MDOWA’s first Blog Blast was quite an event and if you missed it you missed an excellent time.
We need to express thanks to all of our sponsors. Our signature sponsor, Field & Stream Shop, and all our other sponsors: Hagerstown Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.visithagerstown.com), Hamilton Nissan, Twigg Cycles, BP Lesky Distributing, National Archery in the Schools Program, Kid Magic Game Calls, Load Up N Limit Out, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. They are a special group and deserve our support.
Our signature sponsor, Field & Stream Shop (a subsidiary of Dick’s Sporting Goods) provided four kayaks with a bunch of accessories, fishing rods and accessories, and some other accessories and product. Field & Stream also demonstrated some different tackle boxes, the F&S 370 and 360 Pro Mollie Tackle bags, and some totally collapsible chest waders that fold-up to the size of a small purse, quite a different product as they are not bulky or heavy. My mental image of the kayaks did not match the reality of what was presented. Even kayak users/owners were surprised by a couple of the kayaks, especially the F&S Shadow Caster 12’3” Angler kayak, long and very wide with a flat platform suitable for standing and casting. F&S had it quite decked out with some neat accessories. Many of the fishing people attending thought that it would be great for float fishing. Check out their web site at www.fieldandstreamshop.com. Three of the kayaks will be available over the next year or so for members to use for a couple of weeks or so, depending on demand. Contact Matt Schwartz to schedule use of one of the kayaks. The kayak that was awarded as a prize was won by Kat.
The Friday sessions depended on which group you ended up in; some traveled to Fort Frederick State Park first to work with the kayaks or ride the jet boat. Others went to a remote farm pond to work with the Load Up N Limit Out staff. Load Up N Limit Out’s premise is helping people discover different, possibly unexplored areas and places to fish. They addressed some of the things to consider, like asking permission, possibly swapping services for permission to fish on private property. Check out their web site at www.loadupnlimitout.com.
The kayaks were floated in the Big Pool. Most of the day was dry and clear, but one group (the one I was with) got dumped on, about 15 minutes of intense rain.
The jet boat was provided by Allen Peterson, a friend of Joe Byers. The jet boat has an inboard motor and no prop. The source Allen gets them from builds each from scratch out of heavier material than normal boats. I think the boat was a 21 footer. When up at full trim it takes 5 inches or less of water depth, which was a good thing because that part of the Potomac was only 15 to 24 inches deep. When the boat was down and idling along we bottomed out several times. Kick up the speed and it would lift right up and clear all the rocks. It was quite a ride, ripping across the water at 35 mph.
The evening ended with dinner at the Fort Frederick pavilion, followed by a presentation on Famers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (www.fhfh.org), it is a really great program and deserves all our support.
Saturday’s activities included driving 4X4 trucks, quad ATVs, National Archery in the Schools Program presentation, and Calling All Game by Kid Magic Game Calls.
Hamilton Nissan of Hagerstown provided two 2017 Nissan Titan 4X4 pick-up trucks. This is an extremely rare opportunity as you seldom get the opportunity to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle in real 4-wheel conditions; dirt roads, mud steep hills, real back country. Our participants really put them through the paces and managed to keep the Nissan guy on pins and needles. Visit them at www.hamiltonnissan.com.
Twigg Cycles of Hagerstown provided three different quad vehicles for the attendees to run through the back country; mud, muck, hills. Again, not something most people get to do. Some of the attendees really made use of this opportunity and ran the ATVs all over the back country. Visit them at www.twiggcycles.com.
The National Archery in the Schools Program provided two members of the Maryland state champion middle school team and the coach to present how the program worked. It teaches the students discipline and how to focus. It is available to all students as it does not require any special athletic ability to participate. In the ten plus years that the program has existed and the over 3 million students involved each year there has never been an injury more serious than string burn on the arm from not holding the bow correctly. It is quite a program and needs the support of all as it is a special program. Check out their web site at https:naspschools.org.
Kid Magic Game Calls was started because the co-founder’s son (8 years old) thought that game calls should be fun designs. They have some game calls that are quite different, very affordable, and made in the US. Check out their web site at https:kidmagicgamecalls.com.
At the MDOWA Board meeting following the Blog Blast, it was decided to try and do more activities similar to this blog blast. Don’t miss out on the next activity as you can never tell how much fun you might have, what you learn, and new friends you might meet.