Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Rut is either in full swing or is getting close in your area. With it comes questions, lots and lots of questions. The biggest question is typically - "How do I hunt the Rut for that giant that I have been seeing on trail cam?"
QDMA is constantly giving great article on their Twitter feed on how to accomplish what seems like a hunting rubics cube. Check out the article below:
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Knowing how to use cold fronts to your advantage and how they interact with Moon phase is priceless information. I found a marvelous article from AL.com on this very topic. Enjoy:
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Recently, a follower of Handicapped Outdoors posted on our Facebook page asking if I knew of any ideas for someone trying to stay warm in a deer blind who is using Oxygen all the time? The mainstay propane heater is out of this equation due to the open flame in close proximity to an oxygen tank. I gathered some information for a solution and wanted to share it with all of you!
First I want to give a big shout out to Mike Kennedy for asking this question. My best articles are often from you the readers. ALWAYS contact me if you have an interesting question or idea! It's what makes us go.
First of all, there are batteries you can purchase that will allow you to do what I am suggesting without a power wheelchair. However, there are many of you who are in the same situation as I, which is in a power chair. This is actually an advantage in this scenario but can be easily overcome by those of you in a manual style chair also.
There is a company called Broadened Horizons that makes a plugin that enables you to extract energy from the battery and gives you a connector like the cigarette lighter in your car, truck or van. This is step one. The Power2Go connector costs about $250.
If this price-tag is simply outside of your comfort zone, some people have added a standard 3-pronged plugin directly from one of the batteries on their chair to power anything calling for 12 volts. This may void the warranty on your chair. I am not sure anyone wants to do that on a power chair that can run in the upper $20,000 range.
Amazon that will convert the electricity from your batteries to usable energy to the electric blanket or heater.
The unit can range depending how much energy you are wanting to use, so be diligent to get the right plugin for your needs. The unit pictured costs $30.
Through this setup, you can charge a cellphone, power a blanket, a small heater or anything else that runs on a 12v/110 connection.
Be careful not to exceed what your batteries can put out. I am no electrician, but anytime you try to use more than can be given, it usually trips a breaker or shuts down.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
So, what does any creative southern person do? We build stuff out of scrap! We came up with a pretty good box blind design that I could roll into. It meets and exceeds all of my needs. I love it! So, what is the problem with it? Well, it weighs in excess of about 750 pounds. You wouldn't want to say it's a portable blind but it sits in one place real, real good.
Some folks go to even greater expense and mount a box stand on a trailer. Now this does make it mobile but also adds about $750 to the price tag of the build unless you can find a throw away trailer.
|Courtesy of Sportsman's Guide|
It's a five hub, pop-up blind making it extremely portable. The entire front of the blind unzips and flips up for easy accessibility. It is spacious enough for two men and the windows are the newer style that stretches the full width of the blind in all four directions. You can control which windows are opened or closed and how wide of a shooting gap you need. The mesh is shoot through but I never do that. It's just too easy to move the mesh out of the way and have a clean shot.
You can pick it up for around $70 at Sportsman's Guide (price requires a membership) or on Amazon for $80.
If you see something you would like for me to write about, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - Thanks!
Thursday, September 8, 2016
The deer season is fast approaching with the fall equinox in just a couple of weeks. With the equinox, comes cooler temperatures and the ramp up to the rut. Bow season begins October 1st here in northwest Louisiana and we have been working feverishly to get ready for it.
|"Bug-Eye" Before Deer 365|
It's called Deer 365 and is made just north of us in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It is a proprietary blend of many crucial nutritional elements for deer development, antler growth and weight gain throughout the entire year. After pouring it out at my fall ground blind at the desired distance, we set a Plotwatcher Pro trail cam that takes time lapse pictures throughout the day and the results were mind boggling.
|"Bug-Eye" After Deer 3|
The only regret we have had with this product is that we didn't begin using it in March or April!
So, on top of all of this incredible information what if I told you that this revolutionary supplement is also Raccoon proof and water resistant? Raccoons don't like it while the deer absolutely love it.
A storm? No problem, it's weather proof. Deer love rice-bran but if it gets wet, the game is over. Not Deer 365, it caps over in rain and either you or the deer simply kicks it back to life. As you know, Louisiana has been getting a lot of rain. Our trail cam pics revealed the deer showing up after each rain shower and grubbing in this stuff.
As if all of this wasn't enough, the good people of Deer 365 love Jesus. Help support them not only in the cause for great quality deer management but also in the cause of Christ!
It's a no-brainer! Contact Geno Banks or find a dealer near you and see the results for yourself!
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The solutions are usually very pricey. Lifts, whether from the dock or the boat, can prove costly and sometimes difficult to operate smoothly. Most people begin looking at options with adding accessibility to their boat itself. But again, the dollars needed can overwhelm someone who just wants to get themselves or their loved-one back on the water.
Shore-S-EZ comes in a kit and can be added by your dealer or by any good ole do-it-yourselfer.
I asked Bob where the inspiration came from. He told me that in 2007 his grandson was hurt in an accident at the tender age of 3. At first, Bob just bought a pontoon boat in 2010 as many of them are already friendly to disabled people in wheelchairs. But as the child has grown into a young man, a new solution was necessary. As he grew in size, it became more and more difficult to get him on and off the boat.
The Shore-S-EZ is a 32" wide ramp that can extend out to 5 feet. it can be raised to about 25 degrees or lowered to around 33 degrees of angle (more on this in a minute). It is powered by an electric motor and all the of the parts are water resistant. The micro switches that control the ramp are waterproof which is really nice (not salt-water friendly).
This thing can be great for the able bodied camper or hunter also. Ever had a good bit of gear that you are trying to lug on and off a boat on some remote camping site or hunting spot? Not a problem, the ramp makes this rather easy. Need to load that 500 pound Elk on the bank of a lake or river? Lower the ramp and give it a tug with a winch...done!
I asked Bob the big question - How much for this glorious piece of freedom? At the time of this writing, the price point is only $4,750. For an additional $250 you can add a ramp with a toe-kick that will help flatten out the transition from Terra Firma to the boat.
The great news is that Bob is very determined to keep this below the $5,000 thresh-hold.
He also mentioned a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Shipping - The ramp kit weighs about 180 lbs. Shipping will vary based on your location from their shop in Kalispell, Montana. It takes about 3 weeks to craft your ramp and ship it out.
2. Limitations - Each ramp is hand crafted and needs to match specific measurements on your pontoon. The triple pontoon boats that are becoming popular cannot be fitted as the third pontoon is placed precisely in the gap between the two outer pontoons where the ramp needs to be attached.
Check out their Facebook page and as I said before, I think this is a stroke of genius. Thanks Bob for overcoming the difficulties your grandson faces. A family that fish's together stays together. All the best to you and yours champion!
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The Bait Cloud is a fizzing ball of natural attractants. The early reviews are very promising and I cannot wait to try this out.
You take the type of Bait Cloud Ball that matches your target species. Throw it in the pond or lake and begin fishing the spot where it hits the bottom. The fizzing elements causes the fish attracting ingredients to permeate the entire water column from the bottom to the surface.
This product looks promising to help people with disabilities be successful in catching instead of just fishing. particularly those confined to bank fishing. Have a number of nice fish come to your area is much more desirable than attempting to chase the fish all over a pond or a lake in a wheelchair.
Check out the video below and give it a try:
Saturday, August 13, 2016
|Courtesy of Aliexpress.com|
Collectively, deer hunters begin to get a little geeked up right about now. Here in Louisiana, we are less than 50 days away from the start of Bow season. The excitement level is building and my wife is already starting to get annoyed at how much I am talking about deer...which means I have my priorities right for now LOL!
|Courtesy of Apple Creek Ranch|
We picked up some new property to hunt this year. It's a mix of hardwood, open fields and high-lines and planted pine. I can't help but to tell you that we are thrilled with it and am looking forward to opening day.
We began to scout the area by hanging on the oil roads leading into the property. These well established thoroughfares are excellent ways to get a broad view of your land without spooking the deer. The deer are familiar with trucks and vehicles moving through on these roads regularly and even humans working in these areas.
|Courtesy of hunterlandowner.wordpress.com|
Once we can determine where the deer are cutting across, we try to use the high-lines or brush-hogged travel lanes to do a deeper scouting. I am not a big proponent of walking into a deer's bedding area or going deeply into a "sanctuary" area.
The goal is to get a good idea of where the deer are and or moving through. Once that is determined, set out some corn or other attractant with a trail-cam and see if your hunch is accurate.
|Courtesy of blog.catbirdnotes.com|
"After scouting for an hour or so, I saw some real good deer sign."
Me: Which was? Kyle: "Well, it was the deer itself. I jumped one and it ran away. Now that is real, real good deer sign."
There is some deep truth to his statement. In our recent scouting efforts, we have put eyes on 5-6 deer during daylight hours. You can't beat that scouting report.
|Courtesy of Bentler.us|
The season before, we routinely encountered deer or heard them leaving the area as we approached. We had success the previous season but last year not one shot was fired.
