The Danger of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca Sativa)

Wild parsnip particularly the (Pastinaca Sativa) can have horrendous effects on the skin of an individual who happens to come into contact with it.  Many people who are affected by this plant believe that they have been exposed to poison ivy.  

One major difference between poison ivy and wild parsnip is that poison ivy can affect the body anywhere there is exposure to its oils, but the wild parsnip requires sunlight to be present in order to have an affect.  This is not to say that wild parsnip can't cause a rash or burn on your skin if it is cloudy outside.  Just as you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day, you can also have a serious reaction to wild parsnip on these days.  The burns from wild parsnips can leave you with a discoloration of skin for anywhere from a couple of months up to a couple of years.  

Another difference between the two is that while poison ivy will leave you itching for up to a week or more, the wild parsnip will cause a severe burn that doesn't last nearly as long.  The burning from exposure to wild parsnip will begin within 24 hours whereas the itching rash from poison ivy may take up to two days to begin.  

For more information and photos of the wild parsnip, check out the USDA Website.  By studying photos and video of wild parsnip you can make sure to avoid it while on your adventures in the great outdoors! 

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Minnesota's Afton State Park

The Afton State Park in Minnesota consists of 1620 Acres of woodlands and bluffs that drop as much as 300 feet offering some amazing views of the St. Croix River Valley and attracts over 190,000 visitors each year.  There are many activities to participate in including bicycling, camping, cross country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and swimming.

  • Bicycling - There are four miles of paved bicycle trails.
  • Camping - There are a total of 28 campsites for backpackers, one canoe camping site, four camper cabins and two yurts.  
    1. Camper Cabins - The Big Bluestem and the Burr Oak Camper Cabins each sleep six people and the wheelchair accessible Bluebird and White Pine Camper Cabins are each big enough for 5 people.
    2. Yurts - The two yurts each sleep 7.  One (the Coyote Yurt) is wheelchair accessible and offers a covered outdoor cooking area.
  • Cross-country Skiing - Eighteen miles of trails throughout the Afton State Park offer the opportunity for cross-country skiing during the winter months.
  • Fishing - The St. Croix River offers excellent fishing and boating opportunities.  Boat access to the river is available within ten miles of the park.
  • Hiking - The 20 miles of hiking trails throughout the Afton State Park offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to take in spectacular views all along the way. 
  • Horseback Riding - There are five miles of trails for those who enjoy bringing their horses along.
  • Swimming - The Afton State Park features a swim beach for those who enjoy getting their exercise in the water.

There are two virtual tours available so you an get a peek inside the park before visiting.  These tours are the Panoramic Tour and the Snapshot tour.

Anyone looking for a place to visit in Minnesota should certainly look into the Afton State Park.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Michigan's Algonac State Park

The Algonac State Park in Michigan features about 1500 acres of land along with a half-mile frontage along the St. Clair River.  Some of this parks attractions include lake plain parries as well as oak savannas.  

The Algonac State Park offers many activities for its visitors including:
  • Camping
  1. Algonac River Front - Modern - 220 campsites - off season camping is available
  2. Algonac Wagon Wheel - Modern - 76 campsites
  3. Algonac Group Use Area - 1 group use area
  • Fishing - The shoreline along the Algonac River provides excellent opportunities for walleye fishing.  The Marine City and the Algonac North Channel Boating Access areas are located nearby.
  • Hiking - Trails include:
  1. The Algonac Blazing Star is one half mile in length
  2. The Algonac Oak Savanna Trail is two and a half miles in length
  3. The Bridge To Bay Trail is one mile in length
  • Hunting - During the fall and winter months the Algonac State Park is open to both big and small game hunting.
  • Metal Detecting - The State of Michigan allows metal detecting in designated areas in some State Parks.  There are maps available showing where these areas are.  Any items found must be checked by park staff before you will be allowed to leave with them.
  • Nature Observation - There are ample opportunities for nature watching in the Algonac State Park.
  • Skiing - There are trails available for cross-country skiing use.
Whether you are interested in watching nature, fishing, hiking, hunting or skiing, the Algonac State Park in Michigan is worth checking out.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Review - Revisited

Any links to merchants in this post are affiliate links.  If you click on a link and purchase a product mentioned in this post I may earn a commission.  This will not add to the price you pay for that product.

I have been using my ThermaCell for nearly a year now.  I take it with me whenever I'm going to be in the outdoors during the prime-time bug biting hours.  The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent is absolutely amazing!  This device does exactly what it says it will do (it keeps the bugs and mosquitoes at bay).

ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent
Repel mosquitoes, black flies, no-see-ums, and sand flies while out enjoying the 
outdoors with the ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent system. Powered by a 
butane cartridge (included), this convenient unit heats a small mat containing the

The Earth Scent refill packs are great for hunting as they can help to cover up human odors giving you an added layer of scent protection.
ThermaCELL Scent Mosquito Repellent Refill Kit
ThermaCELL Scent Mosquito 
Repellent Refill Kit
A great choice for hunters, the ThermaCELL Earth Scent 
Mosquito Repellent Refill Kit helps your ThermaCell Unit 
provide hours of protection from mosquitoes AND cover 
your scent while on the hunt. This kit produces the same 
zone (up to a 15 foot radius)

The clip on holster gives you a hands-free method for carrying your Thermacell unit without interfering with your ability to hunt or fish.
Clip On Holster for ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Unit Clip On Holster for ThermaCELL Mosquito 
Repellent Unit
The ThermaCELL Clip On Holster makes it even easier to keep 
the wonderful mosquito repelling power of the ThermaCell 
Mosquito Repellent Unit with you. Great for tree stands, ground 
blinds, docks, boats, and any other place

The ThermaCell is now available in a lantern form which enables you to sit it on the dock, hang it near your tree stand or even inside your hunting blind.  It could also be placed inside your tent while camping or on a picnic table while eating.  The possibilities are nearly endless! 
ThermaCELL Bristol Mosquito Repellent Backyard LED Lantern ThermaCELL Bristol Mosquito Repellent 
Backyard LED Lantern
With the ThermaCELL Bristol Mosquito Repellent Mini Lantern, mosquitoes will 
no longer ruin your outdoor living spaces. This compact model offers full-size 
protection against mosquitoes, black flies, and a variety of other flying insects.

In my opinion, there is not a better method of keeping the bugs and mosquitoes at bay while spending time outdoors doing what you love!  Get a ThermaCell unit and find out how you can avoid the need for spray-on insect repellents while fishing, hunting, hiking, camping or just enjoying your time with mother nature.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Fishing Journal Entry 12 At James A. Reed CA Missouri

Saturday June 25th 2016

I had a blast today fishing with my daughter, son and dad.  We spent about three hours fishing and caught upwards of 40 fish between the four of us.  For bait we used mainly minnows.

Crappie Fishing, Lake Fishing, James A Reed
A beautiful day for fishing!
The temperature was about 92 degrees with the barometric pressure at 30.00 and holding steady (for the most part).  The pressure actually fell to 29.90 and then rose back to 30.00.  The sun was shining with a few clouds in the sky. 

Children Fishing, Small Crappie, Crappie Fishing
Emilee's first fish of the day
The four of us had a lot of fun during this little outing.

Perch, Sunfish, Tiny Fish
Cody's first fish of the day
Cody loved catching the little bluegill.

Crappie Fishing, Lake Fishing, Small Crappie
Dad's first fish of the day
Dad was in need of some R&R and I hoped he would find it while we were out fishing for a while.

Crappie, Small Crappie, Lake Fishing
Another fish for Emilee
Even with her broken hand Emilee finds a way to catch fish!

Small Bluegill, Lake Fishing, Perch
Cody's 2nd fish of the day
Cody's found his favorite way to fish....Without a fishing pole.

