Thursday, December 29, 2011

Following the river back in time.....

I am gearing up for a short but intense trip this weekend to the Owens river and more specifically The Gorge, The Lower, The Upper and big water drifting section that is near bishop which will go nameless.  I am really going up for a few reasons,

1.To Drift my Diablo PS down the Owen River and give the Adios a trial run on the rapids loaded with camping gear, food, gun, fly stuff and well a big fat bearded guy.
2. To hook up with David at Sierra Trout Magnet  and shoot some interviews and fishing scenes.
3. Meet up with another buddy of mine up in Crowley Lake, Tom Long, and then head to Hot Creek for a lip ripping run.
4. Lastly to REALLY unwind a little and just be myself and film some nice clear, clean and smooth mountain water.  I have been staring at brown muck in the canals chasing carp all fall and I would like to be able to see the bottom of something as I fish.


  So if I can accomplish any two of these tasks it will be a success for me, and truly if I get to one of them and just take a little siesta on the side of the river bank I will be just as happy. Funny how priorities change when you are stressed and tired.  Sleep first, fish second. Okay Fish first, sleep second, fish third.

  I know I promised a big unveiling last week, but honestly it was a little premature and I need to work out a few of the details first.  I promise as things develop or really after this weekend I think I will be sharing some pretty cool stuff with you all.  I will say thing though I am working on a full length film right now with my good buddy Blair and things are progressing well.  So today was short and sweet, but good.

So to all those Fly Slingers out there, safe travels this weekend and hope your weekend is as promising as mine.

The Bearded Boar

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Pigs and White Deer


I wish I could say that I was able to shoot both a pig and an the an albino deer, but sadly I was unable and unallowed (sp?) to remove the pig hoard and genetic freak from the lush gated community of Bear Valley Springs in Tehachapi, CA.  All the same it was a pretty game rich holiday for me starting on Thursday when I took a friend and his son out to my local duck hollow for a little evening jump shoot and flyby massacre.

  Boone my pup is still to young and at only 15 weeks he still needs more time so I left him at home and just dreamed of what next year was going to be like when he finally is big enough to come along.  We unloaded tromped in and within an hour 4 ducks were to be had by my friend and his son. I pretty much just wanted them to get some action since I still had a few ducks on ice in the freezer and was in no hurry to replace them right away.  It was fun though for sure, to see them stoked on shooting ducks was good enough for me.  Hmmm Bearded Boar Guiding Service does sound pretty good to me to be honest, but I digress.  Fast forward two hours and I am now dining on 4 pounds of pure Idaho Elk steaks cooked medium rare and oh so tasty.  I am not relinquished to the doldrums of beef, desiring nay hungry for more of the most prestigious and succulent of game meats.

  Fast forward to Saturday morning Christmas eve and I am now in the beautiful Tehachapi, CA where the game is plentiful and the ability to hunt them is not. Either you pay to play or really you just don't play because it is illegal to shoot them on private property (Home Owner Association Rules).  So mix that with a few really wet, but mild winters, lots of food, little hunting pressure and a really big fire nearby that pushed all the game up into the mountains you have a recipe for these fine specimens, and to be honest this is just what is in the front yard of my father-in-laws house.  Notice the Grey thing at the bottom of the right picture, that is my wife interior door panel.  They were driving down the driveway watching that bruiser.












Oh so not fair, but really cool all the same.  Strange thing is that on Saturday I went up to the same spot to look for those "little guys" again and I found something entirely more astounding and truly way more exciting than I could ever imagine.  Pigs!!!! Oh yes my friends, those hairy little beasts have invaded the little mountain community of peace, puppy dogs and flowers and are now rototilling up a front yard near you.  The exact area where that big buck on the left was sitting two days later looked like we were about to plant corn on it.  No more nice green grass, just a war zone of porkic proportions. So with video camera in hand I walked the area and checked out the damage.  It was pretty extensive and honestly quite disturbing.  I mean I have seen it in the field a lot and have watched pigs to it to land, but never right in the midst of houses like this.

  Later that day the kids and I took a drive to check out some houses that are for sale in the area, which is a favorite past time of mine.  House, house, deer, deer, house, more deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer and wait more rototilled front yards!  I could not believe what I was seeing. So many yard had been destroyed by the pigs it was unbelievable. Earlier in the year a really big fire had pushed them up the mountain side and into the valley. Pardon the pun, but the are really living "High on the hog."  And as we called it quits on the drive we came across this fella, which is just as shocking.


 
 An albino Pacific Black Tail-Muley Hybrid, a genetic defect that only effect 1 out of 250,000 deer.  The thing looked a little manged as you can see from the pic in the top, but really cool all the same. Look at the color difference in the middle pic too, the deer in front of him blend in nicely and he stick out like a sore thumb. Also notice all the deer in the coral behind him on the bottom pic, can anyone say "Bait Pile?"  Probably the only Albino I will see in my lifetime and honestly, he should be glad he does not live on my property, because daddy would have a new mount come next fall if he did.

  So for me a really cool Christmas, ducks, pigs and a ton of deer all of which did not grace my freezer, but was great all the same.  So to all of you, Merry Christmas and hope your days were as great as mine.

Peace be the Journey,

The Bearded Boar

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gear Review- Tight Spot Arrow Quivers





Ready
   Hi, my name it Tony and I am a gear freak.  I love getting new product, setting it up, tweeking it over, over and over again. I can not and will not settle for what is "basic" or the "good enough", I need the best.  And so you give me a product like the Tight Spot quiver and I am in seventh heaven.  With vertical, horizontal and lateral adjustments the possibility of having my Matthews Reezen in Perfect balance was too hard to resist.  With all that being said, man I feel better.  And now that I have had a season of shooting with the Tight Spot Quiver lets get this party started.
Set
  So I bolted on the Tight Spot quiver almost 10 months ago in the hopes that the hype and company rhetoric that claims that by mounting the quiver you will reduce torque, dampen you bow, remove vibration and have better balance when you shoot.  If you ask me that is a pretty hefty claim all from something that is adding weight to you bow and normally is making your bow dip to the right at full draw.  But, looking at the features, adjustability of the quiver I was more than optimistic that maybe just maybe they might be right.
  Engage geek mode 2.0-  The Right Spot (TM) is what Tight Spot calls it.  Theoretically you should be able to align the quiver in such a way that it does not effect your shooting, or really they say that you will shoot better with it on than off.  The Vertical, horizontal and lateral adjustments really gives you a lot of options on the set up. So I think anything is possible, so here we go.
Shoot
  Okay, nock, locked and ready to watch'em drop.  I really just started by spending the spring, summer trying to see how it shot all rigged up.  I never, never, never take my quiver off while shooting.  I want to me able to shoot at anytime and never have to think, "Oh man, my quiver is still on and here comes a huge pig!"  It is just one more action you have to do in order to get ready for the just one shot.  I guess it might be okay to do if you sit in a stand and never move around, but I hunt out West.  Sure you do sit and glass quite a bit, but at a moments notice you are diving down a ravine trying to get in front of a herd of deer.  So I leave it on, from 15 yard on out to 115 yard I practiced all spring and summer.  I adjusted it up, down, left, right, in and out and I finally came up with a spot that I feel really did make me shoot better.

  In California archery deer season starts in July and well, I took up the task and did my part to reduce the Black tailed devils.  Well, I did not shoot a deer in July, but I did hit a wayward peacock at 60yards while it was walking uphill.  If I had to try and take off my quiver to make that shot I would have never been able to seal the deal, but I did and to this day it is one of the highlights of my shooting career.

 So is it all it is hyped up to be, in short, yes. In long ohhhhhhhh yaaaaa!  I do love it, I really do like the fact that my arrows are protected by their super durable hood and are also secured 18" down from the head. The two piece quivers don't do it for me, they are hard to alight right and you are limited to just the manufacture positioned holes on you bow.  Other one piece quivers are just a tad bit bigger than a deck of playing cards and stick out 6' from your bow.  There are a few things that I dislike about the quiver, first the sticker on the Hood, I mean could it be any bigger? Okay minor I know, but still a big deal for me. Next is their screws on their Bulldog Gripper System, mine are rusting from shooting in the rain and snow.  Another minor thing for sure.  But with a lifetime warranty I am not worried in the slightest. Last thing is the price at about $150 you are deffinately at the upper end of the quiver range, but with everything it does it is worth it for sure.  So, The Tight Spot Quiver, to me, delivers where others fail and is the only quiver I want on my bow.

Thanks for listening,

The Bearded Boar

Where has the heart of American gone?

  So here is my top five place I would rather be than my house right now, in no particular order.
1. Kona, HI
2.  Salmon Creek, Idaho
3.  Craig, Montana
4.  Rifle, Colorado
5. West Canada Creek, New York

  Okay, so a lot of out of the way places that time may have forgotten or really maybe places that we have forgotten.  Places where old barns still stand in picturesque pastures and where the phrase "Just getting by" is as common place as the wind blowing through the trees.  When did the progress of man and the enrichment of our minds surpass the people and places that made America what it is today.  Our country was not build upon the backs of bankers and politicians, but those who chose to work hard and take care of their own.  It's not to say that those who invested, dreamed, entrepreneured?, did not sacrifice or did not work hard to build this country, but there is a special place in my heart for the calloused hands that nailed, cut and stitched the country together to make it what it is today.

  People have dreamed and decided that they were going to sacrifice their lives to make a dream that they have a reality.  Some people do dream and work for different things mind you, it is not always money, power and the bigger/better. Some of us sacrifice for things like family, happiness or for those who are less fortunate than us. That builds America too, it is the glue that holds all of the other greatness together. Wealth is something I think most of us would like more of, if not a lot more of.  Though money is necessary to survive it does not always makes us happy or help you out when you need to borrow a cup of sugar.

  I come from a long line of Strong Italian men who worked long hours to provide for their families.  Men who after WWII and Vietnam came home to a world that had changed, families that had grown or even gotten smaller.  But they were men who picked themselves up, worked and saved to make a good blue collar life for their wife and kids.  My grandfather sold insurance and my father was in Construction Management, not the highest paying jobs in the world, but it fill the pantry. So why do we not celebrate these types of people and towns?  Why is trade school not as viable as a university? Maybe because we as a society turns it's nose to people who jobs like a wielder and say, "Oh, he must have not gone to college or was a slacker in high school." This attitude may not be from everyone, but it is at least some what prevalent within the mind set of many.

  It is sad, but small cities and towns get the same bad wrap too.  If it does not have a Walmart, Starbucks and at least 5 different fast food drive-throughs it is the uncivilized underbelly of America. You rarely hear of people saying, "Ya I want to go to Craig, Montana to see the sights!" Or "I know honey, lets skip Disney World and go to Duck Key, FL population 409!"  Sure some want to go there to flyfish for Browns or Bone fish, but not to see the sights. But I contest that is exactly what is killing the great things about America.  Two of my favorite programs on tv are Dirty Jobs and the now defunct Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.  Both highlight hardworking people who are happy with what they do even if the do not get a big paycheck at that end of the day.  They take pride in their craft and I love that.  They live in Places where life is slow, but the work is rough.

  For me I just wish people had an interest in small towns and dirt roads that most of us love to spent time in.  I realize that most of us are men and women who spend hours, days and weeks even in small towns hunting or fishing, but do we help promote those places. I know many times I do not.  I don't always buy american products, shop at stores that have good values or a vested interest within the community other than their bottom line.  And to be honest I know I need to spend more time researching where and what I purchase.  Lets face it, buying American can be expensive or at times difficult to find certain product that are build locally.  But if I just made more of an effort I am sure that I can make a difference. We as sportsmen should take the lead in this issue.

  I am sure you are wondering "Man this does not have much to do with hunting or fishing, why write it?"  Well it is simple, I am tired of seeing the little fly shops, hunting stores, mom and pop restaurants that I love go out of business.  At times it is sickening how much it happens.  Here in California we have a highway that is the epitome of what I am talking about the 395.  Hours and hours of scenery that ranges from Death Valley to steep mountains to ski resorts and in my opinion the best trout fishing West of Idaho.  And all along the 395 you mirror the Owens river. Little towns like Mojave, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Bishop, Crowley,Benton, Mono and  Mammoth Lakes all dot the road map like broke backed rattle snake.  All small and all slowly dying.  But I think these are the places that need to be saved, not the metropolitan areas like LA and New York.  They have enough Fruit Cakes there to keep themselves going for a long time, they live off of government money and stimulus to build their roads while many of us drive by the same pot hole that has been there for 6 years.

  So here is what I am pledging I want to bring the focus back on small towns destinations that we at outdoorsmen love and thrive in.  We all have needs and stories in our lives.  For a small shop owner in Bishop, Ca it is customers and we all have stories.  My goal is to tell others about them and show that we can be proud of who we are and where we came from.  Wednesday I am going to lay my plan out there for you all.  I will tie in what you are reading here with my new documentary series that I am working on.  So please think about what you invest in, family, friends is the given, but lets not forget about the community also.

And if you know of Hunting, Kayaking, Fishing or any other outdoor company that is American made, please leave a comment below. I'd love to see which companies are still state side and working to provide jobs and stability within our country


Thanks all,

The Bearded Boar.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fly Tying Tip


  So I had a bunch of Chenille ,the yarn stuff for you non-fly guys, that was just taking up space in my tying box and getting in the way. I also always seem to cut way more than I am going to use and I ended up wasting a good inch or two each.  So I came up with this idea.  I took a bunch of old 35mm film cases that a friend gave me and put them to good use.
1. Start by putting a hole in the cap of the film case. 
2. Next insert a roll of Chenille into the case trying to keep the Chenille from getting twisted or kinked. 
3. At the end of the roll incert the small tail into the hole in the cap.  And there you have it, a tidy case for your Chenille.
 
You can use the case just like a bobbin as well to limit waste when you are tying.  Anyway there you go, your diy tip for the day.

Cheers,

Then Bearded Boar

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work, work, work......

I know people say work is a four letter work, but we all know it is not. Though I may loath the days when I get up at 330am to go to work and then return home after 8pm, hey its a job and the fam is taken care of. I think most of us agree it better then reading the unemployment ads and waiting on Uncle Sam to send up a check. Man was meant to work and work hard, "Toil upon the earth". The past two weeks have been pretty rough on me for sure. I have only hunted one time and that is it, no fishing, no diving, no surfing and heck I haven't even touched my bow in two weeks. I am going nuts!!!!

So to remedy this situation, I have decided to kick my hunting into high gear for the rest of the month. Duck, Bear, Pig and Quail are on the turf side on the hunt and for the surf side I am going to dive for lobsters and fly for trout and halibuts. It is time to kill something and stock the freezer for sure. No more driving all over creation staring at the bumper of Puris' and hybrid wind up cars in Los Angeles. I want to be looking down the barrel of my Browning or through my Spott Hog 7 Deadly Pins sight. That is what I want for Christmas Santa, I've been a good boy. Please!!!!!!!!

Also coming up are a few gear reviews first up to bat is the Tight Spot arrow quiver, so get ready for some Bearded Boar Lov'n.

Thanks all for staying with me all.

The Bearded Boar

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hunting Story- Elk Hunt 20+ Years In The Making

 Here is a story from Bobby N. on his fathers La Panza Bull Elk hunt here in California.  It is a really cool story that I thought I'd share with you all.


  Well after 20+ years of applying, my dad drew a Tule Elk tag this year. La Panza Period 2 Bull. We were lucky enough to have some friends with a couple small ranches in the northern part of the unit, so we knew we had a decent chance at seeing some elk. We hunted the Carrizo Plain area hard and walked over a lot of country, but only to see the elk wandering around on the private ground. Even then we didn't see any good bulls. So we went to plan B, and moved north onto some property we had access to. 


  We saw some small bulls right away, then we ran into the large herd of mostly cows and real small bulls. On Day 3 we finally ran into some good bulls. Two groups of about 7-10 bulls in each group! Big boys too! We took our time and really looked them all over. The real big guys were broken up, one who was just a monster with huge brow tines was busted off on both sides above his 3rds. Anyways, we weren't in any hurry and weren't in a good position to shoot anyways. So we let them go for the day, didn't want to push them too much. Came back the next day, and they are nowhere to be found... Fast forward two days later (after lots of miles and seeing nothing except the large cow herd...) Its foggy as hell, we climb up to our usual glassing spot and we can't see more than 200 yards. Just before we decide to head back down until it clears up, we walk one more small ridge... 


  I see my dad start making all kinds of fast movements and getting down on the ground. Well sure enough across a hillside are two bulls bedded down. They have no idea we are there. I tell him to just get in position. I'll range them and check them out to see if we want to shoot one. Well they are both pretty good, but one is a little better than the other. And compared to the 20+ bulls we looked at, he was definitely one of the better being that he still had most of his rack. I tell my dad "the lower one" and after settling it, he lets it fly. Hits the bull a little forward, the bulls stand up dazed. He sends another and knocks him down for good. Needless to say, we were stoked!! 




Dads first elk, and well deserved! He's a six on his right side with a 7th point broken off, and then his left was 5, but broken off as well. If he was fully intact he would have been at least a 7x7, but still nice regardless!