Bow Hunting: Why We Do It

It is time for the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries’ annual trip to Kentucky to go bowhunting for velvet whitetail. The crew once again sets up camp with Salt River Outfitters a few days before the weekend opener. As everyone gets settled in, we went around and asked them when they first got started in bow hunting and what they love about being called a bowhunter.

In this episode, we’ll join up with Steve Nessl of Yamaha as he embarks on writing an ending to his Whitetail Diaries Entry of harvesting a buck in full velvet. Steve has been coming to Salt River Outfitters for a few years now and has had some success but he has never had the chance until now. Loaded up in his Yamaha RMAX 1000 Side-By-Side and Garmin Xero follow along with this Steve on this incredible hunt!

Deer Hunting In Kentucky

This week on Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, we’re back in Kentucky for our annual week long stay at Salt River Outfitters for the opening weekend of whitetail bow season! This marks the fifth year in a row that we’ve returned to Kentucky for the opening weekend of bow season, and every year we’re blown away by the gorgeous scenery and plentiful wildlife all around us. In camp with us this year we have the full Careco crew, with Wade Middleton, Steve Nessl, and Scott Newby, hitting the field in search of some big whitetails in velvet. One of the things we love about returning to Salt River Outfitters is the community that has formed around velvet week. Often times we’ll see the same guests around camp and we’ve had the great fortune to form life long friendships with these folks. To learn more about Salt River Outfitters and book your very own hunt with them, visit!

Before we head out to the field, we’ll take a look at how the team will be navigating the vast stretches of terrain here in Kentucky by using Yamaha Side-By-Side vehicles. The entire lineup of ATV’s and Side-By-Sides are available to you as a bow hunter, whether you’re looking to use it to haul out gear or haul in that buck of a lifetime, Side-By-Sides are the perfect crossover for both utility and recreational use. As Steve will tell us, “Realistically, what someone can expect when they get a Side-By-Side is not having to buy another Side-By-Side for a really long time.” Yamaha stands behind their guarantee for capability, comfort, and confidence. Head on over to to shop the full lineup of Side-By-Side vehicles!

It’s opening day of bow season, and we’re heading out to the field with Steve Nessl to an area he knows is loaded with great Kentucky bucks. He’s not in the tree stand for very long before a doe appears, followed by two decently sized bucks. Not much more time passes before an absolute giant of a Kentucky velvet whitetail emerges along the tree line in front of him. Tune in and see how this heart-pounding encounter unravels!

Up next, we’re hitting the field with Wade Middleton on day two of opening weekend. He’s headed out to the same honey hole he hunted yesterday, and while he may not have tagged a deer on opening day, he still saw plenty of action in the field to get him pumped up for what today may bring. Just as we saw with Steve’s hunt, it doesn’t take long before Wade is surrounded by a large group of bachelor bucks, and we mean, surrounded. Left and right it’s a smorgasbord of deer, and once Wade finally sets his sights on the one he wants, it’s game on. The arrow flew and was a clean pass through, and yet, that tough deer did not want to go down. To show the deer the respect it deserves, he backed out for the night and decided to come back the next morning. What follows is one of the longest tracks we’ve ever experienced. Tune in and see if Wade will recover this deer, or if he’ll go down as, “the one who got away.”

To round out our Kentucky trip, we’re heading out to the field with the bow hunting, “newbie,” of the group. But first, let’s rewind to day one and see how the introduction of Scott Newby’s bow hunting experience unfolded. For months leading up to this day Scott has practiced shooting his bow at home, and spent even more time dialing it in here at camp before the season officially kicked off, and now, his moment has finally arrived. On day one, a huge velvet buck appeared and earned himself the name, “Hook,” thanks to a wayward tine. Unfortunately, Hook does not present any good shot opportunities on the first sit, but that never broke Scott’s spirits or determination. Find out if Scott ends up bringing home this unique buck of a lifetime!

Garmin Xero and BIG Whitetails

This week on Americana Outdoors Presented by Garmin, we’re bringing you exclusive coverage of the brand new Xero A1i Pro bow sight from Garmin, and later, we’re joining Wade Middleton high up in a tree stand as he tests out the Garmin Xero X1i crossbow scope, equipped on top of a TenPoint Vapor RS 470!  To kick things off, we’re getting into the history of how Garmin has upgraded their unrivaled Xero bow sights over the years!

As Wade will tell us, when it comes to technology, “there’s few companies that can rival what Garmin has done.” Starting with the revolutionary Xero A1i compound bow sight, Garmin has continued to introduce game changing sights to the Xero family over the years. Most recently, they debuted the Garmin Xero X1i crossbow scope to expand the accessibility to Xero technology to crossbow hunters, and now they’ve upgraded the compound bow sight with the latest edition of the A1i Pro bow sight. Along with the many upgrades this new bow sight features, the A1i Pro comes equipped with upgraded user interfaces that make set up a breeze, and has the ability to automatically calculate your entire pin stack once you’ve dialed in your 20 yard pin! The only thing this amazing new bow sight can’t do is control your nerves. You still have to practice, you still have to hit those anchor points, and you’ve got to be in charge of that moment, and if you can do that, you’re going to hit exactly where you’re aiming. To learn more about the entire lineup of Garmin Xero bow sights, visit

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about the Garmin Xero bow sights, we’re joining Brandon Brinkman out in the field for an early morning turkey hunt as he puts his Xero A1i Pro to use and gives us the first look at how this revolutionary sight performs under pressure. He doesn’t have to sit for long before a flock of rio’s make their grand entrance. As he sits back and observes this vocal group of turkeys, one mature tom strays off from the flock and makes his way closer and closer to Brandon. Tune in and see just how close this turkey gets and if he ends up giving Brandon a shot opportunity!

To round out Brandon’s time at deer camp with us, he’s giving us a full walk through of how to set up and sight in the Xero A1i Pro bow sight from Garmin. Over the course of the demonstration, we’ll see how to set up your twenty yard pin, how to align the reticle, and get an inside look at the upgraded graphics displays that make setting up your bow sight a simple process!

Last but not least, we’re meeting up with Wade Middleton in Central Texas during opening weekend for hunting season. He’s bringing his TenPoint Vapor RS 470 equipped with a Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow Scope high up in a tree stand with the hopes of harvesting a big whitetail buck. True to Texas form, Wade is faced with warm weather in the low eighties, with sunny skies and wind gusts of 15-20mph. After spending some time practicing ranging and shooting the TenPoint Vapor RS 470 paired with the Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow scope at the range, this marks the first weekend Wade has had a chance to take this deadly combo to the field. After patiently waiting for the perfect buck to show, an eight point emerges from the edge of the brush line. Tune in and witness how this pairing of the TenPoint Vapor RS 470 and the Garmin Xero X1i crossbow scope perform together!

National Team Walleye Championship from AuSable and Oscoda Michigan

This week on Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, we’re in AuSable and Oscoda Michigan on the waters of Lake Huron where we’re bringing you the full coverage of this years Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s National Team Championship, and later, we’ll cover more ways you can get involved in tournament walleye fishing!
The NTC is a three day, two angler team format tournament. Anglers can bring their five best fish to the scales for weight in. This year we have 219 teams competing for a chance to get a piece of the $242,000 dollar cash purse, and the first place winners will receive a grand prize of $25,000 and a brand new Ranger 620!

The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s National Team Championship is considered one of the the highest levels of grassroots walleye fishing tournaments.  This tournament is the result of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s partnering with The Walleye Federation, Ranger Boats, and numerous other sponsors and walleye circuits and clubs across the nation.  To find out how you can get involved in local clubs and have a chance to be invited to the NTC, visit!

We’re kicking things off on local angler Adam Hume’s boat with his partner, Mike Karner. They’ve already landed two good keeper walleye and are looking to fill out their limit. In between sifting through the sheep head to get to the walleye, it doesn’t take long for them to bump up the numbers in their livewell to four. Over on the South end of Lake Huron, we meet up with another pair of locals, Romeo Bourdage and Mark Haugerud, who share their thoughts on what it means to have Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s hosting an event like the NTC in their small community. According to Romeo, “It’s phenomenal… That they put the time, effort, and energy in to bring money into the communities… the whole local economy benefits when they’re putting money out like that.” As day one winds down, we see some pretty big bags at the scales, with 22.13 pounds taking the lead on day one!

Before we head in to day two, we’ll take some time to learn about more walleye tournament options for those of you who are avid walleye anglers and looking to broaden your horizons in the tournament fishing world. For 37 seasons, The Masters Walleye Circuit has set the standard for team walleye tournament fishing. Winners of these tournaments routinely pocket $10,000 to $15,000 dollars or more in cash and prizes thanks to investments from Bass Pro Shops and Cabala’s, as well as from other bonuses provided by sponsors such as Ranger Boats. On top of that, competitors who place in first of each leg of the MWC schedule automatically win a $1,000 dollar Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s National Team Championship prize package that includes paid entry into the NTC! To learn more about the MWC, head on over to!