Crappie Fishing, Lake Fishing, Crappie
Dads 2nd fish of the day
Dad keeps reeling in the small fish, but he is having a blast!

Tiny Crappie, Crappie Fishing, Lake Fishing
My 1st fish of the day
I could barely hold this little thing by its mouth.

Crappie, Lake Fishing, Small Crappie
Dads 3rd fish of the day
After losing a rather large fish, dad reels in another one for the tiny record books.

Channel Cat, Catfishing, Catfish
The big fish of the day
Using shrimp for bait, I finally had a bite from a respectable fish and managed to land it!

Catfish, Bass and Catfish, Lake Fishing
We managed to bring home two keepers today
Overall it was an excellent day filled with a lot of fun!  The weather was really nice, although it would have felt much hotter if it wasn't for the sustained 16 mile per hour winds blowing out of the south.  The dock we were fishing on was also covered which helped us out with its shade.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Cedar Bluff State Park Kansas

The Cedar Bluff State Park in Kansas offers two areas for camping.  One is on the north side of the Cedar Bluff Reservoir, with the second area situated on the south shore. Both areas offer campsites and water access for boating, fishing and other recreational activities.

The area located to the north is the Bluffton Area which offers almost 350 acres of recreational space for its visitors.  The Bluffton Overland Boat Ramp allows water access for boating in this area.  The Bluffton Area contains 96 campsites with utilities, two shower houses, two community shelters, dump stations and five rental cabins as well as several primitive campsites and picnic areas. The Bluffton Area also offers access to fishing for those without access to a boat as most of its shoreline is  able to be utilized.  There is also a handicapped accessible covered fishing dock.

The southern area is known as the Page Creek Area and has close to 500 acres.  With one designated primitive camping area and many undesignated primitive camping sites, this area offers more opportunities for those who want to be a little closer to nature; however, there are a total of 36 campsites with utilities, a community shelter, two dump stations, two shower houses and two vault toilets.  The boat ramp offering access to the water on the south side of the Cedar Bluff Reservoir is the Page Creek Mulley Boat Ramp.  

If you are among those of us who love boating, jet skiing and fishing this is a Kansas State Park you will want to check out.  You just might find a new favorite place to get away from it all!

Check out the KDWPT website for more information on the Cedar Bluff State Park.  

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Iowa's Yellow River State Forest

The state of Iowa offers many state parks with numerous outdoor activities.  Among these is the Yellow River State Forest.  Located in Harper's Ferry Iowa this state forest offers the outdoor enthusiast many opportunities for adventure.  Among these are camping, fishing, hiking horseback riding, hunting and mountain biking.  There are also numerous boating, canoeing and fishing access areas located on the Yellow River and the Upper Iowa River nearby.
  • Camping - There are a total of 140 campsites spread throughout four different camping areas including 34 which are designated for equestrian use.
  • Fishing - The Yellow River State Forest is home to seven miles of trout fishing fun for both beginning and experienced trout anglers.
  • Hiking - There are a total of 45 miles of trails ranging from easy to moderate.  
  • Horseback Riding - Among the 45 miles of trails are numerous multipurpose trails available for equestrian use.
  • Hunting - There is a total of 8,900 acres of public hunting land available for use in the Yellow River State Forest.  Game that may be pursued includes deer, turkey, rabbits, squirrel, waterfowl and upland game birds.  With this much room to roam you should easily be able to find a spot where you won't be bothered by nor bother other hunters.
  • Mountain Biking - Mixed throughout the 45 miles of trails are many trails for those who enjoy mountain biking with beautiful scenery.
For those not wanting to fish for trout, there are many places within ten miles of the Yellow River State Forest which allow public fishing on the Mississippi River.

For more information on the Yellow River State Forest check out the website.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Tippecanoe River State Park Indiana

On of Indiana's State Park Gems is the Tippecanoe River State Park.  This 2,785 acre playground provides many outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy all types of activities.  Based on the name Tippecanoe, you can probably guess that one of the many activities available to experience is float trips.

