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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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A black rhino hunt is not on many bucket lists since the beast is an endangered species and under a serious poaching assault. However, it’s important to note that a leading African conservation group is endorsing a hunt to be auctioned off at the upcoming Dallas Safari Club Convention. Every hunter needs to be a hunting ambassador, and this support, as posted in GameTrails from the Dallas Safari Club, is a prime example of hunters as conservationists.

Caracal safari 5 gemsbok and lions 001At the request of wildlife biologists and the Republic of Namibia, the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has agreed to auction a permit to hunt one of the country’s 1,700-plus black rhinos—with all proceeds earmarked for rhino research, habitat and anti-poaching efforts in Namibia. DSC expects the permit to generate at least $250,000, possibly up to $1 million, of crucial conservation funding.

Along with financial benefits, the hunt also will bring biological benefits to rhino conservation. The successful bidder will be required to hunt selectively for an old post-breeding bull. These animals can be territorial and aggressive to the point of killing younger bulls, cows, even calves. They also consume resources needed to sustain breeding animals. Removing these bulls can increase herd survival and ultimately allow rhino populations to expand.  DSC will sell the hunting permit during its annual convention and expo, Jan. 9-12, in Dallas.

Here’s what scientists and rhino experts say: Dr. Rosie Cooney, th[9]Chair Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Dec. 11, 2013, letter to DSC…

“From a conservation perspective, we believe there are sound and compelling reasons to support this auction, and do not see any valid basis for opposing it… We recognise that it is not immediately intuitive that trophy hunting — even for endangered species — can be a positive conservation tool that can be used to fight poaching and acquire more habitat for wildlife. We further understand that the very idea of hunting is abhorrent to many people. However, in a world that requires pragmatic conservation solutions, trophy hunting — where well-managed — is frequently one of the most effective conservation tools available. Capitalising on the humane demise of a post reproductive animal in order to produce tangible benefits for the conservation of its species is a sound strategy worthy of strong support.”

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Watch almost any football game and you’ll see a fatigued player head for the sidelines for a burst of oxygen to restore his energy levels and stamina. Have you ever wondered what that would be like as you near the top of a long hill or struggle with marginal altitudes when hiking to a remote lake or productive elk hunting spot? Now you too can feel the boost with the introduction of O2 Unleashed, the first delivery system designed for hunters. This is a brand-new product and may not be in stores at this reading, yet you’ll be hearing about it in 2014. Here are the details:

O2_Unleashed_TallA new category of natural energy hits the consumer market as TV Host and Hunting Guide Phil Phillips launches O2 Unleashed—95 percent oxygen in a lightweight, portable canister. Unlike many energy supplements and sports drinks, this healthy concept in natural energy and recovery aims to help hunters and other sports enthusiasts rejuvenate more quickly—without any side effects. Each canister contains 95 percent pure oxygen—more than four times the amount in every-day air—and comes in a small, lightweight canister with enough oxygen to recharge the outdoor experience.

“As a Western hunting guide and outfitter for 30 years, I know how physical and mental fatigue—especially at high altitudes—can zap your performance and drain your energy,” said Phil Phillips, host of “Phil Phillips Unleashed” (philphillipsunleashed.com) on the Sportsman Channel. “I’ve wished I could carry an oxygen tank on my back for years to give clients that energy boost to help them reach the top before that bugling bull slipped into the trees. Now just a few breaths of O2 Unleashed can keep you going, enhance alertness and alleviate the effects of altitude and fatigue to put you on top of your game.” In today’s health-conscious society, it’s well understood that keeping your body’s oxygen levels at normal, healthy levels helps the body and mind function more efficiently.

To recharge during play or recovery, place the opening of the O2 Unleashed canister near your mouth, push down the button to start the oxygen flow, and inhale, repeating four to five times or until you feel restored. O2 Unleashed canisters are available in Tall and Short sizes. Tall canisters contain 50-plus breaths—4 full liters of oxygen—despite measuring just over 8 inches and weighing 1.3 ounces. Whether backcountry hunting, hiking at high altitudes or en route to the next big adventure, O2 Unleashed is designed to aid in a quicker recovery time and recharge the outdoor experience.

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Late season can be a great time to hunt whitetail deer, especially during the Christmas holidays when schools are closed and you and your youngsters can spend time together at a deer camp or around an outdoor fire. Plenty of big bucks are still out there, and so are some tasty does that probably need thinning to keep the buck/doe ratio in balance. Brenda Valentine, known as the First Lady of Hunting, she shares her advice on the Bass Pro Shops website:

CO Rifle Elk 2011 229Most hunters hunt the first few days or weekends of the season and then bag their deer, simply give up, or run out of time.  The places they hunted have been undisturbed for a while and the local deer know this.  Look for areas that have received little disturbance since mid-season and secluded feeding areas. Areas that have had little to no hunting pressure are prime late season hunting hot spots.  If you have set blinds, stands, or areas that you or others typically hunt in your area, get away from them! Deer pattern people as much or more than people pattern deer. Mature whitetail bucks know the weak spots in your “normal” game plan. They can walk across a property without being spotted, even if it means going across a wide open field where he knows you are not.

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For most kayak anglers, catching a yellowfin tuna would be the high point of their fishing career after many years enlisted in the plastic navy. Some places lend themselves to bigger action, though. One such place is off the coast of South Africa.

In this story, South African sports-radio personality and first-time kayaker Alain Tardin went out expecting a tranquil day free of the noise and diesel smell of boat fishing. What he discovered was just how exhilarating the adrenaline-charged waters off South Africa can be on a kayak.

tardin_tunataxWell, to get myself in the mood for summer I thought a nice early morning on a kayak with my mate Brad Arthur from FreeSpool should do the trick.

Coming from a boating background this whole kayak fishing idea was very new to me, but given the chance to catch some fish I wasn’t going to turn it down.

Brett Challenor from Stealth Kayaks was kind enough to lend us one of his double skis to head out on and hopefully get stuck into some fish.

Photos: FlyFishing.co.uk (top); East Coast Radio (above)

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If there’s a wad of Christmas cash burning a hole in your camouflaged pants and you ‘re considering buying a crossbow, here are 10 straight answers from the folks at TenPoint crossbows. Everyone knows that a .30-06 is a great caliber for deer hunting, yet crossbows are so new to the hunting world that misinformation abounds. Here’s a solid summary of key information:

August Products 2011 098Myth: A crossbow is not really a bow.

Fact: When comparing a crossbow to a compound bow, shot with a release, the differences between them are:

• The crossbow trigger mechanism holds the draw for the shooter.

• The bow assembly is positioned horizontally.

• The crossbow is aimed like a rifle.

Both weapons fire an arrow equipped with a broadhead designed to penetrate an animal, causing it to hemorrhage to death. The arrow coming from both weapons travels approximately the same distance, at approximately the same speed and energy, with approximately the same trajectory.

Myth: Crossbows make deer hunting too easy.

Fact: The advantage a crossbow has over a conventional bow is that it holds the bow in the drawn, or ready to fire, position for the shooter. While shooting a crossbow is generally easier to master than shooting a vertical bow, it cannot be argued that it is just plain easy. The crossbow hunter must have the same woodsmanship ability and nearly all of the same shooting skills as the vertical bowhunter.

Myth: Anyone can pick up a crossbow, practice for an hour, and be ready to head to the woods…

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Although camping may not be on your winter agenda, now’s a great time to plan for next year and perhaps use a bit of your holiday cash. The Turbo Tent is a great family product and an outstanding “fantasy camp” for any media room, garage, or backyard adventure. Part of getting family members into camping is the fun of sleeping in the cool tent surroundings, and this one sets up in a minute or less. Once the family has fun inside, the transfer to the outdoors becomes easy. Here are some of the features that make this tent an extremely portable and stable camping staple:
Heartland ducks 194
* The Turbo-Tent has a completely waterproof and bug-proof floor that’s sealed with heat tape and double stitched.

* Its four-season design will stand up to snow and high winds with tests up to 70 mph.

* Quick set-up and takedown, ideal for a late-night pitch or tear down.

* Lightweight tent poles and frame make for easy transport.

* Superior construction with a world-patented design.

For more information, check blackpinesports.com.

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If ever there was irony in the meat hunting cliche You can’t eat the horns, this Canadian hunt was it. As countless hunters flocked to Alaska and Canada, paying a premium price for a trophy moose with huge antlers, Heinz Naef was subsistence-hunting, where any moose would meet his needs. Ironically, Naef almost bumped into the new world record:

14CTHD_Showcase3A new world record for Alaska-Yukon moose has been recorded by the Boone and Crockett Club, one of the official record-keeping organizations for big game in North America. On September 25, Heinz Naef of Dawson City, Canada bagged a moose that has been scored at 263-1/8 net at the meeting of the Stewart and Yukon rivers that can be only described as enormous. Even after a lifetime of hunting moose, Naef said that the animal gave him a shock that day.

“He was a big boy and I could see him maybe 60 yards away in the bush. He was trying to weave his enormous antlers through bush,” the hunter recalled in an interview with the CBC.

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I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t fish freshwater too much. I grew up fishing the salt, so it’s what I’m comfortable with and what I will pick given the choice. There are times, though, when I can’t always get on the ocean or even to the beach for a surf session. I store away articles like this one for just those times.

In this piece, professional catfish angler John Jamison reveals his top secrets for consistently catching the whisker fish.

jamison_catIn recent years, news has travelled north and south that dips can be among the most alluring offerings for 1- to 5-pound channel and blue cats, perhaps the best bait of all time for catching a serious pile of catfish. Gradually, old-school dips such as Sonny’s Super Sticky have begun to give way to several gnarly new concoctions. Bootleg #131, a particularly potent blend brewed by Rippin Lips, has rapidly risen to the top among modern dipbait practitioners.

Jamison, who’s used dips to tackle big blue catfish in tournaments, and to catch serious strings of eater-sized cats, recently switched from Super Sticky to Bootleg, having experienced exceptional results. “I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it,” he claims, “because, well, the brewmasters won’t tell me. And truthfully, it’s probably better that we don’t have the ingredient list. All I know is, the stuff is nearly intoxicating, and catfish seem to gobble up jars of it, no matter where I fish

Photos: Fish and Boat (top), Outdoors Unlimited (above)

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Leaving the back-straps of a deer in the woods is unconscionable for most hunters (not to mention illegal), yet sportsmen routinely discard the heart and liver of animals during the field-dressing process. Liver is a staple in many parts of the country, while heart is less well established as table fare. By comparison, this vital organ is a muscle, just like much of the tissue of a deer, and therefore very appropriate for consumption. Bruce and Elaine Ingram write a cooking column for Whitetail Times and share their favorite recipe for heart:

As someone who depends on venison for all my wife Elaine’s and my red meat needs for the year, and who tries to annually kill 10 whitetails to fulfill those needs, I regard the consumption of venison as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. My spouse and I also write a venison cooking column for Whitetail Times, the official publication of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, so we are always looking for new and creative ways to prepare venison.

heart_sandwiches[1]I would even speculate that we probably dine on a venison dish of some kind well over 300 days a year. So it might surprise some venison aficionados that my favorite part of a deer to consume is not the top or bottom loins or even the roasts, steaks, or burgers, but a part of the deer that many hunters leave behind in the field — the heart, which Elaine and I regard as a delicacy.  A decade or so ago, I began to feel guilty about all the organs abandoned in the woods after the field-dressing had been completed. My spouse and I talked to other hunters, conducted some research on the Internet, and decided that the heart would be our first culinary project from among the various organs.

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3-D targets have revolutionized target archery and made hunters much more effective in the field, since they can better judge distance and, more importantly, practice picking that exact lethal spot. 3-D targets can also be time efficient: Simply place a couple of targets in realistic situations in your backyard for a few minutes practice before or after work. Even a few arrows will hone skills over time. Although 3-D targets are affordable, they also quickly deteriorate in rain, snow, and under the effects of freezing and thawing. Target Tarp is an excellent solution to protecting your targets while keeping them in place. Here are the full details:

Targettarp21278Are you sick of spending money to replace your archery target each year after the cold and snow degrades its quality? If so, the Target Tarp is the answer. The Target Tarp, which makes a perfect gift for the hunter or archery fanatic on your list this holiday season, helps prevent fading and cracking of targets. It is also UV- and water-resistant, and can face even the coldest winters, while keeping your targets looking fresh and new.

The Target Tarp not only has styles designed to fit and protect your block, bag or square targets, but it also has tarps made to accommodate most deer, goat, bighorn, antelope and other 3-D targets. The 3-D Archery Target Tarp’s unique design allows it to fit almost every standing deer target on the market, including targets as long as 45 inches, chest to rear. The design includes an adjustable opening that can be easily maneuvered around the head and horns. You can also use the small Block Target Tarp to cover your 3-D target’s head. The Target Tarp has multiple tie downs to ensure it stays secured to your target all winter long. For more information, go to archerytargetcover.com