Home Archives 2014 August

Monthly Archives: August 2014

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There are some species of animals that spend their life cycle as both male and female. For example, the California Sheephead is a fish that starts out as female. Then certain environmental conditions occur that spark some of them to become male in order to continue the reproduction of the species. Most species of fish are distinctly male or female, with each gender having its own particular role in reproduction.

Largemouth bass is a species of fish that’s supposed to be distinctly male or female. However, the U.S. Geological Survey has made a startling discovery in some of our nation’s waterways — male bass carrying eggs! Find out what may be causing this disturbing trend in this article from Fishing Tackle Retailer.

agriculturalchemicalsScientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have unearthed an astonishing trend in America’s rivers—male bass are carrying eggs.

The discovery was reveled three weeks ago in a Washington Post report that highlights bass populations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. That watershed encompasses some of the nation’s most well-known rivers in the Delaware, Ohio and Potomac Rivers. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass in those rivers are, according to the USGS, becoming “intersex” organisms.

That means the fish have two genders. And it’s an alarming sign of industry’s affect on fisheries.

Dissections of intersex bass in the Susquehanna river near Hershey, Pennsylvania uncovered a 100 percent margin of smallmouth bass carrying eggs. Following the research in Pennsylvania—scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found female germination cells in 82 percent of the smallmouth and 23 percent of the largemouth bass near the Blue Plains water treatment facility in Washington, D.C.

Photos: Florida Heritage (top); Fishing Tackle Retailer (above)

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I stopped taking billfish (such as marlin or sailfish) several years ago. It’s not that I’m some sort of ultra-conservationist, I just believe that apex predators like billfish don’t reproduce as quickly as other species of fish. I think the reason is that they don’t have many natural predators. Slower reproduction is nature’s way of preserving that balance.

On the East Coast, commercial fishing pushed swordfish to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, they have staged an amazing comeback due to successful fishery management. Today, there’s a thriving recreational fishery for them and they’re one billfish I might take (and enjoy eating).

Florida is a hotspot for targeting swords. This article from The Outdoors Guy details how to catch Florida swordfish.

sword2guys-300x225Visualize this, we leave the dock about 2 hours before dark and run due south from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. We then head out with the aid of satellite navigation and radar into the Gulf Stream and to depths over 1000 feet of water. We then set lines and drift our way back home. We fish live bait, squid with light sticks (as seen in the perfect storm), really whatever it takes to get them going. When the reel goes off, there is nothing more exciting than being out on the ocean at night battling it out with such a powerful yet delicious fish.

There has been quite a bit written about sword fishing lately and for good reason, North Atlantic swordfish populations, which had been severely depleted by the 1990s as a result of over fishing, have staged a stunning recovery, as reported by the international regulatory group (ICCAT) charged with overseeing their protection. Sport fishermen from South Florida are now able to catch this mighty adversary, if properly prepared.

Photos: Nature’s Wallpaper (top); Outdoors Guy (above)

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Check out this video as a grouse hunter kills two birds with one arrow.

Killing two birds with one stone is how the saying goes, but the grouse hunter in this video from Solvid FIY puts a little spin on it by using one arrow instead.

Now, it may not be exactly what you are thinking as the hunter does not kill two grouse with one shot, but… well, I’ll let you see what happens for yourself.

After bagging one bird with his first shot, the grouse hunter spots another one roosting nearby after moving forward to retrieve his first bird. Acting quickly, the hunter simply grabs the arrow that he had killed the first grouse with off the ground and nocks it on his bow before making another great shot on the second grouse.

Although taking two grouse with one arrow in one shot would have been an incredible sight to see, taking a second animal with the same arrow that was just used to bag another bird in such a short period of time is pretty darn cool as well.

Have you ever been archery hunting for grouse or any other game bird? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Really, I’m not just some cranky old guy when I say today’s youth is screwed up. Really, I’m not.

I was manning the grill during my son’s seventh-birthday party when while talking to one of his friends, I came to the realization that the kid didn’t understand that chicken (the meat) came from chicken (the animal). True story.

I think one of the beneficial lessons of taking my kids out fishing with me is that they get to experience the whole process of catching a fish and seeing that fish become a meal on their plate.

My kids are still too young to take on some of the fishing trips I go on, but in my opinion it’s never too early to get them started experiencing the outdoors.

The ladies at Women’s Outdoor News feel the same way. In this article, several hunting and fishing ladies give you their tips on introducing kids to the outdoors.

Hini+ytkid_070714What is the right age to introduce children to the outdoors or take them on a fishing or hunting trip? Alaska-born Becky Schwanke, who launched Tuff Kids Outdoors last March, started her journey of being an outdoors lover early, being taken along on hunts with her parents. She took her son on his first moose hunt when he was just 8-months old. “If we can introduce the natural world to our children when they are small, they will perpetually be fascinated by all the amazing interactions and experiences that being outdoors has to offer,” said Becky, “Sunshine, rain, wind, snow, it’s all part of recreating outside and there should be no fear in taking your kids on outings from day one.”

I first met Becky while working on a book project featuring women hunters in Alaska. Not having children of my own, or an expectation of what true accounts would emerge from the interviews, I became most surprised by the stories of women who took their young children on big-game hunts. It wasn’t just a great way to pass on the lessons these women had learned from their own childhoods spent in the outdoors, the stories revealed a powerful intersection between motherhood and hunting. Becky’s views, in particular, made me realize that, for the female hunter, there is no greater joy than being able to share life at its fullest with a child who is watching, participating and questioning.

Photos: Women’s Outdoor News (top); SoCal Salty (above)

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Dove season is just around the corner, one of the more fun and social hunts in the country.

In many areas offering liberal bag limits, the weather is warm and hunting is limited to the afternoon, eliminating the early morning rise.

The challenge of dove hunting is hitting these evasive targets. Most shooters take a couple of boxes of shells (probably more than 100 rounds) in the hopes of bagging a limit.

Like any type of hunting, the right gear can make your hunt more comfortable and successful. Bill Miller suggests these must-have items in an OutdoorHub post.

dove-hunting-041211[1]For the devoted wingshooting hunter, spring and summer are filled with clay target shooting. Doves represent the first real hunting opportunity of the fall. Satisfying as a smoked clay target can be, it’s never a 100 percent substitute for real feathers on real birds that can make erratic, evasive maneuvers—and result in terrific table fare. That’s why the traditional early September opening of dove season is such a big deal.

Except for turkey hunting—which is a whole different shotgunning ballgame—you likely have been away from the hunting field since the spring goose seasons ended. Are you ready to enjoy opening day?

Here are some things to put on your checklist to enjoy the opener to its fullest.

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Kansas has a plethora of hunting options. You can chase, stalk, and flush just about anything but alligators.

With so much space and so many hunts going on, accidents are bound to happen, and they do, but in record low numbers. Last year, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (DWTP) reported just six incidents of hunting injury, none fatal.

The DWPT is rightfully proud of the lowest number of hunter incidents in 50 years. In this article, they suggest several steps to take in order to make your hunting days safe and secure.

Nebraska 14 pt deer 210Rules of Gun Safety

  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
  • Never point your firearm at anything you don’t want to shoot.
  • Keep the safety on until right before you shoot.
  • Know your target and what lies beyond it.
  • Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Rules of gun safety are just one of many lessons taught during Hunter Education courses in Kansas, and the program is a big reason hunting-related incidents in the state are at an all-time low. Since 1973, more than 500,000 students have completed the Kansas Hunter Education course.

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WY Elk 2012 010How a deer is processed very much affects the taste and quality of the meat.

If you’ve ever considered processing your own venison, but were reluctant to try, this video will show you the steps from A to Z.

By doing it yourself, you can insure that you get your deer, that the cuts are exactly to your liking, and you’ll save $50 on each deer.

The folks at GrowingDeer.TV do a great job of explaining the process and the cuts of meat. Check out the video.

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A small pack is like the desktop of a computer: There’s just enough room for the essentials.

If you  hunt before or after work, you want to make the most of every minute. That usually means a “grab-’n-go” pack that contains a few scents, a release, rangefinder,  jerky sticks, and camp paint. You know, the important stuff.

Like your computer desktop, you want those essential hunting items at the ready and you want to know exactly where they are at all times.

Tenzing just introduced the perfect small pack that has many functions, one that’s ideal for the hunter on the go.

TZ721_45With a breathable mesh waist, padded hip panels and a highly adjustable waist belt system, the 2-pound TZ 721 is designed to be worn as an unobtrusive fanny pack while traveling to or from the field. Once its wearer settles into the stand, however, the TZ 721 can be quickly and easily repositioned to the front to keep contents accessible and make use of the plush, built-in muff as a convenient and cozy place for cold hands.  But the TZ 721 Waist Pack’s creature comforts don’t end there. Four specialized pockets — carefully placed in strategic positions — accept hand warmers to heat the hunter’s core.

Available in Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, the TZ 721 excels at storing small items inside its 17 total compartments and pockets that might otherwise get lost inside larger packs. There’s a place for everything, starting with the hunter’s mobile device. A pocket inside the top flap of the main compartment allows for smartphone operation without ever removing it from the pack. Open-topped side compartments secure with adjustable bungees are ideal for rangefinders and binoculars, while the pack’s face pocket and sub-compartments are great places for calls, tags, wallet and extra ammunition. The TZ 721’s 294 cubic-inch main compartment is perfect for gloves, hats, knives, keys or cameras. Webbing and compression straps on the pack’s bottom come in handy for securing extra items like rattling antlers or a jacket.

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This video, posted by Keith Warren, documents his first black bear taken with a crossbow.

This black bear hunt happened in Saskatchewan, Canada, with an organization called Woody River Trophy Hunts, owned and operated by Lance Miller. Miller was working with Magnum Outfitters this time around to take Warren out bear hunting.

Warren shot his huge black bear at night, so he was not able to recover it at that moment due to safety regulations, despite the fact that he clearly took it down with one shot. The bear only made it 60 yards after being shot.

Warren chose to use a crossbow for the simple reason that he wanted to. It is a unique way to hunt, so why not try something new?

Warren says, “there’s not a lot of hunting pressure up here,” in the eastern Saskatchewan area, which means the bears and the deer get pretty big.

Have a story similar to this? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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Here’s how to make insect repellant that doesn’t cost a fortune.

There are just six simple items to rid you of those pesky bugs.

This 70-year old family recipe has been used for generations in our family, it’s safe and effective, plus it’s pleasant smelling and great for kids, pets and grown-ups alike.

The only thing you may need to make this insect repellant that you don’t already have is the Dettol. Here is the list of ingredients:

  1. 1 Bottle of Dettol 6-12 oz
  2. Rubbing Alcohol or Vodka
  3. Dish Soap (Dawn works best)
  4. Lavender Oil
  5. Distilled Water
  6. 16 oz Spray Bottle

Mix 3 tablespoons of Dettol in the spray bottle. Next, add 4 ounces of Vodka or rubbing alcohol, then add 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap.

Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water, leaving enough room in the bottle to shake well.

The last ingredient is the lavender oil, of which you only need a bit. Add about three drops to start, too much can be overpowering. Once all ingredients are in your spray bottle replace the lid and shake well.

Due to the fact that the Dettol is highly concentrated, this bottle will last you a long time. Do not use the Dettol  undiluted as it may cause skin irritation. This bug repellant will last in a sealed bottle for years, just simply shake it prior to use.

If you are allergic to lavender you can substitute it with vanilla oil, but not extract.

Share this recipe with your friends and family and let us know in the comments how much you loved it.

Photos: Morguefile.com, Amazon (Dettol image)