NatBlogs

Bon Appetite Bruins

Bears are omnivores, which means they’ll eat just about anything; from plants and berries to insects and roadkill. Here are some examples of bears with rather unusual eating preferences. The 3 Bears, Minus 2 The Canadian Press reported a woman in West Vancouver, British Columbia felt a little like Goldilocks in reverse when she arrived home and discovered a juvenile…

Add a bead for winter crappies and bluegills

When using a bobber for ice panfish, consider adding one 3- to 4-mm bead. For crappies and bluegills, put the bead on the line, then tie the hook on, so the bead slides up and down the line. With this tactic, we're adding some extra bulk and color to our offering. As for color, pair opposites with the bead and…

When the Wild Outdoors Comes Indoors

You expect to find wild critters, uh, in wild places, right? Well, here’s what happened on a few rare occasions when they surprised humans on their own turf. Cougar Enters Bedroom, Snatches RetrieverIn one of the more frightening tales we’ve ever heard relating to bold wild animal behavior, a mountain lion entered the open doors of a home belonging to…

Thoughts on color and style of ice jigs

We've talked about color a lot in the past, but ice jig color came up a lot at the St. Paul Ice Fishing Show last month. In general, color and style of jigs is a frequent topic at seminars, and my standard response (and belief) is that all colors will work under certain conditions. I address this fact of fishing…

Power Plays

Sometimes, combining electricity and wildlife can have shocking results. The Eagle Has Landed, with a BangAbout 10,000 Juneau, Alaska residents lost power briefly after an overly ambitious bald eagle carrying a deer head in its talons flew into power transmission lines, causing a small electrical explosion Officials from Alaska Light and Power Company report the raptor blamed the power outage…

Peking Pheasant

At the request of @Noah B, a commenter of my “Wild Game Dinner Parties” blog post, I attained my buddy Matt Kucharski’s spectacular Peking Pheasant recipe. Matt is a savvy public relations professional, a dynamic adjunct college professor and a skilled wingshooter; however, his true calling may be in the kitchen tied up in an apron as a wild game…

Wild Game Dinner Parties

Every holiday season, my wife and I host a party we call “Pheasant Feast.” In fact, last month we hosted Pheasant Feast IX . . . Yes, we’re now using Roman Numerals in our invitations. Nevertheless, this has become an annual tradition and a lot of fun for our friends and family. I’ve even enlisted my hunting buddy Matt Kucharski…

Low-water ice-fishing locations

I’m hearing lots of questions about how low water levels from this fall – the result of low precipitation that continues this winter – affects fish location. Indeed lake levels are quite low this winter. That doesn’t mean we need to dramatically alter how we search for fish. In high or low water, they’re relating to food sources. We have…

The Finer Points of Iguana Whacking

Recently, more than 100 interested persons attended a symposium at the Palm Beach (Florida) County Cooperative Extension Service building to learn how to help control one of those troublesome species that has become increasingly prolific in parks and residential yards-the iguana.Sold as pets for decades, iguanas now exist in large breeding populations and number in the hundreds of thousands in…

January Pheasant Hunting

As the pheasant season begins to wind down in the northern reaches of the rooster range, I begin to receive calls from Pheasants Forever members in places like Traverse City, Michigan; Baraboo, Wisconsin and St. Cloud, Minnesota. These callers all draw out their “O’s” and are known to drop an occasional “eh” to the end of their sentences. They also…

Wildest Outdoor Tales of 2011

As a special holiday treat for our legion of Offbeat Outdoor blog faithful, here’s a collection of some of our favorite wild outdoor stories we unearthed in 2011. Thanks for reading-and we hope you have an especially Happy New Year! Worst “Animal Lover” Act of 2011Nelson Drinkwater, 24, a self-described snake enthusiast and animal lover, was hospitalized in serious condition…

Jigging tips, including thoughts on Jigging Shad Raps

Jigging Shad Raps have been around for years, but I think some people have quit using them because of the success of jigging spoons (which indeed are a great fishing tool.) I also sometimes wonder if we associate Jigging Shad Raps too much as a concept for strictly aggressive fish. Not true! We associate Jigging Shad Raps with the lift-drop-hold concept, and…

Presenting your ice offering properly

First let's chat about bobbers. A bobber is great because it allows us to immediately check the mood of the fish. The size of your bobber, which is a strike indicator and depth setter, is big factor. Generally speaking, I see ice anglers using too big of a bobber. Fish will feel that drag resistance. They'll blow out the bait…

Ne’er-Do-Wells in the Woods

These days, you can run into bad apples in the most unlikely places, even in the deer woods.The Buck is Stolen HereWe all know that deer hunting is full of ups and downs, but a hunter in Pennsylvania last week suffered a major disappointment soon after feeling the elation of scoring on a nice buck.On November 21, state troopers were…

Offbeat Outdoors Police Blotter

What happens with critters (or parts of dead critters) are used in the act of a criminal assault? It ends up on the Offbeat Outdoors Police Blotter, of course!Crime BiterA Port Orange, Florida man was jailed after he allegedly used an amphibious reptile as a weapon during an assault involving his girlfriend.The Volusia County Sheriff’s Department reported that during a…

Random thoughts on cusp of another ice-fishing seasons

Enticing what lies beneath an ice hole is a mystery, and as anglers we need to solve that puzzle. In our hurry-up society, that’s a challenge. I see too many ice anglers fishing too fast, jumping from spot to spot, and in general leaving too early. Guys don’t devote enough time to fully working with different baits and lures. Anglers…

Bucking Biology

Every deer season it seems we run across a story or two about a hunter who shoots a well-antlered deer, only to discover while field dressing that his his buck is a doe!Mule Deer SurpriseCanadian deer hunter Paul Roberts received quite a shock when he prepared to field dress the mule deer buck he bagged near his home in Cranbrook,…

Wild & Wooly Whitetail Tales

With the deer hunting seasons in full swing in most parts of the country, this week we bring you a selection of wild deer-hunting stories to get you prepared to head afield.Hunter Pays Deerly for VenisonBill Carney was seated inside his camouflage pop-up hunting blind when a large whitetail doe appeared in a hollow about 60 yards away. The 59-year-old…

Bad Example Poachers

This week we bring you stories about the bone-headed exploits of a pair of wildlife violators who served as particularly poor examples to potential young hunters. Poacher a Poor TeacherA Casper, Wyo. husband and wife were recently fined more than $10,000 for killing a mule deer buck out of season while the husband was allegedly teaching two young boys to…

Offbeat Outdoors

Messin’ With SasquatchThere’s a popular television commercial for beef jerky that features the wild exploits of the mythical outdoors creature known as Sasquatch, but a woman in Michigan says the Bigfoot family that frequents her rural backyard prefers her homemade blueberry bagels. Blueberry Bagels for Bigfoot?A woman in Newaygo County, Mich., tells Discovery News this week that for the past…

Retrievers Behind the Wheel

Here at the Offbeat Outdoors blog, we know how passionate retrievers are about the water. Here are three Labs that showed equal enthusiasm for driving. Lab Takes SpinCharlie the black Lab was so thrilled to see his owner return home from a trip to the store that he leapt into the car’s open door as Mark Ewing carried a fresh…

The Categorical Bird Hunter

On a recent road trip, my hunting partner Rick Young described a buddy as “being in love with planning the hunt,” while Rick described himself as “loving the act of actually hunting.” That got me thinking about which category I fit into and if there are other categories folks would classify themselves as fitting into. Here’s what I’ve come up…

Post-turnover casting tactics

Casting is very productive for fall walleyes, but I don’t see many people doing it. The same summer rules apply: Position your boat so you can cast at angles toward structure, vary your retrieve, and work with different colors and styles of crankbaits.Boat control is always important, and it needs to be very precise this time of year. You can’t go…

Outdoors Products That (Somehow) Never Caught On

There are literally thousands of new and innovative products for the hunter, angler and shooting enthusiast being introduced to the market every year, but not all are destined to be sales and marketing success stories. Shoot and Season Birds-Simultaneously?Here at Offbeat Outdoors, we’re always on the lookout for new and innovative hunting, fishing and outdoor-related products. Still, we’re not sure…