Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gear Check

Winter can be a difficult time for sportsman especially if you use a power wheelchair. I like to use this time to go over my equipment and do a quick gear inventory. This allows me to replace worn-out or used gear and be ready for the upcoming Spring turkey season.

When it's 12° outside there's not much else a sportsman can do but prepare for better days ahead. This  includes practicing with my turkey calls. I like to use the box call, diaphragm call and the pushrod turkey call. Without much dexterity I have to rely on others to do most of the calling, but it's still fun to try.

Hopefully we will get a break in the weather and I can get some shooting in sometime soon. I really want to shoot my shotgun next weekend if possible. The snow needs to melt off of the lane in order for me to get to the shooting range.

Fairbank Rod and gun club will be sponsoring a ham and bacon shoot on March 21 at their club.  The western Pennsylvania wounded warrior group will  have their first shoot on Sunday, March 22 at California hill gun club. Details regarding the shoot's can be found here

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pa Hunter Safety Course online

Now you can take your Pennsylvania state Hunter safety course online by clicking here . This is the first time the course is available to Pennsylvania residents online.

As we all know safety is the most important aspect of our sport. It's up to every hunter to hunt safely and set an example when mentoring our youth hunters.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Allegheny sport travel and outdoor show

This weekend I attended the Allegheny sportsman show at the Monroeville Expo center. It's the first time I have been at this event since the early 1990s. I have to say it was a much smaller event than in the past.

The cost of the event was $12 unless you had a $3 off coupon from subway. Fortunately for me, my brother John picked up a few coupons for himself, Adam and me. It was nice walking around and talking with local outfitters as well as outfitters from around the country and even Africa. I had the same question for every outfitter "Is your Lodge wheelchair accessible?" Sadly only a few were.

I bought a nice turkey call that I can attach to my shotgun and produce some nice yelps by pulling the string. Or my hunting partner can simply push the rod.  I will see what technique works out the best with practice.

Although it was a fun day with family, I don't believe it will be a yearly event for me. Maybe next year I will be able to attend the much larger show in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. What are your thoughts on sportsman shows?

Friday, February 20, 2015

16 Years as A Quad

Today makes 16 years living as a person with quadriplegia. I have come so far, I never thought I would have survived this long. Never quit, never give up...that is all

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Enough Winter Already

My friend Glenn just sent me this photo taken in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Glenn is the president of Whitetail Disabled Hunting and Associates. I bet this group of deer are just as fed up with winter as we are.  I can't wait until spring, not only will the weather be better but we will get to hunt spring turkey.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spring Turkey, Crossbow or Shotgun ?

I have been trying to decide what weapon to use for spring turkey season this year. I love to shoot my Tenpoint crossbow and feel confident shooting it out to 50 yards. I have taken turkeys prior to my injury using a compound bow. But I have never harvested a bird using my crossbow.

That being said, I have not taken a turkey since my injury and using a shotgun would provide more opportunities. I made the decision to use my shotgun. Using my Stoeger semi automatic shotgun will allow me to have multiple shots if necessary.

The current temperature is only 7°F outside, so I don't have the opportunity to sight in my shotgun today. Hopefully in the next few weeks the temperature will warm up and allow me to get some shooting time at the range.

This practice will also come in handy for next month's Ham and Bacon Shoot sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors.

I like to sight in my shotgun at 40 yards.  What distance do you prefer?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pa Elk License Raises $52,000

The quality of Pennsylvania’s elk, and the unique opportunity to hunt them continues to garner national attention, and there are numbers to prove it.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on Jan. 31 held its Hunters Rendezvous Auction, at which several special elk licenses were auctioned off to raise money for conservation.
Pennsylvania, with its Special Elk Conservation Tag, was among eight states for which licenses were auctioned off. 
The tag sold for $52,500 – a new record for Pennsylvania. Only Arizona’s and Nevada’s licenses raised more for conservation.
Dave Ragantesi, senior regional director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said the money raised through the auction will stay in Pennsylvania, where it can continue to work to benefit the state’s elk. 
“We are pleased to have a strong partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and look forward to utilizing these funds for continued improvement of our public lands in Pennsylvania’s elk country,” Ragantesi said.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Washington Sportsmen Show

My friend Ed and I were recently at The Washington Sportsmen Show, volunteering at the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors booth.  I look forward to the show every year, It's an opportunity to help raise money for local Wounded Warriors .

It's also a great time to check out local sportsman and the products or businesses they are promoting. It's always fun to catch up from last year and see what they are into. Whip Em Baits is a local fishing lure manufacture.  Henry is the Whip Em Baits owner. I attended his last two fishing tournaments. He had some exciting new baits created, and is now selling them all the way in Australia.

McDonald's sportsman we're also in attendance. They put on a fantastic pheasant hunt last year for the Western PA Wounded Warriors,  I spoke with them and they indicated they would be doing another pheasant hunt this year. I'm certainly looking forward to that. 

I also talked with them about producing some hunting braces. These braces would enable wheelchair users the opportunity to shoot again. Having local Boy Scouts who are going for their Eagle Scout or other young people complete the Manufacturing. It's just an idea but hopefully it gets completed this year. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Shed Hunting

I know today is Groundhog Day, and Phil just predicted Six more weeks of winter.  But I am thinking about shed hunting.  It's almost time to start looking for sheds here in Pa. I like to start looking around mid Feb. and early March.  The timing  is always based on if the weather warms up or not.

Some whitetail have already lost their racks here, others have not but soon will. Spring turkey season is another great time to look for sheds while out scouting. Being in the woods in April and May is always a great time. Shed hunting is a good opportunity to get the whole family involved in the hunt. It also provides a chance to get a little exercise and fresh air. I think it's a perfect way to beat cabin fever.

If you are looking for fantastic world-class sheds or rattling horns and have never found a pair.  You can purchase them from my friends at Conquest Hunting Scents . I had the pleasure to meet and hunt with Karen and Talon this year in Texas and they are outstanding individuals.  If you have ever seen there show Conquest 200, you know the quality of their deer herd.