Dogs Gone By: On the Front Line in the War Against Prairie Dogs

The Battlefield: The Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming.

The Battlefield: The Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming.

We awoke at dawn.

Most of us were slightly nervous, but energized by the certainty of impending combat. I doubt the enemy ever sleeps. They’re too busy digging a tunnel network to support their underground trafficking enterprise.

We’d been the ones to choose the field of battle – the Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming. Encampment is an eerily appropriate name given the enemy’s permanent dug in positions.

Our foe has a great propaganda machine, although I have absolutely no idea how they can afford such a thing. As a result, most people know them as those cute, adorable and cuddly Facebook poster critters. Awwww.

The modern day tank that carried the day during the trench warfare stage - the Yamaha

The modern day tank that carried the day during the trench warfare stage – the Yamaha Viking UTV.

Like Hollywood celebrities, our enemy’s day to day behavior is somewhat different from their public image. They cause massive, and I do use that word deliberately, damage to agricultural and grazing land. They eat each other like real world zombies. They reproduce faster than Anthony Wiener texts his, well, you know. They carry the plague. They’re downright evil.

Yes, I’m talking about prairie dogs.

When it comes to setting a battle strategy, you need to use every possible advantage. If you’re fighting fair, your tactics suck, or so they say. And we had no room to give up the slightest advantage. The Silver Spur Ranch has been occupied with just over 15.371 billion prairie dogs – I counted. We numbered six, plus our guide Roger, and our hosts Jeff, Matt and Neal. By my calculation, that was just 10 of us, except when I used Common Core math. Then I got an answer of negative 19.7 apples.

Even though the numerical odds weren’t exactly in our favor, I was confident in our chances. I took stock of our advantages:

  • We have opposable thumbs and can do neat things with them like play Angry Birds.
  • We live in above ground structures and eat bacon pretty much whenever we want.
  • My brain is larger than theirs, so I figured my enemy had only 85% or so of my IQ.

Our enemy?

  • They have the intelligence of spackle.
  • They live in holes.

When you’re facing an enemy of near unlimited strength that’s dug in, you have to figure out how to break the trench warfare stalemate using technology. Back in World War I, they invented tanks to overrun the enemy. So did we, although ours were slightly more nimble than the Little Willy Tank of 1915. We used Yamaha Viking side by side UTVs – a two-seater and a six-seater. These off road wonders had plenty of capacity to haul a dozen guns, cases of Hornady ammo and us. And they navigated gulleys, sagebrush and prairie dog and badger holes with ease.

We also had the advantage of outspending our opponent in the arms race. The Blue Heron Communications team, representing Smith & Wesson, only brought 38 guns, so I was a little worried, but it worked out OK in the end. Hornady supplied somewhere north of 10 billion rounds of varmint ammunition by my best estimate.

On the first day of battle, I rode with Neal, the marketing head at Hornady ammunition. Smart move on my part to ride with the ammo guy, right? With 15 billion enemy, I was NOT going to run out of cartridges at a critical moment. Neal chose a Thompson Center Venture in 22-250 caliber and stoked it with Hornady’s .22-250 V-MAX loads. With that setup, he was the big gun on our team. One shot, one kill, if you get a hit pretty much anywhere. He backed that up with a Smith & Wesson 617 revolver offering 10 shots of .22 long rifle – just in case our perimeter was overrun.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!


Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition 2nd Edition 2014. It’s ON SALE now for a limited time!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Gun Review: Browning Citori 725 Feather Over & Under Shotgun

The Browning Citori 725 Feather is a beautiful gun, both in handling and appearance.

The Browning Citori 725 Feather is a beautiful gun, both in handling and appearance.

There are times when a heavier shotgun is nice to have—the trap or clays course, for example, where you’ll be popping off a hundred or so 12-gauge shells and have ample opportunity to set your (heavy) gun down. And there are other times when lugging around a gun that weighs the same as a gallon of house paint really, really hurts.

Much of the weight savings comes from use of an alloy receiver. However, key components like the breech face are constructed of steel for durability. You can see the steel inset here.

Much of the weight savings comes from use of an alloy receiver. However, key components like the breech face are constructed of steel for durability. You can see the steel inset here.

