J-B Weld – The magical fixit potion
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I spent much of my career working as a millwright in manufacturing plants so the value of J-B Weld isn’t lost on me. That being said, with the well-known “traditional” uses and formula of J-B Weld, it’s easy to overlook the fact that they have a whole line of innovative products.

I’d like to thank Anthony from Brandware Public Relations reaching out to me with some info about their other products. Coincidentally, I had just had the hinges pull out of my large cooler and I was stymied as to what might fix it. I asked Anthony and here is what he told me:

“The best product for fixing your cooler would be J-B PlasticWeld, an epoxy putty great for rigid and semi-flexible plastics as well as PVC pipes, fiberglass and several other surfaces. PlasticWeld sets in 25 minutes and cures to a hard surface in 2-3 hours. It cures to an off-white color and is rated at a tensile strength of 350 PSI. After it cures, it can be sawed, drilled, carved, sanded and painted.

Another product you could use is J-B WaterWeld, an epoxy putty specifically made for plugging leaks and patching holes in water and fuel tanks, pipes and boat hulls. The putty sets in 15-25 minutes and cures after in an hour to an off-white color. WaterWeld is rated at a tensile strength of 900 PSI and can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees F. Similar to PlasticWeld, it can be drilled, tapped, filed, sanded and painted after it cures.”

Anthony was kind enough to send me some samples, so I gave it a whirl…

I mixed both products according to the directions and applied not just behind the hinge plate on the flat surface, but also in the stripped-out screw holes. I let them cure per the directions and am happy to report that both products worked! Now I haven’t really gone crazy trying to make the repair fail, but so far, under normal use, the hinges are holding up fine!

Yu all know the type of plastic that coolers are made of. It has that weird slick surface texture and I couldn’t imagine what would adhere properly. Don’t forget that JB Weld makes a whole line of products that can get you out of a bind whether you’re on a boat, in a tent, living in an RV, or fixing a quad. More from JB Weld:

“Hi Marshall,

Fishing season is in full swing and hunting is right around the corner – outdoorsmen everywhere are re-spooling poles, picking out lures, cleaning guns and stocking up on bullets. Question: What’s the one thing you should never leave home without for a fishing or hunting trip?

J-B Weld. Yep, you read that right. While the original J-B Weld is traditionally a great formula for repairing automotive issues, the creators also offer a variety of products for other aspects of life – including hunting and fishing! Out on the boat and it springs a leak? Your fishing pole breaks? Out on the hunt and your arrow breaks? Piece of your tree stand snaps off? Whatever the case may be, if you have J-B Weld, rest assured the crisis can be averted.

For example, WaterWeld is an all-around good tool to keep in a tackle box as it sticks to plastics, metals, woods and can even stop a small boat leak as it can be applied underwater. SteelStik is a great adhesive that is much stronger and more reliable than traditional glues and only takes 1 hour to cure for those emergencies in the middle of nowhere. KwikWeld is for more permanent fixes as it takes 6 hours to cure but by the next day, you’re good to go!

Additionally, all J-B Weld products are available at a very attractive price and at local home improvement stores everywhere, making them tools the average outdoorsmen should never leave home without.”

Welcoming In The New Year With Mtn Ops
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I’m always on the lookout for great products and cool companies so I am excited to be joining the Field Staff of MTN OPS outdoor performance supplements. It can’t come at a btter time – I embarked on a weight loss journey last year and although it went well (I lost over 30 pounds), I hit some hurdles with health problems and injuries. For 2015 I want to continue the quest, and lose another 30-35 in order to hit my goal weight.

Coincidentally, Mtn Ops has just launched the Conquer Challenge – an effort designed to help you be successful whether you goal is to get lighter, stronger, or both!

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Looking to get real results? Choose Your Challenge—weight or strength.
When you accept the ‪#‎ConquerChallenge‬, we’ll be with you to provide guidance including: 30, 60 & 90 day fitness programs, meal plans, and weekly emails filled with motivation and expert advice.
Every 30 day program receives a FREE Conquer Cap & MORE with purchase of a 60 or 90 day program.
Oh, and did we mention there is a $1,000 prize, including a one year supply of one MTN OPS product of your choice for the winners.

I’m excited to get the product in my hands, and to kickstart my weight loss journey again. I’m excited to be working with a cool bunch of folks like the ones at Mtn Ops. They’re already looking forward to working with me on some product reviews, interviews, and more! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, learn more:

Follow them on FACEBOOK

Check out their BLOG

Learn more about MTN OPS and their philosophy, their roots, and their goal.

Elk Hunt Follow-Up
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Well, you can read the story about the actual hunt here: 1st Elk.

I picked up the meat from Holliday Processing the other day and I couldn’t be happier. I had it made mostly into steaks, burger and green chile bratwurst. Mmmmmm. The guys at Holliday did an awesome job and the price was very fair too. They have shops in the east valley and Buckeye.

If that elk had been one smidgen bigger I would have had to buy another freezer so all’s well that ends well!

Survival Straps With Active Edge
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Well, survival straps weren’t new to me but I was excited when Jason Ovitt from Asylum Public Relations reached out to me to tell me about the newest innovation with the folks from Survival Straps.

Jason posed it to me like this: “Training for a four day backpacking trip, epic mountain climb, week-long kayaking trip or other great adventure puts great stress on a body and stretches anyone to their physical limits. Rather than wearing a fitness bracelet that just tracks the number of calories you burn and how you are sleeping you could be wearing an Active Edge Survival Strap bracelet that can actually improve aspects of your health. This new survival bracelet, treated with a waterproof frequency technology, is now capable of giving athletes and people training for any sport a 7% average increase in range of motion, 12% average increase in grip strength, 8% average reduction in fatigue with an increase in REM restorative sleep time. Clinical trials have proven that wearing an Active Edge Survival Bracelet activates the sympathetic nervous system resulting in an increase of blood flow and decrease in inflammation, which helps to enhance performance. Wearing an Active Edge Survival Bracelet can help improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, endurance and recovery. But when your in a jam out in the woods it can also be unwound to provide the wearer with a paracord rope for gear repairs or medical uses that is strong enough to hold up to 500 pounds.

Would you be interested in learning more about the Active Edge bracelets by Survival Straps and giving one a try?”

I was trying to get ready for an elk hunt, so “Heck, yeah!” I wanted to try one…

Active Edge technology is incorporated into an already great survival bracelet. Why?

“Our Active Edge products are treated with InBalance Technology, a scientifically proven, cutting-edge, proprietary frequency technology developed here in America. When you wear an Active Edge bracelet or necklace, it will help your body to perform at a more optimal level. It will not give you super human strength. However, it can give you an extra edge and improve things like your flexibility, range of motion, strength, endurance, & recovery.

Medical experts believe when the treated bracelet or necklace comes into close proximity with the body, it activates the sympathetic nervous system. This increases blood flow and oxygen intake, while at the same time decreases inflammation, which all helps to enhance performance.”

So? I bet you’re wondering…. “Did it work?” I’d like to say resoundingly, “Yes!” but I think the best I can do is “I think so”. Here is experience: I was in the process of getting ready for an elk hunt. A few months ago, I had changed my eating habits, lost some weight, and had started hitting the gym regularly. I was hoping that the Active Edge bracelet would make a difference in the gym. Unfortunately when the bracelet arrived, I was a couple of weeks into some sciatic nerve issues which were sidelining me from the gym. I was undergoing chiropractic care and getting frustrated. I put on the bracelet, and in 3 days I had a significant reduction in pain, it was almost at a negligible level. Two weeks before my elk hunt, I bent over to pick up a book off of the bathtub and “POW”. It felt like I had been shot in the back, right at the site where I had been having sciatic issues. The pain was substantial and I hobbled to the couch. I thought my elk hunt was gone. By Monday I could still barely move so I called my family doc. They squeezed me in and I was prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxer, x-rays and physical therapy. Within 4 days, and with minimal pain medication I was able to get around pretty good. I was cautiously optimistic – my elk hunt was the following weekend.

The Friday after Thanksgiving I was sore but mobile. My truck was loaded and I was on the road by 5:30 AM. Two hours later I was on a hilltop in elk country, glassing for bulls with my friends. I only had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to hunt (you can read the story HERE) So 3 days of hiking up and down hills and rocky outcroppings and small canyons; 3 days of bouncing around in the Ranger, on some pretty hard-core trails.I honestly thought I was going to finish wrecking my back, and I would be looking at weeks to fully recover. Long story short, I shot a young spike at the 11th hour on Sunday. We packed him out, I picked up my gear at my friends and hit the road. I was home by 10:30 Sunday night. By Monday I was virtually pain free. I have been pain free for the most part, during the past 2 weeks. Was it because of the bracelet? I don’t know. I had a follow up appointment with my Doctor the other day and she couldn’t believe it – I was “cured”.

Honestly, based on the extensive clinical trials and my experience – quick resolution to an existing ailment, sudden extreme regression, and 2 weeks to pain free again…. I have to say, “I’m a believer”, and this technology works.

Here is what the clinical trials revealed:

Results of Clinical Trials

The results of the clinical trials with 2500 people were remarkable and consistent. The testing indicated that by wearing frequency treated products, physiological function had significantly improved in the areas of strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. Ninety percent of the test participants showed statistically significant improvement in those areas. None of the test participants had any negative side effects or showed a decrease in physiological function. Test results showed the following:

Range of motion increased by an average of 15% – 20%
Strength increased by an average of 3% – 6%
Increased balance
Increased endurance
Increase in blood flow
Decrease in inflammation
In addition, many test participants reported the following:

Reduction in pain from things such as arthritis
Improved sleep
Improvement in breathing when exercising (many reported a feeling similar to getting a second wind)
Reduction in headaches

On my hunt, my “wind” definitely seemed better (I still have a ways to go, on my fitness quest). I do believe my arthritis symptoms have been pretty much absent, which is unusual. I have had some sleep issues however.

I believe in this technology.I certainly believe in the value and quality of Survival Straps, with or without the Active Edge technology. Seriously, I would encourage you to give it a try. I think it’s important to note that they offer wraps, necklaces, dog collars and more. You can visit them online HERE. Read the info, the testimonials, and decide for yourself. For me, I’m sold!

Another “first” – an Arizona Elk
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My friend John Greiss was AZGFD’s 2013 “Mentor of the Year”, and that was no mistake. John has been in on dozens of hunting “firsts”, for nearly every species, and all over Arizona. He was in on my daughter Mikaela’s first javelina, he led the way for my first Coues, and last spring he helped me with finally – my first javelina.

John really liked the idea of me going 3 for 3 on Arizona big game tags, so he was all about strategy on the elk draw. “Put in with me for the late season 22 south tag”, he said. “You’ll likely draw, and we’ll get you a bull.” Lo and behold, I drew that tag along with John and our friend Miguel. From the moment I saw the draw results, the excitement started to build.

John spends a ton of time in that Unit, and between hunting trips, scouting, and other outdoor adventures, he was confident we would score. In the old days, “the curse” would have had me stymied, but I was 2 for 2 with John, so the excitement was there for months. I started a quest to lose weight (ended up losing about 35 pounds), got side-tracked with a heart-health scare, had a job change, and finally, a bunch of back issues. As a matter of fact, I hurt my back bad, 2 weeks before the hunt and it was bad enough I was pretty concerned I wouldn’t be able to hunt. Luckily it had eased enough that the morning after Thanksgiving, I packed my truck and was on the road to Tucson. I only had Friday through Sunday to hunt, so the pressure was on!

John and good friend RL Gray had been watching bulls for a couple of weeks, and RL’s wife Sherri had shot an awesome bull in that unit during muzzleloader season. By the time I got there, they had a plan.

By 7:30 or so I was on a hilltop near Payson, helping glass for elk. My hunt was upon us! By mid morning the guys had spotted a couple of cows, a 4×4 and a spike. They asked if I wanted to chase them. I said to John “you tell me, what do you think?” John said he thought we could do better, and that we should pass for now, and that’s what we did. The afternoon was relatively uneventful, and the next morning we were up and at it early again.

It wasn’t long before we heard from John that he had a good bull located. He was on a point a couple of miles away, so RL and MIguel and I loaded up and made our way over towards him. He watched the elk the whole time, who were nonchalantly moving up a hill, away from a waterhole that we knew was in that area. He had a good 5×5, a spike, and a couple of cows located. RL and I started working our way around the bottom trying to get set up for a shot. Finally we had him spotted! RL was on him and I was getting set up but he moved into some brush. We reset, RL helped me get lined up and by the time I settled down,got my sight picture, moved off the safety, started my trigger squeeze…. a cow stepped directly behind him!He was quartering away up the hill and the cow was located in such a way that had I missed or passed through, I might have hit her. Arrrggghhhh!!! At that point he was near the top, and they ambled up over and out of sight. I was mad,and frustrated that I took too long and at the same time, glad I didn’t take the shot once I was ready.Later that afternoon we saw a spike and 2 cows in a different spot, but no shot opportunity. In the evening, John was in another area, and Miguel glassed up a 4×4, 2 spikes and some cows, but they were way too far away to chase, at last light.

We were confident with all the elk we were seeing, that Sunday we would have a great chance. The morning was odd. Miguel and John went one way, RL and I another. In spite of the fact we hadn’t seen a ton of cows and the days prior, we saw between 20-30 cows and calves in the space of an hour, and then the action stopped abruptly. Nothing was going on, and RL had’t had any sleep. His house wasn’t far away so he suggested a pit stop for lunch and a nap – so off we went. Miguel and John checked in and said they were going to check another spot, then meet us back up at the original hill for the evening shoot. We had a couple hours so RL was snoozing on the couch and I was watching a football game when the phone rang. It was John. He said “I got bulls”. RL said “We’ll be there in 10 minutes” and we scurried out the door.

To make a long story not quite so long, John walked RL and I into shooting position. We were fighting a stiff breeze and it was tricky getting set up. There was a spike and bigger bull feeding in the manzanitas. By the time we were ready, it was a 300 yard shot, a pretty good downhill angle. I was shooting a .270 WSM off of my tripod, using a TriClawps shooting aid. The bigger one stepped out, and I shot clean over his back! Ugh. RL was positive I missed, having watched the vapor trail pass cleanly over him. He scampered off, but the spike stayed put. I missed him underneath. I took a breath, shot him, and he took a step and faltered. RL says “He’s down, but trying to get up. Shoot him again”. I found him and could only see his face and brisket through the bushes. I shot him through his brisket. RL said “He’s done”. John was on the radio saying “Bull down!!”

True to form, John did most of the dirty work, expertly dressing that bull and getting every scrap of meat off of him. By pure luck, the bull went down about 120 yards from an ATV trail. I shot the elk around 4:30. With 4 sets of hands, a Ranger, and a lucky ATV trail nearby. I was cleaned up, packed, and on the road towards Phoenix by 8:30 PM

I learned a lot on this hunt, as I do on most of my hunts. I spent a lot of range time last year, getting loads dialed in, a new scope zeroed, and a custom turret by Kenton Industries installed. That was mostly bench shooting though. My whole off-season range-work this year will be spent shooting off my pack, off the Claw, and from sitting, kneeling and standing positions. I know these things happen, but I was not happy with misses, and needing to shoot that animal twice – regardless of how quickly it was over, it was unacceptable to me. I shot a lot in the military and in those days it was open sights – from 100-800 metres. I need practice getting set up quicker and being accurate – off a variety of positions, shooting angles, etc. I never had problems like this in those days. My glassing is getting better. I’m no expert by any means, but I am finding stuff now and then. Practice helps, but like I said – I’m always learning something hunting with these guys.

I am very indebted to John, RL and Miguel. RL did a lot of scouting before I got there, and was a huge help and coach on my hunt – usually operating with little or no sleep. Miguel helped, gave advice and is just a good guy to hunt with. He had the same tag and passed on opportunities so I could get a bull first. John is an amazing friend and truly is a mentor. I’m always learning from him and he is a warrior on these trips, usually doing all the heavy lifting – figuratively and literally. He sacrifices his time, opens up his home, uses his vehicles – to help people hunt. And he loves every minute of it. I need to thank my friend Greg McBride too. He helped me learn to relaod and develop great loads for my rifle, he always has good advice, he’s a good shooting coach and finally – an awesome taxidermist too.

Ironically, in the weeks leading up to my hunt John kept asking me what kind of bull I was looking for. “Anything but a spike”, I’d say. “Spike elk look weird”. Well, we all know that our standards go down as the hunt draws to an end and honestly – I think my spike elk looks just fine! A muley and a bear are on my bucket list for the coming year. Truth be told though, I’m already anxious for my next elk hunt.