Our Nebraska 4-H Video is Almost Done

Our Nebraska 4-H Gold Adventure was an exciting event for Elissa, Haley, Nicole, me and our families.

After we returned home we Four submitted our short essays on the experience and that made me think about writing a bigger story about this journey.

I wanted to explain how we got to compete in the National Shooting Sports Competition. We shot about 1200 photos and about an hour of video. All of this could all be used in a TV-like program, but to explain it all I needed to tell the full story by writing it all down.

Writing a script is hard to do, but once I got started it just all came out, well, maybe too much came out. Then, I did have to ask for some help with writing and editing it. My Grandfather and I had a few conflicts as to what to write, in what order, and how long it should be.

We were in Grand Island a week, and we practiced for this competition since April. In addition, I added the events of our Jerome Jr. Rifle Club’s activities since January. It’s really hard to condense about 7 months into a 20+ minute video. With the script finally done, I sat down to be video taped in our “Video Production Studio”.

I became the Host and narrator for the project. My Pups and I did have have a few arguments concerning my on-camera narrations and delivery, plus re-writes. Now, he turns off the camera so there is no proof that he yells at me during our productions.

I try to get every segment done without a goof-up, this makes editing easier for John Concannon, his Video Production partner. But, stuff happens. These two guys have been doing this kind of video work for a long time, like almost 50 years. They said they could do it, no problem. Well, maybe a few problems.

The next step will be going to the Concannon Video Editing & Production Office to piece this all together. Look out John, Remember my Wyoming Mule Deer and Antelope Video? My latest Video may be more difficult?

This video may be more of a headache for you and will make my Mule Deer Hunt production seem easy.

My On-Camera and Narration are in the can. Hope to be done editing this week! Going for Nebraska 4-H Gold” coming soon to a Flat Screen near you.

 

My Gold Medal 4-H Experience

Winning the 4-H National Shooting Sports Championship in Grand Island Nebraska was quite a thrill for Haley, Nicole, Elissa, and me. We all agreed it was an awesome event and took a lot of practice and determination for us all to get there.

Part of the duties required from of each member of a 4-H Rifle Team, who made the trip, was to have each shooter write a 500+ word essay.

This paper would express what is was like to attend this nationwide competition. Each of us recently submitted our written papers to Officials at the Somerset County 4-H Office.

My Dad, Aaron Korenoski a Pro Truck Driver, teased me and my grandparents before leaving for Nebraska by saying he’d strap our Tahoe to his flat-bed trailer and drive us all out to Grand Island on his big-rig “Ole Blue”.

He often drove to Florida, California and the Mid-West states. Dad said, “Heck, I was just in Iowa and I could have dropped you guys off.” Unfortunately, my Dad never got the chance to take us to Nebraska.

I was so happy when he attended my Rifle Competitions. Mom and I had a great time with Dad when he drove us to the Palmyra Sportsman’s Club near Harrisburg for my Jerome Jr Rifle Team competition.

My 4-H Gold Medal Essay follows below:

My name is Ruby Korenoski, I’m a 4-year member of both the Conemaugh Township High School Small-bore Rifle Team and the Jerome Junior Rifle Team and this year I joined the Somerset County 4-H Rifle Team.

My love for the outdoors, especially shooting, started from a very young age. I’ve been shooting BB guns, pellet guns, 22’s and bow and arrows since First Grade.

When I was 9 years old, my Grandfather helped me start a website called “Ruby’s Outdoor Rendezvous” (www.RORUSA.com).

My goal was to showcase videos, photos, stories, and events from all my Outdoor Adventures to share with other kids my age.

The success of my website drew the attention of a big-time optics company called Riton, based in Phoenix, Arizona. I even landed a job with them to promote their scopes and binoculars on my website.

Earlier this year, the Somerset County 4-H Rifle Coach, Mike Knapp, presented me and my Jerome Rifle team mates, Haley, Nicole, and Elissa, with the opportunity to compete at the Pennsylvania State 4-H competition.

We were excited to be named to the 4-H Team and we jumped at the offer to shoot at the Shenecoy Sportsman’s Club Range this past April.

After shooting the 3-P match with our small-bore rifles we all felt we had made a good showing. A week later we were informed that our team won the PA State 4-H Championship.

Our scores made it clear that we would be eligible to travel to Grand Island, Nebraska for the National 4H Shooting Sports Competition in June.

We were really anxious to attend this big nation-wide competition. We only had a few months to practice, practice, practice; and that’s exactly what we did.

Our supportive coaches and families met us at the Jerome Club Range, three times a week, for an extensive shooting regime.

