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Description: In this issue of The Outpost Magazine, meet Hunter Strickland, a MLB pitcher and avid hunter, Charlie Daniels interview, our special deer hunting section, big horn sheep, Yellowstone River closing, 52 adventures, music, recipes and much more.

GEAR MUSIC RECIPES HUNTER STRICKLAND DEER SEASON DOMINATING THE MOUND AND THE WOODS TREE STAND PRUNING YELLOWSTONE RIVER CLOSED FERAL HOGS BIG HORN SHEEP CHARLIE DANIELS CONSERVATION ING COMBO AYS A WINN ALW PARTIES & Made with 100% Real Cheese AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RESTAURANT STYLE 1.00 COUPON CLICK HERE 2 VEC TOR B U T TON S. COM http 5MveCGisXgg 3 LL FA ZY EN FR 4 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TABLE OF CONTENTS BIG HORN SHEEP 28 19 TREE STAND SAFETY 48 22 ANTLER RATTLING 52 26 52 SHADES OF ADVENTURE BOBWHITE HABITAT A DEER S NOSE KNOWS SUICIDE PREVENTION 94 13 ANTI-BASS MOVEMENT CLOSING YELLOWSTONE RIVER BEST SHOT IS NO SHOT SUBWAY CARS BEACH REEFS GAME BIRDS 28 DEER HUNTING 30 CHECKLIST VENISON RECIPES 76 33 BEST CALIBER FOR WHITETAIL GEAR 36 70 80 86 88 THE OUTPOST MUSIC 90 TURTLE PAINTING 92 MISSOURI HOGS 104 ON POINT 110 O NEILL OUTSIDE THE BOX 112 PHOTO OF THE MONTH 5 FEATURE STORIES BUCK STOPS HERE Deer hunting whether its whitetail mule deer or the more exotic variety such as Axis or Coues deer has been a part of man s existence for thousands of years. PAGE 40 RIGHT ON TARGET There are two things in life that Hunter Strickland is equally passionate about. The obvious one for the relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants is his love for playing baseball but the other is his infatuation with hunting. PAGE 56 CHARLIE DANIELS Country and rock artist Charlie Daniels is having a heck of a year. He has a brand new album entitled Night Hawk he s soon to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with an exhibit called Million Mile Reflection and to top off everything else young Mr. Daniels turns 80 this year PAGE 62 6 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Hey Fellas Been a long time reader and just wanted to let you know that I love everything you guys do. Keep it up Ronnie Tulsa OK We love to hear what you have to say. Send us your thoughts to Art I found some of your podcast through Soundcloud and love them. Now I have discovered your magazine. You guys rock Jayson I love reading the recipes. Have tried several and they all turned out great. Keep up the good work Lauren Perry GA Would love to see more pics of average ordinary people with their trophies. Ward Lake City GA GEAR MUSIC RECIPES DOVE SEASON CATCHING BA SS ON FLY ROD CRANKBAIT CATCHING MACKEREL SUMMER FISH ING READING STREAMS KAYAK FISHING BANK FISHIN G CARRIE LIGHT FOOT CONSERVATI ON 7 CAN T GET ENOUGH OF THE OUTPOST ART YOUNG Partner & Editor In Chief Contributing Writers Art Young Jason Martin O Neill Williams Randy Hall Alanna Conaway JASON MARTIN Partner Sales & Publisher Contributing Photographers Jason Martin Flickr Commons O Neill Williams Mike Dunn Art Young Sam Lashlee Eva Shockey Katie Vandiver Geordia Pelligrini Tony Eckler Philip Roach Michael Lee Justin Lamb Brooke Thomas Hunter Strickland Chad Parker Deidra Johnson Hunter Stickland photos in Giants uniform 2015 S.F. Giants Charlie Daniels images provide by Thurman Mullins Paula Szeigies and Charlie Daniels PHIL HALL Partner & The Outpost Radio On Air Personality Tim Howard O Neill Williams Phil Hall Bob Crowley Art Young (Podcast) BOB ROMANKO Sales KEMSEY MARTIN Production Assistant Advisory Pro Staff Trey Weatherington Rebecca Spradley Katie Vandiver Tony Eckler O Neill Williams Chuck Paddock Kirk Driskell Ryan Lovelace Allison Keeble FOR SUBSCRIPTION TO THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE CLICK HERE http subscribe.html FOR BACK ISSUE OF THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE CLICK HERE http library.html FOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT JASON MARTIN - 770-675-7200 OR EMAIL JASON THEOUTPOSTMEDIAGROUP.COM CLICK HERE 8 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FOR EDITORIAL INQUIRIES CONTACT ART YOUNG EMAIL art THE OUTPOST is produced and copyrighted 2016 by The Outpost Media Group Reproduction in whole or part without permission is expressly forbidden. The Outpost Media Group LLC 770-675-7200 9 EDITORS LETTER Anyone who has ever played poker for cash negotiated an employment contract after being out of work for months or sat in a treestand all day waiting for buck to come into range and just before sundown one finally comes along understands the phrase playing with scared money. This is a situation where we are so concerned about losing that we all but guarantee that this will occur. The anxiety of a (potential) loss or mistake is more powerful than the exhilaration of a (potential) win. It can be terrifying make us do dumb even pathetic things and is based on sound psychological science. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky did pioneering work in decision theory and more specifically on the subject of loss aversion. It seems many if not most of us prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. Thus for most it s better to not lose 5 than to find 5. Some studies have suggested that losses are twice as powerful psychologically as gains. Novelists whose made-up stories often convey more truth than fiction have a special appreciation for this state of human affairs. In his best-selling book All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy wrote about the price of this emotional paralysis. In this story which later became a movie one of his memorable characters opined Scared money can t win and a worried man can t love. Fear of the unknown is a powerful obstacle to pushing beyond one s normal limits. Playing with scared money will cause us to spend years in an unhappy job or relationship. It can cause sadness and regret and a lifetime of mediocrity. 10 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM It s not necessary to do something crazy (albeit cathartic) like telling the boss once and for all what an idiot he is run a marathon without training or cash out the baby s college fund and put it all on red. Asking a couple of simple questions may suggest an approach. What can you do one step at a time to wake up tomorrow morning and look forward to the work you do What will it take for you to be sincerely thankful for the good things and the good people you have in your life Maybe it s as simple as being more observant but it may also involve a major change. If you do what you ve always done it s logical that you will get what you have always gotten. Change it up. Get out in the woods and stalk some wild game even though you ve got a report due Monday. Do something different that makes you smile and forget about the money. It will follow if you love what you re doing and who you ve become. There s nothing scary about this issue. We have our annual look at all things deer a cool interview with Outpost buddy Charlie Daniels (who has a new record composed of cowboy songs) an interview with Major League Baseball pitcher and avid outdoorsman Hunter Strickland and lots more. Let us know what you think. I read and respond to every email so send a few my way...even though I have the world s longest email address art Later Art Young Editor The Outpost Magazine FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OUTPOSTART FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM THEOUTPOSTLIFE WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 11 HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES OF They re all waiting for you at our website WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM GO AHEAD. CAST A LINE AND REEL THEM IN 12 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM IS THERE AN ANTI-BASS MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA The politics of fishing are on display in California. A new proposal to liberalize limits on largemouth bass and striped bass in the California Delta is a misguided attempt to conceal real threats to salmon fisheries said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland. Gilliland a career fisheries biologist and black bass expert was responding to a notification from the Keep America Fishing group that urged anglers to oppose the California proposals. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 13 The B.A.S.S. organization describes itself as The worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham Ala. the group includes 500 000 members. For more than 45 years B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access conservation and youth fishing. ARE BASS TO BLAME FOR SALMON REDUCTION This is another shot by the anti-bass groups in California to eradicate non-native predators from the California Delta Gilliland said. Federal legislation has already been proposed to remove black bass and striped bass both of which have co-existed with salmon in the Delta for more than 100 years. Now these groups are setting their sights on state regulations. Bass and stripers both very popular sportfish are being blamed for the demise of the salmon stocks. But bass are the scapegoat. Water management is the issue and liberalizing the limits on stripers and black bass will have little to no effect on the recovery of the endangered species. Fishery experts agree that this is a foolish idea and furthers drive that wedge between angler groups when the real issue is water. The California Delta is home to a world-class black bass fishery has hosted numerous Bassmaster tournaments and is the home water for many touring pro anglers. Water managers who care little about the fishery its economic impact or value for the quality of life it brings to the region want to eradicate all non-native species as a show of good faith towards the salmon anglers he said. Gilliland urged B.A.S.S. members and other anglers to sign the Keep America Fishing petition and implore the California Fish & Wildlife Commission to reject the proposed length and bag limit changes on stripers and black bass The Commission meets soon to deliberate the rule change proposal. The petition must be delivered before August 11 he noted. The petition can be accessed by clicking here https action-center v 7516fd43adaa&vvsrc %2fPetitions%2f886%2fRespond 14 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FISHING TRIP GIVE AWAYS EVERY FRIDAY FOR ONLY 29.95 PLUS S H OUTPOST MEMBERS ARE ENTERED TO WIN THIS ACTIONPACKED FISHING ADVENTURE. A 6 NIGHT 5 DAY TRIP ON LAKE GOGEBIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR. SPECIES INCLUDE NORTHERN PIKE WALLEYE PERCH CRAPPIE SMALLMOUTH BASS AND MORE. DAILY LIMITS ARE PLENTIFUL. CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 15 NEW FILM TELLS THE STORY OF BIGHORN SHEEP IN TENDOYS MOTHER NATURE CAN BE VERY FICKLE AND AS WE ALL KNOW IT S NOT NICE TO TRY AND FOOL HER. A NEW FILM PRODUCED BY SITKA GEAR IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MONTANA FISH WILDLIFE AND PARK ALONG WITH THE WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION HAS PRODUCED A SHORT FILM THAT ILLUSTRATED THE AXIOM. THE SHORT MOVIE IS ENTITLED TENDOYS AND YOU CAN VIEW IT BY CLICKING ON THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE. 16 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM BACKSTORY OF THE FILM Word traveled quickly when Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks announced an unprecedented unlimited number of bighorn sheep tags for Montana s Tendoy Mountains. The new Sitka Film follows Afghanistan veteran and Montana native Tony Larsen into the Tendoys resulting in an exciting archery stalk. But there is a bigger narrative here. Tony s hunt is one small part of a carefully planned conservation solution which itself could have reverberations for wild sheep across North America. Tendoys tells that story. By 1940 bighorn sheep were considered extinct in the Tendoys. In 1985 the Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks reintroduced 39 wild bighorn sheep along with another 14 in 1986. By 1993 the herd was up to more than 150 animals. But that same winter an all-age pneumonia die off reduced the herd to 28 animals with no lambs surviving. The pneumonia was likely contracted through contact with domestic sheep. Hunting was suspended in 1994 and for the next 20 years the cycle of reintroducing sheep followed by massive die-offs ensued. In 2012 49 bighorns were added to the Tendoys. By early 2015 only 19 could be found. The pneumoniainduced die-offs could not be overcome. The solution which Tony s hunt is a part of is to eradicate the current herd create a buffer between wild and domestic sheep in the region and restore the Tendoys with a clean healthy herd. There is still much work to be done but with conservation groups such as the Wild Sheep Foundation and brands such as Sitka Gear raising funding and awareness the future looks favorable for bighorns. ABOUT SITKA GEAR Sitka Gear based in Bozeman Montana created and leads the technical hunting apparel category. The company is recognized for its commitment to continually improving the hunting experience and supporting wildlife conservation. Sitka Gear products work together in systems and each piece is designed and tested by the company s core hunters athletes and ambassadors. Sitka Gear is owned by W. L. Gore & Associates an advanced materials company well known for GORE-TEX fabrics and many other industry-leading innovations that provide durable comfort and protection to outdoor enthusiasts. Go to to learn more about how Sitka Gear helps the driven focus on their pursuits. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 FISH DISEASE LEADS TO COMPLETE CLOSING OF YELLOWSTONE RIVER The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has implemented a closure of all water-based recreation (fishing wading floating tubing boating etc.) on the Yellowstone River and its tributaries from Yellowstone National Park s northern boundary at Gardiner to the Highway 212 bridge in Laurel. This is in response to the ongoing and unprecedented fish kill on the Yellowstone. The agency noted that this move is necessary to protect the fishery and the economy it sustains. The closure will also help limit the spread of the parasite to adjacent rivers through boats tubes waders and other human contact and minimize further mortality in all fish species. In August FWP has documented over 2 000 dead Mountain Whitefish on some affected stretches of the Yellowstone. With that it estimates the total impact to Mountain Whitefish in the Yellowstone to be in the tens of thousands. FWP has also recently received reports of the kill beginning to affect some Rainbow and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. A KIDNEY DISEASE Test results from samples sent to the U.S. and Wildlife Service Fish Health Center in Bozeman show the catalyst for this fish kill to be Proliferative Kidney Disease one of the most serious diseases to impact whitefish and trout. The disease caused by a microscopic parasite is known to occur in Canada the U.S. and Europe. It has been documented previously in only two isolated locations in Montana over the past 20 years. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Washington Oregon and Idaho. In trout research has shown this disease to have the potential to cause 20 to 100 percent mortality. The parasite does not pose a risk to humans. The effect of the disease on Yellowstone s fish populations is exacerbated by other stressors like near record low flows consistent high temperatures and the disturbance caused by recreational activities. 19 FWP Director Jeff Hagener says in coming to the decision the Department had to weigh the totality of the circumstances and risk to the fishery. We recognize that this decision will have a significant impact on many people. However we must act to protect this public resource for present and future generations said Hagener. A threat to the health of Montana s fish populations is a threat to Montana s entire outdoor economy and the tens of thousands of jobs it sustains said Gov. Steve Bullock noting that Montana s outdoor recreation economy is responsible for more than 64 000 Montana jobs and nearly 6 billion in yearly economic activity. We must be guided by science. Our state cannot afford this infectious disease to spread to other streams and rivers and it s my responsibility to do everything we can to stop this threat in its tracks and protect Montana jobs and livelihoods. FWP will continue to monitor the river and will lift the closure when stream conditions such as flow and temperature improve and fish mortality ceases. In addition to the closure on the Yellowstone FWP is asking for the public s assistance in preventing the spread of this parasite by properly cleaning (CLEAN.DRAIN.DRY) all equipment prior to moving between waterbodies (i.e. boats waders trailers). FWP has also set up two Aquatic Invasive Species decontamination stations set up along I-90 near the affected area in an effort to help reduce the chance of this parasite moving to other rivers. 