NatBlogs

Unconventional Bear Defense Techniques

We’ve heard about using pepper spray, loud noise and aggressive posturing when confronted by bears in the wild, but here are some examples of unorthodox bruin defense. Black Belt Beats Brown BearA Canadian man attending a Bible retreat in Alberta says he thanks both God and his martial arts training after he kicked a charging grizzly bear in the nose– and…

Ringing in the Fish

This week we bring readers the tale of two fish, and two rings. Truth, Lies and SailfishOn December 28, 2002, Eric Bartos was fishing with two friends off the Florida coast near Ft. Lauderdale when he caught and landed a sailfish. Bartos was in the middle of a bitter divorce at the time–so his fishing buddies suggested he place his…

I’m Just Dating my Shotgun

Recently, I posted the following request to the fans of Pheasants Forever on Facebook: “Tell us the Story of your First Shotgun.” As the lengthy comments extolling the virtues of their favorite scattergun stacked up, I came to the realization that I don’t have a relationship like these folks with any of the three shotguns I own. I mentioned this…

Great Lab Work

This week we bring you three tales about everyday Labrador retrievers that performed heroic acts to save the lives of their fortunate-and grateful-owners. Junior AchievementYou don’t have to tell most sportsmen that Labrador retrievers are great all-around dogs, but 29-year-old Iowa waterfowler Brent Teel has even more reason to love his black Lab, Junior. That’s because Junior saved his life…

A Yooper’s Pheasant Jambalaya

A good friend of mine processes a few of his pheasants into Andouille sausage each season. I’ve always associated Andouille sausage with jambalaya, so that’s how I’ve used his generous gifts of frozen packets.  Last night, I put the final pack of pheasant Andouille sausage to work. I’m certainly no Cajun chef from Louisiana, so please forgive my Yooper take…

Little Lunkers

Despite their diminutive appearance, two tiny fish recently landed the anglers who caught them in their respective state record books. Kid Catches Record, uh, MinnowThere may be a bright future for Maxfield JonasKrueger as a fisheries biologist. That’s because the 13-year-old from Madison, Wis. correctly identified the minnow he yanked from Fowler Lake in July as a golden shiner, a…

Summer sunnies and bluegill locations

I’m getting more questions about where to find big bull bluegills in the summer. For midsummer sunfish, I start in deep water locations. Monitor those spots near spawning structure.Sparse weedflats, deep water near spawning grounds, sand locations: Those are logical places to start and, of course, will vary a little especially this year thanks to all the rain that has…

Caddyshack Revisited

This week, we tie out three unrelated offbeat stories together with the help of actor Bill Murray and the 1980 classic movie, Caddyshack. Holey Moley It wasn’t exactly a reprise of Bill Murray’s memorable role as the demented groundskeeper with a manic obsession for destroying golf course gophers, but, as Caddyshack moments go, it was darned close.  Thurston County (Wash.)…

When do Bird Hunters hit their Prime?

Professional athletes’ ages are frequently part of the conversation when talking about the best players in a country’s major sports. With millions at stake, team owners want to make sure they are signing contracts when a player is entering his or her prime, rather than when they are headed to the ‘back nine’ of their career. NFL players’ careers average…

Fowl Weather

How do you know you’re experiencing an especially severe thunderstorm? When waterfowl by the dozens begin falling to the ground – dead! It’s Raining–Duck! Some furious thunderstorms that rattled through mid-Texas resulted in heavy downpours, some severe lightning, power failures–and more than two dozen dead ducks raining down on Martha Hughes’ roof and surrounding property.When the fierce thunderstorm subsided in…

Whose Shotgun Would You Want?

Chad Love, author of “Man’s Best Friend” blog on the Field & Stream website and fellow Quail Forever blogger, recently passed along a post idea for me. It seems that famed pheasant hunting author Steve Grooms has elected to sell his favorite pheasant gun, a 12 gauge over/under Ithaca model 600 made by SKB. It got me thinking about shotguns…

Sometimes You Get the Bear…

This week we bring you the stories of two grizzly bears, and the two men who killed them by making incredible shots of a lifetime! Hunter Answers Nature’s Call, Kills GrizIt’s definitely one of those “only in Alaska” stories, but Chris Yeager swears he was simply in the woods answering nature’s call when he shot his first grizzly bear.It was…

Pheasant Feathers for the Fly Fisherman

There are a lot of pheasant hunters that spend the spring and summer waist-deep in trout streams. For many, reading a stream’s ripples is akin to assessing grasslands for likely pheasant flushing locations. One such person is John Edstrom, PF’s Merchandise Manager and owner of Headwaters Fly Fishing Company. This morning, John brought in some of his favorite flies made…

Summer crappie locations

Too many anglers associate crappie fishing with spring, then give up in the summer. Via some common sense, and a little help from your electronics, you can find crappies during the summer.There’s a myth that crappies strictly school and suspend during the summer when they actually can be belly to the bottom this time of year.Start by searching deep water….

Offbeat Eagles

In observance of the Fourth of July and the birthday of our nation’s independence, we bring our readers some unusual stories about our national symbol, the bald eagle. Talon Scout Some Offbeat Outdoors blog readers may have seen the unusual story out of Montana last week about an electrical outage that power company officials have attributed to a dead deer…

A Hat Tip to Game Wardens

As a rule, sportsmen are never thrilled to see the approach of a game warden to their boat, ice-fishing shack or treestand. But here are some stories that may help you appreciate these hard-working men and women. Litter Leads to Trespassing PoachersA convenience store surveillance videotape and some good, old-fashioned detective work led to the arrest and conviction of a…

A Pair of Painful Snake Lessons

This week we bring you a pair of unusual snakebite stories, where each victim learned a different- but very valuable-lesson about poisonous reptiles. Fangs, For Nothin’A young New Jersey man learned a painful lesson this week: snakes don’t need or desire help in their travels.Nelson Drinkwater, 24, a self-described snake enthusiast and animal lover, remains hospitalized in serious condition after…

Getting Creative With Scents

This week, we treat our readers to a pair of examples of using natural animal scents in particularly unorthodox ways. Skunk Scent Repels VerminFor many years hunters have capitalized on the use of natural plant and animal scents to cover human scent or to attract game animals. Now, enterprising law enforcement officers are learning how to use concentrated animal scents…

Finding, and Catching, Your Own Fish

Anglers I respect always recommend choosing your spots before you arrive at a lake, and I agree. There’s an old saying that still works for me: “Find your own fish and fish them.” Via lake maps, chips, and software, locate some high percentage spots before you leave your house.Heavy fishing pressure will shut down fish activity, and when it does,…

What is that Dog Pointing?

I am an admitted pointing dog fanatic. In my biased eyes, the pointing instinct is both fascinating and beautiful. I am also a horribly average wingshooter, and admit the help of a pointer’s cue has added dozens of extra breast fillets into my skillet. However, pointer ownership isn’t always high art and rock solid points on cornered birds. Last weekend,…

Barney Fife Critter Control

This week we bring readers a pair of stories about law enforcement animal control that sound like they could have occurred in fictional Mayberry. Cop Shoots Concrete Gator – TwiceWhen police in Independence, MO received a report of an alligator wandering near a creek on June 1, they contacted the state Department of Conservation, which instructed the authorities in the…

Confessions of an Outdoors Napper

I love the outdoors. I love naps. Combined. You guessed it, I love napping outdoors. I enjoy hunting and fishing for the exercise and excitement of each activity, but I also value the serenity and relaxation each provide. The chance to get away from my “crackberry” (aka Blackberry) and the demands of our “always connected” culture puts this guy in…

Fishing Oddities

This week we bring you some unusual catches reported by anglers, and a tale about one bad boy that didn’t get away. Reel Catches: Bodies to BobcatsWhile tracking weird and wild stories about the outdoors, I occasionally unearth reports about anglers who reel in noteworthy catches of the non-fish variety.At a fishing gear show held in Alabama, nearly 2,500 attendees…

Fine points on color and action

Color is definitely a factor when fishing. I see it on rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, everywhere I wet a line. Walleyes, especially, have preferred food sources, depending on the environment they live in and what’s available to them at the moment. And there’s a time frame when we’re “matching the hatch” for a current forage. You want your bait to…

Roadkill Café Gets Green Light in Illinois

Granny, the lovable and eccentric backwoods culinary expert from the popular 1960s television sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies, would love Illinois Rep. Norine Hammond. Or maybe the admiration society is the other way around? In February, Rep. Hammond (R-Macomb) introduced a measure that allows citizens to retrieve deceased furbearing mammals (a nice way to say roadkill) from Illinois roadways for personal…

Training Your Hunting Dog to Drink

I received the following message via Twitter from @bulldog2012 yesterday: My GSP won’t stop to drink water out in the field, any ideas? I admitted to @bulldog2012 that my shorthair also often refuses water in the field, so I promised to get some expert guidance from a few pro dog trainers. This morning, I sent emails on the topic to…