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 celebrated our lack of labor to adventure out for the opening day of Dove Season.  As many of you have already read it happens to be one of our favorite hunts.  So lets talk about the patterns that we saw and what we found out about the birds patterns prior to a hopeful cooling of temperatures and another wave of our winged friends from up north.

Water...........lots of water.  In years past you could find a good water hole located to good feed and have a blast hunting.  This year however, the Midwest got a lot of rain just a few weeks prior to last weekend.  Ponds were full, some spilling over, streams too and where we hunted about every hole that could hold some water had some.  Too many water options make for a difficult Dove hunt.  Because they could find water just about anywhere, we could not hunt a pattern.  

Also due to the rain, crops have done really quite well which also made food abundant.  When we were cleaning our birds we found them full of all types of crops.  Millet, corn, sunflower and wheat were found in several different birds.  This meant some where in fields of millet, some in the corn fields and some in the wheat fields.  Again no pattern.  Too many yummy morsels.   

Day two required us to shift tactics.  Active prey equals active hunter.  So we opened  the morning sitting at a spot where we had seen decent flight traffic. As soon as the activity slowed we began walking to where we had seen birds perch from the afternoon heat, going to gravel and going to feed.  Then repeat.  We found this tactic resulted in not only a beautiful walk enjoying the great outdoors but also garnered more action and more Dove.  The picture above was our second morning after just a couple of hours of hunting.  We had not had that good of luck the day prior in such a short amount of time.   

Let us know how your tactics worked this past weekend should you have ventured out in the comment section below or post your photos to the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.

 

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We at Shotem and Caughtem realize that our readers have gotten use to us witing a blog about 5 days a week.  However, due to the absolute awesome weather outside this afternoon which is highly unusual for this time of year we have decided to not write a full blog except to let you know we are Going Fishing.  We will post picks later :)  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem Weekend!

 

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We at Shotem and Caughtem love when we get the opportunity to hunt feral hogs.  We already have talked about tricks to use when night hunting and thought since the summer is upon us that we would also tell you about some tricks we use to hunt them during those hot days ahead.

Wild Boar definitely have a daily pattern.  Due to the fact that pigs don't have sweat glands they must rely on a couple of things during the hot summer days.  They need shade to get out of the sun, water sources for wallering and keeping cool and mud to keep the insects at bay.  They have a great sense of smell but they lack good vision and hearing.  So how to find a place to obtain a good shot or lure them in should you not have the luxury of a feeder.

One of the first things to look for is places where they have been coming to obtain water or to waller in the mud.  Because of their destructive patterns these areas are not hard to find.  If these places should go dry they will look in the near vicinity for options.  Like deer, pigs love to escape the heat by finding bushy areas to nap and stay cool.  You will be able to track these areas by finding game trails and looking for low hanging broken branches and tracks.  Note these areas will also be close to the water source they are using at the time.

Should you find a good wallering place and want to help your chances of luring in the animals to stay for a while for a clean shot here are some tips.  First is rotten corn.  You can take a 5 gal bucket, fill it three quarters of the way full of corn and then fill the rest with water.  Seal the bucket and leave it in the sun for a couple days and you will have what you need.  You can also use different fruits such as apples or oranges a bit of vinegar and water and do the same thing.  Another good tip is save your table scraps or unused vegetables from your kitchen place them in a bucket and then pour cherry or strawberry flavored cool aid on them to help as an attractant.  Once you find a good spot, dig a couple of holes and bury part of the bounty and throw the rest around the area to help cover your scent.  We always take out a spray bottle with diesel fuel in it and spray it on the bottom 3 feet of trees around the area.  They will rub their bodies up against the diesel laden trees and use that scent and oil as an insect repellent.

Let us know what tricks you use to lure in hogs on these hot summer days in the comment section below.  As always post your photos to the galleries and tell us about your adventures.  Most of all have fun and be safe.

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We at Shotem and Caughtem noticed that with the rising temperatures that many would be wild boar hunters will have to switch tactics to appropriately hunt these animals by going nocturnal.  We can say that hunting at night is a whole different ball game.  Many deer hunters get only a glimpse of the rush of being in the great outdoors at night as they make their way to their stands in the pitch black.  Night is when the Wild Things come out.  A hunters senses find a whole new acuity.   Hunting at night can be both an exhilarating rush and an unnerving sense that there is more going on than one realizes.  Leaves russel as  different predators and prey move around, weird noises as animals communicate, all while you try and not give away your position.  Some hunters will find refuge in a stand, some will have some since of comfort as the retreat to their blinds and others will brave the elements by hunkering down by a tree near a creek, river or wallering spot.  

There are a whole host of products available to the would be night hunter.  Different night vision options, lights for feeders and rifles and even specialty scopes.  With the rising wild boar populations more and more options are becoming available to the average hunter.  As technology becomes smaller and more capable we feel this industry will continue to add newer technology to help advance a hunters capabilities.  Here are some of the equipment we have had the opportunity to use and our thoughts.  

When hunting feral hogs at night the least expensive option to aid in your hunt is a light mounted to your rifle.  We tried the whole light in our hand thing and it is not only awkward but ineffective.  Not one of us shining a light by hand next to our rifle were happy with the results it provided.  We found that the color of light also made a huge impact on our success.  Though many say that either green or red lights are effective, we found that red light is the only way to go.  This too comes with its challenges as red light intensity can be stifled due to it's color which effects the range capabilities.  We were impressed by the lights offered by a company called Elusive Wildlife.  Their lights come with all the necessary adaptations to mount to a rail or scope and offer great intensity for low light sensitive scopes at 150-200 yards.  They also make a red circular feeder light that has motion detection should you have the benefit of hunting a baited area.  Tip:  When using lights mounted to scopes or rifles it is best to illuminate your light high in the sky and then dropping down to sight in your animal.

Should you have a lot more cash at your disposal the night vision options are endless and pretty darn cool.  We were using an old cheaper version of an infrared monocular and they can be quite a useful tool.  Even better are some of the night vision and infrared scopes available that not only allow you to see your animal but also take your shot.  Their only down fall is the energy needs.  Tip: Many of these devices need multiple power sources to allow you to stay in your position for long periods.  On one of our nights hunts we had to change the batteries out twice so bring extras.  This technology is ever advancing so there are some useful used options that might get you a good view of your surroundings allowing you to switch to cheaper alternatives prior to taking your shot.

If you have some tips or tricks to hunting at night or what to share your experience leave your comments below or share your photos in the Shotem Gallery and tell your story.

 

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Though we at Shotem and Caughtem did not get any bragging photos from our weekend excursion to Table Rock Lake this weekend we did make some observations that might make you adventure more eventful than ours.  We went out several different days at different times.  During most of our adventure we witnessed a large amount of bait fish in the water.  The shore lines and many of the docks were riddled with hundreds of small bite sized fish.  Off our lines many of the strikes either felt on the line or observed from the top line of the water came from small over aggressive fish trying to eat way more then their mouths would allow.  I watched as many of my top water baits were heckled by fish too small to fit the bait they were trying to engulf.  

Many of the fish we hoped to see at the end of the lines would come right up to shore or close to the dock or boat only to shy away at the last minute.  The water was impressively clear all weekend long, up to 15-20ft in some places.  We feel like the impressively clear water and the high amount of bait fish created an environment where the fish could stand to be picky eaters.  When ever this has been the case in the past we probably should have switched to live bait, a hook and a bobber.  Unfortunately since our weekend also consisted of a little rest, relaxation and some drinking with friends we kept forgetting to get the minnow trap in the water.  For the next couple of weeks at least with the lakes in the Midwest we would recommend only using live bait until the weaker bait fish have been eaten and the large fish get a little less picky.  Now admittedly we were not after bluegill which were more than willing to eat anything we through in the water.  

Hope our research helps you post some photos to the Caughtem gallery and let us know how your experiences went this weekend in the comment section below.

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Day 3 at the Las Vegas Shot Show seemed to be the day of celebrity appearances.  We at ShotemandCaughtem got to meet some of our fellow hunters and fisherman and we were not disappointed.  As seen in the photo we were pleasantly surprised to get to shake the hand of Jacob and Troy Landry (Swamp People).  We gave them some swag and even got them to crack a smile when I told them though it was not Chootem it was Shotem, we thought they would enjoy the website.  Willy Robertson from another one of our favorite shows Duck Commander was at the show as well.  Though our conversation was brief we hope he too will wear our shirt with pride as he and his family seem to love the great outdoors as much as ShotemandCaughtem.  Jim Shockey and his daughter also got some of our swag, we hope they too along with their clients, come to the site to show off some of their adventures from their guided hunts.  And finally we got to shake the hands of the men from The Bone Collector.  Micheal Waddell, Travis Turner and especially Nick Mundt seemed excited to come and visit the site to brag about their trials and tribulations.  Even though we did not get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to Ted Nuggent we hope that he too comes to share his glory.  We are still trying to update ourselves on the great products we saw at the Shot Show so stay tuned for some great product reviews. 

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Day 2 at the Las Vegas Shot Show was just as amazing as the first.  All we can say is that we did not realize there was some much that went into this industry.  The host of different products has created quite a vast array of things to choose from.  Whether you have a taste for the plain or the exotic it is all present.  We took this photo just to give you a taste of what the show looks like and this is merely a small corner of what is here.  We have grabbed a pile of brochures and literature and once we get a chance to sort through it all we will inform you as to what we took away as highlights from the show.  If you have any pressing questions please don't hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Well its the first time we at Shotem and Caughtem have invaded the Shot Show which started today.  We can honestly say we are speechless and exhausted.  What a community.  The entire industry seems to have some kind of a presence here.  We are lucky that we have spent much of our disposable income trying to make this website.  There are more things here we would love to own than we could ever afford.  A veritable gold mine of all things gun related is the best way we can describe the show.  We have met some great people and seen some awesome products already in the first day and can't wait to meet and see even more tomorrow.  As of right now the list is too long to mention even some of the great products we have already seen here at the show.  If you have never attended this convention and have a love for hunting, guns, etal, like we do, we highly recommend wearing some comfortable shoes and please make sure you prepare your eyes and mind for an overload.  Come back to the site often as we have already a massed a substantial amount of products we can't wait to share with you.  For more information on the Shot Show visit www.shotshow.org.

 

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