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
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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
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Gear Review- Tight Spot Arrow Quivers

   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.
  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.
  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
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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.
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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.


Then Bearded Boar

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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
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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!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing Boone Derbar

I have been thinking for quite some time that it was time for me to start training hunting dogs again.  As my drive for hunting has been increasing over the past few years, I have been in need of a retriever on land and in water. In short I am getting tired of having to wade chest deep water with a stick trying to retrieve my ducks.  So in comes in Rocky Point Retrieves in Carona, CA.  They had two 10 week old males left in their litter, both with a genetic trait that caused both of them to have speckles on their paws.  Boone Derbar or Boone for short is a AKC registered Chocolate Lab with yellowish spots on his paws and a few on his chest.

  For me a few spots on the paws does not mean much to me.  Color is color and I have hunted over a few dogs, that were pure as pure can be and they were nothing more than high priced wastes of training.  Out of the two Boone, was more interested in playing with me than his brother.  So I was sold on him. Then I was off to the mecca of the west, Bass Pro Shop.  Oh ya, luck me it was on the way home and I just so happens to be in need of a few dog training items.  Boone got his first lesson within an 20 minutes of being picked up the lead.  It was shaky for the first 5 minutes, but he ended up taking to it well.  By the time we made our first of many passes up stairs he was good to go and we had "Sitz- Sit" down by the second round.  I forgot to mention I train my dogs in German, so they do not get confused by other handles and not to confuse my other house dog.  
  It was funny to see how many people I had petting him and asking to take him home.  I had more people around me than the candy machine at a Jenny Craig convention.  I eventually had to just pick him up and carry him so I could finish my shopping.  So for our first adventure out together he was a winner, A+.

  After 4 days, I've got him on lead, fetching on mark, sitting, stay, lay, waiting on the handler to go in the door first, and a few other tricks. So well see how the rest of the week goes for us.  Hope you enjoy the video.

The Bearded Boar
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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Love One Lost & A Lost Love Discovered

     I do not usually get too personal or divulge deep feelings of my life over the Internet or discuss things about my family too much, but this week a few things happened to me that caused me to rethink my commitment to keep the blog centered on "The Beard".  First on a sad note my grandmother Joyce Kathleen Summers-Catalde passed away at the distinguished age of 93 years old.  She was a wonderful woman that loved me and my family dearly.  Always a kind word and a smile for me as far back as I could remember and she always had a warm embrace to give to anyone who would take it. So before I go any further "Thanks Grandmom. Miss ya."

    At the same time while I was loosing something so dear to me something else brought me more joy and amazement than almost anything else in my entire life, I took my 6 year old son hunting for the first time.  Sure we've gone out to spot n' stalk Black Tail deer at grandpa's house but this was a whole new adventure, a whole new world of dirt and discovery.  Just "Chew" and Dad, the boys out to get dinner for the fam.  I'll be honest I did not have high expectations of the trip, I mean I knew that there were ducks at my spot, but I did not think he could stay still long enough to allow me to get a shot off.  And for the record we did have a set of Mallards and flock of teal come in earlier and he was so excited he just kept yelling "get'em dad!" and "great shot!"  But the funny thing is I think they knew we were there from a mile away, something about a little boy, guns, dad and hunting that can turn up the volume on a normally quiet kid.

   Life was good even with the busted fly by of table fare. We just sat there and honed his skills of marksmanship by shooting his slingshot at lizards, rocks, and the river.  I had to explain to him that he wasn't Rango and "we do not shoot hawks."  He just replied, "hawk dead, snake comes." All you parents with kids know what I mean.  So after a break from our little "Lord of the Flies" adventure, we took to our boots and headed down the road.  After some creative stalking on a few ducks we were able to call a nice Gadwall in to join us for dinner. The turn, the approach, and the shot all went perfectly.  Luckily for me the tide was low and I was able to wade out in the river and pull her to safety.

