Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turkey Season Is over

The spring turkey season is over here in Pennsylvania and unfortunately I did not tag a gobbler.  But I had a fantastic hunting season and made several new friends.

It's time to put away the turkey calls for the year and make sure they are all properly stored for next year.  That means it's time to break out the archery equipment and start practicing for the fall whitetail season...

I'm really looking forward to the fall and all it brings with it.    I have some exciting post coming up , stay tuned, it's going to be a very exciting year ! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Website Editor Wild Jaeger.Com

I received a phone call today from a director over at Wild Jaeger.Com asking if I would like to be a part of their website team as well as become a member of their professional hunting staff.  I told Ricky absolutely, I would love to be a part of his team.

Go over and check out their website, it's filled with exciting hunts from around the world .  The hunters are mostly retired military or disabled veterans, who share their love of the outdoors with their readers.

I'm very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to their site .    Stop over and share your ideas and suggestions on how to improve  the global hunting experience . 

Back Country Elk

Check out this video from outdoor life, two elk at 350 yards...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't Step on Me

My brother John was turkey hunting last night and had several deer walk right in on him. He was not in a ground blind but was wearing camouflage as well as a face mask.  He was able to take these pictures with his cell phone.

Considering he was on the ground I think this is a pretty close encounter ( 8 feet ).    What's the closest you have been to a white tailed deer ?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NWTF Dinner

The Ten Mile Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation Would like you to join us at

Washington Park Kiwanis Pavilion
Dunn Avenue   Washington, PA

As we host our 14th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet

Saturday June 4, 2011— “New Date”
Doors open: 3:00 p.m.— “New Time”
Dinner: 5:00 p.m.

Your early registration will be a great help to us in planning our event. It will speed up the entry process at the door. Early Bird registration cutoff date is May 27, 2011

Jeff McCombs 412-997-4580
Ed Zappi 724-222-9188

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turkey Calls

I received a very special package in the mail recently from Guy Hostutler the president of Pioneer Quest Game Calls.  If you have been reading this blog very long you remember that Guy went turkey hunting with me and acted as my professional guide.  

Unfortunately I missed the Jake that Guy called in for me but I will never forget the hunting trip or how great Guy sounded while calling in birds.  

The package contained numerous turkey calls , grunt tubes and doe bleats.  A fantastic assortment of game calls !    I doubt I will ever be as good as Guy, but practice makes perfect, right ?

Thanks very much Guy, I really appreciate your kindness and generosity !       

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ken's Power Caster

I invited Ken to the Day of Fishing event put on by the Western Pa Wounded Warrior group on June 11th 2011.  I hope he can make it with his great product !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors

The Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warrior Group will be holding two upcoming events both on Saturday, June 11, 2011. A memorial motorcycle ride for Bud West and a Fun Day of Fishing for individuals with disabilities. 

Pontoon boats will be made available and will take individuals fishing even if they use power wheelchairs for mobility.  Bait will be provided, bring your individual tackle and gear.  A late lunch will also be provided.

To Donate please send your check to :
Western Pennsylvania wounded warriors 
139 Mitchell Road
Eighty Four, Pa 15330

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ameristep Crossbones Blind

We just set up the new Ameristep Crossbones ground blind from Cabelas.  It looks like a great blind and is very wheelchair friendly .  It does not set up as easily as some  Ameristep pop ups (Doghouse, Outhouse),  but it is easier to assemble than a  Primos  Dark Horse.

The ground blind looks really well made and should last several years in the field.  The camouflage should blend into southwestern Pennsylvania's fall woods extremely well.

The all-black interior should hide me sufficiently especially if I dress in all black as I did last year.  I will be writing an in-depth review of several ground blinds before this fall's archery season . 

I plan on setting several blinds out this fall in order to deer hunt from. This way the animals become accustomed to the ground blinds and I have a better opportunity for a close  shot.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cameron's Second Turkey

This is how it's done, great job guys !

All-Day Turkey Hunting

This week Pennsylvania started allowing all-day spring turkey hunting for the first time.   I did not have the opportunity to get out this week because of all the rain, but I am in favor of extending the hours.

I think extending the hours gives all hunters a better opportunity of taking a gobbler, but especially hunters with disabilities.

It takes me much longer to get up and going in the morning and I require the assistance of others to do so.    By allowing all-day hunting I can get a later start and possibly still be successful.    My last turkey outing started at 3 AM ...

What are your thoughts on  all day hunting?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Upcoming Magazine Articles

This blog will be featured in two upcoming magazines, New Mobility and Racks and Tails .

It's nice to think that people appreciate this blog and it provides information for hunters with disabilities. I enjoy the outdoors immensely and would like to share it with others with disabilities.

Just because we have disabilities does not mean we cannot be successful hunters ! Send me your ideas and questions, let's make this blog an excellent resource for those that follow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Action Trackchair

I think this Action Trackchair is the best wheelchair on the market for outdoor mobility.  I will be test driving one in early June.  If everything goes right, I may have one for this fall.

This wheelchair may be my new " Mustang " the ultimate sports car !

