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Page 1: Hunting & Fishing News


New Look Same Dead on Accuracy Made in Montana. Available at your local retailer.






Page 2: Hunting & Fishing News

Photo: Bruce MacQueen|Shutterstock

We hope you enjoy the newWe hope you enjoy the newHUNTING & FISHING NEWSHUNTING & FISHING NEWS

EXPECTATIONS—“It took me 3-4 years to understand that you don’t just pick up a bow and go out to the mountains and take a big bull. That’s not how it works. When I was strictly a whitetail hunter, I scoffed at the guys who claimed they hunted because they liked to be outside and see the fl owers and hear the birds. Man, I hunted because I liked to kill deer. But hunting elk made me appreciate what those guys were talking about. It really is about the place, the elements, your ability to adapt and the overall experience. The happiest elk hunters I know are the ones who approach their sport simply as a campout or hike with an elk tag. They just enjoy it for what it is. There’s no great expectation of a kill, and if it happens, it’s considered a bonus.”

ELEMENTS—“All whitetail hunters know that elk hunting will demand better physical conditioning. More mobility in altitude and steep terrain. Better preparedness for harsh and changing weather. They understand that elk hunters literally live on what they can carry on their backs. But I think a lot of newbies are completely surprised and unprepared for the wind. In most whitetail country, winds are usually fairly directional. You just adjust and keep hunting. But in elk country, the wind swirls. It’s in your face, then at your back, then in your face again, all day long. It’s hard to cope with, and it really throws off hunters who aren’t used to it.”

Patience—“Going from whitetail hunting to elk hunting is like going from pond fi shing to lake fi shing. Your world suddenly gets a lot bigger and it’s much less forgiving. You go from hunting an animal that patterns within a square mile or so, to an animal that could be anywhere on the landscape at any given time. Finding elk, especially a particular bull, is really an incredible proposition. You have to take it day by day. Learn what you can about the country and how elk use it, and then use that knowledge to your advantage tomorrow. You’ll develop more patience than you ever thought possible.”

3 Tips for Whitetail Hunters Who Dream of Chasing ElkRMEFThe Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offers three tips to help new elk hunters make the transition from fantasy to reality.

From Brandon Bates, host of “RMEF Team Elk”

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BROADHEADS ALA BROADHEADS ALA ROBBROBBBy Bob Robb Sponsored by Nikon Sports Optics & Wildlife Research Center

Reprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.Reprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.For more please go to: www.bowhunting.netFor more please go to: www.bowhunting.net

In my little home offi ce is a very small collection of ancient broadheads crafted from obsidian and fl int by hunters who had much more at stake when it came to sneaking within arrow range of a bird or mammal than we do today. I’ve stumbled across them from time to time as I have traveled the country to bow hunt big game with my modern archery tackle, and each time I do they send me off daydreaming about those who came before us. Upon refl ection, one can see that broadheads have really not changed all that much through the years. For example, you can fi nd three-bladed broadheads made from metal that date back to the Bronze Age, some 3000 years ago; a design very similar to the Trocar tip popularized by Muzzy was built in the 14th century. Its function was to penetrate the chain mail worn by soldiers. It wasn’t all that long ago that bowhunters were shootingwhat were, by today’s standards, large, heavy broadheads that impeded arrow speed. Traditional-style, fi xed-blade heads have a lot going for them, though. They are built from one-piece construction featuring a main fl at blade generally made from welded steel and are incredibly strong. Their cut-to-tip design fosters deep penetration, and the combination of heavy head weight and relatively heavy arrow shafts with their bullet-proof construction and razor-sharp edges help them penetrate deeply and crack even the heaviest rib bones.Bowhunters using longbows and recurves still often choose traditional heads like those from Zwickey, Delta Industries, Magnus Archery, Simmons, and others that need to have an edge put on them. Examples that are readily available include the many old favorites, including the Zwickey Black Diamond and Black Diamond Eskimo, Bear Razorhead, Delta Rothhaar Snuffer and Nubbin, Magnus and Magnus II, as well as modern versions, including the Simmons Land Shark and G5 Montec, among others.

Thunderhead 125: The NAP Thunderhead has been around for more than 25 years, yet remains one of the country’s biggest sellers.

The old traditional broadheads often weighed upwards of 160 grains, though modern versions can weigh as little as 100 grains. Perhaps

the biggest downside is using any of these heads for the modern bowhunter is the fact that their blades must be hand sharpened, a basic woodsmanship skill that most of you in the younger generation were never taught.

It was the need for consistently razor-sharp blades that spurred the development of the most popular style of broadhead used today, the replaceable-blade design. Many of today’s bowhunters have never known a time when this style of head was not available, but the basic concept dates back to the 1950’s, when innovative California bowhunters like Jim Dougherty, Jack Doyle, and Duke Savora experimented with gluing razor blades from their shaving kits to the three most popular broadhead styles of the day, the fi xed-blade MA-3, Bod-Kin, and Hill’s Hornet.The technique became relatively common in the region, and was a precursor to today’s popular replaceable-blade designs. Doyle began marketing the Zia Scorpion, which was the very fi rst razor-insert broadhead, as well as blades for the glue-on process, in the early 1960′s, advertising both in the now-defunct Archery magazine. Duke Savora’s Swept-Wing broadhead, introduced in 1974, was the fi rst mass-produced insert-style head that used replacement blades designed specifi cally for broadheads. It helped set the stage for the well-designed replaceable-blade broadheads that dominate the contemporary market.If bowhunters are one thing, it is that they are tinkerers. Looking back, it now seems that what we once thought was off-the-charts radical – the mechanical broadhead – now seems a natural progression that came about by those trying to achieve increased terminal performance and, above all else, accuracy. Though I have never had a problem tuning even a fast compound bow with a replaceable-blade broadhead, some shooters do, and so they began turning to mechanical broadheads that have nearly identical fl ight characteristics as fi eld points.

Modern mechanical broadheads have come a long way in terms of design and performance, and now are an accepted part of the bowhunting scene.

To be blunt about it, the fi rst mechanical broadheads basically sucked. They had allsorts of design fl aws, were fl imsy, and didn’t always perform as advertised. So many bowhunters were disappointed with them that for a brief period their future was in doubt. Today, of course, mechanical broadheads have evolved to a point where the best are easy to tune, are strong, have razor-sharp blades, and can penetrate as deeply as the best replaceable-blade styles, and their popularity has soared.Choosing a broadhead is a very personal thing. People often ask me which are best, and my answer is always the same: “What do you like best, blondes, brunettes, or redheads?” (continued on page 40)

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5September 2012

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Food plots are all the rage nowadays. But they’re not the only way to attract and hold more wildlife on your property. There are other steps you can take, some relatively inexpensive and some that will even generate income for more extensive work. CUT - Even a small cut can have big benefi ts. A selective fi rewood cut opens up the canopy allowing more sunlight to reach the forest fl oor. This, in turn, promotes more growth in the herbaceous layer, which translates to more food and cover for wildlife. Stumps left behind will produce stump sprouts, a great source of woody browse for deer. You can stack limbs and brush to create brushpiles for rabbits, or leave some tops to create bedding cover for deer. Bare areas and woods roads created by skidders can be planted with clover to create mini food plots. Openings created by timber or pulpwood cuts will have the same benefi ts, and the income can be applied toward other land enhancement projects like food plots or plantings. RELEASE - Survey the land and look for preferred species like mast producing oaks, apples and persimmons. If you thin out the competition, you “release” these trees and shrubs so they can produce more wildlife food. PLANT - If none currently exist on your property, plant some. Species like apple, persimmon, chestnuts and some oaks will produce mast in a few years. Be sure to put cages around them so deer and rabbits don’t browse them too heavily in the fall and winter. ESTABLISH SANCTUARIES - Sometimes simply doing nothing can provide benefi ts. If you have enough land, consider setting aside certain areas as sanctuaries - places where you never go, and wildlife will be undisturbed. They’ll still travel in and out of sanctuaries, but may be less inclined to travel far from safety, and possibly onto the neighbor’s property.

Photo & article by Bob HumphreyYamaha Outdoors



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7September 2012

WILDERNESS ELKWILDERNESS ELKBy Mark Rohlfi ngSponsored by Victory, Goat Tuff, Tru Fire, Arizona Rim, S4 Gear, MyTopo, BarnettReprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.For more please go to: www.bowhunting.net

LLast year we drew a NM tag and were covered up with bugling bulls and no hunting pressure. We were excited as we drew again. However, rain, wind, and a lack of bugling bulls will crush your morale in a few short days. The fi rst day we were greeted with 1” of wet snow. We only heard 2-bugles that morning – possibly full moon related. Anyway, we were so fi red-up that we headed into our favorite basin. The results were not pretty, we found a fresh horse camp with fi re ring still smoking. Other hunters had been in this basin before we got here. Our spirits were crushed, but we now had an explanation for the lack of elk in that area.The next few days had us scratching our heads and hoping for better weather. You couldn’t hear any bugles because it was so windy and hunting

in the rain is generally miserable, especially when you’re on a wilderness hunt without a good way to dry out. Being dry in your tent was critical because the lows at night were dipping near 20 degrees. Needless to say our patience was wearing thin and it was only day 4.The evening of day 5 we spotted a good herd of elk feeding about 2.5 miles below camp. We got up at 3:30 am the next morning and hiked to the trail that would lead us down to the elk. At this point, we almost turned around because of lightening and impending storms. However, a faint bugle in the darkness pulled us onward.There were two herds of about 20 cows each with a herd bull.

The big bulls were sounding off, making sure everyone stayed in their territory. Our fi rst attempt to get a shot at one of these bulls found us 80 yards out when a cow caught our scent. Both herds bolted about a 1⁄2 mile, but then stopped.Now the bulls were really fi red up because they were in close proximity and their cows were almost mixing. We watched from a distance. The bulls parked their cows in a meadow corner and paced to an imaginary line, daring the other to cross it. If they kept this up it looked like a great opportunity.We cut the distance quickly. One herd had moved into the dark timber but the other bull was holding his position, so we got as close as we could and let out a few cows calls. The wallowed-up 6×6 cut us off with a deep bugle. Like clockwork he headed our way in an open meadow. As he swaggered over he seemed certain he was going to pick-up a couple cows.

(continued on page 32)

Author with his nice trophy bull

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You can head to Montana’s Crazy Mountains for public land bulls that occupy the timbered habitat located between Livingston, Big Timber and Harlowtown. This area is well known for big bulls, but they can be hard to reach with the limited access that sur-round Hunting District 580, but for hunt-ers willing to put in the effort, hunting the Gallatin National Forest land will be world-class, especially during the early archery elk season, and even into the start of early gun season, as the rut kicks in. It will take some work to get into the best elk country here, but you will not see many other hunters either. Most of the serious hunters will set-up a base camp, and hunt from there. The upper Sunlight Basin, located on the western side of the unit should be a prime area to hunt.

In HD 580 archery hunters can harvest either-sex elk, rifl e hunters can shoot a cow south of Sweet Crass Creek or either-sex elk north of Sweet Grass Creek during the general hunting season. As always, check current 2012 hunting regulations before you start your hunt.

General access into the heart of the Crazies is limited to a few trailheads at Cottonwood,Rock, Big Timber and Sweet Grass Creeks, and the Shields River.

Access from the north goes into Forest Lake off of Road 294 between Martinsdale and Ringling. Hunt mid-range timber lines between private fence lines. Also check for block management land at the base of the Crazies. Because of the limited access points and the low amount of hunting pressure, these bulls can grow big here, normally up to 60% of the harvest here are 6-point bulls or larger.

Map produced using National Geographic Topo. www.rockymtnmaps.com


Big Bulls, Hard Hunting Big Bulls, Hard Hunting await you in the country await you in the country north of Big Timbernorth of Big Timber BY RICK HAGGERTY

ADVERTISINGRICK HAGGERTY (406) 370-1368Publisher - Amy Haggerty - Helena, MT. huntingfishingnews@yahoo.comwww.huntingfishingnews.netwww.bigskyoutdoornews.netThe entire contents is © 2012, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced without prior consent. The material and information printed is from various sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, inc. Nor does the printed material necessarily express the views of Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, inc. All photo & editorial submissions become the property of big sky outdoor News & adventure, Inc. to use or not use at their discretion.The Hunting & Fishing News is a product of Big SkyOutdoor News & Adventure, Inc.VOLUME 9 issue 6. Cover photo: Tom Reichner

Page 9: Hunting & Fishing News

9September 2012

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In an online questionnaire about their wolf-hunting experiences, members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offer valuable intel that could help more hunters enjoy the challenge and fi ll their wolf tag this fall.

RMEF members’ goal in sharing this information is simple: More successful wolf hunters mean better balance in areas where undermanaged predator populations are impacting elk and other wildlife.

“Elk are the inspiration behind our organization’s 6 million-plus acres of habitat conservation,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “No conservation group has a membership more invested in elk country, more affected by wolves or more passionate about achieving balance. That’s why RMEF members are eager to share their collective experience in a type of hunting still new to most of us.”In parts of the northern Rockies, burgeoning numbers of wolves, bears and lions are compounding habitat issues, all contributing to elk calf survival rates too low to sustain elk herds for the future. RMEF continues to conserve habitat while advocating to clear the way for wolf management via hunting.

But wolves are providing a challenge that could make adequate population control easier said than done. Of the 710 respondents to the questionnaire, less than 7 percent killed a wolf during the inaugural hunting seasons in Idaho and Montana.Lack of success was not for lack of trying. Half of the respondents spent 8 or more days afi eld in 2011 with an eye peeled for wolves. One RMEF member reported hunting for over 100 days before he fi nally got a wolf, writing, “Never had so much excitement in one winter! Looking forward to next year.”

More than 60 percent of respondents said wolf sign was plentiful in their hunting area, while another 27 percent encountered “some” tracks, scat, vocalizations, etc. Yet only 47 percent of respondents actually saw a wolf.Another RMEF member says he now has, “a lot more respect for the world’s largest pack predator. “To kill a wolf takes more time and dedication than I expected. Once they have been pressured they get very hard to fi nd.”Among those who bagged a wolf, 20 percent credited their success to a coincidental encounter with their quarry. Calling, watching and waiting in a likely area, and stalking were reported as the most productive proactive hunting strategies.