  What happened next made my year, my son's first experience with a duck.  The video does not do it justice in the least.  His amazement and wonder at the duck was astonishing, he had to know everything about the duck and studied it's intricate details for the rest of the hunt.  I am still not sure if it was my duck or his, but the more I think of the day, it was our duck.  We, together, provided for our family and were able to fill the freezer. Chew's words of encouragement, "great shooting" and "let's get a daddy duck" will always stick with me.  I am not sure who enjoyed the afternoon more, me or him.  I guess all I really know is we both gained something that day, Chew got a little older and closer to being a man and I found the best hunting buddy a man could ask for, his son.

  I lost my father a few years ago and I'll be honest, hunting just hasn't been the same. Last Tuesday, I had the same feelings of being connected to another person while hunting that I had not had since my last dove hunting trip with my father.  It was not just a good day, it truly was one of the greatest days of my life. I look forward to taking my son, and someday my daughter, out hunting as much as I am able too.  So yes, I did loose something this week, but I found a lost love with my new hunting buddy.


The Bearded Boar

****This is my submission for the Sportsman Channel Writing Contest for Hunters hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network.****
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Survival Straps- Review

The Intro
 They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that rains true for my new favorite company Survival Straps.  Not only do they make products that are useful and practical, but they are a company that encompasses the American dream and Spirit.

The Company
  Five years ago Kurt, the owner and founder, had a need.  On a spearfishing trip his watch band had broken and using what he had with him he fashioned together a watchband made of some loose para-cord that he had stuffed into his bag.  It looked good, it was practical and others saw it liked it too.  Then and there Survival Straps was born, first out of his garage, selling on eBay and now they are 60 employees strong and moving to a larger facility to keep up with the demands of consumers.
  Looking at the product I know that I could make something close to what they have, but please realize that there is more to this story and the product that meets the eye.  Survival Staps prides itself on that from start to finish your strap, dog collar, belt, key chain is 100% American made.  Everything they do it driven to keep American great, from the manufacturing of the cord to the assembly of the straps in house they are creating jobs and imputing money into the US economy and not a foreign county or buisness. Heck in the last 6 months they have hired about 30 people and it did not take a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package to do it, just good people, good product and a smart business plan.

Wounded Warrior
  My father, Uncles, and Grandfathers were all military and I live in a military town.  I support our troops and their families any chance I get because of the sacrifice that they all make for my freedom and yours.  The tipping point for me to actually want to talk to Survival Straps is their work with the Wounded Warrior Project.  Some people donate some proceeds at certain times of the year, they go way beyond that.  10% of all their standard items and 50% of all the WWP items go directly to The Wounded Warrior Project. They are also currently trying to raise $1,000,000 by Christmas for them.  That is not some small amount or money nor is it money that is coming from some large business.  This is hardworking Americans who are putting their money where their mouth is and helping the soldiers that have sacrificed so much for us.  This alone made me a life time supporter of Survival Straps, they could be selling toy monkeys and I'd be down.

The Strap
  Okay on to the strap itself. First let me say I am a rope junkie, I always have some kind of rope either in my bag, pack, truck or even on my Nalgene bottle.  It gets in the way, it gets knotted up and I never seem to have it next to me when I need it, but not any more.  I wear my rope now. The construction is top notch, sturdy, tight and durable.  The standard clasp is a plastic buckle, but in my estimation just go with the Stainless Steel Shackle, it is more useful and will not fail.
  I was thinking to my self, okay I need to take it apart and try to find something to use it on now, but I did not want to fake anything just for a review.  So I decided to wear it until I actually needed it and yesterday while duck hunting I needed it.  I had gone duck hunting without some kind of postmortem carrying device for my ducks. So, in comes my Black Survival Strap.  I untied the band, cut a section out and made a self-cinching knot that held my ducks while I made the mile and half walk back to my truck. Good stuff, ducks in the truck and I was still free to move and hike. One might say, "I just used my Strap for my ducks and I don't have a killer strap to wear anymore".  Not so fast.

The Replacement Policy
  "If you use it we replace it." Thats right folks, they stand by their product till then end.  No customer service in India, no endless waiting on the phone for help, Spanish Inquisition style questioning to prove you actually used it.  Just send them an email detailing how you used the product and send them a $5 donation and you have a new strap.  The stories go on their website for all to enjoy too, some nominal and some are down right hardcore! Here are a few a few of my favorite.