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Brother's Eight Point

My brother John picked up his eight point buck yesterday from our taxidermist.  The buck was taken with his Parker Crossbow in 2010.  Great job John.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

3 D Shoot Falcon Archers

I am going out to the club house today to assist with the 3 D shoot at Falcon Archers .  If you are looking for a great shoot, come out and join me today, I'll be the guy in the power wheelchair.... lol

The club will be putting on a new ramp to the club house , no more portable ramp!  Soon it will be more accessible for everyone.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pioneer Quest Game Calls and Dreams Become Reality

This morning I had the privilege to go turkey hunting with two real professional hunters, Guy Hostutler president of Pioneer Quest Game Calls and Chris Gillin CEO of Dreams Become Reality . My brother John and I met Chris at 4 AM and followed him to a property near Waynesburg Pennsylvania. There we met Guy, Chris transferred me from my wheelchair into a mule and loaded my power wheelchair, hunting blinds and cameras up and we set off up the mountain.

It didn't take very long to get to the hunting area, Chris transferred me back into my power chair and set up my gun brace. They also set up two Primos ground blinds, one for Chris and I and another for Guy and John. Several turkey decoys were deployed and Guy began calling.

Now I am no stranger to turkey calling, I can do a little bit of it myself and have heard friends call in many turkeys over the years. But let me tell you, Guy is absolutely hands-down the best turkey caller I have ever heard in my life.

As the sun came up and the fog began to lift I watched two white tail deer cross the saddle about 100 yards away. It wasn't very long before Chris spotted the first turkey coming to the decoys and Guy's yelps.

Chris was able to use the video camera to watch it approach, as it got closer and closer we looked for a beard, but it was a single hen. It actually approach the ground blind at a distance of 5 yards, I could count the feathers. If it would have been a gobbler, I could easily have taken this bird.

The hen stayed with our decoys for several minutes before moving on. About an hour later a Jake made an appearance but I could not get a bead on him the way my shotgun was pointing. He actually stood around at 25 yards to my left but I could not maneuver my wheelchair for a clean shot. I have to say my heart was racing at this point.

As the sun was getting higher in the sky the temperature in the blind was going up. Another Jake made his approach but hung up at 45 yards. Using the camera once again we could tell it was a young Jake. As he began to walk away I decided to take a shot. At this point I can only see his head. As my shotgun went off I was hoping for a quick, clean kill. But it was not to be this morning, it was a clean miss.

I had so much fun with Guy, Chris and John this morning. It did not matter that I did not kill a bird, I enjoyed myself immensely and made two new friends in the hunting community. It was such a pleasure seeing these professional hunters operate and how they took time and care to make sure I had the best hunting experience possible.

Thank you both so much, I really appreciate everything you did the last two days preparing for my hunt and working so hard to get me a shot. I can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Western PA Wounded Warriors

Yesterday I was hunting in 84 Pa with the Western PA Wounded Warriors group for turkeys.  I have to say what a great group of guys !

A few weeks ago I contacted their organization and inquired about going hunting with them .   It wasn't very long until I heard back from them.   And we planned to go after some wild turkeys.  

Two of the members Jeff and Hayes came to my house right on time and picked me up for the morning hunt.    I learned that I would also be hunting with another wheelchair hunter , Ed.

Ed  had already bagged his first gobbler of the season with a shotgun, earlier this season with the wounded Warriors so he was using his 10 point crossbow.

Jeff and Hayes loaded me on to a trailer and secured my wheelchair for the trip to the ground blind.   Their organization leases 2800 acres for hunting.  They also do two fishing trips a year on pontoon boats.

It was a beautiful morning and on the way to the ground blind I quickly spotted  four turkeys in the field, along with two deer .   The birds were definitely here.  

We unloaded and quickly got into the blind.  Hayes was an excellent caller and we tried all morning but could not convince  a Tom to come to our decoys.   

The time went quickly and before I knew it, it was time to quit for the day and get some lunch.   They made arrangements for pizza and beverages, and assisted me with lunch .

I just met everyone  that morning, but felt like I knew them forever.   Although we did not get a turkey it was a fantastic day and I'm already planning our next hunt together . 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tomorrow's the Day

I usually like the saying " today's the day "  quoting Mel Fisher , but actually tomorrow is the day I go turkey hunting for the first time since my spinal cord injury in 1999.

I have been practicing with my diaphragm call, and I actually sound pretty good.  Unfortunately I do not have full use of my diaphragm, so my calls are a little soft and I run out of air quickly .


My Jake decoy is ready to be deployed and the weather forecast looks good for Tuesday.    Tonight I will round up all of my hunting equipment , and get ready for the early-morning wake-up call.

I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to take a bird .  It will definitely be exciting being in the ground blind trying to fool old Tom turkey .       

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Building the Perfect Blind

The NWTF has free online plans for a wheelchair accessible hunting blind. If you have the property to build a permanent blind, I would check this one out.

I like several portable blinds from Ameristep and Primos.  How about you ?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Turkey Hunting Delayed

I had plans to go turkey hunting this week with the wounded warrior foundation in 84 Pa, but unfortunately, it has been raining here every day this week. So I had to cancel my plans, rain and a power wheelchair are not compatible.

In speaking with one of the directors, I found out one wounded warrior was able to take a beautiful Tom on Saturday. He was hunting from a ground blind set up on their property by volunteers. Congratulations!

I will be posting some pictures of his successful hunt as soon as I receive them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wheelin' Sportsman

Here is a great organization for disabled hunters.

You have no doubt heard of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Wheelin Sportsman is the disabled hunters group. Join today