Monday, June 10, 2013

Exposing our kids to the great outdoors

As and avid outdoors-man I have always tried to expose my daughter to the way of life I enjoy so much.  We have been heading to the hills camping ever since she was just a baby.  She looks forward to our trips every time.  From spending time in the hills, sitting by the camp fire at night, and of course the s'mores. 

This past trip was especially fun as she really got into more of the outdoor activities that I enjoy.  We were able to bring up the archery equipment, a few rifles and the fishing gear.  We were able to fit in all these activities in these trips, and she really enjoyed them all for the first time.  She could not get enough of shooting the bows of the small caliber rifles.  IT WAS AWESOME.  As a father and sportsman I could not have been happier that she was enjoying some of the things I enjoy so much.

I feel it is very important for me to expose her and other kids to these type of things as often as I can.  It is up to their own decision whether or not they take up those activities, but at least they have been exposed.  I have never tried to force my lifestyle on her, and never will.  I want her to enjoy things after making up her own mind about them.  I am just glad she made the right choice, lol.

So please take the time with your kids, and others, and expose them to the things we enjoy so much. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Finding a balance in Hunting and Family life.

 I know this videos if several months old, and most of us have seen it, but man it still hits home for me.  The struggles I face every year going out hunting, spending time in the field.  To leave my family every year, to chase my passion, and wild game.  Trying to find the balance between the two can be very difficult, especially with a wife that does not hunt, and a young daughter not yet old enough too.

 I struggle with this throughout the year.  Knowing that when fall comes I will be wanting to spend multiple long weekends in the field away from them. So the rest of the year, I find myself avoiding other things that I could be out doing.  In my mind this saves up my time so I can spend that time in the field.  Probably not the right way to think, but is how my mind works.  I know my wife supports me in my adventures, at the same time, hates it when I leave.

How do you find that balance between the two?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sharing your Hunt Success

Just a quick hit post:

I have been thinking allot lately about how we hunt as a group.  A as group our mentality has always been if one person is successful, and takes home meat, we all take home meat.  This is the mentality we have always had, and always will.  To us we hunt as a group, help each other tracking down the game, then packing it out, so we all should share in the bounty.

So this got me wondering, is there different mentalities out there when it comes to sharing the fruits of a hunt. Is there the mentality that it was my tag so all the meat is mine, which to me, unless hunting by yourself, is a totally different way of thinking than what I am used too, especially if the whole group helps find and pack it out.

I have to say I love the group of guys I hunt with because it is truly a group effort in every aspect.  From putting the hunt together before hand, to sharing the meat afterward. Case and point, I ate tag soup last season, but still have a freezer full of meat, thanks to my generous friends who shared theirs with me, man I like hunting with them fellas.

Would love to hear any other thoughts.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A morning hike and shed hunt

So I have been seeing allot of posts, blogs etc. about guys and gals going out shed hunting.  I have never been so thought, lets do this.  I called one of my hunting buddies last week and told him we need to get out of the house and go for a hike.  I had not expectations about finding anything,  and mainly just wanted to go get some exercise in the field instead of hour after hour on a treadmill or stepper at the gym.

We agreed and picked a spot were we thought some animals may be wintering and headed out Saturday morning to get our hike on.  We picked this spot mainly because it was fairly close and both of us had hunted in that area in past years, and had seen animals.  The way we figured it, if there were deer in there during hunting season, there would surely be some in there during the winter.

We loaded some gear in the packs, loaded into the truck and off we went, in search of some sheds.  We had not been on the trail very long and were already starting to see some deer, awesome. After seeing some, we headed off the main trail and down we went, figuring to find the shed we have to be down were the deer were.  Once off the beaten path, deer were running around everywhere, fantastic. It was at this point my buddy looked over in some brush and found a decent 4x4 muley shed that all kinds of junk on the bases, nice.  Guess I must have been too busy getting my camera out of my pack to get some pics of the animals.

We chased deer around for next few hours, getting in some great hill exercise.  We did not find any other sheds that day, not due to a lack of effort.  For me this was a great way to get in some off season exercise, and enjoy the great outdoors with a good buddy.  We were able to see some animals, find a nice shed, so to me, a very successful day over all.  I realized why so many guys get excited to shed hunt, its a great time in the field, and you do not have to worry about being quiet like during the hunting season.  Plus finding some bone on the ground is just awesome.

We will be heading out again in the very near future.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gear Review: Vortex Solo 10 x 36 Monocular

Upfront Disclaimer:
This is my first gear review, so please remember when reading.

As a person who is, lets say multi-eye challenged, I had searched for a long time to find a good monocular to use.  The options were few and far between. I had used binoculars for years as there were no good option, but go tired of having to haul the extra weight, with no added function to me.  So after an exhaustive search there were a few that I found  that I was interested in.  I chose the Vortex Solo 10 x 36 mainly because my local sporting goods store had it in stock ( it also had a great price point of $149). The others I found were the Leica at around $500 and the Zen Ray for about $145. It also appears that Zeis has one for about $400 now.  Two of those being well beyond my price range.

I have not seen many full reviews of this monocular, so figured I would give it a go for any others out there that may be in my same situation.


Magnification10 x
Objective Lens Diameter36 mm
Eye Relief15 mm
Exit Pupil3.6 mm
Linear Field of View325 feet/1000 yards
Angular Field of View6.2 degrees
Close Focus16.4 feet
Length4.9 inches
Width2.6 inches
Weight9.7 ounces

Out of the box the Monocular come with  a decent, not spectacular, but decent case.  It has a Velcro closure on the front and a snap belt loop on the back.  The sides are mostly open and held together with a wide piece of elastic, which makes for a snug fit inside.  The only time I really use the case is when I store it away to add an extra layer of protection.  Also included is a lanyard, being honest here, is pretty much useless to me, I believe I just tossed it right out of the box.

Looking at the monocular itself it comes with an attached metal belt clip for easy access outside of the pouch.  This clip is removable by a couple of screws. The one little annoyance I found once removing the clip is that is leave a hard square piece of plastic sticking out the side ( see pictures below).  There is also a loop on another side with allows you to attack to a lanyard, or like I do, attach it to a bino-buddy type harness. 

The monocular itself has a rubberized armor grip.  This allows for a sure grip and great protection for the unit.  This feels great in the hand, whether wearing gloves or barehanded.  

The eye piece is adjustable to fit each individual, and those who wear eye glasses.

The glass on this monocular are fully multicoted lenses, with anti reflective coatings.  The units is fully waterproof and fog proof.  I have witnessed these properties as I have put it to the test in warm weather and this past season in cold, with temps into the single digits with snow, rain, sleet you name it.  It remained totally waterproof and fog proof.  I just wish I would have had some caps to cover the lenses on the outside to keep them just as clear.  

The clarity while looking through this monocular was spectacular.  I spent hours upon hours glassing and never experienced any eye strain, and with only having one eye, I only used the one, and did so without difficulty.  (I could make a joke about using the other glass eye, and could be the reason I ate tag soup this year, but a story for another time.)

I have used the Vortex Solo 10 x 36 for the past two seasons not, and can honestly say it is a great piece of glass.  I have used it in the close confines of archery elk hunting as well as rifle mule deer hunting, and it has worked flawlessly in both situations.  It is extremely lightweight, most of the time I forget I am even wearing it. 

If you are looking for an excellent piece of glass, at a very, and I mean very, reasonable price,  I would highly recommend the Vortex Solo 10 x 36, or any of their other monoculars for that matter.  I am currently drooling over their new Vortex Recon Mountain 10 x 50 ( youza).  Vortex is making a very good name for themselves in the optics industry, and I am sure will continue to do so as they match or surpass the other big boys.

I have in no way received any compensation from any company for writing this review.  These are my personal opinions and should be treated as such.  This is a product I have purchased on my own, and used extensively in the field.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Outdoor Passion

I am new to the whole blog thing so bare with me as I get my feet wet, diving in head first.  My passion for the outdoors was instilled in me from a young age by my parents.  We spent our childhood camping together and spending time in the Idaho back country, as well as the Alaskan wilderness.  This time together instilled in me a deep love for being in the mountains. This is why today I make sure I expose my wife and daughter to the outdoors and to enjoy the part of my life I love so much.  Now my daughter loves heading to the mountains to go camping and even get a line wet, fishing with her dad.

I am by no means a professional blogger, just a normal everyday guy who loves the outdoors.  I hope to share my experiences in the Idaho wilderness and passion for everything outdoors.  This will include hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking and anything else that can be done outside.  I hope you enjoy and please leave comments on ways I can make this better.