By Mark Kenyon

As I write this, I’m sitting in the Denver Airport waiting for my connecting flight back home from Las Vegas and the 2013 SHOT show. The SHOT show is the largest shooting and hunting industry convention in the US, and it’s been a whirlwind trip to see it in just one day. But as exhausted as I am, I’m still riding high on adrenaline and pride after spending the last 24 hours with so many fellow outdoorsman, hunters and shooters. It’s been a tough month or two for those of us in the hunting and shooting world, as the court of public opinion has been carpet bombing us with negative press and our politicians plot how to chip away at our 2nd amendment rights. But I’ll tell you what, we’ve got a great group of people here in our industry that have got our backs.

There was a lot of talk about what all of the recent events in politics might mean for us hunters in the future, but one things thats for sure is that none of us are going down without a fight. Hunting and shooting is alive and well in the USA and if I took anything away from my time at SHOT, it’s that we need to continue to stick together and stand up for what we believe in.

That said, in today’s Friday Morning Mashup we’ve got a bit of everything and just a lot to read in general! Hunting strategies, SHOT show updates, ATA products and a few words on the fight for the 2nd amendment. Take a look, enjoy your weekend and be sure to celebrate Gun Appreciation Day tomorrow!

Why Do We Cling To Guns and Religion? – Pro Hunter’s Journal: This is a terrific article discussing the origination of the 2nd amendment and what it really means.

Changing Times Ahead – Heartland Outdoors: Outdoor writer Marc Anthony discusses his concerns with recent events and offers a few calls to action.

PETA Begs Obama To Include Hunting Ban – Washington Examiner: This can’t come as much of a surprise, but the nuts at PETA are trying to jump on the gun control band wagon and get the president to”Ban all gun violence, not just against humans but also animals”. Wonderful.

Assault Weapons Banned At Eastern Sports Show In Harrisburg – Lancaster Online: In a very disappointing bit of news, the folks at the Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg have caved to political correctness and media worries and are now removing all companies from their show that were displaying or selling AR style weapons. Lots of folks are voicing their displeasure with this move, and a number of additional companies are now pulling out of the show in protest.

New Hunting Clothing, Boots and Packs from 2013 SHOT show – My friends at had a lot more time on the SHOT show floor than I, and they took advantage of that time by getting new product photos and recaps up for us to see!

New Guns and Ammo from the 2013 SHOT Show: More photos and updates on the newest guns and ammo at SHOT.

Functional, Fascinating, or Funny? – 6 Interesting Products from the 2013 ATA Show – Sole Adventure: W2H contributor Mark Huelsing highlights 6 very interesting and unique products he saw at the ATA show.

Venison Filet with Tomato and Portobello Mushroom Game Stock Gnocchi – Bowhunting Wild Food: Hopefully you’ve got a freezer full of venison now, and in this article W2H contributor Chris Eberhart details a pretty darn tasty looking recipe. This one is sure to impress that “special someone” if you need post-hunting season brownie points!

Hunting Strategies: Studying Buck Behavior – Growing Deer TV Blog: Dr. Grant Woods discusses the importance of  studying trail cam pics and deer behavior, rather than just looking at antlers and inches.

Maryland Bowhunter Takes Monster 194-Inch Buck – Big Buck Zone: Here is the obligatory big buck story for the week and this one’s from Maryland!

Hack-and-Squirt for Timber Stand Improvement – “Hack and Squirt” is a popular tactic for removing invasive or undesirable tree species from an area when you’re trying to improve habitat for wildlife. The QDMA outlines how you can take advantage of this method to improve your hunting grounds.