Checking Out The Fishing Gift Box
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A big thanks to Diane McNamara from Fire It Up PR, for reaching out to me about the Fishing Gift Box! Press Release segment below:

Actor John Ratzenberger Launches FishingGiftBox.com

(Las Vegas, NV – May 26, 2017): Actor John Ratzenberger and entrepreneur David Polinsky continue to expand their online shopping portal The GiftBox.com with the addition of the Fishing Gift Box.

The Fishing Gift Box includes a monthly collection of the best lures, spinners, jigs, soft plastics and terminal tackle on the market, delivered anywhere in the continental United States. Both salt water and fresh water boxes are available with a recipe created by renowned chefs nationwide.

“I’ve been fishing my whole life and I’m still amazed at how advanced the tackle has become. I wanted to help my fellow fishing enthusiasts and take the guess work out of what to pack in your tackle box,” says Ratzenberger.

The subscription price for the Fishing Gift Box starts at $19.99 and lives on TheGiftBox.com platform. Based on a proprietary technology platform, TheGiftBox.com is unique to any other subscription box service by offering a choice of multiple categories all on one site. Subscribers have the flexibility to change, pause or cancel their membership at any time. There’s one monthly flat fee, no yearly upfront payments, every purchase ships free and earns rewards points towards free boxes.

So Dan was kind enough to have a fishing gift box sent to me and I must say it was pretty cool!

Some cool stuff in there!

So, they claim that the box is valued at around 50 bucks and I would say that’s pretty close. Some of you sticklers might price items out more advantageously but just looking it over and comparing to items off the shelf at a big box store, I’m OK with their declared value. If you choose the most expensive plan option, a one-time purchase, it costs you $29.99 and Im pretty sure you get that, at least.

It’s cool that they include a list and a description of each item.

The folks at The Fishing Gift Box claim on their website you will receive lures, soft plastics, jigs & spinners, terminal tackle (hooks and swivels, etc.) and recipes. That’s what I received so they delivered as advertised.

Honestly, I love the recipe card. I’m pretty good at catching fish, but woefully not creative when it comes to cooking fish. A recipe card is a pretty nice addition!

Overall, I’d say this is a pretty cool idea. It might make for a pretty neat gift too! Personally I think it would be fun to have a surprise every month but some folks might be concerned in receiving products they won’t use. It’s a great option to be able to choose freshwater or saltwater as well. For a 12-month plan it will cost you $19.99 per month. To go month-to-month it will cost you $25.99

This fishing gift box didn’t have any junk in it, it was fun to receive and open, and I think the price is fair. It gets the Desert Rat Seal of Approval!

Be sure to check out The Fishing Gift Box to learn more!

Catching Up With Krimson
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It’s been almost a year since I sat down with Krimson so I thought it might be cool to catch up with her. I knew she had some interesting stuff going, and figured DesertRat readers might be interested as well.Thanks to Krimson for taking the time out to chat!

1) You’ve been busy since last time we chatted. How have you been?

I have been very well, 2016 was a very busy yet successful year for me and I’m off to a great start to 2017. I had a very successful hunting season, filmed my first music video and I am now currently in the works of getting my own outdoor show. I can’t wait to share so many new things with you all!

2) You’re releasing a new single and video? Tell us about it

I just released my newest single and music video “Elements”. Truly inspired by the beauty of the outdoors, this piece was exclusively filmed on my hometown island of Kodiak, Alaska. I was very fortunate to grow up so involved with the great outdoors and that is truly what inspired this piece of art. Watch the video or give the lyrics a read at www.krimsonlive.com.

3) What’s involved in making a video like that?

Like anything else, it took a lot of hard work and dedication. It was a long week of running from one scene to the next in 20-degree weather to capture all the beauty on Kodiak. I was flown to a mountain top as the helicopter circled, recording my performance. I was then rushed to the next scene, where again the helicopter circled me as I was in the rigging of one of our family commercial fishing boats. We then filmed in all the lush forests and rocky beaches of Kodiak. The whole experience was truly an adventure, one that I will never forget. However, it took far more work than what meets the eye.

4) How can people hear more of your music? How can they support you?

All my music, including my newest release “Elements” can be found on my website at www.krimsonlive.com where you can also support my career by downloading my music, ordering a CD or even donating. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated on all my latest news, and share the word with all your friends and family. I intend to do great things for society and the hunting community;my fans however, will ultimately help make that change.

5) Didn’t you just shoot more than one record Black tail? Tell us more…

Yes, this past December I shot three record Sitka Blacktail Deer in one day, with a bow! All which were recorded on film. Rain and snow had been relentless for days and we were breaking into the first few days of December, so the temperatures were dropping quickly. After the storm, we happened to get a beautiful cold and clear day which enabled the deer to find warmth and food that was melting from the snow. Needless to say, it was a phenomenal day full of great experiences. Read more of my hunting stories at http://krimsonlive.com/hunting/

6) What hunts do you have lined up this year?

I plan to hunt Moose this September, which is one of my favorite hunts. I also plan on doing a Mountain Goat hunt with a bow, which is something I have wanted to do for years. I was also recently drawn for a Kodiak Brown Bear, in the best area in the world for Spring of 2018. Less than 1% are fortunate enough to be drawn for this hunt and it just so happens to be when I will be filming for my outdoor show! God has something great in store for me and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

7) Any hunting videos in the works?

Yes, I have been in the process of getting my own outdoor show. It will be the first Female Hosted TV Show filmed in Alaska with episodes full of hunting, fishing and living the ultimate organic lifestyle; everything from picking berries to cooking organically & more, it’s a show that will appeal to all ages, genders and interests!
Millions of people have never and will never get to experience Alaska like I have. I want to bring these experiences to people all over the world, because I have a lot to share with you on Kodiak Island.

8) Are you looking for companies to collaborate with?

Yes, I have already begun gaining relationships with excellent brands and I hope to collaborate with many more. It’s very important to me to represent the best gear on my show, because let’s face it – if a product can remain durable on the treacherous weather patterns of Kodiak, there’s nothing it can’t handle!

Thanks again to Krimson for taking time to talk to Outdoor Hub! We can’t wait to see her grow and succeed in the outdoor industry. Meanwhile, check out her new video:

22 Nosler vs. 22-250
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Like lots of folks, I get lazy in the summer. That means I was glad to take Scott Milkovich of SDRifles.com up on his offer to post an article up on comparing the .22 Nosler to the tried and true .22-250. I like to shoot as much as the next guy, but my expertise is nowhere near what Scott’s is, so I’m glad to feature him as a Guest Blogger on a really cool topic. With so many calibers to choose from these days, it’s nice to have a knowledgeable opinion presented. Thanks again Scott! ~Desert Rat

The 22-250 Remington, the most successful .22 caliber centerfire, has a long history of being the top dog in the predator hunting world. With the introduction of the 22 Nosler, how do the two compare?

The 22-250 cartridge is one of the easiest rifle rounds to shoot as far as recoil. Its versatility is unmatched and it has been the staple in predator hunting cartridges for many years. The downside to this American predator icon is that it usually comes in slower twists like 1 in 12” and 1 in 14”, with a few rare factory rifles having 1 in 10” twists. This means it’s only able to effectively shoot the lighter 22 caliber bullets. Lighter bullets mean more wind drift at greater distances.

The 22-250 in a bolt action rifle is a great tool for small varmints, but serious predator hunters know the advantage of a semi-automatic rifle. Shots at moving bobcats or having multiple coyotes come in to a call are common. The ease of staying on target and quick follow-up shots make the AR-15 an ideal predator hunting platform. While it’s not impossible to find the 22-250 in the AR platform, it’s definitely rare. There are a few out there, but the only true production rifle company is closing its doors.

Enter the 22 Nosler. The shortcomings of the 22-250 mentioned above are why the 22 Nosler has gained so much interest in such a brief period of time. It was just introduced at the 2017 SHOT show and hunters are already embracing the cartridge. Nosler’s campaign, “Supercharge your AR in two steps”, is a simple and cost-effective concept. Many hunters already own at least one AR-15, so if they want to use the 22 Nosler it’s not expensive for them. Simply change the barrel and purchase a new magazine. That’s it.

The barrels are becoming available through many sources, but Midway USA was the first to offer them as a drop in. With a few simple tools that any AR-15 owner should have and 15 minutes of time you can switch your barrel to the 22 Nosler. The magazine needed is the same one used for 6.8SPC or 6.5 Grendel, they are very common and can be found for less than $15 each.

The 22 Nosler is its own parent case, similar to a 6.8SPC, but with a rebated rim. The case has 25% more capacity that of the .223 and 35% more energy on target. One thing that one must considered, with the rebated rim you’ll need to use a 223 bolt. There’s more surface area, which means less chance of failure from the bolt than that of the wildcat cartridges using the 6.5 or 6.8 brass/bolt.

Approaching 22-250 velocities in a smaller cartridge, the 22 Nosler makes the round capable of pushing a 55gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet at 3,400 fps out of an AR-15 fitted with a 20” barrel. Now, some will say that you can get almost 4000fps out of a 22-250, but the norm is closer to 3600-3700 fps. Another upside is the ability to use heavier bullets and the versatility they provide. Most barrel makers are using a 1-8” twist, which still stabilizes the 55gr bullets and allows the shooter to use a wide variety of heavier bullets as well.

Comparing the 22-250 and the 22 Nosler with the same 55gr Ballistic tip bullet from Nosler, the data shows how impressive the smaller cartridge really is. The chart below shows how similar they really are at 200 and 300 yard, with 100 to 200 yards being the most common distances for coyotes, fox and bobcats. Beyond 300 there’s a little more drop for the 22 Nosler, but nothing that can’t be dialed or held for by a competent hunter.

Speaking of versatility, the 22 Nosler has been used in the PRS Gas Gun Series by a few competitors and it’s gaining popularity in that venue. Running a heavy bullet such as the Nosler 70gr RDF and up to 77gr bullets, this caliber can be competitive with the heavier, more cumbersome AR-10 style rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or the 6mm Creedmoor.

The new cartridge relies heavily on the overwhelming popularity of the modular AR platform. It’s cost effective to upgrade existing setups through the swapping of an upper, or even just the barrel, and a magazine. It may never match the 22-250 in speed, but the versatility of the 22 Nosler has already turned many heads in the predator hunting and precision rifle community.

Scott Milkovich is the author and is the owner of Specialized Dynamics, a custom AR-15 shop who specializes in predator hunting rifles and also shoots precision rifle matches. Checkout his work at www.sdrifles.com

Some Beginner’s Advice on Saltwater Fishing
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Author’s note: Originally published over at TheMonocular.com

Despite growing up in eastern Canada only two hours from the Atlantic coast, I made it to the grand old age of 50 before going saltwater fishing. Even more unusual is that my first ever saltwater fishing trip began in Arizona and took place in the pacific waters of Panama. I thought there may be some benefit on posting my observations, as a rookie, in case other fishermen and women were ready to make the leap to saltwater.

This trip was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, made possible when a dear friend invited me along to what is an annual excursion for him. The price was right, my family was supportive so away I went. This trip was a full five days of fishing multiple species both inshore and offshore, with Pesca Panama – an amazing outfit.

Scale

It kind of goes without saying, but my first big observation was scale. I had grown up fishing brook trout and smallmouth bass and yellow perch, etc., and I had caught a ton. That being said, I don’t think I’d ever caught anything over five or six pounds. In Panama, other than baitfish, I don’t think I caught anything under 25 pounds. Ocean fish are big. The first fish I boated was a 120-pound tuna caught on a spinning reel. Before I was done, I would also boat a tuna estimated to weigh 275 pounds. Next, the ocean is big. “Well, duh” you’re probably thinking… but it’s humbling to be offshore with no land in sight. Further, big fish mean big tackle. Bigger than anything you’ve ever handled. That means more effort, and I’m going to talk about that too. Whe you’re casting a lure that is 10″ long, your arm gets tired quick; and if you hook up, it’s probably going to be a big one.

Fitness

Without a doubt, this was my biggest takeaway. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no fitness fanatic, and I’m not in good shape. That being said I kept thinking “This would be even more fun if I was in better shape”. Ten minutes of casting huge poppers and I thought my forearms were worn out. When I hooked my first tuna (120 pounder) on a spinning reel, I literally thought my arms were going to fall off about 15 minutes into the fight. We all took a turn fighting it, then I ultimately landed it. On Day One my friend and I boated five tuna – the most of our five boats. By lunch on Day Two I had fought and landed a 275-pounder and Tim had fought a behemoth calculated at 316 pounds. After that guy was in the boat, Tim and I told the crew “No more tuna. Let’s go get something smaller”. I never thought I’d tap out on fishing! I loved catching those tuna, and I think if I was in better shape, I would’ve wanted to keep hammering them. I’m not sure how you get in shape for a fishing trip, but I intend to find out. Stamina is a big part of it, from casting poppers to “Reel, reel, reel!!!” when you’re beat – I think it is more about stamina than brute strength or even cardio.

Guides and Outfitters

I joined a group that had been coming on the same trip for 8 or 9 years. They knew the operation well and it quickly became apparent to me that Captain Mike Augat runs a highly proficient operation in Pesca Panama. Every single part of the trip from food to quarters to transportation to the boats and their crews was of the highest order. Mike’s operation is flawless from start to finish. Mike runs such a good operation and it is readily apparent that if one were to use a less capable operation, the trip of a lifetime could turn into a nightmare pretty quickly. Our crews knew where and how to fish. The boats and tackle were in tiptop shape. The food was amazing, the beds were comfy and every step of the journey went like clockwork. I shudder to think what a trip would be like if even one component was off – great food, but poor crews; shiny new boats but hassles getting to them from the airport; great fishing but bad food. When you’re that far away from home and spending that kind of money, everything has to be just right. Pick a good outfitter. Check references and check them again. Research them, Google them and research some more. Having a good outfitter will ensure an amazing trip, even if the fish aren’t biting like they normally do. Our crews were constantly working – adjusting tackle, checking bait, offering water and soda, cleaning the boat. The lodge (barge in Pesca Panama’s case) staff were constantly checking on us. An empty plate or cup barely would barely hit the table before they were scooping it up and asking what else they could get for you.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Equipment – like any trip, I asked a lot of questions. “Did I need a jacket? Did I need rain gear”. I asked about bug spray and sun block and what to wear for shoes. Remember, this was all new to me. My coworker bought me a floppy brimmed hat which was invaluable. I bought a fishing “neck gaiter” and I am glad I did. It kept the wind off my face when barreling across the open water and the sun off of my neck when we were fishing. I bought a long-sleeved “performance” shirt, which I scoffed at in the store, due mostly to the cost. I’ll have more with me next time. They keep you cool, and keep you from getting burned. Finally, on someone’s recommendation I brought along kneepads. I would recommend them as well, although I didn’t use them the entire trip. For the first couple of days, until I got my “sea legs”, I spent a lot of time bracing my knees against the gunwales and the kneepads definitely helped. Later however, I found that the Black Magic Fighting Belt they used actually pushed into my kneepads and the result was the kneepads ending up all askew anyway. Eventually I ditched them but I’m glad I had them to start.

Species – I spent a lot of time researching the varying species I might catch. Between photos and reviews and YouTube, I had a pretty good idea of what I might catch, how big different species typically were, and knew some basics regarding tackle and technique. It also allowed me to arrive with a “wish list” in mind; as I caught different species I knew which ones I wanted to go after next.

Language – This may surprise some readers but I thought I would throw it out there for consideration. If you’re planning to fish somewhere where “their” language is not “your” language – take the time to learn some basics. In my case, I had taken several Spanish classes over the past few years, but to say my Spanish was “rusty” would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong – the Pesca Panama crew members spoke great English but I was hungry to learn and I think if I could have spoken some Spanish with them, I would’ve learned even more than I did. Plus, it’s just fun to be able to communicate with folks in another language. Next time I will definitely be brushing up before I go.

For my first saltwater fishing trip, I couldn’t have been more happy. It was amazing and truly the trip of a lifetime. When I learned I would be going, I had intended all along to write about my observations as a newbie. Maybe not about the “how to’s” like you might expect – but all of the other stuff. If you’ve never fished saltwater, don’t wait 50 years like I did. Seriously. You’ll be amazed.

Weatherby Conservation Partners: We Are The Mule Deer Foundation
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The Mule Deer Foundation does great work and Weatherby is an amazing partner.

MDF is dedicated to the following goals:

• To restore, improve and protect mule deer habitat (including land and easement acquisitions) resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations.
• To encourage and support responsible wildlife management with government agencies, private organizations and landowners.
• To promote public education and scientific research related to mule deer and wildlife management.
• To support and encourage responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer.
• To support regulated hunting as a viable component of mule deer and black-tailed deer conservation.
• To develop programs that focus on recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation

If you support these goals, or the strike a chord with you, consider getting involved

See what MDF is doing in your State