Tag Archives: Tips

Tips on Staying Safe While Having Fun in the Sun


Tips on Staying Safe While Having Fun in the Sun

by Amy Lignor


Those rays are upon us! Sitting by the pool, enjoying those lazy days at the beach with the kids, jumping into that swimming hole to get cool from the summer heat. All of these case scenarios are a whole lot of fun and everyone wants to do them. After all, that’s what summer is all about – having rest and relaxation before the winter winds and blowing snow come back into the picture. But what many fail to remember are the illnesses that can come from being out in the heat too long, or the accidents that can happen when it comes to swimming or even grilling over the campfire. Most every illness and/or accident can be avoided; all you have to do is take minor precautions, be attentive, and not let the sun become a negative.

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Photo Credit: Christophe Pelletier

WebMD is a site that reports on various heat/summertime-related illnesses. It is a fact that during the summer people often show up at the doctor with a heat-related condition, ranging from mild dehydration to more severe heatstroke. The symptoms of too much exposure to the sun can include nausea, dizziness, headaches and even confusion. So how can one avoid this? Actually, quite easily. Be mindful of the temperature outside and note that the warmest hours of the day range between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. When the sun is high in that sky, make sure to drink water. Staying hydrated at all times can keep your body and mind healthy.


The second issue that doctors want to remind people of comes from swimming injuries. Trauma can happen from jumping into a body of water without knowing what may be underneath, so check your surroundings. Note it there are rocks or seaweed growths that can get you hurt or tangled beneath the water’s surface. A boating or swimming injury can happen in the blink of an eye; a small child can fall into the water if unattended, so make sure to have at least one adult supervising the kids at all times. Especially when having a pool party or a group of friends over to grill out on the patio. Rotate who will watch the children at play, but always make sure that at least one set of focused eyes are upon them at all times.


When it comes to the third most common bracket of summertime injuries, they occur when grilling or building a campfire. Not to mention, cuts from kitchen knives as more and more outdoor cooking takes place. Again, adult supervision is required when it comes to children who love to attempt to touch the flames. Adults can also make the very common mistake of squirting lighter fluid onto hot coals and burning themselves. The easiest way to stay safe is to apply lighter fluid to coals when they aren’t lit, letting the fluid soak in. That way you avoid any burns that could occur. In addition, when talking about the campfire, make sure that attention is also paid when the fire is put out. It is quite easy to start a much larger fire if you disregard this process. Just ask Smokey.


Another summertime illness comes from food poisoning. Food-borne illnesses peak in the summer because “hot temperatures and humid conditions provide the optimum breeding ground for bacteria to multiply rapidly.” (U.S Department of Agriculture) Take into consideration during your summer barbecue that the food is properly cooked. Stop the ‘rare’ when it comes to hamburgers – make sure that beef is well-done. In addition, make sure the fruits and vegetables are washed properly and (along with that coleslaw) not left out in the scorching heat for a long period of time. And always make sure to wash those hands before eating.


Last, but definitely not least, comes from the treatment of rashes and insect bites which both escalate during the summer. With long days spent outdoors, it’s normal to see rashes that stem from things like poison ivy and sumac. Insect and tick bites are also common and, in some cases, will require an antibiotic. A great many areas of the country have to deal with tick-borne diseases more and more as the presence of ticks continue to escalate. Just be sure to use insect repellant and keep an eye on any bumps or swelling on the skin that grow in size. There are a variety of websites that will offer you tips when it comes to keeping you and your family safe from ticks and mosquitos, so read up on that expert information before heading out into the woods this summer.


As you can see, with very little work you can make sure the family remains safe while enjoying that much-needed fun in the sun!


Source:  Baret News

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden


Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

by Amy Lignor


Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that perfect garden grow.

create the perfect vegetable garden, Sowing the seeds, insects, watering, garden layout, weeding, tips

That list to “create the perfect vegetable garden” begins by digging up the perfect plot. After enriching the site with organic material and fertilizer, and marking your rows with stakes, you are then ready to plant. So…what comes first?


Depending on what you wish to grow, you want to make sure that when it comes to your garden layout that the rows are running from east to west – tall plants being on the north and east sides of the setup so that the early crops, such as lettuce, as well as hot-weather vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, all get the right amount of sunshine.


Sowing the seeds is the most prominent skill you need to know. For small seeds, create furrows that measure barely one centimeter deep in the soil, and scatter the seeds evenly and close together for the best growth. For larger seeds that should be planted about three centimeters apart, dig the furrows at least two centimeters into the soil. Cover with a thin layer of potting mix or compost, then pack down the seeds and water gently.


When it comes to watering, seeds must be imbedded in soil that stays continuously moist until they sprout; therefore, check every day to make sure the soil is never too dry. Overwatering is also a mistake, because larger seeds can rot in a soggy bed. Plants need between three and four centimeters of water each week, and it is very important for young plants with shallow roots. As plants grow the roots go deeper into the soil, where moisture remains even though the surface soil can become dry.