The primary design idea behind the Browning Citori 725 Feather is, you guessed it, light weight. My evaluation sample was a 12-gauge Feather model with 28-inch barrels. It weighs in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces. If you compare to the equivalent Field (non-Feather) model, the 28-inch barrel model weighs just about a full pound more at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. That adds up over a day in the field. Imagine taping a can of lima beans to the Citori 725 Feather, and now you’re carrying a standard weight over-and-under.

Where did the weight go? Unlike the Field model, with its all-steel receiver, the Feather uses an alloy receiver. The breech face and hinge pin are still constructed from steel for durability.

A Quick and Dirty Tour

OK, so we’ve established that the Citori 725 Feather is light. Now let’s take a look at what else it offers.

pistol grip checkering-1

The pistol grip area features cut 20-line-per-inch checkering.

Chambers are cut for 3-inch shells if you want to shoot the big-boy stuff. And you can do this thanks to a variety of felt-recoil-reducing features that we’ll talk about later. First on that list is that the Citori 725 has a lower-profile receiver. If you look at it compared to a “standard” over-and-under receiver, you’ll see that the top of the receiver is somewhere between ⅛ and ¼ inch lower than normal. This lowers the recoil force just a tad, which helps prevent muzzle jump. The more inline the bore, the more natural, and less painful, a gun feels.

In terms of dimensions, the overall length is 45 ¾ inches with a 14 ¼ inch length of pull. Drop at the comb is 1 ⅝ inches and drop at the heel is 2 ¼ inches. You can order the Feather with either 26-or 28-inch barrels.

Read the rest at GunsAmerica!

Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom: Go Big or Go Home!

If you’re thinking about getting into competitive shooting, you could always start small, maybe with a local club match. Of you could just go and enter the most challenging competition there is – the Bianchi Cup. That’s what Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom did. Oh, and he did it from a wheelchair. You see, Trevor is a medically retired Chief Warrant Officer and Blackhawk Pilot who was paralyzed in a crash during a night assault mission in Afghanistan. Now, as a sponsored competitive shooter, he’s opening doors to the shooting sports for lots of folks.

Trevor Baucom, Team Smith & Wesson

We caught up with Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom at SHOT Show 2013.

We had a lot of fun talking with Trevor Baucom. Here’s what we learned…

My Gun Culture: So Trevor, if we have our facts straight, you’re a relatively new addition to Team Smith & Wesson. Didn’t you join the team sometime in mid-2011?

Trevor Baucom: That’s right, I was formally introduced as a team member at the NRA Annual Meeting in 2011 in Pittsburgh.

MGC: Now for the interesting part – was your first major competition really the The 2011 Bianchi Cup National Championship?

Trevor: Well no, not really. Bianchi was my FIRST shooting competition PERIOD! I had shot plenty just playing around, but never anything in terms of serious competition. After a couple of months of training, Bianchi was the first match I ever shot!

MGC: Ummm, that’s kind of like learning how to read by picking up a copy of War and Peace isn’t it? For those who aren’t familiar, the Bianchi Cup is the most brutal test of handgun shooting skill.

Trevor: It’s all about accuracy. Meaning out to 50 yards with a handgun kind of accuracy.

MGC: So were you completely high on drugs to venture into competitive shooting this way?

Trevor: Nah… That was the first one and I kind of think “Go big or go home!” I had a blast and it was really fun.

MGC: So how did you do?

Trevor: Well, I didn’t come close to winning. Doug Koenig has nothing to fear from me! I’ll improve on it as I go. My goal is always to outdo myself every year. Hey I didn’t come in last place either…

MGC: How did the whole Smith & Wesson thing come about? Tell us about the chain of events that got you here.

Trevor: I had just gotten out of the hospital and was going to outpatient rehab. I was in and out of the rehab facility and I saw this car with GUNS-TV on the license plate and I thought “That’s pretty cool.” Then I saw a 2nd Ranger Battalion license plate on the front of the car. And I did my first five years in the Army in the 1st Ranger Battalion so I go out there one day and see a bunch of guys talking by that car. So I went over and asked who the Ranger was. The guy answered that it was actually his son, and it turned out the guy was Jim Scoutten, host of Shooting USA. Anyway, over the next week or so, we talked more and one thing led to another. He introduced me to the folks at Smith & Wesson and here we are.

MGC: Now you also shoot Steel Challenge right?

Trevor: Yes sir!

MGC: How’s that going for you?

Trevor: It’s a blast, I love Steel Challenge. I did the World Shoot the past couple of years. I’ve been improving my times year over year and did the Nationals this year.

MGC: We also heard that you’re starting into 3 Gun competition as well?

Trevor: I am. I am shooting the match in July at Rock Castle. That’s going to be my first major 3 Gun match. Ithaca Gun Company has sponsored me. They don’t offer a semi-auto shotgun, so I have to shoot the Heavy Metal class. So I’m going hard core!

MGC: Let’s talk about your competition guns. For Bianchi and Steel Challenge what are you using?

Trevor: I’m shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series with a 5 inch barrel. I’ve got a production version and an Open Class M&P that Apex Tactical has fixed up for me. For Steel Nationals, I’m going to shoot the new Smith & Wesson M&P Core. For 3 Gun I’ll be shooting a Smith & Wesson M&P AR, probably the 300 Whisper. So I’ll still be shooting the .30 caliber for Heavy Metal, but with a little less pop. Then I’ll use one of the Smith & Wesson M&P Core’s in .45 ACP for the pistol and of course an Ithaca Model 37 pump shotgun.

MGC: So with all that, you’ll leave Rock Castle with a nice, sore, shoulder…

Trevor: Nah, it’s alright. They hooked me up with a really nice recoil reducer. It has a strut inside that soaks up a lot of the recoil. I did a charity trap shoot with it a couple weeks ago and it was fine.

MGC: Let’s talk about hunting. You live in Tennessee right? Lot’s of hunting opportunities there, so what do you enjoy?

Trevor: There’s lot’s of hunting and fishing. I hunt deer, turkey, and HAVA (Honored American Veterans Afield) is working on getting me out for an elk hunt too.

MGC: So how was your deer season this year?

Trevor: I didn’t get out very much at all. But, my oldest son got his first deer. It ended up being a management buck, but it was bigger than the 10 pointer it was hanging next to in the freezer. So while it was a management buck, it was a big one. So that was the only one we got this year as we just didn’t get out enough. Turkey season is great because I don’t have to go anywhere. The farmer behind us has given us free rein to hunt 300 acres for Turkey. So as long as I don’t shoot his cows, I’m OK!

MGC: No worries, I’m sure the Bianchi Cup stuff has got your accuracy all set. So, since you’re an Army Ranger veteran and probably expert on this topic, you can settle a long-standing debate. My wife and I have been arguing over the best home-defense gun. I think it’s an MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, but she’s worried about the blast radius and collateral damage. What say you? Settle this for us, please.

Trevor: I got this. I coach soccer, and one of the soccer parents asked me about home-defense a couple of weeks ago. Her husband is deployed and there is a lot of construction where she lives, so there are lots of strangers coming and going at weird times. She went shopping for pistols and couldn’t figure out what she needed. I told her, look, we’ll get you a pump shotgun. First of all, the noise is going to scare the hell out of anybody. If someone tries to break in, take your boys into the bedroom, and if someone tries to come in, shoot them right in the junk! He’s not gonna mess with you any more! So that’s where I’m at. Load it with light bird shot – you don’t have to have anything heavy. It’s not gonna go through walls. If you hit him below the belt, he’s going to stop. And a pump shotgun has follow-up rounds if you need them. A shotgun is harder to miss with than a pistol and it’s not going to go through walls and such.

MGC: Remind me never to break into your house… So what’s your schedule for the year looking like?

Trevor: I’m competing about once a month on average. What I really love is doing HAVA shoots. I love going HAVA because you’ll get guys out there and see a 180 degree attitude change. We had a quadriplegic who hadn’t been able to get out. We set him up with a friend operating the stick because he can’t move anything. They had the sip and puff trigger where you blow into it and it shoots the gun. That guy went from not saying a word to anyone and moping to having a huge smile after the second round. He was happy, having fun, and talking to everybody. That’s why I love HAVA. You get the wives and kids out there. They teach everyone gun safety first and get them shooting. It’s a great organization.


We’d like to thank Trevor Baucom and Team Smith & Wesson for helping us get Trevor’s story out there. If you haven’t tried competitive shooting, you now have no excuse! No need to start with the Bianchi Cup though. You can leave that to Trevor.

What Has More Energy? A 3 ½” 12 Gauge Buckshot Load or a Throat Punch By Mike Tyson?

Find out with the Cartridge Comparison Guide, Second Edition

I now have all the answers.

Not because I’m some sort of genius, but because I met the guy who HAS found all the answers at this year’s Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Conference.

Cartridge Comparison Guide Second Edition

Cartridge Comparison Guide Second Edition

His name is Andrew and he created the Cartridge Comparison Guide, now in its second edition.

Thanks to Andrew, I am now able to quickly research definitive answers to important questions like…


Question: Is the muzzle energy of the Winchester 12 gauge, 15 pellet, #00 buckshot, 3 ½” load more or less than getting punched in the throat by Mike Tyson?

Answer: It’s a trick question. While the muzzle energy of this load is 3,780 foot-pounds, you can’t really measure the impact of a Mike Tyson throat punch as he prefers 7 punch combo’s led by a jab.


Question: Which has a greater sectional density? The .577 Nitro Express Barnes Bullet or Rosie O’Donnell?

Answer: Aha! Tricked you again! You can’t accurately compare the .577’s sectional density of .313 with infinity!


Question: Which requires more energy? Stopping a .35 Whelen 200 grain projectile once it has traveled 300 yards or prying Lindsey Lohan from a one of Hollywood’s Hookah Lounge bar stools?

Answer: Well, according to the Cartridge Comparison Guide, a .35 Whelen 200 grain projectile will be moving at about 1,916 feet per second at 300 yards, which translates to, let’s see, carry the one, 1,630 foot-pounds of energy. As of last reports, officials still have not managed to pry the wayward actress from her bar stool, so we’ll have to get back to you on this one.


Question: What exerts more force? Martha Stewart hot-glueing doilies onto a festive holiday wreath or the recoil of a .221 Remington Fireball?

Answer: The .221 Remington Fireball with a 40 grain Hornady projectile exerts about 1.62 foot-pounds of recoil, while sticking doilies only requires .731 foot-pounds using general purpose hot glue.


Question: OK, last chance to improve your score. Which of the following is more likely to create a tear-drop or bell-shaped wound channel? The .17 Remington Fireball 20 grain bullet or Louie Anderson hitting the water from the 5 meter board in ABC’s new celebrity diving show, Splash?

Answer: Due to its 4,000 feet per second velocity and light bullet construction, the .17 Fireball is likely to fragment, thereby creating a tear-drop shaped wound channel. Louie Anderson, currently weighing in at 400 pounds, is likely to empty the pool, rendering wound-channel measurements impossible.


Of course, if you want to do more mundane things like find the best hunting cartridge that will minimize felt-recoil, while delivering a certain amount of energy at 300 yards, the Cartridge Comparison Guide will help you do that too. It’s chock full of tables that rank and sort data like bullet weight, muzzle velocity, down range energy, bullet momentum, sectional density and recoil energy.

So if you wanted to know which has more recoil energy, the .270 Winchester with a 150 grain bullet traveling at 2,950 feet per second or a 7×57 Mauser with a 170 grain bullet traveling at  2,545 feet per second, you would just flip to pages 46 and 47. You’ll find that, with an 8 pound rifle, you’ll experience 17.82 foot-pounds of recoil with the .270 load and 15.07 foot-pounds of recoil energy with the 7×57 Mauser. Or perhaps you want to settle the argument of which has more down range energy, the standard AR-15 or AK-47 load. Just look it up!

What the Cartridge Comparison Guide 2 is, and is not.

It is a comprehensive tool that “will help you gain the maximum benefit from a personalized cartridge selection.”

It is not a reloading guide. You will not find powder measure charges in this book.

It is comprehensive, covering cartridges from the .17 caliber to the .577 Nitro Express and everything in between.

It is not intended to interest Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It is a directory of performance characteristics of factory available cartridges – even really rare and obscure ones.

It is not a guide for wildcat and proprietary cartridge performance.

It is a means of sucking up hours of your time. Productively!

It is not appropriate to bring for dinner table reading on romantic dates.

Winner of the Professional Outdoor Media Association Pinnacle Award for excellence, this book is a gold mine of information.

You can find the Cartridge Comparison Guide 2nd Edition here.

Also check out some of the posters produced by Chamberlain Development, like this American Standard Cartridge poster. It’s painstakingly produced to illustrate each cartridge in actual dimensions to within 4/1000 of an inch.

American Standard Cartridges - The Cartridge Comparison Guide

American Standard Cartridges Poster



Should Turkey Decoys Do The Nasty? These and Other Questions with Barbara Baird of The WON

Barbara Baird - Publisher of The WON

Barbara Baird – Publisher of The WON

I love this job. Although it is, at times, dangerous. Like at the recent NRA Annual Meeting. Minding my own business at a Smith & Wesson / ATK media briefing, I was suddenly accosted by a band of half-crazed gun-outdoor-archer-hunter-shooter-fisher women. And one of the ringleaders was Barbara Baird, publisher of The WON. So I had to arrange an interview. Here it is…

My Gun Culture: Tell us a little about The WON? I thought Neo was the one. Did you also take The Red Pill?

Barbara Baird: I started to answer this while sitting under a tree in full camo, on my iPhone, waiting for a gobbler somewhere in the universe to take notice of my two decoys, a hen and a jake — that were set up in a rather obscene style. As far as Neo … he’s the other one. And, yes, I do take the red pill almost every morning … but I have to present my ID at the pharmacy to get it. Called Sudafed. Otherwise, I’d be a hacking, streaming mess in the grass during turkey season.

MGC: Even YOU have to show ID to buy allergy medicine? What is this world coming to when a woman who runs her own NEWS NETWORK isn’t trusted to buy Sudafed? So what are you hoping to accomplish with Womens Outdoor News?

Barbara: We (because The WON is a team) want to educate, inspire and entertain. We want to be the “go-to” source for news about women in the outdoors, and also, the place that you can trust, the network, that will help you find the right gear and a good, safe event to attend, or a wonderful instructor to search out and learn from. And we also love men and we like it when men come to the site to learn what to buy for the women in their lives! I’ve had men tell me that they actually learn what women want at our site!

MGC: Ummm, Mothers Day is right around the corner you know. Got any ideas for the shooting lady? After all, you ARE one, so I expect some really good advice here…

Barbara: Just remember, “shooting ladies” who also are mothers (and I mean that in a nice way) don’t want to cook on Mother’s Day. And for gifts … I’d visit The WON and check out our many advertisers — from boutique items such as bullet or cartridge jewelry, to swanky range bags to way cool hoodies and apparel to camo for the serious hunter to bringing out the big guns, from Smith & Wesson or Colt.

MGC: If I understand correctly, you used to be part of the mainstream media. Doesn’t that mean you can’t be trusted? How do we know that The WON is not some Homeland Security front organization created solely to infiltrate the outdoors industry? After meeting you at the NRA Annual Meeting, I’m suspicious already.

Barbara: Aw, I’m still part of that media. I write a column for Turkey Country and two columns in THE travel magazine of Missouri — Show Me Missouri! I still think print and layout whenever I post at The WON. Can’t help it, from my wax and paste days as a weekly newspaper editor in a small town called St. James. As far as Homeland Security infiltrating the outdoors, that’s an interesting thought. I believe that Homeland Security could call on our contributors at The WON to kick some major behind, if needed, in the war on terror.

Barbara Baird shooting a cannon

Umm, Barb? Isn’t this too much gun for wild turkey?

MGC: Tell me about it. We interviewed Mia Anstine recently and quickly figured out you don’t want to mess with her. Although she didn’t confess to setting up turkey decoys in, umm, compromising positions. But enough about that. I know you’re an avid huntress, so what’s your favorite wild game meal?

Barbara: Whatever is in season. I even like moose. We practically live off venison, because I’m not very good at fishing. Otherwise, we’d have a lot of trout and bluegill, too.

MGC: Quick! Revolver or Semi-auto?

Barbara: Semi-auto … but I just ordered my first revolver, a Smith & Wesson Model 642. Guns are like shoes and especially for concealed carry. There are so many options and not every gun fits every occasion.

MGC: We can’t help but be impressed by the fact that The WON is already a celebrity hangout. Just look at the Team WON link on your site and you see brushes with fame all over! Just between us, and the rest of the internet, who’s joining Team WON next?

Barbara: You’re the seventh to know, Tom. We refer to them as “the twins.” Because they are. Tracy and Lanny Barnes, Olympic biathletes and if blogging had an Olympics, they’d whoop up on everyone … anyway, they are coming onboard, sponsored by ATI — who makes their gunstocks — and they are going to talk to us about nutrition, shooting, training and how to wear camo in Europe. They also will take us with them on their many and varied trips around the world. We can be armchair biathletes!

MGC: I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but how do people take advantage of The WON? Hang on, let me change that! How can people work with The WON to help advance the cause?

Barbara Baird The WON blowing up a rock

Here’s Barb. Drilling a big hole. In a big rock. To blow it up. I suspect Dr. Bomb is somehow involved.

Barbara: Thank you, Tom. Please link to us. We like links. And let us know what you want to read. We can send our WON Guns and Team WON out to help with a shooting event, fishing, adventure (think rock climbing), the biathlon, or hunting trip. In fact, last year, a bunch of WON Guns showed up at a carp bowfishing tournament in Southern Illinois. I think the carp heard about us, and vamoosed. There were hardly any carp to be found. We had a great time regardless.

MGC: So Barbara, this has been fun goofing around a bit, but all kidding aside, what else should our readers know about you?

Barbara: I’d like you to know that I’ve been married for 33+ years to a wonderful man that is known as Dr. Bomb in the industry. We have four grown children, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law (they ALL shoot and hunt) and three granddaughters under the age of 2. We are starting our own Little Women in the Outdoors program. My family is extremely supportive of The WON, and contributes suggestions and participate in antics that often wind up as blogposts, bless their hearts. I am quite serious about my work in the industry, though. I am the Realtree News blogger and feature writer — launching a series of profiles next month at the site, a contributing editor at SHOT Biz and a feature writer and columnist at Turkey Country. I wrote the controversial cover story a few years ago that shocked a lot of people, regarding Katrina and the city of New Orleans’ coverup of gun confiscation there afterwards, and a follow-up story a year later for America’s 1st Freedom. I’m also a new columnist with Shooting Sports USA.

Thanks to Barbara Baird, known in some circles as Babbs In The Woods for giving us the rundown on The WON. Check them out online!

How To Stare A Bull Elk Into Your Freezer: Our Interview With Huntress Mia Anstine

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing not just an interesting “gun person” but an exceptionally busy one as well.

Meet Mia Anstine – Professional hunting guide at Wolf Creek Outfitters, blogger, Womens Outdoor News contributor, mentor, coach, soon-to-be-official shooting instructor, mom, wife, TenPoint Crossbows pro-staffer, Prois Hunting Apparel representative, and author of “Mia and the little gal.” Tired yet? We are.

My Gun Culture: Mia – Thanks for agreeing to occupy our interview hot seat several weeks back. To be honest, we’ve dragged our feet a bit out of embarrassment that we don’t know how to pronounce your name! Is it Mee-yah? My-ah? Mah? Yo lady? Mom! And then there’s the whole question of the correct pronunciation of your last name… An-steen? Ahn-stein? Ahn-stin-ay? We’re very confused. Please set our readers straight…

Mia Anstine: Haha! That’s a GREAT question! I often wonder what people think in their mind as they read my name and pronounce it in their head.  My first name if after the Spanish word for “mine”. It is pronounced Mee-uh as in Mia Hamm, Mia Farrow or Mia Anstine! Haha! My last name is a German name. It is pronounced Ann-Stine. Not Steen or Stein. It is Ann-sty-n.  Hopefully that helps. If not, I will correct you when I meet you. Hah!

MGC: As long as you don’t correct me with one of your crossbows, we’ll be fine! Speaking of Crossbows, what exactly do you do as a pro-staff member of TenPoint Crossbows?

Mia: I mentor lots of people in the outdoors including attending shooting events, trade shows and open houses at local archer or gun stores. At various events I give presentations and show off TenPoint. I demonstrate with my Carbon Fusion CLS and allow shooters to test the bow.

MGC: Being that you’re a professional guide, you’re obviously an accomplished hunter. Have you ever just totally blown a stalk by tripping over something, sneezing, or playing Angry Birds on your iPhone? It’s OK, you can tell, it’s just between us…

Mia: No, but I once was with my husband stalking a 5×5 bull elk that was chasing a cow when I suddenly saw another bull heading to chase him off. I was in the middle of a clearing when off to the right the larger, angry bull circled around the oak brush. He charged in from the side of the meadow.  We turned, and there he was. I was standing in the middle of the clearing with no cover. Hank whispered “don’t
move!”  I stood there, 20 feet from him, all 5’2” of me, trembling.  I was so excited, nervous and scared! That bull and I looked each other in the eye, him glaring at me.  He was mad at that other bull trying to steal one of his cows. I could see his nostrils flaring as he took
deep breaths, trying to smell me and figure out what I was.  I stood in awe as he had busted us but I wasn’t sure if he was going to run or run me over.

MGC: I’ve been wanting to see that movie “Men Who Stare At Goats.” Apparently it’s about some army program where they train to hunt the enemy using psychic powers. I’m assuming that’s how you got out of the bull elk situation right? You just stared at it until it dropped dead? Right?

Mia: We did give each other the stare down, but I had no psychic powers at hand. Thanks to the NRA and our right to bear arms, that day I used my .270 Winchester rifle to put meat in the freezer. It just happened to come along with an exciting story.

MGC: How did you get involved with Prois? You didn’t stare them into submission did you?

Mia: I discovered Prois hunting apparel when it first came out. I was very excited with the quality, function and fit. It was a product I believed in, supported and promoted over the past few years. It was also a bonus when I learned Kirstie Pike’s vision for ladies in the outdoors parallels my own. Now I am so proud and especially honored to be on the Field staffer for Prois.

MGC: We enjoy reading “Mia and the little gal” on Womens Outdoor News! Just hypothetically, how would you handle it if the little gal went entirely vegan one day. Would you teach her to hunt for wheat grass sprouts or something?

Mia: OMG!!! Just posed the question to the Little Gal and she says and I quote “Meat has more flavor than veggies.” LOL!!!! I guess being a vegan is not an option. Haha!

MGC: So tell us what inspires your about being a professional hunting guide at Wolf Creek Outfitters…

Mia: At Wolf Creek Outfitters (WCO) we have always promoted lady hunters, youth hunters as well as disabled. This year we are excited to be taking a number of kids for their first hunts as well as sponsoring a hunt for Outdoor Buddies of Colorado.

MGC: So what’s on your agenda for 2012?

Mia: I am happy to be promoting women in the outdoors and mentoring lots of lady hunters, new and old. I will be attending some ladies shooting events as well as coaching and mentoring at and on ladies hunts. It is my goal this year become an NRA certified shooting instructor.

MGC: So where should folks go to keep up with your adventures?

Mia: At Women’s Outdoor News I enjoy sharing stories of my and my daughter’s outdoor adventures. It is through the blog that we hope to mentor other families to get outside and hunt, shoot, fish and overall enjoy the outdoors together. We have some exciting stories we hope to share throughout the spring and summer. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Mia Anstine (and the little gal) for sharing their story. Stay tuned for more stories from interesting gun people!

Mule Deer Foundation Launches Underprivileged Deer Grant Program

In a surprise move today, Ben Cartwright, CEO of The Mule Deer Foundation, announced a new grant program aimed at giving a ‘hoof up’ to disadvantaged mule deer.

“Our hearts are broken” lamented Cartwright. “Year after year, we see the vicious cycle of deer not having the opportunity to realize their full potential. Don’t let a hunk of awesome venison go to waste.”

In today’s announcement, Cartwright outlined plans for The Mule Deer Foundation to initiate a scholarship program for all types of deer, regardless of tail color, that will allow them to attend the feeding ground of their choice. All deer with potentially yummy tenderloins are eligible for the new program. As part of the new initiative, The Mule Deer Foundation will be providing each eligible deer with 2 buckets of corn and a used salt lick.

“Imagine if you were never included in all the reindeer games” queried Cartwright. “How would that feel?”


But seriously folks – check out The Mule Deer Foundation and give them a hand. We know that hunters are the major supporters of conservation, but not everyone else does. We’ll be getting the full scoop on the Mule Deer Foundation at  The SHOT Show and will report back.

Half-Cocked: Lead really IS harmful to game animals…

Half-Cocked - Lead really is harmful to game animals

Half-Cocked: Hunter Crossing…

Hunter Crossing

Hunter Crossing

Strutting and Rutting

Strut and Rut Energy Drink

Strut and Rut Energy Drink

Strut and Rut – A new energy drink aimed at outdoors-people. Let’s hope it doesn’t inspire namesake behavior by its consumers. I suppose we’ll know for sure in about 9 months.









Legal Disclosures about articles on My Gun Culture