May 9, 2008
It's no secret that castable umbrella rigs hold big-bass potential, but when Pflugerville, Texas angler Donnie O’Neal cast his YUM Flash Mob Jr. into Lake Austin on April 28, his rod loaded up with what he thought was the stud he was seeking for the Texas Sharelunker Program, which recognizes bass over 13 pounds.
Bad news: It wasn't a baker's dozen bass. Good news: The catch weighed 19.6 pounds. Cool news: It was a massive double-header that included a 7.8 and O'Neal's personal best bass that weighed 11.8. Both were released after O'Neal's big catch photos. [ Read Full Post ]
Matt Watson captured this footage while shooting The Ultimate Fishing Show off the coast of New Zealand. This from the Youtube video posted earlier this month: "After battling a huge swordfish to the surface on his trusty handline out off the coast of Northland, New Zealand, Matt Watson finds himself in a race with a gigantic mako shark to secure his prize catch and get it aboard his little boat in one piece!" [ Read Full Post ]
Bears, believed to be intoxicated, have killed eight and injured dozens of others within the past week in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.
Villagers and forestry agents say the bears have become violent after gorging themselves on flowers from mahua trees, which are used by locals to brew alcohol. At least one bear was killed when Kotpad villagers chased it down and beat it to death. Forestry Minister Bijayshree Routray has placed forestry agents armed with tranquilizers in villages for protection in case the bears return, according to the BBC. [ Read Full Post ]
The popularity of shed hunting has grown greatly over the last several years, and many trainers are developing programs to teach dogs to search out and find antlers. Three years ago, Tom Dokken started developing products to use in training, and then a hunt-test-like program to inject some fun and competition into the scene.
This year, on April 13 and 14, the third NASHDA World Shed Championship took place in Northfield, Minn. The North American Shed Hunting Dog Association runs qualifying events just like a retriever or pointing dog hunt test, with pass/fail standards. “The whole idea is for events to be fun, for people to run their dogs and create good camaraderie,” said Dokken. “Most people are more than happy to share training tips and offer encouragement. In qualifying events, you’re not competing against anyone; you just have to find six antlers in 15 minutes.” [ Read Full Post ]
If you want to know whether your hunting optics are worth a spit, then look at them through the business end of a flashlight. A simple penlight – the smaller and brighter the better – will reveal flaws in coatings, indicate whether your optic was made in a competent facility, and whether you are getting your money for the glass.
This visual inspection is a skill that sharpens with repetition, but here’s how to get started. [ Read Full Post ]
Many do-it-yourself ATV and UTV owners change the exhaust on their vehicles, and for good reason: a better exhaust system will create much more power. But changing the exhaust on a carbureted machine brings on some secondary issues that need to be addressed in order to keep the engine running properly.
The exhaust pipe on your quad is tuned specifically for the machine. Not to mention, it is also custom shaped in the pattern needed to fit your machine without interfering with any other components. If this pipe or its silencer is altered in any way, (whether it is bent in an accident or manipulated by you) it can impact the engine's performance.
Here are some tips for tweaking your ATV or UTV exhaust: [ Read Full Post ]
I don’t know if animals have souls, but I do think they have extra-sensory receptors that alert them to the presence of invisible danger.
That’s why I take special satisfaction for sneaking into killing range of a wild animal. Not only have I fooled their acute senses of smell, sight, and hearing, but I’ve also evaded their highly evolved prey-animal sense that a predator is in the neighborhood.
Fear of trigging that “spidey sense” is why I never look directly at the animal I’m stalking. I’m convinced that critters, just like humans, have an innate awareness of and discomfort with someone staring at them. Just like us, they get alert and edgy under uninvited scrutiny. So when I’m stalking an animal, I’ll study it from a distance, but as I close in for the kill I avoid looking at it, or making even fleeting eye contact.
That may explain when, a couple of years ago, I stalked my most surprising quarry. [ Read Full Post ]
If you are fortunate enough to live within the native range of birch trees, then you have a lot of interesting survival options at your disposal. Birch can provide you with firewood and containers, and the right species of birch can even be turned into a tea and sweetener.
