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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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Hunting has changed through the Years

We at Shotem and Caughtem always giggle when we hang out with the older generation of hunters.  "Back when I was a boy...." can both trigger a great eye role or have us come to the edge of our seats.  We have discussed before how things have changed when it comes to properties available to hunt just in our few decades of hunting.  However, we recently came upon an article about how deer populations have changed and it got us to thinking about a subject we have yet to approach.  

Deer Hunting Populations and Conservation

The news story started like this:

There was a time when a deer was a rare sight in much of the state (Mississippi).

“I can remember my grandfather, when I was little, got a phone call. Somebody had seen a deer track at deer camp,” said Chad Dacus, wildlife bureau director at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Every available member of the hunting club was summoned to help find the animal. After much effort it was shot and ceremoniously butchered.

“When he came home, he had a little plastic bag of deer meat. Everybody at the camp got a little bit,” Dacus said. “That was really special.”

Oh How Hunting Has Changed

They speak in the article how populations have grown as well as technology advances that have made hunting less of a chore.  We however beg to differ.  Though deer populations have grown and technology has increased our ability to obtain information on how to land the big one, the core of values and the time outdoors is what is at the heart of the article.  This is what we feel has not been handed down to the next generation.  Too much time spent doing too many other things and not getting back to appreciating what we have been given.  The outdoors can make a wonderful place to explore and spend quality time with friends and family.

Stories from the Hunting and Fishing Community

The basic premise behind what we are trying to accomplish at Shotem and Caughtem is beginning to bring our community together.  Share not only our knowledge and adventures but to create a place to help share the outdoor spirit.  Begin a dialogue with not only the older generations but a fun place to share for the younger generation.  As the other social networks expand and change we feel our network will grow and become more of a mainstay in the outdoor community.  We hope you will come and help us build the best hunting and angling community on the world wide web.  We can't grow and survive without you.

 

 

Newsweek Article regarding Controversial Idaho Wolf Hunt

We at Shotem and Caughtem recently read an article concerning the recent Hunting Derby in Idaho for wolves by Newsweek.  In the article they showed that for the second straight year no wolves were harvested from the 30 day long hunt.  Though the ended up killing 20 coyotes during the month long derby, many hunters and wildlife and parks officials eluded to the fact that weather conditions might have hindered the hunts success. 

Our Trophy Deer Hunting Season this Year in Kansas

That got us to thinking about our luck when it came to weather during our trophy hunting deer season.  As many hunters know Mother Nature can work with us or against us when it comes to our hunting seasons.  This year as was the case for the Idaho wolf hunters she worked against us.  The lunar phase at the more critical part of the season was in full cycle.  We found most of our deer were running during the night.  The fact that we had unseasonably warm weather for December also did not help matters.  Most of the large deer as a matter of fact were taken during muzzle loader and bow hunters due to the fact that they had more time and better lunar cycles.    

That's Why they call it Hunting not Shooting

As we have discussed many times before many of those who are against hunting and fishing do not realize how many time we go to the field or on the water with nothing to show for it but a cleared head.  There are so many factors that can work in our favor and so many that can work against us that it can sometimes be frustrating for those who have no comprehension of what gets us outdoors time and time again.  Just this past weekend I came home from sitting in the rain listening to goose hunters on the property just over from me having a blast as I sat frustrated knowing if it was quiet at would have deer all around me.  My wife said "why do you even go, most of the time you don't come home with what your after."  I just smiled as I do much of the time when people find out I started a hunting and fishing site and point their noses north.  

It is the hunt.  Whether fish or big game the outdoors brings a sense of peace.  An appreciation for the outdoors is what will take me back into the field this weekend yet again to try and get my freezer full of deer meat.  Watching the geese and ducks talk over head as they headed to the next field was breathe taking.  What glorious animals we get the opportunity to witness.  What power.  The sound of the rain hitting the creek and trees around me.  A complete state of peace.  No cell phone, computer, appointments etc.  Just the sounds of nature.  Bliss!

That is why we created this site.  Was to share our experiences with others who appreciate the great outdoors.  We hope you continue to share your stories as you once again help us grow.  Here is to a great 2015!  And thanks for all who have joined and shared with us in these first two years.  

 

Year 2 of our Social Network Creation

We at Shotem and Caughtem can not thank all of our members enough for their support.  It has been yet another great year for us at and we are looking forward to what the next year will bring.  Just a few stats to help you know you are a part of something much bigger.  Continuing support and driving friends and family to the site will only help us grow and in turn give us the means to give back to you not only as individuals but as a group.  We have big plans to change the way social networking works and we can only hope you give us the opportunity to create something new and different.

Other Social Networks turning their backs on the Hunting and Fishing Community

All of us who hunt and fish know that we are involved in an industry that shares it's involvement in controversy.  As proof Facebook has already shown its stance against those who hunt and fish so we can only imagine that the others will begin to follow suit as they become bigger.  Though twitter has not seem to head that direction as more and more technology companies combine this will only become more of an issue.  That is why we feel our site is so important.

A Year of Expansion

We at Shotem and Caughtem made some bold moves based on our members this year.  We moved to our own private server to increase speed and try to eliminate hick ups.  We have had good responses with how much nicer the platform has been since the change.  Faster upload speeds and surfing has been the overall response.  We also released our app towards the end of this year.  It has given our members more flexibility to keep posting and seeing what's happening on the website day to day.  

Finding Partnerships

Our New Years resolution is to find strategic partners and members.  So far this site is the creation, upkeep and monetary cost of just one person.  A person that wants to change the face of social networks in a lifestyle to which plays a large part in his life.  Hunting and fishing has been a huge part of my life.  It is a lifestyle I wear and share with pride.  Recently I read an article that spoke about the fact that we as individuals must begin to create a larger voice to help in changing the status quo.  I hope you join us in creating such a voice and tell others about us.  We are always looking for new and creative ways to help find partnerships with individuals, companies and groups to help not only expand their market share but also their own aspirations.  

 

Christmas Ideas For Hunters and Fisherman/woman

We at Shotem and Caughtem split our Xmas gift ideas into two separate blogs so that we could hunt for some of the last minute savings available prior to the holidays.  Yes even us at Shotem and Caughtem have been known to procrastinate till the last minute.  So here are some added ideas for the outdoorsman/woman in your life.

Ammunition

In part one of our blog we discussed a angler can never have too many lures.  The same goes for the hunter.  You can never have too much ammo.  Even if you see bulk or boxes of ammo around you will never here a person say "I think I have too much ammo".   No matter the time of season, whether it will be used right away, no one that hunts will hate to get more ammo.  So just take a peak and see what caliber of ammo your hunter has and go grab a couple more boxes   or buy in bulk practice rounds for a great family or partner outing.  Either way you can't go wrong.  For the cheapest per box ammo, Walmart seems to have the best every day prices even though you can find some deals when they become available at Cabelas, Dicks, Academy Sports or Bass Pro.

Great Bulk Ammo Prices

Adding Bells and Whistles to any Firearm

This can seem like a daunting task for anyone who does not directly know the ends and outs of firearms or needs for the hunter.  As such we will help you by adding in some hot questions into your conversations to find the perfect addition.  

If you could add anything to your "favorite" hunting rifle/pistol what would it be?

If you had a better way to carry your gun would you use it?

Are you missing anything to have the perfect hunting pack?

Just some ideas as answers.  There are always scope additions, lights, bipods, extra magazines, holsters, slings or in the field equipment hunters would like to have but have not spent the money to get for themselves.  Some might have a great LED headlamp to get into the field but have not splurged to get a red light which tends to not scare wildlife.  All hunters have a functioning sling or holster for their favorite gun.  They might not have a really nice leather sling or holster due to practical cost.  As one hunter put it so well you can never have too many nice, sharp knives in your pack for skinning, hacking or boning animals.  If you have a bird hunter you can not go wrong with getting them a Kicks Industry choke tube for their favorite Shotgun.  

Locking Up your precious Guns and Valuables

Looking for a great gift for the both of you?  Now a days safes are built for locking up more than just guns.  Stack-On products has a safe to answer any needs.  Whether you are locking up guns, jewelry or other personal belongings Stack-On Products makes a safe to suit not only an individual but a whole family's security needs. 

Survival Gear for the Outdoors

We can not tell you how many people we hunt and fish with do not go out with some kind of a survival pack.  Even just some basics like rubbing alcohol or band aids.  Just hitting your local pharmacy and getting some basic necessities can make a great stocking stuffer and make sure your hunter or angler can fix even simple cuts and scraps.  Want to go a bit further.  They now make a simple trauma kit in a bag for sale at many of the large outdoor retailers.  The human being needs the three basics in the outdoors.  Water, fire and shelter.  Providing some basics to help achieve these three basic needs can be the difference in the field or on the water.  

A Community for those Who Hunt and/or Fish

Yes this last one is free and a shameless plug.  Letting friends and family know about Shotem and Caughtem.  A social network built around those who love the great outdoors.  A place to share with the world their adventures by land or by water.  We hope you have a great holiday and get some quality time in outdoors!

 

Great Gifts for the Hunting and Fishing Community

We at Shotem and Caughtem know that shopping for the hunter or fisherman/woman in your life can seem like a daunting task.  Fortunately, though you might think we have every one of our needs met there are still some things we ight not have that are great things to have in the field so we thought we would list our top ten picks for great gift ideas. 

Great clothing ideas as gifts

We have been hunting and fishing for over a decade and always need or want extra clothing.  Whether it be thermal clothes for the winter, extra colors of camo for different times of the year or just replacing our favorite clothes to wear in the field, anyone who hunts and fishes can always use extra clothes.  If you ever wonder what someone might need listen to what we complain about when we get back from the outdoors.  Whether we tore our favorite pants climbing over a barb wire fence, or commented on our feet getting soaked while out on the water there is a clothing need that can be met and some great products to meet those needs.  Heck you might even have someone who has thought about duck hunting or ice fishing but has not tried it since they do not have the appropriate clothing yet.  Want to save a little money, wait until a particular season is over and watch the clothes get marked down over 50%.  Winter clothes go on sale in the spring months and spring/summer clothes go on sale during fall. A perfect example is this waterproof coat 

Trail Cameras, GoPros, Cases and Mounts for Cell Phones

The technology now available to the hunting and fishing community are vast.  Those who hunt and fish and want to share their adventures can always use the new technology to document either the fields they hunt or the adventures they go on and want to capture.  There are a variety of mounts and rigs that allow you to mount your cell phone or go pro and capture some great angles.  Trail cameras can be a great way to see what is walking through an area.  The new cases allow even those who hunt public land to secure their camera to help detour theft.  This trail camera is almost 100 dollars off right now 

Lures, Poles and Tackle 

We have never made the comment while out on the water "WOW I think I have too much tackle."  No fisherman has said these words nor will they.  Whether it is having other colors of their favorite lure or some they have never tried there are some great lure and tackle options for the fisherman/woman in your life.  There are some great companies who are already apart of Shotem and Caughtem you should check out.

Pole tap Smart rod 

Great lures from some of our members: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/ and http://www.thrownthunderlures.com/ and http://www.anglerschoice.ca/

Hunting Decoys, Calls and Accessories

Whether you have a dove, turkey, upland bird, big game, small game or migratory bird hunter in your life they always need more supplies.  No matter the animal there is a call, decoy or piece of equipment we have either worn to the bone or want more variety.  The guys we duck and goose hunt with say you can never have to many decoys.  There are a variety of different sounds or calls a hunter can see in the field to either scare away the prey we don't want around or attract the ones we do and there is a call for them.  Whether it is extra lanyards, holsters, backpacks or cases those who hunt or fish can never have to much stuff.  As a matter of fact we feel it is a matter of pride to complain about how much stuff we do or don't have.

Great decoys :  www.mojooutdoors.com  

 

Optics and Fish Finders

There is no better gift to those who hunt or fish than added vision.  Whether it is the latest and greatest fish finder, gps, rifle scope, spotting scope or binoculars enhancing your outdoorsman/womans vision can be a great gift.  Whether it is enhancing their ability to see in low light, extending their range or tracking even the deepest depths there is an answer to your gift idea.     

Cabelas is running a sale right now on Nikon Scopes 

Have some ideas on some other great options for your wish list and want to be included then we hope you comment below and let us know or become and member and show us why your gear should make our favorite christmas list.

Facebook Denies Gun Safe Advertising

We at Shotem and Caughtem hope that our members once again rally to show the hunting and fishing community now has a place to go to share our hunting and fishing adventures.  Facebook for at least the fifth time has once again snubbed it's nose towards those who support their existence.  It forgets that without it's users they stand to loose a large part of their market base.  We hope that this helps us grow so that we can change the face of social networking.

Read more: http://www.politichicks.tv/2014/11/facebook-taking-anti-gun-position/

A community that gives back

Social networking has been given its growth by those who choose to use and upload to the sites.  For many they have been able to use this source as a good way to reach prospective clients and customers.  For others their growth is attached to people who just like to share their adventures with no return to them as users.  We hope to change that.  We want to link and share with the hunting and fishing community that supports us.  We only require one thing and that is you and all your friends creating activity on our site.  A social networking site is only strong as its users.  We hope to continue to reward our users for their activity.

First Shotem and Caughtem Contest Winner

Just in time for our first contest giveaway.  If you were a member of Shotem and Caughtem last month you received a newsletter discussing our first contest.  We wanted to show you what we hope to create.  We gave our members a month to help us get more users to Shotem and Caughtem.  The member who did more posting, friending and activity on the site would win a prize pack from our sponsors.  Here is an excerpt:

Lastly, we have hit some huge milestones this year and we could not have done it without all of you.  To celebrate and thank all of you for being apart of the site we are issuing a challenge with great prizes for your efforts.  We have as of today recorded your points total.  Ever wondered what the points total was for in your profile?  All your interactions on the site give you points.  Whether becoming friends with members, posting photos or videos or participating in discussions, you get points.  The one with the most points by November 15th will receive an awesome prize pack for your Shotem and Caughtem Spirit.  A full set of Shotem and Caughtem gear, Weston Jerky and Sausage seasoning, Anglers Choice baits, and a Stack-On PC-650-B safe to store your belongings while on your adventures (over a $200 value).  So tell your friends and increase your interactions on the site and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

We would like to announce that www.shotemandcaughtem.com/camocandace_52  was the winner of our contest.  She will receive her prize pack soon and we can't thank all of you enough for your support.  

Hunting and Fishing Friendships and Bonds 

Recently we were having a discussion about Shotem and Caughtem which presented some worries about becoming a member we felt needed to be addressed.  The person felt like Shotem and Caughtem potentially competed with their own person blog about hunting and fishing related stories and products.  They felt that becoming a member might detract from there own hopes of creating a business around the subject of hunting and fishing.  However, once we explained what we are all about they began to want to learn more about our site, expanding friendships and sharing knowledge about hunting and fishing is at our core.  A social network to meet others and discuss adventures and opportunities with one another.  We hope that our members use the website to expand their own fan base just like they use other networks such as facebook, instagram, youtube and twitter.  The difference between those and us is that everyone that is a member on our site loves the great outdoors.  A target rich environment.  

Expanding your SEO reach in the industry

We hope to help those who help us.  We want to turn the point of a social network on its head by rewarding those who take the time to post and reward us through their interactions on the website.  We are more than aware that we are not the expert in all things hunting and fishing and that our members have a wealth of information in different aspects of the industry.  We want to create a site that gives back.  A social network should be built to help those who contribute.  We want our members to share links to their blogs, post pictures of their adventures, great ways to cook wild game, and share what their services have to offer to those in the market.  We want our members to grow with us and reward them for our help.  Our help is that as we expand our reach instead of being bombarded with ads to make money that we can use our blog as a resource for others to want to contribute their stories and information.  The small banner ads on the website will be the only form of advertising.  