We were not familiar with the Steel Silhouette or the CMP “rapid fire” event, and we were rookies with the new and different rifles that were required.

Mike Knapp is our respected coach and we couldn’t have made so much progress, in a short amount of time, without his guidance, experience and enthusiasm. Coach Knapp had been at this national 4-H competition several years ago and he had us all ready and excited to go out west.

However, a few short weeks before the Nebraska competition, a tragedy took place in my family. My amazing, hardworking, loving father passed away unexpectedly, of a massive heart attack, while on the road in Joplin, Missouri.

My Dad was an over the road truck driver and he owned his own rig, a Peterbilt, he called “Ole Blue”.

In the weeks to follow, I was so sad and my motivation for shooting declined. But, I knew in my heart my Dad would’ve wanted me to be strong and to go ahead and compete.

I never could have imagined the pain of losing someone so close to me. My heart ached each day, but I persevered until the day we set off on our 17 hour journey.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved hearing my Dad’s stories about the miles he drove each week, crisscrossing America.

As we traveled towards Nebraska, down the highways in Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa, I saw the scenery he drove through. I looked out the window and felt as if my Dad was with me, giving me strength.

I believed I’d need his help to endure the week of strenuous shooting in the heat and winds of Grand Island, Nebraska.

The day we arrived at the Heartlands Event Arena, to register for the competition, we realized how serious the agenda for this week would be. There were six hundred individual shooters from 32 different states there, all with the same goal in mind as us – winning a Gold Medal in their shooting events.

I was surprised to see how many kids across America shared the love of shooting that I do.

The events my team participated in included, 22 Rifle Silhouettes, 10-22 semi-auto CMP, and Small-Bore 22 precision shooting. Of course us girls were aiming for a 1st Place in all events, but we shared the same mindset that where ever we placed in the competition, would be an accomplishment in itself.

Shooting the steel silhouettes in high winds was a shock to us all. In Pennsylvania the wind speed was nowhere near as high as it was in Nebraska. Some Ram targets blew over in the strong gusts.

The weather is always a factor, a breeze can move your bullets off course, but it didn’t keep us from shooting to the best of our abilities. Our team ended up winning a 5th place ribbon. That was an awesome accomplishment.

Next came CMP, it wasn’t our strong suit among the three events, and most of us never fired these 22 Auto-loading rifles before this year. But, we ended up in 10th place and participating in this event was a really cool experience.

Finally, on our last day, we got to shoot in the event we love the most, the 3-Position Olympic style match. We set up our gear and thankfully, after witnessing the skill the other shooters displayed, it made us more determined to shine.

We mentally prepared ourselves and as we laid down in our positions, our level of experience was apparent to the Range Safety Officers. They were impressed with our composure and told our coach that we were all well trained. Those compliments gave us some extra confidence.

We pulled through as a team, and we earned a First Place in 3-P. The feeling of pride to be called up on the large stage, in front of hundreds of spectators and fellow 4H members, for our Gold Medals, was like no other.

The kids cheered us and the sound of the crowd’s applause was thrilling. We wore our Gold medals with pride.

We could see our parents, grandparents, coaches and even some friends we met along the way, all smiling. They were proud of us, too.

The 4H National competition taught me many things.

First of all, I learned that hard work and patience pays off.

Secondly, it taught me to always keep a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Lastly, never back down to a challenge, always take the risk and persevere, even in your darkest times.

The loss of my Dad weighed on me each day, and I wanted to make him proud. If I hadn’t of gone, I would have let my teammates down and I never would have experienced this event of a lifetime.

Winning a Gold Medal, during this devastating time, showed me that with focus and dedication I could accomplish anything. 

The good sportsmanship, teamwork and togetherness displayed at the 4-H shooting sports competition was like nothing I’ve seen before.

This experience was something I will never forget for the rest of my life. 

 

Nymphing on the Little Juniata

When the Red Buds Bloom, I think about two “T’s”, Trout and Turkey. Ok, I know Spring Gobbler is next week, but it’s hard for me to pick between the two “T’s” this time of year. So, for now it’s all Trout!

Above photo is our Guide, Adam Smith, with me and my Grandpa near the Little Juniata River in Blair County. Lately I’ve been practicing my Fly rod techniques on Laurel Hill Creek, near the King’s Covered Bridge, but I wanted to try a new trout stream.

The Red Covered Bridge is a great background for photos like the one of me and my Pups, above, but the fishing there has been tough.

My grandpa said he fished the “Little Juniata” many years ago and thought that would be a good place for us to try. The river is also know as the Little “J”.  We said goodbye to the quaint Red covered wooden structure and looked forward to fishing in sight of a series of old stone arch railroad bridges.

We didn’t have much time for a scouting mission on a new river, so we picked Adam Smith to be our fishing guide. Adam and his partners operate, Juniata Troutfitters, and they take anglers on full or half-day guided fly-fishing trips on the Little Juniata.

Adam lives near by and fishes the stream nearly everyday this time of year. His other team members do too, so they have the best info on stream conditions, water levels, and types of hatches coming off the water and best fly patterns to use.

Adam met us along a stretch of the Little “J” that flows along route 453 just southeast of Tyrone, PA. The trains come roaring by on a regular schedule and you must pay attention when crossing the double set of tracks.

After a short walk down the train tracks we passed under a big stone railway arch and that path led us right to the river.

I was anxious to get my feet wet and start casting, the river was just around the next bend in the trail.

Adam recommends using two flies on your line, about a foot apart. He tied a pheasant tail, bead head nymph, size 16 and a size 18 sulfur fly, to my fly leader. He also added a tiny split-shot above the nymph to help get the flies down near the bottom.

Adam gave me some great advice and instructional tips on my casting style and just a few minutes after stepping into the water, I had a nice strike. But, I missed that fish. That’s frustrating.  A few casts later the fish whacked my fly and I finally had my first “Fish On!”

 

Catching my first Brown of the day was a relief. I didn’t want Adam to think I was just a rookie with my fly rod. It was a colorful fish that jumped out of the water a few times. This Brown helped me understand how to drift the nymph and dropper fly rig through the current.

I’ve caught lots of Bass and Panfish with flies and poppers, since I was a little girl, but I never fished a real famous trout stream like this. It’s not like fishing Paul’s Pond here.

The Little J is a catch and release only stream, and most people use fly rods here, but spinning tackle is legal, too. Every trout I caught was carefully netted, unhooked and released back into the swift flow, without any harm.

 

Adam uses the new soft plastic net material to help the fish survive. The old nets were made of knotted cords that scraped off their scales. The modern nets have less impact on the fins and scales of the fish.

I had several fish on that fought for a few minutes, then got unhooked all by themselves. It was fun while it lasted. These fish fight hard and are tough to reel in to be netted, especially in the fast current. All the Brown Trout here are natives and no hatchery trout are stocked in the Little J by the PA Fish Commission.

The scenery along the banks of the Little Juniata is really beautiful and we waded upstream for close to a mile. It’s good to use a wading staff here, the fast water and slippery rocks can be treacherous.

At one point we had a group of canoe and kayakers, go right by us. The fish didn’t mind at all. I caught two more Brownies at this location just after the boaters passed through our spot.

It was a great evening on the water, I learned a lot about the Little “J”, what flies to use and how to drift the weighted nymphs through the deep fast water runs.

Adam took time out from his instruction and Guide duties to take a few photos of me with my Brownies.

Thanks Adam for taking these nice shots of me. My Pups was always upstream, using his zoom lens to catch our fishing action. He wasn’t able to get nice close-ups like the ones you shot.

This was my last fish of the day. I didn’t want to quit, but we had a long walk out through the woods. So we headed back to the vehicles before the evening hatch started up.

Thanks Adam, for taking this shot of Pups and I and for sharing your fly-fishing expertise. You taught me a lot and I enjoyed catching and releasing all these native trout. Remember that 7th Brown I had hooked…, the biggest one, you know, the one that leaped out of the water and got away…Pups and I may be back for him sometime.

 

 

 

First Day of PA Buck Season

On the First Day of the 2020 PA Buck Season, I was anxious to shoot a deer with my Weatherby Camilla, 7mm08, topped with my Riton Scope. My Hornady 120gr. ammo  is  really accurate and  deadly.

Last year, in Wyoming, I shot a Mule Deer Buck and an Antelope Buck with my favorite rifle, both dropped on the spot. But, I haven’t hunted with this rifle since.

My “Pups” and I were in my ridge top tree stand about a half hour before daylight and watched as the sunlight slowly reveal our hunting grounds. We quickly started seeing whitetails.

The field below us is 150 yards through the woods and my Riton 10×42 Binoculars are so sharp you can easily spot antlers even on a small buck.  

A few doe were feeding along the edge of the field and we even spotted a lone turkey.

There are too many treetops to get a clear shot if a buck appears down in that green field. He’ll have to move uphill into our woods for me to have a chance at him.

If that happens my Camilla is ready for action. It’s a beautiful rifle, slick action, pretty wood, nice checkering and the “Riton Scope” is right on at 200 yards.

Around noon, because no bucks were spotted, we climbed down out of our stand and headed back home for soup and sandwiches, and maybe a nap. Who knew what would be coming by our stand.

Amazing what goes on while you’re eating lunch at home.

After getting warmed up we returned for our afternoon hunt. Then, before he climbed up,  Pups thought he should check the Trail Camera.

Our trail camera is located just a few yards in front of our ladder-stand. While he changed out the SD Card , with a new blank one,  I got up into my seat. I was all ready for the afternoon hunt.

We hunted till dark and when he got home he sent me the pictures of the deer that passed by our tree stand while we were back home. Are you kidding me! A few doe and a couple of small bucks strolled right past our camera. The little spike seems to be looking right up at our empty seat.

We’ve seen that Big Buck a few times and I just can’t seem to get a shot at him. This little spike would have been safe from my Weatherby.  Lesson learned…never go back home for lunch!

 

My Rifle Team Editorial

I was recently asked to write an Editorial for my High School newsletter while in Class. I decided this would be a great opportunity to bring attention to my favorite sport, “3-Position Competitive Rifle”.  I’m on two Rifle Teams, the  Conemaugh Township Indians and the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team and we shoot both 22 cal. LR Small-bore and 177 cal Air Rifle. My Editorial follows;

“Rifle, an Underrated Sport” by: Ruby Korenoski   Oct. 9, 2020

   The winter sports season is just around the corner. Basketball players are warming up, wrestlers are taking to the mat, and cheerleaders are stunting on the hardwood.

    In the background; the Conemaugh Township Indian’s Rifle Team members are wheeling in their gear bags, cleaning off their safety glasses, adjusting their sights and preparing for their matches.

   We all love to pile into the gymnasium and watch Township’s amazing athletes participate in their favorite winter sports. They are even highly publicized, and rightfully so. However, more often than not, when students hear about rifle they say, “Wow, our school has a rifle team?”

   This is my third year of being a member of the Indian’s Small-bore Rifle Team. Ever since I laid down in the prone position, and shot a “perfect ten” for the first time, I’ve had an un-explainable love for this 3-position, Olympic Style sport.

   It is a mental game. A teammate once told me, “A certain thought can ruin a certain shot.” Which is true. A shooter’s head-space must be calm, determined, and decisive. A common misconception, due to the lack of knowledge students have about this sport, is that it requires no skill or it is not a real sport.

   However, rifle has taught me to be extremely disciplined, due to the uncompromising regulations enforced to keep the range a safe environment for everyone. My rifle competitions have taught me to never give up, a bad shot does not mean a bad target.

   Most importantly the sport has given me some of the best friendships I have ever had. Each shooter is in their own world as they take to the line and make their mark on their three position targets. Throughout my practices and in our competitions, I have learned to respect my teammates because; in rifle everyone’s scores come together to defeat the other team.

   This sport is extremely demanding and yet, underrated. Rifle is not about rivalries, and being better than your teammates, it’s about coming together and lifting each other up for the common good of the team.

   I believe that the accomplishments our team members have made throughout the years are unmatched. I love to spread awareness for the amazing team we are lucky enough to have. Our Jerome Indoor Range is wonderful and our dedicated coaching staff and volunteers are the best. This sport has brought students of Conemaugh Township countless opportunities, as those who have received full College Rifle Scholarships can attest.

   I believe small-bore rifle does not get the recognition it deserves and I hope this article helps to spread the word. I encourage you to talk to a member of our team and if competition shooting seems to spark your interest, go for it.

   If you join our team you will experience growth, accomplishment, leadership, and memories to last long after leaving the range.

 

Center of the Nation Mule Deer & Antelope Video

Producing a Hunting Video Program is a big effort and we’ve been working on the editing process for my “Wyoming Adventure” since November. Guy and Shanna Howell were my guides and I can’t explain how much fun this hunt for Mule Deer and Antelope was. You’ll just have to view the my video.

My Antelope was almost 200 yards away when I finally got into position for the shot. The nice Buck dropped “on the spot” with one shot from my Weatherby Camilla, 7mm08 and my Riton 3-9×40 scope. All that summer shooting at my Antelope target paid off.

Shooting at a round bulls eye just isn’t the same as aiming at a live animal. This is my 5 shot group on the drawing. Now,  I was ready to go West for the real thing. Check out my video below, and I couldn’t have done any of it without the patience of my Grand Father and all the hard work John Concannon  did at his editing studio.

Center of the Nation Mule Deer

For the Best Family Friendly Mule Deer and Antelope hunting, go to the Howell’s “Center of the Nation” ranch in N.E. Wyoming.

Last week, I flew West for my first ever Big Game Adventure. Along the drive from the Rapid City SD Airport we stopped to see Mount Rushmore.

At this time of year there were no crowds, no lines and the weather was spectacular.

Our guides, Guy and Shanna Howell welcomed us to their ranch and immediately made us feel right at home. The drive to their ranch was breathtaking.

These two weathered dead pine trees framed the front yard view near the Howell’s Main Gate.

This is the wide territory that the Mule Deer and Antelope live in. Guy tells all his hunters to practice shooting at 200 yards or more. Get comfortable at that distance; getting closer is not easy to do.

 

On day two of my hunt, my Guide, Guy and I were able to sneak within 200 yards of this Big Buck. Guy used his rangefinder as we set up for the shot. In the meantime the deer moved a bit closer to us.

 

My Riton Scope was on 9 power, my 7mm08 barked and my Mule Deer dropped right on the spot. I was so thrilled. My first Mule Deer was an awesome animal.

 

Guy said it was about 300 pounds live weight. I used Hornady Custom Lite ammo, with a 120 grain bullet. It’s a low recoil load. I weigh about 95 pounds and these bullets help me shoot my 7mm08 Weatherby Camilla accurately without flinching. 

My grandpa was along for photos and video production. Guy took this photo of us and you can see how massive this buck’s neck was. I could hardly hold his head in position for photos. The bullet did not exit. The hollow point fully expanded inside the buck, for an instant kill. Guy estimates that the buck was about 160 yards away.

I took this photo just before we spotted my Mule Deer Buck. What a pretty sunrise over a vast terrain. The ranch has 1,000’s of acres where many Deer and Antelope roam. I saw several really big Mule Deer bucks during this hunt. They all seemed to quickly slip away before we could get into my 250 yard comfort zone.

I was just so impressed with this hunt. My Guide “Guy Howell” and his wife, Shanna were perfect Hosts. I’ll Never forget this Hunt!  I’ll have lots more to say and show you about this Wild Wyoming Adventure, so stay tuned for an up-coming video of my Deer and Antelope Hunt at: www.CenteroftheNation.com

 

My Mini Riton Video

My Riton Optics Manager, Tony Tarantino, asked all the Riton Pro Staff members to make a short video about how we got involved in the Shooting Sports.

I got started early with shooting and hunting by going on Spring Gobbler Hunts with my Grandpa when I was 8 years old. Please check out my Riton Mini-Video by clicking on Link below.

Thanks for watching this edition of  “Ruby’s Riton Review”.

Akron University Zippy Open

Our Jerome Rifle Team had a competition in Ohio last weekend. It was held at Akron University and the match is known as the “Annual Zippy Open”.

I’ve only practiced with this air rifle twice before this event, so that made me a bit nervous. I’ve been shooting my Feinwerkbau 2800 a few weeks now. It’s the 22 Caliber and I’m very comfortable shooting my FWB.

The Akron Zips had their Rifle Team members shooting with us during the match. They are extremely good shots. That put more pressure on us High School kids.

The ZIP’s mascot is a Kangaroo? Why, I don’t know? Our Team; Abby, Nicole, Elissa and I were registered to shoot both the small bore “22” caliber and the Air rifle “177” caliber. The Akron Rifle Coach gave us an overview of how the competition is conducted. He also explained the computerize target scoring system. Parents, coaches, and other onlookers could sit in any classroom or hallway that had a flat screen TV.

They could see each shot as it’s fired, where it hit and the shot value. Then it shows a running total score. It was a little intimidating at first, but I liked it. I want a computer target system like this for our Indoor Range. We got a few photos of each of us, shooting at the perfect moment that we shot Tens.

Nicole and I were going a bit slow during the Standing Position.

I liked seeing my shots on the Computer Screen. This is better than looking through the spotting scopes.

Abby and Nicole in the Air Rifle Competition Range. It’s the Zippy Open! There were other Team shooters from York and Harrisburg, PA. and Virginia, Michigan and Ohio.

After we were done shooting, Elissa, Nicole and I were waiting for the Akron University Campus Tour.

The Akron College Shooters are on scholarships and two of them took us on a tour of the University Campus after our shooting was complete. The AU Campus and buildings were impressive. It was a very interesting tour.

Walking all around the big Campus was good exercise after our long shooting match. We then went to have lunch at “Chick-fil-A” located inside the Student Union Building.

We all were happy that we entered this College Competition and it was good to be in a new and hi-tech facility. This helped us adapt to a totally different range, rules and level of competition. I can’t wait to go back next year.

Hunting & Fishing Adventures!