TaTa Bang Bang

11 10 2013

 

This post originally was published on Ta Ta Bang Bang’s facebook wall during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 2013)  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=522953231122915&set=a.418050041613235.99986.377808358970737&type=1&theater
While at the Buckmasters Expo on August 17th, in Montgomery, Alabama, TTBB crossed paths with an outdoor enthusiast that not only shares her love of hunting, but her story of surviving…breast cancer. Her story touched us in so many ways, and we know it will touch yours.

Meet Diane Hassinger, field staff of Ladies in Camo, as she tells her story of being a survivor:

1383138_522953231122915_1177662963_n“Four years ago, the call came that would change my life forever, “You have breast Cancer.” I can’t say that it was totally unexpected, as I had problems for 20+ years, many biopsies, lumpectomies and countless call backs for sonograms and mammograms. In some regards, it was almost a relief that now I could do what was needed to get the shadow of breast cancer off of me.
I have always taken the bull by the horns, and this time was no different. When my original Doctor was taking too long to do his job and schedule an appointment for me to move forward, I contacted a renowned breast surgeon and started the process to have all of my records sent to her, and got scheduled within days. The first visit with my surgeon proved I had made the right decision. She reminded me of-me! She is not good at candy coating things, kind of direct and to the point. I loved her! She outlined my choices, and I chose the complete bilateral mastectomy. While she initially thought I had not given enough consideration to my choice, I explained that I had thought long and hard for the past 20 years that when the time came, as I knew it would, I would get rid of all of the troublesome tissues and get a clean start. Within 2 weeks, I had my bilateral mastectomy, sentinel lymph node surgery and the start of the reconstructive surgery. I had my final reconstruction surgery just prior to Christmas that year. My best Christmas present ever!
At all times I was positive about my decision. My healing was fairly quick and soon my life was back to normal, at least mostly. I still struggle to get back to hunting poundage on my compound bow even today; a lot of the muscles in my chest area were destroyed in order to get all of the cancer. Those muscles control a lot of your pulling ability. Thank God, and Tenpoint, for crossbows!
Within 3 weeks of the surgery, I was salmon fishing and landing large fish on my own. I had to alter how some things were done, but I could do them! Pictures were taken with the fish balanced on rocks, but they were taken! I bypassed archery season that year, but against Doctor’s opinions, I started shooting my rifles and shotguns. My Doctors had no past experience with how the recoil would affect the lymph node areas under my arms. They worried that I would cause lymphedema with the repetitive recoil, and over use of my arms. Now they have a benchmark to use for other women hunters in their care-you can do it!
I am back to hunting, fishing, shooting and traveling. This year alone I have hunted South Africa, Canada and several states for alligator, bear, whitetail and plains game. I have suffered some disappointments hunting, but haven’t we all. But more importantly, I have been successful, not only harvesting some great trophies and food for my family, but also in beating breast cancer to the point that I am living the life I love.
I look at this whole breast cancer ordeal as nothing more than a speed bump in my life. I took care of myself and now I am in the passing lane once again! I am on Staff with Ladies in Camo, working with some of the most amazing women I know. I have been given the opportunity to help women be successful in hunts outside of their comfort zone, and the ability to use and product review many new and exciting products to the hunting community. I have a personal blog www.huntingmotherearth.com which was an outlet for emotions and triumphs during my recovery. Now it is my hunting journal and diary. I found it is extremely important to let those emotions out, and be able to talk to others about your journey. That helps you with your acceptance, and it helps others that are still on their own journey.
Look for an upcoming episode on Yeti’s Ultimate Hunt, highlighting my battle with breast cancer and return to a truly wonderful life. By not allowing cancer to dictate what my life will be, I have created a life that is open ended and exciting. I have many doors opening and opportunities to explore! That call four years ago did change my life, but by taking control and staying positive, it has changed it for the better!”

Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Member
NSSF Member
Ladies in Camo, LLC-Regional Representative
http://www.ladiesincamo.com/
Ladies by the grace of God…..in CAMO by choice.

Personal Blog: http://www.huntingmotherearth.com/

Igloo/Yukon Cold Locker Pro Staff
Twenty Up Productions-Pro Staff
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Ladies in Camo-Regional Staff http://www.ladiesincamo.com/
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Big Bear Scents-Field Staff
Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Member
NSSF Member
NRA-Life Member
Safari Club International
NWTF

 

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Bullseye Camera System-See Your Shot

11 10 2013

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If you are anything like me, sighting in your rifle includes multiple, time-consuming trips back and forth to the target. This isn’t a problem when you are working with 20, 50 or even a hundred yards; yardages beyond that, I would often times use a quad to run back and forth. No more! I will be using the Bullseye Camera System; unique system that accurately reflects your shot on the actual target emitting a photo of the target to a program on your computer right from the place you executed the shot…in a matter of mere seconds.

Bullseye Camera Systems, LLC offers 2 different models to help you see the shot you take. I field tested the 1000-yard camera system recently which includes a weatherproof camera with night vision, two 5-hour rechargeable battery packs, router, antenna, tripod, connectors, carrying case and the Bullseye Target Manager Software. The Bullseye Target Manager Software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.

Setting up the system is quick and easy. The camera is set-up on the tripod near and facing the intended target. The kit contains 2 rechargeable battery packs; one to power the camera and the other to power the wireless router. A couple of cords finishes off the physical set-up of the system at the target. The software will need to be loaded onto a laptop from the supplied flash drive containing the entire program. Once the software is executed you can define your target and then go into the shooting mode.

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Here is the system set up and ready to work near the target. Photo: Diane Hassinger

Now the fun begins! Once you shoot, simply press the space bar, and the picture will be transmitted to your lap top. You can easily see right where you hit the target. Mark the shot and then shoot again–that is it! You have the ability to keep track of your efforts and you can even note the shooter, the target range, caliber of weapon and ammo used. This system also works with shotguns and bows. You could even have fun with it with pies in a face if you so desired—just kidding, but it would work.

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We had some fun with these evil trolls! This is an actual screen print from the computer. Photo: Diane Hassinger

We recently hosted a retired Veterans’ hunt in Alabama where the attendees were able to shoot an M-1 Garand/50 Caliber Barrett. We shot at 600-yards and I cannot tell you how much effort this system saved. We still doubled-checked some shots by riding a motorized vehicle out to the target.That wasn’t necessary because what the computer showed was accurate in revealing what the target reflected.

It was extremely easy to note the size difference of the various calibers used on the targets by what was revealed on the computer screen. There were well over 500 rounds shot, which this system not only saved us from a lot of time consuming trips back and forth to the target, but we also had the proof and a lot of pictures to show the accuracy of each shooter’s shots.

As I prepared for my South African trip, shooting at 100-yards, the Bullseye Camera System made the most fun I have ever had while “working”. The really nice part is that I had solid corroboration of my shot placement which to me is important to be confident with my shooting ability.

Ladies in Camo recently hosted an Archery Day with Chris Brackett where the Bullseye Camera System was used in an 82-yard shooting contest. We also used it with a foam disc thrower which Chris Brackett brought. The system caught some amazing shots. Before long, everyone was putting faith in what I was seeing on the computer and I was instantly able to show them exactly where they hit the target.

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The long distance shoot at the zombie. This system made it easy to declare the winner! Photo: Bullseye Camera System at Archery Day

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An impressive archery shot connecting with a flying disc caught accurately on the Bullseye Camera System. Photo: Bullseye Camera System at Archery Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1000-yard Edition Bullseye Camera System is available for purchase at https://www.bullseyecamera.com/purchase.html.  With a MSRP of $549.00, the system is an affordable and fun way to practice your perfect shots where you can actually “see your shot” instantly and save time at the range. Bullseye Camera Systems, LLC also offers a 500-yard Edition at the MSRP of $449. Soon there will be smart phone app available making it even easier to see your shot instantly.

Bullseye Camera System. LLC Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/09/22/see-your-shot-with-bullseye-camera-system-diane-hassinger/





Swhacker 100 Grain Crossbow Broadheads

10 10 2013

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I have been using Swhacker Broadheads for the past several years. I have built up a tremendous confidence in their products, so when they came out with their new Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads it was a natural transition to start using them. The 100 grain expandable broadhead incorporates two razor sharp .032″ thick stainless steel blades that measure 1 inch in flight and 2 inches after penetration–a lethal combination for any game animal I have plans to hunt. The broadheads themselves are tough, but in the event that you bend a blade or damage them otherwise during your hunts, all replacement parts to rebuild them are available for purchase.

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Sarah with her Gobbler taken with Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

Sarah, my 10-year old granddaughter, used my crossbow and the Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads during the Spring Turkey Season. Sarah dropped her Gobbler on the spot with the Swhackers. This was the second gobbler with Swhackers; her first with the Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads.

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Spring Gobbler taken with the Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

This June, I used the Swhacker Crossbow broadheads on my Saskatchewan Black Bear hunt in combination with my Tenpoint Stealth SS Crossbow. These broadheads truly fly like a field tip. The main blades are designed to open only after the high carbon steel point and wing blades have penetrated through the hide and ribs; therefore, leaving a fresh set of blades to cut their way through the vitals for an exit would that is unbelievably large.

I was hunting in poor conditions for both bear and archery. The winds were blowing hard and rain was falling fast.  My bear crossed to within 10 yards of my treestand when I let my Swhacker fly!  The broadhead performed flawlessly!  My bolt passed right through the chest cavity and lodged in the dirt on the other side.

The 7′ black bear traveled a mere 15 yards before crashing to the ground.  Even if I had not seen the bear go down, anyone–yes, I mean anyone–could have followed the blood trail.  The blood trail looked as if you painted it with red spray paint. The exit wound was a 2″ long slice.

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7′ Saskatchewan Black Bear taken with my Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

The Swhacker Crossbow broadheads have a MSRP of $34.99 for a set of 3 broadheads. You can find this product at most sporting goods retailers and they will soon be available on the Swhacker website at  http://www.swhacker.com/swhacker-products. In my opinion, with my experience using this product, they are well worth the money.

Swhacker Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

 

 

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

 

This post was published on Ladies in Camo at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/09/02/swhacker-100-grain-crossbow-broadheads-diane-hassinger/, and also at Bowhunting.net at http://bowhunting.net/2013/09/gear-review-swhacker-100-gr-crossbow-broadhead/





Junkyard Bear-Tails of the Hunt

10 10 2013

This post was published originally at Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/09/09/diane-hassinger-junkyard-bear/

Every hunter has their favorite type of hunting; for me it is Black Bear hunting with my crossbow.  I have taken several trophy bear with my Tenpoint, and each hold their place of honor in my memories.  This years bear was no different, well maybe just a little.

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Junkyard and his girlfriend. You can see how bad the rope had cut through the hide. Photo: Diane Hassinger

Dale and I arrived in Deschambault Lake to tales of a huge black bear that had been spotted on cameras,with what appeared to be a rope tangled tightly around his neck.  Our Outfitter Mike Grundmann asked if one of us would be able to target that bear, since his health was declining due to the ever tightening rope.  Dale and I both agreed one of use would focus our attention on him.  Dale started out his hunt looking for him, and for 3 days Junkyard was not seen, even though his big blond girlfriend would come by every evening.  On the 4th day, Dale moved to a new stand, and I moved into the stand to wait on Junkyard.

The weather turned horrible as soon as we left the lodge that evening.  Rain was pelting us, and the trees were swaying.  Not a nice evening to be outside, and definitely not a good night for bear hunting.  Erin was filming me that night, so we got settled into the stand and tried to stay dry.  It wasn’t long before I spotted black circling the area.  I nudged Erin and asked if she could see any better.  See quickly responded “It’s him, it’s the Junkyard Bear”.  As he came closer, I could see the rope swaying as he walked, but as he turned sideways I could also see white flesh where the rope had cut through the hide.  He glanced at the bait barrel, but decided to just move on.  As he walked under my stand, I let loose my bolt, and watched as it hit it’s mark perfectly.   I got a complete pass through with my Swhacker Broadheads.  Junkyard only went 15 yards before he expired.

It didn’t take us long to determine;

1.  We couldn’t move him ourselves and

2.  We were getting soaking wet just standing there.

So we headed back to camp, and to enlist some help moving him.  Dale and Mike returned just minutes after us.  They also had taken a huge bear that night; a 7’6″ behemoth.  So with the 4 of us working together, it took no time to get Junkyard back to the camp, and get dry.

I really feel I was in that stand that night to help Junkyard out of his pain.  I regret that infection made it impossible for us to use any of the meat, but Junkyard will live on in lots of memories and stories.  And because of his big blond girlfriend, his genes will be around for generations to come!

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Junkyard with his embedded rope. I will remember this hunt always!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

 

 





South Africa’s Grey Ghost

10 10 2013

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/20/south-africas-grey-ghost-diane-hassinger/

We traveled several miles from the lodge, to an area that was known to hold big kudu.  They are known as the Grey Ghost, and they certainly lived up to their name.  We would catch fleeting glimpses of their horns glistening in the sunlight, then they would be gone.  Several times we tried to stalk.  Once we came close enough that when they sensed our presence, they almost ran over top of us fleeing.

The following morning we were again going to search for an elusive Grey Ghost, when we spotted a trio of males in the distance.  We slowly and methodically closed the distance to 80 yards.  At that point I braced my gun and took a shot at the biggest male.  That is almost an oxymoron statement; of course I would shoot the biggest one!

The 2 smaller ones turned and ran back the way they had come, but my buck forged ahead, crossing into a tangle of mesquite type bushes.  Everyone was so certain I had had a perfect shot that we took off at once to find him.  There was no blood, not even a drop that I could find, but everyone was still confident.  Sure enough about 40 yards off of the trail laid my kudu!

I don’t understand what the physical differences are from our North American animals, I had heart shot this kudu, and he didn’t leave a blood trail, and my guide and tracker were at no point alarmed by this.  Your emotions can run the entire gauntlet of feelings in just a few moments of hunting; the elation of a good shot, the disbelief of no blood trail, the fear that your animal will not be found and the elation again when your trophy is found.

