Camp Agape Clay Shoot 2016

I love Camp Agape. It is a Christian bereavement summer camp that I work with all year long in a few roles. I have done videos, website work, and served as a “Buddy” AKA camp mentor over the past few years since I started with them in 2012. This is a bereavement camp for children 7-12 years old who have lost a loved one close to them in their lives. Although the circumstances that bring us all together each year are sometimes tough, we have a lot of fun. It is a life changing experience for both the volunteers and the children.

There are a few fundraisers Camp Agape does every year and this event in late April was the 2nd Annual Clay Shoot. Here are a few photos my father-in-law, Mr. Joe Vogel took of the event. Mr. Joe has two brothers from East Texas that have come to shoot this event both years now, Uncle Edward and Uncle Arthur. Both of them can out-shoot me on any given day but I never claimed I was an expert at shooting sporting clays!

Joshua Creek Ranch hosted this event again this year and they did a great job. The course is world-class. The food is incredibly good and even better than what you might expect at a place like this. All of the participants and volunteers had a blast at this event.

Here is a video I did for Camp Agape last summer. What a great place to learn about the love of God and Christ. Thank you as always for your support and for watching, reading, and listening.

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Legacy Outfitters – Central Texas 3D Archery Tournament

I love archery and promote the sport often in my writing, podcasting, and videos. One group I have a lot of respect and admiration for is Legacy Outfitters. Legacy is a Christian men’s organization and has several chapters here in Texas and focus groups within those chapters for the shooting sports, archery, and more. I was invited to speak at a Temple/Belton Legacy chapter meeting in early 2015 and met Bryan Rugh.

Since then, I have helped Bryan promote their big annual 3D archery tournament fundraiser which happens every May. This year, I took my son Jackson and he insisted on being the camera man with my iPhone 5 so I let him take pictures of the 3D wildlife targets. There were many flying arrows at this 30 target archery event and we had a blast.

I try to get donations every year and was blessed to receive a large bag target from Double G Archery and a pack of Grim Reaper Broadheads from my friends at Grim Reaper for this event this year. Thank you to both sponsors! Here are some photos of the targets, people, and prizes. I must say, for only 6 years old, Jackson is a pretty good photographer!

I had to throw in one selfie photo while we were at it. Jackson and I had a fun time and look forward to this event each year. Thanks to Bryan for having us as a guest. If you live in Texas, be sure to check out a Legacy Outfitters chapter in your area. As always, thank you for watching, reading, and listening!

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New Articles are Here!

Check out the Mac & Prowler Articles page for new content on various subjects such as turkey hunting, bowfishing for tilapia, becoming a Pro-Staff in the outdoor industry, and starting or growing your outdoor industry business. Some of these articles have appeared on my blog before but the Mac & Prowler Article page is where I keep my “evergreen” content which spans many different subjects. Thank you, as always, for reading, watching, and listening! This is truly a dream come true!

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New Podcast is Here!

I am so excited I can hardly contain it. Having my own podcast has been a dream of mine for many years and the time has finally come! Check it out at: http://thebestoftheoutdoors.podbean.com/ or simply click or tap on the podcast artwork/title page below. You can download or stream these podcast episodes and, if you like what you hear, I encourage you to rate and leave a comment about the podcast in whatever way you connected with it (PodBean, Itunes, etc.). I also encourage you to  also email me your questions at dustin.warncke@gmail.com, which I will plan to answer as part of the show. Thank you so much for reading, watching, and listening!

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Back on the Water with Crosswater Outfitters

My brothers with Crosswater Outfitters are more like family to me than anything. We only get together a few times a year but, by watching us in action at our events, you would think we would have seen each other every weekend.

We just recently had a soldiers event on Lake Belton at BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area) on Fort Hood. This was a soldier and family event so we entertained everyone from babies to those still young at heart. You can learn more about Crosswater Outfitters through the website I built for them at www.crosswateroutfitters.com. Our boat caught about a dozen fish, which is quite low compared to what we are used to on most outings. We did, however, catch some of the biggest fish of the weekend and loved every minute of it. As one family we hosted said best, ” You have all the fun of fishing with none of the drama!” Indeed. It helps that our group of Christian men does not like drama! Here are some pictures from the event.

