, which generates more than $1 billion in overall business activity in MO annually.
· Low permit cost is one more reason MO is a great place to hunt. MO's $17 Resident Any-Deer Permit is a fantastic bargain compared to the average of $46.63 for equivalent privileges in surrounding states. Added note, I hunt in IL, which costs me a Non-Resident price tag of almost $500.00. KS, which, costs me nearly $400 NR tag, gas, lodging, food, etc., and guess what? I don't always kill, because I am a hunter. We even have a funny, when we don't "tag-out" - we call it "eating a tag- sandwich"

TO MY RESCUE: Worth including the following from the previous blog: "Finally, hunters and recreational shooters in modern societies like the United States have played a significant role in wildlife conservation. As members of various hunting and shooting organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, hunting enthusiasts have generated billions of dollars that have supported various types of game management programs, habitat protection and restoration, and conservation education. Some of this money takes the form of direct contributions to such programs, and other monies are generated indirectly by taxes on hunting equipment purchases and various license, tag, permit, and stamp fees. One of the oldest and most important among such hunting-based revenue sources is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), and it has distributed more than $3.8 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies since it became law. Thus, somewhat ironically, modern hunters contribute significantly to the survival of the very species whose individual members they hunt and kill." - RICHARD S. MACHALEK

I belong to the NWTF. National Wild Turkey Federation. Go check them out!

Whew! Hunting has such a big impact? Yes. A POSITIVE ONE!!!!

Now, let us look at how wildlife, in particular the deer family, affects you in a not-so-good way, and what your car insurance has to do with hunting.

Although just about everyone loves watching deer, record deer herds do not register well with everyone. In fact, some people outright despise them. Take farmers, for example, who lose crops to uncontrolled wildlife, thus lose millions in revenue, thus increased food costs that you pay. How about homeowners that spend time and lots of money taking care of their yards, gardens, beautiful flowers - only to be consumed by them critters? Gah, that must be frustrating!

Deer-auto collisions cost millions of dollars each year. As a result, deer are not very well liked by auto insurance companies, nor the drivers that hit them, either. Too, somehow, somewhere, in a way - depending on your region...., you ARE paying some sort of $MULA$ for deer, elk, domestic herd, free ranging pets' vehicle collisions. Believe me. TO MY RESCUE: This will open up your eyes, just a bit.

Please visit: http://www.car-accidents.com/deer-car-auto-accidents.html

Please follow me on this, because it will cross-relate to deer overpopulation, the damages they cost (vehicle collisions), not to mention deer eating YOUR plants (if you have deer in your area). Which, BTW, deer are one of the most adaptable creatures in existence. They live and thrive in suburbs, cities, in your back yard (if applicable). What stalking stress? I shoot competitively in a park where deer come up to us. They eat and go about their business - while we have weapons and are shooting the weapons! What stalking stress? (if you missed this topic, you may have skipped some reading above).

Thank you MSN Money and CarInsurance.com for the following data: Did you know West Virginia is #1 for chances of deer related collisions. Texas is #40 with 1 in 325. Texas data is skewed, IMO, (all may be) because in West Texas (El Paso), it is RARE to see deer (mule or coues species). Now go to south or central Texas, deer population (including whitetail, exotics, etc.) is ridiculous. Anyhow, Hawaii is #51 with 1 in 6,787. Friends, my sister is a victim of a deer collision. She almost lost her life. Too many deer (overpopulation). "According to C. Mullen, State Farm Director of Strategic Resources, there was an estimated 1.22 million deer related collisions in the year (ending this past June 30th). This data is extremely important because it affects your rates, deductibles, etc. It's recommended, that if you have higher risks of being involved in a deer collision, lower your deductible." The average cost of damage is around $3,500 (+/-). Some of the states such as Hawaii, are completely disconnected to this serious problem. Hawaii would take hunting more seriously if they had West Virginia's numbers. Have you every seen a deer on the side of the road/highway - dead? Believe me, that impact wasn't fun for the driver/operator. Now, believe this, it ruined someone's day, plans, trip, hopefully it didn't cost them too much money, physical harm, or death, for that matter. (+/- 150 deaths are reported each year)

SOME CAUSES OF DEER COLLISION?
From my experience as a hunter, I can tell you when deer collisions are going to start (educated guess) in the Mid-West region. Months do vary due to climatic and regional differences, which affect the cycle of when deer will begin to mate. Southern states are 2-3 behind. Again, follow me on this (another crash course, but important for the point):

· Mid-Late October: This is when the male deer (bucks), are beginning to separate from their bachelor groups. They are now training for battle, to gain breeding rights and superiority. They are starting to fatten up, fortifying their bodies, and they start "getting in the zone" - mma/boxing style. It's call a "Pre-Rut" phase. They occasionally begin to go out of their home range, establishing dominance, "pushing" does, and chasing off inferior/subordinate bucks. Bam, deer collision! Dead deer begin to appear on various forms of streets.
· November: some pre-rutting may still carry over, but now the bucks are really getting blinded my one thing..., the ladies. They want to mate. Google a picture of a "normal" state of a deer and that same deer "rutting". They are swollen, big, aggressive, battle and mating ready. Now some of the ladies (does) are beginning get "in heat", if you will. But they play with the boys' feelings. They release a special scent, but not necessarily are willing or ready to mate. The boys are going nuts, fighting, and for 2-3 WEEKS are constantly mating or wanting to mate. They LITERALLY forget about eating. Some have "rutted" themselves to death due to battle, starvation, and/or exhaustion. Pushing, chasing, fighting, mating EQUALS an incredible increase of deer collisions. Period!

Check out these two rutting bucks go at it. Notice how swollen their face and necks are. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202200391281076

· December: Two things here. Most does have been mated. Bucks are exhausted and beat up, literally. Why then do we still see, although lower, an unusual number of deer collisions? One, it's because some does come into heat late. This arouses that stronger buck, or bucks, and the chase is on again. Two, food sources are now low. Bucks are trying to replenish their insane weight and energy loss. In addition, simply food sources are low, by now. They are hungry. Overpopulation plays a part in this, as well.

TO MY RESCUE: Here is some expert, kick-ass information that shows more of the economic impact hunters have. See more at: http://www.sportsmenslink.org/the-media-room/news/sportsmens-economic-impact-report-shows-hunting-and-fishing-expenditures-ar#sthash.Lwqc4tWV.dpuf

HAD ENOUGH YET, MY WONDERFUL NON-HUNTIG FIENDS? It's just the tip of iceberg. (cliche, cliche). Next, I will talk about OVERPOPULATION and OTHER BENEFITS OF HUNTING.

Please feel free to contact me or leave feedback. I don't know it all, thus, I welcome new constructive, objective, and pragmatic input! Remember, I'm writing to you as a hunter, not a biologist or some executive. Hopefully my humble writings are bringing light to issues you may have never thought of, relating to hunting. Gracias, and thank you for reading.

- Alex Tagle