Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Last Week of Bow Season

Scott Anderson
Ok, I really wanted to write an article this week but one must keep their priorities in order LOL!  I am in the woods still chasing down that monster buck.  Season ends January 31st.  I will be back with the article on Wheelin' Sportsmen next Wednesday.

This deer season has been a blast and will be missed.  However, sadness that the season is over will last for all of about 15 minutes knowing that the upcoming spawn season for large-mouth bass is approaching in about 5 weeks.

Additionally, there is much to do to be ready for deer season next year.  I will be writing from time to time on this very subject throughout the year.  Much to learn, much to do, much to accomplish!

Onward folks!  Post your pics please from your successful hunts this past season on the Facebook page.  I look forward to seeing and celebrating with you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Clark Gun Rest – Shooting System for the Disabled Hunter

Handicapped Outdoors Logo

Before we jump into this week’s article, I wanted to make a wonderful announcement.  Handicapped Outdoors has partnered with Jeff Malloy and the Equalizer Shooting System.  I wrote an article back in September on this shooting system for the disabled shooter.  You can refresh your memory by clicking Here.  We’re happy to Have Jeff in the Handicapped Outdoors Family!

Robin Clark
The above announcement is a great way to introduce this week’s article on Robin Clark and the Clark Gun Rest.  Robin created a different kind of shooting system that gives a hunter the flexibility to handle a rifle, shotgun or crossbow, while maintaining the control necessary to shoot consistently and accurately.

Before I get the cart completely in front of the horse, let’s meet the man.  Robin Clark is the State Coordinator of the Virginia Chapter of Wheelin' Sportsmen that aids disabled folks to go on all types of adventures from hunting to fishing.  Relax, I will provide an article on Wheelin' Sportsmen next week for more information.  Back to Mr. Clark.

Robin was 16 when he had a diving accident breaking his 5th and 6th vertebrae causing him to become quadriplegic with some limited use of the upper extremities.  The accident caused him the typical fallout from a life changing incident - disbelief, anger and frustration.  Everyone who has had a difficulty like this whether by accident or disease, goes through these stages which eventually, hopefully leads to acceptance.  I want to take this moment to encourage anyone who has gone or is going through these types of disturbing moments.  You are not alone.  Get through it.  The funkiness will go away but you have to want it.

Robin Clark
Finally, he came to the place where he was ready to get back in the game.  Robin first had the trigger pull reduced from 6 lbs to about 2 lbs on his Remington 270. This enabled him to effectively operate the trigger without causing the weapon to lurch.  He then had the idea of a simple gun rest but that quickly grew to making it a more stable and secure platform that varying disabilities could utilize. Ten years later the shooting system was birthed. The gun rest literally gives the hunter the ability to stabilize the weapon while maintaining horizontal and vertical movement with control.  It is so flexible that you can turn side-to-side 180 degrees depending on your level disability and physical capabilities.

Ok, so how does it work?  The base of the rest slips under the seat cushion of most wheelchairs whether electric or manual.  Firm bottom cushions do work best.  A vertical piece rises up from the base under the cushion and height adjustment can be customized so that the weapon fits comfortably to your shoulder.  The horizontal rail that holds the weapon to the rest also can be adjusted forward or backwards slightly but is set so that the stock of the weapon naturally falls backwards into your lap instead of having the business end fall forward for obvious reasons.  The rate of vertical and horizontal movement for aiming can be controlled by tightening or loosening those mechanisms.  Lastly, the forearm rest can be adjusted to accommodate different weapon systems to your liking by moving it forward or backwards to cradle the weapon properly.

Right, so how much does this thing cost...HMMmm?  Robin’s mission is to help more individuals with disabilities get back to doing what they love.  He accomplishes this mission by offering the Clark Gun Rest at virtual cost only.  Contact him via email for pricing which will include shipping to your door.  I have to say after speaking with Robin that the price is ridiculously reasonable, and I will be purchasing one in the near future.

Next week – Wheelin Sportsman details…it’s gonna be good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Destination Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Tail Water of Beaver's Bend Dam
During the recent Thanksgiving break, our family decided to take a real break and get out of town for the entire week.  I have had my eyes set on Beaver’s Bend Lake near Broken Bow, OK for about 10 years.  There comes a time when you just pin your ears back and just do it. Boy, am I glad that we did.

Located in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, from our home in the Shreveport, LA area, it was only a three and a half hour drive.  The town is quaint.  It has that old style feel and has a Wal-Mart without the grocery side and the old style customer service to match.  Everyone was friendly, which I really liked.  Hellos and Happy Thanksgivings were on the tongue of everyone.   At the minimum, you get the gentle nod of the head and a warm smile.

The terrain is gorgeous.  Steep hillsides erupt from low lands where you can see for miles.  I am sure that leaf gazing in the fall would be spectacular.  Unfortunately we had a sharp cold spell about two weeks prior to the trip and almost all of the foliage had fallen from the trees.  Equally stunning would be this area in the full bloom of spring with dappled Dogwoods throughout the hillsides.  We plan to return to take in that sight in the future.

Creek Ridge Cabin
Creek Ridge Cabin
Tent camping at this stage of disability may no longer be a real option for me, so we rented a cabin that was fully accessible.  These cabins are set up for a decent amount of privacy however; other cabins will be close by.  There are more secluded cabins available is you are willing to pay for the privacy.  Most  all of the cabins offer a fire pit outside and some even provide the firewood too which is a plus.  This cabin had a creek running through the valley below it and the view was gorgeous.  We also were visited by a couple of deer one evening.  There are literally cabins for every price range.  With Broken Bow only 15 minutes away, we purchased groceries after arriving for our Thanksgiving feast.  One note of importance is that there is a “down season”.  Some restaurants and amenities were closed during the holidays.  Be sure to research what you would like to do and when you would like to do it to make certain it is available when you go.  Click the picture for more details on renting the cabin and please mention that we sent you.

