Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016
— TOP STORY
In a letter sent yesterday, Harris Publications' owner Stanley Harris announced that, after 40 years, the company was closing. | For More...

— COMPETITIVE SHOOTING
Kim Rhode, member of the USA Shooting Team and TruckVault-sponsored shooter won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio on April 23. | For More...

— CONSERVATION
Ducks Unlimited and energy manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66 reviewed the fruits of their combined coastal restoration efforts during a project tour yesterday. | For More...

Scheduled to open in Springfield, Missouri in 2016, Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium will celebrate the critical role responsible hunting and fishing play in conserving the great outdoors. | For More...

Lipsey's is proud to share the honor Ducks Unlimited has awarded to Lipsey's Chairman, Richard Lipsey, for his lifelong efforts in coastal conservation. | For More...

The Boone and Crockett Club commends Club member and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris on his continuing conservation efforts and the upcoming opening of Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. | For More...

— ENFORCEMENT
Earlier this week, two of three defendants named in an indictment, filed in February of this year, were arraigned in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. | For More...

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and law enforcement from around the country are preparing for the upcoming boating season by participating in a two-week joint training to increase public safety on the nation's waterways. | For More...

— EVENTS
Cabela's is helping its female customers and their families get outdoors with an expanded, four-day Ladies' Day Out event at its Columbus location, Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15. | For More...

The Bass & Birdies Classic, the third, annual golf/fishing tournament, is held on July 12. This is a Scramble-Best Ball format that also involves some bass fishing. | For More...

CrossBreed Holsters announces they will be exhibiting at the upcoming USCCA Concealed Carry Expo. The expo will take place April 29th through May 1st at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia. | For More...

— FISHERIES
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is reminding anglers that walleye fishing season starts in much of the state on the first Saturday in May and that regulations vary, depending on the water you are fishing. | For More...

The 2016 Indiana trout stream season opens this Saturday, April 30, at 6 a.m. local time and runs through Dec. 31. | For More...

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has gathered some reflections of Upper Peninsula trout openers past from some DNR staff and a member of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, hoping to help readers tick down the remaining hours until this year's opener. | For More...

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has cancelled the final spring stocking of trout in the delayed harvest section of the Reddies River in North Wilkesboro. | For More...

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported yesterday that underwater grass abundance – a key indicator of water quality– in the state's portion of the Chesapeake Bay increased 29 percent between 2014 and 2015, reaching a new record of 53,277 acres. | For More...

— GRANTS
Senators Mike Crapo (ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Congressmen Don Young (AK), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Mike Thompson (CA), and Ron Kind (WI) were joined by 188 of their fellow Members of Congress on a "Dear Colleague" letter to appropriators in support of funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program next fiscal year. | For More...

— HUNTING
Spring turkey season starts on Monday, May 2 throughout the state, and youth hunters have their own day on this Saturday, April 30. With this year's milder than usual winter, hunters should be seeing a lot of birds. | For More...

The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, on April 20, approved the final rule changes for the 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi. | For More...

— INDUSTRY
OSS Suppressors LLC has announced the hiring of Rogers Sports Marketing as its sales agency for the Eastern US, effective immediately. | For More...

GunBroker.com has released its list of Top 5 Best Selling Firearms for March 2016. The Glock G19 was the number one selling new Semi Auto Pistol. | For More...

A federal report on a so-called "smart gun" initiative was to be released Thursday. It had yet to be released by press time. The National Shooting Sports Foundation issued a statement of their position on such an initiative. | For More...

Congratulations are being extended to Jodi DePorter who was recently promoted from Regional Sales Manager of Kahr Firearms Group to her new position as National Sales Manager, effective immediately.
| For More...

— NEW PRODUCTS
The new Berkley Lightning rod combo gives anglers the rod they've trusted for decades in a combo they can count on for many years to come. | For More...

Moon Shine, LP announces their partnership with JeepTopsUSA. JeepTopsUSA offers all Moon Shine Camo patterns on their entire collection of products for Jeep® Wranglers. | For More...

— ONLINE
In the newest online video by GrowingDeer.tv they share an Alabama habitat program review then turkey hunting in Kentucky and Kansas. | For More...

— ORGANIZATIONS
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) and National Deer Alliance (NDA) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will enhance advocacy efforts for hunting across the country. | For More...

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will host representatives from 18 states and two federal agencies at a two-day summit May 3-4, 2016 which will focus on successes, challenges and strategies facing elk populations, public lands management, habitat, hunting, public access, scientific research, disease and other topics. | For More...

— RECREATION
Get out your bike, oil the chain and air up those tires. May is National Bike Month and Michigan is full of wonderful bicycling opportunities. | For More...

— REGULATION
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau has announced a proposal to increase the black bass minimum length limit on Ross Barnett Reservoir from 12 to 14 inches. | For More...

— RETAIL
Remington Arms Company, announces it is offering a limited lifetime warranty on all Remington firearms purchased January 1, 2016 or after. | For More...

— SHOOTING COMPETITIONS
Kim Rhode, member of the USA Shooting Team and TruckVault-sponsored shooter won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio on April 23. Rhode is a five-time Olympic medalist and is on track to represent the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | For More...

Taurus® congratulates Grand Master and Taurus Team Captain Jessie Duff on her recent first place finish in Ladies Single Stack at the USPSA Area 6 Championship in Covington, Georgia. | For More...

— SPONSORSHIPS
Orchid Advisors and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are pleased to announce that Williams Mullen has agreed to sponsor the 2016 Firearms Industry Compliance Conference at the Bronze level. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and with satellite offices in South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington, D.C., the firm provides legal services for a wide variety of enterprises, including those in the firearms industry. | For More...

For a second year, Swab-its®, the makers of Bore-whips™, Bore-tips® and Gun-tips™, is proud to sponsor the Pioneer Valley Friends of NRA Banquet taking place May 6, 2016 in Chicopee, Mass. | For More...

— STATE PARKS
The public is invited to the May 6 dedication of a new paved multi-use trail at Indiana's Raccoon State Recreation Area. | For More...

State parks and recreation areas in western Michigan will host a number of activities throughout May that will help guests take advantage of the spring weather. | For More...

— STATES
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has reached its final decision on the forest management treatment plan for the area commonly known as Chippewa Hills in Ossineke Township (Alpena County). | For More...

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host open houses next month to gather public input on new draft general management plans for Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Muskallonge Lake State Park, both located in the eastern Upper Peninsula. | For More...

Yesterday, Chateau Grand Traverse Winery made a $10,000 donation to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to replace diseased trees in Michigan state parks. | For More...

The Vermont Governor's Environmental Excellence Award winners have been selected. An award ceremony yesterday recognized the winners at a 1 p.m. ceremony at the State House Cedar Creek Room. | For More...

A Coast Guard aircrew rescued two missing men on platforms in Galveston Bay Wednesday. | For More...

— STUDENT FISHING
The Bass Federation (TBF), with our "Partner in Fishing" at FLW, announces the 2016 Student Angler Federation (SAF) West Virginia High School State Championship on Sunday, June 5 at the Bee Run Recreation area near Sutton, WV. | For More...

— TELEVISION
Destination America reels in the catch this weekend, starting Saturday with Silver Kings fishing in the Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament in Islamorada, Florida. | For More...

In this week's Leupold's Pigman: The Series, Brian "Pigman" Quaca tests the Hornady ELD-X ammo in a variety of guns and settings to see if it truly lives up to the hype. | For More...

Monday night on Outdoor Channel starts out with Duck Dynasty airing four uninterrupted episodes of the Robertson family. | For More...

First up on Sportsman Channel, Jim Shockey's outfitting territory on Vancouver Island is the focus in this week's episode of Jim Shockey's The Professionals. | For More...

Viewers of World Fishing Network during the week of May 2–8 won't want to miss secret fishing tactics revealed on Timmy Horton Outdoors by a professional angler who is full of helpful fishing knowledge and tips. | For More...

This week on Mojo TV, Terry Denmon, Mike Morgan and Chuck Smart head north to Kansas for their annual Whitetail deer hunt. Mike and Chuck are eager for a chance at a nice buck while Terry seems a bit more relaxed and is prepared for tag soup if the big one doesn't show. | For More...

— WILDLIFE
A show of companionship and survival will play out live before the public in an Indiana DNR webcam that offers a peek into the lives of a barn owl pair raising chicks. | For More...

A wolf walks through the Upper Peninsula woodlands. Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife division officials said today the size of the state's wolf population has not changed significantly since the last survey was conducted in 2014. | For More...

— YOUTH
Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Mississippi's Lake Lowndes State Park, Saturday, May 7. | For More...

FEATURE
Gadgets and Gear
For the past few weeks I've been carrying and using (and occasionally abusing) some new pieces of gear. It's often tempting to take a piece of equipment, play around with it for a short period of time, then write about it.

When it comes to certain pieces of gear, it's a pretty simple, subjective thing. Either something fits (sizing, weight, shape, whatever) your preferences or it doesn't.

Other gear -like a majority of the items today- require more time before you can decide how you really feel about them. That's because it's better if the tool fits you rather than your adjusting to fit the tool.

As a lifelong sunglass user, I'm pretty particular about what I'll wear. With aging eyes, I'm tend to lean- heavily- toward the glasses with built-in readers these days, but they don't fit every application. In some activities, whether it's boating, flying or driving my Polaris Slingshot (which requires a helmet since it's technically a motorcycle), it's doubly tough to get glasses that work.

A majority of sunglasses just aren't made for wearing with helmets. For some, there's too-much air gap between the lenses and your eyes, allowing air to get in behind the glasses. Not only does that dry your eyes, it doesn't give you enough protection from "foreign object debris" or the other pieces of junk that occasionally come up off the roadway or the water.

Native Eyewear's "Hardtop Ultra XP" performance eyewear that works -and has a touch of style to boot. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo
That's why I've been very pleased with a pair of Native Eyewear's "Hardtop Ultra XP" specs. They're designed to be worn in high-wind situations, whether boating, biking or simply driving with the top down. That means the stems fit closely to the head, while the temples are actual metal temples with nose pieces, separate from the lenses.

Performance-oriented, the frames are a graphite gray and the pair I've been using offer the choice of polarizing #3 gray or light amber lenses, They're simple to pop in -or out- but lock firmly into place. I also like the way the stems "pop" open-or closed. They stay open-or closed- until you decide otherwise. That's a feature I really like.

Having worn them for a couple of long driving days in bright and gloomy conditions, the lenses don't have edge distortion and offer a good field of view. They're lightweight- but sturdy. In my opinion, that makes them well worth their $129.00 MSRP - which includes the Hardtop XPs, a hard zippered case, cleaning cloth/storage bag and divider for storing the extra lenses.

The 804CF ZT Rexford is brawny, tough and in a pinch can even be driven into the side of a tree for a last-second rifle rest with no ill effects. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
Additionally, I've been carrying a new folding knife in my every day carry gear. It's a Todd Rexford design manufactured in collaboration with Zero Tolerance, and frankly, it's a lot of pocketknife.

It's beefy, sporting a 3.9-inch blade that's folded into a carbon fiber front, titanium back frame. All together, it weighs in at 5.1 ounces- which is actually lighter than many comparably sized knives-primarily due to the carbon fiber and titanium usage.

But it's a pocket full of knife- to the point that it actually seems to invite you to put it into tough situations. I've used it to cut yards of cardboard (an edge killer), rope, light electrical wiring and even driven it into the side of a tree when I needed a last-second rifle rest when stalk hunting. Through all that, it's maintained a great edge and has shown no ill effects from having been dropped, tossed and otherwise wallowed around in dirt, mud and shop gunk.

When you're carrying a knife this substantial, you appreciate the beefy -and ambidextrous pocket clip. Likewise the 8.9 inch fully-opened knife gives a feel and heft that's really more like a fixed blade hunter than a pocket knife.

It's not an inexpensive knife, carrying an MSRP of $350 and early street prices falling in the $280 range, but this isn't a knife designed for light-duty. It's designed to be used- and having been using it for a couple of months, it's never seemed anything but mission-capable.

For me- especially with gear your life really might one day depend on, usefulness is the most important factor. The 804CF ZT Rexford is certainly useful.

Finally, a fun accessory that makes your smart phone downright genius. Especially if you're one of those people like me who always wants to know what happens to be going "bump" in the night.

A few weeks ago, the folks at Seek Thermal asked if I'd like to try out a couple of their products. They didn't have to ask twice because I've always been a fan of night vision and have been absolutely itching to play with some thermal gear. But it's never seemed to work out schedule-wise. So the chance to go hands-on with a unit or two without a specific timeframe was ideal.

When a box arrived, I was delighted to find not one, but two Seek devices. But my joy has been dulled a bit because I can't for the life of me get their RevealXR Fast Frame unit up and working. I don't know if it's my problem (probably), but it seems to be "stuck" in the initialization mode.

Seek's $249 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera looks like one of the many action cameras in its protective case (top), but plug it into your smart phone and, viola, you can see heat signatures with focusable clarity (bottom). Jim Shepherd/OWDN photos.

But their smaller- and more affordable -Compact model, designed for either iPhone or Android based smart devices has been a complete blast. Being thermal, it images using differentiation between temperatures. Great if you're looking to see if there's an animal in the bush out back, but I think it's even better if you're interested in seeing where heat is being concentrated- or leaking-from your home.

The size of the Seek Compact is so small that its capabilities (and ability to use the brains of your smart phone and its camera) can quickly blow you away. Sure, it's great for keeping up with the family dog during a late-night romp in the back yard, but I've used it to find an air leak in an AC system as well as verifying that the windows on our house really were "leaking heat like a sieve."

With its 206x156 sensor, 36-degree wide field of view and very low energy consumption -which is a huge factor with our already power-hungry phones- it's a device that you might find yourself using a lot more than you'd imagine. The test unit's hanging on my key ring -and I find myself regularly pulling it out of the case.

Again, not an inexpensive device, but one that can quickly prove its usefulness.

More testing in the pipeline- everything from new accessories to make your AR "cruiser ready" from Hornady to a still (yes, "that kind of still") that has a lot more applications outside making homemade hooch.

All part of keeping you posted. Hey, it's the weekend, get outside- and take someone with you.

--Jim Shepherd
Apr 29-May 1
Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Apr 30-May 1
Shootout Lane, Princeton, Louisiana
May 7
Rend Lake, Whittington, IL
May 13
May 14-15
May 15
Troutman, North Carolina 28166
May 19-21
Paris Landing State Park, Buchanan, Tennessee
May 20
Byram, Mississippi
May 20-22
May 26-29
Jun 9
Wichita Falls, Texas
Jun 10-12
Grand Island, NE
Jun 24
KELLEC Range, Random School Road, Rosenberg, Texas 77471
Jul 9-16
Jul 9-16
Jul 16-18
Billings, Montana
Jul 16-18
Billings, MT
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