Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Unusual Menu Item Is on Its Way to New York Soup Kitchens

I read a feel good story that made my stomach turn today. The title of the article was: An Unusual Menu Item Is on Its Way to New York Soup Kitchens

The story was written by the "Editorial Board" of the New York Times and the first thing that strikes me as funny is the writer wasn't brave enough to sign their name. Anyway, the article was about how the Governer of New York was shutting down a state run pheasant breading operation and donating all the birds to a soup kitchen. The author went on to say that birds from this operation cost tax payers $100 each and they clipped the wings before releasing the birds into the field (No sources sited)

"In the past, the Reynolds Game Farm near Ithica raised pheasants that were released for bird hunters who could go out to the woods in season and shoot one of nature’s most elegant of winged creatures. (In most cases, these pheasants had their wings clipped, so in reality it was about as sporting as shooting squirrels in Central Park)."

You can read the complete article here:

I posted a comment but since I don't agree with them it will proabally never get published so I felt like I should rebut the article. Here are my comments on the issue:

If I had to guess I would say you have never been hunting in your life. Many of the states in the US raise and release pheasants for hunters. Were did you get your facts related to the wings of the birds being clipped? I have worked with 100’s of different bird breading operations across the country and none of them clip the birds wings. Hunters want birds that fly. The second point that you completely missed is that most of the money used to support these operations comes from hunters paying a special fee through their license purchase in the form of a pheasant stamp or habitat management fee. The fees collected help not only pay to support the game farms that raise the birds but also help pay to maintain undeveloped wild life areas and habitat restoration for hunters and non-hunters alike to enjoy. Not to mention all the people at the breeding operation that will be loosing their jobs and the revenue generated from hunters purchasing sporting goods, gas, lodging etc for their pheasant hunting trips. If you plan to write a article like this I suggest you check your facts and consider both sides of the coin.

Jon Ballard

What do you think? Should states be cutting their budgets on pheasant breading operations with the economy the way it is currently?
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanks Giving From A Thankful Hunter

There is a lot of bad news coming at us all the time these days but I just have to say I have a lot to be thankful for. A great wife and kids, health, great friends and the the blessing to hunt and fish.

Today (Thanksgiving 2008) my 4 year old son decided to join me in the woods for a little deer season. He did great. We didn't last long but he sat still and even thought he heard a deer. We didn't see anything today but the time spent was memorable for me and I hope it to be the first of many father son trips.

Some times all the bad news gets me down but that's not really what matters. Spend some time in the woods with some friends and family and remember what is really important.
Monday, October 13, 2008

Wisconsin Pheasant Season Opens This Weekend

Wisconsin Pheasant Hunting Season Opens Saturday.

Is anyone going? This year pheasant season opener is on the same day as a 2 day deer gun hunt. This T-zone hunt is for does only and is, in my opinion, yet another blunder by the Wisconsin DNR's in their attempt to control the deer population. But that is a good topic for another post. To get back on track here, the T-Zone hunt and pheasant opener are on the same day so if you get out were extra orange and get some orange on your dogs. The public grounds will have hunters on them hunting deer with rifles so be careful!

Here is a link to the 2008 Pheasant Stocking Information for Wisconsin Public Hunting Grounds

Whitetial Deer Antler Facts

The whitetail deer's antlers are truly amazing. Did you know that a whitetails antlers are one of the the fastest growing tissues known to man and have been recorded to grow up to ½ inch per day? In some far eastern cultures deer antlers are even used for medicinal purposes. Want to be a hit at your next cocktail party? Learn more amazing facts about deer antlers

Ok, it will probably only impress a few people but it is still pretty interesting stuff. Maybe instead of a cocktail party you could use your new found wisdom at poker night.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Get a cool Hat

Click on the pheasant hunting hat to see a larger imageThe New Hats Are Here. Pheasant Hunt In Style This Year!

Don't hit the field this season with out a new pheasant hunting hat from Game Bird Hunts. This adjustable hat is great quality and features a split cut out featuring Real Tree Hardwoods Camo on the bill. The logo is embroidered onto the front. This hat would make a great gift for the pheasant hunter on your list. Be on the look out for hat give away's as well in the near future. $15/ Hat

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Taxidermy Website- Learn Taxidermy Online

Taxidermy Tube- Learn Taxidermy OnlineA whole new way for sportsmen to learn about taxidermy is now available on the internet., a joint venture between the television show Taxidermy For The Sportsman and Foremost Media, Inc. officially launched September 15th, 2008. The website offers aspiring taxidermists and curious hunters the opportunity to learn taxidermy by watching professionally produced instructional videos online and to corresponding with a panel of professional taxidermist via a private message board.

According to the site webmaster Jon Ballard, the site currently contains over 20 hours of instructional video and new videos are being produced and added on a weekly basis. Topics range from preparing your game harvest for the taxidermist to actually mounting the game yourself. According to site host and master taxidermist Dan Rinehart “The most popular video so far seems to be the European Skull Mount Videos followed by the Turkey Tail Mount Videos”. According to Dan, these two projects are less involved then a deer shoulder mount and instructions are in high demand by sportsman. “Once people see how easy these projects can be with our instructional videos we believe they will move on to more challenging projects like the flying pheasant mount or the shoulder mount deer project” says Dan. “We have just completed a series on how to full mount a fox and that should be online soon as well. We have a full production schedule this fall with many new titles to be released on the site soon.”

In addition to the professionally produced taxidermy videos from the folks at Taxidermy For the Sportsman the site also allows sportsman to upload their own taxidermy videos and correspond with other site members.

Membership in is only $19.99/ Month and sample videos can be found on the site as well as helpful articles and information about taxidermy. is a website that allows hunters and sportsmen to learn taxidermy by watching online videos. For more information on the website please visit or email
Thursday, September 11, 2008

2007- The Good Old Days Of Pheasant Hunting-

Could 2007 soon be referred to as the good old days of pheasant hunting? It could unless we as hunters get involved in the new farm bill-

Why you ask???- The answer is the massive habitat losses year and into next year from the acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that are soon-to-expire and the high price of corn and beans.

So what can we do????- Contact your congress man or senator and tell them that you want a new strong farm bill that favors conservation. The Farm Bill will be introduced in the U.S. Senate soon, so get your butt going.

Did you know??? - CRP and other federal farmland conservation programs accounting for over 50 million acres nationwide. You have probably even chased some birds on this land over the past 10 years.

I borrowed some of this info from my buddies over at Pheasants Forever. To read their complete report please visit their site:

Hunting, Politics and Women Hunting

I'm a hunter first and a Republican party member second. I guess when it comes down to it if I had to choose between hunting rights and political party hunting rights would trump almost every time. So now that I've lost 50% of my readers (I'm down from 4 of you to 2) I just have to share these pictures of VP Candidate and Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin:

You can see more pictures at Foremost Hunting

Regardless of your political lean you have to be excited about a women that hunts, runs a state and is running for VP of the country.
Friday, September 05, 2008

High Gas Prices and Pheasant Hunting

We recently published a article on how hunters were using some of our hunting directories to search for local alternatives for their hunting trips this year. Typical searches on these sites are most often for hunters planning a over the road trip 100's of miles from their home. This year however a much higher precentage of searches done on and are from local hunters searching their local area for hunting opportunities. That article seems to be reinforced by the following article released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- For many hunters, that 300-mile drive to deer camp may be put on hold this year. Unwilling -- or unable -- to spend more on gasoline than licenses and lodging, many hunters are checking out their options closer to home.

Recent surveys have shown that this is a national trend among American hunters. According to research conducted by Southwick Associates', "40 percent of hunters indicated that rising gas prices will cause them to reduce their outdoor activities or reduce their travel distance."

Realizing that gaining access to both public and private land can be one of a hunter's most daunting challenges, some state fish and game departments have developed innovative programs to address the problem.

