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Archive for April 2014

Book, E-Book and Video Win Awards at Georgia Outdoor Writers Association Conference

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Hovey with GOWA prizesMy book, X-Treme Muzzleloading: Fur, Fowl and Dangerous Game with Muzzleloading Rifles, Smoothbores and Pistols  E-book, Hunting Big and Small Game with Muzzleloading pistols and video, With Adirondack Loads, Selden Rifle and Blunderbuss take Georgia Deer, took prizes at the annual Georgia Outdoor Writers Association’s (GOWA) annual meeting at Warm Springs, Georgia, in April, 2014.

X-Treme Muzzleloading took a third place prize at the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association's (SEOPA) 2013 meeting at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

X-Treme Muzzleloading took a third place prize at the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association’s (SEOPA) 2013 meeting at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

X-Treme Muzzleloading is a heavily illustrated 8 1/2 X 11-inch 292-page book that was published as a softcover and E-book title in 2012. In its 25 chapters, I discuss the types of muzzleloading guns and my hunting experiences with everything from a matchlock musket to modern percussion revolvers. As in all of my softcover outdoor books, I conclude with 30 kitchen-tested recipes for fish, game and fowl. Last year this book also took a third place book award at  the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association’s (SEOPA) meeting at Lake  Charles, Louisiana.  In my books, readers find the unusual, the unexpected and much useful information about guns, loads and hunting techniques. The book was published by Author House and is often least expensively available from them.  This title is also available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, Gardners, and the soft-cover and E-book version is sold by nearly all on-line book resellers.  Or, you may support your local bookstore by ordering X-Treme Muzzleloading  from them. Prices vary, and the softcover editions retails for a little over $20 and the E-book version for between $9-$12.

Hunting Muzzleloading Pistols New CoverJust because a writer publishes a book does not mean that he does not continue to work on that topic. To provide a publication for those whose interests in muzzleloaders are more narrowly focused, I started publishing a series of E-book titles on different aspects of the subject in 2013. Five were published in 2013, and the title that won third place at GOWA was Hunting Big and Small Game with Muzzleloading PistolsThis book describes hunts with flintlock and percussion pistols including “Bouncing Bounty” with its 14-inch long barrel, the Howdah Hunter with its two .50-caliber barrels and  Cabela’s stainless steel Buffalo Revolver with a 10-inch barrel and adjustable sights, among other interesting handguns. As usual, I provide detail information about loads and performance.  This E-book is priced at $4.99 at Amazon.com for Kindle and is also available for Nook and all other E-book readers as well as from Apple’s iBookstore.

It is difficult for a guy who runs a one-man show to make videos that can compete with those made by professional video production outfits with budgets of $1,000 per broadcast minute. I submit anyway, and With Adirondack Loads, Selden Rifle and Blunderbuss Take Georgia Deer took second place in the TV-video category at GOWA. Its content was sufficiently compelling to beat one TV episode. Although this is an interesting, informative video that is far better that the usual YouTube videos, a reality check reveals that the only reason it placed so highly was that relatively few GOWA members are producing TV materials. Nonetheless, this was a win, and I am pleased to accept it. You can view the video below and see it on YouTube at:  http://youtu.be/VeWY82B7WJw. This is one of  the more than 300 that I have posted on guns, crossbows, hunting, knives,  bowfishing, cooking and outdoor living.

GOWA is similar to many state outdoor writers organizations in that all have meetings to improve their members crafts, highlight different outdoor activities in their home states and provide an easy entry into professional outdoor writing for beginning writers. Often the membership requirements are very low. Usually, state organizations only require that the candidate publish, for pay, a small number of outdoor articles, photos, videos or  TV shows a year. Once a member of a state organization, it is easier to join regional organizations like SEOPA and the national organizations such as OWAA and POMA  (The Professional Outdoor Medial Association). These higher-level organizations have stiffer membership requirements and periodically review their member’s activities to insure that they continue to meet the organization’s membership standards. A significant benefit is that an active membership in OWAA and POMA eases the acquisition of press credentials for major trade shows, such as the Shot Show and NRA and NWTF national conventions.

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 28, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Using Controlled Burns to Help Prevent Wildfires at Rural Homes and Ranches

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Controlled burns help to protect rural homes from wildfires as was done here in Georgia in early April, 2014.

Controlled burns help to protect rural homes from wildfires as was done here in Georgia in early April, 2014.

 

Periodic controlled, or prescribed, burns of woodlands in forested areas are needed to reduce the amount of combustible material on the forest floor and help prevent wildfires that can endanger homes, ranches and outbuildings. In my  case,  a late winter ice storm had caused pine and other limbs to fall which increased the amount of combustible material to the point that a wildfire could endanger my house if  the wind was blowing towards the structure.  I contacted my county office of the Georgia Forestry Commission and arranged to have the burn done in early April before the trees leafed out and the turkeys started to nest.

While waiting for my request to advance to the top of the Forestry Commission’s  list, I had several things to do. These were:

1. Get my well repaired so that I would have a reliable source of water. 2. Clear the debris from the ice storm out from under the trees in my yard. 3. Clear the fallen trees and limbs from my forest trails so that the Forestry Department dozer could safely work. 4. Move my propane tank to the other side of the house. 5. Rake leaves and twigs away from the edge of the house lot and burn them to keep the lawn from catching. You can view a video of the burn below or at: http://youtu.be/IzJdIm60Tyw.

I had only a half-day notice that the burn was to take place. I had nearly completed clearing the trail, and I hurriedly  cut and drug the last few trees back to the house so that I could burn them later.  Then, I strung out my water hoses and started to put down a wet line in the lawn next to the hedgerow where the fire was to be started. The two-man crew arrived with a John Deer dozer that is about the size of a Cat D6.  It had a V blade and a drag-behind plow for cutting water diversion structures. After showing them where the well and septic tank  were in the side yard, they decided to do firebreaks on three sides of the rectangular burn area and use my wet line to protect the grass and clover growing in the lawn.

Because the firebreak was to be cut along a cleared  trail, power line right-of-way and an abandoned forestry road, the plowing went very quickly. The fire was started at about 2:00 PM, and the 20 ac. burn was done by 5:00 PM. There was one small breakout of fire which was quickly extinguished by the water truck. A few stumps still burning three days later, but as everything  around them was already burned, these few hot spots presented no  danger.  Rains on the third and fourth days after  the burn extinguished the fire. One unexpected consequence as that a large hollow  oak caught fire inside the trunk and fell across one of my trails.

The only place the fire escaped was one small area between a power line and the road.

The only place the fire escaped was one small area between a power line and the road.

This entire process was quickly done and quite successful. In Georgia, the landowner pays for the costs of fuel and transportation, which is my case was less than $300 for the 20-acre burn. If a person had to hire a dozer to do the same work, charges could easily be on the order of  $100s of dollars an hour, depending on the size of the dozer, time to get it to the site, etc.

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized