Fort's Toyota banner


Heartland Outdoors magazine is published every month.
Subscription Terms

Or call (309) 741-9790 or e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sept 2014 HO Cover


August 2014
27 28 29 30 311 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013

Recent entries


Through the Lens

Design A Better Life Jacket and Win $10,000

Fri, August 22, 2014

Let’s face it - we all know that we should be wearing our PFD’s every time we are on the water. Let’s also think about all the reasons we hear why folks don’t wear a PFD, many of which relate to design and functionality. Thanks to the good folks at Boat US now those innovative folks who indeed think the have designed the proverbial better mouse trap have chance to have their ideas and innovations heard. Is your PFD too bulky for comfortable fishing? Is too hot? Is it ill fitting? If you have an innovative design concept here’s your chance!

ANNAPOLIS, Md., August 21, 2014 – Are you an armchair inventor with a better way to keep boaters, sailors and anglers afloat? The BoatUS Foundation, along with the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), have teamed up to seek out the newest technologies and design ideas with the “Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition” which kicks off today. “We believe there are some creative folks out there that can help us rethink a 100-year-old design with fresh, out-of-the-box ideas,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. A $10,000 cash award goes to the winning designer and inventors have until April 15, 2015 to submit their idea to

“Waterway users are always looking for more comfortable life jackets,” added Edmonston. “While current models of life jackets save lives every day, many are still bulky and uncomfortable, leaving boaters reluctant to wear them. This competition hopes to challenge that mindset.”

Entries that embrace new technologies and non-traditional thinking are being encouraged from individuals or groups, such as high school science clubs, collegiate design programs or even boat and fishing clubs. There are no rules regarding types of materials to be used or whether the design meets any current US standards. Entries can be as simple as hand-drawn theoretical designs to working prototypes.

The entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. “Wearability” relates to the level of comfort. “Reliability” will take into account the chances for potential failure, while “cost” will look at the affordability of the design. “Innovation” will take into account originality or the utilization of new technologies. Additionally, the BoatUS Foundation will post entries on their website and Facebook page for public voting. The winner will be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.  For more information or to enter visit


Of Squirrels and Spider Webs

Thu, August 07, 2014

In all honesty I need to admit that saying I was headed out in search of squirrels yesterday morning was not entirely true, Telling dear husband that Willie and were going squirrel hunting seemed more productive sounding than Willie and I are going out to wander and play in the pea soup fog.

It didn’t long after the sun started climbing to decide that the woods was just too hot, too muggy, too buggy and that all the squirrels were either hiding or had moved on to some cooler breezier spot.

What greeted us as we tromped out of the woods were fields full of literally thousands of spiderwebs. Big webs, little webs, crooked webs, exquisite webs and tattered webs. So the morning took an abrupt turn from searching for squirrels to wandering through fields and the treelines marveling at how no single web was alike. I am not ashamed to say I just stood and gazed all of them, more than a little bit in awe of the engineering talents of the little eight legged architects.

While the spider webs distracted us and led us away from the squirrel mission, they also led us out into the open areas, the field edges and gave us some close up looks at other things just as wonderful as a a couple squirrels in the vest.

Thanks as always Heartland friends for taking the time to look at life “Through the Lens” with Willie and I!





Hundreds of Bowfishers Descend on Kentucky Lakes

Wed, July 23, 2014

Hundreds of bowfishers, and total of 72 boats descended on Aurora, Kentucky over the weekend for a record setting Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship tournament.

Said BAA Points/Sanctioning Chairman, Amanda Nichols “Kentucky always has the biggest turnout for the World’s, but this year was the record year so far for turnout for any of the World’s tourneys. This is the biggest World’s to date and we would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the 2014 BAA World Championship.  Without all of the bowfishermen and the supporters we couldn’t have done it.  Big thanks to Marshall County for all the support and donations towards this event.”

The BAA’s World championship Tournament brings the best of the best bowfishers from across the country to compete for nearly 14,000 dollars in prize money.  The first place winning teams in the Big 20 Division and Numbers Division both went home 3,000 dollars richer and payouts were also made to those in the top five slots.

But “The World’s” as it is referred to by bowfishers is much more than just another tournament, and just another purse.  It’s a full blown weekend event that gives bowfishers from across the country a weekend together filled with friendship, fellowship and fun. For many it is the one event of the year where all of their bowfishing buddies are in one place.

For the communities that that host the World’s it’s a huge influx to the local economy.  “It’s hard dispute what we bring in,  when that guy with the truck and airboat walks into to your gas station and slaps 4 hundred dollar bills down just for fuel. “ Said Mark Lee, President of BAA.  Lee pointed out the economic benefits to the community in dollars spent on lodging, meals, and trips to local shops for last minute items.  Additionally local civic groups can help fill their organizations coffers by providing food, drinks, etc. at the tournament site.

At this year’s Worlds the Aurora Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary were kept hopping serving up food both before and after the tournament.  “We are just thrilled to have the bowfishers in Aurora – we had the Kentucky State Shoot here earlier this year and we loved every minute of it. We couldn’t wait for the Worlds to get here. Our small community is suffering, just like so many, and the bowfishers bring us so much! “Said a representative from ladies auxiliary.

That sentiment was echoed by Tammy Nanney from nearby KenLake State Resort Park where “all those big bowfishing boats” were the talk of the resort guests and staff. Nanney pointed out that bowfishing at Kentucky Lakes is excellent, sporting some of the largest big head carp in the Midwest, and the myriad of available Kentucky State Parks lodging options from camping to cottages to resort level are always welcoming to those who plan a bowfishing vacation at Kentucky Lakes.

The tournament was truly a community affair, with many from Kentucky Lakes area coming out to talk with bowfishers, ogle the boats and equipment on display and to watch well-orchestrated take off of 72 boats.

Spectators gathered on piers below Kentucky Dam to watch tournament participants who were fishing the tailwaters

Companies and industries affiliated with the bowfishing community also recognize the importance of the World’s as a premier bowfishing event and provided excellent in kind and monetary support.  For instance, PowerTran donated a full system as a prize in a side competition sponsored by their company.

PowerTran winners with representative Greg Pyle and tournament participant, and their new PowerTran system

This year’s successful BAA World Championship proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that bowfishing has arrived as an outdoor sport and is no longer considered fringe, redneck, or a bunch of goofballs with bows chasing fish in the dead of night. It requires specialized equipment, specialized skills, and is a great conservation tool for the removal of injurious and invasive species.

When the bowfishers arrive in your neighborhood – everybody wins.

For more information about bowfishing or the Bowfishing Association of America click here

Tournament Standings:

  • Big 20 (twenty heaviest fish taken by each team)  Division Top Ten
    1st Tommy Woods, Hunter Woods, Scott Baxter - 585 pounds
    2nd Gill, Taylor, Carlson
    3rd Damian Loveless, Jermi Redden, Dennis Redden
    4th Jo Lambert, David Lambert, Zach Lemire
    5th Spiceland, Devine, Kitchens
    6th Matt McGuyer, Chancy Crowell, Kenzie Taylor
    7th Greg Pyle, Adam Hull, Josh Morris
    8th John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg
    9th TJ Johnson, Gary Johnson, Alex Mosley
    10th Bryan Hughes, Mark Land, Jeff White

  • Numbers (total number of fish shot) Division Top Ten
    1st Bubba Suggs, Shawn Hoelzeman, Jason Gibson - 341 fish
    2nd Keith Roberts, Marty Marrett, Virgil Robinson
    3rd Craig Wardlaw, Josh York, Brandon Carter
    4th Clint Horn, Marcus Hayes, Ramon McDonald
    5th John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg
    6th Brian Little, Taylor Farrar, Bob Esper
    7th Jerry Broadnax, Chad Sullivan, David Campbell
    8th Monte Reid, Jordan Lancaster, Josh Terry
    9th Nathan Bula, Matt Smazal, Brandon Cole
    10th Tim Hunter, Mike Ellison, Eric Rowbatham


  • Big Fish Winner
    John Hood, Greg Campbell, Brian Ellenberg 51lb grass carp



    (2) COMMENTS

     1 2 3 >  pag_last_link