Elk Hunting on a Budget
Like many types of hunting, elk hunting can be a very rewarding experience. The thrill of seeking out the quarry, getting close enough for the shot and then the excitement of bringing down one of the largest of the deer species cannot be beaten. The right equipment is a necessity as well, so we will talk here about your elk hunting budget.
Equipment and supplies are essential to the successful hunt and these can be a bit pricey. So you need to do two things first:
Set a hunting budget for what you will spend , and
Make a list of what you will need for that hunt.
These factors can vary depending on whether you go on an unguided or a guided hunt, the area you intend to hunt, how long you intend to stay afield and other factors. Of course, the proper firearm and ammunition are essentials and should constitute, in my humble opinion, at least 20% to 30% of that hunting budget.
For starters, concentrate on the basics that you MUST have, like warm clothing, boots, knife or field dressing kit, gloves, thermal socks, underwear and elk calls. You should be able to find these items at a local sporting goods store, but you can also shop online and find deals. Usually, you can find hunting budget busters at the end of the season and in the off season.
Secondary essentials can include fold up seats, portable stands and scent control items. These can also be found at local brick and mortar stores, but online shops can offer bargains. One thing you can do is look at the name brands of the items you need, then search out the same item in a secondary brand. You would be surprised at the money you can save by simply using a not so well-known brand.
When putting together your hunting budget, money can be saved in several ways. Using secondary brands us very god for saving money over the name brands. The same item that provides the same effect can cost up to 40% or 50% less in some cases. Don’t just pay for a name.
Look for kits that contain several items you are looking at. I did this last hunting season when I upgraded my scent control program. The individual items would have cost more than $50. I found a kit that included all of them PLUS a couple of other things for $37; a savings of about 17%.
Overall, it pays to simply be smart and not buy the first thing that you find. Do some research and find other types and brands that provide the same service. Even if you want to shop at a local storefront, go to their online site and check the inventory for availability. Saves you time and money traveling somewhere that doesn’t even have what you need on hand. Some places will have free shipping to the store nearest to you and you pick it up when it arrives, so you get the things you need all in one place and don’t even pay shipping costs. That can be significant to you as a cost saving maneuver.
Make Money Selling Deer Antler Chandeliers
Because of the rapid increase of new hunters coming into the industry, the entire species of deer have become more and more valuable. People simply love to watch, take pictures of, and hunt deer. As more and more people begin to love the sport of hunting, more and more industries are being created. There was the boom in the camo industry and then the boom in modern day archery. There is so much money to be made with hunting related items.
I am not sure when deer antler chandeliers were created or thought up, but who ever thought of the whole idea is a pure genius. The companies that manufacture these chandeliers are gaining a ton of profit. Now when I say a ton, I mean a lot of money. I have searched all over the internet for more information on the prices of deer antler chandeliers and this is what I found. The majority of deer antler chandeliers where from twelve hundred dollars to over six thousand dollars. Did you hear that correctly – six thousand dollars! That is a lot of money for such a simple piece of art. I do not mean simple to make – I just meant that they are simple and elegant and it probably wouldn’t take to long to make them.
Make a note that the prices on deer antler chandeliers that I posted above is simple an estimate – not a fact. I am sure that the price will differ with each company and style. Each chandelier has a different size and width meaning that some have more antler and are therefore more expensive. I believe that the price also reflects the type of antler being used. The more exotic, the more expensive – at least that make since to me. A chandelier made from moose antler should cot more that one made from a deer – it only makes since. And one made from a elk should also be more expensive that a chandelier made from a deer antler. You can also get one of these made from a fake antlers that should decrease the price by a landslide.
Elk Hunting in Colorado – What You Should Know
Elk hunting in the Colorado mountains has become a wonderful pastime for many families. The Rocky Mountains provide a scerene backdrop and a wonderful place to find many of the elk herds that are found in Colorado. Whether you are hunting in the North, South, East or West regions of the state you are sure to find what you are looking for.
Colorado is known for the largest population of elk in the entire world, and this causes many hunters from around the globe to migrate to Colorado during the big hunting season. During the elk hunting season, you may choose a private guide to take you on your journey through the wilderness to find the elk. Others may choose to go at it on their own, but you need to be cautious about the areas that can be hunted. There is private land that you may not hunt unless you have permission from the owner.
Elk hunting in Colorado can be a hard hunt, but is found to be well worth it. The elk in the Rocky Mountains grow to enormous sizes due to the vast vegitation that is available. The Rockies provide the shelter and the food that is neccessary for the elk to thrive. These mountains although beautiful can be dangerous, even to the locals that have hunted these ranges for decades.
When you venture out on your hunt you will want to be sure that you have all the gear that is neccessary to stay safe in any situation. You will want to be prepared in case you get lost or stranded. The weather here has been known to change in the blink of an eye and you don’t want to be caught in a blinding snow storm without the proper equipment. Be sure that you have extra food, a solar blanket, and a flashlight. You may also want to have matches to light a fire.
Hunting in Colorado is a fun and exciting adventure that any outdoorsman would appreciate. The population of the elk continues to grow due to the strict rules that are in place for hunting big game in Colorado. This is a good reason to hunt here, you most likely will get the kill that you are looking for.
Remember to be prepared for the outdoors when elk hunting in the Colorado mountains so that you are not off guard if a storm moves in, or in the case that you get lost.
All You Would Ever Want To Know About Bears
Bears can be found throughout the world. They are generally large animals, and are characterized by a plantigrade walk (on their heels, like humans), a large body, short legs, a stub of a tail, small, round ears, and forward facing eyes.
All bears are classified as carnivores, with each species having a variable degree of herbivorous tendency. The panda, for example, is almost exclusively a plant eater. The polar bear is almost entirely a carnivore.
