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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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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:15

Elk Hunting Public Lands in Chama, NM

We at ShotemandCaughtem this last Elk season got the opportunity to go on an Elk hunt in Chama, New Mexico.  It is one of the prime hunting grounds for public access hunting of Elk any where in Colorado.  Only a limited number of permits are given out each year and we were lucky to tag along with a couple of folks that have hunted this area for over a decade.  6 guys, 2 Kawasaki mules, 3 horses and enough equipment to allow us to be stuck on the mountain for more than a week (even though permits only last 4 days) made the long and difficult track up the mountain to base camp.  Our 2 Kawasaki mules barely fit through the vehicle gate loaded to the hilt with supplies.  Even hunters were impressed that we were able to squeeze through.  The trail up to our base camp was difficult.  Though we started out in nice weather, as we moved higher in elevation we went through rain, then snow, then rain, and then snow.  The trails for the off road vehicles is not for the inexperienced.  Steep inclines and declines mixed with rock trails and river crossings make for an interesting and difficult journey.  However, once we reached base camp and were able to get things set up we could not ask for a more breathe taking view.  The trip to our base camp from the public parking point took approximately 4 hours by UTV and 2.5 hours by horseback (the horses get a straighter path).  We had three in our group who had Elk tags to fill and 3 of us to hang around camp, fish the ponds for trout and run around with our .22 rifles and shoot small game for dinners.  Once camp was set, the three with tags ventured to the top of the ridge in the photo to camp for the night and hunt opening morning.  Though we came with some comforts of home (tent, sleeping bags, rifles, axes, lights, snacks, etc), our primary source of warmth and water would come from the woods around camp and boiling water from a stream which flowed from Chama Lake close to camp.  It is a true test to any hunter to be this far off the grid but in this country it was worth the trip.  Though we only came home with one bull, we were able to run into a flock of Grouse during our adventures and have a wonderful fresh dinner one night.  I had never had Grouse before and I highly recommend it.  Our trout fishing was not as fruitful but the hike, scenery and weather minus the first day was awesome.  If you have never traveled to the area it makes for an absolute awesome camping experience when the weather is right and we plan on heading out this summer when the weather might be more forgiving to see more of the area.  Let us know about your experiences in Chama if you have ever been and as always post your photos to Shotem and Caughtem and share your story.

 

 

We at ShotemandCaughtem this weekend went around to the several gun and ammunition retail stores around town to see if things had slowed down from the recent rush.  Unfortunately what we found is the days of going and grabbing a couple of boxes of ammo before going on our hunting trips might be over.  It was not long ago when a hunting season approached that we could run out that week, grab the necessary license and ammo, and then head out for our hunt.  After our outing this weekend further planning is definitely going to be needed.  With Spring Turkey season just around the corner, and pheasant and quail season ending in many parts of the country we thought we would look for the ammunition we might need.  However, what we found was that much of the ammo needed for a successful hunt is non existent on the shelves.  As a matter of fact one Walmart we went to only had a couple of boxes of 30-06, 270, 300 win, 7mm and a couple of 100 boxes of 20g and 12g target loads.  No other ammo was available.  This seemed to be the repeating pattern over many of the retailers we visited.  Only the most expensive ammo for the more unique calibers was left on the shelves.  In fact the 12g shells we need for our turkey hunts are gone.  We have decided to begin randomly visiting stores throughout the week to acquire the three or four boxes we need as a group to go on our turkey hunt.   Our season starts on April 10th here in Kansas.  We felt that our members needed to know that the recent rush on ammunition has not been limited to some calibers but all calibers.  We talked to many people across the country and they seem to have similar problems.  The need to grab a box or two of your necessary hunting ammo when you see it should be at the top of your priority list, even if the season is not here yet.  In fact we grabbed a couple of boxes of 30-06 and 7mm for deer season and a couple 100rd boxes of 20g and 12g 7 1/2 for dove season just in case the problem persists.  As different spring and summer hunting seasons begin to get close, many would be hunters will find their ammo of choice is unavailable.  This might also be the case this fall and winter.  So start planning for your favorite hunting seasons now so you can post your photos to Shotem and Caughtem.  As always let us know how things are in your neck of the woods.  You might even meet some people here in the Gear section that can help you out getting the things you need, so that they might get the things they need!
Friday, 08 February 2013 14:42

Python Hunt Ends in the Florida Everglades

This Sunday marks the end of the well publisized hunt for the Burmese pythons that have over taken the Florida Everglades which started Jan. 12th.  Unfortunately, leading up to this weekends close only 50 snakes have been captured or killed out of a population that is said to be well over 150,000 animals.  Wildlife biologists say the troublesome invaders, which are notoriously evasive and have no known predators in Florida, have become a major pest and pose a significant threat to endangered species like the wood stork and Key Largo wood rat.  The state wildlife agency was offering prizes for the Python Challenge of $1,500 for the most pythons captured or killed as part of the hunt and $1,000 for the largest python. The prizes are due to be announced at an awards ceremony set for Feb 16.  A Burmese python found in Florida last year set a record as the largest ever captured in the state, at 17 feet, 7 inches. The snake weighed nearly 165 pounds (75kg).  We would love to see some of the catches posted to our Caughtem wall so that we could start a dialogue about your experience on the hunt.  
Thursday, 07 February 2013 21:09

Minnesota Cancels Moose Hunting Season

Though the Department of Natural Resources has said that hunting has not been the cause of the decline, Shotem and Caughtem learned on Weds. that they will be banning indefinitely moose hunting season throughout Minnesota.  The population of moose has decreased in the state by 52% since 2010, for reasons unknown at this time.  Several possibilities have been proposed such as ticks, food sources, water pathogens, and as we reported yesterday dry/hot summers, which moose don't handle well.  In an aerial survey in January, state officials calculated that only 2,760 moose were left in the state, down by 35% from last year and 52% from 2010.  State officials have responded by launching a 1.2 million dollar campaign to what is being called the largest and most high-tech effort to help root out the cause of the dwindling moose population. 
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 19:28

Drought Conditions Report

As is the case with many areas around the United States we are in the midst of a wide spread drought.  Low lake and river conditions are going to cause major problems for much of Mother Natures children.  Here in Kansas we have already seen a huge reduction in many bird species and our low lakes and streams will have an effect on our fish populations.  Low water conditions have made it hard for many species to survive and reproduce.  It will undoubtibly have an effect on the spring fish spawning season since many of those habitats no longer have water.  It will be more important than ever to make sure all hunters and fisherman adhere to restrictions.  We will be dealing with a population decrease throughout many species.  All the different lakes have been recording record low conditions.  Table Rock Lake, Mo last spring had water flowing over it's dam due to record amounts of rain.  Today the lake is 10ft below normal levels.  Beaver Lake, Ar. is down 13ft.  Even Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have diverted cargo ships due to the low water levels.  Across much of the Midwest these conditions can be seen in even smaller lakes and streams.  Around our area lakes, ponds and streams on many farms and ranches have not gone dry like this since the dust bowl.  Texas has seen a decrease in not only the population but in the size of their deer.  Pheasant hunting was non exsistant this year in much of Kansas.  Hopefully rain will come before it has drastic effects on the fish population since they have not yet recovered from the record high water temperatures seen last year.  We will keep you posted on how the Wildlife and Parks department feels the spring spawn went and whether or not you should be more concious about catching, taking a photo and posting it to ShotemandCaughtem and releasing your catch or enjoying your hard work in a perfect meal.
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 22:45

Upcoming Events Before the Seasons Start

So if you are feeling the itch to get out and see what is happening in the world of Hunting and Fishing before the weather turns nice we at ShotemandCaughtem have taken the time to find some upcoming events surrounding the outdoors man/woman.  Here is a quick list:

 

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 00:09

Bow Fishing for Asian Carp

Something caught our eye this weekend while we were thinking of things to inform our readers about.  We felt that so far on Shotemandcaughtem we have focused on a lot of hunting related news stories and not enough on fishing.  Then we found stories of Bow hunting Asian carp in the North American rivers and thought it would be a great article to combine the two things we love to do, hunt and fish.  Nothing would be more fun than channeling your inner senses to concentrate on shooting an object, with little to no warning, out of the air with a bow and arrow.  Sounds like a blast to us!

The best time to target shoot the Asian Carp is between June and August preferably not when the rivers are high but the temperatures unfortunately are.  Slow your boat down to a speed in the shallow parts of the river til you find the best motor sound that gets the fish a flyin.  Draw your bow back and keep a watchful eye on the surface and wait til you get your shot.  Many of the fish will reach heights of five feet above the surface of the water giving you little time to make your perfect shot.  It combines all the things we love to do.  Its like skeet shooting with a bow at live targets.  Don't feel bad since this invasive species has pretty much taken over the rivers in the upper Midwest and you will be doing Mother Nature a service. This will allow the natural habitat to gain back a little ground.  Most importantly we would love to see your photos or videos on our bragging walls and hope you might give us some pointers on the best places to go.  We even found a video to help spur your interest in giving it a try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc-e8EGkLMo.

Friday, 01 February 2013 23:02

Ice Fishing at Pathfinder Reservoir

Recently we at ShotemandCaughtem got the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time with some experienced ice fisherman and thought we would share the trials and tribulations of our adventure.  We traveled to Pathfinder Reservoir just outside Casper, WY.  Being a native Kansan we had never been ice fishing and felt a little out of our element, but were reassured that we had people along that knew exactly what we needed.  First were the size of the fishing poles.  The ones we pulled out of the truck almost made me laugh since they looked as if they would snap in a New York minute should they hook into a Kansas Flathead.  Then came the "pop ups" that I had never used before.  The pop up works by having a spring loaded flag so that when you get a bite the flag pops up.  Something totally different than the bells we use here in Kansas but a nice visual cue non the less.  We started by drilling 24 holes in the ice since in Wyoming you can have 6 poles per fishing license and drilled thru 10-15 inches of ice (Note:  2 gas powered augers, a total necessity, otherwise we would still be hand drilling weeks later).  Next we set up a couple of clam shelters with chairs and a heater (www.clamoutdoors.com) along with a case of beer for warmth since the temperature at the time was -10 degrees.  Finally came the fun part.....fishing.  

Our objective was to catch delicious rainbow trout.  We loaded our poles with shiners and shrimp and set our pop ups.  We thought the adventure would take some time due to the weather conditions and the fact that we would wait hours for a catfish to hit our line.  Fortunately for us the fish were active.  We still giggle at the site of one another screaming fish-on and running across the ice like deranged Sasquatches due to the 27 layers of clothes needed to stay warm.  To sum up the trip was a blast!  Even though the time it takes to get set up is a little more intense than just baiting a pole and throwing it in the water (why we tend to fish in more in warmer temperatures) we would definitely go out again.  Thanks to Fred, Dustin and Perry for making this a memorable experience and most of all for helping me land this wonderful five pound trout which we are having smoked and I can't wait to try. Let us know how a ice fishing experience went for you by posting a photo to the Caughtem Wall and starting a discussion.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 22:00

Reality Show Top Hooker (Not the XXX kind)

We at ShotemandCaughtem just heard the news about a new TV show coming to the airwaves and thought we would pass it along.

 

The producers of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter are bringing a new reality series to TV called Top Hooker.

It’s not what you may be thinking – reality TV hasn’t quite stooped that low. Yet.

The producers have gathered “America’s best and boldest fishermen to take on Animal Planet’s extreme fishing competition.” The show will air on theAnimal Planet channel. From last year’s casting call:

On this brand new TV show, you and a handful of daring fishing enthusiasts will tackle exciting and intense challenges on America’s rivers, lakes, streams and even the open ocean. Are you ready for adventure?

We are looking for competitive, outgoing, and skilled anglers, spear fishermen, game fishermen, fly fishermen, trawlers and trappers from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter if your experience is commercial, sport or recreational. As long as you’re skilled, adaptable, and confident enough to take on anything we throw at you, you could win a big grand prize and the title of Animal Planet’s first Top Hooker.

Monday, 28 January 2013 22:57

Great Hunting Dog Article

We at ShotemandCaughtem feel to be a great hunter or fisherman that you must have a love for animals.  Not only must you respect mother nature and what she provides, but you must appreciate what she gives you in return.  We remember the first time we watched a well trained hunting dog in the field.  If you have never had the chance, even if not a hunter, it is a sight everyone should take the time to see.  Never have we seen such devotion and love as what comes from a well trained animal.  Even if they are not hunters by trade, even your home companion can make you appreciate what fine animals roam this earth.  When reading an article we could not help but reflect on not only our own animals, but what we have had the fortune to see when out in the field.  This article is a great read and we felt we should pass it along.  Should you also have an animal that needs a little glory we hope that you will post a photo of your animals to the gear section and start a discussion as well.  Enjoy! http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/26/2651620/age-changes-a-dogs-approach-to.html

 

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