Best of luck to you as you prep. May your scouting go as well as our is this season!
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Can you believe it? 60 days until the opening of bow season here in Louisiana on October 1st. I am more excited than a kid in a candy store. I feel like Ralphie in "The Christmas Story". Just this past week, I was given a new tip that I wanted to pass along to all of you crossbow hunters out there.
However, the less the weight also means less accuracy is going to occur during the flight path of the arrow. I have been shooting 100 grain tips and I am very accurate at short ranges. If I wander out past about 25-30 yards, suddenly my groups are not so tight. So much so that I would likely not take a shot past 40 yards on an animal ever.
|Rage Crossbow 125 Grain Broadhead|
Update: This tip is specifically for bows and crossbows that shoot above 300 feet per second.
I am going to make the switch in the coming weeks and will give you a report in September. One thing to remember is to also pick up some field points that are also 125 grain so that your practice is an exact match to your actual hunting shots.
Try it out and see if your accuracy goes up out to 40-50 yards with tight groups.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
"Whether a man thinks he can or cannot - he is exactly right!" - Henry Ford
|How is your outlook?|
Where there is a will...
|Is your heart free?|
Seek the help you need...
In addition to extra time, planning and determination, you are going to likely need help. I have found that people really want to see me continue fishing and hunting and will go to great lengths to aid me in my quest. People have graciously granted me access to their ponds and land. Some have invited me to hunt with them and it was a great time on each and every occasion. Multiple people have aided in fabricating things that assist me in hunting from a wheelchair. In short, don't be prideful. Pride is like a dam, it holds stuff up and doesn't allow things to flow naturally. Although it's never fun to have to admit when you can't do something, it's even less fun to give up an entire area of your life simply because you won't humble yourself and ask for help. This is stinking thinking. It hurts nobody else but you. Let it go!
Share your success...
You may not think of yourself as influential, but you have more influence than you know. Social media allows everyone to be a writer of sorts. Post your pics and your stories of adventure, your successes and your failures (more on this in a minute). What you do matters! You may be the kick in the seat someone else needs to re-engage in their journey. Don't be afraid of being an inspiration to others.
Laugh at yourself...
|Laugh at yourself, it helps!|
I hope you have been encouraged by this piece. I hope that in some way these words placed together have kindled a fire inside of you, stirred your heart, reminded you of the hunger you have for adventure. It's out there. The real question is: Are you?
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
This week, I hope to give you some simple tips that can make a huge difference between success and ultimate frustration. These tips are meant to make the entire process more enjoyable, relaxing and give you much needed confidence when THE MOMENT arrives.
I use the Caldwell Tree-Pod. It attaches right to my wheelchair with minimal assistants. It gives me a stable platform to operate the gun or crossbow efficiently and with confidence. And it also provides flexibility to move a little. Amazon has great prices, just click the link above and it will take you right to them.
Tip #2 - Confidence. I cannot over-emphasize confidence. When the "moment" comes, you have to have this essential ingredient to get the job done. Every hunter who has taken an animal stretches for words to describe the feelings just before the shot comes and the exhilaration or despair just after the shot has been fired. All of the prep work, the feeding, the trail-cams and practice have culminated into this one moment. The juices are flowing!
In the midst of all of these emotions, there is something inside of every successful hunter that centers and calms them so that they can act in all that turmoil. You hear pro athletes talk about "the zone" where the game slows down and they become laser-focused on the task at hand...confidence.
You watch a pro-golfer sink a 10 foot putt to win the tournament. They have actually done that a thousand times in their head and in practice so that when the moment comes, they are bigger than the moment...confidence!
Tip #3 - Trust the rise, not the fall. There is nothing more frustrating than to have the animal of your dreams, be it a deer, a hog, a coyote, fill in the blank, to walk out 50-100 yards beyond what your gun is zeroed in for. Now you have to guess-timate bullet drop.
|Courtesy of Wikipedia.com|
Now I don't know about you, but I would rather know and not guess in these situations. Most people sight their rifles in at 100 hundred yards here in the south. But when I ask them, "What yardage are you comfortable at shooting?" Their answer is typically 200-300 yards. This creates a conundrum.
A bullet when it is fired rises and then falls back to the yardage you have zeroed in the scope for. If you are zeroed in at 200 yards, the bullet will rise to it's highest point around 100-125 yards and will only be 1.5-2 inches high of zero at this point.