Beaver's Bend Lake
Beaver’s Bend Lake is a beautiful reservoir and has excellent year-round fishing possibilities.  The lake’s dam provides Trout fishing at its finest with dedicated areas for fly fishing and no barbs to kid friendly areas where barbs and bait fishing is allowed.  Be sure to observe which zone you are in as this is taken very seriously.  It was only $15 for a single day license and there is no special trout stamp required.  You could purchase a six day license for $35.  Beaver’s Bend is very proactive for disabled fisherman. The state park provides a couple of areas where a wheelchair can sit right out over the river to fish on the side of the bridges.  Other fisherman understood the areas too and were accommodating by moving aside when I pulled up in my wheel chair.

Deer hunting is very accessible with a wildlife management area close by.  Out of state hunting license whether using archery, rifle or muzzle-loader was $280 and gives you six tags for the full hunting season.  No short term license for big game was available which was a bummer.  Still, if I had a full week to hunt and relax, that would be worth it.  We met a guy that had killed a 2 year old deer that had a massive rack.  Every hunter I met stated that the hunting was prolific in that area.  It will be on my to-do list next trip.

For hunting and fishing license information, Click Here!

American Indian Youth Spring Powow
I would be remiss if I did not mention that Oklahoma was once known as the Indian Nations.  The Cherokee and Choctaw are still prevalent in the state.  To experience some of the culture of American’s first peoples, you can catch the American Indian Youth Leadership Spring Powow which will be held on April 4th in 2015.  What an amazing experience that would be and admission is free!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Years Revolution not Resolution

Welcome to 2015!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  It was indeed a time of rest and revitalization for me and my family.  I am often amazed at just how quickly the pages on the calendar turn.  How each season of life melts into the next one before you realize it fully, which segues nicely into the message of the first article of 2015.  Instead of a New Year’s Resolution which typically is not kept, I thought it would be a nice change to make it a Revolution instead.  We need to declare war on some items in our lives to make 2015 the very best that it can be.

Declaration of Independence
Step 1.  Start Clean – Declare war on the negative sources that were in 2014!  In case you haven’t noticed, life can be a bit messy.  From this point forward, whatever or whomever could hold you back be sure to clean it up, set it straight, or MAKE IT RIGHT!  Having no excuses is a great way to begin anything.  So, clear up any residual messes from the previous year and start with a fresh, clean slate.  Whether it was a relationship, character flaw, or a fear, declare freedom.  Let go, forgive, reset, move on.

Step 2.  Declare a Goal – This is often scary for people.  Humans are reluctant to write or declare things.  When you don’t achieve a goal you have set your sights on, you feel like a failure.  History is littered with the names of great people who did not achieve everything they set out to do, BUT because their goals were so noble and grand, what they did achieve in the process of the pursuit has left a lasting mark.  No one focuses on your failures.  If they do, they have real issues. Instead, people celebrate your victories!  Write down a goal that you declare war on.  It should be something you are so passionate about that you will pursue it relentlessly until you have attained it come victory or victory, whichever first.

Step 3.  Carpe Diem – Yeah, I know right?  It’s Latin!  It means “Seize the Day”.  Most resolutions made at the beginning of a New Year end up on the junk piles of our lives because it is easier to make a resolution than to fulfill one.  Ever heard of this phrase, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step?”  It’s hard to even take the first step while sitting on the couch.  You must start!  Today is as good as any other.  Tomorrow turns into next month way too quickly.  Even Jesus told Judas at the Last Supper that whatever he was going to do, do it quickly.  The Messiah, The Son of the living God, tells His own betrayer to “Carpe Diem” – Wow! 

Step 4.  Don’t Quit – Did you know that George Washington was not known for many victories.  He has been classified as one of America’s greatest generals and that status vaulted him to become the first President and yet, he actually only won a handful of battles.  Stranger still, his military genius was best known by his retreats!  His prowess was not demonstrated by grand victories going toe-to-toe with Great Britain’s finest field generals.  Instead, he successfully outwitted his British counterparts on multiple occasions by retreating at just the right moment and in just the right way.  It is an odd way to achieve a name for one’s self.  Washington knew exactly what he was doing.  He was keeping his army alive so that when he fought, it would be on his terms, when he had the greatest upper hand, and when he felt he could win.  His rag-tag little army caused the British tremendous pain only because he never quit.  Because he never quit, he eventually won the war!

Step 5. Never Settle – Nothing in our culture needs to have a revolution declared against it more than mediocrity in my opinion.  I loathe it!  Declare war on this mindset.  It is stinking-thinking at its finest.  Once you determine not to quit, mediocrity screams at you to settle for less than the very, very best. Mediocrity is the troll that waits under the bridge of destiny to gobble every human heart that dares to cross.  Where there is the smoldering light of something amazing in a person’s mind and heart, mediocrity is there to try to stamp it out before the flame truly gathers life.  Fight it!  Be a warrior.  Demand your destiny and nothing less.

2015 is going to be great.  It will likely have its challenges and that is to be expected.  It will also have its triumphs and that is to be gloried.  Believe it or not, we are only two months from fishing’s spawn season in the southern tier of the United States.  Spring will bloom before you know it.  So, “Carpe Diem!”

New articles will appear on Wednesdays by 6pm.  Check out the store as we are having a massive end of Hunting Season Clearance Sale.  All prices have been slashed!  Until next week, God bless you and your family!