Griffin's Guide to Hunting and Fishing Your source for daily hunting, fishing and outdoors content Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:04:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why You May Be Missing Out on Catching Barracuda Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:04:34 +0000 Typically here in Southern California, the first topwater fish of the year are barracuda. It usually starts around Mother’s Day, when the water first hits 60 degrees. First come the bait schools of sardines, and the ‘cudas follow. During this El Niño year, we were already catching yellowtail in January and the barracuda became second-class citizens.

Barracuda are a warm-water species found in many parts of the world. For whatever reason, they get short shrift elsewhere too. A good example is the flat, sandy, near-shore areas in places like the Bahamas, Mexico, and Hawaii. Bonefish get all the hype in those spots. Local guides think their clients are missing out. See what they say in this article from Hatch Magazine.

cuda_saltyAs I stood on the bow of a Palometa Club panga which bobbed heartily in the chop running across Mexico’s Ascension Bay, stiff 9 weight doubled over and my arm aching from battling the barracuda that was leashed to the end of my line, I thought mostly about landing the monster that had been thrashing about at the end of the line threatening to unbutton the jam knot on the wire leader that held on my fly. We’d been at it for almost 20 minutes and the barracuda showed no signs of tiring. Having not gotten a great look at the fish before it emerged from the depths to attack the gaudy fly I had been stripping through the water at the fastest pace I could manage, I was eager to see the beast. Surely it had to be 20 pounds. Possibly 30.

Truth be told, I had missed the cuda was battling. It came upon the boat quickly, and by the time we fumbled the appropriate rod out its holder, the fish had passed. As I started to slide the rod back into its holder, my guide Antonio shouted, hurrying me to get a cast launched and the fly into the water. So I turned and raised the rod, ready to fire a cast at the no-longer-visible fish’s tail, or at least where I presumed it would be. “No, no! That way!”

Photos: Hatch Magazine (top); SoCal Salty (above)

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Drones Aid Tuna Study Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:59:44 +0000 I remember when the GoPro camera first came out. I was one of the first guys to get one and one of the first anglers to post underwater action shots. Now you can’t go on a boat without seeing at least a half dozen guys with one strapped to their head.

The new thing now is drones. A lot of them use GoPros to capture the footage, but the bird’s-eye perspective offered with the use of drones is further extending the possibilities of fishing videos.

When it comes to the world of fishing, drones are impacting more than just videos. Scientists are now using drones to aid in the study of tuna. Read how they’re using this new tool to expand our knowledge of tuna in this article from On The Water.

bft_aerialA new grant will allow fisheries oceanographer Molly Lutcavage, director of the Large Pelagics Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Gloucester Marine Research Station, with postdoctoral fellow Angelia Vanderlaan and colleagues, to design, conduct and analyze the first autonomous aerial vehicle surveys of Atlantic bluefin tuna to provide fishery-independent regional estimates of their numbers.

Funded recently by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) one-year, $145,694 grant, she and her team will develop new analytical techniques next season to provide a more quantitative method of estimating the size and number of individuals within surface schools of the most important commercial tuna species in the Atlantic. At present these estimates are made subjectively by observers and/or spotter pilots.

Photos: Science Blogs (top); University of New Hampshire (above)

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The 5 Best Squirrel Recipes Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:11:59 +0000 These five recipes for squirrel are guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

These squirrel recipes will have you heading off to the woods quick to bag some squirrels for dinner!

1. Baked Squirrel

4 cut up squirrels (use only hind legs and meaty back pieces)
1 chopped green pepper
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp. red wine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. vinegar
1 chopped onion
4 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. Adolph’s tenderizer
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. flour
Crisco and cooking oil

Mix vinegar and salt with water to cover squirrel. Soak 2 hours in solution. Remove pieces and shake on tenderizer and pepper. Roll in flour. Fry in Crisco until brown. Place pieces in baking dish. In another skillet saute onion and pepper in butter. Add wine and soup. Mix well. Pour over squirrel. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of

2. Country style squirrel

2 squirrels
Salt & pepper to taste
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. water

Cut squirrel into frying size pieces, salt and pepper then roll in flour until coated well. Put in skillet of hot oil and fry until golden. Remove squirrel and most the oil, then add water and bring to boil. Place squirrel back into the skillet, turn to low heat, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of

3. Oven Fried Squirrel

One squirrel
4 eggs
bread crumbs
Olive oil
Canola oil/ vegetable oil

Pat meat dry with paper towel to remove any moisture. Dip squirrel in egg. Combine bread crumbs with flour, dip egg-covered squirrel in mix. Cover bottom of skillet with olive oil and canola oil, add butter and brown meat well (about 20 min). Put squirrel in baking dish and pour contents of skillet over meat. Bake for one hour at 375°F.

4. Belgian Squirrel

3 large squirrels
1/2 cup butter
2 onions, sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
18 pitted prunes
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cold water

Clean squirrels. Burn away any fur that clings. Rinse the meat though several changes of water and pat dry. Cut squirrels into serving pieces.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squirrel pieces and fry until browned on all sides, but do not cook through. Remove the squirrel pieces to a large Dutch oven or oven safe crock. Add onions to the butter in the skillet; cook and stir until tender and browned. Pour the onions and butter into the pot with the squirrel. Fill with enough water to almost cover the meat. Mix in the vinegar and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and place in the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the pot from the oven and add the prunes. Return to the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Continue baking for another 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven. Mix the flour and cold water together in a cup. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and prunes to a serving dish. Set the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and water and simmer, stirring constantly, until the gravy is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Serve meat with a lot of gravy.

Recipe Courtesy of All Recipes.

5. Squirrel country sausage

4 ½ lbs. squirrel (approx. 15 fox squirrels)
1 Tbsp. sage
2 lbs. fresh seasoned pork sausage (with sage)
2 tsp. basil
1 onion
3 tsp. margarine
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme

De-bone the squirrel and chop in food processor. Mix together with fresh pork. Mince the onion and garlic.

Cook the onion until transparent and add the garlic and sauté slightly. Mix together meats, onion, garlic and herbs.

To test seasonings, form a small patty and fry in frying pan with butter. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Form into small patties to cook or grill and use with your favorite sausage recipes. Great on pizza, with pancakes or scrambled in eggs.

Recipe courtesy of MDOC.

Squirrel can be a delightful little meal and will maybe make your yard a bit quieter.


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Nifty Backcountry Hunting Fire Starting Technique [VIDEO] Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:06:35 +0000 Here is an awesome backcountry hunting fire starting technique that is inexpensive, easy to make, lightweight, and surprisingly effective.

Since they carry all of their gear on their back, backcountry hunters need their equipment to be very portable and lightweight.

Here is a great idea for making a portable fire starter using items that you probably already have at your house.

I definitely have dryer lint, Vaseline and an empty egg carton lying around my house! Maybe this is something I’ll have to use myself this winter…

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Arcade Belts: The Ultimate Outdoor Belt Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:58:56 +0000 This belt is not just a belt… it may change the way you hold up your pants forever.

Arcade Belt Co., from Olympic Valley, CA, is a belt company that embodies the outdoors. The company was born in Squaw Valley, CA. and they began by marketing through the ski and snowboard industry, and is the baby of pro skier Cody Townsend and natural ripper Tristan Queen. Since launching in 2011, they have broken into the surf and outdoor industry and their retailers and following is consistently growing.

They are stretchy belts, made from an elastic Jacquard weave, which is super durable. The elastic makes wearing a belt more comfortable and allows for more movement. On most of the belts the buckle is plastic to make it more lightweight, and it doesn’t dig into your stomach when you are sitting.

Some of their new belts include “The Huntsman,” “The Blackwood,” and “The Sierra Camo.” They’re all are under $30, and they even make suspenders for $35.

Here are the choice belts perfect for outdoorsmen and women.




The versatility of these belts is great. I even used them to strap my shoes onto my backpack when I went camping.

Another great thing about the company and its website is the “Faces of Arcade,” made up of ambassadors of the brand and lovers of the outdoors through and through. It’s things like that is what makes this company more than just an apparel brand.

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Bowhunters Have Extremely Close Encounter With Bull Moose [VIDEO] Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:53:32 +0000 Two elk hunters get a healthy dose of adrenaline when a bull moose decides to get up close and personal.

Last week on the Wild Revue, we shared our Top 10 Hunting Close Calls Videos. I wish we’d been clued-in to this clip because hunting close calls don’t get much closer. In the video, two elk hunters come face to face with a huge bull moose in the Colorado Rockies. The beast seems to be aware that the hunters are there – it just doesn’t seem to care. I hope these fellas brought a change of underwear.

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6 Hunting Compliments That Are Actually Insults Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:49:48 +0000 Maybe your friends aren’t as nice as you think.

Those of us who love spending time outdoors are an incredibly close knit group; the bond between hunters is incredibly strong, and perhaps no other sport unites such a diverse group of people. There is also no doubt that hunters, more than any other group, are the best at celebrating the successes of fellow hunters.

There are times, however, when we encounter those with whom we’re less than impressed. Whether it’s a newbie to the woods or someone who just never learned better, we’ve all been in that awkward position of interacting with someone who made a less-than-stellar decision or simply got lucky. Not wanting to be rude and discourage their further participation, many hunters have come up with several phrases that seem positive, yet upon further examination are thinly veiled insults.

Here is our list of the top 6 hunting compliments that are actually insults. Feel free to borrow them if you encounter someone who needs some coaching. Or if you think your hunting buddies aren’t saying what they actually mean.

1. “That’s not a bad one!”

This phrase is normally used when someone harvests a buck or turkey that they should’ve left alone. After all, deer & turkeys (among countless other species) don’t achieve their full potential unless allowed to reach physical maturity, and harvesting them before they do is like dunking a basketball… on a six-foot basket.

While taking the first available shot is great practice for kids or new hunters (or where necessary for herd and land management purposes), veteran outdoorsmen know that the quality of hunting grows as animals are allowed to reach maturity.

Just because it has antlers doesn’t mean you should shoot it, which is what the person who says this is trying to teach you.

spike 2

2. “At least you’re very persistent.”

If someone mentions your persistence in the woods, what they probably mean to say is, “you’re a terrible hunter.”

Persistence and patience are necessary for every hunter. I, in fact, have been bowhunting for five years and have yet to harvest a deer with a bow. Since persistence is a quality that almost every hunter shares, if someone feels the need to bring it to attention it’s probably because they think it’s the only good outdoor skill you possess.

If someone compliments you on your persistence, take it for what it probably is; a reminder to be constantly striving to develop your outdoor skills.

3. “Thats ok for a first gun/bow.”

Something that varies almost as much as each individual hunter is the equipment we hunt with. From modern rifles, to antique muzzleloaders, to self-defense handguns, to modern compound bows, to traditional recurve and long bows, the diversity among hunting gear is almost as great as the diversity among the people who use it. Beyond the choice of weaponry, many hunters take it even further by customizing their equipment.

Some equipment choices, however, just don’t make sense. Rather than insult you, however, we’ll just assume that you’re a beginner and didn’t know any better. If that’s true, feel free to ask for advice.

If not, then…well, maybe you should have thought this through.

first gun 2

4. “Thats not something I would do, but I guess it worked.”

Hunting strategies vary wildly, from the tried and true to the downright insane. Flexibility is the name of the game in the outdoor world, and hunters must always be ready to adjust their approach.

If a fellow hunter says something like this, however, what they really mean is,  “that’s the most idiotic idea I’ve ever heard.” Not all ideas or strategies in the hunting world are created equal, and some are just downright stupid.

Making mistakes is part of learning the outdoors. If a comment like this is directed at you, take it for what it is. A plea to hunt smarter next time.

Image Courtesy of

5. “You must be pretty lucky.”

Unlike the other sayings on this list, this one isn’t automatically an insult. Some hunters do in fact get lucky; after all, most of us know that one person who had a great hunt, even though they had no reason to.

If a comment like this is directed at you, however, there’s a chance that it actually means, “I can’t believe a moron like you harvested a deer, or anything else, for that matter.” While it’s great when a good friend who works hard and hunts smart harvests a great animal, when someone with no outdoor skills and no business being outdoors takes a trophy it’s really annoying.

Don’t hang your hat on being lucky. Instead, let your experiences teach you. The rest of us will appreciate it.


6. “I’m happy for you.”

Many hunters are overjoyed at the success of others in the outdoors. Helping a friend drag out a big buck or taking pictures of your neighbor’s trophy is almost as satisfying as having a successful hunt yourself.

There is always, however, a twinge of jealousy when someone else tags the trophy of a lifetime. While the person who says this to you may in fact be happy for you, there’s probably a small voice in their head saying, “but I wish it had been me.”

Try to understand where they’re coming from and be quick to offer a hand when they need you.

Image via LowCountry Outdoors

Many hunters are genuinely nice people who want others to succeed in the outdoors. Like with many things in life, however, there are times when there is no substitute for a thinly veiled insult.

You’ve been warned.

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The Best Trail Camera Photos of All Time [PICS] Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:46:15 +0000 Trail camera photos are notorious for capturing some pretty amazing moments.

They’re our eyes when we can’t be in the woods, and they’ve become exceptionally important tools in modern hunting. But of course, trail cam photos are often a little weird, slightly incredible, or downright hilarious.

Here are some of the best around!

Impeccable timing.




I guess there is more than one way to be the dominant buck…


“Dang it!  It’s another fake!”


I think we’ve all seen this famous pic.  Hey, aliens got to hunt too…


BFF’s? I’d like to think these two have a Timon & Pumbaa kind of relationship.


C’mon, who doesn’t like puppies!


“They will never know I’m here…”




Nothing to see here…nothing to see.


He is still searching for a mate…


What great timing! I see a lot of Photoshop potential with this pic…


“Hold me.”


“Run for your life!”


Impressive kill.


“Shut up and kiss me.”


I’d say those feeders aren’t quite high enough!


Coyotes take down a mature buck.

There are numerous shots of the entire sequence of events that can be found on the internet. Not sure if this big buck was wounded before they got to him or not, but they sure finished him off. It’s a shame, he’s a great buck.


Black bear got dinner.


Flying squirrels are the best.


“Little help.”


Do you believe in UFO’s??


Another awesome photo taken at just the right time.




Another great action shot!


“I just got my ears done.”

“Me too!”


“What does the fox say?!?”


I think we’d all like to see a monster like this show up on our own trail cams!


You better run squirrel!


I hope you’ve all enjoyed these trail camera photos.

And with that folks, I’m outie.


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This Iowa Deer Is Largest Free-Range Whitetail Ever Killed on Camera [VIDEO] Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:36:19 +0000 Behold, a free-range typical whitetail like no other.

Last month, a jaw-dropping 258-inch whitetail was taken in Iowa by hunter Joe Franz and Trophy Pursuit cameraman Derek Wilkerson. According to the team, the behemoth buck is the largest free-range whitetail ever killed on film. Trophy Pursuit recently released video and more details of the hunt, and we have to say, we’re amazed.

Hunter Joe Franz smoked the massive deer, now dubbed the “Franz Buck”, with a muzzleloader on Oct. 12 on his free-range farm in Iowa. Trophy Pursuit maintains the hunt was 100 percent fair-chase on free-range property. Here’s the footage and story of the once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

If you’re short on time, start at the 5:00 marker.

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Crossbows: An Investment in Fun and Value Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:06:04 +0000 Vintage crossbows such as this Horton model remain effective for hunting after many years.

Vintage crossbows such as this Horton model remain effective for hunting after many years.

Firearms are usually a much better investment than a compound bow.

Where as rifles and pistols maintain or even appreciate in value, the resale price of most modern bows drop 50% the minute it leaves the store.

Crossbows are the exception, and the Shifler family is living proof. Steve Shifler received a Horton Legend SL from his now-deceased wife 15 years ago and had the valued present “re-tuned” at a local sporting good shop.

“After all that time, all it needed was a new string and it shoots like new,” he said enthusiastically after bagging the 6-point buck shown above.

Crossbows greatly reduce the learning curve to become an effective shot.

Crossbows greatly reduce the learning curve and help you become an effective shot.

Alex, Shifler’s nephew, killed a coyote at 35 yards with an Excalibur nearly as old, not far from where uncle Steve bagged his buck. The Excalibur accounted for a Canadian moose earlier in its use, quite a feat considering all the other hunters in camp carried Magnum rifles.

Crossbows are becoming increasingly popular among hunters of all ages, as they allow a person to avoid the huge learning curve of using a compound, recurve, or longbow to hunt effectively.

Importantly, crossbows hold their value. Buying a used one is a good way to get started and see if you enjoy the sport.

Once accomplished at the basics, you can re-sell or trade up to a newer model with the anticipation that it will last for decades and maintain much of its original value.

More importantly, a crossbow will allow you to multiply your hunting days afield in many states, by ten times in some cases.

Bowhunting is exciting, whether with a vertical or horizontal format, and you can be assured that the latter will help preserve your investment.

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