James the Sniper

The Wrap Up
  Okay, as you can see I am a little smitten for sure, but man this is the stuff that gets me fired up.  A company that cares for others, hires Americans to do the work, is a success from scratch story, and makes hardcore outdoor products!  How can you not be?!  I am one Strap down, but you can bet that I will be getting another on for sure.  If you are looking for a gift for someone this year for Christmas, Survival Straps is the place to go for sure.  Let us all help them get to that $1,000,000 Dollar mark and prayerfully beyond.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adventure is under a hat.

  I was cleaning out my truck today when I realized something, I have and wear a lot of hats. Camo, Trucker, Visors, Bennies, Meshed and more.  I like to wear certain hats to do certain things, My Matthews hat is for Deer Hunting in the cold or at the archery range.  My HS hat is meshed so I use it for hot weather and turkey hunting, my red Patagonia hat I wear surfing and I can't forget about my blue Patagonia hat that I wear flyfishing.  Lets just say we would be here a while if I were to describe all the hats and their "Job Descriptions".

  With all the hats that I have it reminds me of why I love the outdoors, for every hat I have there is an adventure under each one.  Each hat has a story and has been with me though thick and thin. I guess you can say an adventure for me starts under a hat.

So cheers to the  fleece, cotton, and canvas we wear
The brim, the flex fit, the mesh and the ones lined with hair.
Our brows are shaded from the sun,
So in hopes that while outside we can  "Git R' Done".
We find warmth on the days the snow is falling,
And cover when we pursue the ducks we are calling.
So here is to the hat the increaser of odd,
Your are truly an invention that is straight from God.

The Bearded Boar
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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Bearded Boar On the OBN!

So all I can say is wow. 

    A big thanks to Rebecca and Joe over at The Outdoor Blogger Network for selecting me as one of the "Weekly Featured Bloggers."  I'm not sure whether I should thank Rebecca or be offended, "You never know what he is going to blog about."  Well I guess it is a complement, I am pretty random.  So thanks and Cheers to Rebecca and Joe!

Check out the post


The Bearded Boar
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

  The "Snow Months" for most people means hunting big Mulies in the mountains, Whitetails in the hardwoods, Elk in the foothills, hunters freezing their butts off in a duck blind waiting for the skies bring forth our favorite feathered table fair or simply huddling around the tv watching football glad we have the heaters set to 85 degrees.  Not me, I think about the four magical months where trout fishing in California can be one of the most memorable adventures an angler can have and not a sole in sight.  Snow shoeing for 2 miles into an area usually does not appeal to many people nor does camping in 16 degree weather.  But for me it does.

  Last January I was introduced to to a new facet to fly fishing by my two slightly insane fishing buddies.  The conversation started with something like, "Hey, lets go camping in the back of my truck in the middle of January in the snow, ya it 16 degrees at night, but hey no one will be there fishing."  Something like that at least, details are a little fuzzy.  Long story short, we rolled in late at night, parked on the side of the road and slept till the morning.  Oh wait, thats not right, we went for a 3 hour snow shoeing death march into the night looking for the hot springs that we never found.  Fun times.

  All that aside, the fun, the camaraderie, the frost bite, the next morning we geared up and trekked into a now isolated creek that seemed to be untouched by anglers.  I wont say the fishing was off the charts, but it was fun to be able to fishing with snowshoes strapped to your back and at times on your feet.  The nice thing about Hot Creek near Mammoth Lakes, CA is that the streams have thermal hot springs and that means the fish are a little more active during the winter.  And after a day of creek crossing, deep snow and tying on the smallest flies in our arsenal we ended with a sigh of accomplishment victory.  We even ended up staying the night in a guys house that we met on the stream that day.  Let me tell you that it is much warmer sleeping by a wood stove then spooning your fishing buddies in the back of a Toyota Tundra.

