Gear Review: RRR Gun Rest

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Don’t hit the tree stand this deer hunting season without the innovative and effective RRR Gun Rest attached to your weapon of choice.

I was recently sent a selection of gun rests to review by the kind folks over at RRR and Associates, LLC and came away impressed with the usefulness that these simple rests provide. We have all been in a situation while hunting during which we needed some support under the front of our rifles in order to make an accurate and ethical shot. Usually we resort to using some other piece of gear, such as a pair of gloves or a jacket, to support our guns even though those items were not designed with that purpose in mind. This can lead to spooking game and even missing a shot altogether.

However, the RRR Gun Rest eliminates all of those problems and provides shooters and hunters with a solid rest that moves with their gun of choice.

Click here to read the rest of my review of the RRR Gun Rest.

8 Great Outdoor Companies in Ohio

Ohio has a long and proud tradition of hunting, fishing, and spending time in the outdoors. That long tradition includes outdoor companies being started by enterprising outdoors enthusiasts. These companies exist in a number of outdoor categories, but they all have one thing in common. To help other Ohio (and those around the country) sportsmen and women have the quality gear they need to truly enjoy and succeed at their outdoor pursuits.

Click here for my list of eight great Ohio-based outdoor companies.

On the Arrival of Fall…

Fall has officially arrived in Ohio. Well, technically, it is still summer, but Ohio weather doesn’t follow the calendar. On the heels of a soaking rainstorm and heavy cold front, summer was ushered out and fall quickly and decisively took its place. Gone are the long, muggy days (not that we had many of those this past summer) of summer. In their place are the shorter days and crisp air of a Midwest autumn.

I always have mixed feelings around this time of year. Summer is by far my favorite season and it is definitely always a little sad to see it go. Late night bass fishing, sleeping with the windows open, and firing up the grill nearly every day, some of my favorite parts of summer, are no longer really possible. Baseball season is winding to a close, especially for those teams that won’t make the playoffs, like my Cleveland Indians unless their late push for the postseason pans out.

However, there are also a lot of things that I love about the fall in Ohio. In fact, the changing of the seasons is one of my favorite parts about living in the Midwest altogether. I don’t think I could ever live in a place that was warm all year round. There is just something I love about going through all four season and watching each one take over from the last. There is always something to look forward to in each new season and that sense of possibility is something I really appreciate being able to have.

Fall brings football season (Go Buckeyes and Browns!), beautiful fall foliage, ripening apples, as well as interesting and fun fall-themed festivals. It also brings deer hunting season here in Ohio which is a tried and true tradition among many folks around the state.

There is still the chance to have a few more relatively warm days before the cold really starts to take a grip on the state once again. I’m planning to hit my favorite farm pond for largemouth bass at least a couple more times this year and firing up the grill as much as possible before it gets buried in snow on my back deck once again.

Even when the pond is iced over and the grill is just a giant snowball in the backyard, I’ll enjoy the new fall activities that take their place and be content with the knowledge that it won’t be long before spring arrives to push winter out and makes it possible to enjoy those things once again.

 

10 Things Every Hunter Must Do In Their Lifetime

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A hunter’s bucket list is something that every outdoorsman or woman should have. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Just about everyone has a bucket list. A list of things that they want to experience, see, achieve, or accomplish at some point in their lifetimes. This is a great way to stay motivated for the future and really live a full life.

If you love hunting and the outdoors, you should really consider creating a hunter’s bucket list to help outline your goals and all the things you wish to experience in the hunting world. Even if you don’t check everything off of your list, it’s still fun to dream big and chase after the things you want to accomplish.

Check out this slideshow for some great goals to add to your hunter’s bucket list.

Outdoor Goals 2013 Recap…

Last year, I wrote a blog post listing my outdoor goals for the year of 2013. You can check out the list here. My list included five goals and I am proud to say that I achieved two of them. However, that obviously leaves me a lot of room for improvement in 2014.

I will be posting my outdoor goals for 2014 in the coming days, but wanted to take a few minutes and recap my goals for last year and how they went.

My first goal was also the goal I most wanted to achieve and that was to fill a spring turkey tag for the very first time. On opening day of the 2013 spring turkey in season, I managed to take a tom turkey from the Ohio woods and I couldn’t be more proud of that accomplishment. You can read the entire story of my spring turkey hunt here.

The second goal on my list was to catch and weigh a largemouth bass of over three pounds which would beat my personal best bass of all time. This goal was the one I suspected would be the most difficult as I have been bass fishing since I was young and had never topped the three pound mark. Well, at least not officially that is. There were several times that I believe I caught fish bigger than that, but I either failed to land those fish or didn’t have a scale with me at the time. Unfortunately, that makes those occasions nothing more than fish stories.

