All posts by Andy Walgamott

One Shot, And That’s A Wrap

What are the best fishing and hunting movies of all time? These six make the list of our resident film buff and California Sportsman editor Chris Cocoles.

By Chris Cocoles

My executive editor has painfully accepted that I’ll sometimes – actually, lots of times – sneak a movie-inspired headline into California Sportsman stories.

I admit it – I’m a movie geek of the utmost proportions and extremes. Christmas Day may mean family time and reflection, but I still managed to sneak in a matinee first showing of The Imitation Game. As much as I get stoked about filling out a March Madness bracket, so do I when checking off my picks for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor every Academy Awards night.

This is just a nonscientific and highly biased list of my favorites. I know I missed some that probably belong (The Old Man and the Sea’s original version with Spencer Tracy likely deserves to be here), but I managed to rewatch some old classics. Here they are, in no particular order (though I think I subconsciously listed The Deer Hunter first since it’s so awesome):

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Robert De Niro’s Michael, traumatized by the atrocities he saw in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, which paralyzed his friend Steven and caused his best pal Nick to lose his mind, returns to his Russian-American Pennsylvania roots a changed man. He stalks a giant buck, and utilizes his creed that, “A deer has to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that but they don’t listen.” Only Michael can no longer take that one shot, even with a trophy right within his sights. “OK?” he shouts as the animal is spared. It’s just one of dozens of powerful moments director Michael Cimino crafted, including terrifying games of Russian roulette and a beautifully haunting score.

The deer hunts, filmed around Washington’s Mount Baker, captured the essence of the movie’s theme. And I would argue the cast gathering around a table singing God Bless America is one of the most underrated scenes to end a film.     

Awards buzz: The Deer Hunter was the biggest winner of its year’s Academy Awards with five Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken).

Notable line: “I’ll tell you, Nick. You’re the only guy I go hunting with, you know. I like a guy with quick moves and speed. I ain’t gonna hunt with no ass*****.”

On Golden Pond (1981)

Much of the buzz of this classic is generated in the tension between off-screen and onscreen father and daughter Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda in their only film together (and the elder Fonda’s final film appearance before he passed). Their estranged relationship in the movie was not unlike what it was for many years in real life, perhaps without such animosity.

But some of the best scene-stealing moments turned out to be Henry Fonda’s Norman Thayer Jr. – a gruff, stubborn and crotchety old man – bonding through fishing with his daughter’s soon-to-be stepson, bratty, arrogant and defiant Billy. They form quite the odd couple: bickering at each other, blaming each other for nearly setting fire to the house, clinging to a rock together for survival after their boat wrecks.

And their fishing scenes were priceless, including Billy landing Norman’s nemesis trophy trout, Walter (a monster rainbow that was set free to swim another day). The father and daughter ultimately followed suit in the bonding process, and the great Katharine Hepburn (“The loons! The loons!”) quietly was brilliant.

Awards buzz: Henry Fonda and Hepburn both won Best Actor Oscars among three wins and 10 nominations. Jane Fonda accepted the award for her ill father. The young breakout star, Billy, has barely been heard from again.

Notable lines: “Well, it’s doing a pretty good trout imitation – get the net!”

“Good God! It’s Walter! What the hell are you doing in here?”

A River Runs Through It (1992)

Before Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt, he was Paul Maclean, a troubled but likeable young man in Montana during the 1920s in director Robert Redford’s adaptation of Norman Maclean’s novel. Gorgeous sets define this movie of fly fishing rivers as a metaphor for life’s ups and downs.

Pitt’s Paul and Craig Sheffer’s Norman are complete opposites – Norman is a Dartmouth grad and responsible, in love with a local girl; Paul’s a hard-drinking and hard-gambling newspaper reporter getting deep in debt with some rough Montanans.

What they have in common is fishing, and they cast flies in the Big Blackfoot River. Norman sees how at peace Paul is filling his creel box with trout. When Paul gets caught in the rapids trying to land a trophy fish, it’s his time, Norman knowing he won’t be able to save his brother. The fishing scenes and Redford’s narration from the real Maclean’s book are haunting.

Awards buzz: Academy Award win for Best Cinematography; two other nominations.

Notable line: “Neal, in Montana there’s three things we’re never late for: church, work and fishing.”

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Admittedly, when I first saw this I was skeptical about the title, but having a big crush on Emily Blunt and loving fishing so much made it a no-brainer to check out. And it actually was a pretty good, if unnecessarily sappy, story. The debonair publicist, Harriet (Blunt), conflicted with the fate of her missing-in-action new boyfriend in Afghanistan, just as quickly it seems falls for the nerdy but handsome fish biologist, Fred (Ewan McGregor). The hook – pun intended – is what seems like an absurd idea of a rich Yemeni sheik’s idea to import Atlantic salmon to the waters of his desert Middle East location.

The fishing scenes meant to portray Yemen – but actually filmed in Morocco – were rather inspiring, as was the system of makeshift fish ladders put in place to coax the salmon to head upstream. Just don’t expect much of an unpredictable conclusion and you’ll be fine.

Awards buzz: Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture Comedy or Musical (despite a few laughs, I’m still not sure why it wasn’t deemed a drama), Blunt for Best Actress and McGregor for Best Actor. Nobody won anything.

