Archive for January, 2012

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Rage Outdoors has introduced the most lethal broadhead to ever hit the market: The Rage X-Treme, which comes with a massive 2.3-inch cutting diameter.

The sweeping blade angle on the new X-Treme maintains kinetic energy longer and penetrates deeper than any other blade. It also produces larger entry and exit wounds for even better blood trails. This new broadhead is uniquely designed with a single-bevel blade that improves bone- and tissue-cutting performance on even the toughest of prey.

For dependable blade containment and deployment at all times, the Rage X-Treme has been designed with the newly patented Shock Collar. This new design will ensure your blades remain in place until that ultimate moment of truth.

The new Rage X-Treme broadheads are easily recognizable by their yellow ferrule design, and were designed for use with bow draw weights in excess of 60 pounds. They will be available at retailers nationwide this spring, with an MSRP for the 3-pack of$49.99.

Rage Outdoors is headquartered in Superior, Wis. For more information on the full line of revolutionary SlipCam Rage Broadheads and the Ghost Quiver, contact Rage Outdoors, 1230 Poplar Avenue, Superior, WI 54880; call (715) 392-2860; or visit www.ragebroadheads.com.


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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hunter Safety System  introduced the HSS Hybrid vest Tuesday at the annual Archery Trade Show, a vest that combines two of the company’s top models.

The Hybrid combines the best of the full-featured HSS Pro Series vest and the lightweight, streamlined HSS Ultra Lite X-Treme vest to deliver the perfect balance of form and function.

Built on the patented lightweight harness system, which provides unparalleled strength and comfort when seated or standing at full draw, the Hybrid’s upper is streamlined to minimize bulk when worn over hunting clothes. The Hybrid’s lower portion features six pockets, including two fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets, two security pockets and a pair of quick-access utility pockets. Smart fabrics are used to reduce the Hybrid’s overall weight to only 3 pounds, while remaining durable and deadly quiet at any temperature.

The Hybrid is approved to the standards of Treestand Manufacturers Association.With three simple yet strong buckles to connect, the Hybrid is easy to put on, and there are no dangling straps or confusing weave-throughs. The Hybrid also features a built-in binocular/accessory strap system for convenience on stand.

The HSS Hybrid will be available at retailers this spring for $149.95.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Danville, Ala., Hunter Safety System is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative deer hunting gear and hunting equipment for the serious hunter. For additional information, write to: The Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 1-877-296-3528; or visit www.huntersafetysystem.com.

— Press release

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Fourteen professional anglers from Alabama are among the field announced for the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series, which begins competition in March.

Among the 100 anglers are winners of more than 200 Bassmaster tournaments, 17 Bassmaster Classic championships and 21 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles.

The Elite field includes four-time Classic champ Rick Clunn of Missouri as well as perennial qualifier Kevin VanDam of Michigan, who also has four Classic wins (including the last two) and seven Angler of the Year titles.  The season kicks off March 15-18 with the St. Johns River Showdown in Palatka, Fla. The regular season will conclude with the crowning of the Angler of the Year at the Oneida Championship in Syracuse, N.Y., Aug. 23-26.

Invitations to compete in the Bassmaster Elite Series are earned by performance in the previous year’s Elite circuit, the three Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens divisions and the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation championship.

The field represents 26 states plus Japan. Texas has the most competitors with 15, followed by Alabama with 14 and Oklahoma with 10.

Among the rookies this season is B.A.S.S. Federation Nation champion Jamie Horton of Centerville, Ala.

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Anglers:

Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C.
Scott Ashmore, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla.
Denny Brauer, Camdenton, Mo.
Brent Broderick, Oregonia, Ohio
Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark.
Terry Butcher, Talala, Okla.
Brandon Card, Caryville, Tenn.
Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan.
Rick Clunn, Ava, Mo.
Keith Combs, Del Rio, Texas
John Crews, Salem, Va.
Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La.
Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark.
Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn.
Boyd Duckett, Demopolis, Ala.
Paul Elias, Laurel, Miss.
Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla.
Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas
Kyle Fox, Lakeland, Fla.
Jami Fralick, Martin, S.D.
Grant Goldbeck, Boerne, Texas
Pat Golden, High Point, N.C.
Matt Greenblatt, Tequesta, Fla.
Chad Griffin, Cresson, Texas
Shaw Grigsby, Gainesville, Fla.
Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La.
Charlie Hartley, Grove City, Ohio
Byron “B.J.” Haseotes, Centerville, Mass.
Matt Herren, Trussville, Ala.
Kenyon Hill, Norman, Okla.
Davy Hite, Ninety Six, S.C.
Jamie Horton, Centerville, Ala.
Tim Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Randy Howell, Springville, Ala.
Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J.
Alton Jones, Waco, Texas
Kelly Jordon, Mineola, Texas
Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala.
Kotaro Kiriyama, Moody, Ala.
Gary Klein, Weatherford, Texas
Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla.
Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla.
Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala.
Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala.
Kevin Ledoux, Choctaw, Okla.
Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind.
Travis Manson, Green Bay, Wis.
Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala.
Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark.
Mike McClelland, Bella Vista, Ark.
Mark Menendez, Paducah, Ky.
Jared Miller, Norman, Okla.
Yusuke Miyazaki, Forney, Texas
Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif.
Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C.
Rick Morris, Lake Gaston, Va.
John Murray, Phoenix, Ariz.
Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, N.C.
James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas
Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas
Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss.
Brandon Palaniuk, Rathdrum, Idaho
Russell Parrish, Riesel, Texas
Keith Poche, Troy, Ala.
Pete Ponds, Madison, Miss.
Cliff Prince, Palatka, Fla.
Jason Quinn, York, S.C.
Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas
Clark Reehm, Russellville, Ark.
Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif.
Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala.
Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C.
Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Scott Rook, Little Rock, Ark.
Fred Roumbanis, Bixby, Okla.
Zell Rowland, Austin, Texas
Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky.
Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan.
Bernie Schultz, Gainesville, Fla.
Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla.
Morizo Shimizu, Suita, Japan
Kevin Short, Mayflower, Ark.
Fletcher Shryock, Newcomerstown, Ohio
Michael Simonton, Fremont, Ohio
David Smith, Edmond, Okla.
Brian Snowden, Reeds Spring, Mo.
Jeremy Starks, Charleston, W.Va.
Gerald Swindle, Warrior, Ala.
J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga.
Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Byron Velvick, Del Rio, Texas
Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala.
David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn.
Nate Wellman, Newaygo, Mich.
Dustin Wilks, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C.
Chris Zaldain, San Jose, Calif.
— B.A.S.S. Communications

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Alabama artists are invited to enter the 2012 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp art contest, which opened Jan. 1.

The winning artwork will be used as the design of the 2013-14 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required to be purchased when hunting migratory waterfowl. Entries will be accepted from Jan. 1 – Feb. 15. The competition is open to resident Alabama artists only.

A pair of ringed-neck ducks painted by Jim Denney of Alexander City, Ala., was the winner of the 2011 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest. The artwork adorns the 2012-13 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp.

All eligible entries will be on display Feb. 24 at the Richard Beard Building, 1445 Federal Drive in Montgomery. Following the showing, three judges from the fields of art, ornithology and wildlife conservation will select the winning waterfowl art.

“Like the federal waterfowl stamp, revenues from the sale of Alabama stamps are used to procure, establish or improve migratory waterfowl habitat,” said N. Gunter Guy Jr., Conservation Commissioner. “We encourage all Alabama artists to participate in this unique contest.”

Only original horizontal artworks depicting a species of North American migratory duck or goose will be eligible. The pintail, American wigeon, and the ringed-neck duck — depicted in the winning artwork of three previous year’s contests — are not eligible as the subject for the 2013-14 stamp. A pair of ringed-neck ducks painted by Jim Denney of Alexander City won  the 2011 contest. 

The judging criteria will emphasize uncluttered design suitable for printing as a stamp, anatomical accuracy of the illustrated species, and artistic rendering. Close attention must be given to tone and detail, since those aspects are prerequisites for printing artwork as a stamp. Wing and feather construction must be particularly well defined. Entries may be drawn or painted in any medium. Entries cannot exceed 9 by 12 inches (15 by 18 inches matted).

For contest information and entry forms visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, www.outdooralabama.com, or contact contest coordinator David Hayden, at 334-242-3469.


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Veteran NFL writer Peter King dedicated a smidge of his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column this week to a posit about New Orleans Saints gunslinger Drew Brees and his flirtation with the Miami Dolphins.

I’m not a huge NFL fan but I keep up a little bit, and the Brees story in 2006 was a big one. Injured quarterback replaced by hotshot kid in San Diego, looking for a new team, and Miami and New Orleans are in the mix.

You can check out King’s column here and scroll down a bit to find the “Finally, just one more reason to kvetch …” section about Brees and the woeful Fins.

Here’s the short version: then-Dolphins coach Nick Saban and his crew had doubts about Brees, New Orleans offered huge money and had a new coach, and Brees went with the Saints. They won a Super Bowl. The Dolphins have turned into a mediocre puddle of beach-waste jellyfish, along with Saban leaving for Alabama (after getting all pissy that he wasn’t going anywhere).

But King is suggesting that the roles of Miami and New Orleans would be different, if not reversed, had Brees switched coastal addresses and signed with Miami.

Even if Brees had signed with Miami, who knows if Saban would have stayed or still departed for Alabama? All things the same, Brees might have become Jason Campbell and played for a chorus line of coaches in the last few years.

(Note: Saban’s hissy-fit denials were classic. He’s a superb coach, though, and at Alabama his system has resulted in a national title. He may win another one Monday night. Will be interesting to see if Penn State is waiting on the end of that game to throw a contract at him (and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do). But I don’t believe he’ll leave Tuscaloosa.)

Miami is living off its Don Shula legacy of Super Bowls and successes, but it ain’t working. Myriad reasons exist. Bottom line, though, is the Dolphins are just a mediocre team. They don’t have any significant punch and are awash in a city with so many other things to do. Miami’s population also has been up and down with the Heat, Marlins, Predators and Canes, too.

New Orleans fans love their Saints. Even during the bag-head Aints days, they showed up and supported them. Now with Brees, Jonathan Vilma on defense and Sean Payton running the show, the fans pack the Superdome and wear the black ‘n gold even more proudly than ever.

Could Brees have been the catalyst to turn around Miami like he has in New Orleans? King suggests as much, but I don’t believe so.  Thing is, we’ll never know.

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If you’re a bass fisherman, and especially a tournament angler, you know how important and beneficial good information can be as a starting point.

Why just a starting point? Because what Roland Martin did at Santee in 1973 or Kevin VanDam did in New Orleans in 2001 or Johnny BassBuster did last summer at Lake LockOnMyBigOne doesn’t completely translate into what’s going to happen when you’re on the water.

Conditions will be different. But having an idea – that starting point – may help. If you know that VanDam was pitching a creature bait around gasline wellheads in the August heat, well, maybe you could start doing that and build from there.

That’s kind of the point of ProPatterns and its experienced pros who provide their knowledge. You can get some insight from top professional fishermen – Matt Reed, Jami Fralick, Brian Snowden, Pete Ponds, Gerald Swindle and others – through the ProPatterns.com site for a nominal fee.

Later this week the new ProPatterns “Exposed” video series featuring 21 Bassmaster Elite Series pros will make its debut. They’ll be on the water, and off, during practice and tournament days. You may see the happy big-fish smiles on the weigh-in stage but you don’t see the daylight-to-dark frustration in practice before it clicks and all comes together. That’s what “Exposed” purports to provide with its new series.

Take a look and see what you think.


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With winter having arrived – officially, of course, but not with the 60ish temperatures we’re experiencing in North Alabama – waterfowl and deer hunters are fighting the age-old dilemma of staying warm.

Ogg the Caveman had mammoth fur blankets and ‘dactyl wings. Native Americans and western settlers used bison blankets. Today we’re fortunate enough to not have to resort to animal skins, although a beaver pelt hat or bear skin coat would be darn warm against any wintry element.

Under Armor's fitted mock turtle and crew tops are warm without the tight feeling of UA's compression apparel. (Photo: UnderArmor.com)

When Under Armor burst onto the scene a few years ago, many hunters hated it. Some still do. The earliest compression gear tops and bottoms were (and still are) tight and form-fitting. For us fat boys that’s pretty doggone unflattering. Early models of the bottoms also didn’t have a fly, meaning you had to untuck, shuck and expose more skin than you wanted to eliminate the morning coffee.

I’ve always been a big Under Armor fan, though. I believe the first time I used it, or at least in the first seriously bone-chilling hunting conditions, was during a deer hunt in Iowa about five or six years ago. When we woke up at 5 a.m. the temperatures were in single digits and wind chill was in the negative double digits.

It was so damn cold that I wore everything I had, starting with the Under Armor as my base layer, and looked like Ralphie’s gussied-up brother in A Christmas Story. Base layer, wool pants, wool sweater, bibs and a jacket. It was so cold that I sat on the ground against a tree and my body warmth melted the frosted-iced sticks and leaves around my legs and butt. When I stood up it had re-frozen to my bibs and jacket, making me look like some kind of leafy swamp creature.

But by golly, I was warm. And it all starts with the base layer. Anyone who’s ever had sweaty, cold feet from wearing cotton socks knows that to be true.

Peeling off my Under Armor compression gear probably looks like sausage expanding from a small casing. I love the UA gear and wear it religiously in cold weather, even if I’m not hunting. Sporting events or anything requiring me to be outdoors usually finds me toasty warm.

But I found a better option than the compression gear.

Under Armor’s “fitted” ColdGear mock pullover uses the same technology but in a looser-fitting garment. It’s not tight like the compression and billowy-draping loose like the summer HeatGear clothing. It’s a great layer with a warmer, softer inside feeling without the compression tightness, and comes in mock turtleneck or crewneck styles.

If you’ve tried Under Armor’s compression gear and hated it – and I know a lot of people don’t like skin-tight clothing – the fitted gear is very well worth consideration.


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