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Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Hunt Sheds

Why do bucks spend so much time growing antlers over the summer only to shed them five or six months later? "Scientists have pondered that question for years, and we still don't know," says whitetail biologist Dr. Mick Hellickson. He points, however, to a couple of solid theories.

Some scientists believe bucks shed annually so they can replace damaged antlers. If a buck had to live his entire life with snapped tines or a broken beam, he couldn't fight his rivals or posture for does. A second theory suggests that bucks shed and grow new racks (which get anywhere from 10 to 30 inches bigger each year) to keep pace with their increasing weight and girth as they mature.

Here are some interesting shed facts, along with tips to help you find more antlers.

 • After the rut, decreasing testosterone levels cause an "abscission layer" to form between the antlers and their pedicels. As the connective tissue dissolves, the bucks' antlers become loose and fall off.
• Bucks drop their racks from late December in the North through March and April in the South.
• Weather, snow depth, altitude and particularly food availability and nutritional value can influence when antler loss takes place.
• If your area has an early rut, bucks' testosterone levels will decrease earlier and, as a result, some deer will cast their racks two to four weeks earlier than usual. A severe winter with a lot of snow can also cause stressed deer to shed earlier.
• It was once believed that bucks withdrew to a secluded place to shed their antlers—away from does and rival bucks—thus avoiding a public loss of virility. Today's top biologists nix that idea, saying deer are probably unaware of when and where they'll lose their headgear.
• Most older bucks shed antlers earlier than younger bucks do.
• According to Hellickson, the specific time a buck will shed his antlers might be determined heavily by his individual antler cycle. This is independent of other bucks' cycles and is probably centered on birth date.
• A study in Mississippi found that individual penned bucks usually shed their antlers during the same week each year. Other studies of captive deer show that bucks usually shed both antlers within three days of each other.

• Don't hunt too early. If you bump a one-antlered monster, it's not likely you'll find both sheds in that area.
• Glass winter-feeding areas where deer congregate (e.g., corn, soybean and hay lots) every few days until you see few, if any, bucks with antlers. Then start looking.

• Another option is to hang digital trail cameras around feeding areas, or even near bait piles, if they are legal in your area. Once the bucks in your images go antlerless, start hunting hard.
• Check trails that enter and exit a feed field. Bucks often walk only 100 to 300 yards and then lie down out of the wind on the first east- or south-facing hillside. You might find sheds on or just off a trail or along the bedding slope.
• Rainy days are great—sheds shine and catch your eye. Bones can be tough to spot in brown grass lit with sunlight.
• The biggest mistake people make is to wander around, looking too far out front and all over. Mark off small grids of land, walk slowly over each and look straight down at the ground for sheds.
• Wear soft-soled boots. Iowa shed expert Don Kisky stepped on a stick one April day—or so he thought. He dug through the leaves and uncovered a five-point, 75-inch shed. With the other antler and an 18-inch spread, that giant would have easily pushed 170 inches.

Kansas hunter Joey Rott wrote to me at my Big Buck Zone blog and told me about matching sheds he'd found one day last spring after just 15 minutes of searching—they scored almost 200 points! Rott had glassed hard and smart and he'd stayed out of the woods until just the right time. Even more, his dad found the same buck's sheds from the previous year in the same area, on the same day. Obviously, Rott has found the monster's core area and now has a hot spot to bowhunt next season.

 Outdoor video producers Mark and Terry Drury and a group of friends were hunting an Iowa farm last March when one of the guys stepped on Heart Attack, a legendary buck that had roamed the area for years. Several hunters had had heart-stopping encounters with the monster, but nobody could get him. In his last years, Heart Attack lived in a core area of about 200 acres and moved exclusively at night during hunting season. Each spring, shed hunters find many decomposing deer that either were lost by hunters, were hit by cars or died of natural causes. But this was the find of the decade. Heart Attack's 10-point rack was almost 30 inches wide and gross-scored 199.

By: OutdoorLife

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Light Goose Licenses Available

Light goose hunters planning to hunt during North Dakota’s spring season can purchase a license online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website. The season opens Feb. 16 and continues through May 5.
Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s 2012-13 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase either a 2013-14 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license.

Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2013 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season
license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall hunting season regulation. A federal duck stamp is not required for either residents or nonresidents.Licenses are available only from the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office, the department’s website at, or by calling (800) 406-6409.

Availability of food and open water dictate when snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early April. If this winter’s mild weather conditions continue, light geese could arrive earlier than normal.  However, movements into and through the state will depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the snow line.

Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program registration number before venturing out into the field. The HIP number can be obtained online or by calling (888) 634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license.

The Game and Fish Department will provide hunters with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can access the department’s website, or call (701) 328-3697, to receive generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be updated periodically during the week.

The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit. Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this season.

There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.

Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state.

To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or attempting any off-road travel during this season. Sprouted winter wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.
All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the 2013 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2012 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide. 

Written By: Outdoors Weekly

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Turkey hunters spring forward

Springfield — Is this the spring turkey hunters finally push past the state record?

Optimism runs high due to the health and size of the state’s turkey flock, favorable conditions in the fields and last year’s harvest of 15,941.

The state record harvest of 16,605 was set in 2006.

“I’m hoping for a pretty good season and possibly some improved numbers,” Paul Brewer, turkey biologist for DNR, said. “We saw a pretty good increase last year, so we’re hoping for the same.”

Hunters had taken 15,121 turkeys during the 2011 spring season.

 This season, which opens April 8 in the south zone and April 15 in the north zone, is difficult to forecast, Brewer admitted.

“Talking to people around the state, there are reports from the field of very early broods this year,” Brewer noted. “Our annual brood surveys in June, July and August [of 2012] showed a slight decline in the number of young turkeys per hen that was observed. The reports show 2.03 poults per hen, compared with 2.19 last year. The long-term average is 2.35. However, This decline conflicts with some reports we had from our field biologists, particularly in the northwest and southern part of the state.”

Brewer said the differences may be a factor of survey takers not being able to see turkeys last summer, which featured taller-than-normal crops due to early spring planting.

“Also, hot and dry weather may have kept hens and young turkeys closer to water sources and in more shaded locations,” Brewer said. “Hot weather also reduced the amount of time many of our observers were in the outdoors to make observations.”

Weather will again play a major role in this spring’s harvest – not because of the impact it will have on the turkeys, but because of the impact it can have on hunters.

“When you look at a season harvest, you have to a account for the cold, wet mornings that hunters decide aren’t worth sitting through,” Brewer said. “We’ve all been there.”

He pointed to last year’s harvest bump as an example of how weather positively affected both turkeys and hunters.

“The mild winter that preceded the 2012 spring hunting season very likely improved the survival of wild turkeys,” he said. “That, combined with excellent weather during the hunting season, likely contributed to the bigger harvest.”

As far as specific parts of the state, north zone hunters led the harvest once again last spring, taking 8,935 birds, a slight increase over the 8,652 harvested in 2011.

South zone hunters took 7,006 turkeys last spring, 537 more than in 2011.

Counties with the highest harvests in the north zone were Jo Daviess with 638 gobblers, Pike 452, Fulton 404, Adams 366 and Macoupin 314.

The top south zone counties were Jefferson 486, Wayne 386, Pope 380, Randolph 332 and Marion 331.

Youth hunts open the season

Youth hunters and their mentors will again take first strike at the spring season.

Last year, youth-season hunters harvested a record 1,300 turkeys, a big jump over the 748 taken in 2011 and the 737 taken in 2010.

“Weather last year during both youth hunt weekends was a big reason for the record harvest in 2012,” Brewer said. “A wet spring in 2011 once again contributed to below-average turkey reproduction in many areas, but a good mast crop and a very mild winter were working in favor of late-spring broods.”
In 2012, spring youth season turkey permits totaled 4,100.

State’s turkeys handled drought, heat

Many hunters have been concerned about how turkeys handled last summer’s extreme heat and drought.
The answer: they handled it just like we did.

“They can overheat,” said Kent Adams, an Effingham, Ill.-based wildlife biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Adams said during last year’s heat, wild turkeys sought out shaded areas, especially around creeks and streams, where they could get a drink and also expand their menu of invertebrates at water’s edge. He added that dry spring weather in the nesting season generally correlates to higher breeding success.
If drought managed to have an effect on wild turkeys, Adams said, it would take several seasons of drought. In that scenario, a lack of food could claim casualties on late-hatched poults, especially since young-of-the-year wild turkeys rely heavily on insects, especially earlier in their life cycle.

Written By: Ralph Loos

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fear of new regulations keeping gun stores busy

GRAND TRAVERSE CO. -- The expectation that the Obama Administration will push for stricter gun safety legislation has kept gun shops here and across the country busy.

The Armory in Traverse City has been selling large amounts of ammunition. They say ammunition is flying off the shelves within hours of being stocked.

CNN Money is also reporting that Smith and Wesson claimed earnings more than tripled for the company in the recent quarter.

The company, which is the nation's second biggest publicly traded gun company said it earned $17.5 million in the last quarter, up from $5.4 million in the same period last year.

The price of guns and ammunition has also risen in the last couple months but store owners say that is not slowing down customers.

Many gun owners are not supportive of new laws that could restrict the sale of ammunition and guns.

Written By: Anne Cook

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 Florida Spring Turkey Season

What you need to know

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers 42 public hunting areas statewide where hunters need only to “walk on” to hunt spring turkeys.

Hunters need a hunting license ($17 for residents, $46.50 for nonresident 10-day license), management area permit ($26.50) andturkey permit ($10 for residents, $125 for nonresidents) to spring turkey hunt on the following areas.

These licenses and permits can be purchased while in Florida at county tax collectors’ offices and at most retail outlets that sell hunting/fishing supplies.  They also can be bought with a credit card by calling 888-486-8356 or going online at

Shooting hours during spring turkey season on these areas are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.  The only firearms allowed to take a spring turkey on wildlife management areas (unless otherwise noted below) are shotguns and muzzleloading shotguns, using shot no larger than No. 2.  Bows and crossbows also may be used.

Only gobblers (male) and bearded turkeys may be taken.  The daily bag limitis one turkey, and the season limit is two.  Baiting is against the law, but using decoys is allowed.
 You may not use dogs to hunt turkeys, use recorded turkey calls or sounds, or shoot turkeys while they are on the roost (in a tree).

Spring turkey season runs March 16 – April 21 in the following wildlife management areas, unless otherwise noted below.  Click on an area’s link to download its rules and regulations, including a map of the area.

Osceola turkeys inhabit these areas

Arbuckle WMA - 13,531 acres in Polk County.  Season runs March 19-21 and April 2-4.  There are 5 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.  Camping allowed only by permit from the Division of Forestry by calling 863-635-7801.
Big Bend WMA - Jena Unit - 12,522 acres in Dixie County.

Big Cypress WMA - 565,848 acres in Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Season runs March 2 – April 7.  Camping allowed.

Devil's Hammock WMA - 7,635 acres in Levy County.  Season runs March 16-24.  There are 15 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.

Green Swamp WMA - 50,692 acres in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first weekend, but there are 200 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis for the remainder of season.  Camping allowed only by special permit from the FWC.

Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA - 23,646 acres in Osceola County.  Camping allowed.

J.W. Corbett WMA - 60,288 acres in Palm Beach County.  Season runs March 2 – April 7, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only.  Camping allowed.

Jumper Creek WMA - 10,552 acres in Sumter County.  Camping allowed but only accessible by boat.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area - 21,000 acres in Polk and Osceola counties.  Camping allowed first-come, first-served only at designated campsites.  Management area permit not required.

Kissimmee River Public Use Area - 30,804 acres in Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk counties.  Area is split between hunting zones A and C.  When hunting Zone A, the season runs March 2 – April 7.  For camping information only, call the South Florida Water Management District at 866-433-6312, option 2.  Management area permit not required. 

Lake Monroe WMA - 3,098 acres in Volusia and Seminole counties.

Lochloosa WMA - 11,149 acres in Alachua County.

Log Landing WMA - 5,048 acres in Dixie, Gilchrist and Lafayette counties.  Season runs March 16-17, 22-24 and 29-31, and April 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge - 53,000 acres in Dixie and Levy counties.  Management area permit not required, but hunter must sign copy of area’s hunting brochure and have in his possession.  

Richloam WMA - 58,146 acres in Hernando, Pasco, Sumter and Lake counties.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first nine days, but those without one may hunt the remainder of the season: March 25 through April 21.  Camping allowed only by permit from Division of Forestry by calling 352-754-6896.

Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area - 7,272 acres in Alachua and Bradford counties.  Only bows and muzzleloaders (including muzzleloading rifles) are legal.

Three Lakes WMA - 63,470 acres in Osceola County.  Camping allowed.

Upper Hillsborough WMA - 5,178 acres in Polk and Pasco counties.  Wednesdays and Thursdays only.  There are 75 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.  Camping allowed. 

Upper St. Johns River Marsh WMA - 120,386 acres in Brevard and Indian River counties.  Camping allowed.

Eastern turkeys inhabit these areas

Apalachicola National Forest - 581,290 acres in Franklin, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties.  Camping allowed.

Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area - 86,140 acres in Franklin and Gulf counties.  Camping allowed.  Management area permit not required.  

Aucilla WMA - 50,471 acres in Jefferson and Taylor counties.  Camping allowed.

Big Bend WMA:
Hickory Mound Unit - 14,427 acres in Taylor County. 
Snipe Island Unit - 11,687 acres in Taylor County.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first 16 days, but those without one may hunt the remainder of the season: April 1-7.
Spring Creek Unit - 14,600 acres in Taylor County.
Tide Swamp Unit - 19,538 acres in Taylor County.

Blackwater WMA - 191,651 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.  Camping allowed.

Chipola River WMA - 9,094 acres in Jackson and Calhoun counties.  Quota permit required to hunt Altha Tract only.  Camping allowed at designated campsite only.

Choctawhatchee River WMA - 57,688 acres in Bay, Walton and Washington counties.  Southern (non-spring turkey quota area) portion of the area may be hunted without quota permit.  Camping allowed.

Econfina Creek WMA - 41,424 acres in Washington, Bay and Jackson counties.  Quota permit not required to hunt after the first nine days, except in the Cat Creek and Fitzhugh Carter areas (where quota permit is needed).  Camping allowed first-come, first-served at designated primitive campsites; group camping is allowed only by permit from Northwest Florida Water Management District by calling 850-539-5999.

Eglin Air Force Base - 265,000 acres in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.  Hunting and camping allowed only by permit from Jackson Guard Natural Resource Office by calling 850-883-1152. 

Escambia River WMA - 35,413 acres in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.  Camping allowed.

Joe Budd WMA - 11,039 acres in Gadsden County.  Saturdays and Sundays only.  There are 20 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.  Only bows and muzzleloaders (including muzzleloading rifles) are legal.  Camping allowed at High Bluff campground by permit from Division of Forestry on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 850-488-1871.

Lower Econfina River WMA - 3,004 acres in Taylor County.  Season runs March 16-24.

Mallory Swamp WMA - 31,318 acres in Lafayette County.  Season runs March 16-31.

Ochlockonee River WMA - 2,790 acres in Leon County.  Saturdays and Sundays only.

Osceola WMA - 266,270 acres in Baker and Columbia counties.  For camping information, call 386-752-2577, 904-259-3997 or click on area link and see “Camping.”

Pine Log WMA - 6,911 acres in Bay and Washington counties.  Season runs March 16 – April 7.  Camping allowed.

Point Washington WMA - 15,247 acres in Walton County.

Steinhatchee Springs WMA - 24,422 acres in Lafayette, Taylor and Dixie counties.  Season runs March 16 – April 7.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first nine days, but those without one may hunt the remainder of the season beginning March 25.  The Dixie County portion of the area is inhabited by Osceola turkeys. 

Talquin WMA - 3,053 acres in Leon County.  Saturdays and Sundays only.

Yellow River WMA - 29,676 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.  Quota permit not required except when hunting Grassy Point area.  Season runs March 16-18, March 29-31, April 5-7 and April 19-21 in the Burnt Grocery Creek and Grassy Point areas; and March 16 – April 21 in the remainder of the management area.    Camping allowed in non-quota areas and at designated campsites in Grassy Point area.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fostering the future of outdoorsmanship

As winter draws to a close and the ice fishing season nears its end, volunteers of the Bremer Outdoors Team partnered up this past weekend with the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to get a group of kids out on the ice.
The trip is just one of the group's annual activities as part of a broader effort to keep alive and thriving the sporting traditions enjoyed by many in the state.

As explained on the Bremer Outdoors Team site: "We are using this interest to create a bond to enhance the lives of members as well as enhance our community. The networking power of this group will help members in both their personal and professional lives. In all, we will work as a team for the betterment of our youth by introducing them to the outdoors."

"It started about seven years ago. We wanted to provide an outdoors group here at the bank," said Brent Mattson, president at Bremer Bank.

The original idea had been to promote sport networking, but since its start has had "an overall focus on our youth. That's the future for hunting and fishing," said Mattson, "getting kids involved. It's a good experience, and hopefully something they can take forward."

Mattson and group co-founder Greg Gullickson, an outreach biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, host televised segments for KMOT-TV aired every other Monday during the network's evening news broadcasts, as well as half-hour shows aired Sunday mornings. The series highlights the various tips, tricks and safety concerns pertinent to outdoor life in the region. Comedian and personality Jeff Foxworthy has even promoted the programming, the success of which Mattson has described as "surpassing what I expected. It keeps us somewhat busy."

Every March the group joins up with Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for its weekend ice fishing trip, such as the one this last weekend. In addition to providing the gear and expertise, Bremer Outdoors also donates hats and coats to participating youths. This year the coats were provided by the local Kmart and Wal-Mart locations. Kids and volunteers enjoy a day-and-a-half on the ice fishing for perch and northerns, with food brought in by snowmobile, lodging provided at a nearby resort, and sledding afterwards.
"Those kids had a ball, lots of fresh air and the outdoors," said Mattson.

The group stays active year-round. Mid-May brings Bremer Outdoors' Project Habitat, where kids construct a variety of things with materials precut at the Dakota Boys Ranch. This year they will build stands for birdbaths. A good turnout is expected, with up to 50 tables planned-for with volunteers lined up to supervise.

"All you hear are hammers going crazy; it's pretty cool," Mattson chuckled.

Project Habitat also has volunteers from Souris Valley Bowmen and the Berthold Sportsman Club help hold shooting events. The occasion is also a time to give, with Bremer Outdoors donating $1,000 to a local parent-teacher association and making "a sizable donation to a worthy organization," said Mattson, who explained that the group was still deciding who will be this year's recipient.

In the first week of September, Bremer Outdoors joins with at least a dozen outdoor groups from Minot and Berthold for their Youth Outdoor Festival. Gullickson organizes the event, held at the Game and Fish Park Outdoor Skills Center at the state fairground. With tables set up for the different groups to showcase themselves, food and drinks are provided as well as doorprizes that include decoys, guns, rods, and other equipment.

In addition, "Greg and I take some less-fortunate kids out fishing," said Mattson.
"Kids that need a mentor," Gullickson adds.

They find that the outdoor setting, the group activity, and the role-modeling provide youths with a unique opportunity for personal growth.

The Bremer Outdoors Team currently has about 250 members."You just need an account (at Bremer Bank) to be a member," Mattson explained. Members get a team cap and are invited to its annual adult social functions. In September the group reserves the Minot Gun Club, celebrating the upcoming season with shooting, dinner, and an update on the group's doings. "It's pretty festive out there," said Mattson.

Around February the downtown branch of Bremer Bank hosts an "antler brag," where hunters can bring in their season's trophies and converse with other sportsmen over dinner.

"Holy smokes, but we get some monster bucks brought in there. It's a lot of fun," Mattson said. Bremer Outdoors Team's next event will be this year's Project Habitat, on May 16. For more information on the group, its activities, and how to get involved, visit its website at

Written By:  DAN RUDY

Monday, March 11, 2013

In early coyote hunts, beginners scoring big

Frenchville, Pa. — Carlisle hunter Donn Reid has only been hunting coyotes for three years and had yet to shoot one. Although he carried the high hopes of any hunter in his heart, little did he know what was about to transpire during the early morning hours of Feb. 15.

“My friend Mike Wonders and I had set up around 6 a.m. on a farm in Cumberland County, and we were just waiting for the first light,” Reid said. “Mike started using a mouth call and an electronic call – moments later a coyote came straight in through a harvested field of soybeans, and I shot it with my .22-250 Remington.

“We let the coyote lie where he dropped and Mike switched to a Fox Pro coyote-pup-in-distress call. About 15 minutes later – just like clockwork – a large coyote answered our call and came in at about 50 yards from the right. My shot dropped it in that same field.”

Reid’s two coyotes, weighing 41.056 and 51.21 pounds, were entered in the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt – a statewide hunt centered in Clearfield County. The first coyote brought him $122, but the second coyote ended up finishing first (pending polygraph testing on Feb. 23) and earning him the grand prize of $7,880.
Reid plans on sharing the prize money with his two hunting partners – Wonders and Brad Weston – both of Newville.

After celebrating, Reid hopes to have enough money left over to have both coyotes mounted.
Reid was not the only first-time coyote-shooter to score big this winter. Perry Clark, of Dalton, Lackawanna County, took the top spot in the Feb. 8-10 Cresson Community Sportsmen’s Association hunt, with a 44-pound male coyote that he shot in Wyoming County during the early afternoon of Feb. 10.
“We picked up the trail crossing a road at around 7:30, and put our three Running Walkers on it,” Clark explained. “The chase lasted five hours. I saw the coyote five times and missed it on three opportunities before I shot it at 12:30.”

Clark was one of 448 registered hunters who turned in 37 coyotes at the Cresson hunt. His large coyote topped its nearest competitor by 1.3 pounds and earned him $2,000.
“I have been hunting coyotes a long time and this is my first coyote,” Clark noted. Exactly how long has he hunted? “I’d rather not say,” he smiled, “but it has been a long time.”

