Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

**Update** And 2016 claims Carrie Fisher as well.

So.. my 2016 goal was to get back to being an outdoorsman, and the only way to chalk that up as a win is to compare 2016 to 2015 and 2014, in which case I succeeded.  I still didn’t get out nearly as much as I wanted to or expected to, not once did I go fishing, so far no small game hunting (though if I hadn’t fallen ill over the holiday week, I would have spent yesterday squirrel hunting with Gretchen and Cinders.  I wouldn’t have actually expected to get any squirrels, or if I did get them, manage to get them INTACT, since Gretchen thinks ‘all squirrels are mine,’ but it would have been fun.)


Gretchen and Cinders when they were young.  Cinders played with toys, Gretchen would tackle him.

I did get a nice hog in January, and managed to see a nice number of deer this November,  including a stunning buck, the deer just happened to be where I can’t hunt them.   I managed three or four hikes, but that was my goal per month, not for the whole year.

We lost my father-in-law, unexpectedly young (early 60’s), which was devastating to the family: Dennis was so cool, whenever the wife and I would dream out loud about taking a vacation across Canada by train, or going to Yellowstone, Ireland, wherever, we were always including how much Dennis would enjoy it.

The world lost a vast number of celebrities of various types this year, and since George Michael passed away Christmas Day, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed for the next few days to get out of 2016 with what the world has now.

So, back to the outdoors: once again, I’m going to try to ramp up my outdoor activities in 2017.  I have six points saved for an alligator tag here in Georgia, so that should come to fruition this year, and I look forward to figuring out how that will work.  I finally have a camper shell on my truck, so taking the Woofs to outdoor adventures should be easily accomplished, and my daughter is 18 and driving, so that’s no longer on my plate.

The property in south Georgia is covered in turkey, so in a few short months, I should be able to, once again, be totally frustrated and skunked by the antics of the mighty Thunder Chicken.  For me, turkey hunting feels like those old comedy gags where there is a chase scene in a long hallway with doors everywhere, and people are going into and out of doors in a random sequence where they can never catch who they are chasing, but the people being chased can never seem to quite get away either.

Fishing will happen, even if I just have to go find a public lake and put a worm on a hook.

I also need to find property where I can fossil hunt – I haven’t done that since I was a kid, and it might be a way to lure the reclusive Wife out of the house.   She still thinks armadillos are these flat things on the side of highways.  I told her the fastest way to find an armadillo is to go deer hunting near hardwoods, where the leaves are good and crunchy, but she doesn’t believe me.

So, all in all, farewell 2016.  Here is to hoping 2017 is a better place for everyone, everywhere.

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I LIKE photography – I don’t say that I ‘love’ it because if I loved it, I’d have another highly expensive monetary-black-hole hobby that I would obsess over.  However, that doesn’t prevent me from appreciating fantastic photographs such as these.

Found via Twitter:




Click the image to see more

Via Real Avid’s FaceBook:

“We need your help! Gobble n Grunt Outfitters is auctioning off a 3 day – 2 turkey hunt to benefit PH Stu Taylor. Stu was accidentally shot while hunting in Africa.”


Click the image to go to the eBay auction

The hunt will be filmed and will air as part of The Zone TV Show on The Sportsman Channel.

We hunted Gobble n Grunt last Spring – and it was truly world class.

For more info, please check out the auction: Gobble-n-Grunt Charity Auction

From Petersen’s Hunting

by Les Stroud • May 23, 2012

Creepy crawlies are all those stinging and biting creatures that give most of us the shivers. This group includes snakes, lizards, spiders, scorpions, ants, bees, ticks and leeches. It is important to know something about these creatures and how to travel safely through their world.

As nasty as creatures like the tarantula may seem, creepy crawlies abide by the same guidelines as their kin in the animal world: Except in the case of rare exceptions like leeches and ticks, they want nothing to do with you and are not on the lookout for you. Solid pre-trip research will tell you what you need to watch out for.

A man in Africa once had a black mamba, arguably the most aggressive and dangerous snake in the world, slither down into his sleeping bag to get warm for the night. The man was nearly hysterical when he realized this and was convinced the snake would bite him. His camping mates decided that in one swift motion, two of them would yank him out by his shoulders while two others whipped the sleeping bag off his feet. They did just that, and in the few seconds it took to complete the task, the snake bit the man 13 times, killing him. Chances are the snake eventually would have left if the man had lain still and waited it out.

When it comes to avoiding creepy crawlies, a little local knowledge goes a long way. Learn before you head out what you need to watch for and where it lives. Generally, you should follow these rules to minimize contact with creepy crawlies:

Keep your hands and feet out of dark places such as rock crevices, heavy brush or hollow logs. If you need to get into such places for supplies or shelter, first use a long stick to probe the area and scare out any problem critters. Indeed, any time you slam your foot down beside a crevice, crack or hole, you’re risking taking a bite, because these are the places where snakes like to curl up. Bringing your foot down right beside one might be enough to get you bitten. The only ways you will get bitten or stung by creepy crawlies is if you abruptly enter their space and scare them, if they enter your space and get scared (usually in camp or at night), or if you provoke them. For that reason, slow, deliberate movement is essential at all times.

See the slideshow, and the rest of Les Stroud’s tips, HERE

(If you haven’t watched “Survivorman,”  the last time I checked the whole series was available on NetFlix, and well worth it.  All Les needs is a bowhunter for a buddy on his exploits, and he’ll get a lot more to eat! – Niko)

(Cross-posted from

By Doug Howlett

Going Hog Wild

In case you haven’t noticed, it seems hogs are everywhere these days. If you’re one of the lucky ones whose land hasn’t been visited by them yet, just wait. If you’re one of the unlucky ones (or maybe lucky, depending on your perspective), then you have been given one heck of a hunting opportunity. Wild hogs are now found in at least some parts of 35 states, with the epicenter of hogdom being found in the South where an estimated 2 million feral pigs are believed to be rooting around and destroying the land. Like the spread of the coyote, hogs are expected to expand their current range throughout much of the continental 48 states sooner than later.
Because of their destructive tendencies—a rooted up food plot or crop field can look like it has been hit with mortars—few landowners want hogs around and are more than eager to have hunters come in and remove them. Hogs may be the last great knock-on-a-landowner’s door to gain easy permission to hunt opportunity. Of course, outfitters throughout the South have been quick to seize on the growing interest in killing a big hog, and many now offer hunts that are among the most affordable of any guided hunt.
A Perfect Opportunity
“A hog hunt is about the cheapest hunt a person can go out and do,” said Mike Tussey, owner of Osceola Outdoors. “It’s a cheap way to go out and hunt and it’s a fun hunt because there are so many hogs, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get one.”
For roughly $250 a day, a person can hunt hogs, compared to a $1,000 to $2,000 for a three-day turkey hunt or even more for a trophy deer hunt. The affordability and likely success, makes hog hunts great for corporate outings or groups of friends who want to share in a hunt. The species is also great for first-time hunters.
“I think there is definitely a mystique to them,” Tussey said. “It’s an animal that can actually put a hurting on you if it came right down to it, so there is that sense of adventure. There’s also that trophy appeal as well when hunting for one with big tusks. Everyone wants one for the wall.”
And for the slightly unsure new hunter, hogs are an easier kill since most people can relate to and enjoy eating ham, bacon and sausage. Because of their appearance, you don’t get some of the hang-ups newer hunters might have over shooting something like a deer.
Tussey points out that in most places, one exception being California where hog hunting is regulated, the animals can be hunted year round, providing a great pre-season tune-up for archers and gun hunters alike. Hogs are also a great way to double up the action when traveling out of state on hunts for other critters like turkeys and deer.

Read the rest at American Hunter.

This game is far and away about scouting, trying to go in at the right time and making a surgical-type strike to take out a targeted buck.

By Tim Herald
It’s summer and, as many bow seasons begin in early September, most of us have the upcoming whitetail season on our minds. Recently Realtree’s David Blanton shared some of his early-season whitetail tactics with me, and I am sure all of us can use some of this information to make us better deer hunters.

“Over the many years of filming Realtree Monster Bucks, we have found two times of the year are by far the best bets in which to take big mature bucks—early bow season in September and around the November rut,” Blanton told me. “The September hunts around crops like alfalfa or maybe soybeans find mature bucks at their most patternable. Many states now open bow season in early September, and this can be a hunter’s dream. Bucks will come out in the same area each evening to feed as, at that time of year, eating and bedding is all they have on their minds. A smart hunter can really take advantage of this. It is pressure dependent, but these summer patterns generally only hold for the first one to three weeks of September. Team Realtree has had a lot of success on this type of hunt in places like the Milk River area of Montana, the Black Hills of Wyoming and Kentucky.”

Blanton stressed that being smart is the key to early success. “You need to think each move through on an early bow hunt. Scout from a distance so as to stay well away from the deer and not disturb them. I like to sit as far back as possible and use a spotting scope to watch afternoon deer movement. You can see what areas the big deer come from and can often hone in on a favored trail. By glassing from a distance, you will not pressure the deer, which causes them to change patterns.”

Read the rest of this article at Bowhunt America

By: Brian Grossman
Posted on: 03/11/12

If coyote hunting was only as easy as it’s portrayed on television. You just set up on a big, open area, turn on the caller, and within minutes coyotes come running from all directions. Heck, the hardest part is deciding which one to shoot! In the real world, however, it seldom works out that way (For me, it NEVER works out that way). What you don’t see in those 30 minute shows is all the times that the hunters set up, called, and didn’t see anything.

These programs can really set unrealistic expectations for anyone new to predator hunting, especially for those of us east of the Mississippi River. That’s because most are filmed out west, in states like Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming, where wide open spaces and long shots are the norm. Techniques that work there, aren’t necessarily the same techniques that work best here. Let’s take a look at some of the key techniques for taking song dogs and how they can vary for us easterners.

Regardless of which state you live in, scouting is the key to consistently harvesting coyotes. Most of us wouldn’t dream of going deer hunting without first putting in some time scouting, but it seems pretty common for those new to predator hunting. I know, because I made the same mistake when I first got started!

Just as with deer hunting, it’s important to spend some time figuring out what areas the coyotes are using on a regular basis. There are several ways to get this done, and I always start by talking with the landowner (assuming you are hunting private land). Chances are, they can get you pointed in the right direction by telling you where they have seen and heard the coyotes. If talking with the landowner is not an option, then a good starting point would be to get out in the late evening right at dark and try to elicit some howls by howling yourself with a mouth call or electronic caller. A siren call can be effective, as well.

Continue reading…