The activities that are available in the Tippecanoe River State Park include:
  • Boating - Private boats are able to be launched in the Tippecanoe River.
  • Camping - There are 112 sites available with electricity, ten primitive camping sites and one group camping site with a maximum occupancy of 120 to 160 depending on the time of year.  Reservations can be made through Indiana's camping reservation website.
  • Canoeing - This is one of the main attractions of the Tippecanoe River State Park.   
  • Fishing - Fishing is permitted with a state fishing license.  Bass and bluegill are among the fish you are likely to catch.
  • Hiking - There are ten designated hiking trails ranging in distance from .8 miles to 3.5 miles in length with 22.6 miles of trails in all.  These are a mixture of trails with ratings varying from easy to moderate.
  • Horseback Riding is permitted on more than 14 miles of  designated trails. There are a total of 56 primitive sites available for those who wish to bring their horses along for the camping trip.
The Tippecanoe River State Park boasts access to seven miles of the Tippecanoe River offering ample room for boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.  Swimming in the Tippecanoe River is not allowed.

For a complete summary of the rules for this park check out the online brochure.

If you like this post you may also enjoy the Illinois Beaver Dam State Park.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Lightning - What To Do When You Are Caught In A Storm

Imagine you are out enjoying a day in the outdoors when seemingly out of nowhere you find yourself in the middle of a wicked lightning storm.  What should you do?

Lightning strikes somewhere on earth every second and 67% of those deaths occur while participating in some type of outdoor activity.  According to 216 people were struck and killed by lightning in the eight year period between 2006 and 2013.  Among these, the top three activities that had lightning strike victims who died were fishing, camping and boating in that order.  As an outdoorsman/woman it is critical that you know how to respond if you should ever be caught in a storm.

When a sudden storm arises while fishing, immediately retreat from the water.  Water is a major conductor of electricity and should be avoided during a storm.  The best case in this situation would be to get to your vehicle if it is close by.  If unable to reach a vehicle, I would retreat to a group of small trees that are surrounded by several much taller trees and try to wait out the storm.  If there are no trees, it is time to retreat to the lowest area around and crouch down to become the lowest "target" in the area.  Never lay down on the ground as this action will maximize your body's contact with the ground.  The idea is to get as low as possible while minimizing ground contact with your body.  Areas to avoid include stand-alone trees, rock ledges and outcrops and places prone to flooding in the event of a flash flood.

If you are camping when a storm shows up, get in your vehicle or go into a campground shelter (avoid getting into your tent).  If you are not in a campground, seek out the safest place in the area.  This could once again be a small group of trees that are surrounded by many taller trees.  Make yourself as small as possible with minimum ground contact.

When you are near a shoreline in your boat when a storm appears make sure that everyone has a life jacket on and get to shore and off of your boat as quickly as possible.  You don't necessarily need to get back to the loading ramp.  Make your way to the nearest cove that will allow you to safely get on shore.

In order to avoid the dangers of lightning, always check the local weather forecast for the area in which you will be and avoid going out when severe weather is expected.  Consider bringing a small along on your adventure so that you can keep up with the local weather conditions.  Storms can pop up without warning.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day 
(Just be sure that you don't put yourself in any unnecessary danger)

Fishing Journal Entry 11 - Chased From The River

Any links to merchants in this post are affiliate links.  If you click on a link and purchase a product mentioned in this post I may earn a commission.  This will not add to the price you pay for that product.

June 20th 2016

After work this afternoon I decided to take my son to the river for a bit of fishing.  Being the first day of summer I figured there was no better way to welcome the season.  I drove down to the parking area  and my son and I began the half mile walk to one of our fishing places.  Upon arriving at the waters edge the day seemed perfect....well almost. Thank goodness I had my ThermaCELL Other than the mosquitos, the scene was picture perfect.

Little Blue River, Missouri River, Mouth of the Little Blue
Inlet To The Missouri River
The temperature was 92 degrees with mostly sunny skies.
Little Blue River, Missouri River, Mouth of the Little Blue River
Mouth of the Inlet to the Missouri
The barometric pressure was 30.20 and slowly falling. 
Missouri River at the Mouth of the Little Blue, Big Muddy, Missouri River Photo
Missouri River
The wind was blowing SSE at eleven miles per hour.

The river was up more than I had expected as it has been rather dry and hot around here for a while now.  I baited each of my lines with a minnow which resulted in one missed gar about 18 inches long.  My son also missed a gar that was similar sized. After fishing for about 15 minutes or so my brother arrived.  Sneaking up on us he decided it would be funny to scare the life out of me by reaching out with the tip of his fishing pole and poking me in the shoulder blade.  Yep....It caught me off guard!  I thought he was going to fall over from laughing so hard.  I have to admit...It was pretty funny.

Missouri River Fishing, Fishing on the Missouri River, Mighty MO
My son enjoying fishing time on the Missouri River

Once the excitement of missing the gar had passed, I decided to bait one line with shrimp which seems to be an off-and-on favorite meal for the catfish in this particular spot.  It worked.  Not long after sending this morsel upstream I was helping my brother out and noticed my line had a lot of slack in it.  I began reeling and by the time I had the slack line back on the spool I noticed that the business end had moved quite a ways downstream.  I pulled the rod up and set the hook on a channel catfish that would make a couple of good filets.

Channel Cat, Missouri River Channel Cat, Missouri River Catfishing
Perfect eating size in my book
After catching this one I managed to reel in a soft-shelled turtle that was about ten inches long.  I should have taken a picture of it but I was too busy removing the hook from its mouth while trying to keep from getting bit.  When my brother and I were much younger I watched as my pet turtle bit into his knuckle and decided right then that was something I could live without experiencing.

I re-baited my hook and the weather began to change in a hurry.  A storm was moving in.  We attempted to wait it out as the wind began to push through, but when the lightning began to flash on the other side of the river it didn't take us long to decide to pack up our gear and head for the trail leading back to our vehicles.
Missouri River Storm, Missouri River, Mighty MO
The storm began to arrive
Storm over the Missouri River, Big Muddy, Mighty MO
The Storm Arrives
Missouri River Storm, Mighty MO, The Big Muddy
Another view of the storm's arrival
Although we found it necessary to head for the hills before we were ready to leave, the time spent with my son and brother was a lot of fun.  We decided we'd rather head out than to take a chance on being struck by a stray bolt of lightning.  There will surely be another day to head back down to the river and pick up where we left off.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day.... Even when mother nature chases you from the river.

Fishing - An Unlikely Catch

While fishing below the Truman Dam on the Osage Arm of Lake of the Ozarks, I had one line in the water specifically for catfish.  I wasn't fishing with any special bait.  I simply placed a medium sized minnow on the line and sent it to the bottom of the lake.

After half-an-hour or so I noticed the familiar sign of a fish on the end of the line as my pole began dancing about.  I knew I had one, but as I began to reel in the line there seemed to be no resistance. "I guess I missed it" I told my wife.  However, as I continued reeling in the empty hook, a fight broke out that would end in the biggest catch of my life so far (I'd love to think there may be more giants like this one at some point).

Paddlefish, Big Spoonbill, Huge Paddlefish
The "first glance" at a big spoonbill
The above picture shows the spoonbill as it first reached the surface and decided to begin swimming away from me.
Spoonbill, Paddlefish, Big Spoonbill
Almost have it landed
Shown above is the point at which I began to regain the control in this battle
Spoonbill, Paddlefish, Giant Spoonbill
"The Big One"
In the picture above I had the spoonbill almost all the way in to the dock.
Spoonbill, Paddlefish, Huge Spoonbill
Right up to the dock
The final picture shows this large spoonbill just before I released it.

The spoonbill was scarred and its "bill" was broken.  It seemed to have had a hard life. I'm sure it had been snagged a time or two in the past and I felt as though I should release it without removing it from the water.  I carefully set the giant free without adding to its timeline of scars leaving it to continue swimming somewhere below the Truman Dam in Lake of the Ozarks waiting for the next person to come along and surprisingly catch the biggest fish of their life.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Fishing Journal Entry 10

June 18th 2006

Today I took the family on a fishing trip to Warsaw, Missouri.  We fished below Truman Lake on the Osage Arm of Lake of the Ozarks.

The weather was a bit on the hot side, but in my book that is perfect fishing weather.  The sky was mostly sunny with a easterly wind of five to ten miles per hour.  The barometric pressure was 30.10 and holding steady.  

Fishing, Lake, Below Truman Dam
A beautiful day at Lake of the Ozarks

We fished with minnows the entire time we were out there and caught enough fish that I lost count of the total.  I did however catch the biggest fish I've ever caught in my life.  

Giant Spoonbill, LOZ Spoonbill, Paddlefish
Huge Spoonbill
The spoonbill pictured above was about four feet long and a very conservative guess on the weight is about 50 - 60 pounds.  It was an old fish and I didn't remove it from the water to release it.  I simply knelt down on the dock and let it go.  I didn't want to injure it as it looked like this thing had lived a rough life.  There were scars on it's body (probably from having been snagged at some point in the past) and it's paddle was broken.  No sense in taking a chance on adding any more wounds.

Little Fish, Perch, Tiny Fish
Cody having a blast
Small Bass, Cody's little bass, Little Bass
A tiny bass
Crappie, Tiny Crappie, Small Crappie
A little crappie
Cody and the rest of the family had a ball catching and releasing fish all day!

Blue Cat, Blue Catfish, Catfish
Blue Catfish
Channel Cat, Small Channel Catfish, Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish
Tiny Channel Catfish, Tiny Channel Cat, Tiny Catfish
Tiny Channel Catfish
Above are some pictures of a few of the catfish we had the privilege of catching on this outing.

Small Crappie, Crappie Fishing, Crappie
One of several crappie
Small Crappie, Crappie Fishing, Crappie
Another Crappie
Tiny Crappie, Small Crappie, Crappie Fishing
A small crappie
Above are a few pictures of some of the crappie we caught throughout the day.

We even had the opportunity to observe some deer while fishing.  Below is a video of them running back into the woods after being spooked by a passing car.

Overall we had a great day of fishing as a family.  This post is a little late being posted as we didn't arrive back home until a bit after midnight.  Needless to say I was a bit too tired to write a post....But it was worth it!

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Easy To Build Target Stand

If you own a gun, chances are you enjoy shooting it as often as you can.  Having a target holder enables you to hang your targets at the desired height and change them out as often as you want.  The following explains how I built a simple and inexpensive target holder that will last for quite some time.  The video shows what the target holder looks like upon completing the build.

For this project you will need:
  • 2 - Treated 4x4x8's
  • 1/2 Sheet of Plywood
  • 2 Bags of concrete mix
  • 8 or 10 screws (the length of screw depends on the thickness of the plywood you choose).
  • A post hole digger or a shovel 

This target holder could also be built with the slats from an old pallet instead of using plywood.  This will bring the cost down even more.  The purpose of using plywood or pallet slats is so that you can change out the actual piece of material that holds the targets when it is worn out.

  1. The first step in this build is to find the desired location for your target holder and dig two holes approximately two feet deep.  I spaced my holes about four feet apart so that the half sheet of plywood would fit right to the outside of each 4x4.  (For pallet slats you may want to reduce the distance between the uprights to 36 or 40 inches.  
  2. Next place one 4x4 in each hole and pour the concrete mixture in around them.  At this point you can use a level to make sure your uprights are straight.  
  3. After the concrete dries it is time to attach the plywood or pallet slats to the upright posts. If you are using plywood, placing a cinder block to rest the plywood on while fastening it to the 4x4's will make this part of the build much easier.
  4. Attach a target to the holder and have some fun!
As I told you in the video, I  build a "shooting berm" behind my target holder to ensure that the bullets wouldn't travel into a danger zone.