The black bear has managed to be quite prolific and successful as bears go. The eighteen known subspecies can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Estimates of the number of black bears in North America vary, with 750,000 being the most often suggested. In the state of Pennsylvania there are believed to be more than 7000 of the animals scattered across the state.
Despite their name, black bears can actually appear in a variety of colors. There are brown black bears, white black bears, and even the blue glacier bear.
Expert estimates of the weights of the bears also seem to vary widely. Conservative measurements put the average weight of the animals is around 300 pounds. However, the degree of sexual dimorphism exhibited by the species makes accurate accounts difficult. The largest black bear recorded was a male shot in Wisconsin in 1885. The bear was 802 pounds, far heavier than would be expected.
They have a wide an varied diet. They can and will eat nearly anything. Typical of bears, they are fond of honey, and are responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damage to aphiaries each year.
The black bear has claws which are shorter and more curved than those of the grizzly bear. This allows it to have a great agility in climbing trees. Often, a sow will encourage her cubs to tree themselves while there is danger. Black bears have a characteristic way of climbing and descending trees. They mostly use their front claws for climbing and keeping a hold.
The Brown Bear has captured the human consciousness like nearly no other animal can. It presents an image so like ourselves that we often get caught up in the “”cuteness”” and forget that it is a wild animal that we are dealing with. The brown bear is often seen as the cuddly buffoon of animation, and the “”Teddy”” bear of children and collectors alike. In reality, the brown bear is a complex and fascinating animal deserving of great respect.
The brown bear distinguishes itself from the other ursines by virtue of its shoulder hump, which is caused by muscles which are used for digging. The color of the animal varies from a light creamy color through to black. It has a dished facial profile and very long claws on the front paws. In addition, has a wider distribution than any of the other bears, and can be found throuhout the world. The animal has been found in such diverse places as Europe, Japan, North Asia, the western Canadian provinces, and the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. This diversity does not limit itself to purely geographical happenings, as the bear is also found in a great number of different habitats as well. Brown bears can be found on the plains, in the forests, the tundra, and in subalpine mountain areas. At one time, the brown bear could be found throughout the North American continent. However, excessive hunting and destruction of the animal’s habitat have all but wiped out this majestic creature.
This animal’s weight varies widely throughout the course of the year. Some can even double their weigh between emerging from their dens in the Spring and returning in the Fall. The males can weigh anywhere from 300 to 860 pounds, with the females coming in somewhere between 205 and 455 pounds. The average size of these bears is difficult to pinpoint, because it seems to depend greatly on the food sources available. The island grizzlies of Alaska (Kodiak and Admiralty) are considered the largest land carnivores in the world, and live on a diet of fish and other rich food. The inland animals are smaller by some 30%.
Of the browns, people tend to be more familiar with the grizzly bear. This animal is well known for it’s agressive nature, and it is for this reason that many folks believe it gets its name. Not so! The name “”grizzly”” comes from the “”grizzling”” of its fur, which gives it a lighter color at the tips of hairs.
Brown bears reach sexual maturity somewhere between their 4 1/2 to 7th years. Females and males mature at approximately the same time, but males often do not become successful breeders until they are 8-10 years old due to competition with older, stronger males. Mating between browns takes place from early May to mid-July Implantation of the egg in the uterus, however, does not occur until sometime in Oct.-Nov. 1-4 cubs are born during winter hibernation of the female, with 2 being most common, sometime between January and March. The cubs will stay with the sow up to 2 1/2 years, meaning that the female may only breed about once every 3 years or so. Given that bears generally live only until they are 20-25 years of age, this does not give very many opportunities to reproduce.
Like most other bears, the brown bears are longers; with the notable exception of females with cubs. During the mating season, males and females may pair up and mate frequently for up to two weeks. The females require the stimulation of frequent mating before they will ovulate. While fertile, she may mate with several males, leading to cubs in a litter which may not all have the same father. This is one of the factors that makes research into bears more difficult, since paternity is often hard to determine.
The home ranges of bears often overlap. The ranges of males will often intersect those of several females. Bears will not generally attack other bears which wander in to their territories. They will even congregate peacefully in places where food is plentiful such as garbage dumps and salmon streams. In such places, the big, dominant males will usually get the choice fishing areas.
Brown bears are technically carnivores, but in practice most of their diet consists of plant matter such as sedges, grasses, bulbs, seeds, berries, and roots. They will also eat insects, fish, and small mammals. Some of these bears have even developed predatory practices on large animals, including moose, caribou, and elk.
The polar bear is a mighty hunter of seals. The most carnivorous of the bears, it is also the most patient. They will sit near a seal blow-hole for hours, waiting, until the animal surfaces. When it does, it is all over for the seal. One powerful blow from a forepaw brings a swift meal for the bear and a swifter death for the seal.
The conditions of the polar north are harsh, with temperatures well below freezing almost constantly. In order to survive, the polar bear has to be an expert survivalist, able to cope with the grueling conditions of his environment. Like a giant solar panel, the skin of the bear is black to draw every bit of possible heat from the sunlight. The hairs if the pelt appear to be white, but are actually transluscent and transmit the light down to the skin. Below these hairs are “”underhairs”” of orange or yellow.
Like those of other bears, the ears of the polar bear are round. They are, however, smaller and closer to the head. This, along with the overall shape of the animal help to make it a formidable swimmer. The paws are large, and slightly webbed, which also contribute to the bear’s abilities as a swimmer.
There is a great degree of sexual dimorphism among the bears as well. The males are huge, the heaviest of them weighing as much as 1300 pounds. The females are smaller, the largest of them being only about 600 pounds.
The boars do not generally hibernate, but remain active for most of the year. The pregnant females are the exception to this, however. They go through a denning and hibernation period, just like that of the black, brown, and other bears.
Polar bears are more agressive than other bears. Even in captivity.
The asiatic black bear has many similarities to its American cousin. Both are medium sized, and black. The ears of the asiatic bear are large and seem inappropriately sized to the rest of its head and those of other bears. These bears have a white patch of fur on their chest, which is often shaped like a V, with some varying amount of white on their chin as well. Occasionally, they can be found in a brown color phase.
The asiatic black bears are not as widely studied as the other bears, so very little information is available about their relative size and other statistics. Generally, they have been found to be 50-75 inches in length. The males usually weigh from 220-440 pounds, and the females from 110-275 pounds.
These bears can be found throughout Southern Asia. They are known in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sikkim, Northern India, Bhutan, and into Burma. They can also be found in Northeast China, and Southeast Russia, Taiwan, and the Japaneese islands of Honshu and Shikoku. Mostly, these bears live in forested areas, especially hilly and mountainous places. The preferred elevations change seasonally. In summer, asiatic black bears have been spotted at over 9,900 feet–moving to lower elevations as the cold of winter comes on. In the northern parts of their range, they den for winter. Current thinking is that the bears in the southern reaches do not hibernate.
The diet of the asiatic black bear is quite diverse. They eat carrion, bee’s nests, insects, invertibrates, small vertibrates, and fruit. They have been known to kill domestic livestock, but to what degree they exhibit this predation is not known. They are also known to make daybeds and feeding platforms in nut-bearing trees.
The sloth bear is relatively small, with long hair and shaggy coat. The bear is often black, but reddish animals have been seen. The nostrils of the muzzle can be closed at will, possibly as an adaptation to the defenses of the termites which make up a large portion of their diet. Their dark fur is often interspersed with whitish or greyish strands, and they display a noticable whiteish or cream-colored U shaped patch on their chest. Behind their heads, they have a mane, a ruff of fur that covers their neck and part of their shoulders. Their belly and underlegs are nearly bare. The sloth bear’s ears are large and floppy; they have very good hearing. The claws of the sloth bear are sickle-shaped, and deeply curved.
The sloth bear is unique among bears as it has only 40 adult teeth. The cubs have 42 while nursing. The two middle, upper incisors do not grow in with the rest of the permanent teeth. The dirt that the bears ingest with their food often leads to bad teeth, as it grinds away the enamel. When feeding, the bears make loud, sucking sounds which can be heard for many miles.
Sloth bear adults can weigh anywhere from 120-310 pounds and measure anywhere from 60-75 inches in length. The males are larger than the females.
Sloth bears are found in the forested areas and grasslands of India and Sri Lanka. However, the bears have also been witnessed in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.
Sloth bears live a solitary existance, except when raising young or mating. The bears have a number of vocalizations, but their purpose is not understood.
Reproduction for the sloth bears is a fairly standard affar. The animals breed in late Spring/early Summer, with the cubs being born six to seven months later. Like other bears, the litters are small, consisting of only a cub or two. Very rarely, sloth bears have been reported as having three. The cubs stay in their mother’s earth den for the first two to three months, they will continue to stay with their mother through their adolescence, which lasts approximately 2 years.
The spectacled bear gets its name from the distinctive circular bands which ring its eyes. The markings vary slightly from bear to bear, but the general look is the same. The markings are a creamy-yellowish color while the rest of the fur on the animal could be anywhere from brown to black. The spectacled bear is a small animal as bears go, the males generally weighing from 220 to 340 pounds, and the females 140 to 180 pounds. The animals are generally from 60-72 inches in length, with the females being about 30% smaller, on average, than the males.
The females are generally mature somewhere between their 4th and 7th years. After maturity, the animals will mate between May and June, with the litters of up to 3 being born during the Nov-Feb period. The cubs weigh a mere 10-11 1/2 ounces at birth. During the mating months, the bears will pair up and stay together for up to two weeks, copulating frequently. Like most other bears, the female requires this stimulation to ovulate.
Apart from basic mating and other minor habits, we have no information on the social life of these animals in the wild. The bears that have been studied in captivity have shed some light on their society. Females and cubs communicate with vocalizations, of which somewhere between two and five calls have been identified (depending on which source you check with).
The sun bear is a rather small member of the bear family which makes its home in the lowland tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. It is covered with a black coat made of sleek, short hairs. It has a white or yellowish patch on its chest shaped like a half-moon. It has a muzzle which is both yellower and shorter than that of a black bear. Sometimes the light color extends up over the eyes. The long, pointed claws are curved with hairless soles, likely as an adaptive measure to help in climbing trees. The ears of the sun bear are smaller and rounder than those of other bears. The teeth of the sun bear are flatter than those of other bears and the canines are long enough to protrude between the lips.
The omnivorous sun bear lives on a diet consisting mostly of termites, birds, small mammals, and even bits of oil palms, and other commercial crops.
Sun bears are the smallest of all the bears. The adults only weigh up to 145 pounds, and measure at the longest 60 inches.
This bear can be found in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Bangledesh, and many other countries in the Southeastern portions of Asia. However, poaching and deforestration have been slowly eroding the available population and habitat.
As for reproductive habits, there is little available information. Captive breeding has produced such wildly different gestation periods that scientists are not even sure if the sun bear has a mechanism of delayed implantation.
The Giant Panda is one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. For many years, it was believed to be a type of racoon, like the similarly named red panda. However, genetics testing and observation have revealed that the panda is in fact, a bear. It has several adaptations that make it unusual. First is the fact that it has six digits on the front paws, giving it an opposable thumb ideal for holding onto the stalks of bamboo which it consumes in great amounts. The genitalia of the male are rear-pointing and small which is also decidedly unbearish, and much more like those of the red panda. It has only been since 1995 that the Panda has been officially considered a bear.
