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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Watch as two of nature’s heavyweights cross paths in one of the wildest places on Earth.

Alaska’s Katmai National Park is a region teeming with big bears and big moose. The moose usually don’t interfere with the bears and vise versa, unless its the rut, when bulls seek out their mating partners.
During the rut, bulls become fearless. Their testosterone levels reach supercharged levels, and they do things they normally wouldn’t do.

This footage from naturalist Brad Joseph shows a trophy bull getting a little too close to a group of grizzlies on his way to find new mating partners.

Bears rarely attack moose, but you can tell these grizzlies don’t want this bull sauntering through their territory.

From a hunter’s standpoint, the trophy bull is amazing. He has an incredible flat antler rack and a massive body. The bears are nothing to sneeze at, either.

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thBPV68BRMMatt Wettish is known as the “Mealy Master” because he catches practically every fish in the stream using his special meal worm technique. Watch as Wettish catches monster trout from public waters in Connecticut and shares his special techniques. An upbeat soundtrack makes this video fly by in a snap, yet you’ll be thinking about those weird little worms the next time you fish, guaranteed.

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The striped bass is an iconic East Coast fish. Almost every state along the Atlantic seaboard has opportunities to catch this most prized of gamefish at different times during the year as they follow bait schools up the coast.

Each of the states along the coast has their own programs and regulations surrounding the conservation of this precious resource. Because they are a migratory fish, a debate is going on as to whether or not the fish should be managed at the federal level. Female breeding stock is in decline, necessitating a hard look at existing management practices. This article from Newsday discusses what’s being considered.

striper_njdfwA federal commission is considering new limits on striped-bass fishing in eastern coastal states including New York that would reduce the harvest by around a third in one to three years, starting in January.

At a meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, this week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission discussed a range of proposals, such as keeping the status quo, increasing the minimum allowable size of keeper bass, reducing the number of fish that can be kept, and implementing a size range for keepers to allow larger and smaller fish to reach maturity and spawn. Commercial fishing would see a proportionate reduction.

The proposed measures are aimed at stemming a decline in the female striped-bass spawning stock, which has seen steady reductions since 2004, while protecting a sizable generation of 3-year-old fish that would reach sexual maturity over the next three years, said Michael Waine, striped-bass management-plan coordinator for the commission.

“It’s proactive,” Waine said of the measures being considered. “The board is very aware of where this stock is. It’s trying to remain proactive in managing this resource so that we can maintain a healthy status [and] we’re not in a situation where we wait for a problem before we act.”

Photos: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (top); New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (above)

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Three massive blue marlins topped the leaderboard for this year’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. Top honors for this year’s event went to Deb Hebert, who was fishing aboard the Iona Louise, out of Montgomery, Alabama. Hebert, a fitness fanatic, has completed 13 marathons, but this was her first ever blue marlin. Her marathon training was definitely a plus, as it took her more than three hours to land the massive fish. When all was said and done, the marlin measured 127.5 inches long and tipped the scales at 843.7 lbs.

Team Iona Louise pocketed a cool $195,000 for their win and will represent the MGCBC in next year’s Offshore Classic. Read more about the exciting billfish tournament action in Marlin magazine‘s roundup.

MCGBC_hebertThree big blue marlin dominated the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic leaderboard this week as the 2014 event drew to a close. But in the end, it was the first one weighed that earned the biggest prize.

Angler Deb Hebert, fishing aboard Joe Hudson’s 68 Hatteras Iona Louise, landed a 843.7-pound blue marlin on Friday after a fight lasting more than three hours. It turned out to be the largest marlin ever caught by a lady angler in Classic history and earned Hebert the Lady Angler trophy. She also brought in a 38.6-pound dolphin on Saturday. All told, the Iona Louise pocketed $195,000 for the first place tournament award and optional entries in the blue marlin division, top crew award and third place for the dolphin. Iona Louise will represent the MGCBC in next year’s Offshore World Championship.

“I absolutely love fishing,” Hebert explained at the awards breakfast, hosted by Platinum Sponsor, the Golden Nugget Casino and Resort. Hebert only recently started participating in the sport. “I owe it all to my fiancé Joe and my team. They turned me on to fishing and now I’m hooked.”

Tim Falzone and the Reel Worthless team earned $142,660 by landing a 539.1-pound blue marlin. The team switched boats after a fire nearly destroyed the 64 Viking convertible at the dock. They teamed up with Reel Fuelish, a 60 Skulley and showed their spirit and tenacity. The payout includes the tournament award for third place fish and optional entries in the marlin division.

Photos: Marlin magazine (top); OutdoorHub (above)

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As our society becomes more technologically advanced, hunting is much more of a want than a need. For many men and women, hunting is a passion. The more they deal with technology, social media, and today’s busy lifestyle, the more they cherish the opportunity to get closer to nature, a function provided by hunting.

Wendy LeFever does a great job, in this post from The Daily Caller, of talking up the many reasons for, and benefits of, hunting. Sure, the concept of putting food on the table is obvious, but LeFever delves into the subject in much greater detail.

DSC_0011(1)“Why on earth would you ever want to go hunting?”

It’s a reasonable question. As a nation, we’re getting more and more removed from the wilderness and the animals that live in it, so for many people the concept of hunting is 
foreign—perhaps, even, a little shocking. Little wonder: If you’re like 80 percent of Americans, you live in a suburban or urban area. Because the population in this country has been trending from country to cities since the end of the 19th century, it’s quite likely that your parents and grandparents did, too. You’re able to go to the grocery store and buy everything your family needs to eat for a reasonable fraction of your pay. Getting a glimpse of a deer or a fox out the window of your car at 60 miles per hour is a rare treat. For good or ill, that’s simply the way that most of us live now—myself included. So it’s natural that you might wonder why anyone would want to go hunting, let alone why you would. As someone who came to hunting later in life, I’ve asked myself that question…and now I know: If we’re not born into the tradition, there are a lot of things that nobody ever tells us about hunting.

1. Hunting helps you 
 develop valuable skills 
everyone should have.


We’ll start with the most simple and 
obvious point: Because most jurisdictions require that you take a hunter safety course in order to qualify for a hunting license, ExtremeHuntressuntitledyou’ll get a lot of formal training before you even step out into the field with a gun or bow in your hands. You’ll learn how to build an emergency shelter, how to start a fire, what kinds of survival tools you should have, how to signal distress, how to read a topographical map, and more. But the real education starts when you actually get outside. Hours spent silently scanning the woods for wildlife teaches patience, and helps you to be more observant of your surroundings—tools that are just as valuable at your neighborhood deli as in the wilderness. Still hunting (also known as “stalking”) teaches you to move quietly and gracefully, sharpening your balance. And who wouldn’t want to be more graceful, quiet and balanced?

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Hunting from a portable blind just got a lot more comfortable with the introduction of the Sniper Seat 360.

For whitetails and wild turkeys, time in a blind can pass slowly. You may have your guard down when suddenly that elusive buck or longbeard is standing right in front of you. If you’re deep in a standard folding chair, you may not be able to get up and grab your gear in time to shoot. Or you could get tired of standing or kneeling and take a nap (I admit I’ve done that).

The Sniper Seat 360 swivels silently and keeps you in an upright, ready-to-shoot position. It also has a camera mount in case you’re trying to film your hunts alone. Here are the details from the manufacturer.

sniper seat reclineThe Sniper Seat 360 is a feature packed shooting chair that meets the needs of multiple shooting scenarios. The adjustable legs with attachable discs allow for sturdy footing on uneven terrain, while the smooth swiveling seat allows for 360 degrees of rotation. Weighing in at only 25 pounds, and coming standard with backpack straps, carrying the Sniper Seat to and from your location is simple. From the woods to the range, this chair will go anywhere!

Are you a bowhunter? Then the Sniper Seat 360 will meet your ground hunting needs! Easily remove the arms for greater range of motion when ground blind hunting with your favorite vertical bow. For the shooter that wants something for use with his gun, the Sniper Seat 360 is perfect. The gun rest provides stability for your weapon that will enhance your accuracy while the 360-degree rotation allows for quick target acquisition.  This seat is remarkably comfortable, with reclining foam padded back and 16 by 11 inch foam padded seat, for those long hours on the hunt.

 

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Whitetail deer tend to seek out natural sources of minerals, particularly bucks, who devote a good portion of their biology to growing those magnificent antlers.

If you’ve ever been on a property  that has cattle and whitetail deer you may have discovered a large hole in the ground where a salt block was left to dissolve. Deer often are reluctant to lick a new salt block, but they’ll paw and ingest the dirt that contains the dissolved mineral.

Bernie Barringer gives his tips for using a mineral lick as a hunting tactic in this post from OutdoorHub. If you can’t ever seem to outguess the wanderings of whitetail deer, a salt lick may make their movements more predictable.

Copy of Bar O Deer 06 078 - Copy I have become convinced that every deer hunter is really a “trophy hunter” at heart. While many hunters rail against so-called trophy hunting, even the most ardent “meat hunter” would still love the opportunity to shoot a nice buck. In fact, the next time someone claims to be opposed to trophy hunting, ask them this question: “if a big 10-point buck and a doe were standing side by side, which one would you shoot?” You know the answer to that question, so I guess we all have an interest in shooting a really nice buck no matter what forms our basic core hunting choices.