  So as the fall leaves turn to gold, orange and crimson, and most outdoors men are settling into the doldrums of winter, I am anxiously awaiting the death marches in the snow.  It may not always be the best of fishing, but how many people can say they have been fly fishing in the middle of the winter with snowshoes?  So if you don't here from me from January to March, it is a good bet I am wading a stream somewhere in the Eastern Sierras meditating on the rhythmic motion of the rod and the song of the river.

The Bearded Boar
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hawke Optics- Gear Review

The Lead Off

  Living out West I feel that one of the most beneficial things that you can have with you while hunting is your optics.  You can shoot what you can't see.  And when your glasses hill sides 30 to 500 yrds away you need to be able to clearly identify your prey of choice.  So to give you a little back story, I have been given the opportunity to use Hawke Optics Endurance Phase Corrected 10x42 binos over the last few months.  Prior to using the Hawke Endurance PC, I was using an $90 dollar pair of budget binos because I had broken my last pair of quality mid level binos, surprise, surprise.  When I open the package up and glassed a hillside a few hundred yards from my house, I can honestly say my reaction was, "Wow, I like these."  To say the least I was impressed right out of the box, but more investigating needed to be done.

Three Point of Great Binos

1.  Durability- I beat up gear like you won't believe.  I typically wear out 1 to 2 pairs of boots a year, camo is a 1 season deal and I have even worn off the Lost Camo dip on Matthews Reezen's handle in 9 months. It's safe to say if it can make it through a few hunting trips with me it will be more than sufficient for the average hunter.  The rubberized outter layer is rezealant enought to be able to be drug through fields, my truck and my 6 year old son who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt on safari most of the time.  The rubberized texture allowed me to grip them while covered in sweat on my pig hunt and dripping wet when I was scouting about for a new blind in the rain for duck hunting.  I will admit I did drop them about three times and I was surprised to find that no damage was done to them at all, not even the rubberized coating was scratched up.  So far there is really nothing I have not thrown at them that they did not take.

2. Clarity- Durability is great, but if you can't clearly see in low light and long distances what is the use.  Well I can tell you that the Endurance has both.  I shoot in a varirity of differnet locations, rolling hills of oaks, tight deep canyons choked full of pines and sage, and the high desert with vast open spaces all with their different challanges and unique visual quirks.  I was pleasantly suprised when no matter where I was able to clearly identify and pick out game I feel I would have missed with my old set up.  Their multi-coated lens are the real deal, but still do not have a strange tint to them while you are viewing distances.  Looking through the Endurance PCs compared to my old mid-level bino is like switching from regular TV to HDTV. Their is no comparison on how much more clear than anything I have used at or near their price range.

3. Value- Lets be honest with ourselves, though we would like to spent $2000 dollars on our optics and get the top of the line of everything, most of us can't swing that.  We are family men and women or young guys just starting out not CEOs and Millionaires.  But when you compare what the Endurance PC's offer to the top of the line Binos in your favorite Camo Box store you see that there is a case for saving a few hundred buck and going with the Endurance PCs.  I'm not saying your settling for inferior product, but instead your not paying for the name, fancy packaging and manuels. They work plain and simple and you are not going to get a better bino at or near that price range.  These are truly a killer deal.


  So to put this all together now, Durability, Clarity and Value are what I see as the biggest selling points for the Endurance PC's.  You can beat the living tar out of them and they will hold up.  And when you spent 16 hours a day in the feild like I do you will have confidence the the clarity of the optics will allow you to see what you are looking for.  Everyone who has picked up my Binos has said the same thing, "Wow, those are clear!"  And everyone can't believe they are only $220 for the 10x42s.  So for about the same price as your Scent free/smell good/ hunting jacket or a few dozen arrows you can have top notched optics that will allow you to find your game.  When was the last time your jacket did that?  If you are teetering back and forth on whether to pull the trigger on something just a little more expensive,  remember you may only get one glance at whats across the valley from you before its gone. And if you can't see it you can't stalk it and if you can stalking you won't get a chance at that trophy.

Check them out at the below places-

Thanks all,

The Bearded Boar
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

My new Diablo Paddlesports Adios!

