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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, 23 January 2014 23:38

Antler Shed Hunting Season has Arrived

We at Shotem and Caughtem missed our chance at a decent sized buck this year during hunting season.  However, this time of year offers a unique chance to still retrieve that monster rack by other means, Shed hunting.  It is a great excuse to get outdoors and still find that trophy rack from the animal seen on your trail cams.  If you know where they were roaming there is a good chance you will find that rack through other means.

Although it's not quite as thrilling as taking a buck the old-fashioned way, shed hunting is a great way to get in the woods and hone your deer-hunting skills.

It's not something most folks (at least non-hunters) put much thought into, but starting about this time every year, bucks lose their antlers. It's all part of their yearly swing in testosterone levels.

The neat thing about searching for these shed antlers is they don't fall off in the middle of a mall parking lot. They get dropped smack dab in the middle of where the deer live. It gives us another reason to get out of civilization, hone our tracking skills and uncover the winter-time habits of the state's favorite game animal.

You may think there is no rush to bundle up and head into the cold. Those sheds will be around until spring, right? That may not be the case.

Shed hunting has gotten extremely popular over the past few years. There are scores of websites devoted to the sport. And there are even national clubs devoted to the skill of finding dropped antlers. So once this pile of snow melts, lace up your boots and get searching.

One of the best things about shed hunting is there are virtually no barriers to entry. You don't need a license. You can leave the expensive rifle at home. There's no reason to wear the latest camouflage pattern. And you won't get much accomplished if you spend the day perched in an expensive tree stand.

The key to success is to think the same way we do when we take to the woods each fall. There is not much difference in the way we hunt dropped antlers vs. when they're still attached to our quarry. Look for food sources, places where the bucks bed and the trails they travel. If you know where the bucks live, you know where their antlers lie.

Post pics from your adventures to the Caughtem wall and tell us where you found your trophy rack.  As always leave your comments and knowledge in the comment section below. 

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 17:53

Perfect Storm Bad for Moose

We at Shotem and Caughtem thought we would pass along some information so that the hunting community could help aid in research surrounding a large population decrease in Moose which will have a large effect on hunting permits.  Researchers are trying to figure out causes associated with a halving of Moose population across a wide range of the North American continent.  

Three things seem to be having the greatest effect on the Moose.  Weather, Bugs and Food.  Shorter winters and increase temperatures are causing the cool friendly Moose to work harder to keep their body temperatures low.  Because of the warmer temperatures bugs such as beetles who eat the Moose cover, ticks and worms that carry disease they are causing more Moose to become sick.  These bugs are also causing a depletion of trees that the Moose use for cover from predators, regulate body temperature and as a food source.  

The declining Moose population could cause more problems than just for hunters.  As always many species are dependent on Moose.  Their a food source for apex predators, keep forage low for birds and trees trimmed for other herbivores.  

We can help scientist answer questions when out in the field.  Providing data from the Moose we make contact with such as location, health, and looking the animal over when it comes to coats, horns etc could all be vital information to help to cause.  Contact the Minnesota Department of Wildlife which seems to be the one spear heading the research should you have any information on Moose in your area http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html 

As always keep posting photos and leave your comments in the section below.  It is part of our duty as hunters to help make sure future generations get the opportunity to hunt these majestic animals.   

 

Published in News/Events
Monday, 14 October 2013 20:48

Tracking Trophy Deer

We at Shotem and Caughtem are enjoying some much needed October rain.  Many farmers have already harvested their fall crops and planted the winter ones.  With that in mind we are now in the realm of tracking and setting up feeders for the upcoming deer rifle season.  Others are beginning or have already started their hunting and might need some important little facts to procure their trophy animals.  

Deer, Elk and Moose all begin to have a pattern this time of year.  With the cooler weather most of the trophy animals us hunters chase are starting to think about one thing, the next generation.  Males begin marking their territories and are busy making sure the younger generations know who is boss.  Animals will begin to mark trees to let others know who is where.  The rain will begin to hide those marks so if you know of a good place where large rubs where prior to the rain those animals will begin to retrace their steps and redo their rubs.  Setting up a spot from these no longer fresh rubs might land you your trophy.

Should you still be in tracking mode the rain will allow you to find fresh tracks and see the movement through your hunting area.  Knowing how and where deer are moving through an area can let you set the perfect spot.   

Let us know your favorite tracking methods in the comment section below and keep sharing your photos in the galleries.

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have talked in not only the discussion board but also blogged about the predator vs prey debate.  It definitely is a heated topic between many groups.  However, many people of Alaska live from the land and need certian animals to sustain their needs.  Moose is definately a large part of the needs associated with feeding Alaska families through the winter.  Due to this reason Alaska wildlife officials are doing their best to try and create a sustainable Moose and Caribou population so that hunters can stock their freezers for the harsh conditions.  In order to try and accomplish this they opened a short window so that they could harvest part of their large bear population.  It will not only benefit the prey populations but the meat was then destributed to Alaskan residents to help feed families.  Here are the details.

A predator control program has resulted in the killing of nearly 90 bears in Western Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/BEAihS) reports that the program designed to increase moose in the area is operating in game management unit 19A along the Kuskokwim River.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, agency staff shot 89 bears between May 13 and Monday, when the two-year program ended for the year. Officials say 84 black bears and five grizzlies were killed.

Biologists shot the bears from a helicopter in a 530-square mile area of state land that is a small part of unit 19A, which encompasses nearly 10,000 square miles east of Aniak. 

The meat was then distributed to local residents.

Let us know your opinion on the subject in the comment section below or on the discussion board http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/8-predator-prey-balance-hunting-and-conservation.html?groupid=2.  As always post your photos to the galleries and tell us about your adventure.

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 22:13

Main Might Expand Moose Hunting Permits

We at Shotem and Caughtem read that the state of Maine might choose to change the laws regarding the selection process for hunting Moose.  Based on population of Moose in Maine more might need to be done to help curb the population numbers.  A public hearing is being held in Augusta on a bill that would increase the number of moose hunting permits in Maine based on the latest moose population estimate.  The Legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee is holding public hearings Tuesday on seven different wildlife bills.  One of those bills would make a number of changes to Maine's moose-lottery system.  Besides increasing the number of permits based on the moose population, the bill also proposes changing the way moose permits are issued from the current chance lottery system to a drawing in which persons who apply over a number of consecutive years may be guaranteed to receive permits.  These types of changes to a permit system helps not only with money dedicated to conservation but also allows hunters to have a better chance of having the opportunity to hunt these beautiful animals.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below and show us your Moose hunting photos in the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.
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