Monday, September 24, 2007

Outdoor Life Road Tour: Kansas City

Just in from Kansas City and the Outdoor Life "Road Tour" last night . . . some highlights of the trip:

Kids running box and glass friction turkey calls at our encouragement while their parents looked on. In several instances, one or the other adult said: "Grandpa has one of those." (Dad didn't in both cases, nor did mom.) I suggested that they make great stocking stuffers, realizing the first time I offered that notion it was likely Santa's secretive business; better than a plush toy that repeatedly utters psycho-babble . . .

Talked to one teenage kid who kept circling around our booth inside the Cabela's store. Turns out he was a turkey hunter, and he wanted to know more about hunting fall flocks. After learning also owns a mixed-breed dog (Shar Pei/Chow) that flushes the big birds, we talked quite a bit about that tradition, covered extensively in my recent book, "The Fall and Winter Turkey Hunter's Handbook" (Stackpole). It's an approach that's legal in Kansas and many other states (the dog finds and flushes flocks before the hunter attempts to call those scattered birds back to the blind where s/he and the canine are concealed). Makes me optimistic when I have a conversation like this. Here's hoping he and his buddies have some great hunts this fall.

Barbecue at a downtown Kansas City eatery/gas station with F&S/OL/SB Sales Development Manager Chris Jette, along with our new buddy Stuart--a KC police officer and recent sweepstakes hunt winner--and gear guy Peter B. Mathiesen. Apart from doing a great job at sales development, Brooklyn boy Jette knows everyone in the competitive eating world, and can hold his own as well. Rock on, Kitchen. Rock on.

This Steelers lifer and NFL fan got so caught up in the Browns-Raiders game on one of the many televisions at the Cleveland airport that I nearly missed my plane back to New England. Seems my watch decided to stop at 6:10, then restart and drag again at 6:15, and again at 6:15, and . . . it was 6:15 the longest time as I glanced at my wrist between commercial breaks (duh!). Second sense told me the 7:10 flight was closer than that.

"What time is it?" I said to the Continental attendant as she stood by the closed ramp door at Gate D7. "6:57," she replied . . . "I'm on that flight," I smiled, "my watched stopped! I like Cleveland but want to sleep in my own bed tonight." Whoever you are, thanks for letting me on after last call . . .

All's well that ends well.