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Monday, May 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, May 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Gene Kroupa

Gene Kroupa: A heavy Iowa gobbler falls for some time-tested tactics

High winds, heavy rainfall, and a few tornadoes peppered the spring turkey woods and fields the day before Iowa’s third season opener.
Better yet, hens were already on the nest, according to my landowner host in Iowa’s Delaware County. Both events promised a good hunt. Little did I know how good. As I staked out a jake and two hen decoys in the darkness, a throaty gobbler rattled from his roost 300 yards away. His confident invitation to any nearby hen went unanswered.

Gene Kroupa: A heavy Iowa gobbler falls for some time-tested tactics Read More »

Gene Kroupa: Jakes on the last day are sometimes too tempting to ignore

Some turkey hunters have an aversion to shooting jakes – those yearling birds that sport stubby beards, but also boast tender roasting breasts.
I don’t suffer from that type of sickness, especially if it’s nearing Day Seven of the season and I still have an unfilled tag. However, pulling down on a jake has kept me from tagging a hard-hunted gobbler instead.

Gene Kroupa: Jakes on the last day are sometimes too tempting to ignore Read More »

Turkey poult survival focus of a new study in Wisconsin

Having a handle on poult survival provides wildlife biologists with a solid indicator of which direction a turkey population is heading, so to that end a gang of researchers are afield now working on a poult survival project in Wisconsin.
It doesn’t take a ton of poult survival to maintain a population. The current metric, or benchmark used to measure flock health is to see at least two surviving poults per hen. Anything below that ratio indicates a declining flock like what is being experienced in some southeastern states.

Turkey poult survival focus of a new study in Wisconsin Read More »

Get a gobbler going this spring with a barred owl call

The barred owl “shock” call is a good choice when trying to strike up a bird or roost a gobbler for the next morning’s hunt. This locator tactic also works well during other times, especially on overcast days.
Maybe you’ve never seen a barred owl nor didn’t know its name even though you’ve heard its distinctive “who cooks for you” call.

Get a gobbler going this spring with a barred owl call Read More »

Small parcels can yield big results for gobblers

As the morning mist began to clear, a tom hammered from his roost. Perched on a large hackberry tree limb in a finger of woods running up into a cut cornfield, the big bird was content to wait for hens to come to him.
My blind was nestled against a wild plum thicket next to the property line. The hen and jake decoys were set out 30 yards at 10 o’clock beside it. Since I couldn’t shoot into the neighboring field, the tom would have to cross over to my side of the fence.

Small parcels can yield big results for gobblers Read More »

Limiting your chances of losing a deer starts with shot selection

The sickening sound of a “whop” that likely signifies a gut shot sticks with hunters who hear that sound for a long time, especially when the deer runs over the hill never to be seen again. You hope and pray that some other hunter will finish the job.
When a buck zips across the hayfield during a drive, it’s hard to not cut down on the runner and take a poke. But having heard that sobering sound just once will hopefully give hunters pause when that circumstance rises again.

Limiting your chances of losing a deer starts with shot selection Read More »

Jump and gun: A brisk squirrel hunting tactic for these cool November days

The acorn-toting gray squirrel squirted from cover and headed for an old oak 20 yards distant.  Soon it appeared on the trunk only a couple feet off the ground. My little single-shot .410 barked and the bushytail dropped.
Like with so many “jump and gun” hunts, it culminated with a candidate for slow cooking in my blackened iron skillet. As leaves start raining down from the trees and undergrowth bends to the will of fall’s frosts, this hunting tactic can pay big dividends.

Jump and gun: A brisk squirrel hunting tactic for these cool November days Read More »

A sweet-corn approach to mourning doves

As my hunting partner Jim Rundell, of Madison, Wis., and I walked across the field, dozens of mourning doves flew up from the flattened stalks in front of us. We were heading for our sitting spots on opening morning.
With swivel-seat stools slung over our shoulders, we were brimming with anticipation of plentiful pass shooting action in the dove fields. Now, if you thought we were crossing one of the 32 fields the Wisconsin DNR manages for the dove hunt, you would be mistaken.

A sweet-corn approach to mourning doves Read More »

Lessons learned from a master of squirrel hunting

My friend Earl Jeter, of Champaign, Ill., was a master of squirrel hunting. But heart disease took Earl at the relatively young age of 56. We all have lost a friend, relative, or mentor like Earl.
But when the nights turn crisp and leaves blush color, memories of bygone experiences shared with Earl in the squirrel woods come flooding back to me.

Lessons learned from a master of squirrel hunting Read More »

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