The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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When we at Shotem and Caughtem first got the idea of creating a social network the task seemed extreme.  Sure there are plenty of forums on the web around the subject but nothing that incorporated all the advantages that an engaging network could accomplish.  We also noticed that many of the people who hunt and fish only really share with people who hunt and fish on instagram, facebook, youtube and twitter.  However, those companies are huge in their memberships, it will be too hard to get traffic to us.  Luckily for us this first year of growth has been small but awesome.  Those we have attracted to the site have been great in helping us find our true stride in the outdoorsman and woman market.  Also, with the recent bashing of people who hunt and fish on these larger platforms we are finding more and more who want to find a place to get away from those who don't share the outdoor passion.  

One of the biggest requests has been an app.  A place where we can control our entire outdoor experience from where we tend to be......out in field or on the water.  Well we at Shotem and Caughtem are excited to tell you that we listened and the app is being developed as we speak.  We are hoping to release the beta model to some of our members in the coming month.  If you too want to be a part of helping us create a social network app for you our members and would like to help us find the glitches we encourage you to become a part of our site.  You can also go to www.shotemandcaughtem.com/chauncey , become a friend and send me a message letting me know you would like to be one of the first to check out the new app.  Don't worry even if you don't want to help and your just excited to get it on your phone?  The app will be free as well and available for both the android and iphone markets.  

We hope you are as excited as we are and help us spread the word once the the app hits the market.  Thanks as always for being a part of Shotem and Caughtem we can't thank you enough for all the support you have given us over the past year.  Android and IPhone apps now available http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=282&Itemid=491  

We at Shotem and Caughtem were one of the first to get our hands on this cool new fishing technology the Poletap Smart rod http://shotemandcaughtem.com/the-blog/item/17-pole-tap-smartrod.html.  We are pleased and excited to announce the rod is now available to the general public in most Academy Sports locations and on the web.  We would like to congratulate Tackobox on this great achievement and love that we were one of the first to get the opportunity.

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been watching the debate in legal African hunting and the fall out from some groups against some hunters who have taken part in the experience.  It is definitely a debate.  We have always tried to explain some of the many pros that come from the passion we hold so dear to our hearts and our passion for what we do and how we effect the world around us.  Many of us spend much of our time making sure we have the opportunity to continue to go out every year and enjoy our adventures.  In order for this to happen we make sure to create habitats that sustain and build a higher population of our favorite animals.  Also as stated time and time again much of the money that comes from permits, licenses etc. are pumped back into the system to enhance public habitat and to make sure rules are followed.  

Africa however has suffered from a black market for it's prized animals for centuries.  Poaching is a way of life unfortunately.  As such we as hunters try to support the hunting industry with our money to allow us the opportunity to hunt in the country.  We suggest you read the article and help as hunters to educate those about our passion and the benefits that come from our lifestyle.  http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/06/controversy-swirls-around-the-recent-u-s-suspension-of-sport-hunted-elephant-trophies/

We at Shotem and Caughtem are right in the middle of Spring turkey hunting season.  We already have some birds in the freezer and have been hunting for new ways to cook our rewards from the field.  There are also some huge benefits to wild turkey which we have also listed below to help give you more reasons to fill your tags.  Let us know your favorite ways to cook wild turkey in the comment section below.

 

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem try to continue and stay on the topic of how hunting effects conservation.  Many groups feel that hunting is the cause of many of the problems involved in wildlife habitat and survival.  We felt like since spring turkey season is in full swing or ending in many areas we would find a story that once again talk about the great things that happen in our wildlife environment that promotes why we do what we do in a conservation capacity.  Our dollars from tags, permits, and taxes go to help promote the well being of the animals we cherish.  Let us know about your conservation effort and how you help the cause in the comment section below.

In 1974, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources agreed to send 135 Coulee Region ruffed grouse to Missouri in exchange for 334 eastern wild turkeys.

The turkeys were released in different locations around the state for a three-year period, beginning in 1976.

As far as conservation is concerned, it may be one of the best trades the state has ever made. For it was that exchange which successfully re-established the wild turkey population in Wisconsin.

For all intents and purposes, unregulated hunting and a variety of natural factors left the state without wild turkeys since roughly 1881.

After decades of futile attempts to reintroduce turkeys by releasing birds that were raised on farms, the batch of birds from the Show Me State put Wisconsin’s population on the fast track to recovery. By 1983, the state was able to hold its first modern-day statewide turkey season. In 2009, hunters in Wisconsin harvested more turkeys than any other state in the union.

Today, the DNR divides the state into seven zones. Manitowoc County is in Zone No. 2.

Last year, hunters in Zone 2 harvested 8,955 birds during the spring hunt, for a hunter success rate of 21.3 percent, the highest mark across all seven zones. The previous spring, hunters in Zone 2 took 10,486 birds, a 26 percent hunter success rate which was, once again, tops in the state.

Scott Walter, an upland wildlife ecologist with the WDNR, says that the quality of habitat in the area is the primary reason hunters in the area have seen so much success in recent years.

“It’s simply the way the landscape is managed. It provides a nice heterogeneous mix of open habitats and forested habitats in which they tend to do very well,” Walter said. “Just by nature, this nice mix of wood lots and agriculture...provides a super habitat base.”

The spring season is divided into six weeks, with each hunting permit good for only one of those six weeks. The third week begins today. In spring, hunters may only take male turkeys, allowing the females to nest undisturbed.

While the turkey population has, generally, been steadily increasing, Walter pointed out that the experience of any particular hunter may vary based upon long-term and short-term weather trends.

“I think it has certainly become clear to those of managing turkeys and hunters themselves that we have turkeys established in healthy numbers statewide,” Walter said. “But, we’re going to have to expect that, from one year to the next, the number of birds we see in the field are going to go up and down based on what weather conditions have been like the past year or two.”

Walter added that weather conditions are especially crucial two times per year: winter, when snow cover can deny birds access to food, and late spring, when warm temperatures and small amounts of precipitation help facilitate the nesting process. As the numbers of turkeys continues to rise, so does the number of hunters pursuing them. The WDNR made 237,420 permits available this spring, a fair increase from the 234,985 of last spring.

“Probably the only thing that increased more than the turkey population itself was the interest in this new hunting opportunity,” Walter said. “Our state hunters just embraced this. It’s a chance to get out in the woods in the spring, which is one of the things that makes the spring turkey hunt unique. In terms of hunting, there aren’t many other opportunities out there that time of year.”

Turkey hunting and the turkey population have made significant strides in Wisconsin in recent decades. But Walter maintains there is still work to be done.

“Getting the next generation engaged in this, now firmly-entrenched, tradition of turkey hunting in Wisconsin is going to be really important,” Walter said. “It’s something that we all have to think about, at least those of us who are passionate about the hunting tradition.”

Walter also called upon current hunters to make sure they are respecting the land they hunt on.

“When turkey hunters are out in the field they have to respect the land and the property owner rights, especially if the happen to be hunting on private land. Closing gates, not littering, and being respectful of the land you’re on is going to be really important in terms of maintaining a positive public image of turkey hunting in general.”

Walter hopes all of the effort he and other wildlife officials and organizations have, and will continue to, put forth will continue to help others experience something that many in this state went their entire lives without: a morning in a turkey blind.

“It’s just a really unique and special experience, “ Walter said. “It’s hard to put into words. The sun’s coming up, that gobbler is up on the ridge belting away and the ability to interact with that bird through the calling, through the use of decoys and to have him coming in, it’s a very interactive hunt that just leaves memories.”