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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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We at Shotem and Caughtem have been watching the debate in legal African hunting and the fall out from some groups against some hunters who have taken part in the experience.  It is definitely a debate.  We have always tried to explain some of the many pros that come from the passion we hold so dear to our hearts and our passion for what we do and how we effect the world around us.  Many of us spend much of our time making sure we have the opportunity to continue to go out every year and enjoy our adventures.  In order for this to happen we make sure to create habitats that sustain and build a higher population of our favorite animals.  Also as stated time and time again much of the money that comes from permits, licenses etc. are pumped back into the system to enhance public habitat and to make sure rules are followed.  

Africa however has suffered from a black market for it's prized animals for centuries.  Poaching is a way of life unfortunately.  As such we as hunters try to support the hunting industry with our money to allow us the opportunity to hunt in the country.  We suggest you read the article and help as hunters to educate those about our passion and the benefits that come from our lifestyle.  http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/06/controversy-swirls-around-the-recent-u-s-suspension-of-sport-hunted-elephant-trophies/

We at Shotem and Caughtem are right in the middle of Spring turkey hunting season.  We already have some birds in the freezer and have been hunting for new ways to cook our rewards from the field.  There are also some huge benefits to wild turkey which we have also listed below to help give you more reasons to fill your tags.  Let us know your favorite ways to cook wild turkey in the comment section below.

 

 

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.”

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 19:49

New York DEC takes over Wild Pig Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem have talked many times about wild boar hunting and the problems associated with this nuisance animal.  However, we have also said that it takes a united front when it comes to the elimination of animals of this caliber.  As many states already know many programs have been enacted on a government level to control populations of boa, wild hogs, lizards, snake head, carp, etc.  The list is long and the government man power and budget is scarce.  Just in our state alone we might have 1 Wildlife and Parks official that covers hundreds of thousands of acres.  These short staffed individuals are not provided the resources needed to keep an invasive species at bay.  That is why we feel New York might be making a huge mistake while populations remain small and manageable but making this decision.  Let us know your thought in the comment section below.

A new state regulation prohibits hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York State.

The ban was announced by state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens. He said the regulation is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC's statewide eradication efforts.

"Enacting a statewide regulation was important to support DEC's ongoing work to remove this invasive species from the state and to ensure that it does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York," said Commissioner Martens. "Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state."

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer "wild boar hunts," the DEC said.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation on Oct. 21 that immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars.

Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of Sept. 1, 2015. The new law was an essential step in the state's efforts to prevent Eurasian boars from becoming established in the wild, the DEC said.

However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York. Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware) in recent years.

The DEC is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York. To date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed, the DEC said.

These efforts appeared to have made a difference. Officials said late last year that there wasn't a single report of a wild boar seen or taken locally. However, they are not willing to say that they've been completely taken off the local landscape. The feeling is that some folks, for whatever reason, are keeping quiet about what animals remain out there.

Meanwhile, the eradication efforts are expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower,according to the DEC.

"Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive," Martens said. "As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a 'sounder,' the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove."

Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these costly and labor-intensive capture efforts.

Shooting may remove one or two animals, but the rest of the sounder scatters and rarely comes back together as a group, thereby hampering eradication efforts, the DEC said.

The new regulations also prohibits anyone from disturbing traps set for wild boars or otherwise interfering with Eurasian boar eradication activities. Hunting wild boar is still allowed at enclosed hunting preserves until Sept. 1, 2015.

The regulation does provide necessary exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others who are authorized by DEC to take Eurasian boar to alleviate nuisance, property damage, or threats to public health or welfare, the DEC said.

If you've seen a Russian wild boar or any other type of feral pig, call the DEC's Cortland office at 1-607-753-3095, Extension 247, or email the DEC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include "Eurasian boar" in the subject line.. Photographs of the animals are especially helpful, so try to get a picture and include it with your report.

 
Monday, 28 April 2014 22:09

Barometric pressure and fishing

We at Shotem and Caughtem have always been told the stories and ran to the lake to answer the prophecy that the best fishing happens before the storm.  So of course now that much of the United States have been involved in a large line of thunder storms we felt it might be good to look at the science behind fishing and storms.  

Barometric pressure- the weight of the air- decreases as a storm approaches. It's called low pressure. To understand how it works, imagine the palm of that giant hand the professor talked about easing up as it presses on the water's surface. Its touch is lighter. The water isn't as compressed as it was, and fish can move more easily through it. The mood of many fish often changes to what we might call a more 'active' mood. They move around more freely and feed.

A storm also brings clouds and wave-creating wind, reducing sunlight penetration. Active fish can move to shallower water. In the case of walleyes, they often rise in the water column. The sonar screen shows them moving up off the bottom. Or, they just move shallower on shoreline-connected and midlake structures.

The absolute best fishing periods often occur when barometric pressure reaches its lowest point, just before the front arrives.

"The old saying, that fish bite best right before the storm."

The best time to head to the lake is when the forecast calls for storms moving into the area.

The picture changes when the storm is over. Barometric pressure starts to rise again. The giant hand presses down harder, and the water becomes more compact. High pressure also brings clear, bluebird skies, and light penetration is often intense for the next several days. Fish feel the increased pressure and become less active. They move tight to cover or deeper, where the sun isn't so bright. Their mood is lethargic.

With underwater cameras, you can watch fish come up to a bait and not bite. People don't understand that, but when air pressure is high, fish become less aggressive. They just come up and look. They may eventually take it, but you have to work a little harder.

The effect of the pressure change is most pronounced on the first day after the storm passes.

Time of year must also be considered. The impact of a change in barometric pressure is more severe in winter. For one reason, the swing between high and low pressure is more drastic during the cold months. For another, the same high pressure is affecting less water volume when part of it is locked up as ice.

Fish like northern pike may be the least susceptible to changes in barometric pressure; they seem to be aggressive no matter what. But, the perch family, including walleye, may be the most impacted by the changes, followed by crappies and bluegills. Heitkamp doesn't target muskies often, but anyone who does will tell you the best time to be on the water is when black clouds appear on the horizon.

A barometer isn't needed to know what's happening with air pressure. Read the wind instead.

Anyone can play amateur weather forecaster. Before the (storm) front, wind is out of the south. When it switches to west-northwest, pressure begins to rise.

"Wind from the east, fish bite the least." 

Wind comes from the east the longer high pressure is in place. By then, high pressure has taken a real toll on the fish.

Let us know your weather tricks and tips in the comment section below.

Thursday, 24 April 2014 22:07

Berkley Fishing Flicker Shad

We at Shotem and Caughtem know why we carry so many different baits in our tackle boxes.  One day a certain bait will out shine another.  As such we try and diversify as much as possible with high quality well designed baits that will work with a variety of species.  Berkley has come out with a new Flicker Shad hard plastic bait that will certainly become a main stay in our tackle boxes.  However, just as we began to run out and test it for Berkley they released the news of a new bait we will be excited to try out as well.  

Anglers have trusted the Berkley Flicker Shad since it was introduced. When it comes to catching fish, beginners and professionals still rely on them whenever - and wherever fun or money is on the line. Well, move over Flicker Shad and make some room for the brand new Berkley Flicker Minnow.

Berkley Pro anglers Keith Kavajecz and Gary Parsons have been a part of the bait-development process from the start, creating the Flicker Minnow that adheres to their demanding standards. Though these ultra-competitive professional anglers would rather keep this bait to themselves, the time has come to share the secret with anglers everywhere.

Berkley's Flicker Minnows are tournament proven. Utilizing the same strict development standards from the Flicker Shad, the Berkley team created a line of minnow baits that dive deeper with maximum flash and action. The bait's body design and impressive dive curve gets anglers to the fish quicker.

My hat is off to the Berkley team for interpreting Keith and my thoughts to create this new design, said Gary Parsons. I've never seen a bait outperform other baits like this one, and overall the Flicker Minnow is the most productive crankbait Iíve ever fished!

Constructed with increased internal weight for bullet-like precision casting, the Flicker Minnow has a unique swimming action and flicker that mimics a fleeing baitfish. The body is more elongated than its cousin the Flicker Shad, and is available in 12 pro-selected colors. The larger bill with a steep pitch creates a deeper retrieve than other baits.

The Size 7 (2.75 inches) Flicker Minnow can be trolled in the 14- to 17 -foot depth range, depending on line choice and speed, with a dive curve that is unmatched by similar minnow baits. The bait is also castable, especially when paired with Berkley NanoFil. The Size 9 (3.5 inches) model can easily reach the 18 to 23-foot zone (Precision Trolling at 100í back with XT and Fireline) when cranked while both sizes of the Flicker Minnow feature a big, aggressive roll when retrieved or trolled.

The Size 7 model has a casting weight of 1/4 ounce while the Size 9 Flicker Minnow has a casting weight of 1/3 ounce, with both models featuring an internal rattle as well as Mustad Ultra-Point treble hooks. The Flicker Minnow is tank and tourney tested, giving anglers the confidence of knowing that the baits are tuned with precision.

Name: Berkley Flicker Minnow
Length: Size 7 -- 2.75 inches; Size 9 -- 3.5 inches
Weight: Size 7 (1/4 ounce); Size 9 (1/3 ounce)
Colors: Black Silver, Chartreuse Pearl, Firetiger, Pearl White, Pink Lemonade, Prime Time, Purple Flash, Racy Shad, Slick Alewife, Slick Firetiger, Slick Green Pearl and Slick Mouse.

MSRP: $5.95

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:28

Celebrating Earth Day

We at Shotem and Caughtem can think of no better celebration to up hold in our passion than Earth Day.  Without our continued support of the hunting and fishing industry our environment and the animals we have the passion to dedicate our time to would not exist.  Hunters and fisherman and women spend much of there off seasons making sure they provide a habitat capable of creating the trophies we hope to one day have the chance to hold in our hands.  

As such we thought we might share some great ways to celebrate earth day and once again talk about how we are our best advocates for just how well we labor to feed our passion.  Small ponds can become unbalanced with the wrong amounts of different fish species.  Too many predators and not enough bait fish and you will find that growth begins to be stunted.  Small antlered deer can continue to reproduce and create an imbalance as well as not be the breed type that will promote the species.

But one of the largest ways we help out passion is through our creation and honing of our habitats.  People who have the land, lakes and passion spend countless hours perfecting the ground we hold dear.  Planting of specific crops, planting of trees for cover, creating brush for fish to spawn and survive around, all these things not only celebrate Earth Day but help promote it's core beliefs.

So we honor our members and supporters for helping us to promote Mother Nature and all she provides!  Here's to you and the future of what is in our blood and our passion.

Monday, 21 April 2014 18:08

Easter Weekend Celebrated Turkey Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem needed a little time in the great outdoors this weekend after spending some quality time with the family.  Nothing can be more frustrating yet calming than sitting waiting to here that most coveted sound than the spring gobble of the Turkey.  We wanted to let you know what the birds seem to be doing so that you might have a more successful spring hunt.

So far it seems from the Turkey movements, getting the big dominant birds to break from the large crowds of hens they are still running with, positioning in the field will be crucial to success.  We were throwing a ton of different calls and tactics and all we seemed to lure to our separate spots were inexperienced Jakes.  Traffic in our area was very good.  As a matter of fact just driving around it seems like there are more birds in our area than years past.  We are sure that the drought has definitely had its effects but in certain spots the birds seem to be thriving.  Most of what we found in our birds was a combination of corn from the feeders that are on the property and wheat.  The only depressing thing we noticed were with the birds still henned up there were not a lot of vocal birds around.  We can not wait to get back in the field and listen to them taught one another.

