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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Opening Day of Turkey and Trout Season

April marks opening day of what we like to call Shotem and Caughtem Season.  As spring arrives and temperatures begin to warm the time arrives for us to put our cold weather clothes in storage and break out the camo and tackle boxes.  This time is one of our favorites.  The cool mornings allow us the comfort of sleeping a bit later and still hitting the good morning bite and with some good scouting knowing where the turkey roost allow us to know the best place to sit for turkeys.  As such we thought we would scour the world wide web for some good early spring articles and offer our thoughts on the matter. 

Turkey Call and Strut Video

Spring Fishing Tips

Spring Weather Severe Storms Make great Scouting and Fishing

A good thunderstorm can be used as a great decoy or excuse to get things in the animal world moving.  Big Toms will usually call back to thunder and can be used to help track roosting spots on your hunting land.  However, they will only gobble a couple of times and will then move to cover.  Hunters participating in West Virginia's spring gobbler survey have provided weather information to biologists for 18 years, and it is evident that the best spring gobbling occurs during clear days with little wind and no precipitation.  Conversely, periods of reduced gobbling activity coincide with cloudy skies, rain and windy conditions.  Research elsewhere on the relationship between gobbling and weather has shown that precipitation and high wind occurring as much as 12 hours prior to the time of gobbling will result in decreased gobbling.  One Alabama study showed that days with dew on the ground were good gobbling days, and that barometric pressure had little impact on gobbling although it is a part of the reason for changes in weather patterns.

The relationship between gobbling and temperatures is not as definitive.  One research study indicated increased gobbling occurred with higher temperatures, and another did not show any relationship between temperature and gobbling.

Many fisherman will always brag about the bite being best right before a thunderstorm.  Severe spring weather can be a great way to catch some big fish and track turkey on your property.  Just remember to be safe when out during times like these.  Lightning can be unforgiving and getting stranded in open water during heavy thunderstorms can not only be cringe worthy but unsafe as well.

Caught in Severe Weather while Boating

Spring storms can come out of nowhere it seems sometimes.  Should you be caught in one of these situations here are some rules of thumb.

  1. If possible, head for the nearest shore that is safe to approach. If already caught in a storm, it may be best to ride it out in open water rather than try to approach the shore in heavy wind and waves.
  2. Head the bow into the waves at a 45-degree angle. PWCs should head directly into the waves.
  3. Keep a sharp lookout for other vessels, debris, shoals, or stumps.
  4. If the engine stops, drop a "sea anchor" on a line off the bow to keep the bow headed into the wind and reduce drifting while you ride out the storm. In an emergency, a bucket will work as a sea anchor. Without power, a powerboat usually will turn its stern to the waves and could be swamped more easily.
  5. If the sea anchor is not sufficient, anchor using your conventional anchor to prevent your boat from drifting into dangerous areas.  

 

Friday, 05 September 2014 19:37

Opening Dove Hunting Season and Banded Dove

Dove Hunting Season came with it's share of Weather problems and Heavy rainfall

We at Shotem and Caughtem headed out for the season opener of hunting season.  Dove Season is officially here in most states.  The season opener did not come without its challenges.  As a matter of fact the place where we started or hunt and worked so hard to create the perfect environment received 6 in of rain in the six hours before the opening day.  Needless to say another season might have gone into the wind.  With thousands of places to source water the dove hunting in our premier spot was slow at best.  We still left the field with our limit but that was merely due to determination and patience.  

Searching for the perfect Dove Hunting Environment

We decided the next day to head to another spot we know of and try our luck since it did not have the large amount of rain we had experienced at our other spot.  Luckily for us this place was the mecca we were looking for.  And as a bonus after hunting dove for well over a decade we not only landed our first banded dove ever, but the people we hunted with ended up shooting 8 banded dove total.  A very cool experience we had never had the pleasure of experiencing.  Heck we might have even missed these bands in the past.  Not only are they small and hard to see the first we found was tucked under feathers making it even harder to notice.  We did not even see the first one till we were cleaning the birds.  From that point on we ended up being more tuned to looking for the small devices.

What to do if you get a banded dove

For you prize by calling into the number listed on the band you are sent a digital certificate of your find so that you can get some information about where the dove has been.  Agencies use these bands to track not only movement but population growth etc.  It was a great hunt and even cooler experience.

Banded Dove information

As a matter of fact we are heading back out tonight to hopefully get our last hunt in before a cold front moves in and potentially pushes the dove south in their migration towards the far southern states and eventually into South America for the winter.  As always we hope you share your dove hunting photos and stories to the galleries.  Hope you all have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend.  

Monday, 21 October 2013 21:33

Pheasant Hunting Season in the Midwest

With South Dakota's opener for Pheasant Hunting Season we thought we would take a look at what has been reported from the Midwest.  With the cold temperatures and drought conditions in the Midwest this season's pheasant hunt should be more than interesting.  From the reports throughout the Midwest the season could be less than exciting.  Let us know how things are looking in your area prior to your states opener in the comment section below.

Estimates show a 64 percent drop from last year in the state's pheasant population. That's from roadside survey results released by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks in August.  A couple harsh winters in recent years, last year's drought and this year's late spring have all been factors.
This severe weather in June that combined large hail and damaging winds dished an additional blow to pheasants around the Spink and Beadle County lines.

Runia says the birds have less habitat. There's less native prairie in South Dakota than there used to be. And the number of acres in CRP, which is a federal program paying landowners to set land aside for conservation, has dropped steadily in the state since 2007.  Unfortunately, estimated pheasant numbers are lower than they've been in years.  And this seems to be the trend across much of the Midwest.