So here is my new Killing machine the Diablo Paddlesports Adios. This beauty is an American made multi-purpose water craft that is going to put the hurt on some ducks and fish in California.  No water born game is safe now that I have endless mobility in the water.  From the Kelp Beds of the California coastline to the marshes of the Central Valley to the High Sierras be patient little fish and ducks, I will harvest you soon enough.

  So far the stable platform has allows me to fish in a more natural position, standing up!  It is much easier to identify these fish and get in close.  The crazy thing is that I was even paddling through 8" of water with it looking for fish, no regular Kayak can do that.  So with that being said I am looking forward to going new places and being able to take on new challanges with my Diablo Adios!

A big thanks to Diablo for making this happen,


The Bearded Boar

PS.  I smell a new duck and fishing video coming down the pipe.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Well Here is your results for the Camera Mount Give Away, Congrats guys and I will contact you to finalize what you guys want.

The Arrow Reaper

True Random Number Generator  8Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Mr Chuck Condor!

True Random Number Generator  1Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thank you for those who participated and better luck to you all next time.

The Bearded Boar
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Monday, October 24, 2011

  I was getting my gear ready this weekend for my hunts this coming week and I was freaking out because I could not find my knife.  It is a 14" PIC Bowie Knife that was made in the 1950's in Germany.  It is just a knife but this summer it became MY knife. I NEED this knife with me at all times in the field and I was worried I was not going to find it.  I mean I did leave my headlamp in the field last time out. But, I did find it and that got me thinking, what other things that are "Musts" haves for me in the field whether it is a piece of gear or a ritual of the hunt.

  We all have our "Thing" or "Things" that we do before, during and after the hunt.  Weather is wearing a lucky hat, playing the same Lead Zeppelin song, getting your lucky arrow ready or even a post hunt drink to commemorate a good day in the field.  We all have some quirk that we do whether or not you believe in luck and some are more zany than and entertaining than others.  I  don't believe in luck, fate or chance, to me things are set in motion from above and they are what they are.  But, that does not mean I don't want my Matthews or HS Strut hat on my head or my Easton ST. Axis 340 with the single blue and two white blazers with the work KILL written on it.  Heck no, I am a man of routine in the field that is my thing.

  People who know me may not believe it, but I have a militant regiment when it comes to getting ready for the hunt, how I dress and even how I draw my bow.  My though is if I do everything the same way 10,000 times the one time I am really needing consistency it will be there.  I even go as far as making sure my arrows are completely lined up when I make them.When my arrow is nocked the NAP Bloodrunner 2 blades are horizontal to the ground, the Easton ST. Axis logo is perfectly inline with the blades and the Single blue blazer is in the Vertical position with two whites followed by a neon green H nock.  It must be that way for me.  Some call it OCD, I call it precision.  

  A friend of mine has been a guide in Alaska for many years and is a die hard bear hunter.  His ritual is after every kill he takes a shot of good Bourbon in reverence for the hunt and the life they took. He has a deep respect for the animals that he hunts and that is how he shows it. 

We all have something we do to make our hunts our hunts, what are some of your ticks or rituals that you do before, in or after the hunt?  Leave a comment I'd love to hear back from you.


The Bearded Boar

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Outdoor Blogger Network is 1yr old

Well let give a shout out to Outdoor Blogger Network, they are now 1 year old and have been a huge help to me.  Good for you guys and if you are a blogger you need to check them out.

The Bearded Boar
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Camera Mount Give Away!

  10/25/11***I am going to add a to the mix a foldible compact mount so those who don't have a bow can use it with their SLR or pocket cam.****

 I have been asked by people how I get so many camera angles with my cameras from my bow.  Well, I will unveil the secrets up my filming.  I make my own camera mounts.  Simple fact is I do not like buying anything that I can make.  My Handcrafted Gear Pages shows that.  I have three basic camera mounts and I will give away to Two lucky people.  I have the Riser Mount that will attach to most bows and is great for forward and rear facing shots and a stabilizer mount that does it all.  Here is the bowfishing set up where is mounts to the sight holes.  It can also be mounted just below the riser for your big game rig in you would like. (Available in GOPRO or Contour widths)

The other is the Stabilizer Mount that attached between your bow any standard stabilizer.  This one I love, you can rotate it to so many different angles to get all sorts of shots a standard mount just will not give you. It comes in an optional fixed our swiveled style head.

To Qualify

  Okay kids it is simple, for every comment on this blog post, you will get 1 entry.  If you follow me on Twitter you get 1 entry, leave a comment on this blog post saying you did so. For every Retweet of a Twitter post you will get 1 entry, leave separate comment on this blog post saying you did so.  If you follow the Bearded Boar blog you get 1 entry, leave a separate comment on this blog post saying you did so. A comment on other social media sites such as Facebook or Huntvids will be give 1 point as well, make sure you leave a separate comment on this blog post. If you already, follow on any above sites 1 entry, but still leave a comment saying so  Please leave separate comments for each entry! 1 Comment = 1 Entry!

The Deadline

  The give away will start time is 930 am PST 10/18/11 and the contest will close 5pm PST 10/27/11.  During this time entries will be considered valid.

The Winner and Prize Acceptance

  The winner will be announced Friday October 28th via email and post on the Bearded Boar site as well as Facebook and Twitter.  The winner must respond within 48 hours of the announcement, if contact is not made then another winner will be chosen via the same method as the first.  Winner must respond with their contact information for the prize delivery or they will forfeit their prize.

Good luck all and have at it.

The Bearded Boar

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Waiting on a Pig.... Part 2

  So day two was not much better in terms of success, but what is lacked in meat on the ground it was assurance that my spot and stalk and planning skills were up to par.  The night before I had met a gentleman in the campground who had only seen one doe and because I have become the "Doe Whisperer" I told him to come with me and we'll make it happen for him and I hopefully.

  The set up was great, a open field where deer and pigs are feeding, their beds where they take the mid morning siestas, and us in between the two.  As we walked in I realized that I did not judge the walk in properly, and I paid for it.  I must have missed a large pig by 5 to 10 minutes by the smell of him.  As I realized the sun was starting to come up I broke out into a good trot to try and get to my pinch point.  The day before I have found a hole in the fence of the "Spray Field" that the deer, elk and pigs use to easily move back and forth.  As I stopped to glass the field I was relieved to still see a few pigs in the field, but they were headed out of the field right where I should have been.  And further more, one was staring me down.

  I thought I was far enough into the trees and up the hill so that they could not see me, but I guess I was wrong.  I think what busted me was the wind that was starting to swirl, which ended up being the bane of my existence the rest of the day. He say me, I saw him we both booked it towards where I thought we would meet. Except his 80lbsish frame was slightly faster than mine and he lived to fight another day.  I did meet up with another hunter that was up the hill a ways and he did say that about 5 pigs ran by him in a hurry that morning. So well morning sit was over before it started.  It was another day of learning for me.

  The rest of the day was a mix of stalking deer and elk, but no pigs.  I got within 50yrds of two bull 5x5 elk and a 5x6 bull.  To this day nothing gets my heart racing like an elk.  I have been in bow range of a lot of animals, but it is elk that move and shake me.  Bears or Pigs are a close second though.  I was able to get 15 yards of two doe about lunch time by stalking and playing the wind.  Those ladies near knew I was there or they knew that I wasn't able to shoot them either.  Man I hate being an ethical and honest hunter sometimes, okay I don't I actually love it.

  I walked and walked and walked and when I was done with that I walked some more. I finally decided to do the whitetail thing and just set my self for a spell.  I looked at the lay of the land, found some natural areas where I thought the pigs would enter the field from and there I stayed.  Not much action for a few hours, I did see a guy put a failed stalk on a few deer.  He shot three times and missed three times  Poor guy, I think he lost all his arrows too.  Not the best way to end a hunt, humbled by missing and by not having anymore arrows to shoot.  Funniest thing is that when the deer eventually bumped they come over towards me and I was able to get within bow range of them too.

