I spent opening weekend of Central Zone here, there, and yon. I was at the draw, the ramp, and visited with lots of hunters in a variety of places, grabbing pics and thinking about nothing but ducks.
Well I got a little distracted….
Seems I’d planted myself right smack dab in the middle of a hot zone, and I couldn’t do much but just sit there and snap away. I have about 100 frames start to finish of this fella, until he finally chased the smaller guys off and the does off into thicker brush. Just how many more of this guy doing his thing do you all want to see? He sniffed, and stomped, and pawed and played peek a boo…..Quite the show!
I have this habit of snapping photo of say oh – a mushroom tree, all the while thinking, I’ll be able to look at this and remember where I was when I found it. Sadly that never seemed to work. Even sadder I had always had the location settings turned off on my camera
Part of the review process for the Verizon Wireless Nokia 928 is too see just how much time, weight, and pack space it can save me and if it’s truly a good tool for using in outdoor pursuits as well as being an outstanding camera.
I think we’ve pretty much determined the photo quality from this camera is top notch. I also think we’ve determined there are number of fun and useful photo apps to go along with the great camera.
What I wanted to determine this week was how helpful it could be while out scouting waterfowl, deer, and in general wandering aimlessly about the woods and water. See a big rub? Snap a photo. Sounds easy peasy ….find said tree and rub at o dark thirty umm not so much
But wait – yes there is an app for that!
Before we go any further – to use the app that I am about give five stars, one does have to have location data enabled on the camera. I know that many of us historically kept that off, after all who wants to share a photo to Facebook and then have 37 other duck hunters hanging out at your honey hole the next day? So, I performed a few tests, and nope, download from Facebook doesn’t share location info, right click save as doesn’t save the location info either. That said, transferring your image to a computer and posting on a forum could prove problematic in some instances. However for me using Light room, when I export I just check the box that says “remove location info”. So in this case there’s no need to fret that you are giving away your high classified locations.
The app that is uber handy is called Where Did I Take That and is available in the windows apps store for free. I simply pull up the image from the photo hub on the phone, tap apps, tap Where Did I Take That and poof there it is on the map. Tap the image on the map and poof – GPS coordinates. There are a variety of maps available for selection as well views; Google, Bing, road view, satellite view. All in all very nifty and handy.
My next test for the phone was to see how well it could track me through a journey of scouting. There were a variety of apps available, but I chose to use Outdoor Toolkit also available in the Windows app store. I used the free version, but given how well it works, this is indeed an app that I would be willing to pay the 2.99 price for the pro version.
Yes, I did encounter a few glitches – glitches that were not the fault of the app but rather operator error. Once I managed to get things figured out better from the many options available, it was great. Sort of like a high tech trail of breadcrumbs that showed up plainly on a map and allowed me to navigate around and well find my way out of a swamp and flooded timber. (Oh c’mon – we all know how much that stuff starts to look the same.) The even better part was that the maps and “tracks” could be saved and exported to variety of software and places. So at 4am when I’m trying to figure out how the heck to get to the honey hole I found yesterday evening – voila – use the previous days map, and it guides me right to it just the way I came out the day before. One small caveat about this app; don’t expect to download it and immediate put it to use. It takes a little trial and error, or at least it did for me to get things lined out to suit me. But then, I am not exactly a techy GPS whiz to begin with. It has several other good tools such as weather, flashlight, a stopwatch, sunrise and sunset tables, and best of all a “Locate me system” that can be used to send an SOS or to simply tell my pal that was late to the party at the ramp where I ‘ve set up. I tap the “I’m Here” button, and it formulates a text message sharing your location with the option of adding a photo, a video, or a voice message.
I have to share this funny story about the I Am Here option - when giving it a try I used it to send a message to a waterfowl hunting pal several miles away - before he got to the part of the message that said , “hey ignore this; I’m just testing things” he was ready to fire up the motor and speed off to my location.
That alone is extremely reassuring to me. Especially since we know it’s not a day afield if I don’t take a tumble or two. Now I know that between the SOS feature and the I’m Here feature, help can indeed find me if I have troubles.
These are my two new favorite apps, or tools on the Verizon Wireless Nokia Lumia 928 that are even further cementing in my mind that I MUST own one of these.
Next week we’ll have a look at the video capabilities of the Lumia 928, so stay tuned!
The young hunters who attended the second annual Kaskaskia River Delta waterfowl Youth hunt learned a good many things about waterfowl hunting this past weekend. Most importantly, the learned that hunting doesn’t equal killing and the birds don’t always fly.
Despite the fact that the staff at our host Gander Hill Goose Club and I had been seeing birds for several days prior to the hunt Saturday November 2nd, and were feeling confident that there would be plenty for young hunters, the old hunting adage, “Should’ve been here yesterday” proved all too true.
The birds we saw for the most part were high flyers, giving rise to the assumption that perhaps we had 8 young hunters out there on what turned out to be a flyover day for the bulk of the birds passing through the area.
Thankfully, the youngsters really didn’t seem to mind, and it gave the mentors a chance to explore and discuss a number of waterfowl related topics with the youngsters entrusted to them for a day afield.
For instance, after one young hunter pointed at the dog assigned to his blind and asked “What the heck is that dog?”, Gander Hill guide , Lucky Duck and Rig ‘em Right staffer Jason Schlesinger elected to use that down time to educate the group in his blind more about the history of the use of Boykin Spaniels as retrievers and why he had chosen a Boykin over the more traditional Labs and Chessies that most waterfowlers use. Did you know that Boykins started as TURKEY DOGS? Neither did the youngsters!
Brooke Sellers - one of our young lady participants
Mentors Denise Blow and Brittany Pour did much to teach the group about the role of women in waterfowling, and that the old notion that a woman in the blind is bad luck is just that, an old and outdated notion. Waterfowl hunting is not a gender specific sport, and as I was forced to tell one young hunter – “Honey, those birds up there don’t know if it’s a man, a woman, or a zebra in this pit.”
Over in the other blind the discussions centered around the different types of shot used in waterfowl hunting, as Spectra Shot Field staffer Sam Haag explained that not only did the colors in Spectra Shot make easier to discern just who shot what bird, the coating also gave the shot more punch and a better ability to take down the birds.
All around the discussions surrounding migration, decoy placement, gun safety and the history of waterfowling were evident as the young hunters whiled away the morning waiting a few of the high flyers to decide to drop in for a visit. Sadly, none would give us the time of day or much more than a passing glance.
Following their time in the blind, long time Kaskaskia River Delta Waterfowl partner Retrievers Unlimited HRC provided the youngsters with a retriever demonstration and a program outlining the importance of a well-trained retriever and how a good retriever is also a great conservation tool.
Yes, I do wish that we could have sent each youngster home with a strap full of birds, but I think the lessons we sent them home with - especially the one that any time in duck blind with friends is a good time regardless of how many birds fall - were just as important.
Many thanks to mentors, volunteers, and these event sponsors who helped to make the day more than special for 8 young hunters; Delta Waterfowl, Gander Hill Goose Club, Curt Smith Outdoors, Spectra Shot, Lucky Duck, Rig ‘ em Right, Blitzkrieg Game Calls, and Retrievers Unlimited,HRC.