Notable lines: “But fishermen, I have noticed, they don’t care if I’m brown or white, rich or poor, wearing robes or waders. All they care about is the fish, the river and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance and humility.”

Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Grumpier Old Men (1995)

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau had some of the best chemistry among buddy movie duos, so combine these two geniuses with fellow legends like Ann-Margaret and Sophia Loren (in the sequel), and you have comedic gold. Set in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota, all things fishing serve as a backdrop to finding love again in your golden years.

Fishing-related gags are gloriously done throughout the flicks: Dead, rotting fish thrown in the backseat of cars; fish planted in a tuxedo pocket at a wedding; frozen fish used as weapons during a fight; fish that fall through a cut net; the quest to catch a whiskered monster known as Catfish Hunter. (Like Walter in On Golden Pond, the catfish was spared being mounted on Matthau’s wall.)

These movies are cute and worth your time just watching co-star Burgess Meredith’s hilarious (and dirty) outtakes during the closing credits.   

Awards buzz: None of note, though Meredith got totally snubbed as Best Supporting Actor. Either that or give him a special award for funniest old guy in movie history.

Notable lines : “Max, let’s let him go.”

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Dad tried to catch that fish for 20 years. Catfish Hunter deserves to be in the lake with Pop.”

“Gustafson, you are one sick bastard.” CS

Editor’s note: Have a favorite fishing or hunting movie moment? Comment about it on our Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/California-Sportsman-Magazine/568564509850112)

Girls, Guns And Dangerous Game

Red Bluff-based clothing mavens Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman of Girls With Guns go international in new TV series, Universal Huntress

By Chris Cocoles

They’ve come a long ways, metaphorically at least, from designing outdoor fashion clothes for women out of a home garage in Northern California. Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman had a vision that spawned a successful company, Girls With Guns Clothing.

But while the gals remain small-town at heart, choosing to continue their work out of Red Bluff, a quiet hamlet of 14,000 off Interstate 5, 130 miles north of Sacramento, even for these ambitious entrepreneurs, traveling across a continent, an ocean and hunting the wild lands of Africa in front of a TV camera was something altogether different.

The girls with guide Yvan Nieuwoudt and a South African white rhino that was darted and examined to check on its health progress.  (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

The girls with guide Yvan Nieuwoudt and a South African white rhino that was darted and examined to check on its health. (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Just as the Girls With Guns brand has taken off, Adams and Harman just seem to have found a niche on Universal Huntress TV, a Sportsman Channel series that premiered in December.

We see Adams and Harman crisscrossing the African continent (and New Zealand), not only hunting exotic species but also experiencing new cultures and engaging in adventures like skydiving, hot air ballooning and bungee jumping.

“We are definitely outside the box,” says Adams, the more adrenaline-charged half of the team. “You’re going to see about 75 percent hunting and 25 percent will be something exciting, something fun. And the main part is Norissa and I are best friends who started in our garage to design a clothing line. We’ve grown the company so much, we have opportunities to talk a little bit about who we are and where we came from.”

The idea for their show came from a world away. Adams and Harman were on their way to the Sacramento International Sportsman Exposition when we caught up with them in January. Ironic, since that was where they met South African Emaneul “Kappie” Kapp. Sort of.

A YEAR AGO, Kapp, a publisher and outdoor film producer, was walking the aisles at the massive outdoors show and saw the Girls With Guns booth. He had an idea to discuss a possible television show opportunity. Unfortunately, the ladies weren’t there at that time.

“I’d played around with the idea of a women hunting show for a while and they sounded like the perfect fit,” Kapp says. “I left my business card at their booth and requested they call me.”

With their professional hunting guide Yvan Nieuwoudt giving instruction, Jenifer Adams prepares to take a shot at a black wildebeest and Norissa Harman shoots footage during an episode of Universal Huntress TV. The duo own and operate Red Bluff-based clothing company Girls With Guns.  (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

With their professional hunting guide Yvan Nieuwoudt giving instruction, Jenifer Adams prepares to take a shot at a black wildebeest and Norissa Harman shoots footage during an episode of Universal Huntress TV. The duo own and operate Red Bluff-based clothing company Girls With Guns.
(UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Kapp thought Adams’ go-for-it attitude was reminiscent of himself. Harman, admittedly the “chicken one” of these two BFFs, seemed more like Kapp’s wife, Chantelle, also a member of the production team.

“One of the things Kappie told us is he was looking for something a little different,” Adams says.

But even Kapp wasn’t sure what to expect when “I got a call from two girly girls from Northern California.”

“We spoke on the phone a couple of times and I eventually got them on a plane to South Africa,” Kapp says. “I met them for the first time in person at O.R. Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg (South Africa).”

They hadn’t known each other besides some conversations done over Skype, but the chemistry among those behind and in front of the camera made for a great match.

Harman says during production her and Kapp’s relationship is more like a brother and sister who may bicker while shooting in some of the most remote and wild lands on earth, but are indeed like family at the end of the day.

Adams, here with a wildebeest, says, “I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Adams, here with a wildebeest, says, “I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

“Since we’ve met each other, it’s been for the better. He’s taken us out of our world, where we grew up, to his world, to show his perspective,” Harman says. “For that, I’m very grateful for him. I think there have been a lot of special moments that we’ve all done together and he’s been there to see us grow. To capture that together, it’s been fun.”

