— EDITOR'S NOTE —
No Friday Editions
In observance of Good Friday, we won't be publishing any wires tomorrow (Friday, April 18, 2014). We will be back on our regular publishing schedule on Monday, April 21 and wish everyone a happy Easter.
— BOATING —
The Suwannee River reached flood stage at Ellaville Tuesday, prompting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to activate idle-speed, no-wake restrictions for the area of the river from U.S. 90 in Ellaville south to State Road 51 in Luraville. | For More...
— COMPETITIVE SHOOTING —
At the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Area 6 Championship, Michel refused to let travel delays and a short night of sleep stand in the way of his winning performance. Before his Area 6 appearance, Michel dominated the competition at the Oilfield Classic giving him a 15 percentage point advantage over the rest of the pack. | For More...
Led by Brian Morgan's first place finish, Team Bushnell Tactical and GA Precision took five of the top 10 places at the 2014 Lone Star Challenge, hosted April 5-6 in Frost, Texas. The top five finishers from Team Bushnell Tactical/GA Precision included: Brian Morgan - 1st, Ryan Kerr - 3rd, Jeff Bradley - 4th, George Gardner - 7th, and Geordie Richardson - 10th. | For More...
Safariland congratulates team member Maggie Reese on her recent win at the Superstition Mystery Mountain (SMM) 3-Gun Match. Reese used her Safariland ELS Rig and 014 Open Class Competition holster to give her the edge needed to win the High Lady Division for the third time. | For More...
— CONSERVATION —
The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation has been given the U.S. Department of the Interior's "Partners in Conservation Award" for its outstanding contributions to drafting the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan. | For More...
— EARNINGS —
Rocky Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:RCKY) Wednesday announced that the Company's conference call to review first quarter fiscal 2014 financial results will be broadcast live over the Internet on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and may be accessed through Rocky's website, www.rockybrands.com. | For More...
— ENFORCEMENT —
Officer Lee Lawshe of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received the 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award among other prestigious awards he received this year. | For More...
— ENVIRONMENT —
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded four years ago this Sunday, killing eleven men and sending more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Today, the National Wildlife Federation says BP is "dramatically escalating its denial campaign, rejecting the science and attacking our organization for taking reporters to some of the most heavily-damaged areas." | For More...
— EVENTS —
The public is invited to come out to Indiana's Patoka Lake Visitor Center on Saturday, May 10th for a Welcome Ceremony & Open House to meet the new ambassador Bald Eagle for educational programming. | For More...
The Idaho Bear Education Trailer will be on hand this weekend at the Edwards Grand Teton Stadium 14 Cinema during the premiere of the Disney movie "Bears," to help provide the public with facts and information about Idaho's own bears. | For More...
— FISHERIES —
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its April meeting near Tallahassee established a commercial daily trip and vessel limit of 200 sea cucumbers in both state and federal waters. | For More...
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has set the Gulf recreational red snapper season for the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24 this year) and remain open through July 14, closing July 15. | For More...
— FISHING TOURNAMENTS —
Stratos Pro Mike McClelland, who began competing this season in the acclaimed Stratos 201XL Evolution, captured his first Elite Series tournament victory since 2008, the last win in his four-wins-in-four-seasons streak. The win was not only McClelland's first in six years but one he acknowledges had a lot to do with his Stratos boat. | For More...
— HUNTING —
New this year, spring turkey hunters may purchase a Hunt 234 license, a statewide hunting license valid for all open areas except public lands in Unit ZZ (southern Lower Peninsula and Beaver Island). Hunters can purchase a Hunt 234 license through May 31. | For More...
— INDUSTRY —
Bass Pro Shops is proud to announce plans for a new store in Spartanburg County, S.C located between Greenville and Spartanburg on Interstate 85 at Highway 101. | For More...
LAKE Strategic Marketing has been selected by Gary Mol's Bullet Bunker, a system that stops - and contains - bullets shot at it, as its agency of record. | For More...
