Reviewing the Vapr Boot from Irish Setter
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A reprint from my review originally posted over at Outdoor Hub

I’d like to thank Kim Emery from Firefly Publicity and Irish Setter Boots for sending me a pair of the VaprTrek boots to do a review on. These boots looked ideally suited to the deserts I frequently hunt, here in Arizona.

From Irish Setter, here are some details on these boots:

New VaprTrek boots are 40% lighter than traditional Irish Setter big game hunting boots without sacrificing support or stability. RPM Technology, a breakthrough composite material, significantly reduces the weight of the boot, providing extreme comfort without the extra weight.

The RPM sole features a bi-directional lug pattern for increased traction and balance during heel strike and toe off. The wrap-around instep provides protection and aids in gripping tree stand rungs or ATV foot pegs. Armatec™ heel and toe protection guards against ground hazards. Underfoot comfort is enhanced with an anatomically-correct polyurethane and high-rebound foam footbed with a ScentBan™ odor inhibiting top cover. And a ScentBan lining delivers scent control through a process that kills odor-causing bacteria.

Irish Setter VaprTrek hunting boots incorporate UltraDry™ waterproofing so feet stay dry and boots stay breathable. A memory foam collar forms to fit the ankle for comfortable stability in the boot shaft. The Cushin™ Comfort Tongue offers long-lasting comfort in the shin area. A speed lacing system with one-tug tightening provides fast, snug lacing.

While waiting for hunting season to roll around, I tested these boots over the course of several hikes in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, which is within a few miles of my house. Temps and weather varied from 107 and sunny, to about 100 and blustery with summer thunderstorms rolling around. This terrain is typical of the Sonoran desert, hard-packed and rocky, with lots of prickly things.

These boots are very comfortable, first off. The bottom of the boot on the inside is soft yet supportive. The sole is firm enough that stepping on sharp rocks didn’t feel uncomfortable, but they were thin enough that I always had a good feel for the terrain underfoot. The treads worked as advertised, providing good footing whether I was on smooth rock, gravel, or shards. The boots and stitching held up well. The soft sides seemed relatively impervious to accidental contact with cactii, a constant nuisance in Arizona. They were light, as adevertised, and I enjoyed wearing them.

I tend to roll my ankles a lot in rough terrain. These boots provided enough support that I never rolled my ankles, but they weren’t so stiff that I felt like I was wearing ski boots either. Again, I found them to be comfortable, rugged and supportive. Having no body of water to verify that they were waterproof, I came home from one hike, snuck into the bathroom with my boots on and filled up the tub. They are indeed waterproof as I spent several minutes with them fully submerged in the tub. Luckily my wife didn’t catch me. If I could find one “con” – these boots were oddly warm. Not so warm that I was dying, but warm enough that I went and double-checked the box to make sure that I had received the non-insulated boots. They weren’t insulated, but they were pretty “cozy” nonetheless. Of course, it was over 100 degrees out, every time I hiked.

All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these boots. They are sturdy, well-designed and can handle rough use. I didn’t baby them out in the desert, and there was no sign at all of wear, stitching breakdown, separation, etc. A great product from Irish Setter Boots.

Desert Rat Talks to Doug Giles
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Well, I’m hoping that you read my review of Rise, Kill & Eat by Doug Giles. This was an awesome book, and I’d like to thank Lyn over at Liberty Alliance Publicity for allowing me to do a follow up interview with Doug.

I received a release from Doug’s publicist with his take on hunting:

“Five Reasons Why I Love Hunting”

1. Hunters are the salt of the earth. Matter of fact, I’d say that 95% of the people I have met in the hallowed hunting camp have been upright, pleasant, courteous, grateful, hard working, God-and-country-loving, family oriented folks with whom it was my deepest pleasure to be able to share a few days pursuing game.

2. Hunters put their money where their mouth is. What I’ve seen in 30 plus years out in the hunting fields is this: The family that hunts together stays together. Hunting requires communication between the hunting parties. There’s a lot that goes into being a successful hunter, and it demands plenty of quality time spent between the tribe discussing safety, terrain, conservation, the particular animals to be pursued, and choices of weapons, boots, clothes, bullets, bows/arrows After all the aforementioned prelim stuff is done with, then the hunt commences, which includes sitting, walking, stalking, and then relaxing around the sacred campfire, where it’s just talking, laughing and anticipating the next day, you are all together. The hunter understands this: Family is everything.

3. Hunting provides massive amounts of food for the poor. The reality is that we provide a massive, benevolent source of high-protein, low-fat food to the poor at our own expense. In the last couple of years alone, my buddies and I have paid for the hunting, butchering and processing of, conservatively, 10,000 pounds of sweet venison for the poor in Africa and at risk kids, Christian ministries, and abused and battered women here in the U.S. of A. That’s 10,000 plus pounds of meat just between a few guys in the last few years.

4. Art by God. The hunter gets an ocular overload, as he is fortunate to behold the handiwork of the Creator in an intimate and intimidating way. The hunter understands what King David meant in Psalm 23 when he says that God “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”

5. Hunting revives the hunter’s primal roots. Just getting out in the wild reconnects me with my original spiritual and physical moorings. When God created Adam and Eve, He made certain that their initial crib didn’t have cable TV or a home association.

Honestly, Doug really seems like my kind of guy, so I thought it would be cool to ask him some questions. Thanks again to Lyn for doing the legwork, and Doug for taking time out of his bus schedule to answer some questions…

1. Why do you think we have gotten so far in society where hunting is frowned upon more and more? Urbanization?
Changing social values?

I think, we think, hunting is ‘frowned upon by more and more people’ because the morons have been given a massive megaphone, via social media, to make their emotional imbecilicy heard.

In addition, the concrete jungles of the malls and the game room basements of Any-Town, America has squelched the provider, protector, hunter, hero vibe from the American collective. Especially, the metrosexual males.

Lastly, the doe-eyed bunny loving tree-humpers also are in control of TV and motion pictures and they wash their dain bramaged masses with the message that anyone who puts the bam to Bambi is evil. The reality is, if it weren’t for hunters and the 100s of millions of dollars they put towards conservation annually … that our flora and fauna would be screwed, glued and tattooed.

2. Do you think we can swing the pendulum the other way or should we simply attempt to slow or delay the inevitable?

I think the pendulum is swinging our way. Women are entering the hunting fields in record numbers. Slowly but surely great reality and food shows are showing the fact that hunting is a legit way of life and and the food taken in the hunt is better than that store bought, poison choked, crap grub you get from the grocery.

I think if we give up countering the lunatics’ anti-hunting rhetoric then we’re to blame for the possibility of hunting being verboten.

3. Christian values seem to be sliding too. Same problems or different? (than hunting)

Our nation has been systematically hijacked by secularists who don’t give a flibbertigibbet about traditional values and it is way past time that Christians got vocal, not only about God loving bad people, but that we too have equal rights, under the law, to enjoy our beliefs without having some godless ‘progressive’ tell us what to think and how to behave.

4. As hunters, what is our biggest mistake? Infighting? Insensitivity? Lack of education and outreach?

I’d say, lack of education of the amazing blessing hunting and hunters bring to real life in the preservation of land and species. Additionally, I gotta say we need some cojones and comedic relief to confront and ridicule the obstreperous when they start to slam our grand tradition. It’s time to get on the offensive because science and truth is on our side.

5. What is the best thing the hunting community can do to promote our lifestyle?

Aside from buying my book, we’ve got to be an example to all men: we’ve got to be sharp, solid and smart and counter the knuckle draggin’-Neanderthal-Bubba cartoon the anti-hunting dipsticks have made us out to be.

6. What is your favorite hunt? What is on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?

Geez … what’s my favorite hunt? There has been so many from Alaska to Africa. Some successful and some not but all equally enjoyable because I only hunt with great friends and family. That said, I must put at the top of my list my Alaska brown bear hunt when I took a 10′ prehistoric toad with my .375H&H and my buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe last year when I finally got my first cape buffalo bull with my wife on our 25th anniversary.

My bucket list? It includes, but is not limit to; elephant, lion, leopard, dry ground hippo, bongo, lord derby eland, markhor, the various ibex species, mt. goat, yukon moose, roe deer and an Amazon fishing trip. After that … I can die and go eat some ice-cream in heaven with Jesus.

Loving you some Doug Giles? You can read more here: Town Hall.com – Doug Giles

Buy his newest book here: Rise, Kill & Eat

Uncle Mike’s IWB Tuckable Holsters
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I’d like to thank Mike Capps from Howard Communications for getting me one of these holsters to do a review on.It worked out well since I had recently purchased a new Glock 32 and I didn’t have a holster for it.

