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As the song goes, what a long (but not strange) trip it’s been. Your suggestions, “wish lists,” ideas and comments have helped make this TV series educational, motivational, and (I hope) entertaining. Editor/director Tad Newberry deserves much of the credit for polishing the raw material and making it “sing.” I hope you agree in each episode, he’s taken a day’s hunt and accurately condensed it to a few minutes … no easy task. He has really distilled a day in the field down to its essence.

See for yourself:

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checklist ultimate

Get out your catalogs, your computer mouse, and of course, your wallet. Time to start re-stocking for this hunting season.

The newest version of my “Ultimate Upland Checklist” is now available for your packing – and purchasing – pleasure.

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions and additions to last season’s list. For the life of me, I can’t think of anything else to add … but you will. If you do, note it in the comments section below and I’ll update as the weather and your credit card cools.

[Shameless plug: the Blaze Buddy Bandanna is a perfect addition to your safety gear ensemble … and all proceeds go to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, so spend your money here.]

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Got your non-resident license? Plenty of ammo? Join me at the next stop on the Awesome Upland Road Trip, in this slide show with audio and still images recorded in the field at Ravenwood Lodge near Topeka, KS. Thanks, Ken, Bev, and Little Ken, for your hospitality! And thanks sponsors:

 

tritronicslogo1          irish-setter-logo1

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I’ve put off doing this because it will officially signal the end of the 2008-2009 Awesome Upland Road Trip, but enough is enough. Congratulations to the many winners of Irish Setter boots and jackets who told me where they would wear theirs if they won.
One place I wore my Irish Setters ... chukar country near Clarno, Ore.

One place I wore my Irish Setters ... chukar country near Clarno, Ore.

Answers were creative and touching, from church to grouse coverts with family and friends … and I’m glad the winners were chosen at random because any other way would have been too tough for the judge (me). If you won, you know it and congratulations. If you didn’t I hope it kindled one more fond memory or prompted another hunting trip. It sure did for me.

Thanks to Irish Setter and Tri-Tronics, as well as the State of South Dakota, who made the Awesome Upland Road Trip possible. Stay tuned for the 2nd Annual AURT, coming soon (but for most of us, not soon enough!).

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Well folks, see what you think. Here’s the first video/audio installment from the Road Trip, recorded in the field just after the hunt. Comments?

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irish-setter-logo                           tritronicslogo

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Yours truly actually "working" at SHOT ... you'll hear this interview on my radio show.

Yours truly actually "working" at SHOT ... you'll hear this interview on my radio show.

(ORLANDO) SHOT Show updates … What innovation there was in our universe was in the highest-tech segment of our world, dog training collars. Translation: ho-hum of a show in many respects. But here are some more notable exceptions:

Dogtra introduced their “RR Deluxe,” a remote bird-launcher release system that has a loudspeaker mimicking both duck call and beep sounds. It interfaces with their pheasant and quail launchers, and uses a standard, codable transmitter that allows you to chain up to 16 launchers if your wife will let you buy them and you can figure out how to code them all! 

The duck call feature is particularly intriguing for added “realism” for retriever trainers. The beeper is described by Dogtra as helping you locate the launcher system in heavy cover (helpful, especially when you’re trying to locate your dog at the same time). I’d like to see uplanders served by a pheasant cackle on version 1.1, or better yet, the last launch of the day featuring a comely synthesized female voice announcing the start of happy hour.

If you live the shotgun lifestyle, you might visit www.shotgunlife.com, a new site creators are describing as in the “Best Gun” category. You’ll find articles (many very long), some product information, and at least a nod to women shooters, so pour yourself a half-skinny-soy-no foam latte’ extra caffeine and take a look.

SportDog is touting their new SportHunter 1825, a slimmer-profile receiver and transmitter system that offers up to 16 stimulus levels (requires a few button pushes – ask your texting-savvy kid to help) and (thank you) vibration AND tone through the collar receiver. Both should come in handy for creative dog trainers. They’ve also built a new “docking” system for charging batteries. No word on whether or not you can combine tone and vibration to perform the drum and guitar solos in the surf tune “Wipeout.”

There’s a black version and a camo version, both are waterproof,  and can be adapted to handle up to three dogs using SportDog’s “Add-A-Dog” (a great title for a spouses’ worst nightmare)  collars.

Next stop on the Awesome Upland Road Trip: Reno, Nevada and the Safari Club International convention, next week. How about for you? Where would you wear a new pair of Irish Setter boots? Tell me in the comments section and you might win a free pair!

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Okay, time to recap the bird season, particularly what you wish you’d hauled with you and didn’t.

Remember the “Ultimate Upland Checklist?” Dozens of you helped flesh it out before this season launched, and hundreds of you downloaded what I’m hoping was a useful tool that ensured you didn’t get stuck, lost, stranded, frozen, hurt, starved or (horrors) forgot your dog! Now that the season is winding down and you’ve had some long, boring drives to contemplate your bad shooting and worse memory, it’s time to improve the current version, 1.1.

Did you regret not bringing that knife sharpener? That neck gaiter sure came in handy in Utah. What would your dog wish you’d brought for him?

What did you leave home, totally space, veg out on, lose in the flashback,  or simply wish you’d taken bird hunting … that is not YET on the “Checklist?” I’ll give a Blaze Buddy Bandanna to every person who offers a (legitimate – my opinion rules) addition/improvement. And out of all the great ideas (again, my opinion), I’ll choose one at random to receive a pair of Irish Setter boots and jacket.

Take a look at the current list here, then leave your suggestion/addition in the comments section, below.

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