20 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT S ONLINE THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THE OUTPOST RADIO THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 21 GAME BIRD ARE WORTH A BUNDLE 22 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM New research measuring the impact of America s game bird farms and hunting preserves reveals that the industry contributes nearly 1.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy. It also indicates the industry plays a vital role in providing hunting opportunities and creating wildlife habitat. Findings on the industry s social and economic benefits come from the study Economic Impact of the Gamebird Industry which was funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the North American Gamebird Association. While actual expenditures by game bird facilities are estimated at just over 634 million the U.S. Department of Commerce models reveal these dollars actually create a 1.7 billion annual impact when the purchasing power of the recipients of the initial funds are considered. The study also found that hunting preserves and game bird producers annually account for more than 500 million in wages supporting nearly 12 000 jobs and contributing 188 million in state local and federal tax revenues. Collectively the game bird industry supports a wide variety of other businesses annually spending nearly 200 million on feed 51 million on buildings vehicles and other capital expenses 14 million on veterinary services and 3 million on kennel operations. GAME BIRDS ARE THREATENED BY MAN AND DISEASE NAGA president Fuzzy Stock said the information underscores the industry s importance and is especially helpful when producers and preserves are threatened by disease outbreaks in the overall poultry industry such as last year s avian flu events or when attacked by the animal rights lobby that opposes both farming and hunting. Quantifying what we mean to the economy is a great help when defending game bird farming to legislators agriculture officials and the media said Stock. We create important jobs especially in rural areas which tend to be economically depressed during tough times. The research noted that many game bird producers and preserves are family farms and small businesses that are extremely important to rural communities. The study also highlighted the increasingly critical role hunting preserves play in supporting the hunting industry and wildlife populations. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 23 THE OUTPOST GAME BIRDS Since 1982 the American Farmland Trust documented the loss of more than 24 million acres of farmland to urban sprawl which has had a major effect on wildlife habitat and hunting access said NAGA executive director Rob Sexton. Preserves are carefully managed to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species and they provide recreational opportunities to Americans who are finding it increasingly difficult to find a place to hunt. Many preserves depend heavily on farms and supply chain companies to provide game birds for their operations. Farm-raised birds are also used in the restaurant trade and by state agencies that stock birds for public use. The hardworking men and women that make up the game bird industry have long assisted state wildlife agencies in meeting demand during downturns in natural production said Kelly Hepler secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks. The industry is an important partner in keeping the North American model of wildlife conservation moving. Ring-necked pheasants are the main driver of the industry garnering two-thirds of the species hatched by producers followed by quail which make up a quarter of the hatch. In all game bird farms produce millions of birds each year with top-producing farms raising more than 1 million birds specifically for hunting purposes. Stock noted that together producers and preserve operators are committed to supporting the American economy and rural communities across the U.S. while promoting wildlife conservation and providing quality recreational opportunities for hunters of all ages from all walks of life. 24 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https watch v KL1tnIFB88U&feature 25 Forest Service Formalizes Bobwhite Habitat Support with South Carolina and Georgia Projects In a first-of-its-kind pact the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have entered into a formal agreement to establish NBCI bobwhite focal areas in conjunction with national forests in the two states. The Forest Service s national office set aside 100 000 to support the on-the-ground habitat restoration process on their lands. NBCI bobwhite focal areas comprise several thousand acres in an area that has been classified as high or medium priority in the context of the feasibility of habitat restoration achieving the predicted bobwhite population response to management. The intent is to create and manage suitable habitat on a sufficient enough scale that bobwhite coveys can survive over time and in the process clearly prove that habitat is the fundamental missing piece in declining bobwhite populations. In addition the bobwhite habitat created also provides habitat for a number of declining priority songbirds pollinators and other species. THE FOCUS OF THE EFFORT The focal areas involve the Oconee Ranger District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia (the Oconee Quail Focal Area) and the Enoree Ranger District in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina (the Indian Creek Quail Focal Area). Mid-story hardwood removal on 200 acres of pine will be an emphasis with this new money in Georgia as well as the development of a management plan for the area that may be used as a template for other national forest lands. Fire line construction for future prescribed burns and the seeding of those lines with native weeds and wildflowers will be the immediate focus in South Carolina. 26 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Active purposeful management of pine forests to re-create the historic pine savanna ecosystem habitat in the Southeast is a fundamental NBCI strategy in recovering bobwhite populations said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. Not only did these respective national forest personnel sign on to help but we had the full support of the Forest Service Southern Region and national office as well. We are encouraged by this development and hope it bodes well for additional agreements involving other national forests in states around the southern region such as Alabama Mississippi Louisiana and Florida. Forging strong relationships with partners is critical to successfully accomplishing restoration projects said USFS Regional Forester Tony Tooke. We look forward to working collaboratively with NBCI and our state quail coordinators to orchestrate the creation of sustainable quail focal areas. We are excited to be joining forces with USFS to expand the success of our partnership with NBCI in restoration of quail habitat to a focal area anchored on the Oconee National Forest said Mark Whitney assistant director Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. Working in concert we can accomplish habitat improvements for quail and other early successional plants and wildlife on a scale no single entity can hope to achieve alone. The DNR and the U.S. Forest Service have had a strong partnership in South Carolina for a long time said SCDNR Director Alvin Taylor. We actually started work on the Indian Creek Area around 2004 and have recently designated it as one of our official NBCI Focal Areas. The quail population has responded very positively to the habitat restoration work and we are now also monitoring a suite of nongame birds and expect that they will show increases in abundance as well. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 27 DEER HUNTING CHECKLIST RIFLE SEASON It s amazing how many times you find yourself in the great outdoors and realize some small tool or piece of equipment was left back in the garage and the entire hunting experience is diminished. As a public service below we have listed the stuff that you should bring along on your deer hunt. Here are the essentials that you need to pack. Trust me on this you want to bring everything on this list...including the 10-penny nails. Your hunting license If hunting from a tree...a treestand safety harness system Ties for the hunting license tags Rifle with a (recently zeroed) scope Compass Lease maps of the hunting property Gun case Box of bullets of the correct caliber Hat (style optional...cowboy floppy camo Easter bonnet) Dark or camo ski mask Orange vest or cap Shooter s gloves Turtleneck sweater Thermal underwear Down vest or jacket Three-quarter length raincoat with hood Two (2) pairs of well-broken-in hunting boots Two (2) pairs of wool socks Jeans or twill pants Dark-colored chamois shirt Insect repellent (with DEET as one of the ingredients) Plastic canteen Lock-blade drop-point knife with sheath Knife sharpener Small flashlight with belt loop Nylon parachute cord Gambrel Pulley with nylon line Small meat saw Knife for gutting and skinning Game bags Wide belt (to keep you pants up with all of that equipment hanging on) 28 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM ISSUE VII 2012 DEER HUNTING SPECIAL EDITION MAKE THAT 300 YARD SHOT DEER HUNTING CHECKLIST HOW TO CAMO YOUR GUN VIDEO THE BUCK STOPS HERE SCENT CONTROL WHY IN-HAND SCORING OF BUCKS IS ON ITS WAY OUT FIELD DRESSING A DEER VIDEO RATTLING ANTLERS PLUS VENISON RECIPES SQUIRREL HUNTING & MUMFORD & SONS HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES They re all waiting for you at our website WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM GO AHEAD. TAKE THE SAFETY OFF AND SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 29 Sometimes the Best Shot is No Shot Nothing jacks up the pulse rate of a deer hunter like the sight of whitetail deer approaching in the distance. This is magnified by 10X when the hunter has been sitting in the blind or stand for hours without seeing anything but leaves falling Here s a typical scenario. By the way it s moving it s obvious that this amazing animal has not detected anything unusual and it is coming directly into range for a clean shot. When it gets to within 30 yards it s clear that it s a young 8-point buck. So what do you do Take the shot or let this young buck live to grow even bigger by this time next year More and more deer hunters are passing on the young bucks and in the process they are enhancing future hunts. WHERE THE WIND COMES SWEEPIN DOWN THE PLAIN One of the great places to hunt whitetail deer is the state of Oklahoma. A three years ago The Department of Wildlife Conservation in the Sooner state launched a public awareness campaign to influence deer hunters to think about their choice before harvesting the first thing with antlers that walks by. The state s slogan is Hunters in the know...let young bucks grow It is intended to emphasize that deer herd management means more than simply harvesting more antlerless deer. The decision to harvest a deer affects the entire area s wildlife management and this affects future hunts and hunters. In support of this conservation campaign the OK Department of Wildlife has launched a Facebook page where deer hunters are invited to share their stories about passing up the first buck they saw when hunting. 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM The Quality Deer Management Association recognized Oklahoma in a report showing that bucks aged 3.5 years and older comprised 51 percent of the state s total buck harvest. The state s Wildlife Department deer harvest numbers show that the percentage of yearlings in the total buck harvest has continually declined over the years from 70 percent in the late 1980s to 25 percent in 2014. WHAT DOES A MATURE BUCK LOOK LIKE The challenge for hunters especially inexperienced hunters is to know when a buck is still young. With all of the excitement of finally getting a shot at a buck any buck new hunters will often take a deer that still has some growing to do. Before heading to the field get online and compare the images of mature vs. young bucks. The next time you get a buck that looks like he s still got some growing to do pull down the gun and get out the camera. This will give him a chance to grow into an even bigger animal and it will give you a good shot of young buck that you can look for next year. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 31 RADIO FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS The Outpost Radio is the first radio station dedicated to hunting fishing and the great outdoors. You can hear us on your smartphone desktop or tablet...just about anywhere. The Outpost Radio is a mix of great music and information that celebrates the outdoors Give us a listen. Click on The Outpost logo below to listen now 32 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM CHOOSING THE BEST CALIBER RIFLE FOR WHITETAIL DEER The quickest way to start an argument among a group of hunters is to say something about the best caliber rifle for whitetail deer. Just like noses and other body parts everybody has an opinion about the best gun for deer hunting. Usually these passionate arguments include facts and figures about trajectories ballistics and other scientific considerations. However most of these opinions come down to personal preferences and experiences. In other words it s usually a Ford Chevy deal. If your daddy had a Ford you probably favor a Ford. Since firearm deer season is here you probably have your gun picked out scope sighted in and ammo purchased. However if you are still undecided as to the best caliber gun for deer hunting we made a few queries of some professional hunting guides and looked at a bunch of websites and here are a few suggestions. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 33 Probably the most popular gun for deer hunting is the .30 - 06. It has 10 or so bullet types and weights and is one of the most adaptable guns for just about any situation. The guides say that this caliber is not a flat-shooting as the .25 - 06 but it is still very effective at 300 yards. Another favorite of the deer hunting guides is the .270 with the most popular bullet weight being 130 grains. This bullet delivers 100 pounds per foot more energy at 300 yards than the 150 grain bullet out of the .30 06 it has a flatter trajectory and doesn t have much of a kick. There are many more calibers that hunting guides and online references suggest but the one that seems to always be included in any list is the 7 mm magnum. This caliber is especially good for the trophy hunting in the South Texas brush land. It s also a BIG gun so unless you re in good shape and don t mind a few recoil bruises on your shoulder this might be too big for day-in-day-out hunting. PRESERVATION OF THE VENISON The gun debate among hunters usually centers on the contention that the smaller calibers waste less meat. This argument contends the .30 06 .308 .270 and the 7 mm magnum destroy too much meat when they enter the deer. However hunting experts and guides disagree. Since most deer hunters go for the lung shot these heavier calibers have a higher foot-pounds of energy and they tend to anchor the deer thereby preventing a cripple being lost in the brush. Smaller calibers don t have enough power to drop a deer at any distance and when this happens lots of meat is wasted as in the entire deer. ONE SHOT KILL The most important criteria for any deer hunting gun are a one-shot kill with little or no meat wasted and its effectiveness from a reasonable range. Of course meeting these criteria has a LOT to do with the skill of the hunter. However the right caliber gun will certainly help in this process. The hunting experts suggest that the best rifle for those who want flat trajectory and low recoil is the .25 - 06 Remington with a 120-grain bullet. This will deliver about 300 pounds per foot more energy than the .243 load with little recoil. This gun has comparable trajectory ballistics to the lighter guns. 34 Plus many hunters who prefer the small caliber will aim for the neck because they have learned the knock-down limitations of their gun. Unless the neck is broken by this shot the crippled deer will likely escape and the meat of the entire deer is wasted. In addition to being frustrating to the hunter this is inhumane to the wounded deer. The lack of a knock-down shot can also result in the meat of the deer being gamey tasting. This results when a deer is spooked or is wounded and runs for a great distance. When this happens the deer builds up a great deal of blood and adrenalin in his system. Plus oxygen is burned out of the muscles which increases the amount waste residue such as lactic acid. For better tasting deer meat it s better to have a bigger caliber with immediate knock-down power. THE OUTPOST DEER HUNTING SHOOT STRAIGHT Success with bringing back a deer for the freezer depends less on the caliber of gun and more on the range and marksmanship of the hunter. We ve seen old-timers drop a whitetail doe with a well-placed bullet from a singleshot .22. It can be done but it requires a laser-like aim and a short distance. Your hunting style the terrain and hunting conditions you will be operating in will help determine the caliber of rifle that will help you get a clean shot. Hunting from the side of a mountain in Colorado where the only deer will be 200 to 300 yards away is a much different challenge than from a treestand in a wooded area. Talk to guides gun salesmen and other hunters to help you decide which is best for you. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 35 A DEER S NOSE KNOWS 36 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Deer have a freaky ability to hear smell and see things that appear miniscule to the average hunter. Overcoming their keen sense of sight and hearing can be attempted with camouflage clothing hats and face paint and complete stillness and quiet. However defeating their advantage in the olfactory area is a much bigger challenge. Almost universally deer hunting guides say that improper scent control is the biggest impediment to success in hunting. If you want to have success in hiding from the mature monster bucks this year it s not enough to be well-hidden. You also need to be scent-proof. Here are some tips on blending-in to the wilderness. HOW TO BE SHARP-DRESSED AND SCENT-FREE One of the worst things a hunter can do is wash his or her clothing in regular detergent. Sure Tide or Gain or whatever soap company that advertises their fresh clean smell on daytime TV get clothes clean but they also leave a fragrance in the materials that screams to every deer within a mile There s an idiot with a high-powered gun up there Let s hightail it outta here Any fragrance that is not found in nature will stand out like Limburger cheese to deer and will handicap the deer hunter. However you have to wash your hunting clothes with something. Fortunately there are several brands of detergent that will do the job without the smell. Scent Killer Scent-a-Way Primos and Dead Down Wind are a few of the many manufacturers of hunting-specific scent-free detergent. Some veteran hunters also use a combination of baking soda and borax to make their own detergent. It s also recommended to dry these hunting clothes outside on the line not in a dryer where they can pick up the scents of the rest of the family s clothing. If outside drying is not possible some of these detergent companies make drying sheets that help to eliminate the smell of your daughter s perfume that is lurking in the dryer. Some hunting guides suggest wearing clothing that is infused with activated carbon. This type of clothing absorbs human scents to reduce detection. Scent-Lok and Scent Blocker are two popular manufacturers of these clothes and hats. An activated carbon cap will also reduce scent from sweating and that funky morning coffee breath. Each of the companies that make scent-elimination products also manufacture odor-eliminating sprays for use in the field. These sprays kill bacteria or otherwise limit the amount of human scent detectable to animals. It s a good idea for the hunter to spray himself liberally from head to toe after getting dressed to restrict any remaining scent on clothing. Finally it s not enough to get clothes clean and scentfree. Efforts need to be made to keep them scent-free when they are in storage. The best strategy for this it to buys some extra-large inexpensive Zip-Loc bags and then seal each item inside. Most smart hunters put all of these bags of clothes in another sealed plastic box such as those made by Rubbermaid. ELIMINATING THAT BODY ODOR The cleanest most scent-free hunting clothes will not camouflage the scent of the human body and unless your body just naturally smells like a deer raccoon or feral hog this is a problem. This is especially true if said body has been cleaned and shaved using regular soap and shaving cream. Hunters should always shower and shave using scentfree soap and body wash to get clean without picking up unwanted perfumes. Some of the same companies that make scent-free clothing sell scent-free soap shampoo conditioner deodorant toothpaste and even chewing gum. It s advisable to shower with scent-free products before every hunt and die-hards even use these products exclusively during hunting season to prevent any lingering fragrance. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 37 Most hunters are aware of the pitfalls of body scents and try to eliminate them with the above precautions. However many forget that the two biggest culprits in the odor elimination war are the right hand and the left hand. That s right. Your hands are used for just about everything before and during the hunt and the odds of picking up human scents with those two mitts of yours are high. They also sweat which is a big red flag to Bambi s dad. The best strategy for stopping or at least lessening the odor from your hands is to wear gloves that are sprayed with scent-eliminator products. Some hunters even spray their hands before getting dressed in order to eliminate human scents on the clothing. EVERY STEP YOU TAKE While there is no evidence that former lead singer for Police Sting is a deer hunter his song lyric every step you take every move you make I ll be watching (or smelling) you could have been written by a whitetail deer. Deer constantly smell the ground and if a hunter has walked over the area with contaminated boots the deer will know it and skedaddle. There are two ways to avoid leaving a human scent on the ground around the deer stand. Either buy some carbon activated scent-blocker boots from one of the companies that have been mentioned earlier or wear rubber boots that have been scrubbed down. There are many boot companies that offer a wide variety of rubber boots in different camo patterns and levels of insulation. They are inexpensive waterproof and don t allow human scent out. They will have a rubber smell when they are first purchased so they should be left outside to air out before using on a hunt. Even these rubber boots should be sprayed before every hunt. 38 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM USE SOME COMMON SENSE SCENTS It s the little things that can make the difference between getting a trophy buck and having a day when no deer come within shooting distance. Eliminating human scents can go a long way towards a good day in the field. However for all of the high-tech clothing sprays and gizmos the best tools for scent elimination are based on common sense. For example it makes absolutely no sense for a hunter to have immaculately cleaned his body clothing headgear and boots to eliminate all human scent (see above) and then wear these clothes and boots while eating breakfast drinking coffee smoking cigarettes or filling up the gas tank. All of these activities reek of unnatural scents and will be picked up on the clothing material and hands of he hunter and the deer will avoid them at all costs. The best strategy is to keep the hunting clothes in the Zip-loc bag and the boots off until you get to the field. Try not to spill any coffee or gasoline on your hands (fill up the night before) and stay away from cigarette smoke at all costs. The most important common sense strategy for scent elimination is pay attention to the wind s direction. No matter how clean and scent-free your body clothes and boots are deer have that amazing ability to smell something that does not belong in the wilderness. Complete scent elimination is impossible so setting up downwind from where you think a buck might emerge is very important. However if the buck happens to appear from an area that has you upwind all of these efforts towards scent elimination might help keep you in the game until you can make that shot WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 39 THE BUCK STOPS HERE 40 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHETHER YOU RE USING A BOW OR A RIFLE HERE S THE SKINNY Deer hunting whether its whitetail mule deer or the more exotic variety such as Axis or Coues deer has been a part of man s existence for thousands of years. For anyone who has never hunted deer it is next to impossible to explain the addiction that hunters have toward this pursuit. For those who love this sport no words are adequate. This special deer hunting series of articles will show how you can have more fun and success on your hunt. We ll go through some tips from experts and hopefully give you something to think about while you re waiting for that huge 12-point buck to ease into range. A DEER S A DEER...RIGHT In spite of the fact that most non-hunters categorize deer in one big group there are two species of this animal that are native to North America whitetail and mule deer. There is another subspecies the Pacific coastal or blacktail deer which is a regional subspecies of mule deer. In Alaska hunters will find a relative of the mule deer called Sitka deer. Plus there is a small population of whitetail subspecies in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico called Coues deer. In the 1920 s an exotic breed Axis deer was introduced into North America by someone who had more money than good sense. When they failed to keep the gates locked and the fences high most of these deer simply jumped the fence they began to breed both with whitetail and other Axis deer. Now there is a large population of these exotic deer and there are special regulations for harvesting them. More on this later. The ancestors of modern deer first appeared in Mongolia during the Miocene and Pliocene geological epochs some 10 to 20 million years ago. From there they spread to populate most of Asia and Europe eventually crossing the Alaskan land bridge to North America. Once here deer continued evolving until--a mere million years or so ago during the Pleistocene epoch--they attained the form we re familiar with today. It has been estimated that before the arrival of Europeans North America supported some 40 million whitetail and 10 million mule deer. However after the turn of the 20th century modern guns the demand for deer hides and a complete lack of hunting regulations led to a decimation of whitetail and mule deer. The North American deer population had plummeted to a scant half million and that figure represented the total of all species. However U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt marshaled the help of many influential conservationists hunters and landowner to stop this annihilation of the deer population in the form of hunting regulations and wildlife planning. As a result of these efforts The Wildlife Management Institute estimates that throughout the 50 states there are between 30 to 45 million whitetail deer and 8 to 10 million mule deer. Some feel that the population of whitetail deer has come back a little too strong. Even with the expansion of cities and a concurrent loss of natural habitat deer can be found foraging in backyards golf courses and the gardens of city-dwellers. This has led many biologists hunters and people concerned with food supplies to ask the question Why can t hunters sell venison commercially WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 41 42 In an article in the Wall Street Journal writer Jim Sterba posed this question and offered some up some facts on harvesting deer to feed U.S. families. The Journal article noted that 85% of the venison sold in American restaurants comes from deer farms in New Zealand. The wild game offered on some upscale eateries is farm-raised not harvested by hunters. These laws were passed as a part Roosevelt s attempt to replenish the deer populations. The estimated 6 million whitetail deer that will be taken by hunters this year aren t nearly enough to bring the whitetail population in line. As a result of this ban on the commercial sale of venison serious ecological damage is occurring. Thomas Rawinski a U.S. Forest Services scientist in New Hampshire said Sadly I spend much of my time in ecological disaster zones forests devastated by too many deer. I truly believe that this has become the single greatest conservation challenge of our time. Allowing hunters or special marksmen who are licensed to cull the whitetail deer populations and sell this venison to grocery stores and restaurants or give it to homeless shelters and food banks would help every link of the food chain. However this is a very controversial issue and many hunters and animal rights advocates are opposed to changing the way whitetail deer are harvested. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 43 WHITETAIL DEER ARE JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE Every one of the lower 48 states in the U.S. has some number of whitetail deer and states such as California Nevada and Utah have the smallest population of these animals. Because they seems to handle living near civilization better than other wildlife (although feral hogs are starting to give whitetail deer a run for their money in terms of adapting to and destroying human habitat) whitetail deer are probably the best known of the large mammals. The average weight of whitetail deer is about 150 pounds and they stand about 40 inches high at the shoulders. There are of course huge variations on this size of these deer. A long-time record of 425 pounds is held by a whitetail buck. The coloration of these beautiful animals varies depending on the time of the year. In the summer whitetails have a reddish brown color and in the winter their coast turns grey-brown or even a bluish tint. The most obvious physical characteristic of a whitetail deer relates to its name. Its tail is brown on top with a dark stripe down its center and the underside is a brilliant white. Deer hunters know that when its tail is held tightly against the rump little of this white coloration is visible and the animal remains well camouflaged. However the white flag of the tail appears when the deer is getting ready to boogie. The antlers of whitetail deer have all of their points sprouting from the animal s two beams. STUBBORN AS A MULE DEER The range of mule deer extends from southeastern Alaska down into Mexico and from the Pacific coast eastward to a north south line angling from Hudson Bay in Canada down through the middle of Texas. While not nearly as plentiful as whitetail deer the mule deer makes it up in volume as in the size of the animal. A typical mule deer buck will weight from 150 to 300 pounds and will have a height at the shoulders of 40-45 inches. The does average about 100 to 175 pounds. However it is not usual for a mature mule deer buck to weigh 400 pounds As for their appearance the coloration of mule deer is gray-brown to blue-gray in winter molting to a tawny color in the summer months. The facial markings are similar to those of the whitetail but the muzzle is more elongated. The mule deer s tail is white with a black tip but smaller and more rounded than that of the whitetail. The muley get his name from its ears. They can grow to be nearly a foot long similar to an actual mule. Needless to say a pair of foot-long ears is a distractive feature not to mention they enhance this animal s already excellent hearing The mule deer s antlers grow differently from whitetails. A mule deer buck s antlers have two main beams and they fork into two smaller beams each of those forks into two more and so on. Mule deer differ from whitetail deer in another way how they spend their summers and winters. Wildlife biologists note that mule deer migrate from their summer mountain-meadow habitat down to more pleasant timbered valleys and plains for the winter. Whereas whitetails tend to gather together for the winter on a portion of the same range they occupy in summer. 44 Most hunters group the Pacific blacktail deer in the same class a mule deer and they are similar just smaller. Technically blacktail deer are only found in a strip of forest from southern Alaska down the Pacific to Northern California. The typical blacktail buck weighs about 150 pounds and stands about 36 inches high at the shoulders. There s another weird difference between mule deer and whitetails and it has to do with the way they run. While the whitetail runs by pushing off alternately with its front and rear legs in long graceful bounds blacktails and all other mule deer typically launch themselves with all four legs at once bouncing from point A to point B and gaining more altitude all the way. COUES OR COWS Couse deer are the nervous and smaller cousin of the whitetail deer. While hunters usually call this species coos or cooeez the deer was named after naturalist Elliott Coues. His family pronounced their last name as cows. Since most hunters don t want to refer to their quarry as cows they call this deer something less domestic sounding. Coues deer are usually found in the U.S. Southwestern dessert and throughout the Southwest and Central areas of Mexico. They survive on vegetation that s available in the desert including cactus. Since there are very few of these deer they are hard to hunt. SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE EXOTIC AXIS DEER Anyone who sees an Axis deer for the first is likely impressed with its size coloration and antler rack. This exotic deer is native to Sri Lanka and roamed the Himalayas for centuries before coming to the United States. In the 1930 s several hundred of these deer were transported to the Hill Country of Texas and several other U.S. locations as a novelty addition to some large landowners herd. Unfortunately for these deer importers someone forget to plan for security and quicker than it took to say Oopps many of these beautiful deer jumped the fences hit the road and because of their delicious meat became highly sought after prey for deer hunters. Since the great escape the Axis deer population has expanded to an estimated 50 000 animals in Texas alone and it is a part of what some people call the free-ranging Texotics. In addition to the Axis deer this group includes Sika deer Fallow deer Blackbuck antelope and Aoudad sheep. Axis deer are best identified by their burnt orange coat with white spots (similar to a whitetail fawn) and a black streak running the length of their spine. Bucks have large antlers forking at the base and again inside each main beam. Adult male antlers can reach lengths of just over 40 but 28-36 is most common. Live weights range from 150 to 250 pounds in mature males and 90 to 150 pounds in adult females. Axis deer can be found in herds of 100 or more other deer whitetails included and it has been noted by wildlife biologist that Axis deer can out-compete whitetail deer for native grasses and can even change their normal diet if the need arises. As a result these exotics are crowding out the native whitetail population. Because there were once considered livestock freeroaming Axis deer are not regulated by the state wildlife authorities. They technically belong to the land-owner on whose land they are walking and with permission from the owner hunters can take an Axis deer at any time of the year and there is no bag limit. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 45 AXIS DEER LET S GO HUNT Whatever deer you re chasing there are things you can do to improve your odds of having a freezer full of venison. We ve talked to hunting guides professional hunters and manufacturers of equipment and have put these thoughts in this issue. However with a subject as complicated and with as much lore has deer hunting we ve only scratched the surface. The best way to find out what works is to get out there and hunt 46 THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WHAT S ONLINE THE OUTPOST MAGAZINE THE OUTPOST RADIO THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST 47 WATCH YOUR STEP UP THERE 48 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TIPS ON TREESTAND SAFETY THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE Hunters everywhere are about to take a stand and some of them might be heading for a fall. With bow deer season here and rifle season just around the corner many of us are getting our sights set and our field of vision expanded. We re doing this by clearing the limbs hooking up the trail cameras and setting up the treestands on the deer lease. Unfortunately taking a (tree) stand can be harmful to your health Experts say that the number one reason for hunting fatalities is not the accidental discharge of a rifle. It s the result of a fall from a treestand. An average of 25 hunters every year die from a fall from one of these stands and these falls happen during and in many cases BEFORE the season starts when preparations are taking place. This shouldn t happen and it won t if proper care is taken around treestands. SOME TIPS FOR TREE STAND SAFETY The Fish and Wildlife folks in just about every state have released some tips to save your neck from being broken on a fall from a treestand. Choose a live straight tree. Buy smart. Only use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA). Inspect them each time you use them. Know the rules. On state lands it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees or to build permanent structures. On private lands you must have landowner permission to erect a tree stand cut or remove trees or other plants or to cut limbs. All stands including ground blinds must be marked with the owner s name and address. Always wear a full-body safety harness even for climbing. Most falls occur when the hunter is going up and down the tree and getting in and out of the stand. Don t go too high. The higher you go the vital zone on a deer decreases while the likelihood of a serious injury increases. Never carry firearms or bows up and down trees. Always use a haul line to raise and lower all gear. Make sure your firearm is unloaded. Familiarize yourself with your gear before you go. The morning of opening day is a poor time to put your safety belt on for the first time. Be careful with long-term placement. Exposure can damage straps ropes and attachment cords. Also the stand s stability can be compromised over time as the tree grows. Hunt smart. Hunt safe. Wear Orange. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 49 DON T FORGET THE HARNESS Deer hunters can sometimes act like bucks during the rut. They get excited about the hunt or even preparing for the hunt and do something dumb. For example most hunters never think about using a harness which could save their lives if they happen to fall from the stand. Hunter Safety System (HSS) makes safety harnesses and no doubt would like to sell you one. They also some good reasons for you to buy this product. For an ever-increasing number of hunters deer season is a year-round activity filled with brush clearing tree cutting plot planting camera placing and tree stand hanging in the relentless pursuit of the elusive whitetail deer said Michael Wydner HSS director of sales. As the preseason has become an increasingly busy time in the woods the frequency of falls from trees has also increased. But since these falls involve saws and tree stand equipment instead of firearms or archery equipment they aren t usually reported as hunting accidents. That s something that absolutely concerns us as we want everybody to come home safe from their hunting experience. 50 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM YOU HAVE TO STAND FOR SOMETHING Singer songwriter Aaron Tippin wrote the words that should apply for hunters getting ready for the deer season. YOU HAVE TO STAND FOR SOMETHING OR YOU LL FALL FOR ANYTHING. When you getting your treestand ready or climbing up there on opening day stand for safety. Otherwise you might fall for anything and ruin everybody s day...especially yours. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 51 SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL The late fall and early winter is mating season for deer known as the rut. This powerful urge to procreate presents opportunities for the savvy hunter. During this time bucks will do darn near anything to attract some female companionship. Just watch a young guy at a party or bar sometime and you will see variations of this rutting ritual. Bucks show off their masculinity in various ways. They sharpen their antlers by rubbing them on trees or shrubs. They fight with other bucks. They wallow in the mud or dust and they herd the does together. All of these activities make noise and get the attention of both does and other bucks. 52 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Just like young men in a bar bucks can t stand to be left out of something that might hold the promise of a few willing does. As a result most will use their superior senses of hearing sight and smell to find out where the party is This is where hunters can use antler rattling techniques to get some close-in shots. A FEW VITAL POINTS ON ANTLERS Deer antlers play a critical role in the animal s defense and self-esteem especially during the rut. Antler growth is timed to coincide with the annual mating season. For whitetail and mule deer the cycle begins in midwinter when the previous season s antlers are shed. This explains why there are so many cast-aside deer antlers lying around during spring turkey season. New antlers begin develop in the spring and summer and they are composed of living cells nourished and protected by a covering called velvet. By the time mating season arrives the velvet begins to die dry and peel away from the hardening antlers which the buck encourages by rubbing his rack against flexible saplings then honing the tips to sharpness on soft-barked trees. By the time the rut begins these antlers are hard and ready for action. RATTLING BONES Rattling shed antlers is most productive during the rutting season. In fact even though some hunters believe this rattling can bring in deer at any time during the hunting season most wildlife biologists feel that rattling antlers at any time but during the rut is a waste of time and ultimately can drive deer away. This suggests that even deer can get annoyed when someone pretends to be an expert but is in fact misinformed As with most things associated with fishing and hunting many deer hunters have their own special technique for rattling. Some rattle slow wait then rattle fast. Some rattle for no more than 2 minutes wait and then rattle for 2 more minutes. Some won t rattle antlers after 10 a.m. This is reminiscent of the football fan who wears the same clothes and eats the same number of hot dogs in the same way each game because somewhere along the line he has developed a superstition about game day activities. As the commercial says It s only weird if it doesn t work. While every hunter will likely do their own thing when it comes to rattling during the rut a deer hunting guides generally suggest the following three techniques to improve drawing in curious bucks. BUCK-TO-DOE RATIO In areas where the buck-to-doe ratio is about even there will be more competition among the bucks and rattling will likely yield more attention. In areas where there are many more does than bucks any kind of rattling won t make much difference because the bucks can get a date with 2 or 3 does every night. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 53 START SLOWLY Start by rattling slowly and quietly. The reason for this is to keep from spooking any deer that happen to be nearby when you start to work your magic. Most hunting guides suggest rattling for about 90 seconds then waiting for five minutes before rattling again. As this process continues the hunter can increase the volume of the rattling and continue the process for longer. It s a good idea to wait for about 30-minutes after the first round of deer music in order to let a monster buck who happens to be shy make his way to your stand. CHECK THE WIND Before starting rattling check the wind direction. The reason for this is interesting. A buck will naturally approach a fight among other amorous suitors from downwind in order to hide his own scent and benefit from the element of surprise. The best place for a hunter to set up is at the edge of the field with the wind at his back. As always it is critical that the hunter does everything possible to minimize his scent. 54 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM SCRAPE THE GROUND After the initial rattling the hunter should scrape the ground or nearby trees with the antlers to give the impression of deer moving on. The hunter should stay in one place for at least a half-hour before moving on to another location. Rattling during the rut can be a great way to draw in bucks who are minding their own business in another part of the field. Even with animals and especially with deer curiosity is a powerful incentive. However don t overdo it. A mature buck knows when there s a party going on or if someone is just blowing smoke. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 55 RIGHT ON TARGET San Francisco Giants Relief Pitcher Hunter Strickland Talks Dominating the Mound and the Woods By ALANNA CONAWAY One of my first hunting memories that I can remember was sitting in the deer stand with my dad just mesmerized says the athlete. Since my brothers were older they were sitting in their own stand but we would go to the deer camp each day or every weekend and have the best time. Eventually Hunter did get to the age where he was allowed to sit in his own deer stand perched proudly with his beloved BB gun. It was kind of pointless in a way when I think back on it Hunter says laughing. You re not going to kill anything with a BB gun. I do remember some does walking out and just unloading with BB s As he worked his way through junior high and high school Hunter continued to hit the woods every chance he could. Rather than sitting at home watching television or playing video games he would often be found gathering up his closest buddies and hunting whatever happened to be in season. There are two things in life that Hunter Strickland is equally passionate about. The obvious one for the relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants is his love for playing baseball but the other is his infatuation with hunting. The desire to get involved with both sports started early on for Hunter growing up in Pike County Georgia with his four older brothers and two sisters. After he was gifted a BB gun for Christmas when he was 5 years old the young boy knew he was one step closer to being on the same level as his brothers and father when it came to their sportsmanship in the woods. 56 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 57 TURNING PRO AND STARTING SPREAD CRUSHERS Even when he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox s farm team in 2007 Hunter s passion for the great outdoors still was at the forefront of his mind. So much that after he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates AA team in 2009 he knew there had to be some way to combine his love for both passions. Through conversation in the bullpen in Altoona Pennsylvania with fellow pitchers Logan Kensing and Kris Harvey during a game the brainchild was born to create their own company to have the best of both worlds year round. The [baseball] season was winding down at that point and hunting season was near so we were all just talking about that Hunter explains of what eventually became known as Spread Crushers LLC. Before the game was over that day the pitchers unanimously agreed they would combined hunting with baseball but also a few other organizations near and dear to all their hearts. We decided we needed to start emailing some companies and see how it could go says Hunter. We put a little pitch together as far as what we were trying to do. The response was more than they had expected. Hunting companies such as Axion Archery Watson Airlock and Mathews stepped up to the plate to help Spread Crushers have a successful launch. It kind of blew up from there. So we had to make something official because we re just a bunch of rednecks laughs Hunter. We wanted to go about it the right way. 58 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Spread Crushers has since evolved into a sixman crew of professional baseball players and avid outdoorsmen comprised of Hunter his brother Rhett Strickland Dr. Robb Hutcherson Hunter Harvey and of course Logan Kensing and Kris Harvey. Together they bring fans and viewers a behind-thescenes look of both professional baseball and hunting through their YouTube channel social media sites and website (www. We re just about faith family and friends explains Hunter of their concept. What you see is what you get as far as who we are. We want to give the viewers and the fans a view of our life as real as it is. The webisodes spotlight everything from bus trips through the minor leagues to Hunter s clubhouse celebration and parade in San Francisco from the Giants 2014 World Series victory. They also shed light on giving back to the community as often as possible through their extensive work with veterans and the next generation of athletes and outdoorsmen. We want to teach kids the values of baseball and hunting showing them safety tips and how to go about it the right way by making a good shot because you don t want an animal to suffer says Hunter. We feel that it is extremely important to connect to the younger generations not just to pass down our passion for baseball and the outdoors but to instill at a young age the importance of giving back and helping others. By doing this we are not only passing down a hunting tradition but more so a true American way of life. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 59 Hunter s first priority throughout the spring and summer months is his key role with the Giants as one of their strong arms in the bullpen. Hunter made his Major League Baseball debut on September 1 2014 with the San Francisco Giants helping assist in the teams World Series victory that year. But make no mistake if a hunting opportunity arises through the season he does what he can to hit the woods. Even when heading out to the woods for a hunt isn t an option while on the road Hunter still enjoys rallying the team into a little skeet shooting or practicing with his bow not only stay sharp on the hunt but also on the mound. There are a lot of guys on the team who hunt and enjoy the outdoors says Hunter. I think I have helped with that a little bit. Last year for instance we had an off day so I set up a private skeet and trap shoot at a gun club in Martinez California. It was kind of a challenge for the guys to get out and just do something different. Every time we would go out to shoot the next 10 games we were tearing people up We said whenever we get in a slump we need to go shoot or practice something like that. It gets your mind away from baseball a little bit. It s healthy competition in a different way. Throughout his time with the Giants Hunter has worked with some of the greatest athletes of his generation such as All Star catcher (and future Hall of Famer) Buster Posey. He has taught me to focus on one pitch at a time to hit my spots a little bit better and not worry about the outcome so much Hunter reveals of his working relationship with Buster. Any hitter up there can beat you at any given time. Obviously I have had some ups and downs with that but it s a game of adjustments. If you don t make the adjustments you re not going to stay. You re going to get beat sometimes and you re going to win. Hopefully you win more than you get beat. It s a learning experience. You go up there and take it one pitch at a time. You try to do your job on that pitch and if you re fortunate enough to throw another one if [Giants manager Bruce] Bochy leaves you out there you continue to do your job. 60 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM It s a dream come true He also credits bow hunting to help keep him in line when facing off with batters behind the plate. When I m pitching I tend to start to drift and draw across my body as the season winds on he explains. That s something I really have to pay attention to personally. I kind of relate it to bow hunting or shooting a gun. If you re drifting away from the target as far as just an inch you re going to wind up being feet away from the target. It s kind of the same thing as pitching. You have to stay in a direct line to the plate and make sure your pitch is that much more deceptive that way just like looking through a scope. Hunting is something I enjoy so if I can relate it to my work in any way that makes it even better Obviously you hope to do your best so you can stick around he concludes. It s a dream come true that you ve been dreaming about since you were a kid. Once you get there you want to stay there so you have to figure out a way to stay because there s always somebody knocking on the door just like there s your neighbor hunting that same deer. I don t want to take it for granted and I don t want this game to change me in any way. I can see where it can change some people because you re in the spotlight. But at the end of the day that doesn t matter. We re all just regular normal people. That s the way I look at it. I m the same guy from Pike County Georgia where there ain t nothing but farmland and good people. Only thing different now is I m doing a job I love and living a dream during the winter. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 61 62 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM CHARLIE DANIELS NIGHT HAWK TALKS ABOUT A NEW COLLECTION OF COWBOY SONGS WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 63 Country and rock artist Charlie Daniels is having a heck of a year. He has a brand new album entitled Night Hawk he s soon to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with an exhibit called Million Mile Reflection and to top off everything else young Mr. Daniels turns 80 this year This man is one of those rare artists who epitomizes the term ORIGINAL. From his days as a studio musician to his climb to the top of the rock and roll charts with songs such Long Haired Country Boy to the present day where he regularly sells-out the largest venues in the world Charlie Daniels is one of those living legends we hear so much about He recently dropped by the Outpost for another visit. Since Charlie s story is best told with the music he creates you might enjoy LISTENING to this interview rather than just reading it. As we do with many of our features we have the entire interview complete with selections from the Night Hawk album in this podcast. All you need do is click on the video player below and turn it up THE OUTPOST ON-DEMAND PODCAST Outpost Tell us about the new record Night Hawk Charlie Daniels Night Hawk is an album that has been in the works for ten or twelve years. I have a great respect for the working cowboy and I ve always wanted to do an album of cowboy songs. There s a whole culture of working cowboys on big ranches in the West. They still work cattle on those 1 000 acre ranches and I wanted to tell their story. It took me a lot of years to find enough songs for a good record and when I finally did we went into the studio and recorded it. What s the story behind the title cut Night Hawk This is a song I heard from a third-party years ago and I set it aside thinking that I would do something with it someday. When we got ready to do it we had a hard time finding who wrote the doggone thing 64 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM I don t know much about the song other than it is a great tune. I will tell you this the people who wrote did now a lot about working cowboys. Back during the big trail drives they had to have a guy stay with the cattle at night and they called him the night hawk. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 65 You have a great version of a classic Bob Wills song Big Balls in Cowtown. Did you listen to Bob and The Texas Playboys when you were growing up I grew up on the East coast and the radio stations didn t play much Texas Swing music. He wasn t known in my part of the country and he very seldom toured in my area. As I got older and heard some of the Bob Will Western Swing I became a big fan. This is one of the best-known cowboy songs along with Faded Love - and I wanted to do a CDB version of it. You do a really good version of Ghost Riders in the Sky on this record. Who did that originally The first version I ever heard was done by a crooner named Vaughn Monroe. He was a pop singer who did a lot of love ballads but this was a huge hit for him. Of course a lot of people have cut this song and I like Johnny Cash s version. 66 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Stay a Little Longer is another classic western song on this album I love that song. It s a western hoe-down You make an interesting point with this record. This collection is really more WESTERN as opposed to COUNTRY isn t it Definitely. It s got a whole lot more western bent to it than what we ordinarily think of as country music. The CDB is scheduled back-to-back shows through the rest of the year. Do you ever tire out of this type of schedule I love what I do so much that it s not work for me. I look forward to getting on-stage and entertaining people. I m addicted to it. I thank the good Lord for allowing me to do what I love to do to make a living I ll be doing this until He calls me home. You are a part of a special group of artists who have asked to join the Country Music Hall of Fame. What does this mean to you I can t even articulate what it means to me because it is such a unique thing to have happen to you. It s the one honor that you don t dare dream about because you have absolutely no control over it. There s nobody you can lobby. There s nothing you can do in the business. You just hope that one day there are a bunch of people in a room and somebody says let s put Charlie Daniels in the Hall of Fame. For me to be chosen knowing that there are a lot of people out there who are as entitled as I am is quite an honor. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 67 68 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https watch v PB2bQ7xL8Yk&list PLPYVr73t0OYLDmmSw4WEnQ1wfI-QjL-e_ You ve been performing for more than 50 years. What are you most proud of I am most proud of keeping thirty people gainfully employed for all those years. Some of these people have been with me for more than forty years. I ve been through births deaths divorces...these are my family. We ve had people who are like-minded and it s been a blessing. The other thing that has been gratifying is the opportunity to entertain people. I learned a long time ago that if you want to stay in the music business you need to learn to entertain people. You need to learn how to make people happy. If you can do that you can stay around a long time. If you would like to hear the complete interview with Charlie Daniels including tracks from his new album Night Hawk click here https user-728254917 country-goesoutdoors-charlie-daniels-1 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 69 THE OUTPOST VENISON RECIPES Outpost buddy and well-known TV chef Scott Layseth is the undisputed king of venison. This dude can BRING IT when it comes to preparing all wild game but he excels at recipes for the whitetail deer you harvest this year. VENISON MEXICAN MEATLOAF Serving Size 6-8 INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup onions finely diced 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and minced 6 garlic cloves minced 1 1 2 cups crushed tortilla chips 2 eggs lightly beaten 1 cup tomato salsa (your choice of mild medium or spicy) 1 1 2 cups fresh corn kernels 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 4 teaspoon cumin powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 1 2 pounds ground venison or elk 1 pound lean ground beef 1 2 pound chorizo sausage casing removed crumbled 1 cup sour cream 3 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon lime juice INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onion jalapeno pepper and garlic. Saut until onions are translucent. Allow to cool. 2. In a large bowl combine tortilla chips with next 8 ingredients and mix well. Add venison beef chorizo and cooled onion mixture. Mix all ingredients thoroughly with your hands. 3. In a lightly oiled loaf pan or baking dish form into a loaf about 4 inched tall. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until internal temperature is 155 degrees. Lightly cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 4. Whisk together sour cream ketchup and lime juice. To serve either slice meatloaf and arrange on plates and top with a dollop of sour cream mixture OR serve on grilled sourdough bread as pictured. Notes Try this recipe with ground waterfowl breasts 70 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM This recipe and more can be found on Scott s Layseth website WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 71 Hungry for a burger Here s another great use of ground venison from The Sporting Chef. 72 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM VENISON MUSHROOM AND BLEU CHEESE BURGER Yield 4 big burgers INGREDIENTS 1 1 2 pounds ground venison 2 tablespoons butter 2 cloves garlic minced 1 medium onion finely diced 2 cups mushrooms coarsely chopped 1 2 cup blue cheese crumbles 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs salt and pepper 4 burger buns 4 lettuce leaves 4 slices tomato INSTRUCTIONS Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir in mushrooms and saut until soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool. Add ground venison blue cheese breadcrumbs salt and pepper and mix well with your hands to blend. Form into 4 large patties. Grill pan-fry or broil patties until browned. Add to bun with lettuce tomato and your choice of other condiments. These recipes and a LOT more are available Scott Leysath s website Drop by and say howdy from The Outpost FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OUTPOSTART FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM THEOUTPOSTLIFE WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 73 GARLIC BUTTER VENISON STEAKS https lTYxfNFBzrs INGREDIENTS 1 pound venison steaks 2 cloves garlic minced cup butter room temperature teaspoon parsley Sea salt Black pepper Olive oil METHOD Set the EGG for direct cooking at 500 F 260 C with a Cast Iron Grid. Mix the garlic butter and parsley until smooth. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Sear steaks about 2-3 minutes on each side. Steaks should be medium rare. Remove steaks from grill and top with garlic butter. 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 TOR B U T TON S. COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 75 SUBWAY CARS GENERATE NEW MARINE LIFE IN GEORGIA A little bit of the Big Apple is helping increase fish populations off the coast of Georgia. The Georgia Offshore Artificial Reef Project covers about 116 square miles and consists of 20 offshore reefs two beach reefs and eight Department of Defense Tactical Air Crew Training System Towers. Reef Projects have thrived over the years due to the generosity of its many donors providing funding and or materials of opportunity. 76 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM These materials play an important role in the State s marine fisheries and coastal economies. The creation of long-term fisheries habitat also provides increased opportunities for recreational fishing and SCUBA diving along the coast. Each summer staff conducts offshore artificial reef monitoring via SCUBA diving at as many reef sites as possible. Through diver surveys staff can assess material structural integrity species abundance and diversity as well as fish and invertebrate biomass accumulation over time. THE FISH TAKE THE A TRAIN In July staff visited the JY DRH HLHA and L Reef sites in coastal Georgia waters to assess the condition of subway cars donated by the New York City Transit Authority that were deployed from 2008-2010. Through monitoring of these materials GADNR has found that some cars remain 100% intact while others have collapsed (see photographs) but still remain active red snapper habitat. These recent dives verify that regardless of condition the subway cars have created vital habitat for numerous fish coral and invertebrate species. If you would like to watch a video of subway cars being deployed as artificial reef material and see them underwater several years later just click on the video player below https watch v iySyeLOnaUs 77 78 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https watch v jRrOK95GwLk&feature WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 79 R U 80 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM A BAG THAT OPENS WIDE-AND KILLS ODORS O TP O There s a new gear bag that will not cramp your style or hands Plus it hides all human odors. The ScentPURGETM BigMOUTH Bag kit is your new hunting partner. The unit kills odors BEFORE you enter the woods and the bag OPENS WIDE and STAYS OPEN so grabbing your boots release aids clothing binoculars and more are as easy as a quartering away shot at 20 yards. The BigMOUTH Bag solves many problems hunters have -Simply put your gear in and turn on the unit and kill odors overnight. -Totes leach plastic smells into your gear this bag never will. -This BigMOUTH design opens wide and stays open for when you need to get to your gear in the dark. -Includes our ScentPURGE 50 with power plugs for both your home and truck. -Built tough and weather resistant with taped seams and rip-stop lining. Scent-free gear has never been easier thanks to another innovative Whitetail R product. The suggested retail price for the ScentPURGE BigMOUTH is 130.00 For more information visit ST G EA O U O TP ST G EA R PERFECT FOR YOUR POOCH BROWNING PET CARE LINE EXPANDS For Fall 2016 Browning Pet Care has expanded their line of products to fit the needs of performance and household canine companions. Added to the line is the new waterfowl hunting neoprene vest with handle. Made with 3mm neoprene this vest provides protection and warmth for cold days in the duck blind. It is available in 5 sizes to fit a wide range of dogs with adjustable hook and loop shoulder and back closures for a perfect fit. For the Upland Hunter Browning Pet Care offers a Safety Vest and the Chest Protection Vest. Both come in high visibility orange. The Safety Vest is made of lightweight rustle-free fabric that is tear and water resistant. The Chest Protection vest is made with neoprene and tear resistant fabric and is adjustable to fit snugly on any body shape. The Browning Insulated Crate Cover keeps dogs warm when traveling to the field. The cover has several ventilation flaps and pockets to help carry gear and supplies. Browning Pet Care also offers a variety of collars and leashes bedding a whistle seat covers and water food dishes. For more information on the entire Browning Pet Care line visit WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 81 R O U 82 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM TP O Gunner Kennels has designed one of the safest and most durable dog kennels available and Mossy Oak GameKeepers has joined them to offer the Mossy Oak GameKeepers Edition kennel featuring Bottomland camo. Gunner Kennels are designed for those who recognize their dog s commitment and loyalty said Addison Edmonds Gunner Kennels CEO and founder. I built this kennel to be the safest the most durable and the easiest to use crate on the market because my dog Gunner deserves nothing but the best. Knowing Mossy Oak customers are also gundog owners we re excited to partner with GameKeepers to build a kennel that can demonstrate customers dedication to both their outdoors passion and their dog. As the market s only double-walled roto-molded kennel this American-made product is also the most durable. The crate s construction makes it virtually indestructible and safeguards against even the harshest elements. Gunner Kennels G1TM was the Top Performer of the Center For Pet Safety s 2015 Crash Study. Each kennel boasts exclusive features that demonstrate it was designed with the gundog owner in mind including a lockable paddlelatch door designated tie-down pins skid-resistant rubber feet super-strong carry handles an oversized drain plug and drainage system water-repelling window vents and all stainless-steel components. Gunner Kennels backs up confidence in its crates by offering a lifetime warranty meaning this is the last kennel you ll ever have to buy. The Mossy Oak GameKeepers Edition Gunner Kennel features a door decorated in the Mossy Oak Original Bottomland pattern the brand s original design created by Toxey Haas three decades ago. Other special features include a black powder-coated latch that works seamlessly with the Original Bottomland design as well as an exclusive GameKeepers vinyl decal for kennel application. Gunner Kennels are offered in two sizes medium with a suggested retail price of 599.99 and large SRP 799.99. For more information or to purchase visit or call 844-486-6375. ST GUNNER KENNELS INTRODUCES MOSSY OAK GAMEKEEPERS DOG KENNEL G EA O U O TP ST G EA R WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 83 CALL OF THE WILD NEW ZINK MALLARD DRAKE WHISTLE The finer points of duck calling aren t mastered overnight. It s a journey a gradual evolution brought to maturity through experience observation and practice. One of the greatest keys to effective duck calling is learning how to observe and interpret responses ducks make on the wing and adjusting your calling cadence volume or style to produce positive results. In duck calling there s a proper time and place for everything. The new Zink Mallard Drake Whistle adds realism to calling turns and finishes birds when all else fails Contentment calls like the feeding chuckle signify security and are good bets much of the time. The drake mallard whistle is another call that can bring additional realism to a calling sequence often turning mallards and other ducks towards the spread when other forms of calling fail. Blown properly and sparingly a drake mallard whistle can work miracles on pressured ducks during quiet windless days and also provide convincing accompaniment and value when other callers in the hunting party are making hen talk to a group of working birds. It s a great finishing call too. Got a buddy who can t talk the talk Bless his heart. He can certainly blow a drake mallard whistle. Talk about blind diplomacy. The bottom line is that every duck hunter should have a drake mallard whistle on his or her lanyard. And the NEW Zink Drake Mallard Whistle is the one to own. This call accurately reproduces the full range of low-frequency tones and vocalizations real drake mallards make when they have something to say. With practice the Zink Drake Mallard Whistle also easily and realistically mimics the sounds of other whistling species like pintails widgeon and wood ducks. ZINK MALLARD DRAKE WHISTLE has a suggested retail price of 12.99 LL FA ZY EN FR 84 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 85 PREVENTING SUICIDE AN INNOVATIVE PROGRAM FROM NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION 86 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM A new partnership between the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) the nation s largest suicide prevention organization and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF ) the trade association for the firearms industry will allow for both organizations to embark on a first-ofits-kind national plan to build and implement public education resources for firearms retailers shooting ranges and the firearmsowning community about suicide prevention and firearms. According to recently released data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly half of all suicides were by firearm in 2014 and suicide accounted for almost two-thirds of gun deaths in the same year. In addition 90 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm are fatal. By working together to develop and deliver suicide-prevention resources AFSP and NSSF hope to help stem this loss of life. THE FIREARMS COMMUNITY IS CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM This partnership has been a true collaboration since we started conversations last year. AFSP sees this relationship as critical to reaching the firearms community said Robert Gebbia AFSP CEO. One of the first areas identified through Project 2025 was a need to involve the gun-owning community in suicide prevention. By joining forces with NSSF we reach both firearm owners and sellers nationwide to inform and educate them about suicide prevention and firearms and offer specific actions they can do to prevent suicide. Through Project 2025 analysis and the work of this partnership we know that this public education has the potential to save thousands of lives. The firearms industry has long been at the forefront of successful accident-prevention efforts and programs aimed at reducing unauthorized access to firearms. Since two-thirds of all fatalities involving firearms are suicides we are now also in the forefront of helping to prevent these deaths through our new relationship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said Stephen L. Sanetti NSSF President and CEO. Currently the two organizations are collaborating on this initiative through AFSP s firearm and suicide prevention pilot program which involves six AFSP chapters located in Alabama Kentucky Missouri and New Mexico. The goal is to take the program nationwide within two years. Launched in October 2015 Project 2025 is a high-impact collaborative initiative developed by AFSP aimed at the organization s bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Using a dynamic systems model designed by CALIBRE Systems AFSP has determined a series of actions and critical areas reaching across all demographic and sociological characteristics to have the greatest impact for suicide prevention and the potential to save thousands of lives within the next 10 years. NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AVAILABLE 24 HOURS EVERYDAY 1-800-273-8255 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 87 http watch v h1n7FAsiezo It takes amazing talent to put together a diverse set of songs in a cohesive album but that s exactly what Blackberry Smoke has done in their latest self-produced record Like an Arrow. This collection is amazing and will likely propel this group to super-stardom (although their legions of ardent fans would argue they are there now ). These tracks are a departure from the previous four BBS offerings. The songs are grittier and more in line with the live performances of the band. This is clearly a good thing. The always interesting website said it best (and in one sentence no less) Blackberry Smoke isn t just saving country music they re rehabilitating the status of all American music by baptizing it in the muddy waters of the all-immersive guitar riff delivered unencumbered and fully amplified flying in the face of all notions of present-day style or trend that acquiesce to eepish tones and textures shedding no tears if it leaves some of their previous mainstream fans or frail lightweights grasping their ears and heading for the exits as fire comes roaring out PA speakers like a primal country rock yawp. Yeah Who needs a bunch of periods commas and sentences when you re describing Blackberry Smoke. 88 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https watch v mE_tQDCgeJg NOT A BAD TRACK ON THE ALBUM As with most stellar albums there are no throw-away track on Like and Arrow. Listeners will probably like some tracks more than others but there are no weak ones. They all stand alone and work together from start to finish. For better or worse BBS will always be compared to their forefathers Lynyrd Skynrd. This is based on the dueling keyboard and guitars that both groups excel at. While there are worse bands to be compared to the Smoke kicks that southern rock anthem sound up a notch or two and it takes down the volume for a unique effect in a way that Skynrd would never do. Songs such as the muscular riffed title track Like an Arrow Waiting for the Thunder with its arm-waving chorus the coliseum shaker Ought to Know and blue collar anthem Working for a Working Man have been called some of the hardest most powerful tracks in Smoke s studio history by music critics. It s hard to argue with this they are smokin . The BBS boys can dial it back to blues and ballad level too. The Good Life and Running Through Time which are both written by Nashville songwriter Travis Meadows are tempo changers and stunning in their emotional punch. Fellow Georgian and obvious influence on Blackberry Smoke Gregg Allman joins the band on the closing track Free on the Wing a tip-o-the-hat to his classic Midnight Rider. The track Ain t Gonna Wait which features an acoustic guitar mandolin is another great change-up for the collection. Another great cut shows off the band s bar roots. Let it Burn shows once again that BBS was born to boogie. Blackberry Smoke is out on the road promoting Like an Arrow and they are playing within a day s drive we urge you to make it a road trip and catch this show. It s straight ahead rock and roll Like and Arrow. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 89 MORE PROOF THAT YOU CAN T FIX STUPID TURTLE PAINTING IN FLORIDA Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials recently had an unusual request for the wildlife artists who are painting well wildlife. Put down the brush And stop painting the turtles 90 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM You can paint your house a piece of furniture a canvas or even your own fingernails or toenails but you should never paint the shells of turtles and gopher tortoises the Department stated. While to you it may seem harmless painting the shells of turtles and tortoises can severely compromise their health--the paint can hinder their ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun cause respiratory problems allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and more. The reason for the public announcement is due to a number of reports the department received of painted turtles and tortoises in recent months. Apparently the rogue artists have been using the reptiles as a traveling display. Some people we ve seen have put phrases or sayings on the gopher tortoise shell whether it s with a sharpie marker or some other kind of paint material Deborah Burr the FWC s Gopher Tortoise Program Coordinator. Told television station WFSU. FIRST OF ALL IT IS ILLEGAL The fact that it is illegal to paint wildlife in the state of Florida doesn t seem to stop people from doing it. You know people think painting them is cute Burr added. Maybe it s a canvass for some people but it s really harmful to the animal. This is especially true for gopher tortoises which are a threatened species in Florida and already vulnerable due to their long maturity process. Notoriously Florida wildlife officials have warned residents in the past from attempting to rescue the animals by putting them in water. Gopher tortoises nest in dunes next to water but are poor swimmers and drown easily. Needless to say it is one more reason why experts advise people against trying to rescue wildlife. It often does more harm than good. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 91 MISSOURI MAKES PROGRESS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HOGS It may seem counterintuitive but the banning of hog hunting is having the effect of reducing their population at least in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and its partners are already seeing the benefits of grant funds designated to help fight the invasive feral hog population. Paired with recent banning of hog hunting on conservation areas this marks progress in the fight against feral hogs. according to John Burk a regional wildlife biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). John Burk a regional wildlife biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and a group of representatives of the organizations partnered in the feral hog fight had the chance to watch new trapping equipment in action. A frustrated landowner who d experienced significant damage to his bean and hay fields was able to benefit from a new remotely operated Boar Buster feral hog trap Burk said. The trap was deployed and within four hours 11 hogs were captured and removed from his land. Tony Jaco MDC s private lands regional supervisor for the southeast region said the partnership with other agencies in the feral hog fight and the assistance available to private landowners is the key to success. Over 90 percent of Missouri land is privately owned which is why it s vital we work with private landowners as well as other wildlife organizations to help get hogs off the whole landscape Jaco said. Win or lose we re in this together and we have to win for the sake of our native wildlife resources. Hog Population is Expanding for Several Reasons Feral hogs are a destructive invasive species that has expanded its range into Missouri in recent years. According to Burk this expansion is partially due to the behavior and biology of the animal and the rugged and remote nature of the Ozark landscape. However expansion has also come about as a result of the misguided efforts of those wanting hog populations to grow and assisting their dispersal and expansion by trapping and relocating them. 92 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Organizations that have partnered together in Missouri s fight against feral hogs include MDC NWTF Quail Forever Quality Deer Management Association Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation Missouri Corn Growers Association Missouri Soybean Association Missouri Pork Association Missouri Cattlemen s Association Missouri Agribusiness Association Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Farmers Association. The contributions of this group are improving MDC s capability of reducing feral hog populations to manageable levels. However it is also our responsibility as conservationists to educate as many as we can about the real threat that feral hogs pose to our natural systems and native plants and animals Burk said. The recent regulations to ban hog hunting on MDC owned lands is a necessary step in trying to get feral hog populations under control before it is too late. The Goal is to Eliminate Feral Hogs At its meeting on June 24 the Missouri Conservation Commission approved changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri that would prohibit the hunting of feral hogs on conservation areas and other lands owned leased or managed by MDC. The new regulation prohibiting hog hunting on MDC areas does not apply to private property. Burk added that these regulations are based on sound science and a desire to facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use enjoy and learn about their natural resources. The goal is not to manage feral hog populations it s to eliminate them Burk said. To have the greatest chance of accomplishing this goal a variety of nontraditional techniques need to be implemented. Different kinds of traps and trapping techniques combined with night vision technology aerial gunning and others are necessary to have a measurable impact on the growing menace he said. Hunting feral hogs gets a few here and there but hogs respond quickly and negatively to hunting pressure and this often gets in the way of trapping Burk explained. Trapping is better because it removes entire sounders not just one or two hogs. Burk asks for the community to join in the fight against feral hogs. If you know of folks that are moving pigs around or interfering with trapping efforts or are sympathetic to those that are try to educate them he said. This is a real threat to our precious native plants and wildlife and it should not be tolerated any more than poaching. Jaco added MDC is committed to the eradication of feral hogs in Missouri. The bottom line is that feral hogs are destructive to everything in their path and we re committed to ridding Missouri of this invasive species Jaco said. For more information on feral hogs in Missouri or to report sightings click here feralhog WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 93 94 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM photo Travis Wade 52 SHADES OF ADVENTURE By Jason Martin What does a 10 foot bull shark a professional female angler and model college tailgating a river float and the Appalachian Trail have in common. Yep...ME For this edition of 52 Adventures in 52 Weeks we have been all over the map...literally. I must say that this has been an amazing year and I really hate to see it end. I have had amazing adventures and met some unbelievable people. But we aren t quite done yet. We have a few more weeks to go and a few more adventures. But for now let s dig into these. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 95 BUTTS UP LADIES If you read my column before you know that I live in the suburbs or Atlanta. If this is your first time now you also know this. Atlanta has an unbelievable resource of water and wilderness activities that plows right through the middle of the city with the Chattahoochee River. It has been a long standing tradition in Atlanta for people to Shoot the Hooch . Although I did try once and somewhat failed (a story for another day) I have really never done this. So when given the opportunity recently I was all in. I actually just tagged along with my wife and her friends trip and was there just to enjoy the ride. When I heard Shoot the Hooch I envisioned white water rapids a guide and at some point in the back of my mind banjos playing. However to Shoot the Hooch one really doesn t have to do anything but lay there. Depending on the section that you shoot down it is anywhere from a two to four hour lazy river ride. As the ladies and I began our adventure down the Hooch we maneuvered the parking and dropping off of the vehicle on the put out location with the help of some newly made friends in the parking lot. I took my vehicle down and hitched a ride with a couple of total strangers back up to our put in location. It is a small world though. Turned out that the guy driving the car was friends of a great friend of mine. And as the Grateful Dead sing A friend of the Devil is a friend of mine. We put into the icy cold water with a little hesitation since none of us really knew what we were doing. But after a brief getting settled period we were off down the river. We did come prepared with a cooler full of adult beverages and the first were opened post haste after pushing off. Really there are only two concerns whilst floating down the river. The first is that you get caught in a slow part and have to paddle a bit to get you back into the moving water. The other was due to the low water level. Because of the low water level one could drag the bottom with...well your own bottom. Hence the title of this section. This was the warning that I would give as we reached low water levels so that the ladies would not bump their tushes. But without question Shooting the Hooch is an Ass Dragging Good Time 96 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM FROM TAILS DRAGGING TO TAILGATING On the other side of my world I am still involved in sports marketing for college football. Every year for the past three years it has been my job along with my video producer Chris Yates to travel the country to find The Gordo s Cheese Dip Ultimate Tailgater. Here s how it works. It is a bit like the American Idol of Tailgating. We scour college campuses in search of unique individuals that could potential darn the title of The Ultimate Tailgater. If we deem them worthy we will interview them put a short video up on line and they compete against other tailgater that we have also selected. We narrow it down to 24 contestants that are voted upon each week. After eight weekly winners we have a final week of voting. The winner is crowned The Ultimate Tailgater and receives a trip to a college football bowl game of their choosing. Without question every week that we are on the road is adventure in and of itself. But for the sake of this article I have combined them all into one big adventure. This year we have been to the following games South Carolina Vanderbilt Georgia vs North Carolina (GA Dome) FSU vs Ole Miss (Citrus Bowl) Tennessee vs VA Tech (Battle of Bristol with 160 000 fans inside and another 100 000 outside) Houston Cincinnati (where we hosted a nacho eating contest) MI ST Notre Dame Clemson Georgia Tech Kent State Alabama Miss State Kentucky Add to that two personal trips Tennessee Texas A&M & Alabama Tennessee WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 97 https watch v 37c8p6SK9Ks We have the good fortune of having to tailgate for a living. We meet some of the most unique and incredible people. Guys like Super Dawg who is a 76 super hero tailgater that has such a reputation over the 40 years that he has been doing this that the team (U. of GA) must find him in the stands in order to salute him. I could probably write a book on all the different characters we meet but there is no doubt that college football fans are some of the most passionate fans you will ever encounter. 98 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM YOUR GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT While we are trekking across the country looking for the Ultimate Tailgater we sometimes have some down time between games. This give us the opportunity depending on where we are in the country to either do a little hunting or fishing. After the FSU Ole Miss game we had that good fortune. Our friends at Tenacity Guide Service was overly gracious and took us out for an amazing day of deep see fishing. While there we decided to kill two birds with one stone and invited out good friend Brooke Thomas to join us. This worked out very nicely as she is also from with Bo and Deidra from Tenacity. We met up with Bo Deidra (soon to be a Mommy) along with Brooke for dinner and drinks the night before in order to solidify our plan for the next day. As with anything we you get several big personalities together there were varying ideas of what we would be fishing for on our day out at sea. But like a good Captain Bo take charge after listening to all involved and charted our course. When you are heading out over 50 miles off shore you need to get an early start and that s exactly what we tried to do. Of course we were late with Captain Bo patiently waiting on us. After loading up on camera gear and what not we pushed off for a day on the water. TAKE US TO THE BIG FISH Subsequently hearing the talk of big fish the night before Captain Bo set course to put us on goliath grouper and barracuda. After a little time and a couple different fishing holes Brooke was able to hook up with a nice barracuda. While the guys were busy snapping pictures of her we doubled up over on the other side of the boat with me manning the goliath grouper line. We had two good fights happening on both sides of the boat at this point. Ten to fifteen minutes of grappling with our perspective fish Captain Bo was able to see mine starting to surface. But I didn t hook a goliath grouper. I had caught a bull shark that by Bo s account was approximately 10 ft in length and 400lbs. He was video taping the two of us however stopped the tape at about the time the shark was surfacing to help get it to the boat. Unfortunately it is difficult to see the shark in the video. As well the shark decided to do a barrel roll when we got him to the side of the boat and unhooked himself. But even without much video of photographic evidence it was still one hell of a thrill to drag in a shark of that size. To watch the video click here https 406025349447632 videos 1218901441493348 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 99 The rest of the day we spent in search of grouper and snapper. We really were looking for dinner after the tussle with the shark. Captain Bo put us on both We were able to keep just enough for us to take back to our hotel that allowed you to bring in your catch and the chef in turn would cook up to your specifications. It was an incredible day and experience. If you ever get down in the Ft Myers area or anywhere close make sure you call our friends at Tenacity. They are great people and will most certainly get you catching some fish. 100 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM https WNP9QoOQGoM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 101 EVERYONE NEES SOMEONE WHO WILL CALL YOU AND SAY GET DRESSED WE RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE That statement sums up the 52 in 52 that I have been working on this year. Had it not been for my lovely wife Lisa I would guess ninety percent of what I have done this year would not have happened. In fact it was her idea to do the adventures. She just didn t have a forum to write about it. So essentially I stole her idea and she has pushed me to keep going one adventure after another. This last one is no different. If it were up to me a lot of the hikes that I have done this year would have started with a thought and then ended up on my couch eating a bag of Chips and Gordo s Cheese dip never getting any of them actually done. This last one would most certainly fall into that category. After being on the road for the good portion of two months taking off on an early Saturday morning to drive a couple hours could have easily been substituted with the recliner and college football on TV. But I really need the outdoor therapy having been surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people the last couple months. 102 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WOODY GAP APPALACHIAN TRAIL This was a 10 mile hike out and back. My comfort zone is about a six mile hike. So from the get go this was ambitious not to mention that I have been eating terribly on the road and although walking all over college campuses it doesn t equate to hiking up a mountain...unless you are in Knoxville. The trail head is very easily accessed just north of Dahlonega GA and is part of the Appalachian Trail. The path leads rather quickly to a summit on Preacher Rock at about the 1.25 mile mark. The views from this point are some of God s handy work. We had the fortune to both see it during full sunlight as well as on our way out for the sunset. The trail takes you deeper into the woods and crosses Lance Creek. However because of the severe drought in Georgia at this time there was no water running. You can catch a quick scenic view as you transverse through some switch backs before heading into Jarrard Gap. After getting into the trail at about the 5 mile mark with darkness looming we had to hustle back. The steep inclines as well as declines on the walk back became a daunting task. Cramps began to set in on me and was highly uncertain of exactly when I would get out of the woods. However after catching the sunset back on Preachers Rock a second wind ensued and we made our way out via flashlights along the last mile or so. WHAT S NEXT I had an amazing adventure planned next however it has gotten pushed to the Spring. I had planned out going to South Africa on a safari hunt. The plans are still there and I am certain that I will be reporting on that adventure when it happens it just may not fall into my 52. But an Ohio whitetail hunt will have to suffice in the meantime. HAPPY TRAILS WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 103 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. WHY DOGS ARE MAN S BEST FRIEND By Randy Hall - Attorney at Law I must warn you in advance. You may find this story offensive. I tell it to make a point. It has application and meaning. Circa 1981. I was 19 and my two best friends Joe and my brother Greg were born of the same generation. We were young mortgage free and embraced decade inappropriate attitudes anchored by childish beliefs that we had a lot of life to live . Additional details I neither offer nor claim as badges of honor. They are intentionally left to my embarrassment and your imagination. Despite our recklessness we shared many common bonds. Fast cars football and hard core bow hunting monopolized our time and what little money we had TOO FAR. TOO STEEP. TOO SOMETHING. When I say hard core I refer to the type of hunters that were willing to traverse into the deep brush where other hunters were simply too lazy to go. We hunted trophies. Deer that had no pressure because their non-rut habitat was so far into the Ozark hardwood mountains that common hunters would not fathom the walk. Too far. Too steep. Too something. Motorized transport limited as it was was for persons who were referenced with words which are improper for this publication. There was an unspoken eight point rule. And even then it better be a big bodied deer. It was a time when bow hunters were virtually nonexistent. To make the situation clearer we didn t have compound bows because they had just come on the market. These new devices were too expensive and our reluctance to embrace the technology was justified by our purist attitudes. We hunted with Bear single string recurves with 45 pound pulls. We taped our fingers with electrician s tape to avoid the sting from the pull. We didn t have sights because they were not available at the local J C Penny s. Wal-Mart in those days was more in the category of a Ben Franklin on steroids. Only an old timer can explain the concept of gap shooting to aim with a sightless recurve bow. I cannot claim that we used wooden arrows but do recall that aluminum arrows had just hit the market. Needless to say a bow kill of any kind in those days was an event. A thirty yard kill shot with a 45 pound recurve required a deadly aim a bit of ice water running in your veins and the luck of the wind. And to get a set of horns well you were an instant member of the local deer hunter s hall of fame. 104 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM LETTING THE WOODS SETTLE It was not uncommon to leave camp at 3 00 am for an hour walk or sometimes longer in the dark with minimum lights or none at all depending upon the moon phase. We did this to let the woods settle from our scent trails. We sought out the virgin areas where we believed the average hunter did not go. This in our minds was where the trophy deer lived. I have many stories to validate our theory. Many times I strapped myself into a homemade tree stand and catnapped until dawn. I recall many times being aroused by the morning sun perched on the side of a steep hill with multiple benches below me. Looking uphill my fall would be some 30 feet looking downhill the fall would be easily doubled. The risk was worth it because the idea was to see not one but two and sometimes three shallow benches. The straps to which I refer were not over the counter products used today. Such safety products were not available. Rather they were home made from old belts ropes nylon strapping hay baling twine and anything else we could find. We didn t use them for safety per se. Rather we used them so we could sleep in the tree waiting for dawn. We would pack some water a sandwich and a pee can so we could literally sit from first to last light. Looking back I honestly do not know how I could sit in a tree for 10 to 12 hours. I know I couldn t do it now. SOMEONE HAD TO GET A KILL This story comes from a three day early season camp. We vowed we would not leave until someone got a kill. Anyone. We had scouted and hunted this particular area for years. We had permanent stands in our favorite places. Each stand had names like the Cadillac Stand The Point and the Pumpkin Stand. It was deep in the White Rock game preserve where steep multi-tiered benches separated only by adjoining hollers was the norm. These mountains and hollers were so steep and confusing that in gun season the echo of reports from long guns caused debate about the distance and location of the shot. Family homesteads sparsed the hills but provided a few mountaintop fields that provided excellent ingress egress trail hunting coveted by savvy bow hunters. You couldn t get lost. Just head downhill and find the river or creek head uphill and find a mountain top field or wait til dark and the lights of a car will sooner or later show you the road. It was no secret among us where each of us would sit the next morning. We fed the fire talked recalled and retold stories of the past that we all knew by heart. It didn t matter. They were good stories we all liked to relive and retell. We didn t sleep that night. For a multitude of age and inappropriate reasons. They say the older you get you start to remember things the way you wanted them to be rather than the way they really were. It s true. I prefer to believe it was the excitement of our first hunt that year that caused me another sleepless night. It was a good hunt for me. I had seen horns but nothing within good range. I opted to maintain the solitude of my stand rather than release a Hail Mary arrow. Even so it was and always has been exciting to see horns in the woods particularly when the animal never knew that I hung high above its head. These times provide a chance to study the animals undisturbed in their own house. At about noon I crawled out of my stand. By mere accident I met my brother in the woods on the trail back to camp. Funny as it was we both heard each other long before we had a sighting and we both practicing the lost art of still hunting stalked each other for a good hour before I got impatient and ratted myself out. Greg always was the better hunter of the three of us. He has the wall mounts to prove it. TOUCHDOWN After a good whispering laugh and tongue lashing from my older brother for my impatience we eased back to camp. As we broke into a clearing we saw Joe approaching from a good two football fields away. His gait even from far away signaled frustration. When he saw us break out of the woods he immediately held his hands high in the air as if he were signaling touchdown. We posited that he had a kill and most likely needed our help to pack the animal out of the deep woods. When we arrived at camp Joe produced the feather end of a broken bloody arrow. Snapped in two with the other half presumably buried in some deer that obviously was not in camp. Joe storyteller that he was launched into a story that had us on the edge of our makeshift rock seats that surrounded the fire. I can still hear my friend recount that story and I can still see his eyes aglow talking with his hands as he did as he choked down a bologna sandwich. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 105 The deer was the biggest he had ever seen in any magazine or alive. Dark or light. Hunting or driving. Brow tines down tines and perhaps not less than 20 points with huge mass. Mind you we had all killed trophies before and there was no reason to embellish the story. I believed him then and I still believe him today. The deer was Boone and Crockett quality. quality. Joe had stuck the deer high saw penetration and had a good blood trail gone cold. This was typical of a high stick as we all knew. We also knew that high sticks are hard to find because the animals will eventually stop bleeding when the entry wound clots as the blood if a mortal interior wound goes down into the abdominal cavity as opposed to exiting through the entry point. He had tracked the deer since shortly after daylight. Tired and hungry he came for help. We gobbled a sandwich and agreed to look with a fresh set of eyes. We dropped off the side of the hill. The blood trail was easy to find. But hand sized gushes turned into finger sized spurts which eventually turned into spatters and hard to find spots. The trail faded quickly where the deer had entered into a 40 acre cutover thicket full of six foot saplings. Any hardwood hunter knows the frustration of tracking in a previously logged area. It all looks the same. And the ground cover is vertical as opposed to a horizontal leaf bed that readily exposes a blood trail. We spread out and combed the thicket for 200 yards. We came up empty. ENTER OLD BLUE 106 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM Joe was despondent. We were all tired. We were all approaching 36 hours without sleep. Even so Joe s adrenaline convinced him to make the two hour trip back home to get Old Blue . He was certain that his prized half breed dog would pick up the blood scent and lead him to the deer that in his mind was mortally wounded and would lay down and die. Old Blue s reputation generated entirely by Joe was greater than any verifiable accolades. Now I can testify that the dog understood that banging on a pot meant that a generous portion of Ole Roy dogfood was about to served. Beyond that I can attest to no particular prowess of Old Blue. I can not to this day identify any specific genetic line to which that dog could lay claim. He had the body of a short legged blood hound the hair of a border collie the color of a blue tick and the face of a poodle. I suppose if I had poked a deer of that size my adrenaline would have carried me to any vein of hope as it did Joe that day. We agreed to place the entire matter in the nose of Old Blue. We pooled our money for gas and Joe set out for the house. Five hours later dark was setting in and I had just woken up from a nap. Greg and I stoked the fire thought about dinner and lamented that we had missed the afternoon hunt. We then saw faded lights in the far distance slowly following the washed out country road that lead to our camp. Not that it mattered but Joe s burned out muffler on his worn out pickup verified our prediction. It was Joe with Old Blue. He was to say the least ecstatic when he pulled up with Old Blue in the front seat. When that squeaky door opened Old Blue hit the ground over the lap of Joe. No time to eat. Old Blue feverously circled the camp with his nose to the ground. In retrospect he was probably looking for some cast aside bread crust from a bologna sandwich. Joe armed himself with a sharp knife and 357 revolver....cowboy style. His confidence was infectious. Even I started to believe that Old Blue would lead us to that deer. Full of anticipation we followed Joe and that hound dog off into the woods where we last saw blood. It was a pretty good walk for me so I knew that short legged dog would be winded when we arrived at the blood trail. He was. THE CHASE WAS ON Joe shoved that dog s nose into the now dried blood which still illuminated with a flashlight. An immediate bay from Old Blue broke the silence of deep woods and then reported at least twice from the adjacent hollers. The chase was on. We chased that hound through thickets brush and briars where a mule wouldn t go. We ran to keep up. We ran without any appreciable lights. I still recall my face was scratched and arms had red marks from being swatted with sapling branches. Any exposed skin felt like my butt did when my momma would spank me with a switch. I didn t care. And neither would you if you have never heard a blood hound get hot on a trail. In a word it is exhilarating We chased Ole Blue for a good 200 yards right up to the edge of the same cutover thicket. And then without warning he just stopped. Old Blue for some reason just laid down like he wanted someone to pull the ticks off his white belly. He was tired. And spent. He was out of gas. He was not chasing a rabbit much less a cold blood trail into that thicket. Ole Blue just laid there despite all the encouragement from Joe and his well-wishing hunting buddies. Come on Blue. I can still hear Joe pleading with that dog. The longer that dog laid there the more despondent and I have to add agitated Joe became. Now be mindful Joe was exponentially proud of his dogs that came and disappeared without any discussion over the years. He did fancy himself a dog whisperer of sorts. He was a self-taught trainer with no real apparent talent or confirmed results. AKC Nonsense Joe in his own mind knew a good dog when he saw one. Purebred Ridiculous Ain t payun for no dog. Funny thing I don t ever recall him having any particular dog for very long. I really don t have an explanation for this phenomenon aside from this story. And I don t have any confirmed source or explanation of where he got his dogs. I suspect many of them just wondered up to his country house and he adopted them. WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 107 As you can imagine this was an all-out embarrassment. Two tanks of gas purchased with borrowed money he couldn t afford to spend four hours on the road not to mention the multiple guarantees of success when Old Blue got on this trophy s blood trail was a little more than Joe could stomach. We watched Joe s futile attempts to coax that dog into a chase to the point where I was beginning to get embarrassed for them both. As a matter of fact I am pretty sure I chuckled not out of laughing at Joe s misfortune but rather out of the entire situation. Greg followed suit as he usually did. It was one laugh too many and without notice Joe un-holstered his sidearm and fired. A three foot orange and yellow jet came from the gun that provided sufficient light to inform me of his actions. In the black of night with no moon there is nothing to rattle your teeth or nerves than a 357 fired within 20 feet with no warning. Yes he shot that dog out of anger disappointment and personal embarrassment. He walked off and left that dog in the same place all the way muttering multiple hyphenated words that I dare not repeat here. We never found that deer GETTING CAUGHT UP IN THE HUNT Joe was my friend. He has long since passed away and I miss him. He was killed in a motorcycle wreck. My brother and I speak of that day often and laugh. Each of us has details of that camp that the other either didn t notice or process for whatever reason. But our amusement from days gone by always focuses on Joe our friend and his country ways. And the fact that he was our hunting friend. However our recall ignores the true import of the event and how wrong it was to kill that dog. But the story has even greater meaning. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the hunt the trophy the kill if you will that we are willing to bend the rules or even break the law to be successful in the outdoors. Indeed I too have stayed in my stand beyond dusk knowing full well that it was illegal to shoot. I was looking for that rack that might just appear in the backdrop of light that might just allow me to pull the trigger. In Joe s case as well as mine breaking and even bending the rules is wrong. In those days regulations were light and what laws were in place were rarely enforced. I was not an attorney then and I don t know what the law was at that time. I now know Joe could have been charged with felony animal abuse in most states. But more importantly he broke the code of a true sportsman. Don t be cruel to animals that don t perform as you would have them. Not in the name of a trophy to impress a friend or for any other reason for that matter. And for goodness sake follow the rules of the outdoors. Ole Blue and Joe are forever lodged in my memory banks - for more reasons than one. I think I ll remember them both for the way I want things to be as opposed to the way they really were. I like it better that way. Isn t that the way it is with all of us Happy Hunting and Fishing. Email me with any questions or comments you may have at Randy And please be careful out there 108 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM photo credit Kyle Stapleton Franklin OH THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 30 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 109 WHAT S FOR DINNER By O Neill Williams O Neill is fortunate to try fishing for some really wild critters and really wild places. It goes with having a television show. OK OK I m bragging. However the truth is now at being 73-years old in October of 2016 I m enjoying the little close by streams and ponds and angling for a fresh fish dinner. With that in mind have you rounded up a cooler of crappie or bream of late Other than North Georgia s Walleye which are difficult at best to harvest you really do have to be a specialist Crappie and Bream are the very best. I hardly ever fry a largemouth or spotted bass or a striper or hybrid. Catfish are good but I m getting lazy and rarely will go to the trouble of cleaning them not when you can buy them already fully prepared at the grocery store. I ll admit if the catch has been with a child whatever we catch we fry and eat. It s part of the deal so to speak. CATCHING PAN FISH Have you ever tried any of the Georgia State Parks and Recreation areas Most of the time the cabins are available even on late notice clean fully equipped and the docks and piers around are just loaded with bream and even some respectful crappie most of the year. It makes such a difference in preparation and fulfillment when you re doing something simple and can be ever so rewarding. 110 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM A few weeks ago I was in Bass Pro (what a surprise ) and saw these little boxes of dried crickets super worms what looked like meal worms and some leaches. What a great idea. I ve always been a proponent of live baits when fishing with a child because you can let him or her play with the bait if the fishing is slow. The little boxes of very usable fish bait for panfish are called Fisher s Choice. They keep for months at a time stay the hook still smell like they did when they are alive when they all were but aren t now. The reward is that around the docks and piers at the state park lakes or your now best friend s pond the pan fish just love them. You and the chosen underage relative or even a neighbor s child can catch a mess fry them up and enjoy both the adventure the attention and the meal. Sounds like a good idea to me. Growing up I played all the team sports from Cub Scout baseball at age six to the usual mixture of pur- suits through college. I remember them well. Team successes failures championships and also-rans but the singular memories and what I write about most often are the one-on-one minutes hours and catches with my grandparents. We didn t have a boat often didn t have rods and reels only a cane pole and a box of red wigglers. What I m privileged to remind all of you is this Reach out to your children and grandchildren children in the neighborhood whose dad isn t a fisherman or outdoorsman. Pick up a box of crickets worms or whatever and drop a bait down around the docks at a state park catch a few and instead of being on a clock to return home stay there cook a meal watch a sunset and take photos WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 111 PHOTO OF THE MONTH 112 HAVE YOU MISSED ANY ISSUES OF ISSUE XI ISSUE II ISSUE III THE SEEING IS BELIEVING SUNGLASSES REVIEW UTPOST WADE FISHING THE SURF THE NEW LAKE EFFECT ON FISHING WOMEN WITH WEAPONS WILLIE NELSON HEROES HOW TO KEEP A HUNT ING DO G IN SHAP E IN TH E OFFSEA SON ALL HAIL KING MACKEREL READING STREAMS HOW TO TRICK TOMS TALKING TURKEY RECIPES TAXIDERMY HUNTING AXIS DEER CATCHING CRAPPIE CATFISH RECIPES BETTER BANK FISHING PLUS FACEBOOK FLASHBACK & BLACKBERRY SMOKE They re all waiting for you at our website WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM GO AHEAD. CAST A LINE AND REEL THEM IN 113 114 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE OTHER FALL TRADITION For 39 years we have been keeping the Bird Hunting tradition alive by producing lasting memories at the Plantation. Explosive coveys outstanding dog work and up-scale accommodations are available just one hour east of Atlanta. Season runs Oct. 1- March 31 Come just once and you will be a customer for life 1161 Blackwell Rd Newborn GA 30056 (706) 557-0407 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 115 What one has not experienced one will never understand in print. Isadora Duncan P.O. Box 983 Reitz 9810 Free State Province South Africa Matt 27(0) 72 540 0057 Jacklyne 27(0) 82 091 5903 Fax 27(0) 86 538 3660 info likhulusafaris 116 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM WWW.GEORGIAALLIGATORHUNTING.COM (229) 251-9929 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 117 MICHIGAN U.P. GROUSE HUNTS & FISHING TRIPS These action-packed hunting & fishing trips are conducted in the game rich Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan at our Cast & Blast Lodge. We hunt on over a million acres of premier grouse habitat - recognized by many as the top grouse hunting destination in North America Both grouse and woodcock are plentiful in the surrounding aspen-filled forests. Fishing takes place on Lake Superior and Lake Gogebic the largest inland lake in Michigan. Lake Gogebic encompasses 13 380 acres with 38 miles of beautiful shoreline and boasts more state angler awards than any other lake in the Upper Peninsula. Species on Lake Gogebic include Northern Pike Walleye Perch and Smallmouth Bass. On Lake Superior the prized Lake Trout is the most abundant species and will be the primary species we will pursue. Coho Salmon is the next most abundant Rainbow Trout Brown Trout Chinook Salmon and Lake Herring are occasionally caught. CAST AND BLAST GROUSE HUNT AND FISHING PACKAGE 1750 per person (parties of 4 or more only 1500 per person). 5 full days of hunting and fishing - your choice. Hunters are welcome to bring their dogs with them or hire a guide. Upgrade to a fully guided trip for an additional 1000.00 per Group (includes dog handler trained pointers and fishing guide). MICHIGAN COMBO FISHING PACKAGE 1575 per person (parties of 4 or more only 1250 per person). 4 full days of semi-guided fishing on Lake Gogebic and then 1 day on a Lake Superior Charter Boat chasing Lake Trout and Salmon. Trip can be upgraded to fully guided for 200 per day INCLUDED IN ALL TRIPS Lodging in our resort which consists of 7 completely furnished cabins overlooking Lake Gogebic. All trips start with check in on Saturday afternoon and end with checkout on Friday morning. Each day starts with a continental breakfast a lunch at the lodge and a home style dinner each evening. 118 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 17 Crestliner Boats equipped with 90 HP motors. The closest airport is Duluth MN (2 hours from the camp). Corporate groups and family reunions welcome we can accommodate up to 30 people. Additional Activities o 4 public golf courses are located within a 30-45 minute drive from the resort o The Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino is located in Watersmeet MI approxiately 40 miles from the resort HTTP CASTANDBLASTLODGES.COM PHONE (724)290-9338 WWW.GUNDOGBROKER.COM WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 119 KAPRIVER OUTFITTERS PETER AND TERRY MARTIN 10 Erie Street Kapuskasing Ontario P5N 2C6 705-335-3163 Peter Martin pwmartin Kapriver Retrievers & Outfitters specializing in winter Timberwolf hunts Waterfowl & Bear Combo hunts as well as excellent Grouse Hunts over pointing dogs. We also train and sell started retrievers and pointing dogs. http index.html 120 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM THE BACK WOODS Do you have a funny hunting or fishing picture Do you have a joke that everyone should hear Email them to art WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM 121 122 WWW.THEOUTPOSTLIFE.COM