Tuesday, March 16, 2010



As you’ve been seeing by visiting our website, you’ve noticed that UNJ has picked up several sponsors, several big sponsors. What does that really mean though? A lot of folks see a sponsor and just think “Money” or “Free Product”. They never think of the reasons behind the sponsorship. Up North Journal was created, and continues to be, an entertainment venue designed to educate, inform and entertain others about a heritage that sometimes gets lost in the politics. And maybe, just maybe, UNJ inspires you to get outside and enjoy that heritage for yourself, your family or your friends.

Companies provide sponsorship for a couple reasons. Either they see an opportunity for marketing or they see something they believe in and want to promote that growth. Far too many times it’s not the later that finds support. With Up North Journal, we’ve fallen into a realm between both reasons. What UNJ provides is a fresh and unique group of folks doing what they love. They’re not out to only harvest the biggest and the best. They’re not out to promote products because they’re paid to do so. They believe in what they do and in what they use.

Dead Down Wind, one of the first supporters of our show, has several products that our staff won’t be caught without. They’re a company that designs and creates they’re own product with all the research that goes into it and they stand behind it. We tried it and we believe in it. Then there’s G5. G5 was one of the first companies that jumped up and provided UNJ not only with product, but on-site support as we did our first (and then second) broadhead review. No qualms about using their equipment and staff with other companies products, just straight help, offered without strings attached. UNJ pulled no punches on the product reviews even when the G5 product was not in the #1 spot on a specific test. Even so, most of the UNJ staff was shooting G5 by hunting season. Next, you can look at a company that saw what UNJ was doing and realized that we could help bring a lot of exposure to their new product, Dragonfire Thermogrips. Once again, UNJ evaluated the product first to make sure this was something we would use and believe in. Is it ever! Adding Talk Hunting to the mix was a no brainer. The folks on TalkHunting.com follow a lot of the same philosophy we promote at UNJ, especially the family friendly environment. TH is entertaining, educational and full of support for almost everything you could possibly need. They’re like a big family, a place to tell your stories, show your pictures and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. Talk Hunting was the way UNJ was introduced to Wabash Valley Whitetails and Mikes Magic. Is it really magic? Ask anyone who’s used it and I’ll bet you get the same answer….You Bet! Americas Best Bowstrings came on board from some interaction between UNJ and their bowstrings. Again, after investigating what ABB was all about and their work ethics, UNJ felt they would be a perfect fit in our sponsor family. Quality products, super high tolerances and quality control. One of the few companies that really stand behind their product with pride, willing to back it up on paper. Leupold stepped up to the plate as a sponsor and UNJ had no questions about a company with such a long history of manufacturing top line quality optics in America. As hunters and outdoors persons know, Leupold is the leader in quality hunting and sporting optics built right here in the USA. They produce a line of TBR rangefinders that have revolutionized the archery and gun sports. Our next sponsor has already had quite a bit of involvement with UNJ as a majority of our staff members are also on their Pro Staff. Mossy Oak is one of those companies that can pick and choose who they wish to support and by picking UNJ, they’ve obviously seen a group they want to help grow. Mossy Oak really is run by a group of outdoors enthusiasts that are laid back and willing to spend more time in the woods and fields getting dirty than they are behind a desk. Mossy Oak is our special supporter of our soon to be created, Youth Page/Program. For UNJ, Mossy Oak was already part of the team and now they’re official. Up North Journal has a sponsor that is our Title sponsor, this sponsorship is by a company that stepped up and made a major commitment to help support what we do and how we do it. A lot of thought was put into selecting this company as our Title sponsor and a lot of work and trust has gone into this relationship. This is a relationship created with PSE Archery. PSE is one of the largest archery bow manufactures in the world. Their bows are some of the best. If you’ve read any of our other journals about archery equipment, you’ll know that UNJ always supports trying gear before you buy it. Archery gear, especially a bow, is something that needs to fit the user, not the other way around. Every archer has his or her own preferences about equipment. At Up North Journal, our staff has chosen PSE to be our bow of choice. With all of our different shooting styles and forms, PSE has a bow to fit every member of our staff. Their Pro Line bows and their Main Line bows both offer a level of quality that is hard to beat. PSE has chosen to support Up North Journal in our ideals and our support of getting everyone involved in the outdoors… One Adventure at a Time.

So, when you visit our web site, listen to our podcasts or watch our vidcasts, take a closer look at our sponsors. You’ll never see a sponsor we don’t believe in, ever. You’ll never see a sponsor that doesn’t believe in the principles of the Up North Journal. You’ll never see a sponsor that doesn’t believe in the heritage we promote. It’s not about money or product, it’s about a way of life and the dreams waiting to be found.