Pennsylvania, for example, provides the public with detailed maps that show areas accessible by local hunters. These include state game, forest and park lands, and national forest property, totaling over 3.5 million acres. Through a "landowner cooperator" program, an additional two million acres of private property have also been opened up to the state's hunters.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently unveiled a state-of-the-art mapping program using Google Maps. It's a user-friendly service especially valuable for those new to hunting or new to the state. "Every hunter knows scouting is key to success, and these Google Maps make it easy to start scouting at home," said Matthew Keenan, ODFW's Access and Habitat Program Coordinator. The map features state wildlife areas, national wildlife refuges and private lands open to hunting through the state's Access and Habitat and Upland Cooperative Access programs. Each area even has a descriptive bubble that provides information about the principal species hunted, size of the area, access periods and special regulations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), working with sportsmen and landowners, provides sportsmen access to private land and through private land to public lands with a program called "Access Yes!"

"The 'Access Yes!' program is an exciting opportunity to get sportsmen and landowners together to improve habitat, increase hunting access and benefit private landowners. An additional benefit is that landowners and sportsmen get to know and respect each other," commented Jim Unsworth, deputy director for IDFG.

In 2008 IDFG has made 444,735 private acres accessible to sportsmen and access to an additional 381,310 acres of public ground by working with private landowners. "We are doing our part to keep our hunters hunting at home in Idaho," said Unsworth.

These programs, and similar ones in other states, have received significant funding from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through its Hunting Heritage Partnership Program.

Here is our article on how gas prices are effecting hunters:
Hunting For Local Hunting Locations- Gas Prices Squeeze Hunters
Will high gas prices be the end of hunting? Probably not but hunters may be hunting closer to home this year.

PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 04, 2008 – With gas prices up at all time record highs hunters are finding it much more expensive to get to those remote hunting locations. "We are bracing for a tuff season" says Tennessee hunting guide Brett Gill. Hunters aren't willing to travel as far and much of their disposable income is being consumed by their trucks and cars." According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation 18.5 million hunters contribute more than $30 billion annually to the U.S. economy and support more than 986,000 jobs. Hunters not only spend money on guns and shells they also drive larger vehicles and travel long distances staying at hotels and dining out.

If there is a silver lining to the high gas prices it may be for many of the local hunting clubs. Many hunters are starting to look towards more local hunting opportunities in stead of a long road trips to far away locations. According to a hunting directory that allows hunters to search for pheasant hunting clubs in their area, they are seeing a large increase in the number of short radius searches. In other words hunters are not looking at far away trips like they use to. "The most popular search seems to be within a 100 mile radius of home" says webmaster Matt Brown. Another hunting site confirms this. "Many of our searches appear to be local hunters looking for hunting locations in their home state" These types of searches seem to be up 30% over last year.

Will high gas prices be the end of hunting? Probably not but hunters may be hunting closer to home this year.

# # #

Foremost Hunting is a directory of hunting locations organized by US state. In addition to our extensive list of hunting guides and outfitters we also offer a hunting community that allows hunters to connect, share photos, videos and stories for free

Here is a quote from the Washington Times:

Southwick Associates Inc., the pollsters of outdoors activities, confirm what so many of us fear: The high price of gasoline could seriously impact even short travels among anglers and hunters - and in some cases curtail them altogether.

The bright side to all this may be that for those willing to drive a ways there may be some deals on hunting packages. Stay tuned!
Sunday, August 10, 2008

What the bible says about hunting

As you may be aware I run a few hunting websites and a while back I got a interesting email from an animal rights activist:

I am not a religious person, but one quote from the bible has always stuck in my mind "The Meek shall Inherit The Earth", god help the likes of you if the "Meek" turn out to be of the animal kingdom, I've got no worries on that score, how about you!

I love these types of emails. Not because I like to argue but because it makes me think about what I believe and why. This particular email made me dig into my bible to try and understand what the bible actually says about hunting and here is what I found:

Genesis 10:9 -
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.
Being a good hunter was a attribute that was admired in the bible.

Genesis 27:3 - Now then, get your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.

Genesis 27:30 -
After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.
-Hunting was an accepted practice even in the early days.

