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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, 04 November 2014 21:56

Duck Hunting Gear Tips

Thinking about going on your first duck hunt?

So we at Shotem and Caughtem went on our very first duck hunt.  Let us first say it was a blast.  Think of it kind of like dove hunting only a lot colder and requiring a way more stealthy and gear heavy approach.  As such we felt like the best place to start talking about the experience would be discussing the gear needed for a successful duck hunt.

Duck Hunting Gun, Choke and Ammo Tips

Of course the best place to start would be the proper gun, ammo and choke.  We realize that the only place we could agree to disagree would be the choke.  Between 10 guys in the blind only two of us were using the same gun.  Many were shooting steel shot number 2, however, we had received a choke from www.kicks-ind.com  to try out so we thought we would do a review based on how the choke did firing 3, 4 and 5 as well.  As many hunters know the lighter the load the cheaper the cost per shell.  So if you can successfully strike your target with a lighter load due to choke performance than you are saving money.  We were shooting 3in shells and found that our Kick's choke at the tip of our remington 870 allowed us to pretty much shoot any appropriate size duck load with success.  Though the heavier loads allowed us to reach out further with greater success, at 30 yards and closer our performance did not change.  The choke held a magnificent pattern at 35 yards and the four birds we knew we shot dropped right away (ten guys firing at once kind of distorts performance overall).  As a matter of fact out of the 10 guns 7 were using Kick's Chokes.  

Proper Hunting Waders for Waterfowl

Next top gear need for duck hunting would be waders.  These can make or break a successful duck hunt.  If you don't have a dog, your waders will be one of the few ways you will be able to retrieve your birds and not freeze.  We suggest purchasing these on sale if possible.  We got ours during dove season in the bargain cave of Cabelas and got last years waders for 60% off regular price.

Hunting from a Duck Blind 

A good duck blind can be your best asset.  Whether you spend the big money and purchase a blind our blind was made with what we like to call midwest ranch scraps.  You would be amazed what you can build with some hedge limbs, cedar trees and old rotten hay.  All this appropriately stripped together provided great cover, and a four foot wide lane to perfectly hold 10 guys with a dog at each end to retrieve.  

Duck calls.  Every hunter in the stand had at least 8 different calls on their lanyards and they all require practice.  We will hit this topic again later since there is definitely an art to that science.

Duck Hunting Decoys for First time Hunters

Last but not least would be decoys.  Here is the expensive side of things.  Lucky for us we were able to go on our first hunt with guys that have been doing this for a long time and had acquired a lot of money in decoys over time.  I think we had no less than a couple thousand dollars in the water.  I think this is why duck hunters love to hunt in packs.  I think it is to share the burden in costs for decoys.

Let us know your tips on the best gear for your duck adventures in the comment section below.  As always share your adventures and experiences to the Shotem wall.

 

Friday, 03 January 2014 21:21

Stack-On Products Woodland Series Safes

Stack-On Products announced today the addition of a new line of safes and we at Shotem and Caughtem were one of the first to get the opportunity to check out the new Woodland Series.  The new features included in these safes definitely appeal visually to the hunting community so they felt we were a perfect match to do one of the first reviews of the products.  

Stack-On® Products today introduced the Woodland Series of fire resistant safes for firearm storage that feature fully-lined Realtree® Xtra camo interiors, convenient back lit electronic locks, and four-way locking with extra-large, 1.5-inch live-action steel bolts and up to 10 locking points.
“These safes add an exciting new element to Stack-On’s line-up of fire resistant safes, said Shelley Nehrt Director of Marketing for Stack-On. “The Woodland Series of safes, also feature matching factory installed door organizers, carpeted barrel rests and a brown hammertone paint finish which complements the Realtree Xtra interior.”  

The new interior modifications allows owners to maximize their safes storage capacity and the new Realtree interior fabric adds a none slip and non snag composite.  The new gun rests in these series of safes are adjustable which allows the owner to have a rest for even their shorter barrel length firearms.  The additional door storage now included in much of the Stack-On series safes allows a great place to hold and access firearms quickly.  The improvements of adding lighting to the electronic keypad allows quick input of your 3-8 digit codes even in pitch black.  As is the case with many of the Stack-On series, the safes exterior makes it an easy sell and a great addition to any room in the home without bringing too much attention to what it might be holding.  The series comes in three sizes, the Woodland 22, 35 and and 60 gun capacities making it easy to find the perfect size to hold your belongings.  All three of the safes are convertible to hold a variety of items from all guns, all storage to a half storage/half guns setup (as shown in the photos below).  All the safes are fire resistant and have a heavy duty bolt pattern for maximum security.  

Stack-On will unveil the new Woodland Series of fire resistant safes and several additional items that incorporate the Realtree Xtra® camo pattern, at the 2014 Shot Show in Las Vegas, January 14 -17 at Booth #605.

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.

 

 

 

Friday, 18 January 2013 17:19

Day 3 at the Shot Show

Day 3 at the Las Vegas Shot Show seemed to be the day of celebrity appearances.  We at ShotemandCaughtem got to meet some of our fellow hunters and fisherman and we were not disappointed.  As seen in the photo we were pleasantly surprised to get to shake the hand of Jacob and Troy Landry (Swamp People).  We gave them some swag and even got them to crack a smile when I told them though it was not Chootem it was Shotem, we thought they would enjoy the website.  Willy Robertson from another one of our favorite shows Duck Commander was at the show as well.  Though our conversation was brief we hope he too will wear our shirt with pride as he and his family seem to love the great outdoors as much as ShotemandCaughtem.  Jim Shockey and his daughter also got some of our swag, we hope they too along with their clients, come to the site to show off some of their adventures from their guided hunts.  And finally we got to shake the hands of the men from The Bone Collector.  Micheal Waddell, Travis Turner and especially Nick Mundt seemed excited to come and visit the site to brag about their trials and tribulations.  Even though we did not get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to Ted Nuggent we hope that he too comes to share his glory.  We are still trying to update ourselves on the great products we saw at the Shot Show so stay tuned for some great product reviews. 

Published in On Location
Thursday, 17 January 2013 04:22

Day 2 2013 Shot Show

Day 2 at the Las Vegas Shot Show was just as amazing as the first.  All we can say is that we did not realize there was some much that went into this industry.  The host of different products has created quite a vast array of things to choose from.  Whether you have a taste for the plain or the exotic it is all present.  We took this photo just to give you a taste of what the show looks like and this is merely a small corner of what is here.  We have grabbed a pile of brochures and literature and once we get a chance to sort through it all we will inform you as to what we took away as highlights from the show.  If you have any pressing questions please don't hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published in On Location