Very Proud Father
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Well I think I might have created a MONSTER! Until recently, my 6 year old son Kolby has been scared of the loud noise a rifle makes. He has very sensitive ears and has not let me fire a rifle or shotgun around him.

This past Thanksgiving he and I went hunting. I was hunting with a shotgun and he was sitting with me. We had a deer to come running by and Kolby started yelling, “Shoot it Daddy, Shoot it Daddy!!!!” Well I shot the deer and this seemed to ignite a fire in him.

Kolby and I with our Thanksgiving deer

Kobly and I with our Thanksgiving deer

Friday the kids were out of school and Kolby come to me and said, “I’m bored Daddy!” I asked him what could we do that wasn’t boring and he said, “Let’s go shoot your rifle!” I got my .22 Remington model 597 rifle and we headed to the hunt club. I got a Dr. Pepper can and set it up 15 yards away. Then I spent some time telling Kolby about the proper handling for a weapon and the “dos and don’ts” of weapon handling. I also explained to him the proper way to shoot the rifle and how to find his target in the scope. Then I told Kolby I wanted him to shoot the can. Kolby reluctantly looked at me because he had never fired a rifle by himself. He took aim at the can and slowly pulled the trigger. When the rifle went off the can jumped in the air and Kolby started screaming with excitement. We spent the next 30 minutes shooting at cans and Kolby fired about 60 rounds before we left. It made me so proud to see him shoot a rifle for the very first time! It is my dream for he and I to go on an elk hunt one day. Seeing him get so excited about hitting a can, I can only imagine what it will be like when he harvest his first elk!

Kolby with the .22 Remington Model 597

Kolby with his first shot! A confirmed hit!

Who Says You Can’t Find a True Friend in a Chat Room
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Back in 1998 I had the hunting bug bad. Not only did I have the hunting bug, but I was also consumed with trying to get into Outdoor Videography. I would spend countless hours in the stand with my video camera, then come home and get on my computer researching the outdoor programs and production companies.

One night I popped into a local chat room,, and met a fellow my age with the very same ambitions. He went by the screen name “ballistic”. It was kind of strange because we were about the same age and had the same desires. The only thing different was that he was about to go to work with a show called Outdoor Excursions. The even stranger part of the story is that everytime we entered the chat room, he and I would be the only ones in there. No one else ever popped in.

The chat room meetings eventually turned into the exchanging of phone numbers and we began to make weekly calls and our friendship became even stronger. I soon came to know ballistic as Chris Douglas.

His stint with Outdoor Excursions eventually came to an end. During this time I had picked up a job with Outdoor Moments and was filminging in NC, VA, & SC. This was good experience for me, but I wanted to see more of the country. I wanted to get out to the Midwest where the “Monster Bucks” were.

During the summer of 2002 Chris was hired to produce a new show called Whitetail Adventures. This opened the door for me to go to work with him. It was a great time. We got to go to a few camps ( Texas, Mexico & Canada) together during the season and our friendship grew even stronger. Eventually Whitetail Adventures closed shop, but that didn’t stop our friendship. I went to work with Bass Pro and he went to work with Jim Benton Outdoors and Tom Miranda, but we still kept in close contact.

In 2007 Chris called and asked if I would be interested in doing some work for Tom Miranda and I didn’t hesitate in saying yes! Once again Chris and I were back working in the same camp. This time we were not only hunting in North America, we were also assigned hunts in Africa and New Zealand also.

It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago I met him in an internet chat room and today we are like brothers!!!! Our families even spend a week together each summer at the Outer Banks for summer vacation. Our wives say we are worst than women when it comes to the phone because we usually talk hours on the phone each week!

Chris, thanks for the friendship! I can’t wait to see where our future takes us!

I See Blue In My Future, New Holland BLue!
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My dad has been in the farm equipment business for 48 years with two of his brothers. His brothers have decided they are ready to retire and dad and his younger brother are going to buy their interest in the business.
It looks like I will not be getting much down time when I’m not on the road. Dad wants me to come help in the sells department when I’m not on the road! I grew up around this dealership and started off mowing grass at the ripe age of 8 and eventually moved to the parts department when I was in Jr. High.
Since getting into the Outdoor Industry I have not been working at the dealership and dad asked if I would come help out when I was in town. Of course I said yes. I’m excited about my new part-time job. I have never worked in sales and I can’t wait to get out there and start selling those pretty blue tractors!!!
Have no fear, filming still takes priority!

