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Description: In this special Duck Hunting issue of The Outpost Magazine learn how to call ducks, decoy strategies, duck hunting checklist, plus collegiate bass fishing, 82 year old woman bags her first elk, duck stamp winners, winter bass, recipes, gear, music, legal, Darcizzle Offshore and much more

3rd ANNIVERSARY FOOD SAFETY GEESE OVERVIEW BOBBY BRIDGER DUCK HUNTING WEATHER & WATERFOWLING COLLEGIATE ANGLERS WINTER BASS MUSIC RECIPES WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 1 GEAR 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 VEC TOR B U T TON S. COM http 5MveCGisXgg 3 WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT WIN A TRIP OF A LIFETIME WITH REBECCA SPRADLEY FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED TO WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT TO PURSUE THE BIGGEST BADDEST WHITETAIL DEER ON EARTH. THIS PACKAGE IS WORTH MORE THAN 3 500 PLUS YOU COULD WIN FREE HUNTING AND FISHING TRIPS GIVEN AWAY EVERY WEEK. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW 4 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TABLE OF CONTENTS COLLEGIATE BASS FISHING 11 22 27 14 DECOY STRATEGIES 47 18 DUCK CALLING 59 CAN T GET ENOUGH OF THE OUTPOST FAIR CHASE ACTIVE ANGLERS 82 YEAR OLD BAGS ELK MOTION IS THE POTION RECIPES DUCK STAMP 52 56 DUCK HUNTING CHECKLIST PREPARING MEAT O NEILL OUTSIDE 68 CHANGING 70 BASS SEASONS GEAR 64 76 78 BUYING A BOAT TRAILER BIG GAME LAW SUIT 94 99 101 ON POINT LEGAL CORNER 105 PHOTO OF THE MONTH THE OUTPOST MUSIC 91 104 DARCIZZLE OFFSHORE CLICK HERE 5 FEATURE STORIES GETTING YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW 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 PAGE 30 HOW THE WEATHER AFFECTS WATERFOWL HUNTING Very few hunters understand the arcane facts about the weather the effects of barometric pressure wind direction even humidity - like waterfowlers. If they would just a better haircut most duck and geese hunters could be the TV weatherman PAGE 65 BOBBY BRIDER The term polymath is used to describe an individual who has a wide range knowledge in many different subjects. As did Leonardo de Vinci in the Renaissance era he or she uses this complex body of knowledge to solve specific problems. Bobby Bridger is a polymath. 6 PAGE 84 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Just read the magazine on Facebook. Looks great. Vanessa Brown Taking a break from hunting season you have a fun magazine. Nice work Tom Keer Congrats on three years of an outstanding magazine. You guys do it well. Michelle Just subscribed by joining The Outpost Club and love all the great interviews in the magazine. Well done fellas. Michael It looks great Art I can tell how much passion is involved in putting it together I wish all publisher had the same desire to do the best. Jerry Lyles That s so awesome Congratulations Keep up the great work. Andra Dunn Congratulations on three years Jen THE OUTPOST The Outpost Media Group LLC 770-675-7200 Jason Martin Partner Art Young Editor in Chief Phil Hall The Outpost Radio Bob Romanko Sales Contributing Writers Art Young Jason Martin O Neill Williams Randy Hall Scott Leysath Ryan Lovelace Photo Credits Jason Martin Flickr Commons O Neill Williams Mike Dunn Art Young Kirk Driskell Chuck Paddock Greg Thompson Eva Shockey Frank Lannom UT Press Margaret Lunt Cameron Chamber Ryan Lovelace Burnt Pine Rebecca Spradley Kevin Gillespie PhillipRoach Tim Nolin Joe Ryan Mathis Ashley Nixon Lauren Kozak Brian Belk Kevin Kneightly Tony Eckler Avery Outdoors Erin (In The Flicker) Nicole Belke THE OUTPOST is produced and copyrighted 2015 by The Outpost Media Group Reproduction in whole or part without permission is expressly forbidden. 7 LL FA NZY FRE 8 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Editor s Letter Personally I have never understood how someone would participate in this annual retail pilgrimage known as Black Friday. It is stressful for both shoppers and retail employees to the point of being pathological. It has become physically dangerous and most importantly it is the antithesis of the Christmas spirit. This may cost REI some sales on Black Friday but the positive publicity and goodwill from this move far outweighs the short term dollars lost. OptOutside indeed. I grew up the son of a workaholic. My dad Arthur Young literally worked 10 hours a day 7 days a week. He never took a weekend or holiday off. In the last 40 years of his life he was a farmer rancher in Texas and he was fond of noting that his animals had to eat every day not just when he felt like dealing with them and that the hay would not bring itself to the barn. When my brother and I got old enough we were expected to work alongside my dad. So we worked on Saturday s Sunday s and Christmas with or without a hang-over. This of course had the effect of encouraging us to look for something a little more white-collar for our future endeavors. I thought of my dad when I read that REI is giving their 12 000 employees a paid vacation day on Black Friday this year. Of course this is the biggest retail day of the entire year when almost every big box and tiny box retailer pulls out all of their gimmicks to get shoppers in their stores. REI will be closed. If he were still alive my curmudgeonly dad would probably smile and shake his head at the very idea of somebody expecting to take a day off on a work day. While I have inherited many things from him a love for the family farm music and the enjoyment of a good story I would have to disagree with him on the REI strategy. Imagine that. Me disagreeing with my dad I say Bravo REI This is a company that makes its profits from selling outdoor sports equipment and they have decided to walk the walk and talk the talk by encouraging their employees to spend the day after Thanksgiving with their families preferably outside and not trying to sell stuff to the harried over-caffeinated mass of shoppers. In this month of giving thanks we have a lot to be thankful about around the Outpost. This issue for one. Our annual waterfowl issue is something we love bringing you. We ll also introduce you to one of the most creative guys you will ever meet Bobby Bridger who has a new album out. Our buddy the Sporting Chef Scott Leysath has some mouth-watering ways for you to prepare that wild turkey. Plus we have news you can use if you love Life in the Great Outdoors. Shoot us an email if you get a chance. We respond to every one of them whether they make any sense or not. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love Later Art Young Editor The Outpost email me at art Follow us on Facebook And Twitter Outpostart 9 Proud to be an American Show your patriotic pride in our 2nd Amendment and Flag Tanks Save Big on GWG Apparel Get 15% off your order when you enter code OUTPOST15 Offer online only at 10 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Also available at fine retailers Be ready for life s adventure in style WHAT CONSTITUTES FAIR CHASE IT S CHANGING IN ALASKA WITH REGARDS TO HUNTING WOLVES AND BEARS The National Park Service (NPS) published new hunting regulations that would ban several controversial hunting practices from National Preserves in Alaska. The new regulations overrides current state wildlife laws and Alaskan officials have stated that they were concerned over the intrusion by the NPS in what they say should be a state concern. In a press release the Alaska Department of Fish and Game called the new regulations restrictive and detrimental to practices that have a longstanding importance to state hunters. We believe these regulations will have a noticeable effect on the lives of Alaskans particularly those Alaskans living a subsistence lifestyle said Bruce Dale director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation. The final rule implements yet another level of regulation that will reduce Alaskans ability to provide food for their families and to retain their culture and heritage. NEW RULES The new regulations forbid the taking of wolves and coyotes during their denning season the taking of black bears with artificial light at den sites taking bears drawn to bait using dogs in bear hunts and shooting caribou in water. These controversial practices are a subject of debate for many hunters but for years have been considered legal by state wildlife managers. According to Dale if the NPS starts creating regulations separate from that of the state it will make it much more difficult for Alaskan hunters to keep track of what laws they should follow. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 11 The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 makes it clear among other regulations that the state is a primary wildlife manager Dale told a local TV station. This is a departure from it and it s going to be a problem for Alaskans because it creates a third tier of regulations now for certain types of users on these federal lands. ARE OTHER NON-ALASKANS SETTING THE STANDARDS Some see the new regulations as evidence that popular opinion from other states is now influencing laws in Alaska. NPS officials received more than 70 000 public comments leading up to the decision and the majority of them were from outside Alaska. Others even see the new regulations as a direct snub to the state wildlife agency. In defense of the regulation change NPS officials say the new rules are just permanent versions of bans that have already been temporarily applied. Our hope is that there d be some recognition that we have a mandate from Congress and they have a different mandate from the state Legislature and sometimes there s a difference in how we manage John Quinley NPS associate regional director told Alaska Dispatch News. But at the end of the day we re interested in a lot of the same things. The vast majority of state (wildlife) regulations are unaffected by this. State wildlife officials say they are reviewing the new regulations and are now considering their options. The new rules will affect about 20 million acres of preserve land. 12 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 13 82-YEAR-OLD WOMAN BAGS FIRST BULL ELK THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY At age 82 Margaret Lunt has been hunting for about 3-decades. However 2015 is the year she and her family will never forget. In October Margaret harvested her first bull elk deep in the Utah wilderness near Morgan. Wire reports of this remarkable accomplishment noted that she has already built up a reputation for being and avid and accomplished hunter. Bringing home a bull elk had long been a goal for the elderly hunter. Over the years Lunt hunted for mule deer and cow elk but never had a chance with bull elk until she drew a tag for the 2015 season. 14 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM SHE HUNTS FOR THE MEAT NOT THE TROPHY I was quite pleased that I can do that at my age she told It was unbelievable to see [the elk] there and think Oh I did it. I got him. And I really don t enjoy killing the animals. We hunt for the meat. We ll have meat for a couple of years. She told the ABC affiliate in Utah that she was accompanied by her son and a guide. Her husband who is 86 was unable to accompany them due to the strenuous seven-mile hike they needed to make to locate elk. The hunting party heard an abundance of bugling on the first day of the hunt but were too far away to make any shots. We hunted until dark oh we saw so many elk and heard the bugling but nothing was close enough to shoot at so we just enjoyed that part of the hunt she said. The next day Lunt managed to run into a large 800-pound bull and sneaked in close for the shot. Despite her advanced age Lunt had excellent aim and was able to down the animal without too much trouble. I was really excited I couldn t believe it I just could not she said. More than just for the meat Lunt says she enjoys hunting for the bonding experiences and the opportunity to enjoy the Utah wilderness. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 15 WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT WIN A TRIP OF A LIFETIME 16 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED TO WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT TO PURSUE THE BIGGEST BADDEST WHITETAIL DEER ON EARTH. THIS PACKAGE IS WORTH MORE THAN 3 500 PLUS YOU COULD WIN FREE HUNTING AND FISHING TRIPS GIVEN AWAY EVERY WEEK. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THIS THREE MINNESOTA BROTHERS MAKE HISTORY AT 2015 FEDERAL DUCK STAMP CONTEST Sometimes talent runs in the family. A trio of brothers from Minnesota made history in September as they took the top three spots in the 2015 Federal Duck Stamp art contest. The announcement was made by Jerome Ford U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Migratory Birds at the annual art contest held at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown West Virginia. 18 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Joseph Hautman of Plymouth Minnesota won the contest with his acrylic painting of a pair of trumpeter swans (Shown here). This is Hautman s fifth Federal Duck Stamp contest win making him one of only two artists to have his art appear on five duck stamps Hautman s painting will be made into the 2016-2017 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or Duck Stamp which will go on sale in late June 2016. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp which sells for 25 and raises about 25 million each year to provide critical funds to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people. BUT WAIT. THERE S MORE FROM THE HAUTMAN CLAN Robert Hautman of Delano Minnesota placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards. Robert Hautman has won the Federal Duck Stamp contest twice. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 19 James Hautman of Chaska Minnesota took third place with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards. He is a four-time winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. AMONG THEM THE HAUTMANS HAVE WON 11 FEDERAL DUCK STAMP CONTESTS Of 157 entries in this year s competition 10 entries made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the blue-winged teal cinnamon teal gadwall mallard and trumpeter swan. In a press release Mr. Ford was quoted as saying I congratulate Joseph Hautman on his win and the entire Hautman family on their artistic talent. This is not just any piece of art but one whose impact will be felt for generations to come. Duck Stamps have helped to protect more than six-and-a-half million acres of waterfowl habitat in our National Wildlife Refuge System now that is a lasting legacy. 20 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Buying Federal Duck Stamps remains the simplest way to make a difference in conserving our nation s birds and their habitats said Ford. For more than 80 years hunters bird watchers and millions of people who simply care about the environment have put their stamp on conservation with their Duck Stamp purchases. The judges for this year s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were Deb Hahn international relations director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Donald Messersmith professor emeritus at the University of Maryland who taught courses in entomology ornithology and environmental education James O Donnell museum specialist in the Collections Department of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Constance Sanchez director of the Important Bird Areas Program with the National Audubon Society and Jonathan Alderfer an artist and author who is the birding consultant for National Geographic Books. MONEY FROM THE PURCHASE FEDERAL DUCK STAMPS SAVES HABITATS Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Federal Duck Stamp. Conservationists stamp collectors and others may purchase the stamp in support of habitat conservation. A current Duck Stamp can be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from sale of the Federal Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund which supports the purchase of migratory bird habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System. Hunters can contribute to conservation by buying Federal Duck Stamps at many national wildlife refuges sporting goods stores and other retailers through the U.S. Postal Service or online at http birds get-involved duck-stamp buy-duck-stamp.php The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve protect and enhance fish wildlife plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information visit WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 21 WHERE DO YOU FIND THE MOST ACTIVE ANGLERS FLORIDA LOUISIANA CALIFORNIA NOPE. 22 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM A new report about recreational fishing in the U.S. found that anglers in the Midwest and Northeast had the lowest drop-out rate compared to anglers in other parts of the country. The report examined fishing license purchases in the Northeast Midwest Southeast and West. The study entitled A Snapshot of the U.S. Angler Population by Region reveals that close to half of all fishing license buyers in any given year do not renew their licenses the following year. However the overall number of participants remains quite stable from year to year at around 46 million because about the same number of people both dropin and drop-out of the sport from year to year. The new report underscores some of the challenges we already know about but it also gives us more specific information to help pinpoint factors that keep people fishing and that s what we need going forward said American Sportfishing Association President and CEO Mike Nussman. What keeps anglers fishing in the Midwest and not in the Southeast is information we can use to improve our marketing efforts to anglers who tend to lapse more. This is important information for state fisheries agencies and the Recreational Boating& Fishing Foundation organizations taking the lead for the broader sportfishing community on growing participation. Their strategy called R3 includes targeted marketing to recruit retain and reactivate anglers. The overall goal is to reduce the amount of churn a term that refers to anglers transitioning in and out of the sport from year to year. The analysis includes a closer look at sportfishing participation churn rates among various demographic groups and fishing license purchasing habits among recruited retained and reactivated anglers. While there were some significant differences among regions in each region the analysis was consistent with what was found nationally women young people and those who live in urban communities are more likely to lapse in their fishing from year to year. HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE REPORT Participation is growing slightly in about one-third of the states. Between 2004 and 2013 17 states experienced growth in the number of licensed anglers while the rest showed reductions. Most of the states showing growth are in the West and Southeast. The West attracts the most non-resident anglers. Nonresidents comprise as much as 29 percent (West) and as little as 19 percent (Midwest and Southeast) of the licensed angler population (it s 20 percent in the Northeast). Regardless of region roughly 70 percent of all licensed non-resident anglers will buy a license in the same state in just one out of five years though they may buy in other states in these other years. Anglers are more avid in the Northeast and Midwest. More than 20 percent of anglers purchased a license five out of five years in the Northeast and Midwest-- compared to just 8 percent and 16 percent of anglers in the Southeast and West respectively. The annual churn rate is highest in the Southeast and lowest in the Midwest. In the Southeast the average annual churn rate is highest at 53 percent while its lowest 28 percent in the Midwest considerably less than the national rate of 46 percent. The rate is 39 percent in the West and 33 percent in the Northeast. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 23 Regardless of region the churn rate is highest among younger anglers. The average annual churn rate is highest with a range of 37-63 percent across all four regions among licensed anglers between the ages of 18 and 24. Licensed anglers aged 55 to 64 years old have the lowest churn rate of all age groups with a range of 22-46 percent across all four regions. Nationally annual churn rates by age group fall within these regional ranges. Regardless of region the churn rate is higher among women. The average annual churn rate among women is highest in the Southeast where 64 percent of female anglers lapse in their fishing license renewals from year to year. It s lowest among women in the Midwest at 41 percent. The rate is 48 percent in the Northeast and 50 percent in the West. Nationally the rate is about 55 percent--about 13 percent higher than the churn rate for men. Regardless of region urban anglers have a higher churn rate. The churn rate ranges from 34-60 percent for urban anglers across all four regions from 30-55 percent for those residing in suburban communities and from 2446 percent for those in rural communities. The national churn rate in urban communities falls within this regional range however rural anglers churn rate ranges lower than the national rate in the Midwest Northeast and West. 24 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FISHING TRIP GIVE AWAYS EVERY FRIDAY FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE ENTERED TO WIN THIS ACTIONPACKED FISHING ADVENTURE. A 6 NIGHT 5 DAY TRIP ON LAKE GOGEBIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR. SPECIES INCLUDE NORTHERN PIKE WALLEYE PERCH CRAPPIE SMALLMOUTH BASS AND MORE. DAILY LIMITS ARE PLENTIFUL. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 25 26 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM COSTA SUNGLASSES CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGIATE ANGLERS AND COLLEGIATE BASS FISHING SERIES Costa Sunglasses and the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) have renewed their partnership for the 2016 Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. Through their continued partnership Costa Sunglasses will enjoy national exposure among collegiate anglers throughout the televised Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. In a press release the company noted that Costa Sunglasses is dedicated to protect and help the competition angler s vision on the water. All Costa sunglasses are 100-percent polarized and protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Its patented 580 lens technology offers unparalleled polarization and razor-sharp clarity by selectively filtering out harsh yellow and harmful high-energy ultraviolet blue light. Filtering yellow light enhances reds blues and greens and produces better contrast and definition while reducing glare and eye fatigue. Absorbing high-energy blue light cuts haze producing greater visual clarity and sharpness. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 27 Costa s 580 lenses are available in optically ground glass (580G) or super lightweight impact-resistant polycarbonate (580P). Lens colors include gray copper amber sunrise blue green and silver mirror giving the angler the perfect color choice for the weather conditions. Costa also offers customized Rx lenses. These anglers are leaders in the next generation of bass fishing and we re proud to continue our partnership with the ACA and the Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series said Al Perkinson vice president of marketing for Costa. COLLEGE KIDS LOVE THE BIG BASS BONUS Collegiate anglers have come to know Costa through the ACA Discounts and Incentives Program including the Costa Big Bass bonuses which will continue throughout the 2016 Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. Costa has long been an anchor in our collegiate program since the very first college event we held on Lake Lewisville (North Texas) noted Wade Middleton tournament director for Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. Due to this commitment Costa has developed a loyal following of collegiate anglers nationwide thanks to both a quality product and their generous support directly to college anglers. Their continued support of the Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series illustrates their commitment to the young men and women who make up the ACA Anglers wearing Costa sunglasses throughout any of the four Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events are eligible for a Costa Big Bass Bonus of 500 which will be paid out to the highest finishing team that is wearing Costa sunglasses at each event. In addition if at least one team member also wears a Costa hat or displays a Costa logo on their jersey they can pick up an additional 500 bonus for winning the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship or the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open. Complete details can be found in the ACA Discounts and Incentives Program. For more information about the Cabela s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series please visit For more information on Costa sunglasses visit the company s web site at 28 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WIN A DINNER AT THE GUN SHOW JOIN THE OUTPOST CLUB FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A DINNER FOR TWO (2) AT KEVIN GILLESPIE S RESTAURANT IN ATLANTA. PLUS HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS FOR ONE NIGHT AND MEET KEVIN. RUNNER UP WINNERS WILL RECEIVE A COPY OF KEVIN S NEW COOKBOOK PURE PORK AWESOOMENESS CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 29 GETTING YOUR DUCKS (AND GEESE) IN A ROW 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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 and goose hunting issue will barely scratch the surface of sport. There s just too much information. However whether 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. 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 31 HOW THE HECK DO THEY KNOW THE WAY THE MIRACLE OF MIGRATION OF DUCKS AND GEESE 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. 32 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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. 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 some 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 33 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. 34 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 35 TWO TYPES OF DUCKS AND UNLIMITED VARIATION ARE THEY 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. 36 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Puddle ducks have roosting areas where they snooze during the night and midday and a feeding area where they grab a bite. They 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. There are 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) ring-necked duck canvasback redhead common goldeneye common and redbreasted 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 ( 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 37 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. 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. 38 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM MALLARD 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. 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. 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. 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 39 40 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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. 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 41 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 is 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 42 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM REDHEAD WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 43 DUCK HUNTING AND POLITICS ARE ALWAYS LOCAL 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. 44 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 45 MISS AN THEY RE WAITING FOR YOU AT ISSUE THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 10 THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 46 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 10 FOOLING THOSE SAVVY DUCKS IS NOT EASY DECOY STRATEGIES 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 on the 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. 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 47 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 super-magnums 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. 48 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 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 fish-hook 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 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. 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. 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. This benefit off motion has led to the development of several popular motion decoys. The Mojo decoys were one of the first in this market but several other companies have joined in this decoy niche. Keep reading this issue to meet two companies Motion Ducks and Hughes Waterfowl Systems and how they are using the potion of the motion to lure in those honkers. 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. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 49 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. 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. 50 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 51 THE MOTION IS THE POTION HERE ARE TWO NEW DECOY PRODUCTS WHICH USE THE MAGIC OF MOTION TO FOOL THOSE SMART DUCKS AND GEESE HUGHES WATERFOWL SYSTEMS Ducks and geese are some of the most suspicious creatures on the planet and it s amazing what a little movement will do to encourages them to let their guard down if only for a brief while. Decoys with motion have been getting rave reviews from duck and geese hunters. Dennis Hughes is the CEO of Hughes Waterfowl Systems and he is also the man who invented this very clever type of waterfowl decoy. After watching ducks avoid the old style decoys I decided there had to be a better way he said. I did this by combining a presentation with more control on when the decoy was running and more movement with the upand-down movement. What is it that makes these motion decoys capture the attention and bring waterfowl into a spread. Most generally it is the motion or the flash of the wings Dennis said. If you look off in a distance and you re watching ducks or geese land you ll notice their underside appears to be shiny and this look is mimicked by the motion decoys. Top side of ducks are dark and underside it light so it appears to have a flash when they are landing. This is the basis for the spinning wing decoys. Click below to see the effect of Hughes Waterfowl System decoys https MSXtzVjNpSw 52 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Unfortunately ducks have seen everything So one day when I was watching a group of ducks in the distance I noticed that they hopped from place to place. With our system I tried to come up with something that mimicked that action showing the duck or goose going up and back down. As for the decoys themselves the Hughes Waterfowl Systems uses those manufactured by Mojo Outdoors one of the original motion decoy companies. Because of the weight of the Mojo decoy I am able to get that jump that I am looking for Dennis noted. We manufacture the closer unit which puts the hunter in charge of when that decoy is going to run or jump. Our system is different because of the up and down motion he said. From a distance it looks like the ducks or geese are jumping 5 feet in the air and then landing back in vegetation. When it falls it begins running The retail price for the most popular Hughes Waterfowl System is 169. These decoys are available from selected outdoor sports retailers and from the company s website MOTIONDUCKS Another interesting twist on motion decoys comes from Ben and Tom Hardebeck a father and son who co-invented the MotionDucks spreader system of decoys. Both of us are avid duck hunters noted Ben. We love it. I was out one day hunting using just a standard jerk string and since it was a calm day it just did not look natural when I pulled the string to get the decoys to move. I thought there s got to be a better way to do this. I thought there must be a way to show a flock of decoys moving around randomly. I looked around and couldn t find anything so I built my own prototype out of PVC pipe he said. I brought it to my dad and he loved it. We started taking it hunting and we were blown away by the reaction of the ducks to this decoy system. Our spreader system allowed the decoys to appear like a little flock rather than being in a single line. So it looks much more natural. We started maximizing the design of the product going through multiple versions he said. Now we have a system that works great. Tom added What makes the circular motion work is the fact that each decoy pivots on its own axis. So not only can you get the swim motion but you can have one turning left and one turning right. You can stop them or pull a little harder on the cord and they will swim 15 or 20 feet while turning around. They re starting stopping hesitating and spinning. What makes motion decoys so effective Ben doesn t hesitate with his response. The name of the game is creating the most natural lifelike spread as possible using your decoys he said. Ducks are very smart birds and if they have been shot at several times they are not going to land in a decoy spread that looks unnatural. Our system creates a spread where each decoy is doing something a little different. There is no jerkrig on the market that does this. The ducks have not seen anything like this little flock of birds swimming around he said. Therefore they feel more comfortable coming into the spread. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 53 Click here to see the MotionDucks decoys in action. https watch v wZjCBUm7xfY As it gets later in the season when the ducks are getting smarter and smarter the only thing that seems to work (to bring them in) is motion Ben said. We limit our calling to a minimum maybe just a quack to get their attention and rely on the motion to draw them in. We ve had late season experience using only 6 decoys with this spreader system and had them coming in like crazy. This while someone 300 yards down the lake with 60 decoys out is seeing nothing. For more information on the MotionDucks click on the company website at LET S SEE WHO IS PAYING ATTENTION If you would like to win either the Hughes Waterfowl System or the MotionDucks system just email us ART with the SUBJECT Line I Want the Motion. There s no purchase necessary and we will randomly draw two of these entries to win one of these two great motion decoy systems. Enter as many times as you want. The two systems are coming to you courtesy of these two great companies. 54 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM CHECK OUT THESE PUPS THAT SANTA CAN DELIVER If you are looking for a well bred Labrador Retriever puppy we have two exceptional Christmas Litters to choose from. We currently have Yellow Chocolate and Black puppies available from some of the best American Field Trial lines. We are very proud of our puppies and enjoy producing a very high quality retriever that meets the needs of a discerning buyer. We take great pride in placing the puppy in the right home to ensure the perfect match. All our dogs are OFA certified for hips elbows eyes and have all their EIC CNM clearances. As you preview our dogs you will notice that their pedigrees are full of American Kennel Club (AKC) and Hunting Retriever Club (HRC) titles. You will see pedigrees full of National Field Champions (NFC) Field Champions (FC AFC) Qualified All Age (QAA) Master Hunters (MH) and Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH) that are very impressive. We believe that because of our selection and research of our dogs that we are producing a puppy that is far ahead of that standard. We raise our puppies in our home with our three children creating some of the most socialized pups that you can find. We take the time with each litter to make sure that we are starting the pups off in the best environment to equip them to develop to their full potential. For more information fill out the form here http 21axcEw WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 55 DUCK HUNTING CHECKLIST 56 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM HAVE YOU GOT EVERYTHING DON T WAIT UNTIL THE MORNING OF THE HUNT. HERE S A CHECKLIST FOR YOUR DUCK AND GOOSE HUNT Since most hunters hit the road for the duck blind at some ungentlemanly hour of 4 a.m. it is a good idea to have everything packed and ready to go the night before. A hunting license with federal and state duck stamps A 12-guage shotgun Waterproof camouflaged gun case Shells that are chosen by the duck type and season Shooting glasses Duck calls Decoys (pre-rigged in mesh bag) Dark canvass bag with carry strap Thermos of coffee Six pack of bottled water Insect repellant (especially in early season) Sunscreen Camo hat both warm and cold variety Three-quarter water-repellant hooded coat in brown or camo Chamois tan-colored or camo shirts Insulated vest Khaki slacks (plus spare set) Chest-high waders or hip boots Nylon boots-type waders and shoes Silk inner-socks Wool poly blend socks Game shears Multi-purpose pocket knife Self-sealing storage bags Cooler for game Water repellant lubricating aerosol spray Shotgun cleaning kit with extra rags Flashlight Game carry strap with multiple loops Shooting gloves Waterproof pickup gloves Dog food and equipment Machete Hammer & 10-penny nails Dark nylon fishing line Mobile phone with GPS and Weather apps WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 57 58 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM DID YOU HEAR THAT HOW TO CALL EM IN LIKE A PRO If you ve ever been in a foreign country and you know that the waiters at the restaurants take better care of you if you speak the language...or at least try to throw in some words that they might understand. In the case of the latter scenario they will typically have pity on you because you re making an attempt and showing some respect. In a way this works for ducks too. However they are not as forgiving if your ability to speak their lingo is not up to their exacting standards Ducks are extremely perceptive critters. Even at hundreds of yards away a duck s vision and hearing can pick up unnatural clues that scream danger below and they use this knowledge to fly even higher and faster. However a skilled hunter can overcome this wildlife advantage with careful camouflage natural decoy patterns and compelling duck calls. As with any wildlife lure calling ducks within range requires an ability to re-create the natural sounds of the various species and the timing of a successful stand-up comic. WHAT TYPE OF CALL WORKS BEST Duck calls can be made of either wood or acrylic and as with most big questions in life most hunters eventually find that they like one or the other and no amount of scientific facts can alter this opinion. Moisture affects the tone of wooden calls more than those that are acrylic but hunters who favor wooden calls just think of this as an added charm and it s not a problem. Another question that duck hunters must consider in a duck call concerns the number of reeds a call should have. Every duck call has either a single or double reed which allows the variations of the quacking sound. Is it more advisable to have a single reed or double reed in order to bring in the ducks Again as laconic hunting guides are fond of saying That depends. A double reed call has two reeds and produces a desirable (at least in the ears of a duck) raspy sound by just blowing air into a call. That s the upside. The downside is that a double reed is limited in range of sound to this one raspy sound. As several online water fowling sites have noted a call does not have to be a double reed to be raspy. It just has to be blown correctly. Several websites that sell duck calls have noted that the amount of air needed to blow a call is not necessarily determined by the call. It is determined by the reed and its length. The longer the reed is the deeper the sound and the harder it is to blow. The shorter the reed-the higher pitch the sound and the easier to blow. A single reed requires a little more voice to be put into the call to produce a ducky sound but once this is accomplished a single reed requires a lot less air to operate and is far more versatile in sound. This versatility accounts for more effectiveness in calling ducks. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 59 HOW TO BLOW A DUCK CALL In spite of what s seen on every outdoor television show where a grizzled guide grabs his call and effortlessly starts playing duck music it takes a lot more skill and hours of practice for a hunter to master the correct tone and language of a duck call. For anyone just beginning to enjoy the fun of duck hunting it is important to establish good habits especially as they relate to calling ducks. Expert hunters who have been chosen by the wildlife conservation group Ducks Unlimited (DU) to offer hunters tips on increasing effectiveness have suggested many techniques for better duck calling. In order to get started it is important for the hunter to get a grip. These DU experts suggest that hunters should hold the call like you were in the Army saluting a superior. The end piece should be between your thumb and forefinger. Now slightly cup your hand to form the shape of the letter C . Remember not to cup your hand so much that you begin to muffle the sound. 60 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM In terms of the best technique for putting the call to a hunter s mouth it is suggested that while holding the call place the barrel to your mouth like you were drinking from a soda bottle. Make sure that your lips have a good seal around your lips and without so much pressure that your lips are uncomfortable. To get the most natural ducky sound the hunter should practice delivering the air from his diaphragm in order to get the proper low tone. DIFFERENT WORDS FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS The calling strategy or language of the call will vary depending on the location species wind direction and even temperament of an approaching flock of ducks. Since the objective is to get them to slow down and eventually drop into the decoy spread it is important to use the right call for the given situation. Champion duck caller and maker of the Drake Brake Duck Calls Greg Brinkley noted in a DU online article that there are eight distinct calls that every hunter should master in order to be successful in any situation. The basic quack is the most simple but often misused call. Brinkley stresses that instead of merely using the Qua Qua Qua the hunter should distinctly enunciate the QuaCK. The second most important call is the greeting call. He notes that this call is employed when ducks are first seen in the distance. The sound is a series of 5 to 7 notes in descending order at a steady rhythm. These are made by saying Kanc Kanc Kanc Kanc. Brinkley notes that the basic feeding call results from saying tikkitukkatikka into the call raising and lowering the volume slightly. A call this is most likely to be misused in the hail or highball call. Experts advise that this call which involves starting with a long strong Aaaaaaink...Aaaaaink... aaaaink... aaainkaink and tapering off as it progresses should only be used when the ducks are at least 100 yards out. If it is used when they are close-in they will be spooked and head off for the wild blue yonder. DUCK CALLING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS https watch v u_-DwTpWS5U WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 61 The duck call maker notes that The comeback call is used when ducks don t respond to your greeting or you want an immediate response such as in timber. It s more urgent sounding and faster like Kanckanc Kanc Kanc Kanc. Another effective call is the lonesome hen which is low and throaty. This call is made by drawn-out Quaaaaink quacks sounds through the call. Getting a duck to commit to a decoy spread is very much like a sales call and as any salesman knows sometimes closing the deal requires a little begging. The DU article notes The pleading or begging hail call is used to get the attention of ducks flying 75 to 200 yards above you. This call is a series of 5 to 6 quacks that are really dragged out to sound like you are begging the ducks to land. A pleading call is a Kaaanc Kanc Kanc Kanc sound and its first note is usually held a little longer. DU s final suggestion involves whistling. Whistles are especially effective when hunting mallard pintail and wigeon ducks. It is however important to be able to identify these species before using this call tactic because each respond to different whistles. THE CALL OF THE WILD Calling in a group of ducks to a decoy spread is indeed an art. Whether it is with single or double reed wood or acrylic calls the challenge comes from successfully mimicking the incredibly complicated natural voices of these very intelligent creatures. With many hours of practice a hunter can learn to entice birds into shooting range. However even if the bag limit is not reached the sheer joy of watching and on some level communicating with the beautiful birds is worth the effort. If you d like to hear how a young duck call maker from Lafayette Louisiana makes his own calls and brings in more than his fair share Click here http pod_popup150104.html for an Outpost OnDemand interview with Nick Deshotel. 62 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 63 You don t need to a weatherman to know which way the wind blows Bob Dylan 64 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM HOW THE WEATHER AFFECTS WATERFOWL HUNTING WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 65 Very few hunters understand the arcane facts about the weather the effects of barometric pressure wind direction even humidity - like waterfowlers. If they would just get a better haircut most duck and geese hunters could be the TV weatherman Contrary to popular opinion however foul weather is not a prerequisite for waterfowl hunting success. Veteran duck hunters and guides understand the significance of the lyrics penned by songwriter Don Schlitz in his song The Gambler which opines Every hand s a winner and every hand s a loser... you just gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em. In other words a savvy hunter can win this poker game and take home ducks in any weather conditions if he knows the right tactics to use. Here are some tips on playing the weather hand that s dealt. FAIR WEATHER HUNTING A beautiful clear day makes for some very tough hunting. Why The ducks can fly and dive wherever the urge takes them. Plus the bright sunshine reveals outlines of hunter shadows and the reflection of the sun off of the hunter s face is brighter than the neon signs in Times Square. Plus on clear days it s much easier for ducks to see where a hunter might be hiding thereby determining where the safe areas are located and where danger lurks. However make no mistake just because they can fly or land anywhere they want these highly intelligent birds don t do anything willy nilly. They always have a plan. Experts such as those at Ducks Unlimited (DU) note that the flight lanes that they use the fields and woods that they feed in and the water that they float on follow patterns that they have established over many generations. Since there is nothing random about the actions of these birds the smart hunter can position himself to take advantage of these movement patterns by spending the time to closely observe them. So even on crystal clear days which offer the ducks excellent views of anything that might be amiss (e.g. a hunter with a twelve gauge shotgun in his hands) below it is critical for the hunter to set out the decoys and concentrate on watching the flight feeding and rafting patterns of the birds. Over time and this might take hours or days a hunter can ascertain the pattern and position himself for the best shots. 66 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM STORMY WEATHER If the weather forecast suggests that rain is imminent cloud cover increasing low pressure and increasing wind velocity this is music to the duck hunter s ears. This gloomy weather means there is no problem with ducks being able to see the shadows or movement of hunters and there is no sun glare off shotgun barrels and hunter s faces. In spite of the weather the ducks are still going to get hungry and they will continue to fly forage and float. They will simply do this in slightly different areas when the storm is approaching. Hunting guides note that as the wind kicks up ducks will tend to move to more protected areas such as lake coves timber openings and river backwaters. The best tactic for hunters in this inclement weather is to move decoys and themselves to these more sheltered areas. If the weather forecast calls for storms the savvy hunter will find these protected areas and set out dekes here before the sun and the storm rises. Bad weather also means that ducks will fly lower in an attempt to avoid the stronger wind in the higher altitude. If positioned correctly a hunter can get a much easier passing shot on these lower flying birds. Since the weather can change quickly having mobility in the form of a duck blind boat or wearing waders and moving where the ducks are gathering is a distinct advantage. BABY IT S COLD OUTSIDE Every duck hunter has experience the misery and exhilaration of hunting in freezing weather. In spite of the potential for frost bite and the utterly ridiculous image of a supposedly sane man or woman walking through water that has iced over duck hunting in freezing weather can be wonderful due to the fact that when much of the water is frozen the areas that are still open will have many more ducks than usual. Again it s just knowing when to hold em and so forth. The good news about hunting ducks in freezing weather is that the birds have to eat more taking in more calories in order to compensate for the cold weather. So instead of just morning feeding they must feed at least twice per day. This leads to more opportunities for the hunter to get a closer shot as they put the flaps down to grab a quick snack. The trick to a successful hunt in freezing weather is finding the open (nonfrozen) water. These areas are usually areas where levees or high banks shelter the water or areas on a creek or river where the running currents prevent the water from freezing. Areas in timber that receive a steady stream of water from a creek will also usually have open water. SNOW AND FOG Hunters who know how to use a duck call can have great success when the hunting area is inundated with either snow or fog. The best tactic is to continually call whether or not there are any ducks visible. In this type of weather the ducks that are flying over seem to respond quicker to a friendly voice below and there is no adrenaline rush like the one of seeing a couple of mallards gliding into a decoy spread out of a thick fog or snowfall Snowfall can also cover food sources so setting up near a corn field or stand of trees with plentiful acorns is a good tactic in this type of weather. Again having some historical perspective of the feeding patterns of ducks will enable the hunter to set up in advantageous positions in the middle of a snowstorm. WHO CARES ABOUT THE WEATHER Success in the sport of waterfowl hunting involves good shooting skills compelling calling techniques and a commitment to scouting the area for flying and feeding patterns in all seasons and weather conditions. Many duck hunting guides and savvy hunters understand that this observational skill is equally important to shooting and calling because it will enable the hunter to be in a position to take ducks rain or shine. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 67 FALL IS A COOL THE CHANGING SEASONS TIME CATCH BIG LUNKERS OF BASS FISHING By Ryan Lovelace As winter gets closer and closer many bass anglers will hibernate like a bear for the winter. Take a little advice get out there and fish. I have had some of my best days of fishing during the winter. The cold is a lot harder on us than it is the fish. To them it s just another day. SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN FISHING FOR WINTER BASS. You do not always need to be in deepest part of the lake or dropping a spoon in 40 feet of water. Every winter there are always those days that are really nice outside when sun comes out and the temperature maybe 7 or 10 degrees warmer than the past few days or weeks. Those are some of the best days to hit the lake. So what to look for when you re on the lake This is the easy and best part of fishing in the winter. Birds All sorts of migratory birds whose main diet is fish will be all over the lakes this time of year. With pelicans and loons circling and almost no one on the lake this is just a beautiful time to be out on the water. If you follow the birds you will find the fish. 68 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Look for arms of the lake that will have good deep water or creek channels that are within 50 yards of secondary points - little deep pockets sandbars I love to fish Sandbars in the winter If you find a good sandbar in protected cove it will have a drastic drop in depth and sand warms up quickly on a sunny day. If you see loons or pelicans in any cove or in coves with sand bars or any type of point natural or man-made with rapid depth changes stop and fish. The bass are there. SO WHAT TO FISH I love to fish the Alabama Rig (shown here) in the winter as long as the water is 48 or warmer. If the water temp is below 48 I will use a fluke bait on a horsey head jig with a willow leaf blade attached to it. Fish it slow. Bump it along the bottom and let fall or even sit still sometimes. The next tip I can tell you would be to stick with shad colors in the winter. Bass will be feeding on shad more than any other forage in the lake during this time of year. I get asked a lot what type of equipment as far as rods and reels I use. For the past few years I have been using a Denali rod. What I really like about Denali rods is that they offer several series of bass rods - from rods that can cost as much as 350 to a series of rods that will cost you 95 to 100 a rod. I have rod s of every series they make in my boat and I am very happy with all of them. Hopefully these tips will help you catch some winter bass. They taste just as good as summer bass Enjoy your time on the water Ryan Lovelace is a professional bass angler and high school biology teacher. You can follow him on Facebook at https ryan.lovelace.90 fref ts WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 69 THE OUTPOST RECIPES WHAT WE CAN LEARN ABOUT COOKING WILD GAME FROM THAT FIRST THANKSGIVING Culinary historians point out that turkey was not the centerpiece of the meal as it is today. Though it is possible the colonists and American Indians cooked wild turkey goose or duck was the wildfowl of choice. Swans and passenger pigeons would have been available as well. Passenger pigeons--extinct in the wild for over a century now--were so thick in the 1620s they said you could hear them a quarter-hour before you saw them. They say a man could shoot at the birds in flight and bring down 200. Mmmmm. Pass me some of that porridge and passenger pigeon would you Chief When the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians sat down for the first Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth Colony in 1621 there were less distractions than we have today. For example there were no NFL games to watch. This is because Terry Bradshaw was still playing high school ball somewhere in Louisiana and TV would not be invented until a few centuries later. This means that everyone could focus on the most important part of this three-day feast the food. However the types of foods we serve in our modern-day Thanksgiving celebrations have little in common with that which the denizens of Plymouth chowed-down on. One authority on this first Thanksgiving is the Smithsonian Museum. In a piece published on the museum s website in 2011 author Megan Gambino quoted a knowledgeable source The group also ate lobster and other shellfish eel chestnuts walnuts and flint corn which is a multi-colored corn planted by the native population of Plymouth. There were however no mashed potatoes or potatoes of any kind since white potatoes came from South America and sweet potatoes came from the Caribbean much later in America s history. There was no cranberry sauce and since the Pilgrims had no butter or wheat flour yet there was no pie Needless to say a contemporary hunter or angler would probably fit right in among this group of Thanksgiving celebrants. What s not to like about the natural goodness of wild game Too bad about the mashed potatoes though. Can you imagine how good the gravy from all this game must have been But if one were to create a historically accurate feast consisting of only those foods that historians are certain were served at the so-called first Thanksgiving there would be slimmer pickings. Wildfowl was there. Corn in grain form for bread or for porridge was there. Venison was there says Kathleen Wall. These are absolutes. 70 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TRY SOME WILD GAME FOR YOUR THANKSGIVING FEAST THIS YEAR Most hunters and anglers have a freezer full of possibilities for a very traditional Thanksgiving. Plus if one shops at the local farmers market (BTW the Pilgrims were the original locavores ) the freshest seasonal vegetables can enhance your own special feast. Venison duck dove and quail that have been harvested this season make for great additions to the Thanksgiving celebration. However many people are adamant that turkey should be the star of the show. Okay. That s cool. Let s just make it wild turkey. Since some are flummoxed by preparing wild game The Outpost asked The Sporting Chef Scott Leysath to give us a couple of recipes for preparing non-store-bought turkey for your Thanksgiving meal. And as usual he has some ideas that will have even know-it-all Aunt Lucy asking for second helpings. Come to think of it...Scott is another person we can all be thankful for this year WILD TURKEY TAMALES MAKES 16 TAMALES Great with any wild game including shredded wild turkey breasts. Slow roast deer neck and shoulder roasts shred the meat and wrap it up in masa. About the Masa To prepare the masa pick up a bag at the grocery store and follow the directions on the bag for tamale dough. I start with 2 cups masa harina flour 2 3 cup melted Crisco 1 1 4 cups warm chicken broth and 1 2 teaspoon salt. Start mixing with a fork but eventually you ll need to get in there with your hands to make sure it s thoroughly mixed. The masa should be the consistency of moist cookie dough. If it s too dry add a little more chicken broth. Too wet mix in a little more masa harina flour. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 71 THE CORN HUSKS Dried corn husks are available in grocery stores and Hispanic markets. If you can t find them in yours try it with fresh corn husks or parchment paper cut into a large triangle about the size of an outside corn husk. AND THE STUFFING The following recipe will get you started on your way to tamale greatness but you really should experiment and make up your own signature tamales. One of my favorites is mushroom and brie cheese. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 3 cup onion diced 1 cup fresh tomatillos quartered (or substitute green tomatoes or omit) 2 cloves garlic minced 1 jalape o pepper seeded and minced 1 teaspoon chile powder 1 2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 4 tespoon salt 2 cups cooked wild turkey breast cut into 1 2 cubes or shredded Here s another variation on wild turkey preparation from The Sporting Chef. WILD TURKEY BREAST STIRFRY WITH DRIED CHERRIES The reason I included dried cherries in the title of this recipe is because most people would not combine berries with an Asian stir-fry. I was torn between creating a stuffed turkey breast specifically a turkey breast with a dried cherry stuffing or a stir-fry. Not wanting to do without either I combined the flavors of the East and well dried cherries. While feasting on the finished product I found myself hoping that each bite would have a dried cherry. If you can t easily get your hands on dried cherries try Craisins a sweetened cranberry raisins or just about any dried fruit. Keep an eye on the turkey since it cooks very quickly. When it is just about done pull it out and return it to the pan just before serving. INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion tomatillos garlic and jalapeno and saut for 3 4 minutes. Add chile powder cumin salt and turkey breast and stir to blend flavors. Simmer for 2 3 minutes and then allow to cool. 2. For each tamale lay the corn husk on a flat surface with the narrow end pointing towards you. Take about 2 3 tablespoons of the masa and spread evenly along the bottom quarter of the corn husk about 1 2 inch from any edge of the husk. In the center of the masa place a few tablespoons of the turkey mixture. Fold the left edge over the stuffing. The idea is to surround the stuffing with masa. Fold the right edge over and fold the bottom up towards the center. Place in a hot steamer basket with a water level just under the bottom of the basket. Place tamales fold-side-down in basket leaving a little room between each so that steam can cook each one. Add water as they steam if necessary. Tamales will take from 25 40 minutes to steam depending on how big they are. They will be soft moist and hot when cooked and will firm up as they start to cool. 72 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM INSTRUCTIONS Combine sesame oil vegetable oil soy sauce orange juice sake (or sherry) lemon juice garlic ginger and brown sugar in a non-reactive bowl (glass wood plastic). Add turkey toss to coat and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove turkey from marinade. Reserve marinade. Add turkey and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove turkey from pan. Add reserved marinade and heat liquid to boiling for 5 minutes. Return turkey to the pan and add peanuts snow peas dried cherries water chestnuts and heat to warm. Serve immediately over rice. For more wild game recipes from the champion of wild game cooking visit Scott Leysath s website at You can also follow him on Facebook https thesportingchef _rdr p and Twitter sportingchef INGREDIENTS 2 wild turkey breasts boneless and skinless cut into thin strips 2 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce 1 4 cup orange juice preferably freshly squeezed 1 4 cup sake or dry sherry 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with equal part cold water 1 lemon juice only 3 garlic cloves minced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and minced 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons peanut oil 1 2 cup dry-roasted peanuts 2 green onions roughly chopped 1 cup snow peas trimmed 1 2 cup dried cherries 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts 4 cups warm steamed rice WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 73 THE OUTPOST RECIPES HERBED WILD TURKEY BREAST https watch v E7WkJVszx0Q COOKED ON THE BIG GREEN EGG tsp rubbed sage 1 tsp dried thyme 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp salt 1 wild turkey breast INGREDIENTS tsp pepper 2 cloves garlic 3 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp grated lemon rind INSTRUCTIONS Loosen skin from turkey with fingers leaving skin attached. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon oil garlic and seasonings. Spread under turkey skin. Combine remaining lemon juice and oil set aside. Set the EGG for indirect cooking at 350 F 177 C. Place turkey in a V-Rack in a Rectangular Drip Pan. Bake for 2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer reads 170 F 77 C. Baste every 10-15 minutes with remaining lemon juice and oil mixture. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 74 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM ING COMBO AYS A WINN ALW PARTIES & Made with 100% Real Cheese AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT STYLE 1.00 COUPON CLICK HERE VEC TORB U T TON S. COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 75 YOU GOT ONE 76 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM NOW BE CAREFUL. IMPROPER DRESSING AND PREPARATION OF DEER CAN MAKE YOU SICK. Deer season is here and as any hunter will agree field dressing one of these animals is the least favorite part of the experience. It can also be the most dangerous part especially for the hunter s health. In a recent release Janice Hall a regional Extension agent in Food Safety and Quality with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System had some hints to prevent contamination and improper food handling when dressing and cooking deer meat. Always wear gloves and wash your hands when dressing a deer. It is important to keep your hands clean to prevent cross contamination of potential pathogens on the meat. I would recommend carrying a make shift handwashing station consisting of a water jug with a spout soap and paper towels as part of the hunting gear Hall said. When dressing the deer carcass in the field do it as soon as possible. After cleaning the cavity quickly cool the carcass to 35 to 40 degrees F. Also it is recommended the hide be left on the carcass when transporting to prevent the meat from drying out and to protect it from contamination. When cooking deer meat make sure the venison is cooked to a temperature of at least 160 degrees F. According to Hall this temperature will reduce the risk of causing a foodborne illness. Improper thawing is a common food safety mistake. Hall stated that it is dangerous when people thaw their meat at room temperature in their sink or on the counter and even in a cooler. You should thaw meat ahead of time in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth. The rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds thawed. To ensure you are storing deer meat properly keep in mind that unfrozen meat in the refrigerator should be used within 2 to 3 days. When freezing meat space out packages to allow proper air circulation for cooling. After 24 hours when the meat is solidly frozen you can stack them together in the freezer. Frozen deer meat when properly wrapped can last for 9 to 12 months. This deer season use a harness in your tree stand watch out for other hunters and be careful processing the game. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 77 EA TP O ST G R GWG GUN BAG Mossy Oak Obsession 50 Gun Case Tough Polyester Exterior Padded GWG Logoed Interior Durable Logoed Handles Front Accessory Pocket Hideaway hook for convenient storage Get yours at Get 15% off your order when you use the promo code OUTPOST15 O GWG SHOT SHELL BAG Divided Shell Pouch 600 Denier Nylon Holds Two Boxes of Shells Heavy Duty Adjustable Belt Additional Accessories Compartment 78 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM U for your Chokes Cellphone or Lip Gloss O U O TP ST G EA R TAKE THE CANCOOKER FOLDABLE CHICKEN RACK ON YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE There s nothing quite as delicious as a properly prepared whole chicken roasted around a beer can to feed the family. With the new Foldable Chicken RackTM from CanCookerTM preparing a moist mouthwatering whole chicken is now easier than ever. Crafted of 100-percent high-quality solid stainless steel the Chicken Rack will not react to the food. It fits perfectly into the Original CanCooker or can be used alone on a grill or in the oven. It is dishwasher safe and folds down flat for easy cleaning in the dishwasher and storage in any kitchen drawer or cabinet. We worked on perfecting this design for quite a while said Seth McGinn president and owner. The traditional beer-can chicken has always been delicious but it s just not that stable and they fall over frequently before the cooking is finished. We are excited to have created the Foldable Chicken Rack to solve that problem and it is now available for our customers. We will have great recipes on our website using this new product both using the CanCooker and without it. The new CanCooker Foldable Chicken Rack is available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at for a suggested retail price of 19.99. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 79 R G TP O U The suggested retail price is 299.00. 80 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM O A built-in high precision GPS receiver - which updates every 60 seconds provides precise location distance and bearing data. Onboard crew members (and nearby AIS-enabled receivers) receive all the information they need to locate the position of the person in difficulty enabling a speedy recovery. The S20 will transmit continuously for a minimum of 24 hours and has a seven year battery storage life. It is made of ultra durable ABS and waterproof to five meters. Click on their website for more information ST The compact lightweight unit is an effective aid to recovering crew and passengers who have fallen overboard or down a mountain by sending alert messages GPS position and a special identity code directly to AIS receivers within approximately a four mile radius. A flashing LED light aids location at night. EA MCMURDO SMARTFIND Accidents happen every day in the wilderness or on the water. The McMurdo Smartfind S20 is a personal AIS MOB device worn on a lifejacket or backpack and activated by sliding off the safety tab and lifting an arming cap to deploy the antenna. O U O TP ST G EA R COTTON CARRIER GREAT DEALS FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING If you have an outdoor photographer on your holiday gift list they might really enjoy the latest products from Cotton Carrier. Photographers and holiday shoppers can enjoy big savings on selected products from Cotton Carrier. No need to wait until Black Friday to get a good deal on your holiday shopping said Brook Parker Chief Operating Officer of Cotton Carrier Camera Systems. We have great products for the photographer on your list at substantial savings right now. Cotton Carrier s Autumn Sale offers a free Lens Pouch with the purchase of their new Endeavor Belt and a free Lens Bag System with the purchase of any Camera Vest a 59 value for both lens carriers. And that s not all. We have discovered that our original hub design can block the battery door on some of the new mirrorless camera models Parker said. To remedy that we are introducing a Hub and Adapter Plate that will keep the battery door uncovered and accessible. They re included in the Autumn Sale too. For more information on Cotton Carrier products go to WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 81 LL FA ZY EN FR 82 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM IT S THE TIME OF THE SEASON FOR GETTING THE BOAT OUT OF WATER AND TAKING HER HOME. FOUR TIPS FOR BUYING A USED BOAT TRAILER It s that time of year when boating season is ending in the U.S. and some boaters may be looking to find a trailer to store the boat for the winter. If you re looking to buy a used boat trailer now or planning on buying a boat that comes with a used trailer Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has four buying tips BRING A MEASURING TAPE With older trailers the capacity plate or sticker may be long gone or too hard to read after being outside in the weather for years. But if you d like to have a rough idea of a spring-axle trailer s capacity simply measure the diameter of the axle. An outer diameter (OD) axle tube size of 1.75 is typically rated for about one ton 2.375 for 3 500 lbs. and 3 for 5 200-7 000 lbs. remember to subtract the weight of the trailer from the gross capacity. BUYING OUT OF STATE Trailers aren t built the same because states trailering regulations aren t the same. While most states require brakes for trailers rated to carry than more than 3 000 lbs. some states require brakes on trailers as light as 1 500 lbs. while a few others let you coast up to 4 500 pounds although that s not recommended. It can be expensive to retrofit brakes and some states such as Florida require brakes on each axle. State-specific trailer registration information can be found at WHY TIRE DIAMETER MATTERS After an hour at highway speeds a 13-inch tire will have spun 10 000 revolutions more than a 15-inch tire which means more heat bearing wear and increased chance of problems. Having a fully serviced spare tire ready to go and the tools to install it will solve many of the most common reasons for a trailer breakdown. If all else fails having an annual BoatUS membership with Unlimited Trailer Assist roadside assistance to safely tow both your boat trailer and tow vehicle up to a 100 miles will make a bad roadside breakdown suddenly get much https watch v OZecrdaapzc better. WATCH OUT FOR PAPERWORK SNAFUS Not having ownership documents can sink a sale faster than you can say Did you put the plug in If the trailer is missing the vehicle identification number (VIN) it cannot be legibly read or doesn t match ownership paperwork you may run into an issue with the DMV and have to apply for a replacement. It s better to have the seller handle this before the sale. For a full look at this topic see Buying a Used Trailer at buuyusedtrailer WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 83 BOBBY BRIDGER HAS A VAGABOND HEART THE MOUNTAIN MAN HAS CROSSED THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND REINVENTED HIS MUSIC The term polymath is used to describe an individual who has a wide range of knowledge in many different subjects. As did Leonardo de Vinci in the Renaissance era he or she uses this complex body of knowledge to solve specific problems. Bobby Bridger is a polymath. He s a gifted painter. He is an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction an amazing playwrite and poet. Plus he has been a very successful songwriter and singer for more than 45-years. In the past few years Bridger decided to focus his considerable creativity on ANYTHING but the recorded music business. Why Just keep reading. 84 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Fortunately for his legions of fans he has returned the recording business with a new album but this time it is on his terms. The result is the most interesting Bobby Bridger project yet Vagabond Heart. At a time when most artists publishers and record label executives say there s no money in making records Bridger went the other way. I ve pretty much gone contrary my whole career he chuckled. The Lakota have a wonderful term for that - heyoka. The heyokas go backwards. They do everything backwards. I never have considered myself heyoka but I have been somewhat contrary only because so many people just go crazy after one thing and when that fails they tend to just throw in the towel. However a lot of times those things just lead you to another creative outlet. For example when I m working on a book and writing and I hit a logjam I ll run out to my studio and start painting until I can t paint anymore and by that time the log jam s usually over on the computer. I ve found that doing that often throughout my career has freed me up to do other things. When I left the record industry it was because to my way of thinking it had become so basically just kind of corrupt. I think it took 250 000 to hire independent promotion then back in the day to break a record once you ve spent a lot of money even making the record. Now I see the Internet as something that just is a wonderful tool for what I ve been doing since 1974 when I left the record business. THE RIGHT GUY AT THE RIGHT TIME Just to show what kind of following Bobby Bridger has around the world this album was financed by his fans. In a recent interview he explained how and why. That underscores what we re talking about - the ability that we all have now. In the old days we would run like moths to the flame to give ourselves away and give all the money that we would make away as quick as we could to other people. Now we have the opportunity as I see it to actually make a little money off of what we do he said. Of course everybody says Well you know people don t buy music anymore but I don t believe that. I believe that if you give people the opportunity to do what s right they will do what s right and they know that making music and recording it and putting it out it has a certain value and they ll support that. The Outpost First cut I heard on the record is an amazing lyric and the tune. It s called The Cycle Song and it is the single. Tell us what this song is all about. Bobby Bridger Actually that song is from my oneman show Pahaska which is what Buffalo Bill was called from the time he was about 11 years old. It means long hair. The kernel for that song was what enabled me to work for 25 years on Pahaska the epic ballad about Buffalo Bill and it came from a remark that Black Elk the holy man of the Lakota made after he had been lost. He got lost from the Buffalo Bill Show in England when they were there touring in 1887 - he and four other Indians from the show - and he d wandered all over Europe really until 1889 when Buffalo Bill was in Paris with the Wild West and they reunited. Buffalo Bill gave him the option of staying with the show or going back to the Dakotas and Black Elk said I want to go home. So Buffalo Bill hired a policeman to make sure he got on the boat the second time and get him back home. Black Elk always said of Buffalo Bill Pahaska had a strong heart. And that strong heart if you remember the lyric in The Cycle Song it says Pounding like a drum inside us burning with life s fire instinctive forces push and guide us bringing action to desire. And that s about Buffalo Bill and that s where that song comes from. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 85 When I was doing it as a one-man show my son was a little boy - he was eight nine ten years old opening my show for me - and when we went into the studio he said You know Dad I always wanted to hear that song done in more of a contemporary style than just you on the 12 string. Why don t we try that And that was the way it started. That s where the sound comes from. Who s playing lead guitar on that track John Inmon is playing every instrument on that song. I had a kind of a little rhythm thing going on six string guitar and I taught John that rhythm of what I was doing. He says Does this work I said Yeah. We locked the rhythm in. He took over and built the whole track. Gabe (Bridger s son) was singing background on it. Inmon and I co-produced the record. In a way that s something that we ve been trying to do ever since way back when I was on RCA. Back when I first arrived in Austin John was one of the first people I met before the Lost Gonzo Band and all that. I had left Nashville where I was working with one of the master studio session men in the world Fred Carter Jr. who played with Simon and Garfunkel and all sorts of people. John was one of the first people I met when I got to Austin and I saw in John a lot of that same wonderful natural gift with the instrument. Besides that he was just a sweetheart of a guy and we just became closest of friends and we ve been friends for 45 years now. You mentioned your son Gabe and while I have not met him given that voice I have a feeling I m going to be hearing him around the old studio for a long time to come. In addition to the harmony on The Cycle Song he opens one of the cuts on this album doesn t he 86 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM That s absolutely right - on Bright Wings. Gabe s a trained singer. He went to the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Houston very famous arts school here. Then he went to University of Houston on a vocal scholarship first but he has other interests and they wanted him to be very focused on opera. Anyway I ve been trying to get him back into the studio to do commercial stuff and when the Bright Wings song came up I thought Oh that s really great. We ll use that almost like sirens in a mythological sense for the refrain and let him just sing...just use that beautiful voice. But I also wanted to get him exposed to an audience as well because I do think he s got a record in him down the line and this was a way to explore his talents and see if he wants to go in that direction at all. What other cuts do you like on this record I had the hardest time sequencing this record because I went back to my very earliest influences to do this record back when I was a teenager. Aside from Elvis two of my biggest influences were Marty Robbins and Bobby Darrin - the reason being that Marty could do A White Sports Coat one cut Bye Bye Love the next cut and El Paso the next one. They were all different styles and all different approaches to his using his voice. Bobby Darrin was the same way. He cut that little novelty Splish Splash and then the next thing you know he s doing Mack the Knife. Then after that he started doing folk music and introduced Tim Hardin s If I Was a Carpenter. Back in those days that was what made an artist work. It was being diverse and being able to sing that way and being able to approach their music that way. When I first started making records that was exactly the way that my producer told me was to do and so I went back to that technique. So as far as picking a favorite song it s hard for me to do because what John and I decided to do as producers was to do just that was to use that basic foundation of my finger-picking style and build from that with the song with two voices - kind of the Everly Brothers Simon and Garfunkel whatever you want to call it - pairing with Gabe and me and then build those different styles do my songs in those different styles so what you have in Vagabond Heart is kind of a vagabond artist as well - from one style to another. So they re all my favorites. Each of the song have such unique characteristics. It sounds like you guys had fun. Now are you going to hit the road to support the new record If so where you going to be playing Actually I took off most of the last year to put all the different parts of the puzzle together to make an approach as we ve discussed to come back at this from the new way of doing things with Kickstarter. I was waiting to see how this record would come out and so once I found out this is when I started booking gigs. We start up in Shreveport then we go to Oklahoma City and Tulsa and Rogers Arkansas and then I m coming back here to Texas because John is going to Europe with Jimmy LaFave. He ll be over there for three weeks. While John is gone I ll be working the record here at home but I m also working on another record release that will be the Mountain Man Show Seekers of the Fleece. We ll put that out as a single release sometime. How can people order the record It s on iTunes and other digital media. And we have released the compact disc and a teaser video of The Cycle Song. One final question. When we first met about 40 years ago we talked about the old days at Monument Records. You were on the same label as Kristofferson and Henson Cargill. As someone who has been through all of this and now coming back around has the record business gotten better worse or just different WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 87 https watch v LwBy8G4uPA0 Here s exactly the way I feel about it right now. There s a guy named Puddler Harris. (Isn t that a wonderful name ) Puddler was the guy that told me I had been signed to Monument Records. Puddler was a piano player with Ricky Nelson for years and years and years. Oh he played with everybody. Anyway I was just elated. I went back to Nashville and basically I got a couple boxes of 45s and that was it. We went out and you d find a radio station in a little cotton patch somewhere in Arkansas or Mississippi - a little 5 000-watter at best - and walk in and see if you could get on the radio and chances were that by the time you got in your car and drove off you d hear your song on the radio sometimes. People bought that record for 99 cents or a dollar at one of the little local stores. I don t think it s very much different right now since the record labels have pretty much imploded. For people like me it s the same way. You re out there. If you could find somebody on the Internet that s wanting to play your music then wonderful. It s not a whole lot different as far as I see it because they re downloading it at the same price basically. I m ready to load up and go hit some cotton patches [chuckles]. It s really basically that way. If you really source it back It goes back to the Grateful Dead because they saw the light years ago that they weren t going to make any money in the record business and they just told their audience to come and tape tape everything and go with it so that s what happened. It all ended up coming down to the Internet. I say let s go Let s see if we can figure out how to make that work for everybody now. 88 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Is this Grateful Dead contrarian attitude the new normal for the music business I don t know that it s that. I think it s kind of just that you kind of meld with what people are really needing to make it-- I may be naive about this but back when I first started I thought it was just amazing that you could get a song on the radio and someone heard that and they were motivated to pull their car into a parking lot and go into a store and buy it. That s a wonderful exchange when that happens. I always thought that was just an amazing powerful exchange. It s based on the ear. You don t see the person you hear them first and then you go and get that. I think that s exactly the same nowadays. I don t think humans have changed very much. I m really excited about walking out in this new frontier. It s great. Bobby Bridger s new CD Vagabond Heart is available from Amazon iTunes and other stores. You can follow him on Facebook at https BobbyBridgerMusic To hear the extended interview with Bobby Bridger click here http pod_popup1590.html for The Outpost OnDemand. https watch v -ErO7RCpOAI WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 89 90 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM NO SURPRISE HERE. ERIC CHURCH S NEW RECORD IS A MONSTER MR. MISUNDERSTOOD IS HIS LATEST AND SOME SAY BEST The members of the Church Choir must have been overjoyed when they went to their mailbox on November 3 2015 and pulled out a surprise from their favorite singer. While it would have been easy to send a digital version of the 10-songs of Eric Church s latest Mr. Misunderstood the wow factor of an honest-to-goodness record sent via snail mail would not have been there. Oh and these 10 tracks...they have some serious wow factor. With no advance promotion no fanfare and no single Church sent out this surprise album to his fans and everyone else could buy it the next day. By the way if the promotion folks who work for Team Church ever get tired of the music bidness there must surely be some secret-ops positions they could manage at the CIA. THE STORYTELLING ON THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING Nobody has to tell Eric Church how to record something original. Whether you love him or couldn t care less the guy has been an innovator in a town full of me-toos. Part of the reason for this success comes from his uncanny ability to pick songs that play to his vocal strengths. The other reason is his capacity to tell great stories in his songs. Want some proof Take a listen to Knives of New Orleans. Even Springsteen whose song Rosalita is one of the all-time best rock and roll stories and who is an obvious influence on Church would likely appreciate the wild ride of this song. The protagonist of this epic story is hiding out in the French Quarter after killing his girlfriend in Lake Pontchartrain. Church builds this story song slowly finally blasting away with a rousing crescendo of I did what I did WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 91 How about the title track Mr. Misunderstood is clearly the story of a young misunderstood gawking nerdy Eric. The cool part of this story is it has a beginning middle and conclusion and the tempo varies depending on the place in the story where the singer wants the emotion to swell. It is a very clever storytelling device and Church uses it perfectly. Chattanooga Lucy is another great story and song but the brilliance of this one is found in Church s falsetto and the dance groove of the melody and arrangement. There is nothing... no Chattanooga Lucy on country radio. His long-time touring partner Joanna Cotten kills it on the harmonies for this one. It will be fascinating to see what he does with the video on this song. Move over Prince. https watch v rOuF3k_-asA GOOD DECISIONS ON VOCALS If you ve ever heard Susan Tedeschi sing John Prine s Angel from Montgomery you know in addition to being one of the best blues artists touring today she is also a stone cold country singer. Church maximizes her talent on one of the best cuts on the record Mixed Drinks about Feelings. Other outstanding female performances come from Rhiannon Giddens and Andrea Davidson on another great track Kill a Word. The choices of vocal stylings on the album are also reflected in the emotionally charged final cut entitled Three Year Old. Since Church has a couple of young boys he knows what he s talking about when he describes their pure wisdom. He could have taken this tune and ruined it with too much production. Instead he chose to sing it with minimum instrumentation and the simplicity of this approach rings true. This song will have em weeping in the aisle whenever he plays it for one of the 3 or 4 encore songs he will no doubt be performing when on tour. Mr. Misunderstood will be one of the biggest albums of 2015 for all the right reasons and Eric Church will be bringing a whole bunch of new fans along for the ride. 92 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE NEW OUTPOST RADIO IS LAUNCHED Radio for the Great Outdoors The Outpost Radio. At any given time on this unique station you can hear Stevie Ray Vaughan followed by Blackberry Smoke followed by George Jones. While all of this is going on you can be given a chance to listen to podcasts that feature tips on hunting whitetail deer or catching crappie in the Atchafalaya Basin or learning why blue quail would rather run than fly. In the words of more than one recently converted Outpost Radio fanatic I ve never heard anything like this station. Exactly. This combination of music and outdoor sports information presented 24 7 available wherever you are worldwide on your mobile device has never been offered. Until now. If you can do without the little girl pop stars and auto-tuned crap that passes for country and rock and roll these days you might want to try The Outpost Radio. If you want to know the weather wherever you re sitting in a duck blind it s here. If you re on the way to hunt pheasant or fish for walleye and you d like to know if anybody s seeing any this might be your new favorite radio station. The stories in The Outpost Magazine are about the simple joys of living an authentic life. This includes outdoor sports such as fishing hunting camping hiking and biking. It involves good food and strong drink and it also includes music from every genre that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy. Unfortunately most of the music you hear on traditional (terrestrial) radio is so sanitized analyzed and peroxized that the tunes and words are cotton candy for the brain. Plus most of the outdoor sports radio programs come on the stations between 3 and 4 am. That s a little too early for most of us. It is for this reason that we joined some friends who are experts in the radio business and launched The Outpost Radio. We re calling it Radio for the great outdoors and that s more than just a catchy phrase. A typical radio station would never play the diversity of songs you ll hear on WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 93 PROPER TREE STAND PLACEMENT CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN WHITETAIL DEER HUNTING SUCCESS By O Neill Williams Beyond the choices of the country state and land where and on which you seek Whitetails the placement of your treestand may be your next most important task. Where you place your stand means you re stuck there for the morning or afternoon. If it s not working you can get down and walk around but that s never worked for me. It rarely will for you. I m the dedicated type and will stick it out to the end of the hunt wherever that may be and will always think that s the best bet. If you start changing your mind about things it ll become a habit a bad one in my thinking. LET S GET STARTED. Early in the Whitetail season place your stand near food plots where you ll see the greatest number of deer. They re together and not roaming to and fro not being chased so let s make a plan to see the greatest number. Place it off to the side of a game trail going in and out. 94 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM What about the sun Taking this into consideration if you can t be at either the northern or southern end of the plot or trail you ll need two placements each with the sun to your back. It makes a huge difference. If you re always having to shade your eyes you may not get a good quick look at your buck at the far end of the plot. I remember a prize buck a couple of years ago that made a brief appearance at about 170 yards against the backdrop of some shading trees. I had to pass him up as I couldn t get a good look at him with the fading light in my eyes. As it turned out a fellow hunting partner took him ten minutes later. He measured just over 150. Had I been with the sun at 170 he d been mine instead. When the scraping begins it s a great temptation to place your stand right on and high up over the scrape lines. Don t do it. It s always better to set your stand off to one side preferable on the up side that is so you ll be higher up and further out of sight. Also you don t want to deposit your scent on the line. Stay off and don t ruin your valuable find. It s unlikely that the sun comes into play now as you re in heavier cover deeper into the forest. I know it s difficult but look for shooting lanes and brief open areas leading over to the scrape line. It may be your only way of getting a shot. After all you ve found a precious treasure in the scrapes. Don t louse it up. When the rut has begun and the action has started it s prime time. So how do you adapt This is the most simple and easiest decision at hand other than the country land etc. (See first paragraph) Answer Hunt where the does are food plots. Use the buck s natural instincts desires and purposes against him. You know quite well what he s after so go there. He s hunting the does so you do too. Texas hunting is the best example I know of. There with the cover so deep and thick hunters seek out the feeders. Why The does go there to eat and the bucks show up to check out the does. You be there too. Now however the sun comes into play again. Get a northern or southern view if you can. It s self explanatory. When the season s almost over what now It s back to the game routes the lead into and out of the food plots between the bedding areas. Your guy is all tuckered out now and is back to the easy life. The excitement is over. Your stand placement now is 25 to 40 yards off the trail and off the edge of the plot. The hunt as shortened too and while your productive time in the stand is likely to be short early and late it doesn t mean you can meander in after sun up and just before dark. Be a woodsman. Be smart. Give yourself lots of time going in and out at least an hour before you expect the time to be right. HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO SPEND IN THE STAND What about staying all day packing a lunch stay there and take a mid-day nap not leaving to talk to your buddies about how the hunt went When does that have application I always plan to stay all day during the first weekend and when I ve found the rut to be in full swing. Why In the first instance I ll let the other hunters activities getting out of and into their stands traveling to and from camp push the bucks around and keep them moving. Often all that movement will advance a desirable buck right in front of me while I m just sitting there in my stand. How many times have you heard of a giant buck being taken right at mid-day when everyone else was in camp Happens all the time during opening weekend and during the peak of the rut. You and I have been told of guys being hard hunters . Sometimes hunting hard is just being patient and just sitting all day in a well placed stand. If you live in a state where the season is short staying in the stand all day might or can be your regular routine. If heavy pressure from other hunters matches up with your area staying all day can be extremely productive. The second application for an all day stand is when the rut is on. With the bucks ranging all day you need to be there too. My second best Whitetail came at 11 AM opening day many years ago from one of the Wildlife Management Areas in Georgia. Other hunters were moving and I could even hear someone shouting to a partner when I took my shot. I was deep in the woods about 100 yards off a field and 50 yards from a well used game trail. It was classic tree stand placement. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 95 I guess the overall strategy is not to make it necessary to over hunt your stands. Why Whitetail Deer can tell when humans are routinely invading their space. They become more shy and wary. They become elevated. You are diminished. The point is for you to be so adaptable and knowledgeable that you re always hunting in a way that makes your hunt pristine. To make the most of your chances become a better woodsman a better hunter. Does this require more attention to detail More work moving stands around according to the periods of the season Yes and yes. Can you Should you Yes and yes again. So when should you take this approach When the season begins No. It ll require more planning than that. Have you an aerial view of your area That would help. Otherwise it means time in the woods a month or more before the season begins. I m not talking about a leisurely stroll. No a purposeful approach with tree stand and strategy in mind will work. O Neill Williams 96 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 97 98 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM photo Travis Wade MAN WHO PAID 350 000 TO HUNT SUES DELTA OVER GAME TROPHY BAN You knew this lawsuit was coming and it didn t take very long to happen. According the Atlanta Business Chronicle The Dallas Safari Club has filed a federal lawsuit against Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE DAL) that claims the airline s ban on shipping big-game trophies will harm conservation efforts and punish villages that rely on tourist revenue. The group which filed the suit in Dallas federal court also claims the ban discriminates against well-meaning hunters and an unpopular but non-hazardous type of cargo and that not only is Delta s embargo unconscionable -- it is illegal reports Dallas Morning News. Plaintiffs include Dallas Corey Knowlton the man who paid the Dallas Safari Club 350 000 for a trip to Namibia and a permit to kill an endangered black rhino the paper reports. The suit says that to participate in the May 2015 hunt Knowlton contributed 350 000 to Namibia s Game Products which was to be used for black rhino protection and recovery. Namibia s Ministry of Environment and Tourism would not use the money until Knowlton s trophy was imported into the U.S the suit claims the Dallas paper reports. In August Delta said it would ban shipment of big-game trophies. The decision followed public outcry following the hunting death of Cecil the Lion. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 99 WIN FREE HUNTS AND GEAR 30 off first purchase of 100 at 10% off most products at Qualified to win FREE Hunts and Gear 12 months of The Outpost Magazine An Outpost Hat An Outpost Sticker JOIN TODAY CLICK HERE 100 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FOR JUST 29.95 YOU GET MORE THAN 100 WORTH OF FREE STUFF Editor s Note Like it or not we have become a very litigious society. This continues even when we re out in the wilderness relaxing. We re proud to begin a new feature which we hope will make you think and save you some grief and money. These columns while not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer are written by an avid outdoorsman who just happens to be a very smart lawyer - Randy Hall. HOW ABOUT SOME CASH By Randy Hall - Attorney at Law It is no secret that I make my living in the courtroom across the nation. I represent good people who have been catastrophically injured on our roads in our hospitals in the outdoors and by defective products through no fault of their own. Much has and will continue to be written in this space about safety in the outdoors. No one thinks it will ever happen to them. And then it does. Lives are ended or changed forever. Psychological emotional physical and in many cases financial ruin follows every accident where one is catastrophically injured. I have seen Jeff Foxworthy s punch line ...hey you guy s watch this... come to life. And death. I am perplexed by the number of hunting related injuries and deaths that occur each year. Indeed there have been two hunting related deaths already this year in the State of Arkansas. Both were shot by their hunting companions. There have been similar accidents in virtually every state of the union this year. How do I know this The internet is a powerful tool. A google search for hunting accidents turned up some unwanted CASH. And it was not the green kind. ON A MISSION TO STOP HUNTING CASH is an acronym for a group that stands for everything I don t Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting. This is apparently a legitimate organization that dedicates considerable resources to stop what we love so dearly. Make no mistake about this. These folks are serious. They are silently creating a movement. The CASH website includes sections on current federal and state legislation lobbyist efforts a hunting accident and violations section reporting poachers and of course a section to insert your credit card information to make donations to the cause. The CASH mission statement sums up their stance Understanding that abolishing hunting entails a process a series of steps taken and not a single action that would affect our goal overnight a time frame cannot be established. We hope for building a succession of wins and if not wins immediately then at least a succession of stirrings of consciousness. We hope to encourage those who are still silent to speak out awakening community after community about the heavy hand of state and federal wildlife manWWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 101 CONTACT RANDY HALL VIA EMAIL AT RHALLLAW GMAIL.COM IF YOU HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS RELATING TO OUTDOOR SPORTS AND WOULD LIKE FOR RANDY TO ANSWER THEM IN FUTURE COLUMNS EMAIL HIM AT THIS ADDRESS. agement agencies. We hope to alter whatever belief still exists that sport hunters are conservationists and champions of the environment to a realization that they are destroyers of wildlife and ecosystems in the narrow and broad sense. Where the natural feeling for wildlife doesn t exist we strive to engender among citizens outrage that their own rights are violated by legal hunting and that their quality-of-life diminished. LET THE RANT NOW BEGIN Two articles on the website caught my attention. The first entitled Hunters are Terrorists of the Animal World and the second Hunters Put Themselves First Not Conservation Not Compassion both caused a rise in my blood pressure. Hence while the true motivation behind CASH movement seems to be the barbaric slaughter of defenseless Bambi it appeals to the undedicated masses with the bad news hunting accidents destruction of the environment and poachers. Let the rant now begin. According to CASH we are a reckless gun toting destroyers of life and the environment. We are terrorists. Given the instability of the Middle East caused by true terrorists this indictment offends me as it should you. Take pause for a moment and consider if you know a socalled outdoorsman whose conduct adds credence to CASH s allegory. And then ask yourself what did I do to intercede and stop this behavior CASH in support of their position publishes an exhaustive list of hunting accidents on their website. The incidents are categorized by year and by state. Great pain is taken to point out that 29% of all hunting accidents involved underage hunters. I agree with CASH on this one point. This does stir my conscious. And frankly it is both disappointing 102 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM and offensive. Why does 1 out of 3 hunting incidents nationally involve our children You don t have to have a law degree to know the answer. We are not teaching. We are not supervising. We are simply not paying attention. My dad always told me. There s a bad barber dentist coffee shop and lawyer on every street corner (he said this long before and after I passed my bar exam). He was right. The same holds true for outdoorsmen. There is also a bad hunter that unfortunately is befitting of CASH s description on every 100 acres of land. These are the guys and girls who are reckless with their firearms their campfires and their own lives as well as the lives of others. They are trespassers. They are poachers. These are the very folks that breathe life into the likes of CASH. We have to be proactive as individual sportsmen to defeat the likes of CASH. We have to recognize that in these times of smart phones and instant information such movements can catch fire quickly and silently. Before we know it they are a real threat. The best example is ISIS. Whoever heard of these terrorists (pun intended) ten years ago Yes we have representation. The NRA being the most powerful as well as others. But our individual responsibilities outside these groups are much simpler. We all have a duty to pass down what we know to the less experienced. Recognize your individual duty and act upon it. You be safe. You insist that others be safe. Follow our game laws. Pick up your trash. Put out your campfires. And if you see others violating these tenants have the courage to intercede. Do it for your friends. Do it for your kids. Do it for yourself. Let s silently jointly and with all intent and purpose each do our part to take the life out of CASH. Happy Hunting. And please be safe out there. You can email me at randy with your legal questions. 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 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 103 https watch v gLGZxjgtiB8 https watch v rOuF3k_-asA Each month watch our friend Darcie...aka Darcizzle...featured video of the month. This month you will see INCREDIBLE fishing video feating light tackle Sailfish jumping aerial action offshore in the Florida Keys. Florida saltwater fishing girl Darcizzle battling a sailfish on light tackle in this action packed high energy video straight from Cudjoe Key FL with Capt. Kevin Rowley of Relentless Charters. This is the top high energy fishing action you need to watch. 104 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT WIN A TRIP OF A LIFETIME WITH REBECCA SPRADLEY FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED TO WIN AN OHIO DREAM HUNT TO PURSUE THE BIGGEST BADDEST WHITETAIL DEER ON EARTH. THIS PACKAGE IS WORTH MORE THAN 3 500 PLUS YOU COULD WIN FREE HUNTING AND FISHING TRIPS GIVEN AWAY EVERY WEEK. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 105 106 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM photo credit Kyle Stapleton Franklin OH THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 30 PHOTO OF THE MONTH WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 107 108 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. 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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. 112 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. 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