Melissa Bachman Presenting at 63rd Annual Youth Day at Hudson Rod, Gun & Archery Club

April 25, 2013

Melissa Bachman Presenting at 63rd Annual Youth Day at Hudson Rod, Gun & Archery Club

TV host and avid hunter, Melissa Bachman, is hosting archery demonstrations at the 63rd Annual Youth Days at the Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club located in Hudson, Wisc. this Saturday, April 27.  Bachman will be on hand to demonstrate and teach archery skills to attendees.  This event is FREE to youth ages 9-14.

The day also includes trap and rifle instruction, plus prizes for all. Informational talks will be provided by representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and hunter safety instructors.

Details on the show are below:

Saturday, April 27 9 am to 2 pm

Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club

Melissa lives for the outdoors—spending the majority of her days each year in the stand or pursuing animals. She was raised in a hard-working, small-town hunting family in central Minnesota. From a young age, she wanted to be on camera, and eventually worked her way to learn how to film, produce and host TV. In 2010 she started Deadly Passion Productions and continues to give seminars, in addition to sharing her hunting adventures via blogging at My Take ( Today, she’s a triple threat with her skills on and off camera—and her talents with a bow and gun.

Tune in this July as Melissa returns with her show, Winchester Deadly Passion, on Pursuit Channel.

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Guitar Strings and Bow Strings: Exclusive Interview with Musician and Mentor Ed Eason

April 16, 2013

Guitar Strings and Bow String: Exclusive Interview with Musician Ed Eason

Outdoor Hub is privileged to sit down with guitarist Ed Eason as he discusses Mentor Quest, a personal odyssey to preserve vital knowledge and skills for the next generation, particularly focusing on the outdoors. Ed plays a number of roles in his life: musician, artist, outdoorsman. None, however, are as important as his role as a father. 

That is why he set out on a quest to learn from the experts and leaders in the outdoor industry (such as Buck Knives and Mathews Bows) so that his sons and others may benefit from the wealth of knowledge. His three boys are aged 10, 7, and 3.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mentor Quest:

Otherwise, let’s dive into the interview.

Outdoor Hub: One of the reasons you started Mentor Quest is because you want to teach your sons valuable knowledge. How do you think the world has changed since you were a kid and you were learning these skills?

Ed Eason: Obviously there’s a big drift away from the outdoors. Society seems to be more and more disconnected from the outdoors. That really bothers me and that’s one of the reasons I started diving into Mentor Quest. A lot of people seem to be scared of the unknown and are not willing to take a risk. People are forgetting about the thrill of the adventure.

Do you think there are any benefits living in today’s world for children, especially with the advent of the internet and easy-to-access knowledge ?

You can get on the internet now with all these different websites and online magazines that offer a plethora of information right at our finger tips. What I found was a challenge for me, though, was sifting through all that information. Sometimes there’s so much it can be a little overwhelming. You go on YouTube or whatever and you can get all these people who present themselves as experts. Who are the real experts and where are legitimate places to find knowledge? It could be a little frustrating trying to find it. But, it is still an amazing time for both kids and parents because that knowledge is at our fingertips. It just takes a little more effort to find it.

Do you think anything has changed for the worse in the modern world?

Yes. I’m especially sympathetic to people who grow up without fathers. Most of the time, they won’t have the chance to take part in those traditions that were passed down by the men in their families. It’s not a good thing.

For me an important thing for a growing child is a good example. That can include traditions and outdoor skills they need to learn. I think some people are afraid to let their kids get out into the wild, get out there and explore and be kids. I know as a dad I make sure that my children have that experience.

Who taught you these skills when you were a child? Did you have a mentor of your own?

My own parents divorced when I was in the second or third grade. I didn’t see my father for years, however I was fortunate enough to have someone who helped to guide me. We connected and his family took me in like their own. He had all daughters and so I got to be, in a sense, his son. It was because of him that I got to go hunting and fishing and all these experiences.

It was because of him that now when I’m an adult I realize how important it is that my children have them as well. He made such an impression on my life that it’s now going forward to my own kids. I don’t want my boys to learn from random people, I want them teach them myself. This is sort of the catalyst to what became Mentor Quest.

What was the motivating factor for you to start this project?