A RMEF member who was part of multiple wolf kills says he can’t understate the importance of staying close to elk. “The No. 1 cardinal rule for fi nding wolves is fi nding elk fi rst. Sad but true. If you can fi nd a herd of elk, especially a herd a mile or so from a road, it’s just a matter of time before wolves show up,” he wrote.

More tips and observations from the RMEF member questionnaire.SCOUTING AND PREP-Wolves can be patterned like other game. Scouting will help you fi nd travel routes, crossings, etc.-Use a good spotting scope and spend more time glassing your hunt area.-Wolves tend to travel the easy routes. Watch roads, trails, frozen lakes, etc.-Be prepared to shoot accurately at long distances and at moving targets up close.-Standard varmint calibers do not do the job on wolves. Prefer .30-06 or .300 WSM.-I hunt in thick country and prefer to hunt with a shotgun and buckshot.-Hire an outfi tter!-Wolves are where the game is. If there are hooved animals in your area, you’re likely to have wolves, too.-Many hunters won’t shoot a wolf when they’re close to elk and deer. Need to change that mindset. Go on more hunts specifi cally for wolves, not for wolves as a by-product of another hunt. (Questionnaire data reveal that only 11 percent of respondents hunted exclusively for wolves; most hunted for wolves as part of a deer or elk hunt.) (continued on page 32)

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Big Bulls, Hard Hunting await you in the country north of Big Timber

Page 10: Hunting & Fishing News

10 - Hunting & Fishing News

Hooking Another Fisherman

By Bev SteinbrennerSSummer fi shing has taken on a lazy pleasure for this Montana fi sherman’s wife. During the fall, winter, and spring, our packed bags never leave the front hallway. I just wash fi lthy items and return them to the bag, for the days are few before my husband Tom and I are on the road again for hours of diehard Steelhead and then Salmon fi shing. Within these hot summer days, last week I was reminded of the childhood roots that fi rst drew me to the feeling of gratifi cation the outdoors in general have always provided me in all seasons. When I was young, every summer my aunt and Uncle would take me and my sister to their cabin on Mcgregor Lake. My Uncle was a Professor at Oregon State and my aunt was a second grade teacher. They were my fi rst contact with what my dad referred to as “Euell Gibbons” types. Although my dad mocked their enthusiasm for everything natural, I thought they were the best aunt and uncle in the world. They had tasted wild mushrooms and cattail roots long before it seemed common, and I put my trust in their ability to decipher poisonous from edible. To the best of their ability, they shared their knowledge of wild fl owers, grasses, trees,

mushrooms, scat and trails with me. When the day waned, the campfi re delivered hotdogs and smores. Before bed, we’d brush our teeth on the outside porch. The stars above reminded me of a childhood illustration in a storybook. It was magical. The cabin did not have running water, but the rustic stove and soft beds made it cozy. The walls were lined with a string of drawings and watercolors my cousins had created, and some of my fi rst attempts at drawing were made on the long wood table that was built into the wall. I am sure my aunt and uncle planted seeds into my future, when years later, I would become an English and art teacher. When I met my husband, I guess it didn’t hurt my interest in him, when I found out he liked to spend many of his weekends at his mom’s cabin. This particular cabin is on one of the most productive trout lakes in Montana. I have grown spoiled with our life of weekend getaways, but this past week I was richly rewarded with a memory I will cherish. I was able to pass on some of the traditions my aunt and uncle had created years ago. It all began when my sister came to visit with her husband and my niece, Kelsey. My sister informed me that Kelsey wanted some fi shing advice from Tom. She was interested in purchasing a pole. When I mentioned it to Tom, he disappeared into one of his fi shing rooms in the basement. I looked at my sister and explained “Tom’s setting her up with a pole.” Soon Kelsey was ditching my sister’s plan of traveling to Washington, and she was staying with us to go to the cabin to catch a fi sh. Kelsey is an amazing girl. She’s been in a wheelchair for several years, but her vivacious personality and adventurous spirit magnetize the people she encounters. She’s a sophomore in college and she’s always on the go. The night we arrived at the cabin, Kelsey asked if we’d be getting up as early as 10am to catch fi sh. She looked a little fearful when I said “more like six.” When morning came, we did let her get up later. After all, the cabin does have a clock that never moves from a 6 o’clock time. Its battery died years ago, and the face reads “Who Cares” in large letters. I failed to tell her how I often like to sleep in on hot summer days. Then I spend about a half an hour drinking coffee on the deck, while I watch how may fi sh rings I see forming on the lake’s surface from feeding trout. I have to admit, I was fairly impressed that Kelsey was in the boat fi shing by 7am. I knew she was serious about catching fi sh. Tom had four 5wt fl y rods decked out and ready with sinking fl y line and about six feet of tippet. He had tied on a gaudy, blood-sucking, leach patterned fl y as an attractor about two feet above a sparkly green bead- headed leach, which he calls his “Czech cow bell set up”. After about ten minutes in the lake, we were getting kind of worried, for we hadn’t had one bite. Tom announced that we needed to let out more line and slow down. Obviously, the fi sh weren’t on the top waiting for a late breakfast. Tom used his exquisite talent for spouting technical fi shing jargon, but I’m pretty sure he was looking at the same fi sh fi nder that was telling me the fi sh were deep. After taking my husband’s advice, it took about three minutes for Kelsey to get her fi rst strike. She reeled and reeled, but the fi sh jumped and the line went slack. That one got away. A few minutes later, we were trolling into a part of the lake we call “Rainbow Run.” Kelsey got a bite, began reeling, we witnessed a few beautiful water top dancing maneuvers and soon we could see the fi sh next to the boat. She screeched with joy mixed with a nervous laugh as I got it in the net and told her she should give him a kiss. The fi sh was returned to the lake without any harm or added affection. Over the next two hours she reeled in about fi ve or six more Rainbow ranging from 14 -17 inches. She was ecstatic, because the only other fi sh she had ever caught was when she was 12. It was a small perch she caught in a kid’s fi shing pond in Rapid City, SD. The summer sun coaxed us back to the cabin, where we spent a lazy afternoon painting pictures with acrylics on the deck. I proceeded to paint a landscape overlooking the deck. When Kelsey couldn’t think of a subject to paint, Tom drew out a rough sketch of his favorite artistic study, a fi sh. Kelsey obliged and created a picture that I saved in my art bag. With trout still on the brain, our evening fi shing couldn’t come fast enough. Soon we were out on the water again, and after Kelsey caught another half dozen fi sh, she decided she was going to keep a trout for her morning breakfast. The next morning, before Kelsey got out of bed, Tom pulled the fi sh out of the fridge and heated the barbecue up to 350 degrees and laid down a piece of tinfoil. Kelsey’s trout was sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled in smoke-house maple seasoning by McCormick. She shared it with us and it was the yummiest fi sh I’ve ever eaten from any lake. This recipe also works great on Salmon and Steelhead.

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Page 11: Hunting & Fishing News

11September 2012

Decoying PronghornsBy Bob Humphrey, Yamaha Outdoors

Pronghorn are known mostly for their blistering speed -- they’re North American’s fastest land animal -- and their incredible eyesight. Add to that a preference for open range and they make for a formidable challenge for any hunter, especially a bowhunter. Fortunately, the pronghorn has an Achilles heel -- the rut. During the breeding season bucks become extremely aggressive and will approach and even try to chase off any potential rival. It can be a very narrow window, but represents one of the best times and tactics for bringing a buck into bow range. SCOUT - Scout the area you hunt from a distance to locate rutting bucks and their harems. Scout from a vehicle, like a truck or Side-by-Side as pronghorns seem less wary of vehicles than humans on foot. GET CLOSE - Use terrain and any available cover to get as close as you can. Pronghorn can see your decoy from a long way off, and may react to it. But the closer you can get the better the chances of a positive reaction. HOW MANY? - One decoy will work, and if you use only one, make sure it’s a buck. A rutting buck will be far more likely to approach a rival than a potential mate. However, you can enhance your set-up by adding a doe or two. A randy buck may perceive this as an even greater threat to his dominance and the integrity of his harem. GET HELP - Trying to manage a decoy and a bow can be tough, espe-cially if you have to move. Pairing up allows one person to manage the decoy while the other concentrates on preparing for the shot.GO LIGHT - Pronghorn have keen eyesight but rather poor depth perception. This makes two-dimensional decoys a good option. They’re lighter, making them much easier to transport and handle, particularly those that fold up.SET-UP - You have several options on how to set up, though you may be limited by circumstances. If cover allows, use it to set up for a

broadside shot when the buck approaches the decoy. In the open, the decoy may be your only cover. Then, you’ll have to wait for the animal to turn, offering a broadside shot.PRACTICE - A rut-crazed buck may charge in and stop only a few yards away, but long shots of 50 or more yards are more common. Be prepared by practicing at these ranges and having long-range pins on your sight. You should also practice judging distances, which be-comes more diffi cult in open terrain where you have little for scale. RANGE - You should also carry a rangefi nder. If you hunt with a partner, let them do the ranging to free up your hands.

Photo Bob Humphrey

Page 12: Hunting & Fishing News

12 - Hunting & Fishing News

Dial In Lure Retrieval For Bass

© Scootz | Dreamstime.com

By Babe Winkelman

I’m sure everyone reading this has had this happen: you’re in a boat fi shing with someone else and the other guy is killing the bass while you can’t buy a bite. So you switch to the exact same lure as the hot shot. You fi sh the same weight line, cast to the same exact spots, but can’t seem to get bit. What gives?More often than not, the answer lies in the retrieve. The angler catching all the fi sh just happens to be imparting the exact pace, hop, hesitation, or whatever to the lure and is giving the fi sh what they want to see. And because the “magic” retrieve can be so subtle in its uniqueness, it’s sometimes very diffi cult for others to duplicate.Leading professional bass anglers prove this week in and week out. At many tournaments, every fi sherman in the fi eld knows exactly what the “bite” is on the water they’re fi shing. Every competitor out there might be throwing virtually the same exact thing. But guys like Kevin Van Dam will come to the weigh-in with a nice bag while the rest of the fi eld scratch their collective heads and wonder ‘how in the heck did he do that?’ The world’s best fi shermen know how to dial in the perfect retrieve and bait presentation. They just know how to feed fi sh.Like anything worth working for, perfecting effective retrieves means you have to practice and experiment. Here’s a great example. While fi lminga pike show in Ontario, I came into a shallow bay that was literally loaded with huge pike. They looked like sunken logs strewn all about. I fi gured I was in hog heaven and started throwing a fi ve-of-diamonds spoon... a go-to bait for pike. On a steady retrieve, they wouldn’t budge for it. So I began to pause and fl utter the spoon. That got them to make a few half-hearted charges, but no bites. Clearly slower was better, and nothing beats a jig for a slow-motion retrieve. So I switched to a big Banjo Minnow and swam it back slowly in

a gentle up-and-down way. Still no takers. It wasn’t until I let the bait fall to the bottom and just sit there that I got the pike excited. They’d rush in, poise above the motionless bait, and wait. Then, after a good 20 seconds of doing nothing to the lure, I would give it the slightest twitch and WHAM! They would hammer it! I read the fi sh and dialed in the right lure and retrieve they wanted. And that’s what it takes to master the perfect retrieve.There are so many lures in the world and so many ways to bring them back to the boat. Covering the gamut would fi ll an entire bible-sized book and then some. So instead, I’ll cover the four most-used bass baits and their fundamental retrieves. From the surface to the bottom of thewater column, they are topwater plugs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs/soft plastics. I’ll present the most effective retrieves that I’ve experienced for each lure, and encourage you to try variations of those when you fi nd that fi sh simply aren’t responding.For top water baits, I start out with a long cast to fi shy structure. With an exposed-hook popper or dog-walking plug, it’s just a regular cast. With weedless top waters in heavy cover, I’ll often “skip” the bait in so that when it lands at its fi nal destination it comes to rest quietly instead of “plopping” down. This can decrease the likelihood of spooking bass in shallow cover.After the bait lands, I let it sit for several seconds (typically the amount of time it takes the ripples to subside) before I begin the retrieve. Sometimes bass see the initial land-ing and come close to investigate... waiting. Then, when that initial twitch happens, (continued next page)

Page 13: Hunting & Fishing News

13September 2012

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Limited Cisco Die-Off Observed in Upper Fort Peck Reservoir MFWP

they pounce. As I begin fi shing the plug, I’ll start with a slow tempo fi rst and if I don’t get any strikes after several casts, then I’ll up the tempo. When the fi rst fi sh hits, I make the preliminary assumption that that’s the speed they’re looking for.

The same applies to spinnerbait and crankbait retrieves. I start by slow-rolling the baits and if the bites don’t come, I keep speeding up until I’m really ripping the lure in. High-speed retrieves are most effective with single-blade spinnerbaits (versus tandem blade) and tight-wobble lipless crankbaits (versus wide-wobble lipped baits). Again, experimentation is the key when determining what the ideal speed is for a particular day, the weather conditions or the time of year.

Finally, with jigs and soft plastics, the art of retrieval gets even more tricky. That’s because these baits can be fi shed vertically, dragged on long lines, snap-jigged, swum in at any depth, hopped off the bottom, fl ipped into cover pockets... the list goes on and on. But when push comes to shove, jigs and soft plastics are the bass-catchingest baits on the planet. So all I can do is inspire you to get out there and try every conceivable jig/soft plastic retrieve imaginable. Make it a personal challenge to experiment and develop jigging and fi nesse skills that you’ve never tried before. While you do it, pay close attention to feel and watch your fi shing line for that telltale “hop” that can happen when a bass bites. I promise you, it will help you catch more fi sh and hone angling skills that will make you the guy in the boat who’s getting bit instead of wishing you were.

Good Fishing!