EOTech, known as the world leader in holographic weapon sights, has launched its newly revamped website, offering quick and easy access to essential information and featuring a more comprehensive understanding of the company's technology and products. | For More...
Arctic Ice, manufacturer of high performance thermally regulating cooler panels is proud to partner with "Herb" Philipson's, Outfitters for the Great Outdoors, to bring their innovative product offerings to outdoorsmen throughout Upstate and Central New York | For More...
RWC Group has appointed three new sales groups. Groups and their territories are Sportco Marketing - TALO States, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois; Don Coffey Company - Eastern U.S., Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas; and, Western Frontier Sales - Western U.S. | For More...
— JOBS, JOBS, JOBS —
"Treasures & Traditions", a new television series launching on Discovery's Destination America Channel in June, has announced an opening for a Director of Partnership Development to build advertising and sponsorship relationships for the program's June pilots and full 2015 series. | For More...
JP Enterprises, Inc. is searching for a new project engineer. This engineering position would entail collaboration with the JP design team headed by John Paul, company founder and design team leader. | For More...
— MEDIA —
Tag along as Dominator 365 Host Phillip Vanderpool travels to Nebraska, the Cornhusker State, to hunt with Hidden Valley Outfitters. He meets up with great friends, TJ and Liz Unger, for their first Merriam hunt. The D365 team puts a bunch of birds in the dirt. | For More...
— NEW PRODUCTS —
Vicious Vision Premium Polarized Sunglasses are now available in Realtree® Xtra. for their Velocity, Vengeance, Venom and Victory style lightweight TR90 frame styles. | For More...
— NRA SHOW —
Those attending the 2014 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits are invited to stop by the Bass Pro Shops booth #8072 to meet Brian "Pig Man" Quaca, current "Miss Kansas" Theresa Vail, and "World's Best All-Around Shooter, Doug Koenig. | For More...
— ORGANIZATIONS —
Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) announces a unique essay-writing contest for veterans and active duty military of the Iraq and Afghanistan eras. "Adopt Fritz" gives these veterans the opportunity to earn the right to adopt a German Short-haired Pointer that is specially trained by Washington-based Sagebrush Gun Dogs. | For More...
— PARTNERSHIPS —
The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) has announced a partnership with USA Youth Education in Shooting Sports (USAYESSS) to build the ranks for competitors for the Clay Target Collegiate Shotgun Bowl Series starting with the upcoming 2014-15 shooting year. | For More...
Bass Pro Shops, along with its Nitro brand of performance bass boats, is teaming up with the Bassmaster Tournament Trail for another two years at the Premier Sponsor level. | For More...
— RADIO —
Get to know the man who has a passion for pig hunting when Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World radio interviews Brian "Pig Man" Quaca. The show will air Saturday on SiriusXM. | For More...
This week on The Revolution, find out what seven of the best days are for turkey hunting this season, pinpoint the perfect roosting sites, tips on how to take down the King Gobbler and much more. | For More...
— RECOGNITION —
Meeting Wednesday at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized wildlife scientist Joan Berish with the 2013 Louise Ireland Humphrey Achievement Award. | For More...
— SPONSORSHIPS —
Smith & Wesson has a long tradition of supporting conservation efforts and this year they are once again supporting National Hunting and Fishing Day which will fall on September 27th this year. | For More...
— STATES —
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Fisheries Division recently released data from its 2013 state-licensed commercial fishing season. Combined, the state-licensed commercial fishery caught more than 3.6 million pounds of fish with an estimated wholesale dockside value of roughly $5.53 million prior to processing, marketing and retail sales. | For More...
The Land Use and Access Committee of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted Tuesday to direct staff to coordinate with consultants to repair and improve the dam at Rhodes Pond near Godwin in Cumberland County. | For More...
Garrett County families will benefit from Maryland's signature Program Open Space with Wednesday's Board of Public Works' approval of funding for recreational upgrades to Eastern Garrett Park. | For More...
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its April 16 meeting in Tallahassee moved forward with a proposal to create a Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System that would help improve recreational reef fish data collection in Florida Gulf waters. | For More...