Anyways, as these things usually go, the goal I thought would be most difficult proved to be one of the easiest. It was also completely unexpected. I had just finished scouting my turkey hunting location and happened to have my fishing gear with me. It was an unusually warm spring day for Northern Ohio and I couldn’t resist wetting a line. Long story short (and you can read the full story here) I wound up hooking, landing, and weighing a 3+ pound bass on my first cast of the year.

The last three goals that I set for 2013 were much less successful. Unfortunately, I never even got a chance to really pursue them. Busy schedules and the unpredictable spring weather that is commonplace in Northern Ohio made a flathead fishing trip impossible to get planned and executed and a lack of equipment and the decision to not figuratively pull the trigger on an expensive purchase made a 2013 whitetail deer hunt out of the question.

The last goal that I set was to take a great outdoor picture. Although I had my camera with me just about every time I was out in the field in 2013, that great picture just never happened. However, I did still get a lot of great shots of fish I caught as well as those caught by friends and family. The more I think about it, maybe those pictures are even better than the great landscape shot that I was hoping to get.

Although I did not achieve all of my outdoor goals that I set for 2013, they still pushed me to be a better outdoorsman and to just appreciate having the freedom and opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in all of their abundance and beauty with good friends and family along the way.

Here’s to another great year in the outdoors in 2014!

 

My 500 Words Challenge…

We have finally arrived to 2014 and I have managed to neglect this blog for far too long. My last post was in May of last year and I’m not happy about that at all. I call myself a writer and I want to be a writer, yet I fail to write often enough far too frequently. I need to be writing daily and that has become a New Year’s resolution for me heading into the clean slate that the annual turning of the calendar offers to every single one of us.

I recently came across a writing challenge designed to push anyone with a passion for writing or a desire to write to do just that. Write. Everyday. For the entire month of January. Everyone who participates in the challenge is tasked with writing 500 words per day. It can be on any subject and in any format, but 500 words must be produced every day. And no, emails do not count. This blog post is to announce that I have accepted the challenge.

(If you want to be a part of the My 500 Words challenge, you can find a link to the instructions in the top right corner of my blog.)

As I challenge myself to find the dedication necessary to successfully participate, I also see this as an opportunity to really get back into the swing of things with this blog. I hope to post much more frequently. Even more frequently than I was when I was updating my blog regularly last year.

It is my hope that completing this challenge will turn into me having the habit of writing every single day. Ask any successful writer or author for advice on how to improve your craft and you will likely hear that you must write every single day. No matter what. Not that you should write every day, but that you must.

I have always heard that it takes approximately three weeks to form a habit, so I really hope that holds true in this situation. It’s something that I want to do and I really have no excuse as to why I haven’t been. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to how easy it is to become distracted. It’s so easy to make excuses or plan on getting to something the next day or later. It’s hard to hold yourself accountable. This challenge and my blog should help me avoid those situations. At least that’s my hope.

Hope. I’ve said that a lot in this post so far. I think that hope is renewed in a lot of people when a year is as young as 2014 still is. It could be hope in countless different things. For me this year, it is hope to become a better, more dedicated writer. It is hope to push myself to improve instead of settling for the status quo and above everything else, it is hope to be able to focus on the positive things in my life instead of putting too much focus into the things I don’t have or the things I cannot change. Luckily, my writing frequency is something that I can easily change and I am going to push myself to do just that.

Another Outdoor Goal Down…

So I know it has been awhile since I have updated my blog, but I am finally back and plan to post more regular updates in the future. Now on to the good stuff…

We have been having unbelievable weather so far this spring here in Northeast Ohio. Warm temperatures, not much rain, and generally steady weather which is pretty unusual to say the least.

However, you won’t hear me complaining. That’s for sure. The great weather has given me a great opportunity to attack my outdoor goals for this year and has also made my pursuit of my goals that much more enjoyable.

To read about my outdoor goals for this year, go here.

So after tackling my first big challenge and goal of filling my spring turkey tag, it was time to start targeting my next goals. The most obvious one to start working on was catching the three pound or bigger bass. However, I felt like that was going to me one of my toughest goals considering that I have been bass fishing for as long as I can remember and have yet to achieve this goal.

Taking advantage of the wonderful spring weather, I hit my favorite fishing hole for the second time on May 2. I expected a fairly quiet day of fishing and was just planning on maybe catching a couple small fish and just sort of shaking the rust off of my fishing skills.

On my first cast of the day, I threw my favorite weightless purple rubber worm out in front of the small dock at the pond I was fishing. The lure was only in the water for a second or two before a bass inhaled it. I could tell right away that it was a good sized bass.

The fight didn’t last long and after a close call at the bank of the pond, I landed the bass. I have caught a ton of bass in my life and I knew right away that this one was big. I grabbed my scale and sure enough that fish topped out at 3 pounds and 3 ounces. My second outdoor goal of the year was completed!

I never expected to have completed two of my goals this early in the year but could not be happier about it. Check out the picture of the bass below and look for more posts soon!

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