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Description: In this issue of The Outpost Magazine you will find plenty on duck hunting, deer hunting, a Christmas gift guide, music, recipes, O'Neill Williams and much much more!

O NEILL S OUTPOST IAL PEC S AS STM I E CHR GUID GIFT DEER HUNTING MUSIC & MORE RECIPES - GEAR - THE OUTPOST WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM RADIO FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS 1 ING COMBO AYS A WINN ALW PARTIES & Made with 100% Real Cheese AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT STYLE 1.00 COUPON CLICK HERE 2 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM www.gordoscheesedip.com VEC TOR B U T TON S. COM http youtu.be 5MveCGisXgg 3 O Neill Outside Radio is now REALTREE RADIO Check local radio stations in your area for REALTREE RADIO Listen on oneilloutside.com Listen nationally on sbnation.com Watch the radio show stream live on Facebook Saturdays... 4 00am to 6 00am Eastern time 4 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TABLE OF CONTENTS DUCK DUCK GOOD NEWS 13 REEF FISH SAVED 24 16 DUCKS IN A ROW 30 THE OUTPOST MUSIC 21 77 GUADLUPE BASS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKEET 22 ATLANTIC SALMON 52 10 000 REWARD LET YOUNG BUCKS GROW O NEILL OUTSIDE SURVIVAL 60 DEER HUNTING CHECKLIST THE OUTPOST BAR & GRILL DRUNK WOMAN MEAN TURKEY 62 64 72 85 86 90 5 FEATURE STORIES HOW TO FOOL A DUCK Next to being pulled over by a game warden the most intimidating experience for a duck hunter is formulating a strategy for deploying decoys. Literally hundreds of books have been written about this subject thousands of articles have been posted web and most likely get two duck hunters together and you ll hear two different strategies. PAGE 38 CHRISTMAS GUIDE Over the course of the last twelve months we have featured a vast array of outdoor sports gadgets gizmos and gear and many of them make perfect gifts for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Here are a few that we featured in the Outpost magazine in 2017. Merry Christmas PAGE 44 THE BUCK STOPS HERE Deer hunting whether its whitetail mule deer or the more exotic variety such as Axis or Coues deer has been a part of man s existence for thousands of years. For anyone who has never hunted deer it is next to impossible to explain the addiction that hunters have toward this pursuit. For those who love this sport no words are adequate. PAGE 54 6 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 7 CAN T GET ENOUGH OF THE OUTPOST ART YOUNG Partner & Editor In Chief Contributing Writers Art Young Jason Martin O Neill Williams JASON MARTIN Partner Sales & Publisher Contributing Photographers Jason Martin Flickr Commons O Neill Williams Mike Dunn Art Young Michael Lee Tony Eckler Brooke Thomas Gaines Smith Jay Bradshaw Avery Outdoors Cast and Blast Lodge Jason Hart Eileen Clarke Poot McFarlin Niki Tilley PHIL HALL Partner & The Outpost Radio On Air Personality Tim Howard O Neill Williams Phil Hall Bob Crowley Art Young (Podcast) RICK GOWER ROCKY KURLAND JIM MANRY 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 2017 by The Outpost Media Group Reproduction in whole or part without permission is expressly forbidden. The Outpost Media Group LLC 770-675-7200 THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT S ONLINE THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THE OUTPOST RADIO THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST 9 EDITORS LETTER Merry Christmas Outpost Tribe I m sure all of you have some great Christmas memories. I know I have and some are even printable In my younger years I worked in radio and for some of those years I had a morning interview talk show. One Christmas season all of our parttime guys gals who would typically fill in on holidays had great reasons for NOT to working on Christmas day. This led the program director to call me in and tell me I was working my usual shift unless I could find a way to do something Christmasy. Dude. I m ALL ABOUT doing something Christmasy Especially if it gets me out of working on Christmas morning. So I hatched what turned out to be a great idea. I took a turn at being Santa at a shopping mall and recorded everything the kids said to me for a Christmas day radio show. I got PLENTY of good material and I highly recommend this exercise to anyone who wants to understand kids better. Plus it was my ticket out of working on Christmas After one little girl told me what she wanted and reminded me that her brother had definitely NOT been good this year she said she knew the story about the birth of baby Jesus. 10 I did the obligatory Ho Ho Ho and asked her to tell me the story. OK. Well these three wise guys followed a star to the danger and found baby Jesus strapped in waddling clothes. On the way to the danger they passed some shepherds who washed their socks by night. It s always pleased me to think that the shepherds around Bethlehem had clean socks back in those days. We hope you enjoy this issue of the Outpost. We have some tips for whitetail deer and duck hunting the usual collection of outdoor news you can use tips on making sausage in the Outpost Bar & Grill for you last-minute shoppers our annual holiday gift guide and a lot more. From all of us at the Outpost Media Group Tim Howard Don Egert Jason Martin Phil Hall O Neill Williams Karen Green Rick Gower Rocky Kurland Jim Manry Kemsey Martin and me have a wonderful holiday season and make some time to get out enjoy the great outdoors Later Art Young Editor The Outpost email me at art theoutpostmagazine.com 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 Thousands of Reef Fish are Saved A cooperative effort among the recreational fishing industry anglers and state and federal agencies has resulted in reduced mortality for thousands of red snapper and other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. Throughout 2015-2017 the FishSmart Best Practices and Descender Education project coordinated through the FishAmerica Foundation engaged more than 1 100 anglers in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions to improve the survival of angler caught-andreleased fish. Participants in the project were provided with information on best practices for handling and releasing fish and with SeaQualizer descending devices. They were then asked to evaluate their experience. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 13 THE OUTPOST REEF FISH FISHSMART LEADS THE WAY FishSmart is a proactive approach driven by the sport fishing community to addressing one of the most significant challenges to sustaining recreational fishing in the future reducing the mortality of fish stocks while enhancing the fishing experience. This is being accomplished through two basic approaches 1) developing fishing techniques and management approaches that reduce the catch of unwanted species or sizes and 2) improving the survival of released fish through promotion of science-based Best Practices research and communication. More information is available through www.fishsmart.org Through the FishSmart project the recreational fishing industry is leading the way to improve the survival of caught-and-released fish and help ensure the future of our sport said Mike Nussman president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). The FishSmart Best Practices and Descender Education project represents the continued growth and evolution of this program which reflects anglers and the industry s longstanding and continued commitment to fisheries conservation. AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY One of the key findings of the four regional workshops was that returning saltwater fish caught in deep water to the depth at which they were caught or as close as possible can significantly improve their chances of survival. In the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic many reef fish such as red snapper are being released due to increasingly shorter seasons and higher rates of encounter. Without proper handling techniques such as use of descending devices a significant percentage of released fish die to the detriment of fisheries conservation and future fishing opportunities. 14 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM However since release mortality in recreational fisheries is the culmination of millions of individual encounters between anglers and fish true conservation benefits will be achieved by empowering individual anglers with information training and tools to improve the survival of each individual fish that they return to the water. Through the FishSmart Best Practices and Descender Education project anglers collectively reported releasing 16 000 28 000 red snapper and 13 000 - 22 000 other fish by applying best practices techniques and using the SeaQualizer when needed. Based on the most recent research on the benefits of descending fish under conditions typically encountered in the Gulf of Mexico an estimated 3 000 9 000 red snapper survived during this project period through the use of the SeaQualizer alone plus an unknown number of fish that survived as a result of improved handling techniques. Some of the key findings of the project involved the changes that anglers voluntarily made in the way that they released fish remarked Mike Leonard ASA s Conservation director. The vast majority of project participants found that information provided on how to properly handle fish improved the way that they release fish. Leonard further said Nearly 75 percent had little or no knowledge of descender devices prior to participating in this project and indicated that are now likely to use a descender device to release most or all fish when needed. This reinforces the well-known fact that anglers are true conservationists at heart provide them with the tools and techniques to do the right thing and they readily embrace it. MULTIPLE PARTNERSHIPS AT WORK The FishSmart Best Practices and Descender Education project was the result of numerous partnerships. Major funding support was provided through the American Sportfishing Association the Brunswick Foundation Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation National Fish and Wildlife Foundation NOAA Fisheries SeaQualizer LLC and Grizzly Smokeless Tobacco. Educational materials and descending devices were distributed through the assistance of partners including Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation Coastal Conservation Association. International Game Fish Association Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Georgia Coastal Resources Division Florida Sea Grant South Carolina DNR Texas Parks & Wildlife Alabama Department of Conservation and Texas A&M Harte Research Institute. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 15 LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN GUADALUPE BASS RESTORED TO SOUTH LLANO RIVER IN TEXAS The official state fish for Texas Guadalupe bass has been restored to the South Llano River. To celebrate the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) the Llano River Watershed Alliance and Bass Pro Shops are partnering on a prize giveaway program. Until Dec. 31 2018 any angler who catches a tagged Guadalupe bass from the South Llano River will receive their choice of prizes from an assortment of fly fishing gear donated by Bass Pro Shops. We re incredibly appreciative of the Llano River Watershed Alliance and Bass Pro Shops for sponsoring this prize giveaway said Craig Bonds TPWD Inland Fisheries director. It showcases a conservation success story for our state fish that has resulted from eight years of extraordinary efforts by a passionate and committed network of public and private partners. The prize giveaway aims to raise awareness about the success of an ambitious conservation project launched in 2010 by TPWD the Llano River Watershed Alliance and the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station to restore Guadalupe bass to the South Llano River. 16 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM BASS ARE BACK Guadalupe bass are endemic to the South Llano River and other clear spring-fed rivers of the Texas Hill Country said Preston Bean TPWD conservation biologist. Guadalupe bass populations are threatened by habitat alteration and hybridization with non-native introduced smallmouth bass. These threats are enormously challenging to address but recent outcomes in the South Llano River demonstrate what can be achieved when partners rally around a shared conservation vision. The story begins in 1934 the first year that smallmouth bass are known to have been brought into Texas. With 30 000 smallmouth bass fry provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission the Texas Game and Fish Commission attempted to establish a smallmouth bass production program at the Tyler and Dundee State Fish Hatcheries. Water in the hatchery ponds proved too warm the brood stock couldn t survive the Texas summers. That program was abandoned in 1937 and the remaining smallmouth bass were stocked in Caddo Lake and Tyler Post Office Lake. Efforts to establish smallmouth bass fisheries in Texas lay dormant until summer 1958 when Texas Game and Fish Commission biologists stocked 6 500 two-inch smallmouth bass fingerlings in the South Llano River from Telegraph downstream to Junction. Those fish were supplied by the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma. The stocking effort was profiled in the July 1958 issue of Texas Game and Fish in an article titled Smallmouth Bass Visitors to Texas Give Spirited Fight on the End of a Line. The Llano River is one of the most suitable if not the most suitable stream in Texas for smallmouth. The article goes on to discuss concerns with high summer water temperatures in the South Llano River but theorizes that deep pools and areas of the river adjacent to springs will offer thermal refuge for smallmouth. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 THE OUTPOST GUADALUPE BASS The experimental introduction of smallmouth bass to the South Llano River continued thru 1960 and proved unsuccessful in establishing a smallmouth bass fishery. Meanwhile the stockings resulted in an unforeseen and unintended consequence of creating a hybrid population of Guadalupe bass and smallmouth bass. This hybridization went unnoticed in the South Llano River until similar situations resulted from stocking of smallmouth bass in other Hill Country rivers. Between 1974 and 1980 smallmouth bass were stocked in the Blanco Guadalupe Medina and San Gabriel rivers and in Cibolo and Onion creeks. Once hybridization was detected and threats to Guadalupe bass were recognized the Department ceased efforts to establish smallmouth bass fisheries in Hill Country rivers and instead began to devise a strategy to prevent the local extirpation and possible extinction of Guadalupe bass. Initial conservation efforts included establishment of a refuge population of geneticallypure Guadalupe bass in the Sabinal River in 1988. In 1992 TPWD initiated a Guadalupe bass hatchery program that has since produced and stocked 2 355 807 Guadalupe bass in Hill Country rivers. The Department has also partnered with local landowners non-governmental organizations fishing clubs river authorities and other partners to restore and preserve habitat conditions for Guadalupe bass in rivers throughout the Hill Country. In 2010 TPWD focused its attention on the South Llano River and the hybrid population that resulted from those historic smallmouth bass stockings that occurred from 1958 to 1960. In partnership with the Llano River 18 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Watershed Alliance the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station areas landowners and an extensive list of other local project partners a plan was hatched to restore Guadalupe bass to the South Llano River. Between spring 2011 and spring 2017 more than 700 000 genetically-pure Guadalupe bass were stocked in the South Llano River. Today less than 2 percent of the Guadalupe bass population now consists of hybrids. In addition to the South Llano River stocking program project partners organized river conservation workshops attended by approximately 750 landowners and local community partners in the watershed. Over 78 000 acres of ranchlands implemented stewardship practices to help preserve fish habitats. Restoration projects in the watershed restored 7 754 acres of spring stream and riparian habitats directly benefiting water quality and habitat conditions for Guadalupe bass. These and other conservation efforts in the South Llano River watershed have successfully restored Guadalupe bass populations and helped promote local stewardship practices that will ensure the river is able to sustain Guadalupe bass populations into the future said Megan Bean TPWD conservation biologist. Restoration of Guadalupe Bass has provided a great mechanism to help landowners and the general public visualize the connection between good land stewardship and the aquatic health of our rivers added Tyson Broad Watershed Coordinator at the Llano River Field Station and co-founder of the Llano River Watershed Alliance. Taking care of our lands has benefits far beyond our fence lines. CONSERVATION CAN PAY OFF BIG In addition to being ecologically important and a symbol of pride as the official state fish Guadalupe bass is a prized sport fish of Hill Country anglers. Through our recent economic impact study conducted in partnership with the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station we found that river fishing in the Hill Country generated 71 million over a sixteen-month period said Stephan Magnelia Director of River Studies for the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division. Forty-two percent of anglers surveyed specifically targeted Guadalupe bass which speaks to the recreational value and economic impact of our state fish on local communities in the Hill Country. The South Llano River prize giveaway spotlights the ecological recreational and economic importance of Guadalupe bass and helps set the stage as TPWD and partners seek to replicate this successful conservation approach in other rivers and watersheds of the Hill Country. Our goal is to restore and maintain at least 10 self-sustaining populations of Guadalupe bass throughout its native creeks and rivers said Tim Birdsong Chief of Habitat Conservation for the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division. Since 2010 we ve reintroduced Guadalupe bass to portions of the Blanco and San Antonio rivers restored a hybrid population in the South Llano River and helped conserve habitats for pure populations of Guadalupe bass in the James Pedernales and lower Colorado rivers. In spring 2018 we plan to launch new projects to restore hybrid populations in the North Fork and South Fork of the San Gabriel River and to conserve habitats for the pure population of Guadalupe bass in Brushy Creek. To learn more about the South Llano River prize giveaway and efforts to conserve the state fish of Texas please visit the following website https www.llanoriver.org guadalupe-bass WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 19 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 20 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WEAR A LIFE JACKET WHEN FISHING FROM A BOAT IN COLD WATER -- IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE Nearly one-third of Arizona s boaters say fishing is their favorite activity to do while boating and for many fall is an ideal time of year to go out in search of that state record bass (or trout or catfish or ...). But as the weather cools down so does the water temperature. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that cold water immersion and hypothermia can occur in water as cool as 70 degrees. Even in a healthy person coldwater immersion can impact muscle movement breathing and heart rate. Prolonged exposure to the water can lead to hypothermia cardiac arrest and death. Whether fishing from a kayak canoe or boat life jackets are an important part of angling safety. They ll keep a person s head above water and body on the surface. While life jackets are required for those 12 years old and younger wearing a life jacket is a simple step that could be lifesaving. Arizona s lakes provide great fishing opportunities year-round and are another reason people love the fall and winter months here said Josh Hoffman boating safety education coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). Set an example for young boaters and fellow anglers by wearing a life jacket. Should someone fall out of a boat or be thrown overboard a life jacket -- regardless of the water temperature -- could save your life. If you do fall overboard stay calm move slowly and don t try to take off clothing while in the water. And if the boat has capsized it most likely will not sink and can be used as a platform. It s advised that boaters stay on top of the capsized vessel as much as possible in order to stay out of the water. With safety as the No. 1 priority now it s a matter of catching that keeper. AZGFD has a stocking schedule that includes lakes throughout the state that receive catchablesized trout from hatcheries and a weekly fishing report provides updated information on where people are catching fish and some secrets of their success. AZGFD PIO Nick Walter tracks all things fishing related in the state and offered these tips for catching fish during the winter months Consider heading to Lake Havasu. This giant shallow solunar bowl on the west coast of AZ heats up quickly during a warm winter sun and has a large variety of sport-fish. There are also some monster redear sunfish here (and at Topock Gorge) to be had. Put the Lower Salt River on your to-fish list. Located in the Tonto National Forest anglers get the unique experience of stream fishing for trout in the desert. The Lower Salt is stocked with trout through the winter months is just minutes from some of the Valley of the Sun s population centers and offers good shoreline fishing options as well. A Tonto Pass is required. Fish breathtaking Lees Ferry. Winter is traditionally the spawning period for this worldclass wild rainbow trout fishery in northern Arizona that provides the awe-inspiring gateway to the Grand Canyon. And of course make sure to wear a life jacket. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 21 FARMED ATLANTIC SALMON MAKE THEIR ESCAPE INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN The solar eclipse is being blamed for the escape of over three hundred thousand Atlantic salmon into the Pacific Ocean thus begging the questions Why were Atlantic salmon being farmed in the Pacific ocean What could possibly go wrong According to an article posted on the environmental website TreeHugger Apparently strongerthan-usual tides ripped open a net on a fish farm in Washington State on the weekend near the border with British Columbia and the fish swam out of their enclosure into the ocean. The resulting kerfuffle has raised a big question. What happens when Atlantic salmon invade the natural habitat of Pacific salmon And the answer is... nobody really knows. 22 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FARMED FISH INDUSTRY SAYS IT S NO BIG DEAL TreeHugger noted that the farmed fish industry is downplaying the effects saying the estimated 305 000 escapees are small fry in the grand scheme of things and that they re unlikely to reproduce while not in their native habitat. Apparently the scientists at Washington s Department of Fish and Wildlife disagree with the farmed fish honchos. It is urging fishers to catch as many of the Atlantic salmon as they can. The fish are full-grown weighing 4.5 kilograms and almost ready for harvest in the fall. Many West Coast fishers are concerned that they will prey on baby Pacific salmon. Atlantic salmon have been known to escape before and been found before along the B.C. coast where they are considered an invasive species. The TreeHugger piece which would likely be echoed by anglers opined One can t help but wonder why Atlantic salmon are being raised in the Pacific Ocean at all if an escape is so troublesome. Would it not make sense to raise fish species on whatever coast is closest to where they belong WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 23 DUCK DUCK GOOD NEWS According to a recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) overall duck numbers in North America remain at high levels. This is good news for waterfowl hunters. While a couple species such as scaup (bluebills) and pintails are still a concern most populations are above long-term averages. 24 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM In the traditional survey area total populations are estimated at 47.3 million breeding ducks. Last year s estimate was 48.4 million. The 2017 figure is 34 percent above the long-term average for the years 1955-2016. In other words the 2017 duck season should be outstanding The surveys indicate that wetland conditions and populations of most frequently harvested ducks remain above the long-term average and for most species populations were at or above those from last year said Ducks Unlimited Chief Scientist Tom Moorman. This is great news for waterfowlers who can now turn their attention to preparing habitat tuning up dogs and relentlessly watching the weather forecasts for the onset of fall and winter weather that will push the birds on their annual southward migration. When it comes to mallards the most popular species for duck hunters estimates for 2017 are 10.5 million which is 11 percent lower than in 2016 but 34 percent higher than the long-term average. For more duck migration information visit the Ducks Unlimited website http www.ducks.org WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 25 THE OUTPOST DUCKS HOW DUCKS AND GEESE CAN MAKE THE LONG TRIP ACROSS A CONTINENT AND WIND UP IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY YEAR Watching a flock of Canadian geese circle a carefully laid out spread or a few canvasbacks and mallards checking out the decoys from 50 yards up it s tempting to contemplate how far these birds have traveled. In some cases this trip consists of thousands of miles across an entire continent. Amazingly they make the trip twice each year and usually end up at the same places each time without the help of any road map or navigational equipment. Humans on the other hand are directionally-challenged. As a result GPS (Global Positioning System) navigational devices have become a must-have piece of equipment in just about every vehicle. This navigation technology is amazingly accurate and many people would be literally lost without one of these devices. It therefore boggles the mind to think that waterfowl such as ducks and geese without any satellites or GPS devices can travel thousands of miles and accurately return to the same summer breeding grounds and wintering areas every year. How is this possible The natural ability or sense of direction of a duck or goose incorporates all of this GPS technology in their relatively small brain without trilateration algorithms or even a tiny (and one must assume waterproof) calculator or roadmap. Here s what is known about the navigation prowess of waterfowl. NORTH AMERICAN FLYWAYS Migratory birds have their own interstate highway system. It s called their flyways. According to Bird Nature The routes followed by migratory birds are numerous and while some of them are simple and easily traced others are extremely complicated. Differences in distance traveled in time of starting in speed of flight in geographical position in the latitude of the breeding and wintering grounds and in other factors all contribute to great diversity. No two species follow exactly the same path from beginning to end geographical groups of species with an almost continental distribution may travel different routes. 26 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The site continues Bird migration is generally thought of as a north-and-south movement with the lanes of heavier concentration following the coasts mountain ranges and principal river valleys. In general it may be said that the great routes of migration do general direction of the travel to be performed. It happens to work out nicely in North America where the coasts mountain chains and come of the larger rivers do not depart from a north-and-south alignment. The site notes that these migration routes may be defined as the lanes of individual travel from any particular breeding ground to the winter quarters of the birds that use them. Flyways on the other hand may well be conceived as those broader areas in which related migration routes are associated or blended in a definite geographic region. They are wide arterial highways to which the routes are tributary. Waterfowl scientists have named four North American Flyways. These are the Atlantic the Mississippi the Central and the Pacific Flyways. Bird Nature notes that these flyway boundaries are not always sharply defined and there is some overlapping. Because the oceans get closer in the Central American country of Panama all four flyways merge into one group at this location. FINDING THEIR WAY BACK HOME The fact that different species of waterfowl have followed similar paths from breeding grounds to wintering areas for eons suggests a genetic aspect to this uncanny ability. In a report published by waterfowl conservation organization Ducks Unlimited (DU) Dr. Dale James suggests several fascinating reasons for this navigational expertise of ducks and geese. Navigation during migration is primarily an extension of the homing ability found to various degrees in all birds. This ability enables birds to locate their nests or frequently used feeding and roosting sites. In long-distance migrants such as waterfowl this ability allows them to find specific wintering and breeding sites from year to year with remarkable precision. In addition to this innate or genetic ability James notes that the sense of direction in this waterfowl is also learned. This combination of behaviors provides birds with an extremely adaptable navigational system that can be adjusted based on their environment. This enables them to find their way remarkably well in highly variable conditions and across great distances. As with human youngsters who are just learning to walk immature waterfowl often have not had time to learn routes and can become lost from time to time. They re still learning. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 27 THE OUTPOST DUCKS WATERFOWL USE LANDMARKS THE SUN AND STARS Just as tourists in Paris try to keep track of their whereabouts in a new city by keeping the Eiffel Tower in sight ducks and geese use landmarks to keep their migration on track. According to the DU research Landmarks provide birds with directional cues rather than north-south orientation. Prominent geographic features like mountain ranges coastlines and major waterways are visible to migrating waterfowl day and night. The Atlantic and Pacific flyways roughly follow their respective coastlines. The Mississippi Flyway follows the Mississippi River and the Central Flyway roughly follows the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains swinging out through the southern Great Plains along the Platte River and on to the Gulf Coast at its southern terminus. The research noted by Dr. James also showed that migrating waterfowl use the position of sun to achieve a solar compass orientation. In a similar manner those birds traveling at night use stellar maps. In an experiment where the North Star was rearranged to be in a southern part of the sky in a dark planetarium the spring migrating birds changed their true north route turning south based on what the faux North Star was suggesting. MAGNETIC FIELDS FOREVER One of the most fascinating aspects of avian navigation ability is the effect that magnetic fields have on this process. While it is not completely understood apparently these high flyers have an innate ability to sense magnetic fields and this compass would definitely enhance their sense of direction. DU scientists including Dr. James note Scientists have determined that birds also may use nonvisual cues such as magnetic fields for orientation although how birds do this is poorly understood. Researchers have shown that magnets placed on the heads of captive birds interfered with the birds ability to fly in the correct direction even on sunny days. Another study showed that migrating birds changed both direction and altitude when a powerful underground antenna was turned on interfering with the earth s magnetic field. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THIS MAKE As a purely scientific endeavor researching the navigational abilities of birds is both fascinating and could pay huge commercial dividends in the development of communication transportation and navigational products and services. However understanding the migratory tendencies of waterfowl such as geese and ducks is also very important for the preservation of their populations. Environmentalists and true outdoor sportsmen have long-ago realized that the habitats for migratory birds have been disappearing at a rapid rate. Wetlands and forest destruction due to demand for real estate and timber and the changing of farming practices due to changes in the commodity market are just some of many forces that affect the survival of migratory birds. By understanding the flight patterns and tendencies and abilities of these birds conservation groups can work to save watering holes food sources and other necessities for their continued safe trips each spring and fall. 28 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM castandblastlodges.com OHIO S PREMIER PHEASANT LODGE CADIZ OHIO 724-421-3618 We can CUSTOMIZE any package (call to discuss upgrade options) Ohio Pheasant Hunts Premiere Pheasant hunting on our licensed preserve 1000 acres of prime habitat All packages include guide dogs lunch beverages (including beer) bird cleaning and lodging (European Cont. Hunts only) There is no closed season open 365 days (no licenses required) Hunts available Half day 20 birds minimum Whole day 40 birds minimum 2 days 80 birds minimum European Continental Hunt - great for corporate retreats We also have 2 3 day hunts that can include as well (call for pricing) Mallard Duck Hunting European Continental Hunts (one day) 8 12 or 16 Hunters Required Must have a minimum of 8 hunters to participate 200 total birds These high-flying action packed hunts have become real popular In the morning you will be welcomed with coffee and donuts between 8-9 a.m. at which time we will go over safety rules for the day. Then we will head to the field where each hunter will be assigned a shooting station surrounding the elevated tower. We will then release 120 pheasants out of the tower in increments of 15 birds per round. At the end of each round the whistle will blow and everybody will rotate to the next station giving everybody equal opportunity to shoot from different blinds. We will then take a break for lunch and then split into 2 groups and ground hunt 80 additional birds plus any birds missed during the morning tower shoot. 29 LATE SEASON DUCK HUNTING If you re a duck hunter you know the drill. You re up and on the way to the blind at 4 a.m. Once you arrive you get to unload the decoys slosh through water in the coldest weather imaginable and begin the sky-watch sometimes for hours Why do we do it It s pretty simple. Having one of these amazingly cunning high-flyers respond to a call and then glide into the middle of a carefully-designed decoy spread is a thrill that s hard to describe to normal people. Oh yeah duck hunters are not normal people. Ducks Unlimited estimates that more than 14 million people hunt these birds in the U.S. alone and these hunters are responsible for more than 50 billion in related economic activity. That s a lot of hunters and a lot of economic impact. However that s a small part of the story. As a group duck hunters are good stewards of the land and water. There s something about a truly passionate duck hunter that makes him more attuned to the natural environment than many other outdoorsman. Maybe it s because it takes a certain type of person to meet these challenges. In order to be even moderately successful at this sport the hunter must acquire vast amounts of knowledge about the differences in the types of ducks dealing with natural elements and a hundred other areas. In the course of acquiring this knowledge most duck hunters also pick up an appreciation for the environment that supports these incredible birds. This special Duck Hunting issue will barely scratch the surface of sport. As teenagers say there s just TMI too much information. However if you re a wily veteran or new to waterfowl hunting some of these tips and nuggets of information might help you have more fun on your hunt and that s what it s all about. GETTING YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Even a grizzled veteran of the duck blind can use a little refresher on the types and proclivities of these clever birds. Here s a quick primer for understanding the tendencies of ducks. PUDDLERS OR DIVERS Ducks are divided into two categories - puddlers or divers. Diver ducks choose shallow water and then feed bottoms-up tail to the sky underwater looking for grains seeds snails and aquatic plants. Puddlers on the other hand tend to forage for food in shallow lakes marshes fields and stock tanks and they usually stay close to land. In fact puddlers will sometimes feed on land similar to geese. Puddler take off with a fierce amount of wing flapping almost like a helicopter unlike divers who tend to take off like a small seaplane which must build up speed before becoming airborne. Puddle duck species have iridescent prismatic wind windows or speculum and some philosophical duck hunters with too much time in the blind have speculated that this speculum serves as a beacon to keep the ducks together in flight. In terms of flight pattern puddlers will often circle water source several times and if they notice anything suspicious (such as the shiny face and teeth of an over-eager duck hunter) they turn tail and fly off into the wild blue yonder. Puddle ducks have roosting areas where they snooze during the night and midday and a feeding area where they grab a bite. The typically leave the roost pre-dawn feed and return to the roost at midday. They venture out to feed again in late afternoon and return to the roost for a little duck chat with the missus when it gets dark. Diver ducks prefer to open water large lakes coastal bays and sea coasts. As their names suggests they dive sometimes to great depths to feed. These ducks enjoy a scintillating repast of crustaceans fish aquatic vegetation and other marine foods. The diver s flight patterns are much different than the puddlers. When they see a body of water that strikes their fancy they tend to come in low and fast. If they notice something weird such as a group of poorly positioned dekes or the glare off of a duck hunter s receding hairline they will flare off to one side. Unlike the take-off of the puddlers divers will accelerate across the water for several yards webbed feet slapping to build speed. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 31 DUCKS ARE DIVIDED INTO TWO CATEGORIES - PUDDLERS OR DIVERS. DUCKS THAT ARE PUDDLERS There is a wide variety of ducks that fall into the puddler duck category. These include wigeon northern pintail gadwall green-winged teal blue-winged teal cinnamon teal northern shoveler black duck mottled duck (aka Florida duck) and mallard As for diver ducks there are plenty of them to choose from as well. They are lesser scaup (bluebill) ringnecked duck canvasback redhead common goldeneye common and red-breasted mergansers and bufflehead. Even though they are not technically diver ducks hunting guides usually put the stiff tailed ruddy ducks in this category because they feed on aquatic life and are great underwater swimmers. Before heading to the blind it is a good idea to review images of all of these species in order to use the right hunting strategy. The Ducks Unlimited website (www.ducks. org) is packed with great photography of all of these birds. WHERE TO HUNT THESE DUCKS Because specific types of ducks are attracted to certain terrain water sources and feeding areas that are based on native vegetation it s important to check with local fish and game references in the area being hunted. Google is also a great resource to determine what types of ducks are likely to be flying into your decoy spread. There are some generalizations that can be made. Heavily forested areas with lakes rivers and ponds such as the Piney Woods of East Texas is a duck hunter s paradise. Lakes ponds rivers flooded timber all provide terrific duck hunting. Hunters can stand by trees use boat blinds and permanent blinds to harvest mallards gadwalls wigeons green-winged teal and wood ducks. Coastal areas where there are bays marshes swamps lagoons and inland rice field attract an amazing variety of ducks. Hunters will find puddlers such as pintails and mallard over the rice fields and divers such as lesser scaup redheads and canvasbacks on the coastal waters. In the Midwestern U.S. there is a heavy grain concentration and it is irresistible to mallards pintails gadwalls and wigeons. There are not too many people in this area so there s not much hunter density to worry about. Even in the desert areas where there are sources for water ducks can be found. The types of ducks found here include gadwalls mallards pintails and wigeons. There is also the possibility of harvesting the rare cinnamon teal which is seldom found east of the Rockies. THE TOP DUCK DESTINATIONS In most cases the home zip code of a duck hunter determines the type of duck he she brings back to the freezer. This is because the traditional migration patterns of all species of ducks are amazingly consistent year after year. However some die-hard hunters have been known to travel thousands of miles from their homes in order to hunt a specific type of duck. It is for these folks that the annual survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fascinating reading. 32 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 33 This Fish and Wildlife survey uses wintering ground surveys and historical data to predict the migration and ultimate destinations of every duck species. This information is available online from the service. Here are some highlights. MALLARD This iconic bird can be found in a number of migration routes including the Atlantic Flyway the Mississippi Flyway Central Flyway and the Pacific Flyway. If you re in the Atlantic Flyway you will find ducks migrating from Ontario and other Canadian provinces and heading for the wetlands around the St. Lawrence River Valley and along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. Other popular duck destinations in this area include Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on Cayuga Lake in the state s Finger Lakes region and South of the Finger Lakes and the upper Chesapeake Bay where the survey predicts mallard numbers will be most concentrated on the Susquehanna Flats along the Chester River on the upper Eastern Shore and on estuarine wetlands farther down the Eastern Shore. In the past the Mississippi Flyway has been chocked full of mallards and this year is no exception. Ducks.org noted Nearly half the 4.5 million mallards harvested last year in the United States were taken in this flyway. While hunters in Minnesota Wisconsin Illinois and Mississippi enjoy good mallard shooting those in Arkansas often enjoy the best. Arkansas averaged an annual mallard harvest of 598 448 birds. Mallards are primarily drawn to the eastern third of the state which devotes almost 1.5 million acres to rice production. The town of Stuttgart is located at this region s heart earning it the nickname The Rice and Duck Capital of the World. The potholes of North Dakota in the Central Flyway are known for yielding outstanding mallard numbers. The ground survey suggests that around mid-October they begin to congregate on the larger lakes and along the Missouri River to seek available open water. Oklahoma has also become a hotbed for hunting mallards in the Central Flyway. The large lakes in the eastern part of the state Grand Kerr Eufaula Oologah and Texoma are top stopovers for mallards as they migrate between their breeding grounds on the northern prairies and wintering grounds in Texas. Fort Cobb Reservoir also attracts large numbers of mallards because of its location in the heart of the state s peanut-growing region. If you live and hunt in the Pacific Flyway you can count on plenty of mallards this season. Prime spots include southeast Washington near Moses Lake and neighboring Potholes Reservoir. These areas offer migrating ducks an expanse of marsh and open water amid a landscape of mountains and prairie. These two bodies of water are also surrounded by the state s major corn-producing area. Farther south in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California (where the country s second largest rice harvest occurs) biologists counted 160 000 mallards along the Sacramento River. 34 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE OUTPOST DUCK HUNTING PINTAIL This species is one of the most highly distributed duck in the U.S. However it must really like the Pacific coast area because about half of the total population pintails will be found this year in the Pacific Flyway specifically California. These birds gravitate to the various freshwater and brackish marshes flooded agricultural fields and ponds of the Sacramento Valley Suisun Marsh San Joaquin Delta and San Joaquin Valley. There is also a respectable population of pintails wintering in the Texas Gulf coast area in the rice prairies southwest of Houston. GADWALL Since gadwalls are not grain eaters they have a different set of objectives from say mallards when they re considering their winter home. The Fish and Wildlife survey notes they migrate in great numbers to the freshwater marshes of coastal Louisiana. A significant number of birds begin to arrive in late October with the peak migration occurring from mid-November to mid-December. This past January the state s midwinter survey counted an estimated 938 000 gadwalls in southern Louisiana. These birds are also found in Arkansas coastal Texas and even North Dakota (when the winter is mild). BLACK DUCK Black ducks are primarily found in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. They are partial to Michigan and the coastal areas around New Jersey Virginia and Maryland. They eat snails and invertebrates and wildlife experts predict a good population of black ducks in the Absecon Bay (near Atlantic City) or Barnegat Bay. TEAL The sportsman s paradise of Louisiana is the most popular destination of teal. The state had the nation s highest average harvest of blue-winged teal with more than 230 000 of the birds taken annually. Most of these are taken in November but the state has an early teal season which begins in September. Green-winged teal migrate later in the season than the blue-winged teal and most of these are harvested in California s Central Valley. TEAL BLACK DUCK GADWALL PINTAIL WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 35 WIGEON The majority of the North American continent s wigeon breed in the boreal forest of Alaska and western Canada and winter throughout California s Central Valley. Because they like to feed in flooded areas their concentration will be determined by rainfall amounts in late summer and early fall. Wigeons can also be found in Oregon Washington and even a few in the coastal area of Texas. CANVASBACK Canvasbacks get around a lot. They can be found in the Atlantic Flyway near Chesapeake Bay in Maryland munching on wild celery and other aquatic plants. They also like California specifically the brackish estuarine marshes and open water of California s San Pablo Bay and Suisun Marsh. Another great spot to find canvasbacks is Catahoula Lake in Louisiana. It has been estimated that approximately 123 000 canvasbacks - nearly a fourth of the continental population pass the winter months in Louisiana. WOOD DUCK Wood ducks have traditionally migrated to areas of forested wetlands. This characteristic is found in abundance in the Mississippi Flyway. Minnesota Wisconsin Arkansas and Alabama are the top destination for this bird. There numbers are enhanced when they mix with the less-migratory southern wood ducks in the southeastern states. REDHEAD If you re intent on hunting redheads this year and you happen to live in the Midwest or Northeast better get ready for a little trip South. Wildlife biologists estimate that 80 percent of the redhead population can be found wintering near the Laguna Madre on the Texas and Mexico Gulf coast. This is a highly saline shallow lagoon located between South Padre Island and the mainland of Texas. Redheads start arriving in Texas in October and spend the winter in the warm sunshine. SCAUP Changes in the wetlands in the Midwest have changed some of the migration patterns of scaup. Several hot spots remain and these include the South Shore of Long Island in New York Devil s Lake in North Dakota (for both spring and fall) coastal Texas and South Louisiana. The scaup like to winter in areas with fresh and brackish marshes and they eat freshwater shrimp found in abundance on the Gulf Coast. RING-NECK DUCK The best place to find ring-neck ducks is in central and northern Minnesota in October. This state leads the rest of the nation in the harvest of this bird with more than 82 000 annually. The two hot spots for ring-necks are Lake Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake. REDHEAD 36 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM HUNTING PRESSURE AND FOOD DETERMINE DUCK NUMBERS These duck destinations are determined by food sources and hunting pressure both of which can change from year to year. However with proper planning using historical and predictive data from sources such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with local insights provided by guides who work the area a duck hunter can at least have an idea of the type of birds who are likely to be in the area and appropriate decoy strategies can be deployed. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 37 HOW TO FOOL A DUCK Next to being pulled over by a game warden the most intimidating experience for a duck hunter is formulating a strategy for deploying decoys. Literally hundreds of books have been written about this subject thousands of articles have been posted web and most likely get two duck hunters together and you ll hear two different strategies. Getting any duck within gunshot range is tough because they have superior sight and an almost freaky ability to see when something ain t right down there. No amount of shooting lessons duck calling seminars or lucky camo hats will help a hunter get his daily bag limit unless he has an effective decoy spread. Duck hunting guides realize that in order to get ducks to give your pond or part of the lake a second look you must figure out what attracts them. You then must match that attraction element with a decoy spread that makes the ducks feel comfortable and eager for a little company. 38 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THAT S EASY. SIMPLY PUT OUT THE EXACT NUMBER OF DECOYS ARRANGED IN THE EXACT MANNER THAT WILL APPEAL TO THE SENSIBILITIES OF SMARTEST WINGED CREATURES ON THE PLANET. NOTHING TO IT Successful hunters deploy their decoys after careful consideration of all elements. They are also prepared to change the spread (several times if necessary) if that day s birds don t seem to be responding to the original layout. The best way to spend the entire day with no ducks landing near your blind is to rig up a bunch of decoys and toss them out randomly on the water. Here s how to improve your decoy placement. USE SEVERAL SPECIES IN THE SPREAD Guides suggest that a decoy spread with several species of ducks has a good effect on the ducks overhead. Some successful hunters put out as many as five to six dozen dekes with a smattering of mallards and black or dark-colored decoys. These darker models stand out better from the air making the spread easier to see. There is also some thought that various sized decoys stand out better. This means that standard sized magnums and supermagnums can be used to draw attention to the spread. Even different brands of decoys can be mixed and matched in the spread to draw more attention. Brands such as Greenheads Carry-Lites or Flambeaus all have a distinct look and their addition to the spread make it more diverse and interesting. Duck species will tend to segregate themselves. This is especially true with regard to mallards and other ducks. Teal will typically land and swim in the shallow side of the pond next to weeds. They will stay away from the mallards that are usually in deeper more to the center water. Pintails seem to prefer to be on the outside of a concentration of mallards closer to the deeper water. An effective decoy spread should take this natural segregation into consideration. Decoy strategy also changes in the late-season. Most guides suggest slimming down the decoy spread if they are hunting in the latter part of the season. They also recommend calling less during this period. Typical layout could involve 9 decoys probably mallards set up with two drakes and a hen. This mimics nature because the ducks arrange themselves this way when they are competing for a mate. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 39 Most guides recommend hunters not mix puddlers and divers in the same spread. Another cool tip is to buy a heron or goose deke and set it off to the side of the water. Incoming ducks know that these birds won t stay in a dangerous area and these large birds are easier for high-flying ducks to see. If the hunter s blind is a boat the best strategy is to surround it with decoys. It s a good idea to use the same theme of creating a landing area near the blind. The number of decoys should be adjusted according to the type of ducks that are foraging in the area. In the case of small ponds no more than a dozen dekes are needed. However in larger lakes or coastal areas as many as four or five dozen decoys are needed. AN EASY DECOY SCENARIO The most common duck hunting scenario is having a blind on the bank of a pond or lake. In this case the easiest and most effective decoy layout is to have the dekes in a fishhook shape with the shank of the hook pointing downwind and each decoy set two or three feet apart. The ducks should land inside the barb of the large hook. The blind should be a near to this open spot as possible and the wind should never be in the hunter s face. Hunting guides suggest that the best place for hunters to be placed in this configuration is where they can shoot crosswind into the landing area. The barb of the hook of decoys should not be more than 45 yards from the blind and this should be the maximum distance for any shot to be taken. The choice of decoys depends on the types of ducks that are likely to come visit your water hole. If mallards green teal and pintails are likely to be foraging in the area the best suggestion is to use a combination of these species. When mixing mallards and pintails the pintails should be the farthest out because the white of the pintail breast can be seen at a greater distance. KEEP THE WATER RIPPLING Just about everyone agrees that some form of motion and water disturbance has a positive effect on getting the attention of high-flying ducks. Some other tactics include the ripple makers products such as Quiver Magnets and swimming decoys. The tried and true method for life-like motion is the old-fashion jerk string. Guides suggest rigging two or three lines with up to three decoys each and periodically yanking the lines to get the motion. Unfortunately this yanking get tedious in a hurry and if you re lucky enough to have a youngster who wants to go duck hunting with Dad or Granddad this is a great job for him. Over the course of a typical day of duck hunting lots of things can happen to affect the flight patterns of ducks. Weather can turn colder a deluge of rain can hit or the wind can shift and pick up dramatically. Or for whatever nonsensical weird reason the ducks that are working over your blind might not like the look of the spread that you carefully laid out before sunrise. It happens. The best way to deal with this is to always be ready to try some other look. About a half hour after sunrise and shooting time begins and daylight is brighter it is not uncommon for seasoned hunters to make fundamental changes in the decoy spread. This could involve moving mechanized decoys to some other spot adding or subtracting some decoys from the spread or changing the rhythm of the jerking. 40 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 41 42 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Ducks are one of nature s smartest animals. The ancestors of ducks that are flying today evolved over the centuries and learned all about dangerous situations. That knowledge is hard-wired into the brains of modern-day ducks. Even with all of the high tech weapons calls and decoys the most skilled hunters will be lucky to get his daily bag limit and that s just the way nature planned it. YOU NEVER KNOW ENOUGH Duck hunting is a life-long learning experience. Understanding the dozens of species and their unique habits choosing the best shotgun and ammo and getting the decoy spread just right are just three of challenges for a successful hunt. However the point of duck hunting is not just bringing back ducks. It s getting out in the elements sometimes with friends and sometime alone and coming back with great stories. That s a successful hunt. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 43 There s Still Time to Find the Perfect Gift Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Sportsman and Woman Over the course of the last twelve months we have featured a vast array of outdoor sports gadgets gizmos and gear and many of them make perfect gifts for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Here are a few that we featured in the Outpost magazine in 2017. Merry Christmas 44 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The RedHead Striker Turkey Vest Korker s K5 Bomber Wading Boot One of the reasons the RedHead Striker Turkey Vest has become a turkey hunter s favorite gear is because offers so many features designed to keep hunters comfortable and effective in the field. In addition to the many various-sized pockets the vest features a magnetic fold-down seat padded with memory foam. This cushioned seat ups the comfort factor so hunters can sit still even on hard rocky ground. It is also easy to deploy for those hunters who love to run and gun. Price 69.99 Friction-free rolling lace guides and lace-lock allow for bi-zonal tensioning providing a truly customized fit. The K-5 Bomber offers an enhanced EVA midsole protected stitching and a 3D-molded toe and heel cap ensuring durability and longevity. Hydrophobic materials and internal drainage channels reduce excess water weight and promote faster dry times. Price 110.00 The Gunner Kennel G1 Zink Mallard Drake Whistle As the market s only double-walled roto-molded kennel this American-made product is also the most durable. The crate s construction makes it virtually indestructible and safeguards against even the harshest elements. Each kennel boasts exclusive features that demonstrate it was designed with the gundog owner in mind including a lockable paddle-latch door designated tie-down pins skidresistant rubber feet super-strong carry handles an oversized drain plug and drainage system water-repelling window vents and all stainless-steel components. Price 600 (medium) 800 (large) This duck call looks very cool with its unique custom-painted greenhead design but you expect a lot more than top-tier aesthetics from Zink. This call accurately reproduces the full range of lowfrequency tones and vocalizations real drake mallards make when they have something to say. With practice the Zink Drake Mallard Whistle also easily and realistically mimics the sounds of other whistling species like pintails widgeon and wood ducks. Price 12.99 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 45 SCENT-Purge Big Mouth Bag Shoot Where You Look DVD Don t let bad odors or suspect gear bags cramp your style or your hand trying to get at gear- the new ScentPURGETM BigMOUTH Bag kit is your new hunting partner. The unit kills odors BEFORE you enter the woods and the bag OPENS WIDE and STAYS OPEN so grabbing your boots release aids clothing binoculars and more are as easy as a quartering away shot at 20 yards. Simply put your gear in and turn on the unit and kill odors overnight. Price 115 Leon Measures created this shooting technique and DVD and hunters of any age from elementary kids to old timers will become better shots after they ve worked with it. Basically Measures shows shotgunners to shoot where they look. It s so simple it s brilliant. It shows a raw recruit what to do from minute one through the proper introduction to a shotgun skeet and sporting clays. It allows an experienced shooter to sharpen his or her skills. Practice is done in front of a mirror with an empty safe long gun without leaving the house or firing a shot. The DVD is one hour and twenty minutes. Price 44.95 The Shire Two-Person Tent Bushnell FishTrack GPS Device Most successful anglers have a journal with notes about water that has been particularly productive. That concept of a honey hole journal has been taken high-tech. Bushnell an industry-leader in high-quality sports optics and outdoor products since 1948 has introduced a new portable easy to use personal GPS device for anglers. It s called FishTrack and it provides anglers of all skill levels with a palm-sized tool to help them spend less time searching for fish and more time reeling them in. Price 149.00 46 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM If you ve ever been in a survival situation it s cold and wet and there s little chance of someone finding you until morning you know that a well-made tent can be the difference between life and death. A good tent can also be the difference between a fun camping trip and a sleepless night. Featuring a removable rain fly and two inner pockets for gear storage free-standing Shire 2 Person Tent offers superior protection and convenience to make your next outdoor adventure an enjoyable experience. Users will appreciate the 2-person space wide enough to fit an inflatable sleeping pad and sealed seams to keep you dry in precipitation. Price 119 The Duluth All Day Lumbar Pack Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles Specifically designed to be supported via lower lumbar this pack can be carried for an entire day without back pain. The pack is 14inches wide 10 inches high and 6 inches deep. This means it has a capacity of 714 cubic inches. It has enough room to carry as much gear as needed for a serious adventure. The weight of the contents is distributed by the dual strap-system shoulders and waist evenly split the load. The pack is made out of heavy-duty 18-ounce canvas and has a waterproof bottom liner. The sides are flanked with dual water bottle holders. On top two compression straps secure the load no matter the size. Price 215 The Zippo All Terrain Grill Here s a gift suggestion for hunter who hates cold feet. The Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles foot warmers are designed to make any cold weather activity more comfortable and enjoyable. They have all the features of the original Thermacell Heated Insoles but are more flexible and comfortable have longer use time contain a removable and rechargeable battery and can be charged using either USB cable or wall charger. Price 179.99 StrikeMaster Chipper Magnum Ice Auger This is a real grill that goes everywhere. It s the perfect grill for camping tailgating or in the backyard. It has plenty of fire-power 16 000 BTUs. It has a rugged cast-aluminum firebox & lid and efficient twin-burner technology. It boasts a steady & consistent flame thru entire firebox and the continuous flame-control valves provide precise flame height adjustment. The Zippo Grill also has an anti-rattle transport system the lid-lock pins keep grate & lid quiet during travel to and from the deer lease. The grill runs on both 1 lb. or 20 lb. propane canisters providing short or long-term cooking options. Price 300 The StrikeMaster Chipper Magnum boasts the brute force and dogged durability to punch holes all day long season after season. Powered by an economical two-stroke 42cc 2.5 Horsepower Solo Powerhead motor with a two-year warranty the Chipper Magnum s boron steel chipper blade also makes short work of reopening holes that have frozen over. Considered by many to be the gold standard of ice auger motors the Solo Powerhead produces ice-shredding torque and horsepower with a proven design guaranteed to provide years of reliable service. Price 450 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 47 IF TS The Hex Ladder Treestand 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 heavy-gauge 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 cam-buckle platform strap. Price 400 O U TP O ST G The Nexbelt The Belt with No Holes the outdoor industry s first micro-adjustable cut to fit belt designed specifically to handle the weight of your open- or concealed-carry firearm has another winner this time producing the same game-changing belt in your favorite color... CAMO The belt that created a non-stop buzz among firearm enthusiasts is now taking hunting by the horns by introducing the Nexbelt in Realtree Xtra camouflage Whether you re really trying to break up your outline... or just making the perfect pro-hunting fashion statement Nexbelt might be for you. Plus while the Realtree Camouflage looks cool and actually serves a strategic hunting purpose it retains the industry leading custom comfort quality and lasting reliability that boot-on-the-ground tactical operators personal defense experts and hunters alike can depend on to keep pants off the ground Price 55 48 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM O The RedHead Turkey Lounger The RedHead Turkey Lounger is a folding turkey seat that will make the wait more comfortable. It is also lightweight and easy to carry. Padded arms and a water-resistant seat and back allow hunters to stay comfortable and thus remain still while they wait for the birds. The low profile helps hunters break up their outline and provides a steady base of support for when the gobbler finally offers a clear shot. The lounger s wide-base feet are designed to keep hunters from sinking into the often moist spring ground. The RedHead turkey lounger is durable as well with a strong powder-coated steel frame. Thanks to the strap which wraps around the seat to keep it closed and another one to carry it it is simple to tote from one spot to another. It s also available in Realtree Xtra camo. Price 30 U O TP ST G TS IF Reel Flex Filet Knives Designed by custom knife maker Jerry Hossom the Reel-Flex fillet knife blades are crafted from German 4116 stainless steel that is known for its corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. The Reel-Flex fillets are available with 6-inch 7.5-inch and 9.5-inch blade lengths to meet the cutting demands for all fresh and saltwater species. They are ergonomically shaped with blue TPE composite handles that ensure a comfortable non-slip grip even when handled with wet or slick hands. Each knife is hand-finished shaving-sharp and includes a polypropylene sheath with a swivel-clip belt attachment for easy carry at all times. Price 25 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 49 IF TS TP O ST G Taking Aim By Eva Shockey The co-host with her father of Jim Shockey s Hunting Adventures on the Outdoor Channel Eva Shockey defies the stereotype that hunting is a man s game. In her book Taking Aim she tells a very personal story of choosing the less-traveled path to a rewarding life in outdoor pursuits like hunting and fishing. For her hunting is a way of harvesting food caring deeply about sustainability and healthy eating and getting closer to God in nature. Price 25 O Eileen Clarke has been hunting wild game and preparing it for the table for more than 30 years. Along the way she s learned a lot about the factors that affect the taste of meat she has harvested. She visited the Outpost to talk about her book called Sausage Season Step-by-step making your wild meat wildly amazing. It s an easy-to-read handbook on the proper techniques for making moist creamy-delicious wild game sausage. The book also contains 66 fresh sausage recipes the right fat ratio the right cooking method and the right cooking temperature for mouth-watering sausage. If you have a hunter sausage aficionado on your Christmas list he or she will love this book. Approximate retail price 29.95 50 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM U Sausage Season Step-by-Step Making Your Wild Meat Wildly Amazing By Eileen Clarke O 25 Off the Beaten Path Montana Fly-Fishing Streams By Molly Semenik When writing her name book fly fishing guide Molly Semenik was on a mission to find the cool little streams that hold great prospects for productive trout fishing. She succeeded royally In this book will likely become a bucket-list for men and women who want to explore the off-the-beaten track in the most glorious fishing area of the world Montana. Price 30 U O TP ST G TS IF Stacy Lyn s Harvest Cookbook By Stacy Lyn Harris Everybody s favorite chef and outdoor sportswoman Sustainable Stacy is back with an amazing collection of more than 100 recipes and more than 15 articles about cooking wild game fish and fresh vegetables every day of the week. She shows how simple ingredients can be transformed into mouth-watering meals that the entire family will love. Along the way she shows how living off the land is not something our grandparents did but rather it is something that is possible in our urban world. Price 35 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 51 LOTS OF HARD WORK WENT INTO THIS FISHERY In 2015 NDOW spent more than 250 000 to remove illegally stocked northern pike that had decimated the trout fishery at Comins Lake. Since then NDOW worked to rebuild the fishery with the introduction of trout and largemouth bass all designed to benefit the sportsmen of White Pine County and visitors from all over the country. This malicious and illegal act seriously endangers our effort to restore this important fishery for local anglers and those who travel to White Pine County to enjoy amazing fishing said NDOW Fisheries Chief Jon Sjoberg. At its peak in 2004 Comins Lake reached 35 000 angler use days making it the fourth most visited fishery in the state behind only Lake Mead Lake Mohave and the Truckee River. With the introduction of pike that number fell to around 2 000 angler use days by 2013. The money spent by anglers using Comins also dropped from over 2 million to around 73 000 during that same time frame. Scientists in Nevada have noted that Northern Pike are not native to the state and when introduced into certain waterways this voracious predator consumes all the natural resources in a given waterway destroying native fish first and eventually causing a collapse of the invasive pike as well. Anyone with information on this illegal introduction of pike can call the OGT hotline at (800) 992-3030. REWARD OFFERED With the discovery of illegally planted Northern pike in Comins Lake the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is offering a 10 000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person(s) responsible. Conviction for this crime would be a misdemeanor but the crime also carries hefty civil penalties that can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The reward money has been donated by several sportsmen s groups including Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and the Operation Game Thief Citizens Board. We ve invested tremendous time money and resources in eliminating pike from this fishery. The person illegally planting fish is costing sportsmen money that could be better spent and they are destroying one of Nevada s most productive and heavily utilized fisheries said Chief Game Warden Tyler Turnipseed. This is an ugly and damaging act and we intend to find who did it. 52 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 10 000 HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES OF THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THEY ARE ALL RIGHT HERE COME ON IN WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 53 THE BUCK STOPS HERE 54 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM If you re looking for the hunter in your family you might want to check the treestand. It s that time of year again. Deer hunting whether its whitetail mule deer or the more exotic variety such as Axis or Coues deer has been a part of man s existence for thousands of years. For anyone who has never hunted deer it is next to impossible to explain the addiction that hunters have toward this pursuit. For those who love this sport no words are adequate. This special deer hunting series of articles will show how you can have more fun and success on your hunt. We ll go through some tips from experts and hopefully give you something to think about while you re waiting for that huge 12-point buck to ease into range. A DEER S A DEER...RIGHT In spite of the fact that most non-hunters categorize deer in one big group there are two species of this animal that are native to North America whitetail and mule deer. There is another subspecies the Pacific coastal or blacktail deer which is a regional subspecies of mule deer. In Alaska hunters will find a relative of the mule deer called Sitka deer. Plus there is a small population of whitetail subspecies in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico called Coues deer. In the 1920 s an exotic breed Axis deer was introduced into North America by someone who had more money than good sense. When they failed to keep the gates locked and the fences high most of these deer simply jumped the fence they began to breed both with whitetail and other Axis deer. Now there is a large population of these exotic deer and there are special regulations for harvesting them. More on this later. The ancestors of modern deer first appeared in Mongolia during the Miocene and Pliocene geological epochs some 10 to 20 million years ago. From there they spread to populate most of Asia and Europe eventually crossing the Alaskan land bridge to North America. Once here deer continued evolving until--a mere million years or so ago during the Pleistocene epoch--they attained the form we re familiar with today. It has been estimated that before the arrival of Europeans North America supported some 40 million whitetail and 10 million mule deer. However after the turn of the 20th century modern guns the demand for deer hides and a complete lack of hunting regulations led to a decimation of whitetail and mule deer. The North American deer population had plummeted to a scant half million and that figure represented the total of all species. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 55 However U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt marshaled the help of many influential conservationists hunters and landowner to stop this annihilation of the deer population in the form of hunting regulations and wildlife planning. As a result of these efforts The Wildlife Management Institute estimates that throughout the 50 states there are between 30 to 45 million whitetail deer and 8 to 10 million mule deer. Some feel that the population of whitetail deer has come back a little too strong. Even with the expansion of cities and a concurrent loss of natural habitat deer can be found foraging in backyards golf courses and the gardens of city-dwellers. This has led many biologists hunters and people concerned with food supplies to ask the question Why can t hunters sell venison commercially In an article in the Wall Street Journal writer Jim Sterba posed this question and offered some up some facts on harvesting deer to feed U.S. families. The Journal article noted that 85% of the venison sold in American restaurants comes from deer farms in New Zealand. The wild game offered on some upscale eateries is farm-raised not harvested by hunters. These laws were passed as a part Roosevelt s attempt to replenish the deer populations. The estimated 6 million whitetail deer that will be taken by hunters this year aren t nearly enough to bring the whitetail population in line. As a result of this ban on the commercial sale of venison serious ecological damage is occurring. 56 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Thomas Rawinski a U.S. Forest Services scientist in New Hampshire said Sadly I spend much of my time in ecological disaster zones forests devastated by too many deer. I truly believe that this has become the single greatest conservation challenge of our time. Allowing hunters or special marksmen who are licensed to cull the whitetail deer populations and sell this venison to grocery stores and restaurants or give it to homeless shelters and food banks would help every link of the food chain. However this is a very controversial issue and many hunters and animal rights advocates are opposed to changing the way whitetail deer are harvested. WHITETAIL DEER ARE JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE Every one of the lower 48 states in the U.S. has some number of whitetail deer and states such as California Nevada and Utah have the smallest population of these animals. Because they seems to handle living near civilization better than other wildlife (although feral hogs are starting to give whitetail deer a run for their money in terms of adapting to and destroying human habitat) whitetail deer are probably the best known of the large mammals. The average weight of whitetail deer is about 150 pounds and they stand about 40 inches high at the shoulders. There are of course huge variations on this size of these deer. A long-time record of 425 pounds is held by a whitetail buck. The coloration of these beautiful animals varies depending on the time of the year. In the summer whitetails have a reddish brown color and in the winter their coast turns grey-brown or even a bluish tint. The most obvious physical characteristic of a whitetail deer relates to its name. Its tail is brown on top with a dark stripe down its center and the underside is a brilliant white. Deer hunters know that when its tail is held tightly against the rump little of this white coloration is visible and the animal remains well camouflaged. However the white flag of the tail appears when the deer is getting ready to boogie. The antlers of whitetail deer have all of their points sprouting from the animal s two beams. STUBBORN AS A MULE DEER The range of mule deer extends from southeastern Alaska down into Mexico and from the Pacific coast eastward to a north south line angling from Hudson Bay in Canada down through the middle of Texas. While not nearly as plentiful as whitetail deer the mule deer makes it up in volume as in the size of the animal. A typical mule deer buck will weight from 150 to 300 pounds and will have a height at the shoulders of 4045 inches. The does average about 100 to 175 pounds. However it is not usual for a mature mule deer buck to weigh 400 pounds As for their appearance the coloration of mule deer is gray-brown to blue-gray in winter molting to a tawny color in the summer months. The facial markings are similar to those of the whitetail but the muzzle is more elongated. The mule deer s tail is white with a black tip but smaller and more rounded than that of the whitetail. The muley get his name from its ears. They can grow to be nearly a foot long similar to an actual mule. Needless to say a pair of foot-long ears is a distractive feature not to mention they enhance this animal s already excellent hearing The mule deer s antlers grow differently from whitetails. A mule deer buck s antlers have two main beams and they fork into two smaller beams each of those forks into two more and so on. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 57 Mule deer differ from whitetail deer in another way how they spend their summers and winters. Wildlife biologists note that mule deer migrate from their summer mountain-meadow habitat down to more pleasant timbered valleys and plains for the winter. Whereas whitetails tend to gather together for the winter on a portion of the same range they occupy in summer. Most hunters group the Pacific blacktail deer in the same class a mule deer and they are similar just smaller. Technically blacktail deer are only found in a strip of forest from southern Alaska down the Pacific to Northern California. The typical blacktail buck weighs about 150 pounds and stands about 36 inches high at the shoulders. There s another weird difference between mule deer and whitetails and it has to do with the way they run. While the whitetail runs by pushing off alternately with its front and rear legs in long graceful bounds blacktails and all other mule deer typically launch themselves with all four legs at once bouncing from point A to point B and gaining more altitude all the way. COUES OR COWS Couse deer are the nervous and smaller cousin of the whitetail deer. While hunters usually call this species coos or cooeez the deer was named after naturalist Elliott Coues. His family pronounced their last name as cows. Since most hunters don t want to refer to their quarry as cows they call this deer something less domestic sounding. Coues deer are usually found in the U.S. Southwestern dessert and throughout the Southwest and Central areas of Mexico. They survive on vegetation that s available in the desert including cactus. Since there are very few of these deer they are hard to hunt. SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE EXOTIC AXIS DEER Anyone who sees an Axis deer for the first is likely impressed with its size coloration and antler rack. This exotic deer is native to Sri Lanka and roamed the Himalayas for centuries before coming to the United States. In the 1930 s several hundred of these deer were transported to the Hill Country of Texas and several other U.S. locations as a novelty addition to some large landowners herd. Unfortunately for these deer importers someone forget to plan for security and quicker than it took to say Oopps many of these beautiful deer jumped the fences hit the road and because of their delicious meat became highly sought after prey for deer hunters. 58 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Since the great escape the Axis deer population has expanded to an estimated 50 000 animals in Texas alone and it is a part of what some people call the free-ranging Texotics. In addition to the Axis deer this group includes Sika deer Fallow deer Blackbuck antelope and Aoudad sheep. Axis deer are best identified by their burnt orange coat with white spots (similar to a whitetail fawn) and a black streak running the length of their spine. Bucks have large antlers forking at the base and again inside each main beam. Adult male antlers can reach lengths of just over 40 but 28-36 is most common. Live weights range from 150 to 250 pounds in mature males and 90 to 150 pounds in adult females. Axis deer can be found in herds of 100 or more other deer whitetails included and it has been noted by wildlife biologist that Axis deer can out-compete whitetail deer for native grasses and can even change their normal diet if the need arises. As a result these exotics are crowding out the native whitetail population. Because there were once considered livestock free-roaming Axis deer are not regulated by the state wildlife authorities. They technically belong to the land-owner on whose land they are walking and with permission from the owner hunters can take an Axis deer at any time of the year and there is no bag limit. LET S GO HUNT Whatever deer you re chasing there are things you can do to improve your odds of having a freezer full of venison. We ve talked to hunting guides professional hunters and manufacturers of equipment and have put these thoughts in this issue. However with a subject as complicated and with as much lore has deer hunting we ve only scratched the surface. The best way to find out what works is to get out there and hunt WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 59 60 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE DEER HUNTING CHECKLIST With deer hunting season around the corner it s time to make like a Boy Scout and BE PREPARED. It s amazing how many times we find ourselves in the great outdoors and realize some small tool or piece of equipment was left back in the garage and the entire hunting experience was diminished. It s the old for want of a nail the battle was lost phenomenon. As a public service below we have listed the stuff that you should bring along on your deer hunt. Here are the essentials that you need to pack. Trust me on this you want to bring everything on this list...including the 10-penny nails. Your hunting license If hunting from a tree...a treestand safety harness system Ties for the hunting license tags Rifle with a (recently zeroed) scope Compass Lease maps of the hunting property Gun case Box of bullets of the correct caliber Hat (style optional...cowboy floppy camo Easter bonnet) Dark or camo ski mask Orange vest or cap Shooter s gloves Turtleneck sweater Thermal underwear Down vest or jacket Three-quarter length raincoat with hood Two (2) pairs of well-broken-in hunting boots Two (2) pairs of wool socks Jeans or twill pants Dark-colored chamois shirt Insect repellent (with DEET as one of the ingredients) Plastic canteen Lock-blade drop-point knife with sheath Knife sharpener Small flashlight with belt loop Nylon parachute cord Gambrel Pulley with nylon line Small meat saw Knife for gutting and skinning Game bags Wide belt (to keep you pants up with all of that eqipment hanging on) Rattling horns (if early in the season during the rut) Rock sling Large ice chest (stocked with drinks) Block ice Garbage bags Zip bags Fanny pack Croc s or moccasins for camp Sleeping bag Lubricating gun oil Rifle cleaning kit Toilet paper Alarm clock Stand tool kit hammer ten-penny nails. 2 x 4 s bow saw pruning saw hatchet First aid kit Smartphone with GPS mobile app If you can get all of this in the truck you re good to go WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 61 LETTING YOUNG BUCKS GROW Nothing jacks up the pulse rate of a deer hunter like the sight of whitetail deer approaching in the distance. This is magnified by 10X when the hunter has been sitting in the blind or stand for hours without seeing anything but leaves falling By the way it s moving it s obvious that this amazing animal has not detected anything unusual and it is coming directly into range for a clean shot. When it gets to within 30 yards it s clear that it s a young 8-point buck. So what do you do Take the shot or let this young buck live to grow even bigger by this time next year More and more deer hunters are passing on the young bucks and in the process they are enhancing future hunts. WHERE THE WIND COMES SWEEPIN DOWN THE PLAIN One of the great places to hunt whitetail deer is the state of Oklahoma. A couple of years ago The Department of Wildlife Conservation in the Sooner state launched a public awareness campaign to influence deer hunters to think about their choice before harvesting the first thing with antlers that walks by. The state s slogan is Hunters in the know...let young bucks grow It is intended to emphasize that deer herd management means more than simply harvesting more antlerless deer. 62 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The decision to harvest a deer affects the entire area s wildlife management and this affects future hunts and hunters. In support of this conservation campaign the OK Department of Wildlife has launched a Facebook page where deer hunters are invited to share their stories about passing up the first buck they saw when hunting. The Quality Deer Management Association recognized Oklahoma in a report showing that bucks aged 3.5 years and older comprised 51 percent of the state s total buck harvest. The state s Wildlife Department deer harvest numbers show that the percentage of yearlings in the total buck harvest has continually declined over the years from 70 percent in the late 1980s to 25 percent in 2014. WHAT DOES A MATURE BUCK LOOK LIKE The challenge for hunters especially inexperienced hunters is to know when a buck is still young. With all of the excitement of finally getting a shot at a buck any buck new hunters will often take a deer that still has some growing to do. Before heading to the field get online and compare the images of mature vs. young bucks. The next time you get a buck that looks like he s still got some growing to do pull down the gun and get out the camera. This will give him a chance to grow into an even bigger animal and it will give you a good shot of young buck that you can look for next year. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 63 THE OUTPOST BAR GRILL AND Welcome to the Outpost Bar & Grill. It s a place that serves up the best stuff you have ever put in your mouth. Whether it s wild game cooking barbeque joints in the middle of nowhere or some of the best adult beverages on planet earth you ve come to the right place. On those cold winter mornings nothing tastes better than a hot cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast. For hunters that first meal of the day is greatly enhanced by some homemade sausage. Sit back and read about a woman who wrote the book on wild game sausage-making. 64 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Step-by-step making your wild game wildly amazing Eileen Clarke Sausage Season Eileen Clarke has been hunting wild game and preparing it for the table for more than 30 years. Along the way she s learned a lot about the factors that affect the taste of meat she has harvested. Recently she completed a new book called Sausage Season Sausage Season Step-by-Step Making Your Wild Meat Wildly Amazing. It s an easy-to-read handbook on the proper techniques for making moist creamy-delicious wild game sausage. The book also contains 66 fresh sausage recipes the right fat ratio the right cooking method and the right cooking temperature for mouth-watering sausage. WHY WRITE A BOOK ON SAUSAGE It s been noted that there are two things that one should never watch while they are being made. These are laws and sausage. And that s why I wrote the sausage book Eileen laughed. I wanted to see what I was doing. So why does sausage get such a bad rap There must be a colorful backstory on this meat. Eileen picks up the story. The sausage story starts off pretty well. Every culture in the world makes sausage. Since America is an immigrant country from largely European countries we re used to the sausage from those countries the Polish sausage the brats the hot dogs. Sausage started out being muscle meat with a little fat thrown in and made at home. So individuals were in total control of their sausage. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 65 It became so popular that eventually companies took over making the sausage. The companies got bigger and bigger and it became very commercial and the bottom line counted for a lot. Now if you read the labels of commercially-made sausage there are a lot of ingredients that are filler. Plus instead of adding fat which is getting more expensive they re adding things to make it more moist. I believe pork fat is the best fat for sausage but this is becoming too expensive for commercially-made sausage. So companies will add dry milk or soy powder to get that wonderful texture of sausage. THE BOOK IS STUFFED WITH HOW-TOS Most hunters bring back the game from the field and then turn it over to a processor to butcher. These folks also make sausage which is sometimes great and sometimes not-so-great. Clark s step-by-step approach includes such chapters as Troubleshooting Sausage The Many Ways It Can Go Wrong But Doesn t Have To The Importance of Enough When Casing Sausage Equipment Equivalents and the Level Head Sausage Making Step-by-Step How to Cook Cased Sausage After a great deal of background on the proper techniques the book offers some outstanding recipes for sausage. Here s one for venison. WILD GAME THAT S WILDLY AMAZING Eileen s new book Sausage Season Step-by-Step Making Your Wild Game Wildly Amazing has recently been released. Since most people reading this magazine enjoy harvesting wild game and bringing it back to the freezer we asked her how this wild game can become wildly amazing as sausage. We all have a lot of venison in our freezers. If you hunt mule deer in the rut as my husband and I do that meat can be a little gamey. Bow hunting elk in the early season can also make for gamey meat because they re out chasing elk does. It s not all great meat in your freezer but you don t want to waste it. You ve spent a lot of time harvesting it. So sausage is the perfect answer. CAJUN BREAKFAST SAUSAGE INGREDIENTS 12 ounces ground venison 12 ounces ground pork fat jowls teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon onion powder teaspoon dried leaf thyme teaspoon dried leaf oregano teaspoon coarse ground black pepper 1 teaspoon kosher (or non-iodized) salt A pinch or two of cayenne pepper (to taste) For casing cup of beef bouillon DIRECTIONS Grind together the venison and pork meats In a small bowl combine the garlic powder onion powder oregano thyme black pepper salt and cayenne Add the spice mixture to the water then mix thoroughly into the meat. HOW DID SHE START MAKING HER OWN SAUSAGE I always made it in bulk and in patties because I when I would go to case it it would get dry. My friends would bring me sausage from other people and it s was too dry and often over-salted and smoked to within an inch of its life I was unhappy with what I was seeing out there so I started this journey. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO GET THE RECIPES RIGHT It took me two years to work up the recipes and months and months to do the research to determine how the texture gets right. If you make sausage with the meat fat and spices but don t know the right technique you re going to end up with crumbly and dry sausage. You can add more liquid but that just makes it crumbly with liquid. That s a lot of what Sausage Season is about. There are 44 pages on how to get the right texture. 66 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM To taste test Before adjusting the flavor chill the mixture 8-24 hours to let the flavors fully develop and the salt to work on the meat protein (myosin). Once chilled microwave a inch ball of sausage in a cup for about 15 seconds on high or fry a small patty until all the pink is gone. For patties cook on medium low in a cast iron skillet until the pink is gone from the middle. To case use smaller link-sized casing and follow the directions for casing starters starting on page 34 of Sausage Season adding the bouillon in the paddling step. Then cook in skillet over medium-low heat turning 2 to 3 times until the internal temperature is about 160 degree F. WHAT ANIMALS MAKE GREAT SAUSAGE We asked Eileen if she had a favorite wild game to prepare for sausage. She said There one thing I wish we had in Montana (where she lives) that we don t have and that s wild pigs. They make wonderful sausage Based on this response it was suggested that she grab her gun and come South because there are plenty of wild hogs just waiting to be turned into delicious pork sausage Eileen also shared a story about making sausage from wild goose a game bird that s notoriously difficult to prepare for the table. We have a friend who is a goose hunter coming over and I made some venison elk and goose sausage put them on a platter and didn t tell him which was which. He asked what the mystery sausage was (after stuffing himself on it) and I told him goose. He loved it. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 67 So what makes the great texture of these sausage recipes Eileen said In the technique of making sausage it s the protein and the salt that are the science behind it. There s this protein called myosin and if you mix it properly with salt that s what makes the creamy texture of sausage. She also has a great recipe for wild turkey sausage that uses all of the bird including the legs. Since most hunters breast a turkey for cooking and toss the legs because the meat is so tough this sausage recipe uses all the parts. Here s a wild turkey recipe that sounds delicious. FIELD DRESSING AFFECTS THE MEAT It s important to know how to take care of wild game before it gets in the sausage grinder. Eileen wrote another book about this and it s entitled Slice of Life . If hunters are bringing back lots of game they need to look at their field dressing aging and other factors. So what happens to the meat of a deer or elk after running either before or after being hit As soon as he feels fear maybe he s just seen you or he s been shot and starts running adrenaline begins pumping through his body and adrenaline is a terrible marinade for the meat When an animal is in the rut he s been running and not eating much for sometimes weeks at a time and he s not going to taste very good. About the only ways to prevent this is to be sneaky (so he doesn t know you re there) and practice shooting so that you can make a good clean kill and he doesn t run. What about field dressing Does it make any difference if the buck is gutted and then lays around for the rest of the day before being taken to the processor The biggest problem is cooling the animal down. If it s warmer than 30 degrees you re going to have a problem cooling the animal down properly. If it s warm as it sometimes is in the southern climate during deer season there will be a problem getting the animal cooled enough. When field dressing splitting the sternum and pelvis of the animal and thereby opening up the cavity will help some. You can also cut the lower legs of the animal off quarter him and then pack with ice SUN-DRIED TOMATO TURKEY SAUSAGE INGREDIENTS 12 ounces of ground turkey 12 ounces of ground pork fat jowls cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 2 teaspoons roasted garlic 2 teaspoons dried leaf tarragon teaspoon kosher (or non-iodized) salt teaspoon white pepper teaspoon red pepper flakes For casing 1 tablespoon soy powder dissolved in 1 large egg lightly beaten DIRECTIONS Combine turkey and pork in a large bowl Add rest of the ingredients (except the soy egg mixture) to the meats. Mix thoroughly To Taste Test Before adjusting the flavors chill mixture 8-24 hours to let the flavors fully develop and the salt work on the meat protein (myosin). Once chilled microwave a inch ball of sausage in a cup for about 15 seconds on high or fry a small patty until all the pink is gone. For patties cook on medium low in a cast iron skillet until the pink is gone from the middle. To case follow the directions for casing in Sausage Season starting on page 34 adding the egg soy mixture in the paddling step. Then cook on a medium grill for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 160 degrees F. 68 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT AFFECT DOES BAIT LIKE CORN HAVE ON THE TASTE We have a feature in this month s Outpost about using attractants such as corn or minerals to draw deer in. Does this attractant affect the taste of the meat Clarke notes In areas such as Texas where there are lots of corn feeders it would affect the taste of the meat. It probably makes the meat taste better. It puts on more fat on the animals and this is always good for flavor. While we are not allowed to bait deer in Montana but I know if I happen to take a deer on a sugar beet field it will taste wonderful because of the food it s eating. There are also lots of calories from the sugar beets so the animals get very fat. Eileen Clark s two books Sausage Season and Slice of the Wild are available from Deep Creek Press P.O. Box 579 Townsend Montana 59644. You can order online from her website www.riflesandrecipes.com. To contact her by phone call 406.521.0273. If you call her just remember she s probably in the blind waiting for a big buck to come into range so you might as well leave a message. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 69 THE OUTPOST VENISON SAUSAGE SANDWICH https www.youtube.com watch v ZFJqEnoV1Lw The Outpost is pleased to announce that we have partnered with outdoor icon O Neill Williams. He will be providing some incredible recipes as well as other content throughout the year. Be sure to tune in to his televion show each week as well as listen to his radio show on The Outpost Radio. You can also visit his website at www.oneilloutside.com 70 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 71 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 71 VEC TORB U T TON S. COM STRATEGY FOR WINTER FISHING THROW IT OUT AND REEL IT BACK OR JUST DO NOTHING. By O Neill Williams The best weapon for winter fishing is a Road Runner lure. Ever used one Betcha you have and not even known it. A Road Runner is a brand of lures that will catch Bass Crappie Stripers Walleye Northern Pike and a bunch of other critters from freshwater and then Redfish Sea Trout Blues and more from Saltwater. It s a funny shaped painted lead head jig with a little spinner on the bottom. You can vary the sizes colors and trailers to make it what you want. WHAT S THE POINT HERE From late December through February an angler can catch buckets of Crappie from underneath the major marina docks on the reservoirs across the South East Coast and Midwest. In most states the limit is liberal up to 35 to 50 per day. The Crappie will gather there by the thousands. Doing Nothing Just rig up to three or even four tiny 1 64th ounce Road Runners in bright colors on a single light action soft tip rod with 6-pound test line and drop it down to the giant schools of Crappie and do nothing. Think about it. Test yourself. Put a Road Runner on a light action rod and hold it still in the water where you can see it. Is it still No it s kinda just vibrating. If it were a minnow it would not be scurrying around hopping and darting in the frigid winter temperatures. So drop it down on the Christmas Tree Rig I described and you ll get bit. In this 72 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM IF YOU ARE TOO BUSY TO FISH THEN YOU ARE JUST TOO BUSY case less is more. When one bites leave it down a few counts and others will get aggressive and bite another of the jigs. So why not use minnows instead You don t need to spend the time rigging the minnow on the hooks. You ll catch plenty without the trouble of minnow managing. Before I go to something else here s a tip to double your catch doing this wintertime jigging. Tag your Road Runner with something stinky. It ll permeate through the water level where you ve located the Crappie help hold the fish at that level and depth and encourage the bite. What to use I like either tagging the hook with a piece of leach or a mealworm. Action is not required only the smell. Pick up a few little Fisher s Choice cans of the stinky stuff and you re in business. Another thing keep your noise down to a minimum. Don t jump up and down on the dock celebrating you catch. It ll spook the school. See Doing nothing with the bait will work. CATCHING NORTHERN PIKE WALLEYE AND MORE Road Runners can be used for Northern Pike and Walleye. Yes but this time since Northern Pike are so aggressive all you do with your Road Runner is cast it out and reel it back. Northern will follow it in and bite it at the boat so don t give up on the cast until it s over. Walleye will compete for it when fished down in those deep summer time holes and it ll work even better if you slow it down and add the leach for smell. The little spinner below the jig head is an attractor and the trailer in your choice in colors will match the bait fish in the waters where your casting. Be sure and use a wire leader or those toothy thieves will cut you off every time. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 73 Stripers Absolutely. Cast it out and reel it back. Just locate the depth of the school and there you are. When you ve have them on the surface feeding you ll hook up three times to one over a surface bait. Need a bigger bait or profile for Redfish Use a big Road Runner with a large curly tail trailer. My goodness the number of Reds caught on a jig with a trailer on the Gulf Coast year-round would sink a battleship. Again cast it out and reel it back. Mr. Red will get it. I fished with Eddie Woodall at Full Net Charters December a year ago and using Road Runners tagged with extra-large curly tailed plastics we caught 25 huge Reds in two hours with many doubles. That was for a television show and that exercise usually cuts your catch in half with all there is to do to make it look natural. I caught three that weighed totaled at over seventy-five pounds on the first three casts. Throw it out and reel it back. Travis and I visited Cajun Vista Lodge a couple of Falls ago. I fished with Captain Wayne and using Road Runners with light colored swim tails that come in the package caught plenty of representative Redfish. We fileted them for dinner that night at the lodge. I believe Road Runner calls that size a Salt-Runner. Anyway Redfish love m. No longer a rookie in fishing for Northern Pike since he has visited with me to Carroll Lake Lodge several times Travis caught his largest Pike last time up a forty-eight incher. Combination Road Runner with large gold spinner to match the color of the yellow perch bait fish swim tailed trailer wire leader throw it out and reel it back technique. Maybe if you want to turn in fishing for catching sometime stock your tackle box with Road Runners in a multitude of colors and sizes cans of Fisher s Choice leaches and mealworms that were once alive but now aren t and don t try to overdo the presentation. Give it a try. Check out these websites for more info www.neworleansfishing.com www.carrolllakelodge.com www.fullnetcharters.com 74 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM O Neill Outside Radio is now REALTREE RADIO Check local radio stations in your area for REALTREE RADIO Listen on oneilloutside.com Listen nationally on sbnation.com Watch the radio show stream live on Facebook Saturdays... 4 00am to 6 00am Eastern time WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 75 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 s 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 https www.youtube.com watch v DQKtpmW5Aq4 t 127 76 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM GREG ALLMAN SAVED SOME OF THE BEST FOR HIS LAST SOUTHERN BLOOD WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 77 https www.youtube.com watch v DtJHGb5923Y The seminal southern rocker Greg Allman passed away in May of 2017 at age 69 but not before he delivered one final brilliant performance. His record Southern Blood encapsulates the trajectory of this multifaceted genre of music. Allman did everything right on this album starting with hiring genius producer Don Was and then deciding to record in the studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama where he and his brother Duane recorded in the sixties. His song selection all but one of which are covers of other artists is also pitch perfect for his musical range and legacy. As producer Was noted on the albums liner notes HE SPENT HIS FINAL NIGHT LISTENING TO THE LATEST MIXES AND CLOSED HIS EYES KNOWING THAT HIS VISION HAD BEEN REALIZED. EVERY TRACK TELLS THE STORY OF GREG ALLMAN There are no marginal cuts on Southern Blood. Each was meticulously selected performed and mixed and as a result the audience response (sales and downloads) and Grammy nominations have been predictably following. Somewhere Allman is smiling. Allman opens the record with an original the searching blues My Only True Friend sung as a conversation with Duane. It feels like home is just around the bend he sings. These are the lyrics of a man who is gracefully moving on. 78 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 79 https www.youtube.com watch v L_GV2OHgi8M The songs run the gamut of tempo and message. They run from a classic Willie Dixon blues tune I Love the Life I Live a tip of the hat to Lowell George (Little Feat) with Willin the soul flavored Out of Left Field and the New Orleans inspired Blind Bats and Swamp Rats. Allman and Was found a couple of gems in Tim Buckley s Once I Was and the Grateful Dead s Black Muddy River THERE S NOTHING LEFT TO DO BUY COUNT THE YEARS AND STONES FALL FROM MY EYES INSTEAD OF TEARS. Fans and critics have suggested that Jackson Browne s song For Adam which features Browne on background vocals is Gregg calling out to his brother Duane. It wouldn t be an Allman record without an intense guitar driven rocker and this comes on Love Like Kerosene with the lead guitar being played by virtuoso Scott Sharrard. The final track is almost too painful to listen to. It is Allman s take on Bob Dylan s Going Going Gone. It s a fitting end to a brilliant collection and career. I DON T REALLY CARE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I M GOING. I M GOING. I M GONE. Safe travels Greg Allman. You will be missed. 80 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 81 THE BEST OF THE OLD AND THE NEW AMERICAN CHRISTMAS FROM ALABAMA If you could ask Willie Nelson ( Pretty Paper ) Cowboy Gene Autry ( Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer ) Johnny Marks ( Rockin Around the Christmas Tree ) or Irving Berlin ( White Christmas ) what their Christmas-themed songs meant to their respective careers not to mention their music royalty checks that arrive every year in the first quarter they would probably say Ho Ho Ho It looks like the boys from the super group Alabama are going to be getting a nice Christmas gift for the next few decades courtesy of their 2017 collection entitled American Christmas. The team of Owen Cook and Gentry are Country Music Hall of Famers and they re savvy enough to pretty much stick to the holiday record formula on this record offer some classics and some new original tunes that will (hopefully) turn into classics. This in no way should suggest that American Christmas is ho-ho-ho hum. It s not. It s a great record and will serve as a wonderful background for holiday celebrations. 82 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https www.youtube.com watch v ZMbMowUdd0o SOME INTERESTING CHOICES FOR STANDARDS Most hard-core Christmas music fans will probably like the Alabama version Go Tell It On The Mountain best. The band s legendary harmonies are on full display and anyone who doesn t get goosebumps when listening to this song should go back to bed and wait for the Ghost of Christmas Past to show up. Most likely Yule also enjoy Winter Wonderland and Jingle Bells but the show-stopper among the Christmas standards is Silent Night delivered in a solo performance by Randy Owen. It doesn t get much better than this folks THE NEW STUFF IS RIGHT ON TARGET After hundreds of years of Christmas music being composed and sung it s hard to believe new additions to this genre would be anything but rehash. However the group pulls it off several times with some new material that folks will likely be humming along to in the next hundred years. Lost loved ones is a recurring topic in country music and especially country Christmas songs. Owen turns in a powerful performance on the heart-rending First Christmas Without Daddy a song he wrote about the holiday season of 1980 which was the first without his father. The new ones are not all serious however. Jeff Cook brings an upbeat Christmas Joy and the band rocks out on Ain t Santa Cool Teddy Gentry provides a particularly apropos song for the serious times we live in entitled Sure Could Use Some Christmas Around Here. As one critic noted it is not only timely but one hundred percent on point. The song evokes a spirit and a message that everyone could do well to take a page from a true reminder of the love and peace this time of year is about. It s a sentiment we all need to hear but also as heavy as this album gets. American Christmas is the perfect complement to the holiday season with its traditional and new songs. If you need to push through that commercial haze that Christmas sometimes brings get your hands on this Alabama collection and have yourself a merry little Christmas WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 83 84 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM DRUNK WOMAN TAKES THE BAIT MAYBE SHE THOUGHT A TOP WATER LURE WOULD CATCH MORE FISH A Florida woman has made headlines after she drunkenly bit a man s fishing line and then swam off with his lure. According to Action News Jax St. Johns County (St. Augustine) Florida deputies were called to the scene on St Johns County Pier where a fisherman told them 22-year-old Alexandria Turner swam up to his fishing line cursed him out then bit the line and swam off with his whole rig. Seriously you can t make this up . Apparently when deputies arrived and asked Turner to walk to shore she became belligerent and wouldn t comply with the officers. Deputies finally got her to shore and after a brief struggle in the surf arrested her on suspicion of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence. The moral of this story is simple. Friends don t let friends drink swim and take the bait. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 85 86 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM COULD YOU SURVIVE A FEW DA YS IN A NEW ENGLAND WINTER VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE ENCOURAGES HUNTERS AND HIKERS TO PRACTICE GOOD WILDERNESS SAFETY WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 87 The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is recommending that hunters and hikers practice a few basic wilderness safety precautions and dress for the weather when heading out into the woods this fall. Just a few simple actions can ensure that hunters and hikers are prepared for a variety of conditions and situations said Maj. George Scribner of Vermont s game warden force. A little preparation is all it takes to have a safe and enjoyable experience outdoors. FOLLOW A FEW BASIC PRECAUTIONS First and foremost tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return and check back in with that person when you are out of the woods. Plus Always bring two light sources and extra batteries. A simple flashlight can mean the difference between making it home safely and spending a cold night alone in the woods. A cell phone is not an acceptable light source as the battery quickly wears down when the flashlight is being used. Wear proper clothing and footwear and dress in layers. Bring along a waterproof jacket and pants as well as high-loft insulation for keeping warm. Avoid cotton clothing which can easily soak up water. Instead choose wool down or synthetic materials. Bring food and water. Pack a map and compass and familiarize yourself with the area ahead of time. A GPS unit is also useful as long as you know how to use it. Create a small survival kit and bring it with you every time you head out. This should include several fire-starting devices such as matches and lighters fire-starting materials a large plastic bag for keeping dry a good knife a whistle for signaling and extra non-perishable food. 88 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM According to Neil Van Dyke Vermont s search and rescue coordinator for the Department of Public Safety there have been several incidences of hunters and hikers becoming lost in the woods for extended periods of time in recent years. If you re heading outdoors in Vermont in late fall you should be especially well-prepared for a variety of conditions said Van Dyke. A pleasant sunny day can lure people into being unprepared for changing weather conditions or freezing nighttime temperatures if they end up getting caught out after dark. Anyone heading out in the woods should be well-prepared to survive until help arrives. For more information click on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website www.vtfishandwildlife.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 89 WHAT TO DO WITH A MEAN TURKEY IN MASSACHUSETTS MASSACHUSETTS WILDLIFE OFFERS TIPS FOR AGGRESSIVE TURKEYS Due to recent inquiries and reports from the public about turkeys acting aggressively towards people the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is offering information about turkey behavior tips to prevent turkey conflicts and what to do if your town has an issue with an aggressive turkey. (Note to turkey hunters everywhere This is a real news story about what appears to be a real problem. You can t make this stuff up.) MassWildlife notes that wild turkeys live in a variety of habitats in Massachusetts including suburban and urban areas. They roost in large trees at night to avoid predators and one may see turkeys roosting on railings roofs or vehicles in residential areas. Wild turkeys live in flocks organized by pecking order. Each bird is dominant over or pecks on birds of lesser social status. When turkeys are fed by people they can become habituated and act more boldly toward people. Turkeys may attempt to dominate or attack people that they view as subordinates and this behavior is observed during the fall when young male turkeys begin to compete with older members of the flock. 90 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TIPS FOR RESIDENTS Don t feed turkeys. Feeding whether direct or indirect can cause turkeys to act tame and may lead to bold and aggressive behavior. Once bold behavior is established it can be very difficult to change. Remove bird feeders Turkeys are attracted to areas where bird feeders are present. If you re having issues with turkeys remove your bird feeders immediately and clean up spilled seed. For those who enjoy viewing birds MassWildlife recommends attracting birds to your yard by planting native plants and shrubs or adding a water feature. Don t let turkeys intimidate you. Residents can threaten a bold or aggressive turkey by making loud noises swatting it with a broom or spraying water from a hose. A leashed dog is also an effective deterrent. Cover reflective objects. Because wild turkeys have a pecking order they may also respond aggressively to shiny objects interpreting their own reflection as an intruding turkey. Turkeys have been known to peck at windows automobile mirrors or reflections in shiny surfaces (such as polished car doors) and will often continually attack the reflection until changing light conditions cause it to vanish. If a turkey is pecking at a reflective object cover or disguise the object. Call local police or animal control. If you are observing aggressive turkey behavior that may be deemed as a public safety threat contact your local police or animal control officer immediately. The town may then contact the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for options to manage aggressive turkeys in your town. Call the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for advice. If your town is experiencing issues with aggressive turkeys that may be deemed as a public safety threat contact your nearest MassWildlife office. Trained biologists will provide advice and options for towns to manage aggressive turkeys. Educate residents to prevent turkey problems. Most turkey conflicts could be avoided if residents removed food sources like bird feeders. Utilize MassWildlife s Wild Turkey Fact Sheet to spread the word to residents about preventing conflicts with turkeys. Outpost suggestion When all else fails get a hunting license and a twelve-gauge shotgun WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 91 PHOTO OF THE MONTH 92 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES OF THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THEY ARE ALL RIGHT HERE COME ON IN WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 93 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. 94 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 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 www.likhulusafaris.com WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 95 WWW.GEORGIAALLIGATORHUNTING.COM (229) 251-9929 96 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 97 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 98 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.GUNDOGBROKER.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 99 100 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM