Arctic Shield Clothing – Consider This Before Buying

If you live in Oklahoma, then you know it’s been bone chilling cold lately. I pulled out every piece of cold weather hunting gear that I owned, including some of my Arctic Shield Clothing. Unfortunately, I found that my Arctic Shield bibs had a broken leg zipper. This is the zipper that runs from the bottom of the leg all the way up to the hip area.

I’ve had these bibs for about 4 years. I believe I bought them from Cabela’s and to be honest, I loved them. They were great for late season bowhunting or catfishing.

I tried taking them to several alteration places, but they said they could not get the metal zippers. Finally, after thinking about it, I Googled Arctic Shield and found they were located in Tulsa. So I gave them a call and talked to a woman (I believe her name was Bridgett).

I told Bridgett what my problem was. I had a pair of Arctic Shield Bibs with a broken leg zipper.

I was a little more than surprised that she wasn’t as helpful as I thought she should have been. In fact, I felt she was only be “nice” because she had to be (I could here a man’s voice in the background). In all honestly, I did call right before closing, but that shouldn’t have mattered. I also didn’t tell her that I own a Deer Hunting blog that gets visited by 20 to 30 thousands Sportsmen every month, but again, that shouldn’t have mattered.

Basically she told me that there wasn’t nothing they would do. I thought perhaps she didn’t understand me, so I made 3 attempts to get her to help me. I even offered to pay for the fix to my bibs.

Still no help from Bridgett. About all she could say is “Sorry, we don’t do that“. I asked if she knew an alteration company locally who could fix them. “No, I’m sorry, that’s not something we do“.

So finally I said, “So I have a pair of Arctic Shield Bibs with a busted zipper and you can’t help me get them fixed?”

Sorry, we just can’t help with that” she said

If these had been some cheap old bibs I found at a flea market or bought at a discount store, I wouldn’t be so upset.

If you’ve bought Arctic Shield clothes lately, you know they’re not cheap. Obviously I don’t mind paying for good equipment.

My problem is that if I buy supposedly top of the line equipment, I expect the company to stand behind their products. It seems from my experience that Arctic Shield feels their commitment ends when the warranty ends. I have a feeling that if I’d called Cabela’s, they would have bent over backwards to help me. That’s just the kind of folks they are. Cabela’s has always stood behind what they sell.

So just be aware that they probably will not fix or help you get your Arctic Shield clothing fixed if it breaks after the warranty runs out (and I honestly don’t remember how long the warrnty is, if any, so you’d probably better check that also).  I personally will not buy another piece. This just really sucks because I have some other Arctic Shield clothes and now I know that if something happens to my jacket or or other piece of their clothing, they’re not going to help me. Even if I offer to pay for the repairs! Fortunately, there are other companies that make excellent cold weather hunting gear.

Excalibur Axiom Crossbow Review

Click to save up to 15% off the Excalibur Axiom 6845 in 2017!

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Rated 4.9 out of 5 from over 99 reviews!

My experience with the Starfire was not that positive really. I was very loud when shot, it had a lot of vibration, and I mean a LOT! I tell people it reminded me of hitting a flag pole with a aluminum baseball bat, in December!

So I had a few criteria when I decided to try and shoot a crossbow again. First, I wanted a reliable unit. I didn’t plan on breaking the bank, but I felt like I should be able to buy a reliable unit for a fair price. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a piece of junk! I wanted a crossbow that had accessories and a good availability of parts should I need them.

Second, the crossbow had to be very accurate. Col. Townsend Whelen once said that only accurate guns are interesting and that’s the way I feel about bows. If a crossbow isn’t accurate, I have no need for it.

Third, I wanted one with the reputation as being a reliable crossbow from a reputable company.

I had looked over a bunch of outdoor catalogs, read all I could about crossbows at the online hunting forums as well as finding other literature on crossbows. My choices came down to 4 crossbows. They were from Barnett, Ten Point, Parker and Excalibur. After shooting each of my choices, I happily bought the Excalibur Axiom Crossbow and I couldn’t be happier! To say the least, this is a smooth shooting, hard hitting crossbow that is pure joy to shoot!DSCN0944-300x225

For those that do not know a lot about Crossbows, the Excalibur Axiom crossbow is a recurve crossbow pulling 175 pounds. From what I’m told on the Excalibur forums, it’s basically a Excalibur Phoenix without the dissipator bars on the front of the limbs and has a different Camo job.

What was even better was the price! The Axiom kit comes with a scope that is calibrated to the speed that the Axiom shoots (Excalibur says 305 fps with a 350 grain arrow and a Flemish Dyna Flight String), Excel String, Scope Mounts and Rings , Excalibur 4 Arrow Quiver, Quiver bracket, 4 Firebolts and 150 grain field points.

When my Axiom crossbow arrived in the mail, it took maybe 30 minutes to put the limbs on the stock, install the scope mounts and rings on the Scope and then onto the rail. It took longer to watch the included DVD than it did to get the Axiom put together and be ready to shoot!

When I went to sight it in, I was in for another surprise. My first arrow hit about 8 inches high and about 6 inches to the left. I adjusted the scope and fired another arrow. It hit about 1 1/2″ to the right of the aiming point. Another adjustment and I shot another arrow. Bullseye!

3 arrows shot to sight this shooting machine in at 20 yards!

Next, I collected my arrows and shot a 4 arrow group at 20 yards. This proved my inexperience with Excalibur crossbows. You don’t shoot groups with them unless you’re willing to lose a few crossbow arrows because they are accurate!

Once I knew it was sighted in at 20 yards, I backed up to 30 yards. The Axiom scope is compensated out to 50 yards for the speed that the Axiom shoots. It has small chevrons below the crosshairs for the ranges of 30, 40 and 50 yards.

Another thing besides the accuracy of this Crossbow is how accurate the scope was! I backed all the way out to 50 yards and using the 50 yard chevron (which is right where the crosshairs go from thin to thick), I not only hit the target, I had about a 3″ group! This is from someone who hadn’t shot a crossbow in about 15 years!
ExcCalRobinHood-300x225I eventually started damaging the nocks of my crossbow arrows when shooting for groups so I had to stop and just started choosing other aiming points on the bag. I now have about 7 damaged arrows including one Robin Hood (splitting one arrow in the target with another arrow) that happened when shooting at 40 yards!

Needless to say, my experience with the Axiom is day and night difference from shooting the old PSE Starfire. Of course, it was a pretty big difference from shooting the other crossbows, that’s why I ended up with it!

One thing that I wasn’t totally happy with the Axiom is that the top of the stock is a little low for me. I ended up buying one of the Excalibur add-on cheek pieces and it has solved the problem. Now shooting through the scope is more fun!

I also added the Simms silencing package for Crossbows. This includes 2 limb silencers, a silencer for the arrow retainer and string leeches. I tried several times to keep the string leeches on but it wasn’t meant to be. After about 5 shots the Axiom would throw them off. This package from Simms really quieted the bow down. I later bought the Simms wrap and wrapped it around the stirrup to remove any sound it made during the shot. This also helped! Before hunting season, I’ll add cat whiskers to the string. It’s a little different technique than putting cat whiskers on a compound bow, so you need to watch the proper way.

With the Axiom’s 175 pound pull and speeds up to 305 fps, I honestly don’t think there is an animal Walking on the North American continent you couldn’t put down at ranges under 40 yards. The bow shoots that hard and it shoots fast!

I enjoy shooting the Axiom so much, that I plan on buying another one next year! Probably go up in weight a little, but then again my Wife, who is a non-hunter, even enjoys shooting my Axiom so I might just buy her one of those Pink Vixen II’s!

If you’re looking for a hunting crossbow that is reliable and one you can work on in the field, like replacing the string should you cut it with a broadhead, then look at Excalibur crossbows. Give the Excalibur Axiom Crossbow a look over if you wanting to buy a kit that has everything you need to get into the fun of crossbow hunting! See the Pictures below for some pics from my casual shooting with the Axiom.

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Needless to say, I don’t aim at the same dots any longer. It will get expensive really quick when you start replacing crossbow arrows!

Click to save up to 15% off the Excalibur Axiom 6845 in 2017!

Hunters Specialties Butt Out 2 Review

Click here to save up to 40% on the butt out tool!

Hunters Specialties Butt Out 2 Big Game Dressing Tool
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. Click the image for discounts and customer reviews!

Whenever I find something really cool, I like to share it with my readers.

I’ll be the first to admit this, but I didn’t purchase the Hunters Specialties Butt Out tool. My friend did. When he told me about this tool, I thought, “Another sucker is born.” He purchased it at the local Wal-Mart store and showed it too me. I still wasn’t impressed. It looked like a gimmick.

He was so anxious to use this tool. The subject of this tool came up several times. It wasn’t until I killed the first deer of the year during the Oklahoma Primitive Firearms Season that we had an opportunity to use it.

I have to eat Crow on this one. This tool makes what is normally a messy job of removing the anal canal a snap. No more cutting around the rectum.

This is one of those tools that when you see it used, you slap your head and say “Why didn’t I think of that!”

The only thing that I would change is making the handle longer. I think it would be easier to use for people with large hands.

If you’ve always hated this part of the field dressing, I feel your pain! The Butt Out tool will make this chore easy and pain free and for about $10. If you field dress a lot of deer each year, I bet you’ll agree it’s the best $10 you ever spent!

Click here to save up to 40% on the butt out tool!

The Claw Review and How To Skin A Deer

This post will be a review of “The Claw Skinning Tool” from Amazon.com and a YouTube Video of the way I prefer to skin deer.

ForEverlast Claw Skinning Tool
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars. Click the image for discounts and customer reviews!

For some reason, my buddy bought The ForEverlast Claw Skinning Tool from Amazon this year. My opinion is that he saw it in the catalog, ordered it and hated to admit he had been drinking when he’d bought it.

Anyway, we used this tool to skin 6 bucks this year.

I have to say, The Claw works as advertised. As you can see from the picture above, it has long pointed teeth that grip the deer hide as you pull down. The large loop handles are easy to grip.

The thing that I didn’t like about The Claw is that it’s big and bulky and hard to handle with one hand. There are times when you need to pull while you cut.

You also need some loose hide for The Claw to grip well. Trying to grip tight skin will result in a poor grip and one that is likely to slip.

In the past when I skinned deer by hand, I would take the hide and roll it up and then stick my fist behind the roll and push down. On a warm deer, this is pretty quick. On a deer that has been hanging for a few days, it may take a while longer.

We had a few Deer that we hung for a few days and getting the hide off was a little more work than I like.

The YouTube video below is the technique I’ve used for nearly 25 years to get the hide off of my deer. I’m still scratching my head over why my buddy thought The Claw would be quicker, easier and less messy than using a pickup.

If the YouTube video doesn’t work, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nneTTeoPDYU

Can you figure out why my buddy thought The Claw would be easier and quicker? Me either. I’m chalking it up to some kind of previous head injury he must have received! The pickup method is just too quick and easy.

I went along with it this year, but not next year! I’m getting to old and lazy to skin a deer by hand. Especially when there is a perfectly good pickup around!

Mr. Heater Big Buddy Propane Heater Review

Mr. Heater MH18B Big Buddy? Propane Heater
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. Click the image for discounts and customer reviews!

I wish I could tell you that I bought the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy” Propane heater to go hunting or fishing with, but I didn’t.

I was visiting Family in Oklahoma when this year’s Ice Storms hit. We thought we had everything we needed in case the Electric went out when someone mentioned “What are we going to do for heat if the electric goes out?” Duh…we didn’t think about heat!

To be honest, we weren’t all that worried. You know how forecasters lie!

Anyway, I saw it as an excuse to run down to Bass Pro and see if I could find sometime of portable propane heater…you know…just in case the power did go out.

Before I left, I visited Bass Pro’s website looking for heaters. I saw one that I was interested in right away because it had a small blower on it.

It was the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy” Propane Heater. I also noticed it was on sale for $129, regularly $149. It is now available for only $119.99 on Amazon.com.

So I get to Bass Pro and find the Mr. Heater heaters and grab one of the “Big Buddy” heaters and 4 -1lb cans of propane.

When I went to check out, the lady rang it up for $149. I said “Whoa, Bass Pro’s website has it on Sale for $129.” She called someone over and the lady said in fact, it was $129 but that they didn’t have it marked yet. She said next time, it’d be a good idea for me to print out any Online sales and bring them into the store with me.

Let that be a lesson to you, always print out and bring in Online sales if you’re heading to Bass Pro! LOL (i’m not sure why I have to do this, I mean all they have to do is communicate with Springfield…right?)

The Great Oklahoma Ice Storm of 2007

That was Saturday night.

Monday morning at 5 a.m. the power went out due to downed power lines and stayed off for a week!

Luckily, we had the Mr. Heater heater. We put a quilt over the hallway to block the heat from going down the bedrooms. We only heated the Living Room (which is a large open room) and the Kitchen. Needless to say, bathroom trips were few and far between and when you did go, you went quickly!

Well, the 1lb cans of propane won’t last long in the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy”.I think the paperwork says about 1 to 3 hours on High. I’m guessing more like 1 to 1 1/2!

On Low, the 1lb cans seem to last for several hours.

What I failed to do was buy the hose and adapter so I could use the big 20lb propane tanks. Luckily, I found an adapter hose and filter at a Hardware store and was able to use these instead of the 1lb cans (which all the stores were sold out of after the ice storm). Apparently the filter is very important, so if you get the Big Buddy heater and plan on using it with 20lb propane tanks, make sure you have the filter! I’d also recommend the A/C adapter for the fan blower.

Once we got the big tank hooked up to the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy”, things were much better. It warmed our area up to 70 degrees. In fact, at night we would turn it down on “Low” or it would get too warm.

Now that I’m back home, I’m still using the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy” heater. The room back here in my Office get’s a little chilly on cold mornings. I’ve set the “Big Buddy” heater near my desk and turn it on “Low” in the mornings until the Office warms up. It has worked great and will raise the temp by 10 degrees in the Office in a matter of minutes (probably around 10 minutes to be exact).

I love this heater! I can see getting a lot of use out of it in the future, especially if I start Duck hunting again. I can see this heater being great for Ice Fishing inside a hut or Deer hunting inside a blind. This thing puts out a lot of heat!

On a side note, I went back to Bass Pro a few days later and it didn’t have power. But they had the lobby open and you stood in line and told an associate what you needed and they’d go get it. I needed the hose adapter but they were out. However, I did see a big stack of Mr. Heater “Big Buddy” propane heaters and they were still marked at $149, even though they were still on sale for $119.99 on Amazon.ca

Click here to get up to 50% off the Mr. Heater “Big Buddy”!