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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, 16 August 2017 21:54

It's Dove Season!

Dove Season Baby!

Yes our absolute favorite time of the year is quickly approaching.  Dove season has to be one of our most favorite hunts of the year.  High bag limits and just the overall fun of the hunt makes this one of our most exciting times of the year.  Barring an early cool front to hit our favorite spot we have had the opportunity over the past decade to hunt an outstanding set up when it comes to environment for great dove hunting.  Hopefully some of these key factors will help you find a great spot to hunt these delicious and probably one of the more exciting animals to hunt in our opinion this year.  Favorable weather, in the right spot a large amount of activity during peak hours and the lack f needing to be quiet with your hunting buddies in the field make this a hunt not to miss.

Key Hunting property for Dove

We feel there are four main factors that a perfect dove hunting spot should have in a close proximity to your set up. 

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. Water
  4. Gravel/Sand

Main food sources for dove come in small packages.  Millet, wheat, milo, and sunflowers are probably the top seeds we have seen when harvesting dove.

Shelter in the form of dead branches are the doves favorite roosting place.  If you have ever as we call it "seen someone out planting dead trees", there is a reason.  Dove love them.  We plant dead trees close to our favorite spots in order to not only provide a spot for the dove to rest but a great place for our non moving decoys. 

Water is also needed but not just any pond or watershed will do the trick.  Dove need a pot to be able to land and then walk to a shallow watering hole.  Which means if it rains a good amount a couple days before your hunt....hunting by a water spot will not yield good traffic.  On a dry year it will be the ultimate honey hole for dove.

Lastly is sand or gravel to help digest their meal.  Early evenings and mid mornings the dove will flock to dirt roads, graveled roads etc to find their much needed digestion morsel.  If traffic by your food source and water source is slow during the day I bet if you take a drive you see dove hanging out by the roads.

Once you have harvested your dove we hope you check out this awesome dove recipe as well as post your photos and share your stories with us!


Published in Hunter and Angler Blog

We at Shotem and Caughtem love perusing the internet for interesting hunting and fishing topics.  However, we recently stumbled across a hunting story that we thought was so outrageous considering our economic climate we felt it was worth sharing and getting feedback.

Sterilizing Doe Deer to control Population

No you read that right and if you would like to read more about it here is the link to the story we found about deer sterilization.  Trying not to talk politics we will just look at the financials.  You have hunters who go year after year sometimes with unfilled tags who would gladly put there name in a lottery or even pay a little extra to get some extra time in the field and get the meat they need.  A win win.  Last time I checked there are few states since the recent recession that are operating in the black.  So a good way to maybe bring in some money left on the table would not be spending a half a million dollars to try and curb population through medicine and instead through putting food on the table and money in the states wallet. 

State budgets and Alternative Hunting Ideas

It amazes us sometimes how the anti hunting population can offer a voice that makes absolutely no financial or scientific results and spend that kind of money.  Hopefully some in the state will wise up and maybe increase the number of tags or like in our state offer a bonus doe season early in the year to help draw done population numbers.  More tags, more money for the state and less does.  MAKES SENSE TO US FOR SURE......

We would love to share your feedback and comments through more discussions in the comment section below.


Published in News/Events
Friday, 05 September 2014 19:37

Opening Dove Hunting Season and Banded Dove

Dove Hunting Season came with it's share of Weather problems and Heavy rainfall

We at Shotem and Caughtem headed out for the season opener of hunting season.  Dove Season is officially here in most states.  The season opener did not come without its challenges.  As a matter of fact the place where we started or hunt and worked so hard to create the perfect environment received 6 in of rain in the six hours before the opening day.  Needless to say another season might have gone into the wind.  With thousands of places to source water the dove hunting in our premier spot was slow at best.  We still left the field with our limit but that was merely due to determination and patience.  

Searching for the perfect Dove Hunting Environment

We decided the next day to head to another spot we know of and try our luck since it did not have the large amount of rain we had experienced at our other spot.  Luckily for us this place was the mecca we were looking for.  And as a bonus after hunting dove for well over a decade we not only landed our first banded dove ever, but the people we hunted with ended up shooting 8 banded dove total.  A very cool experience we had never had the pleasure of experiencing.  Heck we might have even missed these bands in the past.  Not only are they small and hard to see the first we found was tucked under feathers making it even harder to notice.  We did not even see the first one till we were cleaning the birds.  From that point on we ended up being more tuned to looking for the small devices.

What to do if you get a banded dove

For you prize by calling into the number listed on the band you are sent a digital certificate of your find so that you can get some information about where the dove has been.  Agencies use these bands to track not only movement but population growth etc.  It was a great hunt and even cooler experience.

Banded Dove information

As a matter of fact we are heading back out tonight to hopefully get our last hunt in before a cold front moves in and potentially pushes the dove south in their migration towards the far southern states and eventually into South America for the winter.  As always we hope you share your dove hunting photos and stories to the galleries.  Hope you all have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend.  

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 21:58

Dove Season.....Deer Season!

Whether to hunt or fish?  Shotem and Caughtem Season is here...

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been a little side tracked on getting the Iphone app where it needs to be before the official kick off and our favorite time of the year....the second installment of Shotem and Caughtem season.  Yes twice a year those of us who truly have the passion for hunting and fishing get the opportunity to revel in the glory which only comes along twice a year.  That golden age when the weather is perfect to not only wet a line but smell the sweet smell of gunpowder.  As is the case with these times of year we can be overwhelmed with as looney tunes so appropriately put it a new variation of DUCK SEASON......WABBIT SEASON our own dilema of DOVE SEASON.......BUCK SEASON.

Want to get the app for the social network of hunters and anglers?

Prepping for these times, as is the case with any season, is the most important thing we who have a passion for hunting and fishing can do.  As the fishing season heats up and our focus is distracting for the upcoming hunting season many of us will be outdoors getting ready.  Stands go up, feeders put in place, trail cameras are set, yes it is our favorite time of year.  It is why we are working so hard to get the last app completed. But we live for the official hunting season kick off DOVE SEASON!  

Hunting Season Scouting

Scouting for that perfect wheat stubble, milo patch and the Dove crack grain sunflower fields can also be used as a great way to find out what wildlife happens to be traveling around your favorite hunting spots.  Dove need the basic threes.  Food, water and gravel.  You find a spot that has the perfect mix of all three and you have found our heaven.  We are lucky that we get the opportunity to hunt our heaven every year.  A long time ago we met with a person that owns a local gravel pit with some farm land and some large sloping ponds.  The filet mignon of the skies Graceland.  Plant a couple of dead trees by the water and get out the dove mojo and it is time to burn through some shells.  

If you too can find this perfect place in your area we suggest you knock on the door.  No doubt once the weather begins to change they will begin the journey south and these spots will be the honey hole for those of you that love Dove Season as much as we do.  We hope to see all your photos in some of the great new groups started as you too prep for Shotem and Caughtem season! 

Published in News/Events
Friday, 24 January 2014 22:49

Cold Temps and Late Season Goose Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem would be remiss to not think that we may have the perfect weekend for hunting in store.  Recent cold temperatures in the midwest have made the goose populations rise.  Typically goose hunting is a cold weather sport.  However, this weekend much of the midwest will see a slight uptick in weather temperatures which may make for an unusually nice goose hunting experience.  

Goose offers that last quick hunt prior to a bit of a cold spell for hunting till the arrival of spring turkey season.  Goose hunting can also be the perfect practice session should you love turkey hunting.  Many of the same experiences hold true for both animals.  They require you to be still.  Practice your calling techniques.  Lay out decoys.  And lastly, let them get in close because many of them wear kevlar.  

We are lucky since we in the midwest have had decent moisture levels and the winter wheat fields started a decent growth prior to the deep freeze we have seen.  Also the fact that the wheat around our area at least has gone dormant means farmers are usually more apt to allowing small groups in their fields to help eliminate their goose problems should they have found their fields attractive.  It gives many hunters a perfect opportunity to meet new landowners by extending a helping hand.  "Sir or Mam, I was noticing that your wheat field contains a large goose population.  Would it be possible for me and a friend to help relieve you of some of your problems?"  Many farmers hate to see crop lose to geese since much of the plant is eaten by the animal and will not grow back once temperatures rise.  Also, geese will establish a pattern by hitting the same fields over and over sometimes completely wiping out a farmers crop.  

Let us know your goose hunting secrets or tricks in the comment section below.  As always share your adventures to the galleries and tell us your story.  

Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem heard the news that Tennessee residents are pressuring the state to open a feral pig hunting season.  We thought this would make a great debate for all to way in on the subject.  Here are some details and our thoughts.  Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

An official with the Tennessee Wildlife Commission met with concerned hunters Tuesday who want to open a new hunting season.  Their goal is to open a feral hog hunting season and allow them to use dogs when they track them. They say the animals have caused significant damage on private and public land.  Right now, hunters can kill feral hogs, but only if they get an exemption from the state.  The five counties asking for the changes are Polk, Monroe, White, Bradley and McMinn.

Though we think that feral hogs are more than a pain, there are some things we have noticed in surrounding states that we feel have worked best for this invasive species.  Wild Boar have covered much of the southern states since Christopher Columbus released the first pigs from his boat.  As many know pigs are not natural to North America.  If you travel to Texas to hunt wild pigs they will give you a stack of tags for a nominal fee.  In Oklahoma however, they decided to also create a hunting season for pigs and charge a pretty high price to do so for revenues sake.  It has backfired.  Many hunting properties began trapping pigs in Texas and importing them into the state in order to make a buck.  As such the number of pigs has doubled in the state in a relatively short amount of time.  Missouri has taken a different approach.  Kill them all.  No tags, no license, just get rid of them.  They have been able to keep the population fairly in check.  They are an impressive animal with even more impressive breeding capabilities.  They can survive in almost any climate and can double their numbers in months.

Which side of the debate and what are your thoughts on the subject?   

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:38

Fall Turkey Season is Here

With large game hunting seasons here or beginning to go into full swing we wanted to also talk a little about Fall Turkey Season.  We at Shotem and Caughtem feel it is a perfect time to add that delicious wild bird to your thanksgiving table.  For those big game rifle hunters it offers a perfect time before the season begins.  It also allows, pheasant and quail hunters and goose/duck hunters, a perfect subject to sharpen their stalking skills.

Hunting techniques are different during the fall season. In the spring, turkeys are well into their nesting season and only toms (birds with a visible beard) are legal to harvest. Spring hunters commonly use calls simulating a hen turkey to attract toms into shotgun range. During the fall season, turkeys are gathering into winter flocks and their focus is finding food. Fall hunting is often a matter of finding birds, scouting their feeding areas and setting up an ambush point. Pop-up blinds are very effective for turkey hunting because keen eyesight is the wild turkey’s main line of defense. Movement at the wrong time is the hunter’s biggest enemy.

Calls can be successfully used in the fall, using turkeys’ natural instinct to seek safety in numbers. A hunting technique common in southern states is to break up a flock of turkeys, sometimes using a dog to scatter the birds, then hiding quietly as the birds begin to re-group. Birds will make a “kee-run” call to locate flock members, and the hunter can use this call to an advantage. Again, good camouflage and well-timed movements are keys to success.

As always leave your comments on the subject below and post your photos to the galleries and tell us your story.


Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:05

Bonus Doe Deer Hunting Season

We at Shotem and Caughtem have learned that many states have opened up a couple of day bonus rifle season from which to thin the female deer population a little more in some areas.  As many hunters already have the option to hunt does during a one week bonus season in January, this rifle season happens just before what typically is the rut, which is bow and black powder hunters favorite time of year.  For example Kansas has opened a state wide two day rifle period on Oct 12th and 13th to be able to get out early.  Pennsylvania has an antlerless season that stretches from Sept 7th to October 4th.  Missouri has a bonus season Oct 11th - 14th for certain areas.

For many states the bonus season is a new thing.  We just learned about this extra rifle hunting season a couple of months ago for our state and began checking other states programs.  We felt that many rifle deer hunters who wished they had more time to hunt doe, due to the better meat quality, might check with their individual states to see if they are as lucky as we are to just get a couple extra days out in the field. 

Many should remember that with all the deer hunters in the field that safety should come first so make sure you are wearing your orange.  

Let us know if your state has a double bonus season in the comment section below so that we can help spread the word to others and as always we hope to see your photos in the galleries and tell us your story. 


Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 22:22

Dove Hunting and The Mojo

It should be no surprise at this point in our start of this social network of hunters that we at Shotem and Caughtem love this time of year.  The weather has began to cool, harvest of crops is near and the smell of gun powder and the thrill of the hunt is just a little over a week away.  In celebration of this wonderful start to a whole new hunting season and one of our favorite animals to hunt, the dove, we felt it only right to tell you about a secret we have known for years to having a successful dove hunt............The Dove Mojo.  We love Dove hunting the most because they require the least concealment when hunting and sometimes even a good sized group of individuals can hunt within yelling distance to increase your chances of a good hunt and break up the silence during slow times.  This is not a hunt that requires you to be alone with your thoughts, waiting in silence, hoping to lure in your prey.  So lets get started on how we find the right place and get it set up.

Dove need three elements to keep them in a good moving pattern.  Food, Water and Gravel.  Here in the Midwest we find most Dove are either in Millet fields, some milo but mostly sunflower fields if you can find them.  Our absolute best hunt was in a quarter section of sunflowers, a pond just in the next section over and surrounding both fields were dirt roads.  It was Dove heaven.  We were able to set up three groups that kept birds turning circles all day.  We had a half dozen planted in different spots in the sunflower field, a couple covering the roads at different locations and some sitting down by the pond.  They had no safe place to find their three basic needs.

What helped get the birds to slow down was appropriate positioning of Dove decoys.  In one of the draws splitting the sunflower fields was a couple bales of hay where we positioned some regular clip decoys and a Mojo decoy.  We used a combination of dead trees and hay to create an environment like the one in the photo in all three of our locations.  Many times when we were not paying attention to the decoys and when we would look over some birds had flown into our decoys and were just hanging out.  The group by the pond even had their Mojo attacked by a hawk, so needless to say we feel they are worth the expense.  They will also last year after year with proper care.  Many of the Mojo's we have are at least three to five years old and working great.  We highly suggest keeping the box you buy them in to store them from one year to the next otherwise wings and or poles go missing.  Also make sure you remove the batteries before storage so they do not corrode and ruin the electronics.  Here is a great company that makes the Mojos we use should you need a good starting place http://www.mojooutdoors.com/index.php/vendor-products-menu-item/product/198-mojo-voodoo-dove

Let us know your Dove hunting success stories in the comment section below and come brag with us in the Shotem Gallery once the season starts, which for us is Sept 1, just 12 days away..... not that we are counting.

Okay so anyone who knows the Shotem and Caughtem creators knows that one of our absolute favorite seasons is Dove Season.  Nothing says hunting to us like the capabilities of hanging out with good friends, in relatively good weather (sometimes a bit warm), hunting an animal that allows you to spend really good quality time while procuring the filet mignon of the skies.  So when we were made aware last year that our fellow hunters to the north were going to get the chance to have the same fun that we were we were ecstatic.  So we were even more concerned when we were made aware today that there was a bill on the floor to potentially revoke that right prior to their first season.  Here are the details.

For more than a decade, sportsmen in Iowa fought for the opportunity to pursue North America’s number one game bird – the mourning dove.

Last year, the hard work and dedication finally paid off as the Iowa legislature passed Senate File 464 authorizing dove hunting in the state.

Now, just months after the first successful dove hunt, anti-hunting activists are pushing to have the season banned.

On January 19th, State Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) introduced House File 2061 that would prohibit dove hunting in the state.

Iowa sportsmen should contact their state representatives and ask them to vote no on House File 291.  

Let us know your thoughts on the bill or if you have more information on who to contact to oppose this bill in the comment section below.  As always post your photos and stories to the galleries.  September will be here before you know it!!!

Published in News/Events
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