According to club President Ron Sartori, 3,940 hunters registered for this year’s Mosquito Creek Sportsman hunt making it by far the largest hunt in the state.  Participants turned in 129 coyotes this year– nine more than last year, but nearly 50 less than in 2011. Mosquito Creek’s cash prize package totaled $39,152. Pending validation, Mark Knarr won $4,728 for second place with a 45.35-pound Pike County coyote.

Teresa “Jill” Soliwoda, of Union City, placed third – for $3,152 – with a 45.3-pound coyote. Soliwoda hunted with her boyfriend and a group of 16 other northwestern area dog hunters. She shot two coyotes when they were pushed towards her out of a brushy fence row – both on early Sunday morning, the last day of the Mosquito Creek hunt.  Soliwoda has been hunting coyotes for two years, but these were her first. Tunkhannock hunter Bob Brown earned $7,632 for the heaviest female coyote – 44.75 pounds  – taken in Wyoming County.

According to organization treasurer Ed Price, the District 9 Pennsylvania Trapper’s Association Northeast Regional coyote hunt – the second largest in the state - grew again this year. A record 841 hunters harvested 58 coyotes, also a hunt record. The hunt awarded a $100 prize for each coyote taken during their Feb. 1-3 eight-county hunt. The heaviest coyote each day earned $250, and a 46.95-pound Susquehanna coyote – shot by Tim English, of Frenchville – took the top prize of $2,000.

The results from some of the smaller early winter hunts are also in. Matt Bittner finished first in the St. Clair Tremont hunt, held Jan. 25-27, with a 40.04-pound coyote. During that Johnstown-centered hunt, 76 registered hunters turned in eight coyotes and nine foxes.

That same weekend, Bill Cameron, of Danville, had the top dog in the Promised Land Sportsmen’s hunt – a 40-pound male. It was the heaviest of only three coyotes entered by 56 registered hunters. According to hunt spokesperson Bob Larkin, participation in their hunt was a little off this year because they did not hold a hunt in 2012.

The 107 hunters entering in the Woodcock Valley Sportsmen hunt battled cold, windy and snowy conditions to bag 12 red foxes, 16 gray foxes and zero coyotes in its  Feb. 1-3 predator hunt. According to Deb Riley, club spokesperson, because no coyotes were shot, the club decided to pay out more money to the fox hunters and added extra places in the red and gray fox divisions. The club’s prize package totaled $1,510.
Organizer Galen Baney reported that eight coyotes and 14 foxes (12 red and two gray) were bagged by the 94 registered hunters in the Shaver’s Creek Fire Company hunt, which was held Feb. 8-10.

“This was an odd hunt for us.  Even though it is a statewide hunt, all of the coyotes came from Huntingdon, Centre and Blair counties – and none of them were shot by hunters running dogs,” Baney noted. A 35.3-pound coyote shot by Gary Eberle in Huntingdon County took the top prize.
Only two of the 48 registered hunters were successful at the Pennsylvania State Hunters’ Perry County coyote hunt.

Larry Bennett, of Stewartstown, harvested a Centre County coyote, and Timothy VanHorn, of Nazareth, shot a coyote in Northampton County. Both hunters were using calls and they split the purse of $690.

Friday, March 8, 2013

2013 Whitetail Hunts Available

Now is the time to reserve your 2013 deer hunting dates, especially if you want to come during a prime time.  We have some great whitetail hunting dates available, but they won't last long.  Most of our prime dates fill up early.  We had a good 2012 whitetail season with many of our hunters rebooking for 2013.  Unusual weather made some weeks great and other weeks slower.  One thing we do know is that a lot of nice bucks made it through the season and will add growth for next year!  This should make 2013 an incredible year for trophy whitetails. Not all of our hunters have the ability to rebook as financial and family commitments prohibit them from coming each year.  This leaves a few hunts available for each week.  Also Thanksgiving will be a week later in 2013 giving us an extra archery rut week!  Please call us today to book your hunt for this fall. 800-717-4868.