Over the course of filming, Kapp found the stars of his show learning from their mistakes, both on the actual hunts and the process of producing episodes of a TV show in the African bush. They went through hours upon hours of footage, narrowing them down to fit into the 22 minutes of running time.

Adams and Harman even found themselves operating a second camera as B-roll footage. (Among the guests on the first season was aspiring country music singer Morgan Mills, who wrote and produced the show’s theme song, Let’s Ride, sung by Mills and featuring established country music performer Colt Ford.) 

Adams says the relatively small crew on-hand during production simplifies the process.

“When you’re hunting you already have your guide or PH (professional hunter), your cameraman, and Norissa and I always hunt together. Through Kappie, he’s taught us some limited camera skills,” Adams says.

“They had to learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera, and it took some guidance to get them to relax and not feel uncomfortable,” Kapp says. “I still provide them with guidance, but they’ve come a long way from our first hunt.”

ON THE FIRST episode, Harman and Adams joined guide Marius Kotze of Rhinoland Safaris (rhinoland.co.za) in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. They were greeted on a dirt road by roaming elephants and rhinos and their land cruiser became temporarily stuck in the middle of a rising river – just a typical day of mayhem on an African safari.

“I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip,” Adams says. “Just getting out of the country, seeing some amazing people and being in some awesome hunting territory. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa on that trip.”

Harman (here with a bull gemsbok she harvested in South Africa) is the less adventurous of the duo, but she conquered some fears by engaging in both skydiving and bungee jumping. “I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Harman (here with a bull gemsbok she harvested in South Africa) is the less adventurous of the duo, but she conquered some fears by engaging in both skydiving and bungee jumping. “I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

The girls harvested their first African continent plains game animals on the first show. Adams successfully hunted an impala, zebra and kudu on that initial two-week trip; Harman got an impala and kudu.

Adams also hunted two of Africa’s “Dangerous 7 Game” animals, lion and hippopotamus.

“That lion hunt, it was the first time I had ever hunted an animal where it wanted to hunt me back,” she says.

On the pilot episode, when the women both made successful shots, they became overcome with emotion, particularly Harman.

“(Viewers) didn’t get to see the whole story. I actually missed (the shot) a couple times on that trip,” she says. “The animals are different there. They are really fast moving and I think my nerves got the best of me – having a camera on you, that whole factoring into making a good shot. So, of course, when I did shoot my kudu, I’m such an emotional person and wear my heart on my sleeve, I can’t help it. I cry a lot and this whole season you’ll see lots of tears.”

Adams is not one who shows her emotions so quickly – there’s that yin-yang trait between them again – but also had a moment during the time between the shot and the confirmation that the animal was down. Adams thinks the anticipation of where they were and the stalking process created so much tension it felt natural to let loose a few joyous tears. 

“One thing is certain – they truly love what they do and they are emotional when it comes to the beautiful trophy they have harvested. Sometimes it’s laughter and at other times it’s tears, but there is always a lot of emotion involved,” Kapp says. “Our TV show is in real time and with no reenactment, and therefore the real emotional scenes on camera are (compelling).”

The pitch of two hunters with such different personalities would be an easy one for a producer to have interest in. On one side of the table a risk taker willing to push her entire stack of chips into the pot at any time; on the opposite side, a risk avoider who raises an eyebrow at even the slightest of all-in moves.

Guess which Girls With Guns business partner did not have parachuting out of a plane over Africa on her bucket list?

“We are a good balance,” Harman says. “I think a lot of it is just the unknown. We’d never done anything like that. When I got there I had no intention of doing that. I mean, why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane? But just the energy and meeting the people, the moment convinced me to try it. So I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.”

There was also the cultural experience of visiting countries such as the Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, which was priceless (an episode was also filmed in the south island of New Zealand).

Learning a few phrases of one of South Africa’s and Namibia’s official languages, Afrikaans, has inspired further studying of that dialect for future trips to that part of the world.

cs_mag

“I think it’s a little bit humbling and life-changing and a little bit in our face,” Harman says. “Just because here in the U.S., we have the luxury of grabbing a glass of water, checking the Internet and going to the movies. And these people don’t have that luxury. Kids can’t just go to a faucet and grab a glass of water like we do. They’re going to watering holes or digging a hole in the middle of a dried-up creekbed to drink water with sand in it. Jen and I will probably keep those moments forever and never take for granted what we do have.”

Adams was floored by the diversity, both in the people of the various countries visited and the constantly changing topography. She didn’t expect to see mountains not unlike those located a short distance from her Northern California home (“I don’t think a lot of people realize that,” Adams says). It wasn’t long until they’d go from mountains to a sandy desert and then a rainforest.

“We were just so grateful for the opportunity (to be there) and to hunt in a situation we’ve never been in before,” Adams says. “To know where Norissa and I came from, we were able to see things that most of my family and people back home will never have the opportunity to see. I felt very lucky and blessed to be there.”    

AS WE’VE SEEN frequently in this social media-obsessed world, when you hunt, you’re likely to be frowned upon by the Twitter and Facebook crowd. If you’re a woman who hunts, it’s chaos on the keyboards. Vile online attacks of female hunters have gone viral with a sinister tone.

Most hunters understand and accept that the anti-hunting sentiment won’t be going away anytime soon, and a show like Universal Huntress TV will surely be considered taboo from day one with some refusing to find a common ground.

“One of the things that we’re learning as we go, and we hope the audience will learn with us; we try to ask questions and then ask more questions,” Adams says.

“We need to understand the importance of conservation. It is something that’s a little bit different here than in South Africa. But honestly, there isn’t that much of a difference – taking a mature animal and making sure that we don’t overhunt them. Norissa and I are trying to learn as we go and pass it onto our audience. I hope they’re able to see that.” Universal Huntress TV hopes the stories it tells – about hunting, about friendship, about culture and about conquering your fears can send a positive message. 

“It’s really for people to just be themselves. We have a lot of young girls who look up to us now, and we really never expected to be role models,” Harman says of her role as clothing designer but also messenger about the sport their line sells to. “So we just hope that they can see what hunting has done for Jen and I. It’s been a bonding experience, kind of like a sisterhood. So if there are girls out there doing this together, it’s something they’ll be able to share like we’ve shared. It’s important for us that they see that.”  CS

Editor’s note: New episodes of Universal Huntress TV can be seen on Mondays on the Sportsman Channel. More information can be found at thesportsmanchannel.com/shows/universal-huntress.com, Twitter (@univhuntress) and Facebook (facebook.com/universalhuntress). Check out Girls With Guns clothing apparel at gwgclothing.com, Twitter (@GirlswithGuns), and Facebook (facebook.com/girlswithgunsclothing).

California Youngsters Show Off Archery Skills At 5th Annual State Tourney

The California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP), hosted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), has concluded its fifth annual Virtual State Archery Tournament.

Young archers from around the state wrapped up the season with some impressive scores.

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Virtual State Archery Tournament, particularly the top boy and girl shooter,” said Lesa Johnston, CalNASP Coordinator. “This year’s results were proof of how hard these young people have worked throughout the school year.”

(THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE)

Wyatt Vaineharrison, a ninth grader at Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego County, came in as the top male shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition. He earned a score of 296 points out of a possible 300, which is the highest score of any student in the history of the state tournament. Wyatt received an honorable mention in last year’s tournament. He is also a dedicated Eagle Scout and loves wildlife and spending time outdoors.

Melissa Osorio, a tenth grader from Kearny High School in San Diego County, is the top female shooter. She earned a score of 286 out of a possible 300 and ranked second as overall shooter in the tournament. Melissa competed last year, but has pushed her scores up by 30 points, taking the number one spot over all the other girls in the tournament. When Melissa is not practicing archery, she enjoys spending time with her friends, playing tennis or taking in a movie.

Both shooters will receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer.

Genesis bows were awarded to the winners. (photo by CDFW)

Genesis bows were awarded to the winners. (photo by CDFW)

The Virtual State Archery Tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to challenge their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment in which they can compete with other students statewide without traveling. Students compete at their own school, either in a gymnasium or an outdoor range, and their scores are posted in a national database that ranks not only the state scores, but national scores as well.

Honorable mentions to other students throughout the state go out to Skyler Rosenberg, who won third place overall state shooter and rank one in the Boys’ Middle School Division, Manly Arvizo , who tied at third place for overall state shooter and rank two in the Boys’ High School Division, Aislynn Haywood, second overall girl shooter and rank two in the Girls’ High School Division, and Elissa Spaeth, third place overall girl shooter and rank three in the Girls’ High School Division. Both boys attend Bullis Charter School in San Diego County, while the girls attend Sultana High School in Hesperia.

Archery is a sport that can be enjoyed by students of all abilities and sizes – it can be enjoyed outdoors and encourages students to lead a more active lifestyle. For more information about the CalNASP, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/calnasp.

San Fran Trio Sentenced $50,000 For Abalone Poaching

Three San Francisco men received thousands of dollars in fines and other penalties after pleading no contest to illegally poaching 59 abalone in November 2014. The daily bag limit for abalone is three.

Jinfu Wu, 43, Wei Q Wu, 27, and Jin He Li, 35, all of San Francisco, were each fined $20,000 (Wu and Li had $5,000 suspended) and sentenced to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service. The men also face permanent revocation of their fishing and hunting licenses and the loss of all seized fishing gear.

(THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE)

On Nov. 5, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers with the Special Operations Unit observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone.

(photo by CDFW)

(photo by CDFW)

As the officers watched, the suspects made multiple trips into the water and appeared to hide their illegally harvested abalone on the shore. Once they gathered their catch, they left the scene in the van.

Wildlife officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone.

The CDFW Special Operations Unit is a team of undercover wildlife officers who specialize in investigation of persons suspected of selling California’s fish and wildlife on the black market. Abalone is a prized resource in California, seasons and limits are highly regulated to protect the resource. For complete information on abalone fishing and regulations, please seewww.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/abalone.asp.

 

Registration Open For CDFW Hosted Muzzleloader Clinic In Merced Co.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program and the Safety First Shooting Association will jointly offer a black powder (muzzleloader) hunting clinic on Saturday, May 30.

The clinic will be held at the River Oaks Range in Merced County.

(photo by CDFW)

(photo by CDFW)

Designed for all skill levels, the clinic will include both lecture and live-fire exercises. The lecture portion will include a short history of black powder shooting, different styles of black powder rifles used today, how to safely load and shoot a black powder rifle, laws and regulations pertaining to black powder hunting and strategies for hunting with black powder firearms. The live-fire exercise will include target shooting with firearms.

(THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE)

 

The clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45. Youths 17 years and younger are free, but must be accompanied by adult.

Space is limited and participants must register in advance online. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring. CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

An additional $5 range fee must be paid to the Safety First Shooting Association on the day of the clinic.

The River Oaks Range is located in Winton, seven miles north of Atwater.

 

Friends And Family Plan – Literally – For The Big Fred Hall Shows

How does the Hall family pull off the giant Long Beach and Del Mar sportsmen’s shows? It takes a small, but close-knit staff, reveals organizer Bart Hall

Story and Photos By Bart Hall

CAMARILLO—As we head into the 69th edition of the Fred Hall Shows in March, events of this scope and magnitude don’t just happen by accident. It takes careful coordination and detailed planning.

General manager Mike Lum heads a small Fred Hall Show staff. Lum has spent his entire life in the fishing and hunting industries. As a young man, he began working retail in local Southern California gun stores. Eventually, Lum was associated with Andrew’s Sporting Goods and helped to turn that company into the regional powerhouse that it eventually became. Those stores are now called Turner’s Outdoorsman, but it was Mike Lum who got them off the ground and laid the foundation for their eventual extreme success.

Bart Hall (left, with wife) Ginny, has taken over the lead for his late father,  whose Southern California outdoors shows turn 69 with Fred Hall Show events in Long Beach and San Diego. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Bart Hall (left, with wife) Ginny, has taken over the lead for his late father, whose Southern California outdoors shows turn 69 with Fred Hall Show events in Long Beach and San Diego. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Back in the days when the Fred Hall Shows were in the final stage of exhibiting at the now defunct Great Western Exhibit Center, it was Lum and I who convinced my father, Fred Hall, to allow retail selling at the shows. Before then the shows were truly just a place to “show” products. Selling was not allowed.

While Lum remained at Turner’s they had an exclusive on retail selling at the Fred Hall Shows. That ended when Lum moved on to a local sporting goods distribution company and eventually became an executive for an online sporting goods enterprise. He joined the Fred Hall Shows about 16 years ago and has become the person responsible for the detailed planning of these enormous events. His intimate knowledge of the retail business related to fishing and hunting is unmatched by any other person in the sports show business.

Morgan Hall (left) is Bart and Ginny Hall’s oldest son. His wife Katie has guided the shows’ transition into the electronic age. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Morgan Hall (left) is Bart and Ginny Hall’s oldest son. His wife Katie has guided the shows’ transition into the electronic age. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Complementing Lum is Tim Baker. He also came out of the Turner’s group, and at one time held the same title as Lum did at the local retail giant. Baker eventually went on to become the marketing manager of the Okuma Fishing Tackle Company. He has an intimate knowledge of the fishing business from both the perspective of retail sales and the manufacturing of fishing tackle. Baker is an avid hunter and has a wealth of knowledge about anything having to do with firearms and accessories. Tim is married to Lynne Baker and they have two lovely daughters, Teal and Brooke (yes,  he is an avid waterfowl hunter and angler). Lynne is obviously a patient and understanding woman. Their 2014 email Christmas card showed the family on an elk hunt.

Baker doesn’t allow the office to become too somber. Laughter is part of his aura. He and his family are welcome additions to the Fred Hall Show staff and we are lucky to have them.

A FAMILY BUSINESS

Katie Hall is married to Morgan Hall, the oldest son of me and my wife, Ginny. Katie is the smartest person in the room – any room – and she guides us through the maze of electronic gadgets and social media of the modern era. She is the operations director and keeps track of everything that goes on with the shows. Katie is part advertising agency, part graphic designer, part computer technician and part show analyst. Despite having two young children at home (Aidan and Samantha), she is always on top of her work and often works late into the night to stay ahead of the curve.

Ginny has been here for over 46 years. Once she married me, she married the Fred Hall Shows. Ginny also spent 20 years teaching around Los Angeles, and her many exploits into unchartered ground set her apart from the regular teaching community. Ginny spent 20 years pioneering the teaching industry and setting standards in challenged academic communities that will be hard to duplicate. Throughout all of that, she always worked for the Fred Hall Shows.

Sammy and Katie Hall participate in the kids’ trout, which will again feature several family-friendly events at the Fred Hall Shows. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Sammy and Katie Hall participate in the kids’ trout, which will again feature several family-friendly events at the Fred Hall Shows. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

As my parents got older it was Ginny and I who did all of the “real” work of putting the shows together. Ginny remembers everything! Tell her your birthday and she’ll know it forever. I am cantankerous and often short with people. Ginny is funny, charming, pretty and extremely likeable. Many late nights and many long days spent working by us eventually lead to the greatest consumer sports shows on the planet. Today, Ginny is an owner and the associate producer of the Fred Hall Shows.

