Saturday, March 31, 2007

Grizzly Bear vs Caribou

Here is some impressive video footage of a caribou defending itself against a hungry grizzly bear with cubs in tow. Will the caribou fight the grizzly off? See for yourself.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Turkey Calls

With the turkey hunting seasons opening in a few weeks all over North America my email box is steadily filling up with requests for turkey calling tactics and what sounds turkeys make. So here is part one of a long answer. Part two of the answer (Turkey calling made easy) will be posted later.
Turkeys are, like most birds, very vocal creatures. Like humans use their language to communicate with each other so do turkeys. They make a variety of sounds to relate messages to each other or “show” emotions. A smart turkey hunter knows what these sounds are and their meaning.

To become a successful turkey hunter it is imperative to learn how to imitate turkey calls on a turkey call. The most common turkey calls that every hunter should use are:

Friction Calls:
These calls are easy to learn even for a beginner and produce an authentic turkey sound.

Friction calls come in different models. The slate call is a wooden or plastic dish covered with slate, glass or aluminum. The sound is produced with a stick, called striker. Strikers are made of wood, plastic or fiberglass.

Another friction call that works very well and should be in every turkey hunters gadget box is the paddle box cal. This is the father of all turkey calls. The paddle box is made of wood. A hollow box, the sound chamber and attached at the open end is the paddle. By moving the paddle over the lips of the box the sound is produced.

There are more friction calls but the slate and box calls are the simplest and most effective to use and learn.

Mouth diaphragms:

These calls are placed in the mouth; exhaling air trough the mouth produces the sound. These calls are extremely difficult to learn. The positive side of these calls is that they free up the hands and no movement is needed to produce the sound. The mouth diaphragms are especially good for close work as an incoming turkey looks for movement.

Below I listed most of the common sounds a turkey makes.

A turkey poult makes its first sound before it hatches.

Hatching Yelp
The hen answers the poults peeping with the Hatching Yelp. This helps bond the hen and the chicks together and helps the hen recognize each of her chicks.

Predator Alarm
When a predator is flying over or nearby the nest, the hen will utter a guttural, segmented call to warn the poults who will then duck under the hens body.

Plain Yelp
The yelp is a multi-purpose, rhythmic, 3 to 15 note series used to locate other turkeys during the day. The turkey yelp does follow a certain cadence but if you listen to wild turkeys call, they often have skips and half-beats in their series of calls and the number of yelps varies tremendously. Yelping also varies in volume and intensity. Some series of yelps stay about the same volume throughout while others start low, rise in volume and then tail off towards the end. Try and vary your yelping and you'll have much more success calling turkeys.

The yelp is sometimes referred to as the "love call' of the hen and is the one call every hunter should master. This call is used by both hens and gobblers. The gobbler yelp is slower and more deep throated than the hen.

Lost Yelp
A long series of yelps (10 to 20+) used by turkeys when they are lost and trying to call other turkeys to them. This can be used at random in the spring to attract long distance gobblers.

Tree Yelp
The tree yelp is a softer, shorter version of the standard yelp. Turkeys of both sexes tree yelp each morning. This call lets the other birds know that all is well after they wake up in the morning.

A soft to loud staccato call used to locate and communicate with other turkeys. It basically is saying "I am here, where are you?". This call is used by both hens and gobblers. Turkeys cluck all of the time and it is by far their most used call.

Cutting is a fast irregular series of clucks used by lost or lonely hens who are searching for other turkeys. It is an especially effective call for the hunter in the spring because hens use cutting to announce to gobblers they are ready to mate. They are usually loud and aggressive and last anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds in duration.

This is a call most often used by hens when flying up or down from their roosts. It is a 5 to 20+ note call that is also used when flying over clear openings, water ,etc. A cackle is comprised of fast, irregular clucks and yelps. It is followed up with more subtle clucks when the turkey hits the ground. This call varies quite a bit and I've included several samples of fly down cackles.

A purr is a soft, fluttering or trilling call that is used by both hens and gobblers. It has several meanings and is most commonly thought of as a call used to communicate contentment and relaxation when the flock is together. It is also used by birds while they are feeding and in this case it is more of a "spacing" call where the birds purr to tell the other birds "I'm feeding here, give me some room." This is a very good call to coax the gobbler in the last few yards. There is often a cluck before and sometimes after a purr.

Aggravated or Fighting Purr
This is the loud aggressive purr emitted by gobblers and jakes as they posture to fight for dominance and the right to breed. Hens will also purr aggressively when they are upset and looking for a fight.

Get a couple of push-pull turkey calls and give the fighting purrs a try this spring. Turkeys love a good fight and you'll sometimes be stampeded by a group running up to get in on the fun. It is also a great call for the fall since turkeys are very actively fighting and establishing pecking orders during this season.

Toms gobble for two main reasons - 1) To attract hens and 2) to proclaim their dominance over subordinate males. They will, however, shock gobble to just about any loud noise. The typical gobble lasts about 2-3 seconds. Most gobblers can control the intensity of their gobbling and generally older toms will have much deeper, full-throated gobbles. But don't let the gobbling fool you. Hens have been known to gobble and have a try at strutting also.

Spitting and Drumming
A two note pffffft, duuuuuuuummmmmm vocalization forced from a gobblers chest. He drums for the same reason he gobbles---to attract hens. He can drum softly or loudly depending on the location of the hens. On clear, calm days, drumming can be heard as far away as 100 yards. Simulating spitting and drumming is a very effective way to call in turkeys.

Since it is such a low-pitched sound it is very difficult to hear and/or record this sound. Once you've heard it though, you'll never forget it and I've often located turkeys but stopping and listening very carefully for the Spit 'n Drum.

