Hey everyone.  I first need to start off by apologizing for the lack of content lately.  This is unacceptable and not fair to you as followers of my blog.  A lot has been going on which has led me to sit down and write this post.  I have been thinking a lot lately about the best way to create a balance between work, family and all of my outdoor passions. All of these things are important to me and here is what is going on in these areas of my life and how I plan to create this balance to benefit you my followers!

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Work

     A little over a year ago I had to move on from my attempt at working in the outdoor industry full-time.  Working the night shift was becoming increasingly difficult on me and my family.  I was able to obtain a position with a local utility company in their billing department.  This past summer, about nine months into my new job, I was offered a promotion to billing manager.  I absolutely love my new position and it has given me a sense of accomplishment in my professional life.  Now, there is one part of my job that has been difficult to deal with. The vacation policy leaves something to be desired, especially for the outdoorsman.  I have to use half of my vacation in January, February, March (our slow time) and can not use any during October, November, December (our busy time). Yep! Ouch! Now if I didn’t love my job so much this could definitely be a deal breaker but I am learning to adjust and deal with it.

 

Family

     Above all else, my family is the most important thing in the world to me!  The kids are growing fast and my wife and I celebrated 8 wonderful years of marriage.  With my current vacation issues, my wife has been extremely supportive and understanding.  Allowing me to hunt as much as possible on the weekends during hunting season.  I was fortunate to be able to harvest two deer this year with my new Darton bow (we’ll save the details for another post!) and limited time in the woods.  I am even more excited with the fact that I was able to get my son in the woods with me on a couple hunts as well! When I first started the blog I was spending way too much time getting things going and I was neglecting the time I needed to spend with my family.  After realizing this, I think I went to the other extreme and have neglected creating meaningful content for you! Hence, my reason for sitting down and creating this post!

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The great outdoors

     This past year has really been a great year for me in the outdoors!   I have been able to harvest a few nice animals and provide food for my family as well as gain new experiences.  This past Spring I completed the Wisconsin Trapper Education course.  This was a great experience and I look forward to sharing my journey into the world of trapping with you!  To help share that journey and my outdoor adventures with you, I have purchased a small video camera and hope to put together some short clips of my experiences along with the writing! A few new Company Spotlights are in the pipeline and will be coming soon! I would also like to start posting a regular video segment but I need your help!  What do you guys want to see? Reviews, product demos, hunting/fishing tips? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email at steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com

     Again, I apologize for the lack of content recently but I assure you that I am back and have a plan in place to keep the balance between work, family and the great outdoors in check!  Stay tuned for an exciting 2017!

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Advanced Treestands 

By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

 I started Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands to combine my passion for bowhunting and the lessons learned from working in engineering and product management roles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control over the last 15 years.  It all started when my wife went with me to hang treestands ten years ago, and when I got done she said, “I never knew how dangerous it was for you to be hanging stands.”  The next day she went and ordered me a Hunter Safety System Harness, and I started working on developing a revolutionary system for hanging treestands. That’s how it all began. 

What do your customers say about your products?

Once our customers experience the simplicity of hanging our rock solid treestands, they love them.  We’ve heard things like, “I no longer dread hanging or taking down stands thanks to the “Take-Down” technology”,   “I’ve never felt safer in a lockon treestands”, and “ I’ll never use cheap hang on stands again, my family is counting on me to return at the end of the day.” 

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What are your most popular products and who is your target audience?

Our Take-Down i2 and s2 are our most popular.  Now that we have bowhunters from all over the US using our products, they love the idea of purchasing additional stems instead of a complete treestand.  They set multiple stems across their property and then use the same seat and platform at each location.  This deters theft and also keeps your buddies from hunting your spot while you’re at work all week!

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Our target customer is the hardcore bowhunter who wants the best gear on the market to help maximize their time in the field.  As fellow bowhunters, we understand that your entire season may come down to one opportunity and you need gear that performs.   Furthermore, our families are counting on us to return from the field. When safety in the field is the priority, we have more and more customers looking to Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands.  

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What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love being able to take my professional background in mechanical engineering and project management and apply that to a company and product line that contributes to an industry I am passionate about.  Knowing that we have been blessed to take an idea from paper to the marketplace is truly a dream come true.  God has placed some amazing people in my life to keep this journey moving forward, and we are excited to see what the future holds for Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands. 

What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

I was blessed to be raised in a family who planned Thanksgiving dinner around when the guys would be in from hunting and a father who took me fishing every time he went to the lake.  Now that I too have children, it’s amazing to see them share in the same hunting heritage that I grew up experiencing.  My son just turned six in March so he’s been looking forward to the Arkansas youth season for spring turkey.  Even though he missed his first turkey, it was an experience that I will never forget.  It definitely ranks up there with one of the finest memories I’ve shared in the outdoors. 

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Contact Info:

Website:   www.advancedtreestands.com
Facebook: Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands
Twitter: @advancedstands
Instagram: @advancedtakedowntreestands
YouTube: Advanced Treestands

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Comments from Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits:

Ryan Wheelington, president and founder of Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands has been able to combine his professional knowledge / experience with his passion for hunting!  After reading over Ryan’s answers to the Spotlight questions, I couldn’t help but notice how closely this aligns with the motto here at Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits. “Share Your Passion, Pursue Your Dreams”  This is exactly what Ryan has been able to do with the Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands!  With two young children myself, I also admire Ryan’s desire to share his love for the outdoors with his children!