Best Hunting and Fishing Community on the World Wide Web

This is our goal.  To create a place for all the latest and greatest information relating to the hunting and fishing industry.  With all the noise on the web we hope to help spread the word about great products, recipes and adventures to help create one big voice.  We hunt and fish so we have always been use to going after the big game.  We hope with all of the cyber bullying happening on other social networks that we can create a place free from the hunting and fishing hating community.  Need more mobility?  We now have an app so you can take Shotem and Caughtem with you on your mobile devices http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=282&Itemid=491 We hope you come join us and share.  

 

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:56

Duck Hunting Gear Tips

Thinking about going on your first duck hunt?

So we at Shotem and Caughtem went on our very first duck hunt.  Let us first say it was a blast.  Think of it kind of like dove hunting only a lot colder and requiring a way more stealthy and gear heavy approach.  As such we felt like the best place to start talking about the experience would be discussing the gear needed for a successful duck hunt.

Duck Hunting Gun, Choke and Ammo Tips

Of course the best place to start would be the proper gun, ammo and choke.  We realize that the only place we could agree to disagree would be the choke.  Between 10 guys in the blind only two of us were using the same gun.  Many were shooting steel shot number 2, however, we had received a choke from www.kicks-ind.com  to try out so we thought we would do a review based on how the choke did firing 3, 4 and 5 as well.  As many hunters know the lighter the load the cheaper the cost per shell.  So if you can successfully strike your target with a lighter load due to choke performance than you are saving money.  We were shooting 3in shells and found that our Kick's choke at the tip of our remington 870 allowed us to pretty much shoot any appropriate size duck load with success.  Though the heavier loads allowed us to reach out further with greater success, at 30 yards and closer our performance did not change.  The choke held a magnificent pattern at 35 yards and the four birds we knew we shot dropped right away (ten guys firing at once kind of distorts performance overall).  As a matter of fact out of the 10 guns 7 were using Kick's Chokes.  

Proper Hunting Waders for Waterfowl

Next top gear need for duck hunting would be waders.  These can make or break a successful duck hunt.  If you don't have a dog, your waders will be one of the few ways you will be able to retrieve your birds and not freeze.  We suggest purchasing these on sale if possible.  We got ours during dove season in the bargain cave of Cabelas and got last years waders for 60% off regular price.

Hunting from a Duck Blind 

A good duck blind can be your best asset.  Whether you spend the big money and purchase a blind our blind was made with what we like to call midwest ranch scraps.  You would be amazed what you can build with some hedge limbs, cedar trees and old rotten hay.  All this appropriately stripped together provided great cover, and a four foot wide lane to perfectly hold 10 guys with a dog at each end to retrieve.  

Duck calls.  Every hunter in the stand had at least 8 different calls on their lanyards and they all require practice.  We will hit this topic again later since there is definitely an art to that science.

Duck Hunting Decoys for First time Hunters

Last but not least would be decoys.  Here is the expensive side of things.  Lucky for us we were able to go on our first hunt with guys that have been doing this for a long time and had acquired a lot of money in decoys over time.  I think we had no less than a couple thousand dollars in the water.  I think this is why duck hunters love to hunt in packs.  I think it is to share the burden in costs for decoys.

Let us know your tips on the best gear for your duck adventures in the comment section below.  As always share your adventures and experiences to the Shotem wall.

 

Thursday, 30 October 2014 17:32

Pheasant/Quail Hunt or not to Hunt

Pheasant Populations for Hunting are low in the Midwest

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been looking into whether or not to hunt pheasant and quail this year.  Though we love to hit the field and watch the dogs work we might just end up sitting this year out due to the drought and population numbers.  Though populations seem to be on the increase finally the last several years of drought have no doubt had poor effects.  Sitting this year out again, though sad, seems to be the right thing to do as hunters and as conservationists to make sure populations thrive for next year.  Let us know how populations have been doing in your state in the comment section below.

Kansas Upland Bird Populations in Kansas:

A copy of the 2014 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast is now available and from the looks of things, upland bird hunters will see improved populations this fall. Although below-average harvests are expected this year, hunters should see more birds and have more opportunities than the 2013 season. To view the entire forecast, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting,” then “Upland Birds.”

PHEASANT

After three consecutive years of statewide declines, spring breeding populations for pheasant stabilized in 2014. The only region showing a significant decrease was the Northern High Plains. Summer brood counts show an increase of 70 percent when compared to 2013. This increase should offer improved hunting opportunities, and the best hunting this year will likely be in the Smoky Hills region. Kansas still contains one of the best pheasant populations among states and the fall harvest will again be among the best in the country; however, Kansas will again have a below-average pheasant harvest this fall.

  • Regular Season: Nov. 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015
  • Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014
  • Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season

Quail

Roadside surveys for quail showed a statewide increase of 50 percent compared to 2013. However, statewide populations are still below historic averages, and Kansas will likely have a below-average quail harvest this fall. Populations in much of the central and western portions of the state have not fully recovered from the drought. While opportunities will be better throughout most of the state this year, the best opportunities will likely remain in the eastern third of the state, particularly in the Flint Hills region.

  • Regular Season: November 8, 2014 - January 31, 2015
  • Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014
  • Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season

Prairie Chicken

Prairie chicken populations are generally up where the appropriate habitat exists. Hunting opportunities should be improved throughout the greater prairie chicken hunting unit; however, the best opportunities this fall will be in the Smoky Hills Region.

  • Early Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2014
  • Regular Season (Greater Prairie Chicken Unit): Nov. 15, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015
  • Daily Bag Limit: 2. Southwest Unit closed to all prairie chicken hunting

 

 

A Social Network for Hunters and Anglers

Many have seen the facebook posts of Gavin Dingman's legal bow kill of a beautiful 12 pt albino deer in Michigan.  As has been the case over the last year, and a huge reason why we created Shotem and Caughtem, emotions towards the kill have been mixed.  From rave support, to down right bullying.  Just last week we talked about what a great experience we had taking out one of our friend's sons on his first deer hunt.  The life lessons taught as well as the overall joy in watching a young man become a dedicated outdoorsman.  As shown in this article from The Grind we once again could not be more proud of how not only the boy but the father are handling the mixed press.  Here are our thoughts and should you like to check out more of the comments a link to the article.  http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/outposts/post/rare-albino-deer-bagged-11-year-old/

We were tired of many of the people who truly enjoy hunting and fishing falling prey to the critics of the outdoor industry on other social media sites.  We felt Shotem and Caughtem could be a great place for those who have a passion for hunting and fishing to come and feel free to share their adventures.  A if you don't like it don't come to the party website and app.  Without the support of you our almost 180 members we would have never have gotten this far in just a little over a year.  We hope you share all that the site has to offer since as we grow, you will have more people to share, comment and learn.

History of Controversy surrounding Hunting and Fishing

Hunting and fishing has always been a little taboo since the industrial revolution.  A why would you hunt and fish if you can just get something similar at the store.  Well we can tell you first hand that there is no better tasting meats than freshly caught or shot.  You learn more respect for mother nature and the great gifts we have been given in the field or on the water.  Watching the workings of nature selection, adaptations of animals to different environments and a whole host of other scientific knowledge.  Respect for your gear and what is needed to survive in different climates, environments and situations.  The biggest thing is you will find no better teacher than the outdoors and what a better way to spend a no distraction time with your son or daughter than in the great outdoors.

With this in mind we would like to congratulate Gavin on not only grabbing a unique trophy but having learned the respect and knowledge it takes to hunt with respect.  We know that your mount will be a great story to share with your friends, family but most importantly with your dad in the years to come.

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