 

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Legacy Outfitters Annual Archery Tournament

I love fundraising events. For 12 years I was a career school fundraising rep for a large national company for my “day job”. I recently left that career in pursuit of another one but fundraising has always been and will continue to be close to my heart. I work with several non-profit organizations, most of which are in the outdoor industry, and strive to help with fundraising events where I am able. I recently attended an annual archery tournament fundraiser for Legacy  Outfitters (http://www.legacyoutfitters.org). Although I didn’t place high on the scoreboards, I had a blast shooting the 30 target course and reuniting with friends from my normal Hill Country Bowhunters group I recruited to come. I also visited with many people I had met when I did a presentation on what I do in the outdoor industry for Legacy back in January of this year. It was fun and this is one way I seriously enjoy the outdoors.

My thanks to Gold Tip Arrows and Grim Reaper Broadheads who make my archery target shooting and hunting lifestyle the best it could possibly be. Here  are some photos of the event!

 

 

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Camp Agape Sporting Clays Shoot

A few weekends back I went with my father-in-law and his two brothers to a new fundraising event sponsored by Camp Agape (www.campagapetexas.org). Moyesway Shooting Sports hosted this event and it was held down in Boerne at the scenic Joshua Creek Ranch (www.joshuacreek.com) located in the Texas Hill Country. This was a beautiful ranch to say the very least. I was blown away at the scenery as you could see quail and pheasant close by. I didn’t win any awards but my two uncles-in-law did and they deserved them. I shot pretty average but had and awesome time. Here are some photos my father-in-law took of the event.

I don’t write often about Camp Agape but it is one of the organizations near and dear to my heart. It is a breavement camp for kids ages 7-12 and I have been a “buddy” or camper counselor there for the past three summers. The camp runs Thursday-Monday, usually in July, and the experieinces there are heartwarming to say the least. I have a video I created a couple of years ago on my Youtube Channel that explains more about the camp at: https://youtu.be/v0wXJ9qhVRc

Thanks for reading, watching, and listening!

 

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Gobble, Gobble!

I missed my weekly blog post last weekend! I will admit it was my birthday weekend so I took some time off from blogging.

One of my online friends is a hunting guide out of Mexico. Hugo Loera is one of the chief guides for HR Big Game Outfitters . We correspond through email and phone frequently and he sent me some funny turkey hunting photos I had to share. It’s still turkey season here in Texas and I hope to still get out and bag a gobbler if possible before the end of the season. #gobblegobble

Contact me if you are interested in hunting Gould turkey in Mexico with Hugo. Thanks for reading, watching, and listening.

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Gauging Gobblers!

I am happy to report that I have another article appearing in Texas Fish and Game magazine! I have the same feelings of opening up the gift wrap on a Christmas present every time I get an issue that I am featured in. If you have been following my work for long, you will notice that I am in the back of each issue with the Hotspot fishing reports, which I do monthly. Feature articles are a special treat though and I am grateful for each one I get to write.  Texas Fish & Game is the most read magazine for outdoorsmen in Texas and its a huge honor to work with them! Here is the article about turkey hunting shotguns and loads along with some pictures of how the article looked as a feature in the magazine this month. Thanks again for reading!

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Finding the Right Gun and Load for Turkey Hunting

By Dustin Vaughn Warncke

(Published April 15th, 2015)

 Turkey hunting is one of the most exhilarating outdoor endeavors and we have seen strides of development in the pursuit of effectively and efficiently hunting gobblers over the past several years. Not too long ago, all turkey hunters had was some spare squirrel loads or even duck and goose BB loads. We’ve come a long way since then! With the growing popularity of the sport of turkey hunting comes innovation in products designed specifically for serious turkey hunters. Among these innovations are specialized shotgun configurations and premium high-performance shotshells.

When gun talk comes up in conversations with fellow hunters, I often tell folks that we are in the Golden Age of firearms and ammunition. This is especially the case with modern day “turkey guns” or shotguns built with the turkey hunter in mind. In many ways, manufacturers have responded to the turkey hunter’s needs by making shotguns and ammunition with features ideally suited to the turkey woods.  There is not another time in our rich history of firearms and ammunition that we have had so many breakthroughs of the past combine with the incredible technology available today. This allows gun and ammunition manufactures the ability to push the envelope on what can be done with many areas of hunting our current day and age. Finding the perfect blend of gun and load takes a little fine tuning but with so many options available today, it is not hard to find that “sweet spot” of the right shotgun paired with the right shotshell load.

First off, let’s talk about the shotgun. The first rule for buying a new or used shotgun is to find one that properly fits you. Visit a local sporting goods or gun store and try some shotguns out for size. You want to make sure the weight is comfortable and that you can easily put the gun in shooting position without any extra movement or effort. It’s no secret that turkeys have great eyesight so keeping movement down to a minimum is a must where shouldering your gun is concerned. Is the gun suited for you to hold it steady for a long period of time? How does the shotgun carry for the long distances that turkey hunting sometimes demands? These are all good questions to consider when choosing the right gun.

