Last month the major archery manufacturers came together at the annual Archery Trade Association show in
. I had the privilege of going down there to see the latest and greatest in archery equipment coming out this fall. And while bow hunting might be the last thing on your mind this time of year, archery manufacturers are working hard all year to develop new equipment to make your hunting experience more enjoyable. Some of the highlights of the show include a safety harness system from Hunter Safety System that functions more like a vest. It is easy to put on, provides extra storage, and takes away any excuses for not wear a safety harness in your tree stand. Another great new product is the hay bale blind from Primos. It consists of a sturdy metal skeleton of a round bale that you stuff with whatever material you like. It was designed for bowhunters in mind so there is plenty of room inside. It can also double as a goose blind. And while there were hundreds of great products at the show from tree stands to new bows and arrows, there was one item I just had to buy on the spot. It was a hands free personal bow holder made by Bow Legger. It is essentially a series of straps that you put around your lower leg so that your bow is always upright and ready, yet you can have your hands in your pockets keeping warm. In the past I’ve had my bow across my legs or handing from a nail, and deer have caught me unprepared. With this new product, I hope to even the score.
In other news, the Women Hunters group has launched a new mentoring program. The Women Hunters organization was founded in 2000 by avid hunter Sue Burch who saw a need. More women need to experience the thrill of the hunt, yet they often don’t know where to turn. This new program will recruit women across the country to volunteer their time and expertise to help teach a protégé about some aspect of hunting, from deer to turkey to safety and ethics. There is an active group in
and is rapidly spreading to other states. For more information you can contact President Alyssa Haukom or visit the Women Hunters web site: www.womenhunters.com.
Bass and muskie fishermen need to pay close attention to the changes happening in
and potential new regulations coming out this spring. There have been discussions of a new artificial only, barbless regulation for the entire catch and release season for bass and for muskie. Apparently this came about through an item in the Governor’s budget, as opposed to an item set forth at the conservation hearings. At the time of this writing, a final decision has not been made on the matter, so you chould check the regulations before going out this spring.
As ice conditions deteriorate, many guys head for the walleye waters of the Wolf, Fox,
. This year I’m gong to try something different. I’m not putting down the
experience, but I’ve been convinced by a few of my friends to go to southern IL. I had some phenomenal bass fishing last year on open water while there was still snow on the banks and I’ve been convinced ever since. In addition, the muskie season opens earlier down south. So while there is still ice in
, I’m going to take my muskie baits down south and see if I can’t raise a big one.
Speaking of cold open water fishing, check out the new web site for Glacier Glove: www.glacieroutdoor.com. While the company has been around for awhile, they have recently launched this new web site and they’ve got some great neoprene gloves. These are a must have especially for the fly fishermen among us who are hitting the
tributaries for steelhead. When fly fishing you are constantly stripping in wet line, yet you need thin gloves so you can feel the light strikes. I find the longer I stay warm, the longer I fish.
So until next month, may the wind be at your back and may you have a fish at the end of your line.