Tag Archives: HIVIZ

Smith & Wesson’s Tony Miele Hunts in Africa

Tony Miele of Smith & Wesson, August 2012

    Tony recently had a trip to Africa and shared this great picture!  He’s been telling me I need to use this gun, the S&W 460XVR on my elk hunt coming up next month.  I’m working my way up to that one….maybe.   Still a little intimidated by the caliber, but then I haven’t actually ever shot this either.  Smith does put our HIVIZ sight on the front, along with the hunting scope for this particular application.   I don’t know Tony….I’m sure you could talk me into it.   

Congratulations Tony!  I bet it was a fantastic experience!

This will be a good topic for discussion at our next “L.D.” meetings. 


Wyoming Prairie Dog Hunt: Score!

Dog Hunting north of Laramie, WY

Now I can tell you what the hype is all about for prairie dog hunts!  I just returned from a customer hunt in Wyoming.  We met in Denver, stopped by the HIVIZ offices for a brief tour and meetings before heading up to Albany, WY.   The road sign says it all:A beautiful area and some very nice people!  Of course in a town of 15 people, you either get a great bunch or you are pretty much out of luck for the weekend with your alternative.   The guide met us and took us out the very first evening.  I hadn’t done this before and was a little leery of whether or not I’d even be able to have success at the yardages we would be shooting.  The shots ranged from 110 yards to 650+ yards at the different dog towns we set up at each day.  Driving up, I’m thinking, there’s nothing out there I can see.  Of course you’re talking about a the “blind woman shooting” (I think I’ll make a T-shirt!)….  But do wonders never cease?!  I hit one, then another and another !  Wahoo….. this is kind of cool!

We stayed out just a few hours the first evening and headed back in to the cabin.  The cook had dinner prepared while we settled in and relaxed.  The next morning we got up early…some of us earlier than others.  I’m early riser so I headed out to take a walk down the road from the cabin on the ranch.  Lots of ground squirrels, two young elk, and one lonely badger.  Absolutely gorgeous.

Sunrise from our balcony in Albany

After a huge breakfast, fixed by our character of a cook, Kyle, we headed out about 1 hour drive north to another ranch to set up for a full day of dog hunting.  Four shooters and the guide did some spotting for us.  Now look beyond my scope…. there is a whole lot of what looks like nothing out there.

“Wide Open Spaces…”

So, Brandon, our guide/spotter kept telling me, “you have one…look just left of the white spot by the sage”; or “there’s one in the tall grass”.  “Tall” ….Believe me, there is nothing tall on this prairie!  And white spots and sage bushes describe just about everything you can see!  We had some good laughs at his vague descriptions…  But anyone wanting a lot of trigger time, prairie dog hunting definitely fits the bill.  We had expected 2 full days of hunting for four of us and ended up with that plus 2 half days in addition.  Between the different rifles, the four of us had probably a minimum of 4000 rounds and went through nearly all of it.

It wasn’t the “killing” that was thrilling to me at all.  After all, I did have my reservations about this before hand.  But even while we were there, predators were helping themselves to the spoils.  Lots of birds while we were still shooting were coming in to feast.  The coyotes came in the evenings and you couldn’t tell we had even been in the area.  All the brass was cleaned up before we left the area.

My longest successful shot was just around 550 + yards.  Having my first elk hunt lined up for this fall, this experience really boosted my shooting confidence level.  Afterall, if I can hit this little guy at that distance, surely I can place an accurate shot on an elk at 200 yards or so – right?

Napping?…I think not!

I would highly recommend Texas Specialty Hunts, www.texasspecialtyhunts.com, to anyone looking for a reliable and friendly guide service!

Partnering Passions In the Industry!

Last year we partnered with Banded Productions in the advertising HIVIZ on Chad Belding’s The Fowl Life, www.thefowllife.com, and Dead Dog Walkin’ shows that air on the Sportsman Channel

It is important to be able to find your barrel, cover your target, and have confidence in every squeeze of your trigger. This is why Chad uses HIVIZ Sights day in and day out. Whether it is a blue bird sky, overcast with a low ceiling, or shooting in the dark woods, Chad knows that he can find his target with the use of HIVIZ, www.hivizsights.com.

Chad Belding with Team Maniac

Chad is from Reno, Nevada, raised in a country family filled with love and support.  He grew up with a true interest in athletics and outdoors and following his dad around the Nevada Mountains.  His craving for hunting and the outdoors only grew more intense from then on leading to his mission statement that I think says it all: 

” Passion is our fuel.  This fuel must be directed and focused.  Those who channel their passion will reach achievement in contrast to those who wait for the world to come to them.  We are put here to be the best we can be – we know this.  We are the American hunter, and our fuel comes from our pursuits, our experiences and our lifestyle.  We are the foundation on which our country was built.  We never take nature for granted.  We know we are blessed – we are not entitled.  We will live each day to the fullest never forgetting to express our love to family, friends and the great outdoors.  This is our story.  This is our passion!”

Each week, they chase waterfowl and predators in Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States.  The Fowl Life brings great puddle duck, diver duck, goose, and predator action that will have you wanting the season to begin tomorrow. Chad Belding is joined by Team Maniac members as well as other friends each week as they run the roads and follow their dreams.  They hunt hard, stay safe, respect the animals, and share their lifestyles week in and week out.

HIVIZ is proud to be sponsors of The Fowl Life.  We admire Chad’s energy and love his passion!  I encourage you to tune in to The Fowl Life and Dead Dog Walkin’ shows on the Sportsman Channel.

Saskatchewan Bear Hunt with Marty Fischer

Marty Fischer and I at bear camp.

I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a bear hunt recently in Canada.  This was another first for me and only my second time hunting.  Had I not been prodded by my younger brother from Pennsylvania, who suggested we look for a bear hunt, I may never have done this.  In hind sight I am so glad I did!

My brother had suggested this in early January and while attending SHOT Show a few weeks later one of our HIVIZ Pro Staff members, Marty Fischer, also co-host of TNT Outdoor Explosion, mentioned they were hosting a bear hunt in May in Saskatchewan.  Not knowing which outfitter to go with, or even where to go, this was perfect!

I told Marty we’d take the last two spots they had available for the camp.  I was soon to learn all the ins and outs of traveling with a rifle into Canada.  The outfitter hosting the hunt was helpful but I also researched and was able to get the firearms forms online.  There are only a few ports in Canada where they actually allow you to pre-register your firearm.  Saskatoon Airport was one of those.  I filed the proper paperwork and faxed it to Canadian Customs about 6 weeks prior to the trip.  Receipt of approval was returned via fax about 3 weeks later.  I’m thinking this is a “cake walk” so far!  There is, however, a US Customs form, which I found out upon my return to the US, that I should’ve filled out for getting my rifle back into the US.  There is a registration form with the Homeland Security for firearms. This needs to be filled out and signed by a US Customs official prior to leaving the US….and apparently before arriving at the airport, in other words at the local Customs Office, which for me was in Denver.  I was able to get it back in, but was a little rattled by the Customs Officer and at the same time trying to tow a cooler with the bear hide, gun case and large suitcase all by myself.  So check and be aware of ALL the requirements prior to hunting in Canada.  Makes for less stressful travels!

Eddie, Me, Gregg Miller, and a couple guys from camp: end of day 1

We stayed at Larson Lake Lodge in Spiritwood.  The first day we took our rifles out one at a time to make sure they were still sighted in before the guides would take anyone out.  At about 3:00 PM we broke into groups of two and three per guide to drive to the various stands.  Larson Lake Outfitters hunt over 6600 acres in the area.  With trucks parked we loaded up the quads and headed the rest of the way on small paths through the woods to our tree stands.  Marty went up the tree stand before me and attached his portable stand above where I would be sitting so he could film.  The stand was about 20 feet up.  Marty now settled and camera secured, I headed up and affixed my rifle rest and settled in.  As the guide was readying to leave on his quad, he whispered up for me to load my rifle now, before he left, as bears have been known to come in to the bait even a few minutes after they leave.

Well almost four silent hours and many squirrels later, suddenly there is crashing from behind us.  My adrenaline starts and I think here we go…get ready.  At the same time, I’m thinking that crashing is way too loud and fast for any bear!  A huge moose came crashing through the stand area and ran up the other side of the hill.  Beautiful!!!

Back to silence again, except for thousands of tree frogs and one duck that didn’t quit the entire time…for two more hours and no bear sightings.  It is now about 9:15 PM, starting to get dark and I’m getting a little chilled.  Marty breaks the silence from above and behind me and asks if I still have light in my scope.  Checking, I could still see fine.  No sooner had we stopped whispering, I heard foot steps on the leaves coming in behind us.  I knew immediately we had a bear coming in finally!  I couldn’t believe it!  Two minutes ago I was ready to pack it in for the night!  I got down on my scope and sighted on the bait area, continuing to hear him walking in from behind.  I don’t think Marty heard the footsteps until the bear reached the base of our tree stand.  He stopped just below the stand, sniffed and snorted around the ladder at our foot steps.  I was afraid to move off my rifle to look down at him, thinking I might startle him with too much movement.  It is getting darker out.  I hear him starting to move towards the bait barrel and I finally peek over my rifle and see he is a cinnamon colored bear!  I’m whispering to Marty to make sure he is a big enough bear and Marty is whispering back, “YES!”  Now I have the bear in my scope and this uncontrollable adrenaline hits.  Thank goodness for the rifle rest!  The bear is at the barrel and standing up making his way around the entire barrel.  Before hand, Marty had told me to not shoot right away because he wanted to get as much bear footage on the camera as possible.  So I am waiting a bit…it’s getting darker, …with head down on the scope I’m whispering to Marty, do you have enough footage?  He’s whispering back and both of us being shooters, neither one of us can hear what the other is whispering!  Ok, time for my lone executive decision now as it is getting darker.  I have the perfect shot and a good solid hold, despite the adrenaline rushing through my body still. 

I pulled the trigger and will never forget the view through the scope, almost dark with red muzzle flash and the bear going down!  I was elated!  He went down, struggled to get up and ran a bit.  He made a semi-circle back towards the tree stand…..I’m reloading now just in case, and he drops about 15 feet from where he started.

WOW!  I can’t tell you what a satisfying feeling it was to know I did this on my own.  I was apprehensive prior to the trip, traveling to Canada by myself with firearms and never having shot from a tree stand and at a bear nonetheless.  I am definitely hooked on hunting now!  The people at the lodge were fantastic and I hope to return later next year for an elk hunt with my daughter in tow this time.

                                       Gregg Miller’s beautiful black bear!

Life on the Corporate Side of the Outdoor World

2011 NRA Show, Paul Pluff and Tony Miele from S&W and myself

I truly can’t complain!  I’ve worked in the shooting industry for the past twelve years with HIVIZ Shooting Systems www.hivizsights.com and what a journey it’s been!   Where else can you come to work and over the course of time go from having limited contact with guns growing up to reuglarly competing in shotgun and handgun events….and most recently first of two big game hunts:   one with an industry media gal, Deb Ferns www.thewoma.com, and the other with TNT Outdoor Explosion TV Host www.tntoutdoorexplosion.com and ProStaffer Marty Fischer.

The best of all of this are the contacts and friendships cultivated over the years.  The industry is like an extended family…and the many of the trade shows and competition shoots attended every year are like a huge reunion.  I meet all kinds of truly amazing people in this industry.  Each contact and friendship grows and shapes your existence. 

Is it all fun and glitz?  No, not really, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for any other!  There is a lot of hard work put in behind the scenes and I subscribe to the philosphy that you get out of life what you put into it.   Countless hours behind the desk, sifting through accounts and sales data, trying to make heads and tails out of advertising, coordinating the trade show exhibits and travel arrangements, packing and unpacking crates, waiting in airports when airline schedules don’t go as planned…. I could go on, but you get the idea.  Do I wish I had done something different, heck no!  Would I ever like to try something else?  I love trying new things…cycling, scuba diving, flyfishing, big game hunting…. ahhh, but stories for another time.