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Spring gobbler season looms like a giant, glowing sun on the horizon, beaming down rays of hope and anticipation to warm our hearts and boost our spirits. If it only melted snow! This darned cold and snow will subside as the calender pages turn and your thoughts should be turning toward the spring turkey season.

Mark Kayser is one of America’s best writers. Here, he reveals his top tips for opening day in this post from the North American Hunt Club.

Top Pros Talk Turkey Mark Drury (2)Opening day for most turkey hunters is just around the corner. Turkeys are gobbling, strutting and even separating from large winter flocks. It’s time to start thinking of moving one of those pasture giants to the Crockpot.  Turkeys haven’t felt any hunting pressure yet. They’ll be more susceptible to calls. There are more toms in the field than later when many have made the journey to the Crockpot. In brief, it’s the perfect window to take advantage of inexperienced toms. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of opening day then consider a few of the following strategies. Your Crockpot may thank you.

Think whitetail. Turkeys are still on a pattern on opening day. Watch where they land in the morning, where they feed at midday and the path they take back to roost in the afternoon. One of these areas will provide you with the perfect pinch point to waylay a wandering tom.

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Double-digit bass. Many chase, few achieve.

Whether you fish freshwater or salt, it’s a feat that universally gives you credibility with any angler. Getting one can happen by accident, but mostly it happens because the person doing it is doggedly chasing the goal. The person that gets the double-digit bass commits to fishing big and endures days of skunks and seeing a lot of followers, but no takers. But the day it happens, and you feel that fight, and get to hoist up that fish… well, I can’t say for sure, but it must be a great feeling.

The dream recently came true for Gabe Keen of Caryville, Tennessee. Find out how big and what he caught it on in this article from FLW Outdoors.

Keen_bassFriday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Gabe Keen of Caryville, TN, who caught a 15.20-pound largemouth bass out of Lake Chickamauga that figures to be Tennessee’s new state record. The prior record weighed 14 pounds, 8 ounces and was boated by James Barnett of Sugar Creek.

Keen, who fishes Lake Chickamauga fairly frequently, says he caught the fish on an umbrella rig made by Dixie Custom Rods that was rigged with four baitfish-colored Zoom Swimmin Super Fluke Jr.’s around the perimeter and one white ice-colored Zoom Super Fluke in the center. He had the baits rigged on 1/8-ounce unpainted jigheads made by the Dayton Boat Dock. Keen was using a 7-foot heavy power Abu Garcia Veritas baitcasting rod with a Revo SX reel and 20-pound Vicious Fishing 100% Fluorocarbon line.

Keen says he was fishing a bank that “looked good” near the Chester Frost Park with his boat in about 20 feet of water when the fish latched on to one of the Swimmin Flukes on the outside of his umbrella rig at 11:45 a.m.

Photos: Richard Simms

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I recently started a new job and I ran across a couple coworkers in the lunchroom. I heard them talking fishing, so I set my food down on their table and introduced myself. I learned that Jeff had recently moved here from New Jersey. He was excited to find someone (me) who knew all about the sportboats he’d been wanting to check out himself. The other one, Ian, is from here and likes to spearfish in the kelp jungle near shore. I quickly found a picture my 39-lb. striped bass to impress Jeff. And my personal best halibut (31 lbs.) sufficiently impressed Ian ,who had recently shot his first legal. Yup, I’ve got trophy pics, but I don’t always catch impressive fish. I just put in my time, and sometimes the fish gods smile upon me.

The fish gods were smiling on ice fishing buddies Nicholas Colangelo and Luke Wholey. Almost every Monday, the pair get out fishing together. They don’t always catch a big one, but the two friends just enjoy time on the water together. That’s how it should be. On a recent Monday, the pair were in the middle put in a marathong 18-hour session. Nicholas caught the trophy of a lifetime and his buddy Luke was there to witness and take the hero shot. Find out what Nick caught in this article from CBS Pittsburgh.

muskie_jawsIce fishing season is in full swing in Western Pennsylvania, and one Pittsburgh angler reeled in quite the catch.

Nicholas Colangelo and best friend Luke Wholey were ice fishing in Northwest Pennsylvania Monday when Colangelo landed this 53-inch musky.

Colangelo and Wholey slept in an ice shanty overnight and fished for about 18 hours until the musky took the bait, a 3-inch shiner.

“The weight was unbelievable, I’ve caught a lot of muskies, but never felt anything like this,” Colangelo said.

Colangelo said he didn’t see the fish for the first 10-minutes, and it took him about a half-hour to hand-reel it in.

“We brought it in through a 10-inch hole in the ice, and it barely fit through the hole,” Nicholas said.

Colangelo said they snapped a few picture of the monster catch, measured it, and had released it in about 90-seconds.

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Now is a great time to hunt coyotes. Their fur is in prime condition and food is becoming more scarce, making them more vulnerable to a call. Also, it’s a great way to break the winter doldrums and maybe hear a turkey gobble.

The gentleman above took five songdogs in one day. He gives up some of his secrets in this post from Predator Xtreme.

Coyote fur is in prime condition at this time of the year.

Coyote fur is in prime condition at this time of the year.

It was a cold calm morning in Kansas. My gear was all ready and I was walking into my first stand of the morning on public ground. I got set up and blew one series of cottontail distress on a mouth call and a coyote showed up in front of me out in the grass. One shot later and my first coyote was down! I did some coyote pup distress to see if any more would show, but not here.

I traveled to my next stand at a public walk-in area and made my second stand of the day. I made the same initial series of cottontail distress and just a couple of minutes later coyote number two showed up. With careful aim, I watched the coyote drop just after I pulled the trigger on my .204  MORE 

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You know the saying “opposites attract”? Count this guy as someone who no longer buys into that old adage. If you and your significant other aren’t on the same page, it isn’t romantic. It just sets the scene for conflict. I was dating a lady last year. She is smart and attractive. She has her own business. She’s a real catch. I enjoyed spending time with her. It seemed like it was a good scene because since she was busy running her business, she wouldn’t mind when I was off doing my own thing. That lasted for about three months when I was told, “I’m tired of being #2.” I thought to myself, “Honey, don’t kid yourself, you’re #4 at best!” … behind my kids, my job, and fishing (not necessarily in that order). I didn’t bother lying to her and released her back into the dating pool.

It would’ve helped if she liked to fish. Oh, well. This story might have a better ending. In this article from Outdoor Life, read about a pair of newlyweds who spent their honeymoon fishing in Alaska.

alaska_lingAfter getting married in April, my wife Faith and I decided that an exotic tropical honeymoon just wasn’t for us. We did have the perfect place in mind, though. A place that regular Live Hunt readers know that I cherish: Afognak Island.

After arriving on the island and getting settled into our very comfortable cabin at Afognak Wilderness Lodge, run by the Randall family, we were presented with an all-too-familiar problem I’ve encountered on Afognak—deciding what to do first. Among our options were offshore fishing, salmon fishing, bear viewing, and whale watching. We decided to hit the deep fish first, and within 30 minutes of leaving the lodge we were hammering the halibut and lingcod left and right.

The fishing off of Afognak is as good as anywhere in Alaska, and can make the famous Prince Williams Sound look like a wasteland. Although most of the bigger halibut hadn’t moved into the area yet when we were there in late June and early July, one of my friends from Fairbanks, Rob, boated a 140-pound fish. No matter where we went, it seemed like we couldn’t keep the fish off our hooks. By the end of each day, our arms were so locked up and tired from reeling that we were praying we wouldn’t hook into a big one. We caught our limit every day, and on the best day we caught and released nearly 200 fish. There was one spot in particular where we brought up six lingcod, each over 50 pounds, in less than 10 minutes!

Photos: Outdoor Life

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Poaching is a despicable crime. Like stealing from the Social Security System, poachers rob wildlife enjoyment from all of us. With violent crime on the mind of most policemen, this is one area of law enforcement that each citizen can become involved in. If you see something suspicious in the outdoors, say something.

Thankfully, the folks in Idaho are having none of this poaching business. They’ve taken action to see that the person, or persons, responsible for this illegal act are punished. Here are the latest details, as reported by the Twin Falls Times-News.

54d3abee81332.preview-620[1]Last week’s poaching of a trophy-class mule deer buck right in town created a storm of outrage and inspired $2,800 in rewards offered for information. “This deer was basically a local celebrity,” said Forrest Andersen, manager of Washington Street Pawn. “Everybody had pictures of it. It was basically as tame as a dog.”

Andersen on Wednesday described a buck with heavy, wide, tall antlers that spent its life in Rock Creek Canyon, between the Amalgamated Sugar factory and the Snake River Canyon.  MORE