Let us know how things are doing in your area in the comment section below.  We hope that you will help others to have a successful visit in the field when they take their first adventure into the outdoors for Turkey season.  

Monday, 14 April 2014 22:03

It is Hunting and Fishing Season

We at Shotem and Caughtem love this time of year.  Though the climate has been working against us recently with massive temperature swings our favorite time of year is here.  The turkey's are beginning to become a prime target as well as the pre spawn for fishing.  As such we felt it was once again a good time to share what we need from you are members and what we are doing to help make Shotem and Caughtem better.

First let us talk about what we have in store for you, this our second year, as a website.  The most exciting thing for us is that we took your comments to heart and have emptied out our penny jars and began work on an app for both the android and iphone.  We hope to release as soon as we can but it is out of our hands right now.  This will allow our members to more easily access all Shotem and Caughtem has to offer direct from all devices with ease.  Second, we are excited that we have hooked up with some great manufacturers to help bring you our opinions on some great new products from suppliers such as Weston Products, Anglers Choice, Berkley fishing, Stack-On Products and Bering Optics.  We are actively seaking out more and more suppliers to review and any suggestions of what we can do to expand your experience with the website are always reviewed in any comments you our members send or spend the time to write in our comment section or emails.  

Most of what we need from you our members is your activity.  The more active you are on he website the easier it is for us and you to attract more people and more interaction.  As you set up your own groups, tag other members in your picture posts and share your experiences to the discussion boards and ask questions the website will grow and bring more and more people to the fold.  As the website accrues more vital information to our passion the more relevant you and we will become in this industry.   We are still trying to launch the Shotem and Caughtem of the month but have been lacking in those who want to be apart of excitement.  You will also notice the points section above your profile.  We will use these stats to help us identify those who want this site to grow and we will reward your efforts with awesome prizes.  The more you help us grow at Shotem and Caughtem the faster we can focus all our efforts on the site itself and begin to pull away from other social networks, which we are using to draw members.  

Have a blog you want to bounce off of Shotem and Caughtem?  That is why we are here.  To help share all we experience in the great outdoors.  We all can not sit behind a computer when the outdoors is constantly drawing us away.  We try to do as much as we can but we are nothing unless we are able to share this burden with you are members.  

Let us know how we can help you in the comment section below.  Continue to do all you have already done for this site in the first year and help us make our second year even bigger.  Thank you from all of us at Shotem and Caughtem for all your help and efforts.

Friday, 11 April 2014 17:15

Weather and Turkey Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been waiting for turkey season.  Across much of the United States the season is here or will be here shortly.  As such we took a look at the weather to see how conditions might be for our opening weekend.  We were a little surprised that though tomorrow is going to be gorgeous across most of the area that sunday would bring a grab bag of different weather.  Some look to be cloudy and windy, some will have rain and some might even see a bit of snow.  So how does this effect the turkeys that seem to be on the move and starting to spread out from their winter packs?

Turkeys can be called in all types of weather, but certain conditions are more challenging. In windy weather it will be hard for the gobbler to hear and hard for you to hear him. You should used a higher-pitched call with more volume, like a pan friction call. During windy weather turkeys will tend to move to open fields where they can make better use of their two main lines of defense--their eyes and ears.

In rainy weather a turkey's lines of defense are also reduced due to the lowered visibility and heightened surrounding noise level. Turkeys will again move to more open areas and a higher volume call will be needed to cut through the noise created by rain. In addition, a rain-soaked turkey requires a longer runway in order to get airborne and escape predators. This will also drive turkeys into more open areas. You may find that gobblers and hens spend more time on the roost during a rain because they are reluctant to leave the security of a protected tree.

Snow is a third weather condition affecting some spring turkey hunters. Snow and cold can make turkeys very quiet so they could come to a call without gobbling. If possible, hunt mid-day because the snow may mean that gobblers leave the roost later. Finally, hunt south-facing slopes, which will receive the most sun and will be the warmest areas. These areas may also be the first to lose their snow cover, attracting birds looking for food.

 
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