Once it passes zero (200 yards in our example), the fall off is tremendous and can be very difficult to guess when shooting whether in practice or at a live animal. Being accurate passed the zero point can prove tough for even experienced able bodied hunters. In the chart below, notice the drop off from 200 yards which is zero to 300 yards being 7 inches low. Good luck guessing a 7 inch difference at 300 yards on an animal. Is it do-able? Yes, but not very practical.
|Courtesy of Hornady.com|
Now I am a simple man who likes to keep things as simple as possible. If it is only a 1-2 inch difference between 100-200 yards in our example, can you live with that bullet placement consistently? I can!
In other words, set your scope for your maximum comfortable yardage and practice shooting from there back to shorter yardages. I use Hornady ammunition (image above). They provide bullet flight charts and calculators that are very reliable, even down to 25 yard increments.
Make it a personal rule that anything outside your comfortable longest shot gets a pass. This will save animals and your ego when you mishit that deer of a lifetime, track it for hours and find it a few days later half eaten by predators.
Ok, so let's recap. Use a shooting rest that you like. Be confident, perfect practice makes perfect. And lastly, sight your rifle in for your longest shot and trust the rise of the bullet out to your zero yardage.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
The Wobble Head Worm Rig is just such a discovery.
To look at it you would question whether a fish would run from it rather than aggressively striking it. But the truth is many a professional fisherman still use this rig and win tournaments in the south during the hottest months of the year.
As the name says, the metal piece at the top causes the entire rig to wobble through the water. This rhythmic wobble creates aggressive strikes and is endless fun for any lake or pond.
For the disabled fisherman, the retrieve is super simple. Throw it and reel it..that's it! Not too fast and not too slow but a nice methodical retrieve can cause vicious hits. If you are using a medium/fast tipped rod, the fish will virtually set the hook for you, which is nice.
I grew up with these plastic worms. They were the king of the fishing industry until Mr. Twister put a big dent in their reign with advent of the curled tail worm.
The Chairman of our board at Handicapped Outdoors was using a wobble head rig just a few weeks ago at his home and landed two fish around the 3-4 pound class within an hour or so of fishing with it...it works!
We have a local fishing shop that sells these. You won't find them in a the super stores for outdoors. You can order them Here online.
There are even ways to fish it weedless or add a trailer hook to it. See the diagrams below.
|Add a keeper hook|
Thursday, June 30, 2016
|Orange Beach, AL|
|Mr. and Mrs. Brobst|
Orange Beach is a much more family oriented place than the party atmosphere of it's neighbor to the east. There are lots of restaurants and things for the kids to do beyond the shore line. We took our three year old to a park with rides and go-karts. He had an absolute blast.
For the shopper in the family there is an enormous Tanger Outlets just up the road in Foley, AL very close to the world famous Lamberts, the home of the thrown roll. All of the usual touristy type of shopping spots like Alvin Island and SurfStyle are numerous.
|What'd ya catch - Red Snapper?|
For the hard core fisherman, there are plenty of private charter captains available.
Now to the stuff you want to know about. How does someone with a disability fair in Orange Beach?
The city and area was very accessible. I was gladly surprised that every restaurant we visited was accessible and had seating that was convenient for me in a wheelchair.
|Perdido Key resort|
The only problem was I had booked via Hotels.com and made double certain that the room would have a roll in shower. I even stayed on hold while they called the resort to check on this. But upon arriving, to my dismay, not only was the shower not a roll in, but there were not ANY rooms with a roll in shower on the entire premises. This struck me very odd as they host business conferences there all the time. The toilet was a handicapped sized commode, but there was barely enough space to get on and off of it.
|Oops, a wheelchair can't go in there!|
There are plenty of big box Hotel chains on this beach and if you reserve early enough, you will get what you want instead of having to settle for something that is less than ideal. Okay, enough of this, let's get to the good stuff.
|Beach Power Rentals|
I have played around with a lot of beach solutions for the disabled and this by far was the best I have ever been on as far as handling the sand. The foot stools were a bit too high and were uncomfortable after long stents of sitting in the chair but they are like that for a reason. This chair was straight up master of the sugar sand. The Florida/Alabama coast has some of the finest sand in the world. It has a tendency to bog down beach solutions, but not this one. I went wherever I wanted to go!
Being a powered chair, you cannot get it wet, which is understandable. I had so much fun watching my little boy in shore break and searching for shells. We had a blast.
The price of the chair is super reasonable. For two days we paid about $140 They charge a $40 delivery/pickup fee that was strange to me at first but as Ben Franklin said, "Time is money." The guy that delivered the chair walked me through all of the aspects of it and I didn't have to worry with returning it, so the fee seemed well worth it in the end. No hassles was worth the $40.
Book a trip to Orange Beach. You are going to love the place! There was much more to do there than we had time or budget for so, scour the internet and find what you want to do.