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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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Thursday, 14 November 2013 22:25

Hunters and Conservation Amazing Video

We at Shotem and Caughtem take great pride in what we have the opportunity to see and experience in the great outdoors.  We have said time and time again that this sport and lifestyle offers us the opportunity to see things many never get the chance to experience.  As hunters we are constantly reminded of how powerful animals are in the wild.  At the same time we know that in order to make sure animals are available to the next generation we must help to protect our resources.  

The attached video showcases all these aspects.  Bucks commonly get their horns locked in a good fight for dominance to breed.  As such many times these animals can become tangled.  Unless lady luck steps in and the two are capable of freeing themselves from one another, many times both will perish.  Luckily for these two a couple of guys were willing and able to step in to lend a hand.  

It is amazing to think that these animals might have been this way for sometime before being discovered, yet still had enough power and energy to keep fighting.  

Leave your comments on similar experiences in the comment section below or share your videos and photos of like adventures in the galleries.  

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 23:05

Good Pheasant Hunting in Utah

We here at Shotem and Caughtem have not heard good things for the start of upland bird hunting in our area.  As such we thought we might find out where the hot spots were this year so that we might share with others on a good place to go find birds.  What we found is that Utah might be the place to go for some great Pheasant hunting this year.

More than 11,000 pheasants will be released by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on public hunting areas during this season's pheasant hunt.  The 11,000 birds are more than six times the number released last fall and 20 times the number released in 2011.  This year's Utah general pheasant hunt opened at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and runs until Nov. 17 across most of the state.  The DWR and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife worked together to buy the birds, which will be released in areas that have good pheasant habitat and good access for public hunters. 

In the Top of Utah area, birds will be released at the Howard Slough Wildlife Management Area, the Ogden Bay Wildlife Management Area, the Harold Crane Wildlife Management Area and near Willard Bay.  Birds will also be released on select walk-in access areas in Box Elder, Cache, Emery, Utah and Wayne counties.

For directions and a complete list of release locations, visit http://utahdnr.maps.arcgis.com .

Let us know how hunting season is going in your area in the comment section below and post pics of your adventures in the galleries.

Published in News/Events
Monday, 11 November 2013 23:42

Veterans Day Launches The Rut

We at Shotem and Caughtem find it fitting that in a celebration of our Troops and the sacrifices they have made, that it is also the day that has launched the rut here in the Midwest.  As hunters we know that weather can be one of the key ingredients to launch a change in Mother Nature.  We have been watching deer patterns in our area and have began to notice that does have began to move earlier and earlier in the day.  Many of our fellow hunters have noticed smaller bucks chasing young and mature does.  All we were missing was a cold snap to hit the rut button.  Lucky for us our friends from the North have pushed a cold front down across the Midwest.  

Those signs can mean only one thing.  The big boys are coming out to join the crowd.  So to our fellow hunters we would like to say get out your rattlers and get into the field.  There is no better way to settle into trophy season than during the rut.  Be Patient and follow the signs that are going to begin to show in the form of large rubs as to what is moving through your area.  Setting yourself along or next to large rub marks should allow you to land the big one in your area by rattling and calling in a challenger.  

Let us know how things are progressing in your area in the comment section below and keep posting your photos to the Shotem gallery.    

Published in News/Events
Friday, 08 November 2013 20:41

We Want You!

We at Shotem and Caughtem are dedicated to creating the first social network for hunting and fishing.  However, a social network is only as good as it's members and their involvement.  We believe we have added all the necessary parts for our members to create an awesome place to share their adventures.  No more nasty comments from friends or family when we post photos from our adventures.  No more sifting through photos and inspiration comments to get to what we want to see and talk about.  We cater to only those who have the passion for our dedication to our animals and what we do in the field.  We have the resources so that you can share your adventures to others and meet new people with or without similar experiences and passions.  Use bragging photos to connect with others to learn more about their experiences.  Notify them when we are out in the field and brag about what they are missing.  It's all here.  

Discussion boards to be able to ask others about their knowledge and experience.  Debate about hot topics.  Learn about new and exciting products.  Notifications that you have answers from others straight from any device.  Though there is not a dedicated App for Shotem and Caughtem we created larger buttons so that it is easier to navigate from small devices.  

We even have a Shotem and Caughtem of the month section where you can win fun and cool prizes for your involvement.  We are dedicated to offering cool and unique items from our sponsors who support us.  If you would like to be apart of the selection process just send your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get the first awards selected.  

Most of all we want to hear about what is missing from making Shotem and Caughtem your new home.  Getting your partners from the field to create your own groups to brag too.  Leave us your comments in the section below so we can continue to grow!  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend!

Published in News/Events
Thursday, 07 November 2013 21:27

Mysterious NM Elk Death Solved

Earlier this year we at Shotem and Caughtem reported on the mysterious death of a hundred different elk in New Mexico from an unknown source.  A hunter stumbled on the carcasses while out scouting.  They have since been able to trace the culprit behind the deaths.  Believe it or not the deaths were caused from an old ranch water tank.  A form of blue green algae had grown in the unmaintained water tank at a close by ranch.  The scientists we able to analyze what was left of the animals and match the water to the water tank found a hundred yards away from where the herd was found.  

Through science and further testing of elk tissue samples and water samples, the real killer has finally been found: pond scum. Or, more specifically, a neurotoxin produced by one type of blue-green algae that can develop in warm, standing water.

A bloom of this alga can be devastating to wildlife. "In warm weather, blooms of blue-green algae are not uncommon in farm ponds in temperate regions, particularly ponds enriched with fertilizer," according to a classic toxicology reference book, "Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons" (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2013). "Under these conditions, one species of alga, Anabaena flos-aquae, produces a neurotoxin, anatoxin-A, which depolarizes and blocks acetylcholine receptors, causing death in animals that drink the pond water. The lethal effects develop rapidly, with death in minutes to hours from respiratory arrest."

In other words, the elk herd suffocated to death, unable to breathe. And the fast-acting toxin explains the animals' strange, sudden deaths. In this case, the algae appeared not in ponds, but in three fiberglass livestock watering tanks not far from where the elk died. The elk also showed signs they had struggled on the ground, further supporting neurotoxin poisoning.

"Based on circumstantial evidence, the most logical explanation for the elk deaths is that on their way back to the forest after feeding in the grassland, the elk drank water from a trough containing toxins created by blue-green algae or cyanobacteria," Mower said in a statement from the Department of Game and Fish.

The algae-produced neurotoxin is similar to curare, the famous toxin found in poison-tipped arrows used by South American Indian tribes. Though anatoxin-A can be deadly to other animals, including dogs and cattle, reports of human deaths are rare. New Mexico ranchers have been advised to sanitize their livestock tanks to prevent further wildlife deaths.

Many of us hunters travel from from the water tap to reach our destinations and should make sure that we take every precaution when out in the field to make sure the water we drink has been properly handled.  We should also take not when in the field to help alert officials to potential contamination when out in the field from water tanks such as these.  I know we at Shotem and Caughtem find human evidence in many of the back country to which we travel.  

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and as always post your photos and adventures to the galleries and share you story.


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 22:56

Hunter Safety Is On Our Minds

We at Shotem and Caughtem have read article after article as of late about different hunting accidents that are preventable occurring around the nation and felt it appropriate to once again remind people that safety precautions when going out into the field should never been left to chance.  We too sometimes become complacent as many do about safety.  When you hunt and fish on a regular basis it is easy to forget for a second or two that something bad could happen.  Staying aware of basic safety is paramount.

We all know (or should know) the basics. Keep your eyes and ears aware of other hunters and groups in and around your area. Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times, even if it’s not loaded, because we know to treat every gun as if it is loaded.

There are some other factors that might not be part of our hunter education training that can add to our safety in the field as well.

Deer hunters, of course, are required to wear orange while in the woods, cattails and brush. The 400 square inches is the legal minimum requirement, but for many hunters, more is better. The idea is to make yourself look like a florescent orange beacon on the prairie.

During deer season, people who are hunting something else, especially waterfowl, should consider some type of orange marker or other display to let others know you are in the area. An orange jacket hung on a fence or bush that can be seen from the nearest road will alert others.

And, if you’re in a field situation, have orange handy to put on when retrieving birds or setting out or picking up decoys.

The same thing goes if you’re hunting from a ground or elevated blind. Place something orange somewhere in the vicinity so other hunters are made aware of your hideout. The idea is to minimize the risk of not being seen to the greatest extent possible.

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 23:38

Fall Back = Early Nights

After the recent time change we at Shotem and Caughtem realized that we will be heading into the darkness when heading out into the field this time of year.  A keen awareness of ones surroundings when traveling in the darkness can sometimes be a little adrenaline rush.  Sitting and waiting for the sun rise can be both an unsettling and yet exciting time.  The russell of leaves, sounds of steps and calls from the wild.  It is a hunters favorite time of day.  However, they are stark reminders that we are not alone.

Walking in the dark heightens our senses and imagination. The rustle of leaves at the edge of the clearing sounds like a bear or moose but really a mouse is scampering across the dry leaves.

Accustomed to daylight, we heavily depend on our vision to determine what is happening in our surroundings. Once darkness falls, our vision is limited to that of a headlamp or the outlines created by the light of the moon.

Animals active at night depend on more than their vision to know what is happening in their surroundings. Nocturnal animals have at least one highly-developed sense. Special adaptations include big ears, large eyes, sensitive whiskers and keen noses.

Bats use echolocation (sound waves) to determine where prey is located and to navigate in the darkness. Raccoons have extremely sensitive fingers that help them locate crayfish and other invertebrates beneath stones in shallow water at night. Great gray owls can hear a vole tunneling through snow up to 60 feet away with their offset ears. Snakes can sense minute changes in temperature.

More animals than we think are active at night--we just aren’t outside to see or hear them. Nearly half of all living vertebrates are nocturnal, including coyotes, mink, beaver, deer, river otters and wolves. In late winter, owls can be heard calling at dusk and in the spring and fall, some waterfowl call to each other as they migrate through the moonlit sky.

Being active at night is no safer than being active during the day. While prey can hide under the cover of darkness, their predators have developed keen senses to seek them out.

A mouse may hunker down during the day to remain out of sight of a hawk, which can still see the ultraviolet glow of the mouse’s urine in its trails. But at night the hawk’s domain becomes the owl’s domain and the mouse is no safer than during the day.

Nocturnal hunters have the advantage of not competing with diurnal (day-time) predators over the same resources. Swallows perform aerobatic maneuvers to catch flying insects during the day while bats rely on echolocation to capture night-time flyers.

Many nocturnal animals still rely on sight to function at night but their vision isn’t the same as diurnal animals. The eyes of nocturnal animals contain higher concentrations of rod cells in the retinas to allow the creation of images in low light. However, the image is not as clear as those created by a higher concentration of cone cells in the eyes of diurnal animals.

Nocturnal animals, such as owls and flying squirrels, tend to have larger eyes to capture more light. An owl’s eyes are so large they cannot move in the socket and take up half of the owl’s skull.

To aid in creating images at night, some animals have a layer of reflective cells (called the tapetum lucidum) behind their retina that reflects back photons of light not captured by the rod or cone cells the first time through the eye. The reflective tapetum lucidum creates the eye shine we see when our headlights or headlamps shine in a nocturnal animal’s eyes.

The glowing pair of eyes staring back from the darkness of night could be as benign as a flying squirrel or porcupine, dangerous as an armed skunk, or as spine-tingling as the determined eyes of a cougar hunting for its next meal.

Tell us your favorite nocturnal stories in the comment section below and share your adventures in the galleries.

Published in News/Events
Monday, 04 November 2013 22:05

Upland Bird Hunting Season

We at Shotem and Caughtem have recently noticed that the weather is headed for a cold change in temperature.  For us it could not come at a better time since we are mere days away from the start of Pheasant and Quail hunting season.  The unfortunate news for upland bird hunters is no state reports on their populations made for a read that got us excited as we begin to change into our warmer coats.  It seems that drought conditions and delayed crop growth has once again pushed the better populations to the northern parts of many states or has caused a reduction in overall.  The unfortunate news for upland bird hunters is no states reports on their populations made for a read that got us excited as we begin to change into our warmer coats.  

Extreme drought conditions persisted in most of Kansas again this year. While several late winter and early spring storms brought much needed precipitation across the state, levels were not high enough to recover vegetation conditions going into the breeding season. Nesting conditions were somewhat better for pheasants than our other game birds due to a later-than-average wheat harvest. Pheasants utilize green wheat for nesting more than other game birds, and a later harvest provides more opportunity for nests to hatch and young to fledge. However, the lack of precipitation in June and most of July did not improve vegetative conditions enough to provide for good brood rearing cover or sufficient insect abundance. The combination of these two deficiencies led to lower than average chick survival for all upland game birds across most regions of the state. As precipitation fell across much of the state in late summer, vegetation conditions improved, signaling improved conditions and a potential for better production in the near future.  Due to continued drought during the reproductive season, Kansas will experience a below average upland game season this fall. However, for those willing to hunt there will still be birds available, especially in the northern Flint Hills, and northcentral and northwestern parts of Kansas.

Though Nebraska also has many of the same reported problems as Kansas when it comes to Pheasant, their quail might be great hunting this year.  In contrast to pheasants, bobwhite abundance increased regionally and statewide compared to 2012. Results from the July Rural Mail Carrier Survey and the Bobwhite Whistle Count Survey both indicated regional and statewide increases in bobwhite abundance. Decreases were only noted for the North-Central region (RMCS; see reverse) and West Platte region (Whistle Count).

Published in News/Events
Friday, 01 November 2013 20:35

Ban on Rifle Hunting Deer

So we at Shotem and Caughtem read the news that Wisconsin is going back to look over the rules regarding the ban of rifle hunting deer.  Since we are from Kansas and much of the ban revolves around bullet placement, we felt that this was a more important subject to cover.  To see more about the ban and its details here is the article we read Wisconsin Deer Hunting Rifle Ban Article.

The main concern the ban brings to bear is that many of the areas the ban covers is flat open territory with rural properties interlaced.  They felt that shotgun slugs or .22 - .17 cal bullets were safer and posed less threat to the people around the areas.  Our thoughts would go a different direction.  Here are our thoughts and we would love to get the comments and ideas you might have in the comment section below.

1.  Flat Open Areas.  Every state has its flat parts.  Kansas is one of the most well known states for such a typography though we feel it is un fair after looking at the rest of the US.  However, if you have an educated person behind the end of a rifle they are well aware of velocity, distance and trajectory of their projectile.  A well oiled hunter though tries to blame their equipment for that misplaced shot many times it is operator error.  Though accidents happen  the one thing many think about is where that bullet will go should we miss.  Many hunters hunt with buddies and are always worried about accidently hitting their hunting buddies or worse (unless it's Dick Cheney :)  

2.  Wounding the animal.  Though a shotgun slug at close range works well, small calibers and long range shots pose a wounding risk.  Every hunter has stumbled upon an unfound carcass.  It happens more than we hunters would like.  The possibilities increase when you limit the fire power a hunter is capable of using.  The larger the caliber the greater chance a non perfectly place shot will still create a situation where you can recover the animal.  

Let us know your other arguments in the comment section below and post photo to the galleries and tell us your story. 

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 21:19

Goose Calling Techniques and Tips

We at Shotem and Caughtem believe that good goose calling techniques can make the difference between a successful hunt and watching the birds fly past.  As such we felt like we would offer you some tricks and techniques before the hunting season starts.  

Scouting locations is a great way to find out if birds are hitting your favorite hunting spot.  If so know that these same birds will return to the same spots every third or fourth day.  Once you have spotted the geese in range one should start calling.  On trick is to wave a black flag to look like geese in landing mode.  Once the geese are seen to turn in your direction begin to slow your calls and frequency of flag movement.  Once they are close in range begin to smooth your calls then once they look as if they are going to circle to land call vigorously in a feeding frenzy.  Bring them in close to your decoys prior to springing your trap.

Let us know your goose calling tricks in the comment section below and post your group photos to the galleries and tell us your techniques.


Published in News/Events
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