The lionfish is an invasive species that threatens Florida's native wildlife and habitat and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) moved forward yesterday with steps to combat the spread of invasive lionfish. | For More...
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on April 22 at its headquarters in Raleigh to accept public comments on a proposed temporary rule change authorizing the Commission to establish still hunting zones on game lands. | For More...
Kansas Archery in the Schools hosted its fifth annual state archery tournament, Saturday, April 5, at Clearwater High School, southwest of Wichita. Three hundred and twenty students vied for a chance to compete at nationals. Of those 320 archers, three teams and 60 individual competitors qualified for the National Archery in the Schools tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, May 9-10. | For More...
Louisiana educators interested in setting the NASP curriculum started at their schools are encouraged to attend a NASP Basic Archery Instructor course to be held at the Baton Rouge YMCA on Thomas H. Delpit Drive on Friday, May 16, 2014. | For More...
— TELEVISION —
Stephanie Shipman, executive producer and owner of AMMO and ATTITUDE and The Right Stuff television shows, has announced their return to Pursuit Channel for the 2014 season beginning in November. | For More...
Sportsman Channel announces a new and unpredictable episode of Bowhunter TV as Curt Wells embarks on a captivating spring bear hunt in the wilds of Montana. The show will air Friday, April 18. | For More...
This Sunday on the World Fishing Network (WFN) Jim Sammons journeys north...way north...to catch big pike and giant lake trout out of Plummer's Arctic Lodge with longtime friend and big fish expert Jeff Goudreau. | For More...
Joined by Bobby Brewer and Brooks Beatty of Jackson Kayak in the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina, Jim Sammons connects with Captain Joe Shute of Fish Finder Charters to track down some hard fighting amberjack. | For More...
— TOURNAMENTS —
Inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will meet at Titusville, Fla., April 26-27, for the first regular-season event of the Florida East Division of the IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela's and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing. | For More...
— WILDLIFE —
A multi-year project to restore wild elk to their native hills of Virginia is complete thanks to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, its volunteers, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and several other partners. | For More...
Injury Forces Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray to Retire
EDITOR's (Personal) NOTE: Today's feature is news in the world of Olympic shooting, and it diminishes our team. But it's not bad news, either. For several years, I've enjoyed watching our reigning Olympic gold medalist Jamie (Beyerle) Gray as she's matured as a shooter, excelled as a competitor, and encouraged her teammates with a ready smile and terrific work ethic. At the same time, Jamie occasionally appeared to be struggling physically. Today, Olympic Shooting's Kevin Neuendorf reports that Jamie's retiring from competition due to her nagging back problems. We're saddened at the news, as her absence leaves a hole in our Olympic team. But we're happy at Jamie's realization that being the reigning Olympic champ is definitely the best time to move on. Honestly, I hope we'll have more news about Jamie in the future. I think she has the ability to coach and serves as a great role model for our future Olympians.
There comes a time in every elite athlete's life where they eventually succumb to the pain they place upon their body to perform the sport they love. Today is that day for reigning Olympic gold medalist Jamie (Beyerle) Gray (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) as she reluctantly retires from her competitive rifle career.
No doubt that the gold medal she earned in London helped make the decision a little bit easier as did the new life she's building in Kalispell, Montana. But more than that, Gray wasn't willing to forego her long-term health for the opportunity to continue shooting.
Since 2010, Gray has tolerated a lower back that was unbearable at times and something that worsened each time she put in the training time necessary to compete at the very best. Simply put, her back could no longer bear the brunt and it told her so every time she tried.
"It has taken a toll on my body, mind and life since," Gray acknowledged. "At the Olympics, I had three injections in my back after the air rifle match, which allowed me to be successful in smallbore."
USA Shooting Team Physiologist Cathy Arnot described the condition like this: "She essentially has the wear-and-tear on her spine that could be expected of a 70-year-old woman."
