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The last week or so has been really busy. I've been making appearances for Bass Pro Shops in various places around the country. While all that was going on I was at the Tracker and Nitro convention getting ready for next year's activities.

This has been a tough period for boat manufacturers, but I honestly think we're in a great position to weather the economic storm and then come out better when things start improving. And make no mistake about it, we will recover and things will get better.

Anyway, I'll have more to say about the exciting things happening with Tracker and Nitro boats next week. This week I want to brag on my boys a bit. We had a youth deer hunt last weekend up here in Michigan. Both Jackson and Nicholas participated.

I had flight problems — late with missed connections, you know the drill — and didn't get home on Saturday to take them hunting. I finally got into Chicago late in the evening. I was able to rent a car and drive to Kalamazoo so I could hunt on Sunday.

My brother-in-law helped out by taking Jackson hunting on Saturday. He got his first deer that day, a fine doe. Then on Sunday I was out with Nicholas and he bagged his first doe, too. It was a great weekend at the VanDam house. I'm really proud of them and what they achieved.

Experiences like that are what make life worthwhile. To see the sense of accomplishment on my sons' faces after a successful weekend of hunting is something that only a father can appreciate. It's the real deal, that's for sure.

I have to go now. The next few weeks are some of the busiest of the year for me. I have several photo shoots and interviews set up with sponsors after my 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year win. Along with that I have several tournaments to fish.

Next week we'll talk some more about the Tracker/Nitro Convention and what I see happening with boats in the near future. After that, we'll take a look at one of my favorite happenings that's on the horizon — the Strike King media event in Tennessee and why it matters to you.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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