Our Mission Statement:

The Up North Journal will be focused on Family, Conservation, Preservation, Education, Safety, Entertainment, Advancement, & Growth of Anything Wholesome In The Outdoors. Showing America And The World That The Outdoors Is Our Best Answer To Keeping Our Youth On The Straight & Narrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Diabetes and Hunting; Journal Episode 3

Well, I’ve talked about going through the discovery period and the changes it created in my everyday life. Now I’ll give you a little insight into what I go through with my outdoor activities.

First and foremost; have an emergency plan. For a local hunt or a trip far away, an emergency plan should be in place….just in case. The first part of the plan is to make sure someone knows where you’re going and where you’ll be. Provide them with a time table of what to expect. Even when I’m hunting the public land just down the road, my wife knows that I’ll be out of the tree at dark, it’s about a mile walk and 5 minutes driving. She also knows that I will call her if I’m running late unless I’m stuck in the woods waiting for game to clear out… then I’ll call her. When I went to Colorado for a hunt, I mapped out the travel plan, contact numbers for my hunting buddy, the local Sheriff, Police, State Trooper contact number and the local Hospital(s). Does it sound a little intensive getting all this information? Yup, but every minute counts and since I know were I’m going to be, if something happens, I might need to be found. Once I’ve established the hunt plan information the next step is to make sure my hunting partner (if any) knows what to do and what to look for. I make sure he/she has a bit of candy or something to eat that is mostly simple sugars in case my glucose drops to low. I then tell them what to do if my glucose is too high. I tell them the signs to look for, like changes in moods or disorientation and the shakes, or exhaustion/tiredness. Hearing or understanding problems or problems regulating my temperature could be signs of diabetic emergency. Even if I seem to be using the “facilities” too much is a sign that something might be wrong. I make sure they understand they might need to be patient with me incase I’m having problems but don’t realize it and if I realize it things need to happen immediately. An example is my recent trip to the ATA. I made sure everyone in the group knew I was diabetic and what I would need to pay attention to throughout the day. I warned them that if we got busy on the floor with interviews and such I might forget to eat lunch which could be very bad. I also appraised them of when I had taken my insulin shot and what I would need to do to make sure my glucose did not drop too low.

So, the first step is to provide an emergency plan. The second step is to communicate with those around me. The third step, a plan for myself.

This is the plan that will do the most work to keep me enjoying the outdoors for many years to come. First, I need to figure out if I have the right gear. Choosing the right gear is very important. For a diabetic, the wrong gear is not necessarily a mistake that can cause discomfort but one that could cause injury or even death. With diabetes I start with my feet. My feet are the farthest part from my senses and can easily cause a great deal of problems. I need to make sure I have socks that not only cushion and allow air circulation, but also socks that provide the right level of warmth or coolness. Over the socks go boots and the right kind of boots are vital to a successful time in the outdoors. If I went on my Colorado trip with a poorly fitting pair of boots, unlike most hunters that might get blisters or sores on their ankles/heals, diabetics could develop infections. Infections could quickly lead to life threatening damage to your feet and then to your internal organs as the infection spreads through your circulatory system. Have you ever jumped off a stump or ledge and bruised your foot? What happens to a diabetic if they bruise their foot and it causes a decrease in an already poor blood flow through your toes? How about a possibility of loosing your toes or foot, yikes! So a good boot is critical and a good broken in boot is vital for any long range hunting. Take care of your feet, they need to carry you back out of the woods and mountains.

Next, I need to make sure I have the right clothing for the adventure. It can be hot or cold and I need to make sure the cloths I plan on are adequate for the trip. Overheating can tax the body and being too cold can really cause organ problems as the body gathers heat from your extremities and shuts down. Cloths need to be comfortable too, don’t wear cloths that constrict too much and watch out for buckles and straps that might cause bruising. This includes your packs too. Watch out for straps and make sure the weight is balanced and not prone to cause rubbing or abrasions. I’ve found that as a diabetic, injuries are very slow to heal and scaring is very common from the littlest of things.

Now, it’s time for the “what if” game. What if I get cut? What if I fall down and sprain or break a bone? What if I….get the idea? When I plan my medical kit it’s always a little more comprehensive than most. I make sure I have extra syringes, bandages, needle and thread (sutures). Do I have any other medications I might need? I make sure I have matches and a lighter for fires, an emergency blanket, compass and gps. Lots of water! Diabetics can dehydrate very easily so water is extra important and so is the right food. I love the newest gadgets that make my life easier in the outdoors but I always make sure I have the means to provide my safety at the most basic level within easy reach. The toughest part of writing this journal is trying to remember all the things I’ve trained myself to do without thinking about it. Those are the things that can make your adventure a great adventure. I will probably update this journal as I remember those “things” . For those with diabetes, I hope you take care of your health and have a safe and successful outdoors adventure. For those who don’t or those who hunt with someone that does, I hope you’ve learned a little bit more of what diabetes means to a hunter and outdoors person.

Is my pack a little heavier than normal? Yup. Do I put more work in to planning a hunt? Yup. I figure it’s a small price to pay to make sure a hunt of a lifetime doesn’t turn into a memorial on a stone.