This time of year is a great time for reflection and for being thankful for what we have. It also seems we are more nostalgic around the holidays than other times of the year. We will all admit that hunters and outdoors men and women have a different look on life.. Our vacations are not spent at the beach but in the woods or on the water. We would rather be 16 ft up in a tree stand or sitting in sub zero temperatures in a duck blind than lounging at a resort. Ahhhh the good life. With that being said I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things, some old and some new, some material and some of flesh and blood.
My family is at the top of the list. I am so glad that my Dad understood me from the time I arrived on the planet. He had me in the woods and on a trout stream when I was so small that my Mom said my diapers drug out my tracks. He taught me how to hunt and fish and was always very patient. I ask ten bazillion questions and he always had an answer. He never got mad if I stepped on a stick or scuffed my feet in the woods, he explained how to walk soft and easy and why we needed to do so, you see more game. You don’t see anything if your running through the woods making noise. These lesson have paid off numerous times when I stalk game. My brother also played a huge roll, he is three years older than me and if he could do it, I could do it better. He calls me “brother” because no matter what we were doing we done it together and had each others back, still do. When I met Jim, my husband, he also understood that I was a little different than most girls, he bought me shotguns and bows when we were dating. I knew I had struck gold with him. He is my hunting buddy and best friend. He told me when he asked me to marry him that he would make all my dreams come true and that our life would not be boring. Twenty three years later I can say he has kept his word.
My dogs come in a close second. I have trained dogs for over thirty years, retrievers are my specialty. I have had Labrador Retrievers since I was nine years old. I have been blessed to have some awesome dogs, they have taught me more than I have taught them. Our last lab passed away from lymphoma at ten and half years old. We were able to take her on her final waterfowl trip to North Dakota, thanks to a dear friend, Art Boger, before she passed away. We now have a ten month old lab pup out of Bay Creek Kennels, her name is Sky. She is writing a whole new book on retriever training, lol. She keeps me on my toes and is a joy to train. She will make a great hunting dog and hunt test competitor. She only needs me to drive her and shoot, if she had thumbs she wouldn’t need me at all.
My favorite bibs. My Dad bought me a pair of Walls Blizzard Proof bibs over twenty years ago. They are in the original Realtree Camo pattern. Jim and I were dating at the time and he said that I would need them if I was going to hang around with Jim. He was right, they have been all over the county and have served me well. When I wear them it’s like Dad is there with me. They are insulated but not waterproof, they zip to the hip, which is almost impossible to find anymore. I have never been on a hunting trip late season that they were not with me and as long as I can wear or they don’t disintegrate they will continue to help me make memories with the people I love most.
My Danner Boots. When I was in my teens my first “real” pair of boots was a pair of Colorado Hiking Boots, for those of you who remember them, they were a gold color with red boot laces. They were suede, weighed about ten pounds each and were stiff as a 2×4. They soaked up water like a sponge and they were cooler than ice on an igloo. Before that it was just a pair of old leather boots and mamma would put a pair of socks on me then wrap my feet with bread bags, another pair of socks and then in the boots. I’m sure a lot of you have done the same. Boots and clothes have come a long way. Now I have Danner Boots in many styles, I have Danner High Ground boots in uninsulated all the way up to 1000 grams of thinsulate and they are waterproof. I have the new Mountain 600 hiking boots that feel better than tennis shoes and are waterproof, no more sponges. I also have Lacrosse Alpha burly’s rubber boots. They come in different insulated values and of course are waterproof and so comfortable I can walk in them all day. No more wet cold feet, no more blisters, just happy feet with boots that will go the distance.
ThermaCELL. Heated products. Again, things have come a long way. I remember hunting in my levis, my Colorado Hiking Boots, thermal underwear, Dad’s wool socks, a sweater and one of Dad’s insulated Flannel shirts, yep you were going to be frozen if you were still hunting and if you were up moving you were still going to be frozen by the end of the day. It seems like it took three days to get warm after a hunting trip but memory fades and I was eager to go on the next hunt. With ThermaCELL’s heated insoles, hand and body warmers I can sit all day without being cold. I was very skeptical at first, I had tried everything to keep my feet warm but nothing seemed to work if I was sitting for long periods of time. When my feet get cold I am ready to head to the truck. The ThermaCELL heated insoles are the ticket I can sit all day in the cold, wind, rain or snow and be comfortable. The insoles can now be controlled by your smart phone so you can set them from low to high heat with a simple touch of a button. You no longer have to take off you boots to set the heat. They are so comfortable to walk in they make any pair of boots or shoes feel like athletic shoes. So if your still hunting, upland hunting or hiking they will give you the performance you deserve. Now with the addition of the hand and body warmers, I don’t have to be cold and can stay out as long as I want to.
Wildlife Research Center Products. From the Scent Killer Gold line to their Scent lures their products are unmatched. The great thing about their line is that it is perfect for every hunter and fisherman but also perfect for your home. Pet odors, spills on the furniture, your carpet, your car or truck. It works on everything and it does not leave a perfume odor behind. Their line of scent lures are exceptional as well. When Jim and I went to Alaska on a hunting and fishing trip, he thought his favorite pair of bibs and parka were ruined, they smelled like rotten fish when we got home. I did have to wash them twice with Scent Killer Gold but they are now scent free and back in service. Can’t imagine life in the outdoors or indoors without these great products.
Mathews Solocam Bows. As hunters we are always searching for the latest and greatest in bow technology. I have had the privilege of owning many of the Mathews line of bows from the MQ 1 to the Halon 5. I will have to admit the Halon 5 is at the top of my list of all the bows I have owned. Easy to draw, solid wall, perfect weight and comes in a draw length and draw weight to fit any hunter or tournament shooter.
The Precious. I own a Thompson Center Arms Pro Hunter in a 25-06 complete with a thumb hole stock in real tree camo. It is equipted with a Nikon scope in stainless just like the barrel and action. Jim built it for me and from the first time I put in in my hands we were one. It has traveled a lot of miles with me and made some fantastic memories. I feel about that rifle like Gollum did over the ring in the book Lord of the Rings. Hence the name the Precious. Can’t wait to see how many more adventures we take together, maybe we will even hunt Ork’s. I can’t help but wonder what our taxidermist would say when I brought one in to be mounted.
Weatherby Shotguns and Rifles. I am very picky when it comes to my shotgun. My dogs depend on me when we are waterfowl hunting, upland hunting or practicing for hunt test. I have to have a shotgun that is well balanced with a length of pull that fits me. To many misses and I start to get the dirty looks from pup. I had the privilege of owning one lab, Star, if you missed once it was forgiven, it you missed twice she would turn her back to you and give dirty looks over her shoulder as if you had just committed a crime and she would have no part of it. So in order to stay in the good graces of my dogs my shotgun is most important. I am shooting a SA-08 with a 26’ barrel right now in Realtree camo and so far the dogs approve. Also their rifles are top of the line. I own several calibers and so does Jim. We have had them in some terrible weather conditions and they have never let us down. Their craftsmanship is spot on and again can be ordered in length of pull to fit every hunter.
Outdoor Edge Knives. There is not a hunter, fisherman, outdoors person, dog person or any individual, even your Grandmother that doesn’t need a knife from Outdoor Edge. I carry a Mini Babe in my pocket everyday. I have several of their knives in my kitchen drawer, the processing kit, the Swing Blades and many of their other great knives. These knives stand the test of time and durability. They hold a edge and are very user friendly. I can say that we use Outdoor Edge knives on a daily basis. So if you are looking for stocking stuffers or gifts for the people on your list give them an Outdoor Edge knife, they will love you forever for a practical gift. I can promise you won’t have to give them a receipt for a return.
And – Carbon Express arrows, Sure-Loc sights, K-Tech Stabilizers, Muzzy Broadheads, Tru-Ball Releases, Quality Archery Design Arrow Rest, Sport Dog E- Collars and the list goes on. I could write a book on all the great products that I use but again with limited space, these are at the top of the list. All these products make may life much easier, but they also help me spend more time in the field with our friends and family in God’s Grandest Cathedral, the outdoors.
I don’t have the space to go into all the specs and details of all the products that I have mentioned in this article, if you have any questions, email me through our website www.teamfrady.com or contact the company’s direct. I will be glad to discuss any of the products or we can talk dogs and hunting stories.
I know that each of you have things that are sentimental to you or that have made your life in the outdoors easier. I am thankful for the many blessing’s that I have and look forward to, as Bob Foulkrod would say, making more deposits to the old memory bank. I hope each of you have a magical Christmas and a wonderful blessed new year.
Reattree Camo www.realtree.com
Danner Boot www.danner.com
ThermaCELL Heated Insoles www.thermcellheated.com
Wildlife Research Center www.wildlife.com
Mathews Solocam Bows www.mathewsinc.com
Thompson Center Arms www.tcarms.com
Weatherby Shotguns and Rifles www.weatherby.com
SportDOG Brand www.sportdog.com
Quality Archery Design www.qadinc.com
Tru-ball Releases www.truball.com
Muzzy Broadheads www.muzzy.com
K-tech Stabilizers www.ktechdesign.com
Sure-Loc Sights www.sureloc.com
Carbon Express Arrows www.carbonexpressarrows.com
Team Frady Outdoor Adventures www.teamfrady.com
Outdoor Edge Knives www.outdooredge.com
For more please go to: Team Frady