These Boots Were Made for Huntin’

Photo Credit: Kenetrek.com

Hunting boots have come a long way from when I started hunting back in the early 2000’s. Back then, hunting boots were very stiff, and didn’t have a whole lot of comfort. You would normally buy the boot, and then immediately replace the insole with a better one to provide any support. They would also feel stuffy because of the Gore-Tex waterproof lining, and of course I probably wasn’t wearing the right socks to boot. Lastly, they weren’t too expensive, from what I could remember paying, maybe anywhere from $100 to $200 max. Nowadays, that’s more of a down payment on some of the new boots that have hit the market. Now, for the real question, “Are they worth it?” Well, let’s break it down.

Like I said previously, the technology, and comfort of hunting boots has come extraordinary lengths from just 10 years ago. Companies like Kenetrek came on to the scene and made a big splash in the hunting boot industry. I used to work in Cabela’s footwear about 10 years ago, and I still remember the first day we received a pair of Kenetrek boots in our freight. I was talking with other outfitters about them, and could not believe the price. $350 for a pair of boots?! That sounded outrageous to me at the time (and looking back, I probably should’ve bought a pair when I still had my discount). Now, the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated Boot cost $465. So what makes this boot so expensive? A lot actually. This boot comes with one of the best warranties I have ever seen from a boot manufacturer. On their website it states, “Our products are warrantied to be free of manufacturing defects. If any Kenetrek product fails due to defective materials or poor workmanship within 12 months from the date of purchase and before the soles are worn 75%, they will be repaired or replaced by Kenetrek. Damages caused by improper care, alterations, accidents, or natural wear and tear are not covered. Send your defective or damaged products to Kenetrek for evaluation. If Kenetrek deems your product defective, we will repair or replace it at our expense.” This boot is also made from some of the highest quality of materials which also factors into the price. I remember trying on the boots, and realized that the sole had zero give, however the sole also made a U shape that propelled you forward as you walked. It almost felt like if your foot was in a big black foot cast you got from the doctor’s office. The boot was designed to keep your foot in place, which in turn would cause less foot stress, and wouldn’t hurt your feet. I wasn’t quite sold on them, and ended up purchasing a pair of Danner Pronghorns that I still have to this day. I bought my Danner’s on sale for less than $200, and I still really like them. My boots would need to seriously break down before I consider spending $500 on a pair.

So let me know your thoughts! What kind of boots do you have? Would you recommend them? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Why Choosing the Wrong Duck Load Can Be Costly

Photo Credit: ballisticproducts.com

Ever since lead shot was banned in the early 90’s for duck hunting, companies have been desperately trying new materials to replace it. Lead shot had a lot of things going for it; it is a dense metal that is also malleable, and works great for fixed choke shotguns. However, government agencies found that all that lead shot was ending up in lakes and rivers, which caused higher concentrations of lead in our water. Some studies even suggest that ducks are still ingesting the spent lead shot to this day. Now, once lead shot was finally banned everyone turned to steel shot. Steel shot was cheap, and easy to manufacture, however it doesn’t have the same qualities that made lead shot so great. It is less dense than lead, and it is very rigid. This made shooting steel shot out of a fixed choke shotgun dangerous and basically unusable. This change in policy also made way for the new era of interchangeable chokes, and choke systems. Now, steel shot is good, and it has been around for a long time, but now companies have found something they believe is better, and it’s called bismuth.

Bismuth is alloyed with 6% tin to increase pellet integrity making it one of the softest of all the non-toxic alternative shot types. This also makes it very suitable for old double guns, and other shotguns with fixed chokes. Bismuth shot is a great non-toxic alternative to lead. Sounds great, right?! Well there is a catch. This new technology comes at a price. Compared to regular steel shot, bismuth is more than double the price per box! And if you hunt as much as I do, that can be costly. Now for the real question. Is it worth the price? Most who have used it would say yes. I have heard story after story about how bismuth packs a punch, and stones birds dead. I have talked to avid water fowl hunters who swear by it, and told me that they will never go back to steel. Now the real question is, “is it right for you?” Well, that’s going to have to be for you to decide. Pick up a box for yourself, and try them out next season.