For friction fire building with birch, you can use the dead and dry branches for your drill and fire board. These materials are effective, but not quite as easy to use as willow or cedar. By far, the best fire related use of birch comes when you burn the papery curls as your fire starter. This birch paper is like a stepping stone between tinder and kindling. Whether wet or dry, these birch bark curls will burn strong, creating a black oily smoke. Any birch species that produces papery bark will be useable, but the white birch (aka paper birch) is the most effective. You’ll need an open flame like a match or lighter for best results in lighting the bark. Spark-based fire starting methods are not particularly effective for lighting the bark strips. [ Read Full Post ]
In case you haven’t noticed, newborn fawns are beginning to show up in the woods. Turkey hunters are beginning to report them and before long the woods and fields will be covered with them.
We anxiously await the fawn drop each year, it reminds us of the cycle of nature, lifts our spirits, and allows us to look in the rear view mirror and take another look at last year’s rut. Anytime we come across a newborn fawn we head to the calendar and start counting backward. Last year our rut report called for most of the breeding to occur sometime around Nov. 15, and sure enough, they are appearing on schedule. [ Read Full Post ]
In 2009, PETA harshly criticized President Barack Obama for swatting a fly during a televised interview. The animal rights – and apparently insect rights as well – group condemned the merciless act even going so far to label the moment as an "executive insect execution.”
Four years later, PETA is showing that its outrage wasn’t politically based by denouncing a Republican for the same action. On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office posted a video showing the Garden State’s Number One smashing a spider on his desk in front of a group of visiting school children. Christie bragged about his actions in a Tweet that read, "Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider #nobigdeal #toughdayattheoffice." [ Read Full Post ]
After being ignored and insulted by henned-up gobblers for two straight days, my fortunes were bound to change—but I was running out of time. It was 11:30 and we had to quit hunting at noon. I guess that’s why I love spring turkey hunting, though. The agony of defeat can turn into the thrill of victory at the yelp of a box call.
Indeed, I yelped and cutt on my boat paddle as turkey time frittered away. Two birds jumped on it and the pair were within shotgun range in 5 minutes. The strutter brought up the rear and I dumped him at 40 yards. His sub-dominant running buddy, sensing a drastic change in the pecking order, stepped back at the shotgun report before gobbling in the face of his fallen foe. He gobbled again at the flopping in the leaves and once more when I yelped at him while standing up in plain sight.
[ Read Full Post ]
Towns in Georgia and Texas adopted resolutions in late April requiring the head of every household to own a working firearm and ammunition, both non-binding symbolic gestures passed to show support for the Second Amendment.
The town council in Nelson, Ga., about 50 miles north of Atlanta, on April 29 passed its Family Protection Ordinance, requiring the head of every household to own a gun and the ammunition to feed it. It exempts felons and those with certain disabilities, and it comes without penalties for noncompliance.
According to Bob Adelmann of The New American, Nelson officials say they adopted the ordinance to "make a statement to local criminals scoping out the place, as well as to government officials looking to push federal restrictions on gun ownership." [ Read Full Post ]
I spent last week calling in vain to north Texas Rio Grande toms. Rios are supposed to be dumb, Texas is supposed to be full of turkeys and the hunt (a media event deal with guides and a cushy lodge) was supposed to be a two-bird slam dunk. Wrong.
Longbeards were tough to come by and the ones we could locate rarely responded to calls. By ambushing fly-down areas and strut zones, all of us got lucky and were still able to kill a turkey (though another hunter and I took birds with scrawny beards) but it wasn't easy. Waiting for hours to hear even a distant gobble did give me some time to think about all the road blocks in turkey hunting. Usually it's not one factor that keeps you from getting your bird, but a series of unfortunate events. Here's what hamstrung us in Texas. Tell us about your biggest turkey hunting headaches in the comments section below. [ Read Full Post ]
Toby Burke, a wildlife biologist for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, was on a bird watching excursion along the Alaskan Kasilof River Beach with his family when they spotted a brown bear in the distance.
At first they didn't think much of the sighting, and soon enough the bear disappeared among some sand dunes. But the bear reappeared at close range and started heading right for Burke, his wife, their 7-month-old baby, 8-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter. [ Read Full Post ]
The appeal of fishing from shorelines, breakwaters, and piers around the Great Lakes starts with the fact that you need just a rod or two, a small selection of tackle, and maybe a bucket to sit on, and it culminates with fresh fillets for the fryer or smoker. In between is the relaxing wait for a bite, interrupted by the adrenaline-pumping fun of catching fish—sometimes really big ones. Give these dry-land hotspots a try this season. [ Read Full Post ]