2010 Golden Moose Award Winners
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Best Overall Production | Winner: Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures

Nominees: Benelli Presents Duck Commander, Hunt Masters, Bone Collector, Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, The Crush with Lee & Tiffany, The Best of the West, Bow Madness , Leupold’s Big Game Profiles, On Your Own Adventures , Whitetail Freaks

Best Big Game | Winner: Bone Collector

Nominees: Hunt Masters, Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, The Crush with Lee & Tiffany , On Your Own Adventures, Realtree Roadtrips, Limbsaver’s Addicted to the Outdoors, In Pursuit with Greg Miller, Ultimate Hunting, Bone Collector, Biologic & Drury’s Wildlife Obsession

Best Fishing | Winner: Bill Dance Saltwater

Nominees: Penn’s Big Water Adventures, Classic Patterns, The Crush with Lee & Tiffany, The Jackie Bushman Show, Bill Dance Saltwater

Best Bird Hunting | Winner: Benelli Presents Duck Commander

Nominees: Benelli Presents Duck Commander, Outdoors 10 Best, Pheasants Forever, Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild, Benelli’s American Bird Hunter

Best Turkey | Winner: Realtree Road Trips

Nominees: Bone Collector, On Your Own Adventures, Realtree Road Trips, Muzzy’s Bad to the Bone, The Choice

Best Conservation | Winner: Beyond the Hunt

Nominees: Pheasants Forever, Beyond the Hunt, Knight & Hale’s Ultimate Hunting, Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, Leupold Big Game Profiles

Best Educational / Instructional | Winner: Bass Pro Shops Next Generation

Nominees: Bass Pro Shops Next Generation, The Best of the West, Gold Fever, On Your Own Adventures, In Pursuit with Greg Miller

Best Videography | Winner: Benelli Presents Duck Commander

Nominees: Benelli Presents Duck Commander, Bone Collector, Limbsaver’s Addicted to the Outdoors, The Crush with Lee & Tiffany, The Stihl Dogs N Logs World Championship, Hunt Masters, Destination Polaris, Tracks Across Africa

Best Sound Design | Winner: Hunt Masters

Nominees: The Best of the West, Whitetail Freaks, Hunt Masters, Benelli’s American Safari, The Crush with Lee & Tiffany

Best Graphics | Winner: (Tied for 1st) Hunt Masters & Bass Pro Shops Next Generation

Nominees: Bone Collector, Hunt Masters, She’s Beyond the Lodge, Bass Pro Shops Next Generation, Full Frame

Best Commercial | Winner: Benelli – “Vinci”

Nominees: Benelli – “Vinci,” The Best of the West – “Gunwerks LR-1000,” Duck Commander – “Carry-Lite Decoys,” Knight & Hale – “Pack Rack Tease,” Remington

Best Blooper / Outtake | Winner: Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures

Nominees: Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, Inside Outdoors TV, Limbsaver’s Addicted to the Outdoors, The Jackie Bushman Show, Realtree Roadtrips

Fan Favorite Best Overall | Winner: Benelli Presents Duck Commander

Fan Favorite Best New Series | Winner: (Tied for 1st) Benelli Presents Duck Commander & Bone Collector

Fan Favorite Best Hunting | Winner: Benelli Presents Duck Commander

Fan Favorite Best Fishing | Winner: Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Fishing

Fan Favorite Best Host | Winner: Lee and Tiffany Lakosky for The Crush

Golden Moose Honorary Award – Outdoor Adventure | Winner: Savage Wild

Golden Moose Honorary Award – Off Road | Winner: Destination Polaris

Golden Moose Honorary Award – Shooting Sports | Winner: Impossible Shots

PRNewswire — Jan. 22

Random Thoughts Of A Cameraman
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I have been fortunate enough to work in the outdoor industry since 2000. Talking to some friends this week got me thinking about my job.

The first thing to remember is that if anything goes wrong it’s ALWAYS the cameraman’s fault! That’s the running joke between me and my videographer buddies. With that being said, We are the field Generals, we run the show. The hunter has to listen to our commands and he/she cannot shoot until we give the order! You will rarely see us on TV and we are OK with that!

You must be in shape and able to carry plenty of weight in this profession. From climbing mountains to climbing trees we have to pack all our camera gear, which runs anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds in my case, everywhere we go. The gear list includes video camera, tripod, camera arm, extra batteries, camera light, leatherman, rain gear, snacks, water and the list goes on!

You have to be a hunter first, cameraman second. Of course I started hunting before I ever thought about being a cameraman. Early in life I developed a love for the outdoors and remember the first hunting video I ever saw. It was Monster Bucks of North America and I thought it was the best thing since cornbread!!!! I had always liked to take pictures and once I saw this video I knew that someone had to run the camera! This video is also responsible for making me a HUGE Dale Earnhardt fan!

You have to be a very stealthy person being a cameraman. It takes one hunter to be good to get a trophy animal with a bow. Now add a second person to the mix with camera gear!! You are doubling noise, scent and movement! The cameraman and the hunter have to work as a team to harvest an animal on video.

You have to be creative and have an “eye” for footage at all times!!! No slacking in this job if you want to be in the industry long! From the time you leave your house you are on the clock! When your hunter is back at the lodge taking a nap, you better have your fanny out getting cut-aways for the editor. When the people in camp are eating, you better have the camera running for the editor! When you are traveling to and from your hunting location, you better have the camera running for the editor. As the the saying goes in the film industry, “Tape is Cheap!!!!” As a cameraman it is our job to catch every possible detail of the hunt because once you leave, there’s no going back to get what you missed!!

DON’T EVER LET THE HUNTER OR GUIDE BE WAITING FOR YOU!!!!!! This is a CARDINAL SIN! We have to always be the first ones ready. They don’t EVER like waiting for a cameraman!

You can probably count on your fingers and toes the number of Full-Time cameramen in the outdoor industry and I am very THANKFUL to be one of them! I spend my share of time in airports and airplanes. I have to leave my house at 2 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight out of Raleigh. Once I get to my final destination I usually meet up with my hunter, we get a rental vehicle and drive to our hunt destination. Once at the destination i have to get all the camera gear out and hunt ready within the hour of arriving in camp and then head out to the woods! I have grown to love the International hunts and the only drawback is the LONG flights!!!! I had 4 flights in July and August that were over 18 hours each!!!!! Try sitting in a recliner for atleast 17 hours!!!! The bad thing is, I CAN’T SLEEP ON PLANES!!!!!

Spending a lot of nights on the road I have found a reoccurring problem! More than once I have woke up wondering, “where am I and which way is the bathroom!” Seriously, this past year I spent 156 nights away from home. You have to be able to sleep anywhere and remember where the bathroom is in this profession!!!!

You have to be a jack of all trades!!!! You have to be a hunter, a videographer, an audio technician, an editor, a lumberjack, a mountain climber, a co-pilot, and a friend!

You must be very proficient and hanging treestands day or night! Plus when you hang your camera arm you better not make any noise!!!!!

I must say I have met and worked with some WONDERFUL people! Sportsmen are special people in my eyes. It makes me feel good to get calls from the hunters I work with and they just want to chat and see what you’ve been up to. I can remember the day when I thought these people walked on water!!! Basically I never dreamed I would ever make it as far as I have in this industry! I am going to make the most of it and I hope I have 30 more years before retirement!

With all this being said, the next time you watch a hunting show, just remember there is someone behind that camera working their but off for your viewing pleasure!!!!!

Montana/Wyoming Combo
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Here is an article Brenda wrote about our Montana and Wyoming hunts!

Doubled Up In Colorado
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Headed out to Colorado a couple of weeks ago with Brenda Potts and Kandi Kisky for an elk hunt at the Three Forks Ranch!
This hunt got started off on the wrong foot, but ended up being one of the better film jobs I have done to this date. It turned UGLY on my flight from Denver to Hayden. This was only a 42 minute flight, but it was the most TURBULENT flight I have ever been on. The plane violently shook the whole way because of a big storm front that was passing through the area. Once we landed I contemplated kissing the ground!!!!!
Once inside the airport at Hayden I got my camera out so I could start filming. When I turned the switch on my camera started flashing all kinds of error codes!!!! Instantly my thought was, “This isn’t good!” I shut the camera off, removed the battery and tried restarting the camera after 5 minutes! Once again it started flashing several error codes!!
Instantly I get on the phone with my technical guru at the office and he starts to investigate the list of error codes I gave him. Once I give him the list of error codes we get in the ranch vehicles and make the 2 hour drive to the ranch.
Once at the ranch I call the office and we try to reset the camera with no luck. Once that doesn’t work I call Sony and talk with their service department. We go through several “reset” steps and they do not work! The technician then advises me that I will have to send the camera back to Sony to be fixed!!!! OH NO!!!!! This is not what I want to hear! This camera is like an extension of my right arm and I could run it with my eyes closed and now I’m going to have to run a backup camera for a couple of days until I the office sends me a backup camera.
The hunt gets started with the backup camera! We get out and see plenty of elk. The bulls are rutting and are very vocal. We hunt have several great encounters with bulls the first two days of the hunt.
On the third day, Sunday, we take a 2 hour drive to the South end of the ranch. As soon as our guide, Dave, parks the truck we start to hear bugles in the distance!!!! We get out, get our gear ready and head towards the elk. The darkness is slowly giving way to light and we are easing closer to the elk. We are sneaking up to an open pasture. First hunter up is Brenda! Dave leads us to the edge of the pasture and we set up behind some Poplar trees. We see the elk on the side of the mountain hiding in the brush. Dave gives a few cow calls and the elk starts to head our way. He clears the tree line and eases out into the pasture bugling nearly every step. Dave tells Brenda to have her rifle ready because this one is a shooter and when he presents an opportunity that he was going to get her to take him. The elk comes to within 80 yards and presents a shot. When Dave gives the command, Brenda DROPS him in his tracks!!!!

Brenda, Kandi and I pose with Brendas trophy

Brenda, Kandi and I pose with Brenda's trophy

While were at Brenda’s elk, we heard another elk bugling on the mountain. After a few quick photos Dave told Kandi to get her gear ready because we were going after that elk! We get to the general location where the elk was bugling and he had moved up the mountain. Dave leads us up the mountain towards the bull!
It’s slow going! The terrain is steep and I have 50 pounds worth of camera equipment that is making me work for every step!
Another elk starts bugling between us and the bull we are after and he is not far from our location! We set up in a thick cover of Poplar trees. The elk is coming our way fast and we don’t get set up like we had hoped! He appears in the trees and Kandi and I can’t see him at the same time for her to get a shot. The nice 5×5 walks to within 15 steps before he smells us! We were unable to get a shot off and the elk runs down the mountain!
Once the 5×5 was gone, we continued towards the bull that is up the mountain bugling! Dave is pushing us hard to close the distance on the elk. I feel like I’ve blown out both lungs, but determination won’t let me stop! There is NO WAY I’m going to be the cause of us not getting a shot at this elk!
We come into a small meadow on the side of the mountain and the elk is only a couple of hundred yards. We set up behind a fur tree. Dave and Kandi sit on the ground and I get several yards behind them. No sooner do we set up and we see the elk crossing the mountain in front of us and disappear to our left behind the stand of fur trees that we are in! The worst possible scenario runs through my head!!! If this elk keeps coming the way he is come he will pop out less than 5 yards to my left and Kandi will not be able to get a shot! Dave does a soft cow call!! The camera has been recording the action since we took our position. In the blink of an eye the elk pops out 20 yards in front of us! Dave gives Kandi the command, “TAKE HIM!!!” Kandi does not hesitate and her shot rings true!!!
Kandi and Dave are excited because we have shot the elk and I’m ELATED because not only have I got the shot on film, I’ve got Kandi and the elk all in the same frame when she pulled the trigger!!! In all my years of filming hunts, this elk hunt is one I’m most proud of! A lot of time and effort has gone into this hunt and all parties have done their part to make it successful! We worked our fannies off and it will go down as one of my most memorable hunts to date!
Now the fun would begin!!!!! We have harvested 2 elk within 2 hours and we had to pack them out! I made a deal with Dave! If he would help quarter Kandi’s elk I would pack it off the mountain while he went back to get the truck! Needless to say I slept VERY good that night!!!

Kandis Elk

Kandi's Elk

Getting Ready To Pack The Meat Down The Mountain

Getting Ready To Pack The Meat Down The Mountain

Finally have everything off the mountain!!! Do I look delusional????

Finally have everything off the mountain!!! Do I look delusional????

Samantha’s Elk
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Just got back from a special hunt! I went out to New Mexico to film a Hunt of a Lifetime hunt for a young girl named Samantha. She has been battling cancer since she was 10 years old! It started in her femur, which they had to remove and insert a titanium rod. After treatments she was cancer free for a while and unfortunately the cancer came back in her lungs. For the next three years she has been taking treatments and battling lung cancer. Several months back Samantha was giving a clean bill of health and pronounced cancer free by her doctors.
Samantha was given a Governor’s tag to hunt elk in New Mexico. Hunt of a lifetime officials set her up a hunt with Trophy Ridge Outfitters in Western New Mexico. Our guide was Audrey McQueen, owner of Trophy Ridge Outfitters, Champion Elk Caller and Professional Angler.
Our first morning out we weren’t a mile from camp when we saw our first elk. We got out and got set up. The elk was roaming a large pasture with his nose to the ground. We were pretty sure he was tracking a cow. He didn’t pay us any attention and we were able to get a good look at him. He was a 300 class elk, but Audrey wanted to hold off because she wanted to get Samantha something nicer!! I told Audrey I couldn’t believe we were passing on this elk and she asked me to trust her on this!
We had several more encounters with elk that morning and all were very nice elk, but Audrey still wanted to hold off.
That afternoon we went and build a ground blind overlooking a water hole! We sat a few hours and watched cows come in to water and then at 4:00 a couple of bulls came in to water. They were thrashing around in the water and having a good ole time and even went and founds some cows and chased them around the water hole for about an hour! At approximately 6:00 we saw the bull Audrey was hoping for come off the mountain. He had about 20 cows with him and he was busy running off smaller bulls that were trying to steal his cows. He mingled around at 400-500 yards for a while and then he started running the cows towards our position. Samantha’s dad said she could shoot up to two hundred yards so once he got within the 200 yard range Audrey had Samantha up on the shooting sticks in the ready position. Once all the cows cleared the bull, Audrey told Samantha to “Take Him!” Without hesitation Samantha pulled the trigger on her 300 mag and dropped the giant bull in his tracks!!! We were all very excited! We got up and went to take a look at Samantha’s bull. The closer we got, the bigger it got! It turns out that her bulls green scores 375. In my 10 years filming hunts, this is the first gross Boone & Crockett that I have filmed!
Thank you Audrey and Roger for the GREAT hunt and Congrats to Samantha on an elk of a LIFETIME!!!

A Very Happy Crew

A Very Happy Crew

Samantha With Her Bull

Samantha With Her Bull

Been A While
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Been offline since late June. Took the family to the Outer Banks of North Carolina the last of June and first week of July to have some fun in the sun. After our beach trip, where there was no internet connection, I made my way to Namibia and South Africa for a couple of interesting hunts. I will be updating the blog the next couple of days and bring you guys up to date on the African Safaris.

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While I was home this spring I was graciously VOLUNTEERED to coach a T-Ball team by my sister-in-law. When signups were held my sister-in-law called and said she was signing her son up to be on my son’s T-Ball team. She said our team didn’t have a coach and that her husband and his brother would coach the team if I would help them! I told her I would be glad to help, but with my schedule I couldn’t be the Head Coach. Well, 30 minutes later I check my voice mail and have a message. It’s my sister-in-law telling me that she put me down to be the Head Coach and that her husband would be glad to help!!!! Thanks Lynn, with sister-in-laws like you, who needs enemies!!! By the way, please don’t do me any more favors. You have volunteered me to be a coach and you’ve talked my daughter into playing the trombone in band. I always heard the 3rd times a charm and I can’t imagine what you have in store for my family for favor number 3!!!!

With that being said, I only missed 2 games this season and I had a fun time teaching the kids the fundamentals of baseball! We all had fun and were sad when the season came to an end.

Here’s our team at last night’s trophy ceremony!!!! By the way, Lynn helped out in the dugout a couple of games. I think I’ll volunteer her to be the Farm League coach next year!!! 🙂

Mike Taylor Electric T-Ball Team and Coaches

Mike Taylor Electric T-Ball Team and Coaches

Infolinks 2013