Dates Available:

October 1st- 5th (Opening Week)                  $2550
October 7th- 9th (Three Day Hunt)                $1,650
October 11th- 15th                                         $1,950
October 17th- 21st                                         $2,650
October 23rd- 27th                                         $2,950
October 29th- Nov 2nd                                    $3,950
November 4th- 8th                                           $3,950
November 10th-14th                                                     $3,950
November 16th-20th                                                     $3,950
November 29th-Dec 3rd                                             $1,950
December 17th-19th (Three Day Hunt)            $1250
December 17th-21st                                        $1950
December-January Doe Derby (Three Day)  $ 750 (Can Shoot a buck for a $1,000 Trophy Fee)

November 22,23,24                                       $4200
December 5th – 8th                                        $3,350
December 13th- 15th                                      $2,450 (Muzzleloader Only)
Late Season Doe Firearm Hunts                      $750

Thursday, March 7, 2013

135,155 permits issued for 2013 spring turkey hunt

MADISON – There were 135,155 successful applicants in the drawing for 2013 Wisconsin spring wild turkey permits through the spring turkey preference drawing. A total of 234,765 permits will be available for the spring 2013 turkey season, and the remaining permits will be available through over-the-counter sales in March.

Postcard notifications to successful applicants should be arriving within the next few weeks. Hunters can also check on the status of their permit application online through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or by calling the DNR Customer Call Center from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).

Of the permits available for 2013, 345 permits are allocated to State Park and Disabled-only Turkey Hunting Zones.

Due to high historic demand for permits in Zone 2, as well as a healthy turkey flock in this zone reflected in relatively high recent hunter success rates, an additional 1,200 permits were available for the zone compared to 2012 permit levels.

“These additional permits will go a long way toward meeting hunter demand in these zones, and will allow hunters greater access to permits for their desired time period,” said Scott Walter, DNR upland wildlife ecologist.

Hunters harvested 42,433 turkeys during the 2012 spring season. Final harvest numbers for the 2012 fall season will be available this spring.
Spring turkey periods run for seven days
The spring 2013 turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 21, with six seven-day periods running Wednesday through the following Tuesday. This is a change from spring turkey seasons prior to 2012, during which the six time periods ran for five days. A total of seven zones and Fort McCoy will be open for hunting. In addition, hunters were able to apply for turkey permits within 17 designated state park units.

New this year is the opportunity to hunt turkeys within many additional state parks, during the first three time periods. Hunters interested in hunting on state park or state trail lands within the zone for which they received a permit should be sure to examine information pertaining to specific season dates and open areas for that property.

Hunters are reminded that the Fort McCoy spring turkey hunting season is managed separately from the State of Wisconsin spring turkey hunt. Hunters who do not receive an approval to hunt turkeys through the state drawing in a Wisconsin turkey hunting zone for the 2013 spring season are eligible to apply for a spring permit at Fort McCoy. Applications can be obtained from Fort McCoy by calling (608) 388-3337 or by visiting their website at
Leftover spring turkey permits go on sale March 18
The 99,612 remaining permits for the 2013 spring turkey hunting season will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday, March 18 at 10 a.m. Leftover permits will be first issued for sale by zone, one zone per day, with each zone having a designated sales date.
Hunters should check the turkey zone map (PDF) to verify where they want to hunt and then check the turkey permit availability page to see if permits are available for the period and zone in which they wish to hunt.

The following zones have leftover permits, and the scheduled sales dates are as follows:
  • Zone 1 – Monday, March 18
  • Zone 2 – Tuesday, March 19
  • Zone 3 – Wednesday, March 20
  • Zone 4 – Thursday, March 21
  • Zones 5, 6 & 7 – Friday, March 22 (due to the low number of permits left in these units, sales have been combined into one day)
There are no leftover permits for time periods A or B in the regular turkey management zones listed above. After the zone-only sales days, all remaining turkey tags will then be available for purchase Saturday, March 23. Extra turkey tags can be purchased at a rate of one per day until the zone and time period sells out, or the season ends.

A limited number of disabled-only turkey permits for state park areas is available among the leftover permits. Disabled hunters who have been issued either a Class A or Class C Disabled Hunter Permit should visit a DNR Service Center or call the DNR Customer Call Center at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463) beginning on March 18 after 10 a.m. to purchase one of these permits.

The fee for leftover turkey permits is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. All hunters will also be required to purchase a spring turkey license and 2013 Wild Turkey Stamp, unless they have previously purchased the license and stamp or are a 2013 Conservation Patron License holder. Residents and non-residents will have equal opportunity to purchase over-the-counter permits. Purchasing these permits will not affect preference point status for future spring or fall turkey permit drawings.

Leftover permits can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Hunters should have their DNR customer ID number ready. Hunters with any questions about when or how to buy permits may call the DNR Customer Call Center from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).
Youth turkey hunt set for April 6 and 7
Youth ages 12-15 who have already completed hunter education may hunt during the youth hunt on April 6 and 7 while accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older. In addition, thanks to the Mentored Hunting Program that took effect in the fall of 2009, youth hunters aged 10 and 11 may now also participate in the 2013 youth turkey hunt without first having completed hunter education, as long as they do so with a qualified adult mentor and follow the rules laid out under the laws of the program. Each youth must have a valid spring 2013 turkey harvest permit, license, and Wild Turkey Stamp. They may hunt in the turkey Management Zone for which their permit is valid, regardless of the time period for which their permit is issued, and may harvest only one male or bearded turkey during the two-day hunt.

Youth who do not successfully harvest a turkey during the youth hunt may use their unfilled permit during the time period and in the zone for which the permit was issued. All other spring turkey hunting regulations apply.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Turkey Season in Tennessee


Turkey Season in Tennessee

Turkey Season in Tennessee starts: 03/30/2013 and ends 05/12/2013. All Tennessee counties are open to wild turkey hunting including WMAs and refuges unless specifically listed.

Bag Limits: One (1) bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four (4) per season. Turkeys taken on all quota hunts and specially designated WMAs are bonus turkeys. Shooting Hours: Thirty (30) minutes before legal sunrise to sunset. The use of any type of food to feed or attract wild turkeys on WMAs is prohibited. Calling or attempting to call wild turkeys using any means to mimic the sounds made by turkeys is prohibited on all WMAs from March 1 until the opening day of the spring turkey hunts.

Statewide Spring Young Sportsman Hunt - March 23-24, 2013 (ages 6 through 16). One (1) bearded turkey which counts toward statewide bag unless taken on a WMA where turkeys are designated as bonus birds. Each youth must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device, who is not required to have a license.

Mid-South Hunting News 

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Hunting Clothing and Apparel for 2013

Whether you’re protecting your feet from the cold, harsh elements of Mother Nature or trying to stay scent-free from 30 feet off the ground, every deer hunter knows the value of having the best clothing and apparel available. As new technologies make their way into our gear, it generally means we’re drier, warmer and more successful in the field.

Because we know how important your gear is, we at North American Whitetail have compiled the best new hunting clothing and apparel from the 2013 Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show in Louisville, KY.

Button Buck

Need a last-minute gift idea for the young hunters in your life? Now they have an outdoor brand, appropriately named Button Buck, that is designed just for them.
If you have a 12-year-old or younger, you’ll want to check out the Classic new T-Shirts for kids. These sporty shirts are sure to become an instant favorite. Made in the USA, each shirt is vintage-soft and fashionably cut, and also features a screenprinted interior tag to prevent itch. Shirts come in six different sizes from 2T-12.
MSRP: $19.99


Whether you’re hunting on a cool fall day, shooting arrows in the backyard, going to your son’s football game or even walking the dog, the Diamantina Merino Wool Jacket from Cabela’s is just what you need to take the chill away.
With wool from Merino sheep, you know you’ll be getting some of the finest, softest wool available. And the tightly packed wool fibers can hold up to 30 percent of their weight in moisture without feeling damp. The jacket features a zippered front, two zippered pockets, one zippered chest pocket and shock-corded waist. Available in Cabela’s Outfitter Camo.MSRP: $199.99

LaCrosse Aerohead

Be on the lookout for the Aerohead hunting boot from LaCrosse Footwear when the spring of 2013 rolls around. With the innovative AeroForm technology in its corner, the Aerohead is expected to be a boot that compares to nothing that has preceded it.
In addition to AeroForm, boot enthusiasts will find LaCrosse’s Ankle Fit technology that ensures a secure fit on your foot, a shank at the arch of the foot for ultimate support while climbing in and out of treestands, and an adjustable back gusset for a personalized fit. Available in both Mossy Oak and Realtree patterns, and in sizes 5-15 for men.
MSRP: $129.95

Muck Woody Sport Cool

The Original Muck Boot Company is taking a stand against sweaty feet with its new Cool Series Collection with XpressCool Technology.
It will be incorporated into the Woody Sport Cool boot that will be available in the spring of 2013. The boot is an all-terrain hunting boot that provides support, comfort and protection, whether you’re in the woods, in a swampy area or having to trek through a stream or wet grass.
Mossy Oak Camouflage provides full concealment. Available up to size 15 for men and size 13 for women.
MSRP: $154.95

All remaining apparel can be found northamericanwhitetail