Archive for the ‘POMA’ Tag

ATTENDING POMA CONFERENCE   2 comments

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The past week was spent attending the annual conference of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) in Knoxville, TN and touring some of the area waters trying to catch a few fish.

This conference is a national gathering of most of the hook and bullet writers as well as major manufacturers of outdoor equipment and outdoor destinations. It is an chance for all of us to gain hands-on information and experience. In addition it is a networking experience. The latest digital information and photographic presentations are presented.

My day to day activity is chronicled in my Facebook journal at http://www.facebook.com/DonsJournal/

If you are interested in the life of an outdoor writer check it out.

CHOOSING A BULLET FOR HUNTING SEASON   2 comments

Recently at the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) business meeting in Tunica, MS, I had the opportunity to meet with some of the folks from Brownells.  They are a company that supplies firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools.  One of their divisions is Sinclair International, (www.sinclairintl.com) a supplier of items for the precision shooter. 

Never having been much of a target shooter, my knowledge of such things is quite limited.  Target shooting for this hunter is limited to sighting in scopes and practice with them prior to hunting season. 

While talking with the Brownells folks (www.brownells.com) they intrigued me with the idea of choosing a bullet for hunting.  For many of us older shooters, the choice of bullet for a particular species usually comes from friends, fellow hunters, and ammunition companies.  Seldom is any real thought and planning likely to go into the selection.  Often it is a matter of going to a gun store and asking for ammo for a particular species. 

That is not always bad, but perhaps we should look more into the selection process. 

Sinclair lists FOUR BASICS that should go into choosing the proper bullet. 

1.  WHAT IS THE INTENDED USE?  The choice should relate to the size of the quarry.  For instance, small game considerations should factor into consideration the ranges are usually short and expansion should be limited.  The later is to avoid excessive meat damage. 

With varmints, where you may not be trying to save a hide or meat, as in ridding a ranch of prairie dogs, quick expansion is good. 

For medium size game such as deer and antelope, quick expansion provides quick kills.  You might also consider terminal velocity and energy but it is not critical.  Most modern bullets will do the job. 

With large game, penetration and controlled expansion are critical.  Terminal velocity and energy are important.  A flat shooting bullet that does result in a quick humane kill is not a good idea. 

For dangerous game, they recommend what ever it takes to stop the animal.  Here big heavy, controlled expansion bullets or solids are the choice.  Again, terminal velocity and energy are factors. 

For the competition shooter, the choice depends upon paper or steel targets and down range distances.  Such items as knock down power, penetration, and expansion are not usually considerations.  The exception might be steel plates at great distances in which case knock down power becomes important. 

2.  WHAT IS THE YARDAGE?  For unknown ranges, a flat shooting bullet is best.  If the range is known and you can adjust the scope or sight, you want the most accurate available. 

3.  WHAT IS THE TWIST RATE OF YOUR RIFLE BARREL?  Fast twists allow greater accuracy with long or heavy bullets.  However, try various bullets to find out which works best with your rifle. 

4.  IS PRICE A CONSIDERATION?  For the high volume shooter this can be important.  For hunters just sighting in rifles, it is a good idea to use what you plan for the field.  Serious competitive shooters can often get away with low cost, bulk or seconds for practice and saving the good stuff for matches.  For assistance in finding the right bullet, Sinclair sells Bullet Sample Paks containing 12 bullets for the handloader.  They come in popular brands and calibers.

SHOOTING AT THE WILLOWS   Leave a comment

Getting out of the car in the parking lot of Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center brings back visions of the small country club where I caddied as a kid.  It is blacktop-parking area with a stairway to the clubhouse on a hill. 

The clubhouse and pro shop contains rental guns as well as an array of ammunition, clothing and shooting accessories. 

An array of golf carts are parked around the area.  An employee offers a golf cart to get to the shooting fields. 

I was there as part of the shooting camp component of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) annual business meeting.  Others were already out in the fields as I had missed the bus earlier and had to drive my own vehicle. 

Willows is a 666-acre piece of wetlands, and forest inside the Mississippi River levee at Harrah’s Tunica.  The total complex contains a casino, hotels and a convention center as well as a children’s play area.  Willows has been closed for two years following a severe flood. 

Recently re-opened, the facility contains areas of trap, skeet, automated sporting clays station with three levels each, rifle and pistol range as well as hunting areas for quail and dove hunters and guided deer hunting in season.  The clay target range also includes a duck flush that simulates a Mississippi Delta Duck Blind and 5-stand set up. 

On 14 stations of the clay target range are realistic hunting environments.  One can shoot rounds of 25, 50 or 100 targets on the two fully automatic courses. 

The day spent at Willows is quite enjoyable and educational as various manufacturers of weapons offer the opportunity to handle and photograph their products.  The event also allowed members to network informally away from all the technical seminars we are attending. 

For information about Willows Sporting Clays and HuntingCenter, contact Harrahs Tunica at 662-357-3154.  Their website is www.Harrahstunica.com.

BUILDING A RIFLE ON THE AR PLATFORM   2 comments

I have to admit to a certain initial prejudice when it comes to the AR-15 platform rifles.  However, it is a fact that all of our sporting weapons began life as a military tool.   Go back to the bow and arrow or even further back to spears.  As humans developed the ability to use them in warfare, they also learned to convert their use to the acquiring of food. 

The AR-15 is the latest in that long line of military/sporting weapons.  Cosmetically it looks like the military rifle but it does not function in the same manner.  Today they are the most popular firearm on the market.  Contrary to popular belief, the “AR” does not stand for assault rifle.  It stands for the company that invented it in the 1950’s.  It is an Armalite rifle. 

The rifle is not an assault weapon, as the ignorant and anti-gun crowd would like you to believe.  It functions just like other hunting weapons by firing one cartridge at a time with each pull of the trigger.  They do however share the military reliability in that they function well in all weather conditions. 

One key advantage to this rifle is the immense number of variations that one can build in a number of calibers with the basic AR-15 platform.  It is possible to build a big game, varmint or small game, service rifle, match rifle or other competition rifle on the basic platform.  The difference between the types of rifles is in the components used. 

Companies such as Brownells (www.brownells.com) offer parts and technical assistance via the web or by telephone (800-741-0015).   Based in Montezuma, Illinois JJ Schroeder, Technician for the company introduced the expansive market for the variations available. 

At the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) annual business meeting a few weeks ago in Tunica, MS, JJ had a couple of the rifles available for examination and trial shooting.  

Brownells has website http://www.AT15builder.com that contains information on the internal and external components and offers a chance to view the parts assembled into a whole gun.  The builder can select one of several receivers depending upon the ultimate purpose of the weapon.  To which he adds the components to personalize it. 

The components include such items as aftermarket triggers to improve accuracy.  Sight systems and optics to improve accuracy are important.  There are a number of stocks available in adjustable or fixed cheek piece configurations.  Add to that the assortment of forends of aluminum in various configurations and you have a custom-made rifle for your specific needs. 

The final step is assembly of the components.  Brownells also has that covered.  A complete video series that walks you through this process and a list of tools needed is available at www.brownells.com/buildanar15.  A PDF of instructions based on the video is available for downloading as assistance while working on the weapon.

I HATE MOSQUITOES   2 comments

Mosquitoes are probably the chief anguish in my life as an outdoor writer.  Here is the mid-south are some of the buggiest areas according to a survey by SC Johnson, the makers of OFF products.  

Eighty-five percent of people prepare for mosquitoes when engaging in outside activities ranging from picnics, fishing excursions to back yard parties.  Once the flying terrors appear on the scene, 23 percent of people seek the refuge of buildings, 54 percent use insect repellents, and 22 percent tough it out by doing nothing. 

When asked what is most likely to ruin a summer’s trip, 38 percent say mosquitoes and other biting insects.  In second place with 32 percent is sunburn. 

Seventy-eight percent of Midwesterners wither use some form of mosquito repellent or go inside when flying insects appear on the scene.  Add to that the fact they are known to spread the deadly West Nile Virus and you have an insect you do not want around. 

Outdoor activities at the recent Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Business Meeting provided an opportunity to test out some of the OFF products.  Summer in Mississippi where we were meeting is one of high humidity, rain and high temperatures.  The mosquitoes are legendary. 

I tried several of the products.  One thing I noticed on the packaging was the contents.  These products contain 25% DEET while ones I have used in the past were nearly 100%.  I found the Dry Insect Repellant the most effective but the Clip-On Mosquito Repellant was the longer lasting and easiest to use.  I normally would have 15 to 20 mosquito bites and countless Chigger bites following such an experience.  This time I got away with just a couple of Chigger bites and about 5 or 6 mosquito bites. 

For more information about OFF products check out their website at www.off.com or http://www.keepsbugsoff.com.

MIKE WALKER PASSES AWAY   2 comments

 

A man died today and his passing diminishes us all.  In life he was a father, husband, grandfather, business partner, writer, or public relations expert.  To all of us who knew him, he was most importantly a friend.  James “Mike” Walker passed away following a long battle with liver disease. 

 

I met Mike through some of the outdoor writer meetings we both attended.  He headed the public relations agency that bears his name.  Mike established The Walker Agency in Phoenix, AZ but he was always a Kansas Jayhawker at heart. 

 

The man’s accomplishments are legend.  It was not enough for him to be CEO of the premiere Public Relations agency in the business.  He served in virtually every position of every outdoor writer organization.  He constantly gave to others his experience and his energy. 

 

Others will write of this man and his many accomplishments.  Perhaps they will do so better than I have here, but none will miss him as much.  Mike was my mentor in the outdoor business and a close friend during a particularly bad six months when I lost both parents.  From the first time you met him it was impossible not to be impressed by the relaxed way he approached every problem.  He would analyze it, apply his knowledge and experience, and come up with a solution. 

 

This man inspired many people in his lifetime and I am happy to say that I knew him.  It is with tears in my eyes that I say God speed old friend as he sets sail for the final voyage.

Posted 08/16/2012 by Donald Gasaway in Boats, Freshwater Fishing

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ELIMINATING THE NEED FOR A PEEP SIGHT   Leave a comment

It has been a while since I have shot a bow and arrow.  The two A’s (age and arthritis) cause me to avoid doing much shooting after some 40-years of bowhunting.

Due to some vision problems, I have never been able to focus on a sight pin and also the target.  Therefore I always shoot “instinctive’.  Then I met Mitchell Schmitz of Extreme Outdoor Products of MS Inc.  We met at the annual POMA (Professional Outdoor Media Association) business meeting in MS.

Mitchell has invented a bow sight for compound bows that eliminates wrist torque and the need for peep sights and kisser buttons.  It allows you to shoot your bow like a rifle.

With this sight on the bow, archers have a dead on consistent anchor point because of the need to align two pins.  For those who have eye dominant problems the sight allows one to shoot any bow right or left handed accurately.  For instance, a right-handed shooter can still shoot right-handed even though he is left-eye dominant.

In low-light situations this sight it out performs the peep sight.  Not having a kisser and/or peep sight on the string increases arrow speed.  You are able to shoot tighter groups more quickly.

The sight allows several archers to use the same bow accurately regardless of draw length.  You align two pins.

Made of aluminum with steel pins, the sight fits most bows and comes in camo or anodized colors.  It has graduated settings for easy fine tuning adjustment.

For more information about this sight contact Extreme Outdoor Products at 601-833-5395 or visit their website at http://www.extremeop.com.

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