Thursday, August 30, 2007

Field Judging Bears II

A quick and effective way to judge a bear in the field is to use a measuring stick. Find a stick or whatever you can find that is as close to 5 feet in length as possible. Lay this measuring stick on the ground near your bait. A female or young male bear will normally be 5 feet or less in length. If your bear is longer than your measuring stick you are most likely looking at an adult male bear.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


If your dog makes friends with a skunk this fall while hunting I have a tried and true recipe that will make your partner smell like new in short order.

Mix together these items and bath. If once doesn't do it give your pooch a second bath and the problem should be gone.

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tsp dish washing liquid

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trophy Pictures

It takes a lot of hard work to bring down a trophy whitetail. To preserve and share the big event with others be sure to get good video or snapshots of your trophy. Ron Tussel of the Wrangler ProGear Outdoor Advisory Team offers suggestions. Buy a set of glass eyes from a taxidermy supply house and insert them into your deer prior to pictures. Carry a pack of wet wipes and clean all blood from your hands as well as from the deer’s face and antlers. Pose the deer naturally; tuck the front legs under. Be conscious of your background to have a good clean photo that will showcase your trophy and speak volumes about a successful hunt.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

Fish want to live a comfortable life, just like we do. They want protection and they want food. If the water we are fishing does not provide these things it is unlikely that there will be fish there.

One of the most common mistakes I see fishermen making while fishing rivers and streams is that they are fishing bright water. We have to remember that fish don't have eyelids and when the sun is out the fish are going to look for some shade. If the water is clear the problem is even bigger.

Fish the areas that provide protection from the sun. These are the areas that fish will be hiding. If you are fishing on lakes the best protection a fish has from the sun is depth of water. Don't be fishing the shallow areas of the lake on bright sunny days.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Cool Rod

I had the chance to field test the EMMROD thanks to Doug Leier who received one from the manufacturer of the rod. If you have never heard of this rod before take a look at their web site. This is a unique rod that was a joy to use.

I took it to a local pond for some fast Bluegill action and the rod handled these guys with ease. I was hoping to get out and try it on some hard fighting catfish but that will have to be for another day.

I was using the Packer model and would love to give their spinning rod a try. Setting the hook was about the only difference I noticed between this rod and a regular 6 foot rod. It took a little more effort to set the hook because of the rod length but other than that the rod performed great.

Would I use this rod as my main rod? Probably not, but I would like to get one to have in the truck for those unexpected fishing opportunities. If I were heading into the back country on a hunting trip or if I was a backpacker or going trail riding I would not go without one of these rods.

These rods are very well made and definitely not a toy or gimmick. You can tell that some thought went into their making and even though they are not cheap I can't imagine how you could ever damage one.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wind Indicator for Bowhunters

With the keen sense of smell that whitetails and elk have, it is imperative to monitor the wind direction. Yes, a small bottle of white powder works but that takes effort and movement. A better option is to attach a piece of sewing thread to the end of your stabilizer. Now when the wind makes a subtle change of direction you will know right away.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Busting Ducks

Like to hunt ducks but hate getting up before the sun does? Try sleeping in and then finding out where the ducks like to rest for the day after they have eaten their breakfast. Look for areas of water where 100 plus ducks are resting and then sneak in, either by boat or on foot. Flush the ducks and then find a spot to hide. After a short while the ducks will start coming back to the area, usually 2-3 at a time. Take along a few decoys to attact them within shooting distance and enjoy the mid-morning hunt. Go light on the calling and if the ducks don't start returning with 20 minutes its time to look for another flock to bust.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Really Red Worms

Want to entice panfish, catfish, bullheads or any other fish that eats worms to bite your hook a little bit faster. Try soaking your worms in red cool aid or beet juice. Adding red food coloring to a small amount of water will also work. The red color acts as an attractant and the added scent also helps.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chumming for Panfish

To increase the activity in the area you are fishing try chumming the area with a handful of mealworm or maggots. Panfish can't resist the large cloud of free falling food and will hurry to the area for an easy meal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hunting Pressured Whitetails

If you are hunting on public land or private land that other hunters use it would be wise to consider placing your stand at a non-typical location.

One of the better places to place a stand where other hunters are pushing deer is on an escape route. Take advantage of the movements of other hunters and try to intercept the deer as they are running away from these hunters.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bleeding Fish

Bleeding fish prior to cleaning is an important step that many fisherman forget to do or don't think is important. Bleeding your fish prior to cleaning will reward you with nice white fillets that are void of most coloration except white.

To bleed a fish insert your knife into the belly area of the fish near the head or throat. Twist your knife slightly and let the fish bleed out. You can also make a cut through the gills under the back of the gill plate.

Catfish are a very bloody fish in my opinion. If you just fillet out the catfish you are left with a very reddish fillet. If bled first, fillet and left to soak in water for a short while you end up with a nice firm, white fillet that with rival any fish that swims and boy do they taste good. The picture is the result of properly cleaning 2 catfish that we caught last night. One was 7 pounds and one was 5 pounds. They were a little larger than I like for eating but with an upcoming fish fry they will be perfect, especially if you soak the fillets in Mountain Dew first:)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Saving Time Re-Rigging

When you fish rivers with live bait or cut bait, getting snagged and breaking off your line is common. Not only is it common but it is a pain in the rear and time consuming to get set back up to go fishing again.

I can't avoid the snags but I did make the job of re-rigging much easier. By adopting a method from fly fishing I started using a loop-to-loop connection between my main line and my rig. Now I pre-make several rigs that entail my weight, glass bead, a swivel, and circle hook.