Having a chance to shoot a larger buck is the driving force behind much of deer hunting and land management for deer hunting these days. More and Deer 06 102more people are managing their property for mature whitetails with the hopes of seeing and harvesting more deer with big racks. Food plots, cover enhancement, sanctuaries, and inviolate areas are all methods hunters successfully use to improve their deer hunting experience.  One of the least expensive ways to improve your deer herd is the use of mineral supplements.

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The summer months are an excellent time to take a thoughtful approach to fall hunting gear. Often when an item breaks or is lost, we have to make a snap decision to replace it, yielding a less-than-satisfying experience. If you’re thinking about a new pair of binoculars, Nikon’s newest introduction, the ProStaff 7S, is worth a look.

I began testing Nikon binoculars about ten years ago and have found them to be an excellent combination of value and quality. You don’t have to take a second mortgage to buy them, and the quality and engineering are impressive. Here are the details.

Combining a sleek new ergonomic body design with an improved optical system, the PROSTAFF 7S is the most advanced PROSTAFF binocular model to date. Thanks to Fully Multilayer-Coated nikon1Lenses and Phase-Correction Coated Prisms, the PROSTAFF 7S delivers sharp images with superior resolution and clarity.  The PROSTAFF 7S is available in 8×42 and 10×42 magnifications, as well as more compact 8×30 and 10×30 versions. Each binocular has an easy-to-hold ergonomic design and offers the added protection of a durable rubber armored body.

With long eye-relief, the PROSTAFF 7S provides a sufficient space between the user’s eye and the binocular’s eyepiece lenses to make them comfortable for everyone, even for those wearing eyeglasses. The multi-click turn-and-slide rubber eyecups make it easy to find the correct eye positioning to see the full field of view.

PROSTAFF 7S binoculars are all nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed for waterproof/fogproof performance.

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There are definitely certain truisms to fishing: Fish look up; fish face the current… If you are knowledgeable of the various truisms and let them guide your fishing, you’ll generally benefit from the percentages and catch more fish. However, just as you’ll always have a friend marching to the beat of their own drum, so it is with fish.

Good anglers don’t just accept the truisms, they challenge and adapt to them for their particular fishery. Jason Sealock of Wired2Fish decided to challenge the idea that bass aren’t to be found in shallow water. Jason talked to professional anglers and kept a log of his own experiences. What he discovered will make you rethink your notion of shallow.

shallow_jasonI learned a lesson this year that there is no such thing as too shallow in bass fishing. Bass go where they need to in order to survive. We as anglers believe that bass only do certain things at certain times based on conditions. We read something or watch something related to bass fishing and believe it is a hard fast truth.

I talked with Gerald Swindle and Kevin VanDam after the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Table Rock Lake this spring. What I realized after visiting with both of them was that there are definitely guidelines to bass fishing related to seasons and temperatures, but that those are just guidelines. They are not hard fast rules and the guidelines never apply to all the bass in a fishery. They are both convinced that anglers miss a lot of bass because they are so locked in on rules of bass fishing that just aren’t always true.

What I’ve learned this year is bass are shallow. A lot. And at a lot more times of the year than we think as anglers. Sure there are times where if you’re fishing shallow, you’re missing the boat load of bass in deep water. But that’s not the point of this. The point is to not let preconceived notions cause anglers to miss out on catchable bass.

Photos: Wired2Fish

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A knife can be an outdoorsman’s best friend. It can perform a multitude of functions, including self defense. If you feel more safe with a substantial knife on your person, you’ll find the new Kahr Delica 4 to be the perfect balance between utility and function. A knife with a blade of three inches or longer can be a violation of local ordinances, so this compact knife eliminates that problem. Here are the details.

South Dakota Deer 09 026Created by self-defense authority Michael Janich, the Kahr signature Delica 4 offers Kahr its own unique design by combining a full-length handle with a compact 2.5” blade. The shorter blade makes it legal in jurisdictions with strict blade-length limitations without sacrificing leverage, control, or cutting power.  The Kahr Delica 4 features a stonewashed VG-10 stainless steel blade with a smooth thumb ramp. The sturdy back lock mechanism locks the blade in place when open, and includes a Boye Dent relief cut to prevent unintentional lock release. The Trademark Round Hole found on all Spyderco blades ensures quick, positive, one-handed opening. Other features include the Bi-Directional Textured handle scales injection molded from fiberglass-reinforced nylon and skeletonized stainless steel liners that reduce the overall weight of the knife to just 2.5 ounces.

Aside from the technical aspects, we think the knife looks really cool! What do you think?