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Snook is one of the premier gamefish targeted by Florida anglers. They are a very accessible fish for all anglers as they make their home inshore. Anglers targeting this fish catch them from the beach and on skiffs. Snook are famous for their long runs and acrobatic jumps out of the water. They can also grow quite large with the Florida state record exceeding 44 lbs!

The vast majority of Florida anglers practice CPR (catch, photograph, and release) on this popular fish, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) does open up limited harvest seasons. Learn all the details of harvest regulations and best practices in this post from the FWC.

snook_fwcThe recreational harvest season for Florida’s premier game fish, snook, opens Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.

While the fishery is already more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.

When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release and the best way to handle a fish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations.”

Photos: The Horse’s Mouth (top); FWC (above)


Nisssan AK 4 029Alaska is a rainy place, especially in fall. At that time of year, any hunter, fisher,  or camper needs to be prepared for the elements.

With the Wounded Warrior Project event on my schedule, I was excited to see the introduction of STORMR, a breathable neoprene product that heralded a reputation as a proven water repellent and a new option of breathability. The product comes in a waterfowl camouflage pattern that will be great for hunters, yet I wanted a jacket that I could wear on the airplane and use in non-hunting activities. After a week in the bush, here’s what I learned.

Nisson AK 1 108First, the good looks of this jacket attract attention. Repeatedly, people came up to me and asked about the hoodie, often commenting on its positive appearance and inquiring, “Is that neoprene?” Buying rain gear for it’s appearance is, admittedly, an unusual option, but it was a clear positive.

Secondly, the material repels water as I expected, yet it also seems to ward off mud, dirt, and debris. I usually wear my work (and sometimes my food) and was impressed with how sharp the jacket looked in the photo above. It seemed brand new, despite a week in the Alaskan wilds.

The STORMR material works well as an outer layer. One rainy evening when the temps were at 50 degrees, I wore a flannel shirt under the jacket and was chilled. The next night, I wore a mildly insulating sweater and the combination was perfect. Furthermore, I could be mildly active without heating up, as one would expect with normal neoprene. The lining on the inside of the jacket made for easy on and off, and the outer materiel doesn’t wrinkle or lose its shape.

For more information, check the manufacturer’s website.

Deer season is upon us, and there’s no better way to build enthusiasm than to make a delicious meal out of that first harvest. Although back straps and tenderloin are great sautéed in butter, don’t limit yourself to a single recipe.

Jason Maure has developed his smoking technique down to a science. On his website, he illustrates just how easy it can be. Here’s how he does it.

How-to-Smoke-Venison-Back-Straps-672x372[1]When smoking venison and most wild game, I prefer to brine the meat instead of marinating it. Brine penetrates deeper into the meat and the salt prevents the fibers from tightening up, keeping moisture and natural juices inside.

Take pride and some extra time to make sure all the silver skin and tough pieces are trimmed off. No one especially non-hunters like to chew on a tough old dried up piece of meat. You spent hours in the field to harvest that buck, now is the time to make it the best it can be on the table.

Starting with a basic brine of 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar to 2 quarts of water mixed into a sauce pan.

Bring this mixture to a boil stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar and then remove from the heat.


Three- legged-deer, bucks with a mane, and now a doe with antlers?

It’s no wonder that the whitetail deer is America’s number-one big-game animal. Even with today’s advanced food plots, trail cameras, and plot cameras, when you go hunting, that old saying about the box of chocolates may emerge: You never know what you’re gonna get.

Check out this amazing tale of a first-time hunter coming across a most unusual doe.

Hunting Legends 4 076Driven by the memory of tasty venison dishes at her grandparent’s home, Adrianna Cockerill of Eastover, South Carolina, was determined to become a deer hunter and carry the family tradition of providing deer meat for the table. She didn’t hunt on August 15, opening day of the 2014 deer season in eastern South Carolina because she was occupied with securing a hunting license and the necessary camouflage clothing.  However, she hunted each day for the next week and observed only does and fawns – nothing with antlers. Then, on Saturday, August 23, this first-time huntress would make history.



There was an action-adventure TV series that ran in the late 80s/early 90s called MacGyver. Macgyver was famous for improvising solutions to get out of danger using everyday objects that happened to be laying around. With a flashlight, a tube of toothpaste, and using his trusty Swiss Army knife, MacGyver could improvise an explosive device.

Anglers are the MacGyvers of outdoor sportsmen. Old salties tell stories of running out of bait and jackpoling tuna using pickle chips on bare hooks. It’s an example of anglers’ MacGyver-like ingenuity (it’s not the smell, it’s the slap on the water).

That sort of out-of-the-box thinking is what attracted me to the following Outdoor Life article. Read how “Mr. Crappie” devised a method to shoot his bait in bow-like fashion to target slab crappie hiding under docks.

mrcrappieWally Marshall has a simple solution for catching crappies hiding way back under the shady shelter of docks and boat slips: shoot ‘em all!

No, the guy they call Mr. Crappie isn’t busting caps on these heat-weary fish; rather, he’s employing an aggressive tactic designed to deliver jigs into the tightest of confines.

Applying the same principle bass anglers use to skip jigs under docks for largemouths, Marshall’s tactics reach crappies that probably consider themselves unreachable. Suffice it to say, the sudden arrival of a tempting bait finds the fish far less wary than they are in open water.

Photos: Outdoor Life (top); Bulletweights (above)


Check out the largest whitetail deer rack ever in this video.

This whitetail deer can’t even hold his head up since his record-holding rack is insanely huge!

Check out this amazing video from Keith Warren:

As you would imagine, this buck will never be hunted. He lives on Battle Ridge Whitetails farm and currently holds the record for the largest whitetail deer rack.

In this video he is surrounded by other bucks who have impressive racks as well. This breeding program (and supplemental diet, no doubt) is definitely on to something!