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What DIY Sportsman is all about

 

DIY (Do it yourself) – is a term used to describe building, modifying, or repairing of something without the aid of experts or professionals. – Wikipedia

sports•man  noun, plural -men.

1. a man who engages in sports, especially in some open-air sport, as hunting, fishing, racing, etc.

2. a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.

What we are all about…

Welcome to DIY Sportsmen. You may be thinking to yourself “Great another clown telling us how to do something or what to buy.” Well my brothers and sisters that is not the case here. I am not even remotely close to a professional sportsman, unless of course constant failure at my obsession is now a career path with compensation.  Sign me up; I am ready for my interview. I
also currently do not have any products I am selling. I can only recommend that which I have tried and have firsthand knowledge of. This does not mean that I don’t know what I am doing. I have a solid background in various sports, outdoor activities and a great deal of ingenuity and an undying nerve to push through regardless of complications or roadblocks. I am an avid craftsman that completes most projects with a skill set far better than most of today’s “handymen” but not well enough to be considered a professional contractor. My frugal nature compels me to learn new skills that could otherwise be done by a professional service provider. I have an old school DIY attitude reminiscent of the baby boomer generation and those before it.

In addition to my handy nature motivated by my inability to pay someone else to do that which I can generally do better myself,
I also have a relentless passion for the outdoors which I use my ingenuity and DIY attitude to enjoy to its fullest. This passion goes back as far as I can remember and starts with my family as many others can share I am sure.  This is odd though considering my father was neither an outdoorsman or handy at all. My grandfather never taught me and yet here I am with an obsession for everything outdoors.

I believe it was an obsession that grew out of circumstance and necessity, two factors that seem to motivate me often. My
parents had a knack for traveling across country when we were young. I come from a family of five. I have 3 brothers of which I am the eldest, wisest, strongest, most stubborn, and the list goes on. If you ask the other two, I am sure this will end in some sort of skirmish of which I will surely dominate. My father is an insurance litigator and my mother is a nurse that holds more
certifications and qualifications than I know to represent here. I come from a typical conservative background. My parents both grew up in Michigan in the Detroit area and were the first to go to college in both families. My mother went to Ann Arbor and my father went to Eastern Michigan. They moved to California in the 70’s to pursue the west coast lifestyle and live outside of the Midwest. They moved right to L.A. eventually settling in Moreno Valley once they had my brother. We were a typical poor family that worked its way up the ladder. My parents loved to travel so we went everywhere. My first memories are of the redwoods and the Sequoia National Park. I remember nature hikes and chasing around looking for the Ewoks only to be scolded and told to stay on the paths unless I want to “run into men with guns guarding their crops.” I didn’t understand that one until I was a bit older.We went camping everywhere. We traveled to Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado you name it we did it. It was
always camping or going to see some mission or learning about some historical monument. When I was in third grade we moved back to the Midwest to Wisconsin. The traveling continued but my parents moved to a rural town on a couple of acres. This is where my outdoor education started to hit over drive. I was too young to drive; I was too far away from the city and I was bored. I had to figure it out. Not until I had kids did I truly appreciate the simplicity and intrinsic value of this kind of fun and hidden education.

As the years went on, I continued to push the bar for gaining information on the outdoors. For fun we went fishing, hiking, played war, built elaborate forts, explored the fields, swamps and more. My parents also pushed us towards conventional sports. My brother and I got into competitive swimming for many years. We were very good. We went to nationals and some of our team members became Olympic alternates. I got burnt out on swimming and around this time my brother and I discovered downhill skiing. We were hooked immediately. We did and still do to this very day absolutely love skiing. Skiing is the only sport for me where I can charge hard as hell on the verge of death and somehow while doing it time slows down and it feels like I am in a dream. It is surreal. I eventually took to standard competitive sports like football, basketball, and track and used my leisure time to pursue my other non typical sports activities. My two favorite sports to participate in to this day are football and skiing. No other sports can touch them for me. I went to college started at University of Wisconsin Whitewater and transferred to University of Wisconsin Madison. I joined a fraternity, met my current best friend and partner in crime for most of my outdoor sportsman activities.

How do I find a guy in college at one of the most liberal colleges in the US that likes to hunt, fish, kill, skin, trap and more? Oddly enough a lot of my trust fund friends and fraternity brothers did sporting activities. It was simply on a level I did not understand or could afford. I have fond memories of that house and lifelong friends even till this day but there was one that stuck out. The majority of people that lived in the fraternity house had taken to interior decorating. I get it; you raise your  room’s game you get a higher class of the prey we were all hunting for better class of girls. I simply did not have the funds to redecorate my room in early nineties east cost frat boy so I went with my DIY approach. If it on the curb and looks decent and I can fix, it is mine. Slap some paint on the wall some catchy posters and a mini bar with a loft suspended from the rafters by chains and we are in business. That was me trying to keep up. It was a sad attempt. My new neighbor just fresh off of pledging was moving in a couple of doors down. I poked my head in and what did I see? I saw a black bear on one wall a decent size buck on another wall, a Playstation already hooked up, Sublime blaring out of the speakers and my soon to be best buddy doing his brand of interior
decorating. My girlfriend and I offered to help. He said sure and we asked what we could do. He wanted a border around his room. This made no sense why would a guy with taxidermy on the wall want a border on the wall? He pointed to the make shift coffee table. There was a dozen or so empty tins of Skoal and some double sided tape. Oh yeah, this makes sense now. My girlfriend laughed and instead of judging mentioned,

“You are going to need a lot more than that.”

He scoffed, “No problem,” and pointed to the garbage bag full of hundreds of empty Skoal tins.
Needless to say, regardless of the nagging of the fairer sex we both have yetto truly kick chewing.

Looking back now we both consider the irony of our situation. Today we both are obsessed with hunting and fishing, especially ice fishing. We almost never used the ridiculous hot bed of activity less than 100 yards away. Not only did we live on Lake Mendota a 9,800 acre awesome lake; we lived in University Bay one of the hot beds of fishing activity. Barring skinny
dipping and sinking a rival fraternity’s canoe in the lake one drunken evening, I never once did anything that resembled fishing in my backyard. We surely do not regret the skinny dipping because there are just some memories too priceless to avoid making. And let’s remember our friends, circumstance and necessity. It just so happened that in Madison while living in a fraternity it was necessary to drink a lot and party constantly with my friends and girls.

Let us fast forward a few years. I am currently a father of three and my buddy is a father of two. We live in the same city Oconomowoc, WI. We didn’t plan it; it just happened. We are two grumpy old men that fish, hunt and argue constantly. He is a chiropractor and I am a marketing consultant. We share a 65 acre plot of hunting land less than a 30 minute drive away. We live
in Lake Country, WI; we have over 30 lakes of varying size and popularity within 20 minutes. We have numerous parks and rivers and streams. We have all four seasons. We both  are constantly bombarded by the realities of making our wives, our families, our bank accounts and our need to do as much outdoor activity as humanly possible happen at the same time. My buddy and I come from two different backgrounds. He has been hunting his whole life. His father in law is regarded as a very top notch hunter and is pushing for the grand slam. I was introduced to hunting officially over 5 years ago on a Holiday Hunt in
Grant County, WI. I have been hooked ever since. I come from a conservative but open to experience background and was taught to problem solve with logic. You may be asking yourself, why is all of this information important? Well a couple of reasons, first I hope this website turns into a thriving business because I want nothing more than to be paid to do what I love. I believe that it is
important to be honest with clients so they know what to expect. You are all my clients. The other reason pertains to the two definitions at the beginning of this article: DIY and sportsman. I am competitive by nature and do not like to fail. I have been scouring the earth for any information I can get my hands on to increase my chances at improving the success by which I hunt, fish, ski whatever. I watch all of the TV shows, I read all of the magazines. I am also a tech nut and a bit of a believer in continuous improvement. I am very logical and do not automatically accept anything for fact right away. As such I have
gotten into countless arguments on tactics and other methods to go about anything with my best friend. His bottom line is this,

“If you want to know something ask the most successful guy in the room and none of that stuff on TV and in the magazines work.”

I see a couple of problems with that. First the best guy in the room might not agree with his counterpart in another room and a lot of that stuff on TV and in magazines work but there is a lot of details that go into making it successful in a real life situation. For many of us we do not have thousands of acres of private land. We do not have limitless funds. We do not have a father or grandfather to guide us. So where do you go to get your info? The web, magazines, old guy at bar…who knows? The problem with the industry is that everything on TV is portrayed in a somewhat unrealistic light and everything is put on TV because of heavy sponsorship. I am not bad mouthing this only being realistic.

My goal with this website is to create a media outlet for those of us out there that share a similar background with me and my buddy. Those that want to hunt, fish, boat, camp and more but don’t know every last detail or have a lot of money and need to figure it out. I want to show what works and what doesn’t and why. I want to get some debates going over different methods. I want be consumer reports of products used by real people for real situations. I would like to see detailed information on how to do it yourself in one simple location. I am only one man and will need help so by all means please subscribe to my blog, follow the website and make suggestions. Eventually we will figure this stuff out and have a fun time along the way.

Gun Season Wisconsin 2011

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Well it came and went very quickly. 2011’s gun season in Wisconsin was very unsatisfying. Opening morning I heard fewer shots than I ever have.