The severe pain and discomfort in her back began at the 2010 World Championships and has been with her every time she trains and competes. Arnot describes the injury as a degeneration of the facet joints located on both sides of the vertebrae. An MRI taken during the Olympic Games showed tearing and degeneration of the cartilage along several facet joints and a bulging disc. Just prior to her gold-medal performance in London, she received a cortisone injection without any anesthesia, at Jamie's request, to relieve the pain.
She took a year off after London in hopes the rest would rectify the problem. But when she started picking up the gun again last October, the pain returned. For the first time, she was left to contemplate whether all the pain experienced over the past three years was worth it. Not only was the pain taxing on her body, but on her mind as well.
The orthopedists and neurologists that evaluated her came to the consensus that if she continued to compete, that the degeneration would continue to worsen, leading to daily pain and early arthritis of the spine. According to Arnot, her only alternative was a surgical fusion of her spine, but with no guarantee she'd be able to realistically compete afterwards.
"With this injury came everyday pain and the scare of never living life without pain again, which I am not willing to do," she said. "I am a very active person and want to be able to do active things with my family for many years to come."
"Jamie is one of the toughest competitors I have known in 23 years as a sport psychologist at the USOC," said U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychologist Sean McCann. "Her toughness will be useful now as well. Ending an Olympic career early due to injury is one of the most difficult challenges an elite athlete faces, and it is especially hard if you know you are one of the best in the world. Although Jamie accomplished so much in her career, she had much more left in the tank, and it is very tough to leave a competitive life when you love competition as much as Jamie. All retiring Olympic athletes miss the focus, intensity and single minded-purpose of the athlete's life. The challenge for Olympians in transition is harnessing their drive and talents to succeed in a post-athlete career."
Competing as an Olympic athlete and earning an Olympic gold medal in London has provided Gray with unmatched perspective in terms of what the shooting sports has provided her. What began as a way to connect with her older brother, turned into a life-long love affair with a game that demands perfection, mental fortitude and the incessant need to educate the masses about a sport limited by its exposure, but yet driven by a passionate following.
"This sport has been part of my life since a very young age and has taught me so much," Gray said. "USA Shooting has showed me immense support since I was 17, and I learned there is more to the Olympic movement than just the athletes. I have made shooting into a career and couldn't have done that without the support of USA Shooting."
Collegiate teammate and best friend Matt Emmons, a three-time Olympic medalist, says for all that the sport has given her, she too has played a part in giving back to the sport and he's filled not with sadness today, but with joy and happiness.
"Jamie would tell you that she wasn't the most talented shooter, but she was super motivated, focused, and worked harder than just about anyone," he admits. "Over the years, she sacrificed a lot to make her dream come true. If I say 'I'm happy for her,' it's because of these two reasons: first, her dream did come true. Even with injury, she lived the experience almost all athletes dream about - to go the Olympics, have the best competition of your life, and win a gold medal. She did that and I am so happy I was there to watch it happen. Next, I'm happy because now that she's retired, she will be able to enjoy some of the things she sacrificed for that dream. Jamie's absolutely not a one-dimensional person and she has plenty of other goals and interests. I'm excited to see her turn the page and start writing that next chapter in life."
There's much more about Jamie and what she's meant to the sport. Please continue reading about her career by clicking here:
Crowne Plaza Houston, 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas
Ridgeway Rifle Club, Ridgeway, PA
Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, 1402 County Rd. 276, Columbia, MO
Dutchess County Pistol Club Wappingers Falls, NY
NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico
USAMU's Pool and Phillips Ranges, Fort Benning, GA
Augusta Archers, 99 Archery Lane, Staunton, VA 24401
Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill Area, 30 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
NE New Mexico
Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, Columbia, MO
Coshocton Sportsmens Club, 21280 Jackson TWP Rd. 283 Coshocton, OH 43812
May 30-Jun 1
Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska.
May 31-Jun 1
Hamilton Rod & Gun Club, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
USAMU Ranges, Fort Benning, Georgia
Mill Creek Rod & Gun, Newmanstown, PA
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel 1 Monarch Place Springfield, MA
Coonhunters Association, Batavia, NY
Estes Park, Colorado
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