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The Joy of Duck Hunting

Duck hunting is one of the most popular hunting sports in the world. It is as much a social calling as it is a hunt. In fact, representing a whole set of cultural standards and etiquette rules that many people do not even consider. It has a whole culture all its own, from a proper dress code to duck hunting dogs and assistants. The world of duck hunting is ripe with cultural significance, but it also has a dark side and represents a less than desirable aspect of human nature. Regardless of the point of view, there is something to be learned about duck hunting that may shed some light on either side of the ethical quandary.

Duck hunting is mainly a sporting activity around the world now, as commercial duck hunting has since been banned in most of the developed countries. Duck hunting is, in fact, as old as time itself. There are early indications that ducks and geese were somehow hunted during the Ice Age. Cave drawings indicate that duck hunting was a sound practice early on in human existence, giving way to ducks and swans appearing on cave paintings in Ice Age Europe.

With this international history, duck hunting enjoys a popularity that spreads around the world. It is especially popular in North America, where the largest number of localized ducks can be located. Most ducks use the Mississippi River as a migratory guide, so many duck hunts take place along the river to use it as a guide for finding ducks. Arkansas is a major hotbed of duck hunting, with Stuttgart being considered the “duck hunting capital of the world”.

Duck hunting is often considered popular because of its simplicity. The tools of the trade are simplistic enough, from a decoy set to a shotgun and duck call. The essence of duck hunting is based around the trickery of using the decoy and the duck call in tandem to lure the ducks out and into the air towards the decoy. After this takes place, the ducks are in open range for the hunt and the firing begins. These hunts take place around rivers, streams, lakes and any other bodies of water where ducks can be found.

There are many aspects that stand in contrast to duck hunting, of course. Most waterfowl conservation experts agree that the hunting of any type of waterfowl does little to help any situation. In fact, most marsh and wetland areas are shrinking at tremendous rates, giving rise to the criticism that duck hunting effectively diminishes an already diminishing habitat. There are several organizations that constantly spar with duck hunters over this reality.

Still, some hunters ignore this philosophy and have no interest in any protection of habitats. They, instead, pillage the duck areas and hunt ducks that should not be hunted. Duck hunting remains a controversial sport because of this aspect, unfortunately, and will continue to have a dark side as long as hunters remain blissfully ignorant as to the realities of organizations such as Ducks Unlimited. Without the cooperation of hunters and marshland protectors, duck hunts may be a thing of the past.

 

Why Camping Makes the Ultimate Family Vacation

Are you and your family interested in taking a family vacation soon? If you are, have you decided what you would like to do or where you would like to go? If you have yet to decide what you would like your next family vacation to be about, you may want to take the time to look at camping. Camping is a fun way to spend your next family vacation.

Camping is often referred to as one of America’s favorite pastimes. There are a number of different reasons for that, as well as reasons as to why camping is great for family trips and vacations.

One of the many reasons why camping is perfect for family vacations is because camping is an activity that is ideal for individuals of all different ages. For example, there are many parents who actually take their newborns camping with them. It is more than possible for you to go camping with your children, even younger children, as long as you make sure that you keep an eye on them at all times.

Another one of the many reasons why camping makes for great family vacations is because camping comes in a number of different formats. For instance, camping vacations can be as short as one day or they can last for a week or longer. This means that you can plan your next family camping vacation around you and your family. In addition to the length of your camping adventure, you will also find that you can camp a number of different ways. For instance, camping is often done in traditional camping tents or in motor homes. When deciding how you and your family would like to camp, you may want to think about what would be best or easiest for you and your family.

The activities that you and your family will have access to is another one of the many reasons why camping is great for family vacations. Although camping is considered a fun activity all on its own, you will find that it isn’t the only activity that you and your family can participate in. In the United States, a large number of campground parks have onsite swimming pools, onsite lakes, onsite playgrounds, and onsite hiking trails. What does this mean for you? It means that, in addition to camping, you and your family may enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and much more!

The cost of camping is another one of the many reasons why camping makes for great family vacations. Although you will likely be charged an admission fee or a camping fee to camp at a public campground park, you will likely find the cost very affordable. The supplies and camping equipment that you need is also extremely affordable, as most of the supplies can be purchased for discounted prices, both online and in store.

As it was previously mentioned, camping is great for family vacations. It is a fun activity that is ideal for just about anyone, no matter what the age. As fun and exciting as camping can be, it is important that you remember to keep an eye on your children at all times, especially younger children. Although camping can be a fun and exciting activity, it is one that can also be dangerous.

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Inside Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques

Fishing makes great fun! Whether you fish for a living or for pure hobby, you have to be as smart as a fisherman should be.