So let me know your thoughts! What kind of shot do you prefer? Are you going to buy a box of bismuth shells next season? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Neoprene vs. Dry-Plus Waders

Photo Credit: Mack’s Prairie Wings

Ah the age old question, neoprene vs. dry-plus waders. In this blog post we will be looking at the pros, and cons to both to see which one is right for you, but in my opinion there is only one clear choice. Now, let’s take a deep dive and compare the two. Neoprene hunting waders used to be the staple when it came to duck waders, and dry-plus was this novel idea. If you wanted to be warm on those cold December duck hunts, then you would want to grab yourself a pair of 3.5, or 5.0 mm neoprene waders. Neoprene waders gave hunters this idea that they would be warmer in the field, which would make them feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case. Most duck hunters are actively moving to get to their spots, and can work up quite a sweat. They can be carrying anything from gear, to decoys, which can require a lot of exertion. What hunters eventually came to find out is that neoprene does not release any of that heat, which leaves the hunter soaking when they are finally done moving. This can lead to uncomfortable hunting conditions, and can also lead to much more dangerous situations if left unattended. Neoprene hunting waders can also last hunters a long time if properly cared for. I know some hunters who are very hard on their gear, and maybe go through a pair a season. Most hunters are able to get a few seasons out of their waders before they start to leak. Neoprene can also be abrasive, but only up to a certain point. Catching neoprene on twigs, and branches can be devastating to the cloth-like material.

Now, light weight/dry-plus waders of old were nothing like how they are today. In the past, the only option you could find in the “light weight” wader section was usually PVC coated waders that were fairly cheap, and would make you sweat worse than the neoprene ones. Then along came dry-plus, and dry-plus really changed the game when it came to hunting waders. They were breathable which allowed hunters the option of layering up on colder hunts, or layering down for those early season hunts. However, there was a catch. The material they used for the dry-plus waders would almost always leak, or tear with minimal abuse. Working at Cabela’s during that time, I would see those waders constantly being returned for another pair. They were just unable to make a breathable pair of waders that hunters were able to abuse. Then as time went on, and technology progressed, we now have resilient dry-plus waders that hunters can be pleased with. I purchased such a pair last season, and they were the Drake Waterfowl Eqwader 1600 Breathable Wader with Tear-Away Liner. After putting them to the test, I am thoroughly satisfied with my purchase. These waders were excellent not only in the early season, but in the late season as well. I was able to layer up, or down depending on conditions, and it made my hunting experience that much more enjoyable.

So let me know your thoughts! What kind of waders do you prefer? Why do you like one compared to the other? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and

Are Guided Hunts Worth the Money?

Photo Credit: Alexander Mills

How does the saying go? “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure can by everything else.” Well in the world of guiding/outfitting that sure is the case. With Americans spending $61 Billion a year on hunting and fishing, according to an article from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is no surprise that guided hunts are a commodity. Guided hunts can almost take out the guessing game of where the animals might be, and at times can be invaluable to have such an asset assisting you in the field. And that is why people pay top dollar for it. In my younger days, I was fortunate enough to have a Grandfather who loved to spoil me. I have gone on probably a half a dozen guided hunts over my life time and for the most part, they have all been very good experiences. The guides were knowledgeable, fun, and by the end were worth their weight in gold because we would be lost without them. And that is ultimately what they are there for. They are there to provide a quality service so you can be a repeat customer. The ultimate goal of any seller is to make sure that your customer is delighted. Now, when dealing with a sport like hunting and fishing, the animals don’t always cooperate. There have been plenty of times where hunters have spent a lot of money only to end up getting skunked. It happens. However, there is always the option of going by yourself.

Now I have gone on plenty of hunts where it was just my Grandfather and I, and somehow those hunts are more memorable. Sitting in the blind waiting for morning light, anxious about what the day may bring. Talking strategy and trying to figure out what to do next. Then when all of your hard work pays off, you get an overwhelming sense of joy and satisfaction knowing that you did it on your own. I remember those times fondly, but when you are hunting without a guide you learn a lot of valuable lessons, and some may even cost you the chance to harvest. To me that is a part of hunting. To others it might not be as enjoyable. Either one you choose will have its pros, and cons. However, one of the biggest cons to guided hunts are the prices. Depending on which type of animal, or fish you are after can make you dig deep into your pocket book. As I get older, and richer, that might be something I am willing to spend my money on. As of right now, it is just something I cannot afford every time I want to go out. However, if you are in the market for a high quality guided hunt in Nevada, then look no further than Nevada High Ridge Outfitters. They are very knowledgeable and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

So let me know your thoughts! Have you been on a guided hunt? What was your experience like? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Why Mallard Duck Calls Are Not the Best

Photo Credit: Windigo Images

It might surprise people who are not familiar with duck hunting that not every duck sounds like a hen mallard. You know the classic, “quack, quack, quack.” There are many other species of ducks out there, but hunters keep getting caught up on the classic mallard sound. The reason hunters like the mallard duck call so much is because you can manipulate it however you like. You can make it sound soft when the birds are close, or loud when you want them to turn around. You can also make it sound like ducks are feeding. The mallard call is the quint essential duck call, but there are other duck calls that can be just as vital.

First, let’s start off with the different duck calls I have hanging off my lanyard. My go to duck call is my Echo Duck Call. I have had this duck call for over 8 years now and this call still performs as good as the day I got it. It is easy to use since it has a double reed. The difference between a single-reed duck call and a double-reed duck call is that single-reed calls have more range and are more versatile than double-reed calls, but they are also a little more difficult to master. Double-reed calls take more air to blow and don’t have as much range as single-reed models. However, most double-reed calls have a ‘sweet spot’ that sounds very realistic to passing ducks. Next, I have my Precision Duck Call that I got right in my backyard here in Nevada. This company is located in Carson City, and they make some of the best quality calls on the market. This particular call I have from them is their raspy hen mallard call which helps me sound different to passing ducks. Now the secret is to keep a teal call on your lanyard. Teal make a sound similar to a soft blowing whistle, and hunters in the past use to keep a whistle on their lanyard’s to mimic their sound. With everything sounding like a hen mallard these days. It is good to change it up. Lastly, I keep one goose call on me as well, just in case I happen to see one pass by.

So let me know your thoughts! What calls do you keep on your lanyard? Are there any you would recommend? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Shed Hunting in Nevada

Photo Credit: Cody Thompson goHunt.com

Like I have mentioned in other blogs, the spring time is an interesting time when it comes to hunting. Spring hunting is limited to only a couple of species such as black bear, or turkey. However, there is one kind of hunting that everyone can get involved in, and that is shed hunting. Shed hunting has become more, and more popular over the years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. For those of you who are not familiar, shed hunting is an activity where individuals can search for deer antlers that naturally fall off after the rut in late winter. This process takes place around February, and March in most areas. Shed hunting can also help hunters inventory bucks that make it through the hunting season.

Most shed hunters are hunters during the regular season. They were pursuing these animals during the fall, and now they are hiking to find what the bucks have left behind. Again, it is a chance to get out there, and experience everything Nevada has to offer. Just like actual hunting, there are rules and regulations. To find out more about rules and regulations for shed hunting in Nevada click the link here. In the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s (NDOW) link, NDOW also talks about the impacts of shed hunting on the animals, and the terrain. As shed hunting has grown more popular people have been putting a lot more pressure on the animals, and displacing them into areas that they do not naturally go. This has led Nevada to enact a no shed hunting policy from January 1 to April 30 in Elko, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine counties according to goHunt.com. However, in Washoe county, which is where I live, shed hunting is open year around. So this leads me to my next point; go out on a hike! The only way you are going to find antlers is by going out and actually looking for them. You definitely want to go to more concentrated areas where deer live, if you want to have a better chance of success. So for all my hikers out there, next time you go on a hike, keep a close eye out because you never know what you may find.

So let me know your thoughts! Have you ever been shed hunting? How did you like it? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Chukar Hunting Challenge

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

Nevada has some of the best chukar hunting in the country due to a high chukar population, a long season, and a bag limit of six. However, none of this makes it easy. Chukar hunting is some of the toughest hunting out there, even for seasoned hunters. It’s a lot of walking, hiking, and patience till you finally get the opportunity to shoot. It also helps to have a dog, but it is not a necessity. I have only hunted chukar by accident when hunting for other upland game, and I am setting a chukar hunting challenge for myself this season. I am going to break out of my comfort zone of waterfowl hunting, and dedicate a hunt solely for chukar. I preach a lot on this blog about how people should try, and experience new things. I am going to follow my own advice, and plan one for this upcoming 2021 season. I want to get out there, and have very little knowledge of what I am doing. I want to make mistakes, and learn along the way. I want to hike places I have never gone before, and I want to experience something new this season, even if I embarrass myself doing it.

Now, I am not as green as I am letting on about upland bird hunting. I have been upland bird hunting all my life, and most of it took place at the Yankee Slough Hunt Club in Northern California. Out there my late grandfather belonged to a bird club where we pay for birds even before we went out. I know that is not ideal, but I still look back on those memories fondly. I remember my grandpa always had a hunting dog, and he absolutely loved watching that dog work a field. I remember the big embrace he would give me after we rounded up our birds for the day, and I sure do miss upland hunting with him. This challenge I am setting is almost taking me back to my roots, which is where I cut my teeth. Now what I am about to embark on is going to be significantly more difficult than hunting a flat open field for birds we planted. And I am OK with that. I want the challenge, which is why I am setting this goal for myself, and I encourage to you to do the same. For more information about chukar hunting and regulations please visit the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s website here.

So let me know your thoughts! Have you ever been chukar hunting? What challenge are you setting for yourself this year? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Shotgun Review: Beretta A400 Xtreme

Me Pictured with My Beretta A400 Xtreme (left), and Cal Worsham (right)
March 31, 2017

I have had the Beretta A400 Xtreme for about 4 years now, so I think it is a good time for me to review it. At the time, this shotgun was one of the most expensive shotguns on the market. The only other shotgun that we can compare it to is the Super Black Eagle III by Benelli. Both guns come in at a whopping MSRP of $1,799. That is a lot of money for one shotgun, however there is a reason for that. This shotgun is the best shotgun money can buy. Beretta has been designing this shotgun for 10 years to be one of the best performing shotguns on the planet. This shotgun was designed to perform in all types of conditions including rain, sleet, snow, and in salt spray. The gun claims that its “kick-off” technology reduces recoil by 70%, and their Blink technology cycles 36% faster than any 12 gauge load. The gun also have a corrosion proof barrier that can keep the gun performing better for longer. The gun also has a micro core recoil pad, which is an innovative recoil pad designed by Beretta that is softer, lighter, and slides better than rubber. This allows for less barrel raise, and can keep the hunter on target better. The gas system has even been upgraded to keep the gun cleaner and more reliable. The gun can also shoot any loads between 2 ¾ inch to 3 ½ inch shells, which makes it the perfect choice for any hunting situation. The barrels are also made with the highest quality tri-alloy steel, which are cold hammer forged. This gun literally has it all.

My review of this weapon is simple. It was worth every penny. I paid for performance, and this gun has delivered just that. In the time that I have owned this weapon, I have had friends buy, and sell a few different shotguns for various reasons such as malfunctions, or not enough versatility. I have hunted with friends where their gun jams at the inopportune time, and they miss their shot. I have seen lesser shotguns break down in the field, which ultimately ends their hunt for the day. This gun consistently performs, and has been put to the test in every possible situation I have thrown at it. That is why I highly recommend this shotgun to anyone in the market for a reliable weapon.  

So let me know your thoughts! What shotgun are you currently running? How do you like it? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Why Dove Hunting Is Simply the Best

Nevada Dove Opener September 1, 2019
Pictured: Anthony Garofalo (left), and Brian Cox (right)

Well it’s officially that time of year again when the hunting season is over, and I fall back to my other hobbies. However, this lull in the hunting calendar makes me wish that it is close to September when dove season opens. Dove season opener is one of my favorite days of the year, and not because it lands on my birthday, but because of what it represents to me. It represents a new beginning with old friends. It represents my passion for hunting as well as my desire for meat. It is the camaraderie and friendships I have made along the way, but also remembering the ones that are no longer with us. It is almost like a ritualistic experience for me that is almost unexplainable. Either way, dove hunting is one of my favorite types of hunting, and let me explain why.

I love dove hunting in Nevada because my friends and I have a ritual every year where we camp out our spot the night before the opener. We bring a couple of beers, and reminisce about the past, while also being optimistic about the future. Once we are done conversing, which is usually into the wee hours of the morning, we will take a quick nap, and be ready to hunt before the morning light. Once we wake up, it doesn’t take much to put ourselves together for the morning flight.

In my opinion, dove hunting is even easier than turkey hunting. You can read my latest turkey hunting blog here. All you really need is a shotgun, ammo, and maybe something to sit on. That is literally it. It is so easy to take your newcomers dove hunting because it doesn’t require much gear. You don’t have to be quiet, camouflaged, or hidden and the doves will just fly right over you. You can laugh, joke, and really not have a care in the world. Taking new hunters dove hunting really introduces them to this way of life, without any high stakes, or pressure. Because if you miss a bird, it’s not the end of the world. There will be another one coming in 5 minutes. You are able to help others make corrections, or provide tips, and tricks for the next bird. Which leads me to my next point. Hunting is a constant learning process. I personally don’t think that I will ever stop learning from my hunting experiences. I just need to remember to not make the same mistakes again. For more information about Nevada Dove Hunting click the link here.

So let me know your thoughts! Have you ever been dove hunting? How did you like it? Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.

Wild Game Recipe: Stuffed Venison Backstrap

Photo Credit: HowToBBQRight.com Malcom Reed

I got this recipe from one of my favorite YouTube channels called “HowToBBQRight” with Malcom Reed. Malcom is a seasoned professional when it comes to BBQ’ing, and this recipe does not disappoint. I actually made this recipe for my family last Christmas, and everyone could not get enough of it! For those of you who may not know, the backstrap is the loin of the animal. The loin on a deer is the tender meat sitting right along the backbone on each side. For this recipe you will make a slit down the length of the backstrap to butterfly it open. The process takes about 30 minutes on the smoker to fully cook, and you will want to run your smoker at 350 degrees to brown the bacon. Venison, like beef, is best served at a medium rare, so be sure to pull it off the smoker when the internal temperature hits around 125-130 degrees. Again, just like beef, you will want to let it rest for about 5-10 min before serving. Last thing to do is slice the backstrap into steak size portions about 1” thick and enjoy.  

Ingredients:

– 1-2 Whole Venison Backstraps (loin)

– 8oz Cream Cheese

– 8oz Baby Portabella Mushrooms chopped

– ¼ cup Crumbled Bacon (about 6 slices) 

– 1 small Yellow Onion diced

– 2 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings

– ½ cup Flat leaf Parsley chopped

– 2lbs Bacon

– 2 Tablespoons of any all-purpose rub (should be garlic salt, and pepper)

– 2 Tablespoons of any BBQ rub

Directions:

1. Prepare Pellet Smoker or any other BBQ grill for indirect cooking at 350⁰. Add your favorite wood to the hot coals for smoke flavor. In the pellet grill I use a combination of Pecan, Oak, and Cherry cooking pellets. 

2. To prepare the stuffing, sauté onions, and mushrooms in bacon drippings over medium heat. Add to room temperature cream cheese. Fold in crumbled bacon, and parsley. 

3. Trim excess silver skin from venison backstraps, and cut a slit down the length to butterfly it open. Be careful not to cut through the entire piece.

4. Season with all-purpose rub, and stuff with cream cheese mixture. 

5. Wrap the outside with strips of bacon, and season with any BBQ rub.

6. Place each backstrap on a wire cooling rack, and set on the smoker. 

7. Cook until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, or your desired doneness. The bacon should be brown on the outside. 

8. Allow the backstrap to rest for 5-10 minutes and cut into individual pieces for serving.

So there you have it! Let me know your thoughts. What is your favorite way to eat backstrap? You can watch Malcom’s YouTube Video here. Drop a comment down below, and like the blog. Also, please share this with your friends, and family alike. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, stay safe and Hunt Nevada.