I will probably replace the plywood on mine with pallet slats when the time comes to change out the target holder.  This will cost less in the long run since I can get an almost limitless supply of pallets where I work.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

Why Have The Daily Posts Slowed Down?

Hello everyone,

I must apologize to all of my followers and the faithful readers of this blog.  My daily postings here have seemingly came to a halt for a while now and for that I apologize. At times life has a way of throwing obstacles in our paths that can hinder our progress, and these past few weeks have been no exception to that rule in my family.

To start with my daughter broke her hand in three places which required surgery and a total of six screws (two in each of the three broken bones).  This alone was enough to put a damper on things; however, two days later my mother had to undergo cancer surgery.

Broken Bones, Surgery For Broken Bones, Screws In Bones
Emilee's Hand After The Surgery

After we managed to get through two surgeries in one week, mother nature decided we didn't have enough on our plates and decided to send a hail storm our way.  Below are a few pictures of the hail that tore up our vehicles as well as the roof, guttering and some of the siding on our house.
Hail, Large Hail, Baseball Sized Hail
Huge Hail Stone
The hail stone pictured below was picked up from our yard after it had melted a bit.
Hail, Hail Stone, Spiked Hail Stone
Giant Hail Stone
Below is a picture looking through the window of the vehicle I happened to be driving when the hail storm arrived.  Some of the hail that bounced off this car was the size of a softball.  I thought I was going to be wearing the windshield.  Needless to say, I have no desire to go through that experience again.
Hail Damage, Shattered Windshield, Hail vs Windshield
Window Shattered By Hail
One of our vehicles (my trusty '92 F150 4x4) was considered a total loss by the insurance company which left me without a way to get to my favorite hunting and fishing spots.  This of course meant that it was time to find a new vehicle.  After days of searching through every ad source my wife and I could find, she finally stumbled across the truck that would become our new adventure mobile.
F350 4x4, Lifted Crew Cab F350, Lifted Crew Cab 4x4
The New Adventure Mobile
If this truck proves to be as trustworthy and the old one was and we can manage to avoid being hit by any more hail we should be in good shape for quite some time.

I can assure you that as things begin to get back to normal for our family I will once again post on a much more regular basis.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day (even when the weather throws you a curve ball)

Who Is The Average Midwest Outdoorsman

I guess it is about time I let you know a little about myself.  

I am a freedom loving, gun toting, family man who is proud to be an American!  I guess I'm probably one of those people who is referred to as a bitter clinger and I'm sure there are many more average outdoorsmen just like myself out there.  Although the name callers and those who want to take our rights away may think they know what is best for themselves, they couldn't begin to know what is best for myself, my family and my friends.  Ok....Ok.....Enough with the political talk.

I was born to a loving family with a father who was a Sargent First Class in the Army as well as being a preacher.  His wife - my mother was a stay-at-home mom, I grew up in small town U.S.A.  The atmosphere around these small towns definitely played a huge roll in developing my love for the outdoors.  I was taught from an early age that family is extremely important. I was also taught that hard work and dedication are the two qualities that will enable a person to succeed in any area of their life.  

As a grown man with a family of my own, I do my best to instill these same values in my children.  I have also found out that raising children really doesn't come with an instruction manual.  As you have probably noticed, many of my posts include pictures of my family members and close friends.  This is because I want them to be as much a part of this endeavor as myself.  I love hunting and fishing with my family and friends. To me there is nothing better than sharing the good times and the memories  that each of those outings provide with the people I am closest to.

I love to share my knowledge about the outdoors (what little I have) with anyone who is willing to listen.  I hope that as I continue learning through my outdoor adventures I will be able to pass along some useful information to those who read this blog.

Always remember:
- Any day in the outdoors is a good day!