UNSUNG HEROES

Most Fred Hall Show attendees don’t get to see the people who make these shows possible. Dave Mandagie has been with us for most of his adult life. His beautiful wife Barbie and three special children, Amber, Ashley and Brooke, have all been a part of the Fred Hall Shows for decades.

Mandagie is a unique individual. He actually is the definition of unique individual. Dave is intelligent and extremely capable. He works hard and is quiet; he is sophisticated; he is also the funniest SOB on the planet. If we had only started writing down his soft-spoken, spur-of–the-moment improvised comments on things that have happened over the last 20 years, we would have a book that would make us all rich. Mandagie makes me laugh so hard I cannot breath. He is not just a great husband, father and worker, he is my friend – and that is a very short list.

Mandagie has put together a quality that staff includes Eric McCully, who is the guy you want next to you in the foxhole. In the dictionary under the word dependable they have McCully’s picture. He is husband to Chante and father to Dillon and Reese. McCully also brings us his cousin Jonathan Carlton from the same great gene pool.

Rick Gaskins and his wife Janet are also part of our group. Gaskins brings sanity and normality to this group of unique individuals around here and is a breath of fresh air.

Robbie Mandagie is Dave’s brother and the only person around giving Dave a run for the “unique individual” award (another outstanding gene pool, though Robbie may have hit his head on the bottom of that one!).

Billy Treviranus, his wife Terri and their sons Hunter and Colton give us some height at power forward. Just because Billy is tall and handsome doesn’t mean he can’t work. He can and he does. Terri has the brains in that outfit.

At one time, before Danny Mandagie went to work for the U.S. Border Patrol, he was part of the crew. Dave brought us Lyall Belquist when he was 13 years old. I had to call his mother to get permission for him to work with us. She assured us that fishing and hunting was his passion and she would appreciate it if we let him work with us. Lyall expects to get his doctorate in marine biology soon. The work he has done over the past several years on behalf of aquatic species and local anglers has been nothing short of miraculous. We are very proud of him.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FAMILY

Some of Ginny’s family help with the shows as well. Occasionally, Ginny’s brother Mike helps us. His beautiful daughter Crystal is married to one of our key exhibitors and works us at the front desk at the shows. My nephew, Ginny’s sister’s son, is also a great help. Jay Settle is big, energetic and always smiling and helpful. I like that guy. And, of course, there are Lindsey and Lindsey at the front desk. They are no relation to anyone, just friends of Crystal.

My sons, Morgan and Travis, grew up around the shows and their “papa” Fred, just as I did as a child. They love these events and help out every year when they can.

Now my grandchildren love them as well. Hannah is 13 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, beautiful like her mother, but she also looks like her “papa.” She’s a great student and a fantastic athlete and can play any sport she tries.

Aidan, 13 years, is also tall and handsome, a great student and aspring filmmaker. He shares Morgan’s passion for fast, powerful cars, and they race RC cars together. Ten-year-old Hunter is, naturally, a hunter. He passed his hunter’s safety course when he was 8. He loves hunting, fishing and sports. I think he’ll be my future golfing buddy; he’s granny’s cuddle bug.

And then there is Samantha. Sammy is 10, dark-haired and beautiful, and one of the most fantastic artists I have ever seen. We’ll be seeing her work in galleries some day. She is also an outstanding athlete. Hannah, Hunter and Aidan all have passed their hunter safety courses and have valid California hunting licenses. It was a great day for me this year when they all joined us in Blythe for the opening of dove season.

Our scuba and free-dive section is helped along by my “brother from another mother,” Jonathan Hall. His experiences as an LAPD diver and FBI CSI diver have been invaluable to our fledgling dive efforts.

Our publicists Craig Pobst, formerly an executive with the J. Walter Thompson group, and his partner Craig Nichols give us excellent advice and keep our advertising focused. Publicist Amy Foley keeps us smiling and keeps us on our toes. Her contacts and insight into local media are amazing.

The next generation in the Hall family: (from left) Sammy, Aidan, Hunter and Hannah Hall are grandchildren to Fred and Lois Hall. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

The next generation in the Hall family: (from left) Sammy, Aidan, Hunter and Hannah Hall are grandchildren to Fred and Lois Hall. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

I also want to acknowledge Russ Luke from Global Experience Specialists. His team of expert decorators, teamsters and electricians keep everything moving smoothly. Wes keeps the boats moving and the forks rolling. Last but not least, our old friend Barry Greenberg keeps us in touch with the automotive industry.

The Fred Hall Shows exist because of this extended family. Of course, the Fred Hall Shows are a business. However, for this show-production family, the yearly evolution of the events transcends business. The fact that we can all work together toward a common goal makes these shows more than just a business – they are a way of life.

And now with the re-acquisition of the Fred Hall Shows to the Hall family and the addition of Duncan McIntosh as a partner, the Fred Hall Shows are getting ready to be bigger and badder than ever. CS

Editor’s note: Bart Hall is the show producer for the Fred Hall Shows, which will be in Long Beach from March 4-8 and San Diego from March 26-29. For more information, go to fredhall.com.

CHiPing In For The Community

The Willows office of the California Highway Patrol holds an annual pheasant hunt that benefits the local community, widows and orphans of fallen officers, and others. 

By Chris Cocoles

Each fall, the California Highway Patrol’s regional office in Willows, just west of Chico, hosts an annual pheasant hunt, which will celebrate 15 years this fall.

The idea started in 2000, when a now-retired lieutenant who was also an avid outdoorsman reached out to a local hunting club, Thunder Hill Ranch, about hosting an event. It’s since become a popular destination for both CHP personnel and locals in what is a hot spot for hunting in Northern California, on the first Friday of November.

Held on Clear Creek Ranch near Corning, the California Highway Patrol’s annual pheasant hunt attracts officers and local bird hunters from throughout the Sacramento Valley. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Held on Clear Creek Ranch near Corning, the California Highway Patrol’s annual pheasant hunt attracts officers and local bird hunters from throughout the Sacramento Valley. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Since that first event, Thunder Hill’s proprietors sold their property and moved to an out-of-state location, but for the last three years the hunt has been held at Clear Creek Ranch in Corning (530-520-4034; clearcreeksportsclub.com), which is located adjacent to Rolling Hills Casino.

“We have an average of about 150 hunters. I’ll send out flyers around the end of August,” says Tracy Hoover, public information officer for the Willows CHP headquarters. “It’s just a good day for the community.”

It’s a full day too. Hoover says volunteers begin showing up around 7 a.m. to set up coffee, hot chocolate and donuts tables for those who attend.

Participants split the day between shooting clays and hunting birds with volunteer guides. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Participants split the day between shooting clays and hunting birds with volunteer guides. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Half of the field will participate in a morning hunt, while the rest will engage in clay-shooting competition. That rotation flip-flops in the afternoon session after a snack. At the end of the day there’s a catered lunch of tri-tip and sides for everyone.

“We’ll have a raffle, and it allows us to donate the money to the 11-99 Foundation (714-529-1199; chp11-99
.org),” Hoover says of an organization that assists CHP families. “We donate to the widows and orphans fund, and to our local high school for Sober Graduation. And there are other various organizations around our community (that receive donations). It’s just a lot of fun and something we all look forward to every year.”

The event always ends with a raffle, with proceeds benefiting not just the CHP’s family foundation, but local organizations. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

The event always ends with a raffle, with proceeds benefiting not just the CHP’s family foundation, but local organizations. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

It was a natural fit for the CHP to want to host a special hunt each fall. Willows is in the heart of a waterfowl and upland bird hunting paradise  the Interstate 5 corridor between Sacramento and Redding, 162 miles apart.

Both past and former employees are a big part of the event.

“We have a lot of (CHP) retirees who come out and hunt,” Hoover says. “Our officers volunteer their time at the hunt, and it’s not a work day for them; they have to volunteer their time. We only have about 23 officers in this building, and I believe only one didn’t want to either work the road or volunteer his time. Our officers do the clay stations and a couple actually do the guiding. Without them we wouldn’t be able to put it on.”

An average of 150 hunters attends this very popular pheasant hunt each November. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

An average of 150 hunters attends this very popular pheasant hunt each November. (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Hunts like this bring together the tight-knit law enforcement units up  and down the Sacramento Valley.

“We have people who show up from as far away as Stockton CHP, and they bring their friends from agencies like the sheriff’s department,” Hoover says. “A whole bunch of different agencies help out with this and come out to hunt.”

Hoover’s only been in the Willows location for a few years, but many officers and administrators there are hunters and anglers.

“We have a lot of hunters in our department. My husband is a (CHP) sergeant and he’s a huge hunter,” Hoover says. “One of our other sergeants here is a big duck hunter. He just got back taking six weeks off – and he did a lot of hunting.”

“People just really, really enjoy it and they look forward to it,” Willows CHP public information officer Tracy Hoover says. “It gives us a great honor to be able to donate money to the community in general.” (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

“People just really, really enjoy it and they look forward to it,” Willows CHP public information officer Tracy Hoover says. “It gives us a great honor to be able to donate money to the community in general.” (TRACY HOOVER/CHP)

Most of these annual hunts have gone without a hitch – Hoover recalled one incident where someone fainted on the ranch. And it’s the kind of event that brings the whole Glenn County city of Willows together each November. 

“People just really, really enjoy it and they look forward to it,” Hoover says. “I start getting phone calls months in advance. It gives us a great honor to be able to donate money to our 11-99 Foundation and just the community in general.”

The cost to participate in the November 2015 hunt is $125. For more information, contact Tracy Hoover with the California Highway Patrol at (530) 934-5424. You can also email her at Thoover@chp.ca.gov to request a flier for the hunt. CS

Deer Hunting Grounds Affected By Klamath NF Fire Closure

(KLAMATH NATIONAL FOREST PRESS RELEASE)

The existing Emergency Closure for portions of Klamath National Forest lands, within and adjacent to the Salmon River Complex, was extended west and south to include National Forest lands around the Butler Fire. The purpose of the temporary closure is to protect public safety during efforts to suppress current wildfires. Simply stated, it is unsafe for the public to be near the wildfires due to unpredictable changes in wind, rolling fire debris, poor visibility and narrow roads busy with emergency vehicle traffic. Likewise, the closure order is important for firefighter safety.

With bow season for deer hunting starting Aug. 17, 2013, it is important for hunters to be aware of the closure order. Effective Aug. 10, 2013 only fire personnel are allowed to go into or be upon National Forest land within the closed area. Hunters are encouraged to seek alternative hunting areas.  A map and description of the closed area is available at Klamath National Forest offices in Yreka, Fort Jones, Happy Camp and Macdoel, CA; as well as online at  http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5430601.pdf.

A PLUME OF SMOKE RISES FROM THE SALMON RIVER COMPLEX EARLY IN THE FIRE. (VIA INCIWEB)

A PLUME OF SMOKE RISES FROM THE SALMON RIVER COMPLEX EARLY IN THE FIRE. (VIA INCIWEB)

The closure area is defined by the following boundary: Starting at Somes Bar, CA the closure boundary follows the Siskiyou County line south to Youngs Peak, then angles north along Knownothing Creek to State Highway 93/Salmon River Road and Forks of Salmon, CA. The closure boundary continues east along, but not including, Forest Road 39 to Timber Camp Trailhead, then northeast to the Russian Wilderness boundary, continuing along the boundary to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The boundary parallels, but does not include, the PCT northwest to the intersection with Timothy Gulch, and then follows Wooley Creek southwest to State Hwy 93 and west to Somes Bar, CA.

Hunters should also be aware of the new Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) governing use of motorized vehicles on the Klamath National Forest.

Cross-country travel is closed forest-wide with implementation of this plan. Motorized access should be only on open roadways, and within 30-feet from the edge of open roadways for parking and camping. The Motor Vehicle Use Maps are the easiest way to learn which roads are open to which type of vehicles. The maps are available online at the forest Website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/klamath/home/?cid=stelprdb5404649. The maps are also available in hard-copy at Klamath National Forest Headquarters in Yreka, CA and ranger district offices. Following are forest office phone numbers:

Klamath National Forest Headquarters: 530-842-6131
Goosenest Ranger District: 530-398-4391
Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District: 530-398-4391
Salmon/Scott River Ranger District: 530-468-5351

Contact the ranger district office in the area you plan to hunt for area-specific information. Hunter related information will also be available on the CDFW Website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/Hunting/.

California is in the midst of a very active wildfire season. Record low levels of snowfall coupled with previous droughts have left the state vulnerable to catastrophic wildland fires. A high percentage of wildfire starts in California are human caused. Human caused fires are preventable—and are therefore the target of a state wide fire prevention campaign.

The One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire campaign focuses on locations and time periods which have high fire danger. Road uses during hot and dry weather become extra critical since road corridors include power lines, telephone lines and other important infrastructure. Similarly, equipment use becomes critical during hot and dry weather in business and residential areas. Wildfire occurrences in those locations become very high risk to human lives, and are costly for firefighting efforts. That is the basis for focusing this fire prevention campaign on vehicles and equipment use.

One of the goals of the One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire campaign is to increase public awareness on the need to check trailer safety chains to insure they are not dragging on the pavement—generating a trail of sparks along the highway and igniting wildfires. This includes checking the chains periodically during a trip. Checking brakes and wheel bearings at the beginning of the hot and dry season is equally important for reducing the number of vehicle caused wildfires.

Hunters need to also be aware fire restrictions are in effect. No fires are allowed outside of developed campgrounds, picnic areas and signed camp fire use areas, except for  Marble, Siskiyou, Russian and Trinity Alps Wilderness areas. Portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid California campfire permit. Fire restrictions also affect the use of generators and chain saws. Check with local National Forest offices for specific rules.

Umpqua Boats Details New Angler Series Of 15-, 17- And 19-footers

(UMPQUA MARINE BOATS PRESS RELEASE)

The new Angler series boat by Umpqua Marine Boats is a boat built for fisherman by a fisherman.

The open design with rigid gunnels and hardened 6061 bottom Chine provides a durable and secure craft for navigating rivers lakes and bays.

Umpqua

Long time Oregon River Guide Larry Averett and his team have come up with an affordable boat that still incorporates nice options into the design, like a crab pot puller that doesn’t need any additional bracing.

Featuring diamond plate finish that can be polished or painted in any color, it is a sleek looking launch that will garner a second look, no doubt about it. And at a price that is reasonably obtainable.

Available in 15’, 17’ and 19’ or will build to suit, check out this sleek new line at www.umpquamarineboats.com

Gibson Makes Duck Blind Covers For Sunken, Stand-up Setups

(GIBSON DUCK BLIND PRESS RELEASE)

Gibson Duck Blind Covers patent offers a versatile line of covers that can be made for any type of sunken or stand-up duck blind. The covers, made of light-weight steel tubing with powder-coating and Fast Grass material, are designed to be either permanent or temporary. GDBC come in 2,3,4,5, and 6 foot lengths.

GibsonDuckBlind

They form a nearly complete horizontal canopy over the top of the blind when closed, but fall away easily with a gentle nudge when the hunter stands up to shoot. This gives the hunter a 360 degree view under the blind covers.

Quality construction and material facilitate their “flip-flop” movement. The blind covers also provide a bay-view opening under the main beam, so the hunter can see the birds working the decoys – without the ducks spotting the hunter. The covers conceal the blind exceptionally well from an aireal view – a point that hunters often miss when they inspect a brushed-up blind from 30 yards out and 5 feet high. Several sizes and price configurations are offered.