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State fi sheries biologists say that hot weather has caused the death of hundreds of cisco, a prevalent forage species, in the Fourchette Bay and Narrows area of Fort Peck Reservoir over the past few weeks. Cisco, also known as lake herring, are typically found in the deeper, colder areas of the reservoir. But a sustained period of hot summer weather has increased surface temperatures in the upper portion of Fort Peck, some of which is relatively shallow. Warm water temperatures -- recently documented as high as 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the Fourchette area – and subsequent low levels of dissolved oxygen take their toll on some types of fi sh, especially cisco. “We’re getting reports of hundreds of cisco fl oating and washing up near shore,” said Heath Headley, the reservoir’s lead biologist with MFWP, “While the numbers of dead fi sh may seem like a lot to anglers, they should remember that the area where the die-offs are occurring is quite small when compared to the rest of the reservoir.” Headley said cisco die-offs have occurred in the same part of Fort Peck Reservoir in past years... In addition, Headley said the relative abundance of cisco in the reservoir has increased over the past several years... “This has led to an increased number of adult cisco in the current population, which in turn has led to healthier and larger game fi sh species in Fort Peck,” Headley said. “Anglers have likely noticed more robust chinook salmon, lake trout, walleye, and northern pike on the end of their lines the last couple of years. That’s why.”...

Page 14: Hunting & Fishing News

14 - Hunting & Fishing News

Author with his Wyoming buck

absolutely love hunting whitetail deer in the morning, but except during the rut when bucks move all day, morning hunts can be quite diffi cult. Finding a morning stand where you don’t bump deer on the way in is tough, but during the early season you can work a little harder and fi nd stand locations that will allow you to cut bucks off on their way back to bed.During most early seasons, especially those in September, whitetails are on regular feeding patterns that generally fi nd them coming out in the evening, feeding at night and heading back to bed early the next morning. You can’t hunt the fi eld edges where the deer are feeding because you will inevitably spook them. The best bet is to fi nd a travel route back to bedding areas and intercept them on the way.


The farther off the food source you are, the more chance you will have of seeing deer during good light. It is surprising how far deer will travel from bedding to a food source like an alfalfa fi eld and back each day.

The key to this type of hunting is using good optics from a distance to scout and exercise patience. If you bump deer off their preferred travel route once or twice, you will push them more towards being nocturnal, especially mature bucks.I like to fi nd a high point overlooking alfalfa, soybeans, etc. and watch deer for a couple of evenings and mornings if possible. If you can fi nd a trail where the deer enter the fi eld in the evening, and watch it again in the morning and see them take the same trail, you know it is a primary travel route. If it is broken country and you can watch off and on as the go back to their bedding areas in the morning, you can pick a likely ambush site to hang a stand during midday.Last year I bowhunted in northeast Wyoming during the fi rst week of September. Deer were feeding heavily on alfalfa, but due to drought, acorns were beginning to drop and this fact held deer up getting to fi elds in the evening and slowed them down going to bed in the mornings. They just couldn’t pass up the acorn candy as they traveled. This really hurt the evening hunts as the deer didn’t reach the fi elds until late, but it helped mornings as they were still moving later on.I setup my trusty Nikon spotting scope on a high bluff where I could glass three different alfalfa fi elds and watched for a couple of mornings. There was an area where deer were feeding on a high fi led, coming down a steep hill and crossing a main valley and heading back up a narrow drainage to bed on the opposite ponderosa pine covered hillside. It was at least a mile between the food source and bedding area, and I fi gured if I went up the narrow drain a couple hundred yards, I could get in early without bumping deer. As a bonus, there was a small waterhole at the mouth of the drain.I didn’t hunt the spot until the last morning of my trip, and I had a buck and a doe tag. I fi red up my ThermaCELL to keep the bugs off and decided to take the fi rst mature deer that came through. It just so happened to be an old doe. She came right up the drain and gave me a 16 yard broadside shot. She ran 40 yards up the hillside and dropped. That was only about 30 minutes into the hunt so I decided to sit tight.An hour later, I saw the glint of sunlight off an antler, and I spied a nice 8-pointer near the waterhole about 80 yards out. I only saw him for about fi ve seconds, and he disappeared. After ten minutes of watching, I gave up and fi gured he went the other way, but suddenly he emerged from a tangle of brush only 20 yards out and was headed straight for my tree.My stand was in a 15 yard wide row of trees and brush that ran up the center of the drainage, and the side of the drain in font of me was grazed grass starting about ten paces from my stand. The buck came on a steady walk toward me as I gently lifted my bow. He stopped straight under my stand, and I watched him (continued page 32)

WHITETAILS- WHITETAILS- CUT THEM OFFCUT THEM OFFGOING TO BEDGOING TO BEDBy Tim HeraldSponsored byThermaCELL Mosquito RepellantReprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.For more please go to: www.bowhunting.net

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Page 15: Hunting & Fishing News

15September 2012

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Page 16: Hunting & Fishing News

16 - Hunting & Fishing News

ON THE MOVE WITH LATE SUMMER WALLEYESBy Ron Anlauf, Northland Tackle, www.northlandtackle.comBy the end of August and into September there is a short period of time when walleyes show a renewed interest in shallow

water which can result in some excellent angling opportunities. For those that decide to stick with it the potential is real and in many cases the early fall period can produce some of the hottest action of the entire open water season.The drawing card for attracting numbers of walleyes back to shallow structure is more than just the structure itself and can be summed up in one word: food. For most of the summer young of the year perch, minnows, and baitfi sh hang out in the relative safety of shallow water structure where they can live and grow until they become a desirable size. Reaching a desirable size can be a dangerous thing if you’re a minnow, as there are only so many places to hide. Shallow rock and gravel has plenty to offer providing hiding places for all of that aforementioned bait as well as thousands of crayfi sh. Adult perch will fi le in and gorge themselves on immature crayfi sh, making them an easy target for walleyes on the prowl.A top technique for yanking walleyes off the rocks includes trolling crankbaits which will allow you to cover some water. Try tying on a lure that will just barely reach the bottom with a lot of line out and then get going, and don’t be afraid to speed things up. Late summer walleyes can be plenty active and the extra speed may be just what they’re looking for. Good crankbait colors include perch and crayfi sh patterns, and it’s not to hard to imagine why.On lakes that have big weed fl ats there are all kinds of nooks and crannies for bait fi sh to hide out in, that is until late in the summer when a lot of weeds start to lay down and die, thus eliminating many of those hiding spots and pushing schools of bait out into the open leaving them in a rather precarious position. Walleyes know a good situation when they see one and big schools of bait left hanging out to dry is a real good situation. It all happens at a time when predators instinctively feel the need to feed heavily, allowing them to put on the layers of fat that will help to get them through the leaner times of the hard water period.One of the hottest patterns of the early fall period occurs near the remaining weeds that are left standing on slow tapering fl ats, and can happen just about anywhere you fi nd green weeds. Walleyes will stack up on the edges or move into the middle of a fl at if there are enough openings. The edges and openings create ambush points and give ol’ marble eyes some room to operate.Top presentations for working early fall weed fl ats include live bait rigging and jigging. A live bait rig and a red tail chub can be a real killer when worked on the deep edge of a weed fl at, but the presentation loses some appeal when trying to work into the middle of heavier weeds. In that case a bait like an 1/8oz Northland Tackle Vegas Jig tipped with a minnow can be the big ticket, or maybe a jig and plastic body like the Mimic Minnow Shiner which may be even more effective as you can literally rip the setup through the weeds which can trigger weed bound walleyes. Jigs can be cast or trolled depending on how much area you have to cover or how thick the weeds are.

A top late summer technique includes drifting or trolling over weedy fl ats with the jig and plastic and letting it rip and glide across the tops of the weeds and drop into the open pockets. As you drift along drop the jig back and then snap it forward which gives the bait a rip and fall action which can really trigger active fi sh. A lot of the times walleyes will grab the bait on the fall and will just be there when you go to rip it forward again; fi sh on!A good weed pattern may be your best bet even when you have the classic rock and gravel options...


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Page 17: Hunting & Fishing News

17September 2012


Cliff and the 41” steelhead he caught and released in 2011 on the South Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho. He caught this Steelhead with a jig he tied himself. Photo from Barbara Haakonson

TThe fall steelhead harvest season opened Wednesday, August 1, on a two-mile stretch of the lower Clearwater River from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge near Lewiston.

The limits on these waters are two per day and six in possession.

The rest of the Clearwater and the Middle Fork, North Fork and South Fork rivers are open for catch-and-release only until October 15.The fall steelhead harvest season opens October 15 on the main stem of the Clearwater River above the Memorial Bridge, the South Fork Clearwater River, the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, and the Middle Fork Clearwater River below Clear Creek.

Catch-and-release for steelhead also opens August 1 on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.

The harvest season opens September 1. The limits on these waters are three per day and nine in possession. Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the fall season, which ends December 31. Only steelhead with a clipped adipose fi n, evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. Any steelhead that has an intact adipose fi n must be released unharmed.

For additional information please consult the 2012 fi shing rules and seasons brochure, available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offi ces and online at: http://fi shandgame.idaho.gov/public/fi sh/rules/steelhead.pdf

The 2012 fall Chinook salmon harvest season opens September 1 on the Snake River and the lower Clearwater River.

The season will continue until further notice or October 31, whichever comes fi rst.

Fishery managers predict 18,272 adult hatchery origin Chinook salmon will cross Lower Granite Dam...

Anglers may keep only fi sh with a clipped adipose fi n, evidenced by a healed scar. All salmon with an intact adipose fi n must be released.

The daily limit is six adult fall Chinook, and the possession limit is 18.

There is no season limit on adult fall Chinook. There are no daily or possession limits on jacks and anglers are not required to mark jacks on their salmon permit.

Anglers may use only barbless hooks no larger than fi ve-eighths inch from the point to the shank. When the daily, possession limit is reached, the angler must stop fi shing for salmon, including catch and-release...

The Snake River fi shery will open in four sections:*From the Washington-Idaho border to Bridge Street bridge.*From Bridge Street bridge to the Oregon-Washington border.*From the Oregon-Washington border to the mouth of Sheep Creek.*From the mouth of Sheep Creek to Hells Canyon Dam.

The Clearwater River will open from its mouth to the Memorial Bridge. A map showing boundaries is in the 2012 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure.

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Page 18: Hunting & Fishing News

18 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Preparing for the hunts now is the key to having a fun and successful archery hunt. UDWR Photo


Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesIf you’re an archery hunter, you can stay safe during this year’s archery hunts by following a few, simple rules.Preparing for the hunts now is the key to having a fun and successful archery hunt... “Every year, we receive reports of archery hunters injuring themselves,” says Gary Cook, hunter education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.Two practices lead to most of the accidents: not being safe in tree stands or having arrows out of your quiver when you shouldn’t.Cook provides the followingadvice to help you avoid these accidents:If you’re going to hunt from a tree stand, make sure the tree is large enough to hold your weight before you climb the tree.To lessen the chance that you’ll fall while climbing the tree, leave your bow, arrows and other equipment on the ground, and attach a haul line to them. Also, be sure to use an approved safety harness (also called a fall arrest system), and always secure yourself to the tree as soon as you leave the ground.“Once you reach your stand and have attached your safety harness to your fi nal location,” Cook says, “then use your haul line to lift your gear to you.”Cook also recommends using a portable tree stand, rather than building a “permanent” one. “Permanent tree stands can deteriorate and become unsafe,” he says...Until you’re ready to shoot, keep your arrows in a quiver that has a hood on it that covers the broadheads. “One of the most common accidentswe see is archers jabbing themselves or other hunterswhile carrying arrows in their hand or nocked on their bow,” Cook says. “Keep your arrows in a quiver until you’re ready to shoot.”...

In addition to the safety tips, Cook provides advice on getting prepared for the season, safety items to remember while you’re in the fi eld and information on tracking animals and preserving their meat.PREPARATIONEquipment checks - make sure the laminations on your bow are not fl aking or separating and that the strings on your bow are not fraying...Also, make sure your arrow’s spline (the stiffness of the arrow’s shaft) matches your bow’s draw weight. If your bow’s draw weight produces more force than your arrow can handle, your arrow will probably fl y off target when you shoot.Broadhead sharpening – when you sharpen your broadheads, be careful and take your time. Your broadheads should be razor sharp. But make sure you don’t cut yourself while sharpening them.

PRACTICE SHOOTING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.Obtain written permission from private landowners before hunting on their property or using their property to access public land.Know the boundaries of limited entry units and other restricted areas in the area you’ll be hunting.Take the DWR’s Bowhunter Education class. You can learn more about the class, and sign up to take it, on-line.Never take a shot at a deer or an elk that is beyond the maximum, effective range you’re comfortable shootingat. Also, before releasing your arrow, make sure of your target and what’s beyond it.AFTER THE SHOTWatch the animal and determine the direction it

took. Then go to the spot where you last saw the animal and fi nd your arrow. If there’s blood on it, and if you have a compass, take a bearing on the direction the animal went. Then wait 30 minutes before tracking it. If you track the animal too soon, you can spook it into running. If you wait at least 30 minutes before tracking it, you’ll fi nd most of the deer and elk you shoot dead within a reasonable distance of your starting point.When you track an animal, look for blood not only on the ground but on the brush too. If you begin to lose the animal’s trail, tie a piece of biodegradable paper near the last blood spot. Then search for the animal’s trail by walking a circular pattern out from the paper. The paper will serve as a marker that will let you know where you started.Also, tying paper at the locations of the last three or four spots you see, and then standing away from the paper and looking at the paper trail, can help you visualize the direction the animal took.Once you’ve found the animal, check to see if its eyes are open. If they’re not, the animal probably isn’t dead. If its eyes are open, touch one of the eyes with a long stick. Doing so will keep you out of harm’s way if the animal is still alive.

Once the animal is dead, fi eld dress and cool its meat immediately. It’s usually warm during the archery hunt. The warm temperatures can cause the meat to spoil quickly.


