May 9, 2008
OL Senior Editor Brian Lynn and I are at famed Boca Grande pass on Florida’s west coast for the annual food chain frolics: Huge schools of tarpon come to nosh on crabs and giant sharks come to eat on the ‘poons non-stop through June and into early July.
Tomorrow we go out with Capt. Bucky Dennis the guy who caught the world record hammerhead of 1280 lbs. last year, and which was featured in a photo gallery on the OL website. You can find the complete story and photo gallery of that amazing fish by clicking here.
Just last Saturday Bucky was out at the pass for five minutes when he hooked into another huge hammerhead, nearly as big as his record. This one knocked the stuffing out of him. He fought the beast for 10 solid hours. When Bucky finally got the shark to the boat three pals grabbed the wire leader but were brought to their knees. You’re going to see the full story in an upcoming issue of OL, but for now, consider this. Bucky was so... [ Read Full Post ]
Well, thanks to a bureaucratic snafu in our paper work for bringing guns into Mexico, the OL crew bound for Chihauhau to hunt Gould's got held up—ALL DAY— in Houston! Good news is, it gave me more time to get some work done.
Check out this brief, yet brutal, mauling of a Primos B-Mobile gobbler decoy in Texas. It is cut short by Morgan and Kathy Farris. Thanks to Primos for sharing the video.
[ Read Full Post ]
A Mountain Ranch, Calif. woman was in her mobile home’s bathroom last week when she heard some awful-sounding animal noises erupting in the living room. As she carefully peeked around the door, she was horrified to see her pet kitty in the process of becoming the main course for a full-grown mountain lion.
Calaveras County Fish and Game warden Alan Gregory said the lion evidently entered the trailer after it broke through a screened window some six feet above the ground shortly before 7:00 a.m. Sunday.
“We assume it went out the same way,” Gregory said.
Authorities said the unnamed woman hid in the bathroom until she was certain the intruder had vacated the premises, then she high-tailed it to the safety of a neighboring house and phoned 911.
When wildlife officers arrived at the trailer, it was evident which cat was the diner and which was dinner.
“There were cat parts everywhere in that house,” Gregory told the Sonora Union-Democrat. “(The cougar) did a number.”
Wildlife authorities successfully trapped and euthanized the offending feline two days later in the home’s carport.
Their bait? Leftover housecat, naturally. [ Read Full Post ]
Do hunters and anglers really know who spends their license dollars? Not according to a recent survey conducted by the country’s foremost public opinion firm specializing in hunting, fishing and outdoor issues.
A majority of the 2,125 respondents to a recent Internet-based poll incorrectly believed that some or all of their hunting and fishing license dollars go to the state treasury to be spent on things like roads and education.
The poll--though decidedly unscientific in nature--was conducted by Florida-based Southwick Associates on its AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com Web sites. At the very least, it’s somewhat disconcerting to think that most hunters and anglers aren’t aware that laws specifically prohibit the use of license revenue for anything other than game and fish management.
Only 39 percent of responding anglers and 47 percent of hunters knew that 100 percent of all license dollars go to the state fish and wildlife agency. A total of 68 percent of anglers and hunters thought a portion of their license dollars goes into the state's general fund.
Southwick Associates’ Rob Southwick notes that states must dedicate 100 percent of license revenues to fish and wildlife management or risk losing their share of federal fish and wildlife restoration excise tax revenues. In... [ Read Full Post ]
Well, folks. I'm not sure if this is the last you'll hear of me this week or not. I'm headed down to Mexico today with a couple guys here at OL as well as some guests from Remington, Realtree and Aimpoint where we're going to do our best to score on some Gould's. If I'm able to find a computer connection, something I'm not expecting in such a remote location, I'll let you know how we're doing. If not, you'll hear from me as soon as I return.
In the meantime, get out there yourself and hunt safe. [ Read Full Post ]
Dad explained that the two had struck out during the state's youth season last year, one of Amy's first attempts at taking a tom, but their luck changed the other week. They arrived in camp just in time to roost a couple of birds for the next morning.
Neither could hardly sleep they were so excited and Gerry said when Amy got up at 4:30, he'd never seen his teen get dressed so fast she was so ready to get out there. Once set up off a field in open woods, it appeared they had eight turkeys going at it once the gobbling started.
While the birds enjoyed gobbling at each other, they pretty much blew off Gerry's calls! But a hen didn't, and playing to her, the elder Bethge pulled the hens--with longbeards in tow--his and Amy's direction. Unfortunately, the group drifted off, but some quick hits on a... [ Read Full Post ]
One of life’s great pleasures after fishing—assuming you’re of age—is sipping, or if it has been a broiler out there, downing in precious few swigs, a cold one of your favorite brand. That is, if you have a favorite.
In the self-interest of maybe discovering a great beer or ale I’ve somehow overlooked, I’ve begun taking a random, scientifically flawed survey among fishermen about their favorite brews. After digging a bit into those brand choices and reasons for them, I’ve made the sad discovery that in the end, most guys and many (though not all) ladies have locked into a specific beer brand based on reasons other than taste. And if that brand isn’t available, why they’ll be content with most any of the mainstream products available in order to quench thirst or to socialize—unless of course he or she falls into that pale sub-category who favors light beer (however it may be spelled), in which case it has to be a light.
Now I know a lot of you out there like the light stuff, so I won’t go... [ Read Full Post ]
I woke up on the third and final day of my Oklahoma hunt with a tough choice to make: Go after the same longbeard that had whipped me the past two days or go after the three, "fresher" turkeys I had seen on another property the day before. While the writer in me loved the idea of finishing the game with what had become my nemesis, the hunter in me just wanted to fill a tag with a nice gobbler, any gobbler, to tell the truth.
But Rusty, the outfitter, was the only one who could take hunters on the property where I had seen the three; and he couldn't be there until later in the morning. My decision was made for me. I would have to finish the game or go home licking my wounded hunter's pride. (It wouldn't be the first time by any stretch!)
Daylight found me sitting at the same tree I had left in darkness the evening before. I was 20 yards of the back corner of a property line marked by a barbed-wire fence. A large, creek-bottomed... [ Read Full Post ]
If you needed one more reason to keep your sunglasses, clear shooting glasses or other eye covering snugged on while fishing, heed the story of Ralph Squire. The Alabama college student was pulling on a tree-snagged lure which snapped free, catapulted into his face knocking him down. Friends rushing to help saw one of the trebles from the bait buried in Squire’s right eyeball. They freaked.
But not beyond being able to get the young angler to a local hospital where he was lifted by chopper to UAB Callahan Eye Foundation in Birmingham. Three surgeries later Squire sees movement, light, color from the injured eye. “Like looking through an empty Gatorade bottle,” he says. An eventual lens replacement should improve the vision according to doctors.
Squire’s ordeal adds to statistics showing fishing accidents as the number one cause of eye injuries in the US, now surpassing basketball, the former leading sports offender. That’s according the US Eye Injury Registry kept at the Birmingham-based Helen Keller Foundation that tracks eye injuries across the nation.
And its not just hooks that are to... [ Read Full Post ]
In the dark of camp that night after our first day hunting, I hungrily devour a plate of barbecue from a folding chair and discuss plans for the next morning with John, my guide, and Rusty, the outfitter, who also owns a Daylight Donuts in a nearby town.
I’m angling for some donuts with which to start tomorrow off, oh, and a good spot.
“Do you want to go back in there and try to get that bird again? You said you know where he’s roosted, right?” Rusty asks.
Darn right I did. As the two Johns I was hunting with earlier listened to him from the same edge of woods where he flew up, I sat farther down the timberline and watched the silhouetted tom tremble with gobbles against the fading sky. Another tom was roosted not 40 yards away, as were some hens, but we figured the birds would drop to the ground in the morning and probably follow the same routine.
“Let’s do it. We stand as good a chance as anybody going in there and getting them. And they’re gobbling at... [ Read Full Post ]
The universe was settling back into place. Hillary Clinton had dipped in the polls and Sanjaya was finally booted from American Idol. So naturally, we took the sight of a strutter on an open hill as a good sign as the huge Suburban rambled toward camp. I was with SHOT Business editor Slaton White and OL’s sales manager, Greg Gatto, also of Green Lantern fame (from an earlier post). As the tires skittered across the gravel road to our destination, we spotted two more redheads fleeing from the brush across the ditch-side fence.
Despite the great omens and all the optimism that comes with hunting a new place for the first time, you never really know how a hunt is going to pan out. This was only my second hunt of the season after laying off for almost a month following my Florida excursion. I was itching like a chigger-infested hound wanting to hit the woods. Our gang from Bonnier Corporation (for those of you who haven’t heard, we got bought a couple of months ago from Time Inc.) was meeting up... [ Read Full Post ]
Last year, Carrylite's Pretty Boy decoy was the talk of the season. Check out this video from Matt Wettish showing a nervous strutter as it comes face-to-face with the fake gobbler. Not to disappoint, but this bird walks away. But it is still interesting to watch how a tom reacts when another turkey totally fails to respond to his presence. [ Read Full Post ]
Earlier this year an amazing thing happened in the offices of Outdoor Life and Field & Stream, which far from the topics they cover, are set in a cold, brick building on Park Avenue in the heart of Manhattan. Approximately nine of my co-workers—from our marketing, sales and production staffs and all non-hunters—took a day from work and participated in a hunter safety course so that they could obtain the certificate they would need to buy a hunting license.
That is nine new potential sportsmen and women, most of whom have had little experience in the outdoors, short of an occasional fishing or camping trip, before coming to work with the publications. The fact that they took the initiative to set up the lessons makes the feat even more impressive. It seems they all wanted the chance to hunt.
This past weekend, Mara Sherman, one of the classes graduates, took her first official step into the hunting world courtesy of an invite from Mark and Terry Drury to join them on a turkey hunt in northern Missouri. And man, did she score big.
You want fishing excitement? Sure, you get the quick adrenaline rush when a bigmouth hits and jumps the first time, but heck, a big catfish can give you some scary moments dodging its barbs while you wrestle the thing. For real over-the-top moments though, you need to go to the ocean.
A couple seasons back it was the year of the barracuda. I don’t know how many reports I got about hooked or non-hooked ‘cuda catapulting from the water and hitting people with pretty severe results. And recently there was a summer of shark attacks. This year started off with a bizarre report from outdoors writer Bill Sargent. Here’s what happened:
Josh Landin, his brother Jeremy and friend Dr. Rob Platner were fishing aboard a 16-foot skiff outside Florida’s Sebastian Inlet. The bite was hot. The anglers were into a school of bluefish that were literally creaming their topwater plugs. There were pompano and even some sharks in the fray snapping at the lures.
Josh was cranking in another blue when suddenly the fish seemed to morph into something else, another... [ Read Full Post ]
Many of you felt the fish could have weighed the 400 pounds that was estimated by Dahlberg by using tape measurements and applying a formula.
Some of you didn’t think so.
Larry released that fish so we’ll never know precisely, but now there’s a pending record application for the same kind of catfish—a lau-lau.
This one weighed nearly 300 pounds (295pounds, 8 ounces to be precise). It was taken in Jatapo, Amazonas, Brazil by Russell Jensen from the Bronx, New York, after a 90-minute fight. If it’s accepted by IGFA it’ll break the current 26-year-old record of 256 pounds, 9 ounces.
The thing is, pictures can be deceptive depending on how a fish is held and the type lens on the camera. Compare this nearly 300-pounder to Larry’s estimated 400-pounder and tell me what you think.
What's your opinion? Think that catfish goes 300 pounds? Post your comments below and let everyone know!
Got a tip, hot story... [ Read Full Post ]