Typical pandas have a large head, and distinct white and black coloration which contrasts sharply with the deep green of their natural habitat. Pandas can only be found in six tiny regions in southwest China. These places are along the Tibetan plateau in Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanzi provinces. Combined, these areas are less than 5,400 square miles of very high altitude (4,000-11,500 ft.) mountain forests grown thick with patches of more than 30 species of bamboo. The bears themselves have home ranges from 1.8 to 3.3 square miles. The territories of the males often overlap those of a number of females.
Newborn pandas weigh between 3 and 5 ounces. Males grow to 190-275 pounds and 64-76 inches in length, with females being slightly smaller and lighter at 155-220 pounds. They reach sexual maturity between ages 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 years and mate once during the spring months of March, April, and May. The females are in estrus for anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks, but are only really receptive for a few days of that time. During August and September, pregnant females give birth to anywhere from one to three cubs, with one being the more common. The cubs are weaned at nine months, but often stay with their mothers for more than two years.
Like most bears, pandas are solitary animals. Females with cubs being the only exception. They mark their territories by scratching trees and by rubbing a musky anogenital gland against rocks and trees. Additionally, they communicate with different vocalizations. Scientists have identified 11 distince calls, but cannot identify the exact function of all of them.
Pandas are quite vegitarian, making bamboo 99% of their diet. Adults can eat anywhere between 26 and 33 pounds of it in a day, and with soft new shoots up to 84 pounds! Incredibly, that’s almost 40% of their body weight! Ocassionally they consume meat and some other plants.
Elk Hunting Checklist – Don’t Forget the Most Important Thing
When making your Elk hunting checklist, don’t forget the most important piece of equipment… water filtration. A person can only survive for a few days without water. That time is determined by climate, weather and altitude.
In extreme conditions, you may need to consume up to a gallon of water daily to survive. Elk hunting is demanding physically and the arid climate along with altitude make it necessary to have plenty of water on hand. You will need to produce water at camp and also on the go. Water can be boiled or treated in camp but you will need a good water filter for the field.
The cool clear water from mountain streams is very tempting to drink from but avoid doing that if at all possible. Even the clearest looking water can hold microscopic surprises that can ruin your hunt and health. So make SURE one is on your Elk hunting checklist.
I had been drinking from a spring next to our base camp for four years without any problems when it caught up with me. Cattle had used the spring area to graze on the tender shoots of grass that grew tall around the water source. Well, when cows eat they also relieve themselves, and as a result they contaminated my water.
I spent the next several days in camp with the chills and running at both ends. It took me months to get over the mistake that also cost me the rest of my hunt.
I once was tempted to drink from a spring that was coming out of the rocks but I didn’t. Later that afternoon, I found out that the water was coming from a pond above the spring with beaver living in it. That is where the term “”beaver fever”” came from.
Don’t take a chance… make sure a good water filter is on your Elk hunting checklist and that you use it!
Is There an Easy Way to Improve My Fitness For Hunting Season?
Many hunters will be heading to the forests and plains this spring for bear, turkey and many other game animals, but very few will be in the kind of condition they need to be in for safety. Every year there are many hunters who have heart attacks while hunting in the woods, which is a very bad place to have a heart attack due to the lack of any immediate assistance. The responsible thing to do would be to get into good shape before the season. That way, not only are the odds of you experiencing a heart attack reduced, but so are the odds of many other health hazards.
Improved fitness helps in many facets of hunting, a primary example is increased agility. Hunters who are in a higher state of fitness have better balance, which is crucial when walking in terrain many of us hunt in. This increased balance and agility can prevent many severe accidents. Each year there are at least a few bow hunters who fall on their own arrow or knife while climbing in or out of their tree stands. It only takes about 1 pound of pressure to drive a razor sharp broad-head right through any muscle tissue it comes in contact with, so the potential for disaster is tremendous. On one of my own hunting trips with a friend of mine, we were walking across a meadow in central Idaho trying to locate a herd of elk to pursue. My partner was pretty new to archery hunting and he insisted on walking with an arrow knocked on his string. As we trudged across a meadow he sort of fell in line behind me and we headed out, not even thinking of the risk his knocked arrow could pose. Parting the grass we made our way across the meadow, which was about a half mile across, and near the edge I felt the razor sharp tip of his broad-head scrape across the back of my pant leg. If he had been any closer, he may have severed my Achilles tendon and we would have been in a bad situation.
Another benefit of improved fitness for hunters is the higher degree of efficiency that our cardiovascular system works with. As our heart and lungs process oxygen more efficiently, our performance will increase and the ground we can cover will too. Not only that, but we will be able to climb the steep terrain easier as well. An added benefit of improving your cardiovascular fitness is that you reduce you risk for heart attack, not only in the field but overall. Imagine you are back in the woods at one of your favorite hunting spots, and you experience something as completely immobilizing as a minor heart attack. It may take hours or even days before any medical help can reach you. This is an occasion that a half an ounce of prevention is worth the pound of cure.
The best way to approach fitness for hunters is to be proactive and participate in a professionally designed workout plan for hunters. As with any workout regimen, consult a doctor before starting and make sure that you are as ready as you can be when you hit the field.Whether it is right in your own backyard, or 30 miles into the back country, hunting fitness may be the deciding factor between life and death.
Hunting With a Compound Bow
The thrill of hunting is something that many people enjoy. Throughout Western Canada there are opportunities to go out into the wilderness and stalk a prey. Using cunning and patience to keep downwind of an elk or deer there are a number of hunters that enjoy testing their skill with a compound bow. Calgary residents that have mastered the hunt and want to experience the raw feeling of going up against an animal without the aid of a rifle and scope have embraced the sport of bow hunting. Often sitting quietly in a hide for hours on end as they wait for their quarry to wander by, the exhilaration of hunting with a compound bow has many Calgary residents looking forward to annual hunt.