Page 19: Hunting & Fishing News

19September 2012

HUNTING-Most of Montana’s upland game bird seasons run Sept. 1-Jan.1, 2013—with the exception of sage grouse season, which closes Nov. 1.-The general pheasant season runs Oct. 6-Jan. 1, 2013. -The youth only special pheasant weekend is Sept. 22-23.DAILY BAG LIMITS-Two sage grouse, four sharp-tailed grouse, three mountain grouse and eight partridge in aggregate.-Three cock pheasants daily.POSSESSION LIMITS-Two times the daily bag limit for sage grouse and four times the daily bag limit for sharp-tailed, mountain grouse and partridge.-Three times the daily bag limit for pheasants.-The annual bag limit for turkey is two wild turkeys. The total combined limit of the spring and fall seasons cannot exceed two turkeys per hunter. -In the fall, two either-sex turkeys may be harvested, but no more than one may be harvested in eastern Montana’s FWP Region 7 and no more than one may be harvested outside of FWP Region 7.-Fall turkey hunting is open to all hunters with a valid turkey license in the general hunting areas described in the upland game bird regulations. -Special turkey hunting permits, with applications made in July, are valid only in areas specifi ed in the regulations and must be used with a valid turkey license.-All areas open to hunting upland game birds by fi rearms are open to either-sex hunting of that species by falconry.-For the youth only special pheasant weekend, the bag limit, shooting hours, hunter safety requirements and all other regulations that apply to the regular pheasant season apply to the special youth season.-For other details, see the upland game bird hunting regulations which are available on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov, at FWP regional offi ces and from FWP license providers.-Hunters planning to hunt upland game birds on Indian Reservations should check Indian Reservation regulations for season dates, bag limits, licensing requirements, shooting hours, legal species and shot gun shell requirements, which may differ from state regulations.

Upland Game Bird And Pheasant Bag Limits For 2012


Page 20: Hunting & Fishing News

Brought to you bySay Hello To Success: Where to chase the Fish this Month


20 - Hunting & Fishing News


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You’ll want to get some of the last best camping in here, and at Hauser Lake. Areas around Holter at Wolf Creek or Canyon Ferry have some fi rst-rate campgrounds. If you need a fi shing guide for any of these areas give Forrest, the Walleye Hunter a call at 406-459-5352. The fi shing has been amazing all season longon these waters!

kick in until November on the Bighorn,but pre-spawn fi shing for trout in the 18” to 23” fi sh are common. Large streamers: Zonkers, Buggers and Double Bunnies work here. You can take both rainbows and browns on a variety of nymphs as well: Copper John’s, Hare’s Ears, and Scud imitations. If you are tossing lures, try the Mepps Aglia, Krocodile, Panther Martin or you can give a new one a try that I’ve found to work well on trout. It’s made in Helena by J.D.R. Specialty Tackle, and it’s called the Forage Minnow Spoon. Try the 1/4 oz size. (jdrspecialtytackle.com). They have many options for trout, pike and walleye.

Scott Edman of Stevensvillewith his Echo Lake BassWell, here we are already, the fall

season starts here in Montana with undoubtedly some of the best fi shing of the year. Most rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs have transitioned to favorable water levels and with cooler nights and mornings, the fi sh will be very aggressive for the nextfew weeks. For most Montana sportsmen and women, the hardest part is trying to stretch enough days into September for fi shing and hunting. It is defi nitely the best time of the year for most anything or place you will be targeting. Let’s take a look at a few hot fi shing options right now!


TROUT, WALLEYECanyon Ferry will be one of the best early fall destinations for enthusiastictrout and very good walleye action. Fish swimbaits and jigs on the edges of weed lines as the fi sh will begin to feed on minnows that have fattened up throughout the summer. A drop-off rig with a 3 to 4 inch minnow pattern can be effective. Trolling any type of fl asher rig such as a Cowbell in around 20 feet of water will produce big trout. The walleye will hang in the more shallow bays. Try fi shing a 1/8 to 1/16 or jig head, or tossing a crankbait or swimbait, and you’ll pick-up some fi sh.Holter Lake will produce much the same way. Fishing around Cottonwood Creek, Split Rock andthe Oxbow Bend area are all hot spots on Holter. Jigs work well on the walleye. Hit the shaded, rocked faced areas early in the morning or the late evening for hungry fi sh. Cowbells tipped with a crawler or trolling Wedding Rings or worm harnesses around the Split Rock area will always produce fi sh. Anglershave been picking up a lot of 3 to 4 pound rainbows with regularity here.


BASS, PIKEThe bass fi shing has been very good lately up on Noxon. Try twitching jerk baits such as a Rapala in a perch pattern, or Chartreuse spinner baits for both the big northerns and those feisty bass. Late September into October is a fi ne time to be on Noxon. Target big northerns along weed beds in around 8 to 10 feet of water. Hit as many inlets and small bays as possible, and you will pick-upa lot of fi sh. If you have wanted to fi sh Noxon, but never have, give the Lakeside Motel a call at 1-888-827-4458 for fi shing updates and a nice place to overnight.

SEELEY & SALMON LAKESPIKE, BASS, KOKANEEBig northerns will be lurking around and will become very combative as the fall weather sets in. A trophy sized fi sh is very possible now, as the lake quiets from all of the summer time boaters. Try casting Husky Jerks, spoons and spinner baits in fi re tiger or silver/black color combos.These fi sh will key in on kokanee salmon that start to school up in preparation to spawn, so anything that mimics a 6” - 8” kokanee is a good choice.

SMALLMOUTH BASS, WHITEFISHThe lower Flathead, from Kerr Dam downstream to it’s confl uence with the Clark Fork River near Paradise is blessed with some of the best trophy smallmouth bass fi shing in the state. Fish the upper section from the Dam down to the mouth of the Little Bitterroot River. The only downfall is that there are very fewaccess points along this stretch. One of the greatest spots to cast from the bank is at Sloan Bridge downstream from the Dam. This is a good place to fi nd a big northern pike, rainbows, and a few lakers that have migrated down from the lake. You can also fi sh at access points at Teakettle, Sportsman’s and the old steel bridge for lake superior whitefi sh up to 4 pounds. For these, bounce green colored jigs along thegravelly bottoms.

BIGHORN RIVERBROWN TROUTNothing secret about this Blue-Ribbontrout stream southeast of Billings, but what makes it a remarkable destination is it’s brown trout, which will be chasing big streamers. The real spawn doesn’t

FORT PECK LAKENORTHERN, LAKE TROUT, BASSOne of the most neglected big fi sh spots in the state will be Fort PeckReservoir in the fall. Mainly due to it’s proximity away from any major cities and the vast size of the reservoir.It is known for outstanding walleye, pike and bass fi shing and this is true, but the late fall anglers will be targeting huge lake trout, as these fi sh will be in preparation for spawning season. It’s one of the rare times of the year you can catch a big lake trout from shore. Toss large spoons and you may land a trout in the 18 pound category, or troll Wobbling spoons orsquids off slashers. The eastern end of the Dam is the best area for these lakers. It’s also a good area to practice catch and release on the big ones. Snap a photo and take measurements, as you can still have it mounted for the wall. Reportsfrom locals is that the northern pike bite is “amazing” right now. Pitching a jig or spinner bait along shorelines will keep you busy all day long with northerns and smallmouth bass. As long as the weather co-operates, you’ll be into the fi sh on Fort Peck. For the latest call Hell Creek Marinaat 406-557-2345.








Forrest Fawthrop-Guide #10908Jamie Benedickt- Outfi tter #8871(406)459-5352 or (406)580-2426


Page 21: Hunting & Fishing News

21September 2012

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Clearwater River, IDSTEELHEADEvery year it is different on theClearwater River depending on water fl ows and the water temperature, but the good news is that you can expect exceptional fi shing in the fall, and there are plenty of steelhead already in the river. The early A-run strain will be fi shing well on the Grand Ronde, the Salmon and the Imnaha. The A-run are smaller steelhead mainly weighing in the 3 to 6 pound range and they have a shorter bite, mainly in the morninghours. Try drift baits, primarily roeor shrimp sprayed with a crawfi shscent. Around Lewiston, Idaho fi sh from the Confl uence up to MemorialBridge, dragging around lighted plugs at night or running dyed shrimp under a bobber.The B-run is on the way!It’s around the fi rst part of Octoberwhen the bigger B-run metal headswill be heavy in the system and will fi sh great all the way up throughJanuary, and once the good fi shingstarts you can catch them all the way into March. There are plentyof spots to camp or motels in thearea. If you are looking for a good,reputable guide on the Clearwater,give Jarrett’s Guide Service a callat 208-476-3791. They fi sh almostevery day of the year on thesewaters for salmon, steelhead andbass depending on the season. If you are interested in the Grand Ronde or Snake River call Travisat Guerilla Guide Service at 208-924-8685.

Well, there it is. A peak at what you can expect early in the fall. Time iswasting. You better hit the water!

email your fi shing photos to:huntingfi [email protected]

Photos become the property of Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, Inc. to use or not use

at their discretion. Photos will not be returned.



Wild West Fly FishingPo Box 134 Livingston, MT 59047







Forrest Fawthrop-Guide #10908Forrest Fawthrop-Guide #10908Jamie Benedickt- Outfi tter #8871Jamie Benedickt- Outfi tter #8871(406)459-5352 or (406)580-2426(406)459-5352 or (406)580-2426



TROUTLocated near Dillon.Take Highway 15 south from Butte to Clark Canyon Reservoir. The fi shing will continue to be phenomenal here. Fish the southern part of the reservoir for 3 to 4 pound trout and bigger during the fall. Fly fi shing will be a good bet using grasshoppers, beetles, and other terrestrials, or toss a small gold, silver and bronze Mepps for aggressive trout. This time of the year, you can use almost any refl ective spinner on these fi sh.

SMALLMOUTH BASSLocated near Pocatello, IdahoThe hot, dry summer is starting to take it’s toll on many irrigations reservoirs in the southeast region of Idaho. Fortunately, most reservoirs started full this spring, and most reservoirs have enough water to support fi sheries through the fall. These hot periods effect trout more than they do bass, bluegill, and crappie. In fact, these species are more active at high temperatures. Fish for smallmouths along any structure near the Dam. Bronzebacks are holding in and around the boulders or debris sticking up out of the water. Target these spots with grubs in bright orange, bounced off the bottom. Crankbaits in a crawdad pattern will also be effective for smallies in the 4 pound range on the reservoir. Below the Dam, you can fi sh below Massacre Rocks using crankbaits and jigs, or top-water baits will take fi sh in the shallows.


Page 22: Hunting & Fishing News

22 - Hunting & Fishing News

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In the 1980 movie classic “The Mountain Men”, the character Henry Frapp is questioned by a young green horn: “Haven’t you ever been lost?” Frapp scratches his whiskers and after a recollecting pause, replies, “A fearsome confused for a month or two... but I ain’t ever been lost!” For the fur trappers, wandering through a vast and unexplored country, “lost” would have been something of an oxymoron. Not knowing where you were was a necessary part of the mountain man business. The blank space on the map was as much “home” as it was wilderness, and “lost” was more a state of mind than a physical dilemma.When the mountain men plunged head-long into the unknown, they knew that where they were going there would be no restaurants or hotels. So they planned accordingly. They learned quickly where to fi nd food and how to get it; how to mend equipment, to make new or make do; they could sleep in a log, a cave, or just plain under the stars – and survive! How did they accomplish this incredible feat? Simply, they were prepared - mentally and physically.Today, the same principles apply. When you head out into the woods, be prepared: for cold, rain or snow; to tend an injury; or to stay the night in the woods. It’s not as diffi cult as it sounds. Here are a few nuggets of Mountain Man wisdom to help you survive:STAYING FOUND The old timers relied on “Dead Reckoning” for navigation: utilizing a compass to guide them in the general direction they wished to go. Sometimes in the absence of a compass, they relied only on “reckoning”: as in “I reckon camp is back that way.” The contemporary woodsman may have the handiness of a GPS, but owning one of these high-tech gizmos is not an adequate substitute for map and compass skills. Just as with other conveniences (cell phones, cameras, fl ash lights), the batteries will invariable go dead just when you need them the most. Learning how to read a map is not that diffi cult; up is north, left is west and so on. The closer the lines are together the steeper the country. Water is shown as blue, while man made objects are black. It is simply a two dimensional rendition of a three dimensional world. Using a map and a compass to show you which way is north, you’d be hard pressed to get seriously lost. Sure, some practice is required, but that’s all part of the preparedness thing.Paying attention to where you’re going can also be a big help to staying found. As you pursue your quarry, notice which way the shadows are falling. Have you been mostly climbing, or descending? Look for landmarks as you go. Not stumps and rocks, but BIG landmarks that give your relative position to the valley below, or that craggy peak to the west. Turn around and look behind you, what would it look like if you were going that way – back to camp or the truck? (continued on page 28)

Program Focuses On Common Ground Shared By Hunters And Landowners MFWP

More than 2,400 hunters and landowners have taken a look at an information program aimed at helping promote responsible hunter behavior and good hunter-landowner relations.Nearly half of those who checked in completed the course and earned a lifetime certifi cation from the Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project.“The Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project is designed to help hunters and landownersbuild effective relationships based upon mutual respect and understanding of each other’s perspectives,” said Alan Charles, Coordinator of Landowner/Sportsman Relations for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.The voluntary and free course is available via FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click “For Hunters.”The course is delivered through an interactive website with videos, questions and instant feedback, as well as opportunitiesfor people to test their knowledge on a variety of topics related to hunter-landowner relations and responsible hunter behavior...Designed to be thought-provoking and entertaining, the program is highly interactive to keep the attention of even those who wouldn’t typically spend a lot of time on the computer. “We want to develop ways for huntersand landowners to explore

each other’s experiences and connect with each other,” said Thomas Baumeister, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks education program manager.Those who successfully complete the course can print a certifi cate of completion for future reference, and may request a free cap and bumper sticker bearing the program’s logo.Charles said the program emerged from recommendations from the Private Land/PublicWildlife Council, and from recommendations made by the Montana Hunter Behavior Advisory Council.“FWP’s goal is to emphasize the common ground shared by hunters and landowners while focusing attention on key issues that typically arise when hunters and landowners interact,” Charles explained.Some landowners are alreadyusing the program as a tool to promote responsible hunter behavior, either by posting signs provided by FWP to indicate the ranch supports the project or requesting hunters to produce a certifi cate of completion as a condition of access. Many hunters who have completed the course have indicated that information provided through the program has helped them be more aware of the many issues associated with private land and public access...

Page 23: Hunting & Fishing News

23September 2012

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Page 24: Hunting & Fishing News

24 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Ode to September: Warm Days, Cool Nights and Bugling Elk BY S.L. MERRIAM

A long list of wildlife staff contacts for this short article brought me loads of information. After speaking with Neal Whitney, in the License Business Analysis division of Game and Fish (404-444-4715), it was quickly evident it’s time to get ready to do your scouting homework and begin putting your gear together. The goal is to provide detailed information that will assist you in fi lling the tags purchased with hard earned dollars then insuring smiles in the after-hunt photos.For elk hunters, the rut is fast approaching and that is a magical time in the west. For the hunter with an assortment of calls there is nothing more exciting than getting an animal weighing fi ve times more than a stout hunter fi red up then making it so furious he’ll charge in, hoping to destroy the bull with the audacity to mount a challenge. When you are set up correctly with the bow at full draw the next few moments will cause an adrenalin surge that will start your legs shaking.

ARCHERY ELKArchery elk licenses are available over the counter for residents, but this year there are still leftover non-resident archery tags for most areas, which is unusual. The benefi t of a low subscription rate is the lack of competition when all the tags are not sold. Meaning you may not see another archer. The regular season runs from September 1, thru October 14, which completely covers the rut and is a great time to call a bull in for a face-to-face encounter you will remember the rest of your life.Hunt Start Date End DateArchery September 1 October 14General October 20 November 25 Backcountry (HD’s 150, 151, 280, 316)Archery September 1 - September 14General September 15 - November 25 SPRING/ FALL BEARThe spring bear season usually has more hunters afi eld as the bears are coming out of hibernation hungry, and are travelling to fi nd scarce food. During the fall season they are frantically eating 22 hours of every 24 to build fat reserves for their long winter sleep. The key to fall success is fi nding the main food and water source, since the weather will be hot and dry. Water is critical to proper digestion, meaning you will fi nd paw prints around the edge of active water sources. A trailcam is a great way to monitor a water hole during the night and, depending on the food source, the bears may come to water four times in a 24-hour period. Do the math - one of those trips will be during daylight hours. Hunt Start Date End DateSpring April 15 Various (May 15–June 15)Archery September 1 September 14Fall September 15 November 25 FALL TURKEYTurkeys are much heartier than their smaller cousins and although the chicks are affected by a dry spring, they are larger and heartier and the hens usually nest close to a water source. Poults can roost in trees as soon as they are large enough to fl y taking them out of reach of the many predators that enjoy turkey dinners before Thanksgiving.

Hunt Start Date End DateSpring April 14 May 20Fall September 1 January 1, 2013

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Page 25: Hunting & Fishing News

25September 2012



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ANTELOPEAntelope had a hard winter followed by a dry spring and a dryer summer. Antelope does are one of our game animals that can resorb a fetus when habitat conditions dictate. (Save that tidbit for your “Did you know........?” next time you want to impress someone at the campfi re.)Antelope does are bred in late September/early October and normally conceives twins. If the winter is unusually harsh and spring range habitat poor, or her physical condition weak, nature allows her to resorb one of the fetuses rather than abort it. This provides her with valuable energy to maintain her health and provide suffi cient lactation (milk) for the single fawn that is born. The loss of the resorbed fawn lessens her physical burden and improves the odds that the single fawn and doe will make it through hard times. (Deer also do this during severe winters.) During good years antelope enjoying favorable conditions can repopulate almost as quickly as whitetails. The ability to produce two fawns each year can quickly bring a herd back up to population quotas while dry summers also pose a problem as they allow both deer and antelope to contract the fatal Bluetongue disease.

Hunt Start Date End Date900 series August 15 November 11Archery September 1 October 5General October 6 November 11

UPLAND BIRDFor upland game birds spring weather and habitat conditions are critical and require suffi cient moisture for survival but not too much as the chicks can suffer from hypothermia from being wet for a prolonged period. Pheasant and grouse chicks survive by eating high nutrition bugs that provide both protein and liquid during the fi rst 30-60 days. During a dry spring these bugs are not availablebecause their eggs don’t hatch. Since 80% of the pheasants we shoot were hatched only seven months prior, a dry spring can be devastating to the fall harvest. Luckily there are widespread weather factors that allow spots of local habitat to produce birds when other areas do not. The secret is to fi nd those areas.

Adult pheasants can live without water by using the morning dew or frost along with the moisture in the greens they eat. Grouse are also affected by a lack of water but are usually more oriented to wild cover so drought causes population problems but not to the extent of the pheasant.Hunt Start Date End DatePartridge September 1 January 1, 2013Pheasant General October 6 January 1, 2013Youth Pheasant September 22 September 23Mountain Grouse September 1 January 1, 2013Sage Grouse September 1 November 1Sharp-tailed Grouse September 1 January 1, 2013Dove Central Flyway September 1 TBDDove Pacifi c Flyway September 1 TBD

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Page 26: Hunting & Fishing News

26 - Hunting & Fishing News

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WDFG Removes Wolf From NE Washington Packin response to repeated attacks on livestock

Washington Dept. of Fish and WildlifeIn addition, the livestock operator employs fi ve cowboys to frequently check on the herd, which consists of 210 cow-calf pairs.“These ranchers live and work in an area with the highest concentration of wolves in the state,” said Anderson,who had visited the Diamond M ranch following wolf attacks on livestock in July...In 2007, wolves killed two calves from the Diamond M herd.Since then, livestock operators have reported wolf presence in the area and higher-than-normal calf losses.Earlier this year, WDFW documented wolf activity around a calving operation.In July, wolves killed one calf and injured a cow and another calf. Later, two other injured calves were found and confi rmed to have been attacked by wolves. The rancher also ob-served two additional injured calves but was not able to capture them.Last week, a calf was found with a laceration and bite mark that wildlife managers determined were the result of a wolf attack.As of July, wildlife biologists had confi rmed eight wolf packs within the state and suspect there are four additional packs based on public reports and observed tracks. The number of confi rmed packs represents an increase from two in 2010, indicating that the wolf population is rebounding, which also increases the potential for wolf-livestock confl ict.

State wildlife managers today killed a wolf from a pack that has repeatedly preyed on livestock in a remote area of northeast Washington for the past fi ve years.Acting under the terms of the state’s 2011 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) took lethal action after a series of wolf attacks on the Diamond M herd, whose owners graze about 400 head of cattle in an area known as the Wedge near the Canadian border. The attacks left one calf dead, fi ve cows or calves injured and at least two missing since mid-July.The wolf removed today was identifi ed as a non-breeding female member of the Wedge pack. It was shot this morning by department staff in the area where an attack on livestock had occurred in July. Department staff planned to remain in the area through Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to remove a second wolf.WDFW Director Phil Anderson said the decision to take lethal action was made only after the department determined that the action would not adversely affect wolf recovery objectives.He also said the department had tried a variety of non-lethal efforts to protect livestock from attacks by the Wedge pack. Efforts included using specialized electric fencing to protect calves this spring; attaching a radio collar to the pack’s alpha male; and maintaining a regular human presence in the area.

More Elk Country Conserved On Montana’s Tenderfoot RMEF

Several partnering organizations fi nalized a deal to ensure the future of wildlife habitat and public access on 1,920 acres along pristine Tenderfoot Creek in central Montana.The lands, now part of the Lewis and Clark National Forest, were previously part of the Bair Ranch. The Bair Ranch Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Tenderfoot Trust and U.S. Forest Service worked together to transfer the property.Sections of the Bair Ranch are intermingled with federal lands in a checkerboard pattern. The partners have been working for several years to consolidate lands into public ownership. Larger contiguous blocks of ownership help avert long-term habitat fragmentation, which is critical for elk and other wildlife, resource managers and hunters. All together, 3,400 acres now have been moved into public ownership. The partners will continue to work toward acquisition of the remaining 4,800 acres of the ranch.Most funding for the project has come from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), with $4.1 million allocated so far. The fund uses no taxpayer dollars, but rather royalties from offshore energy development. Congress appropriates LWCF funds.Additional support has come from RMEF donors, members and volunteer-hosted events, together with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Cinnabar Foundation...Public support is very high. The

White Sulphur Springs community, Meagher County commissioners, Gov. Schweitzer, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and more than 30 conservation groups endorse the effort. Montana’s congressional delegation also has supported the project.RMEF President and CEO David Allen said, “We tip our hat to everyone involved in this project. This is a model cooperative effort for habitat conservation and an historic opportunity to permanently open 8,200 acres for public hunting and other recreation.”Wayne Hirsch of the Bair Ranch Foundation board said, “I applaud all the partners in this effort and recognize the progress that has been enjoyed to date. The commitment and dedication to this project we have witnessed by many parties will continue to be necessary to see it through completion. The long-term permanent value of conserving this natural resource continues to be recognized and understood by the Bair Ranch Foundation.”Mitch Godfrey, president of the Tenderfoot Trust, said, “The Bair Ranch Foundation is great because they agreed to work with us over a period of years while we gathered funding to protect these lands permanently...Tenderfoot Creek, a tributary of the scenic Smith River, cascades down 3,200 feet of elevation through classic elk country of the Little Belt Mountains. Conifer forests, aspen stands, grass meadows and high alpine basins are home to mule deer, moose, black bear, many species of birds and a host of other wildlife.

Page 27: Hunting & Fishing News

27September 2012


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FWP Block Management Program Receives Good Reviews MFWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’s Block Management hunting access program is an important element of Montana’s hunting scene. Since 1985 it has helped maintain public hunting access to private and isolated public lands. In 2012, more than 1,260 landowners are expected to participate in the program, providing hunters with access to approximately 8 million acres of land.

FWP has periodically asked landown-ers and hunters to evaluate the program through surveys conducted by FWP’s Human Dimensions Unit...

The average hunter who responded to the 2009 survey hunted on four or fi ve different BMAs and spent about 10 days hunting. Of the hunters surveyed, 75 percent hunted on BMAs exclusively, most of the time, or half of the time.

Of hunters who participated in the survey, 89 percent said they were satisfi ed or very satisfi ed with the Block Management Program.

In other hunter survey results:-Eighty-fi ve percent of hunters reported they were satisfi ed or very satisfi ed with the hunting opportunities provided.-Fifty percent of the hunters who responded to the survey said game animals on BMAs they hunted met or exceeded their expectations.-Sixty percent were successful in har-vesting game in 2009 on a BMA.-Eighty-eight percent were satisfi ed or very satisfi ed with the BMA rules.-Sixty-four percent of hunters said they were satisfi ed or very satisfi ed with the number of other hunters they met on Montana’s BMAs...

Here are some examples of what landowners had to say:-Seventy-eight percent said it is an important or very important way for them to manage game numbers on their land...-Landowners have generally been satisfi ed with the benefi t they receive through the program and most have continued participating year after year...For summary visit www.fwp.mt.gov...

Still No Chronic Wasting Disease In Montana MFWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the 849 deer, elk and moose mostly collected during the 2011-2012 hunting season.Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and has relied heavily on testing samples from hunter-harvested animals collected in “high risk” areas. CWD is a brain disease in deer, elk and moose that is always fatal.Over the past 14 years FWP has tested more than 17,300 wild elk, moose and deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of it.CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility, or game farm, near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined.

“It’s always welcome news to learn that CWD hasn’t been found in Montana wildlife populations, but we still think it is just a matter of time,” said Neil Anderson, FWP’s Wildlife Laboratory supervisor. “The disease occurs in wild elk, deer and moose in adjacent states and Canadian provinces, so we expect it to turn up here some day.”FWP adopted a CWD Management Plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here. That plan is up for renewal and is currently under review.If you should see sick, emaciated animals, please report them to the nearest FWP regional offi ce, or the FWP biologist in your area.For more information, visit FWP’s CWD Frequently Asked Questions at fwp.mt.gov and search “CWD”.

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Page 28: Hunting & Fishing News

28 - Hunting & Fishing News

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(continued from page 22)(continued from page 22)

THE ESSENTIALS Unless your trip is taking you across the Gobi or the Brooks Range, you probably don’t need to carry 50 feet of copper wire or spare fi shing line and hooks. The largest wilderness area in Colorado can be traversed in a day or two by a man in decent shape. So what are the essential essentials you need when you’re on your own hook? WATER. Without it, you’re dead in three days. Without it for a few hours, at 9,000 feet above sea level, you’re not dead, but you may wish you were. Dehydration can lead to altitude sickness and hypothermia. But even worse, it can impair your judgment, induce panic, and result in a fatal case of Lost. FIRE good... Fire friend... Fire number two in importance. Learn how to build one, WITHOUT toilet paper and gasoline. It’s as easy as one two three: One, you need dry tender. Scratch around under grass tussocks for the driest stuff. Get lots of it, about a volley ball sized bunch; two, kindling. You want about twice as much as the tender you gathered.KINDLING is small stuff - matchstick sized. Three is the fuel itself. Gather up plenty if it looks like you may have to spend the night. Pick dry branches one to two inches in diameter--these burn without diffi culty and make it easy to control the heat. Of course we can’t overlook the match. You don’t need to be profi cient with a fl int and steel, but you should have at least a couple of ways to start fi re; it doesn’t matter if it’s a lighter or a fi re plow, as long as you can get it lit.SHELTER. Now don’t jump right into bivy sacks and backpacking tents. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning. Shelter starts with your clothing. Dress for the worst. And in a Colorado autumn, the worst can be pretty harsh. Pick synthetics - like fl eece or polyester blends - but wool is best. Dress in layers: long handle union suit, light mid layer(s), and warmer outer layer. Dressing appropriately when you leave camp will fi nd you well on your way to surviving a night in the outback even without a buffalo robe.MAKE A PLAN AND LET SOMEONE KNOW WHAT IT IS. Leave a map open on the dashboard of the truck. You don’t have to give up your secret spot with an “I AM HERE” arrow, just circle a square mile or two. When you leave camp, a plain old “I’m gonna work this ridge out and come back down the crick” is enough to give your buddies a place to start looking for you if you should become “a fearsome confused.” The important thing is to stick to your plan.As you head into the high country this fall, see yourself as one of the Lewis & Clark Expedition; be prepared, both mentally and physically for the challenges of the unknown. Keep your powder dry and your eyes on the horizon and you’ll know that “lost” is, by and large, just a state of mind.

Page 29: Hunting & Fishing News

29September 2012


(continued from page 22)

Page 30: Hunting & Fishing News

30 - Hunting & Fishing News


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Muskie Mania In Full Swing At Bluewater, Quemado LakesLooking for a chance to catch a state-record fi sh? Your best chance may be this year at Bluewater Lake, where the state-record for tiger muskie has changed hands three times in the last year and a half, with many near-misses along the way.

Justin Easley of Edgewood is the current record-holder with a monster 46-inch fi sh that weighed a whopping 31 pounds, 14 ounces. There have been several close contenders, the most recent a 48-incher caught by Benjamin Silva that fell short in weight at 28 pounds. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish awards state records based on weight alone.

Easley caught his record muskie May 10 of this year while casting a Jerk-minnow Rapala near the Bluewater Lake dam. Previous records include an 18-pound, .05-ounce muskie caught in June 2011 by Steve Roen of Truth or Consequences, and a 17-pound, 8-ounce muskie caught in May 2011 by young Anastasiah Alfaro of Albuquerque. She caught her muskie on a kids pole after she hooked a trout on Power Bait and then the muskie swallowed the trout. The muskie was almost as tall as her.

Big-fi sh stories like that spread fast and always attract more anglers. The Bluewater muskies have been no exception, especially this year when fi sh are averaging three feet long and a “keeper” has to be at least 40 inches. Anglers were required to return all muskies to the water until April 2010, when a one-fi sh, 40-inches-or-larger bag limit was established.

“We’re way up on visitation and that has a lot to do with it,” said Kelly Richerson, superintendent at Bluewater Lake State Park...

The Department of Game and Fish began stocking tiger muskie fry and fi ngerlings in Bluewater and Quemado lakes in May, 2003, with hopes the aggressive predators would help control overpopulations of goldfi sh and white suckers. Since then, almost 267,000 muskies have been stocked in Bluewater Lake. More than 120,000 have been stocked in Quemado Lake.

With plenty of goldfi sh and suckers to munch, the non-breeding hybrids between northern pike and muskellunge grew like crazy – some of them as much as 6 inches a year. At that rate, it would not be unlikely to see New Mexico overtake the International Game Fish Association’s North American record: a 51-pound, 3-ounce tiger muskie caught at Lac Vieux-Desert, Mich.

“The muskie fi shing here is world-class, it really is,” said Matt Pelletier, president of the 65-member New Mexico Muskies Inc., an organization that formed in 2008. “We have the highest population of tiger muskies in the nation and the best tiger muskie fi shing in the nation. Guys from Minnesota are coming here to fi sh. Imagine that!”...

Justin Easley and his 46-inch,31-lb. 14-oz tiger muskie

Tennessee Man Wins A Chance To Hunt Idaho BighornFor 30 years he has dreamed about a bighorn sheep hunt. Earlier this year he bought six tickets in the Wild Sheep Foundation’s annually lottery of an Idaho bighorn tag.

One of the six was a winner in the July 25drawing, and Rob Durrett, 56, of Clarksville, Tenn., is coming to Idaho this fall to hunt Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

“I’m really excited,” he said on a recent visit to Idaho. “It’s a life-changing adventure.”

Every year Idaho Fish and Game provides one tag for a bighorn sheep in Idaho, marketed by the Idaho Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. The winner will be able to hunt in any unit open to hunting for Rocky Mountain or California bighorn in 2012, pursuant to Fish and Game rules.

This year’s lottery tag includes the coveted Unit 11, in Hells Canyon of the Snake River. Unit 11 is available to the lottery winner only in alternating years.

Durrett has been putting in for an Idaho bighorn sheep tag for the past seven years.

“I always heard Idaho was good place to hunt sheep, and a beautiful, beautiful place,” he said, beaming with excitement. His father was a fan of Jack O’Conner, and the young Durrett grew up on O’Connor’s hunting stories.

Since his early 20s he has dreamt of hunting sheep. He has hunted in Montana and Alaska. This will be his fi rst time hunting in Idaho.

He plans to hunt at least 20 days between August 30 and October 13. He brought his nine-year-old grandson, Cameron, along for short visit here to gather information and scout the area he plans to hunt in Hells Canyon.

Page 31: Hunting & Fishing News

31September 2012

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‘11 Pheasant Harvest Tops 100,000 RoostersThe 2011 Iowa pheasant harvest refl ected what the roadside counts had predicted, that the population was down after fi ve winters with above average snowfall followed by fi ve wetter than normal springs. The IDNR estimates that 109,000 roosters were harvested during the 2011 hunting season, the lowest since standardized estimates began in 1962. Harvest was highest in the northwest region, followed by central and southwest.

The harvest estimate is based on a random survey of hunters. The survey is used by the DNR to estimate the number of hunters pursuing small game, hunter effort by species and harvest.

The survey collects data on quail, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, partridge, and mourning dove, in addition to pheasants...

Weather patterns this past winter and spring suggest Iowa will see its fi rst signifi cant increase in pheasant numbers in 6 years.

2010-2014 Deer Population Informationweather and habitat conditions. As the variables change, however, the number of licenses will likely go up or down every year, based on whether harvest needs to increase or decrease to move toward the goal the following year.For instance, the 2010 deer gun license allocation was about 116,000, with a major reduction in antlerless licenses from the previousyear in most units, which will promote deer population growth in those units, at least until the number of licenses can increase to match unit goals. If the population gets too high, Game and Fish may have to greatly increase the number of licenses in order to move deer numbers back down toward the goal.The new fi ve-year goal is about a 25 percent increase over the goal established in 2005 of 100,000 licenses. Since that plan was developed, through input from hunters,landowners and others, Game and Fish wildlife managers determined that a somewhat higher deer population could still strike a balance between hunter interest, landowner tolerance and public acceptance.

Every fi ve years, North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists establish a benchmark for deer licenses in the state – a number that will guide management decisions for several years.The fi ve-year goal is an effort that involves biological information from deer surveys and hunter-harvest fi gures, plus observations and input from game wardens, hunters, landowners and others who have a stake in North Dakota deer management. For this 2010 fi ve-year plan, Game and Fish presented draft goals at the spring advisory meetings, and made numerous changes based on public input received. The new fi ve-year goal is for a statewide deer population that would provide 124,800 deer gun licenses. Within this total, outlined in the information that follows, are license objectives for each of the 38 hunting units.It is important to understand that unit and statewide goals will not necessarily match the number of licenses Game and Fish will issue each year. The goal is an ideal number given consistent winter

Sick And Dead Deer Reported In E. Kansas

July through early October is a time when people occasionally see sick and dead deer and wonder what is happening. The disease most often associated with these losses is called hemorrhagic disease (HD). It is caused by a virus, and it is transmitted to deer and other ruminant animals by biting midges. People and their pets are not affected by this virus, and the disease stops in the fall after cold weather kills the midges...

So far this year, KDWPT has received reports of dead or sick deer from at least 24 counties in northcentral and eastern Kansas...Most of these reports have involved a single sick or dead deer, with occasional reports of multiple mortalities.

When HD occurs, people normally fi nd sick and dead deer along streams or near ponds...Deer with HD frequently have a high temperature and may seek cool water. They also often allow people to get very close. Sick deer may be standing or lying down, many times right in water, and they occasionally have an open mouth with their tongue hanging out and swollen.

Page 32: Hunting & Fishing News

32 - Hunting & Fishing News

Wilderness Elk (continued from page 7)

for what seemed an eternity between my feet. I could see that he was a mature buck and I guessed him at 17-18” wide. There was no doubt I would shoot him if given the chance.He walked straight away from me toward the grassy open, and I drew while he was straight away. He heard me draw as he bounded to the edge of the cover, and I held my BowTech Tribute at full draw. Finally the buck stepped into the open and paused quartering away at a mere 15 steps. I touched off the Tribute and saw my Lumenok disappear at an angle that I knew had taken out the heart and lungs. I recovered the nice Wyoming 8-pointer a short distance up the drainage and thanked the Good Lord for allowing me to take a pair of mature whitetails on the last morning of my hunt.Being patient, glassing from a distance and choosing a stand location that allowed me to get into position without bumping deer off their food source or travel route were the keys that allowed me to successfully intercept these Wyoming deer. Of course it goes without saying that the wind was right.Morning spots are tough to come by, but in early season when deer are still fairly predictable on feeding patterns, with proper scouting and stand placement, you can swing the odds in your favor and be consistent in taking whitetails with stick and string on their way back to bed. There isn’t much better than arrowing a nice buck fi rst thing in the morning. That is a great way start to any day!

Whitetails - Cut Them Off... (continued from page 14)

I was standing behind a thick clump of spruce trees and with the ‘S4 Gear-Sidewinder’ attached to my left arm I grabbed my Leupold rangefi nder and quickly ranged the bull. 65 yards. I came to full draw as he pawed the ground, drank from a spring, and bugled in our direction. He was facing me and I had to wait until he turned broadside. It seemed like forever as my arms began to shake (probably 1.5 minutes).The bull began turning back to his cows, ...it was now or never... I put my 60-yard pin high on his lungs and squeezed the Tru-Fire release. The Victory VAP arrow tipped with a 100 grain Magnus Snuffer SS struck home hard. It was a lower hit, but connected with lungs and the top of the heart. The bull staggered about 70 yards and was done. It was very rewarding given the conditions!He’s a 6×7 with great mass. We rough scored him at 301”. There was great penetration with the Victory VAP arrows. The VAP arrow and Magnus broadhead actually broke the opposite shoulder bone, just above the joint. I thought this was impressive at 65 yards on a bull elk.I still believe persistence is one of the greatest elements of success. Be prepared, keep at it, and you’re bound to punch that tag. Thanks for reading!

Wolf Hunting Tips (continued from page 9)

-Will be in better shape next year.-Get permission from private landowners. Last year I hunted Forest Service land but kept seeing wolves lower on private ground. Lots of landowners are happy to have wolf hunters. Could lead to other hunting opportunities down the road.-Check with ranchers, loggers and others who spend time in the backcountry. Ask them about the wolf activity they’re seeing.-Start driving roads and howling to locate packs well before sunrise. I start at 3:00 a.m.-Carry a pistol while bowhunting (where legal) so you have some fi repower in case you see a wolf.-Most wolf hunters want to shoot a big trophy male. But taking females is better for population control. The main thing is just don’t shoot a collared wolf. We need those collars to track the packs—and funding for collaring wolves is getting tighter.HUNTING STRATEGIES-Be hunting at fi rst light and hunt through the last light of day. Lots of wolf activity is early and late.-We had luck with howling. The wolves came right to us. But there are many other wolf vocalizations, too, and we’re trying to learn those for 2012.-Howling works to locate wolves. But too much howling, especially by inexperienced callers, is educating wolves in our area.-Elk-calf-in-distress, fawn-in-distress and coyote calls work well.-I called in wolves using a bull elk bugle and cow calls.-Next year, we’re planning to try moose calls.-Don’t over-call.-When calling, be sure to set-up on high ground, not in a hole or depression. Visibility is a key.-I hunted wolves for 42 days before I got one. I tracked a pack into an area, sat at a crossing and called. Really enjoyed the experience.Cover lots of ground until you fi nd a concentration of sign. We followed fresh wolf tracks through the snow until we found the pack holed up in a patch of trees. (continued on page 38)

Page 33: Hunting & Fishing News

33September 2012

Montana Backcountry Hunts for Deer and Elk

BY RICK HAGGERTYPhoto © Jameseric | Dreamstime.com

YYou can start your big game hunting season in September for deer and elk in 4 remote areas of Montana, starting the fi rst day of September for archery hunters. September 15th will be the opener for rifl e hunters heading for parts of the Great Bear, Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness areas. These units include hunting districts 150, 151, 280 and 316. The season will run through until November 25th for rifl e hunters. Each area has different restrictions for deer and elk. Here is a breakdown of each unit to consider:

• HD 150 (Upper South Fork) The biggest diffi culty in backcountry hunting is getting to and from your legal hunting areas. Most hunters will pack horses in, set up camp and hunt from there. In HD 150, the primary north access is from the Spotted Bear Complex at the south end of Hungry Horse Reservoir. The Spotted Bear Complex can be reached by driving the Westside Road from the town of Hungry Horse or the Eastside Road out of Martin City. Trail No. 80 follows the South Fork of the Flathead River. No. 83 follows the Spotted Bear River. No. 110 out of Holland Lake is about 10 miles south of Condon off Montana Hwy. 83. Trail No. 125, up Monture Creek is reached by driving north from Ovando off of Highway 200, 20 miles east of Clearwater Junction.

You can hunt antlered mule deer bucks, antlered whitetail bucks and either-sex whitetail deer for youth ages 12 - 15 years old. For elk hunters, brow-tined bulls and antlerless elk for archery only September 1 - September 14. Brow-tined bull elk only for rifl e hunters beginning September 15th.

• HD 151 (Upper Middle Fork) This unit borders HD 150 north and is remote and rugged. One portal is trail No. 155 leaving U.S. Highway 2 at Bear Creek and following the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The same hunting restrictions for big game as HD 150. Archery hunters can take brow-tined bulls and antlerless elk September 1 - 14. Antlered mule deer bucks only, no does. For whitetail, it is either-sex with a bow. Rifl e hunters can shoot mule deer or whitetail bucks only. Either-sex whitetail for youth ages 12 - 15. Brow-tined bulls only for the general season.

• HD 280 (North Blackfoot) The Bob Marshall Wilderness area near Augusta is a true Montana experience backcountry adventure. Located along the Continental Divide, and southwesterly along the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary area. Hunting opportunities in this unit include antlered buck mule deer, whitetail bucks, and either-sex whitetail hunting for youth ages 12 - 15. For elk, it’s brow-tined bulls or cows for archery hunters. Youth ages 12 - 15 rifl e hunting may take a brow-tined bull or antlerless elk. A general either-sex hunt for rifl e hunters only will start on September 24th and goes until November 25th in this unit.

• HD 316 (Absaroka) This unit borders the northern Yellowstone Park boundary in southwest Montana and has a past history of being one of Montana’s best elk areas (before wolf introduction). Still, hunters have the opportunity to kill big deer and elk here. September 15 you can start your rifl e hunt for whitetails and muley bucks only. For elk it’s either-sex for rifl e hunters from September 15 until October 19. After that only antlered bull elk are legal (except either-sex hunting by youth ages 12 - 15). (As always, check the hunting regulations before the hunt!)

As with all backcountry experiences being as prepared as you possibly can is the only way to go. For many hunters, outfi tters provide the best and smartest way to hunt these units, as they are experienced at getting you there, knowing where the game is, and providing you with all the means necessary to get in and out of remote country safely and successfully.

Boot hunters must be in superb shape to tackle this country. The sheer logistics of hiking miles back to a vehicle with loaded packs and meat multiple times would take the fun out of this hunt for some. But for those of you who want to get out away from it all, here you go!

Page 34: Hunting & Fishing News

34 - Hunting & Fishing News

5 Bargain Guns 5 Bargain Guns for this Fallfor this Fall

By Rick Haggerty

If you are looking to upgrade your equipment for this fall’s hunting season, or you want to purchase a gun for someone special, or maybe a youth’s fi rst hunting season, here are a few affordable options:

• Ruger American Rifl e (www.ruger.com)

Ruger has always had a good name for building accurate rifl es right out of the box. The latest is the American Rifl e at a very inexpensive price. Suggested retail is $449.00. Add a nice scope on top and you are set up with a fi ne gun for big game this fall.• Marlin X7 Series (www.marlinfi rearms.com)

Described as the “Best rifl e in it’s class,” the Marlin X7 Series is built for those who demand premium features at an opening price of just $505.00 MSRP. Marlin Firearms has added six all stainless centerfi re bolt action rifl es to it’s product line-up. The short action is available in three calibers: .243 Win., 7mm-08 Remington, and the .308 Win. The X75 long action is also available in three calibers: 25-06, 270-Win., and the 30-06 Sprg.• Savage Arms Axis (www.savagearms.com)

Probably one of the most affordable rifl es on the market right now at an MSRP of $363.00 dollars, the Axis is a good bolt action rifl e available in many caliber options from 22-250 up to a .308 caliber. At this price, you can afford to put a quality scope on for an exceptional hunting rig for years to come.• Mossberg 500® Turkey/Deer Combo with LPA Adjustable Trigger (www.mossberg.com)

With lightening pump action and an adjustable trigger system, this gun is the fi rst of it’s kind for pump action shotguns, and the perfect option if you like to hunt for turkeys and deer in the fall. Available in 12 or 20 gauge models at a suggested MSRP of $521.00 dollars.• Remington 870 Express™ (www.remington.com)

This all-American pump gun brings hunters the best of all worlds at an affordable price. The suggested MSRP is $411.00 dollars. It’s solid, dependable action makes it America’s favorite. You’ll be ready for the upland game season right out of box with this gun. Available in 26” or 28” vent-rib, bead-sighted barrel.

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Page 35: Hunting & Fishing News

35September 2012

Bob Ward & Sons - New Gear ReviewNothing to see...with Optifade Marsh Waterfowl Camo PatternThe GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Waterfowl pattern is digital concealment, not mimicry. Rather than trying to make the hunter look like something, the pattern’s intent is to make the hunter appear to be “nothing” to the animal. It takes into account the almost panoramic fi eld of vision of waterfowl, that they can see some colors we cannot, and they have low contrast sensitivity.

The Waterfowl micro pattern is critically important and is as detailed as possible to confuse bird vision. The colors in particular have been manipulated to create a great deal of depth. Also, this pattern takes into account the fact that waterfowl are usually looking at you from above in the sky and are in motion. Most patterns are not designed from this fi eld of view.

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The Dimension is a bolt-action platform you build on, season after season, no gunsmith required. Start by purchasing one complete Dimension platform rifl e in your favorite caliber, then choose a second barrel in the next caliber you want. The LOC™ System has 7 parts – a universal stock and receiver that accept multiple barrels, magazine groups (magazine and housing), bolts and bridge scope mounts. Dimension hand tools work with all Dimension rifl es. Interchangeable parts are stamped with letters: A, B, C or D. Match the letter on the barrel with the one on the bolt and magazine group and you have a perfect set-up for any Dimension caliber. (Series B .22-250 Rem magazineand housing are exclusive to .22-250 caliber).

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Page 36: Hunting & Fishing News

36 - Hunting & Fishing News

There are plenty of good whitetailhunting areas in Montana. Places like the legendary Milk and Yellowstone Rivers get their fair share of the publicity, and rightly so. But the problem for most of us to hunt these areas is getting access to coveted private property on the river bottoms where most of the deer populations are located. Fortunately, it’s a big state we live in with plenty of public ground that houses big whitetail bucks. That’s mainly the case west of the Divide, where these deer hang in dense timber and wetlands, and some of the best hunting here is on public ground. If you do a little research to fi nd ground where few hunters will go, especially early in September when bowhunters can put the sneak on an unsuspecting deer, you’ll have a chance to harvest a nice buck. Here are a few perennially best spots to fi nd public land whitetails west of the divide.• HD 104 (Cabinets - Libby)The higher ridges along the

Kootenai River used to be well known for lots of big mule deer bucks in good numbers. Not so much anymore. But, you can fi nd whitetails in this country that have been displacing muleys for the past decade. I’ve seen images of big deer taken from this area that rank in the 150” - 160” class. Just east of Libby on U.S. Highway 2, both National Forest and Plum Creek Timber areas hold plenty of deer. Around the Thompson River area and south of the Chain of Lakes is also good. Predators have taken their toll on deer numbers in this area, but there are big bucks looming if you can navigate the terrain.• HD 283 (Lower Blackfoot - Seeley Lake)From Clearwater Junction right up Highway 83 to Seeley Lake, Condon and even up past Swan Lake to Bigfork, this corridor may be one of Montana’s best for timbered country whitetails. Rebounding deer numbers in this country will help hunters this fall. An over harvest of whitetail does in the past, along with a lot of predation has caused deer numbers to fall, but expect big antlered bucks to be taken every year in this country. If you’re looking for a 150” class buck, hunt the valley fl oor bogs and lower elevation foothills between Rainy Lake and Condon. • HD 281 (Upper Blackfoot - Ovando)Traditionally, some of the best whitetail country in this state is on the west side, with large numbers of deer and fantastic racks on the heads of some of the deer taken out of this country. The truth is an over harvest of whitetail does has taken it’s toll on the number of deer you might see, but if you put in some legwork, you’ll fi nd

a good number of deer still in this mountainous, rugged country located along Highway 200. Hunt some of these decade old clearcuts, and you’ll fi nd deer. Another option is to cross the Blackfoot River to the south on some of these open tracts of land, and you will see good numbers of deer. • HD 121 124 (Thompson Falls)Sanders County holds plenty of whitetails along the creeks that run off the Clark Fork River. Noxon, Plains, Trout Creek and Thompson Falls (next page)

Sleeper Spots for Early Season Whitetails By Rick Haggerty

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Page 37: Hunting & Fishing News

37September 2012

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TYPICAL SCORE LOCATION YEAR HUNTER 199-3/8” Missoula County 1974 Thomas Dellwo 196-4/8” Flathead County 1966 Kent Petry 191-5/8” Flathead County 1963 Earl McMaster 189-1/8” Blaine County 1959 Ken Morehouse 188-5/8” Flathead County 1992 Len Patterson

NON-TYPICAL SCORE LOCATION YEAR HUNTER 252-1/8” Hill County 1968 Frank Pleskac 251-0/8” Sanders County 1988 Brett Johnson 248-5/8” Snowy Mountains p/u McLean Bowman 241-7/8” Flathead County 1960 George Wolstad 235-0/8” Flathead County 1980 Zane Kelly


all run along Highway 200, and there are plenty of public land opportunities to locate big bucks in this country. Marten and Prospect Creeks and the Bull, Vermilion and Thompson Rivers offer good access to spur roads here. Fishtrap and Mudd Creek are popular areas. • HD 110 (North Fork - Flathead County)This area has the real potential to grow big whitetail bucks. A mild winter will help to re-establish deer numbers once again in this northern country. After looking through Montana’s record deer, I was surprised to see that out of the top 10 deer listed for whitetails, 5 were taken in Flathead County, although most of these bucks were taken in the 1960’s. The genetics are here, and this area still produces very big deer every season. Hit the river bottoms around the Eureka area west of Kalispell on towards the Hungry Horse Reservoir, and south to the Swan Valley for exceptional opportunities.These are just a few areas that you might consider hunting this fall if you live in western Montana, or want to challenge yourself to a new area to hunt. Consider this as you are looking for a good whitetail area, the #1 scoring Montana typical whitetail buck was taken in Missoula County in 1974 by Thomas Dellwo, It scored a whopping 199-3/8” and Sanders County holds the #2 non-typical buck taken by Brett Johnson in 1988 that scored, 251-0/8” (yes!) of antler. As you can see, out of the all-time top scoring Montana whitetail bucks ever taken, seven out of the ten bucks listed were takenon the western side of Montana. The genetics are here!Here is a list of the Top 5 of the biggest Montana whitetails ever taken.

Photo Patrick BannonCourtesy of the Boone and Crockett ClubFor more trophy records and information visit www.boone-crockett.org

Page 38: Hunting & Fishing News

38 - Hunting & Fishing News

Wolf Hunting Tips (continued from page 32)

-I found tracking diffi cult. Even when you’re on fresh tracks, you might still be miles behind the pack. Better off to get somewhere and wait.-I think a driving technique with a group of hunters, such as that used for deer in some areas, would work for wolves.-Watch for birds—magpies, gray jays, ravens and vultures—as a tip off to fresh kill locations. Approach carefully and then watch the area for returning wolves.--An effective hunting technique for us was fi nding a fresh wolf kill and watching the area from a tree stand.-Considering using a blind. Wolves seem to spot blaze orange from a great distance.-Watch gut pile and carcass areas where hunters have taken deer and elk, especially late in the season when wolves are following game herds down from the high country and are attracted to the scent of blood.-Don’t hunt for wolves like you do for elk. Hunt as if you were hunting for another elk hunter. Anticipate differently. Don’t ask yourself what would an elk do in this situation, but rather what would an elk hunter do in this situation.-Wolves are more reckless in their pursuit of prey when it’s colder outside. Hunters should concentrate on bad weather days for wolf hunting.-Go deeper. Wolves are less wary and easier to hunt in the more remote areas.-Too much pressure and wolves will go nocturnal.-Hunt smart and be patient. And go with a companion who can watch your back.-Once you kill a wolf, stay put. Other wolves from the pack will often return to the site, sometimes very quickly. You or a buddy may get a chance at a second wolf...GENERAL OBSERVATIONS-Wolves in our area are surprisingly unafraid of people or human scent.-In our area, cover scent is important. I’ve had passing wolves pick up my scent when passing elk didn’t. Once they get downwind, they’re gone.-Hunters need more info about how to completely, and safely, utilize a wolf carcass: meat, hide and skull.-Would like to see good prices offered by fur buyers.-In my area, the elk are nearly gone and the wolves have moved on.

For complete article visit www.rmef.org

Big Game Hunt in Big Sky Montana

BY RYAN HANSONAs a native Montanan, I learned hunting fundamentals early in life. Hunting was a tool for providing food for family. It made me a very proud youngster as the opportunities were countless near the Tobacco Roots, Ruby Valley and surrounding areas.

I learned to love the land and to respect the wild. I can’t count the times that my explorations had me on an adventure that most would only see in movies. We all have childhood memories we hold dear and Montana hunting has always been on my top 3.

As each years season approached I would have my plans well laid out with friends and family as to where and when our travels would take us, however the best times happened when, we would go on the fl y. Sometimes we would get skunked, mostly we would get skunked. But the fellowship was never dull. A super job opportunity in Washington took me temporarily away from my home state. A fi ve year stint of iron-working welding and West Coast fi shing kept my body in Washington but my mind continually wandered to the mountains of Montana.

In the spring of 2006 I had a life altering injury that was sustained on the job, as a 1500 lb. steel sheet crushed my body, (next page)

Page 39: Hunting & Fishing News

39September 2012

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resulting in paralysis from the waist down. Several months of rehabilitation and the support of nurses, doctors, friends and family, had my passions for hunting stirring, regardless of my new found transportation. Being in a wheel-chair was going to be a challenge, an obvious obstacle that would and could potentially intervene with my personal journey.

Struggling with depression, my friends and family again encouraged me to come to Montana, in the Fall of 2007, for a hunting vacation. Unsure of my abilities, reluctant, to travel alone, fearful of how my body may react to any condition other than what I had grown accustomed to; all factors that had me wondering if this was a good idea?

Living in a two-story apartment in Washington, was diffi cult, I hadn’t seen or touched my personal items, in over a year. I missed the sleek extension of my former body, that once, not long ago had my freezer full of venison and elk. I decided to take a trek up the stairs, a leering upward hallway that was not only fearful, but also a reminder of my former self.

With help from my mother, we successfully, took on a step at a time. The result was the turning point in my hunting career. After the climb up the stairs, uphill battles were not going to stop me. I knew the moment I held my old friend, (Ruger Mark ll 7mm mag) that It was a go. “We are going to Montana” I told her. My old friend, reliable and true, she was ready and she made me want to be ready. I cleaned her up, then she was willing to participate in this adventure, as she was for every single one before this.

back in the saddle. Hearing and seeing elk all around us. I spot a fi ne bull. The realization of hunting from a truck, instead of on foot was a bit intimidating.The shot was a bit farther than one would take if they were stalking. Pulling off a shot like this has been achieved by myself before, however, my new condition has me skeptic. I’m relying on my ole girl to do what she’s done before. We’ve been here many times, she does what I’ve always expected her to do. My fi rst shot, at big game since the injury. Falling a little short, had me bummed, big time. I said before, it happens big in Montana. I looked at my brother and said, “I would like a re-do.” Disgusted, we left our location, discussing my error, we look out into a fi eld and I knew my redo was in the order. 75+ herd was headed directly for us. We halted our exit, chaos, ensued in the cab of the truck. I have my redo. Draw my sights, on a small fi ve by fi ve bull. No mistakes this time. I’m back, literally, I relocate three months later.

My persistent personality, had me wanting to take the next challenging step. My persuasive friends and family talked me into applying for a special tag in the Missouri Breaks. Spring of 2011 I buy a new PSE BowMaster. All summer I practice, fl inging arrows and pushing my own limits. Lingering in the back of my mind, hopeful, yet knowing, this is never going to work. Mid summer, my fate was again, destined to smell the musk of that fi ne and majestic creature. The chal-lenges of elk hunting is enough for an able bodied individual, here I was going big again. Doubtful, yet hope-ful, my brother and I made our travels to Eastern Montana, for a special hunt. Our planning had panned out extremely well. Some friends of Derek Hanson, my brother, had invited us on a private ranch where the elk had been seen over the last few weeks. Sitting around the hunt camp (continued on page 40)

Mount donated by Trails West TaxidermyL to R: Jody Welch, Owner Trails West Jon Cassidy, Trails West (mounted elk)Ryan Werner, Werner Plumbing Ryan Hanson, HunterJay Sherley, Capital Sports

I understood that the illusive ‘wapiti’ was not going to be an easy take. But, I always set my standards very high. Go big or go home is the Montana saying. Texans, have no idea what big really is. Montana has big bulls, big skies, big mountains and huge ambition, I am from Montana. I am big. My aspiration had been restored, I was again in Montana. My home, my peace, my body was now again where my soul has been.

An early morning hunt had my adrenaline rushing. Buck fever had me once more chomping at the bit. Nervous and thrilled to be out with my brother, led us to the Big Belt Mountains: A secret location, the crisp morning air and determination, these were the ingredients for a great fi rst hunt

Page 40: Hunting & Fishing News

40 - Hunting & Fishing News

Broadheads Ala Rob (continued from page 4)

The answer, of course, is “Yes!” If you keep in mind that a broadhead has one function, and one function only – to cut a hole through hair, hide, muscle, and internal organs – and that to do so it must be strong enough to withstand some serious abuse and designed so precisely that it can be made to fl y like a laser beam – you can now eliminate the cheap stuff and choose from one of dozens of broadheads on today’s markets with confi dence that fi ts both your equipment and your personality.

Regardless of your choice, your broadheads must fl y with consistent accuracy or they are worthless for hunting. Robb shot this group at 40 yards with 100-grain Thunderheads.

Last spring I was turkey hunting in northern Arizona. Walking along the banks of a creek something caught my eye. I stopped and looked again, trying to fi gure out what it was. There! The angle of the sun was such that it briefl y glinted off something shiny. Reaching down I found it was an ancient obsidian broadhead, one about the size of a 50-cent piece and still in perfect condition. I walked down to the creek and, when I washed the mud off, was mesmerized by the way the sun shined off the angles knapped into the sides of this ancient tool.It was mid-morning and the gobblers, for the moment, had given me the slip, so I sat down against the trunk of a giant oak to rest for a while. I bet I turned that broadhead over in the palm of my hand a hundred times, and as I did so I wondered. Did the hunter who carried it afi eld have success the day it was lost? Did he simply drop it from a small leather bag or was it shot at a deer or a rabbit? If so, did his arrow hit its mark? Was he young, or old? Was he a skilled hunter, someone able to provide a regular feast of meat for him and his family? Was he able to teach his own sons the secrets of the hunt as my own father and grandfather had for me?The broadhead is the ultimate connection between the bowhunter and his prey. We all understand how diffi cult it is to get a controlled, close-range bow shot at an animal. When we do, the success or failure of the day is totally dependent on whether or not the broadhead does its job. If it does, we whoop and holler and give thanks to the stars above for our good fortune. If it fails, at best we eat tag soup; at worst, we wound a magnifi cent game animal and return to camp in shame.

Big Game Hunt (continued from page 39)

the eve of opening day of archery, we discussed our early morning strategy. As we all joked around that night throwing back a few beers, we brainstormed as to my vehicle’s restricted off road ability. A clever little idea emerged about strapping me, in my chair, into a tractor bucket. I think we just created a new form of tree stand.

Opening morning, we disperse to a short sunrise hunt. I ventured off about 100 yards in my chair, with my new girl (PSE) in tow. Different hunt, different equipment and thinking this is way out of my league. I can hear them, I can smell them. It makes me excited, makes me want to be invisible. Returning to the camp with all my arrows, had me believing this is way too much.

Tractor bucket. New ideas and new friends, we all hop into rigs and head out to a private ranch. The ranch owner laughed and joked along with us as we strategically set our game plan to use. With help of Derek and new friends; Tad, and Mike from Utah. Lloyd and Ron with his sons I was safely strapped in the tractor bucket of a John Deere. We bounced, my brother and I in the bucket. Our ranch owner (hunting guide) had a pretty good idea about where the herd might be found.

After a time, we noticed a dark patch in the distance, so we headed in that direction. Just like a herd of turtles, we managed, slowly, to put the sneak on a herd of about 17 bulls. I’m looking through my peep at a beautiful animal, release..... over shoot. Knock another arrow, draw, release.....over the top. Dang! I have one arrow left in the quiver. I knock it. Draw.... Release. Good grouping, over the top. I tell my tree stand driver that I am out of arrows.

Redo; we arrive at almost the same location as we left. Arrow knocked, ready to go. Picked a nice bull, draw in a deep breath. Release.....pow! As we watched, we knew I had hit a main artery in the hind quarters. However, it was going to be a long day of tracking. Night came, with a huge disappoint-ment. Yet, our hope was restored early the next morning with a surprise call from the neighboring rancher, stating that they came upon a fresh 7 by 7 on their property. They heard that I had shot at a big bull the previous day, perceptive of my reason for being here, on a special hunt.

Overjoyed, we set out to retrieve my prize. Without, the help and support from the fi ne people in my life, this would still only be a dream.

Page 41: Hunting & Fishing News

41September 2012

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Page 42: Hunting & Fishing News

42 - Hunting & Fishing News

Straight Talk Straight Talk Interview - Interview -

Craig MorganCraig MorganBy Lynne Frady, the Lady ArcherBy Lynne Frady, the Lady Archer

Reprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.Reprinted with permission from Bowhunting.net.For more please go to: www.bowhunting.netFor more please go to: www.bowhunting.net

Mr. Craig Morgan, one of today’s top country music singers gave me the privilege of interviewing him for the second time. He has a very busy schedule, with his concert tours, his family and his 3rd season of “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” T.V. Show which will begin airing on July 1st on the Outdoor Channel at 11pm on Sunday nights.Mr. Morgan was born and raised in Kingston Springs Tennessee and now resides in Dickson Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. His country music career has soared since his debut album hit the air waves in 2000. Since then his popularity has grown and his true to life music has brought a whole new generation to love country music with such hits as “Bonfi re”, “Redneck Yacht Club”, “What I Love About Sunday’, “This Ole Boy” and his new release “Corn Star” which is sure to become this summer’s anthem. These songs and his many others let his fans know that he is in touch with everyday life and with them.Mr. Morgan is no stranger to hard work, he has been quoted as saying that hard work makes him feel like a man. He was an EMT at the age of 18, has worked as a contractor, a deputy sheriff, an assistant dairy manager at Wal-Mart and served 10 years in the army with the 101st and 82nd Airborne division. Mr. Morgan is also involved with the USO. He has made 9 overseas trips to entertain our troops and is the spokesperson for the organization Folds of Honor which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of U.S. military service members

killed or disabled during service. He was also awarded the USO Merit Award for his tireless support of US soldiers and their families.Mr. Morgan was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and has made over 170 appearances on the Opry stage. He was awarded the prestigious Songwriter Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association for his hit “Almost Home”.He is devoted to charity work...Not only does he have a successful music career, but he also has a hit TV show on the Outdoor Channel “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” which is in its third season and airs on Sunday nights... His TV show incorporates his love for hunting, a glimpse behind the scenes of his concert tours, and his life at home with his wife Karen, their children, his love for dirt bikes, and the outdoors.We all had someone special introduce us to the outdoors and for that we will never be able to truly repay them for giving us such a gift. Mr. Morgan is no exception; his Mother and Father were hard working people as well as hunters and fi sherman. They introduced him to this addiction at an early age. With that being said here is the interview with Mr. Craig Morgan

LF: Who introduced you to hunting and what age were you?My Mother and Father were both hunters and fi sherman; they introduced me to hunting when I was 8 or 9 years old.

(continued on page 46)

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Page 43: Hunting & Fishing News

43September 2012


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Page 44: Hunting & Fishing News

44 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Is your GPS just sitting in a drawer? Do you still believe GPS units don’t get good reception, aren’t accurate, and are hard to use? Well you are missing out on some great opportunities. Welcome to the world of modern day GPS units. These devices have employed some of the fruits of the technology boom and now is the time to take advantage.I thought GPS units weren’t very accurate? Before 2000 the Department of Defense employed the GPS Selective Availability feature. This degradation of civilian GPS accuracy resulted in GPS reading being incorrect by as much as a football fi eld (100 meters). In May of 2000 this feature was turned off and civilian GPS accuracy increased by tenfold! The Department of Defense has also increased the amount of satellites to 24 increasing accuracy to less than three meters on average. Will I lose signal in the Forest or other remote areas of Montana? I have spent the last two years thoroughly testing different GPS units around the state on my hunting and work related trips. From the deep forests and canyons of the Gallatin National Forest to the remote prairies of Eastern Montana I have yet to lose a signal. Not to say it can’t happen but with improvements in receiver strength and increased satellites in space, modern day GPS units just don’t have this problem anymore. Sometimes it can take longer to acquire satellite signals when you turn your GPS on such as inside of vehicles or buildings, so be aware of this. Some of the GPS models with external antennas can also acquire signals faster, but once you have signal they all have been rock solid based on my experience.GPS units are just too hard to use? I would have to agree that early GPS units were especially hard to use. There involved a lot of memorization to remember how to access certain tools and what each button did. Modern GPS units have become very simple to use, so much that most companies don’t even include a user’s manual. If you are used to using a computer or smart phone then the transition will be easy. Easy to navigate menus, simple options for each screen, and labeled buttons make it a breeze. Want to get even more hi-tec, well grab one of the new touchscreen GPS models. Turn these beauties on and easily navigate the simple menus and zoom in and out with the touch of your fi nger. What kind of maps are available? This is where you can really take advantage of GPS technology. No longer is it simply a tool to get back to camp or your truck. With modern day maps the things you can do are truly amazing. Garmin provides a series of maps called Birdseye Imagery. You download both satellite imagery and digitized USFS maps to put right onto your GPS. You can even go one step further and take advantage of the maps that Hunting GPS maps in Missoula, MT offers. These maps showcase all public and private property and even include landowners’ names and parcel boundaries for private land. Also include are 24K topo, Hunting Districts, Section lines and numbers, and some other great features.


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Page 45: Hunting & Fishing News

45September 2012

Page 46: Hunting & Fishing News

46 - Hunting & Fishing News

Straight Talk Straight Talk Interview - Interview - Craig MorganCraig Morgan(continued from page 42)(continued from page 42)

I was with my Mother when I harvested my fi rst whitetail at the age of 10. My Mother passed away in 2010, Dad is still living and I appreciate all they taught me. My work ethic comes from them as well as my love of the outdoors.LF: When did you start Bowhunting?I started shooting a bow in my teens but really got serious about bowhunting in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I began hunting mostly with a bow in 1995. I really like the challenge.LF: What is your favorite big game animal to hunt and if you could only hunt in one state where would it be?That is a really tough question but I would say my favorite animal would be a whitetail deer. There are a lot of states that I really like to hunt but if someone were to tell me I could only hunt one state I would have to say Tennessee, simply because it’s close to home and my family.LF: How do you tie your music, your love for the outdoors, your charity work and your tours with the USO together?We all place a lot of emphasis on small things here at home but the most important thing is a secure nation. Without that we have nothing.I will continue to do all I can to entertain the troops and to let them know how much they are appreciated and how much there service means to all of us. Freedom is the most important thing we have.LF: How do you balance your TV show schedule “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” with your music tours?It’s really not that hard, I fi lm for the TV show while I am on the road. It takes a few more phone calls, great organization and scheduling is very important. What makes it easy is having such a great wife and family. My wife is very supportive of what I do. I am away from home a lot and without her I would not be able to do the things that I do. That is where so many people that are on the road get into trouble. They don’t have a great support system with their families.

LF: What is your favorite hunt that will be airing this season?Hawaii! This year there will be two shows that are from Hawaii. We hunted moufl on ram, wild boar and wild goats. We also went cliff diving and to a luau. I believe Hawaii is one of the most well kept secrets in hunting...LF: What do you think makes your TV show “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoor” different from the other hunting shows?We don’t try to hide anything or do a lot of retakes. I like to keep it real. If I miss a deer, I’ll show it. I don’t want people to be misled by the industry to where they think if they don’t shoot a 200” deer it’s not good enough. Everyone does not have the means or the place to hunt where they will shoot great big deer. I want people to see how much fun we have and how much we enjoy hunting and being with our friends and family. Without the producers and the camera men and all the people that work behind the scenes it would not be possible.LF: What do you want people to take away from your show “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors”?First I want them to be entertained, make them laugh. I also hope to give them good information on products that will help them be more successful on their hunts.LF: How important is it for you and your wife Karen to have your children involved in the outdoors?It is very important to us. It doesn’t matter if we are hunting sheds, just walking in the woods or on our dirt bikes. Being outside I believe helps develop their immune system and helps them physically. It also give us time to bond with them, you can’t do if they are always plugged into something...LF: What legacy do you hope to leave behind?...I guess what I want people to know is that I have lived my life to the fullest. That I have been very blessed, that God is fi rst in my life only above my wife and children and that I am very grateful to all of my fans.

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Page 47: Hunting & Fishing News

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Page 48: Hunting & Fishing News

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