Saturday, February 27, 2010
Last night, my wife and I went to the Chowchilla DU dinner. I was pleased to see how many people showed up, there were well over 400. Not bad for a town that has a population of 8,000. My wife and I didn't do too bad either. Last week we won a Henry Golden Boy .22 Mag and a Tristar Viper .20 gauge semi-auto. Last night we won a Weartherby Vanguard 30-06 and a Mossberg 100 ATR w/ mounted scope 30-06!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Todd Wilebski, NW Minnesota, MN
Bigfoot decoys have and continue to be the decoy by which all others are measured. They are the most durable by far and the United States as well as Canada are covered with them. No one at BigFoot including owner and waterfowl icon Art Ladehoff will ever settle for second best. So when I tell you we put these shells through some of the windiest and coldest days I can remember on a trip to Manitoba last October, you can be rest assured they were put through the ringer! What we found were shells that were well designed and did not "roll over" in the wind. We never chased one of these shells anywhere. Two models are available. The resting shells are beautiful with flocked heads and tail feathers. They can be easy and securely stacked. In the field they were incredibley life like and added demension to our full body set up. The resting heads up shell has a detachable head, stackable shell and other heads from Bigfoot full bodies can be matched to this shell. An excellent feature to mix and match shells and full bodies. As with all BigFoots they are extremly durable with excellent paint schemes including superior attention to detail in areas like the breast, head and feather layering. The new BigFoot shells stand Head and Tail feathers above all the rest. Once you see them, you'll be shell shocked! www.bigfootdecoys.com
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If your like me, you live for the sound of those wings and the sight of those ducks coming into your spread. You watch your dog as she watches the ducks make their final approach. Being a member of DELTA WATERFOWL has given me a sincere appriciation for the work they do. They are not about fancy buildings and high dollar clothing. They are about preserving and enriching our resouce. They are about the ducks. With that being said, I am a proud member of Delta Waterfowl. To see why, please check out the newest weekly segment on http://www.hookandhunttv.com/ with DELTA WATERFOWL'S regional Director Scot Berg.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Duck season is long over and turkey season is looming large. Here in FL we'er just a couple weeks away from our souther zone opener. March 6th will be here before I know it and the birds down south are already starting to do their thing. The rest of the state opens on March 20.
Since FL is the only state that has the Osceola turkey, hunters come from all over the world to chase our long legged swamp chickens. But it's not easy or cheap to find Oscela turkeys. They are by far the tightest lipped and warriest of all the subspecies. Private land hunts range from $1300 to $3000 dollars depending on the quality of the hunt and accomodations. Public land birds are harder to pin down, but are much more affordable for the out of state hunters. A day hunt will run between $300-$500 and your chances can be pretty good if you get a special draw permit for the better quota hunting areas.
Non resident licenses are reasonable and can be obtained via internet by going to www.MyFWC.com and clicking on the licensing links. Licenses are also sold over the phone or over the counter at local retailers like WalMart.
Osceolas range from just north of Gainesville at their northernmost range to far down into the Everglades at the south. They are a smaller bird, usually weighing around 17-18 lbs in most areas, but have excellent beards and spurs. It's not uncommon to shoot birds with spurs in excess of 1.5 inches and beards in the 11 inch range.
If you're ever down in FL and want a shot at one of these illusive and wiley gobblers, drop me a line or check out the list of outfitters and public lands available on MyFWC.com. I'll leave you with a couple pics from last year.
Sandhill crane hunting season is in the works
Minnesota could hold its first sandhill crane hunting season this fall if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gives regulatory approval.
The hunt would occur in far northwestern Minnesota, which is in the migratory route for the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes, considered one of the largest crane populations in the world.
The population, which breeds in the Arctic and winters in Texas, is estimated between 300,000 and 500,000 birds.
"Biologically, there is no concern over hunting this population," said Ed Boggess, deputy director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Fish and Wildlife Division.
Sandhill cranes are hunted each fall in nine of 10 states in the Central Flyway, which extends from North Dakota to Texas. Hunters typically use decoys and hunt in grain fields, similar to goose hunting. Crane is considered one of the best-tasting wild game meats.
Cranes are called "flying filet mignon" in the 2004 cookbook "Wild at the Table," which suggests grilling the breasts and serving them with a juniper and wine sauce.
"I personally know a few people from Minnesota who go to North Dakota just to hunt cranes," said Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program leader. "There has always been some interest in crane hunting in Minnesota, and the commissioner (Mark Holsten) is interested in it."
The season likely would begin in early September and run through early October. It would be held in the Northwest Goose Zone, which covers the state's northwest corner in parts or all of five counties.
The DNR hasn't determined how many licenses would be available or whether they would be sold through a lottery or over the counter. A small-game license would be needed at a minimum.
Minnesota has a growing population of sandhill cranes, but those birds, considered by federal regulators as part of an eastern population, would not be hunted.
A few regulatory hurdles stand in the way.
Minnesota is part of the 13-state Mississippi Flyway, and no regulatory framework has been established for crane hunting, said Jim Kelley, the Fish and Wildlife Services flyway representative.
Minnesota's proposal would have to be approved by a flyway technical committee and the Mississippi Flyway Council, then forwarded to the Fish and Wildlife Service for approval.
Those steps could be accomplished this spring, and the Fish and Wildlife Service could review the proposal at a June meeting. Minnesota's proposal stands a good chance of approval, Kelley said.
"I don't see any major stumbling blocks," he said.
Nebraska is the only state in the Central Flyway that doesn't allow crane hunting. Most states allow hunting in specific zones, not statewide, and efforts are made to educate hunters so sandhill cranes are not mistaken for whooping cranes, a rare and endangered species.
An estimated 10,000 hunters harvested 19,000 cranes in the Central Flyway in 2009, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Sandhill cranes in central and eastern Minnesota are growing in number and have posed problems for some farm crops, but federal authorities consider them a separate population from the midcontinent birds, and hunting them isn't allowed.
But the Mississippi Flyway is expected to approve an eastern crane management plan this spring, said DNR waterfowl biologist Steve Cordts, and that plan allows states to propose hunting seasons.
That means future crane seasons, with sustainable harvest quotas, could be allowed elsewhere in Minnesota.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This time of year I can't put any "beads on beaks", but does not mean that we're not havin fun! Its Crappie time here on Lake Onanlaska. As the weather warms and the lake gets a fresh charge of water, the Crap's go crazy. 2 big'ns last night and 6 today. 14-16 inches… and as any good fish story goes- U should have seen the one I could not get through the hole… seriously!
Not a lot going on here in North Dakota besides a hole lot of (SNOW and COLD.) The fishing is slow the coyote hunting is tough because of all the snow. So i did a little photograph to pass some of the time. Just getting ready for snow goose and turkey hunting. I just received the new zink NOS goose call it is sounds awesome other than that just waiting for that warm spring.