Leviticus 17:13 -
Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth,
- Hunting in the old testamint was prevalent and the Hebrews established rules for eating the meat.

From the verses above you can clearly see that hunting is accepted by God but here is the ultimate verses in support of hunting:

Genesis 1:26 (King James Version)
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

And this one two verses later:

Genesis 1:28 (King James Version)
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

I believe hunting is a activity that God has ordained and the traditions of hunting date back to the beginning of time. Besides if God didn't want us to eat animals he wouldn't have made them meat flavored
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scottland retailers could be require to have a licence to sell hunting knives

I just read this post on the TimesOnline website-

"A scheme aimed at tackling Scotland's blade culture by curbing the sale of knives was introduced by Kenny McAskill, the Justice Secretary, yesterday.

The plans could force anyone selling non-domestic knives to obtain licences setting conditions for sale. Proposals include a ban on shop displays that can be viewed from the street and a requirement for shop owners to keep full details of the type of knife sold and of the purchaser.

Swords will only to sold in future if the buyer can demonstrate a good reason for wanting one."

What's next? Kitchen knives and screwdrivers. I think this is a evil plot by the companies that make sporks to eliminate all the sharp cuttlery in the world. I say NO- I will never use a spork!

This is funny to joke about but unless we as hunters and apparently chefs don't stand up for our rights this will be comming to America sooner then you think.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Hunting For Michael Wadell

I was browsing YouTube The other day for some hunting videos and ran across this jewel:

I couldn't resist so I contacted Bigbadhunter08 and had to get the scoop. So far Michael hasn't responded and won't publish his reply with any of his videos. I guess Michael can't dance, that or he is to busy hunting.

I see this guys point however. If I shot a buck like that I would have one of two response:

1. I might drop over from a heart attack
2. Dance like a mad man!
Friday, June 27, 2008

The Supreme Court Gets One Right

A few days ago the Supreme court struck down the District of Columbia's gun ban reinforceing our Second Amendment rights as law abiding citizens to own and carry guns.

The full text of the Second Amendment says, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The Supreme Court ruling
IN A 5-4 VOTE, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual's right to bear arms, while leaving room for governments to regulate gun ownership. The ruling repudiates the long-held notion that the right to bear arms is strictly linked to militia service. Instead, the court concluded that it's an individual right untethered to military or government necessity. This will make it easier for gun-rights advocates to resist new regulations and overturn existing laws.

As a gun owner and avid hunter this is big victory!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Get In Shape For Hunting Season

Every year I hear about some poor guy who keels over and dies in the field. If you like me that brings two things to mind right away-

1. Lucky SOB. If I go I want to go doing something I love
2. I need to get in shape

I think in our state of Wisconsin (My home state) there are probably more fatalities every year from guys having heart attacks while trying to drag a deer out of the woods then there are from gun shots or falls. So what's a middle age office worker that hunts when he can to do?

Get out and walk! Lets face it most hunting involves a lot of walking anyway. Take your dog and you can both get in shape. I like to walk the areas that I deer hunt or public land when ever I get the chance. The more you are in your hunting grounds the more you get a better idea of the animal patterns.

Walk with your wife. This will build up good will and perhaps a "get out hunting for free pass" once hunting season comes you can remind her of all the time you spent with her in the summer. DON'T TELL HER YOUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO GET IN SHAPE FOR HUNTING.

A lot of big game outfitters that I talk to in the Western united states recommend that you spend some time getting in shape for your hunt as well. Besides all the climbing and walking involved in a western big game hunt you are often dealing with higher altitudes and being in shape will make your hunt much more enjoyable.

I hope this motivates you to get out there. This as written as much for me as you so maybe I'll see you on a trail or sidewalk soon! PS- Bring Beer!
Friday, June 20, 2008

What's Up With All These Kill Shots?

I've been surfing You Tube a lot lately looking at many of the different hunting videos out there and one thing that kind of bothers me is all the videos with compilations of kill shots. I love to see a successful hunt just like the next guy but in my opinion these videos really make hunting look bad.

Here is my advice for hunting video makers- "Tell the story- Lets convey the joy of the hunt, the anticipation the failures and the success. Hunting isn't just about killing. It is about the joy of being outdoors, fellowship with friends, the stock, getting close to God's creations...." For the non hunter these videos must appear just barbaric.

Just my 2 cents for today. I'll climb off my soap box now!

Hunt hard and shoot straight and if you video tape your hunt tell a story!

A Moose With Legal Trouble????

So what do you get when you combine a moose, a buffalo statue and some Marvin Gaye?

Let's Get It On:

Love is in the air!
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Food Plots For Pheasant Hunting

So I got a call from a friend who apparently thinks I am some sort of farming expert and he wanted to know about putting in a food plot for pheasant hunting. I told him that most of my experience has been in planting food plots for deer but I called my friend Mathew Eastman (A hunting god and food plot expert) and asked a few questions.

Here are my questions and Mathew's responses:

1. What type of plant do you plant for pheasants in a food plot?

Pheasants get the most benefit from food plots in the winter. Plant your food plot close to good cover such as cattails or switch grass. Many pheasants are killed off in the winter traveling from cover to food sources. Plant corn and grains. Sorghum is always a good source of food for pheasants and is a reliable food source. These types of plants are tall enough to stick out of the snow and if planted close enough to heavy cover will help keep your pheasant population high during the winter months.

2. How big should a pheasant food plot be?

Pheasant food plots should be planted in a snow drift-free zone if they will be useful during the winter. Pheasant food plot use increases with food plot acreage so the short answer is plant as much as you can.

3. Is fertilizer and lime important?

Yes, very important. See my article about food plot planting on Foremost Hunting for basic information on fertilizer and lime. In fact, the article is aimed at deer hunters but it has most of the basic info any hunter wanting to put in a food plot can use.

4. Anything else I need to know?

Yes, local chapters of Pheasants Forever often have equipment you can use, labor and seed if you have the land to plant on. Check out your local chapter of PF before you buy all the stuff.

That about sums it up for today!
Monday, June 16, 2008

Unicorns- They Are Real & We Have Proof!

Recently the Associated press had a report that a Unicorn had been found in Italy. This story was picked up by a bunch of hunting publications. Apparently this deer had a genetic mutation and only had one horn growing out of the center of it's head.

I say so what. I see "Unicorns" every year while bow hunting.

Here is a picture of one I got on file with my trail cam:

Friday, June 06, 2008

What happens when you take a democrat Turkey Hunting

Check out this great You Tube Video and find out-


Check out even more funny hunting videos at:

Hunting For Business

So what do hunting and business have to do with each other? I've taken clients out hunting but that's not what I had in mind when I decided to write this article. The other day I realized that hunting was actually very good for my business. How can going hunting be good for a business you asking- Here it is- I HAVE HAD SOME OF MY BEST IDEAS TO IMPROVE MY BUSINESS OR SOLVE PROBLEMS WHILE SITTING IN A TREE STAND.

In fact last deer season I came up with a email marketing idea that saved one of my bigger customers 1000's of dollars a year. It seems like for me it takes getting away from the office to a nice quite location for me to get the creative juices flowing. And the best part is I'm not alone. When I told another marketing buddy of mine about my hunting for business realization I was surprised to here he had been doing this for years and even brings a note book with him.

NOTE TO SELF- Add a notebook to my hunting pack.

So there you have it. Stop working and go hunting once in a while. You would be amazed what your mind can do when it is quite around you.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My new hunting and outdoor site

Well, I've been pretty busy. Perhaps that is why my blog last post was ages ago. I wish I could say I've been busy hunting, but the truth is I have been banging away on the computer and have developed a whole new hunting website:

The idea behind the site is kind of a myspace or facebook social network site for hunters. It allows you to join, post pictures, create your own hunting blog and more for free. You can build friends lists share your photos and videos etc. I hope you like it, it is far from done, but it is at least getting to the point were we can show it to the public.

I need to hunt more and type less, but that doesn't pay the bills at this point so here I am.

Happy hunting and happy surfing about hunting!

Jon B.


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