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Late Summer Blues... Preparing & Safety in 2018/2019

It's been a long Spring/Summer in the Bird Zone Shop folks! We thank you for a great season with some great specimens to boot! The dog days of summer are here! If your like me, it's too warm and nice out to even think about getting the duck boat out. Why fix all the broken items from last year... it's not cold and miserable enough out yet... right? Remember when the throttle cable froze up last year, those long lines had to be cut to avoid getting tangled in the motor, the anchor was lost in 100 feet of water on Lake Michigan? Yep... me too! Time to start thinking about those fixes now! I had the decoys out about two weeks ago, man was I surprised! What a mess! Full disclosure... nope I was not surprised.

Rather than waiting until it's too late, start getting those rigs ready to roll. That leaves more time for scouting when the season is actually just around the corner. Some of us could consider our prep, scouting and rigging a part time job in this hobby! Use those extra nice weather weekend and week nights to your advantage while you still can!

Furthermore... have you ramped up your safety game in your offshore boats yet? Some of us are getting old, have kids, and even happy spouses that stay home while were out in the elements! We need to start thinking about more than ourselves out there. "The Bird Zone" (our tender boat) has recently received a few upgrades and necessary safety minimums this summer. For starters, we purchased a Marine VHF Radio with DSC (Digital Selective Calling), with a simple push button distress call feature built in. This works in series with our Lowrance GPS and notifies the Coast Guard of our exact location in case of an emergency with the push of a button. It takes a little tinkering to get it all to communicate properly, but it's well worth it. You need to get your vessel MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) registered for starters. Google will get you through it... it always does. Once you have that registration number, you can program your VFH radio so that in an emergency, with a push of a button, the help knows who exactly you are. Not to mention if the VFH is communicating with your GPS... where exactly you are! Don't skimp on this simple step, get your radio set up properly!

To take things a step further, we added an ACR Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to our boat this year. This product is amazing and is made by ACR. Surely there are several brands, but with some research we found this to be not only priced fantastic for what it does but also had great reviews. We are not paid or sponsored by ACR in any way. We just feel for the money, this is the most effective and simple device to have on hand when hunting/fishing off shore. So many variables are out of our control out there. A simple push of a button... and someone is coming to get you. Could it get any better? Do yourselves and families a favor... BUY A PLB! Visit the site here ->

We are looking forward to getting to know more and more of you as we continue to grow here in The Zone. Let's watch each others backs and keep safety a number one concern out there! Have phone numbers and know others that hunt the same landings. Look out for one another. If someone needs help... be the first to offer. You never know when it's you on the other end!

Enjoy the rest of the summer BZT fans, catch you on the back side of the photograph! Remember, shoot your birds for mounting as close to the end of season as possible in Wisconsin. You will be glad you did. I always tell people, a Hen Mallard shot on the last day of season will look better on the wall than a 10 year old drake Wood Duck shot on the 1st day of season...

Rock and Roll.....



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