Thursday, July 23, 2015

Metro Hawg Hunters Team Lahr review from the July 12th tournament on Lake Waconia, MN.

The 4th stop on the Metro Hawg Hunters schedule brought us to Lake Waconia on July 12th.  This lake is a great all around fishing lake that receives a ton of pressure from walleye, muskie, panfish, and bass anglers alike.  Also, the recreational boat traffic can be very heavy at times.  Waconia is not a huge lake by any means, but can be kind of intimidating because of the expansive weed flats and a decent amount of shallow cover.  We had a warm week leading up to the tournament and the forecast was for hot, humid weather with heat indexes over 100 degrees the day of the derby.  Given the conditions, we were hoping for a good deep water bite. 
My partner, Spencer, and I spent a few hours on the lake the day before the tournament checking deep weedlines, but we also spent some time up shallow looking at a few docks and slop areas.  We caught fish on points and inside turns off the flats, but we also found a few around docks.  No giants, just decent fish.  If we rolled one on a spot, we would just mark it and leave, not knowing for sure the quality of fish that lived there.  We decided to start on a short stretch of docks right away in the morning, just to make sure we weren’t missing anything.  
The morning of the tourney was warm, humid, and cloudy.  We were the last boat out of the gate, but we reached our dock area without any company.  Our hopes were that the overcast conditions might make for a decent shallow bite.  After catching a quick limit of small fish, Spencer and I wrote off the shallow cover and decided to fish deep the rest of the day.  We flew up to the north end where I had lost a 3-pounder the previous day.  It was a steep drop off the end of a flat.  We culled up a couple of times with 2-pounders and then I hooked something more substantial.  At first I thought I might have had a pike or muskie, but when my line started coming up we knew it was a bass.  After a heart-stopping jump and 3 runs under the boat, we got it in the net.  The fish went 20 inches even and we had a kicker!!  Now, we needed to find something to go with it.  We spent the rest of the day running that pattern and consistently catching fish with a nice one mixed in here and there.  I caught a 3-1/2 pounder off a point on the south end and a 4 pounder off a hard bottom point on the west end.  We went back to that same point with about an hour to go and ran into a fired up school of bass.  Spencer caught a 3-1/2 pounder in the last half hour to push our total weight up to a point where we felt like we might be able to make a run at a win. 
The weights were very tight between the four teams at the top.  Spencer and I weighed a 5-fish limit for 18.94 pounds which on this day was only good enough for 4th place.  Lee Farber and Jeff Lueck were the winners with 19.52 pounds.  Obviously, there were some big fish weighed in, but our 5.32 pound brute ended up being big fish of the day.
Here is a list of our most productive baits:
·       3/8oz All-Terrain Finesse Jig (green pumpkin) with matching twin tail grub
·       5” whacky-rigged Senko (various colors) fished on a VMC whacky jighead (1/8oz)
·       1/8oz All-Terrain Mighty Jig with a 7” Berkley Power Worm (various colors)
·       Drop Shot – Zoom Finesse Worm (watermelon/red flake) fished on a #1 VMC Spinshot hook with a 1/4oz dropshot weight
·       1/2oz All-Terrain Football Head Jig (watermelon/red) with a 4” Berkley Chigger Craw (green pumpkin)
Our last tournament of the regular season takes place Friday, July 24 on Lake Minnetonka.  The points race is tight and only the top 5 teams make the Tournament of Champions in September.  For updated results, standings, and more information about our club check out our website at metrohawghunters.com.

Team Lahr (Brad and Spencer)

             

Monday, July 6, 2015

Metro Hawg Hunters Kenny Weyandt gives his review of their latest tournament on Clearwater Lake in Annandale, MN.

An important thing Adam and I have learned is trying to estimate what it will take to win because that should factor in how you approach a lake. We felt like 14lbs + would be a strong weight and our other two tourneys here we only weighed 12lbs so we knew we had to take some risks. 