As day two unfolds, the weather is changing and the catches have slowed down considerably for our competitors. By the time we get to the scales, we see a shake up on the leaderboard with Day one leaders falling to third, and Day one’s fifth place team jumping up into first. With the weather continuing to change and a massive storm threatening to roll in, tune in and see if Day three will be fished, or if day two’s leaderboard standings will remain untouched and a winner crowned!

As we wrap up this show, let’s take a look at another famous circuit that passionate walleye anglers can participate in, the National Walleye Tour Presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.  This highly competitive circuit offers premier, tour-level competition for avid walleye anglers!   Featuring a regular season and a championship, this tour provides the highest level of competitive walleye fishing available that features unparalleled media coverage and a payout that’s unmatched in tournament walleye fishing.    If you want to compete in next years National Walleye Tour, head on over to where you can learn how to get registered, read about the angler advantage program and all of the sponsor contingency programs they offer, and sign up for their free e-newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news out of the National Walleye Tour presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s!

Whitetail Hunting with Kids

Having kids in camp is so much fun! We like to do most of our youth hunts in and around the holidays to give it a Christmasy feel. Kids generally are the greatest listeners and learners in hunting camp, and they want to learn how to use the firearms, the crossbow, or their compound bows properly. They love the education and the prospect of what is gonna happen, and as you go through that process, it’s a learning experience from the breathing control to the aiming points.

If we can share a few pieces of advice when it comes to getting kids involved in hunting is “Make it fun, make it fun, make it fun, make it about THEM.” If they want to bring a toy to the blind, it makes a lot of noise, that’s okay because they will get to that point where that will go away and they’ll understand being quiet and being successful. If they want to eat Fritos in a blind that are crunching, and hard candy, and shouting “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, there’s a deer!” That’s okay too. You can use that as a quiet, fun teaching moment. Let them evolve. Let it be about the time outdoors and the bonding experience. So, just make it an enjoyable trip, so if they come back and then are hooked for life, and that they’ll pass it on to their children down the road.

So this episode starts with Steve Lovell from Garmin bringing his Son Isaac to deer camp in search of his first whitetail buck byways of a TenPoint Crossbow and the new Garmin Xero® X1i crossbow scope.

Before heading out to the field, Isaac first spends some time learning how to use the TenPoint Havoc RS440 Crossbow fitted with a Garmin Xero® X1i crossbow scope he’ll be using for his hunt. Once he’s out in the field, it’s only a matter of time before a tempting buck makes an appearance, and it’s up to Isaac to do the rest!

As we round out this episode, we’re taking a look at one of our favorite times of the year at deer camp, it’s the annual youth hunt! Landon Nessl has been a mainstay at our youth hunts in the past and this year he’s taking a step back to let his best friend, Walker, have a chance to get on the gun. As usual with kids in camp, Walker and Landon take some time to get their guns sighted in at the range, and then it’s time to get hunting!

Throughout Walker’s hunt, we’ll see an incredible display of the patience and determination that hunters learn over their hunting journey, along with a good dose of buck fever. After making the difficult decision to pass on a couple of bucks that would be considered great firsts, Walker finally sets his sights on an even more impressive buck than the first few he laid eyes on. Will he be able to bring this big guy home and talk about him for years to come? Tune in and find out!

Deer Camp – Pt. 3

It’s mid-December here in Texas, which means two things, Steve Nessl of Yamaha Outdoors is in camp, and the rut is in full swing!

Steve is rifle hunting with a Thompson/Center Venture II Weathershield equipped with a Trijicon Credo HX Riflescope in an area we call “The Big Bluff”. What makes “The Big Bluff” a great spot is that you can sit high above an expansive valley below seeing every move the deer make.

Now Steve has sights set on a big shooter that’s been roaming around the area. With the peak of the rut going on however, there’s no telling whether or not that buck will even make and appearance. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of rutting activity to witness!

While Steve is out hunting, we join up Wade as he is out and about taking care of the property by filling up a popular dried up pond thanks to a 20 month drought.

