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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, 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.

Published in News/Events
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.

Published in News/Events
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.

 
Published in News/Events
Thursday, 03 April 2014 21:49

Hunting vs. Shooting

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been busy little bees.  With spring quickly approaching our need to be outdoors has been great.  Due to these reasons we have not spent much time (our apologies) keeping you a breast of what is happening around the world in the hunting and fishing industry.  So we decided to see what had been written recently around the inter web.  We felt what a great way to start a debate than finding this article about the hunter turned away from the industry because of shooters.  To read the whole article before a short intro to it below and our thoughts check out http://www.spokesman.com/outdoors/stories/2014/apr/03/guest-column-shooters-spoiling-the-sport-of/ 

Here is a brief intro to the article:

Hunting got some scrutiny in this newspaper at last. Washington State has lost more than 16,000 hunters in the last five years, Thomas Clouse noted. On the same page, Rich Landers lamented that we fail to “curb poaching problem.”

Ethical hunters driven from the field by shooters make the two stories converge.

My distinction here, between hunters and shooters, rests on the reverence extended toward game animals and birds. True hunters, indigenous or otherwise, honor prey in various ways. They obey state laws, care for the meat, enhance habitats, and maybe even mumble a prayer.

Shooters, though, they care more about rocking the world off its axis with the firepower they wield.

Environmentalist and author Aldo Leopold characterized the shooter’s impulse as “trigger itch,” a simple craving to blast away. Leopold regretted his trigger itch when he shot a wolf with pups and watched the “fierce green fire” die in her eyes. His honesty endeared him to millions of readers since his “Sand County Almanac” came out in 1949.

To make a full disclosure, I am a born-again non-hunter. I swung guns and drew a lethal bead for thirty years. Finally, though, my heart began to grate and brim over with tender empathy for the dead.

During my spell as a hunter, game habitats shriveled and crashed, an upshot of the human population’s pressures in Washington State where I came of age. I felt my pastime added to the wreckage of sensitive and dwindling species, as shooting had for dodos, bison, passenger pigeons, prairie chickens, sharptail grouse, sage grouse, and so on. But the greatest turnoff came from run-amok shooters.

Shooters deploying technology irresponsibly change the stakes of fair chase. At the same time when wildlife officials are desperate for ways to curtail poachers and their impact on wildlife, manufacturers are enhancing the chances that shooters might score in the great outdoors no matter how unfairly.

Here are just a couple of things we would like to point out that might help bring the author back into the fold.  Hunting and Fishing promotes conservation at its core.  Through the purchasing of tags, licenses and related gear we support an industry that protects what drives us outdoors.  Money is used by these industries to protect wildlife, fuel habitat efforts, reintroduce animals to areas that have lost them, and on and on.  Half the reason the wolf, cougar, bison, elk, antelope and the list continues have began to come back in parts of the United States is through the Wildlife and Parks departments and different non-profit organizations based on different species.  These organizations would not have the means nor the funds without the money we as hunters and fisherman/woman spend.

Many of the reasons the hunt has been burned by shooters we believe is due partly from the lack of access.  More and more land has been taken over by our cities, farming and ranching efforts.  Add into the fact that hunting properties that use to be accessible through relationships have now become cash cows for those doing guided hunts or leasing their ground for an insane amount of money to those hunters from out of state.  

Most of all we want to hear our members comments in the section below so that we can help spread the word.  It is part of the reason we started Shotem and Caughtem.  We want to provide a large community the opportunity and the ability to speak as a whole.  Our mission is to hopefully build a base that gives us the means to continue and support all these great organizations.  So continue to help us build a thriving community of those who hunt and fish!

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:25

Turkey Hunting Season Preparation

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 as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. 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. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.




 

 

 

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:25

Turkey Hunting Season Preparation

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 as we at Shotem and Caughtem can attest. 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. This is because a wild turkey’s senses are extremely keen. Its eyesight and hearing are among the best in the woods. I’ve often heard it said, “If a turkey could smell, you’d never kill one.” Due to a turkey’s nature to flee at the first hint of danger, one errant move can cause a gobbler to seemingly vanish like a puff of smoke.

Good calling and knowing when to call are often critical keys to success in turkey hunting. Hunters typically imitate hens to call a gobbler into gun range. Hens make a variety of calls: yelps, clucks, cuts, purrs and whines. The best way to learn to call is to practice with an experienced turkey hunter or to purchase an instructional video or audio cassette and then practice the calls taught by the instructor. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in each of these calls to have success in turkey hunting. Gaining a good command of yelps and clucks will be of most benefit to new turkey hunters.

As with camo, guns and shells, a number of different types of calls are used in turkey hunting. The most popular styles include box calls, slate-type friction calls, wingbone and trumpet calls, diaphragm calls, push-pin and tube calls. Beginning hunters should normally consider box calls, slate-type friction calls and push-pin calls for their ease of use.

On a given day any of these calls will work. Each style call has its own distinctive sound. A gobbler will sometimes answer one call but not the others. So, carry several calls and take turns trying them. If one call doesn’t get a response, another one might.

