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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We at Shotem and Caughtem thought we would end the week with a little trivia and information.  Should you be willing to fight through the cold or have access to a shelter on the ice and have the itch to fish, ice fishing is a great way to land a monster.  To wet your taste buds we thought we would find out some of the biggest catches on frozen waters.  Let us know your tricks to land the big one in the frigid cold in the comment section below.

As of February 8, 2013, Sederberg’s fish—estimated to be 40 to 44 pounds—officially replaces the Fresh Water Hall of Fame’s old world-record ice-fishing catch-and-release lake trout on pole and line, which was a 44-incher caught from Clear Water Lake in Manitoba, Canada, by Brent Danylko on April 11, 1920.

Still smiling Father Mariusz Zajak proudly displays his 18.30 pound walleye he landed while ice fishing on Tobin Lake, near the Resort Village of Tobin Lake, on Tuesday afternoon Jan. 4, 2005. The Roman Catholic priest now has legitimate bragging rights to the provincial record for walleye.

The all tackle world record, caught in New Jersey in 1865, weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces. It is the longest-standing, freshwater sport-fish record.

26-pound, 12-ounce catch is the new IGFA All-Tackle world record for landlocked Atlantic salmon. He set another record too catching it on 6-pound test line.

A Great Lakes muskie 58 inches long, with a girth of 29 inches. It weighed 58 pounds.

SOme massive fish are caught if one is willing to brave the cold.  We hope you take time to share your photos and adventures to the galleries and tell us your stories.  

We at Shotem and Caughtem heard the news that Tennessee residents are pressuring the state to open a feral pig hunting season.  We thought this would make a great debate for all to way in on the subject.  Here are some details and our thoughts.  Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

An official with the Tennessee Wildlife Commission met with concerned hunters Tuesday who want to open a new hunting season.  Their goal is to open a feral hog hunting season and allow them to use dogs when they track them. They say the animals have caused significant damage on private and public land.  Right now, hunters can kill feral hogs, but only if they get an exemption from the state.  The five counties asking for the changes are Polk, Monroe, White, Bradley and McMinn.

Though we think that feral hogs are more than a pain, there are some things we have noticed in surrounding states that we feel have worked best for this invasive species.  Wild Boar have covered much of the southern states since Christopher Columbus released the first pigs from his boat.  As many know pigs are not natural to North America.  If you travel to Texas to hunt wild pigs they will give you a stack of tags for a nominal fee.  In Oklahoma however, they decided to also create a hunting season for pigs and charge a pretty high price to do so for revenues sake.  It has backfired.  Many hunting properties began trapping pigs in Texas and importing them into the state in order to make a buck.  As such the number of pigs has doubled in the state in a relatively short amount of time.  Missouri has taken a different approach.  Kill them all.  No tags, no license, just get rid of them.  They have been able to keep the population fairly in check.  They are an impressive animal with even more impressive breeding capabilities.  They can survive in almost any climate and can double their numbers in months.

Which side of the debate and what are your thoughts on the subject?   

 

Many states across the US are in Whitetail deer season.  Whether your are in the midst of rifle season or on bonus doe season the current weather conditions will have an affect on where you are going to find your prey.  We at Shotem and Caughtem thought we might provide hunters with some tips on where deer go to get out of the cold so that you spend less time in the elements.  We also felt it was a good chance for us to remind you to stay warm and look for signs that you might need to head in from the cold.  As always let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and stay warm. 

In winter, deer move to suitable cover. They move around less and decrease their metabolism and body temperature. This biological “fine-tuning” enables deer to conserve energy and survive our northern winters. Landowners in areas with deer winter range can have a direct influence on deer survival. The effects can be positive or negative. There are pros and cons about providing food for deer during the winter. 

In late summer and fall deer build up fat that will become winter fuel. Acorns and beech nuts -- often referred to as “mast” -- are valuable sources of this fat. Fat reserves can supply almost one third of a deer’s winter energy needs. Deer also produce hormones that regulate body activity. You might think deer would “crank up the heat” to stay warm, but the opposite is true. During winter the deer you see may appear normal, but internally they are operating in slow motion. Body temperature is lowered, particularly in the legs and ears. As the quality and quantity of the food declines, body functions such as digestion are also slowed. 

Deer also develop highly insulated winter coats. Dense inner fur and long, hollow outer hairs create a coat 10 times thicker than the summer coat. Newly-attired, they head for traditional winter ranges known as “deer yards.” 

Ideal wintering areas provide the shelter of conifers close to food supplies. Deer are able to conserve energy by “yarding up”. Conifers such as hemlock, cedar, pine and spruce catch snow on their branches and thus reduce the depth of snow beneath. Deer pack accumulated snow into a network of trails and runways. Trails allow deer to move easily between food and cover, saving valuable energy reserves. Conifers also reduce winds and moderate the temperature. On cold nights temperatures beneath heavy conifer cover can be ten degrees warmer than in open areas. Deer spend many hours lying under the protective boughs of these evergreens. 

In winter, deer subsist on buds and twigs of deciduous trees and shrubs such as yellow birch, hazel, dogwood, mountain, striped, red and sugar maple. Cedar and hemlock foliage also provide food. 

As winter progresses, the survival of deer depends on three primary factors: the amount of stored fat, the availability of natural foods, and the severity of the winter. Added stress or mortality can be caused by predators such as wolves or free-running dogs.

Things to watch for when out in the elements during these arctic temperatures.

Frostbitten skin will become warm and swollen and feel as though it's on fire. Blisters may develop, but popping them can cause scarring, according to the National Weather Service. If skin is blue or gray, very swollen, blistered or feels hard and numb, go to the hospital immediately.

Frostbite stages:

  • First degree: ice crystals forming on your skin
  • Second degree: your skin begins to feel warm, even though it is not yet defrosted.
  • Third degree: your skin turns red, pale, or white.
  • Fourth degree: pain lasts for more than a few hours, and you may see dark blue or black areas under the skin. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms arise. Gangrene is a real threat.

Hypothermia occurs when a person's body temperature is below 96 degrees, and temperatures as low as 60 degrees can cause hypothermia

We at Shotem and Caughtem joined many in the recent temperature drop from the Arctic Blast hitting much of the UNited States and it got us thinking about frozen waters.  We decided this would be a great time to discuss creating a great portable ice fishing shack for your next adventure and to keep you warm on even the most frozen of days.  So we searched the internet to find a simple and unique portable designed ice fishing shack.  Here is what we found to be the most well put together, unique yet portable and yet still adaptable designs for even the least handy of individuals.  We liked the fact that you could adapt this design into a more sturdy, rugged or permanent dwelling to fit the needs of any type of conditions yet still have some portability once it was time to load the shelter up for the warmer weather.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below should you have any experiences that you might need to add to this design from our friends at Mother Earth News.  

Let's look at some of the benefits of this utilitarian design. To begin, at 4 feet wide, 6 feet long, and nearly 6 1/2 feet tall, the structure is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate even two large adults for the 8- to10-hour stints expected of it. Yet in three minutes' time it can be folded up into a 9-inch-high, 4 x 8-foot self-contained package that can be pulled along the ice on built-in runners, or lifted into the back of a pickup truck.

Inside, the shelter sports two sizable fold-down seats, removable floor hatch covers, armrests, coat hooks, and a window with a sliding shade. Furthermore, it's designed to incorporate a homebuilt kerosene heater. Finally, the hut's polyethylene tarp skin (which allows the shack to fold and reduces its weight and expense) is lined with a reflective plastic which helps insulate the shelter and retain interior warmth.

A look at the accompanying illustrations will reveal that the structure is, in the main, made of 1/4-inch and 5/8-inch plywood sheathing (AB or AC grade), 1 x 3 and 1 x 4 furring strips, a couple of 4-foot-long 1 x 5s, 1/8-inch metal stock, and hinges and other assorted hardware.

To aid in your understanding of how the project goes together, we've prepared separate detail drawings of the two end walls and the roof components. Essentially, the shelter is just a tray on runners; the stove-equipped wall is designed to hinge down on top of the tray, with the window-and-door wall folding to cover it. The structural members that hold the walls steady and give the roof shape fit easily into the tray once the framework is dismantled, and the flexible side walls and roof fold neatly between the two end walls.

o start, it's simplest to build the base first, complete with angle iron runners (miter their ends), hatch covers and stops, and end boards with handles. Be true to the dimensions on the end boards, since the geometry of the folding walls depends upon them. Don't install the two sideboards yet, because they have to cover the tarp layers, which are added later.

Next, assemble the window-and-door wall according to our plan. Again, pay attention to the dimensions given, and be especially careful around the door opening, since there must be a good seal at that point. For a really top-notch job, use carpenter's glue as well as 3/4-inch brick siding nails to secure the furring strips to the 1/4-inch plywood sheathing. The acrylic window is merely joined to the edges of its opening with silicone sealant, and the sliding plywood shade fits behind two narrow plywood tracks mounted to the cross braces. Finally, be sure to allow a 3/4-inch clearance above the roof rail hangers and the stops attached to them and don't forget the stops, because they'll help keep the wall off the poly in transport.

The stove wall is assembled in much the same manner as its opposite, but its construction is even more critical because it must fit snugly beneath its mate. Pay close attention to the position and length of the dowel stops, which keep the weight of the wall off the stove when the shelter is folded. To assure a safe and proper installation, don't cut the openings in the sheathing for the stove inlet and flue until you've read the stove construction article carefully and your heater is assembled. Note that the openings in the pie plates are just slightly larger than the rectangular downspout elbows and that the bottom of the inside plate faces inward, while the inside of the outside, or inlet, plate faces outward. For safety's sake, mount the two-layer reflective aluminum shield behind the stove housing and fabricate the folding heat shield as shown. Even though you'll be in the shelter when the heater's running, and thus able to keep an eye on it, these extra precautions provide a necessary margin of safety.

With both walls completed, you can concentrate on mounting them to their respective end boards using the larger surface hinges. Once that's done, assemble the arm rails and roof rails as illustrated, paying particular attention to the placement of the joist stops and the angle iron brackets. Don't fasten the arm rail supports or the wall brackets until you've trial-fitted the rail sets to see where the steel struts and the arm rail shoulders will fall. Then drill the holes and install the bolts that hold the metal parts together. (The wall bracket bolts are fixed in place with locking nuts tightened against their shoulders.) The two roof joists should have a symmetrical pitch cut into their upper surfaces, and 1 x 2-inch notches included in their lower corners.

At this point, the structural portion of the shelter is complete. To finish the project, you'll need to install the three layers of plastic sheeting as follows: First, drape the clear poly inner liner over the erected structure so the material is slightly loose and all the wall edges are covered. Staple the plastic at appropriate locations to hold it in place, then trim it if necessary, leaving a bit of border for fold-over. Next, cut your roll of reflective film into three 30 x 208-inch sections, and lay them over the poly so they overlap at the inside edges and meet the walls. Finally, place the outer layer of reinforced tarpaulin over the film, and fold over the edges and bottom to create a hem. Again, use some staples to hold it temporarily in place.

The last step is to secure the layers of plastic to the edges of the walls with carefully trimmed counter edging held in place with 3/4-inch ovalhead screws. These molding strips should be fastened at the top and sides, terminating about 3 inches from the lower ends of the walls. When this is done, the two sideboards can be installed and your shelter is complete.







We at Shotem and Caughtem have reflected a lot on the first year of our website.  It has been a blessing to have started what we feel is a unique website dedicated to hunting and fishing.  It has all the makings to be a hunter or fisherman/woman's first place to share and connect with others.  A place  where people like Melissa Bachman, Phil Robertson and you our members can feel comfortable sharing their adventures and opinions on the lifestyle to which we dedicate so much time, efforts and money.  A place safe from those who might not agree with the way we choose to live our lives.

That is why our New Years resolution is you.  We promise to dedicate this year to further creating a home for all who enjoy this lifestyle to continue to share their experiences.  Good or bad.  Share with the rest of the world to try and educate and inform on why we do what we do and what we use to do it.  Even share those experiences when things don't go as planned. 

However, inorder to make this the website that you choose to make your home we need your help.  A social network is nothing without you our members.  We need to here from you as to what you need from a great hunting and fishing social network.  So we ask you to help us to continue to make a place you want to be a part. 

We have some great things in store this year and hope you help us to continue our dream of creating the first and foremost hunting and fishing community.  So become a member and help us shape this brave new world on the web.  Happy New Years.  Make it a safe and joyous year outdoors!

We at Shotem and Caughtem felt this was the perfect time to emerge from the dark and wish all of our members and followers a safe and merry holidays.  There is no better time for us hunting and fishing enthusiasts to reflect on the year and the things to come.

First we would like to thank all of you for participating in the first social network dedicated to hunting and fishing.  It has been an amazing first year.  We have thripled our members to the site, facebbok and twitter.  We have met some amazing people and companies and hope that 2014 will be more of the same. 

Secondly, like most outdoor lovers the things we experience and witness in the great outdoors offers us a unique view of the world around us.  Like Phil Robertson our respect for the things that have been created and the experiences in the field create a passion for our beliefs and a realization that life is precious and should be celebrated.  Our rights as Americans gives us opportunities that many only read about and never have the chance to experience. 

Thirdly, we are excited about all the things next year has in store.  We will once again be visiting the Shot Show in Las Vegas.  We have a wonderful review that will be posted soon for our friends at Weston Products and Anglers Choice and finally we have met some other passionate outdoorsman/woman who will help give another perspective of their experiences in the great outdoors.

It is an exciting time for us here at Shotem and Caughtem and we hope you join us in sharing your photos, comments and experiences.  We hope to continue to make www.shotemandcaughtem.com the best hunting and fishing social network.  We once again hope you have a safe and fun holiday vacation and enjoy some time in the great outdoors.

Opening Day of Rifle hunting season was a mixed bag as always.  As many fail to realize too many times who have never gone hunting or fishing, they do not call it shooting and catching.  We got a look at a proud eight point buck but never got a clear shot.  We did have the opportunity at a small seven and a six.  However, when they began to spur with one another at eighty yards the sight was just too precious to ruin.

What an amazing animal.  The two walked in out of the trees on an absolutely freezing cold afternoon to grab a snack from the still green grass hidden amongst the trees.  They were the only two animals we had seen all day.  As they strolled into the field they acted like the best of friends.  Looking out for one another as one another leaned down to eat.  Then way off in the distance a doe appeared.  By the marking on the sides of the two bucks you could tell the rut had apparently come and gone but they were still fairly fresh.  We felt the pair would continue to eat.  However, her interest in the two men must have spurred a little extra energy.  They began to lock horns.  Though the fight was short and lack a lot of aggression, it was our first opportunity to witness in person a fight between men.  It was magnificent.  We can say that sitting in the cold for over eight hours just to witness this stand between men was totally worth it.  

The night before with friends is always the highlight.  The day and a half spent listening to nothing but the sounds of the forest refreshing.  The chance to unplug from the world if only for a short time relaxing.  And though we did not put much meat in the freezer, we would not have traded the freezing cold experience and lack of meat.

It is why we built Shotem and Caughtem.  Our friendships, family and lives are better because of these two loves.  A since of peace and appreciation for what we have in our lives is what we return with every time.  The fact that we might add a little meat to the freezer is just a bonus.  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend and we hope though the weather might be frosty you get outdoors!

Due to the fact that the Midwest will begin its rifle hunting season this week, we at Shotem and Caughtem thought we might go after the age old debate when rifle hunting deer, Shot Placement.  We as hunters always debate this issue and it is one of the first lessons we learn as hunters.  Where is the best place to shoot a deer so that we have a better chance of recovery.  On big game of any type many will tell you the best place is to go for a lung and heart shot right to the rear of the front shoulders.  However, we thought we would do a little research and get some others perspective.  We hope you leave your comments below.

We have already seen that deer run nearly 50 percent of the time when they are mortally wounded. Certainly, shot placement is the most important factor related to how deer react after being shot. Several types of trauma can lead to the rapid death of an animal that is struck by a bullet. Significant trauma to the central nervous system, the respiratory system or the circulatory system will all prove effective.

Deer shot in the neck and spine were immediately rendered immobile and succumbed quickly. Deer that were shot broadside in the shoulder ran a mean distance of 3 yards while animals hit in the heart, lungs or abdomen traveled 39, 50 and 69 yards respectfully.

So what shot placement is the best. Neck shots work well, but they can be problematic because the target area is very small and there is a risk of wounding associated with the target. Potential problems include a shot to the esophagus or mandible. Also, spine shots can be ruled out as a recommenced shot because few shots are consciously directed at the spine. In other words, most spine shots result from shots that miss their mark high and incidentally hit the spine.

The best shot placement for deer is the broadside shot directed at the shoulder. Traveling an average of only 3 yards, deer shot in the shoulder traveled significantly less distance than deer shot in the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Also, with such a short distance of travel, deer shot squarely in the shoulder did not generally leave the hunter’s sight.  The broadside shoulder shot essentially gave results similar to what most hunters expect from a neck shot. Presumably the broadside shoulder shot works well because it strikes part of the heart and or lungs which itself is a mortal blow. However, a shot through the scapula damages the brachial plexus which is part of the central nervous system thereby rendering the animal immobile. It knocks the animal out and it never regains consciousness. Also, the shoulder is a very large target offering room for error; a high shot hits the spine, a low shot the heart and a shot to the rear hits the lungs.


We at Shotem and Caughtem hope all our members and followers have a wonderful, safe and stress free holiday weekend.  It is a time to be thankful for all that we have in our lives.  For the hunting and fishing community we would be remiss not to be thankful for Mother Nature and all that has been provided to us.  In that spirit we hope that your table will be dressed with the wonderful bounties provided to us through hard work and dedication that many take for granted.  We leave you this weekend with a poem to remind you to get outdoors and share with others our passion.  Happy Thanksgiving!