The Ranger Boats Experience

This week on Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, we’re on Table Rock Lake fishing in the Ozarks of Missouri and bringing you all of the exciting coverage of this years Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Ranger Boats Experience!

Similar to years past, the Ranger Boats Experience takes a group of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s CLUB members on an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Ranger Boats factory, where they get the opportunity to see how these world class boats are built from the ground up. Then, they get the opportunity to participate in a two-day Pro-am bass fishing tournament alongside professional bass anglers that are associated with Ranger Boats and Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, all while staying at the world famous Big Cedar Lodge!

We’re kicking day one off on professional bass angler Stephen Browning’s boat with his partner Richard Ruschhaupt where they look like they’re using Stephen’s knowledge of Table Rock to catch some fish on their first stop. After swiftly landing two good keepers, we’ll leave them to their own devices and check in with CLUB member James Parisien and his partner Todd Auten. Over on this stretch of the lake, James and Todd have already landed their five keepers, and now they’re looking for even bigger fish to cull and bump up their total weight for the scales. Over on Wade Middleton’s boat, Wade gives us a brief history on what his past involvement with the Ranger Boats Experience has meant to him over the years. According to Wade, “Catching fish is a bonus, but the experience of all the different people coming together from all over,” is one of his favorite parts about this event. By the end of the day, all five teams bring back five fish limits, and Richard Ruschhaupt along with his partner Stephen Browning are leading the score boards with a 3.76 pound lead over fifth place.

Going into day two, the teams get shuffled around and the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s CLUB members find themselves with all new partners. Richard Ruschhaupt describes his experience as having, “Fished with the old man yesterday and the young gun today.” By switching up the pairings between days one and two, the CLUB members get the unique opportunity of seeing varying perspectives and how the pro’s take different approaches while they’re on the water. Just like on day one, all of the teams are seeing success as they reel in lots of fish. Over on Clark Wendlandt’s boat, Clark takes the time to coach Colette McBride on what to do to land a solid keeper. By the end of the day, all the teams bring in bags at the five fish limit. Will Richard Ruschhaupt hold on to his lead, or will another CLUB member swoop in at the last moment and bring home the glory? Tune in and find out!

Deer Camp – Pt. 2

In this episode of the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries, Outdoor Writer Will Brantley is joining us for a bow hunt here at camp.

Will is settling into a Blackout pop-up blind in a brushy cactus and mesquite-filled bottom that both deer and cattle feed. There’s no telling what or where the whitetail will come from, but Will is ready and eager to draw back on a mature whitetail!

To wrap our episode up, we’ll join Wade on the range as he preps to go out hunting with a popular handgun from Smith & Wesson, the Model 610 revolver in 10mm. Wade will share some insight on what he likes to do to get ready for a handgun hunt before he ventures out to fill the freezer.

Regardless, know that you’ll see this Smith & Wesson handgun in Wade’s more and more this coming deer season!

Hunting During the Peak of the Rut

It’s mid-December here in Texas, which means two things, Steve Nessl of Yamaha Outdoors is in camp, and the rut is in full swing!

Steve is rifle hunting with a Thompson/Center Venture II Weathershield equipped with a Trijicon Credo HX Riflescope in an area we call “The Big Bluff”. What makes “The Big Bluff” a great spot is that you can sit high above an expansive valley below seeing every move the deer make.

Now Steve has sights set on a big shooter that’s been roaming around the area. With the peak of the rut going on however, there’s no telling whether or not that buck will even make and appearance. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of rutting activity to witness!

Deer Camp – Pt. 1

One of the many things that goes on at the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries Deer Camp (that most people don’t see) is the amount of rigorous field testing that goes on to test out the latest products in the hunting industry.

Brian Flaherty of TenPoint Crossbows is at the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries Deer Camp to field-test some new products and the new TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO Crossbow.

Ten Point and Garmin have teamed up to deliver the world’s fastest crossbow-per-inch of length and the most accurate long-range hunting crossbow ever. The TenPoint Havoc RS440 Xero featuring Garmin’s Xero X1i Range Finding Crossbow Scope and Brian has carved out a few days to hunt with it here in South Texas. Brian is also debuting the TenPoint HALO bowpack at first of its kind in the hunting industry.

Brian’s hunt is an exciting one that you won’t want to miss! From being overrun by sheep to having bucks bed down next to his deer blind, Brian experiences some incredible encounters including a hunt that concludes with everyone scratching their heads.