One of my personal favorites in the turkey shotgun realm is the Mossberg 935 which is a semi-auto, camo-clad shotgun. It has a great balance of weight, fit, and excellent performance and also has an option for a barrel specially designed for turkey hunting. I also own a Mossberg 835 shotgun which is a pump shotgun that has also proven its worth as an excellent shotgun for turkey. Just about every major gun manufacture in the firearms industry that makes shotguns makes some models with turkey hunters in mind. Other shotguns on my all-time favorites list are the Remington 870, Remington 11-87, Benelli Super Black Eagle, Ithica 37 Turkey Slayer, Winchester 1300, and the Beretta Xtrema 2. With all of the competition in the firearms industry, it is hard to find a shotgun that isn’t of excellent build quality. Consider a shotgun an investment, not simply an expense of hunting and don’t pass up the opportunity to spend a little more money for extra features that will aid you in your hunting success.

Remember, the standard rules with shotguns have changed due to the more powerful ammunition available today. Bigger does not always mean better anymore. With the new high-powered turkey loads and choke tubes available today, 12-gauge shotguns aren’t the only main player on the field anymore. Many hunters feel that 20-gauge shotguns are a better fit for their spring turkey adventures and I am with them. I highly recommend the 20-gauge shotgun especially for youth shooters and adults just getting started in the turkey hunting world largely due to the recoil and weight factors. While effective range of a 20-gauge might be less than a 12-gauge, the chances of getting a hunter started on the right path are far better.

Take time to pattern your shotgun with premium turkey loads. There are so many different turkey loads the market today. It comes down to finding the right one that works well with your gun. Try different shot sizes and even choke constrictions. Also, consider some of the aftermarket choke tubes as many of them have shown excellent pattern performance in the field. For ammunition, my favorite load is the Winchester Supreme in 12 gauge which packs a hefty load of 2 ounces of No. 5 shot. Other ammo I highly recommend is the Winchester Long Beard XR and Double X, Remington Premier and Nitro Turkey, Kent Ultimate Diamond Shot, Federal Premium Heavyweight Turkey, and Heavi-Shot Magnum Blend and Hevi-Metal. The only way to determine what ammo to shoot is to shoot a variety of shot sizes and brands from multiple distances to find the “sweet spot” of shotgun and ammo. Pick the one with the most consistent pattern.

I recommend patterning your turkey gun at 25 yards for 20-gauges and 40 yards for 12-gauges. The ideal pattern is 100 pellets in a 10-inch circle. For initial patterning tests, use a large piece of butcher or craft paper. Also, consider a shooting rest like the Hyskore DLX Precision Shooting Rest, which you can fire remotely after you set up the shot on target. You can also use a regular gun rest and a recoil pad that goes around your shoulder to help reduce potential recoil anticipation since turkey loads pack a magnum punch.

Know the limitations of your firearm and, if coaching a youth hunter or beginner adult hunter, consider the limitations of the hunter as well. This will help you in deciding what shots to take and when to wait or pass on a shot.  We can learn what those limitations are by practicing and experimenting with different loads and chokes as well as practicing real hunting scenarios while at the gun range. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors this spring turkey season!

 

To learn more about Dustin, visit www.dustinsprojects.com.

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Mmm…Tilapia and Bowfishing Fun

Bowfishing for tilapia is probably one of the most challenging, but fun activities I enjoy in the outdoors. A couple of weeks ago I had the sincere pleasure to go bowfishing again with Marty McIntyre with GARQUEST Bowfishing Adventures  on Lake Fairfield in North Texas. If you have never tried bowfishing and live in or around Texas, check out Marty at www.garquest.com. Marty will be sure to put you on some fish and you will have ample shot opportunities.

Part of the reason for this trip is because I am writing an article on bowfishing for tilapia titled, “Bowfishing for the Ghosts of the Water”. I will post the article as soon as it comes out in the magazine (Texas Fish & Game). Marty and our mutual friend Cody did some wade fishing and that was the key to success on this trip. Two things you will fight in the world of bowfishing for tilapia on power plant lakes is the wind and cast-netters. Both can push you off the bowfishing action but if you can learn to deal with one or both of them, you will have hours of fun shooting at “ghost fish”. We call them ghost fish because they can be there one minute and gone the next. They have excellent eye sight and are a blast to hunt, I mean fish, I mean bowfish for. Tilapia are indeed challenging and fun to hunt but they are also great to eat as well. Here are some pictures from our trip.

 

 

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