Another thing that we have learned in tournament fishing over the past few years  is you only need 5 good fish and you typically find them in heavy cover in MN lakes. With that in mind we threw out all our previously fished spots and sort of just flew by the seats of our pants. 

We started on reeds/bullrushes up shallow flipping and frogging. Not a lot of fish but put one in the boat that was just under 3lbs on a frog. As the sun came up we began to push deeper and fished some rocks but found nothing. As we worked back to our next spot we worked a steep drop off with nice cover. Adam was rigged wacky and I was flipping a jig. Adam caught a couple from the back of the boat that were just under 3lbs. That got me thinking to slow down and possibly dead stick a little. 

Our next spot that same pattern seemed to work. Although I was flipping an edge with a black/blue 1/2 ounce Flammin Jig I was letting it sit on the bottom for 5-7 seconds and sure enough, that's when our biggest of the day came at 3.4lbs!

We continued that pattern and Adam caught one last one over 3lbs using a weightless wacky rig again which we though would put us over 14lbs. We went to flipping patches of milfoil to see if we could find one over 4lbs but no suck luck. 

Much like last tournament we did not catch a ton of fish and actually didn't have a limit until almost 10am. We headed into weigh in and realized that not one keeper came on a spot that we have ever fished before. 

Total weighed in at 14.34lbs which was half a pound behind Jeff and Lee. We knew these league points would be crucial because our next two lakes (Waconia/Tonka) have not been very friendly for us. 

Last time it took almost 20 pounds to win Waconia and the only time we fished it we weighed 12lbs so looks like we have our work cut out for us again! 

Kenny and Adam

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Team Lahr of Metro Hawg Hunters breakdown their latest tournament on the Clearwater Chain in Annandale, MN

The Clearwater Chain is a very familiar to my fishing partner/brother, Spencer and I.  We’ve had some good finishes out there, including a couple of wins.  Because the chain is fed by the Clearwater River, water levels and clarity can change quickly, as has been the case this spring.  In May, the lakes in the chain were low and gin clear, but with recent rains, lake levels have risen and the water has a stain to it.  We’ve also had warm, stable weather the past couple of weeks which has pushed water temps into the low-80’s.  The spawn is complete and the fish are migrating toward their traditional summertime locales. 

Spencer and I each spent a few hours prefishing and found that the deeper weeds, especially the cabbage, is either behind schedule or non-existent.  We spent the majority of our prefishing time checking deep breaks for any signs of green weed growth.  We ended up finding 8 or 10 spots to rotate through and with the limited fishing we did, each of us caught a 4-pounder.  There are two sayings we like to throw around when describing Clearwater:
1
.                  95% of the fish are in 5% of the water.
2         You absolutely have to catch a 4-pounder to have any chance of winning.

The morning started warm, but cloudy with a slight breeze.  We drew boat 7 for takeoff and were able to make it up to our starting spot first.  This was an area with a sharp dropoff that ran near the reeds.  It has a hard bottom and scattered vegetation off the break.  The majority of our spots fit the same description.  We put 5 keepers in the boat within the first 40 minutes with the biggest going 2-1/4 pounds.  After pulling up to our second spot, we combined to catch 6 keepers in 6 casts and swung at least 15 over the rail in just a few minutes.  That pushed our total weight into the 10-11 pound range.  Then, the sun came out and the wind died down completely.  The deeper fish seemed less affected by the change.  Spencer and I hoped if we hit enough spots and ran through enough fish, we would end up with 5 nice ones.  We narrowed our rotation down to about 4 spots and hit them periodically throughout the day.  Some of the schools were holding in areas only 3 boat-lengths long.  After returning to a spot, sometimes we needed to change up baits or colors to fire them up again.  We culled up a few ounces at a time all day long and boated in the neighborhood of 40-60 fish, but our boat never ran into a pod of those 3.5 to 4 pounders that it takes to win. Spencer and I ended up finishing 3rd with 13.27 pounds, a pound and a half behind the winners, Lee Farber and Jeff Lueck.  Considering we never caught that elusive kicker fish, we were happy to escape with a third place finish.

Here’s a list of our most productive baits:
·       5/16oz All-Terrain Swim jig (black/blue) with a matching 4” twin tail grub
·       Jigworm – 1/8oz All-Terrain Mighty Jig with a 7” Berkley Power Worm (various colors)
·       5” Senko – wacky rigged, weighted and unweighted (various colors)
·       3/8oz All-Terrain Finesse Jig (green pumpkin) with matching 4” twin tail grub

Our next Metro Hawg Hunters tournament takes place on July 12th at Lake Waconia.  For updated results, standings, and more information about our club check us out at metrohawghunters.com.


-Team Lahr (Brad & Spencer)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Read what the Metro Hawg Hunters league champs the last three years had to say regarding the first tournament of 2015 on Gull Lake in Brianerd, MN. Feel free to leave a comment or ask the a question!

Heading into the weekend at Gull Lake Brady and I really didn't know what to expect.  We had never been on Gull before and we really werent sure what we would find.  As we looked at the weather forecast the week leading up to the event, I could tell it was going to be stable.  A good sign for a traditional bite and a chance for the fish to setup in predictable spots.  

Our one practice day included hitting docks, finding grass, and looking for back pockets that held fish.    The last spot of the day we stumbled on the mother load . 4 pound fish everywhere and they were hungry.  We quickly left hoping that they would stay because we knew what a 4 pounder meant on this lake...lights out.

After a warm night, we went back to our honey hole only to find that they moved out. we only caught one keeper in what we thought was our "best spot".  Luckily, we had a solid back up plan we found the day before.  Frogs and flipping. 

We were able to put together a solid limit of fish over 13 pounds but lost a heartbreaker 3.5 pounder on a frog mid morning.  Overall good enough for 2nd place.

Day 2 brought more change. The only thing consistent about the bite was the frog.  The flip bite had died.  Had to switch up presentations early in the day.  It was a grind but we figured out how to put some solid fish in the boat.  About an hour before weigh in, we pulled up on a big weed flat and went to work.  We boated about 30 fish over the next hour.  It was almost every other cast!  Problem was they only helped us by ounces not pounds.  Day 2 heartbreak set in when we lost a 3.5 pounder at the boat just before weigh in time. 

All-in-all a good weekend.  Ended day 2 with a little under 13 pounds which landed is in 3rd for the day and 1st for the cumulative two day total.  

Our key this event was just trying something different and not being afraid to switch it up.  Nothing can replace time on the water when trying to learn this skill.

 -Colby Bolin.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Metro Hawg Hunters, Kenny Weyandt, gives a great review after their 1st tournament of 2015 on Gull Lake in Northern Minnesota

So Adam Baumgartner and myself had mixed feelings entering day 1 on Gull Lake. We felt as though we had areas that held above avg fish but didn't catch a lot. We primarily targeted lakes with less traffic on the north side and with some stain to them. With the fish being post spawn we targeted the 8'-14' range or areas with very heavy cover adjacent to deep water. 

Day 1 was what you fear when targeting larger fish. While many other teams boated over 40 fish we were struggling to put 5 in the boat. We finally put our first fish in around the 10am mark and was able to get a nice 2.5lber right after that.  We decided to abandon flipping edges for heavy pad covered areas due to the sun and lack of cloud cover.   We hit 2 more fish almost back to back on frogs that also weighed over 2lbs that got us to our 10.6lb weight that we weighed in (5 fish) which I know doesn't sound great but for post spawn and on Gull we new we would be middle of the pack which we were.  

Day 2 we decided to stick with our same areas as we still felt like 1.5lb fish were not going to do anything for us. So while running 40 min back to the furthest lake we made a quick pit stop and hit a section where we knew was a popular release point for other tournaments. Adam was skipping docks and I was pitching but it was Adam who came up with our first 3.5lb fish which was caught on a Senko. On the way out we picked up rocks on the side imaging and stopped to fish the edge where the pads and rocks met. I quickly picked up another 2lb fish on a Texas rigged bio spawn worm.  From there we went back to punching mats and flipping cabbage. We went to an area that we had little success on the previous day but given the slight cloud cover we thought they may push more to the outside edge and luckily we were right.  I was flipping a 1/2 ounce black/blue jig with a craw trailer and Adam (aka Baumy) a 1/2 ounce black/blue craw tube.  We added another 5 fish with 2 of them going over 3lbs so we felt as though we had around 13lbs at 10am vs the previous day of zero! 

Unfortunately we were not able to have the afternoon we did the previous day (even though we ran the same spots at the same times) and added zero fish the last few hours. Luckily we snuck out with the win without culling our 1.5lb fish. We ended 13.2lbs which snuck by Jeff and Lee who weighed in 13.16lbs! That gives us 15pts for the first day and 20pts for the second which you can see at metrohawghunters.com. One other thing I would like to mention is our club contest vs Crow River BASS Casters which was where each club weighs their top 7 boats. The final weight came in at 160lbs for Crow River and 159.4lbs for Metro Hawg Hunters!!!! Can you even believe how close that was!!! So in Ike's words "Never Give Up".

Overall it was a great start to the year, great weather and some fun times spent with the other anglers and their families.

Kenny Weyandt

Metro Hawg Hunters, Cody Thompson, gives his review of their 1st Tournament of 2015 on Gull Lake in Northern Minnesota

Our 1st tournament of 2015 brought my partner/brother, Mike Thompson and I to the Baxter,MN area to fish the beautiful Gull Lake chain.

We had only one day to pre-fish the lake to try and come up with a game plan. Due to the water temps, time of year (June 12-14) and what we were seeing or a lack of, it was obvious we were in the post-spawn phase.
We scouted mostly Round Lake and a little of Gull Lake. We were after smallies and Round is the only place on the chain to catch them. We located a hand full of nice smallies (3-4lb range) and 20-30 largies on deep breaks and buried in the reeds. The sun was high, the sky's were clear and the lake was like glass so the fish were easy to see. We left most of the fish alone so we could target them on day 1.

Day 1 we headed to Round lake, the clouds were up and we had a 3-5 mph wind making it impossible to see in the water compared to the previous day. We fished the areas where we located the smallies, not getting a bite. The smallies never even showed themselves on the surface, another sign of post spawn. We fished some small flats that lead to reed beds and a few sharp breaks in Round catching our 5 fish limit by 750am. We had nothing huge in the live well but we had all day to cull. We fished a few small cabbage spots (8-12ft in depth) where we were able to upgrade. We left Round around 1100am and headed into Gull. Again we targeted a few areas that had green tall cabbage, there was not a lot of heavy or green weed growth at this time but if you found tall green cabbage you would catch at least 1 fish. We were able to upgrade a few more times (a few ounces each time). We ended up finishing 4th out of 10 with a 5 fish limit of 11.14lbs.

Day 2 was a little clearer and started out with a slight breeze. We opted to start in Gull where we had our 5 fish limit by 730am, we targeted new cabbage and break lines on water we never had a chance to pre-fish. Sometimes "just going fishing" can lead you to gold.....well it lead us to the same size fish as day 1 (1-2lbers).  We hit a few of day 1 spots in Gull catching fish again, but once again nothing of size. At approx. 940am we headed back into Round in pursuit of the smallies, we again were disappointed as we never caught any, although we did see two "footballs" cruising, neither were interested in biting. We fished several of the same spots as day 1 and a few new ones, most produced fish. Day 2 resulted in a 5 fish limit of 10.80lbs, only good enough for a 7th place finish out of 10.

Overall locating fish was not a problem it was locating the females, it was quite clear they were recovering from the spawn in deeper water.

How did we catch our fish? We used several different tactics, they are listed below.

•Flipping/Pitching a 4 inch black and blue crazy legs chigger craw and a 4 inch green pumpkin tube craw with a 3/8oz tungsten weight.
•  Arashi #3 square bill crank bait, shad color
•5 inch black senko, wacky style
• Small shad color top water  popper

Team Thompson (Cody & Mike)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hello All! 

With spring now fully upon us its time to make the transition from hard water fishing to the open water.  But wait!   What about turkey hunting.  With most seasons now upon us or opening shortly its time to make all the necessary purchases and preparations for going after gobblers.

Although I have been an avid hunter all my life I really haven't had much experience with turkeys so I'm calling on all the faithful  Assassin Hunting fans to help me out with possibly the most important thing.  What kind of Ammo should I choose? 

One of the problems with todays ammunition supplies is in my opinion a lack of independent testing.  Open any hunting magazine and you can read an article on how certain loads patterned through which shotguns, results of velocity testing and so on.  Then you turn the page and there is full page ad for the ammunition  they supposedly just gave you an unbiased report on.........umm does any body else see the problem here?   There's no way those editors are going to publish an article that rips one of their best customers.  That's why I prefer the old fashioned way. Which of course is just talking to people.  You know its what we used to do before texting and social media sites. 

So let me have it guys what have you had the best luck with.  What rounds are still sitting in a box on the shelf in your garage because you refuse to use them again?  Was there a certain kind that worked particularly well with a certain brand of choke? 

Can't wait to hear from you - In the meantime,

STAY HEALTHY, STAY ACTIVE, STAY OUTSIDE!

Monday, March 16, 2015

In Like a Lamb and out like a Snow Goose

Has anyone else ever heard the saying  "In like a lamb out like a lion", when referring to the March weather?  I think for most of us this recent weather qualifies as in like a lamb.  With the weather getting this nice this fast and a lack of snow line the skies will soon be filled with Ross, Snows, and Blues.

If you have never done it you should most definitely look into putting together a spring Snow Goose hunt.  Even if you aren't much of a waterfowl hunter this is an absolute blast.  First off most states either have no limit or a very generous, almost unreachable one. So When they come in to the decoys it can be absolutely crazy!   Secondly 90% of the hunting is done in fields as opposed to over water and I would venture to say that an even larger portion of it is done through guide services.  Now I know what you are thinking $$$$$$.  However a lot of these guide services have very reasonable rates and when compared to the cost of putting together a massive decoy spread, which is what it takes to get these things in close, add in an e-call and your much better off paying someone who already has the gear.   If its someone else's gear that usually means you don't have to haul it, and the geese you kill while using said gear get cleaned by someone else! Also most of these hunts are in rural areas with small town hotels, great greasy spoon diners, and very affordable rates. 

A few years back I spent a month helping a guide service in South Dakota during their busiest time.  Until then I really hadn't had much experience decoying snow geese so it was a learning experience to say the least.  Most times they don't come in on an approach like Canadians they instead circle overhead repeatedly slowly descending into the decoys. Often times these waves are a couple thousand or more deep so even if the shooting isn't your thing just watching that many birds descending over your head really is breath taking. 

If you are serious about giving it a shot log on to the Hunt The North web site (you can find there link on our home page) and sort through the guide services from there.  Don't wait to long though because with the lack of snow on the ground in the flyways this year they won't stick around long. 

Also I would like to see some pics from anyone who gets out this year and we will get them up on the website. 

As always STAY ACTIVE, STAY HEALTHY, STAY OUTDOORS!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sometimes when fishing you just have to shake your head.

Hello All, 

Sorry I didn't get out a new entry on Sunday night but I was on an ice fishing trip in northeastern South Dakota.  Every year a large group of my best friends and I take a late season ice fishing trip and that's where we went this year.  I will have to admit that most years it turns into more of a social event than a real hardcore fishing trip and this year, with 45 degree temps it was no exception.  However its hard for anyone who takes hunting or fishing seriously to turn it off for very long and there were bursts of seriousness sprinkled in with all the story telling and grilling on the ice.  As I drove away from the lodge for the last time I began to think about my next post and I couldn't help but think about just how random fishing can be at times. 

Leading up to this trip I had tapped every knowledgeable friend I have in that area and had put together what I thought was pretty good plan for what and where to fish. So we started our search on Saturday morning on a lake that we had heard was going pretty well on the Perch. Then we started perforating the lake.  I'm not kidding you, the guys that I fish with don't believe in staying in one place too long unless they are really hitting and Saturday morning was no different.  The Strikemasters were screaming and ice shavings were being dished out at a pace that would rival the freezy stands at the MN state fair.  7-8 minutes per hole and if you didn't find anything serious it was on to the next.  Jig changes, bait changes, depth changes, every thing we could think of in every bay of this particular lake and nothing worth keeping.  By now it was late morning and the hunger pains were beginning to set in.  So we found a spot that was pretty well out of the wind, set up the grill and dug out the Venison brats.  Generally speaking there just isn't much action around noon anyway so everyone stayed close to there rods but no one was fishing intently.  Then I hear the every so familiar "fish on".  No big deal probably a Pike cruising the shallows in search of a mid day Perch snack.  Nope a really nice jumbo Perch.   Then another, and another, and now a Walleye, another Perch, and so on.   The grilling, talking, and lying quickly stopped and suddenly we were all kneeling over our holes staring at graphs and vexilars.  It only lasted about 45 minutes but it was long enough for us to put a pretty pile of fish on the ice.  When it came to a screeching halt we all kind of looked up at each other as if to say "what the hell was that all about".    All morning we fish hard during the prime hours and come up empty.  Sometimes you just gotta shake your head!

That's what we all love about it anyway right?   The fish you catch when it seems hopeless.  The pair of geese that come in as your picking up decoys, and you limit out.  The buck that comes into your stand directly down wind.   Its those things that help remind me how a day spent afield or on the water, alone or with good friends, can restore my energy and melt away my stress.  So for crying out loud, stay active, stay healthy, and stay outside!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back to Buffer Strips

In the last post we dove into the impending proposal for waterway buffer strips in Minnesota.   One of the most glaring issues as always is the money.  Where will it come from?  Not only will it cost millions to install and establish these waterways but enforcing, and maintaining them will be a yearly undertaking which will no doubt require added staffing of whichever entity takes it over (most likely the DNR). Which in turn requires ........yep more money.  Again before anyone gets the wrong idea I want to point out that I do think that we need these programs in many states and I am most definitely in favor of protecting our waterways. However the financial burden should fall on everyone's shoulders including, but not solely the landowners.  Whether you own 15,000 acres in the Red River Valley or an empty lot on Lake X  it shouldn't be your sole financial responsibility when really its everyone's duty to preserve the waters that we all need on some level.  

One thing that would surprise many non landowners is that there are already programs somewhat similar to this proposal currently in use through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The difference is that they are for the most part voluntary not mandatory.   In fact there is a stewardship program that even provides partial funding through the federal government to help with the installation and maintenance costs associated with establishing buffer strips and other erosion control systems.  Its very similar to the tax funded programs that many states have which will contribute, and in some cases provide all the plant material for installing wind breaks or conservation strips.  Hopefully this will be the route taken by Minnesota for its funding.

Once you get the funding somewhat straightened out the next major hurdle is whether or not this magic width for the strips (whatever it ends up being) will be universal.  Will the guy on Minnetonka have to have the same buffer as the guy with a drainage ditch in Lincoln County?  Good luck, as our loyal reader Nigel pointed out, telling lake front owners they can no longer touch the first 50 feet of their frontage! Now that's a lake association meeting that I want nothing to do with. 

Unfortunately this is most likely going to be a long and difficult thing to institute, however water quality needs to be a priority for all people not just outdoor enthusiasts and I tip my hat to Minnesota for its willingness to address the situation no matter how daunting.  I hope that whatever program they come up with that its landowner friendly because in the long run they truly hold the key to our water quality and wild life habitat. 

Well I look forward to following this story in the future and next time we visit I want to lighten the mood with a little late season hard water fishing talk.  So remember STAY ACTIVE, STAY HEALTHY, STAY OUTDOORS

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thanks Nigel

Nigel,  Thanks so much for the comment.  I couldn't agree more with you on always having a backup call.  No matter what the situation it's always a good idea.  Also, I hadn't thought of using them as a teaching/practicing tool but that's a very good point. 

You also peaked my curiosity on the turkey calls.  I am novice at best when it comes to turkeys, so I would be interested to here what you are using, such as box calls or mouth diaphragms.  I often use a mouth diaphragm turkey call but not for turkey hunting.  I would love to hear your opinion. 

Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hey all, Dakota Dan here, I hope everyone had a great week. 

In the last post I asked what has had more influence on predator hunting, e-calls or the AR 15 platform rifles.  It's a tough question, and to be honest with you there is no absolute answer but here is some stuff to consider. 

Over the last 5 years there has been roughly 5 million AR style rifles sold in the U.S. alone.  That's a lot of rifles, however not all of those are probably being used for hunting.  The development and growth of competitive shooting sports such as 3-gun have vastly increased the popularity of this particular style of rifle and have no doubt added to the enormous sales numbers.  Having said that, there is no doubt that these AR rifles have become extremely popular amongst predator hunters for a number of reasons.  First off, the lack of recoil makes follow up shots very easy.  Secondly, the fact that they are semi auto makes them very quick.  So is that it?  Are guys emptying their clips on running coyotes?  Are trigger happy hunters educating the predator population?    Maybe, but what about the e-call?

In the beginning, e-calls were scratchy horrible sounding representations of the rabbit distress, the doe bleet, and in some cases sounded like a pack of sick tone def coyotes.  Those days are long gone!  Todays e-calls are state of the art, light weight, easy to operate, and above all sound really good.  Mouth calls are still somewhat popular and when used in tandem with an e-call can prove to be lethal. But from what I've seen, the occasional predator hunter, and or beginner, usually doesn't have or make the time to really learn how to call.  The proliferation and sometimes uneducated use of these calls has undoubtedly made the predator population much more wary.  Put yourself in there paws.  How many times would you get in close to investigate an apparently dying rabbit or challenge howl if the first time you did it your friend got shot and you got shot at.  Most likely never!  Predators are inherently curious so they will most likely always react to some extent no matter what kind of calling you are doing, but they are also very intelligent.   So in my opinion it is most definitely the e-call that has had the most impact on predator hunting over the last 5 years.

That's all for tonight check in next week as I will discuss habitat and what one Midwestern state is doing that may have a huge impact on wildlife. 

Don't Forget!  Stay active! Stay healthy! Stay outdoors

Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm back!!

Hello all it's Dakota Dan

My apologies for the long absence. Since you heard from me last, I switched professions and relocated my family, so needless to say it has been a wild year. 

Enough about me let's talk outdoors!!

The first topic I would like to get into is predator hunting.  As I've stated before it's probably my favorite kind of hunting.  However over the last few years the coyote hunting especially has gotten much tougher.  I have on several occasions in the last two winters had coyotes hang up just outside of rifle range.  At first I thought that it was scent or something else that I was doing wrong (I'm wrong a lot), but then I began hearing the same thing from other hunters.   I'm not wrong!  It was happening to lots of other guys. Guys that I would consider to be expert predator callers.  Guys that spend a lot of time hiding in wind drifted fence lines with a call pressed to their frozen lips.  So what is it?  Why have these dogs gotten so leary of calls?  I began to look at what has changed in this arena of hunting over the last five years.  The two biggest differences I found are the rifles that most predator hunters are toting, and the amount of e-calls being used.

What do you guys think?  What has changed the sport more? E-calls or the AR platform rifles.  I'll give you my opinion and reasons why in my next post.

Until then remember - STAY ACTIVE, STAY HEALTHY, STAY OUTDOORS!