I am an avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman so I am always looking for that next great product that gives me an edge when I’m out in the field, woods, or stream. I always have a backpack whether I’m in a tree or creek and have always fumbled with taking the backpack off so I can reach my gear. Given that the Front Pack is built to co-exist with any backpack, I don’t have to worry about leaving things behind. Instead I can now put my most used items in front for easy access! This also works well with weight distribution. By balancing out my gear from front to back I no longer have to worry about a sore back or shoulders.
As a hunter it is great to have a pack that is camouflage but it is even better when the pack does not use Velcro as primary way to seal up. Velcro is impossible to make quiet and when trying to be stealthy it is not something I want to deal with. What it does have are high quality zippers, tons of storage space, comfortable shoulder harness, and a water resistant shell!
Most of our time spent in the woods is 30 ft up a tree. Our set up is for filming so there are normally 2 stands in one tree. The Front Pack saves space eliminating the need for another bulky backpack. Easy access to my grunt calls, deer lure, binos, water bottle, and of course, our favorite, little Debbie Star Crunches for a mid day snack.
Since we film all of our hunts it’s a great tool for my camera guy as well. It keeps batteries dry and close, allowing the warmth of your body to prevent the cold from draining them while not in use. Extra Lens’ and lens cloths are at your fingertips with little movement to ensure the hard work you’re putting in is crystal clear!
Overall this is an amazing pack by itself or with your favorite backpack. Either way, you will be more prepared with RIBZ!
The newest line of Bad Ass, Fully Functional, and Uniquely Versatile bow accessories on the market are now being offered to you by X TAG (Extreme Tactical Archery Gear.) X TAG offers a variety of tactical gear including bi-pods, cameras, handgrips, and lasers which all mount to their hardcore stabilizers. Each stabilizer is equipped with four Polymer Picatinny Rails allowing you to mount any tactical rail mounted accessory to your bow of choice.
We recently had the opportunity to test out X TAG’s ”Black Ops Edition TS3-HD Taculizer”. The 4 inch Harmonic Stabilizer weighs 8 ounces, is made out of 6061 Aluminum and has four harmonic Dampers. If you purchase this product and you find that 8 ounces is more than you need, simply remove the 3 ounce Harmonic Stabilizer and replace it with the included aluminum bushing. This is a great feature considering you will more than likely be adding one or more of the many accessories available for this product.
After getting over the WOW effect when I first opened the package I couldn’t wait to get the Taculizer on my bow. Not only does it look awesome, it completely balanced my bow out. Let’s face it, a lot of things look cool but the true test came when I began shooting with it. Along with stabilizing my bow which allowed me to shoot straighter; it eliminated most of the vibration after the release as well. I was a little out of practice at the time but with each shot I found myself shooting tighter groups and experiencing less and less vibration.
Now for a little fun! The Polymer Picatinny Rail System can be found on any tactical weapon you may come across. The purpose of these rails is to quickly and easily attach accessories that you may need in the field. Are you a hog or frog hunter? Quickly attach any rail mounted light to one of the four rails on the Taculizer. Tired of laying your bow down in a blind? The bi-pod is a great addition to keep your expensive equipment out of the dirt. X TAG offers a “REEL SEAT” which allows you to attach your bow fishing reel right to the stabilizer. Other options such as tactical cameras to catch that kill on film, hand grips to easily carry your bow, and laser sights to eliminate the guess work on your shots; are all available through the makers at X TAG!
A lot of time, effort and quality went into the design of these stabilizers. We believe you’ll agree that this is the accessory that your bow is missing!
The Journey of Life
My hunting season had a positive outlook in the beginning, a Montana elk and deer tag were in my pack, I had trail camera pictures of some really nice bucks in South Dakota. It was looking to be another great hunting season. The year before I had a hunting season to remember, I had shot an elk, an antelope, and a 201 inch whitetail. I thought I was on top of my game so this year would be no different, with a positive outlook and hard work one can create some of their own luck. Then without warning my hunting year started to unravel like a deer shot in the guts, the deer was going to die, but the tracking job was going to be tough.
Sometimes you have to wonder what God’s plans for you are, the unraveling started in August with my mother being diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She did not know how bad it was, and if it was bad, she had been contemplating if she would have chemo or not. Thank God it was not all over her body, she started chemo and hopefully that will send the cancer into remission. I decided then, that I could always go to Montana but I only had one mother, so I would try to spend a little more time hunting near their home. My Mom is great and would want me to hunt, but the time out of the stand I could spend talking to her. My October and November had a plan. I did hunt in Montana on a shorter four day hunt with little success.
Then in October a good thing happened to me I was offered a full time position at Triggers Pro Shop. I had been working part-time at Triggers since the doors had opened, it is a hunting store that caters to archery and rifle hunters with a little fishing thrown in. A place where I get to talk about hunting almost all the time. This was a one of the bright lights that had come this season; I accepted the position and started work in mid October. Then without warning once again, I was shot in the guts again, my wife told me she was divorcing me. I admit it was not all her I am to blame for the break up also, I am not a perfect person but that was a tough thing to handle. I try to be very positive with my outlook on life but it felt like I was being wounded at every turn.
I am not going to go in depth about my situation, but I was depressed and had felt why me lord. Then after a few weeks reality came to roost at my doorstep, I was alone. What did I do to deserve this God, were the questions that kept racing through my mind. Then I decided to search for the answers, I made an appointment with a counselor, and at work, Pastor Kelly Lovelace walked in he is a fellow hunter and I trusted him, so he began to help me with my spiritual questions. I will have to admit, I cried on a lot of shoulders and thanks go out to all my friends and family who listened and cared, thanks a ton. I have always believed that we as hunters go on more spiritual adventures because if we are climbing into a treestand or hiking up a mountain we are getting closer to God. Sitting in the wilds of wherever we are we can contemplate the path to take and ask for help in pointing us in the direction that will help us be happy and maybe better people. Questioning now the path that I would take, I talked to the counselor and Pastor Lovelace they both said sometimes healing begins when you help other people. Then like a sign from God I had a customer walk in that told me his daughter Ashley had broken up with her boyfriend and had double doe tags. As we talked I found out that it was in a county near my parents, and I had access to actually a lot of hunting land. I told him that I would facebook her and show her who I was, and he could assure her I was no stalker. At the end of the day her dad had called Ashley and we set up the hunt. After listening to Bobby Bowden in the video series Getting Coached, I realized that this was my calling, I am good at hunting and this is how I can give back.
The day before the hunt I went back to scout and hunt myself. Getting to my parents about an hour before daylight, I had breakfast with them then went hunting getting a nice buck within an hour of getting there. This gave me hope for the weekend. I took care of my buck then went scouting because I wanted Ashley to have a great time with opportunities to shoot a doe. Seeing where the deer were I started formulating my plan for the morning hunt.
Ashley arrived late in the evening she had forgotten her tags and realized it about fifty miles down the road and turned around and went back and got them. Since she got there so late we packed her things into the house, I showed her the room she would be staying in, discussed when we would get up, then went to our rooms and got some needed rest.
Waking up with the central South Dakota wind blowing, I knew it was going to be a frigid morning, but the deer should be active longer. With the colder weather expectations and anticipation were running high. We had breakfast as the vehicle was warming up which also gave me opportunity to get to know Ashley a little better. I had only really talked on the phone with her a short time, so with breakfast in our bellies, winter clothes on and her rifle in hand we were off to my first destination. As I drove into the place I wanted to park, I spotted some does by a dam, plus some deer farther out in the corn stubble. At least we were seeing the deer I had scouted and now it was time to sneak in and get a shot.
Using the combined corn stubble and the roll of the land as cover, we carefully stumbled through the frozen stubble. The deer that had been at the dam had moved out of range by the time we had gotten to it, but there were other deer that we could try to get into range on. Ashley and I looked over the situation and once again started to make our stalk on the other deer. Hunched over then crawling through the stubble we got ourselves into position the deer were walking towards us, excitement was building as a 135 inch buck was closing the distance. This was the first time I had a buck almost bust a hunt but the doe finally presented a shot. Ashley settled her scope on the doe and fired missing the doe cleanly, but the deer did not really react to the shot and actually moved to a better position for a shot. With the doe standing broadside presenting a great shot, Ashley showing great poise and not being rattled by the miss aimed at the doe and fired putting the doe down where it stood. I told her great shot and was proud of her, others might have panicked from the miss but Ashley was like a rock, focused on the task at hand. After pictures and congratulating her some more we loaded up the deer.
With one doe down we started searching for another one. As we drove from hunting spot to hunting spot we talked about hunting, growing up in the country and life in general. Talking to Ashley, I realized what I had been told, giving back would help and it was. Then we glassed a buck, we hoped that there would be some does around, so once again we were stumbling and sneaking through the cornfield the stalks almost felt like they were grabbing at our feet. Closing the distance I was getting confident that Ashley would have her second doe, but to our right a buck busted us. Although he did not spook off very far, so Ashley and I walked back to my Xterra and moved to a new location. Once again we were after some deer this group of deer had more bucks then does but we were sure we could get a shot at one of the doe’s. Crawling through the field we finally got a good setup on a doe. With seven bucks around Ashley had to be patient for the deer to move for a good shot. With her rifle on the shooting sticks and a doe in front of her she shot, the shot was a little far back. The deer scattered but we could see her doe. Trailing, the doe it would not give us a good shot until it laid down by a rock pile. Then sneaking around to where the deer was bedded, we saw the doe and Ashley quickly and calmly put the doe down for the count. Once again I told her I was proud of her and she had made a quick decision and a great shot.
The next day I boned out Ashley’s does, and then Ashley started home. Boning out my deer I was thinking to myself how this had started the healing process and how giving is sometimes better than receiving. I thank God and Ashley for giving me this opportunity to heal my soul. There is something about being in the outdoors that helps the mind and soul but being able to also achieve goals of shooting two does and creating new friendships was the start of my spiritual journey.
If you like to spot and stalk deer or run and gun gobblers, or just sit in your truck and shoot video of your big buck from a distance; this is the ticket to get your footage. The assortment of mounts will connect to just about anything from a branch to a truck window. Saves you from carrying and setting up a tripod to get steady video. With it’s lightweight yet tough nylon construction, this compact unit will withstand the abuse you know you’ll put it through. My only problem with the stedi-stock is it being just abit to short which makes it hard for me to be rock steady when filming. If the stock was a bit longer, it would be 4 star product. Although I cant give it 4 I’m addicted to this product and give it a solid 3 1/2!. Nathan “Reaper” Barrett
This kit is all you need for locating that big bird. Each call has great sound and volume to reach out there. The woodpecker was somewhat hard for me to get onto and get the right sound, but once onto to it, it was amazing! The crow call works great for locating gobblers as well as calling crows in the off season. The owl hoot works so well i called in an owl this past spring, that was a first for me. Awesome accessory for your gobbler season!
Nathan “Reaper” Barrett
There’s nothing more frustrating than a gobbler that doesn’t want to give up his hideout. Make him! The crow and owl hoot are great early morning shock calls and are made easy to use in this pack. The new pileated woodpecker call was always within reach this season. It absolutely drove the birds into gobbling mode. Thank you Knight and Hale.
Scott “ShedFreak” Lawrence