In an almost primal sense of hunter against nature, the use of the bow requires a great deal of strength and stamina to use. Drawing back the string to create the needed tension and leverage to bring down a buck requires a lot of muscle and practice. Dating back thousands of years archery is a noble sport that has withstood the test of time. Choosing the right moment to let the arrow fly from their compound bow Calgary hunters that are looking for the ultimate kill are finding that there is a lot more to bow hunting than there is to using a muzzle loader or a shotgun to hunt. From a high mounted hide that is elevated above the ground the bow hunter must be at a close range in order to complete their mission and bring down their prey. Where rifles and shotguns can be used with accuracy at a distance, there is much more skill required when hunting with a bow.
All About Cue Tips
Do you think that your choice in tips is the right choice or simply politically correct? What I mean by politically correct is, is your choice in tips controlled by the opinion of your peers or some professional player that you know, or is it based on fact? By the end of this article you should be able to answer this question for youself.
## What are the differences in pool cue tips? ##
As you probably already know, you have everything from very soft singlepiece animal skin tips from various types of animals (elk, cow, water buffalo and cape buffalo) to very hard single piece animal skins. There is also the laminated tips ranging anywhere from three to fifteen layers. The laminated tips also range from soft to extremely hard using various animal skins and tannages. The end result is a myriad of confusing choices. I would like to unmuddy the water for you somewhat. All of these variables can impact power, accuracy, and your sight picture.
First let’s assume that you already know that the shape or radius of the tip is of utmost importance and must be maintained at all times during gameplay. That very important shape that I just mentioned is the radius of a dime (roughly) or a “”0.375″” radius. In other words, hold a dime edgewise up to your tip and look over the top… If it does not match the shape or radius of a dime on the top of your tip, you’ve already got a problem.
When the ball is struck by the tip, the portion of the tip that takes the force is no more than an eighth of an inch offcenter in all directions. This is true regardless of whether you’ve struck the cue ball a sixteenth off center, or a full tip off center. What this radius does is generate the force, regardless of where it is struck, to the center of the tip and down through the center of your cue. Soft tips create more distortion than harder tips. In otherwords, a larger area of the tip makes contact and wraps around the cue ball in the case of a soft tip.
This may give you more tip confidence, particularily if you’re a beginner, because you will miscue less, despite having a sloppy stroke; but, the price you will pay is less power and a whole lot more deflection of the cue ball, because you have moved all of the tip to one side of the cue ball with virtually no penetration. On the other hand, a hard tip will focus the energy in a much smaller area at impact and will give you a higher degree of penetration. When I speak of penetration, I mean the force being directed to the cue ball by virtue of the direction the cue is being swung or pointed and that force penetrates the cue ball in the direction that the shaft or cue is being driven. As an added bonus, a harder tip lasts longer.
## What about miscueing with hard cue tips? ##
The simple fact of the matter is, that the small, glasslike particles of chalk, which cause the friction, are held higher up on the surface on a hard tip so that they will penetrate deeper into the surface of the cueball at impact. A soft tip allows more particles to come into contact because of it’s increased tip surface at impact; however, though there be more particles in contact with the cue ball, it does not penetrate the cue ball as deeply and therefore creates less friction per particle. Bottomline: You have the choice of either more particles penetrating less or fewer particles penetrating more… The net total friction is about a trade-off. Whether the tip you choose is one single piece of hide or laminated multipe pieces of hide, the key issue is the more penetration means more accuracy, more power, and tremendously less cue ball deflection and negative effects on your sight picture. As a side note: You’ve probably noticed, if you’ve played much, that a tip plays its best just before it has to be changed. This is because it has been pounded enough through constant play to make the tip more dense (harder in all areas).
## What does Meucci Originals do with this information? ##
After testing every tip on the market, and measuring it’s resultant power and deflection variation, we have found that a hard tip with even harder outside edges around the circumference will perform the best. Harder outside edges so that the energy is directed into the cue will be focused more towards the center of the shaft, while at the same time keeping the outside walls of the tip from breaking down. There is only two ways to get this result: 1. A hard water buffalo tip. or 2. To compress the tip of your choice as hard as you can, then shape to a dime radius and then pound the outside edges to further harden the circumference and reshape that area to be once again a dime radius.
We take both the latter and former choice at Meucci Originals with the well-known Le Professional tips or hard water buffalo tips. I hope I haven’t caused you even more confusion. I think the choice should now be simple: your choice should be made according to knowledge and experience instead of the fashion of the day.
Hunting in Montana – The Culture and Lifestyle of a Montana Tradition
Hunting is as much a part of the Montana lifestyle as cowboy boots and buffalo. It is a fundamental weave in our social fabric and considered a rite of passage by most Montanans. Imagine businesses closing to accommodate their employees’ hunting hysteria, and schools being more lenient about tardies and absences during hunting season.
Yes, a quick glance at the bumper stickers and license plates on the trucks in Montana will quickly illuminate the place of reverence that hunting enjoys in this state of, as one of my friends so aptly calls it, “”Huntana””. And in fact, one of my favorite restaurants proudly serves the ‘Montana Surf n Turf’ which is a meal of rainbow trout and buffalo.
Not being limited to merely deer hunting, stalking the wily game in Montana offers a nearly unending supply of choices, and encompasses a wide variety of animals such as moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, buffalo, Canada goose, pheasant, brook trout, wild turkey, grouse; the list goes on and on.
Those who plan it right can legitimately hunt from September through November. They take advantage of this option by taking up bow hunting in addition to the traditional rifle or shotgun method of hunting. There is an added appeal to bow hunting because it starts in early September when the weather is usually a little more bearable. The rifle hunters will generally have to brave below freezing temperatures and fresh snow to land their kill. But, in fact, the snow gives them an added advantage in tracking. So those souls asking for an early snowfall in Montana are undoubtedly hunters or skiers.
