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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, 24 September 2013 22:30

Build it and they will Come

We at Shotem and Caughtem wanted to test a theory.  We recently got permission to hunt an area that had never had been made into a hunters paradise.  No food plots, no feeders and barely any hunting pressure due to much of the property being used to run cattle.  The thought we hadd is to begin to set up the place for a good place to hunt.  First thought was where was the best place to setup our feeder.

We found the best place to put the feeder was right along a treed area close to a creek and good cover (photo above).  We mowed a swath right along the length of the creek to a nice corner and mowed a large circle with a cross in the middle.  It would give the deer a nice comfort level with plenty of cover.  We set the feeder to go off twice a day.  Once at 6am and once at 6pm.  We laid a mineral block and a maple infused mineral and feed block in different areas of the circle to give multiple feeding spots to hopefully convence more deer to hang around.  As you can see from the photos below and the time stamp it took a whole week for the deer to finally find our little buffet.  After scouting the area we found that they had eaten all the corn that the feeder had thown and half of the blocks. 

We will be excited to see how the population grows as time goes on before rifle season to see the fruits of our labor.  Let us know your tricks of the trade in the comment section below and post your photos to the galleries and tell us your story.

Published in News/Events
Monday, 16 September 2013 21:11

Pallet Deer Blind

We at Shotem and Caughtem last week talked to our members about making your own ground blind on the cheap.  We even offered prizes to those who came and bragged with us by making their own home made deer blind from pallets.

Unfortunately no one took us up on our offer but we decided to make on of our own since we were going to be out prepping our feeder for our upcoming rifle season.  Here are the fruits of our labor.  It took us approximately an hour to assemble and 5 dollars in screws.  Other wise the pallets, a left over 2x4 from a friend and a plastic pool that was slightly damaged that we collected awhile back all of which were free, were used to make our blind.  We wanted to create something for as little cost as possible so instead of paint we used trees, plants and other habitat to use as camo woven into the pallet boards.  As a size portion we extended the roof with a seven inch piece of 2x4 so that  we could fit comfortably.  The guy in the photo is 6ft, 210lbs and still had plenty of head room and clearance for backpack, chair, etc.  We also made sure that we left about 6 inches in the back on the bottom pallet so that we could load the blind into the front bucket of our tractor.  The structure had plenty of support so that we were able to move the blind from where we assembled it about a half mile to its final resting place.    

Let us know if you have any questions about our little cheap design in the comment section below or show us your creation in the gear section and tell us your story.  


Published in News/Events

As Shotem and Caughtem Seasons begin to cross paths and come into full stride we thought we might impart a little knowledge before the weekend when it comes to the secrets of landing monster catches or trophy sized big game.  As with any sport such as ours, sometimes you might just get a little lady luck thrown your way.  A bit of right place at the right time.  However, if you listen to many pros and individuals who have landed the big ones, the greatest ally many will acknowledge is the hardest one for many of us hunters and fisherman to remember........time.

Time spent on the water or in the field is one precious thing that many of us do not have the luxury of acquiring in the large amounts.  We started Shotem and Caughtem just after the end of last years deer hunting season.  Since then our time spent on the water or in the field has been limited.  We try to get out as much as we can but we have not been able to dedicate the time it takes to truly track, map, maintain and lure in the monsters.  Even more frustrating sometimes is the inability to hunt your own place.  Because hunting has turned into a pay to play game many must rely on public lands to hunt and fish.  Once again this also makes it hard to set up things like feeders, cameras and food plots.  So you need more time scouting these locations to track movement or figure out the under water topography.  

Time is a resource that is limited for most.  As we sit watching shows on the Outdoor Channel, Discovery or Sportsman Channel we fail to remember that many of these hunters and fisherman/woman spends days or weeks in these areas in search of the right animals.  Many use outfitters who know when certain animals poop.  They too many times come home empty handed.  They too wish they had more time, better weather or sometimes just better luck.  It is why we love the sports so much.

So we feel that everyone should remember that we all sometimes just need more time.  Do not get discouraged.  You will never meet someone who considers themselves a great outdoorsman/woman that does not have as many glory stories as they have mishaps or nothing to show for their efforts.  It is why they call the sports hunting and fishing and not shooting and catching.