The putt is a loud, sharp alarm call used when a turkey senses danger or when they see something that seems out of place. Essentially, it is a very loud cluck but with a different meaning. This is one you don't want to hear since it usually means you've been spotted and that the turkey is getting out of there in a hurry.

This is the 3-note whistle made by young turkeys when they are lost. It's a very good call for the fall to call in scattered turkeys. I've always found it interesting they call it a kee-kee when a more appropriate name would be kee-kee-kee.

Kee-Kee Run
This is the lost call of the young consisting of several whistles followed by 2 or three yelps like this kee-kee-kee-yelp-yelp. Use this in the spring sporadically with your other yelping. Occasionally, a jake will respond to the call with yelping of his own.


To inquire or book a turkey calling seminar, or any of my other seminar topics, please Email me for more information and date availability.

I am a proud Pro-Staff member of Heirloom Custom Turkey Calls

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hunt Smart Think Safety

I just have added another blog to my blogroll. This blog is right up my alley, as a supporter of the women hunters long before it became popular, I am particularly pleased that Kristine writes the Hunt Smart Think Safety blog. She claims to be a beginning hunter but she has a lot to say about hunting safety. Hunting is one of the safest sports we can pursue, having said that, it is important that we remind and inform ourselves continually about safety.

Kristine has a website well worth visiting too. Gun Safety Innovations LLC. What this company is all about is well expressed in this quote from their website.

Gun Safety Innovations was founded with one mission, to develop products that keep hunters safe. Our goal is to create hunter safety products that are simple in design, easy to use, and easy on the wallet as well. We know that simple things can have a large impact on eliminating or reducing hunting accidents, so our focus is always on developing products that create small changes which have big rewards.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kansas aproves of killing 257 wild hogs by air gunners.

Aerial hunters approved by the state shot and killed 257 wild hogs in Kansas during a two-day hunt last week, but experts say the troublesome swine will continue to wreak havoc in the state.

An estimated 2,000 feral hogs make Kansas home, while Missouri might have as many as 10,000. Nationally, feral swine are estimated to number 4 million and cause nearly $1 billion in damage.

The hogs are blamed for stealing field crops, ruining wetlands and potentially spreading disease to livestock. And they have no natural predator, meaning they can reproduce with little or nothing to stop them.

Although many hunters would like to go after the hogs, the state of Kansas has banned such hunting, hoping to take away the incentive for people to release the hogs into the wild. But landowners say they are still constantly asked by hunters for permission to hunt the hogs.

Brenna Wulfkuhle, who raises cattle near Stull, said the hog hunters "don't get it." Hunting hogs only spreads them across the landscape, she said.

"The hogs tear up our pasture," she said. "And if we ever found a hog with foot-and-mouth disease, there'll be a quarantine of everything around here."

Last year, the Kansas Legislature outlawed nearly all hog hunting, meaning only a landowner or someone they designate who is state-registered can hunt hogs on a particular piece of property. Charging for hunting rights also is prohibited.

Most rural landowners are happy to allow state and federal wildlife agents on to their property to kill the wild pigs, but a few decline. Those refusals reinforce suspicions that most feral hogs are released by people trying to nurture sport hunting.

Outfitter Rick Lambert, of Sun City, has suggested imposing a bounty on the hogs to enlist weekend hunters in the eradication effort.

"I still have guys calling me every week who want to come out and hunt hogs," he said, but he has to turn them down.

Kansas Livestock Commissioner George Teagarden said the animals have moved from three locations to more than two dozen counties.

"We know they didn't walk from southern Kansas to the Oklahoma border. They don't move that far," he said. "Somebody picked them up and moved them."

The spreading of disease is the main concern.

"With some of these things, it could go from a feral hog to a domestic herd and then to a number of states almost overnight," said Paul Grosdidier, a veterinarian with the Kansas Animal Health Department.

In Missouri, it is illegal to release hogs on public land or on unfenced private land, or to collect a fee for guiding a hunt on public land. But unlike Kansas, Missouri allows hog hunting and hog-hunting fees.

In 2004, the Missouri Department of Conservation caught hunting guides illegally releasing hogs the same morning undercover agents, posing as sport hunters, were going out to search for wild pigs.

The outfitters charged $50 to $100 per hunter and an additional $100 to $250 for each hog they shot.

Those pigs were set loose on land owned, in one case, by the U.S. Forest Service and, in another case, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Several outfitters were fined $2,500.

"The outfitting fees are just extra pocket money for these guys," said Bill Kohne, one of the conservation agents involved in the investigations. "Those fines can wipe that out pretty quickly."

Source: The Hutchinson News

Want to read more about wild hog hunting? Visit The Hog Blog

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Birthday Buck

From February 1st to 28th we held our Spring Photo Contest on the SHS Hunting Chat Forum. We had two categories to which members could send their best pictures. One category named “Hunting and Fishing” was dedicated to trophy pictures of fish and wild game. The other category was named “Outdoors”, here members could submit any picture that had the subject outdoors, such as wildlife pictures, landscapes and such.

As usual the participation was strong. Which is no surprise the lure of the quality prizes provided by our generous sponsors, Tony’s Cutlery Barn and Heirloom Custom Turkey Calls was strong. It was a though choice for the members to vote for the best two pictures of each category. It was even a tougher choice for Artemis Graphics & Design, as independent judge, to choose the Grand Prize winner out of the four category winners.

The final choice of 1st place in the Hunting and Fishing Category and the Grand Prize winner was Slaymaker with his submission “Birthday Buck”.

1st Place Prize:

Seal Team Fighter

Grand Prize:

KutForrest - Pro Guide series knife

Here is what slaymaker had to say about his submission:
Here I am with my first bow kill, a 13 point buck, taken on the first day of Iowa's bow season, October 1, 2006. And to make it even better, I got him on my 45th birthday! What a present!