  So I was in the "Kill Zone" aka 5pm to 730pm, in my spot, camo'd up, nocked up, ready to rock.  When I hear him.  Quiet at first, but I picked up faint sound in the tall grass.  A squirrel in the distance alerted me to him.  And as I positioned myself to shoot, my Bobby the cat peeks his head out.  Man oh man.  Here I am, I'll take that shot, but then I remember I did not buy my bobcat tags this year.  Once again, just one step shy of sealing the deal, but hey it was a beautiful day and a awesome trip.  I am sure the next time I go there hunting deer and elk, all I will see is pigs and be just as frustrated.  Good times and great weekend.

Hope you all enjoyed.

The Bearded Boar

PS.  I have a gear review coming up this week so get ready.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Waiting on a Pig.... Part 1

  So my weekend started out a little early last week, Friday morning to be exact and with my truck loaded with all the essentials pig sticking supplies I headed north to Forth Hunter Ligget in Paso Robles, CA.  I was a pretty uneventful drive, except for the guy that I met in a gun shop that said he hunts Grizzly Bears in Central ya how's that straight jacket fitting?  Parents still give you coloring books for Christmas?  So after the Funny Farm experience I jumped in my truck and arrived at the base.

 I checked in, gave them my registration form and proceeded to pic a place that I was not planning on hunting, but they said the pigs have been moving in the area.  So, I bit and changed all my plans and headed to town to try and get an internet connection and "scout" the area.  So, my Grande black coffee and I finally settled on a guzzle that had, at least on google, a lot of game trails that lead by it.  Plan intact I headed back to my camp site for Cajun Chicken sandwiches and a Stout.  Then rest.

  Morning came and I was the first one out into the field heading out to my spot.  I arrived at early enough, or so I though.  Still dark I walked down into my little valley and took up a vantage point, problem is that it was too high and too exposed.  I was not even sitting down when "He" strolled up the valley.  When I say he I mean a 250 to 300+lb boar who was now 130 yards below me and I am out in the open.  As he turns to walk up a saddle I tried to slowly get ahead of him and seal the deal.  No such luck, he is big and old for a reason.  I got busted and he exited stage left in a hurry.  No go for that morning hunt.

 I did move down to a better set up where my large and incharge friend was headed too.  After about 10 minutes I did have 6 does and 2 bucks roll through at 30 yards, but alas I did not have a tag for that area.  over the next 5 hours I had road hunter after road hunter drive down the road and try and jump a deer.  With no and highly pitiful results.  Side note here, I despise road hunting.  It is the underbelly of hunting if you can call sitting on your backside while you cover mile after mile of graded roads in pursuit of their targets. But this subject is for another post, the hunt is at hand.

  I did see anymore pigs that morning or afternoon so I left and switched zones to an archery only, no vehicle area.  Tranquility and peace rained through my soul.  So the evening set went well, I jumped deer after deer after deer, it was so frustrating to be spot n' stalking deer to within 15 yards and not being able to shoot.  But it was good experience for me for sure a big moral buster in may ways, I still had the skills to pay the bills.  Good thing is there were pigs sign everywhere.  Rooted up earth under every tree and the pungent smell of pig where ever I went.  That afternoon I probably hiked 6 miles that afternoon before I hit my set for the evening.  A good day a restful day, a "Man I was so close" day, but good all the same.

Well pictures are nice, but I prefer video to tell the story so here you all go.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top ten things to do in a stand or blind...

 So this weekend I was sitting in my ground blind and waiting for pigs to come into the water hole for hours and hours.  I started to think about the things I had been doing all day while I was waiting and about the things other people do while waiting for game.  Here is a the top ten list.

1. Glass the area counting every blade of grass and fallen leaf.

2. Text everyone you know about the conditions in the field hoping they respond.

3. Range every pebble and blade of grass around you.

4. Update your Facebook, Twitter, Blog and or Google+ account with more random info.

5. Check and double check the wind direction.

6. Wish death and destruction on every squirrel within a two mile radius.

7. Text your buddy who is sitting in a stand down the road to see if he has seen anything.

8. Move to a new stand or blind because the wind has shifted again.

9. Contemplate the meaning of life for the fifty time that day.

10. Re-apply sent blocking spray for the 200th time in an hour.

These are a few of my favorites, what are yours?
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