The one thing we always seem to remember from our times on the water or in the fields is the beauty of mother nature and time with our friends and family.  It is what takes out time and time again.  

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and we hope when you do land even the small ones you post your photos to the galleries or start your own gallery and share your adventures with your friends and family.  Remember your time spent outdoors is what you should brag about, big or small.  It is why we are so proud of what Shotem and Caughtem has to offer for our members.  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend!  We all hope you find more time!


Published in News/Events
Thursday, 12 September 2013 21:58

Early Deer Bow Hunting Tactics

We at Shotem and Caughtem can hear some of our members mumbling the seconds to the upcoming start of Bow Hunting Season.  However, the heat we have been experiencing in the Midwest might change things up for the inexperienced bow hunter.  As such we felt we would offer some tactics to remember prior to heading out to the field.  

We know that one of the rewards for early season bowhunting is year is that mature bucks will still be in Summer Pattern.  They have not had a great deal of pressure and may still be in bachelor groups.  You have a chance of catching this deer still in his summer home range in daylight hours.   Next, you want to consider what food sources he is feeding on that may include: food plot, corn (where legal), or natural sources (grape vines, persimmons). 

In addition to the food source locate the WATER source and bedding area.  Along with food, water is going to be a key driver in deer patterns when it is "HOT" during the early season.  While I normally do not like to hunt on a food plot, this time of year you will see mature bucks feeding in a food plot in daylight hours.  What if you are hunting an area that does not have a concentrated food source?  You next option should be to concentrate your stand location near a water source next to bedding area.  One that has moving water if at all possible.  A trail leading up to the water source from bedding area can be a PRIME stand location for this time of year.  Keep in mind a mature buck will come down wind!

While this time of year can have some tough conditions it can have some great rewards.  You have an opportunity to catch a mature buck on his feet during the daylight hours.  Taking time to analyze what your deer are doing and paying attention to details to control your scent can help you get that opportunity to let an arrow fly. 

Most of all we hope you share your early season bow hunting tactics in the comment section below and share your photos to the galleries.  From the size of the monster catches so far this fall we hope we have just as much luck in the shotem gallery.  


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:05

Bonus Doe Deer Hunting Season

We at Shotem and Caughtem have learned that many states have opened up a couple of day bonus rifle season from which to thin the female deer population a little more in some areas.  As many hunters already have the option to hunt does during a one week bonus season in January, this rifle season happens just before what typically is the rut, which is bow and black powder hunters favorite time of year.  For example Kansas has opened a state wide two day rifle period on Oct 12th and 13th to be able to get out early.  Pennsylvania has an antlerless season that stretches from Sept 7th to October 4th.  Missouri has a bonus season Oct 11th - 14th for certain areas.

For many states the bonus season is a new thing.  We just learned about this extra rifle hunting season a couple of months ago for our state and began checking other states programs.  We felt that many rifle deer hunters who wished they had more time to hunt doe, due to the better meat quality, might check with their individual states to see if they are as lucky as we are to just get a couple extra days out in the field. 

Many should remember that with all the deer hunters in the field that safety should come first so make sure you are wearing your orange.  

Let us know if your state has a double bonus season in the comment section below so that we can help spread the word to others and as always we hope to see your photos in the galleries and tell us your story. 


Published in News/Events
Monday, 09 September 2013 22:15

Home Made Deer Blind

We at Shotem and Caughtem love to find creative ways to adapt certain potential inexpensive materials to create better ways to hunt and fish.  With deer hunting season just right around the corner many might be looking for a good way to conceal, block wind and create a little nicer environment to hunt from a ground position.

Answer:  The Wood Pallet 

Wood pallets are used to haul heavy equipment around the world.  Many of these pallets are found stacked in a wide range of parking lots, back of warehouses and near dumpsters.  They can be acquired for taking them away.  The great thing about them for us hunters is that they provide a perfect ready to use 4x4 or 4x6 area from which to connect together and create a great deer blind.  They can be quickly attached together with some wood screws and made as elaborate and unique as the person creating them.  They can cost almost nothing and provide a decent wind block and good shooting platform with little work and money.  The way the boards are situated they can be used to tuck different tree branches, grasses or painted.  They also require little modification to have a great shooting window.    

We will be providing you with a photo of what we created next week.  But we wanted to write this to see what kind of ideas we could spur in the gear gallery before the season started.  We might even throw in some free Shotem and Caughtem Gear to the member that creates the best Wood Pallet Deer Blind and posts it to the gallery.  There is only one stipulation to the contest to make this fun for all.  You have a total budget to create your blind of 20 bucks max :)  You will get bonus point the less money you use.  Let us know your ideas in the comment section below and good luck!

Published in News/Events
Monday, 26 August 2013 20:48

Weston Products Meat Deer Jerky

We at Shotem and Caughtem love it when people give us the opportunity to try something new.  So when Weston Products asked us to try out some of their seasoning kits, we were more than happy to use the excuse to clean out some room in our deep freezer.  The first review they asked us to complete was on the two Jerky seasoning kits they provided.  Their Signature Jerky Tonic and the Hot and Spicy Jerky Dust.  As you can see from the photo above they also gave us Sausage marinades for another review.  So lets talk Jerky.

For those of you that love Jerky, like we do, the thought of trying it for yourself might seem a little overwhelming.  I know that some of us at Shotem and Caughtem just pay to get ours made from the processors we use.  So we felt it best to throw a couple of beginners in the mix to see what they would like to know more about and to truly test out the product.  For those that have never made Jerky before but don't like paying 7 dollars for a couple of ounces of Jerky the task is easier than one might think.  

Jerky is made through a process of slow, low and dry constant heat.  It can be done with a smoker, a dehydrator, a proofer or even your conventional oven with a door slightly opened.  It requires a way to either hang the strips of meat, a pirferated pan or wire racks like in the photo below.  It is important that all sides of the meat get an equal cook time.  

Any muscle portion from any animal can be used to make jerky.  We selected deer meat since the season is quickly approaching and we needed a little extra room in the deep freezer.  The secret to making jerky is to make sure you use thin consistent slices.  This will speed your cook time and allow for a more even cook when doing large amounts of meat.  Make sure you have removed all the fat from your slices.  

Then our good friends at Weston stepped in and we mixed our 3.5 pounds of sliced meat with 7.5 tablespoons of their Signature Jerky Tonic and .75 teaspoons of curing salt per their instructions found in the kit.  We allowed the meat to marinate.  Next we mixed the Hot and Spicy Jerky Dust with water per their instructions and added it to another 3.5 pounds of meat.  We only let this product stand at room temperature for about thirty minutes before laying it on our racks.  3 hours later at a constant temperature of around 160 degrees and we were done.  We let the jerky cool for about an hour on the racks before we gave them a try and bagged them up.

Since a lot of us are Spicy kind of Jerky people, we were amazed by the great flavor Weston had come up with for their Hot and Spicy Jerky Dust.  We felt it had just the right amount of kick and a great flavor profile.  We were equally impressed with their Signature Jerky Tonic.  Even though next time we plan on deviating just a little from their instructions and adding just a little more product during marinading, we felt they had found a perfect balance of soy, ginger and shallots.  We were even more pleased by the fact that their instructions for usage on their curing salt was perfect.  That has always been the hardest part of finding the perfect home made Jerky, the salt content.  Not enough and you might risk a stomach ache or worse but too much and you might as well just grab a salt shaker instead.  We used their salt per their direction and found a perfect salt blend for the meat.  We used the pink salt cure they provided at just a little over 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat.  Though we had a large amount of salt left over we plan on putting it to use again soon as the season quickly approaches.  So many thanks to Weston for that knowledge.    

Let us know your Jerky secrets in the comment section below.  We hope you visit back soon as we test their seasoning in sticks and suasage in the coming weeks.  Should you like to order some product for yourself we recommend visiting www.westonsupply.com Also, they were kind enough to provide us with two kits of each we will be giving away some of these products to our Shotem of the Month winners in their prize packs so start entering your photos as hunting season starts in just 6 days.......not that we are counting.




Yes you read the title correctly.  Scientist believe that the over population of deer in the Northern United States may be the cause of the loss of Hemlock trees in the forests.  Due to the concentration of nitrates in the urine, large deer pods might be causing the deaths of the very trees they use for shelter.  As the trees become more and more scarce and the population of deer continues to increase they are putting a large amount of stress on what trees are left.  This once again brings to light the discussion of the predator and prey balance.  It also should provide a beacon to trophy hunters that while hunting horns can be a good thing, curbing the number of productive females (who taste better anyway) might need to be a little higher on our lists.


Published in News/Events
Friday, 10 May 2013 15:45

Deer Birth Control? Seriously?

We at Shotem and Caughtem built this website as a fun social network so that hunters and fisherman/woman had a place to come and brag about their experiences.  We have done our best to merely give our readers the facts and allow them to comment.  We never want this blog or website to ever become a place that begins to take sides so to speak.  However, when we heard that the Humane Society of America proposed a contraceptive device as a way to curb deer populations in the Washington, D.C. area we had to share our thoughts.  Here is what had been reported.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has recently offered their suggestion on how to cut an increased deer population in Washington D.C.- birth control.

Deer populations in Rock Creek Park in D.C. have increased to 3-5 times more than what the National Park Service (NPS) deems sufficient, causing the NPS to take action. Controlled hunting has been successfully used as a means to limit the population – something hunters are willing to do and even to pay for the opportunity.  But HSUS sees this as a “wasteful killing program.”

HSUS is pushing the NPS to administer a form of birth control known as porcine zona pellucida (PZP) that causes antibodies to bind to a deer’s eggs to block fertilization. Administering PZP is expected to cost taxpayers $340,000 for just the Rock Creek Park alone according to humanewatch.org.  HSUS has offered to pay for half of the program, leaving taxpayers “holding the bag” for the rest of the cost.

Hunting has been proven as an effective way to curb populations of certain species when the opportunity to do so is done with a fair cost to the hunter.  Many fail to realize or admit that the sport of hunting has gotten quite expensive.  (The equipment needed and also finding a place to hunt that does not cost an arm and a leg no pun intended) To get permitted to do so can cost a lot of money not to mention travel, processing etc.  I have never heard a hunter turn away from a chance to go hunting if cost factors are not outrageous.  Heck the TV Show Chasing Tail is based on this very premise.  Guys who like to hunt get access to ground in trade for some meat.  Happy hunter = Happy landowner.  If there were more who adopted this principal I would guess we might not have near the hog problem.  I know that if I saw a Craiglist ad that said WANTED/TRADE responsible hunter to come and help us out by getting rid of some hogs in trade for some of the meat.  Please send us references and resume, I would be all over sending my information.  

So instead of spending money, why would they not make a little money by selling decently priced permits and finding a way to give responsible hunters access to the areas that need a little population control.  Heck I know that the population of the needy is pretty high in D.C. how about this as a solution.  Take a weekend to interview hunters as a way to find good, responsible people who would hunt, tag (Give Tax Write Off) and take the deer to be processed by a local butcher willing to donate his/her time (Tax Write Off) to process the meat and then take it to the local shelters to feed the needy (Save Tax Payers Money).  Let us know your opinion in the comment section below and keep posting pics and sharing stories in the gallery sections.  


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem had an interesting conversation on twitter last night with one of our followers.  He had taken a picture out of his back window of a wolf standing by a pond on his property.  We commented on what a beautiful animal it was and he commented back about how they have effected the Elk populations in his area.  This started the discussion on hunting predators as a need to maintain a balance.  It was a great debate so we felt we would get others input on their thoughts regarding the predator and prey balance.  He is from Idaho where the increase in bear and wolves have had there effects on deer and elk populations.  We are from Kansas where coyotes and hawks have had an effect on our rabbit, turkey, quail and pheasant populations.  However, the lack of apex predators such as mountian lions and wolves has caused an increase in our deer populations.  Their has also been pressure from the drought conditions we have experienced in the Midwest.  So we have not only done a little research as to the nature selection process but we have also set up a forum discussion to get more peoples input.  We hope that it gets both sides of this age old debate to think about our involvement as hunters and conservationists.  We always want to make sure that we have hunting available for not only ourselves year to year but also for future generations.  It is striking that balance that has been debated across the world.  We hope you leave your thoughts in the comment section below or join our discussion in the forum section  http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/8-predator-prey-balance-hunting-and-conservation.html?groupid=2



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