Diane with her very real Grey Ghost, aka Kudu

Diane with her very real Grey Ghost, aka Kudu                               Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger





Water’s Edge Water Buck

10 10 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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We were traveling close to the Limpopo River for my Water Buck hunt.  The terrain changed so much in just a very small area.  We went from arid desert like conditions to tropical and lush.  The Limpopo River had been dammed up to provide irrigation for a ranch, and in the process, they created a multitude of man-made lakes and marshes, perfect habitat for water bucks.

Shortly after lunch, we spotted a trio of water bucks.  One of them stood out from the rest.  We tried and tried to put on a successful stalk, but the winds kept swirling, and even though they were not spooked, they were uneasy.  Later in the afternoon, my husband and our tracker raced up to where we had just completed a stalk.  That had spotted an even bigger buck!

We quickly made our way over to the area.  Sure enough there stood a magnificent water buck and 2 does.  Altus quickly set up the shooting sticks, and I took aim.  I actually suffered from buck fever at this point.  I was so nervous about making a bad shot.  I took a cleansing breath and squeezed the trigger.  The way he hunched up and tucked his tail, everyone knew I had hit him good.

My tracker immediately took off to look for his trail.  We followed behind, certain that we would find the buck right inside the tree line.  Problem was, he wasn’t there.  My niece spotted him walking toward the water.  I pulled my gun up, and waited for Altus to verify that he was the same buck.  We couldn’t be sure, so I waited.  We went back to where I had shot him, and started tracking from the beginning.  The trail led us right to the water’s edge.  There was a barrier of reeds 20 feet or more thick.  We couldn’t enter the water due to the possible presence of crocodiles and hippopotamus.  Almost on cue, we could hear hippos barking or grunting, it was an eerie sound coming from behind the reeds.

Pete. My tracker, and I heard what sounded like crashing into the water.  I was sure it was my buck, and he was down.  Despite the thought that we were so close to him, the decision was made to call it a day, and start looking again in the daylight.  That made for a long night.

The next morning, Altus, Pete, my niece Morgan and I picked up the trail again.  We circled the lake to see if he had exited the water, and the only trail we found was coming out right where he went in.  We found him not more than 20 yards from the water’s edge.  I was so happy and relieved at the same time!!  He was beautiful!!

Over all he had only traveled 150 yards, then back 20 yards closer to where we had started.  My tracker theorized that the buck exited the water shortly after we left, choosing to bed down under a corpse of trees.  I am so thankful he did.  I feared he would be eaten by crocodiles or so water logged the meat would be ruined.  Instead here he was, and not one bit of meat would go to waste.

 

This post originally was published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/10/waters-edge-water-buck-diane-hassinger/





Simon Says-with a Blue Wildebeest

10 10 2013

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/09/simon-says-with-a-wildebeest-diane-hassinger/

Who would have thought, all those years ago, playing Simon Says would have been preparing me for hunting skills!  Recently I had the opportunity to test my Simon Says skills with a Blue Wildebeest.  He of course got to be Simon. 

Simon Says “run quietly”.  Simon Says “Creep low to the ground”.  Simon Says “Back step”.  FREEZE!!  Oh no, Simon didn’t say so!!  You get to start at the beginning again!  I swear I could hear the local birds were laughing at us when we would get busted.

So my stalking went for 2 days with my target Wildebeest, Simon, calling the shots.  I would get close, but no shot opportunity existed.  

On the morning of my 3rd day, we spotted a bachelor herd, and in their midst was my shooter male.   The wind was perfect for a stalk.  We started our game again, but this time the odds seemed to be going my way.  When we crept along the brush, we were perfectly camouflaged to the wildebeest.  We took an hour and 15 minutes to cover 60 yards.  Sometimes we would gain only inches, other times we would stand frozen for several minutes to alleviate any concerns the herd might have.  Finally my PH Altus set the shooting sticks up, and I knew the right bull was in range and open.  About 50-60 yards away were 7 bulls, I had 2 openings in the brush , but the one on the far left and in back was the biggest male, and the one we were searching for.  As I waited for a clean shot, I calmed my racing heart and evened my breathing.  Finally the bull in front stepped away, and I squeezed the trigger on the one in the back.  Altus whispered “Perfect Shot!!” and we watched and listened.  The herd ran to the right around some brush, and we heard a crashing in the brush.  The herd then raced back to the left without my bull in tow.  We waited only a few minutes then headed off to start the tracking process.  Pete immediately found a pin head size spot of blood, and my heart sank, that’s it?  I was going over the shot in my head, over and over, when Pete yelled something in Afrikaans.  I didn’t understand the words, but I knew my bull was found.  He had only gone about 30 yards from my shot; he was indeed what we heard crash into the brush.

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He measured 27 1/2 “wide, with great bosses of 10 ½” for each circumference.  A few more measurements and Altus informed me that he should easily make the SCI Records.  My bull will be always be known to me as Simon, and I will cherish the game we played that day. 

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger