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Description: In this issue of The Outpost Magazine you will find great tips on Summer Fishing, Catching Bass on a Fly Rod, Reading Streams, Kayak Fishing, Bank Fishing, Catching Mackerel, Dove Hunting special preview section, 52 Adventures, Music, Recipes and much more!

GEAR MUSIC RECIPES DOVE SEASON SUMMER FISHING CATCHING BASS ON FLY ROD CRANKBAIT CATCHING MACKEREL READING STREAMS KAYAK FISHING BANK FISHING CARRIE LIGHTFOOT CONSERVATION ING COMBO AYS A WINN ALW PARTIES & Made with 100% Real Cheese AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT STYLE 1.00 COUPON CLICK HERE 2 www.gordoscheesedip.com VEC TOR B U T TON S. COM http youtu.be 5MveCGisXgg 3 ER MM SU ZY EN FR 4 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TABLE OF CONTENTS TAKE THESE FISHING TIPS TO THE BANK 13 GULF RED SNAPPER CATCH YOUR OWN BAIT GEAR 28 16 CATCHING BASS ON THE FLY NFLPA TEAMS WITH USA ALL HAIL THE KING DOVE HUNT CHECKLIST 33 20 CARRIE LIGHTFOOT 58 38 52 SHADES OF ADVENTURE 100 EVERY STREAM TELLS A STORY RECIPES CRANKBAITS 50 54 64 68 GETTING YOUR GUN IN SHAPE LEGAL 72 78 88 DON T LIE FOR THE OTHER GUY 96 THE OUTPOST MUSIC 90 82 O NEILL OUTSIDE THE BOX 110 PHOTO OF THE MONTH 5 FEATURE STORIES KAYAK FISHING 101 Paddling a 10-foot long kayak over class 2 whitewater rapids in search of that perfect spot on the river to find game fish like largemouth bass is anything but leisurely. PAGE 43 DOVE SEASON For most wing shooters it s been a long hot summerand the opening of dove season begins a period of hunting that can last through the spring. PAGE 80 6 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Hey guys I am new to reading your magazine but love what I see so far. Would love more fishing stuff for the nothern states but look forward to each issue now. Neal Upper Peninsula Love Kix Brooke and William Michael Morgan Tim hall OKC USA We love to hear what you have to say. Send us your thoughts to Art TheOutpostMagazine.com GEAR MUSIC Never really thought I would like reading a magazine on my phone but actually find it easy to do now. Still wouldn t mind seeing a print version Gregg Knoxville TN I love your magazine because it is not just hunting and fishing. I love those but enjoy the recipes the music and have started listening to your podcast as well. Keep up the good work Hannah Blakely GA Bocephus can sure nuff survive Margret Manor Birmingham RECIPES KIX BROOKS PARMALEE COUNTRY GOES OUT DOORS SWAMP MAN BRUCE MITCHELL WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN HANK WILLIAMS JR BEST FISHING SPOTS JACK UNRUH 7 CAN T GET ENOUGH OF THE OUTPOST ART YOUNG Partner & Editor In Chief Contributing Writers Art Young Jason Martin O Neill Williams Randy Hall Ryan Lovelace JASON MARTIN Partner Sales & Publisher Contributing Photographers Jason Martin Flickr Commons O Neill Williams Mike Dunn Art Young Sam Lashlee Eva Shockey Katie Vandiver Ron Wright Tony Eckler Summer Ketchum Amy Elrod Trey Prater Robb Barkley Frank Lannom Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Brooke Thomas Chad Parker Hook 1 Kayaks Hayden Guynes Deidra Johnson Carrie Lightfoot Kirk Driscoll Michael Allen PHIL HALL Partner & The Outpost Radio On Air Personality Tim Howard O Neill Williams Phil Hall Bob Crowley Art Young (Podcast) BOB ROMANKO Sales KEMSEY MARTIN Production Assistant Advisory Pro Staff Trey Weatherington Rebecca Spradley Katie Vandiver Tony Eckler O Neill Williams Chuck Paddock Kirk Driskell Ryan Lovelace Allison Keeble FOR SUBSCRIPTION TO THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE CLICK HERE http www.theoutpostlife.com subscribe.html FOR BACK ISSUE OF THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE CLICK HERE http theoutpostlife.com library.html FOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT JASON MARTIN - 770-675-7200 OR EMAIL JASON THEOUTPOSTMEDIAGROUP.COM CLICK HERE 8 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FOR EDITORIAL INQUIRIES CONTACT ART YOUNG EMAIL art theoutpostmagazine.com THE OUTPOST is produced and copyrighted 2016 by The Outpost Media Group Reproduction in whole or part without permission is expressly forbidden. The Outpost Media Group LLC 770-675-7200 9 EDITORS LETTER My plan for this column was to write one of my smart-ass pieces about something silly in the news. It could have been the Pokemon Go craziness and how grown adults are falling into manholes because they are so intently focused on their phones and the possibility of catching a virtual reality cartoon character. Or I could have written a hysterical homage to the summer heat which would begin with the words It was so hot that (fill in your favorite heat joke). However the flooding in Louisiana during the weekend of August 11 14 changed my plans. I think I ll share some stories on fishing or more accurately fishermen and women. I live in the charming community of Lafayette Louisiana and over the course of this August weekend it rained more than 30 inches in this southern part of the state resulting in a natural disaster the likes of which I have never witnessed. Several people drowned in the flood and more than 7 000 people had to be rescued. Many of these people who were trapped in attics in submerged vehicles or clinging to tree limbs would have died had it not been for courageous anglers in their boats. If you ve ever fished or hunted in the state of Louisiana you appreciate the fact that it is known at The Sportsman s Paradise. This is a well-earned moniker. From early childhood kids in the state learn to hunt and fish. They know how to call in a mallard catch a mess of crappie (aka as sac au lait ) or field-dress a whitetail deer. They also know what it means to help a neighbor who is in trouble. 10 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM All during the weekend flooding men and women who would normally be in their boats casting for bass or drinking a cold one were patrolling flooded neighborhoods saving lives and retrieving property. On my block which is about 300 yards from the over-flowing Vermillion River hundreds of people lost cherished possessions and experienced the trauma of real danger from the flood. Throughout the ordeal nobody really called for an organized effort to help my neighbors who couldn t believe what was happening to them. There was no time. However from out of nowhere hundreds of people adults and teenagers showed up some with boats and some wearing waders to save the pets and property of complete strangers. My favorite moment was saying howdy to a big guy who parked his pickup and boat in my driveway. Someone had hand-written a sign for his truck door that said In Louisiana we don t wait for help to arrive. We ARE the help. Even now as you are reading this there is enormous sadness in the state of Louisiana but there is also an optimism that comes from knowing that complete strangers will sacrifice their own safety to help you in an emergency. Please say a prayer for the folks affected by this flood and God bless the sportsmen and women who came to their rescue. If you had an experience with the Louisiana Flood of 2016 shoot me an email and we will share with the Outpost Tribe. My address is art theoutpostmagazine.com Later Art Young Editor The Outpost FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OUTPOSTART FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM THEOUTPOSTLIFE WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 11 HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES OF They re all waiting for you at our website WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM GO AHEAD. CAST A LINE AND REEL THEM IN 12 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCE COMMITTEE ADVANCES SOLUTION FOR GULF RED SNAPPER On the heels of another unreasonably short recreational red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 3094 the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Management Authority Act (H.R. 3094). Introduced by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) and with the support of 42 bipartisan co-sponsors H.R. 3094 offers a proven state-based solution to ensure America s anglers have more than just nine days to access the healthiest population of Gulf red snapper in history. We are very grateful to Committee Chairman Rob Bishop Congressman Graves and the Members of the Committee who voted for this bill and for better management of the Gulf red snapper fishery said Jeff Crane president of Congressional Sportsmen s Foundation. The current federal model is clearly not working and it s time for a more balanced approach to the management of this fishery. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 13 Congressman Graves bill will extend formal federal recognition to the historic agreement between the five Gulf States to accept joint responsibility for the management of the red snapper fishery in both state and federal waters. The bill also ensures the current individual quota shares of the commercial fishery are protected. After many years of disappointment the strong bipartisan vote in favor of reforming Gulf red snapper management heralds a brighter future for marine recreational fishing said Center for Coastal Conservation President Jeff Angers. Hopefully 2016 will be the last year anglers and coastal communities will have to endure the contorted federal mismanagement in this fishery. MANAGEMENT OF SPECIES PROVED Through their highly successful management of species like red drum speckled trout snook and numerous others the states have demonstrated they can effectively manage fisheries for both sustainability and access. The Natural Resources Committee s overwhelming bipartisan passage of H.R. 3094 is clear validation of what we have argued over the years federal management has failed recreational fishermen said Patrick Murray president of Coastal Conservation Association. The fact that you have Members of Congress both Democrat and Republican from across the nation supporting this legislation shows that this fishery needs state-based innovation that this bill will provide. In light of the inability of the federal data collection system to accurately measure recreational angler harvest all five Gulf States have implemented their own systems of angler data collection. These new programs combined with their existing robust sampling procedures of the red snapper population itself will position the states well to assume the new management responsibility. 14 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FISHING TRIP GIVE AWAYS EVERY FRIDAY FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE ENTERED TO WIN THIS ACTIONPACKED FISHING ADVENTURE. A 6 NIGHT 5 DAY TRIP ON LAKE GOGEBIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR. SPECIES INCLUDE NORTHERN PIKE WALLEYE PERCH CRAPPIE SMALLMOUTH BASS AND MORE. DAILY LIMITS ARE PLENTIFUL. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 15 NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION TEAM UP WITH UNION SPORTSMEN S ALLIANCE 16 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) officially signed on to support the Union Sportsmen s Alliance (USA) as its sixteenth governing affiliate. The decision was a result of years of dialogue discussing how the two organizations could work together to enhance the value for their members and the partnership was solidified with the recent appointment of NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to the USA Board of Directors. Many NFL players and former players (Deion Sanders Bo Jackson Brian Urlacher Randy Moss Adam Vinatieri and Joe Thomas to name a few) are avid outdoorsmen who enjoy hunting fishing and spending time in nature with friends and family. The NFLPA and its members also place great importance on volunteerism and community service according to Nolan Harrison former NFL player and current Senior Director of Former Player Services. With the USA s mission to unite the union community for conservation and its unique environment of fellowship in the outdoors the partnership is a natural pairing. NFL PLAYERS ARE JOINING THE USA TEAM We are always looking for ways to connect with our larger family of organized labor said Smith. Because so many of our players participate in hunting fishing and other outdoor activities during the offseason the USA became a natural way for us to get our players more involved in this union and with other union members outside the football world. With so many different unions with different goals I believe we always have to focus on the things we have in common. When I look to the USA I look to it as one of the ways we can focus on the core things that bind us together. With some NFLPA members already in the USA s ranks the opportunity to extend the involvement to all current and former players will go a long way in building excitement and participation in events and volunteer projects plus it will certainly to borrow a line from AFL-CIO President and USA Chairman Richard L. Trumka add more muscle to the conservation movement. We are ecstatic to have the NFL Players Association join the USA as its newest governing affiliate said USA Deputy Director Mike d Oliveira. They represent so many members who share a deep passion for our outdoor heritage and we welcome them and their families with open arms to our growing team of hardworking sportsmen and women. With the NFLPA s charter-level support active and former NFL players can join the USA at no cost and are encouraged to participate in the organization s fundraising dinners sporting clays shoots and volunteer conservation projects that improve public access to the outdoors enhance wildlife habitats restore America s parks and mentor youth to be responsible stewards of our wild spaces. For more information visit www.unionsportsmen.org www.nflpa.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT S ONLINE THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THE OUTPOST RADIO THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST 19 EVERY STREAM Fishermen will do almost anything to gain an advantage over their prey. Billions of dollars a year are spent on high tech equipment to find and catch fish but we all know that guy who consistently catches fish with nothing but a well-worn rod reel and lures and a few flies. What gives here Actually this successful angler probably has something else that most other fishermen don t have knowledge of where fish are likely to be hiding. Some of this comes from experience and some of it has to do with an angler being able to read a stream. As outdoor writer Dave Hughes has noted in his excellent book Reading the Water most fish are in a small percentage of the water. 20 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TELLS A STORY WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 21 Every species of fish has its own unique feeding and spawning tendencies and this determines where they are likely to be found at a given time of the day. However trout present some of the most interesting lessons in stream reading and this discussion will focus on them. BLIND CASTING REQUIRES A WELL-READ STREAM Some trout fisherman will not even think of casting a line without seeing the fish first. This allows the angler a better than average chance of plunking the perfect fly in the general vicinity of the fish resulting in a classic tussle culminating in another one in the creel. This strategy is great if one happens upon stream or pool teeming with willing dance partners. However most of the time the trout are not that plentiful and most are doing a good job of hiding and waiting for that easy next meal. When the trout are not visible it s necessary to launch Plan B blind casting. Just as the phrase suggests this is casting a line where you think the fish might be. This judgment is greatly enhanced with some knowledge of how trout navigate the many environments of streams. In other words learning the basics of reading a stream can enable the angler to make better decisions on where the fish are and are not. FISH DON T NEED MUCH Smart observers such as Hughes and Tom Rosenbauer who wrote Reading Trout Streams and who serves as a consultant to Orvis have succinctly noted the three requirements of every fish food shelter and oxygen. Sure every species of trout (and fish) has a little different tendency towards these three areas. However understanding these three factors will enable a better reading of the stream and more success in catching fish. 22 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM It s been noted by more than one aquatic biologist and grizzled fishing guide that trout are basically lazy. Or at the very least they are creatures that like to minimize their energy expenditure and maximize their caloric intake. In other words they won t travel much to chase after a weird looking fly. They position themselves to be in the perfect position to grab tiny insects as they float by. The larger trout such as Browns are much more aggressive in their pursuit of nourishment. They don t hide a wait as much as other trout. They like to feed at dawn dusk and night and are known to forage wide areas for larger prey smaller fish crayfish even a rodent that makes the mistake of falling into the stream and therefore can be caught easier at these times with simple streamers. They can be found in turbulent or calm water and an angler can have good success if these large trout are pursued during these three times of day. The rest of the day some serious stream reading will likely be necessary. EVEN TROUT NEED OXYGEN Biologists note that for these fish to survive there must be 3 parts per million of oxygen dissolved in the water. As the water temperature goes up its capacity to hold oxygen is diminished. Trout are most active when the temperature is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This has to due to their metabolism and the movement of insects food is plentiful when it s nice and moderately warm. However if the water temperature rises above 65 the trout become lethargic because of a lack of oxygen. When the water temp rises above 75 the trout can suffocate. This explains several things. First there are not many if any trout in streams in the Southwest U.S. during the summer. Secondly when the temperature gets warmer the trout will congregate in areas of a stream where there is churning water because this action results in an increase in the oxygenation of the water. A savvy angler will look for these areas in the stream when the water temperature is warmer. SHELTER FROM THE STORM Nature has supplied trout and all fish with the instinct of survival and this means having a safe place to hide when predators some on the scene. Biologists have observed that when feeding trout will hang out near areas that they can dart to safety. Some of the areas include the undercut of the bank a deep pool or beneath submerged tree branches. These safe areas also keep the current of the stream from constantly buffeting the trout. Since food tends to ride the current the trout seeks to position itself around while remaining out of this current. The bottom of the stream has small and large rocks which serve to reduce the friction of the current making the very bottom almost turbulence free. These dead spots are favored by the trout as they wait for food morsels to pass by. Understanding the signs of these areas in the stream can pay big dividends for the trout fisherman. WHAT S FOR DINNER The need for nourishment is about as basic as it gets for trout and for any trout that is less than 1 foot in length that food is aquatic insects. These insects are found in areas of the stream with high oxygenation and areas where aquatic plants grow. A good read on the stream will enable the angler to locate the above-water signs for these areas of likely food sources. Find the food oxygen and shelter and there s a good possibility that you ll find the fish. So where are some likely places that a sharp stream reader should look WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 23 THE OUTPOST READING STREAMS WHERE ARE THEY It s important to remember that reading a stream involves figuring out where the fish are most likely to be and where they are most likely NOT to be. There are clearly exceptions to every rule. It s possible to catch fish almost anywhere and on any given day the fish might not be hanging out in the areas where you would expect them. However most careful stream readers have thoughts about potential hiding spots and more often than not these are based on experience over many streams. SLOW GOING ON THE FLATS Every stream has an ever-changing current terrain and slope. The area of the river or stream that stretches through a flat terrain and has water flowing over it with the same flatness is called (appropriately enough) the flats. While it is possible to find fish here these are some of the most unproductive areas of the stream for a fisherman. Why The depth of the flats is shallow and bottom is composed of gravel rather than larger rocks. This part of the stream also moves slowly discouraging much insect life. This lack of food and protection is a major turn-off to the trout population and there s not much action in this part of the stream. IT S BETTER NEAR THE BANKS A little patience can pay big dividends when the angler works the bank areas especially if it happens to be an overhanging bank. The undercut area of a bank is an excellent hiding place for a trout and if there are trees and bushes growing in this area making for a little shade and cooler water temperatures all the better. PHOTO SUMMER KETCHUM Areas just in front and immediately behind the boulders on the bank are great holding areas for trout. There are often drop-offs in this area by the bank resulting in dead areas or at least slower water where trout can wait for food. Casting upstream and allowing the fly to travel with the current can be very effective. 24 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM RIPPLES OF RIFFLES Whether you ve known the name or not you ve seen riffles on a stream. They are shallow and fast and result in choppy water on the surface. They occur because the stream is flowing over medium-sized rocks and causing this mini-whitewater effect. Because of the rocks on the bottom and the high level of oxygen being generated from the churn these riffles are great places to find small and medium sized trout. A smart stream reader will look for the pockets of still water found in these riffles. This is where a larger stone is submerged and there is a change in the current. This is where the fish will likely be holding and a well-placed fly can find its way to the trout s mouth. There is also a productive fishing area on the edge of a riffle a seam where the water is moving slower. Trout will often hang out in this area as well. ANGLING THE RUN That area of the stream at the end of a riffle is called a run and it can be a honey hole when the right fly hits the right spot. This area can be shallow (1 or 2 feet) to moderately deep and has smaller boulders that offer excellent cover for lurking trout. The best fly placement tactics to place it in front of and behind the submerged rocks. There will also be dead spots and places of turbulence in these runs caused by submerged rocks and these are great places to find fish. If the run continues around a bend in the stream the current will be faster on the outside of the bend. Guides say that this area is not a good place to find fish. However on the inside of the bend where the current is slower is an excellent place to find fish. The bank area of this run is also a prime area to find trout that are hiding and waiting. https www.youtube.com watch v KL1tnIFB88U&feature youtu.be 25 PHOTO BLUE RIDGE FLY FISHING ARE THE BIG TROUT IN THE POOLS Pools are formed by fast water and a steep slope. This is where the stream slows down dramatically and the stream widens and deepens. The most common opinion is that these pools hold a treasure trove of large trout. However not all guides believe this is true. 26 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM One popular tactic for working the pools is to run a streamer through the water especially if it happens to be the times when the large trout are feeding (dawn dusk and night). Guides also suggest fishing the head of the pool and the banks near the pool. DON T FORGET THE POCKET WATER Another part of the stream to be aware of is called pocket water. This comes about when a group of large boulders and rocks are blocking a swift running stream and white caps of rushing water are evident. While it seems that this fast current would deter trout there are pockets of still water behind these boulders near the bottom of the stream and trout will often be found at the farthest point of this calm water from the bolder. As in all cases the most productive place in this pocket water is in the seams. Find them and you will likely find a fish waiting for a little snack. READING STREAMS A LIFELONG ENDEAVOR These insights about reading a stream are literally the tip of the submerged rock in the stream. There are many great books that have been written about this subject some of which we have mentioned here. As Rosenbauer noted in his classic book Reading a trout stream is more than looking at the currents on the surface. A canoeist reads currents learning to avoid rocks beneath the surface or predicting how a sharp bend in the river will influence the course of his or her craft. Yet an accomplished canoeist will only be a hair better than the average person in predicting where trout will be found in a stream. To read a stream you need an understanding of a trout s life history behavior and requirements for survival. Like great literature reading steams is a lifelong endeavor. Each book and stream is just a little different and the joy lies in relishing this fact. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 27 TAKE THESE FISHING TIPS TO THE BANK 28 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE OUTPOST BANK FISHING It s been said that the two best days a boat owner has is the day he buys it and the day he sells it. The fact is most anglers don t have a boat but they still want to catch fish. This means that most fishing is done from the bank. With a little planning this can be just as much fun as fishing from one of those double-wide boats. Since the techniques for bank fishing are different from those where a boat is used here are some tips that you can take to the bank. While the best time to bank fish is early in the season even late summer and early fall can often find fish moseying up to the bank. An angler who knows where to look is likely to find fish at any time of the year. FISH NEED A LITTLE STRUCTURE IN THEIR LIVES If fishing for game fish such as bass or crappie it s important for the angler to work around structures such as submerged stumps or bushes and weeds. Most fishermen avoid these areas because of the potential for losing lures and tackle if they get entangled in the undergrowth. Unfortunately these areas are where the fish live and its better to risk a hook or two than to try and fish in non-productive places. There s a lesson about fishing from Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks It s where the money is. You fish where the fish are. A great place to find fish is under bridges. This is due to the very logical reason that a bridge spans a river or creek and the deep water near the pilings supply shade and rock used for their foundation slows the erosion of the area making it an ideal spot for most fish species. Piers are also excellent structures to find fish in spite of the fact that there is usually a lot of other fisherman with the same idea. The type of bank will also affect where fish might be lurking. The best type of bank is one with a relatively steep drop-off. If this can be found more fish will likely be in casting range. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 29 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM CHOOSING THE RIGHT LURES AND STRATEGY FOR A STRIKE Choosing a lure that is relatively snag-free is the best strategy for fishing from the bank. If the angler is after bass the best type of lure is a plastic worm or other soft plastic lures that are rigged with the hooked point buried in the body. Spinnerbaits and topwater lures are also great to avoid entanglement in undergrowth and for catching fish. If fishing for catfish crappie or bluefish it s advisable to use live or natural bait with a slip bobber to float the bait and a depth that the fish seem to be biting. This bobber will also help the fisherman know when the fish are getting interested in making a strike. Most anglers who are bank fishing give up on a spot too soon. Fishing guides suggest making many casts in an area that might have fish. With this repeated casting the game fish might get annoyed enough to strike the lure that has continued to invade his space. The best times for bank fishing are early in the morning and late in the evening because at this time of day the light is not so bright and the fish are less likely to spook. It s also a good idea to fish from a bank that has the wind blowing into it. Even though it s tough to cast into a breeze when the wind is blowing it forces bait fish toward the bank and game fish such as bass are sure to follow. KEEP A RECORD OF THE HONEY HOLES It s amazing how few fishermen keep track of active spots. Fishing websites suggest keeping a logbook listing the locations and types of fish that were caught in given areas. It may not be obvious but there are always reasons why some areas have more fish than others and with a reference book it makes it easier to remember where they were biting last time. When you ready to wet a line you don t need no stinkin boat. Grab your gear and head for the bank to make a little withdrawal. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 31 32 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM CATCHING BASS ON THE FLY Most fly fisherman think of themselves as cool. This could be due to their fishing equipment artistic casting technique or maybe their spiffy vests which are adorned with every type of fly known to man. The fact is most fly fishermen are cool because they spend a lot of time standing in very cool water. Why That s the type of water that trout must have to have in order to live and any fly fisherman wants to catch (and of course release) trout. Right Not necessarily. Anglers who grow up and learn to cast a line in warmer areas are not exposed to fly fishing equipment. If they live in someplace like Texas or Georgia they fish for the great American fighting fish the bass. Whether they are striped smallmouth or the legendary largemouth variety the bass is king where the weather is warm. A few years ago someone (most likely a marketing person for Orvis or some other fly fishing equipment company) said Hold on Partner You can get the same excitement of catching 10pound bass on a fly rod. The rest is fly fishing history. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 33 Photo Trey Prater 34 WHY FLY FISH FOR BASS Pound for pound bass fight harder than just about any other fish including trout. They can live in less-thanpristine water which makes them more available than other fish. Plus they are not as finicky about their diet and its presentation as trout. Even the most meticulously constructed fly which is aerodynamically and aesthetically exquisite placed in the perfect proximity to a trout cruising through a crystal-clear stream can result in the fish nonchalantly ignoring the bait. Trout are connoisseurs. Cast a less-sublime fly in a muddy lake with vegetation all around but in the general vicinity of a small-mouth bass and the odds are pretty good that the bass inhales the fly and starts putting up a fight that could last a half-hour. Bass are not so finicky and it makes them mad when you trick them. WHAT TYPES OF FLIES WORK FOR BASS The type of fly that an angler should consider for bass depends on where he she thinks the fish will strike. The choices are (1) at the surface (2) sub-surface and (3) deep-water. Each of these areas have their advantages and disadvantages but fishing guides hold that most fly fishermen prefer that the battleground be on the surface of the water because the fish are easier fooled here. For fly fishing on the water s surface there are several choices for the angler to consider. These include flies poppers sliders and divers. Each has a place in the tackle box (or on that cool vest) and over the course of a day on the water each might prove more effective than the others. There are a lot of interesting choices for flies for bass fishing. Caddisflies (Elk hair Caddis or Caddis Buck) can be used year-round and are especially good from late afternoon until dark. The Brown Drake fly is effective in early spring for smallmouth bass especially. Other possible choices for flies include White Miller Damselflies Dragonflies and Skaters. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 35 RADIO FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS The Outpost Radio is the first radio station dedicated to hunting fishing and the great outdoors. You can hear us on your smartphone desktop or tablet...just about anywhere. The Outpost Radio is a mix of great music and information that celebrates the outdoors Give us a listen. Click on The Outpost logo below to listen now 36 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Experienced fishing guides contend that the most consistent weapon for the anglers in search of bass is the popper. There are three types of poppers Deer hair poppers balsa wood poppers and softer syn thetic or plastic poppers. These poppers will be labeled such names as Cupped poppers Bullet Head poppers Pencil poppers and Skipping bugs The size of the fly should range from 2 - 8. Sliders are flies that offer a lazy motion that a hungry bass finds hard to resist. They can be used very slowly and might be a good Plan B if the fish aren t biting on poppers. Some well-known sliders in clude Sneaky Pete and Drake s slider. Divers are flies that dive and wobble at the same time. This motion is the potion for many striped small mouth and largemouth bass on the prowl. They act as a surface popper when twitched and when the angler slowly retrieves the fly will dive and swim. Needless to say this is very persuasive effect and bass love it If the fly fisherman chooses to pursue bass at the subsurface there are several choices for flies most of which have a streamer appearance. The most popular subsurface flies are minnow imita tions (Sculpin Mad Tom and Clouser minnows) Marabou Muddlers Matuka Crayfish patterns Wooly Boogers Zonker Lefty s Deceiver and Red and White Hackle flies. Photo Trey Prater WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 37 CRANKBAITS CATCH FISH ESPECIALLY LARGEMOUTH BASS The word crank has gotten some bad press over the years. For example crank calls are annoying. Nobody wants to be around someone who s tired and a little cranky. When something is not what it s cranked up to be it s not getting any good recommendations. Even Mark Twain used the word in one of his memorable quotes A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. However ask any bass fisherman what works best for catching the big lunkers and he is likely to say nothing but good things about crankbait. This lure is designed to imitate a swimming bait fish crawfish or other foraging fish. Diving crankbaits float when they are at rest and have a plastic or metal bill that allows them to be pulled and then dive under the water on the retrieve. Lipless crankbaits typically sink and run deepest on a slow retrieve and shallowest on a fast retrieve. Crankbait got its name from this retrieval process. The angler makes a cast with the lure and when he cranked her back in its diving motion would prove irresistible to the predator instincts of a largemouth bass. Having one of the treble hooks stuck in your lip has that effect on bass. It makes them well a little cranky. Crank it Up As with anything related to fishing and hunting there are always differences of opinion about the type of bait to use for catching fish and not every fisherman favors crankbait. The usual complaint about these diving lures involves their two sets of treble hooks. The anti-crankbait crowd feels that with that many hooks and the fact that bass love to hide out in areas with thick vegetation the odds are high that these hooks will get caught in the growth. While there is certainly truth in this concern any lure has the potential for being snagged and seasoned anglers have several tricks for unsnagging hooks without losing the lure. Plus while crankbaits often get caught in this kind of cover the position that the lure travels in is bill first and head down thereby protecting the hooks from getting caught in the growth. 38 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Tips on Using Crankbaits As effective as a crankbait can be in snagging a bass these fish especially the ones that have been around a few years won t fall for just any presentation. There are several techniques that an angler can use to improve his odds. Fishing guides offer several great tips for getting a little cranky with these wily fish. The simple stopand-go retrieve is one way to trigger strikes. It is suggested to trigger strikes that the angler crank the lure hard down to its design depth which may be five feet 10 feet 15 or more and then work it in a series of stop and go movements with twitches of the rod between. Banging the plug off of an underwater rock or log can also lead to more success with crankbait. A rocky bar submerged tree or dock pilings are perfect for this lure. Bass can t resist the flirt and flash created when a fast-running crankbait bounces off hard structure. Using the Right Tackle for Crankbait Not every rod will work with a crankbait lure. Veteran fishing guides suggest that a good crankbait rod should have a relatively slow action. In other words the rod should start to bend down about half way down when moderate pressure is applied to the top section. Fast action means that just the top third will bend with the same pressure. Slower rods will help cast the lure further and help keep from tearing out the hooks when a strong fish is caught. Many experts contend that the slower action will also give the bass a little more time to inhale the bait before you set the hook ensuring that you don t rip the bait away from the fish before it gets the hook. As for reels guides suggest using those with 4 1 or 5 1 gear ratios to slow down the bait and provide more power for cranking in the heavy fish. It is also important to have enough line due to the fact that long casts are necessary to take advantage of the diving action of the lure. If fishing in an area that requires the crankbait to dive down to 20 feet or more guides suggest that the best diameter of the line is 10 to 12 pound test. Crankbaits for Shallow Water Fishing Many professional bass fishermen have switched gears on the traditional deployment of crankbait. One of the hottest trends in bass fishing has been the use of shallow-running crankbaits. This is counter-intuitive given that lure manufacturers have been competing for making crankbaits that can dive 20 to 30 feet deep. Anglers that use the shallow-running crankbaits have several reasons for this. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 39 40 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The habitat conditions have changed and this encourages shallow running crankbaits. Many lakes have seen a proliferation of shallow weed growth including milfoil hydrilla and other fast-growing varieties. This vegetation is choking the shallows often where there was no aquatic vegetation a decade ago. Fishing guides and some lure manufacturers have noted that these junk weeds provide excellent bass cover and the latest shallow-running crankbaits is perfect for probing that narrow band of water between the surface and the vegetation. Crankbaits that are designed to work the top of the water and on the outer edges of thick vegetation are rapidly growing in popularity. These crankbaits designed for shallow water use come in two type short-lipped crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. The short-lipped crankbaits are capable of diving only one to three feet on 10-pound line and they vary widely in shape. Some are cylindrical like a living baitfish others short and plump more toad like and others are thin with flat sides. Each style produces its own distinct movements vibrations and sounds. The lipless crankbaits are designed for speed. They all have flat sides a hollow interior chamber loaded with shot or rattles to create a loud chattering sound and no diving lip at all. Most sink at rest a few models float or suspend. Fishing guides note that lipless cranks are designed to be burned quickly over submerged grass beds stumps and rocks creating extreme noise and vibrations that trigger strikes from aggressive bass. While most popular in shallow water lipless cranks can be fished at any depth even counted down or vertically jigged for deep suspended bass. It s Time to Get Cranky Having several crankbait lures in a tackle box is good insurance against a slow day on the water. Whether they are used in deep or shallow water the diving movement lifelike appearance and even sound of crankbaits can help the angler fool his prey. These plugs can turn a slow boring day on the water into knock-down drag-out fight with Mr. Largemouth. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 41 THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT S ONLINE THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THE OUTPOST RADIO THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST 42 KAYAK FISHING 101 Paddling a 10-foot long kayak over class 2 whitewater rapids in search of that perfect spot on the river to find game fish like largemouth bass is anything but leisurely. Other words like intense extreme or challenging are more accurate in explaining this experience. Kayak fishing has been described as close quarters combat and it s all that and more Holding on for dear life making quick turns using one end of the paddle for a rudder while hoping that the rod is secured and feeling the scraping of the gravel of the stream on the bottom of the boat are all a part of this extreme version of fishing. However for some anglers who love up-close-and-personal non-motorized fishing there is nothing more fun than kayak fishing. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 43 At one time kayaking was merely another way for crazy adrenaline junkies to get their daily fix by hopping in a small one-man craft grabbing a double-bladed paddle and heading for either the open ocean or a whitewater infused stream. Now it has become a very effective way to find fish in either fresh or salt water. Kayak fishing has become a hot sport but it s definitely not for the faint of heart. WHAT S A KAYAK It may surprise you to know that there is not one single type of kayak. No. That would be too simple. Kayaks are classified by their use. There are eight primary classifications polo slalom whitewater surf touring expedition light touring day tripping sprint racing and general recreation. From these primary classifications stem many sub-classes. For example a fishing kayak is simply a general-recreation kayak outfitted with accessories that make it easier from which to fish. Kayaks are also different from canoes. The Grand Poobahs of canoes and kayaks The International Canoe Federation define a kayak as a boat where the paddler faces forward legs in front using a double-bladed paddle. While most kayaks have closed decks the sit-ontop kayaks are growing in popularity (especially among fishermen) as are inflatable kayaks which come without decks but which have air chambers surrounding the boat. Due to their design which is geared toward carrying one person kayaks have outstanding maneuverability in all types of water. They have outstanding range and adaptability because they are powered by paddles in the hands of the individual and as such are ideal for exploring diving and fishing. The fact that there is no sound from even a trolling motor also enhances the craft s value in getting an angler close to high-potential spots without surprising wary fish. 44 FIRST QUESTION ARE YOU IN GOOD ENOUGH SHAPE TO DO THIS Before deciding to take up the sport of kayak fishing it s a good idea to think about what this entails. Kayaks have no motors so the only way to get to the fish is by human power. This requires a level of fitness that many old and even younger anglers don t have. Before heading off to that honey hole make sure you have the stamina to paddle back Fishing from this type of boat also requires some training padding turning guiding the craft balancing etc. and this adds another layer of work before you can actually wet a line. Also because of the limited space kayak fishing puts a premium on multipurpose fishing tackle and gear. Finally because of the constant threat of turning over and being dumped into the water kayak anglers must be willing to wear a life vest for the entire time they are on the water. If any of these things sound like they would be a pain in the butt and put a crimp in your fishing style you might want to stay away from kayak fishing. However if you decide that this sounds like fun the first question anyone who s thinking about taking up kayak fishing asks is what s the best kayak for me to buy. As old fishing guides like to say Well that depends. CHOOSING A KAYAK FOR FISHING As noted earlier there are lots options in kayaks and one size does not fit all. There are sit-in kayaks sit-on-top kayaks whitewater kayaks and so forth. Experts in the sport suggest that a newbie kayak angler answer a few questions. First how will the kayak be used For example will you be fishing in low-water streams during late summer If so this is when the stream s flow will be decreased exposing gravel bars a ledges. This means that there could be a lot of getting in and out of the kayak dragging it over the gravel bars and a sit-on-top kayak might be easier for this activity. Secondly go to a kayak retailer with a wide selection climb in a few and test how you feel in the various types of rigs. If you feel cramped ask the sales guy gal to adjust the seat and foot pegs. Climb in and out of as many kayaks as they have for sale and see if it feels comfortable to you. Check each kayak s weight specification and make sure you have enough room for your fishing gear and you. Next decision involves the length of the kayak. The websites of kayak retailers suggest that most fisherman as comfortable using a recreational sit-in or sit-on-top of boat. Boats with a hull length of 12 to 14 feet are the best choice for anglers who fish flat water or mild moving water with an occasional class 1 rapid. The boats which at between 10 and 12 feet are best for fishing excursions where there is flat and moving water. The smaller kayaks 10 feet and shorter are the most maneuverable and are best for float trips where the angler is likely to encounter class 2 or 3 rapids. There are hundreds of other considerations when choosing a kayak. In fact there are entire books and websites dedicated to this subject. The best approach is always to personally try on the boat at the store talk to sales reps at the store and talk to anyone who is involved in the sport. DON T GET UP A CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE After the decision on the type of kayak is made there are a three other necessities one must obtain before hitting the water. You will need a paddle rod holder and life vest and as with the kayak itself there are several considerations that go into choosing each of these. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 45 46 The question about length and composition of a paddle is a little more complicated when the kayak is being used for fishing. If a 6 foot tall person was just paddling a 12- foot kayak not trying to catch fish most experts would suggest that he use a paddle of 230 cm. However when fishing from a kayak it is often necessary to pick up the paddle to rudder the boat while you are holding the rod in your other hand. If the paddle is too long or too heavy this becomes onerous. Therefore a shorter paddle (203 cm) made of some light-weight material carbon or fiberglass is much more effective for kayak fishing. Part of the fun of kayak fishing involves dealing with rapids. Keeping a rod secured while this whitewater is knocking the boat around is the job of rod holder. There are all kinds of rod mounts top mount or flush mount holders and most will do the job adequately. However deciding where to put them on the boat is very important because (remember) you re paddling this thing It s important to take your paddling stroke into consideration when installing the rod mount in order to avoid a situation where you are striking the mount while paddling. Most kayak fishing websites suggest that the best way to position these mounts is to have them pointing either straight ahead or straight behind not out to the side where they can get tangled in overhanging branches. While it s not as much fun as choosing the type of kayak choosing to wear a life vest could save your life. Comfort is the key consideration on this piece of gear. Since no one knows when the kayak will hit a patch of water that tosses the angler into the water a life vest can be the difference between going home and drowning. Ask retail salespeople to show you the types of vest that whitewater kayakers like to use and try these on. They should fit snugly without impinging on your ability to paddle and cast. There are a few more accessories that might come in handy for your kayak fishing. You will want include a leash for your paddle and a tether for the rod and reel as well. A small box for tackle and a pair of needle-nosed pliers for pinching sinkers cutting line and removing hooks round out the basic rigging gear required to make any kayak into a more efficient fishing craft. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS If you re new to the sport of kayak fishing you might be interested in some insights from a professional kayak angler. We asked pro fisherman Alan Sladek to give us some insights about this fast-growing sport. I would say that the biggest factor is the wind Alan said. The wind makes it hard to position and present the bait to the fish. In a traditional boat you have a trolling motor that helps you stay in position and keep the bait in the strike zone longer. Kayakers have to find a drift and chose a bait that works in those conditions. 47 48 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM He continued The equipment that you have makes a lot of difference in wind conditions. I fish the Hobie Pro Angler 14. This boat is 14 long and 40 wide making it easier to handle wind and with the mirage drive it allows me to hold my position on a windy point much like a traditional trolling motor. This enables me to fish various baits and do it effectively. So what are the benefits of this type of fishing The benefits are that you are the motor so you get great exercise he laughed. Secondly you operate in stealth mode and are able to fish in extremely shallow water. Most of the time we can get where traditional anglers can t go and usually that provides a quality opportunity on a big fish that hasn t been pressured. I enjoy the peaceful silence of the early morning paddle gives me time to think he said. The gear is always evolving Alan notes. I carry a Black-Pac from Yak Attack. This piece of equipment allows me to have excellent tackle organization and storage. It also allows me to keep my rods stored securely. I always carry my Yeti cooler so that I have plenty of hydration and nourishment on the lake. The Pro Angler offers excellent storage and is able to carry 6 rods horizontally. I also use a Lowrance Sonar he said. I use Temple Fork Outfitters Tactical Bait Casting rods. It is important to use rods over 7 feet long because you need to pick up line quickly. Temple Fork makes an outstanding product at a great price. What advice does Alan offer to someone just starting out in kayak fishing My advice is to try every brand of kayak before you purchase he notes. Find a reputable dealer that has demo days so that you can try at no cost. Every kayak is different just like every angler. The dealer that I recommend is Mariner-Sails. This company has been in the kayak business for over 20 years and has the knowledge and expertise to advise the expert down to the novice. You can check them out at Mariner-Kayaks. com. KAYAK FISHING WHAT A TRIP If you enjoy fishing because its slow pace helps you relax and renew from the chaos of the real world kayak fishing might not be for you. There s no motor so the angler has to be in good shape. It s strenuous and requires a constant concentration on balancing rod paddle and boat so there s no snoozing involved. However if you like going to places on the water where there is no fishing pressure because no traditional craft can get there - Hello Kayak Fishing This sport can do nothing but explode as more people discover it. It s fast it s fun and it s challenging. It s hand-to-hand combat with the fish FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OUTPOSTART FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM THEOUTPOSTLIFE WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 49 How to Catch Your Own Baits According to a July article in the Wall Street Journal there s a worm shortage specifically those big ol fat worms called nightcrawlers which are used by freshwater anglers for bait. The article notes The culprit is bad weather in Ontario the Canadian province where nightcrawlers are hand-picked in the wild and shipped south by the millions. This presents a problem if you re wanting to wet a line and use these wigglers as bait. This spring s shortage of Canadian worms the worst in 26 years is wreaking havoc with supply chains affecting mom-and-pop bait shops and even the retail behemoth WalMart. The price of nightcrawlers is going up if you can even find them. So it might be a good time for a plan B if you fish with live bait. Besides saving a few bucks on worms harvesting you own baits can add to the fun of the experience. Here are a few ideas to get you started. CAST YOUR NET UPON THE WATER If you want fresh bait there s none fresher than that which is in the same lake you re fishing. Using cast nets to catch baitfish is a fun cheap way to go. The best way to catch some minnows crawdads or hellgrammites is to use a seine net. Bait seines feature a rectangle of mesh with weights along the bottom floats across the top and poles of wood fiberglass or metal along each end. They are used in current and take advantage of the water s flow to wash bait into the netting and hold it there until the netter can grab it. The technique for seining is pretty simple. Just hold it in the current with the lower weighted edge of the net close to the bottom and the top edge near or above the surface in a stretch of stream with plenty of rocks to hide the bottomdwelling bait you re looking for. A lone netter can walk upstream with a narrow one-person seine suspended across the current and hope to catch crayfish hellgrammites and minnows that attempt to flee and get pinned by the current against the mesh. However having a friend or two willing to get their feet wet to help makes seining more fun and effective and allows you to use a wider seine which may stretch 10 feet wide or more. With someone walking directly upstream of the net and turning over rocks kicking up the gravel and generally disturbing the bottom you ll rout out all manner of fresh live bait options. 50 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https www.youtube.com watch v GtOvU7CRwMA Umbrella nets are effective especially in clear water where you can watch the minnows gather over the mesh. The mesh of an umbrella net is round or square in shape from three to six feet in diameter and held taut and open with flexible wire supports much like an umbrella. Each corner has a line that is connected to a single main cord that is used to quickly lift the net to capture baitfish. By placing the net on the shallow bottom next to a dock and sinking bread balls over it to attract minnows it s possible to have a good stash of minnows quickly. SETTING A MINNOW TRAP The easiest way to gather a bucket of your fresh minnows is to catch them in a minnow trap. Most of these traps are made of wire mesh and are cylindrical in shape with inverted funnel-shaped openings at each end. To set the trap you place some bait inside drop the trap in into the water and tie it off to the dock or shore. A good bait to catch this bait is a can of cat food punched with multiple holes or a tightly squeezed bread balls. Leave the trap out for a few hours or overnight and you can expect to have fresh bait flipping around the mesh when you check it. A WHITE SPORTS COAT AND A PINK CRUSTACEAN Crustaceans such as crayfish shun light and hide under rocks during the daylight hours venturing out to feed after dark. If you re willing to get wet and have quick hands you can catch crawdads by hand by wading the shallows lifting rocks and grabbing the crayfish around the body just behind the pincers. It only take a few times being pinched to learn where to hold them to keep your fingers out of reach. Minnow traps and traps designed specifically for catching crawdads offer a more passive way to capture a day s bait. Baited with just about any type of food scraps and left overnight on the bottom in an area known to have a population of the crustaceans a trap can produce enough crawdads for a weekend. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 51 PATIENCE YOUNG GRASSHOPPER Winged insects such as grasshoppers crickets and cicadas make a great summer bait. This is especially true when gamefish see them hop drop or get blown into the water. These insects are also not that tough to snare. The easiest way to catch grasshoppers is by prowling overgrown fields with a butterfly net watching where they land and snatching them up. Even better if you have a son daughter or grandchild get them to do this. An old trick for catching crickets involves using a wool blanket sprayed with sugar water or sprinkled with cracker crumbs and left in a grassy field from sundown to sun-up. The crickets come for dinner and can t get away because they get their legs caught-up in the blanket s fibers. Another easy cricket trap involves using an entire loaf bread. Just cut the loaf in two and dig out the soft doughy contents leaving twin shells of mostly crust. Doors for little Jiminy and his cricket buddies are created by cutting a quarter-sized hole in the heel of each end and the two halves are put back together loaf-like held with a large rubber band. Leave this loaf out overnight and it will likely be packed with crickets by morning. With all of these alternatives to nightcrawlers who needs em 52 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https www.youtube.com watch v jRrOK95GwLk&feature youtu.be WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 53 All Hail the King A nyone who has felt the rush of setting the hook on a 30-pound Kingfish can be forgiven for instinctively exclaiming Holy Mackerel In fact that is the appropriate species for this game fish king mackerel and the angler who snags one had better be ready to rumble. King mackerel which are also known as kingfish or just plain kings are game fish that take off like a cruise missile and put up a fight to the finish. Plus when served fresh they are delicious to eat. However getting them out of the ocean and on to the boat can present a challenge. Kings of the Gulf Anglers who can get to the western Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico will find plenty of king mackerel near shore around jetties and piers and offshore in deeper water during the spring and summer months. While they may be in the vicinity catching still them requires some skill. This is why the sport is called fishing and not catching. According to www.TexasGulfCoastFishing.com kingfish have a distinct appearance. Their back coloration is iridescent bluish green and their sides are silvery. They have a streamlined body with tapered head. They have no black pigment on front of the first dorsal fin and a lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin. The younger fish often have yellowish spots like those of Spanish mackerel. The average weight of king mackerel is about 20 pounds and they can range up to 90 pounds. Fishing guides working the Texas coast note that during the winter months Kings live in tropical waters and when it s time for spring break (about mid-March or April) they act like half the college kids in the state and migrate to the waters along the Texas Gulf Coast. Around October they head back south back to the tropics. Spawning season for this fish is mid summer and the Kingfish population in the Gulf mixes with the Atlantic population during the winter. 54 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 55 The TexasGulfCoastFishing.com website notes The angler who has never tangled with a big Smoker King is in for a shock both mentally and physically. They strike hard and when they feel the hook they take off on a scorching run. The reel stripping run of a big king is a startling experience. Stainless wire leaders are a must. The mouths of kings are full of sharp teeth and they can cut an unprotected line almost instantly. If this sounds like a trip it is Kings feed on small fish and squid and just about any bait in the 5 to 8 inch range will catch them be it artificial or natural. Trolled feather jigs and large spoons work wonderfully. Natural baits such as cigar minnows mullet croaker ribbon fish and cut baits work just as well. When fishing offshore keep an eye out for the shrimping fleet early in the morning. Shrimpers drag their nets at night and usually haul them in at daylight. The culling and cleaning of the nets draw kings and other fish together around the shrimp boats looking for an easy meal. ter and it features some interesting tips on catching kings. McMullan landed the heaviest kingfish ever caught in tournament competition a 74-pound smoker When fishing for kings McMullan recommends a seven-foot rod with a light action tip and a reel with a good drag system loaded with 20-pound monofilament. Of course this line might be a tad weak if you get a bite from a 74-pounder According to the team s website he uses a simple rig made of light flexible cable or wire to prevent it from being bitten off by the fish s sharp teeth a flashy skirt two small treble hooks and a miniature barrel swivel to attach it to the line on the rod. One of the points on the front hook is inserted in the bottom of the cigar minnow s jaw so it exits out the top centered between the two nostrils on its nose effectively pinning the mouth shut. The second hook is inserted in the back or side with the leader loose so it doesn t inhibit the movement of the bait. Since this guy makes his living catching king mackerel he uses anything to increase his odds. Part of his strategy involves incorporation of menhaden oil to create a scent trail. Menhaden oil has been used for many years as an edible oil in Europe and in 1989 the FDA concluded that fully and partially hydrogenated menhaden oil is a safe ingredient for human consumption. TIPS FROM A PRO As with most types of fishing there is a popular tournament for king mackerel the Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour. One of the most successful captains on this tour is Brant McMullan from Ocean Isle Beach North Carolina. The team s website (www.oifc.com) is Ocean Isle Fishing Cen56 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM In an interview featured on EarthSports.com McMullan suggests using frozen cigar minnows for bait. Thaw the minnows and then work them with your hands until they are arrow straight from nose to tail. They have rigid bodies so if they have the slightest curve from side to side or up and down they will spin when trolled and kings will shy away completely. If you cannot get one straight toss it and never refreeze cigar minnows once you thaw them. He continued The menhaden oil is used to create a scent trail. To dispense it get an empty plastic soda bottle and tie a few feet of cord around the bottle neck. Pour the oil into it put the cap back on tight and poke a few small holes in the bottle with a hook point so it drips out slowly and put it in the water secured to the spring line cleat. He suggests a very slow trolling speed and a trolling pattern that consists of one long bait back about 150 feet one medium about 75 feet and one run from the release clip off a downrigger ball set at between one-third to one-half distance to the bottom. He notes that anglers can also include additional lines to this pattern. WHERE TO FIND THEM Finding where kings are running might be as simple as asking the guy down at the tackle shop near the water. It s a good idea to actually buy something at the shop before asking for king mackerel hot spots. However after commerce has started flowing most employees of fishing tackle shops love to talk about fishing and this is great information. As noted earlier kings can be found from just off the beach to well offshore. EarthSports.com notes that the primary factor is finding forage schools of baitfish that tend to school near the surface like menhaden cigar minnows and threadfin shad but structure plays a key role too. Kings prefer low-lying natural hard-bottom areas. They seem to like clean water but water color is less important. If they were being caught very shallow just off the beach but an east wind or storm stirs up a lot of sand or sediment in the water they will move off looking for cleaner water and bait. Fishing guides who take clients out in the Gulf of Mexico also suggest that when fishing offshore anglers should keep an eye out for the shrimping fleet early in the morning. Shrimpers drag their nets at night and bring them back at daylight. The culling and cleaning of the nets draw kings and other fish together around the shrimp boats looking for an easy meal. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 57 CARRIE LIGHTFOOT NAMED S.A.F.E. SUMMER LOCAL CHAMPION IN FIREARM SAFETY 58 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The National Shooting Sports Foundation has recognized Scottsdale Arizona s Carrie Lightfoot founder of The Well-Armed Woman as Local Champion for her efforts to promote firearm safety in the region. The recognition comes as NSSF launches its fourth annual Project ChildSafe S.A.F.E. Summer campaign to emphasize the importance of responsible firearm storage - particularly while children are home from school and more likely to be unattended. Carrie Lightfoot - the 2015 GLOCK Safety Ambassador Award Winner - was selected for her role in communicating demonstrating and teaching firearm safety. Through her organization she provides exhaustive resources (including training videos) in all areas of gun safety storage ownership training concealed carry and more. NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION In my desire to become a responsible gun owner my own lack of knowledge and the lack of resources available for women motivated me to start The Well-Armed Woman said Lightfoot. As women and mothers we have unique perspectives and needs. There was so little information and training that spoke respectfully and directly to us so I said to myself - someone needs to do something. And I did. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 59 60 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 61 62 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM S.A.F.E. Summer is an extension of NSSF s Project ChildSafe campaign. Consistent with Project ChildSafe s overarching message of Own It Respect It. Secure It the S.A.F.E. Summer effort is a reminder that proper firearm storage is the 1 way to help prevent firearm accidents theft and misuse. S.A.F.E. serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use Be Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner and educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take actions and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer. Lightfoot explains It is critical that accurate information products and training be a part of every woman s journey into gun ownership. Project ChildSafe is all of this - the materials and safety kits are fabulous and very well produced and NSSF s work to make them available across the country is outstanding. I want to help get them in every home We all must do everything we can to educate and equip gun owners with the information they need to practice firearm safety. We re very grateful for the work of people like Carrie Lightfoot said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. They are great examples of how the firearms-owning community is committed to safety and personal responsibility and their work is instrumental in helping to reduce firearm accidents. NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While children are a focus Project ChildSafe is intended to help young people and adults practice greater firearm safety as well. Through partnerships with more than 15 000 law enforcement agencies the program has provided more than 37 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories. That s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998 and continue to do today. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 63 THE OUTPOST RECIPES R Ingredients I LL HAVE THE RATTLESNAKE 1 4 cup chili powder 2 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper 2 lb. rattlesnake meat juice from 1 2 lemon Simmer rattlesnake in water and lemon juice for 1 hour remove and separate meat from bones. Combine de-boned meat with the rest of the ingredients in a crockpot and slow-cook for 6-8 hours or bring to boil in large cooking pot and simmer for 2 hours. Serves 4 people Rattlesnake has been described as tasting a little like alligator a little like quail a little like frog legs. But then again not quite like any of those. It s unique and needs to be tasted when cooked in a lightly spiced dish to be appreciated. In most cases in order to enjoy the unique flavor of the meat the snake should be boiled and or simmered first so you can remove the meat from the bones. So boil it with a little bit of spice and some lemon juice and taste it before proceeding with the preparation. RATTLESNAKE CHILI 1 large onion chopped 3 large garlic cloves minced 1 red bell pepper chopped 3 jalapeno peppers chopped 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes 1 15 oz. can tomato paste 1 28 oz. can chili beans SOUTHERN FRIED RATTLESNAKE Ingredients 1 egg salt to taste 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. seasoning salt 3 4 cup milk 1 tsp. pepper flour 1 rattlesnake Cut snake meat into 4 inch lengths. Beat egg and milk. Mix spices with flour in a separate bowl. Preheat deep fat fryer with cooking oil. Dip snake into egg mixture and then in flour mixture and place it in hot oil. Cook until golden brown and crispy like fried fish. Serve with French fries. Serves 4 people 64 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM YOU CAN T HAVE A RATTLESNAKE MEAL WITHOUT A RATTLESNAKE COCKTAIL. HERE S ONE TO TRY. RATTLESNAKE COCKTAIL RATTLESNAKE CILANTRO SOUP Ingredients 1 large onion chopped 2 large garlic cloves mince 6 celery stalks chopped 2 carrots minced 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. marjoram 2 tsp. black pepper 3 bay leaves 3 cans chicken broth 4 cups water 1 cup rice 2 lb. rattlesnake meat juice from 1 2 lemon Simmer rattlesnake in water and lemon juice for 1 hour remove and separate meat from bones. Combine de-boned meat with the rest of the ingredients except for rice in a crockpot and slow-cook for 6-8 hours or bring to boil in large cooking pot and simmer for 2 hours. Add rice in last 3 hours of slow cooker or last 45 minutes of stove pot. Serves 4 people 1 1 2 oz whiskey 1 tsp lemon juice 1 2 oz. Southern Comfort 1 egg white 1 tsp. sugar Shake and rattle all ingredients with ice strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a cherry. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 65 Ingredients BROILED RAINBOW TROUT 1 medium ear sweet corn husk removed 1 poblano pepper halved and seeds removed 4 fish fillets teaspoons salt 1 yellow summer squash halved lengthwise 1 medium heirloom tomato chopped cup chopped red onion 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon grated lime peel 8 taco shells medium ripe avocado peeled and seeded Instructions Set EGG for direct heat with convEGGtor at 350 F. Grill corn on grid for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle fish with O Neill Outside Fish and Seafood Seasoning salt. Grill fish and squash at same temperature on EGG for 7-9 minutes or until fish flakes easily and squash is tender turning once. Cut corn from cob and place in bowl. Chop pepper and squash and add to corn. Stir in tomato onion cilantro lime peel and lime juice. Serve fish into taco shells and top with corn mixture & avocado. 66 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM ING COMBO AYS A WINN ALW PARTIES & Made with 100% Real Cheese AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT STYLE 1.00 COUPON CLICK HERE www.gordoscheesedip.com VEC TOR B U T TON S. COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 67 GETTING YOUR SHOTGUN AND YOURSELF READY TO ROCK BIRD SEASON With bird season almost here it is time to get your gun and yourself ready. If you re like most people you haven t picked up that gun since you cleaned it after your last spring turkey hunt. Hopefully you gave it as good scrubbing and oiling before putting it back in its offseason storage place. If you re a lazy slug and didn t clean it well after your last hunt you definitely need to get some cleaning and lubricating done before getting out in the field. After this chore is completed you might also consider getting those eyes and hands back into hunting shape too. Here s how you can get your gun and yourself ready to rock and roll on opening day. 68 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TIPS ON CLEANING THAT NASTY GUN I am hard on guns. As a result I ve always used a simple pump action 12 and 20 gauge shotgun for bird hunting. If you ve seen that YouTube video where the two guys purposefully try and clog a shotgun by tossing it in a mud hole and slapping more mud on top you have some idea of how tough we can be on guns. In one year my poor Remington 870 was (1) dropped in a muddy stock tank during dove season (2) dragged by its sling through a corn field during pheasant season by a less than obedient but fun-loving dog and (3) covered with mud and water from walking waist-deep in a rice field during a goose hunt. As you can see I m not worthy of an expensive well-crafted shotgun. I d just ruin it. However after every hunt I get out my well-worn ancient cleaning stuff my scrubbing spray and clean out the barrels and working parts and oil em up. I ve used that 870 every year for the past 20 years and it s still the best shotgun I ve ever fired. Plus it is practically indestructible. Even by me If you are lucky enough to have a cool shotgun such as a Benelli auto-loader or even a workhorse like my 870 try to keep it out of the mud and muck and clean it every time you bring it home from a hunt. Here are some suggestions. First off remember what your daddy or granddaddy told you many years ago assume the gun is loaded...every time your pick it up. This is especially true when you re about to clean it. Every year hundreds of people are killed or blinded by shotguns that were supposed to be unloaded. Before you start the cleaning double and triple check that the gun is empty. FOR A PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN Point the muzzle away and keep fingers off the trigger Press the bolt release (usually in front of or behind the trigger guard). Cycle the pump action. Repeat until no shells are visible in the magazine tube or in the chamber. Be double-sure your firearm is unloaded. You do not want an unexpected boom while cleaning your firearm. FOR AN AUTO-LOADING SHOTGUN Be sure you always handle your firearm safely. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction treat the firearm as if it were loaded and keep your finger off the trigger. Pull the bolt-grip back and release it. Repeat until no shells are visible in the magazine tube or in the chamber. Keep your ammunition separate from your shotgun while cleaning. 69 CLEANING AND OILING Cleaning a pump-action shotgun doesn t need to be a lengthy process. As long as undue amounts of sand or dirt has not gotten into the action the shotgun should function reliably. If you need to do a more extensive cleaning or are using an auto-loading shotgun this is the process No stripping is needed opening and closing the bolt as required is sufficient. If the gun is extremely dirty don t gamble on having a ruined hunt take it to a gunsmith and have it professionally cleaned and oiled. Wipe down all components using some paper towel (or cloth but this is less important to be lint-free). Remove as much of the thick caked-on carbon buildup created by the friction of use. Also wipe off any old oil and all unburnt powder buildup. Be sure to wipe the ejector and the area around the chamber. You will find certain areas turn the paper towel black (clean these areas more). Spray solvent (preferably designed to be safe to continually contact your skin like M-Pro 7) on all possibly dirty components. A liberal amount of solvent is better than not enough. Let the solvent sit for a couple minutes. Make sure any area with dirt carbon buildup or unburnt powder has a healthy amount of solvent on it soaking in. Scrub the whole gun with a brush (no metal bristles -- like a toothbrush). This works in the solvent and loosens up the buildup on the gun. Try to get into all the nooks and crannies. Wipe the gun clean with lint-free cloth (you can buy pre-cut cloth but a clean old shirt or socks also work). Get everywhere you put the solvent (should be pretty much everywhere) and wipe it until it wipes clean. 70 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Wipe down the whole gun (inside and out) with a solventsoaked lint-free cloth again and look again for any areas turning the cloth dark and clean it. Use the pick to get off any thick chunks of carbon or powder buildup or buildup in tight parts of the gun. The most common area with carbon deposits is in the chamber. Buildup occurs in the corners of the pieces of metal. Swab the barrel with a cloth soaked with solvent. Repeat with clean cloths (still soaked in solvent) until a cloth comes out clean. Then swab it with an oil-soaked cloth this coat of oil will protect your barrel from oxidation (rusting). A quick-and-dirty method for a less precise cleaning would be just to run a bore snake through the barrel. Oil all the components requiring lubrication. Often the manual for the gun will have specific areas needing oil but a quick look at where the gun is wearing will give you a good indication of the needs. Be sure to oil the rails for the bolt and the bolt itself. Try to keep oil away from the openings into the firing pin housing (oil is a collector of dirt and powder buildup and buildup around your firing pin can prevent it from firing). Wipe down the whole gun and remove any excess oil. GETTING YOURSELF READY Consider the typical situation of opening day of bird season. Unless you independently wealthy you have to work for a living and those precious hunting trips are few and far between. Most likely you ve planned this trip since mid-summer. You ve gotten all of your gear guns and ammo in the truck and on opening day you find yourself out in a dove field waiting for the first flock to coming cruising in - ready to meet their maker. As the sun rises the first doves of the season are seen coming your way. You remember to keep you head down and tell yourself to wait until you see the white of their little dove eyes before you swing your shotgun and take the shot. All goes as planned until you take the first second and third shots and miss with all three. Very likely this scenario will be repeated for about the first or even second hour of the hunt. WHY You ve probably not picked up a shotgun for several months (see making a living above) and your shotgunmounting mechanical skills not to mention your eye-to-hand skills are not even close to where they need to be in order to hit a tiny bird flying by at about 50 miles per hour There s only one way to avoid this waste of ammo. Get back into hunting shape by hitting the sporting clays range a couple of times a week. This practice can be greatly enhanced when you bring along a buddy to help you determine whether you are shooting ahead or behind the targets. If you re lucky enough to have a shooting instructor at the range having him her watch your mechanics and follow-through and give you some advice can also pay big dividends on opening day. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 71 R U TP O ST G EA NEED A NEW GUN THE BENELLI 828U HAS BEEN NAMED SHOTGUN OF THE YEAR O It s just about bird season again and we think you deserve a new shotgun. Heck you ve worked your tail off. Why not get the gun of the year Benelli s first over-and-under shotgun the acclaimed 828U continues to add to its collection of accolades and awards by winning the Shotgun of the Year Award at the recent Industry Choice Awards. The inaugural Industry Choice Awards presented at a banquet in conjunction with the Firearms Industry Team Challenge at Rockcastle Shooting Center recognized innovation and creativity in new-product development across a host of outdoor categories ranging from optics to ammunition. An evaluation and voting process to determine the winner of each category included unbiased hands-on multi-day testing and evaluation by a panel that included a mix of firearms retailers distributors professional shooters gunsmiths law enforcement military personnel outdoor media recreational shooters. Benelli s 828U redefines what an over-and-under shotgun can be in terms of durability performance fit and finish while still honoring the classic over-and-under configuration. Double-gun purists praise the 828U s ease of pointing custom comb and drop adjustments as well as the feel and balance indicative of a fine Italian-made shotgun. Representing the ultimate blend of form and function from a company defined by its innovations the 828U is as practical and versatile as it is beautiful. The 828U is a fine example of Benelli s continual push for innovation. It was designed to be the ultimate hunting shotgun and its fit feel and durability make it just that said Benelli USA General Manager Tom DeBolt. We are honored to receive this award and proud to be recognized by those within our industry for what we have achieved with the development of the 828U. For more information about Benelli s award-winning 828U and its other acclaimed shotguns go to http www.benelliusa.com 72 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM O U O TP ST G EA R THE HEX TREESTAND HAS IT ALL Bow season will be here before you know it and you may be looking for a new (better) treestand. Summit Treestands the industry leader in producing innovative and cutting-edge methods for hunting from an elevated position introduces The HexTM as a revolutionary option for ladder-stand hunters via a design that stands in a category of its own. Built from aerospace-caliber high-performance steel tubing and a double-rail design The Hex retains maximum strength and rigidity. And true to the hex design the platform is made of heavygauge hexagonal mesh adding to the overall strength and creak-free construction of the stand. Other amenities for all-day hunting comfort include a padded flip-up seat with backrest padded shooting rail with quick-disconnect bolts padded armrests and a rotatable footrest. In addition The Hex sports a 20.5-foot-tall ladder for exceptional versatility with patent-pending Positive LockTM connections for easy assembly and extra reinforcement. Other stability and safety features include a slip-resistant double-cleated tree brace two ratcheted crisscross straps and a cambuckle platform strap. In short the hexagonal concept that s built into every facet of The Hex ladder stand design makes it stronger and more innovative in every way. And it s this geometric wonder that makes The Hex the definition of where less is more when it comes to hunting from a ladder stand. The Hex Features Style Single ladder Weight 115 pounds Weight limit 350 pounds Seat size 22.75 inches by 16.5 inches Seat Padded foam with backrest Platform size 23.5 inches by 31.5 inches The suggested retail price for the Hex ladder stand is 399.99 For more information about Summit Treestands visit http www.summitstands.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 73 R O U 74 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TP O The Hodgman H-Lock Locking Interchangeable Sole System allows anglers to swap soles for ideal traction control in any terrain or aquatic environment. The dual lock system holds the sole securely in place. Once engaged the sole will not come off unless both the front and rear locks are disengaged simultaneously rendering all other removable sole systems obsolete. Soles are available in felt studded felt WadeTech and studded WadeTech. The Hodgman Vion wade boot features waterproof nubuck leather and is fully neoprene lined with a 3D molded toe guard. The Vion wade boots come in sizes 7 13 and come available with two interchangeable sole options WadeTech and Felt or WadeTech and WadeTech Studded. The Hodgman Aesis wade boot utilizes the BOA M2 closure system for quick adjustment on demand. The Aesis wade boot also features an abrasion resistant synthetic upper construction and a reinforced rubber toe. Hodgman is also offering the H-Lock Locking Interchangeable Sole System with its H5 wade boot. This durable wade boot features a corrosion resistant hardware lacing system abrasion resistant synthetic upper construction and a reinforced rubber toe. These boots are constructed from abrasion-resistant synthetic material and for added durability sheet rubber protects high wear areas. Each step with the Hodgman Vion Aesis and H5 wade boots is light as the innovative draining system of the sole drains water from the bottom of the shoe and cleans the track system free of debris. These boots are saltwater ready with corrosion resistant hardware and the D-ring on the tongue provides a secure location for attaching gravel guard hooks. The Hodgman Vion Aesis and H5 wade boots utilize double and triple-stitched panel construction for long-term durability required by anglers who spend many days on the water each year. Additional replacement soles sold separately include felt studded felt WadeTech and studded WadeTech. Each stud is tungsten carbide tipped. The suggested retail price for the Hodgman H-Lock Wade boots starts at 149.95. Additional information can be found at www.purefishing.com ST A BETTER WADING BOOT THE HODGMAN H-LOCKTM INTERCHANGEABLE SOLE SYSTEM Sometimes you can t watch where you re going and this is when you need a little help from your wading shoes. Hodgman has a solid foundation of giving anglers confidence of sound footing while fishing. The Hodgman H-LockTM Locking Interchangeable Sole System provides a wading boot system that anglers can trust knowing they possess the ability to attack any terrain using the wade boot system. It s the most innovative and intuitive wading product on the market and is available only on Hodgman Vion Aesis and H5 wade boots. G EA O U O TP ST G EA R LEAPERS UTG ALL-IN-ONE GO BAG Last Year UTG Introduced their All-In-One P768 series of range bags to the consumer market. These Bags were designed to accommodate any shooting situation from recreational shooting competitive matches to spot cleaning and maintenance on the go. The bags were such a success that consumers asked for a similar design but one that is smaller more lightweight and can be used for both the shooting sports and other activities and needs. In result Leapers UTG recently introduced the P365 series of range utility go bags. The series shares similar features to the P768 series but with the mindset that the consumer will find their own activities and needs for the range utility go bags such as photography prepping emergency medical services law enforcement patrol and more. Like their bigger counterpart the new bags are designed to have ample storage to fit all sorts of gear. Their large main compartment is still quickly accessible via a dual zipper closure and still includes a removable brass bag and two soft pistol cases. What is new about the P365 series is the modular padded dividers that allow the user to tailor the main compartment to their specific needs and preferred organization. Within the main compartment top flap is a slender and clear pocket perfect for storing identification a smart phone keys and other small essentials requiring security but with quick access. The front and rear pockets are spacious enough to hold things such as cleaning mats cleaning rods and paper targets. On one side of the bag is a large side pocket designed with the competitive pistol shooter in mind containing eight integral pistol magazine pouches with elastic retention. The other side has a smaller miscellaneous pocket ideal for storing sunglass cases multi-tools etc. The bags are easily transportable by hand or shoulder being equipped with both a durable shoulder strap and a centered wrap around carry handle strap. The bags are available in four colors black flat dark earth black violet and black crimson. Own a quality range bag utility go bag that is completely tailored to who you are your requirement needs and what you do. PVC-P365B (Black) MSRP 54.97 PVC-P365BV (Black Violet) MSRP 54.97 PVC-P365BC (Black Crimson) MSRP 54.97 PVC-P365BS (Flat Dark Earth) MSRP 54.97 Visit the company website at www.leapers.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 75 76 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE NEW OUTPOST RADIO IS LAUNCHED Radio for the Great Outdoors The Outpost Radio. At any given time on this unique station you can hear Stevie Ray Vaughan followed by Blackberry Smoke followed by George Jones. While all of this is going on you can be given a chance to listen to podcasts that feature tips on hunting whitetail deer or catching crappie in the Atchafalaya Basin or learning why blue quail would rather run than fly. In the words of more than one recently converted Outpost Radio fanatic I ve never heard anything like this station. Exactly. This combination of music and outdoor sports information presented 24 7 available wherever you are worldwide on your mobile device has never been offered. Until now. If you can do without the little girl pop stars and auto-tuned crap that passes for country and rock and roll these days you might want to try The Outpost Radio. If you want to know the weather wherever you re sitting in a duck blind it s here. If you re on the way to hunt pheasant or fish for walleye and you d like to know if anybody s seeing any this might be your new favorite radio station. The stories in The Outpost Magazine are about the simple joys of living an authentic life. This includes outdoor sports such as fishing hunting camping hiking and biking. It involves good food and strong drink and it also includes music from every genre that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy. Unfortunately most of the music you hear on traditional (terrestrial) radio is so sanitized analyzed and peroxized that the tunes and words are cotton candy for the brain. Plus most of the outdoor sports radio programs come on the stations between 3 and 4 am. That s a little too early for most of us. It is for this reason that we joined some friends who are experts in the radio business and launched The Outpost Radio. We re calling it Radio for the great outdoors and that s more than just a catchy phrase. A typical radio station would never play the diversity of songs you ll hear on WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 77 DOVE HUNT CHECKLIST 78 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The number one rule of dove hunting is that you can never have too much gear or too many shotguns In the rush to get the latest gear and guns you can sometimes forget the basics. Here s a checklist to print out and make sure you don t forget things like (1) A valid hunting license with a migratory bird stamp It s amazing how many people forget to get a new license. Game wardens however never forget to ask for one when they stop hunters for a friendly chat about the weather. (2) A favorite shotgun or two Pick one that you re prepared to lug around for several hours in the sun and (if possible) bring a backup that can be used if the primary gun malfunctions or you happen to accidentally smash it against a tree when you miss the 15th straight crossing shot. (3) Appropriate shotgun shells In most cases for dove hunting this will be number 8 shot with 7 a second choice. Be sure to bring enough for you and your hunting party. The ammo companies estimate 3 birds are shot for every box of 25 shells. Do the math and don t run out of shells just when a hundred doves are flying into your area. (4) Camouflage or drab-colored clothing Even though that torn sleeveless white Lynyrd Skynrd t-shirt makes your muscles look bigger doves can see a white or bright color from a mile away. Wear something that helps you blend into the natural setting and wear a hat or gimme cap to cover that shiny receding hairline and forehead. (5) Sunscreen Skin cancer is not macho and early September can be brutal. (6) Insect repellent Look for something with DEET and something that repels mosquitoes chiggers and ticks. Put this stuff on your clothes and on directly on your skin. There have been many cases of West Nile Fever and Lyme disease. Don t tempt fate. Put on some repellant. (7) A light-weight game vest or belt with big pockets In the heat of shotgunning it s nice to have a quick place to store the downed birds...so you can keep on shooting. (8) Water bottle Did we mention the heat could be brutal. Try and get a bottle that will fit in your game vest. (9) An ice chest with lots of ice for the birds and beverages (10) A set of large re-sealable plastic bags to store birds in the ice chest (11) A shotgun cleaning kit (12) Game sheers or a good knife to field dress the birds (13) A light-weight hunting stool for when you re waiting f or the birds to fly by If you have all of these items you re good to go. Oh wait. Don t forget the dog. She s been waiting for dove season since winter TY HERNDON WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 79 TIME TO DUCK AND COVER DOVE SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER 80 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Walk outside this time of year and you immediately understand why these are called the dog days of summer. But it s so darn hot even the dog won t stay out there very long Most days it s 100 degrees football season hasn t started yet and about the only thing a sane man or woman can do is look longingly at the calendar and count the days until everything changes. That would be the opening day of dove season. CUE THE CHOIR FOR HALLELUJAH For most wing shooters it s been a long hot summer and the opening of dove season begins a period of hunting that can last through the spring. Dove hunting can be frustrating. The aerodynamic challenge of hitting a dove in flight with some shotgun pellets is like trying to hit a bottle rocket in flight with a stream of water from a garden hose. It can be done but it takes some serious skill. With the help of a light tailwind this small bird can typically fly by a hapless hunter at a speed of 50 to 60 miles per hour. To the casual observer it appears that doves revel in mid-air acrobatics which are designed to frustrate and ultimately defeat all but the most skillful and mentally tough hunter. Did we mention that these small bodies can streak through the autumn sky at a mind boggling rate They re so fast and so agile in flight that the ammunition companies estimate the average hunter harvested an abysmal 3 birds for every box of 25 shells. One of the best parts of dove hunting is the ambiance of the sport. Dove hunting is very much a social event and this means part of the fun is getting out with a bunch of buddies nd swapping lies. However no matter what anybody says taking home more doves is much more fun than missing every one that flies by. Here are 5 ways to down more doves. 1 PLAN THE HUNT AND HUNT THE PLAN Most people grab their shotgun shells and gear throw them in a vehicle and head out to the hunting lease or property the day before a hunt. The next morning they get up early and get in the field and start waiting for the skies to open with thousands of doves all eager to be shot and all flying directly into range. Unfortunately WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 81 most hunters are disappointed on the first day of a hunt because there was no reconnaissance before hitting the field. This is a mistake. Let s face it most people hate to plan it sounds like work. However a dove hunt can be more productive and more fun with some preparation. The easiest but no less important task before opening day is to get over to the skeet shooting range and get used to swinging your shotgun. Even practicing with one box of shells can result in eye-to-hand coordination improvement and make a big difference on the first few doves that come into range. Another important preparation tactic involves getting the lay of the land. Scouting the fields for doves before the hunt will pay enormous dividends when you come back with your shotgun. Use binoculars to find where pockets of birds are feeding. Look for birds in trees and telephone wires. Watch the flight patterns of birds from feeding field to water. This can enable a hunter to place himself between the feeding field and water. Especially in the early season doves are known to take recurring flight patterns down fence rows and tree lines. With proper recon the hunting party can be placed at strategic positions that ensure getting a steady stream of doves. 82 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 2 CHOOSE THE RIGHT GUN AND SHELLS FOR YOU Contrary to some self-proclaimed experts there is really no right or wrong shotgun for hunting doves. Some really great marksmen can get their daily limit with a 410 shotgun. However most hunters find the small pattern of a 410 requires superior marksmanship and they prefer the wider pattern of a 20 or 12-gauge shotgun. When selecting a dove-hunting shotgun a good allaround choice is a 20 or 12-gauge autoloader with screw-in choke tubes. Pumps double-barrels and over-and-unders work fine but because doves are fast and difficult to hit many hunters prefer autoloaders which allow three quick shots before a bird gets out of range. It is important to remember that repeating shotguns must be limited to holding only three shells ( plugged ) while dove hunting. This federal regulation also applies to pump action shotguns. A 20 gauge gun is lighter to carry and has a little less power than the heavier 12 gauge and after 4 or 5 hours in the sun the weight of a gun becomes a serious consideration. The 20 has less recoil or kick than a 12 gauge but the larger gun allows the hunter to reach out a little farther to knock down a high-flyer. Some parents start kids out using a single shot 410 because it is lighter and the single shot is a safety consideration. However as noted above the 410 can be frustrating to a young hunter because the tight shot pattern is not very forgiving and requires more skill than say a 20 gauge would. A smaller youth-sized 20 gauge gun is a better bet for kids. As for shells the best advice for dove hunting is to stick to smaller shot sizes 7 8 or 9. It takes only a few small pellets to down a dove and smaller shot sizes offer more pellets per charge. For instance an ounce of No. 8 shot has 186 more pellets than an ounce of No. 6. One Texas hunting guide opines that the best allround shot shell is a 1- or 1- 1 8 ounce load of 7 s 8s or 9s. Heavier loads allow somewhat longer shots but you may go through several boxes of shot shells during a single hunt. Your accuracy could suffer if you start flinching due to a sore shoulder. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 83 natural surroundings perhaps camo or maybe just drab colors and makes a point to position himself under a tree or around high grain stalks the odds of doves changing paths are reduced. Having a camo billed cap or drab hat that covers the naturally shiny forehead also helps the shooter to avoid detection from the oncoming birds. A dove hunter can also improve odds when his position takes advantage of the dove feeding patterns. Doves tend to have breakfast at daybreak so if a hunter hopes to take advantage of a sleepy-eyed doves he needs to be in place between the birds roosting areas and feeding field. Typically doves will feed and then beat a path to water and after this they tend to nap during the heat of the day. A well-hidden hunter who has positioned himself between feeding field water source and the trees where the doves roost will realize more success. As for the evening hunt guides note that doves tend to eat their evening meal as late as possible. As light begins to dim or clouds move in about an hour or two before sunset the doves start moving to water. A good hunting intercept position for this time is the underbrush around the water source. 3 HIDE AND WATCH Where a hunter chooses to position himself in the field has a big impact on his success in getting birds. It s critical to find a spot that allows for some cover. Doves have incredible eyesight and from way up there they have a great view of any guys with shotguns in their hands. Every veteran hunter has stories about times when a group of doves were flying directly toward the area where he was stationed in a direct path for a perfect shot and for no apparent reason at the last second the birds veer off and go out of range. Even though the frustrated wing shooter might think he hears the sound of doves laughing as they dart away doves can t laugh. However they might giggle...just a little. This last second change in flight path suggests that the doves saw the hunter recognized the imminent danger and changed direction to avoid it. When a hunter dresses in clothing that blends in with the 84 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 4 THE BEST SHOOTING TECHNIQUE FOR DOVES Out in the field on the first day even veteran upland bird hunters forget about good technique. Good ones correct this after about 5 or 6 misses but a hunter who hasn t held a shotgun in about 9 months is likely to miss most of his her early shots unless proper technique is used. The most important concept to remember for shooting doves is to point and not aim the shotgun. There is a circular pattern of shot coming out the end of the gun and any one of those little pellets can bring down a dove. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 85 Many opportunities to shoot a dove will be crossing shots where a dove flies from left to right or vice versa. In this scenario the odds of hitting this little bottle rocket are dramatically improved when the hunter uses the water hose shooting method. The objective is to think of the shotgun as a water hose and to spray the bird with shot. A simple method of leading a dove involves lining up the crossing bird with the sight of the gun then starting the shotgun swing from behind the bird swinging through the tail and then the head. When a little daylight can be seen the trigger can be pulled while continuing to swing past the bird along his trajectory. It s important to keep eyes on the bird during this process and continue to focus as he falls. When the hunter is property camouflaged and covered by bushes or trees doves will also fly directly into blind where the hunter is waiting. The best strategy for these straight on shots is to wait until the absolute last second to shoulder the gun and when the bird is within 20 yards take the first shot. Be prepared to take the second shot if this first shot misses and the dove veers dramatically left or right. If the first shot misses there is a moment of confusion when there is a good opportunity to make that second shot. photo by David A. Brown 5 STAY MOBILE AND LISTEN CAREFULLY As noted above doves have distinct flight patterns. By watching them over the course of a hunt or preferably before the hunt starts hunters can position themselves to intercept the birds and get a better shot. This can only happen if the hunter remains mobile. If the birds are moving down a fence row or tree line out of range its time to move over to where they flying (when possible). With multiple hunters in a party this might be difficult however the hunter who watches the flight pattern and adjusts accordingly will bring back more birds than someone who sets up under a nice shady tree and never leaves this spot. Hunters who know what to listen for can also improve their kill ratio. Doves in flight make a distinct sound. The sound of a dove in flight is a high-pitched whistle or squeaking sound. The mourning doves rapidly beating feathers also create a soft whistle when they are in flight. It may take a few times but eventually a wise hunter will recognize that sound of doves flying and will be prepared to see one or more doves come out of nowhere. Many times a 86 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM group of doves will approach a hunter from his backside with very little advance warning except for that very distinctive dove squeak. When they come into view usually over the backside of the camo tree or bush a going-away shot is possible. OUT STANDING IN A FIELD Nothing compares to an opening day of dove season. The smell of gunpowder the rush of adrenaline when a tough shot is made and camaraderie of friends all make this an outstanding sport. If you re lucky enough to go hunting this year stay hydrated follow these tips and have a great hunt. HOW TO CLEAN A DOVE http www.youtube.com watch v Q0brO8wH658 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 87 As part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal straw purchases of firearms the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF ) and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are reminding the public in the Midland-Odessa region of Texas that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases. Billboard advertisements for the Don t Lie for the Other Guy program have been purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the region with the message Buy a gun for someone who can t and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Don t Lie for the Other Guy. This area was chosen to test this marketing message because it has abundant media and is remote enough to allow the organization to test effectiveness of the campaign. The month-long public awareness campaign was launched July 11 and was highlighted for the media with a short program at Odessa Police headquarters. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Dallas Field Division the U.S. Attorney s Office for the Western District of Texas the Midland Police Department Odessa Police Department Ector County Sheriff s Office Midland County Sheriff s Office Ector County District Attorney s Office and Midland County District Attorney s Office. More than 2.6 million weekly media impressions will be delivered via billboards around the cities while 2 000 30-second radio spots will air on nine stations during the campaign. Midland-Odessa was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry. As evidenced today the firearms industry is proud of its longstanding cooperative relationship with the ATF and the entire law enforcement community by assisting them in their efforts to combat the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms said NSSF Lawrence G. Keane NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. 88 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Don t Lie is a cooperative program ATF and NSSF the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The effort was developed more than a decade ago to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the crime of purchasing a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so. The program also helps ATF educate firearms dealers so they can be better prepared to deter potential straw purchases. The public campaign drives home the message that anyone attempting an illegal firearm purchase faces a stiff federal felony penalty of up to 10 years in jail or up to 250 000 in fines. To legally purchase a firearm a person must be able to pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check and fully comply with state and local laws. When a criminal knows he cannot pass this check he may try to induce a friend or other person to make the purchase on his behalf which is known as a straw purchase and is a felony. This public awareness campaign constitutes only part of the Don t Lie for the Other Guy outreach effort. The full Don t Lie for the Other Guy program which also involves educating firearms retailers to better detect and prevent straw purchases has been rolled out in major cities throughout the country. In the retailer segment federal firearms licensees are provided a Don t Lie for the Other Guy retailer kit containing a training video and informational brochure for storeowners and staff as well as point-ofpurchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 89 Editor s Note Like it or not we have become a very litigious society. This continues even when we re out in the wilderness relaxing. We re proud to begin a new feature which we hope will make you think and save you some grief and money. These columns while not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer are written by an avid outdoorsman who just happens to be a very smart lawyer - Randy Hall. THANK YOU OFFICER MAY I HAVE ANOTHER.... By Randy Hall - Attorney at Law Barney Fife. He is my favorite cop. I belly laugh every time Barney errantly draws and fires his pistol into the floor. And I relish when Andy s calm demeanor saves both Barney and the day. I suspect we all have at one time or another been exposed to an overzealous ready to draw officer during a routine traffic stop. If you are like me you probably evoked the name of Barney crowded with other assorted adjectives as you drove away. Don Knott s fictional character will live forever in infamy. While Barney and Barney-like antics are funny they have application to the real world. We never know the experience or maturity of an officer who approaches our window during a routine traffic stop. The officer may be a Barney fresh from the academy or an Andy who is an experienced street savvy officer with common sense. Traffic stops by the proverbial Barney are no laughing matter if you carry concealed a weapon. Any wrong move can get you shot. If you have any doubt watch the Philando Castille video before you finish reading this article. A CAUTIONARY TALE Mr. Castille drove a car that matched the description of one used in a recent armed robbery. According to radio transmissions his physical appearance was similar to the suspect. He had a broken tail light. The traffic stop in the Castille case was legal based upon either or 90 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM any one of the three cited facts. According to his girlfriend s account as the officer approached Mr.Castille announced that he had a concealed permit. He did. According to the officer Mr. Castille was told to keep his hands on the wheel. Mr. Castille apparently did not listen. When he reached for his wallet he was shot four times. The video reflects the officer shouting (after the shooting) I told him to keep his hands on the wheel. An inquiry into the case cleared the officer of wrongdoing despite the statements of his girlfriend that Mr. Castille announced that he was reaching for his wallet when the officer opened fire. There is a real life lesson to learn from Mr. Castille s death. Notwithstanding any concealed permit to carry certain rules must be followed for your own safety. You probably have already learned some version of following rules. If so consider this article a refresher course. The rules are two types Demeanor Rules and Action Rules. Let them serve as a reminder to us all. DEMEANOR RULES Generally anytime you are stopped you should display appropriate non-threatening demeanor in both speech and action even if you re late to your own wedding. Remember cops risk their lives every day for your safety. Put yourself in their shoes. Recent history confirms there are people out there who are stark raving mad. They live life with a chip on their shoulders. They look for trouble. They think the government represented by police officers is some version of the anti-Christ. Do all you can to put the officer at ease by following these simple rules. No one argues that you catch more flies with honey..... RULE 1 You Gave Your Consent. Accept that when you put your vehicle on a public road you legally consented to any legitimate traffic stop. All states have laws that reflect this principle. If you don t like it don t drive. RULE 2 The Stop is For Legitimate Purposes. More than likely you are being stopped for a legitimate inquiry. Your tags may be unknowingly expired. Maybe you have a tail light out. Chances are high you have disobeyed some rule of the road. Sorry you re late for your date but the only person to be angry at is yourself. Any displayed agitation will place the officer on high alert. And that s when mistakes are made. RULE 3 You May Not Know The True Reason For the Stop. Philando Castille was stopped because both his car and personal description matched that of a robbery suspect. He was innocent but for a broken tail light but as far as the officer knew he was dealing with a violent felon. The officers were on high alert as they approached his car. You too could be a victim of mistaken identity as well. The officer who approaches may on high alert and his attitude may so reflect. Suck it up and let him do his job until he understands who you are and who you are not. RULE 4 You Must Obey the Officer s Commands. You are duty bound to obey the officer s instructions at all times no matter his or her attitude. Otherwise you are guilty of obstruction of justice. And if you are a victim of mistaken identity you are creating insult that could result in a big injury. The inflections in your voice should reflect absolute submission. Call the chief of police and complain after you are free and clear. RULE 5 The Officer Has Rights Too. The officer has the same constitutional rights that you do. Yes they chose a risky occupation but they nevertheless possess an expectation to be safe in their job. Don t place the officer in a position where he reasonably fears for his life. You may be the most non-threatening human ever born. But the officer does not know that about you. Your attitude should acknowledge that the officer is only doing his job. RULE 6 The Officer is Just Doing His Job. There is a bigger picture that extends beyond the fact you may be late for work. It s the safety of the public at large of which you are a member. Your attitude should so reflect. RULE 7 Take Responsibility For Your Own Conduct. Don t be an ass because you were caught speeding or you have failed to renew your tags. Agitated people tend to agitate other people. Enough said. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 91 RULE 8 Don t Be Provoked By a Cop With An Attitude. I have been stopped by this cop before. Maybe his donuts weren t fresh or his bacon wasn t crispy. Don t match egos with the man . You re gonna lose every time. As the title suggests your attitude should be thank you officer may I have another. ACTION RULES Every move you make however slight remember that you or your vehicle could be a victim of mistaken identity. Until the officer has satisfied himself that you are not a threat or a fugitive you should consider that your life is in danger. If you follow these rules you are perfectly safe. RULE 1 Do NOT attempt to exit your vehicle unless you are directed to do so. RULE 2 Do not unfasten your safety belt unless directed to do so. A fastened belt is an indication that you are not a threat. RULE 3 Have your registration insurance license and concealed permit in your hands when the officer appears at your window. Always keep your driver s license registration insurance and concealed permit together in a readily accessible place. Overhead is best as it keeps your hands in sight when you gather them for presentation. Digging through glove boxes consoles and the like make officers nervous. RULE 4 If you can t comply with Rule 3 once the officer exits his car stop searching and put your hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel. There are a lot of objects that can be mistaken for a gun. Digging around in your car can mean several things to an approaching officer. Hiding contraband looking for your license or looking for your loaded .45 cal. immediately come to mind. RULE 5 Once the officer exits his car and at all times leave your hands in plain unobstructed view either on the dash or at 10 and 2 on the wheel until other directions are given. RULE 6 If you cannot locate your ID insurance registration and permit kindly inform the officer that you possess a concealed permit. Your words should be officer I have a concealed permit. I will await further instructions from you on how you would like to proceed. This will signal to the officer that you have a weapon in the car. 92 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM NEVER. EVER SAY I HAVE A GUN . The word gun invokes danger to a Barney with an itchy over reactive finger. Remember you don t know why you were stopped. What you think is cute can be interpreted as a threat. The word gun with a misidentification of your vehicle OR YOU can spell disaster. Rule 7 If you have to dig for licenses registration and insurance papers inform the officer BEFORE YOU DIG. Ask permission and WAIT for his instructions to go ahead. A violation of this rule is exactly what got Mr. Castille shot. RULE 8 Announce your compliance with the officer s directions. For example officer per your instructions I am now moving my right hand toward my console where my license is located. RULE 9 Once you disclose your permit DO NOT MOVE YOUR HANDS FROM THE WHEEL OR DASH until directed to do so by the officer. RULE 10 If the officer asks the location of your weapon tell them without pointing or attempting to retrieve it. RULE 11 If the officer asks you to display the weapon ask him how he or she would like you to proceed in displaying the weapon BEFORE YOU REACH FOR IT. Transfer the weapon to the officer in a non-threatening manner. RULE 12 Recognize that an officer may constitutionally search you and your vehicle (while you are cuffed) if he reasonably suspects danger or other criminal activity. There is a new brand of violence in this country that exceeds any bounds of decency formed by prior generations. After Baton Rouge and Dallas police know they are hated by certain groups. They are justifiably nervous and if they will admit it are afraid for their lives every time they make that walk to any car in a traffic stop. Follow the rules don t become a headline you won t get to read. And please be careful out there. Happy Hunting Fishing and Safe Driving. Email me with any questions or comments to randy littlerocktriallawyers.com photo credit Kyle Stapleton Franklin OH THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 93 BREAKFAST DEMANDS SOME GRIT (S) By O Neill Williams Coffee black eggs over light biscuits in gravy bacon done crispy and grits swimming in butter. Sounds like a great breakfast doesn t it A few years ago I was in Montana trying for Mule Deer and Antelope and that went fine. I enjoyed the adventure. Trouble was I couldn t get any grits up there. They served potatoes. That s a valiant effort but it wasn t grits and I missed em. I tried to encourage the little restaurant s owner and cook combination to get with the program but he talked with a bit of a flat accent and couldn t understand the proper English from a guy from Georgia. They all thought I talked funny although I didn t see anyone laughing. As a side note have you hunted or fished in Montana One thing you might want to remember the air is free but there s not much of it. Back to the grits. Grits has been come to be a fashion statement of sorts. Is that proper grammar Is are grits singular or plural I never know. I had grits with shrimp at a very upscale coastal diner in St. Simons this last week. The grits were (there s that singular plural problem again) fried in a little square cake with the grilled shrimp on the side. Outstanding Gail cooked up grits this last week with boiled corn bacon and little bits of venison sausage. WOW What we didn t eat I stored in a little plastic bowl for a snack. 94 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM I had breakfast with friends in Jonesboro last April (I do have a few friends contrary to popular belief) and the restaurant served little cubed potatoes there along with grits of course. Are we losing our focus here Breakfast around here means grits not potatoes. We have to decide where we are. Georgia is not a breakfast potato place. Come to think of it the plate had some orange slices and some green sprigs of some kind on the side. I wasn t impressed and left most of the little garden. What s that all about Oranges I drink orange juice sometimes on Sunday. I don t eat oranges for breakfast. If you were brought up around here you won t either. About 30 years ago my exploding ego necessitated entering me in the Mr. Atlanta Body Building Championship. It was that getting old feeling . I finished third and wouldn t do it again if guaranteed to win with a 10 000 prize. I almost starved. Lost 40 pounds by eating mountains of oranges. Haven t been able to eat one since. I tried one little bite of the green stuff that morning in Jonesboro. I didn t want to look like a complete boob in front of my Yankee friends. I think they are from far and away up north Raleigh or somewhere like that. The garden didn t taste very good. I m not sure but that might have been for decorations only. Trouble is people who don t like grits don t know how to fix them to eat. Take notes. First of all y ou cook grits on the stove. Don t use INSTANT GRITS. You need to get this right. Spoon a giant dob on your plate add butter lots of it a considerable amount of salt and finally cover them completely with pepper. As a matter of practice go ahead and cover everything with pepper eggs gravy everything. Mix it all together with your fork in a swirling motion. If you have grits left over after the eggs are consumed and scattered around your plate use your biscuit to gather up the remaining grit (grits ). Sopping up is traditional. Enjoy your breakfast. Following my lead breakfast as described should last you until lunch with country fried steak fried apples with cinnamon mashed potatoes (potatoes are OK for lunch) and plenty of gravy...........again. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 95 TODD SNIDER LEADS A BUNCH OF http www.youtube.com watch v h1n7FAsiezo Listeners even the ardent fans of the musicians who play in the super band Hard Working Americans will either love or hate their latest. There not much room for ambivalence here. Singer Todd Snider reunited with Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood Duane Trucks Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi and Jesse Aycock for the album Rest in Chaos the group s second release following their 2014 self-titled debut. For my money it is one of the best albums of the year. The difference between the lovers and the haters of this work is simple. They will either love Todd Snider with his streamof-consciousness lyrics and unique voice and singing style or they won t. A CHALLENGE WORTH TAKING The songs on Rest in Chaos are all based on poetry that Snider has written with the lone exception being a career highlight for the band The late tunesmith Guy Clark penned The High Price of Inspiration and added vo96 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM cals and guitar work on the cut as well. The rest of the lyrics are All Todd All the Time and he has a keen sense of the absurd and irony that doesn t work for everyone. According to a quote from Snider in Billboard Magazine about the song Opening Statement he said The lyrics (for this song) came from a variety of sources. The words are from a physics class I just took a Reagan speech I just read (his last) and notes I wrote a person who just rejected me the frontman said via email. Combined I don t know what they mean but what I am hoping people hear is the melody and the feeling the band conjures up around it so the words can mean whatever people want them to. There are no references to beer dirt roads girls beer pickup trucks or beer so the Toby Keith Bro Country wing of country music will likely pass on this album. https www.youtube.com watch v QlpVMo-YPHI&index 8&list PLT-AMsipQ9CYoK_T_WLQhzSYZeP0_BDCK While not everyone likes this type of cerebral challenge when listening to music for those who do Rest in Chaos is an amazingly coherent and cohesive album. Every track seems to be placed in the correct sequence musically and lyrically and this is a testament to the producing prowess of Dave Schools. THERE S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE This record can go from heart-breaking hard-core steel guitar infused country of Massacre which features the deft harmony of Elizabeth Cook to the syncopated bass and guitar hook of Dope is Dope (and you re high up on it ) which features some of the funniest drug references in the history of recorded music. With Dave Schools in the band and helming the sessions there have to be some jam-band tunes and It Runs Together is one of the best of all times. If your tastes travel along dystopian lines (and whose don t these days) you will find the cuts Acid and Half Ass Moses dark disturbing and delicious just the way Snider intended them. When listening to the tongue-in-cheek Purple Mountain Jamboree (not to be confused with purple mountains majesty ) you might hear a familiar melody within the melody of this song. I finally figured it out. It s Will the Circle be Unbroken and realizing the irony of this tune with Snider s lyrics made me smile. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 97 TRUE SADNESS AN EVOLUTION OF THE AVETT BROTHERS Successful artists often become captive of that success. Such is the case with the Avett Brothers Scott and Seth. Their breakout hit album of 2009 I and Love and You produced by Rick Rubin introduced this downhome group to a huge audience and while this was great for the band s recognition and its payday on the concert tour the sound of their latest effort True Sadness is different and many fans accuse the band of the serious violation of failing to dance with who brung em. 98 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https www.youtube.com watch v zz0JXbwNUk8&list PLxDK1ljLuw8Q0JDwIOLW9ahJmpBv9kusP While Rubin is still producing the Avett Brothers many of their die-hard fans are screaming for his scalp or at least that long beard for his work on their latest collection. It s not his fault. He s still a genius. The fact is the Avett Brothers have grown up and they are not interested in recycling same ol stuff. In a letter to their fans and the music industry before the release of the album s first single Ain t no Man Seth Avett said as much. He noted that the record reflects The Avett Brothers artistic musical and personal evolution over 16 years as a band and he described what s to come on the horizon. Seth wrote True Sadness is a patchwork quilt both thematically and stylistically. Wherein a myriad of contrasting fabrics make perfect sense on the same plane this album draws upon countless resources from its writers and performers. He goes on to cite pervasive and cornerstone influences such as Queen Sister Rosetta Tharpe Jimmie Rodgers Tom Petty Nine Inch Nails Gillian Welch Aretha Franklin Walt Disney Pink Floyd Kings of Convenience calypso of the 1950 s and country of the 1930 s. If you see any consistent tread in those influences you should see your therapist immediately. A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SONGS The album s first single Ain t No Man is a pop song. However it is a really good pop song and is a perfect example of the new road this band is traveling. It s got all the whistles and bells. As one reviewer noted The track turns a deceptively Spartan arrangement--just a chipper boppy bassline kick drum electronic handclaps and vocals--into a full-sounding feel-good anthem. The band still manages to pay homage to its roots. The lyrics on Smithsonian are crafted with a special gift of modern-day irony but the harmony between the brothers is nothing short of old-timey magic. Other interesting tracks on True Sadness include May it Last a trippy wall-of-sound stunner Satan Pulls the Strings a bluegrass rave-up and No Hard Feelings a sweet ballad in waltz-time. This album is definitely an evolution of the Avett Brothers sound and not all of their legions of fans will dig it. However for every unhappy fan several new ones will likely take their place. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 99 100 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM photo Travis Wade 52 SHADES OF ADVENTURE By Jason Martin WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 101 I have never been someone who has had any desire much to travel overseas to Europe. I have always had the mentality that there were plenty of places to see right here in the good ole United States of America that I have never been to so why do I need to fly way over there. For instance I have never seen the Grand Canyon but it is definitely on my bucket list. I would love to travel to Montana. I want to visit Yosemite National Park. Heck I ve never seen New York City or San Francisco. You get the point. There is plenty of travel to do right here in the states. However this summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime that I just could not pass up. Plus I figured since I was doing this 52 Adventures in 52 Weeks that something outside the norm might be just the thing. So when my wife said that we had a chance to go to Italy this summer I was all in My daughter Kemsey is now a senior at the University of Tennessee and she was offered a scholarship to attend a study abroad in Italy this summer. It only made sense that we meet her over there and experience some of the wonders that Italy has to offer along with her. Plus my wife s cousin joined us as well. Typically for this story each month I share with you four adventures that I had gone on the previous month. For this month it is simply one long adventure that lasted twelve days. I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED. Our trip started in Rome. We saw the ruins of the Colosseum the Roman Forum the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. We spent a day in Vatican City. We saw the Sistine Chapel. We walked miles and miles and miles. Then we walked miles and miles and miles. We saw statues and we saw paintings. If you are anything like me a couple days of this was plenty. Don t get me wrong. I did enjoy seeing Rome. But most of you reading this are the outdoor type and this was touring a big city. It is fun for a while but I was most certainly ready to experience Life In The Great Outdoors At least the food was delicious and they served wine. Oh do they serve wine With every meal they serve wine. I always wondered how if they drink so much how they didn t stay drunk all the time. It is easy When you eat like that as well and then walk everywhere you go there is not much chance in getting tipsy. More on the wine shortly. Under a Tuscany Sky The next couple days were spent in Florence. We obviously had to see the statue of David. I must say that the Duomo was quite an impressive structure. As we walked down yet another cobble stone street it all of a sudden took over the skyline. We saw the Ponte Vecchio which was a very cool old bridge. But the highlight for me was Piazzale Michelangelo. 102 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM After walking miles and miles once again we set our sights on getting up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the sunset. I was just about to bail when I saw the steps that led up to what is essentially a park on the top of the hill that overlooks Florence. But we scaled the steps...all 300 of them...I counted. At the top we wandered around listening to the street performers and taking it all in. Till we found pay dirt. It was a tiny caf and we just so happened upon the last two seats in the corner that was THE perfect spot to watch the sunset and of course to have more wine. The photos simply don t do it justice. Our second day in Florence we went into the Chianti region for a wine tour. Ironically there was not near enough wine served during the all day tour as one might expect. I did learn a thing or two about wine and also was served an incredible meal overlooking the vineyard. Are you starting to see a pattern here Walk miles eat amazing food and drink wine. Yep That sums it up. After several days of museums statues paintings wineries and walking around the two cities I was ready for some fresh air and boy did I get my wish. However we first had our one and only bad experience of the trip. We were set to catch the train from Florence to La Spezia which sits on the West coast of Italy. Our apartment that we had rented was about two miles from the train station so we had anticipated taking a cab. Call after call we got nothing We decided to start walking and catch one on the way. Only what we didn t know was there was a taxi strike that day. So the four of us with backpacks and luggage had to essentially run (read as fast walk) to the train station over cobblestone roads. We made it to the train station got in our seats and literally three minutes later the train took off as we sat there drenched in sweat. About the time that we quit sweating the train stopped and sat there for some time. Our train broke down. So to make the last train going to La Spezia we had to run across the train station with luggage in tow and again by the hair of our chin we made it. Once again dripping in sweat. After a short ride we stopped yet again. There had been an earthquake up ahead and they were worried about taking the train through the tunnel. You can t make this stuff up. The entire train had to exit and the hoard of people stood there wondering how the heck they were to make it to their destination. Finally someone came out and said there were two busses leaving for La Spezia. Yet again we tote our luggage up a hill and about a half mile to get to the bus. Did I mention it was sweltering hot Yeah we were soaked again. The saving grace to all that was that we made friends with other Americans in the same situation and we all shared in what beer and wine that we had available to us. We did what good Americans do in a pinch. We joined together and made a party out of it. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 103 104 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 105 ONE IF BY LAND TWO IF BY SEA Words nor photos can adequately express our next few days in Italy. Although we stayed in the harbor city of La Spezia which was gorgeous in itself we spent the next couple days exploring the coastal cities of Cinque Terre. This is a stretch of towns that runs thirteen miles along the coast. The towns are tucked into the sides of cliffs essentially to protect against invaders of long ago. The town are spectacular though. Very few cars are allowed if any and each town has its own distinct personality. There is a hiking trail that runs the span of the thirteen miles from the first city to the last. We had to good fortune of experiencing the sights from the water on our first day as we chartered a catamaran with a captain and first mate. We sailed up and down the coast just enjoying the views. It was our intent to do some snorkeling in some of the underwater caves but we heeded our captain s advice to not risk it that day. The sea was a bit rough and he said that it could slam us either up against the cave walls or the ceiling. That didn t sound like fun so we opted out. We did however stop for some snorkeling in one area although there wasn t a lot to check out. (See video) Our next day we took the train to the very end of the towns to Monterosso. After a hearty breakfast we started our trek to hike the trail between the cities. We knew that only a part of the trail was open as there had been mud slides that wiped out sections of the trail in previous years and were under construction. If you read any of my precious columns you know that hiking is definitely one of my favorite things to do especially if there is a view involved. But this hike flat out almost beat me Almost though. The hills were virtually straight up. I looked as though I had jumped in a swimming pool I was so wet in sweat. Then there were these little old Italian ladies that would zip right past me not even breathing hard. But the hike was SO worth it. The views were spectacular. There was a little old man playing the accordion along the path to make it even more authentic. There was even a hand crafted jewelry maker that had a table selling his goods. Of course we had to buy a few things. The icing on the cake though was once we made it town to Vernazza we had what I do believe is the best meal that I have ever eaten in my entire life. Of course it did help that we were perched atop and eagles nest restaurant the overlooked the sea and the mountains. That and we put back at least four bottles of wine for lunch between four of us. Hey we were hot 106 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM ONE NIGHT IN VENICE The trip was capped off by a wonderful day exploring Venice both by boat and walking. We spent some time in St. Marcos square and saw the Rialto Bridge but honestly we enjoyed the hotel as much as anything. We did our best to do the trip on the cheap by staying in rental apartments via Air BnB. But my wife being the genius that she is decided to set us up with our nicest place at the end of the trip when we were all exhausted. The hotel had an immaculate garden behind it with a courtyard restaurant. It also had a pier behind it to sit and watch the sunset over the water. I would most certainly revisit Italy but would likely keep it reserved to the coast and the mountains. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 107 PHOTO OF THE MONTH 108 109 110 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE OTHER FALL TRADITION For 39 years we have been keeping the Bird Hunting tradition alive by producing lasting memories at the Plantation. Explosive coveys outstanding dog work and up-scale accommodations are available just one hour east of Atlanta. Season runs Oct. 1- March 31 Come just once and you will be a customer for life www.burntpine.com 1161 Blackwell Rd Newborn GA 30056 (706) 557-0407 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 111 What one has not experienced one will never understand in print. Isadora Duncan P.O. Box 983 Reitz 9810 Free State Province South Africa Matt 27(0) 72 540 0057 Jacklyne 27(0) 82 091 5903 Fax 27(0) 86 538 3660 info likhulusafaris.com likhulusafaris live.co.za 112 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM www.likhulusafaris.com WWW.GEORGIAALLIGATORHUNTING.COM (229) 251-9929 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 113 MICHIGAN U.P. GROUSE HUNTS & FISHING TRIPS These action-packed hunting & fishing trips are conducted in the game rich Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan at our Cast & Blast Lodge. We hunt on over a million acres of premier grouse habitat - recognized by many as the top grouse hunting destination in North America Both grouse and woodcock are plentiful in the surrounding aspen-filled forests. Fishing takes place on Lake Superior and Lake Gogebic the largest inland lake in Michigan. Lake Gogebic encompasses 13 380 acres with 38 miles of beautiful shoreline and boasts more state angler awards than any other lake in the Upper Peninsula. Species on Lake Gogebic include Northern Pike Walleye Perch and Smallmouth Bass. On Lake Superior the prized Lake Trout is the most abundant species and will be the primary species we will pursue. Coho Salmon is the next most abundant Rainbow Trout Brown Trout Chinook Salmon and Lake Herring are occasionally caught. CAST AND BLAST GROUSE HUNT AND FISHING PACKAGE 1750 per person (parties of 4 or more only 1500 per person). 5 full days of hunting and fishing - your choice. Hunters are welcome to bring their dogs with them or hire a guide. Upgrade to a fully guided trip for an additional 1000.00 per Group (includes dog handler trained pointers and fishing guide). MICHIGAN COMBO FISHING PACKAGE 1575 per person (parties of 4 or more only 1250 per person). 4 full days of semi-guided fishing on Lake Gogebic and then 1 day on a Lake Superior Charter Boat chasing Lake Trout and Salmon. Trip can be upgraded to fully guided for 200 per day INCLUDED IN ALL TRIPS Lodging in our resort which consists of 7 completely furnished cabins overlooking Lake Gogebic. All trips start with check in on Saturday afternoon and end with checkout on Friday morning. Each day starts with a continental breakfast a lunch at the lodge and a home style dinner each evening. 114 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 Crestliner Boats equipped with 90 HP motors. The closest airport is Duluth MN (2 hours from the camp). Corporate groups and family reunions welcome we can accommodate up to 30 people. Additional Activities o 4 public golf courses are located within a 30-45 minute drive from the resort o The Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino is located in Watersmeet MI approxiately 40 miles from the resort HTTP CASTANDBLASTLODGES.COM PHONE (724)290-9338 WWW.GUNDOGBROKER.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 115 KAPRIVER OUTFITTERS PETER AND TERRY MARTIN 10 Erie Street Kapuskasing Ontario P5N 2C6 705-335-3163 Peter Martin pwmartin ontera.net Kapriver Retrievers & Outfitters specializing in winter Timberwolf hunts Waterfowl & Bear Combo hunts as well as excellent Grouse Hunts over pointing dogs. We also train and sell started retrievers and pointing dogs. http www.kapriveroutfitters.ca index.html 116 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE BACK WOODS Do you have a funny hunting or fishing picture Do you have a joke that everyone should hear Email them to art theoutpostmagazine.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 117 118 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM