Friday, November 28, 2008

Staying Warm When Tailgaing in Cold Weather

It's winter tailgating. The game is indoors, but the tailgating isn’t; and the average high temperature in February could be 36-degrees or colder. That’s darned cold. Dressing the part for cold weather is critical, no matter where you’re tailgating.

The main cold weather danger is hypothermia, especially among older people whose skin is less sensitive to the cold so they don’t see signs of exposure to dangerously cold temperatures. If anyone at your tailgate experiences violent shivering, stops shivering, has slow breathing with a slow pulse and seems confused, take them to a warm place and call for medical help.

Your cold weather science lesson is about insulation, which prevents all of that. Dressing in layers creates room for air pockets, which lock in heat. This retains body heat and, if done correctly, will keep you dry. A hat is critical to locking in your body heat, too. Don’t think you need one, or you’re worried about your hair? Up to 90% of your body heat can be lost through the top of your head. Wear the hat and bring a brush.

Now, dressing in layers doesn’t just mean anything on top of anything else. It’s important to layer properly.

Inner Layer: This layer should be a material that will “wicks” moisture from your body to help keep you dry and comfortable. What’s wicking? It’s the garments ability to move sweat away from the skin to the surface of the garment where it evaporates. Most garments will tell you on the label if they’re made of a wicking material.

Middle Layer: The middle layer should trap warm air and hold it in those air pockets we talked about. Depending on how cold it is outside you may need several middle layers.

Outer Layer: This layer needs to provide protection from wind, rain, snow and other cold weather beasts. It is important for the outer layer to be water resistant enough to keep the inner layers dry.

Down and wool are good materials for the middle layers, and there are a number of synthetic materials now that are designed just for this purpose. And just because you’re trying to stay warm doesn’t mean all these layers need to be thick. Your clothes still need to give you freedom of movement. Remember, it’s the science of the air pockets that’s keeping you warm. Lastly, don’t forget your feet. If your feet are wet and cold your whole body is going to feel wet and cold. Wear insulated socks, shoes and boots.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1 , Local Distributor of Work Boots, Safety Shoes and Work clothing, Redford MI

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why Carhartt?

Individuals who have experience working in outdoor environments may already be familiar with Carhartt men's clothing. The brand is renowned for its well-constructed, high-quality attire geared towards durability and comfort.

The Carhartt men's clothing selection is vast, but that type of wide and varied selection is just what any avid outdoorsman requires.

Each product is constructed of the finest, most durable materials, and all are designed to withstand rough conditions. Summer attire, of course, is less restrictive and offers more freedom of movement (as well as a greater color selection), but anyone who's ever worked on scaffolding in cold conditions or tried to finish a job while standing in the pouring rain recognizes the importance of function over form.

The Carhartt collection includes Carhartt coats, Carhartt jackets, Carhartt hoodies, Carhartt vests and Carhartt pants. Look for blanket-lined, quilted insulation to provide the utmost comfort. Many coats also accommodate optional hoods. Pockets are abundant but not cumbersome; instead, they provide just the right amount of space to hold essential items without creating a burden. For those individuals who work inside chilly warehouses or around grocery store freezers, these practical coveralls and bibs are available in insulated and non-insulated varieties.

No outfit is complete without the right accessories. Though laymen may simply seek items that complement their everyday ensembles, the Carhartt shopper is typically searching for something more particular. With that in mind, Carhartt’s line of hats, socks, gloves, belts, bags, suspenders and aprons are all designed with durability and workplace necessities in mind.

Over time, Carhartt clothing items evolved trademark features intended to further extend durability, including the use of heavy duty threads, reinforcing rivets at vital stress points, and a variety of durable, high technology materials resistant to flames, abrasion and water. The Carhartt clothing selection is vast ad individuals seeking specific items may find them in one of seven collections, which included: Soft Shell Outerwear; 1889 Jeans; Work-Dry Products; Extremes Outerwear; Waterproof Breathable; Carhartt Rainwear and Summer Workwear.
So when you are looking for high-quality, well constructed and attire geared towards durability and comfort, think Carhartt. It’s a line of clothing that is made to last.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1,, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI

Monday, November 17, 2008

Michigan Hunters Can Help Fight Hunger

Last year, almost 23,000 pounds of venison was provided to local charities by hunters participating in the program through licensed venison processors.