Every smart fisherman has his own fishing techniques that allow him to catch the fish he has in mind. Like in bass fishing or fishing in fresh waters, the fisherman will always have to use bass fishing techniques suitable for the kind of waters he is fishing in.

The first consideration in developing bass fishing techniques that can bring you your dream catch is to choose the shore you are starting on.

You also have to be very in tune with the weather. Bass fishing is most productive in the Great Lakes and similar to the ocean, these Great Lakes are very dangerous if bad weathers occur.

That is why it is most ideal to do bass fishing during summer, especially if the place you choose to have your bass fishing adventure is a big lake, such as, Lake Erie.

The other thing to consider in bass fishing is if you’re going off-shore fishing or fishing on the shoreline.

When you are fishing in the deep, make sure that your boat is fully equipped with the proper safety devices. You must also know the regulations imposed by your state regarding bass fishing in respective areas.

Some fishermen use the trolling techniques in the deep sea fishing or off-shore fishing to catch more fish.

If you choose to bass fish on the shorelines, you only need small boats and minor fishing gadgets.

You may also want to watch out for waters that are very clear. If the water is clear, most fishermen are not able to make a good catch because bass fishes prefer discolored water. In fact, smallmouth bass fishes and many other species do not even stay in clear waters.

The contour of the underwater terrain is also something to consider when bass fishing. You may consult an expert in the terrain of the lake you are fishing and he will guide you to the best place to fish.

Of course your choice of fishing gadgets will spell much of your success in bass fishing. Choose the most durable hooks that will hold firm when opportunity is given.

The choice of baits is crucial. There are plastic baits that are okay; however, natural baits such as worms and flies are much better.

During the summer, one bass fishing technique is choosing to fish along Long Point Bay at Lake Erie. This is because during this time, the bass fishes, especially the smallmouth bass fishes, are swimming through the Bay on their way back to the main lake after their spawning period.

If you are an amateur in bass fishing, the best thing to do is to fish with a companion who is an expert in the field not only in fishing but also an expert in the flora and fauna of the river you are cruising or fishing in.

As a beginner, you may opt to fish only in the shorelines of the lake or you may try fishing in the smaller lakes. Smaller lakes offer a variety of bass fishes including the smallmouth bass and the white bass.

Bass fishing in the rivers is also fruitful to beginners. Catch that catfish and its fun. There are rivers with runs and pools and in many cases fish are stacked up in these areas where catching them is as easy as eating nuts.

Plan your summer bass fishing accordingly by developing and adopting bass fishing techniques suitable to the waters you aim to explore and the fish you wish to catch.

Bass fishing techniques vary from one situation with another. The few ideas presented to you here may help you in deciding and planning your next bass fishing adventure.

Lastly, please bear in mind that safety is the must be technique to adopt in any endeavor. Always check your gadgets for any defect and if you will use a boat, it has to be a licensed one.

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Hiking Gear: Packing Tips

More and more people today enjoy the simple, wholesome fun of hiking. Hiking is an affordable, yet healthy and emotionally rewarding way to spend a vacation or a long weekend – and you don’t need to visit a travel agent.

Experienced hikers will always tell you that every detail matters when you pack hiking gear, especially tents and camping stoves. The right hiking gear and clothing, a properly and ergonomically packed backpack, positive mood and good fitness – all these elements play an equally important role in the success of any hiking trip.

Hiking boots are the most important part of your hiking gear. The right footwear will serve you longer and take you farther and safer than any training shoes or sneakers will. You can wear a cheaper pair of pants or an old t-shirt, but a good reliable pair of hiking shoes or boots should be as expensive as you can afford.

Many people consider their jackets as another important clothing item for a hiker, especially in the colder periods of the year. A hiking jacket can be a true lifesaver if you choose well. A Gore-Tex top layer will shield you from cold, wet, and windy weather. Many hiking jacket manufacturers use a layering approach in their jackets, so that an outer shell layer becomes not insulation, but goes over insulating clothing. Underneath a Gore-Tex layer your can wear a lightweight and even trendy fleece jacket, which you can use in warmer months and for other sporting activities too.

If you’re planning to camp in mountain regions during all three hiking seasons, spring, summer, and fall, then having a hiking tent is a must. Hiking tents can be used for protection from storms, winds, small animals and insects. Bringing a sleeping bag and an insulating ground pad are both very helpful as well. The insulating ground pad will help bring warmth as well as flatten out the bumpy ground.

A lightweight, dependable backpacking stove is much easier to use than campfires which are often prohibited in certain areas. Higher end models often do not require the use of matches or a lighter; however. it is always a good idea to pack matches anyway in case of ignition failure. Another version of a camping stove is a storm cooker which basically consists of a spirit burner with windshield and handle and a pot or pan for cooking. These stoves are lightweight because you don’t need a propane container, but are sufficient for one or two people only.

The newest models of camping stoves are environmentally friendly, odor-free, and very accommodating. To cook and eat take a pot, spoon, and a cup. To start the camping stove, if you don’t have an ignition feature, lighters are more reliable than matches. Take more fuel than you initially planned – camping stoves “eat” more fuel in cold weather.

To fully enjoy your hiking trip you must prepare beforehand. Even a small mistake in selecting your hiking equipment may result in an injury or at the least in discomfort and a negative experience. Check and fire up your camping stove while still at home and double check your hiking gear and equipment using a hiking checklist before you head out.

When you return from your hiking expedition, be sure to shower and wash your body from the, sometimes, harsh natural elements. A bath and body necessity is the Realtree 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, body wash combo! It is available in the top selling Signature for Him scent.

Happy hiking!

 

 

Does Hunting Help or Hurt the Environment?

Does hunting help or hurt the environment? Like so many hot button issues, the answer to this question depends upon who you ask. On the one hand, some say, nothing could be more natural than hunting, and indeed just about every animal species—including humans—has been either predator or prey at some point in its evolution. And, ironic as it sounds, since humans have wiped out many animal predators, some see hunting as a natural way to cull the herds of prey animals that, as a result, now reproduce beyond the environment’s carrying capacity.

On the other hand, many environmental and animal advocates see hunting as barbaric, arguing that it is morally wrong to kill animals, regardless of practical considerations. According to Glenn Kirk of the California-based The Animals Voice, hunting “causes immense suffering to individual wild animals…” and is “gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation hunters kill for pleasure…” He adds that, despite hunters’ claims that hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance, hunters’ license fees are used to “manipulate a few game [target] species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, resulting in the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity and ecological balance.”

Beyond moral issues, others contend that hunting is not practical. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the vast majority of hunted species—such as waterfowl, upland birds, mourning doves, squirrels and raccoons—“provide minimal sustenance and do not require population control.”

Author Gary E. Varner suggests in his book, In Nature’s Interests, that some types of hunting may be morally justifiable while others may not be. Hunting “designed to secure the aggregate welfare of the target species, the integrity of its ecosystem, or both”—what Varner terms ‘therapeutic hunting’—is defensible, while subsistence and sport hunting—both of which only benefit human beings—is not.

Regardless of one’s individual stance, fewer Americans hunt today than in recent history. Data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its most recent (2006) National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, show that only five percent of Americans—some 12.5 million individuals—consider themselves hunters today, down from nine percent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1996.

Public support for hunting, however, is on the rise. A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research firm specializing in natural resource issues, found that 78 percent of Americans support hunting today versus 73 percent in 1995. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that “hunting has a legitimate place in modern society,” and the percent of Americans indicating disapproval of hunting declined from 22 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2007.

Perhaps matching the trend among the public, green leaders are increasingly advocating for cooperation between hunters and environmental groups: After all, both urban sprawl and habitat destruction.

Orginally posted via Scientific American

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Explore the Land of the Midnight Sun in Juneau, Alaska

Known as the land of the midnight sun, Alaska is one of the most exciting destinations on the planet for anyone with a sense of adventure. The state capital, Juneau, is located on the panhandle that makes up the Southeastern region of Alaska. It’s a perfect base for exploring massive glaciers, whale watching, and other outdoor activities. However, the city is sandwiched in between a rugged mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, making it only accessible by air or ferry travel. Fortunately, there are plenty of great hotels in Juneau.

 

The city itself is an excellent place to relax. It became the capital during the Alaska gold rush and is a treasured place in resident’s hearts. The weather is surprisingly nice; even the winters aren’t as cold as those in Chicago or Cleveland! It has a small-town vibe and is populated by fishermen, state legislators, artists, and Alaska natives. There are excellent restaurants and at least one excellent brewing company that are worth paying a visit to while in town. City events include music festivals, craft markets, and even a salmon derby during the summer fishing season. It’s a great place to plan expeditions into the surrounding region. When tourists eventually need to crash after all the excitement, plenty of hotels in Juneau offer excellent accommodation options.

 

The city is surrounded by miles and miles of hiking trails through rugged terrain and up into the mountains around the city. Mountain biking and kayaking are also excellent options for those inclined to explore. Boats take tourists out into the Pacific to spot humpback whales. Even larger than the whales, one of the biggest draws in the area is the Mendenhall Glacier, only 13 miles from downtown Juneau. It’s part of the Juneau Icefield, a massive network of 38 interconnected glaciers that covers more than 1,500 square miles. Many different agencies offer trips to bring tourists to see the glacier. Some operators will drive to the glacier, but one of the coolest options is a helicopter trip that actually lands on the ice. Trekking up icy ridges and peering into deep blue crevasses is an experience unlike any other in the world.

 

At the end of an exhausting day it’s time to retire to one of those hotels in Juneau for a bit of relaxation before hitting one of the local pubs. It’s a refreshing, healthy, and exciting place for enjoying life.

Environmental Consciousness Extends to Makeup Brushes

America’s consciousness about environmental issues has gained tremendous momentum over the past several years. Evidence of global warming and scientific discoveries about the impact of greenhouses gasses on everything from the melting of the polar icecaps to the extinction of animal and plant species has spurred the U.S. and countries around the world to take action. The importance of research into lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and moving to alternative energy sources has been front-page news and is the subject of contentious political debates. In the meantime, many consumers have taken matters into their own hands by taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and generally increasing their awareness of the impact humans have on our environment.

 

Animal Rights

Long before environmental issues became popular with the mainstream, however, animal rights activists sounded the alarm about routine practices that harm wildlife and farmed animals. The rise in popularity of faux fur, for example, was a direct result of efforts to educate the public about the cruelty of harvesting animals for their pelts. Similarly, animal rights groups shone the light on the practices of many cosmetics companies that routinely tested makeup on animals and caused untold anguish and pain.

 

Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes

Although women are increasingly aware of animal testing methods and choose to support cosmetics companies that are committed to cruelty free and animal free testing, women are often less educated about makeup brushes. The animal hair that forms the bristles of many makeup brushes is often purchased from the same suppliers that engage in cruel fur harvesting practices. In fact, all but about a dozen companies in the U.S. have animal hair makeup brushes in their lines.

 

Technology and Taklon

This fact is perplexing not only because the support of cruelty free products continues to grow, but also because technology is now so advanced that synthetic and natural fiber makeup brushes are superior to animal hair brushes in both functionality and durability. For example, Taklon is a synthetic fiber that is far superior to animal hair in makeup brushes. With animal hair, makeup, dead skin cells, and other contaminants can easily get caught in the cuticles of the animal hair, allowing bacteria to grow and making the brushes unsanitary. Taklon, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hair cuticle and has antibacterial properties, making it much better for the skin.

 

In addition to its antibacterial properties, Taklon is superior to animal hair makeup brushes because of its versatility. Again, the cuticles in animal hair cause streaking when makeup brushes are used for creams or liquids. In contrast, Taklon can be created in textures ranging from extremely soft to very coarse, making it perfect for the application of powders, creams, and liquids.

 

Synthetic Brushes for Everyone

You don’t have to be a vegan to buy cruelty free cosmetics and makeup brushes. As awareness of all environmental issues – from global warming to animal cruelty – increases, conscious consumers will increasingly choose to purchase products that reflect a solid commitment to preserving our planet and its species.

 

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Why We Were Never Meant to Eat Grains

Variety of fresh vegetables on display in grocery store

Contrary to popular belief, humans were never meant to eat grains. Let’s take a little peek back at our origins to see why we were never meant to eat grains.

Back in the Stone Age, our ancestors were already built like today’s humans. They were hunter-gatherers, subsisting on fruit, vegetables, and meat. Back then, our ancestors knew that grains such as wheat and potatoes were inedible in their raw state, and steered clear of them completely.

Here’s why — most grains have elements the scientific world calls “anti-nutrients.” These are the elements that prevent animals such as birds, herbivores, and humans form eating them. Doing so would trigger unsavory reactions in the body chemistry, making us sick.

But then our ancestors discovered agriculture. They learned that cooking grains negated most of the toxins, rendering them safe enough to eat. But while human civilization progressed undeniably since then, it has been found that as humans switched to a grain-based diet; they became shorter, frailer, and more prone to sickness and plague than ever before.

The Industrial Revolution worsened things. As food became more mass-produced, people began eating more and more processed and refined grains. And just recently, after the Food Guide Pyramid was established promoting 6-11 servings of grains a day, obesity and heart disease rates began soaring uncontrollably.

Research after research has shown that grains really don’t have a place in our diet. While it’s safe enough to enjoy a bowl of pasta or a slice of toast or a baked potato

every now and then, grains were never meant to form the foundation of our diet. As time passed we’ve grown more aware of the Do’s and Dont’s of our eating habits and revisited the diets our ancestors thrived on — organically-grown fruit, vegetables, and meat for a more healthy diet and lifestyle.

Which Skin Care Body Lotion To Choose?

How do you know if the weather like snow and cold winds have done damage to your skin? One of them is when you are feeling itchy all over your body. Your skin may or may not be affected negatively by the outdoor elements.

 

Harsh winds and cold temperatures can dry out your skin quickly. This can leave your skin cracked, rough, and itchy. Your hands can especially dry out quickly because they are, often, the part of your body that is most exposed during the colder seasons. Using a moisturizer on a daily basis will help correct dryness and keep skin soft. However, this only works if you are drinking enough water because lotions do not restore moisture, it only helps retain it. Plus, not all lotions are equally effective.

 

There are so many types of skin care body lotion in the market, so how do you know which one will be good for your skin in order to maintain its moisture?

 

Having said that, you are not going to have problem getting a skin care body lotion because it is easily available. It tells us that there are so many of us who are suffering from dry skin.

 

What will you do when your skin is dry and itchy? Scratching is your answer, right? Does it help? No. Why? This is because dry skin occurs deeper than the top layer.

 

Since it is not just the top layer of skin, a couple of applications will not be sufficient. At times, you may only see the result after more than a week, providing you apply the right body lotion and drink lots of water to help in the process.

 

Another point to take note of is not all skin care body lotion will work. It all depends on your skin type because skin does not produce sufficient moisture for the whole year. Therefore it is important to preserve our skin’s moisture by applying at least twice a day.

 

The frequency of applying body lotion varies due to the different types of skin that we have. Different products are targeting different deficiencies in your body, like vitamins and some even contain firming effects for your thighs or hips.

 

To help keep your body soft all year round, make sure you are drinking at least the standard 6 to 8 cups of water each day. This helps keep moisture in your skin, which increases the effectiveness of body lotion. When using body lotion, make sure everything from the ingredients to the scent is right for you.

 

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Beauty Does Not Get Any Easier Than This

You don’t have to be incredibly strict with beauty to fully embrace it. Creating your look should be fun and inventive! It doesn’t need to be strict and regimented.

 

No matter what your skin looks and feels like, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Regardless of your personal beauty regimen, make a habit of always completely removing all your makeup prior to cleaning your face. If you don’t properly clean your face, it can cause clogged pores and often acne.

 

If you’re stuck on what colors to use for eye shadow and lip color, look to your hair! Your hair color can actually have a great influence on what colors will compliment you best. If you are a brunette, try using a dark mahogany eye shadow as a multipurpose tool. This color can be used to fill in your eyebrows, line your upper lashes, and even work to help cover gray roots in your hairline.

 

Like mentioned above, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Before going to bed for the night, part of your routine should be removing the day’s makeup. Gently scrub your face with a warm washcloth with your favorite cleanser. This step is important to keep pores clean and prevent breakouts.

 

Substitute aloe gel for expensive moisturizers, witch hazel for costly toners and pure castile soap with a clean cloth for those high priced cleansers. When you use organic, natural items, your skin will brighten up instantly. If you need even more moisture, add some vitamin E.

 

To improve your lip color application, always apply lip balm first. The balm will keep your lips soft and moisturized allowing your lip color to go on smoothly. To keep your lipstick or gloss color pure, try using a basic, untinted lip balm.

 

Beauty tip for tired eyes! Eye gel will help reduce the appearance of puffy or tired eyes. Keep this in the refrigerator, and use it for an extra boost if you are really tired. You can feel very tired without having to show it on your face. Just make sure to use the gel on a clean face. Another option is to leave a spoon in the freezer overnight and use that as a cold compress on under eye bags.

 

Put your vegetables on your skin. Vegetables have many health benefits when you eat them, and several more when used as a beauty treatment. Try cool cucumbers or sliced potato on your eyes to relieve puffiness and redness. Use water left from boiling cabbage, broccoli, or kale for a healthy skin toner.

 

Choose your eye shadow based on your eye color to make your eye makeup really pop. If your eyes are blue, shades of brown are the most flattering. For brown eyes, try purple shadows like lavender or plum. If your eyes are green, golden shades are very flattering, as are many shades from the brown family.

 

Avoiding piling on foundation is a great tip in looking more well rested. Try using a tinted moisturizer instead and then apply a beige eye pencil, this will counteract the redness around the eyes and leave you looking refreshed and ready for the day.

 

By using a pressed powder as an eye shadow base before applying the color you can avoid your shadow from creasing during the day. It helps absorb any oils on the eyelids.

 

Beauty is more than precision-based. If it weren’t, then only professionals could buy and use the products. Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to the wonders of beauty and the small tips and tricks you can use to perfect your look. So get out there and start practicing!

 

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