Friday, August 15, 2014

809 Tiger shark feeds poor & homeless

"An 809-pound tiger shark in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month has been cooked and served to more than 90 poor and homeless"

Glad to see positive coverage on this one. 

Goes to show the kindness of outdoors people, fishermen, hunters, and conservationists.  What do anti's have to say about that.....?

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 TO READ more FAQ's.

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

Other reviews/feedback:

Best of luck,

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.


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!


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 (Student Outdoor Experience)
Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts
Local Community Centers
Other "outdoor" & sports/hunting/archery clubs
Go to local bowling alley
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. 



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

Other review: by Wired To Hunt

- 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

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:
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:

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!

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 ( 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 -
b. Elk cooking tips -

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!!!: " 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: 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.

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

One more time: