YouTube Videos Reach 1,500,000 Views, Black-Powder Gun Explorations, Personal Appearances and Muzzleloading and Business Book Series in 2014
Although the last episode of “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” was broadcast in early 2013, my outdoor-related activities continued to expand in 2014. These included reaching the 400 YouTube video threshold, completing and hunting with the Super Walker .44-caliber percussion revolver, continuing work on rebuilding an original .75-caliber Brunswick rifle and starting with the Pietta Army Yank .44 caliber pepperbox and Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader. Personal appearances included presenting “How to do Inexpensive YouTube Videos” for the South Carolina Writers Association and a “How to Become an Outdoor Communicator” seminar at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia, which is to be repeated on March 7, 2015. Work on my business book, “Profit,” was started with “Ideas for New Businesses,” the first of a series of related spin-off titles, being readied for publication in March.
The PodCast radio show “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” is still available on WebTalkRadio. net. During the life of this show it had a peak of about 20,000 downloads a week. Among its prize-winning episodes were a series of three turkey hunting stories produced in 2011 that include”A’fixing to go turkey hunting,” “Turkey hunting,” and “Turkey hunting stories.” These are dscribed in earlier posts on this blog, and links are provided to my WebTalk Channel. These episodes may be listened to or downloaded to your computer or portable device for later use – just the things to listen to on your pre-dawn drives to your turkey hunting areas.
I worked with a homeless vet, Will Hamilton, as an intern for three months. I found him to be a creative individual with unrealized potentials in the fields of graphic arts, writing and music. None of which, unfortunately, were to the stage of being commercially viable. I coached him in all three areas to the extent of getting him art lessons with a local teacher, a guitar and amp and doing YouTubes of original music. Most of this music were his original works, although we collaborated on several pieces. During his time with me some of his problems with rotting teeth and bad vision were taken care of, but ultimately this relationship was terminated and he returned to Texas. He was fed, sheltered and resumed his life in better shape than he arrived. I provided him with a chance for success, but he will need to do the rest for himself. This relationship was not one-sided in that he was of significant help in assisting me in cleaning up my woods after a record ice storm downed hundreds of trees, and having a creative individual with different experiences in a home environment prompted me to expand my thoughts and activities in heretofore unrealized areas. For me working with interns is a collaborative relationship in that we both learn from each other. I have seldom met a person that I could not teach something to or learn something from. This internship was not as profitable for either party as it might have been. I will be looking for another intern in 2015, but one who is better grounded in outdoor communications skills. This is an excellent opportunity for a young writer to learn, and practice, state-of-the-art skills. You can see one of the videos we recorded at the historic Lunney House in Senica, South Carolina, at: http://youtu.be/qOFozdIGWfM.
Previous work with various percussion revolvers, including the 1858 Remington .44-caliber 12-inch barreled Buffalo Revolver from Pietta, the 5 1/2-inch Sheriff’s Model and Ruger Old Army .44, demonstrated with round-ball loads and Kaido Ojamaa’s new flat-pointed bullets and modern loads could be effective killers on small close-range deer and hogs. The weak-sister of this group is the Sheriff’s Model which I would only use as a back-up pistol for finishing off wounded game. However, the others with Hodgdon’s Triple7even powder killed, or fatally struck, two deer and three hogs with six shots. I found that the adjustable iron sights on the Old Army and Buffalo that allowed the guns to be precisely adjusted so that the projectiles hit where they were aimed to be more significant than trying to get the last possible ft./lb. of muzzle energy out of their loads.
This work with percussion revolvers was for my forthcoming book, “Hunting with Muzzleloading Revolvers.” For the title to be complet, I needed to once again take up the Colt Walker, which was the largest percussion revolver made by Colt and had longest barrel and largest cylinder capacity. Previously I had found this pistol to be ill-sighted and unreliable in that the loading lever would often fall down with the shot and tie-up the cylinder, preventing rapid follow-up shots. Development of the Super Walker has to date included having Dykes Reber of North Little Rock, Arkansas, fit a new loading lever, expand the frame for loading elongate bullets and having H&M Coatings of Akron, Ohio, put a corrosion resistant black nitride finish on a Uberti Kit version of the Walker that I bought from Dixie Gun Works. The gun was also outfitted with a custom-made front-carry shoulder rig by Jack Gully of K-J Leather (Badlands Leather) of Newell, South Dakota.
Thus equipped and with a moderate-level load of 37 grains of Hodgdon’s Triple-7even powder and Kaido Ojamaa’s 220-grain bullet, I took a doe
from my property in Central Georgia and a buck from Georgia’s Ossabaw Island. You can view a video of the island hunt at: http://youtu.be/2PwgPwPkSdQ. Two improvements yet to make on this gun are to locate a small pin set into the frame in front on the hammer to prevent the caps from being plucked and tying up the gun, and, when the time comes, replacing the cylinder arbor retaining pin when the gun starts to shoot loose. This usually happens with the weak Walker design after about 1,000 rounds of black powder shooting or with fewer rounds of the higher-pressure Triple7even loads.
Among significant advances in the arts of using the percussion revolvers was my Super Walker Loading stand, aka. “The world’s ugliest mechanical device” and making long-lasting revolver loads. The multi-station loading stand was built of salvaged parts from my house, a lawnmower and a broken tool handle. It has spindles for loading cylinders for the Walker, Colt .44 revolvers and the Remington 1858. Using the stand provides precision loading as more nearly equal pressure may be provided to each load and protects the gun’s ramrod from being bent while attempting to load hard-cast bullets. I have several YouTubes up about building and using this stand. Perhaps the most informative is: http://youtu.be/7glRlQCOnSY. Although previously used by others, I also incorporated hard beeswax bullet lube over-ball wads, loading in a very sparsely lubricated chamber, alcohol-cleaned nipples and a hand-cut Styrofoam wad between the bullet and powder to make loads that would retain their power for months, so long as the gun was in dry storage.
Knight’s Rolling Block was among the last of Tony Knight’s designs. It used the frame and drop-down trigger assembly of the Knight Revolution, but employed the two-component hammer-breechblock mechanism made famous by the Remington Rolling Block rifles of the late 1800s. The components on the Knight rifle were not nearly so robust as on the old black-powder cartridge guns because the pressures are contained by the muzzleloader’s breech plug. The gun had previously gone on hunts in South Carolina, on my land here in Georgia and on Ossabaw and Cumberland islands; but I had never had a shot with it. Walking back on one of my farm roads I took an off-hand shot at a doe at 100 yards. It was near dark, but I could still see the fiber-optic sights. The deer was double-lunged by a 295-grain PowerBelt bullet powered by two 50-grain pellets of Triple7even. The nice balance of the gun and its reasonable barrel weight made it possible to make this shot. You can see a video of this hunt at:http://youtu.be/a7n4-PFa_dI.
Remington’s Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader was received the day before Georgia’s deer season ended, and it was hurriedly made ready to hunt. I found that the iron sights would only work for 400 grain loads used with a 150-grain Barnes solid-copper bullet. Unfortunately, I did not have a shot at a deer before the season closed. In sighting in the gun, I found that I loved the gun, but I hated the hard-recoiling full-power load. In future work I will download it with a patched round ball for turkey hunting in late March. I have a large sniper-style scope ordered and after adding a pound of shot in the magazine well, I will work it up for deer hunting during the 12015-16 season, if Remington will let me hang onto the gun that long. Most likely I will stick to 150-grain loads for my Georgia deer and hog killing. Several other writers also said that they routinely hunt with less than full-power loads and reserve the shoulder-busting loads for use at longer ranges. A video may be seen of me shooting the gun at: http://youtu.be/pMgiRTcGSMA.
Unusual designs of muzzleloading handguns, such as the Duck Foot Pistol continued to hold the interest for many shooting enthusiasts, with my work and hunt with this gun drawing a large number of views. The climatic event was when I successfully hunted carpenter bees and took four with five shots. This video may be seen at: http://youtu.be/PUyKDNZIjRQ. The new Pietta Army Yank .36-caliber pepperbox is another such pistol, and this gun was received as I was working up my final segments of my annual Gun Digest article. I had time to do some preliminary shooting with it using single, double and triple round-ball loads and 20 grains of FFFg black powder. With its one-piece chambers-cylinder-barrel it functioned well in clearing the cylinder of its contents, and first shootings went surprisingly well in placing hits on a man-sized target at 10 yards. My now-preferred shot for carpenter bees, hand-panned magnetite sand, patterned very loosely, and effective bee shooting with this pistol will likely be limited to ranges of a few feet. More work will be done with this gun to investigate its self-defense and hunting capabilities. A video of me shooting the pepperbox is at: http://youtu.be/cbXVk2hK24.
Intermittent progress was made with the .75-caliber Brunswick Rifle that I am building from salvaged parts, new parts from The Rifle Shoppe and use of two young gunsmith’s services. Both of the gunsmiths let me down with my loosing a year’s work on the gun while they largely sat on the project. Ultimately, I got the gun back from the first one and using the new components largely finished it up myself and sent it to the second gunsmith for completion. After some months I received it back with the desired work only partly done. I will now complete the remaining work myself, as I have a drill press in the house now and can do some precision drilling that was not previously available to me. A look at the Brunswick rifle after I have restocked it and fitted a brass patch box from Atlanta Cutlery Co. may be had by viewing: http://youtu.be/FZa1Khzf-Po which is one of 25 videos I have on cleaning, building and shooting my Brunswick rifles and Brunswick 14-gauge smoothbore.
Knives and Edged Tools
Two significant pieces of power equipment, a 6-inch bench grinder and the drill press mentioned above have now enabled me to do more work with knives and other tools. Among the things done was putting new handles on a mall and bush hook, repairing an expensive broken double-ended paddle, and building a “memory knife” for friend Bill Krantz. This knife was made from a very nice Chinese-made Damascus steel blade that had been packaged in a Wood River knife kit sold through Wood Crafters stores. I used a rough plank from a piece of maple butcher block that his late father had cut and custom fit a knife handle from that material using the grinder and drill along with a belt sander borrowed from Bill. A view of the final stages of this process may be seen at: http://youtu.be/7NhmpCLoHCI which is one of three related videos documenting the entire knife-making process.
My radio broadcasts often included how-to business topics. In 2014 these culminated with my starting on a new-concept business book, Profit, that will examine the concept that, “There is nothing in human experience that cannot be turned into profit by an inventive mind.” This book is now in preparation with its first spin-off title being “Ideas for New Businesses” that will be published in March, 2015. This is a short-form interactive Amazon E-book that will also be available in softcover. It contains links to my 20 YouTube videos on various aspects of starting-up a business that begin with selecting a name to how you dispose of it when you are ready to retire. The most recent overview of the project is “Profit Video 2” which may be seen at: http://youtu.be/DUQJU56vxjU.
In addition to covering broad business concepts, I am also working on developing some new businesses. concepts. One of these is a national business for cleaning cemetery plots. As a professional geologist and also a person with multiple plots to maintain, I see an opportunity for individuals to develop local businesses all over the country offering to do cleaning and restoration. I am now working on developing some tools and techniques for a course to be taught in community colleges and confinement institutions to certify technicians in this field. This is demonstrated in another of my videos showing the use of a cemetery gravel soil screen at: http://youtu.be/Uxy9YMULMPY.
If you wish more than an annual look at my activities go to my Hovey Hunts blog at http://www.hoveysmith.wordpress.com. I post than one when I have something significant to say on these and other topics.
This was the most recently posted video when the 1,000,000 viewer threshold was passed.
While it is possible for a cat or celeb video to bring in 1,000,000 views overnight, outdoor content videos do not do nearly so well because they are intended for a relatively small part of the U.S. market. Active hunters are only about 7 % of the U.S. population, although this number is differently reported by various organizations. Working this market segment, it has taken about 1.5 years for my 299 videos to reach the 1,000,000 view threshold. The comparison between the videos and blogs reinforce that the U.S outdoor market is becoming more visually oriented, particularly so far as Social Media is concerned. Although there are about the same number of entries, this blog has had about 500,000 views over about 2 years – roughly half of the YouTube views and it took a longer time to achieve them.
For the younger segment of the population, YouTube videos are becoming a favored search engine. Not only do the searchers want the information, they want to see it and have it told to them, rather than having to read it. Blogs do have a considerable advantage in that text passages may be printed out, material can be covered more completely in a blog and it is logical to link blog, video, book and radio together. This approach allows the user to get the author’s information in visual, print or audio form in whatever depth he desires.
In comparing blogs and video outreach, YouTubes have the advantage if generally costing little or nothing to produce or maintain, may be replaced at any time, have no recurrent costs, are available for an indefinitely long period and return a small amount of money as ad revenue. My blog, although one of the highest rated WordPress Blogs, has not attracted the 500 views a day which is the apparent threshold value to garner advertising revenue from Google-placed ads. Obviously, I need to expand my presence in this area by producing more blog entries. Even with Google ad revenue derived from both sources, it is obvious that this income of some few thousands of dollars a year will not be sufficient to support a writer.
For those in the outdoor market, blogging and video production are best viewed as methods of advertising a paying product or service. YouTube videos have allowed me to place my book ads in front of 1,000,000 people at little costs, cost me nothing to maintain and they will continue to be seen and bring in ad revenue for decades. This is the case of, “Write, or produce, it once and get paid for it often.” While this approach of being simultaneously active in the print, radio and video/TV markets is not suitable for most writers or sustainable for any writer for very long (including me). However, using the YouTube video component along with one or two other outdoor activities is an effective and low-cost way of attracting potential paying consumers.
On March 11, 2014, I will be presenting a free all-day seminar on Becoming an Outdoor Communicator at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center which is located near Mansfield, Georgia. During this event I will outline the outdoor communication possibilities in the print, audio, video/TV and personal appearances markets with some practical information about potential income possibilities. Topics will include newspaper writing, book writing, E-book publication, radio production, photography, video production and stand-up outdoor comedy as income-producing possibilities. There will be a pre-seminar E-mailing of the course outline. To receive it request a copy at: email@example.com.
The following is from a presentation given at the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s annual conference which in 2013 was held at Lake Placid, New York. In this presentation I describe how my nearly two years of Podcast radio failed to attract sponsors and what I learned from this effort. Most significantly for those thinking about PodCasting Outdoor Radio, I outline a dozen types of programs that would be effective as stand-alone programs and provide examples from my PodCasting experience.
OWAA, Lake Placid
Sept. 16, 2013
Stay on Message for Getting and Keeping Sponsors
Wm. Hovey Smith
Host/Producer Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures
The Backyard Sportsman
Who is this guy?
Wild game cook
Stand up comedian
TV short feature personality
What is the common thread that connects all of these activities?
How is this manifest?
Wants to try the new, outlandish, and unexpected whether it offers economic reward or not.
Bored to distraction with repetitive activities, following the same formula, writing or producing the same types of stories over and over again. Yet this is what the marketplace wants and rewards.
Potential sponsors want
A. Some reasonable connection of their product or service with your activities
B. Repeated exposure, hopefully on a lot of programs in addition to ad buys
C. Dependable same-format programming
D. Simple deals
E. Commonly personal contacts and interchange with the host over a period of years before will spring for any serious money. Hate working with ad agents.
F. Audience numbers
G. Demonstrable results
What I offered
A. A variety of programs
B. Featured different classes of products or activities on almost every show
C. Irregular formatting
D. Only had occasional interviews with outdoor personalities
E. Gag ads that might be sometimes difficult to distinguish from real one
F. Inconsistent persona
G. Non-uniform voice
H. Variable recording quality
I. World-wide exposure
J. Supplemented with high-quality blogs
K. Supplemented by YouTube videos
L. Audience peaked at nearly 20,000 downloads a week
M. One-man broadcast effort
N. Network ad agency support
O. Network program placement
P. Two broadcast networks and iTunes availability
In brief, any potential sponsor did not know what to expect from one show to the next and was dealing with network ad people that they did not know and apparently did not want to be bothered with.
Usual show format
Show text to half hour
Amount of personal outlay for radio production over two networks for nearly two years
Amount of income derived from ad revenue
Amount of income derived from book & product sales.
Indirect income/support resulting from radio show
Outstanding personal debts resulting from broadcasting efforts
From an economic point of view the PodCast radio programs “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” and “The Backyard Sportsman” were absolute failures.
A. Got to go on some interesting hunts and do some interesting things that otherwise would not have been possible
B. Did receive extended public exposure on the radio
C. Video production resulted in TV offers
D. Helping to solidify personal relations with sponsors resulting in ad placement in books
E. Interesting life experiences out of the house moving and doing
What benefit is this to YOU?
My experiences in producing inventive radio programs are best used as a sampler to help potential host/producers decide what kind of radio that they wish to do or what new things that they might add to existing formats.
I produced at least 12 different types of shows, each of which could be a format for your own radio program. Rather than change-up every week, pick a particular type of program and stick to it. All of my programs are still available on WebTalkRadio.net and Apple iTunes. The best way to get to them is to go to my www.hoveysoutdooradventures.wordpress.com blog, read the outline of the shows and use the link to go to my WebTalkRadio.net show page and bring then up using the archived shows tab.
Trade show/convention programs. These shows which might run two consecutive one-hour episodes consisted of coverage of the annual Shot and Blade shows in Las Vegas and Atlanta and such a show-based program might also include the annual conventions of the NRA, NWTF, QDMA and many other outdoor organizations which could fill out a full year of weekly programs. This would be particularly valuable to potential sponsors if supplemented with blogs and videos.
These are technically very difficult shows to record, video, write up and produce – especially as a one-man production.
Examples of such coverage are Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures shows on Nov. 11, 2010; Feb. 23, 2011; June 15, 2011; June 21, 2011; Aug. 11, 2011; Oct. 3, 2011; Jan. 25, 2012; Feb. 13, 2012; Apr. 22, 2012; Apr. 30, 2012; June 14, 2012; Aug. 19, 2012; and Feb. 2, 2013.
Hunting stories are usually thought of as the exclusive territory of visual media, but these also work as radio programs. Shows were of my hunts or with/about others describing their hunts. I featured variety with hunts using muzzleloading guns, pistols, rifles, bows and crossbows. These hunts were also worked in other shows and the hunts given as an examples.
Some of these shows were on: Nov. 30, 2010; Dec.10, 2010, Jan. 4, 2011; Jan. 11, 2011; Feb. 1, 2011, Feb. 8, 2011; Feb. 15, 2011; Mar. 8, 2011; April 4, 2011; July 18, 2011; Sept. 5, 2011; Nov. 1, 2011; Dec. 5, 2011; Jan. 9, 2012; Jan. 23, 2012; March 5, 2012; April 2, 2012; July 16, 2012; Sept. 17, 2012; Oct. 2, 2012; Dec. 21, 2012; Jan. 7, 2013; and Feb. 4, 2013.
Memorable shows were “Blunderbuss Swan Hunt on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Feb. 4, 2013;” “Muzzleloading Hunts on Georgia’s Ossabaw and CumberlandIslands, Jan. 7, 2013;” “Larry Weishuhn Hunts Africa and Asia, Sept. 17, 2012; “Hunting Spring Hogs and Turkeys, April 2, 2012 and “The Naked Truth about Snipe Hunting, March 5, 2012.
Radio drama. On of my plays, “A Visit from Auntie Thresa Claus,” was used as part of my annual Christmas Show. In addition I did some more extemporaneous productions with turkey hunting stories that were supplemented with thunder and lightning and in connection with a business show.
The most recent broadcast of “A Visit from Auntie Thresa Claus” was on Dec. 17, 2012. “Turkey Hunting Stories” was aired on April 11, 2012; and “The Backyard Business Conclave at the Road Kill Café, Podunkville, U.S.A.” was heard on May 30, 2011 and followed up on a more conventional treatment of small business start-ups the previous year.
Featured destinations. Long the breadbasket for the travel writer/broadcaster, my venture in destination broadcasting took unusual twists with shows like “Sandersville, Georgia: My Home Town, May 23, 2010” which resulted in a CD tracing the town’s and my family’s history from the 1700s to the present. This was sponsored by a local bank and is sold each year at Christmas as an inexpensive gift to out-of-towners. This is a project that any of us “of a certain age” can do.
Another show was “Hunting Elephants and Rhinos in Eastern Tennessee, Nov. 5 2012” which featured Miocene fossils that were being dug from an ancient sinkhole at the Gray Fossil Site near Johnson City, Tennessee.
Hunt destinations. These shows differed from Type 4 in that these shows were over-the-top outrageous promotions for the local community and/or county. This was as if the Chamber of Commerce had “gone wild” and were promoting their area as the best of all possible places on God’s green earth.
Featured communities were Steward County, Nebraska, on March 15, 2011; Sandersville, Georgia on April 15, 2011; Richmond Hill, Georgia on May 15, 2011; Coastal Louisiana on June 6, 2011; Monks Corner, S.C. on Nov.21, 2011; Helen and Nacoochee, Georgia, May 21, 2012; Ashland City, Tennessee Oct. 1, 2012; and Dawson, Georgia, Oct. 15, 2012
Interviews with outdoor personalities. Often I would do brief interviews with people at trade shows, but occasionally would do pre-arranged call-in one-hour shows. Most commonly we had spoken previously and were able to have a friendly conversational chat about the subject topic.
These included Dennis Dunn, the author of “Barebow” on Nov. 30, 2010; Bill and Kath Troubridge on Jan. 11, 2011; Bill Booth on Feb. 1, 2011 and July 16, 2012; and Larry Weishuhn on July 18, 2011 and Sept. 17, 2012.
Informational. A since of mortality hits you when you have dodged death a half-dozen times, and you often realize that the only thing of value that you have is what you can give to others. In earlier broadcast over the VoiceAmericaSports network, I tried instructive and informational programs along the lines of my book Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound. These were supplemented by a 20-YouTube-video series on “How to start your own backyard business.” Although well intentioned, these efforts utterly failed to gain traction with my audience who were apparently very reluctant to risk being infected by knowledge.
A more effective approach was to provide information in an entertaining format and by example. Examples of such shows are: Hunting Gun Talk on Feb. 22, 2011; and Hunt Travel: Car, Plane, Boat and Train, March 22, 2011.
Personal Experience. Modern radio listeners want to know about the person who is delivering the information and take solace in the fact that other people are going through some of the same trials with the economy, health issues and human relations that they are. Reality Television is one manifestation of this, Reality Radio is another approach that I tried on a couple of episodes.
Some examples are The Lady and the Spear: Spear Hunting, Man-Woman Relations, Feb. 8, 2011; Engines of Change, May 2, 2011; A’Fixing to Get Ready to Go Deer Hunting: Holistic Health, Oct. 3, 2011; and Hacking Through Life July 30, 2012.
Wounded Warrior Hunt I only did one such show where Stg. Billy Deen, a Iraq War vet, and his son Hunter came to hunt with me at Whitehall. On this hunt 15-year-old Hunter Deen took his first deer while sitting in the deer stand beside his dad. Although his dad could have shot the deer with the muzzleloader, it was more significant to him that his son take his first animal.
A challenge on this show was that Hunter was reluctant to speak on the radio, but through a much-exaggerated Q-A interview technique I did get a sufficient response to capture the event immediately after 5-point buck was downed. This show was one of the most personally satisfying that I did. It was broadcast on Nov. 7, 2011.
Environmental Restoration. As a Professional Geologist, the devastation caused by Katrina, Rita and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill on the GulfCoast had a great impact on me. I delivered a presentation at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Council’s in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2011. I proposed a new TVA-style of organization be established in Louisiana to oversee the long-term restoration of the Louisiana Delta by implementing pre-approved plans for GulfCoast restoration in the midst of a crisis.
In 2013, I testified before the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council in Spanish Fort, Alabama, and reemphasized the need for long-term efforts to help overcome centuries of environmental degradation.
This original radio broadcast “200-Year Plan for Restoring Louisiana’s Mississippi Delta” was aired on Sept. 5, 2011. These efforts have yet to have a perceptible impact on national policy.
Business Shows One regular segment of my VoiceAmericaSports broadcast was one on Starting Your Own Backyard Business. I had produced 21 YouTube videos on this topic, but this subject material differed so much in tone and content compared to my “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” format on WebTalkRadio.net that I used a few shows to end this series and even gave an early-morning telephone seminar on the subject.
These efforts got absolutely no traction for me. There were many others who were/are in the business development field with much more advanced and slick presentations than I was able to present. This subject material needs to be presented as a business promotion show with emphasis on outdoor-related businesses.
These shows were broadcast as segments in November and December, 2010 and an outline of the entire series was published on my www.hoveysoutdooradventures.wordpress.net blog on Dec. 10, 2010.
Company Visits. I have always liked doing shows based around company visits. These are also popular with listeners/viewers who are curious about how their products are made. As I traveled around the country I would often stop at distillers and wineries and use these facilities to provide some “local color” to my programs as well as interesting interviews with well-practiced tour guides.
I had known members of the Buck family for decades, and when they moved their factory to Post Falls, Idaho, this was an ideal time to do a show. A bear hunt was also arranged so that I would have a chance to demonstrate a new line of light weight made-in-America knives.
Both the visit and the hunt were successful. I incorporated the visit as part of the annual Blade Shot in Atlanta which was broadcast on July 4, 2011, the bear hunt was aired the previous year on VoiceAmericaSports and a follow-up turkey hunt was featured on the Dec. 10, 2010 show, “Buddy Hunting In Idaho’s Muzzleloading Season.”
Other possible subjects for radio shows.
1. Hunts with one unusual gun or tool nation or world-wide.
2. Outdoor related music
3. Story telling
4. Wild game cooking show
5. Go to the dogs
Now that I am not doing radio what am I doing?
1. Over 300 YouTube videos on the Hovey Smith YouTube Channel
2. New 8-book E-book Muzzleloading Short Shots Series available on Amazon.com, as a Nook Book and from all other major E-book outlets.
Book 1. Muzzleloaders for Hunters ($4.99, Published)
Book 2. Buying Used Muzzleloaders ($4.99, Published)
Book 3. Shooting and Maintaining Your Muzzleloader ($5.99, Published)
Book 4. Hunting with Muzzleloading Shotguns and Smoothbore Muskets ($4.99, Published)
Book 5. Hunting Small and Big Game with Muzzleloading Pistols ($4.99, August, 2013)
Book 6. Hunting with Muzzleloading Revolvers ($4.99, December, 2013)
Book 7. Muzzleloaders for Self Defense ($4.99, October, 2013)
Book 8. Building or Restoring Your Own Muzzleloader ($4.99, November, 2013)
3. Short form TV (Segments on “Welcome to Our North” which began broadcast in July, 2013)
4. Speaking and comedy gigs (Contact me at www.hoveysmith.com)
5. Outdoor business consulting (Contact me at www.hoveysmith.com)
Final piece of advice
Decide what type of show you are going to do. Do two pilots. Get your sponsors. Then do your shows!
This show may be heard following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If it is not the current show, it is still available as an archived show and on iTunes. This will be the final episode of Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures, which ran from Nov. 2010 to Feb. 2013.
New, innovative, useful and desirable products were introduced to hunters at the annual Shot Show, which was held in Las Vegas amid the guilt, glimmer and polished marble of the Sands Convention Center and associated Italianate casinos-resorts. Sales, activities and attendance were all increased over 2012 as buyers crowded the floors to order stock for their stores and E-commerce outlets. The fastest growing part of the show were the sections having tactical gear for military and police use which also attracted a large number of civilian buyers. Of most interest to me were new knives, crossbows, muzzleloading guns (for my annual review in the Gun Digest), accessories and clothing for hunters. During the show I did 24 interviews, of which 23 are included in this 1 1/2-hour episode of “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures.” In addition, I also filmed 12 YouTube videos, and links to these are incorporated in this post along with still photos of many of the items that I discussed.
A special event is the Media Day At the Range which occurs on Monday before the convention opens on Tuesday. This year it was held at the Boulder Pistol and Rifle Range west of Las Vegas under brutally cold conditions with a whipping wind that was picked up on several of my audio recordings. Besides guns, Case had an exhibit of its outdoor knives and Streamlight displayed its line of tactical and emergency-use flashlights. Video and audio records were captured from both of these venders as well as radio interviews with Cabela’s about their new/old pre-64 Model 70 Winchester rifles, Rock Island Armory’s 1911 45 Autos that are now available in a 9mm./22-centerfire combo pack, Crimson Trace’s new green laser sights for small handguns (and almost anything else) and holographic sights from EOtech (including a new crossbow sight).
Some things at the Shot Show push the technology to the point where they are perhaps more “strange” that useful. Chiappa presented a new three-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with the single barrel on top of two side-by-side 12 gauge barrels beneath. There were long guns intended for hunters as well as a pistol-grip version called the “Home Defender.” The barrels are fired by a single trigger and are non-selective, but interchangeable chokes allow either a tighter-choked or looser-choked barrel to be fired first, depending on the user’s preference. These Turkish-made “triples” were reasonable-looking guns and might well sell in countries were semi-automatic shotguns are prohibited or on shoots where only break-open guns are allowed. A second gun in this category are Siamese twin 1911 frame autos that discharge two rounds from separate guns joined in a side-by-side configuration. These pistols were shown by Arsenal Firearms of Bresca, Italy. A unique feature of the guns is that one half could shoot a .45 ACP and the other a .40 S&W, should anyone have need of this, or other, such configurations. These guns present wonderful advances in firearm innovation, but most shooters would have doubts about their general utility. Of the two, I am more taken with the three-barreled 12-gauge as a potential waterfowling gun. For more on Chiappa’s innovative guns, revolvers and muzzleloaders go to: www.chiappafirearms.com.
To see more about these guns go to www.arsenalfirearms.com.
W.R. Case & Sons.
I am more interested in utilitarian knives than their collector’s or decorative aspects. Case Cutlery put new carbon-fiber grips on their single-bladed Sodbuster and other folding knives to produce lightweight, slim profile knives. New this year is a “Back Pocket Knife” which has a leather lanyard with a fob to aid in pulling the knife from the back pocket of a pair of tight-fitting jeans. A twin bladed folding “Hunter” has also been given the carbon-fiber grips. I am impressed with these as practical blades designed for hard use. For a look at all of their knives go to the Case website at www.wrcase.com. The knives I talk about on the program may be seen on one of my Range Day videos at: http://youtu.be/ECtB0JZLhl8.
Buck Knives. Each year there is a push from Buck Knives (and most other knife companies) to introduce some new things at the Shot Show. The obvious reason is that new things not only draw the attention of media guys like me, but provide an excuse for the knife enthusiast to purchase yet another knife while the ten, twenty or several hundred he already owns are all perfectly functional. Featured on this year’s show are the fixed-bladed Reaper camp-survival knife (lower right) and the Ergo Family Traditions Pro game processing knife with a separate skinning hook (same on the PakLite series). New hunting-related folding knives are the several sizes of the Omni Hunter (two knives on left) which is offered with camo or easier to find orange-camo patterns. Buck commonly updates their website at: www.buckknives.com.
Puma Knives. This German knife company has been importing products into the U.S. since the close of World War II. They offer German-made steels in their products and like many companies, Puma has a huge catalogue of historic knives to draw upon. Each year they bring out a few new/old pattern and either refit them with new handle materials and/or offer them with their traditional stag handles. Most generally Puma knife users prefer stag grips, but newer materials are being introduced each year. This year I had a chance to interview Bob Carpenter’s daughter, Annie, who was having her first experience at selling German knives to American buyers. She said that there was considerable interest in the company’s new assisted opening folding tactial knives. For a look at their entire line go to: www.pumaknifecompanyusa.com.
Three traditional Puma knife patterns in hunting knives. The three shown are the Hunter’s’Friend, Hunter’s Campanion and the Trail Guide.
Queen Steel and Schatt & Morgan. These two knife brands have had a presence in the American market for over a century. Until recently Queen Steel stuck with producing traditional patterns from thousands of past styles, but are now also offering tactical knives that use modern materials with use-proven lock-back designs. The Schatt & Morgan knives are premium products featuring traditional designs with stag and other handle materials.
Streamlight. Flashlights of all sizes for all uses provide the thrust of Streamlight’s production. Many of these flashlights are either waterproof or water-resistant making them excellent choices for waterfowl, and other, hunters. Many styles are offered include some that will mount on guns or crossbows, rechargeable flashlights, non-sparking flashlights and safety-pigment coated lights for industrial and emergency uses. All of their flashlights are featured on their website at: www.streamlight.com. A video of the lights that I feature on the show is at: http://youtu.be/sAOir1eWt9Y.
MOJO Decoys. Moving decoys have always been MOJO’s principal products. These started with duck decoys with rotating wings and have now progressed to swimming floating decoys, predator decoys, dove decoys and a line of useful hunting accessories, such as a magnetic pole for cleaning up shotgun shells from around the duck blind or shooting stand. A look at all of their product may be seen at: www.mojo.com. A video of this interview may be seen at: http://youtu.be/KMHpGhb_nBw.
TenPoint ( Ten-Point 10-Point ) Has taken two approaches with their lines of Crossbows. The Wicked Ridge crossbows are designed to put advanced crossbow technology in a usable medium-powered crossbow that the average shooter can afford (in the $400 range) that is assembled in the U.S. and backed by what is likely the best service department in the industry. They have always pushed the envelope in new technology and hunter aids such as built-in cockers and monopods. Their top-of-the-line crossbow for this year continues their advances in the Stealth series with a shorter, slimmer, faster and lighter crossbow called the SS that shaves 4-inches off the overall length of the crossbow. For a look at their extensive line of crossbows at all price points and catch up on their latest accessories go to: www.tenpointcrossbows.com.
Excalibur Crossbows. Bill Troubridge and I had a good visit at the Excalibur booth, and he had the chance to introduce me to his new Matrix crossbow that has shorter limbs and a shorter barrel, but produces more power in a lighter, shorter package than any previous recurve crossbow. This is pushing the envelope in recurve crossbows to the extent that for the first time Excalibur has put an anti-dry-fire mechanism on their bows to prevent anyone from damaging the limbs by inadvertently shooting their crossbow without an arrow. For more information on his complete line of crossbows go to: www.excaliburcrossbow.com. You can also see a video of Bill describing his new crossbow at: http://youtu.be/frMSSJ2FQqk.
Barnett Crossbows David Barnett and I had a hell of a time getting things together at the Shot Show, which was a shame because he had three very innovative crossbows to add to the Barnett line. The one that you can purchase now is the Vengeance reverse-draw crossbow, which was introduced at the Shot Show last year (at least to me) and is now on dealer’s shelves. Coming up, is an entry-level priced crossbow to be called the Recruit which is the sharp-looking crossbow shown in the picture. This one will be introduced in mid-2013. Some time away, possibly years, is an all-carbon crossbow. The prototype version has an all-carbon stock and barrel with compartmets to hold a hunting-skinning knife, another clam-shell hollow in the hand-grip and a unique new method of containing the arrows. In addition, the crossbow has a folding under-arm hook (like the old Commander) to help balance the bow and allow it to be supported by one arm. You can go to www.barnettcrossbows.com to take a look at their current catalogue. I had considerable video problems with the crowd walking in front of my camera and the strongly back-lit set, but did manage produce something that was watchable. The sound did not do nearly as well, as this was the one sound recording out of 20 that I lost to the electro-gremlins. I cut some still photos and clean voice segments into the video and used the camera’s sound to capture most of the information from the interview. You can see this video at: http://youtu.be/PWaX4Oz75I0.
EOTech This company makes world-class holographic sights that can be fit on anything from crossbows to naval guns, but they have a new sight specifically adapted to crossbows that was introduced at the Shot Show. It is shown here on a Ten-Point crossbow, but any crossbow with a similar rail could use it. This type of sight has the advantage that everything is projected on the same plane which is excellent for those of us whose eyes no longer allow us to accommodate much distance between sights, or are near-sighted. Information on all of their product line can be found on their website at: www.L-3com.com/eotech.
Just for Fun
Joey Rocketshoes Dillon Fast and fancy revolver work was performed by Joey Dillon at the Cimarron Arms booth to enjoyment of everyone who saw him. He started working on his act with cap pistols at about age 6, and has been doing work with his pistols ever since. He also has a longer stage show, picks up gigs around the Western states and sometimes works in Hollywood and advises movie producers. If you need something en enliven what might be an otherwise dull event, a little pistol work might be just the thing. Joey has a website at: www.joeydillon.com, and you can see some of his work on a video at: http://youtu.be/_NZG9jeZmB0.
CVA (BPI Outdoors). Except for the entry-priced striker-fired Buckhorn muzzleloader, CVA now sells only drop-barrel muzzleloading and cartridge guns in different styles and price ranges. New for 2013 is their Optima V2 which has a new trigger-opening assembly that provides an easier trigger pull and more efficient opening mechanism. This improvement as been carried through with the pistol version of the Optima V2. A cartridge-gun look-alike is called the Scout which is sold with non-interchangable barrels for six rifle calibers. A real sleeper is the Scout Pistol chambered for the .243 Winchester, .357 Magnum, .44 Remington Magnum and the 300 BLK. The Wolf has also undergone an upgrade and for the first time is now available in stainless steel as well as with the releaved muzzles and quick-detachable breech plug found on all of CVA’s drop-barrel muzzleloading guns. Because single-shot cartridge guns of .38 and larger calibers are now allowed during Mississippi’s and Louisiana’s muzzleloading seasons, Dudley McGarity said that sales of their premium-grade Apex rifles with interchangable muzzleloading and cartridge barrels rifles have been brisk in calibers like the .35 Remington, .35 Whelen and .45-70. A new centerfire rifle based on the Wolf action is called the Hunter. This entry-level-priced gun is sold in .243 Winchester, 7mm-08, .35 Remington, .35 Whelen and .44 Remington Magnum. To look at their growing line of modern single-shot guns and others of BPI’s productgs go to: www.bpioutdoors.com.
Davide Pedersoli Although there are other Italian makers of muzzleloading guns, Davide Pedersoli stands a cut above because of its variety of offerings of exacting replicas of historic muzzleloading and early cartridge firearms. To answer the demand for historically accurate American-used muzzleloaders from the period of the Civil War, the company introduced a replica Mississippi rifle (Harpers Ferry Model of 1841) in both .54 and .58 calibers. This was always an interesting looking gun because it was the last U.S. military muzzleloading rifle with a brass patchbox. For those interesting in trying one of these for hunting, the smaller .54-caliber would be the better selection for North American game because of its slightly flatter trajectory. The particular rifle that was copied has a date stamp on the lock of 1847 and burned-in inspector’s marks on the stock. The Italian proof marks are hidden under the barrel. To view the company’s extensive line of products go to: www.davidepedersoli.com
Dixie Gun Works Dixie Gun works did not have any new guns out for 2013, but I had an excellent conversation with Hunter Kirkland about the blunderbuss, and he mentioned that he currently had two or three original blunderbusses for sale. One of these was originally built as a percussion blunderbuss, which was unusual in that the majority of the guns were flintlocks. As it turns out I have been shooting and hunting with a .54-caliber percussion blunderbuss that is made by Traditions, but sold exclusively as a kit from Sportsman’s Guide. With this gun I have taken squirrels and most recently swan, although I cannot say that I recommend it for that purpose. It, because of a lost ball and screw, failed to bag any big game this year, although the gun will shoot 4-inch groups at 25 yards with a charge that is heavy enough to kill deer-sized game. The closest it came to killing deer is that we found a freshly killed deer on a friend’s property during deer season. Dixie Guns Works’ catalogue has an enormous amount of information about old guns, parts and accessories that every black-powder shooter should own. To check this out and their extensive line of muzzleloading and 19th Century cartridge gun replicas (and parts) visit their website at: www.dixiegunworks.com. Now that it has been exposed to a nice buck, I hope that the gun will be inspired to do better next year. I have several video up about me and the blunderbuss, and the swan hunt may be viewed at: http://youtu.be/yjzcVOWZ6Ds.
Blunderbuss downed this swan, but it took me running the animal down with the Mossberg pump to kill it.
Knight Rifles. Knight is now well settled into its new home in Athens, Tennessee, taken a look at the entire line of former Knight products and apparently decided to concentrate on improving Tony Knight’s bolt-action designs. This year’s rifle is a Kevlar-stocked new Ultra-Lite 6-pound rifle that is featured as the lead photo in this post. This gun is guarenteed to shoot 4-inch groups at 200 yards and General Manager Sam Brocato said that he had shot many smaller groups. Knight’s landmark TK-2000 muzzleloading 12-gauge turkey gun is also still in production along with the company’s entry level Bighorn/Littlehorn striker-fired guns. One gun that I proposed to Knight years ago was to be called the “International.” This would be a bolt-action muzzleloader in .50-caliber with ignition systems that could be fired by no. 11, musket caps or 209 primers so that a shooter anywhere in the world could find some components to make it work. The reason for this is that you may not fly with percussion caps. This would require a gun with two different styles of bolts and breech plugs for all three ignition systems. While Knight does not currently offer this as a package rifle, you can assemble an “International” for yourself from bolts and components from Knight’s catalogue. For a look at Knights entire line go to: www.knightrifles.com. .
Thompson/Center Arms. T/C has been trying to catch up with demand for its new Dimension rifle with interchangable barrels (last year), the Venture bolt-action rifle (two-years ago) and drop-barrel muzzleloaders on three different platforms. The result is that they took “a breather” this year and introduced no new products at the Shot Show, although some minor upgrades were made to their Encore, G2 Contender, Triumph and Impact lines. All but the Impact are drop-barreled muzzleloading rifles with the Encore and G2 styles also offered as cartridge-shooting pistols. The Encore was once made as the .209X.50 muzzleloading pistol, but these guns/barrels are no longer available, although the .460 S&W is now offered as an Encore pistol caliber. Even though few hunt with muzzleloading single-shot pistols, the CVA Optima V2 and Traditions Vortek are taking the bulk of this market by providing less espensive pistols with similar performance. For a look at T/C products go to. www.tcarms.com.
Traditions. Traditions has retained their line of side-hammer muzzleloading guns for those who want to “shoot muzzleloaders that look like muzzleloaders.” Nonetheless, the bulk of sales has been moving towards simplified drop-barrel designs, and the company has introduced its new Vortek Strikefire which uses a thumb-actuated cocking mechanism to make a hammerless muzzleloader. This design allows the user to de-cock the gun by pushing a button on top of the cocking slide or by opening the gun. As would be the case with a normal safety, the gun is only cocked immediately before taking a shot. Also new this year is a line of Pietta single-action Colt-pattern Peacemaker revolvers chambered in .22 LR, .357 Magnum , .44 Magnum and .45 LC. Their Frontier series are traditionally-finished guns with plated or blued steel and color case-hardened frames, and the Rawhide guns are matt finished with a lower retail price. Although the market for such guns is comparatively small, I would like to see the .44 Magnum offered in a flat-topped frame and 10-inch barrel for us hunters. Should this gun ever appear, snap it up, because Traditions will quickly remove something from its line if it is not a good seller. For a look at their guns and extensive line of accessory products go to: www.traditionsfirearms.com.
Rock Island Armory (Armscor) & Iver Johnson These companies offered two different takes on conversion units for Colt 1911 platform guns. Rock Island introduced a new .22-caliber cartridge what is made from necked-down 9mm brass (slightly longer than the 9mm Parabellum) and chambered for Colt 1911-platform guns. By changing out barrels and springs, the new centerfire 22 offers a good small-game hunting round for 1911 guns and can also be converted to the full-bore 9mm. Iver Johnson’s take on this is to provide slide-spring-barrel assemblies that can be put on any 1911 gun (now including their own 1911 .45s) that will allow the .45 to bang along quite happily as either a .22 LR or 9mm. I am a long-time 1911 shooter, and I was impressed with the fit and finish of both companies’ guns. For some years I owned a Colt .22 conversion unit with a floating chamber. This would cycle the pistol, but was a bear to keep clean with the low-velocity .22 target rounds that it shot. The Rock Island approach with its 9mm/.22 does require obtaining an uncommon cartridge, but this generates higher velocity with more effective 40-gr. bullets than the external-lubricated .22 rimfires. The new .22 centerfire is much more pleasant to shoot that the .22 Jet, a necked down .357 revolver cartridge, although it does beg for a longer barrel to develop its full potential. Notwithstanding, it provides some new, and interesting, options for the 1911. To see these compnies’ products go to: www.rockislandarmory.com, www.armscor.com, and www.iverjohnsonarms.com.
Chrimson Trace. These laser sights have been adapted to every shooting platform, but are most useful on short-barreled pistols where they allow much more precision than is attainable with the gun’s primitive fixed sights. I enjoyed shooting a variety of pistols with these sights and they function particularly well on small frame revolvers where the sights are incorporated into the gun’s grips. Price reductions and production efficiencies have allowed the price on these pistol sights to be reduced to about the $100 range for common revolvers. Some sights have mounting rail fittings so they can be frame-mounted on many semi-auto rifles and pistols. New for 2013 is a green laser sight which is more difficult for a potential adversary to see. To look at these laser sights go to: www.chrimsontrace.com.
Hodgdon (GOEX). Hodgdon, who now owns GEOX, introduced one new black powder and a new smokeless powder. The black powder, Old Eynesford, is a super-grade black powder for use in muzzleloading guns and black-powder cartridges that will produce higher velocities than the same granulations of of GOEX. According to Chris Hodgdon, many users will see an extra 50 ft./sec. increase in their rifle loads with this new powder. It is made in the same Louisiana plant as the other GOEX powders. About two years ago there was an explosion at this plant, but it is now back up to full production. Such events caused DuPont to exit the market over a decade ago, and that is when the GOEX brand was introduced. The new smokeless powder is a ball powder called CFE 223. The name indicates that it is a “copper fouling erasier” and is specifically designed to produce nearly full-case loads in calibers like the .223 and .308 Winchester. Besides eleminating copper fouling, this powder offers improved velocity and better accuracy, according to Hodgdon. More information may be found about these powders at: www.hodgdon.com. I did a video with Chris which may be seen at: http://youtu.be/AQwR_mK04Ug.
Parmatech (ATW Companies). Fabricating firearms from steel parts has progressed from pounding them out on an anvil and hand-filing them to shape, to pressure forging, to stamping, to lost-wax casting to another wax-using technology that employs powdered metal alloys and polymers. The MIM (Metal Injection Molding) technology uses a mix of powdered metal, wax and a polymer binder that is injected into a mold. This process allows parts with very complex shapes to be formed from steel that will take high pressures and resist abrasion. As molded, these parts are about 20 percent larger than the size of the finished product and relatively delicate. A combination of solvent extraction and precision heating removes the wax and polymer binder with the result is that the parts are produced to the desired size and strength. This technology is now used in all aspects of manufactured metal parts. although Parmatech concentrates on parts for the firearms and medical industries. Because of the very high cost of the raw components and making the molds, this technique is best imployed for objects that are to be made in runs of the several thousands at the time that cannot be produced efficienty by any other means, according to company spokesman Tom Chagnon. For more information on this interesting manufacturing technique go to: www.parmatech.com.
Prois. Hunting apparal for nearly all occasions is available from Prois who is now in its 6th year of making some truly innovative hunting clothes for women. These are not just chest-expanded copies of men’s patterns, but have a number of innovative features which indicate that this line is designed by women who actually hunt. Look for this company to expand their offerings in coming years to more nearly meet women’s needs for clothes that will let them enjoy their days in the field instead of suffering through them in ill-fitting garments. Have no doubt about it. These clothes will hunt. To see more of them go to: www.proishunting.com.
Lucky Bums. I wish that I had the opportunity to talk to company Co-founder Jeff Streeter about how to pick a company name. Lucky Bumbs is not a manufacturor of gaiming equipment for sale to the Las Vegas clubs, but makes an excellent line of hunting clothes and accessories designed for junior hunters. In their line are small-size chairs, binoculars, packs, wet-weather gear and camo-clothes for ages 3-about 12, depending on the size of the youngster. Offerings include appropriately sized gloves and hats as well as the only turkey vest made for young hunters. In the South it is not unusual for us to start taking our kids into the woods at about age 3 and for them to have killed a number of deer and/or hogs by age 7. All such hunting is done under direct parental supervision with state laws frequently requiring that the child be within arm’s reach. Lucky Buns’ gear permits the youngsters to stay longer in the field and increase their chances for success. To see their products go to: www.LuckyBums.com.
Irish Setter (Red Wing) Boots and shoes sold under the Irish Setter – Red Wing brands include a variety of fabrics, leathers and composites for almost any purpose. Like most hunters, I do all-season hunting under a variety of conditions which might find me in the coastal marshes one week and the mountains the next. Most recently I have been wearing a boot similar to the third from the left with 400 grams of insulation. This keeps my feet comfortable from about 40 degrees down to about 10 degrees while allowing good flexibility for climbing and an agressive sole for getting good purchase on rocks and roots. Although it has been dry in Georgia this season, I still find need for calf-height rubber boots in river swamps and while waterfowl hunting. To look at many more Irish Setter hunting boots go to: www.irishsetterboots.com.
Manzella I did not know of this glove-making company until this year, but they now have a fan. I was very impressed with their offerings of some 35 styles or hunting gloves. Four were discussed on the radio show, and the firm also makes hundreds of other styles. What struck me as particularly significant is that the company uses many different fabrics and materials for their gloves and selects those that are appropriate for a particular glove. Not only that, but they also pay attention to design, even to the point of putting a slit into the wrist of their bow-hunting glove to occomidate bow hunters who use trigger-release aids. If there is a better maker of gloves for hunters anywhere in the world, I have not found them.
For more about Manzella’s gloves go to: www.manzella.com.
Winchester Ammunition. I did not have a chance to talk about everything interesting that I saw at the Shot Show, but a few other things stood out. I am not a varmint hunter, but seriously need to get after my coyotes. Winchester’s new .17 Rimfire, particularly when shot from a Winchester Low Wall, caught my attention as a low-noise practical cartridge that would out-range the .22 Rimfire Magnum and fit in well with calibers like the .22 Hornet for short range predator hunting.
Bear and Son Cutlery A round nosed bone handled small skinning knife by the Alabama firm of Bear Cuttlery drew my attention as being a very practical tool for skinning deer-sized game and opening an occasional oyster. When skinning points need to be very obtuse indeed and most of the time no point is needed, such as with the Eskimo ulu. I thought that this was a neat little knife and a useful innovation for hunters who want to save their big-game hides. For information on their extensive line of knives, including many with Damascus blades, go to: www.bearandsoncutlery.com.
Dynamic Finishes This is the company that sells the materials used to put a not-stick coating on the interior of Knight rifles. This same material can put a slick interior finish on the inside of any muzzleloading gun. The barrel is coated with the finishing compound by using a patch and then the gun is loaded and fired as usual. With a single shot the finish is baked into the poors of the metal producing a super-slick barrel to which the fouling ring left by pelletized powders will not form. For more information on this exciting product go to www.dynamicfinishes.com.
H&M Metal Processing Putting a nitride finish on a gun can provide a high polish, regular or matt finish on any gun part that will improve its wear and corrosion resistant properties and hide the polished reflections of a brightly-finished gun. I sent a bright-polished stainless steel “Buffalo Revolver” that was made by Pietta and sold through Cabela’s for treatment. The gun must be completely disassembled before shipment and the springs removed. The last step is necessary because the heat-impregnation process can destroy the temper of the springs. I received my matt-finished gun back, reassembled it and with loads of Hodgdon’s TripleSeven powder and round ball took two hogs with the gun with single shots. This hunt was aided considerably by the fact that the gun has both a 10-inch barrel and adjustable sights allowing it to develop some 400 ft./lbs. of energy. The resulting clean-up of the gun was much quicker because of the less-stick qualities of the new metal-treatment process. For information on how to have your own gun treated go to H&M’s website at: www.blacknitride.com. A video of my Cumberland Island, Georgia, hunt with this pistol and blunderbuss may be seen at: http://youtu.be/tG17grGxmyI.
This show may be heard following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If it is not the current show, it is still available as an archived show and on iTunes.
Coastal North Carolina and the Outer Banks become a lonely, beautiful and almost magical place in mid-Winter after the 100s of thousands of Summer visitors are gone and the waterfowl hunters and surf fishermen have the place to themselves. Rooms are abundant and inexpensive, there are sufficient eateries open to supply any needs and some years concentrations of waterfowl can be very good indeed. Every year about 30,000 tundra swan winter in this area, and a quota harvest of these birds is allowed which affords the opportunity for a hunter to take one of these trophy fowl. Unlike geese and ducks which may not get this far South during a warm Winter, the swan arrive on schedule with good populations building to a climax in late December and early January.
I have hunted swan numerous times with muzzleloading guns from public blinds on Lake Mattamuskeet and Bodie Island, with guides on private lands and freelance hunted in Palmico Sound and the Outer Banks. Nowadays, I go my myself when I am fortunate enough to draw a permit. Each year I use a different muzzleloader. I have been successful with single and double-barreled replica shotguns as well as an original 1842 British .75-caliber (11-gauge) musket. These have all been more-or-less 12-gauge guns. This year I noticed a blunderbuss kit offered by Sportsman’s Guide and put it together.
Blunderbusses are strange guns with a funnel-shaped muzzle and sometimes had tapered bores. The replica gun, which is made by Traditions, has a short .54-caliber cylinder-bored barrel that works out to be about 26 gauge. Using 70-grains of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven powder, I was able to load 1-ounce of shot and get reasonable patterns at 20-25 yards. Although swan are huge birds, the way to kill them is to shoot for that nearly yard-long head and neck. At very short range, I felt that I could reasonably make a kill with a 1-ounce of no. 4 steel shot with a layer of HeviShot no. 4s on top. I had only three days to hunt. I had not submitted an application for a blind on Bodie Island, but would try for the stand-by drawing for the blind that was most likely to yield a successful result. There was no problem getting this blind each of the three days because very few hunters participated in the drawings for week-day hunts. With three full days to hunt, I felt that I had a reasonable chance of getting a swan in range.
Morning hunts for the first two days only produced two swan landing in the pond that were too far away to shoot. On the afternoon of the second day, I did an interview at Sanctuary Vineyards and with the company Wine Maker sampled some of their excellent wines. A video of this interview may be seen at: http://youtu.be/73r0DgDXV70.
The last day of the hunt arrived. I decided that I would hunt all day, but the morning and afternoon passed without seeing anything. I took equipment to stay the day. Out with me went a Marsh Seat, my homemade cushion, Zuse Barge (aka Rocket Sled to float my equipment across the lake), the blunderbuss and a Mossberg Model 300 3-inch pump with its newly applied coating of Mossy Oak Graphic’s waterfowl design along with a shooting bag with my muzzleloading components, calls, shotgun shells, lunch, water etc.
My half-dozen snow geese were in the pond in front of me, but the low breezes had them sitting on a mirror-like surface most of the day. At 45-minutes before the end of shooting time, the swan started to fly. Groups came from all points of the compass, including a large group of about 30 from the sea. All were too high for blunderbuss, except for one that was low enough, but I did not see it until it was going away and only offered a shot at its butt – not a shot that I would take.
At 5:00 PM I could see one line of 6-7 birds approaching. I crouched down and decided to attempt these if they were close enough. They came in good killing range for a 12-gauge gun, but beyond my self-imposed 25-yard limit for the blunderbuss. I shot anyway and broke the bird’s wing, bringing it down. I picked up the Mossberg and fired three shots on the water attempting to finish it off. Some shots apparently hit, but the bird was still swimming away. Grabbing more shells, I chased it across the pond and ultimately bagged the bird.
This show may be heard following its broadcast date by clicking on the following link: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/. If it is not the current show, it is still available as an archived show and on iTunes.
2012’s adventures started with a bang with swan hunts on the year’s first two shows and ending with a reading of my original play “A Visit from Auntie Thresa Claus” on the Annual Christmas show. Twenty-three original shows were produced with two 1 1/2-hour shows and one 2-hour show.
Events covered included the Shot Show, Atlanta Blade Show, NRA’s National Convention and Quality Deer Management Association’s Annual Meeting. Communities featured in the occasional “Hunting Small Town America” series were Dawson, Helen and St. Marys, in Georgia as well as North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Ashland City, Tennessee. Successful hunts included swan, wild hogs, turkeys and deer featuring muzzleloading shotguns, blunderbuss, pistols and crossbow along with bowfishing Tennessee’s Cumberland River.
Limited finances in a down economy restricted 2012’s activities largely to the Southeastern States, but nonetheless provided some unusual show opportunities, such as investigating the Gray Fossil Site near Johnson City, Tennessee, where Miocene elephants, rhinos, tapirs, bears and alligators are found as fossil remains at a site that is even more productive than the La Brea Tar Pits in California.
Besides the usual hunting stories, two original stories were aired including a Christmas reading of my play “A visit from Auntie Thresa Claus” and “Watermelon Smith” which is about a slave who wins his freedom after a successful Mississippi River boat race where he de-scales a boiler by throwing a watermelon onto the boiler’s red-hot coals.
Downloads from WebTalkRadio.net steadily increased to about 20,000 a week, with the most popularly downloaded shows being those about the trade shows, handgun hunting and outdoor personalities such as Larry Weishuhn, Bill Booth, Margaret Hice, The Swamp People and The Turtle Man. The most frequently searched for items concerned Hice and the now-discontinued Tree Lounge Tree Stands.
Related activities included publishing softcover and E-book versions of X-Treme Muzzleloading: Fur, fowl and dangerous game with muzzleloading rifles, pistols and smoothbores, and an updated E-book edition of Practical Bowfishing. Over 100 YouTube videos were published during the year which received 300,000 views. Many of these videos were related to subjects covered in “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures Radio Show Blog,” which had 19,000 views and my “Backyard Deer Hunting Blog” which had 100,000 views last year. A 20-video series on “Starting your own outdoor business” is included among among the current 180 videos on the wmhoveysmith Channel.
Kickstarter Projects that were attempted and failed during 2012 included funding for the production of my play A Visit from Auntie Thresa Claus (read on my annual Christmas shows) and funding to permit an upgrade of this radio show. Sponsorships continued to be elusive during 2012, and this lack of support threatens the survival of the program. Although there has been a lot of activity, this has not generated sufficient income to sustain the show.
The first show of 2013 also got off to a shooting start with two successful hunts on Georgia’s Ossabaw and Cumberland islands for deer and hogs with muzzleloading pistols, including CVA’s Optima .50-caliber single shot, Cabela’s stainless steel 1858 Remington-pattern Buffalo Revolver with a 12-inch barrel and adjustable sights and Traditions’ 1858 Remington Sheriff’s Model with a 5 1/2-inch barrel which performs duties as a back-up muzzleloading handgun to kill a small wounded deer at 50-yards. A link to my Cumberland Island hunt YouTube video appears below:
YouTube video on hunting Georgia’s Cumberland Island http://youtu.be/bp6rQ-VGg-M
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals