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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Tuesday, 28 April 2015 17:09

Best Wild Turkey Pastrami Recipe

The True Organic Meat Eating Diet

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem believe that hunters and anglers are the true organic meat eaters of the world.  We have figured out the best ways to cook different animals that have not been raised and fattened by the food industry.  They are lean, mean and built for survival.  As such putting fats, moisture or intense flavor back into the meats can become a process of trial and error mixed with some weird science.  One of our favorite ways to get moisture and intense flavor into wild turkey is as a pastrami and this is one of our favorite ways to do it.  

 

Turkey Pastrami Recipe Instructions

The Cure:




• 5 tablespoons Tender Quick

• 4 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar (packed)

• 3 Large Hole Dry Bay Leaves

• 1 teaspoon All Spice

• ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

• ½ teaspoon Anis Seeds

• 1 table spoon Montreal Steak season

• 2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper

• ½ teaspoon of Ground Clove




This is the “dry cure” step of the process.

Mix all of the ingredients of the cure in a blender or spice grinder making sure all of the ingredients are as close to the same size as possible. Coat all of the meat evenly, and rub it in. Place the meat in zip lock freezer bag and lay flat in a glass baking dish. Put it in the fridge. Rotate the meat twice a day, for a week. If you want stronger flavor go up to two weeks.




After the meat gets done with its “time out”, remove it from the bag and rinse it in a water bath for two hours at room temp. Pat it dry and put on the second rub. Again Blend spices to break up Mustard and Coriander but pulse to keep them coarse.




Final Crust Rub:




• 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

• 2 tablespoons Coarse ground Pepper

• 1 teaspoon Paprika

• 1 tablespoon Mustard Seed (Whole)

• 1 tablespoon Coriander (Whole)

• 1 teaspoon Dark Brown Sugar




Into the smoker it goes for 3-4 hours at 200deg. You are looking for about 150 to 155 degree internal temp of the meat. I like to use a combination of Hickory and Apple or Hickory and Maple as my wood.




Remove the roasts from the smoker and let rest until they cool to room temp. Place in zip lock baggy or an air tight container and place it in the fridge overnight, 24hours if possible. This will let it firm up. Slice as thin as possible and enjoy.

 
Friday, 02 May 2014 16:50

Hunting Turkey's and Conservation

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.”

Thursday, 27 March 2014 19:21

Best Fishing Months are March and April

With much of the United States feeling the cool days of winter starting to loosen it's grip we felt it was a good time to talk about the best time of year to wet a line.  Typically though we have not had much of a March when it comes to warmer weather, things seem to be on a warming trend.  This means that most fish species are starting to rise from their slumbers.  This year might offer a shorter time to reap the rewards of very hungry fish before they head to spawn around mid April, but there is no better time for fishing.

The spring months offer more than just hungry fish.  The mild temperatures offer a longer fishing time period throughout the day though the dawn and dusk hours are always the hottest times.  This allows most fisherman and woman the ability to not have that mid day heat which usually drops the amount of bites.  Shore lines will offer good fishing as the smaller bait fish find the warmest water through the suns heat.

The best part about this time of year is that fish need plenty of energy for the spring spawn.  As such they need food.  A lot of food.  Good baits to use are the live ones this time of year especially.  However, the good thing about this time is a gross lack of pickiness.  This time of year most baits in one's tackle box will be good baits.  We are especially excited to test out the baits sent to us by both Berkley and Anglers Choice.  We feel this time of year will be an awesome time to test out what they provided us.

Let s know your early spring tips and tricks in the comment box below and as always come brag wit us in the Caughtem Gallery.

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:25

Turkey Hunting Season Preparation

Very few outdoor experiences can compare with spring turkey hunting. The sport can, to say the least, be challenging, exciting and in some cases almost addictive as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. When a gobbler sounds off up close, or he’s strutting just out of range, even the most experienced hunter’s heart tends to pound uncontrollably. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.




 

 

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:25

Turkey Hunting Season Preparation

Very few outdoor experiences can compare with spring turkey hunting. The sport can, to say the least, be challenging, exciting and in some cases almost addictive as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. When a gobbler sounds off up close, or he’s strutting just out of range, even the most experienced hunter’s heart tends to pound uncontrollably. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.




 

 

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem think the best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is to think green.  Nothing during this time period makes us think green than grabbing a couple cold ones and head out to do some fishing.  Since St. Patrick's Day usually means spring is here we thought we would impart a couple of early fishing tricks we like to use.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all our members.  We hope you have a safe and fun outdoor celebration.

At this time of year remember diversity is the key. Bring not only minnows, but also minnows ranging from tiny to large as the bite varies from day to day. Also carry not only waxies, but spikes and even an assortment of plastics. Due to this varying bite, don’t be afraid to switch up presentations. Just the other day, in fact, we finally got crappies to bite on the sixth lure we used and that was a 1/16-ounce spoon tipped with a tiny minnow.

Probably the most important thing to remember while fishing those lazy hazy days of spring is to trust your electronics. If you don’t see fish, move around the deep basin or flat you are fishing. There are some crappie and perch fisherman, in fact, who won’t even put in a line until they see fish on the screen.

Crappies will often hit up and when your spring tip goes from slightly bent to straight up, the fish is hitting up so use an immediate soft lift to hook it. If you don’t use a spring tip, be sure you have a “noodle” rod, as a deep-water crappie bite is subtle. What makes catching them so magical is it’s all in the touch, the finesse.

To all the great Irish people out there, even though you might only be a “toenail” Irish, happy St. Patrick’s Day. May the luck of the Irish be with ye. Enjoy all that is green. In fact, try to go northern Minnesota and get some of those black and silver and green crappies or the green barred perch for your green-themed meal.

Monday, 03 March 2014 23:06

Spring Bass Fishing Before the Spawn

As we at Shotem and Caughtem watched the bone chilling weather move across the Midwest this weekend our thought began to dream of spring.  The time of year right before the spawn when the fish come out from hiding with a ferocious appetite prior to the spawn.  It is a great time to catch fish.  It is a cool time which means you can wake up a little later than in the summer and enjoy a full day of fishing.  With this in mind and before our minds turn to the upcoming turkey season we thought we would pass along some tips we use when heading out to capture the first bites of the year.  Let us know your tricks in the comment section below and we hope to brag with you in the galleries as the water temperatures rise.  

Seasonal cold fronts in the spring will send bass back into their deep-water haunts. They will feed less but they will still feed. Fish from 8–-15 feet in depth, using electronics to locate suspending bass and target that depth. The wind and spring showers continue to warm the water, be as patient as the bass are.  Watch the water temperature to become 55 to 60 degrees. Warm water means bass will come out of the lethargic state and begin to move and feed. This is the time when some bass begin to move toward their spawning flats, as other older mature females will hold in areas from 8-15 feet for their turn and perfect conditions. 

Creek channels are traffic areas for bass, as the fish move into the spawning flats to reproduce. Points on these creek channels are great places to fish with a crankbait. Fish deep enough to scrape the bottom around points and drop offs. Use natural colors like green to imitate small bluegill or perch and reds, orange and brown to resemble crayfish colors.  In addition to fishing points and drop offs ledges, look for old road beds and focus on the ditches along side the road beds, these ruts that were once used to drain water off of a road, are now the road for moving bass. Also try rocky rip rap as well as grassy areas with close access to deeper water adjacent to shallow spawning flats.  When fishing the channel points located close to a spawning area, pull a scented tube along the bottom slowly. Try crayfish, pumpkinseed, and black and blue colors.  If you are not getting any bites, simply slow down your presentation. Remember that the temperature of the bass at their holding depth is the deciding factor that turns on the instinct to feed heavy before the spawn. 

The weed beds adjacent to a channel are a preferred area for emerging spring bass. On calm mornings and afternoon use topwater baits for a blast. Late morning through early evening, try big worms or lizards, or a slow-rolling spinnerbait through and between mats of weeds.  Look for sharp bends or humps in channels near large flat shallow areas, begin in the shallow area and fish back toward deeper water.  Look for shad and signs of crawfish in deeper coves. Try fishing a small jig with a craw colored trailer using a slow retrieve. The jig and pig fires up the smallmouth on the rocky bluffs at Dale Hollows deep coves.

Thursday, 20 February 2014 23:10

Spring Turkey Hunting Just Around the Corner

Well Shotem and Caughtem lovers one of the two best times of the year is quickly approaching.  Yes that time of year when you can feed both your Shotem and Caughtem side of the brain.  One of the best times of the year to wake from your hibernation from deer season and the bitter cold should you not get the opportunity to ice fish.  We are of course talking about the warming weather for pre spawn fishing and yes TURKEY season!  What better time to start getting the gear ready and most importantly start refreshing your calling skills and scouting your turkey hunting territories.  

Though spring turkey season offers a bit of an advantage over fall when it comes to being able to call in the Toms, you can never go wrong with knowing where your thunder chickens are sleeping and looking for food.  Here are some things you might keep in mind as you get ready for the first spring hunt.  Let us know your tricks in the comment section below and as always get your cameras ready to post to the galleries and share your stories.

The most important part of scouting this time of year is learning the lay of the land. The better you know your hunting territory, the more likely you are to make the right decisions once you hear that pre-dawn gobble.

It is a good idea to get out in the woods before dawn just before the season begins to determine which trees gobblers are using as roosting areas. Even more important is just what they do when they fly down, and where they go after they hit the ground. Keep in mind that when you are scouting late, you have to do it carefully or the birds will become even more wary.

One thing I have observed after nearly 30 years of turkey hunting is that it seems much harder to lure in a tom at dawn with today's high turkey numbers than it used to be when there were fewer birds.

It is almost a sure thing today that the toms will be roosting with hens and when the birds hit the ground the toms will follow their hens.

When you hear those predawn gobbles, try to find a lone gobbler and set up on him. Avoid the groups of gobblers because they are sure to have hens with them. Also, groups of gobblers are often comprised of jakes which tend to be more vocal and hang together more often than most mature toms.

This is also the time to work on your turkey calling skills. If you haven't picked up a turkey call since last season, you will have some work to do because playing a call well takes practice, lots of it.

Most beginners to the sport start out with a friction call such as the box call. It is probably the easiest to learn how to use and will make all the turkey sounds you need to bag that gobbler. While this is an easy call to use, you shouldn't underestimate its effectiveness. It can be deadly and for many good hunters it is the only call they use.

The slate call is probably the next step for most hunters. This requires a peg to be drawn across a slate or glass surface and it, too, can mimic all the calls of the wild turkey. It does require more practice than the box call.

There are a couple of problems with these two types of calls. One is that each requires hand movement to make them work, and the sharp eyes of a turkey are quick to pick up on any movement. The other is that moisture will render them useless. They must be kept dry to work well. Some manufacturers are producing boxes and slates that will work when wet and I've used them. They work well, also.

Most seasoned turkey hunters also learn to use the diaphragm call. This one takes a lot of practice for most people. The call itself is fairly simple, usually just a horseshoe of light metal such as aluminum with a thin rubber membrane stretched across the open part of the shoe. The call is placed in your mouth and by working your tongue and blowing air across the membrane all calls of the turkey can be reproduced.

The big advantage to this call is that no movement is involved.

It's to your advantage to learn how to use all of the above calls. A lot of successful turkey hunting depends upon getting a turkey to gobble when he hears your call. Some days they will gobble to a box call, others to a slate and others to a diaphragm. Usually there will be a call type and a call pattern which will turn them on better than others. I've seen times when they wouldn't answer anything but a purr made on a slate.

We at Shotem and Caughtem spent another weekend hunting Turkey.  As the season is coming to a close the weather is finally starting to cooperate.  Along with the nice Spring weather another one of our Nemesis's has come out of hiding.  Of course we are speaking of ticks.  This is especially a factor for turkey hunters as many of us choose to hunt the thunder chicken sitting in chairs or on the ground in dense woods or grasses which just happens to be where these blood suckers like to breed, hatch and hang out waiting to host on their prey.  Just last year I found out after picking off a good dozen of these little suckers that I had fallen prey to one of the diseases they carry, lime disease.  Unfortunately many of the diseases ticks carry can be confused with the common cold many of us get during the fluctuating weather conditions seen during spring turkey hunting season.  Since this last weekend I picked another half dozen of these guys off of me I thought it would be a good topic to write about since I have first hand experience.  I recently have purchased a chemical called permethrin and have heard that it is not only fatal to ticks but can prevent them from ever wanting to be around you.  It is sprayed on your hunting clothes 48 hours prior to being in the field and is not for skin contact prior to drying.  Way better than the Off with Deet that appears to have little effect on shying them away from me.  Let us know in the comment section below if you have had any experiences like mine and as always share photos of your prized hunts in the galleries and tell us your story.

Five Tick Diseases to Watch For:

Lyme Disease: Spread by the black-legged or deer tick, this disease is most common in the Northeast. Symptoms include a circular rash at the site of the tick bite, tiredness and neurological and facial muscular problems.  The rash literally looks like a bullseye (Tick bite site with a red circle around it).  My big tip off was that when I drank a glass of water it tasted exactly like aluminum (sounds weird but very true).

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Common to the Southeast, symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache and muscle pain, followed by development of rash. The disease can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be fatal.  This is the sleeper disease.  I have many friends hat have fallen prey to this and it can be very bad if not diagnosed.  Should you have been in the field and have cold like symptoms after going a blood test can rule out this potential and can save your life.  Well worth just running by your doctor and having a little blood drawn to rule it out.  

Ehrlichiosis: Common to the Southwest, this disease is spread by the lone star tick and is carried by dogs, cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Symptoms include a fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Babesiosis: This disease is carried by deer ticks and is found most often in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Symptoms include a nonproductive cough, headache and increasing malaise.

Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis: HGA is increasingly recognized as an important and frequent cause of fever after tick bite in the upper Midwest, New England, parts of the mid-Atlantic states and northern California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other symptoms include headache and malaise.


We at Shotem and Caughtem read the news that spring Small Mouth Bass fishing Season has been halted in Pennsylvania and we thought we would pass along the news.  Many fishermen and woman love small mouth bass fishing throughout the United States.  Noticing conditions that have caused the problems in PA might help other states react faster to not cause this type of cancellation in other states.  If you have witnessed some of your catches showing signs like the ones in PA please advise your state Wildlife and Parks division.  Noticing these types of signs early might help prevent declines or transfer of a potentially harmful disease to other fish species.  Let us know if you have had similar occurrences in your area as many states have fought algae blooms due to the recent drought conditions in the comment section below.  

Over the past decade, the decline of one of the most prized freshwater sport-fish species -- the smallmouth bass -- has puzzled anglers and scientists.

Populations that once thrived throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed -- including the lower Susquehanna River -- have experienced fishkills and perplexing illnesses, according to a recent report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The problems include lesions, blotchy skin, shorter lifespans and abnormal sexual development in which males grow eggs in their testes, said Harry Campbell, the foundation's Pennsylvania executive director.

A myriad of influences are coming together to threaten the smallmouth bass, Campbell said. Phosphorus and nitrogen pollution have been linked to spring algal blooms that create low-oxygen conditions that stress fish.

"These algae blooms occur when our smallmouth fry are most vulnerable to infection," said John Arway, executive director of the commission in a conference call hosted by the foundation.

Younger populations of smallmouth bass are dying at "unprecedented rates," Campbell said.

With shorter lifespans for adults and juveniles not living to adulthood, the overall population is feared to be near collapse, he said.

The loss of this species will have serious environmental and economic impacts, Campbell said.

In the Susquehanna River, smallmouth bass populations have plummeted, with catch rates of adults falling 80 percent between 2001 and 2005, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Subsequent studies by the commission have found that populations have not recovered.

This decline prompted the state agency to impose emergency regulations that prohibited fishing for the species in much of the river from May 1 to June 15, 2012, and again this year.

 
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