A garden hose is still a necessary implement, but by using a rotary sprinkler or a soaker hose, you receive even more efficiency when it comes to watering. But whichever you happen to choose, make sure your watering is scheduled for the mornings or early afternoons.


Even though many do not like thinning the garden, this step is a ‘must-do.’ Ask the experts; they understand that although destroying seedlings can seem like a bad thing, it must be done in order to grow that perfect plot. If the rows are too busy, carrots can twist and lettuce can barely form. So when the seedlings reach 3-5 centimeters in height, make sure to do that much-needed thinning by pulling plants out carefully to avoid disturbing the roots of those that remain.


And the third basic step that must be learned and done on a continuous basis comes in the form of weeding the garden. Weeds will always compete for room, pushing vegetables aside and taking whatever nutrients the soil can offer. Weeds will grow rampant in a well-taken-care-of plot, and if they’re left alone too long it is a strong possibility that the roots of the vegetables you’ve tried to grow will be broken or twisted from those annoying weeds. Keep in mind that pulling weeds is far easier after a rainstorm or the day after a good watering has been done to the garden. The weeds will come up far easier and leave those much-wanted vegetables alone.


If you’re worried about insects affecting your vegetable garden, keep in mind that these little terrors cannot stand certain plants, such as onions, garlic, and even chrysanthemums. Therefore, planting these particular things will help repel any insects that want to call your garden “home.” In addition, make sure to keep those milk jugs and soda bottles around the house, because these all come in handy as covers to place over your thriving vegetables when frost is in the forecast.


Follow these tips and, with a little work, you will watch that perfect garden grow right before your very eyes!

Source:  GIG News

Birds Are People Too

Birds Are People Too

by Amy Lignor


More and more data is being collected in regards to the coexistence of humans and wildlife, yet it’s important to keep in mind that the wildlife above also need to be cared for in order to make sure that the variety of species do not disappear.


coexistence, birds of prey, owls, awareness, humans and wildlife, baby birds, tips, what you can doThere are many ways to discover how best to help a baby bird, whether it’s fallen from the nest or is wandering the windowsill. But always remember that old saying about “mom knowing best.” In other words, even if you may not see one of the parents, they are probably near. And if you creep too close to either the baby or its nest, the parents will come back from foraging and not come anywhere near their child. In other words, wait and watch from a distance for at least one hour before taking action! You can then gently place the bird on a low tree branch, or in a small nearby bush for protection and make that call to your local refuge so the bird can be picked up and taken care of by absolute professionals.


But when it comes to coexistence and not the actual saving of an animal or bird, issues can crop up; like how best to protect the backyard fruit trees, garden or vegetables. It’s true that a great many species of birds eat the unwanted insects but they can also destroy fruit and vegetable crops, so by placing things like plastic owls, aluminum foil flags, or even wind chimes nearby, the birds will be scared away.


If you’re worried about a nest being built in the house, placing wire over the top of the chimney in the wintertime stops that springtime nesting of your new neighbor. And if the sun’s glare on windows have the birds hitting the panes, you have to understand that they are not trying to cause you or the house harm. The sun’s reflection simply has them being birds, protecting their territory by attacking the “mirror” image they see. Closing curtains, placing bird silhouettes, statues or even decals on your windows will prevent this issue immediately.


When it comes to the “birds of prey,” humans must also educate themselves on the species in order to coexistence, birds of prey, owls, awareness, humans and wildlife, baby birds, tips, what you can dobest protect the house, windows, etc. These particular birds are hunters at heart. From the hawks to the eagles to the falcons, and so on, they soar with grace, one is even a symbol of the U.S. of A. and should definitely not be harmed.


Birds and people are a great deal alike, considering we are both sight-oriented creatures. The dominant sense organs are the eyes, and most birds have binocular vision in order to be able to successfully hunt down their dinner.


These bird species are under a great deal of threat. Ingestion of poison and insecticides through their prey have greatly and negatively affected the breeding success of many varieties. In addition, the encroachment on their habitat has also reduced territories and changed the environment from one where they thrived to many that are highly polluted.


Another bird to look at closely and try to save is the owl. From myths to legends, this is one bird that’s portrayed as wise – a wizard of sorts that knows all. It was Harry Potter actually that brought back the talk of owls as being fascinating creatures that carried scrolls in their talons to deliver to a legendary castle.


But while the owl makes a perfect mythical pet, they are not so easy in everyday life. Although the creature may be looked at as adorable, the owl is actually extremely dangerous. Being birds of prey, they rely on their freedom, so even attempting to keep an owl as a pet is a bad idea. Food resources are limited and the odds for the owl’s survival become slim to none.


Eighteen species of owls are found in North America, with life spans of 15-30 years. Barn owls are found near humans in farms, stadiums and other open structures. The Burrowing Owl, which weighs only ¼ pound, is one species at risk of disappearing from the South Bay. Their large yellow eyes are watching the land they live in going from open flatland with short grass to development projects every few feet.


In order to make homes for these neighbors, owls require nesting sites and protection due to the constant building. Setting up nesting boxes, whether homemade or purchased, can be found on a variety of websites, and should be placed in locations similar to the owls’ natural habitat. With drainage holes and sawdust in the bottom, owl lovers will be thrilled to save as many as they can.


Planting gardens with nectar-rich flowers, shrubs, and trees can help replace lost habitats for many other bird varieties, such as the hummingbird. But when all is said and done, there are those out there volunteering and working diligently to help rehabilitate and release birds with the help of highly-trained individuals.


So while humans build that coexistence with the natural world, let us just make sure to remember that birds are “people” too!

Source:  Baret News

Traveling Solo is a Great Adventure

Traveling Solo is a Great Adventure

by Amy Lignor


There are so many stories out there to scare the solo traveler, yet getting away for some time by yourself is actually a great way to reenergize and get some peace all at the same time. Whether you want to take a journey for a chance to get away, or wish to learn about new cultures and meet new people, traveling solo can be done safely and offer you a whole lot of fun at the same time. All you really need is your own adventurous spirit. After that, the list of things to remember is quite simple.

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When preparing, just make sure to set aside all those silly, scary stories you’ve been told. Although it may seem frightening to go to a new place all alone, greeting new people, eating new foods, and learning about the past is an unforgettable experience.


Solo travel is self-indulgent. You can spend a day in the local cafés, walk through a stunning museum or indulge in other passions, whether they be music or basking in the sun on a warm beach. And you are allowed to call all the shots. If you want to spend more, sleep more…then do it! Just remember that friends and loved ones back home don’t cease to exist. In other words, keep in touch with someone to let them know how you are and where you are so that someone will always be just a text away.


When it comes to the need for cash, keep more on your person than you may believe you need. But, keep said cash in a variety of places. That way, losing a purse or backpack isn’t that big of a deal if your passport, cash and credit cards aren’t all in it at the same time.


So what are the best countries to visit as a solo traveler? Although there are lists out there that you can find on the internet, the two things to look for are countries that are statistically safer, and ones that are literally happy places that pride themselves on making the traveler feel extremely welcome.


Japan is an incredible country to visit for the solo traveler. From the fascination of Tokyo to jumping on a bullet train to pass by Mount Fuji and view the peaceful tranquility of old Kyoto, the traveler can enjoy a list filled with great food, modern hotels, and lush Zen gardens.


Austria is another destination that scores high with the solo traveler. If afraid of losing your way, Vienna is known to be one of the easiest cities in Europe to get around. Concert halls, cafés, museums—the beauty of Vienna is astounding. Austria also offers a rail network that can take the solo traveler from Innsbruck to Graz and beyond with ease.


If your one of those who like to mind their own business and be left alone, Switzerland is a fantastic trek. Great for the lover of the outdoors, all you need is a Swiss Rail pass to ride every tram or steamer to arrive at a chosen trail.


New Zealand is one that also tops the “best” lists when it comes to solo travel. With a very high safety ranking, one and all can go from the glaciers to the rainforests to the center of the Southern Alps, and even hike on the legendary Milford Track. In New Zealand you will also meet some of the friendliest people known to exist on the planet.


And speaking of friendly… In the amazing country of Chile, the natives are extremely welcoming to all solo travelers who want to explore the endless coastline. You can also choose to go north to the unforgettable Atacama Desert, or south to Patagonia, and even become part of a Chilean barbecue along the way.


One more to speak about is Indonesia. The temples are stunning. For people seeking peace, Indonesia beckons to the spiritualist. Bali is the most popular destination for Western solo travelers, but if that’s too touristy for you, a short flight to Lombok, an island off the coast of Bali, allows you to travel back in time.


In the end, whatever country you choose, as a solo traveler never forget to explore. Partake of everything these particular cultures have to offer. Life is short, after all, so see as much of this majestic world as you possibly can!

Source:  Baret News

Tips for Building a Farm Pond


Tips for Building a Farm Pond

By Burt Carey

Growing up in rural Northern California, my two brothers and I were blessed to have a down-the-road neighbor who allowed us to fish in his farm pond just about anytime we wanted. It came to be known to us as Jack’s Lake.

The pond sat across a fallow cattle pasture at the bottom of a natural gully that collected rainwater farm pond, increase property value, pond purpose, tips, considerationsfrom hundreds of surrounding acres. Jack’s Lake stretched nearly a quarter-mile north to south and was about 150 yards wide across its widest span. Its upper half was shallow and teeming with water grass. Trees lined its shoreline. The dam at the south end was braced by a row of trees whose water-bound roots and crooked branches provided habitat for various fish species, songbirds, waterfowl, frogs and more.

We spent endless hours catching its bounty of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and bullfrogs from a homemade boat with 6-inch aluminum pontoons that made the craft sturdy and kept it afloat. Paddles were our only mode of power. Mom never had to worry where we would be, and she could catch occasional glimpses of us out the east-facing picture window of our house.

Years after I had left home, our neighbor sold the lake and his property, pocketing a sum unknown to me but surely significantly higher than the price he paid for it in the 1960s.

Aesthetically, a farm pond can be the biggest enhancement a landowner can build. Financially, a properly built pond will increase the value of a property when it comes time to sell. And most people who opt for living in the country at some time or another will make a decision to build one or not. Here are some things to consider.

Let’s start with the big picture: What would be your pond’s purpose?

Few farm ponds are mere pools of water that collect in a low spot. In short, ponds are there for one or more reasons. Will it be used to provide water for cattle or other livestock? Perhaps you just want a small fishing pond. Or will it be for aesthetic purposes only, something to look at from your front porch?

Once you’ve decided what you want a pond for, you’ll have several things to consider, such as location, water sources, size, structure, drainage, emergency spillways, and perhaps the biggest potential hurdle, legality.

State resources agencies can guide you and help walk through whatever permitting process might need to be negotiated. If you have neighbors who share a creek, for example, their short- and long-term interests in that water flow could be impacted by a pond. Not all waterways fall under federal jurisdiction but very well may be controlled by one or more state agencies.

Your geographic location and water source (a spring, surface runoff, stream or well) will dictate the size and depth of your pond. Ponds in wet and humid regions – the East, South and Pacific Northwest – can be as shallow as 5 to 7 feet deep. In arid regions such as the West and Southwest, the minimum recommended depth is 8 to 14 feet.

The size of a watershed drainage area surrounding a pond fed by surface runoff is critical. Filling a one-acre pond with 5 feet of water in a wet, humid area might require a watershed as small as 15 acres. That same size pond in an arid location could require up to 500 acres of watershed drainage.

Actually constructing your pond might sound exciting and enticing. Here’s a word of caution: Don’t do it. Unless you have the proper training, this is where it’s best to hire a professional. You’ll have to conduct soil tests, build a dam that can withstand floods, earthquakes and other calamities, and install drainage and overflow outlets. Depending on the stream bed, you might also be required to fortify the spillage area with riprap or other materials to prevent soil erosion.

Keeping the law of gravity in mind, water always flows to the lowest elevation. This is most likely your starting point. A dam will have to be constructed, beginning at the bedrock level and preferably a location with a natural clay material. Dams on farm ponds are typically up to 10 times wider at the bottom than the top, and constructed of a clay core surrounded on both sides by a non-porous earth material.

You’ll also need to know what types of plants are good or bad for your pond, and how to control their growth through the use of fertilizers and chemicals or with fish species. Plants also act as natural means of soil erosion, which will help extend the life of your pond. Most ponds, regardless of erosion-control methods, require occasional dredging roughly every 20 to 30 years.

Whether your pond is a half-acre or bigger than 20 acres, it will become home to fish and other wild creatures. The best part is that you get to pick which species inhabit your water. Check with your local office of a state fish and wildlife agency if you aren’t sure what types of fish to plant. Commercial fish growers can sell seed stock and make recommendations for ratios of forage fish to sport fish, and the best ways to maintain proper ratios for healthy fish populations.

Once built, your pond will become a centerpiece of your property that will be enjoyed for generations.


Source:  Baret News

5 Tips for Renting a Yacht


5 Tips for Renting a Yacht

By Burt Carey

If cruising the Caribbean with upwards of 3,000 of your closest friends on a large ship isn’t your idea of a relaxing vacation, you might want to look into chartering your own yacht.

Whether for a romantic getaway, a family vacation or spending time with friends or business associates, chartered yachts are viable options for novice and experienced sailors alike. They give you the flexibility to make as many ports of call as you’d like, or simply to set sail on the open ocean and soak in the plentiful sunshine. Here are some tips to make your yacht rental vacation a pleasant one.

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Let Your Broker Help


When you contact a yacht-chartering company, you’ll be assigned a broker. The experience doesn’t have to be fancy or high brow. If you’re a novice sailor, let the broker know.

This is the person who will do your heavy lifting, matching your wants with your experience level to ensure your vacation gets the attention it deserves. You’ll need to know how many people will be in your group, where you’d like to go, and whether you will need to hire a captain to pilot your craft. Yacht-chartering companies are rather particular about renting these expensive boats. You’ll be asked to complete a résumé, especially if you plan to captain the craft yourself.

Your broker, after asking about your interests and who you will be traveling with, will explain your options and then go hunting to find you the best deal possible.

Those new to yachting will want to stick with the large and proven companies. You can’t go wrong contacting Sunsail, The Moorings or Ed Hamilton & Company. All can broker from a selection of hundreds of boats throughout the Caribbean.


Expect to pay the equivalent to a stay at a beach resort. Yes, this is a special experience but it doesn’t have to break your bank account.

The starting price in spring or summer for a yacht with a skipper and a cook averages about $200 per night per person, with food and drinks included. Most yacht rentals have a five- or seven-day minimum, with prices determined by season. Rates tend to go up during the winter in the U.S.

Typical rental craft in the 32-foot range are built for four to six people. Some of the largest rentals go to 52 feet and will accommodate up to 12 passengers. A boat’s size, age, amenities and staff are all figured into the cost. Larger boats may come with a steward – who doubles as your chef – and a first mate or deckhand.

Bare boating, or going it alone without a captain or crew, can be as low as $50 per person per night, and the charter company will stock the galley with the food and drinks you request for about $25 per person per day extra. Most rental yachts come with barbecue grills.

