NatBlogs

Lightning Toasts Wisconsin Whitetails

This week we bring you a new quick-roast venison recipe from Wisconsin and a dumb outdoor criminal report from sunny Florida. Wisconsin Deer Slammed by Lightning BoltAuthorities in southern Wisconsin report seven whitetail deer were apparently killed when lightning struck a farm field during a severe thunderstorm on March 20.After receiving a report from a neighboring landowner the following day,…

Shark, Stingray Leap into Boats

You know it must be time to go fishing in Texas and Florida when big ones are literally jumping into boats there. Decked OutThis week, two potentially dangerous marine critters went airborne and landed on the decks of watercraft, in one instance smacking down a woman tourist.A five-foot spotted eagle ray estimated to weigh as much as 300 pounds leapt…

How many ice rods and why?

Many attendees at my seminars ask how many rods I carry when going ice fishing. My answer: If you own four or five ice rods, take them all. That’s the easy part of the question. Now the part that requires effort: What species will you fish? Decide, then have rods pre-rigged at home. If you’re pursuing panfish, take all of your…

Top Ten Reasons Bird Hunting is Better than Deer Hunting

I love to eat venison. There is no better meat on the planet than a whitetail deer’s tenderloin. That being said, I’ve never really enjoyed deer hunting. When deer season opens in Minnesota each November, I travel to a different state to chase birds. There is no doubt all of you deer hunters are going to blast me for today’s…

Loincloths and Roadkill

This time, we report on blockage of a measure that could have allowed hunting to go way retro in the American West. No Stone-Age Hunting in MontanaA measure to allow spears to be used for big game hunting in Montana-which already passed the full Senate-was tabled in the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks committee last week, effectively blocking it from…

What is the Difference between a Birder and a Bird Hunter?

Last Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio, host Billy Hildebrand and I interviewed one of our favorite guests, naturalist Stan Tekiela. The topic of the morning was bird watching. Did you know that according to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service study published in 2001 that one in five Americans are considered birders, or bird watchers? That ratio represents 46…

Officers Foil Fowl Affair, and More

Who says nothing exciting ever happens in the nation’s heartland? This week we bring you a pair of wild happenings from Central Ohio, where law enforcement authorities exhibited some ace detective and police work in two extremely challenging critter cases. Police Pluck Pilfered Park Poultry from Perps Over the weekend, police in Chillicothe, Ohio reportedly stopped a suspicious vehicle after…

Jumbo perch March tactics

I love targeting jumbo perch in March via spring bobbers and waxworms. Use a No. 12 ice lure, a panfishing lure, for tougher bite finicky perch. And don’t be afraid to bring the maggots!This winter, I’m using a standard minnow head on a small jig or vertical jigging spoon. I’ll vary the distance we pinch off the minnow head as a factor…

Sell Me Your Dog

It’s time for me to get serious about adding bird dog number two. As you may have picked up on through my previous postings, I am absolutely in love with my German shorthaired pointer. However, I’m open to considering other breeds for dog number two.We all know how attached bird hunters are to their favorite breed, so today’s exercise will…

No Mouth-Fishing in Pennsylvania, and More

This week, we’ll arm you with science stuff you can use to amaze your waterfowl hunting friends while you’re looking up at the duckless sky. But first, a warning for eastern mouth anglers. No Mouth-Fishing in Pennsylvania If you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania to do some angling using only your mouth, you’d better reconsider. Why? Because mouth-fishing is strictly…

Hooking grubs for crappies and sunfish

For years, dedicated readers and attendees at my seminars have heard me explain that I always hook maggots through the beveled end. That’s changing a bit, but one rule that’s not changing is the need for a sharp hook. Why? Because you want to pierce that outer skin on your grub, not annhilate it.I take my hook and slip it just…

Welcome to Offbeat Outdoors!

Greetings and salutations Outdoor News readers. My name is J.R. Absher (call me J.R.), and I will be presenting you with my collection of offbeat and sometimes downright wacky tales from the outdoors once each week-or more often when I just can’t help myself. You’ll read about outdoor misfits, bizarre animal behavior and times when fish and wildlife turn the…

Hanging your Bird Dog above the Fireplace

While flipping through a recent bird hunting periodical, I encountered an advertisement for dog head urns. That’s right; there’s a company selling taxidermy replica heads of your favorite breed of bird dogs with a quail or pheasant in its jowls and inside your pup’s ashes are stored for posterity. Check out the photos by following this link. Call me a…

HOW TO Name Your Bird Dog

I received the following email recently: So you seem to think of yourself as an expert in naming bird dogs. What do you suggest I name my new pup that starts with the letter “L?” Considering my past blogs titled Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That and Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That Either, I thought the emailer…

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That

Got a new bird dog puppy at home? Having trouble picking out that perfect name? The name you choose says as much about the bird hunter as it does about the bird dog. Choose wisely and you’ll be the envy of your hunting party. Choose poorly . . . well, your hunting buddies won’t likely let you up for air….

Jigs for walleyes

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what type of jigs to use for walleyes. In winter, short-shanked jigs are the way to go, not long-shanked. The latter are for adding a dressing, particularly in an open water fishing situation. Short-shanked jigs are for live bait only, and we want to use the lightest jig possible to be in contact with…

Putting it all together on ice

Let’s focus on how to target a specific species on a specific body of water. Different scenarios require different equipment, plus we need to understand fish behavior and the water we’re working. Water clarity, weather, fishing pressure, type of lake, and availability of food sources all play a role here.Before hitting the ice, ask yourself: What do I think is going…

Cold-water stimuli for multiple species

How does cold water affect aquatic creatures? Understanding this will help us learn how to target fish under the hard water.Fish adjust to water conditions. Their metabolism slows in cold water, but they still react to light, sound, temperature, feel and smell. The reaction time of these cold weather creatures has slowed down, but they still need to eat.It’s hard…

Northern pike early ice locations

During early ice, weedlines are very productive. We still have some green weeds producing oxygen, so this sets up a food web. Green weeds are key, so generally, these fish are going to be shallower, though this is all relative to lake construction. Here’s how to target northern pike under such conditions.Work one rod with a leadhead jig or vertical…