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With this iHunt device and Ruger app, you'll always be ready with a call.

With this iHunt device and Ruger app, you’ll always be ready with a call.

You’re tucked into your tree stand just as day breaks and suddenly you spot movement.

No, it’s not the trophy buck you seek, but a skanky coyote sneaking through the timber just out of range. If only you could make a soft mouse sound or subdued rabbit squeal, the predator would head right for you.

Fortunately, to coin a phrase, there’s an app for that. iHunt offers a speaker that connects wirelessly to your smartphone.  Here’s the scoop from Predator Xtreme as they report from the SHOT show.

Extreme Dimensions’ iHunt wireless Bluetooth speaker and the iHunt by Ruger App allow you to use your smartphone as the controller for more than 600 sounds from 46 species. Once you sync the iHunt speaker with your phone you can download the iHunt app for free. The app breaks calls down to specific species. So if you want to call coyotes, you simply tap the coyote selection and scroll through dozens of sounds — including coyote vocalization and prey-distress sounds.  MORE


Poachers really upset me. For one thing, when these poaching stories circulate around the general public they paint even good, law abiding anglers in a bad light. Secondly, poachers are stealing my fun… not only in the short term, but possibly long term with the impact they have to a local fishery. Just being out and about, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a few game wardens and I applaud them for the work they do.

A story recently came to light about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. They recently conducted an undercover operation that has implicated 31 people and may be the biggest poaching bust in 20 years. Read the details of their Operation Squarehook in this article from WCCO/CBS Minnesota.

square_walleyeThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is sharing new details into “Operation Squarehook.” That is the codename of the undercover operation that netted at least 31 people in what is being described as the largest fishing bust in some 20 years.

Those charged are accused of engaging in the illegal commercialization of Minnesota game fish. Ten members of the Red Lake and Leech Lake bands are charged in Federal Court with selling legally netted walleye. That is a violation of tribal code and the U.S. Lacey Act, which strictly prohibits commercial sale of fish and game.

The two-year investigation discovered that “tens of thousands of walleye” were being netted from Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech, Cass and Red Lakes. The tribal netting itself started as a legal take but violated the law once those fish were put up for sale.

Photos: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (top); Minnesota StarTribune (above)


Some duck hunting ice-crawler named Clint makes our day.

Just talk one of your friends into walking on thin ice, and then kick back and start the video camera.

What happens next is one of the funniest videos ever.

Meet Clint, the ultimate ice-crawler.

I’d say that this guy looks like an army ranger on a training mission, but he’s more like a canoe without a paddle. Just listening to his buddy laugh at him is as much fun as anything else.

Somebody call this poor guy a helicopter.

Give this duck hunting dude some credit for almost making it and even more so for doing a little laughing himself.
At least it wasn’t too deep when he falls through the thin ice.

Here’s to you, Clint, for giving us a good chuckle.


I often argue that recreational anglers are the best stewards of the fishery resource. We have the most to lose from overfishing. Commercial fishing operations can range further or switch to another fishery to profit from.

Local recreational anglers typically don’t have those options, so they take better care of the resource (or at least they should). Because it is a for-profit venture, I don’t think commercial fishing pros always choose what is best for the long-term health of the fishery. There are also side consequences from commercial fishing you don’t hear about as much.

One of these consequences is “ghost fishing.” Ghost fishing is when lost or abandoned commercial fishing equipment is left in the water and continues to catch fish. Learn more about the efforts to curtail ghost fishing in this article from The Nature Conservancy.

ghost-potLong after commercial fishers have pulled into dock, their lost and abandoned gear continues fishing – threatening marine wildlife and habitats around the world.

Some call it “ghost fishing.”

recent NOAA study found that abandoned and lost fishing gear has “persistent and pervasive” impacts on U.S. waters. It also found that these impacts are largely reversible.

A good case study is the recovery of derelict crab pots on the Washington coast, a comprehensive effort involving Tribal and non-tribal commercial fishers, scientists, agencies and organizations like The Nature Conservancy.

The bottom line: collaborating on crab pot removal benefits both fish and fishers.

The Dungeness crab is one of the most important fisheries in Washington, with an average of 14 million pounds of the crustaceans harvested annually. The crabs are captured in wire traps, called crab pots. About 90,000 to 100,000 of these pots are set in Washington waters annually. Crab pots are not inexpensive; each one costs about $225. Still, heavy winds and other harsh conditions mean that about 10 percent of the pots are lost each year.

Photos: The Nature Conservancy (top); Sea Grant (above)


I recently returned from a fishing trip to Punta Colonet, just off the Baja Mexico coast, south of Ensenada. The original plan for this trip was to catch big bottomfish while the bottomfish closure was in effect in U.S. waters. Instead, it turned into a yellowtail (a cousin to the amberjack) trip. The preferred method to catch them was on heavy jigs. The fish were holding pretty deep, 30 to 40 fathoms. I discovered that not all heavy jigs are equal. Weight was only one factor. Shape was a big factor that I’m not sure everyone else considered.

Thankfully, I brought a good assortment and found one that really worked. Interesting to me is that the same lessons learned in this ocean trip can be applied at the lake. In this article from Sportsmans Lifestyle, read how Yamaha pro Doug Stange uses different metal jigs to attract winter smallies.

spoon_stangeMost bass fisherman might think that action cools as fish move into the Fall months, but nothing could be further from the truth for smallmouth bass. And one of the best ways to take advantage of them is an unconventional cool-water tactic — throwing spoons.

Yamaha pro and Hall-of-Fame angler Doug Stange prefers pitching metal as the temperatures fall as a surefire way to prospect for smallies.

“As dissolved oxygen and water temperatures become more evenly distributed in water bodies in late fall, smallmouth bass can hold just about anywhere,” says Stange. Finding them is the key, which means presentations that cover water fast are best … and nothing covers water better than spoons.”

Stange asserts that the notion of casting metal to Fall smallmouth may seem strange at first, even for those who vertically jig winter-chilled largemouth. But as late-season smallmouth move toward wintering areas they feed heavily on baitfish. And nothing reaches deep water as fast or mimics forage fish better than a spoon.

Photos: K Marine (top); Sportsmans Lifestyle (above)


Check out this California tule elk hunt as it comes to a dramatic conclusion with a perfect kill shot.

Viewing this California tule elk hunt will have you itching to get out there and shoot one of your very own bulls.

Watch as Troy and Jack Link of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky feed their wild side in this California tule elk hunting excursion.

Patience and precision helped this hunting crew bag a beautiful bull while hunting for California tule elk. The bull was about 200 yards away when the first shot was fired, but it was the second one that brought him down.

Take a lesson from the Link boys and feed your wild side, by thinking ahead and waiting for just the right moment to pull the trigger.