When calling turkeys, less is better in most cases. Don’t over call. The more you call, the more likely you’ll hit a sour note or that your movement will be seen by an alert gobbler or hen that has quietly moved in to check you out.

Once you locate a gobbler, the next step is to move in close and call him into gun range. Your goal is to slip as close as possible without spooking him. Then you “set up” and attempt to call him close enough for a shot.

Remember: when approaching a turkey, if he spots you, he’s gone! Be careful not to be seen. Terrain and foliage normally dictate how close you can get before setting up. Veteran hunters rarely approach inside 100 yards. They may set up as far away as 300 yards if the ground is flat and there is little foliage to conceal their movements.

Use the terrain to your advantage as you approach a gobbler. Stay behind hills, thickets or other features that will screen your movements. Walk as quietly as possible in the leaves, and don’t break any sticks.

When setting up, pick a location that offers the gobbler an easy route to your location. There should be no creeks, gullies, fences, thick undergrowth or other barriers between you and the bird. Also choose a spot that is on the same contour or slightly above the turkey’s location. Don’t try to call a gobbler down a steep slope. Pick an area that provides you with a good view of your surroundings.

Sit against a tree, stump or other object that is wider than your back and taller than your head. It will hide your outline and protect your back from a hunter who might move in behind you. Face the turkey’s direction with your left shoulder (for right-handed shooters), this provides you with a greater mobility of your gun when aiming. Above all, keep your movement to a minimum as you call. If the gobbler is working toward you, then goes silent, don’t move. Sometimes gobblers will sneak in quietly.

If you set up and a gobbler answers your call but won’t come, you’re going to have to change your game plan. You may need to circle around and call from another location. You might change to another call. If you’ve worked him a long time and he’s still hung up, you might leave the gobbler and come back in a couple of hours and try again. Many hunts require several moves and/or strategy changes.

Once you get a bird working to you, get your gun up on your knee pointed in his general direction with the stock against your shoulder. When a gobbler finally walks within range (inside 40 yards), wait until he steps behind a tree or other obstacle to move your gun. When he reappears, aim carefully at his head/neck junction, and then squeeze the trigger. When a gobbler struts, the neck (spinal column) is compressed and the head is often partially hidden by feathers, making for an even smaller target. If the gobbler is strutting, wait until he extends his neck to shoot. A clean, one-shot kill should be the goal of every hunter.

It’s a great moment when a long beard answers a hunter’s call. This is when all the scouting and preparation pay off. It may not always result in bagging the bird, but that’s part of the challenge and the memories. If you listen to a veteran turkey hunter, you’ll note that the hunts most often remembered are those where the gobbler, and not the hunter, won.




 

 

 

Published in News/Events
Friday, 14 March 2014 20:39

A Hunting Environmentalist

We at Shotem and Caughtem have weighted in on the hunting and fishing debate.  Pros, cons and why we love the great outdoors.  We also like to draw from others opinions to help support our beliefs.  Since we have heard a lot from our followers and members about constantly battling this debate we felt it was time to once again hit on this debate.  We felt like bringing in another persons point of view this time.  Lucky for us the Atlantic just produced such an article.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 20:31

Turkey Hunting Decoy Placement and Tricks

We at Shotem and Caughtem could not be more excited for our favorite time of the year.  Yes.  Shotem and Caughtem Season is on the horizon.  It will be only the second time we have gotten to celebrate this special time of year officially as a company.  The time of year when we can tempt both our senses with the smell of gunpowder and the sweet sound of fishing line leaving our reels.  In this celebration we decided to offer some tips and a bit of research on all things Shotem and Caughtem.  Today we decided on decoy placement for good turkey hunting.  Let us know your tricks of the trade in the comment section below.

Have the jake turkey facing you at 25 to 35 yards. An adult gobbler can and usually will go to a jake decoy, and face it although they sometimes slip in from the rear. The gobbler, once his attention is riveted on the jake decoy, usually forgets everything else. Wait until the bird turns his body and lifts his head and neck to make that area visible for an accurate shot. Don’t shoot at gobblers when their head and neck is down to their shoulders.

If you know where the gobbler will come from, it's possible to position the jake decoy 20 yards out and 20 yards to the opposite side of your position. The adult gobbler will walk past you on his way to smack the fake jake around. It offers an ideal shot. Just make certain you have the shotgun up to your shoulder and be ready for a shot before he reaches the decoy. Things can get a bit frenzied when a gobbler goes after a jake.

An adult bird that spots a jake decoy may come or may not. He may be ready to fight, and may hang back. A long-spurred gobbler, once he gets riled up, will put the spurs to a jake. I’ve had more than one jake decoy shredded by the hooks of a big gobbler, and it doesn’t take long for it to happen. It’s a sight to behold, and there’s nothing nice about it.

Take an old aluminum arrow, cut it in half, and put a target point on the end that goes into the ground. The end of the stake that went into my decoy had a washer next to the insert, and then another target point was used. The threads went through another washer, and screwed into the insert. This allowed the decoy to move slightly in the breeze, which adds a convincing touch of realism to a decoy spread.

Want to go a bit further?  Find another scrap aluminum arrow, cut it in half, paint it dark brown. Which moves the decoy tail back and forth, and insert one of the stakes at each end of a half-circle swing. If the wind gusts, the decoy would move a bit but not too much, and it added even more realism to the set-up.

We dislike a motionless decoy. Watch real hens, and they are head-up, head-down, flapping their wings, shaking their feathers and moving around. Your decoy should do the same, but it’s hard to make that happen unless there is enough breeze to stir the decoys and make the move.

Have the hen decoys out about 15 yards past the jake decoy and away from where the gobbler  will come. Separate the hens (if using more than one) by at least 15 to 20 yards. They can be positioned facing in most directions away from the jake.  Most decoys are made so the stake can be placed at an angle. I like at least one hen decoy to be tipped forward with its head near the ground as if feeding. It makes your rig look more realistic.

One way to use an old shredded hen decoy. 

Use this hen and lay her flat on the ground, and place a jake decoy astraddle her. This can bring a longbeard streaking in to rescue the hen for his personal pleasure.  Spread your decoys out. Don't jam them together because this is what threatened birds do before they fly or run. Do not use decoys with erect heads. One with its head up is fine, but change the body and/or head position of the others. Don’t have all the hen decoys facing the same direction.

Decoys require some experimentation. Move them around, but we've found that keeping a jake decoy between hen decoys and the woods gives the illusion that the jake is keeping them corralled.

If a gobbler is seen coming fast or slow to the decoys, let the fake birds do their job. Too much calling  is a major mistake. Two or three hens, if they are feeding and spot an approaching longbeard, will usually shut their beak. Take a cue from the real birds. Don’t call too much but play this part of the hunt slow and easy. Do this, and you’ll probably punch that gobbler’s ticket when the season opens about three months from now.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have noticed that once again the hunting and fishing permits are rising in many states.  We also know that one way to help off set the increases that seem to happen every year is to apply for a Lifetime hunting and fishing permit should your state offer them.  However, it still begs the question.  Where does all that money end up?

Lucky for us our law makers knew they would not be able to keep their hands off the money and made it so that all money collected by wildlife and parks must be used for wildlife and parks projects and funding only.  However, the lawmakers also found a way to use the money in a different way.  Got to love politicians.  They use the vast amount of unappropriated funds as leverage to cook the books in other departments.  So when the state roads department goes over budget they use the surplus in the wildlife budget to offset the overage.  

Now the bad.  Because they need to leverage the positive dollars in the wildlife and parks fund to go over budget in other areas, many wildlife and parks project money gets stalled.  Projects that would help expand or create a better environment for hunters and fisherman/woman to use typically get sidelined.  As is the case with many things follow the money.

The best way for many to help loosen the reigns on these funds is to make sure you stay active in creating areas in your own area worthy of spurring our environments.  Using the land you hunt and fish wisely and contacting your state government on projects you feel are worthy of our license dollars might just help get some of these projects moving.

So the positive is all those increases in fees go towards wildlife and parks.  The bad, much of the money never gets used for wildlife and parks.  It sits and accrues interest so that other projects look flush.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.  As always get outdoors and share your adventures in our galleries. 

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 23:21

Muscles made from Fishing Line

We at Shotem and Caughtem read this article and it got us wondering.  What a great topic.  How many different uses of the things we carry in our hunting packs or fishing bags can we come up with to do things other than their intended uses.  We already use our knives, tools, lures, rifles, and bows in different ways other than their true intentions.  So we challenge you to leave different ideas in our comment section below after reading this article.

Take a rubber band and twist it. Keep twisting it until it starts to collapse onto itself and form larger loops—it's something you can do with almost any strand-like structure. Now, scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson are taking advantage of this property in everyday materials such as fishing line and sewing thread and using it to make artificial muscles.

The scientists took pieces of fiber that were a few hundred micrometers long and twisted them until they began to coil. As the pieces coiled, the twisted fibers became shorter and thicker; once tightly coiled, the scientists heat-treated them to prevent the fibers from unfolding. If heat is applied to the finished coil after this procedure, the individual fibers try to untwist. The untwisting causes the coils to expand in volume as they shorten in length, just like a muscle.

The researchers found that if they made the fiber form larger coils in the same direction as the initial twists, the fibers contracted. If the fibers were made to coil in the opposite direction from the twist, the fibers expanded. By combining large quantities of these twisted fibers, the team could produce artificial muscles with above-average characteristics.

In their study, the scientists compared their artificial muscles to natural ones. Biological muscles contract to only about 20 percent of their length, while these artificial muscles contract to over 50 percent of their length. In addition, the synthetic versions can lift loads over 100 times heavier than human muscles of the same length and weight can handle. The twisted fibers can generate over 5 kilowatts of mechanical work per kilogram of muscle weight, which is similar to the output of a jet engine.

These are not the first artificial muscles to have been created, but they are among the first that are inexpensive and store large amounts of energy. The team that developed them believes the heat-dependent contraction, low cost, and the ability to store large amounts of energy make these fibers ideal candidates for a huge range of applications, including medical devices, clothing, prosthetic limbs, and even home automation. Some day, your blinds may open and close on their own as coiled fibers respond to the weather.

Published in News/Events
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