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Monthly Archives: July 2014

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Anchovies and sardines have an inverse relationship. When the population of one is up, the other is down. In this way, nature is able to regulate itself. Southern California fishing has been in a sardine dominant cycle for decades now. It’s been so long that many anglers (myself included) have never fished with anchovies as the predominant bait.

To fish an anchovy and have a chance to successfully land an offshore gamefish requires special gear and techniques. Erik Landesfeind details how the latest tackle stacks up and even some cheats to get you fishing anchovies faster.

chovy_ytIt’s been a long time since any of us has had to fish with anchovies as bait. In fact, it’s been so long that a lot of the younger guys have never had to do it. Well, a lot has changed since the late 80′s when my go to finesse combo for tuna was a Penn Squidder 145 with a plastic spool full of 20-pound mono matched with a Sabre 800. While the return of the anchovy still requires the same finesse, today’s tackle is going to make it a whole lot easier to not just fish the bait, but land the fish you hook on it.

In hopes of getting some insight into anchovy fishing in the new millennium, I asked a couple of industry experts to share some tips on choosing and using the right tackle. My first call was to Robby Gant of Shimano who was more than happy to share. “When fishing the chovy there are a couple things that need to be looked at when putting together the proper rod and reel combo.”

Gant continued, “This past decade we’ve been spoiled with fishing the Sardine as it’s a heavy and for the most part lively bait. So, when fishing the Sardine you can use a heavier action rod and also use lever drag reels. The spools on these reels are much heavier than those on star drag reels so your start up inertia is much slower; but sardines are heavy enough that you don’t lose any performance in casting.”

Photos: SoCal Salty (top); BD Outdoors (above)

 

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By Jason Herbert

The bright, African sun beat down across sun-dried plains as a tribal elder quietly coached his grandson in their native tongue. Delivered in soft, short whispers, “…wait until the animal relaxes…. pick a target, aim at the target… now when your ready- shoot.” With a familiar “WACK!”- history had repeated itself once again. Heeding the advice of his grandfather, the young archer had successfully anchored a giant Kudu bull, and we were watching it fall as the celebration erupted.

“Yeah Wyatt! You got him… Congratulations! I’m so proud of you… You did great…” Smiles, laughter, and giant bear hugs (and not just directed at Wyatt) filled the mud colored hut. I had just been part of one family’s history- and was able to witness something truly special.

When I first met sixteen year old Wyatt Peary, I was truly impressed. Being a middle school teacher I have the chance to interact with many teenage kids. Wyatt is special, and immediately made a good impression on me. With a strong, firm handshake and direct eye contact, I thought he was a confident kid who had been brought up well. As I got to know him further, I learned that my first impression was spot on. Wyatt is the kind of kid that makes adults like myself excited for the future. Wyatt shoots with a mature grace not seen in many young archers and conducts himself socially in the same manner. He is easy to have a conversation with- yet wide eyed and young enough to know that he’s still learning from every experience. With a bold faith and strong character, Wyatt’s smile and healthy sense of humor put others at ease and show his great leadership potential.

President and CEO of Robinson Outdoor Products, Scott Shultz is busy accomplishing lots in his second career. He also accomplished much on his first career, and in his younger days Shultz was quite the competitive archer. Now in his new life, his demanding corporate lifestyle and dedication to family and friends leave little time for him to shoot for fun. Don’t get me wrong, Scott still shoots amazingly well, and as often as possible- just not competitively. Scott’s also a world traveled hunter, with trophy mounts and even bigger memories from all corners of the world. Being driven by his love for his family, strong faith, and a keen sense for right and wrong, Scott is a bull in the board room, and is proud of all of the families his company supports. But – like many of us, Scott’s an onion with many layers. Layers that sometimes can only surface on a wild African bow hunting adventure.

DSC_0017“Jason.” We were palling around in the airport on our way to Johannesburg, with a huge, earnest smile on his face and a slap on my back, “I like to say big plane ride equals big adventure.” Scott was explaining to me his philosophy on proximity to home in relation to vacations. For years I’d heard stories about Scott and his bow hunting endeavors. Now I’m proud to call him a friend, and often reflect on his impact on my life. Schultz has influenced me spiritually, and reassured me often that the way I’m bringing up my own children with a strong work ethic is the right way to do things. I often call Scott “a modern day Fred Bear” and he simply laughs. Not denying his passion for adventure, but always humble and never completely agreeing with me either.

On this particular trip, I got to witness his legacy in action. I got to see how Scott’s family values shined true through his grandson Wyatt. World traveled, corporate big wig, who serves on a number of committees and boards- Scott Schultz is really, behind the scenes, a loving and doting grandfather. The same man, who has traveled the globe taking all sorts of dangerous game with archery equipment is wrapped around his grandchildren’s little fingers. I remember the first time stepping in Schultz’s office. I was in awe of the exotic trophies from across the world, and listened intently as he shared their stories with me. Near the end of our conversation, he said, “Here are my real trophies,” and with a huge smile, pointed to several pictures of his family on his desk.

There were sixteen of us total, traipsing across South Africa with Wintershoek Johnny Vivier Safaris on the “ScentBlocker Safari.” People from all walks of life sharing one thing in common- an affinity for bow hunting adventure. I had the unique privilege of getting to know everyone well, as I hunted with my camera, with different parties each day. Scott organized the whole thing and the invite list showed a healthy cross cut of his life. There were old hunting/shooting buddies from back home in Pennsylvania, invited along to share in yet another adventure. Representatives from the Archery Trade Association were brought along to see the huge potential African bowhunting has to offer. Crews and hosts from outdoor television shows ScentBlocker’s The Chase and ScentBlocker’s Most Wanted were on-hand to share their hunts and continue to grow the sport. I was there to document the entire thing in picture and print. And of course, rounding out the guest list was Scott’s grandson, Wyatt. Wyatt was there to hunt with his grandfather. Or, more like… Wyatt was there to hunt with his grandfather at his side. If memory serves me right, Scott picked up his bow to hunt one time the entire two weeks, taking a beautiful Sable ram. As usual, Scott’s hunt was rather eventful, but I’ll save that vivid tale for another time. According to my calculations, Wyatt was “high hook” or in this case, ”high arrow” with a total of seven animals taken on the trip! I was along on a few of Wyatt’s hunts, heard the stories from the rest, and cannot honestly say who had more fun, Wyatt or Scott!

One lucky day, where God just kept blessing us with encounters and great shots, Wyatt had already taken a beautiful Springbok and his giant Kudu- he insisted that I take a turn to hunt. We went to a new blind and eventually had a mature Springbok ram make it in front of my sights. I was treated like family, with Scott whispering encouragement in my ear right before I released my arrow, and Wyatt slapping me on the back as the animal fell. We all recovered the animal together, I got properly initiated to Africa by Scott himself as Wyatt took pictures. I realized the family’s love of the sport wasn’t a selfish one. Both Scott and Wyatt were truly happy for me and rejoiced in my celebration as well. I felt privileged to be welcomed into such a primal brotherhood and welcoming family.

DSC_0019Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the trip, the laughter and hugs, Scott and I had a chance to talk privately. Scott cares about me as a person, so I shared a few things for a bit and then the conversation shifted to him. I was explaining how impressed I was with Wyatt and ended with this, “Think about your legacy, what you’re going to leave behind after you’re gone. Imagine the stories he’ll have about his “crazy bow hunting” grandpa who invited him across the world to share in the hunt. What an impact you’re having on his life.”

Scott’s response was nothing more than a simple, peaceful smile, and a nod of his head.

Later in the week, when we all had to say our goodbyes at the Atlanta airport, I watched Scott and Wyatt one last time. Realizing what special events I had been able to witness, I paid particular attention to their body language. Exhausted and homesick like the rest of us, but working as a team, the two bowhunters grabbed their luggage and vanished in the mass of people, laughing and carrying on about the newest chapter that they shared in their lives. With all of the attacks on family values that we see in America these days, it was nice to spend time with a family who loves each other. Missing my family terribly, I couldn’t wait to get home and hug my own wife and kids. I was left with reassurance by Scott to keep plugging away with my own family, and doing my best to raise my kids the right way. I am happy to say that Scott’s influence on family values stretches beyond his own, and my family is better for it.

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The vast majority of the ocean is still left unexplored. There are a handful of deepwater research projects going on throughout our oceans, but it takes a lot of resources to explore the deep ocean. Often, much of what we find out about the deep ocean is revealed via the accidental catch in a fisherman’s net or at the end of a hook.

Such was the case recently when a fisherman caught one of this rare species off the Philippines. Only 59 sightings have been recorded since the this shark was first discovered off Hawaii in 1976. Learn more about this rare species.

megamouthOne of the world’s rarest sharks was caught by fishermen in the nearby shore of Barangay Cugman in Cagayan de Oro City Monday morning.

It is believed to be the 59th species of the megamouth shark seen by humans. The megamouth is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark according to Wikipedia.

Animal bone enthusiast and expert Darrell Blatchley, American curator and owner of D’ Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in an interview at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in northern Mindanao (BFAR-10) office Tuesday that the megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is one of the rarest fishes in the world.

“In my 20 years as a collector, I have seen various species of dolphins and whales. This is my first time seeing this kind of shark. It was strange. So lucky to have seen a megamouth shark in [the] flesh,” he said.

Photos: Sun.Star (top); Classora (above)

WV Deer 2013 040Rabies is a terrible disease to all mammals that contract it.

Although rarely found in whitetail deer, the young doe in the following video was obviously sick and nearly attacked a woman. Fortunately, her quick thinking saved the day, and two customers of a nearby fast-food restaurant raced over and helped control the animal.

This is an amazing story that every outdoors person should see.

Capturing hunting video is great fun and usually requires specialized, expensive gear, as well as a second person to operate the camera. Not anymore!

GoPro has introduced a Sportsman Mount that allows you to video your hunt. It’s specially designed to reduce the impact of recoil on the image. You can even mount two cameras at once, so you can capture video of your game and of yourself taking the shot. OutdoorHub’s Daniel Xu brings you the details. Don’t miss the video that will open your imagination to a world of video possibilities.

60050006Over the past decade GoPro cameras have quickly grown to dominate outdoor filmmaking. Characterized by their lightweight frames and rugged durability, GoPro’s products are the first choice of many action sport enthusiasts. These wearable cameras have also proven to be invaluable to the outdoor film industry, providing both filmmakers and individual sportsmen the ability to record point-of-view video while in the field. Now for the first time GoPro has announced a new mount dedicated especially to the stewards of the great outdoors: sportsmen.

Similar mounting equipment has been designed for the GoPro before by third-party companies. A gun-mounted GoPro is not only useful for filmmakers trying to capture a unique angle, but also for everyday hunters and shooters.

The $69.99 GoPro Sportsman mount can be attached to most shotguns, rifles, revolvers, and even airsoft or pellet guns. Whether on the range or in the woods, shooters will be able to record video straight from their firearms.  more

14-05-23 1918-4Motion-activated and time-lapse trail cameras have revolutionized deer hunting, but if you only use these cool devices a few months of the year, you’re missing an exciting hobby and could lose out on a wealth of great outdoor information.

Many hunters use cameras near a food source to evaluate the quality and number of deer in an area. That’s great, but don’t overlook interesting outdoor happenings at other times of the year. If you find a stump where a bear has been rubbing, a dead animal in the woods, turkey dusting bowls, and the like, set up a camera. Today’s motion activated cameras frequently offer infrared photography, which won’t scare wildlife or humans with a visible flash. For the best results, keep these three things in mind.

1. Spray your camera with scent-elimination spray and use rubber gloves when handling and installing the device. Your scent may spook game, and the salt from hand perspiration is a magnet to bears. Otherwise, you may get one great image of bruin tonsils, but that’s all.

2. Test the camera once in place. Even better, practice at home on a bird feeder or bird bath to make sure you know where the camera shoots and how it operates. You may want stills or video and you must know how to adjust for each. Such projects are great for keeping youngsters entertained in summer months.

3. Finally, invest in quality batteries. I love the dollar stores as much as the next guy, but you want batteries that will last  a long time. The gas from one trip will easily pay for the difference photo 1in battery cost.

Need more convincing? Enjoy these recent trail camera shots taken with Stealth Cam cameras and see what kind of visual goodies might be awaiting you.

 

Head nets can be a camouflage savior or a nightmare. I’ll never forget watching a big New Mexico bull elk slowly approach a buddy who drew his bow without detection and missed what should have been an easy shot. “My glasses completely fogged up,” he said in disgust, a result of high body heat from the stalk being trapped inside his head net.

BunkerHead introduces a new no-touch head net that attaches to the bill of your cap and makes for a variety of custom, face-covering options. Here are the details.

With all the incredible advancements that have been made in hunters’ clothing, from water-wicking outerwear to scent-blocking underwear, the face mask somehow fell through the cracks. bunkerhead3[1]BunkerHead’s No-Touch Hunting Face Mask is here to offer an innovative and new hunting option.

The BunkerHead Face Mask attaches to the brim of a cap instead of the hunter’s head. With its infinitely shapeable support structure, the light-weight mask can be custom-formed to fit any hunting situation. By attaching to the cap, hunters no longer have to worry about glasses fogging up, fabric sticking to their skin, or the “one size fits some” problem.

With a conventional face mask, a hunter does not have a choice in whether he covers up his ears and neck along with his face. The BunkerHead Face Mask System lets the hunter choose to either cover only his face (using only the Face Mask attachment), or he can choose to cover his whole head (by adding the Hoodie attachment).

As a bonus, the Bunker Clips, which conveniently attach to each side of the cap brim, can serve to create a 3-D leaf effect from the hunter inserting small branches and leaves beneath the elastic tether that spans the cap. Or similarly, the hunter can choose to secure his sunglasses.

To apply the Face Mask, simply attach the two Bunker Clips to each side of the cap brim. To cover only your face, simply slide the Face Mask attachment into the outer holes of the Bunker Clips. For full head coverage, just add the Hoodie attachment.

BunkerHead LLC is a small, family-owned business. Their products are proudly manufactured in the USA from the highest quality materials and are offered in a variety of Mossy Oak patterns and fabrics.

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The whitetail deer season opens on August 15 in South Carolina and runs through the end of January in many states, offering nearly a half-year of adventure.

Few of us can hunt that many days, yet most can squeeze out a week or two for an adventurous out-of state hunting trip. But with so much time available, which weeks are the best?

Planning ahead for that special trip allows you to tune up your best bow or rifle, make the necessary travel arrangements, and apply well in advance for vacation time. Bernie Barringer give his pick for the four best weeks of the year in this informative post from OutdoorHub.

Heartland ducks 159When planning an out-of-state trip to hunt whitetails, one of the first questions to be answered is when to schedule the trip. There are four weeks that I believe offer the best chances of success. Let’s examine each of the periods and provide you with some information that will help you better plan the timing of your hunt.

The first week of the season offers the opportunity to catch deer totally off-guard. Their daily patterns are somewhat predictable in late summer and early fall. Bucks are often still keeping to bachelor groups and are quite visible during daylight hours. They are focused on feed and water during the night and finding cool bedding cover for the daytime.

Another important factor is the length of the daylight hours. Their stomachs are growling and sending them to the fields well before dark. The opening week gives an advantage to the hunter.  Pleasant weather is another advantage to early season hunting. There are no worries about getting cold on stand or toting a heavy coat that you will pull on once you get into the stand and settle in.

Turnips are a great source of protein and are just about the easiest of plants to grow in the woods. Perfect for small, back-country plots, a turnip patch is easy to plant and requires little or no after-generation care. Best of all, the turnips and their tops become attractive to deer in late season, when most other green vegetation has vanished; it pulls in deer like a magnet.

Brad Herndon tells his story about a special turnip patch in this post on the Whitetail Institute blog.

TURNIP_Page_1_Image_0001[1]When I grew up in Indiana, both the wild turkey and coyote were nonexistent in the state. Deer were also as scarce as hen’s teeth at the time, and therefore we country folk grew up hunting squirrels, rabbits and quail. Back then, our hunting time in November was consumed with chasing cottontails instead of deer. Each day we would walk several miles trying to get our limit of five rabbits each, and it was tremendously enjoyable listening to the beagles chasing the bunnies.

On hot days, we would get both thirsty and hungry, and if we were out near the Shieldstown covered bridge on White River, we stopped in at Cy Perkin’s cabin. Cy didn’t live there in the fall or winter, but he always had a nice patch of turnips behind the quaint cabin. We would pull up a few turnips, cut the outer skin off with our pocket knives, and had an instantly refreshing treat at no charge. We were then good for a few more miles. Along about this same time I had a good friend, Lester Lambring, who lived out in the German farming community and I would visit his house from time to time. His mom was a great cook, and she made sure we were always well fed. Many years later when I was in my 40s, I went to the doctor for a checkup one day. In the waiting room was Lester Lambring’s mom, who by then was well up in her 70s. “Hi Brad,” she said. “I still feel bad about the last time you ate at our house.” “Why?” I replied, “You always had great food.” “Not that time,” she sighed. “All I had fixed that evening was turnip soup, and I’m sure you didn’t care much for it.” “Oh, it must have been fine,” I stated. “I can’t remember ever having a bad meal at your house. Your food was always outstanding, so I’m sure you had it doctored up to the point it was delicious. I bet you had a piece or two of your tasty country ham mixed in with the turnips.” She then felt better about my last meal at her house and we had a great talk. At the time, I thought my conversation with her would probably be my final tale about turnips since they had fallen out of favor with most local people by then. Boy was I wrong.

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The ocean is a never-ending source of fascination for me. In terms of the known world, our oceans are the least known parts of the planet. Only about 5% of the ocean has been explored, according to NOAA.

There are many ocean exploration operations that are ongoing as the rest of us go about our land-based lives. The E/V Nautilus is one such vessel exploring the depths. It is a 211-foot research vessel that operates two remote operation vehicles (ROVs), Hercules and Argus.

During a recent expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, E/V Nautilus encountered a rare sight, the Vampire Squid. Check out the amazing video.

Photo, video: E/V Nautilus