But this is not why Artemis Graphics & Design choose this picture as winner. By choosing a winner for the Grand Prize she looked at the picture from an artistic view, such as exposure, composition and overall impression the picture had on the viewer.
She found that this picture is well composed and exposed. It is a clean picture, no bloody parts showing. The harvested animal looks natural and the hunter looks happy and humble at the same time. This picture, so her verdict, does both the hunter and his game justice. It is a picture everybody can look at without being offended by it. And last but by no means the picture tells a story. In the opinion of Artemis Graphics & Design, a picture should tell a story otherwise it becomes a boring snapshot.

Is there a lesson to be learned? I don’t know about you, but in future I think I will pay more attention when I take a picture. The other lesson perhaps is that if you take active part in the SHS Hunting chat forum you will not only have fun and learn from expert hunters but there is always the chance to win something. So why not join us today at the SHS Hunting Chat Forum.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Snow Geese Hunt In Missouri

For a few days in a row a distinguished member of my SHS Hunting Chat Forum, going by the handle of “jemerson2003”, keeps us up-to-date with exiting reports on his goose hunt success. He comments;

“Just because it is spring doesn't mean that there are no more waterfowling opportunities. Due to the dangerously high numbers of snow geese that are destroying their breeding habitat, the spring conservation order answers the waterfowler's spring question of "what do I do till next fall?” Snow geese are so plentiful that they are often referred to as "sky carp".
With the comment he showed off a few very nice pictures of his recent hunting success. I complimented him on it by saying; what an impressive looking heap of geese he and his hunting buddies collected in one day.

Then yesterday jemerson2003 posted another picture (the one I share with you here) telling me that this “heap” of birds consists of 132 snow geese harvested by 10 waterfowl hunters from dawn to 11:00am.

If you join SHS Hunting Chat Forum that is the kind of excitement you will be able to share with other hunters. Stay tuned for tomorrows report on the “Birthday Buck”.

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Hunter Gathering

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I followed an invitation to a local hunter gathering held in the Ya-Ya Oyster Bar in Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia. Members from the HuntingBC forum have organized the gathering for members from the Lower Mainland. In pouring rain we made the one hour drive to the small pacific coast village, full of anticipation of meeting up with other hunters whose faces we never have seen.

We all had a very good time swapping stories, telling tall tales and extending invitations to hunt with each other. This was the third year that members of the HBC forum organized such a gathering. Such localized gatherings have now become a HBC tradition all over the province of British Columbia.

Such gatherings serve in my opinion a very important cause. The internet and hunting forums are a great place for hunters and fisherman to exchange stories and experiences or alert of important political issues. In fact the internet has become the main information source for hunters to gather and exchange information. But the internet is a very anonymous place where people remain often faceless hidden behind a screen name. It is therefore easy, and unfortunately has become quit common, to forget that behind each name is an actual living person with feelings and emotions. Gatherings, such as the one my wife and I attended, have the great benefit to get to know the real person behind the cold computer screen and establish a human relationship. I am sure that this personal encounters are part of why the HBC forum is one of the friendliest forums I have the privilege to be a member of.

Knowing each other as a person strengthens the bonds we tie on the forum. This in turn leads to a much tighter community and to a better understanding. My wife and I certainly look forward to next years HBC gathering. We have had a great time in the company of like minded folks. I would encourage you, if you’re a member of any online hunting forum to organize such local hunter meetings too. It’s a lot of fun and buildslasting friendships and perhaps new opportunities to hunt too. Isn't that what a hunting community is all about? You bet it is.

Photo courtesy of Artemis Graphics and Design.

The handsome guy in on the far left in the back row is me, feeling proud to be part of such a fine hunter community.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sickness strikes

Don’t mean to whine, but holy maloy did the cold ever get me this year. This is really no surprise considering the weather we’re having here in BC. For the last two weeks it has been, with the occasional one or two hour sunny break, cold and very wet. We are looking forward to a record year of March rainfall and all the flooding that goes with it. Insurances already complain about the many flooding claims they have to deal with.

My stubborn cold, a hectic work schedule (despite the cold I still work to keep up with the demand. I am stubborn too.) and packing our stuff into boxes ready for our house move at the end of this month, have left me little time to write original stuff for Outdoors with Othmar Vohringer.

However, this will soon change as I have a lot of exiting things to report. Beginning with a report on a casual member get-together, that my wife and I attend this afternoon. It has become an annual tradition for members of the HuntingBC forum to meet somewhere in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Stay tuned for more on this gathering.

Another report to look forward to is about the SHS Hunting Chat Forum Member Spring Contest and who the winners are and what fantastic prizes they get. If you’re not a member of that forum yet then you should register and take actively part in a friendly forum dedicated to the promotion of the hunting heritage.

Announcement: Sometime toward the end of this month I will be off-line for about a week (hopefully not longer) as we cancel all cable connections. In our new home we have to register a new connection and then wait until the cable and phone company connects our cable and land phone line to the new house.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Police encounter with hunter leads to payment of bow repairs

From southern Connecticut’s The Advocate

Bryan Roddy, 45, of Norwalk, was hunting in Laura and Bob Feghali's North Stamford back yard Dec. 30 when an officer responding to a neighbor's report of a "man with a gun in a tree" approached and demanded he drop his weapon, according to the police report.

Roddy, a contractor working on the Feghalis' house, had permission to hunt deer on their 1-acre property at 68 Saddle Hill Road, off Rockrimmon Road.

Roddy was reluctant to drop the bow, saying it would be damaged it if fell to the ground, but complied after Officer Glenn Coppola drew his gun, according to the report.

"Only after several stern commands did this male drop his bow and arrows," Coppola wrote in his report.