There are many pieces to this question. Here’s one of them: I wanted to buy a shotgun and there were three different guys I asked for advice. I got three different answers. While I appreciated their opinion, you can understand how difficult it was for me, someone who didn’t know much about buying a shotgun. And then I said, “why not learn these things straight from the experts?” Then I can have valuable knowledge for my boys. It’s coming straight from the heads of companies, the top hunters, anglers. This information will be valid and reliable. Another aspect is that when I was leaving for tour a while ago, I knew I was going to be leaving my family for some time. Then I wondered what I’ll be doing with that time. I needed to invest it in something. I was in prayer a lot. Then one morning I woke up and I came up with the idea for Mentor Quest and since then its been driving me forward.

What do you like to do for recreation outdoors?

Hunting, fishing, and camping. Love going camping now. Never had a hobby my whole life. Ever since I started playing the guitar when I was 13, I’ve been consumed with that. Now I’m coming home with this wealth of knowledge that I’ve learned. My favorite thing that I’ve gotten to try so far was to go elk hunting with a bow. I’ve gone turkey hunting several times and everybody tells me that elk hunting was the same thing, but to the Nth degree. I love the proximity. It’s unbelievable that you can get close to the animal.

How do you balance that with your professional life?

I’m fortunate that on tour I have days open. I can go hunting when on tour. I’m never more tired than when I’m in the middle of it all. When I’m at home I turn off the professional side of me, and then I take off with my sons and get out there.

From meeting with these experts and learning all these cool new things, is there anything you wish you had learned or done earlier?

I wish I had dived into fishing more when I was a kid. Fishing is one of those things that I’m still getting into and there seems to be so much to learn. I’m still learning all the different types of fish and techniques and rods and reels. I wish I had started earlier and hopefully will be doing more this year.

What would be your ideal outdoor adventure?

It would probably be Alaska. That would be the place for me. There’s just something about the ruggedness of Alaska. I want to be inspired.

What would you say are the first steps for parents who want to become a mentor to their own kids?

Don’t be afraid to ask the people you know. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbor. Ask them, “how do I do this?” If you want to go fishing ask them to take you fishing. I found that people are really receptive to that. When I humble myself and ask you how to say, tie a fishing knot, you’d be happy to show me. People want to teach. The hardest part is asking to learn.

What is next for you and Mentor Quest?

I’ve got big things in the works. Some big brands such as Buck Knives are on board with Mentor Quest and I’m talking with several production companies about taking Mentor Quest to TV. I’m very excited about the direction and opportunities that have come my way. Equally exciting are the great people I’m lining up to film. Some great people, great personalities, and great adventures are in store!

Thanks again to Ed for letting us pick his brain. Mentor Quest offers expert how to videos on a number of subjects and can be viewed on their official website or YouTube channel.

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Larry and Brenda Potterfield Help JAKES Take Aim with the NWTF

March 21, 2013

A recent JAKES Take Aim event in Kentucky

In February of this year, Larry and Brenda Potterfield reaffirmed their commitment to America’s youth and the future of hunting with a $1.1 Million donation to the NWTF’s JAKES Take Aim program. This generous donation will fund a JAKES Take Aim trailer for each of the lower 48 states, each housing a self-contained and fully stocked airgun shooting range. The trailers will travel to JAKES and other youth events, offering unique opportunities for children to participate in shooting activities under the watchful eyes of NWTF staff members.

“It’s pretty obvious that the youth of America are our future, but not enough folks are investing time and money to make sure they are introduced to hunting and shooting,” said MidwayUSA Founder and CEO Larry Potterfield. “Funding the JAKES Take Aim trailers directly increases the number of youth who get to experience the shooting sports, and they’re taught values like safety and responsibility in the process. Every kid who gets to spend some time with an NWTF staff member shooting airguns at these events is one step closer to becoming a lifelong hunter and shooter, and that’s good for all of us.”

Some of the $1.1 Million donation will also help the NWTF expand chapter support of adopted youth shooting teams across the country, helping ensure their financial sustainability well into the future.

“Thanks to Larry and Brenda’s generosity, our chapters and grassroots members in 48 states are able to introduce thousands of young people to the shooting sports,” said Mandy Harling, National JAKES Coordinator for NWTF. “Shooting sports offer a level playing field for youth. Age, gender and skill level don’t matter at JAKES Take Aim events. Any young person who’s willing to learn will have an incredible time. This program helps to ensure that the next generation has an opportunity to try the sport which will lead to more shooters and hunters.”

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Fourth Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS) Set for June 9-14

February 18, 2013

Fourth Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS) Set for June 9-14

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host the Fourth Annual Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS), June 9-14, 2013 for high school students from across Tennessee. The students will be introduced to many outdoor activities at the event to be held at the Montgomery County Shooting Complex near Clarksville.

Among the different outdoor activities that the students will have an opportunity to become introduced to will include boating, hunting, trapping, archery, photography, marksmanship, plant identification, forestry, camping, water quality, trap shooting, skeet shooting, wildlife identification, and several classes with wildlife and fishery biology as the topic. The summit is designed to deepen the students’ appreciation for outdoor-related activities.

Students will participate in hands-on classes that teach the importance of the natural resources and their management. Instructors will be wildlife and fisheries biologists, wildlife officers, college professors, professional shooting coaches and experts from specific fields of interest. Students can plan on each class they sign up for to be two to four hours in length and will include hands-on application in that subject.

Once students are accepted to the program, they will be able to attend at least 10 classes during the week. During this week, the students will have the opportunity to gain certification in many different programs. TOYS will provide youth opportunities to learn more in depth about hunting, fishing, and shooting. Students, who are interested in a career in the natural resources field, will also enjoy the experiences that normally are not learned until they are members of the work force.

The TWRA is hosting TOYS in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation (TWRF).

The cost to attend TOYS is $300 for the week-long experience. Scholarships are available and based on financial need.

Students interested in attending should log on to and submit an application by May 3, 2013. Applicants will be required to pay a deposit of $150 to the TWRF. Students wishing to receive a scholarship only need to submit an application form indicating that they want a scholarship.

Enrollment is limited to 120 students and if an application is not accepted, refunds will be returned in full. If an application is chosen, the successful applicant will be sent a password and web address to the location of the scheduling packet. Students will select their classes of interest and pay the balance of the cost of the program.

Students will be housed in a hotel in Clarksville and bused each day to the complex. All meals are covered in the fee.

Students will be assigned a roommate with two students to a room. If applicants have someone they know they would prefer as a roommate, it should be indicated on the application. Applications can be downloaded from or

Parents or guardians will be required to bring students into town on Sunday night and pick them up either Friday night at the awards ceremony or the following morning. Rooms will be available, for a fee, if parents wish to attend the banquet Friday evening and stay the night. Students will be required to be picked up by 10 a.m. on (Saturday) June 15.

For questions or additional information, contact Jereme Odom at (615) 781-6500, extension 2102, or email,

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Mule Deer Foundation Will Introduce Thousands of Youth to Shooting, Hunting, and the Outdoors at Their Annual Convention

February 14, 2013

Mule Deer Foundation Will Introduce Thousands of Youth to Shooting, Hunting and the Outdoors at their Annual Convention

Later this week the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) will kick off their annual National Convention which is held in conjunction with the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE). WHCE takes place this February 21st – 24th at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT and is expected to have over 25,000 outdoor enthusiasts visit over 500 guides, outfitters and manufacturers on the show floor over the four day event. Visit for more information.

On Thursday, Feb 21st the Mule Deer Foundation is hosting the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience (YWCE) bringing nearly 500 youth to the Salt Palace Convention Center for wildlife conservation activities, indoor shooting experiences with air rifles, youth archery and much more. YWCE was made possible by a generous donation from Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA. MDF brought together program partners such as Crosman Corporation, Progressive Agriculture Foundation, Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, National Forest Service and special presentations from United States Olympians and Team USA Shooting members.

On Saturday, Feb 23rd the Utah State National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) will be holding their annual state tournament at WHCE. Last year’s UT State Tournament drew nearly 200 archers from a dozen schools across the state but this year has shaped up to fly past last year’s event with nearly 700 archers aiming down range at the 2013 tournament.

Over the four day convention, MDF expects to see thousands of kids and have nearly 5,000 youth participate in the YWCE activities with the “YWCE Youth Passport.” The kids will participate at the youth archery range, air rifle ranges, outdoor & ATV safety area and much more!

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Free Sportsman’s Licenses Offered to Youth at Kentucky Boat Shows

January 22, 2013

Free Sportsman’s Licenses Offered to Youth at Kentucky Boat Shows

Youths wanting to try hunting for the first time can collect a free sportsman’s license at boat shows in Louisville and Lexington.

The offer applies to first-time hunters between the ages of 12-15. Youths must have completed a hunter education course. Licenses are available at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ booth.

Free licenses for eligible youths will be available at the Louisville Boat, RV and Sport Show being held at the Kentucky Expo Center from Jan. 22-27, and the Kentucky Sport Boat and Recreation Show at the Lexington Convention Center from Jan.31- Feb.3.

“Kentucky Afield” television host Tim Farmer is scheduled to appear at the Louisville show from 10:30 a.m. until noon Jan.26. Experts from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will conduct special one-hour seminars on fishing and hunting opportunities on private and public lands at 2 and 3 p.m. Jan. 25. Seminars will be conducted again at noon and 1 p.m. Jan 26.

The youth sportsman’s license is good for resident or non-resident hunters. This is a $25 value. The youth sportsman’s license includes a hunting license, a permit for one deer and a permit for one turkey. Youths 15 and younger do not need a fishing license, trout permit or migratory bird permit.

Only Kentucky residents are eligible for an adult sportsman’s license. This is a $95 value. The sportsman’s license includes a hunting and fishing license, spring and fall turkey permits, a deer permit, a state waterfowl permit and a trout permit.

Youths can come get their free first hunting license at either show if they have completed hunter education and bring their course completion certificate. Youth hunters who have not completed their hunter education requirements can take the classroom portion online at prior to the show. Youths can complete the range work portion of the certification at either show.

Visitors to both shows can test their skills at the laser shot hunting simulator or the Crosman air rifle range.

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Potterfields Donate over $700,000 to RMEF Youth Programs

January 22, 2013

Potterfields Donate over $700,000 to RMEF Youth Programs

Supporting conservation groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is something near and dear to MidwayUSA owners Larry and Brenda Potterfield’s hearts. Because of their commitment to conservation, the Potterfields recently donated over $700,000 two very important RMEF youth programs.

The first program that will benefit from the Potterfields donation is the “Adopt a Shooting Team” program. A donation of $501,000 will help support high school and shooting teams all across the country.

The second program is the S.A.F.E (Shooting Access for Everyone) Challenge. This program introduces youth to firearm safety and hunter education programs as well as the hunter’s role in conservation. This donation was in the amount of $200,000.

“The RMEF shares our vision of ensuring our leaders of tomorrow will have opportunities to remain active in the shooting and hunting industry” said Larry Potterfield.  “Programs like Adopt a Shooting Team and S.A.F.E. give high schools, colleges and RMEF volunteers the chance to get involved, stay involved and the chance to help make a difference.”

For more information about either of the two programs mentioned above, please contact the RMEF Field Programs office at 800-225-5355, Ext. 236 or via email at

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Shooting-hunting Industry Discovers Fish on Kids Books that Embrace Positive Outdoor Message at SHOT Show

January 22, 2013

Shooting-hunting Industry Discovers Fish on Kids Books that Embrace Positive Outdoor Message at SHOT Show

Attending the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s S.H.O.T. Show in Las Vegas, children’s book author K.J. Houtman is feeling the love. “The industry is hungry for positive messages with kids about the outdoors—including using guns in a safe, fun and ethical way,” shared Houtman. “So much of today’s news is about a catastrophe, the bad stuff that makes headlines. It’s a shame that it isn’t news when a family shares a day at the range or a girl completes her Firearm’s Safety Training program or a young man enjoys his first hunting trip afield.” Houtman claims it is a life-changing moment for many outdoor families as their kids grow up.

That is part of the story line in the fifth book in the popular chapter books that highlight the life of Gus Roberts, who turns 12 in Born to be Wild. Released two months ago (November 2012), Houtman targets eight to 12-year-old readers in her books with outdoor stories that embrace fishing, camping and hunting.

The series starts with book number one, A Whirlwind Opener. Each story (currently five are available) builds on the other as kids get to know Gus and his outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Gus plans his free time to enjoy the outdoors—and he is competitive. He wants to succeed and show others how to achieve success, too. Elementary and middle school readers enjoy the books where adventures unfold alongside the outdoor experiences. Getting a new shotgun—a 20-gauge Beretta Silver Pigeon, no less—is the highlight of his important birthday.

“I’ve talked to a lot of families about kids turning 12, and I can tell you most people look back on that significant birthday and point to a firearm as part of their rite of passage,” continued Houtman. Kids love the fast, page-turning adventure stories where teens and pre-teens have autonomy to enjoy the outdoors without hovering moms and dads. Parents appreciate a positive message that embraces the great outdoors and encourages kids to turn off the television and go outside and have fun.

As a member of Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Southeast Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) and Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Houtman has enjoyed a career in outdoor media. Duck, Duck Deuce, the fourth book in the series, received Awards-in-Craft in the book category at the 2012 AGLOW conference.

Available at the world’s largest bookseller——as both paperbacks and e-books, suggested retail ranges between $10 to $11 in print and under $3.50 for e-books. Some independent bookstores, gift shops and sporting goods retailers carry them as well as online at

For more information check out or contact K.J. Houtman at (612) 710-5584, or email: info (at) fishonkidsbooks (dot) com.

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McKinney Falls State Park to Host CenTex Survival Fair

January 16, 2013

McKinney Falls State Park to Host CenTex Survival Fair

Calling all wilderness survival experts-in-training! The CenTex Survival Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23. at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin.

“I absolutely cannot wait for this event,” said Amber Conrad, park ranger. “We’ll have local food and bluegrass music as we educate people about outdoor safety through awesome activities like fire-building and a geocache challenge. You can’t beat it.”

Fair-goers will have the opportunity to meet first responders responsible for outdoor emergency services and learn about their jobs by crawling through fire engines, ambulances, rescue boats and other vehicles, seeing live demonstrations and trying on rescue equipment. Walk-in Take 10 CPR trainings will be available at the fair through Austin-Travis County EMS. Activities such as archery, flint knapping, atlatl throwing, a geocache challenge and live wildlife shows will be available all day.

The fair will feature a Go Fish! youth fishing workshop where children can earn their Junior Angler Education pins while learning to tie basic knots, identify fish and get a chance to catch their first fish. Children may start the 30-minute rotating station workshop at any point during the event. There will be a fishing contest with prizes for children and adults. Because fishing is free in all state parks, anglers do not need a fishing license to participate but must register for the contest before beginning to fish.

Activities and booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with tacos, barbeque and fresh kettle corn from local vendors, as well as general concessions and live music throughout the day. Survival hikes on a one-mile loop will last about half an hour and leave the Smith Visitor’s Center at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The CenTex Survival Fair is hosted by the park’s volunteer group, the Friends of McKinney Falls State Park. Proceeds for this event support the group’s Junior Ranger Summer Camp, an affordable outdoor day camp benefiting city youth ages 9-12 held annually at McKinney Falls. Registration for the camp begins in March on the group’s website at

The CenTex Survival Fair event is free and open to the public after park entrance fees. State Park Pass holders and children 12 years of age and younger are admitted without charge. McKinney Falls is located in Austin’s backyard just off U.S. 183. The park is completely within the city limits of Austin and features two natural water falls, miles of hiking and biking trails, campgrounds and the City of Austin’s Tree of the Year “Old Baldy”.

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New Jersey Outdoor Sports Show Supports Hunters Helping the Hungry

December 28, 2012

New Jersey Outdoor Sports Show Supports Hunters Helping the Hungry

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Garden State Deer Classic is slated for January 10 – 13, 2013 as part of the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show taking place at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, NJ.

This year’s display and show promises to be the best ever. Continuing on the success of last year’s program, the newly refurbished Deer Classic and Division of Fish and Wildlife display will be a focal point for the show. To complement the already high quality vendor and educational seminar line-up, the Show has added several new attractions like the 3D Archery Tournament and Kids Zone , which are sure to excite the outdoor enthusiast.

Again this year, the show is pleased to provide two very good reasons to purchase admission tickets online:

For every ticket sold online, the show is donating $1.00 to New Jersey’s Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH). HHH is a non-profit organization working with regional food banks that enables hunters to donate venison to the needy while addressing the overpopulation of deer in New Jersey. Purchasing an online ticket is a great way to support Hunters Helping the Hungry so it can continue to provide hunter donated venison to people in need.

Along with the show ticket, online ticket purchasers are being offered a 1 year subscription to a choice of Field & Stream, Caribbean Travel & Life, Outdoor Life or Popular Science magazine.

To take advantage of this great offer purchase tickets online at .

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