Tips for the crew are customary and always paid in cash. Figure around 15 percent of the charter’s overall cost. If the crew consists of more than a captain, you can simply give the tip to the captain and ask him to distribute it to all hands.

What to Bring

Pack light in soft-sided duffels. You really only need bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts for the most part. Bring something a bit more formal if you plan to have dinner at onshore restaurants.

You’ll definitely need sunscreen. Phones, cameras, electronic games or other electronics will need to be accompanied by extra batteries and memory cards. And for those long, leisurely days afloat, a good book might be in order.

Most boats come equipped with snorkeling gear, but bring your own snorkel if sharing a mouthpiece concerns you.

What to Wear

Onboard clothing should be simple. A bathing suit and casual clothes will suffice, and you’ll have no need of shoes. Of course, clothing can also be optional. It’s your choice.

How to Behave Onboard

It’s your yacht, so you can do whatever you’d like. There are no rules, and crew members for reputable companies must sign confidentiality agreements.

Professional captains and crew will make sure everyone stays safe, and they can help direct you to the best restaurants and ports.


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

How to Have Yourself a Merry “Green” Christmas

How to Have Yourself a Merry “Green” Christmas

By Amy Lignor


Yes, the turkey is carved and eaten and those awesome decorations are beginning to crop up around the neighborhood, as well as in your very own living room. This is the time of year where everyone smiles just a bit more, as family and friends get together and remember how wonderful family and friends really are.

Christmas, environment, Think 'green', energy savings, recycle, tipsBut there are also ways to remember how wonderful everything around us is. The Great Outdoors takes its toll, as we well know, but when the Christmas bells are jingling and Santa is on his way, there are a variety of things we can do to make our “green” world even “greener” – even if it is covered in white. From gifts to food to energy usage – all the way to choosing that mighty Christmas tree – being environmentally conscious is a huge contribution we can give to the world while enjoying every inch of it.

First, look at all the unique gifts out there. Yes, the world of cellphones, computers, video games – all the electronics – hold a high place on the list for most buyers. But there is a whole other category that not only saves cash, but also provides help to small businesses and gives back to the environment. From bamboo bath towels to curly lamps to recycled LP’s that have become a very cool salad set, this Christmas “green” shopping is a whole lot of fun. There are a variety of lists on the Internet and in magazines promoting sustainable designs and “green” living items that make fantastic Christmas gifts for the ones we love.

When it comes to Mother Nature there are other things we can do to decrease our very own environmental footprint, especially when it comes to the ‘cleaning up’ factor. For those who don’t know, one million extra tons of trash is made around the holidays (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency); the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, trash rises by 25%. Therefore, using recyclable wrapping paper can do a great deal to help.

Inside the home, lower the thermostat just a tad. Chances are you certainly won’t feel the cold, considering the company coming over and the stove that will continually be on while baking those awesome sweets and treats for the holidays.

When it comes to lights – as most of us know – there are houses out there that are simply stunning. There are also those that light up so bright that it would be surprising if our friends on Mars didn’t see it. So having a design that allows to cut back on those house and yard lights would help. And choosing to decorate with the LED lights is a must, considering they can use 90% less energy than regular holiday lights.

Heading to Costco or Sam’s is a great idea when the list of food is made. Buying in bulk instead of single packages of, say…soda, baking supplies, and snacks, reduces package waste and also the hit on your own wallet. Not to mention, think about serving less meat on the menu this year. Chicken, pork, most especially, beef, take a heavier toll on the environment than fruits and veggies. Cows actually produce high amounts of methane, which is worse for global warming than carbon dioxide. So as not to serve the platters of meat side by side, try to switch out at least one with those heart-healthy veggies.

And the biggest Christmas treat? The tree. This time out, support those small business Christmas tree farms and get yourself a real tree. Then recycle it. Before wondering if cutting a real tree actually harms the environment by deforestation, it is important to know that’s not the case. Most Christmas trees are grown expressly for Christmas and can be planted or composted when Santa says “so long” for the year. Plastic trees, however, take petroleum to create and then are very hard to recycle. So having that little piece of fragrant, beautiful Mother Nature in the home is a gift that everyone can enjoy!


Source:  Baret News

Your Guide to Visiting the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50


Your Guide to Visiting the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50

By Burt Carey

The National Football League’s golden anniversary league championship, Super Bowl 50 will be played Feb. 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

NFL Golden Anniversary, festivities, fan events, Super Bowl City, parking, information, ideas, tips, Super Bowl 50The entire Bay Area and Super Bowl host committee are preparing for a week of festivities built around the Super Bowl 50 theme. Everything is golden, of course: it’s the Golden Super Bowl in its golden anniversary, it’s being held in the Golden State, and the host team, the San Francisco 49ers, is named in honor of Gold Rush-era miners.

In a departure from the NFL tradition of using Roman numerals, this Super Bowl is being marketed using Roman numerals for the first time. Super Bowl L just didn’t have the same branding hook as Super Bowl 50.

Tourism officials say they expect up to 1 million people to visit the Bay Area during Super Bowl week, and recommend that visitors plan ahead. Here’s a quick look at things to do and see during the week of Super Bowl 50.

Several fan events will take place in both San Francisco and San Jose during the week leading up to the game.

Always a fan favorite, the NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai will be held at the north and sound buildings of the Moscone Center from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7. The NFL Experience is pro football’s interactive theme park offering participatory games, displays, entertainment attractions, youth football clinics and free autograph sessions from NFL players.

Ticket prices for the NFL Experience are $35 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. NFLXtra (fast pass) tickets are $60 for adults or $50 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

The Super Bowl host committee is building Super Bowl City, a village that will showcase the best the Bay Area has to offer, with interactive games and activities that highlight the region’s technological prowess, culinary excellence and cultural diversity, as well as celebrate the 50th Super Bowl and the Bay Area’s place in professional football history.

Super Bowl City is free and open to the public, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7 in Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero at the foot of San Francisco’s famed Market Street. Super Bowl City will feature family-friendly activities for fans of all ages. It will offer a fun way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event.

Fans will have the opportunity to see the Super Bowl teams in public for the first time at Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade on Feb. 1, 2016 at SAP Center in San Jose. Super Bowl Opening Night is a shift from the traditional Media Day held on Tuesday morning.

Don’t miss your chance to see players and coaches of the Super Bowl teams address fans and thousands of media members for the first time after the teams arrive in the Bay Area!

The event begins at 5 p.m., with interviews will be taking place from about 5:15-6:15 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. (All times are Pacific Time Zone.) Tickets are $27.50 for standard admission. See Ticketmaster for tickets.

In addition, there are $2 million worth of other ancillary events, including a parade down Santa Clara’s Great America Parkway that will cost $1.2 million, a week-long event at the Santa Clara Convention Center, a beer, wine and food festival at Bellomy Field at Santa Clara University, and a pep rally.

Three major international airports serve the Bay Area: San Jose International Airport is just 6.2 miles from Levi’s Stadium; San Francisco International Airport is 31.5 miles north of the stadium; and Oakland International Airport is across the bay, some 34 miles from Levi’s Stadium.

Automobile parking for the week of Super Bowl 50 will be available for purchase in December by going online here. Maps, directions and road closure information will be available on the Click and Park website.

The Super Bowl host committee’s plans and programs are available online here. You may also want to check out the NFL’s Super Bowl information here.

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Top 10 Tips to Choosing your Outfitter

By Ron Spomer

Top 10 Tips to Choosing your Outfitter


My friend Kirby was a heck of a hunter, a Midwest country boy who grew up chasing everything from bunnies to whitetails. He graduated to do-it-yourself elk and bear hunts on public land in the West, got a good job, made some money and discovered he suddenly had more discretionary cash than free time. He decided to hire an outfitter.

This was going to be the big time. Country-bumpkin Kirby was in a position to hire a professional hunter to show him the glories of an Africa safari. They’d rise at dawn to share coffee round the fire as lions roared. They’d follow the trackers into the brush, confer over steaming droppings and select the biggest bull in the herd. Then Kirby would drop it in its tracks with a perfect shot and his PH would slap him on the back. Jolly well done! Except the PH almost slapped Kirby across the face. And Kirby nearly punched him in the nose. Shouting. Recriminations.

It wasn’t pretty. That’s the thing about guided hunts. Just because you pay big money doesn’t mean you’ll get a good guide. And even if you get a good guide in a top area seething with game, you still might have a lousy hunt. Great hunts, even guided ones, require a lot of advance work. I’ve enjoyed some outstanding outfitted hunts — and some outstandingly bad ones.

And they weren’t all the fault of the outfitter. Or his guides. Yup, sometimes we hunters are our own worst enemies. Before you send in a downpayment for an “easy” outfitted hunt, do your homework:

1)      Research the area.

Top 10 Tips to Choosing your Outfitter2It’s up to you to find the best countries, states, game management units, etc. for the sort of hunting you want to do. Don’t dream of snowcapped mountains and book an elk hunt in the sagebrush of Nevada. And don’t expect a 7-point bull from a unit that cranks out 90% raghorns. Your outfitter should tell you this? Sure. But don’t count on it.

2)      Research LOCAL CONDITIONS.

Forest fires, floods, harsh winters, wolves and more can turn the most productive deer area into the worst in a single season. Good outfitters warn you of this, but some, hoping for the best, drag clients along on a hope and a prayer. “Maybe the wolves haven’t driven ALL the elk out yet, Mabel. Let’s book those hunters and see what happens.”

3)      Pick your style of hunting.

Do you want a horseback camp, a backpack marathon, a drive-by shooting or a ranch-lodge, 5-star extravaganza? Want to sit in a blind or walk? It’s all out there. For a price. And even if you can afford a $40,000 posh hunt, you might not like the results. Where game and terrain has been groomed and acclimated to the point that it all looks and feels like a dream, your satisfaction could suffer. Be honest with yourself about the experience you want, because that’s what a hunt really is — it’s a life experience. Filling your tag doesn’t necessarily make the experience any better. (But usually helps!)


Don’t go in November expecting bugling elk and golden aspen leaves. 


If an outfitter doesn’t have a decent, up-todate website chock full of details, he might not have the most organized operation in the field, either. Dig around. Some superior outfitters are old fashioned, but they should at least have some informative brochures to mail you.

Click Here to view the rest of this article in the Outifitters Guide Magazine!

Don’t Guide the Guide

You don’t know his terrain.

You don’t know his animal herd.

You don’t know his food sources.

You don’t know his weather. So…

Don’t guide the guide

By John E. Phillips

Don't Guide the GuideHunters who go on guided hunts and tell guides where they need to be hunting are just like a patient who see a doctor but refuse to get the prescription filled. Top guides discuss here what happens when someone tries to “guide the guide.” 

Charlie O’Brien of Oklahoma’s Catch -22 Ranch

Charlie O’Brien, a former switch hitter and catcher for eight professional baseball teams for 19 years, is a member of Mossy Oak Deer THUGS and a regular on the Deer THUGS TV show on the Pursuit Channel and operates the Catch-22 Ranch in Beggs, Oklahoma.

“My ranch has shooting houses,” O’Brien says. “One day we put a hunter in a shooting house on top of a small rise. That morning, deer came out by a brush pile about 100 yards away. After the hunt, my client said, ‘Charlie, I think we need to set up a ground blind by the brush pile.’ I told him that I’d owned this ranch since 1992, and when deer came out of the brush, they usually fed back toward the shooting house.

“Well, this guy was really insistent that he wanted to put a ground blind by the brush. We knew the brush pile didn’t give him the best opportunity to take a deer, but we did what he requested. When I picked this hunter up after an early morning hunt, I asked, ‘How did your hunt go?’ The hunter answered, ‘I’m not going to tell you where to put me anymore. Several bucks came out of the brush and walked within 15 yards of the shooting house where I was yesterday.’

Don't Guide the Guide2

“Over the years I’ve had hunters tell me, ‘You need to move my stand or put me over here.’ I pretty much insist that these hunters hunt where we suggest, since we know where the deer most likely will appear. I explain to people that deer don’t always travel the same routes every day, and that we put our hunters in stands that give them the best chance for the size buck they want. Successful deer hunting is about playing the percentages. If I sit a hunter in a blind I’ve been watching for most of the year, seven out of ten times he’ll see and get a shot at a buck.

“One of the most important things for your readers to remember is a guide earns a living by taking hunters on successful hunts and puts his hunter in places where he feels the hunter has the best chance for success, based on

the guide’s knowledge, the land, the deer and the deer movement.”

For more information on the Catch-22, go to

www.catch22ranch.com, or call 918-367-2111.


Don't Guide the Guide3Jimmy Riley of Giles Island on the Mississippi/Louisiana Border

Riley, a member of Mossy Oak’s Deer THUGS Hunting Team and TV show, has managed the 9,400-acre Giles Island near Natchez, Mississippi, for 15 years. “You only can access our property by boat,” Riley says. “I know where the deer and turkeys are, how, when and where these animals move, how the weather affects them, and what they like to do during the year. When I hunt another place, I’ll listen to what the guide on that land tells me and hunt where and how he tells me to hunt.

“One of our best customers at Giles Island became a good friend of mine. I knew the area he’d drawn to bowhunt homed some good bucks. I had him 33-feet high in a tree stand on a food plot close to the main road. Late in the afternoon about 20 deer filtered out into that food plot and fed toward the main road. Sad Daddy — a 13-point buck that would score in the mid 160s — that I’d picked out for my friend was with that group of deer.

“Since all Giles Island hunts are guided I was sitting in the tree with this hunter. As soon as that big buck stepped out of the woods, I told my hunter, ‘Go ahead, stand up, get your bow in your hand, and put the cam of the bow in your pocket to help hold it. You may have to stand up for a long time before Sad Daddy arrives.’ My hunter announced, “I’m going to wait until that buck gets closer, before I stand up.’ I emphasized, ‘That buck is moving with the herd that will be under your stand soon. You won’t be able to move without a deer spotting you.’

“This hunter didn’t take my advice and sat in his deer stand. A shooter 8 point soon was under our stand, as well as other deer. Sad Daddy was 50-yards out in front of us eating some honey locust beans. My hunter said, ‘Let me know when Sad Daddy comes around that corner. I’ll stand and take a shot.’ As soon my hunter stood up, the 8-point buck under the stand spooked, and Sad Daddy spotted my hunter and ran off.”

Visit www.gilesisland.com e-mail Jimmy at jimmy@gilesisland.com or call 877-944-5374 or 601-431-2002.


Don't Guide the Guide4

Kevin Burleson with Heart of Texas Bowhunting

Kevin Burleson, also a member of Mossy Oak’s Deer THUGS Hunting Team and TV show, has about 12,000 acres of free-range bowhunting land where he guides near Brady, Texas.

According to Burleson, “The hunter who hires a guide has to trust the guide to put him in the best place possible for the hunter to be successful. The guide always has the best information on where the deer should be and their habits. Three hundred to 400 bowhunters a year hunt with us. We also offer semi-guided hunts where I tell each hunter where to go, what to do, and where I think they should set up their tree stands.

On my guided hunts, we use ground blinds where I actually sit in the blind with the hunter. Almost daily, a hunter will want to tell me how he thinks he should hunt. “Many hunters want to hunt spot-and-stalk style — a tactic they use in the states where they live. But most of our hunters never have seen as many deer as we have on our property, which means lots of noses and eyeballs are looking for hunters. The best way to hunt our property is to go straight to an area with numbers of deer, set up your stand, get out of there and return to camp. Then your scent won’t blow into bedding areas and across trails. The next morning try and walk a straight line to your stand and stay there, until you take a deer.

“I had one fellow who set up his tree stand and returned to camp, bragging that he had seen 57 deer that afternoon. On set up day, our hunters don’t take their bows with them. Probably instead of hanging his tree stand and getting out of the pasture, he had zig-zagged through much of that pasture – spreading human odor everywhere. He hardly saw any deer at all the next 3 days. This guy’s buddies, who had followed my instruction, all saw plenty of bucks within bow range. When on a guided or a semiguided hunt, remember your best chances for success are to listen to the guide and hunt how and where he suggests.”

Visit www.heartoftexasbowhunting.com, or call 325-660-7819.


Don't Guide the Guide5Justin Eakins of the Canadian River Hilton Hunting Lodge in Oklahoma

Justin Eakins guides and operates the 30,000-acre Canadian River Hilton Hunting Lodge in Crawford, Oklahoma, and is a member of Mossy Oak Deer THUGS Hunting Team and TV show.

“When my hunters first arrive, we have an orientation program for them,” Eakins reports. “I tell them to ‘Trust your guide, and don’t try to guide the guide.’ We have 95- to 100-percent success rates with providing our hunters opportunities to take bucks. My guides and I put in thousands of hours, before the hunters arrive, scouting for deer and learning where the bucks will show up and when.

“We identify the quality of bucks we have in different areas too. All my guides scout as much as I do prior to the season. Before each hunt, a guide knows to which area he’ll take his hunter, and the places in that region where the hunter has the best chance to take a trophy buck. These guides have hunted many of these places for years. I tell all of our hunters to plan on a 5-day deer hunt. If I knew where every buck on the property would be, and what time that buck would show up, we could book hunters for shorter hunts. However, our deer are wild animals, and they move around often. When a hunter starts guiding the guide, he/she actually reduces their chances to take the bucks they’ve come out here to get.”

For more information, call 580-497-7500 write hunt@dobsonteleco.com or visit www.canadianriverhilton.com.


Fred Law of Union Springs, AlabamaDon't Guide the Guide7

Fred Law is a member of Mossy Oak Deer THUGS Hunting Team and TV show and formerly the lodge manager at Enon Plantation. “When a hunter comes on a guided hunt, more than likely, he’s read numbers of articles about deer hunting, watched many TV shows about deer hunting and may have hunted deer where he lives,” Law explains. “When our clients would come to Enon Plantation, they’d get excited if they saw rub lines and scrapes where they weren’t hunting and tell the guides they wanted to hunt at those sites. What the hunters didn’t know was the buck that had made those scrape lines and rub lines might have been harvested the week before they arrived.

“Hunters may have other misconceptions when they come on a guided hunt when they discover some smoking-hot signs, like trails with fresh tracks on them, acorns half eaten and deer droppings that you can squeeze and know that those droppings are extremely fresh. He or she will tell his guide, ‘We need to move my stand.’ What that hunter doesn’t know is the deer were feeding in that area at night not during daylight hours, and no one could harvest those deer. So, don’t try and guide the guide. A guide will scout before his hunters arrive, and too, we’ll often be scouting when the hunters are in their stands. The guide has the most-current information about where to find that buck of your dreams.

“Also during hunting season, deer will change their feeding patterns based on the availability of food in different locations. They may have been feeding heavily and left plenty of sign on the edge of a soybean field. But when the deer have eaten all the soybeans, they won’t return there. I do my best to get hunters to take my advice. However, if they don’t listen, I let them hunt where they want to hunt.

“Out of 20 years of guiding, I can’t think of one instance when someone has wanted to hunt in a different place than the site a guide or myself has picked out for them, that the hunter has taken the buck he’s hunting. Pulling a rabbit out of the hat is a trick that only magicians do. If you don’t hunt where the guide suggests, you won’t be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. You won’t even be able to find the hat. Too, sometimes our hunters spook the deer by moving.

“Often, we’ll have hunters who feel like they have really-good stands where they’ve seen a couple of quality bucks just out of range but have shot one or two does from that stand. We explain that the odds are against them to take a trophy buck, where they’ve already shot a doe and blood trailed her for 150 yards. An advantage we had at Enon Plantation was that the majority of our hunters were repeat customers, who had learned over the years that their best chances of taking good bucks were when they agreed to hunt where and how the guide told them and didn’t try to guide the guide.”

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