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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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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 20:22

Spring Turkey Hunting Tips and Tricks

We at Shotem and Caughtem have a love hate relationship when it comes to turkey.  We felt we would pass along the reasons why.   We hope to give you the tools to create that same relationship, since very few outdoor experiences can compare with spring turkey hunting. The sport can, to say the least, be challenging, exciting and in some cases almost addictive. When a gobbler sounds off up close, or he’s strutting just out of range, even the most experienced hunter’s heart tends to pound uncontrollably.  Due to their keen eyesight and hearing they can be one of the harder animals in the kingdom to hunt which causes the love and frustration of the sport.  This is the challenge that makes turkey hunting so intriguing and is helping to attract droves of new hunters to the sport.  So here are some pointers to help your experience.

 

Monday, 25 February 2013 19:25

Whitetail Buck Deer Movements Research

Recently, we at Shotem and Caughtem were made aware of a great article on deer movements and thought we would share.  The article tracked Whitetail deer movements for a year and then discussed the results.  As you can tell by the photos the article picked an area with trees, pasture, water and tillable ground to show the best places to set up food plots, cameras and hunting stands.  As always please comment below on your experiences with deer movement and post photos to the galleries and start a discussion.

 

Published in News/Events
Thursday, 21 February 2013 18:53

Survival Kit for the Outdoors

With the Midwest covered in at least a foot of snow our thought went towards survival.  Since many of the locations that are prime for hunting or fishing involve being in areas that are not inhabited by many humans, we at Shotem and Caughtem found out what the Navy Seals use in their Survival Kits and thought we would pass the information along.  Though some of the tools in this backpack might not be needed by many, we felt that if these guys go into areas where they are the hunted, what they would bring for survival should keep the average person well equip if stranded, lost or hurt.  You never know when you might need this extra little bag.  Let us know what you like to bring in the comment section below should you think something has been missed.  They report all these items should fit in a 4x2x1in bag that weights 6 ounces.

 

Published in News/Events

It's Presidents day and we at Shotem' and Caughtem' thought we might put together a list of presidents who loved the great outdoors as a tribute.  These are the past presidents who loved to hunt and fish.  As you can see, although hunters and fisherman only make up around 10% of the population here in the United States we tend to elect those who love being one with nature. 

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) is the undisputed leader of sportsmen in the White House, and he had lots of followers: Half the presidents in the past 50 years were avid hunters. Those same leaders loved to fish.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61)

Ike began hunting in his youth, managed to arrange a partridge hunt in North Africa during World War II, and shot quail in Georgia nearly every February during his eight-year presidency. He loved fishing even more, for trout, muski and northern pike. Constituents sent lures, hooks, even fish. White House gift files contain some 200 entries for flies.

John F. Kennedy (1961-63)

An experienced sailor, JFK is known to have fished one time, when he caught a sailfish - off Acapulco on his honeymoon. He hunted once as well. As historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recalled it, Lyndon B. Johnson "liked to impose tests of manhood, of which the most notorious was bringing politicians to his ranch and insisting that they kill deer. John Kennedy, filled with deep distaste, had killed his deer after the 1960 election."

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69)

A 1964 article headlined "LBJ - Outdoor Sportsman" recalled Johnson flying on Air Force One to Texas during a storm, his brows furrowed until he returned from the cockpit relieved that the pilot would "have us on the ranch in time to see the deer before dark." Johnson was known to go after only the biggest racks; dove hunting was his favorite blood sport. His lakes were stocked, and Johnson spent hours catching grasshoppers for his daughters to fish with.

Richard M. Nixon (1969-74)

Nixon was so ill-at-ease in nature that he walked on the beach in a suit and dress shoes. He was never known to hunt (although he did occasionally fish in the Bahamas with Robert Abplanalp and Bebe Rebozo). A search of the National Archives turns up a number of hits, such as this tape-recorded meeting with counsel John Dean on March 21, 1973, the height of the Watergate scandal (Dean has suggested he might go to jail to spare Nixon):

President: Sometimes it's well to give them ...

Dean: (Sighs)

President: something, and then they don't want the bigger fish then.

Gerald R. Ford (1974-77)

Although Ford's father and two brothers were big on hunting and fishing, the president's alpha male was expressed mainly through football and basketball. A complimentary Pennsylvania fishing license is in his White House files. Contacted recently, he had no memories of either.

Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

"I had a fishing pole in my hands as early as I can remember, and would go hunting with Daddy long before I could have anything to shoot other than a BB gun," Carter wrote in his memoir of growing up in the South. He hunted everything from possum to deer to duck, and has fished around the world. He helicoptered from the White House to Spruce Creek, Pa., where he still flyfishes every year.

Ronald Reagan (1981-89)

Known more for riding horses and chopping wood, both in Hollywood and as president at his Santa Barbara ranch, Reagan did recall fishing the Rock River as a boy. But biographer Lou Cannon wrote that he "was so caring of the wildlife at Rancho del Cielo that he had rattlesnakes near the ranch trapped and carted away, instead of following the usual ranching practice of simply killing them."

George H.W. Bush (1989-93)

Bush learned to hunt as a boy visiting his grandparents' lodge in South Carolina. His first love is the fishing of his Maine childhood. Equally at home on the ocean or by a stream, casting from a boat or on shore, he missed the 1992 Democratic convention and Ross Perot's ending of his third-party bid while by a creek. "The joy of fishing with your son in a river in Wyoming, I'll tell you, it's hard to compete with anything," he said upon returning to civilization.

Bill Clinton (1993-01)

In Clinton's rural Arkansas, deals are sealed over a duck hunt. He did go, both as governor and president, but friends said his heart wasn't in it. "He loves people, loves doing what people are doing," recalled a longtime friend and hunting buddy in Little Rock. "The actual going out there and seeing how many ducks you can kill is not part of his nature. The camaraderie part is." Clinton is not much into fishing, either.

George W. Bush (2001-)

The proprietors of the lodge where Carter flyfishes in Pennsylvania's Huntingdon County said No. 43 was rumored to be interested but a visit never materialized. Bush loves the bass fishing of his native Texas, and likes to spend New Year's Day hunting quail with his father (and high-powered family friend James A. Baker 3d) in south Texas. "I think I shot five," he told reporters on Jan. 1, 2004.

Published in News/Events
Friday, 15 February 2013 18:14

New Legislation on Wolf Hunting in Montana

A wolf management bill that won overwhelming support in the Montana Legislature was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock said House Bill 73, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Flynn, R-Townsend, will allow hunters to purchase up to three wolf licenses and lowers the price of a nonresident wolf license from $350 to $50. The measure also will strengthen state wildlife officials’ efforts to manage Montana’s recovered and growing wolf population, he said.

The legislation was amended by lawmakers to allow hunting and trapping of wolves near national parks and allow wildlife officials to close such areas after established wolf harvest quotas are met.

In signing the legislation, Bullock asked FWP to ramp up education programs aimed at averting the harvest of collared wolves near national parks.

The new law also allows wolf hunters to use their license 24 hours after its purchase, instead of having to wait five days; authorizes the use of electronic calls; and removes the requirement for hunter-orange clothing after the general deer and elk seasons have ended.

The minimum estimate of Montana’s wolf population at the end of 2011 was 653 wolves in 130 verified packs and 39 breeding pairs. New official population estimates are expected in March. Montana’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons are open through Feb. 28. So far, hunters have killed 115 wolves and trappers have harvested 84.

For more information, visit www.fwp.mt.gov and follow the “Montana Wolf Hunt” link.
Published in News/Events
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!
Published in News/Events
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.  
Published in News/Events
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. 
Published in News/Events
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.
Published in News/Events
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