When I came to Montana, I noticed horizontal boards across many thresholds and garages. “”It’s to hang the deer from,”” was my husband’s casual reply. I was appalled. The thought of animal carcasses hanging randomly around the neighborhood made me nervous. Sure enough, in October and November there they were; the big game carcasses, acting as hunters’ “”trophies”” hanging in a proud and defiant display. Many big game hunters let them hang for up to five days to cure the meat and reduce the ‘gamey’ taste. In Montana, many garages and sheds double as super-size refrigerators during hunting season: that time of the year the temperatures usually stay below 40 degrees.
A friend of mine is strictly committed to bird hunting. He will shoot any kind of fowl he can get his sights on, be it duck, Canada goose, pheasant, grouse or wild turkey. He is, however, more discriminating in what he will eat. He prefers pheasant over anything else. When I asked what he does with the birds he kills and does not care to eat, he so eloquently stated, “”I make sure they get eaten by something.”” This meant primarily friends, family, neighbors and their pets. How noble. His wife doesn’t care for eating any kind of wild fowl, so that presents its own brand of discord among his household. Still, most Saturday mornings he is guarding the banks of the river, shotgun in hand, waiting for the unwary bird to wander by.
Big game hunting seems to be more all-consuming for the big game hunter. Early in the season, many hunters will pass on perfectly good kills, waiting for the ‘big kill’. I have my suspicions as to whether they are actually holding off for the ‘big kill’ or simply milking the hunting excursions for all they’re worth. The spouses at home are referred to as ‘hunting widows’ while they patiently wait for their other half to get it out of their system. As soon as the magical phrase is uttered, “”This is your last weekend! Don’t come home until you get something,”” they somehow, quite miraculously I’d say, bring home an animal, be it elk or deer or moose or whatever is required to fill their hunting tag. The animals are probably more nervous towards the end of the season when the hunters who haven’t filled their tag yet will shoot at anything that crosses their path.
Everyone has their meat preferences. Most of my friends do not care for venison, preferring elk or buffalo to deer. They have different ways of preparing game meat, and interesting ways of disguising the taste of the more gamey-tasting meat that they dislike. When my father came for a visit, I made him a genuine Montana Moose Meatloaf, which he touts as one of the highlights of his trip. Some of my friends even brag that they have not had to buy red meat at the store for years.
I made my first kill last fall in the Lolo National Forest. My rite of passage was courtesy of a small doe that played her part in the cycle of life to feed my friend’s family. As I’m not a big fan of venison, my particular freezer contains elk, buffalo and moose courtesy of other friend’s generosity, as I didn’t kill any of them.
The Lolo National Forest is a two-million-acre recreational playground, with over 700 miles of hiking trails, over 100 named lakes and five rivers, and more than 60 species of large mammals, so when we say that western Montana is truly your outdoor recreational paradise, we mean it! For those of us that have the privilege of living here, we have the luxury of simply wandering out into our 145,552 square mile ‘backyard’ to enjoy this recreation any time we want. You simply can’t put a price on it, that’s for sure!
Who is the Greatest Tennis Player of All-Time? Federer, Sampras, Riggs? Aspen Hustle – Part One
The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club has played a large part in our family’s life over the years. My wife Sally, our son Mike and I used to live up the street until we forsook the beauty of the ocean for the lure of the golf courses in the desert. The Club was our home away from home — to play a little tennis, visit with friends, walk the beach or have a glass of wine on the promenade, hoping to see a green flash at the sun’s setting. Developed by a true patron of tennis and tennis players William S. Kellogg, the Club was transformed from its original marina design into a hacienda style resort right on the sand. It sprawls along the beach front, quietly welcoming generations of families who come each summer for their vacations. And during the quiet months it remains its humble self, filled with locals who play on its 16 courts and who still sit on the promenade after a set or two, hoping to see a green flash. The green flash occurs on rare occasions when the sun hits the horizon at the end of a very clear day.
The Beach and Tennis Club is not the grandest of all resorts in the world, but it has a certain something that many of the newer and bigger operations do not possess. Perhaps, it’s soul. It is probably the soul of the Kellogg family that continues to oversea the property. It could be the eons of paint that cover the adobe walls resulting in a color you can’t quite identify. Is it salmon? Is it orange? Is it tan? The rooms are small, but are continually being upgraded. The grounds are kept immaculate with an infinite variety of palm trees swaying in the sea breeze high above the court fences. And there are roses, lots and lots of roses. Nothing significant has changed at the Club for years and probably that’s what makes it so special. My wife can attest to that. She started playing here as a young girl in junior tournaments, then in women’s events and finally in national senior championships, winning titles along the way. She is just one of the many champions who have played at the Club through the years. Stoffen, Mako, Budge, Gonzales, Kramer, Bond, Ralston, Olmedo, Bundy-Cheney, Fleitz, Brough, Laver, Emerson, Smith, Lutz, Ramirez, Edberg, Osuna, Pasarell, Roddick, Conners, Segura and a million more.
So it is with great excitement that we have returned to the La Jolla area, correcting the mistake of having left in the first place, and especially on this day returning to the Club to lunch with old friends.
Old friends are not just old, as in this case, but old as in good friends for a long time. Jay Smith the most vociferous of the luncheon attendees greets us with his usual enthusiasm, “”Marv, Sally, great to see you. Roger was fantastic yesterday, wasn’t he?! The greatest player I’ve ever seen!”” Jay speaks with some authority, a former teaching pro out of Los Angeles, a connoisseur of tennis for many years, a heady competitor himself and now a scratch golfer. “”He has everything,”” continues Jay. “”His serve may not be as big as Roddick’s, Pete’s or Pancho’s, but he’s consistent and his placement is superb.”” His wife Sheri nods. She lets Jay do most of the talking most of the time. She sits quietly and waits her turn, usually when things quiet down. Learning the game in later life, Sheri herself has become a keen observer of the game.
“”Uh huh,”” agrees Sheri.
“”I’d have to agree too,”” adds Mardi Stein, another of our table companions. She has played social tennis at the Club for years and like Sheri, what she lacks in skill she makes up for in dress. These two are perhaps the best dressed players this side of Sharapova.
Mardi’s husband Shel, who is usually as quiet as Sheri, breaks in, “”I believe there are 8 critical skills to tennis greatness.”” Shel is a fine player and tough competitor. He is intelligent and mindful on and off the court so his opinion counts here. “”Most champions possess 3 or 4 of these abilities in spades – a big serve, killer forehand, lethal backhand, aggressive volley, fantastic return, great court coverage, concentration and the ability to win critical points. I think Federer has them all. He is the greatest by default.””
“”I wouldn’t disagree,”” says a voice from behind me. I turn to see that Jack and Carmen Stone have arrived to join the luncheon party. “”He is the best I’ve ever seen,”” continues Jack, and Jack has seen a lot of tennis players over the years. He has been a member of the Club for 50 years and still plays a respectable game of doubles. His wife Carmen still turns heads when she enters a room. Her beauty is not just skin deep. She is lovely in every way and shares an interest with Sally in matters of a spiritual nature.
Sally chips in, “”He plays in the ethers.””
“”What? What are you talking about?”” demands Jay.
Sally has a tendency to see things in a different light, even if she is agreeing with everyone, as she was here. “”Don’t you see the way he moves around the court? He is absolutely one with the ball. He moves on a different plane, like Michael Jordan did on the basketball court. He is fluid. He is liquid. He is airborne. He is the greatest tennis player of all time. No one comes close!””
Words began to fly, but finally I couldn’t take it anymore. “”I strongly disagree!”” I volunteered. The table conversation stopped. I continued, “”I believe the greatest player is the one who has made the greatest impact on tennis to date and that was Bobby Riggs!””
“”Riggs?!”” yelled Jay. “”He was a hustler. What did he ever do? What have I missed here?””
Now I had to explain myself. Diners at nearby tables were perking up their ears as our discussion became more heated. “”First of all he was great – a world champion at the age of 21. He won the singles title at Wimbledon, 3 U.S. titles, played on the Davis Cup Team. He also won Wimbledon doubles and mixed doubles titles. He loved tennis and he too had all the shots and some trick ones not seen today. Yes, he was a hustler, but he was also a tennis promoter. In fact the single biggest tennis event, actually the single biggest athletic event, in history was created by Riggs. The Battle of the Sexes $100,000 Winner-Take-All match against Billie Jean King in 1973, uplifted the awareness of tennis to the level of a major sport. There were 30,000, standing-room only at the Houston Astrodome with another 50 million TV viewers around the world. Not even the 2008 Democratic and Republican Conventions reached 40 million and they were the largest viewed in history Riggs efforts along with Billie Jean King’s did more for women’s lib than all the efforts up to that time. That event helped women break the equal pay and equal everything barrier in many, many fields beyond tennis. Besides all that he was a man in his mid-50’s who could still play at a very high level. Sally and I know this from personal experience because he came to Aspen in 1976 to help us open a fabulous new tennis club called The Tennis Club.
Back in the mid 70’s when Sally and I first got together she was ending her career as a touring Virginia Slims tennis pro, still ranked in the top 20 in the world, and I had just left a top marketing and promotional position with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City to pursue my entrepreneurial destiny. We were offered a chance to go to Aspen with a deed to 25 spectacular acres of land along the Roaring Fork River just south of town to develop a world-class tennis resort for a New York investor. The deal was worked out on a paper napkin as we had lunch at the center court restaurant on the grounds of the old Forest Hills Tennis Club where the U.S. Open was being held. Sally would be the head rackets pro and I would supervise construction of the new club and the sale of 20 luxury condominiums scheduled to be built on the club property.
After Sally played her last Slims tournament in Austin, Texas, we packed our bags and headed for Aspen. The investor had wisely hired a local Aspen attorney, Andy Stern, for us to work with to secure the necessary local government approvals before starting construction on the project, as well as build an interest in the club for local and non-resident memberships. We would also have the 20 condos to sell.
So it was with great anticipation and a sense of freedom that we made our way by car along Interstate 70 out of Denver through the lower reaches of the Rockies toward our future.
We hit Glenwood Springs, then turned south on Highway 82 for the last 40 miles up along a narrow alpine valley bordering the Roaring Fork River. Cascading water ran from the higher elevations of Independence Pass and the Continental Divide into the river and down the valley. The fresh air and the possibility of wandering trout streams felt good to my soul. The aspen trees with their shimmering golden leaves welcomed us along our new path. “”Sally, I know I’m going to like this project. I know it!””
As we passed through Carbondale, still climbing, the ranches looked grander, the cattle looked bigger and the river looked clearer. Finally at an altitude of 7,500 feet we entered the little town of Basalt, where yet another whitewater river roared. This one, running east to west, called the Frying Pan, falls into the Roaring Fork which runs south to north. The biggest landmark in Basalt is an old cowboy bar called the Frying Pan Restaurant and Bar. Right out of the 1800’s, it is a hangout for after work ranch hands. “”Let’s stop,”” I said, eyeing some fishermen laying their catch out on the porch of the restaurant. I’ve got to check this out.””
We climbed the steps and peeked into the creels the men brought to carry their catches. “”Looks like you’ve had a good day,”” I ventured.
“”Always a good day here. Always a good day,”” was the response from an old weather-beaten local still casting into the Frying Pan near the porch. But better still was the response from the restaurant. Wafting out of the doorway was the smell of fresh, pan-fried trout. The fisherman, who looked as if he had been in these mountains since birth, continued to fill me in, “”Rainbows. We mostly catch rainbows with an occasional brownie here and there from the deep pools near the waterfall. But, if you’re adventurous you can try a few high mountain lakes where you might catch some golden trout – above 10,000 feet. Great eatin’.””
My mouth was watering, not only from the smells escaping from the nearby kitchen, but from the possibility of wandering stream and lake banks and actually catching fish. The most precious times in my youth were spent with my father doing just that – hopping from rock to rock, casting, reeling in, moving along and casting again with the promise of a fish dinner in the evening and all the while not paying attention to how my feet got me from one rock to the next.
“”Could you give us a little background to this area? I asked. “”Tell us about Aspen.””
That brought a smile to the old man’s face. His hands continued doing the tasks of a fisherman without his thinking about it. “”Well, it goes back to the Ute Indians. For hundreds of years they used to summer in the high meadows here, hunting elk. In the late 1800’s silver was discovered and all hell broke loose as miners came and raided the place. A large mining camp on the Roaring Fork developed called Ute City. It’s now Aspen, but even then it had everything – an opera house, hotels, banks. Actually they’re still here today – the Hotel Jerome, the Wheeler Opera House, even the Ute City Bank. But like many good things, the boom didn’t last. The price of silver crashed and the population which was nearly 12,000 dwindled to 800 people.”” He stopped to cast again.
“”In the 30’s, I believe it was, a wealthy Chicago industrialist named Walter Paepcke tried to build a ski resort, but World War II changed things. The area was turned into a training ground for the 10th Mountain Division to get our troops ready to fight the Germans in the alpine areas of Europe. That was my unit and after the war a bunch of us returned here. We loved it and knew it was special. Some of the men, like me, became ranchers. Others like Friedl Pfeifer formed the Aspen Ski Corp. That’s how Aspen came to be.””
We thanked our new friend and went inside to see if the trout tasted as good as it smelled.
The canyon narrows the last few miles into Aspen, winding above the river, then opens up into the last high meadow before climbing almost straight up to Independent Pass, the top of the Rocky Mountains with an altitude of over 12,000 feet. On that last high meadow sits the town of Aspen, now a sophisticated, refurbished Victorian village with its own airport capable of handling small private and corporate jets. Meticulously restored, the town glows from the faces of its charming multi-storied buildings and brick chalets with their arched windows and peaked roofs. The Aspen Music Festival was in full session when we arrived, with hundreds of student, classical musicians inhabiting every nook. Every street corner and every open window above every store along Galena, Hyman and Main streets was enlivened with their magical music making. They rehearsed 24/7 to the delight of the locals and their instructors who included many of the world’s greatest musicians such as Itzhak Perlman.
Above the rooftops and the din, stood the most majestic of all mountains, Aspen Mountain, called Ajax by the locals. It soared from the center of town up through the clouds to 11,000 feet. This was indeed a sublime place and no wonder so many free-spirited celebrities like John Denver, Jack Nicholson, the Kennedys, Clint Eastwood and Merv Griffin made Aspen a regular stop or a second home.
So in the summer of 1975 we moved into an old sod-roofed ranch house in the middle of those 25 acres with the Roaring Fork River rumbling nearby. For the next year we worked hard and long to bring the proposed project to fruition. But it was when we got near the end of the construction phase that we decided that we needed a dramatic event to launch the membership program and to start the condominium sales.
We had it all. Our new mountainside complex boasted three indoor tennis courts, 12 outdoor courts, two squash courts, 16 racquetball courts, a full indoor gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool and spa, plus a beautiful restaurant, lounge and bar. On top of this, it was staffed by top health practitioners. Although there were five other tennis clubs in town, there was nothing like this in Aspen at the time. But we needed a big event to not only draw attention to the project, but also to draw attention to Sally, the first female head pro of a major tennis club in the U.S.
At a special breakfast meeting with our Aspen attorney, Andy, our New York investor, Ben Goldstein, and a few key Aspen local leaders, we proposed bringing Bobby Riggs to Aspen to play Sally in a winner-take-all exhibition tennis match. This was just 3 years after Bobby had played and beaten Margaret Court in a “”Battle of the Sexes”” match, claiming that no professional woman player, no matter how strong could beat a professional man player, no matter what his ranking. He proved it once. Then, of course, a few months later with that same bravado he took on Billie Jean King. Over 50,000,000 people worldwide watched that eventful match on TV. Bobby was featured on the cover of Time magazine. History was made as the glass ceiling of a cement tennis court was broken, thanks to Billie Jean.
We felt we could draw the attention we wanted with the help of Bobby. Fortunately, he was available. The deal we worked out was simple. It guaranteed him $3,500, plus a chance to win the $1,000 winner-take-all challenge money. Naturally we had to include his airfare, room and board, but that was easy. We were a resort. We also asked that he make himself available for socializing with our locals. He was only too willing. We planned to invite everybody in town to enjoy the event and the particular glam that he brought with him. Having never met Bobby Riggs, I really did not know what to expect, so we tried hard to cover all VIP treatment bases.
One of the key supporters of our project was the president of the local branch of a statewide bank chain. He suggested that their bank chain co-sponsor the event, not only to defray our costs, but as an incentive to their customers. They ended up giving away tickets at all of their branches throughout Colorado, for any new deposits of several thousand dollars or more.
Coloradans love any excuse to visit Aspen, so the event would not only bring potential new members to our club, but fill hotels, restaurants and the club stands. It would be a great promotion for everyone involved. The event was starting to grow and grow, taking on a life of its own. Again, I had never met Bobby Riggs, so I didn’t know what to expect. But, this event was starting to ramp up — big time!
Copyright 2008 Marv Huss