Here is what Uncle Mike’s has to say about this particular holster:

The most versatile inside-the-waistband holster on the planet. The IWB Tuckable allows for the shooter’s shirt to be tucked in around the holster, offering complete concealment of the firearm.

The IWB Tuckable is ambidextrous, allowing the user to change between right and left handed carry. Because of its versatility, it can be comfortably worn appendix, cross draw, and small of back. Three levels of adjustment on the holster and another five levels of adjustment on the j-clip, allow the shooter to truly adjust the holster to preference. The four available sizes fit the majority of concealed carry firearms on the market.

All of my holsters previously had been of the “open carry” variety, so an IWB holster was a new thing for me. Uncle Mike’s makes a well-built, well-designed, rugged holster that is easy to use, and easy to configure. It has a tom of cool features.

Now, it is with some trepidation that I post a picture that clearly shows the remnants of a beer belly and the subsequent muffin-top. I get a little solace from the fact that my shorts are clearly too big now, having lost over 35 pounds over the past few months.

The holster is easily adjustable for which side you are carrying it on (or small of back),how high or low you are carrying it, and at what cant or angle. You can do all of this fairly simply, and with only a small Phillips’ screwdriver.

Not used to CCW, I had my daughter inspect me and take photos, and the Glock wasn’t even remotely visible. It rode comfortably and the retention strap (adjustable) was easy to use. The strap is held in place with heavy-duty “hook and loop” material, is reversible, and comes with a small device (marked as a ruler to adjust depth) which slides in and disengages the strap from the slot.

This is an extremely versatile holster, and I tried carrying in all positions and it was comfortable in every position. It is held securely, and the holster doesn’t wiggle or rattle. A flick of the thumb releases the retention strap and the pistol clears easilyfrom the holster and it re-holsters effortlessly. It is well-constructed and made of durable materials. If you are looking for an IWB Holster, I would highly recommend checking out this holster or one of the other cool products from Uncle Mike’s

Dove Season is Upon Us
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I’m not a fanatical dove hunter; I don’t like opening morning for sure, and overall I prefer the evening shoot. My daughter wants to give it a try this year so I hope we get out for a bit this season. Bag limit is up to 15 this year, so lots of people excited about that.

Looking for some new dove recipes? Hank Shaw is one of my favorites. Check out some of his yummy offerings here:

Grilled Doves la Mancha

Grilled Doves Teriyaki

Cajun Grilled Doves

You can check out the Arizona Dove regs (and buy your license or dove stamp online!) HERE

FrankFord Arsenal Introduces Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler
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The Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler delivers a new level of brass cleaning performance. Rotary tumbling with stainless steel media in a liquid bath gets brass much cleaner, and works much faster than ultrasonic or vibratory tumbling methods. The small stainless pins easily penetrate inside cases and into primer pockets to deliver unbeatable cleaning power. The large volume drum holds up to 1000 pieces of .223 brass and has a molded in rubber lining to protect brass and dampen noise during operation. A built in timer in the base can be set to run from 0 to 3 hours, shutting off automatically. The drum features clear end caps to allow visibility to the brass while tumbling. A set of sifting end caps is also included to assist in separating the stainless media once tumbling is complete. The tumbler can effectively clean without the use of stainless media pins with a mixture of Frankford Brass Cleaning Solution and water (use of media pins ensures primer pockets and inside of cases are perfectly clean). Five pounds of 304 stainless media pins and a sample packet of Frankford Brass Cleaning Solution are included. One accessory that makes sorting brass and pins quick and convenient is the Media Transfer Magnet. The Transfer Magnet is ideal for handling stainless media pins. It effectively gathers and then releases pins with a pull of the handle.

• Most effective brass cleaning process available
• Brass comes out cleaner than brand new brass
• Large 7 liter capacity, Tumble up to 1000x cases of 223 brass
• Dual layer drum with noise dampning rubber lining
• Includes 5lbs of stainless steel media pins ($49.99 value)
• Includes a sample packet of Frankford Arsenal Brass Cleaning Concentrated Solution
• Maintenance free geared drivetrain (No belts to replace!)

Battenfeld Technologies, Inc.
4885 West Van Horn Tavern Rd.
(573) 445-9200
www.battenfeldtechnologies.com