 

This is a segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com.  I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!

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By Steve Wall

Be sure to check out these previous posts!

Chasing my Dream

Pursuing my Dream Part 1

As I said in Pursing my Dream Part 1, I plan on using this series to keep you updated on changes as I pursue my dream of working in the outdoor industry.  Back in February I made a very big step in that pursuit by accepting a position with a large sporting goods retailer.  This was an overnight position in the back-end receiving area.  This position allowed me to handle and numerous hunting a fishing products that I love to use myself.  I loved every minute!

As of 5 o’clock this morning, I have left this position to pursue a position that will be a better fit for me and my family at this time.  I have accepted a position (not within the outdoor industry)  that will allow me to work a similar schedule as my wife and will be much better suited for our young family!  This position will allow me to spend valuable time in the evening and on the weekends with my family without feeling tired from very little sleep.  I am willing to admit that this was not working for my family and a change was needed. Even though I am making this change, I do not regret my decision to leave my previous job and take an overnight job.  This was a decision I felt was the right one to make at the time and I still believe this.  Although it was a physical labor job, it provided my with many invaluable experiences that will help me throughout my career! This change does not at all affect my passion for the outdoors, if anything it is making it stronger!

Don’t worry, Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits is not going anywhere!!! I would first like to thank each and every one of you who has followed me though this amazing experience.  Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits is growing and reaching places far beyond my home state of Wisconsin.  I truly enjoy interacting with everyone though various social media channels and by email.  I will provide links to these at the bottom of this post!  I am hoping that this career change will also allow for more time to provide you with even more great content.  I am starting to expand into using more videos in the blogs and will hopefully be able to bring you a couple of archery hunts on video this fall!  This expansion into the video world has allowed me to build upon my video editing knowledge!  I hope to continue building upon this knowledge as I put together videos both for myself and others!

Starting Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits has allowed me to meet and connect with some great people and companies in the outdoor industry!  Many of these connections have turned into great personal relationships.  These connections have allowed me to share with you some great companies through the Company Spotlight segment.  This has been a very popular segment and more Spotlights are coming soon!  Being able to share my passion for the outdoors and the passion of others gives me great satisfaction! 

I also would like your feedback on what you would like to see on the Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits page.  I want you to be a part of this growth!  Would you like to see guest posts? Select advertising/sponsors? T-shirts/ hats/ decals? Send me your feedback through any of the social media channels below!

Thank you again for following along on this amazing journey and stay tuned for many great things to come!

Don’t miss another post, enter your email at the bottom of the page to be notified of every new post!

Please connect with me via social media!!

Facebook: Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits

Twitter: @wioutdorpursuit

Instagram: @wioutdoorpursuts

YouTube: Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits

Email: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com

 

By Steve Wall

Why do you hunt?  Hunting has been around as long as humans have!  This tradition has stemmed from our necessity to provide food for our families.  I started thinking about this question this past weekend while I was out turkey hunting.  It was a tough weekend and the Toms were not very responsive.  However, some of the other experiences I encountered on this hunt gave me the inspiration to share with you why I hunt and get you thinking about why you hunt!

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When answering the question “Why do you hunt”, I need to start by saying, to me hunting is not always about the kill!   Sure, a kill is the end goal, but the drive behind why I hunt is much more!  For starters, a big reason why I hunt is the experience.  Everything from the preparation to the processing of the animal.  I truly enjoy learning about the animal I am trying to harvest and what it takes to be successful.  Harvesting an animal is no easy task.  We are entering their environment where they are familiar with their surroundings.  I love watching and learning why an animal acts a particular way.  I love learning from my past experiences to make myself a better hunter.

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Another big reason that I hunt is for all of the unique sights and sounds we experience while in the woods.  This may be something unique that the animal I am pursuing does or it could be seeing an animal that I don’t normally see.  Last year, I pictured a black bear in the area where I deer hunt.  Even though I had heard other people talk about bears in the area, I had never had any experiences with them myself.  I had the pleasure of watching a fisher sneak past my treestand this past archery season.  This spring I was able to watch a Tom turkey court and mount a hen out in the field, a sight I had never been able to experience before.  My dad and I also spotted a hen sitting on her nest down in a ditch as we walked back to the truck for lunch.  You never know what you will see or experience while out hunting!

 

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Last and maybe the biggest reason I hunt is sharing these experiences with family and friends!  I grew up following my dad into the woods on many adventures.  From sitting with my dad before I was able to hunt myself to hunting spring turkeys with him to this day, to me these experiences are what it is all about.  Memories like my dad calling in my first turkey and seeing him shaking more than I was as the turkey got closer!  To now, as I have shared before, taking my children hunting and sharing the outdoors with them!  I look forward to turkey hunting every spring because I know that it usually means a day or two of walking in the woods with my dad!  While I will always cherish the hunts with my dad the most, I also have great memories of hunting small game with my friends growing up!  From jumping on brush piles chasing rabbits, to searching the trees for squirrels!  In more recent years, I have been able to share hunting adventures with new friends and my wife’s family.  These are all experiences that truly make hunting what it is for me!

So as you are finishing reading this, think about “Why do you hunt.”  What is it that keeps giving you that itch to get in the woods?  I am sure that for many of you, like me, it is not all about the kill.  I would love to hear from you about why you hunt and what keeps bringing you back!  Send me an email or comment below!  Let’s share our passion for the outdoors!