Apr 8th

The Rising Costs of Conservation

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

Upland Habitat Loss

Wildlife held in the public trust: It’s a cornerstone of the North American Conservation Model. The phrase sounds good, but what does it actually mean in regards to upland birds and upland habitat? Simply put, it means that every wild Sharptail in Montana belongs to the citizens of this country. The Blue Racers of Oklahoma and Texas belong to everyone. We are responsible for the Ruffed Grouse of Maine and the Bobwhite of Louisiana. The public land on which they reside is in our care as well. It is our responsibility and our resource. Regardless of whether or not these birds are in our back yard or on public lands, if they are wild, they are our charge.

Hunters are an irreplaceable force for conservation. License fees, excise taxes on ammunition and firearms, and donations to hunting conservation organizations account for $1.6 billion in annual funds for wildlife and management of those resources. We are able to wear this contribution as a badge of honor – it’s something we use when talking to non-hunters to demonstrate our responsibility and stewardship of wildlife. The license fees and Pittman-Robertson funds account for over $1 billion being utilized by state wildlife agencies. But annual budgets for National Forest Service , National Parks, BLM and NWR alone exceed $10 billion a year and does not account for individual state budgets. A closer look at the numbers reveals a growing gap between our conservation ethic and our talking points.

Wildlife is a resource that both costs and generates money. Wildlife as public property is how state and federal agencies view the game they manage. The costs of conserving these resources are increasing. For upland birds, the effects are two-fold because the drivers of much of this cost increase – land and fuel – are the same things removing upland habitat from the landscape. An acre of residential land cost $84 in 1958. Today that same acre of land costs $6200 – 73 times more expensive. Gas, which cost 30¢ per gallon in 1958, has seen prices well north of $3 in recent years. An item that cost just $1 in 1958 costs $8.09 today.

It takes a lot of people-power to implement effective changes to habitat and manage wildlife resources. The average annual wage in 1958 was $3,674 compared to $44,880 now. To somehow believe that nature is wild, free or should be free is to be stuck in a centuries-old mentality where human activities were part of a self-sustaining ecosystem, not shaping it. Maintaining a resource is always less expensive than having to rebuild it. Unfortunately for upland habitat, rebuilding is the space we find ourselves in, where much has been destroyed, taken away. Decades have passed, and just now we’re awaking to the impacts on the broader ecosystem.

Hunters are faced with this reality: slight gains recruiting new hunters will not increase license sales and equipment sales to the point where conservation can be wholly funded by the sportsman, and it never has been. The reason we shoulder a disproportionate percentage of the cost of wildlife is because we’re passionate about it,  knowledgable and care enough to pay more. Working against hunter funding are the skyrocketing costs of conservation. Land prices driven upward by commodities and development, the cost of fuel, equipment and labor for habitat improvement, the ongoing costs to monitor and manage are all increasing with fewer hunters to foot the bill.

According to over 50 years of license sales data available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1958 hunters comprised 8.08% of the US population. The highest number of individual license holders occurred in 1982, when there were 16,748,541 licenses sold, making up just 7.23% of the 231 million populace. Since 1982, license holders have decreased in number as well as a percentage of the total population. In 2013, there were 14,631,127 license holders representing 4.63% of the population. The 5% line was crossed in 2005, likely never to be seen again.

Number of Hunters

Hunters tend to be an obstinate bunch. We have a history and legacy of hunting that is woven into the fabric of this country. This tradition has led us to believe we hold the high ground and we preach as if it is unassailable. But ‘us vs. them’ just doesn’t work when faced with the math. We must be conservationists first, caretakers of wildlife and wild places for all. That is the high ground.  Hunting is not an entitlement, it is a privilege and responsibility.

On the bright side 70% of Americans still support hunting. That means there are over 200 million people who are not hunters yet still approve of the activity. Anti-hunters aren’t the growing force, the bump in the night. Sportsmen should not be lecturing about what divides us from the non-hunting public. We should be reaching out to the 200 million people in our corner, encouraging participation and talking about our love of the land and love for the birds. We should be the ones raising awareness for conservation issues and calling for a solution.

Upland bird hunters have an advantage  many other hunting disciplines lack. We don’t cloak ourselves in camo or hide in trees or blinds. We hunt openly, putting ourselves out there. We cherish our bird dogs that are stoic, loyal and inspiring – ideals everyone longs for in people. We raise puppies as family members and they warm the coldest hearts and demonstrate our compassion for animals. We often hunt with the shotguns hung over fireplaces and admired by family members, passed down from grandfathers. We create beautiful scenes of pointing dogs and flushing birds. Upland hunters epitomize a tradition and legacy that non-hunters can witness and respect.

It’s time for new ideas and honest conversation about our roles as stewards of the outdoors. We need non-hunters as much as they need us. We need to talk about hunting in a new way that is inspiring, not divisive. It’s time to talk about conservation in an honest way. If we want to continue upholding the North American Conservation Model then it will take more than hunters to maintain the resources.

As we wrestle with the realities of conservation and participation, the downward trend for upland species continues the decades-long slide. The plight of upland birds and hunters are following the same path. Do we care enough about hunting traditions to take the steps necessary to see them continue? Are upland birds important enough to fight for their existence, even in far off places where we may ourselves never hunt? Debating our role does nothing to change the decline. In truth, the longer we wait to address it, the longer it takes hunters to unite and embrace our responsibility, the cost of replacing the lost resources climbs exponentially. Those who believe now is not a good time are ceding that they prefer longer odds and spending more later.

For more about the Upland Stamp or to sign the petition, visit www.uplandstamp.org

Jul 3rd

Backyard Bobwhite: Part 2

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

Can a pen-raised quail make it in the wild?

If you’ve had the privilege to hunt Bobwhite over a few seasons in areas where they still reside, you likely know that year over year you will find birds in the exact same locations. Read old stories from some of the great quail hunting authors and you’ll notice the coveys have become so consistent that they’ve been given names. There’s obviously a reason for this.

Bobwhite Quail imprint on a home territory. Their range is small which also contributes to relatively lengthy periods to expand into new areas. But when you take this knowledge acquired from hunting and apply it to conservation it can make a number of things really start to add up.

I believe this is the key to why most quail reintroduction and relocation projects lack success. Transporting a Bobwhite away from its home turf is like dropping it on the face of the moon. The learning curve to acclimate is so great that before it can identify cover, food, water and threats it becomes hawk bait.

The traditional wisdom is that you can’t take a pen-raised bird, release it in the wild and have it survive long term – it’s been too stupefied by domestication to have a clue. But can survival instincts be revived in captive birds? We don’t have the resources or permissions to trap wild birds and relocate them. But we can take newly hatched birds and try to educate them.

As with most offspring, the young are at highest risk. Bobwhite fledge in around a week’s time and become flight capable in as little a two weeks. But most quail take six weeks or more to become true flyers. By most accounts Bobwhite annual mortality rates can approach 80%. The bulk of this is due to exposure to the elements or predation before young birds can manage strong flight. Needless to say, the learning curve for hatchlings is fairly steep. Juvenile quail make a tasty snack for just about anything with teeth or talon.

Ultimate Upland Quail Pen

The way I see it, we’ve got to train our birds three things that the average pen-raised bird is lacking.

First, we want our birds to imprint on a specific area. As you may have read in Backyard Bobwhite: Part 1, we’re providing everything the birds need in a condensed space (food, cover, water). We know that the birds will explore outside of this location. The hope is they also learn to return to the relative safety it offers, much like free-ranging chickens returning to a coop nightly to roost. If our quail return to the brush piles and food plot which should grow thick by this fall, it offers them the best chance of overnight survival. We’re placing our quail enclosure in the heart of the area we want our birds to consider home base, adjacent to one of our massive brush piles.

Most pens lack cover. In order for our birds to survive they cannot feel comfortable standing in the clear for extended time in an open enclosure. Silent death from above awaits any gallinaceous bird willing to frolic in the open for too long. Our pen will be on the ground and will have the same cover and feed plants growing through it that we want the birds to become accustomed to. We also plan to incorporate some brush resting on and within the pen. We want these chicks to feel as if they are growing up in the shelter of a thicket. We know first hand from raising chickens that hawks will attempt to take birds even when they are within pens. Netting will provide protection from above and allow the quail to learn of the pending raptor threats without initially suffering the losses that accompany that same lesson in the wild.

Lastly, we don’t want our birds looking to feeders as a food source once we release them. These birds need to know how to forage. We’ll be broadcasting their food on the ground within the pen and incorporating the same seed and grains that they will need to find in the wild. Over the first few weeks of their life a Bobwhite’s primary diet in the wild is insects. Our ground based enclosure will allow foraging for insects but we’ll also look for a source of insects to supplement our young quails’ high protein requirements.

Click here to see the video of our simple, inexpensive quail pen come together. Total expenses were less than $150. If successful we hope to be able to reassemble and reuse it in other locations in the future.

We’re bird hunters armed with knowledge from afield trying to translate it to raising birds that can survive a rough Ohio winter. It’s an experiment. Parts of this plan contradict studies by much smarter individuals. Most experts believe to manage for quail you need a minimum of 20-40 acres with multiple plantings and dedicated areas for every stage of their life cycle. Our hope is to utilize a much smaller area and allow the birds to provide for themselves while we provide the missing element that caused their initial decline, a winter food source close to protective cover.

It remains to be seen if we’re correct. But we’re excited to try something different, utilizing a fresh perspective. It’s time to start thinking differently for quail and many other species’ conservation.

Oct 7th

Government Shutdown Attempts to Cripple Hunters

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

Visit the websites of the Department of the Interior, the US Forest Service or the National Park Service and you will be greeted by a message much like the one below:

Due to the lapse of appropriated funds, all public lands managed by the Interior Department (National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management facilities, etc) will be closed.

Apparently the federal government has decided that they will attempt to close the roughly 28% of the United States’ land mass of which they claim ownership.

What they fail to recognize is that the citizens own that land. We do not need their permission to access our land. They may administer and manage the resources with federal employees who are certainly impacted by a government shutdown. But it is a serious overstep of federal authority to believe they can prevent access to land owned by the people.

This is political posturing at its worst. An obvious attempt to create hardship for hunters and outdoorsman. Contact your RepresentativeSenators and the White House and let them know that you will not stand for  them using your land as a poker chip in their debate.

Mar 29th

Launching the Off-Season Odyssey

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

When wild bird hunting seasons end it leaves a pretty large void in our schedule. Both the dogs and I must cope with the withdrawals from time afield and adjust to the looming summer doldrums. Seven months is just too long to rest on laurels. I always dread that final day of hunting, but this year I started planning well in advance to help fill the vacuum.

Over the winter my nephew Zach researched and reported on medieval weaponry for his sophomore high school English course. Given the current climate for anything weapon related in schools I was actually somewhat amazed the report didn't land him a suspension or on the terrorist watch list.

I'm blessed with an abundance of nieces and nephews. When one expresses an interest even remotely related to my passion I run with it. In my mind catapults and claymores are precursors to the modern tools of the trade which I use all hunting season. You have an interest in swords; let me tell you how that relates to upland hunting. I'm fairly certain there are few topics safe from my associating to pursuit of birds. I suppose the ease of which I make creative connections is likely just a result of recent reflections of my bird hunting legacy.

Blade design is an art that has been around for millennium. Because the basic functions and requirements of the knife haven't changed since first wielded, it's a great case study of what people have done to improve it. When I informed our friends at Benchmade about my saber smitten nephew they were quick to invite us on a VIP tour. Benchmade® is a leader in modern blade development and they help nurture new concepts by inviting interns to participate in their design process. It is a testament that good ideas can come from anywhere. I find it important to show Zach that besides knives just being cool, there are reasons for form and function. And there are people bringing these concepts to fruition. The power of an idea is a lesson I wish I would have learned earlier in life, but now I get a redo with my nephew. We just have to get from rural Ohio to the Benchmade headquarters in Oregon.

Luckily the end of bird hunting season times up really well with Spring Break. So I've wrangled Zach into a cross-country road trip which will cover over 5,000 miles in just 10 days. Along the way we'll shoot, hike, camp and explore our place in the great outdoors. Wyatt our black lab will join us for some training, entertainment and to keep the varmints from camp at night.  Zach seems excited for the adventure but is likely oblivious to the amount of tutoring I have planned or the posterior pain that comes with infinite days behind the wheel.

It's early spring so we're preparing for a mixed bag of elements along much of the route. Luckily Filson recognized the merits of this odyssey and agreed to outfit us for any conditions which we might encounter. From the rugged Rockies to spring torrents of the Pacific Northwest we'll be putting our new Filson gear to the test as other explorers have for over a century.

There are common threads to most of the great memories from my youth; exertion and accomplishment. Turns out that things that come easy are easily forgotten. The current trend toward sedentary existence puts a generation at risk of having no formative tales. My hope for this Off-Season Odyssey is that my nephew learns observing life will never be as satisfying as seizing opportunity.

It's the eve of our departure and the gear is loaded. At the crack of dawn we'll pour into the truck to start our first 16-hour day of driving. Somewhere in Illinois we'll stop for a round of sporting clays to stretch the legs. And here Zach will learn another lesson: even with the faster reflexes and better vision that accompany youth, you can't outshoot your uncle.

 

Big Thanks to Filson for sponsoring our Odyssey.

 

And thanks to Wolverine BootsSportDOG and Benchmade for sending gear to test on the journey.

Jan 11th

Birdhunter Battle of the Sexes

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

The gentle ribbing which started in the North Woods over Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock shooting in October extended through the ensuing months with Britney Starr. The taunting spilled over into 2013 and so we decided it’s time to put up or shut up.

This week at SHOT show we will be putting the feud to rest with a mid-week round of sporting clays. The kicker is we’ll be shooting guns that neither one of us has ever fired at a course we’ve never seen. There will be no custom fitted firearms, no home field advantage, no familiarity for use as a crutch.

Franchi has been generous enough to lend us two break action Instincts to help settle the dispute: theInstinct SL in 20 gauge and the color case hardened Instinct L in 12 gauge.

An initial coin flip will determine choice of shotgun or shooting order. Halfway through the round we will alternate guns since I shoot 20s during the season and Brit shoots 12s. At one station of the opponent’s choosing the shooter will be required to shoot opposite handed. Trash talking, interruptions and distractions are all highly encouraged. Whoever breaks the most clays wins.

The victor will award 100 rounds of newly released Winchester TrAAcker shells to a randomly selected female member of Ultimate Upland (if Britney wins) or a male member of Women’s Outdoor News (if I win). Be sure to sign up for the WON’s weekly newsletter or Ultimate Upland Lodge for a chance to be selected. And every day for a month the loser must tweet “(Winner’s name here) is my Birdhunting Hero”.

Stay tuned for pictures, videos and scores being shared in real-time from the course. And I’m sure the chatter will continue all week at SHOT since Britney just can’t help herself.

#birdhunterbattleofthesexes

Aug 13th

The Longest Rooster Tournament Returns for 2012

By Ultimate Upland Lodge
Last season was the inaugural year for the Ultimate Upland Longest Rooster Tournament. Ultimate Uplanders across the country took to the field with their Rooster Rulers® in search of the longest pheasant in the country. It was a great battle that lasted until the closing day of pheasant season. A number of 38"+ birds were harvested but in the end the winning bird was taken by Luke Wendorff (aka Sparks on UUL).

Luke is fairly new to bird hunting, but this lucky teen put down a monster 41.25" bird on December 3, 2011 in Pine County Minnesota to take the lead and hold it until the tournament wrapped up on February 20th. This was Luke's only bird last season and the third bird he's ever harvested in just his second season of hunting. 

The tournament was such a fun time last year and great source for friendly competition, camaraderie and sportsmanship -- which is why we've brought it back again with just a couple tweaks. 

This is a nationwide tournament that encompasses 38 states' with pheasant seasons. To enter, all you have to do is purchase the official 2012-2013 Rooster Ruler® decal and apply it to your vehicle window, bumper, tailgate or wherever is most convenient. You could even apply it to  scrap wood but it won't look nearly as cool as your car would. When you harvest a longtailed pheasant take a photo measuring the bird tip-to-tip using the Rooster Ruler® and post it to Ultimate Upland Lodge's online Longest Pheasant Tournament Forum or to the Ultimate Upland Facebook album. The hunter who harvests the longest bird of the season will win a prize package including an Ultimate Upland shirt, Ultimate Upland hat,  100 rounds of our favorite pheasant shells*, a custom trophy from our friends at Heritage Game Mounts and will have their name and rooster's stats posted on the pheasant page of ultimateupland.com for all eternity.

New this season, the hunter who scores the most birds over 35" will also win an Ultimate Upland shirt, Ultimate Upland hat and 50 rounds of our favorite pheasant shells*. So even if someone posts a 44" monster early in the year you still have a chance to win by posting more big birds than anyone else.

Also new this season, the bad beat: the Rooster Ruler® can spark competition between the hunters in your own group. We encourage friendly wagers between hunting buddies (ie, person with the shortest bird of the day buys dinner). So we'll select the best story and photo of the worst beat -- losing by a beak -- and whoever submits this will receive an Ultimate Upland shirt and hat. 


 
You may be wondering "why can't I just use any old measuring stick and post that picture, instead of buying the Rooster Ruler®?" Or "why can't I just use my Rooster Ruler® from last year." Well, the simple answer is everyone has to have skin in the game. And with our ruler we'll have a static and consistent known scale that will help us better compare photographs. Also, our ruler is dated, so these measurements will only be good for this hunting season. Next season the tournament starts over.
 
We've kept the prize package modest because this competition is primarily about bragging rights. And there is only so much verification we can do since we can't be in 38 states at once. There is a level of Sportsmen's/ Sportswomen's honor involved. And the price of entry, although low, should still help keep the neerdowells away.
 
In the event of a tie: If per chance two hunters harvest birds that are indistinguishable in their overall length we'll refer to the next longest entry by each to determine the winner (so it behooves hunters to post multiple entries). If a clear winner can still not be determined, extra points will be awarded to hunters with Ultimate Upland decals or tshirts included in their photos. The easiest way to win is shoot a rooster so large that it cannot be contested.
So purchase your Rooster Ruler® at the gear store today and get entered into the 2012-2013 Ultimate Upland Longest Rooster Tournament. The tournament will end on the final day of pheasant season February 18, 2013. 

*Our favorite shell will be determined by the end of the season, so if any manufacturers would like us to test their rounds in the field for a chance at this favorite shell title, feel free to let us know.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Tournament Disclosure (the fun legal stuff)
• ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes is open only to U.S. residents 18 years or older and minors accompanied by a legal guardian or responsible adult. Void where prohibited by law. Ultimate Upland, LLC (UU) and their respective affiliates, as well as all others involved in this promotion and their immediate families (defined for the purposes of this Tournament as parents, spouses, children, siblings and household members) are not eligible. Only the Ringed-neck pheasant will be considered as valid species.
• PRIZE: Prize will be awarded at the conclusion of the Tournament to one (1) winner, selected by UU from among all eligible entries received throughout the Promotional Period. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received throughout the entire Tournament
• WINNERS: Prize will be awarded by Ultimate Upland, LLC, whose decisions on all matters relating to the Tournament will be binding and final. Winners will be notified on or about two (2) days following winner selection. The winning name can be obtained by writing to info@ultimateupland.com.
• ADDITIONAL TERMS: Tournament is valid in the United States only. If you do not live in the United States, do not enter the Tournament. If for any reason the Tournament including, but not limited to, the online portion, does not function as planned, its integrity or feasibility is undermined, or anything compromises the administration, security, fairness, proper conduct or intended play of the Tournament, Ultimate Upland, LLC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual the Sponsor deems responsible, and/or to abbreviate, cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Tournament. UU assumes no responsibility for any defect or delay in operation or transmission, communications failure, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, including any erroneous appearance of qualification for a prize. If the Sponsor, in its discretion, elects to abbreviate the Tournament, the Sponsor reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prize(s) from among all valid and eligible entries received up to that time. All entries are the property of the Sponsor and are not returnable.
• WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH ATTEMPT BE MADE, ULTIMATE UPLAND, LLC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Tournament entries generated by a script, macro or other automated means are ineligible and will be disqualified.
• RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By entering, entrant agrees to accept and abide by the rules of this Tournament and agrees that any dispute with regard to the conduct of this Tournament, rule interpretation, or award of prize, shall be resolved by UU in its sole discretion, whose decision shall be binding and final. By participating, entrant agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and any respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and the officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives of each from any injury, loss or damage to person or property due in-whole or in-part, directly or indirectly to the acceptance, use, or misuse of a prize, participation in any Tournaement-related activity, or participation in the Tournament. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this offer, administration of the Tournament or in the announcement of prizes, including such error as may give an erroneous indication that a prize has been won.
Sep 20th

The Ultimate Upland Longest Rooster Tournament

By Ultimate Upland Lodge
We've been fiddling with ideas on how we can run a nationwide tournament that encompasses 38 states' with pheasant seasons, be fair and still have fun while promoting the camaraderie of bird hunting and sparking the competitive spirit of so many of our hunting buddies.

So, here's what we've come up with; introducing The Rooster Ruler®.

Purchase a Rooster Ruler® decal
and apply it to your vehicle window, bumper, tailgate or wherever is most convenient. You could even apply it to  scrap wood but it won't look nearly as cool as your car would. When you harvest a longtailed pheasant take a photo measuring the bird tip-to-tip using the Rooster Ruler® and post it to Ultimate Upland Lodge's online Longest Pheasant Tournament Forum. The hunter who harvests the longest bird of the season will win a prize package including an Ultimate Upland shirt, 100 rounds of our favorite pheasant shells*, a custom trophy from our friends at Heritage Game Mounts and will have their name and rooster's stats posted on the pheasant page of ultimateupland.com for all eternity.
 
Rooster Ruler
You may be wondering "why can't I just use any old measuring stick and post that picture, instead of buying the Rooster Ruler®"? Well, the simple answer is everyone has to have skin in the game. And with our ruler we'll have a static and consistent known scale that will help us better compare photographs. Also, our ruler is dated, so these measurements will only be good for this hunting season. Next season the tournament starts over.
 
We've kept the prize package modest because this competition is primarily about bragging rights. And there is only so much verification we can do since we can't be in 38 states at once. There is a level of Sportsmen's/ Sportswomen's honor involved. And the price of entry, although low, should still help keep the neerdowells away.
 
In the event of a tie: If per chance two hunters harvest birds that are indistinguishable in their overall length we'll refer to the next longest entry by each to determine the winner (so it behooves hunters to post multiple entries). If a clear winner can still not be determined, extra points will be awarded to hunters with Ultimate Upland decals or tshirts included in their photos. The easiest way to win is shoot a rooster so large that it cannot be contested.
So purchase your Rooster Ruler® at the gear store today and get entered into the 2011-2012 Ultimate Upland Longest Rooster Tournament. The tournament will end on the final day of pheasant season February 20, 2012. 

*Our favorite shell will be determined by the end of the season, so if any manufacturers would like us to test their rounds in the field for a chance at this favorite shell title, feel free to let us know.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Tournament Disclosure (the fun legal stuff)
• ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes is open only to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. Ultimate Upland, LLC (UU) and their respective affiliates, as well as all others involved in this promotion and their immediate families (defined for the purposes of this Tournament as parents, spouses, children, siblings and household members) are not eligible. Only the Ringed-neck pheasant will be considered as valid species.
• PRIZE: Prize will be awarded at the conclusion of the Tournament on or about February 22, 2012 to one (1) winner, selected by UU from among all eligible entries received throughout the Promotional Period. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received throughout the entire Tournament
• WINNERS: Prize will be awarded by Ultimate Upland, LLC, whose decisions on all matters relating to the Tournament will be binding and final. Winner will be notified on or about two (2) days following winner selection. The winning name can be obtained by writing to info@ultimateupland.com.
• ADDITIONAL TERMS: Tournament is valid in the United States only. If you do not live in the United States, do not enter the Tournament. If for any reason the Tournament including, but not limited to, the online portion, does not function as planned, its integrity or feasibility is undermined, or anything compromises the administration, security, fairness, proper conduct or intended play of the Tournament, Ultimate Upland, LLC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual the Sponsor deems responsible, and/or to abbreviate, cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Tournament. UU assumes no responsibility for any defect or delay in operation or transmission, communications failure, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, including any erroneous appearance of qualification for a prize. If the Sponsor, in its discretion, elects to abbreviate the Tournament, the Sponsor reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prize(s) from among all valid and eligible entries received up to that time. All entries are the property of the Sponsor and are not returnable.
• WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH ATTEMPT BE MADE, ULTIMATE UPLAND, LLC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Tournament entries generated by a script, macro or other automated means are ineligible and will be disqualified.
• RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By entering, entrant agrees to accept and abide by the rules of this Tournament and agrees that any dispute with regard to the conduct of this Tournament, rule interpretation, or award of prize, shall be resolved by UU in its sole discretion, whose decision shall be binding and final. By participating, entrant agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and any respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and the officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives of each from any injury, loss or damage to person or property due in-whole or in-part, directly or indirectly to the acceptance, use, or misuse of a prize, participation in any Tournaement-related activity, or participation in the Tournament. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this offer, administration of the Tournament or in the announcement of prizes, including such error as may give an erroneous indication that a prize has been won.

 
Jun 2nd

Summer Sweepstakes sponsored by Watauga River Lodge

By Ultimate Upland Lodge
Please join us in welcoming to the site our latest sponsor Watauga River Lodge (wataugariverlodge.com) Thanks to their generosity we'll be awarding one Ultimate Upland member a float fishing trip for up to two anglers and overnight stay in WRL Tom's Cabin located one of the most scenic rivers east of the Mississippi.  This prize package supplied by our friends and guides at Watauga River lodge is valued at over $650. (read the details below)

 WRL promotion

Tom's Cabin is a stand-alone structure with a full-length front porch overlooking the river. It has a full bath with custom shower, full kitchen, two pillow-top queens and a screened porch with a stone fireplace. 
 
The Watauga River located in eastern TN is regarded as one of the best trout fishing destinations in the South, supporting over 2000 fish per mile. It is the perfect water for prime dry fly sight fishing throughout the entire Summer. The location of the lodge puts you in the hub of a freshwater fishing paradise: famed rivers such as the South Toe, Nolichucky and the Holston (TN's #1 trophy smallmouth stream).
 
Regardless of your level fishing experience, the guides of Watauga River Lodge can put you on fish and ensure that you have a great time. And the well appointed accommodations of the lodge will guarantee a relaxing stay.
Checkout the photo galleries at watagariverlodge.com. Also, be sure to stop by their Ultimate Upland profile and thank them for supporting the site. 
 
All you need to do to be eligible is:
1) Become a member of Ultimate Upland, if you're already a member you've got this part down
 
2) Mention Ultimate Upland anywhere online - on your Facebook page, in a Tweet, on your blog, in a forum, or on your own webpage. 

If you are following us on Facebook or Twitter just use @ultimateupland in your post and we'll see it and you will be entered for the drawing.

If you mention us somewhere else online, just shoot us an email to let us know where (info@ultimateupland.com), we'll verify it and you'll be entered to win too. 

These simple steps will qualify you for the drawing on July 15, 2011, 12am PST.
 
Arrangements for the float trip and overnight stay at Watauga River Lodge are dependent upon available dates. Scheduling will occur after the winner is selected and will be coordinated directly with WRL based on availability.
 
Giveaway Disclosure (the fun legal stuff)

• ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes is open only to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. Ultimate Upland, LLC (UU) and their respective affiliates, as well as all others involved in this promotion and their immediate families (defined for the purposes of this Sweepstakes as parents, spouses, children, siblings and household members) are not eligible. Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
• PRIZE DRAWING: Prize will be awarded in a drawing done at the conclusion of the Sweepstakes on or about July 15, 2011 to one (1) winner, selected at random by UU from among all eligible entries received throughout the Promotional Period. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received throughout the entire Sweepstakes.  
• WINNERS: Prize will be awarded in a random drawing by Ultimate Upland, LLC, whose decisions on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes will be binding and final. Winner will be notified on or about two (2) days following winner selection. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified by email. Winners must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen by UU. The winning name can be obtained by writing to info@ultimateupland.com.
• ADDITIONAL TERMS: Sweepstakes are valid in the United States only. If you do not live in the United States, do not enter the Sweepstakes. If for any reason the Sweepstakes including, but not limited to, the online portion, does not function as planned, its integrity or feasibility is undermined, or anything compromises the administration, security, fairness, proper conduct or intended play of the Sweepstakes, Ultimate Upland, LLC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual the Sponsor deems responsible, and/or to abbreviate, cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Sweepstakes. UU assumes no responsibility for any defect or delay in operation or transmission, communications failure, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, including any erroneous appearance of qualification for a prize. If the Sponsor, in its discretion, elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prize(s) from among all valid and eligible entries received up to that time. All entries are the property of the Sponsor and are not returnable.
• WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH ATTEMPT BE MADE, ULTIMATE UPLAND, LLC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sweepstakes entries generated by a script, macro or other automated means are ineligible and will be disqualified.
• RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By entering, entrant agrees to accept and abide by the rules of this Sweepstakes and agrees that any dispute with regard to the conduct of this Sweepstakes, rule interpretation, or award of prize, shall be resolved by UU in its sole discretion, whose decision shall be binding and final. By participating, entrant agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and any respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and the officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives of each from any injury, loss or damage to person or property due in-whole or in-part, directly or indirectly to the acceptance, use, or misuse of a prize, participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity, or participation in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of prizes, including such error as may give an erroneous indication that a prize has been won.
Mar 1st

Gun Dog Artwork Sweepstakes sponsored by artist Bob Bertram

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

Thanks to our friend and member Bob Bertram (bertramgallery.com) we'll be awarding one lucky Ultimate Upland member a signed and framed limited edition print of their choice valued at over $250. Checkout some of the amazing paintings in Bob's collection of numerous bird dog breeds at his website where both originals and prints are on display and for sale. Also, you can see even more of his artwork on his Ultimate Upland profile or by visiting his Facebook page.

bertrampointer.jpg

All you need to do to be eligible is:

1) Become a member of Ultimate Upland, if you're already a member you've got this part down

2) Post a Status dated March 1, 2011 or later.

These simple steps will qualify you for the drawing on April 15, 2011, 12am PST.

Print selection will be made by the winner and artwork will be shipped directly to them after being professionally matted and framed.


Giveaway Disclosure (the fun legal stuff)
• ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes is open only to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. Ultimate Upland, LLC (UU) and their respective affiliates, as well as all others involved in this promotion and their immediate families (defined for the purposes of this Sweepstakes as parents, spouses, children, siblings and household members) are not eligible. Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

• PRIZE DRAWING: Prize will be awarded in a drawing done at the conclusion of the Sweepstakes on or about April 15, 2011 to one (1) winner, selected at random by UU from among all eligible entries received throughout the Promotional Period. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received throughout the entire Sweepstakes.  

• WINNERS: Prize will be awarded in a random drawing by Ultimate Upland, LLC, whose decisions on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes will be binding and final. Winner will be notified on or about two (2) days following winner selection. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified by email. Winners must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen by UU. The winning name can be obtained by writing to info@ultimateupland.com. The winner should allow two to six weeks to receive shipment of their prize.

• ADDITIONAL TERMS: Sweepstakes are valid in the United States only. If you do not live in the United States, do not enter the Sweepstakes. If for any reason the Sweepstakes including, but not limited to, the online portion, does not function as planned, its integrity or feasibility is undermined, or anything compromises the administration, security, fairness, proper conduct or intended play of the Sweepstakes, Ultimate Upland, LLC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual the Sponsor deems responsible, and/or to abbreviate, cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Sweepstakes. UU assumes no responsibility for any defect or delay in operation or transmission, communications failure, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries, including any erroneous appearance of qualification for a prize. If the Sponsor, in its discretion, elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prize(s) from among all valid and eligible entries received up to that time. All entries are the property of the Sponsor and are not returnable.

• WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH ATTEMPT BE MADE, ULTIMATE UPLAND, LLC RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sweepstakes entries generated by a script, macro or other automated means are ineligible and will be disqualified.

• RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By entering, entrant agrees to accept and abide by the rules of this Sweepstakes and agrees that any dispute with regard to the conduct of this Sweepstakes, rule interpretation, or award of prize, shall be resolved by UU in its sole discretion, whose decision shall be binding and final. By participating, entrant agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and any respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and the officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives of each from any injury, loss or damage to person or property due in-whole or in-part, directly or indirectly to the acceptance, use, or misuse of a prize, participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity, or participation in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of prizes, including such error as may give an erroneous indication that a prize has been won.

Jan 20th

Birdhunter by Day, Crimefighter by Night

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

The relationship between man and dog has spanned over 15,000 years. Our canine counterparts have been pivotal to everything from our hunting and gathering strategies to our farming and cultivating of the earth and even to the success of our land crossing into North America through the Bering Straight.  Today, whether our canines are treasured lap dogs or hard at work, they have truly earned the title of “man’s best friend”.

Shane Grammer, of the Litchfield Police Department in Illinois demonstrates just how important working dogs still are in our everyday lives. On the job, Grammer and his dog Arie, an almost 6 year old Malinois from Holland have gained a reputation as a strong police resource in the Lichtfield K9 Unit. At home, Grammer has three other dogs that he loves and trains in his free time.