Friday, December 31, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Top 5 Outdoor Adventures of 2010

by Chris Larsen

#5 Hot Air Ballooning Over The St. Croix Valley in February.
I was fortunate enough to take a hot air balloon ride with Scott Aamodt of Stillwater, MN. Scott has piloted hot air balloons for several years and his skills are a testament to his experience. We flew over much of Hudson, WI during our one hour flight. Most people don’t think of hot air ballooning during the dead of winter but it’s actually a great time to go. The foliage is off the trees and you can see right down into the woods. We spotted a very nice whitetail buck on our flight. Check out the video here.

#4 Fast Deer Hunt
I wasn’t fortunate enough to be carrying the gun on this hunt. But I captured it on film. Foremost Outdoor TV ProStaffer Jason Oswald closed the deal on a Southwest Wisconsin doe less than five minutes after we left the cabin. The deer was feeding on wild berries when we spotted her. It was a great management hunt that was so fast we didn’t really get a chance to enjoy the woods. Luckily, we had a few more tags so we spent the rest of the afternoon on stand looking for another deer. We saw plenty of squirrels and of course turkeys. We always have turkeys in our face when deer hunting and deer crawling on us when turkey hunting! Check out more of this story here.

#3 Minnesota North Shore Adventure
After skipping this trip in 2009, we resumed our annual family vacation to the Minnesota North Shore. The Grand Marais area is simply breathtaking in the fall. The mountains are ablaze in orange, red, and gold leaves. The colors are a sharp contrast to the crystal waters of Lake Superior and the streams that flow into it. Grouse and deer sightings are a common occurence. In the five years of visiting the area, I’ve seen just one moose. A large bull had fallen several feet to his death on the stony shores of the Cascade River. This area is a well known moose hunting spot, but I’ve yet to spot a live one! The most enjoyable part of the trip was watching my two-and-a-half year old son develop a love for the outdoors. Right now it’s limited to throwing stones into the water… but we threw a lot of stones into the water! To see my pictorial, click here.

#2 Bagging A Whitetail Buck
This was my second season of deer hunting on our family property. In 2009, I connected on a nubbin’ buck. This year I shot my first antlered buck on the property. The 2 ½ year old sported an eight point rack with an 18 inch spread. One of his points was snapped off and a portion of his main beam was pretty beat up too. I’m sure he had a pretty active autumn. What was rewarding about this deer was the shot. I measured it at 180 yards on the range finder. I’ve never taken a deer at that distance. The shot was well placed and he fell just 30 yards from where he was hit. Even more rewarding was that I had passed up several other bucks before taking this one, including a trophy class buck. He just wasn’t standing the way I wanted him too and I would have hated myself for wounding him. It was easily the biggest deer I’ve ever had in my scope. Five minutes after he was out of sight, I spotted my buck. You can read the whole story here.

#1 Fishing Has No Boundaries
Foremost Outdoor TV was invited to attend a Fishing Has No Boundaries event in Eagle River, WI this summer. Fishing Has No Boundaries(FHNB) is a program that gets disabled and developmentally disabled people an opportunity to fish for the weekend. Several Eagle River area guides and dozens of other volunteers donated their time and use of their boats to make this event happen. It was hosted at Wild Eagle Lodge, which is an incredible resort in the heart of the legendary Eagle River Chain of Lakes.

FOTV ProStaffer Jason Oswald and I spent a day on the water with two guides, four anglers, and their chaperone. The excitement level was like nothing I’ve ever experienced on the water. Guide Lon Millard, put these guys on a panfish honey hole. We put over 200 fish in the boat and 50 on the stringer. It was literally non-stop action. The anglers were highly competitive and had no problems with dishing out and taking a little flak. I’ve never had a better day on the water. Look for this video on soon.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Hunters Separate Two Big Bucks With A Shotgun

These two big bucks are locked together on a frozen pond when a group of bird hunters uses a shotgun to separate them.  Unbelievable video footage.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Sarah Palin Did What?

The wife talked me into watching Sarah Palin's Alaska tonight. The first episode I saw was all about the family commercial fishing enterprise. Very impressed with the family and how everybody got their fingers dirty. Cool to see the family interact and work together. The second episode I watched had Sarah going caribou hunting with her dad. It was a real tough hunt and again, cool to see a nice family dynamic.

Then, it happened. They see a caribou. Sarah gets all lined up to shoot. But the caribou is skylined, so she's gonna wait until she has a good back stop behind the animal right? NOPE! Fire away and a clean miss. Her dad says, "you shot over it". So they load another shell and they think about where that bullet could end up so they wait to fire the next shot right? NOPE! Fire away. Again, over the caribou. They wouldn't dream about firing another one right? Sure, load her up and shoot again. Over it again! Three 7MM projectiles sent flying through the air at who knows where. The family friend hands Sarah another gun. After three misses at a skylined caribou, she shoots at him while he's looking right at her... not broadside, not quartering... straight on. She drops him in his tracks... but again, a skylined shot.

I realize she's hunting in the bush of Alaska and the risk of hitting something is minimal. But there are several reasons to not take this shot.

1) It only takes one person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to lead to a fatality. Imagine this headline:

"Hunter Dies From Sarah Palin's Stray Bullet"

Not only does someone die unnecessarily, you think the press wouldn't have a field day with that? There are millions of people praying for something like that to happen.

2) It's being videotaped and aired on national television. Millions of people are watching this show and seeing unsafe shooting. This makes hunters look careless to non-hunters, although many probably didn't even think about. It's also a bad example to aspiring hunters. If it's OK to do on TV, then why can't they do it.

I'm certainly not the type of person that wants to pile on Sarah Palin. There are plenty of other people out there doing that. But the carelessness of what I saw tonight really bothered me. Why no one said anything while it was happening, then know one said anything when they reviewed the tape, then no one said anything during post production is beyond me.

My forays into outdoor videos are small potatoes compared to this and everytime I do anything in the field there is a little voice in my head saying, "what does this look like?" I'm always thinking about what it would look like to my friends and family, to non-hunters, to the general public, and to law enforcement. If you are filming a hunt, you must hold yourself to the highest standards. Everyone is watching and once the video is released, there is no turning back. When you are under the microscope that Sarah Palin is under, careful isn't careful enough. What I saw tonight doesn't do her or any other hunter any favors.

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