Roddy said he tried to lower the bow to the ground with a rope but Coppola ordered him to drop it.

"The officer, at gunpoint, made me drop the bow about 30 feet," he said.

Roddy filed a claim against the city for $469.56, the cost of repairing the BowTech compound bow.

"Damage to my $1,100 bow was severe," Roddy wrote in his complaint. "I was scared, unhappy, and angry at how I was treated by an officer that was overreacting to a situation . . ."

Roddy had a hunting license, written permission from the property owner, deer tags and a map of the property but no gun, according to the report.

He was not arrested.

Roddy is an experienced bow hunter who recently returned from a hunting excursion to Antarctica. He said police infringed on his right to hunt and "used extreme force and put me in the most dangerous situation in my life."

Police spokesman Lt. Sean Cooney said the incident report states Coppola's gun was drawn, but it reads as if it was never pointed at Roddy.

Cooney said Roddy threatened the officer. Coppola wrote in his report that Roddy said he could have "picked off" the officer as he approached.

"That's a very odd statement to make, to say, 'I could have easily shot you as you walked up,' " Cooney said. "What a bizarre thing to say. What other way is there to interpret that?"

Roddy denies saying that and contacted the police department's internal affairs division when he read the report.

"He gave a police report that's very contrary to what happened," Roddy said.

Cooney said there was no investigation because Roddy did not pursue it.

"He was asked if he wanted to file a formal complaint and he did not," Cooney said.

Roddy said the city agreed to pay for the bow repairs if he signed an agreement stating he would not sue, which he did.

Read more>

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tens of Thousands Safely Join Sportsmen’s Ranks

(Portland) – The Families Afield Program led to an astounding jump in the number of new hunters in 2006. The spotless safety record of the freshmen underscores the fact that mentored youth are the safest in the field.

Families Afield is a campaign established by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) to urge states to eliminate unnecessary hunting age restrictions and ease hunter education mandates for first-time hunters.

During the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Portland, Oregon, the USSA and its partners announced that half of the twelve states that have approved Families Afield legislation and regulations have already measured the program’s performance and report a significant climb in new hunters. Data available from Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Ohio reveals that apprentice hunting license programs brought nearly 34,000 new hunters to the field without a single hunting-related shooting incident.

“The Families Afield program is proving to be safe and effective at boosting sportsmen’s numbers, as we were confident it would,” said USSA President Bud Pidgeon. “Research conducted before apprentice programs were implemented showed that supervised young hunters are the safest in the field, and the new data backs the claim. The most important factor affecting youth hunting safety is the presence of a responsible, attentive adult hunter.”

Children are not the only ones utilizing the apprentice license programs. The licenses are available for first-time hunters of all ages, which means mentors can also take other adults for their inaugural hunting experiences.

Chad Baus, 34, was among the nearly 9,000 apprentice hunters in Ohio. The young man from Archbold, Ohio took his first deer during the 2006 season.

“I recently developed an interest in hunting, but without having tried it, I wasn’t motivated to invest my time in a hunter education course to get a hunting license,” said Baus. “The apprentice hunting program allowed me to try deer hunting and I loved it. From now on, there won’t be a year when I won’t be in the field.”

The apprentice hunting experience was the motivation Baus needed. He has already scheduled to take his hunter education course, and he is planning to introduce his boys and wife to the sport through the apprentice license program.

“It’s a great experience and I want to pass it on,” said Baus.

Lawmakers in California, Nebraska, Maine, Wisconsin and Oregon are considering legislation to enact apprentice license programs and lower hunting age restrictions.

“We hope that the popularity of apprentice programs and the impressive safety statistics will help convince legislators in these states to support efforts that will make it easier for newcomers to enjoy hunting,” said Pidgeon.

Sportsmen who want to support the enactment of Families Afield laws and regulations in their states can use the Legislative Action Center on the USSA website, The resource allows visitors to find and send messages to their lawmakers regarding Families Afield and other legislative issues.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organization that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website,

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Record blue cat gives couple great fish story

This is one of the funniest (true ) stories that I have heard in a long time.
"I can always get another wife, but I may never get another fish like this."

Weldon Fortner knew he'd made a mistake when he said it, but, at the time, he was too busy to consider the ramifcations of the joke - like justifiable homicide.

His own.

But had it not happened, or, rather, had Fortner just kept his mouth shut, the story about his monster catfish would be just that.

Another story about another big fish.

It would have been an interesting story, too, since the catfish was 53 1/2 inches long, 23 inches around and weighed 85 pounds. It will probably be a world record for 40-pound line.

But it's the story behind the story that makes this one so much better. ...

Fortner, 63, and his wife of 26 years, Lisa, 53, were fishing for catfish in the Mississippi River near Vicksburg last Sunday. At 9:55 a.m., they got a bite.

"I looked over and saw the tip of my rod starting to bend slowly and it just kept bending," Weldon Fortner said. "I looked at Lisa and told her it looked like I had snagged a log and I grabbed the pole.

"Well, when I did that, I felt that it was a fish. And a big fish."

Fortner set the hook and the big fish shook its head but stuck to the bottom. Fortner couldn't budge it.

"Then after a few minutes, she decided to run for deep water and when she made that decision, she was gone," Fortner said.

That put Fortner in a bind. Using just a 7-foot medium action Shakespeare Ugly Stick Rod and an Ambassadeur 5500C reel, he didn't have the tackle to horse the fish or even slow its advance. With 40 pound line, he might have had 120 or 125 yards of line on the reel, most of which had already been taken by the fish.

He had no choice but to chase the fish to get line back, but the boat was tied to a piling and they were in strong current.

"I hollered to Lisa to get us loose," Fortner said.

His wife jumped up and entered the fray.

"I pulled on the rope and got us up to the piling, and all the time he was yelling to hurry," Lisa Fortner said. "I grabbed the piling and tried to get the rope ... and that's when it happened.

"He had had just told me not to let the boat run out from under me and it did. The current took the boat, I grabbed the piling and there I went."

Weldon Fortner said he heard something, turned and ...

"Lisa wasn't there," he said.

"Heck no, I wasn' there, Iwas dangling from that piling," she said. "I looked and there was water rushing under my feet."

The Fortners were in a sticky situation ... she more than he, for sure.

She was hanging on for dear life.

He was only holding on to a rod and reel attached to the biggest catfish he'd ever felt.

"I looked up at her and I looked at the rod and this is what I said: 'I can always get another wife, but I may never get another fish like this,' " Fortner said. "That probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever said."

No it wasn't, said Lisa.

"I figured he was kidding," she said. "At least at first, but then I thought about how much that fish meant to him. I had a good hold to the ladder on the piling. I climbed up and was OK so I told him to go catch his (#%$*) fish and then come back and get me."

Weldon Fortner didn't say how much consideration he gave that proposition. He said he looked at the reel and had precious little line left, but he did the only thing he could.

"I put the rod in a rod holder, cranked the motor and went and got Lisa," he said. "Then we went and got the fish."

Lisa Fortner said she was OK with things until she was safely back in the boat.

"That's when I looked at the depthfinder and saw it said 45 feet and then I thought about what he had said," she said Thursday, howling in laughter.

Read more>

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Deep Sea Fishing

Be aware when deep sea fishing you may land one of these monsters.

This graphic is part of a mural Artemis Graphics & Design takes part in. Here is her description of the picture: “It's an anglerfish with a shark’s body and a coelacanth with a head that was obviously inspired by the anglerfish.”

Artemis Graphics & Design is a multi talented photographer, painter and graphic designer. Her styles span a wide variety of art styles form the surreal to the traditional as can bee seen by the picture above and the painting below of a tiger done in pencil.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Elk Hunt Video

Here is a good elk hunting video I found on YouTube. Hunting for elk is something I never did but has been on my “must do” list for some time now. One of these days I sure will give it a try.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


There are stories and rumors abound from people who claim to have seen the elusive jackalope. Also known as antelabbit, aunt benny, Wyoming thistled hare or stagbunny. The folklore states that these creatures are a cross between jackrabbit and antelope, hence the name jackelope. Nobody seems to know how this fabled animal came about. One thing is for sure there are as many people that insist that these animals really exist as there are those that laugh at the jackelope belivers.

Well, as it turns out it seems that those who believe in the existence of the jackelope might have the last laugh. Check this report out on the Shed Antler Blog about antlered rabbits and you too will become a believer in the true existence of the jackelope.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

World's biggest Largemouth Bass?

CARLSBAD, Calif. — "Chaos has broken out."
Well, what do you expect when you notify the media that you boated a potential world-record bass?

That was the story at the home of Mac Weakley, who early this morning caught a mammoth largemouth on tiny Dixon Lake in southern California that he and his longtime fishing partners Mike Winn and Jed Dickerson weighed out at 25.1 pounds on a hand-held digital scale.

If that weight stands up it would shatter what is considered to be the granddaddy of angling records — the 22¼-pound largemouth bass taken in 1932 at Georgia's Montgomery Lake by George Washington Perry.

"I feel good, awesome, in fact," said Weakley, 32, of Carlsbad, Calif, who used a white jig with a skirt and rattle on 15-pound line to boat the brute. "I'm just stoked to see a fish that big."

Claimed by many to be a mark that could never be eclipsed, the largemouth-bass record has become the thing of legends. It's the Joe DiMaggio 56-game hitting streak of the angling world.

"It's simply because there are people who are out there who didn't think a bass can grow to more than 22.25 pounds," said James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine. "It's because of how elusive the record has been for so many years."

Fortunately for the naysayers, the fish was documented by anglers with impressive resumes — Weakley and Dickerson each already are officially recognized for boating top-15 bass of all-time at Dixon Lake — and they claim to have witnesses, photo evidence of the catch and video documentation of today's behemoth on the scale.
"There is no smoke and mirrors," Hall said.

Dickerson believes the 25.1-pounder is the exact same fish that vaulted him to the No. 4 spot on The Bassmaster Top 25 list when he caught her on a swimbait May 31, 2003, at Dixon Lake — a drop-in-the-bucket, 72-acre impoundment in San Diego County. He knows this because she has the same distinguishing black beauty mark under her right gill plate. Back then she weighed 21.7 pounds, and quite clearly she still is a big fish in a small lake.

"It's the same fish I caught three years ago," said Dickerson, 33, a casino-industry employee from Oceanside, Calif. "I knew this was a world record before we even weighed it. It's the biggest, most ferocious bass in that lake, guaranteed."

Read the full story at ESPN

Picture courtesy of Marc Weakley

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Attempt to ban air rifles, BB guns, in Baltimore

This article is a prime example of just to what length the anti-gun supporters will go to get their will. In Baltimore an ordinance has been introduced to ban BB air guns. The reason for this insanity is, according Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, because some of these guns have been used in a series of robberies. Baltimore has outlawed the possession and discharge of paintball guns. As usual by these type people “public safety” is given as a reason for the introduction of the bill. My opinion is that if they’re really concerned about public safety then the criminals should be locked up. Banning BB guns, or any other gun, only will hurt the law-abiding people. To my knowledge crooks don’t give a hoot about laws.

Here you can read the full article and if you’re from Baltimore perhaps you take some time and write to the City Council, telling them how you feel about this insanity.

Read the full article here


Monday, March 12, 2007

Alligator Takes Deer to Lunch in South Georgia

As my readers surely will remember, on October 07, 2006 I posted a short blurb about a giant alligator killing a deer. The information I had attributed the story to Lake Conroe is near Conroe, TX.

Well, it turns out I have fallen victim to rumors. You know how it goes with such stories, as soon the rumor mill starts the story is attributed to different places. Thanks to Webcudgel I got hold of the real source and the place where the alligator/deer incident really happened.

The following article is republished here with permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Southeast Region. (Picture courtesy of Terri Jenkins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The sight of a 12 to 14 foot-long alligator is something south Georgia folks see occasionally, but few have seen one take an adult deer out to lunch. Actually -- for lunch.

The photographs of this deer-eating alligator were taken from the air by Terri Jenkins, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service District Fire Management Officer. She was preparing to ignite a prescribed fire at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, about 40 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2004. The photo has

“One advantage of fire work is you get to see that 12-14 footers are common from Santee National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina to Coastal South Carolina to Georgia’s coast,” said Jenkins. “It looks like the alligator population is doing extremely well.”

This one was at least 12-13 feet long. Jenkins said that some bull alligators have a 35 inch girth.

The Service uses a helicopter capable of igniting controlled burns by dropping flaming fuel-filled ping pong balls on pre-selected areas. She works throughout parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Coastal Georgia refuges and fish hatcheries. The Service uses prescribed fire to improve habitat and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

If you’re a deer hunter, the refuge hosts an archery hunt on September 15-17, 2004 and a gun hunt November 19, 2004 (only 150 permits will be issued). For more information, and to obtain an application, visit: Applications must be received by August 31, 2004 at Savannah Coastal Refuges, 1000 Business Center Drive, Parkway Business Center, Suite 10, Savannah, Georgia, 31405.

The alligator will not be charged with hunting deer out of season, animal cruelty, or any one of several possible water quality violations. He may, however, be charged with being one mean gator. If we could catch him... Or wanted to...

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

About a fly tying demonstration and new connections

The regular readers of Outdoors with Othmar Vohringer may remember my article about Western Canada's largest Hunting Show. I anticipated writing a review of the show, but then a chain of events happened on that show that is far more interesting to report about it.

My wife, an avid photographer, accompanied me to the outdoor show to hunt for photographic subjects. As we meandered trough the various exhibits my wife spotted a fly tying demonstration by no other than Phil Rowley noted Canadian writer, fly fishing authority and pro staff member of Superfly. Never having seen a fly tier in action my wife was immediately fascinated by the subject, both from a photographic point of view and as an art form. She asked Phil Rowley if she could take some close-up pictures as he worked on his demonstration of tying a weighted mayfly pattern. Phil graciously gave his permission and then the gentleman he is patiently held positions when my wife had to get the camera lens very close to the subject to get a macro shot of Phil’s work.

To get good results in photography it is necessary to take many pictures from different angles and with different camera settings. While standing a bit on the sidelines I admired the friendly patience of Phil while having a camera “shoved in his face” and enjoyed the fact that my wife, a non-hunter and fisher, obviously has a great time. It made me a very happy man to see my wife full of joy as Phil gave her the fly he just tied as a present before we left his boot.

Fly tying photos courtesy of: Artemis Graphics & Design

The next day I searched the intenet for more information about fly tying and fishing. It was then that I came across the name Rick Passek from The Fledgling Flyfisher. He posted a review of the Show on his outstanding Flyfishing blog. Rick’s profile states that he is from British Columbia, like myself, and so I just had to write him an email stating that I visited the same show. Rick kindly replayed to my email, saying that he not only visited the show the same day my wife and I did but actually visited the same boot at the very same time my wife photographed Phil Rowley’s fry tying craft presentation. But that is not all, Rick lives in a neighboring town to my home town, talk about coincidences.

Rick Passek offers fly-fishing classes and guided trips for trout, salmon and sturgeon fishing. In addition he just finished writing his first book on tactics and tips for the beginning fly fisher with the title “Fledgling Flyfisher” due out in mid March.

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Fishin' Blues

Here is a cool blues song for all you fishing addicts like myself.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blogging the Outdoors

Matt Coughlin writes about the ghost buck on his very informative Bright Idea Outdoors Weblog. He tells of a buck that he thought vanished into thin air but then out of nowhere the buck was back again.

Brad from Southern Adventures has an interesting article on baiting deer. A highly controversial subject among the hunters, some hunters use baiting as a legal method to hunt deer while others feel it is unethical. Brad sheds a little light on this controversy.

The Fledgling FlyFisher is the blog every fly fisher should read interested in British Columbia’s rich fishing heritage. Coincidentally, as I found out reading the blog,
Rp3flyfisher visited the Abbotsford outdoor show at the same day as my wife and I did, he actually has witnessed my wife taking close-up pictures of Phillip Rowley’s fly tying demonstration. (Stay tuned for an article on this interesting coincident and some amazing picture to be published here soon).

Marian, one of the very view ladies blogging about hunting provides a lot of insight from a woman point of view on Marian’s Hunting Stories. Marian is located in Mississippi where she hunts with her husband, children and grandchildren. Hunting and passing on the hunting heritage is a true family affair in Marian’s home.

The Deer Camp Blog is always entraining and humorous to read. In his newest post Rex Howell wants his readers to belief that his fictional Christmas Place Plantation Hunting Club is home to some very unusual critters that have not been seen for the past couple of million years.

The Hog Blog of avid pork chaser Phillip Loughlin is a must read for every hunter addicted to wild hog hunting. Phillip does not hold back on his wealth of hunting experience and is eager to share tips and strategies.

Idaho Fishin’ Times as usual offers lots of valuable information and current news on fishing in Idaho. Recently Fishin’ Times Forum has been added where fishers from Idaho, but not only, can discuss their passion, tactics and many other subjects on fishing. Well worth a visit and signing up as a member to take part in the forum.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wolves attack moose

Today a friend sent me this picture sequence, showing a pride of wolves attacking a moose. The attached note said; “Wolf tag or no wolf tag, this wouldn’t have happened if I would have been in that tree stand.”

Somehow I am not surprised to read that comment. Many hunters get upset when they see pictures of wolves taking care of their dietary needs. I often wondered why that is so. I came to the conclusion that the only reason hunters do not like wolves must be because they are hunters too. Or in other words, some of us might view the wolf as direct hunting competitor. This thinking is in line with what some hunters told me, saying something like; “The wolf steals our game.”

Of course it is utter nonsense that the wolf “steals our game”. The animals we hunt are not our game. We share the game animals with other hunters, like the wolf, the coyote, grizzly bear and other predators that have as much right to hunt for food as we do. Together we are all part of natures check and balance system that has worked so well for millions of years and hopefully will continue to work well for all of us, humans and animals alike.

The wolves found a cow moose (probably an old weak animal). The two wolves chase the moose to tire her out.

The two wolves are soon to be joined my other pride members that circle the moose and make an escape impossible. The fate of the moose is sealed, would that moose be a fully grown bull he would have a good chance to break loose from the deadly circle.

The older and experienced wolves are the ones that do the killing by holding the prey animal mouth and nose closed (suffocating) while other wolves bite the animal in the neck. For us humans this is a gruesome death. However, research has clearly shown that animals have a much higher pain tolerance than humans, plus the prey animal is in shock at this stage and feels no or very little pain.

The table is set and the non-hunting members of the wolf pride join in the feast.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

USSA Testifies Against Proposal to Expand Reach of ESA to Ban Hunting

The following alert just came in today.

FWS Comments Raise More Questions about Intent of Proposed Action

(Columbus) – The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance blasted a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to list polar bears as federally threatened and curtail hunting for them. After sportsmen’s concerns were expressed during last night’s public hearing, wildlife officials made remarks that gave even more reason to call the listing into question.

At a March 5 public hearing at the Department of the Interior, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance representative David Lampp testified against a proposal to list polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Listing the polar bears is a political gesture not a conservation measure. It will impede polar bear conservation and will do nothing to address environmental factors that are claimed to pose long-term threats to the bear populations.

“There are healthy, well-managed polar bear populations in Canada that provide excellent hunting opportunities for American sportsmen,” said USSA representative David Lampp. “Their success is due in large part to hunting, which provides funding for research and conservation. The unwarranted, blanket listing sought by the service will bring an immediate end to conservation revenue from U.S. hunters, who account for approximately 90 percent of the foreign clientele for polar bear hunting in Canada.”

The listing not only puts the polar bear populations in jeopardy, it also fails to address the problem that the Fish and Wildlife Service identifies as the formidable threat to the species.

“The service names the loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change - not hunting - as the threat to polar bears,” said Lampp. “Listing the polar bear as threatened will not stop climate change, thus the listing will not address the perceived threat.”

Wildlife officials admitted at the hearing, according to Lampp, that the science behind their decision to try to list the bears is based on vague estimates and assumptions. Further, the agency has not determined whether or how the listing will allow them to address climate change.

“Fish and Wildlife Service representatives admitted that they have little certainty in their polar bear population estimates,” said Lampp. “Their projections about Arctic sea ice and climate change are precarious, and the conclusions about the effects of possible sea ice reduction on polar bears were based largely on assumptions and anecdotal evidence.”

The successful Canadian management programs demonstrate that hunting can be beneficial to polar bear populations. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, through its International Hunters’ Rights Campaign, will continue to fight the federal government’s efforts to use the ESA to ban the hunting of polar bears and import of polar bear trophies.

The USSA is preparing written comments to submit to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing the proposal. A final decision on the listing will be made in January 2008, after a 12-month public comment period and scientific review.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects and advances America’s heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping. It does so in the courts, state legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website,

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Hungry catfish snags scientist by the foot

Here is a hilarious story I picked up from the Hutchinson News.

This tale sounds fishy enough, but victim has witness to 'attack'

HAYS - True to its species' reputation, a 30-pound flathead catfish roaming the bottom of a southeast Kansas river saw Curtis Schmidt's foot - and promptly chomped. And didn't let go until Schmidt hopped ashore.

"Nobody's ever heard of that before," Schmidt said, and he should know: he's an assistant curator of herpetology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

And lest the tale sounds just plain fishy, Schmidt has a witness: Travis Taggart, also an assistant curator of herpetology at the Sternberg.

Schmidt's unusual encounter happened while he and Taggart were driving from northwest Kansas to Pittsburg for a late February meeting of the Kansas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

On the way, they stopped near Neosho Falls to trap mudpuppies - aquatic salamanders - and put on their waders before stepping into the 33-degree Neosho River.

Something on the murky bottom bit Schmidt.

"I just started wondering what had hold of me," he said. "It just didn't hurt at all. I just felt it clamp around my foot."

Read more>

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

A new turkey call from Heirloom

Just in time for the spring turkey season Heirloom Custom Turkey Calls has introduced a new friction box call. Brian Warner added the call to his existing line of slate type friction calls. After months of thinking, planning and testing he came up with yet another jewel for avid turkey hunters. Brian is not your ordinary turkey call maker. He started making his own calls because he never could find a call that came close to of what it should sound like and that could keep up with his demands on craftsmanship.

Lucky for us avid turkey hunters Brian is an expert on wood working and very knowledgeable about the sound properties of different woods. Add to this his equal expertise on turkey behavior and vocalization and what you get is a perfect sounding high quality turkey call. I am absolutely sold on the Heirloom slate and class friction turkey calls and now I can look forward to field test the box call.

Brian tells me.
I use a variety of woods. Oak, maple, pecan, cedar, alder, and cherry to list a few. I try to make each box so that caulk is an optional item. To me nothing can mess a hunter up worse than having a string go squeaky or having to stop and re-caulk in the middle of working a gobbler. The boxes are tuned to sound great with out the caulk so that when you do caulk them they just get better. After tuning and when they are up to par, only then will I sign my name to them. If I won't hunt with them, neither will you.
That right there is a typical Brian Warner statement and he means it too. Is it a wonder why I, without hesitation, answered the call to join his pro-staff team? I too will put my name and reputation only behind a product or company of whose quality and integrity I am absolutely convinced.

Brian Warner also carves amazing eye and fish catching lures.

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Last word on Jim Zumbo

…at least from me and on this blog. Now that the flood of the loud mouths uncivilized hooligans, that think threatening verbal assaults and character assassinations are the way to go in a democratic society to stifle someone’s right of free speech, has quiet down we actually can hear the voices of reason again.

Tom Remington form the Black Bear Blog has set up a Jim Zumbo opinion poll, asking; “Should Jim Zumbo have been fired from Outdoor Life because of his statements made at his blog?” The majority of voters – over 53% - think that Jim Zumbo should not have been fired from Outdoor Life. This is more or less the same sentiment I hear everywhere. Like I said in my previous article about this affair. In the initial howling of the uncivilized caveman it was hard to hear other – the majority – voices as they where shouted down or afraid to speak up.

Quite frankly, what still troubles me is how fast Remington, Outdoor Life, the NRA and others reacted with the announcement of severing their long standing relationship with Jim Zumbo. Each of them acknowledging that Jim is a lifelong supporter of hunting and the 2nd Amendment and, “We respect Mr. Zumbo's First Amendment right to free speech.” Apparently not! The reason why Jim got fired was exactly because he exercised his right of free speech.

What troubles me is the precedents the afore mentioned companies and organizations might have set with their hasty actions against Zumbo. Does this now mean that all outdoor writers from now on have to live in fear of loosing their job and livelihood the very moment they publish a personal unpopular opinion? Does this also mean that the hunting industry bows down to a minority, but very vocal, bunch of lout mouthed hooligans that activate their mouth before they engage the brain? If that is so, I can think of a number of writers that should face the same fate as Jim Zumbo. All of them are traditional bowhunters voicing publicly their antipathy of crossbows qanting it banned. Come to think of it. I also know of one or two traditional muzleloader hunters that don’t like the idea of sharing the woods with modern in-line front stuffers. Hey, I am in many ways a traditionalist too. Should I be concerned too? Because there are a few things I do not agree with how they are done these days.

It is said that Jim Zumbo with his opinion threatened the 2nd Amendment, which is absolute hogwash. When I look trough Jim’s now infamous blog posting I can’t find anywhere any mention of Jim saying anything about supporting a ban of AR 15's and similar firearms ownership. All he said is that he, as a traditionalist does not see any need for these firearms to be used as a hunting tool. Tell you what though, reading all the opinions of writers in the regular mainstream press it seems that they are not so hung up on what Zumbo said in his blog post. But what is mentioned in the mainstram press, is how malicious and vulgar some hunters and firearm owners reacted to it. It is these reactions on which the anti-firearm proponents picked up on. Unfortunately it came exactly as I predicted in my first post about Jim Zumbo, the vile reaction of the anti-Zumbo protesters did make a huge impression on our adversaries, a very negative impression I might add. One that could come back in due time to bite us.

I do hope sincerely, for all our sakes, that in a future clash of opinions some folks switch their brains on before they open their hateful traps spewing forth vulgarity and personal threats and prove to the world their lack of common manners and basic decency. As for Jim Zumbo, I am convinced that his career is far from over. A man with his passion for hunting and that has given so much to the hunting community, more than all combined that now speak out against him, will recover from it and come out smiling at the other end of the tunnel. The hunting community desperately needs dedicated people like him, to judge a person of his caliber on one unpopular statement is not only a sad joke but downright stupid.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Western Canada's largest Hunting Show.

This blog exists for over a year now and I just realized that I never posted anything about my beautiful Canadian home province of British Columbia.

No time like the present to remedy that lack.

From March 2nd to 3rd, 2007 western Canada’s biggest outdoor show opens its doors in the Abbotsford Tradeex Center. The show consists of three exhibitions rolled into one, they are. The Boat & Sportsmen’s Show (Fishing), The BC Hunting Show and the BC Log Home Timber Frame & Country Living Show.

Show times:
Friday, March 2nd 12 noon - 9 pm
Saturday, March 3rd 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday, March 4th 10 am – 5 pm

The Tradeex Outdoor Show has steadily grown over the years and today is the major exhibition show for hunters and fishers with an overall visitor number of 60,000 plus and over 500 exhibitors.

Throughout the show different seminars will be held. This year seminar speaker list includes, Jim McLennan (Fly Fishing, Reading Moving Water), Brian Chan (Chironomids Fly Fishing Tactics) and others. On the hunting seminar stage we can gain knowledge from Jim Walker, Primos Pro Staff (Elk Calling at it's Best), Johnny McDowell (Pro Moose Caller), Jim Bissenden of Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures (Hunting Adventures from Around the World) and others.

All in all it looks like this is another huge event that I look forward to every year. For me the good news is that the show is basically direct in my neighborhood. So guess where I will spend my weekend.

If you’re near Abbotsford or live near the USA/Canada border in Washington state you really should try to visit the show this weekend in the Tradex Center Abbotsford. Among the many prices that can be won on various contests I have set my eye on the Can-Am Outlander 400 H.O ATV this years grand prize.

Next week I will be back here and report bits and pieces of the show.

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