"On a local level our food banks say they are seeing up to a 40 percent increase in the need for food because of the economy," said Jane Marshall of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. "We need all the help we can get this year."

"For more than a decade, hunters in Michigan have done an outstanding job in donating venison to help families in need in all parts of the state," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "We are grateful for the support of hunters who donate venison, whether it's as little as a few pounds or the whole deer."

But, a recent report by a North Dakota researcher has brought up the issue of lead fragments in venison, prompting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to inform hunters of ways to reduce their exposure to lead in venison.

As many hunters know, a controversy has developed surrounding lead contamination of venison. This is because high-velocity rifle bullets will sometimes fragment on impact, especially if they hit bone. The small fragments are likely too small to be seen or felt while chewing.

There are a number of ways to reduce potential exposure to lead. For example, hunters may select loads that are less likely to fragment; or non-toxic loads that contain little or no lead. In addition, slower shotguns and M7 projectiles do not fragment the way high velocity lead bullets do.

Regardless of weapon, once a deer has been taken, liberal trimming around the wound channel will help limit lead exposure. Discard any meat that is bruised, discolored or contains hair, dirt, or bone fragments.

"Lead fragments have been found, but we don't know that it's a health risk," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources veterinarian Steve Schmitt. "People have been consuming venison for hundreds of years and may have been consuming some lead fragments, but we're not aware of any health problems. Whether or not it's a risk, we don't know." People who are concerned about ingesting lead with their venison might limit themselves to whole cuts, as opposed to ground meat. A study by the Federal Center for Disease on whether lead in venison poses health risks to humans is expected to be completed soon.

To learn more about the program or for a list of participating licensed processors, visit the MSAH Web site at

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1,, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI

Benefits of Quality Deer Management

Many hunters unfamiliar with Quality Deer Management (QDM) incorrectly assume QDM is only about large-antlered bucks. Many also feel antler point restrictions (APRs) are synonymous with QDM. Pieces from both of these beliefs can be parts of QDM programs but QDM is about much more than just antlers or APRs.

Quality Deer Management (QDM) is a management philosophy/practice that unites landowners, hunters, and managers in a common goal of producing biologically and socially balanced deer herds within existing environmental, social, and legal constraints. This approach typically involves the protection of young bucks (yearlings and some 2.5 year-olds) combined with an adequate harvest of female deer to maintain a healthy population in balance with existing habitat conditions and landowner desires. This level of deer management involves the production of quality deer (bucks, does, and fawns), quality habitat, quality hunting experiences, and, most importantly, quality hunters.

Quality habitat is important for bucks and does in all age classes. Does need nutritious forage to raise healthy fawns, bucks need it for large bodies and antlers, and both sexes require adequate cover to escape predation. Given the average deer eats 2,000 pounds of vegetation annually, it’s easy to see a tremendous amount of forage is necessary to support even a low-density deer herd. Larger herds and herds managed to maximize body and antler growth and reproductive capacity require even more high-quality foods.

In simplest terms QDM involves balancing the deer herd with the habitat and having deer - bucks and does - in multiple age classes. Determining and achieving the right number of deer for the habitat is a topic for another discussion and this article will focus on multiple age classes of deer. Most areas have a good age structure for the doe population as it is common for hunters to harvest does 1.5-6.5+yrs. This age structure exists because of traditional deer management practices where hunters focused much of their harvest pressure on bucks and allowed does to survive and fill multiple age classes.

The big question then is what is the best way to protect yearling bucks? Antler point restrictions are a common technique and they involve establishing a minimum number of points a buck must possess to be eligible for harvest. The disadvantage of APRs is the number of antler points is a poor predictor of animal age. Yearling bucks can have a rack ranging from short spikes to 10+ points. Therefore it can be difficult with APRs to protect the majority of the yearling age class while still making other age classes available for harvest.

Quality Deer Management isn’t about protecting bucks until they are 5.5yrs old - that’s trophy management. Quality Deer Management, in simplest terms is about protecting yearling bucks. Yearling bucks are the easiest adult deer to harvest, but if hunters pass them and allow them to reach 2.5yrs, they become a little smarter and some will avoid hunters and reach 3.5yrs. Pretty soon you end up with a deer population that has bucks in multiple age classes even while allowing bucks 2.5yrs and older to be harvested. A complete age structure is good for deer and great for hunters.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1,, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In North America, a tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food. When it comes to tailgating, the best locations are too numerous to count. You can tailgate at concerts, auto races, football games, basketball games, hockey games, soccer games, kids sporting events, and more.

You can never take too much, when it comes to tailgating -- whether it be food, drink, or gadgets. And everyone knows that grilling dogs, burgers, and brats along with downing a few brews is an important part of the tailgating experience, that and the aroma of bar-b-que permeating the air. It's important to recognize that most tailgating delicacies are high in fat and cholesterol, so give yourself permission to enjoy. Take a break from your low-fat diet, grab a roll of paper towels, and enjoy. As far as liquid refreshments go, it’s all about the beer. And remember, alcohol only provides temporary warmth. Too much will de-sensitize you to the cold, but not protect you from its effects.

Make a Tailgating Checklist To ensure nothing gets left at home, make a list of things you need to take to the tailgate party. Be sure to put your game tickets on the list too!

Have a Tailgating Theme Think up a creative theme for your tailgate. If it's Thanksgiving, bring a turkey. If it's Christmas, bring a tree. Or, base your theme and decorations on the opponent. For example, you might have Cajun food against the Saints, Philly cheese steaks against the Eagles, or fish against the Dolphins.

Dress for the Occasion, but make sure to dress appropriately for several hours outdoors -- and be prepared for drastic temperature changes. And don't forget to wear comfortable shoes.

Show Some Tailgating Team Spirit Show your team spirit... Wear team colors. Tailgaters are usually the biggest and best fans! After all, to become the ultimate tailgater, you'll want to stir up some tailgater's envy!

Timing is Everything Get there early. You'll want to arrive 3-4 hours before game time to beat the crowd and claim your turf. And, plan to stay late so as to not miss a moment of the post-game enthusiasm.

Location, Location, Location Set up your tailgate party near a grassy area, or bring a roll of Astroturf to set up at the end of the row -- for a more comfortable atmosphere with lots of room to socialize. Parking at the end of a row can also give you more partying space.

Tailgating in Parking Lots Serious tailgaters choose a parking lot that has a view of the stadium if on-site parking is not available. Since the stadium is your Mecca, you need to be able to see it so you can bow to it occasionally.

Mark Your Spot At The Tailgating Party A flag or team pennant on a tall pole helps people locate the party and makes a statement of team spirit.

So remember, when it comes to tailgating it's families and friends, it's fans, it's a community social, it's pre-game, halftime, post-game and more. It's the total game day experience!

Written By: Mike Girolami, President WorkWear1,, Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford, MI

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ruffed Grouse - Top Game Bird

The most prized game bird of upland game hunters in the northern belt of states is the ruffed grouse, one of a large family of birds that inhabit North America. In the same family is the pinnated grouse commonly known as the prairie chicken. In the Northeast they are found in company with the blue and spruce grouse. Ruffs weigh from one to two pounds average and are about sixteen inches in length.

The grouse vies for the honors with the Chinese pheasant as to which is the number one sport bird. To be sure there are more who hunt pheasants simply because they are more plentiful and easier to shoot, because they are largely farm birds. The grouse, on the other hand, is a creature of the wild forests and finds his home in deserted farms and open areas where the loggers have left brush growth in the forests.

