Mitch Petrie

Mitch Petrie is the owner of Muddy Boot Productions, an independent producer of outdoor television, currently producing "Wardens" on the Outdoor Channel. Mitch writes about his passion for hunting, fishing, wildlife and the business of the outdoors.

Treestand Safety

Posted by: Mitch Petrie Updated: October 16, 2014 - 12:23 PM

A recent news story about a Wisconsin man who died having fallen out of his treestand has me thinking about treestand safety. This morning I had an awesome bowhunt; while waiting for a deer to show up I witnessed an amazing sunrise, had 3 coyotes come to within 20 yards, a flock of turkeys flew down 20 minutes later, bald eagles circled above.... And while I didn't see any deer, I couldn't bear the thought of not having any more experiences like this, not to mention the impact on my family, because I was too stubborn not to wear a safety harness. 

This is my 7th year bowhunting and I'm proud to say that I've never sat in a stand without a harness. In fact, I'm probably overly careful so in addition to always maintaining three points of contact I generally attach the carabineer connected to my harness on a footpeg as I go by so I'm always maintaining 3-4 points of contact with the tree.

Sadly, the family of the man who died at the base of his treestand is thought to have fallen out as he left the tree. To be honest, it's the climb or descent that usually gives me the willies too...

Today I used a new product from Hunter Safety Systems called the LifeLine. It keeps you connected from the base of the tree all the way up to your stand by incorporating a simple knot on a rope that you slide up and down as you climb. In the event of a fall the knot cinches and holds you in place. According their website "82% of hunters who end up in a hospital (or a grave) from a treestand fall ARE wearing a harness at the time of the accident." And 86% of tree stand falls happen during the climb up or down from a stand."

I view this as a $40 insurance policy that insures many safe and successful hunts in the future.

Happy (and safe) Hunting!


Great Youth Deer Hunting Clip

Posted by: Mitch Petrie Updated: October 6, 2014 - 9:23 AM

There are some who may not like seeing a young girl shoot a deer and unfortunately that's all they'll see in this video. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE as seen on Parenting Done Right Outdoors

What's not shown are the hours practicing, studying deer, familiarizing herself with her bow, days, weeks, and months spent with her dad preparing for this moment. The emotion has little or nothing to do with the kill shot; it's the result of setting a goal (first deer), working hard (practice), perseverance (waiting many hours in a treestand), trials and tribulations (misses, near misses, busts), and doubt (from naysayers and anti-hunters). After several days of searching the deer was never recovered. It happens to the best of us. Fortunately Amherst, VA hunter Reagan Bryan, was undeterred and was able to shoot and and recover her first deer one week later. Persistence pays off...another good life lesson!

This story embodies everything that is right about hunting. In a time when kids expect instant gratification and have an over-developed sense of entitlement I think the world would be a better place of more kids hunted!

Happy Hunting!


Kayaks Take the Mississippi By Storm

Posted by: Mitch Petrie under Fishing Updated: September 29, 2014 - 12:52 PM

An armada of modern kayaks built for fishing slipped silently into the moving waters of the Mississippi River north of Clearwater early Saturday morning, as some 40 members of the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association gathered to compete in a friendly competition based on the successful hooking and releasing of Smallmouth Bass.

Anglers worked shorelines, riffles, pools and island edges as their kayaks enabled them to deftly ply the moving and sometimes very shallow waters.   

Born out of sealskin-covered craft first used for hunting and subsistence living by Aleut, Inuit, and Yupik peoples of the sub-Arctic and other northern regions, modern fishing kayaks are no longer the very tippy craft of yesteryear.  

Todays kayak are built from modern polymers and other space-age materials and are designed like small fishing battleships, ready to take on any river, lake or ocean.  New designs and improvements have allowed even wary skeptics the chance to counter the popularity of the motorized fishing boat in an affordable fashion. 

Affordability has been the key to the success of these boats and the crowds have joined in on fishing tournaments and and kayak fishing clubs around the country.

The Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association is no different.  It boasts nearly 500 hundred active members that gather for weekly outings and tournaments. Members meet to share ideas on fishing, rigging kayaks, and learn the latest innovations in rod holders, depth finders, trolling motors, downriggers and more. 

Dan Meer,  owner of Clearawters Outfitting Company, host of this years’ Bronzeback Classic Fishing Tournament said, “I’ve seen a rise in sales and rentals of fishing kayaks this year.  Kayaking allows everyone to get into the sport at affordable prices compared to traditional fishing boats and motors. It’s a very quiet and gentle sport that has no boundaries. We have first-timers that get so addicted to kayaks that they enthusiastically talk the sport up, getting friends and family involved.”

This tournaments’ anglers, who traveled to the Mississippi from all over the Midwest, cast their lures in hopes to cash in on a host of prizes that included rods, reels, kayak gear and cash prizes.  Two new kayaks were given away to winning anglers.

Tournament anglers met early Saturday morning at Clearwater Outfitting Company in Clearwater, loading kayaks onto the shuttle trailers under dim street lights.  They were then transported to a starting point upstream to float the 9 miles down river in search of their three biggest fish of the day.  Each fish was carefully measured, then photographed on cell phones.  Images were e-mailed to the contest headquarters after the fish were released back into the river.  

Tournament Recap by Paul M  Hansen 

Pictures by Mitch Kezar,

Mike Yeo Classic bass tournament

Posted by: Mitch Petrie under Recreation, Fishing Updated: September 10, 2014 - 11:59 AM

Article by Mitch Petrie, SPECIAL TO STARTRIBUNE.COM :

Wild coach Mike Yeo, backed by players Erik Haula, Keith Ballard, Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine, took to the waters of Lake Minnetonka in the first “Mike Yeo Classic” bass tournament. The event, put on by the Minnesota Wild Foundation and Sponsored by Gander Mountain, is a fundraiser for the Angel Foundation and the Miracles of Mitch Foundation. Both organizations assist individuals and families in need of financial support as they fight cancer.

Teammates and Alumni from the MN Wild regroup after a day on Lake Minnetonka

Fans had the opportunity to bid online to be in one of seven boats. Others were drawn from a pool of season-ticket holders who submitted trophy shots of their fish while wearing Wild gear.

“The event came together quickly as part of our commitment to the community.” Explained Coach Yeo. “We’ve supported The Angel Foundation and Miracles of Mitch Foundation in the past and this is a great opportunity help raise awareness and money for both these great charities.” he continued. When asked about his support of cancer charities Coach Yeo explained,  “Most of us have been effected by cancer in our lives and supporting families in this struggle is very important for me.” .

Anglers were competing for the best combined bag of five fish. “Our boat had lots of action and we caught tons of fish but couldn't find the big ones.” Said Yeo.

Wild Alumni Darby Hendrickson fished with Coach Yeo, season ticket holder Kurt Casby and his daughter Nicole.  “It was a great experience to bring everyone together to talk hockey, fish, and raise money for some great charities.” said Hendrickson. “We caught our limit of bass but won’t be in the money.” He continued.

MN Wild Coach Mike Yeo Weighs in 5 Bass with Emcee Jason Holmer

Both Yeo and Hendrickson expect the event to grow. “We started with six boats and a great sponsor in Gander Mountain and next year hope to grow the event to 25 boats”. Said Yeo.

Team leader Jason Zucker and guests Scott and Nancy Bonnema and from Zimmerman, MN. show off two bass over 3.5 lbs each. The fish on the left was the biggest fish of the day. Nancy won the opportunity to fish by submitted a picture of her in a Wild jersy holding a trophy bass.

Results for the event were as follows (All boats caught a 5-fish limit):

1. Team Justin Fontaine : 13.42 lbs
2. Team Matt Cooke : 12.92 lbs
3. Team Jason Zucker : 12.84 lbs
4. Team Erik Haula : 10.14 lbs
5. Team Keith Ballard : 8.04 lbs
6. Team Mike Yeo : 6.14 lbs

Biggest fish of the day honors went to Team Zucker with a 3.70 lbs bass.

Treestand Safety Month

Posted by: Mitch Petrie Updated: August 21, 2014 - 4:19 PM

Hunting from an elevated position can be a highly effective method for hunters pursuing wild game such as whitetail deer, elk, turkeys, bear, hogs, etc.  Unfortunately this popularity has made treestand accidents one of the most frequent causes of serious injuries or death suffered by hunters. The good news is that the majority of these injuries can be avoided by using proper safety defenses and equipment while climbing, descending, and hunting from elevated stands.

Randi Rowlett is Strapped In and Safe on her Twisted Timber Treestand!

Before you go to hang your stand, get familiar with it and practice hanging the entire set up a few feet off the ground so you know how to anchor it, cinch it, etc.  Purchase easy-to-climb and safe ladder steps or a ladder stand. Always put on your harness/safety system while you are still on the ground and have three points of contact whenever you are climbing into and out of your stand. The easiest way to do this is wearing a full body harness with a safety belt. Full-body harnesses with straps encircle the torso, legs, and shoulders allowing a fallen hunter to hang in an upright position. We all know any good plan can go bad, so take the time to make sure to clear the ground area under your tree stand from any protruding branches or sharp objects. 

Don’t forget to tell a friend or family member when and where you are going hunting. If possible, leave a note or map marked with your stand location(s) on it in case of emergency. Lastly, remember to be prepared for changes in weather. Lightning can be deadly especially when you are sitting in a tree stand. Bring a ground blind or another back up plan if this is ever a possibility. Your life depends on it! 

If you're looking for a locally produced, high-quality treestand, check out Twisted Timber from Mountain Lake....

Wishing you a safe and successful hunt this fall!

Happy Hunting!

Randi Rowlett and Mitch Petrie, Muddy Boot Productions


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