Start by cutting a piece of line about 18-24" long, tie a double surgeons knot to form a loop on one end of that line, add your weight (I use 3-5oz no-roll sinkers), slide on a glass bead from a craft store to protect the knot between the weight and the swivel, then tie on your swivel. Now cut another piece of line 12-18" long (make sure it is of less weight. I will usually use 65lb braided on the top half of the rig and 35lb braided below the swivel). Tie this line to your swivel and then tie your hook on. I normally will use a snell knot with a circle hook.

Now when you get snagged and need to break the line off you only loose your hook. Once you are reeled back in you can disconnect the loop-to-loop connection from your line and replace your whole rig at once within a few seconds. I usually make up several of the rigs ahead of time so that I always have one handy to go. You could also tie a loop on the end of the hook line and make a loop connection through the swivel but I prefer tying a standard knot for the swivel connection.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stay Back for Bigger Bluegills

When you are fishing brush piles for bluegills start by fishing several yards away from the structure. Larger bluegills tend to hide in smaller patches of auxiliary cover just outside the main cover.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Activated Carbon Clothing

Does activated carbon clothing work or are hunters being duped out of their hard earned cash. Click this link to read an interesting article and then make you own decision.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Match the Hatch

Fly fisherman are well aware of the match the hatch fishing technique. Use a fly that matches what insect is currently hatching and you will increase your chances of catching a fish. This technique works for other types of fishing also, not just fly fishing.

The problem I had with this concept was understanding why matching the hatch worked. In my mind I thought that if all the fish in the lake or river where feeding on frogs then a nice juicy night crawler or minnow would induce an instant strike because I was offering the fish something different. Then the concept was explained with an analogy that I could understand.

Imagine going to a steak house and smelling the wonderful aroma of a steak grilling. The smell is everywhere in the steak house and just the smell alone makes your mouth water. Now the waiter comes to your table and you order the best Porterhouse steak in the place. You wait in anticipation for that wonderful juicy steak and in about 20 minuted the server comes over to the table with your order, only they set a plate of chicken strips in front of you. What would be your reaction?

Remember this analogy the next time you go fishing and try to use or imitate whatever the fish are currently feeding on. If they want steak, give them steak, not chicken.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saving Your Dog from Flies

If you have a dog and they are being bothered by black flies you need to go to this link on Doug Leiers blog ND Outdoors & Beyond. He has posted a great tip that will save your dog the pain and frustration of black flies. Thanks Doug.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Great Video Found on

This is a great video that all hunters should watch, even if you have never bowhunted. It is a video about becoming a Certified Bowhunter. The video is about 40 minutes long but I think you will enjoy it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Keep the Hook Exposed for Catfish

To increase your hookup percentage when fishing for catfish be sure to keep the hook point exposed. Don't use too large of bait for the hook size you are using. The inside of a catfish mouth is tough and if the hook point is buried in the bait you will have little chance of getting a good hook set.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fishing with Leeches

Leeches have 34 body body segments and when they feel threatened they will curl up. A curled up leech is much easier for a fish to swallow and fish will use this defense mechanism to their advantage.

Fish will hammer a leach first to make it curl up and then come back to engulf it, usually from a different angle. This is what fishermen call a short strike. Many fisherman will miss fish because they feel this first hit and then set the hook too soon, pulling the leech out of the fishes path.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Setting Deer At Ease

While you are hunting deer this fall don't forget to take along your turkey call. Once you have spent some time in your blind or tree stand and the woods have had time to settle back down pull out your turkey call and make a few soft purring and clucking sounds. Turkeys rely on there eyesight and their hearing to detect danger. Other animals, including deer feel more comfortable when they think that a turkey is nearby. I guess there is comfort in numbers in the animal world also.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Stump Shooting

Estimating ranges while bowhunting is a necessary skill and learning to accurately estimate ranges can only be done one way...practice. One of the funnest ways to practice estimating ranges is to go stump shooting.

Get yourself some judo or rubber blunt tip heads and go stump hunting. Pick out a tree stump, estimate its' range and shoot. After an afternoon of stump shooting your range estimating skills will be greatly enhanced. It may take several trips to the woods to go stump shooting before you are proficient at range estimation but it will be a fun learning experience and if you involve a partner it can become a fun competition also.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Finding Blood

A spray bottle filled with Hydrogen Peroxide is a good tool to have when tracking a wounded deer. When the blood gets sparse or to determine if it is actually blood you're looking at, spray the Peroxide in the area in question. The Proxide will foam up as it reacts with the blood leaving no doubt if you are on the right path to finding your deer. It also doubles as a cleansing agent for wounds you may encounter in the field.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Venison Bacon Cheeseburger

Today's post is not a tip but I think you will enjoy this anyway if you give it a try.

I had the opportunity this summer to try a new way of using venison that I truly enjoyed. It is simple and even my wife and son liked it.

If you have any venison left from last fall or when you get your fresh venison this fall keep some of it to grind into burger. Not just regular venison burger but Venison Bacon Burger. Mix by wieght 2/3 venison to 1/3 bacon. Grind as usual and cook on the grill as burgers. These burgers are great and taste like a bacon cheeseburger, that is if you had some cheese.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Sneaking up on game is difficult at best. No matter how hard you try, it is difficult not to step on a small branch or some dried grass that you did not see at the worst time. Relying on your sight to walk silently is not the best way to go. Instead, carry an extra pair of thick socks and when you are getting close, take off your boots, add the extra pair of socks for foot protection and continue your hunt. Your socked foot will feel much more than any boot covered foot and stop you from crunching down on something that will scare your quarry.