Grouse are readily identified by the black and brown-banded fan-shaped tail, the two tufts or ruffs on each side of the neck and the crested head. Both male and female are colored alike. There are two general hues of color, one gray and the other rust-red.

The most interesting time of the year is in the spring, when they are in the mating mood and when they can be seen and photographed while drumming on a log to attract a female. The whirr of their wings can be heard for some distance in the woods, as they vibrate their flight feathers in a terrific dance to impress their mate-to-be. At this time it is possible to approach with the camera for some excellent photos of the courtship.

Their flight when aroused is quick and erratic. They explode from the brush and quite often the gunner or observer is shocked momentarily because of the sudden sound coming from almost beneath his feet. The course of flight from there on out will be one of zig-zags through the leaves and branches as the bird tries to put as much natural cover between himself and you. No two grouse ever rise in the same way, so there is no characteristic flight to study in order to be a better shot. Hunters who are successful on grouse shoot instinctively. Somehow or other their shotgun barrels seem to point in the right direction, with enough lead to deliver the shot pattern on target.

Grouse are best hunted with dogs, preferably a springer spaniel or perhaps an English setter. These dogs should be trained for grouse specifically, since grouse act entirely differently than pheasants or other game birds. A good quail dog is often at a loss, due to a strange and complicated terrain. The perfect experience is enjoyed with a good dog who is able to locate a grouse on the ground and hold it on point until the hunter moves up to flush it. If the bird is shot, its coloration blends so perfectly with the forest floor that the dog, with his keen sense of smell is relied upon to fetch it.

Grouse usually live to an age of about six years and are able to stand the severe winters of the northern climes. The key to their survival is food, mostly berries and seeds, and a good supply of unpolluted water. They prefer to live near the hemlock and pine forests where they can dodge their predators and take flight into the thick trees. Near their protective haunts, they must have a generous food supply year-round.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1,, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing and Wolverine Work Clothing, Redford MI

Monday, November 3, 2008

2008 Michigan Ruffed Grouse Report

The early season reports from ruffed grouse and American woodcock cooperators allow biologists to quickly assess hunter success and local field conditions across the state of Michigan at the beginning of the grouse season. This report is a summary of their responses for September 15 – 18, 2008.

Cooperators returned 95 useable surveys. They hunted 493 hours in 43 counties during the survey period. Individual counties having at least 10 hours of hunting with the highest flush rate for grouse were Marquette, Gladwin, Ontonagon, Grand Traverse, and Crawford. Although the woodcock season was not open during the survey period, cooperators were asked to also count woodcock flushes. Individual counties having at least 10 hours of hunting with the highest flush rates of woodcock were Wexford, Allegan, Gladwin, Kalkaska and Mackinac.

About 44% of the respondents thought grouse populations were up or slightly up from last year in the areas they hunted, with 32% reporting populations about the same as the previous year. About 29% of the respondents thought woodcock populations were up or slightly up from last year. However, 32% thought woodcock numbers were the same and 38% thought that the numbers were down.

Ruffed grouse have approximately ten-year cycles in abundance over much of Canada, Alaska and the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Many theories have been proposed to explain these cycles including diseases, weather, forest fires, sunspots, starvation, crowding, predators, genetic changes and chance. It appears that we may be at the midway point of the ten-year cycle. However, hunters should note that increased or decreased abundance of animals at a regional scale does not ensure the same trend locally. The best grouse and woodcock hunting opportunities will be in areas of young early forest successional habitat.

Several hunters commented on the 2-3 days of very wet conditions in many areas of Michigan prior to the opener of the grouse season. Hunters also commented on good food availability for grouse. Some hunters said that they would prefer that grouse season open later in the season when there is less foliage. Some hunters suggested that grouse and woodcock season open on the same day.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1,, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI