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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).

Recreational Abalone Season to Open Along Northern California Coast

 

Photo courtesy of James Kasper

Photo courtesy of James Kasper

abalone diver
CDFW photo by Capt. Patrick Foy

California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, new regulations effective last year closed parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online athttp://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) also enacted regulations last year that changed the start time from one-half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The limit on abalone cards was also reduced from 24 to 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from Sonoma and Marin counties.

The changes were made because abalone abundance at eight index sites monitored by CDFW has declined over the years and the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan required a reduction in take. The 8 a.m. start time was proposed by CDFW wildlife officers who were witnessing large numbers of fishermen every low tide, and because it was becoming more difficult to find legal sized abalone (seven inches or greater measured along the longest shell diameter). During the search for legal sized abalone, increasing numbers of undersized abalone were being removed for measurement. It is likely that many abalone do not survive handling. The later start reduces the number of low tide days available for taking abalone, as well as the numbers of abalone taken and the number of undersized abalone killed during the search for legal sized abalone.

A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2015 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or atwww.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2014.asp.

Abalone licenses and report cards may be purchased online atwww.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing .

Cards should be returned to CDFW’s Fort Bragg office, 32330 North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554. The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2016 but cards can be submitted early. The licensing webpage linked above also has a tab for reporting abalone catch online which may be done in place of returning the card by mail.

Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone were taken or no attempt was made to take abalone.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges to deep ocean reefs, where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take 12 years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest and biologists have concerns about the ability of the fishery to sustain current catch rates. Similar to rockfish, abalone are a long-lived species but have generally low rates of reproduction. The last major recruitment event for red abalone occurred more than 25 years ago and recent dive surveys have recorded lower densities of abalone at eight index sites.

Currently, the only ongoing abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2013, the last year numbers are available, the catch estimated from abalone cards and telephone surveys was 230,000. The average catch has been about 254,000 annually for the past 12 years.

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open April 4

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

California’s recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 4, 2015, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.Chinook2

The daily bag limit is two Chinook per day and no more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), the minimum size limit is 20 inches total length. For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length.

For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used, and no more than one rod shall be used per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.

Additional ocean salmon fishing regulations for the 2015 fishing season will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during its April 11-16 meeting in Rohnert Park, and by the Fish and Game Commission at its April 17 teleconference. Final sport regulations will be published in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 2015 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be posted online in May at wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

Three alternatives are currently being considered for California’s 2015 commercial and recreational ocean salmon regulations, including season dates, size limits, bag limits and quotas. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website at http://goo.gl/OEmIuR.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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

Kevin Harvick: NASCAR’s Bakersfield Speedster

Kevin Harvick with his new Jimmy John's Chevrolet he'll drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014

Kevin Harvick with his new Jimmy John’s Chevrolet he’ll drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014

 

 

cal-sportsman-cover

By Chris Cocoles

Kevin Harvick is not the only Bakersfield native to make it big in a race car. Rick Mears won four Indianapolis 500’s in an iconic career in open wheel racing. Harvick went the stock car route, and the 38-year-old has become one of the elite drivers in the Sprint Cup series. Harvick moves over from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas Racing on the cusp of competing for his first Sprint Cup championship (he’s finished third in the final standings for three of the last four years). Harvick is a dedicated hunter who has partnered with outdoor organizations like Realtree and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation during his career. He is the subject of our February cover story and dished about his first hunting experience, his infant son and the late legend Dale Earnhardt, whom Harvick stepped in for after Earnhardt’s tragic death at the 2001 Daytona 500. Here’s our 2014 Q&A with Harvick:

CALIFORNIA SPORTSMAN Growing up in Bakersfield, were you always interested in being in the outdoors, or was that something that you became more interested in later on?
KEVIN HARVICK That was something that grew on me when I was older. In California, we would go out in the fields and hunt birds, squirrels and things like that when I was younger. But the more broad-based (types) of hunting animals came later in life.

CS Can you share one of your early hunting memories?
KH It probably came in California; we were out dove hunting and hanging out with my buddies. That always fun, just to hang out and shoot birds.

CS Obviously, being based in North Carolina and traveling to NASCAR tracks for 10 months a year, are you able to find a lot of time to hunt?
KH Not as much as I would like to. Obviously, being outdoors is something that I enjoy and have a lot of fun doing. But our schedule, and my son have definitely cut into my hunting time.

CS Where is your go-to hunting spot? Do you have a place you flock to when you have down time?
KH I don’t really have a go-to spot.(Pauses) Well, I’d say that’s not so true. I’d say my go-to spot is Realtree Farms.

CS Where is that?
KH It depends on which side of the state line you’re standing on (laughs). It’s mostly in Georgia.

CS Talk a little bit about the Kevin Harvick Foundation and what that means to you helping the community.
KH Oh, it’s so great to be able to do that and give back. We spend a lot of time in my hometown of Bakersfield and do a lot around our house in North Carolina in the Triad area (Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point). It’s fun to be able to give back and remember a lot of the people at home who progressed me in my career, Seeing them involved in the activities that we do in the community and allowing the opportunity to give back. We’re just trying to change the direction of kids’ lives; it’s fun for us and we’re glad to be a part of it.

CS You’ve also partnered up with a lot of hunting-related sponsors over the years like Realtree and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Does that mean a lot to you given your love for the outdoors?
KH I’m a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Realtree was the first sponsor that I ever had at (Richard Childress Racing) when I ran an ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) race at Talladega. I’ve become good friends with (Realtree found) Bill Jordan. I’ve been a part of the Realtree family now for a long, long time. And Bill is the one person who really progressed my hunting career and exposed me to things I’ve never been exposed to before on that side of it. He really helped me to learn how to enjoy the outdoors.

CS You’re joining Stewart-Haas Racing this season. Who is the better outdoorsman between you and your new teammate/boss, Tony Stewart?
KH (Laughs) Probably (Stewart), because he’s the single man who gets to spend more time outdoors. So I’d have to give that title to him on that one.

CS Are there fellow drivers you spend a lot of time hunting with?
KH You know, not as much I as used to. Just for the fact that we’ve been in a transition year of switching teams, and my son has been so young (and takes away from my time). But we go on different hunts with Bill Jordan and the guys from Realtree and just a lot of different people and different hunts. Someone new usually shows up on the next hunt.

CS For a long time driving for Richard Childress Racing, you kind of carried on the late legend Dale Earnhardt’s memory and legacy for the team. Besides being one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, Dale was also an avid outdoorsman. Do you have any memories of joining him on outdoor adventures?
KH I never had the chance to go with him on any outdoor trips, but Dale did give me first gun I guess in about 1997. (fellow driver) Ron Hornaday and I decided that we wanted to learn how to shoot skeet. But we didn’t have a gun. So we walked into Dale’s office, and he looked over his glasses over the mess on his desk and said, “What do you two idiots want?” We told him what we wanted to do and he went through this line of grief that he wanted to give us. He then proceeded to walk down the stairs and handed us each a shotgun and sent us out with an instructor, as he would say it, “To keep us from shooting our feet off.”

CS You are obviously in a high-intensity sport with a grueling schedule and a lot of traveling for 10 months of the year. Does being outdoors in nature give you some solace from that hectic lifestyle?
KH Well, I just love to be outside, which is a 180 from what we normally do on a day-to-day basis with the pace of things that we do. So it’s nice to be outside and listen to the peace of the outdoors. Something like that is always good for your mind.

CS Do you already plan to introduce your son, Keelan, to the great outdoors?
KH He loves to be outside already, so that won’t be very hard to do.

CS You’ve been knocking at the door in terms of winning a Sprint Cup points championship with a trio of third-place finishes since 2010. Does that give you a lot of confidence going forward with this transition to Stewart-Haas Racing?
KH Well, I feel confident in my ability to be able to drive the car. I know that everyone around me feels confident in what they can do. And I think we all came here for the same reason, and that was to win races and compete for a championship. I think that’s what everybody’s goals are. There will be some hurdles that would happen on any team no matter how long it’s along. So if we’re learning how to navigate those hurdles, everything else will hopefully come together really well.

CS You’re a pretty big-time golfer, too. What part of your game are you most happy with, and where do you hope to get better?
KH On July 8, 2012 my golf game took a serious blow, as on that day my son came into the world. My game wasn’t very good to start with. Golf is a lot like hunting: I enjoy being outside and playing the game. But I don’t really have the time to focus on it. But I love it, and all aspects of golf need attention in my game. But probably the best part of my game, which still isn’t very good, is my driver.

CS Back to hunting, do you have a must do/must go on places/species you’d like to hunt someday?
KH I don’t really have a bucket list to say the least, just for the fact it’s really something I more casually do. It’s not a 100 percent passion I guess you’d say. It’s not something that I have do. I just enjoy being a part of hunting.

CS You’re known as an aggressive and proactive driver. Do you take that same approach on a hunt in terms of strategy in stalking?
KH I don’t take anything aggressively on a hunt, because it’s a rare time to relax. And I kind of treat it more of a time to take it easy more than anything. But you can’t rush anything when you’re hunting. You have to let it all come to you, so you to be patient, which is hard for me to do.